“Oi, did you get a look at those two?”
“Hah, did I ever.” Auxi dug a spare grenade from massive backpack and tossed it the Demoman. “Looking pretty tight-knit, eh?”
“Aye. You see the Doc step in front of tha’ wet sack of meat? He was as good as dead!” The Scot said as he thumbed the grenade into the chamber of his launcher.
Auxi continued jamming bullets into her handgun magazine while choking back a laugh. “He was actually worried! My God, did you see his face? That’s not like Medic at all.”
“Too true,” Demo said, glancing over at the nearby, sloppy pile of limbs and red giblets. Some vague physical characteristics of the Heavy and Medic might have been recognizable. “What would you give ‘em on the scale?”
“At least a nine, definitely,” Auxi replied. She slammed the heavy clip back into her silver pistol and tucked it into her belt. The RED continued as she fished back into her backpack, this time retrieving a worn, spiral-bound notebook. “I dunno, maybe even a nine-five. I mean it seems so obvious now. How did we never see that before?”
“Oohhh, I think ya might be onto something. On more ‘an one occasion I’ve gone to get Heavy for poker, but he ain’t in his room!” Demoman’s mind revisited events and encounters like a nimble set of fingers drumming through a series of documents in a filing cabinet. He idly stared at Auxi while she wrote furiously into the notebook pressed against her knee.
“...absent on poker night, exclaims love on a frequent basis, cooks for partner privately...”
“Oi, don’t forget the time he shoved Sniper aside so his precious Doc could use the teleporter! Oh, I forgot you were BLU fer tha’ match...” Demo lamented. “What do you have down for Medic?”
“Consistently depressed when balanced to the opposite team from Heavy and performance worsens, follows Heavy almost exclusively whenever possible, generally treats in a friendlier tone,” Auxi recited. She drummed the eraser-end of the pencil against her lip a few times as she paused.
“What is it?” Demoman asked, filling his last open pouch with sticky launcher cartridges.
“Do you know what... ‘coos-shull-bar’ means?” Auxi asked.
The Scot shrugged. “I don’t know a lick a’ German, lassie.”
Auxi groaned, and tucked the pencil back into the notebook.
“Thanks, Engie!” Soldier shouted, showing off a wide smile as he snatched the beer bottle placed in front of him. His shorter, American ally shuffled in beside him and reclaimed his seat.
“So,” the Texan said with a sigh. He peeked at his hand of cards and frowned. “Anyone else doin’ stronger than I am?”
“Oh can it Truckie, yer bluffin’ is bloody awful,” Sniper said.
“Quit yer bitching, Kanga!” Soldier pointed a less-than-sober index slightly to the left of Sniper’s head. “Now are we going to play cards or are we going to hide behind our chairs and simply threaten each other with what our hands may or may not be capable of!?”
“I’m petition’ option A, so long as no one disagrees,” Engineer said, lightly rubbing his neck with a calloused palm.
“Now that is what I wanna hear! Dammit Engie, why can’t there be more privates like you?” Soldier said.
Demoman and Auxillery snickered in tandem. Their eyes made a reliable habit of darting from their laps to each other’s faces with expectant, twitching smiles.
“What’s got you blokes so laugh-happy?” The Australian glared at Demoman from across the top of his cards.
“S’nothin’!” Demoman pinned his lips shut, barely sputtering for a series of “pfts” and throaty backfires.
Soldier, Engineer and Sniper all bounced hung jaws, arched brows, and generally confused expressions of each other as Auxi and Demoman continued to stifle their laughter. Neither of them walked away from the table with heavier pockets that night.
Kneeling over on her knees, the RED clutched at the enormous gash across her right shoulder. Blood seeped across her arm. She stared into the wet grass and hissed through her teeth. A pointed metallic tip jabbed at her scalp.
“Wait! Waitwaitwait! Just, hang on a sec,” Auxi pleaded, following up with a pained grunt.
“Oohhh, got yerself some last words, do ya lassie?” the BLU Demoman taunted.
“Did, did you see-” Auxi gasped for breath, and shook her head to whip the damp hair from her face. “Hahahaha, Pyro... Pyro and the Spy. Oh God the way Mumbles was whimpering... hahahaha!”
“It was right funny, wasn’t it?” Demoman chuckled alongside her, lowering the Eyelander casually to his hip. “Looked like quite one tearful make up to me.”
“I know! I know, I was... I was thinking the same thing. Oh God I need to write this down, but I’m a righty, and... and I think you broke my arm. Shit, I can’t move it.”
The Scot sighed, and jammed the blade into the soggy soil. “Hol’ still, don’t wanna hurt ya anymore than I already have.” He crouched behind Auxi and flipped open the top of her backpack.
“It’s under-Gah! U-underneath the heavy caliber belts.” Auxi guided the enemy Demo as he rummaged through her supplies. She knew he was doing his best to be gentle, but even the slight nudges and prods weren’t doing her wounds any favors, particularly the small hive of shotgun pellets embedded in between her ribs. She clamped her top row of teeth over her tongue momentarily to keep herself quiet. She hated seeing Demoman be apologetic. “They’re all coiled-Guh, coiled up. Next to the spare shotgun forend.” She finished with deep, slow breaths. The laughing had taken a greater toll on her stomach than she expected.
“Got it!” The BLU aggressively snatched the notebook from the backpack and immediately threw it open to a half-scrawled page near the back. “Frenchie accidentally shoots friendly Pyro, Pyro weeps like a poor wee babe, Spy apologizes to Pyro, promises to bake chocolate and cheese souffle,” Demoman chanted slowly as he wrote.
“I honestly never knew Spy could... could cook. Gosh I’d love to’ve seen Pyro’s face at that offer.” Auxi maintained deliberate breaths, doing her best to avoid as much movement as possible. She also found the pain in her shoulder was considerably less apparent when she wasn’t actually looking at the wound. “You wouldn’t even known he’d been shot, ‘cept for the bullet hole of course.”
The Scot dropped the notebook back into the backpack. He picked a single stray carbine bullet from the pack before clipping it closed. “Anythin’ else, Auxi?”
“No I... that’s all. Thanks.”
Demoman stepped a few paces over and picked up the fallen carbine, now flecked with bits of mud and grass.
“What’re you-guh, what’re you grabbin’ that for you? You’re a terrible shot.” Auxi decided against trying to lighten the remark with a chuckle; laughing was too painful.
“I know, I jus’ figure it’s a bit more pleasant than a sword.” Demo chambered the carbine bullet carefully, like he was learning to shift gears in Engineer’s pickup truck. Neither actions were familiar for him.
“It... it is.”
“I know,” the BLU said, pressing the rifle stock against his shoulder.
“Ach, that’s too easy!” The Scot waved his hand disapprovingly in front of his face as he leaned back. “And we’ve already done it before!”
“What!? But it’s so good!” Auxi claimed, brushing her shoulder against Demoman’s sleeve. The flash light in her left hand shook slightly, and rapidly stirred the light across the illuminated spiral notebook on the wooden floor. She quickly steadied it again by propping it up on the Scotsman’s shoulder.
“Ain’t denyin’ that lass, but can’t we be a little more creative than jus’ Medic and Heavy?”
“Awww.” Auxi’s flashlight slouched over Demo’s shoulder, now lighting the right thigh of his spotted boxers. “I think I like them most as a couple.”
“Don’t blame ya. Would be a bleedin’ shame if the two weren’t actually arse bandits.”
“I know,” Auxi agreed, sighing. She dropped the pencil down onto the open notebook page and clawed her fingers through her hair.
“You alright?” The Scot leaned over to get a better look at her expression.
“I’m just tired. Plus we have a seven AM match tomorrow.”
“Aye, sleep might do us a favor er two.”
Auxi tossed the flashlight onto her mattress to help brighten the length of the room. She retired the notebook back into her service backpack, and dragged two emergency sleeping bags from beneath her cot. Demo helped her untie them and roll them over the floor in the center of the room.
“Remind me again why we’re sleeping on the floor?” Demoman asked as he slipped into the cool sleeping bag.
Auxi patted her bare pillow before resting her head on it and turning over to face Demo. “It’s just a slumber party thing. My friends and I used to do it. Everyone just got sheets and sleeping bags and we would all sleep in these piles on the floor.”
“Heh, sounds like you lasses had fun.”
“Yeah...” Auxi scratched at her scalp. It didn’t itch, but she felt like exerting some sort of action. “We had a lot of fun.”