Popping a plastic square into his beat up radio, Scout pressed play and proceeded to take off his clothes. He remembered tucking the little tape into his pocket when he last went to visit his Ma downtown. She didn’t notice, and he was pleased to finally have something other than the Oldies crap that was always playing on the intercom at base. His buddies seriously needed a dose of some good ol’ rock and roll. Scout felt deprived without it.
His room was one of the only ones at base that came with a small shower and a window, and he put both to good use. The cocky Bostonian kept the window open all throughout the day to keep a good breeze flowing, and showered a lot more than you’d expect of a teenage boy.
Both came with equal consequences.
Grabbing a ratty towel, Scout hummed as the radio picked up and played the first song. He turned it up, setting it down next to the sink in his cramped bathroom, and twisted the knob of the shower stall to the hottest setting it had. He stepped on dark blue tiles that crawled all the way to the low ceiling, closing the shower curtain in the process.
The song continued on, picking up rhythm and making Scout bob his head a little.
“One way, or another, I’m gonna find ya—I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha”
Grabbing some soap, the teen proceeded to lather it up in his hands, body now jamming it out to the song. Hips shaking, arms swaying: Scout soaped up to the vicious, throat-cutting voice of the woman on the tape. And damn if she wasn’t good.
“One way, or another, I’m gonna win ya—I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha!”
Scout started to quietly sing along, rinsing his hands in the hot spray of water before grabbing the shampoo. It smelled like cucumber-watermelon, his favorite, but he didn’t want any of his comrades to know about that so he used it sparingly. Pouring a quarter-sized amount into the palm of his hand, Scout dramatically ran it across his scalp. He liked to think he looked similar to that of a gangster running gel through his hair, combing it back all seductively for the ladies, when in reality it just made his hair flat and sudsy. But showers had the magical ability to lock someone away from the real world, and instead put them in a much more pleasant place—into ones’ imagination.
Currently, Scout thought he was a rock star.
“One way, or another, I gonna see ya—I wanna meetcha meetcha meetcha meetcha!”
He struck a pose, shoulders hunched and hands pointed like guns; the motion flung a giant wad of bubbles against the shower wall. Scout didn’t notice. Instead, he grabbed the backscrubber hanging from a tack in the tile. He brought it to his back, scrubbing and dancing at the same time.
The beat picked up, and Scout decided he was clean enough. He brought the long brush to his mouth and sang, as if it were a microphone:
“One day, maybe next week—I’m gonna meetcha, I’ll gonna meetcha I’ll meetcha
I wiiilllllll right past your hooooouse
Aaaaand if the lights are all doooown
I’ll see who’s arouuuunnndddd”
He twirled the brush, spinning along with it, before standing under the cooling water and rinsing off. The bubbles raced down his chest and legs, stripping any attempt of coverage on his body. Scout thought he was pretty damn hot, so exactly zero shits were given as he turned the knob to shut the shower off and pulled the curtain aside.
Dripping wet and still swaying, the Bostonian grabbed his towel and rubbed himself down to the beat of the radio and the sound of his own voice. He gripped both ends of the terry cloth and pulled it back and forth on his butt for good measure, making sure to keep with the rhythm.
“One way, or another, I’m wanna find ya—I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha”
Pulling the damp towel off with a snap, Scout’s hair stuck up on end as he sang. His body rocked sharply, each jerk complimented with an easy sway before returning to the erratic moves he had set up for himself.
“I’m gonna getcha! I’ll getcha!”
Wrapping the thing carelessly around his hips, Scout looked at himself in the mirror, grimacing at the state of his hair. He dug through one of the cabinet’s drawers, pulling out a simple comb and some deodorant. Applying the pit-wear quickly, Scout twirled the comb like he imagine Spy would do with his knife, and bobbed his head as he brought the thing to his hair. It snagged only a couple of times, each met with an irritated grunt, but otherwise his du was perfected within seconds.
Scout, finished with his daily hygiene, decided to put the comb to further good use.
“One way, or another, I’m gonna win ya—I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha!”
He grabbed his rockin’ radio and kicked open the bathroom door, towel dangerously low and comb still imitating a microphone. Scout spun, sliding his damp feet on the hardwood floor, and placed his beloved device on his nightstand. All of this was done with swaying hips and fluttering limbs, eyes closed and fantasy put into full play.
His imaginary crowd was cheering, multicolored panties raining onstage. Scout was a rock star.
He did not notice the bright flash of light that quickly filled his room; instead he continued to move, comb in hand and eyes dramatically closed.
“One way, or another, I gonna see ya—I wanna meetcha meetcha meetcha meetcha!
One day, maybe next week—I’m gonna meetcha, I’ll gonna meetchaaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaand if the lights are all oooouttt
I’llll follow your bus downtoooown
See who’s hangin’ aaaaaahooooouuuut”
Scout flailed about at the guitar solo, pretending he was center stage and jammin’ it so hard on those strings that his audience’s ears bled from pure joy and ecstasy. There was another flash, but again it went unnoticed. The music was too loud.
Bringing the comb yet again to his lips, the young Bostonian returned to singing, but decided to add a little flair into his performance. He karate chopped the air viciously, attempting to do a high kick and spin—which he managed amazingly to do—but his towel decided to abandon his hips in the process. It fell, fluttering, to the ground.
The song was just about finished so Scout pulled off one final move, spinning on his heel and jerking his hand forward, pointing to his imaginary crowd.
As it turned out, his audience was far from imaginary.
Scout’s happy high abruptly shattered as he saw that his bedroom door was open with Spy, Soldier, and Demoman standing there, witness to the entire debacle of comb waving and dramatic hip twitching. There was a camera in Soldier’s hands.
The room was silent except for the music hitting its final notes in the background.
Scout was choking on air. The comb fell from his grip.
Soldier peered over the lens of the camera and looked at the teen. “Why’d you stop, boy?” he questioned angrily. Spy snorted, bravely trying to hold back his amusement while Demoman stood hunched, tears dripping from his eyes and his mouth wide open. His lips were twitching, and finally he let out a great, bellowing laugh just as Soldier snapped another picture. Spy lost his composure and buried his face in his hands.
Scout finally unfroze, grabbing the towel from the floor and threw the comb at the men in the process. He was screaming the entire time, face beet red.
“Get out get out get out!”
In utter desperation Scout flung any object he could find within reach at his comrades, specifically targeting Soldier and his camera. Dodging as best as they could within the narrow doorway, Soldier ended up getting a soda can to the head while Demoman got wads of dirty socks. Spy backed away slowly, just as Scout grabbed his baseball bat and charged.
“Oh no!” cried Demoman, turning away and scrabbling down the hallway with Spy ahead of him and Soldier not too far behind. “The boy’s gonna get us!”
Spy couldn’t hold back a snort of amusement at his comrade’s statement and Soldier faired no better.
“I will end you!” screamed Scout, eyes on fire and blush bright. He gripped the towel in one hand, covering himself as quickly as he could, while the other hand held the heavy wooden club.
The four mercenaries sprinted down the hallway, three intent on escape and one focused on murder and the ridding of evidence. They passed Pyro during their chase who spun bewildered at Scout’s state of dress and Soldier’s girly screams. He scratched his head as they left, wondering what had happened during his nap. Pyro decided he would talk to Sniper or Engie about it, since they had more experience in dealing with the weirdos they lived with than anyone else in the compound.
Later that night, Scout had returned to his mother’s place to secretly tuck the stolen tape back into her music collection. He had no intention of ever taking such a thing again.
The only thing Scout could conclude from his day was this: his comrades had more blackmail on him than the enemy would ever know what to do with, and that rock and roll was the devil.