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Pyro and Engineer

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Dell stood on the sturdy wood and metal platform that sat beside a long, slightly damaged chain link fence. He sighed, lifting two suitcases- full of personal notes and blueprints for his machines, off of the train platform. He ended up removing four suitcases in total, the other two containing clothes, and a few pairs of work boots. He sighed, carrying his effects down to the stairs and to the base of operations.

Suddenly, Dell was thrown to the ground, with the breath knocked out of him. He looked up to see two giant lenses staring into his eyes. A mumble of an apology escaped the masked figure above Dell, as the figure helped the Texan stand back up.

"It's ok, er...Pardner." Dell didn't want to upset whoever had knocked him down. The man stood only to his chest, surprisingly. The outfit the person wore was a full Asbestos suit, the bottom part was stained black with soot and ash. The optical mask was shiny, with tinted lenses. An odd outfit to wear in a place that had heat waves every other day, but not the most insane thing he's seen.

"Hey, hardhat! It's boiling out 'ere! Get inside!" A voice called from the door. He expected it to be another member of the team.He picked up his items and turned to say thank you to them, but he was greeted by nothing. Dell sighed and trudged into the building. Inside it was practically freezing, but that was better than the burning heat outside.

 

Dell felt like it wouldn't be the last time the odd figure would visit him.

Chapter Text

Dell had finally settled into the small workshop a week after arriving at the base. He had met eight of nine mercenaries that had agreed to join RED and was hoping to catch a glimpse of the last one. He wished to know who he was going to have to talk to for the next few years with this contract. He found out who it was when the Scout burst into his office, clothing tattered and burned in spots, his skin reddened.

Dell felt compelled to ask the Bostonian why he looked like he had just gotten out of the war zone when it was a cease-fire day. When he did, the Scout sighed, and told him the freak did it.

"Now, boy, there's no need ta call anybody a 'freak'. Bring me to 'em, will ya? I'll see if I can't reason with 'em." Dell stood up fully, following the stomping merc into a more run-down segment of the base. It smelled of sulfur and ash and looked like a fire had blazed through. The only colorful object in the room was a short red blob sitting beside a rubber duck. A gloved hand would emerge from the blob and stroke the duck every few minutes as Dell stood a few metres away. Scout had already stomped away, grumbling about how the mess of cloth was his favorite, and how Medic wasn't going to let him go without getting chewed out.

Dell inched closer to the blob, only to get a fire ax flying by his head. He stiffened as the blob formed into the person he met a few weeks ago at the station. The mask drooped slightly as if they felt regret for throwing the ax at Dell. Dell sighed, and moved to sit in front of the figure who now sat slumped over, like an oversized doll. He sighed, and stretched his hand out for the figure to shake.

"The name's Dell. Dell Conagher." He smiled politely at the masked man. "m' Sorry we haven't...Acquainted well, Pardner."

Dell was surprised to see the figure push his hand away, and hug his legs close to his chest. The figure sat there for a spell before mumbling a reply to Dell. He couldn't make it out, but it sounded like the person had been crying quietly. Dell frowned, straightened up, and gently placed a gloved hand on their shoulder.

"Hey, pardner, you don't mean nothing by it, do ya?" Dell asked them quietly, rubbing their shoulder gently. The masked figure shook their head softly, poking at Dell's shoes. They mumbled something about the scout insulting duckie, and the boy hurting their feelings.

Dell smiled. "Sorry, It seems I've forgotten my manners. What's yer name?" he asked, as the mask looked at him with little emotion. The person in the mask said their name so clearly, it startled Dell.

"Pyro. It's just Pyro."

Dell smiled at Pyro and placed a hand out for him to shake once more. just like before, Pyro didn't extend theirs out. Dell sighed quietly and looked at Pyro. "Be careful with the boy now. We don't need to hear an earful from the boss, do we, now?" He joked. Pyro giggled happily, picking up their ducky and standing up, extending a hand to Engineer for him to take.

Engineer accepted it and followed Pyro out of the room, listening to the rambling man with a small smile on his face.

Chapter Text

Engineer sighed, lifting the weighted box over onto his shoulder, running as fast as he could to the control point. He could hear the enemy's gunfire closing in on him. He didn't care, he just needed to run. He continued to run until the rocks and fence caused him to be trapped. He prayed that the revving of the minigun was just his own team's Heavy's gun. He hoped it wouldn't hurt.

Suddenly, he heard a sound. It was a certain team member's flamethrower starting to pump flames. He uncovered his head to see Pyro charge at the Heavy angrily and light the giant man in a blazing inferno of rage and ferocity. The Heavy's screaming made Dell's ears ring loudly. Dell saw a gloved hand pick up his favorite wrench, and heard gravel crunch loudly towards him. he saw a gloved hand lower down to his limp hand, and open it carefully, placing the wrench onto his palm, and wrapping his fingers back around the metal tool.

"Mr rprlgies." The Pyro mumbled softly, looking at the metal box, which was not a box, but twisted chunks of metal, filled with holes, and lightly burnt.

Dell smiled softly. "It's just a machine, Pardner...I can always rebuild it." He sighed, turning to Pyro. "Thank you for your help. If you didn't save me, I dunno what I would be now." He picked up the chunks, placing them into another box. "I gotta go. Have fun burnin' those rascals, okay?" He began trying to find his way to the point before the enemies tried to ambush him again. He heard steps trying to keep up with his. He stopped, and turned around to see the Pyro holding their Fire Axe close to their chest. Dell frowned slightly, looking at Pyro. "Pah-ro, bud, why are you following me?" He inquired to his fire-starting ally.

Pyro turned his head sideways, and looked back."Yrr nrrd prrtrctrrn," Pyro began flatly, looking around."Rrnrmrrsh crrn rbrshh." He added.

Engineer smiled, sighing softly. "Well then, I might just have to make room for ya." He looked back towards the point, walking slowly so Pyro could keep up behind him. They reached the point and began to build a small next of sorts.

The rest of the round was a breeze, if anything. Engineer couldn't believe how efficient the firebug and him worked, for one. They were a good combination together. Pyro was able to check for spies, while Dell set up sentries and a few dispensers. Pyro could also finish off the few who were able to run from the sentries. The Firebug was incredibly persistent with roasting them into smouldering ashes. Dell was afraid of them about it, sometimes.

"Victory to RED team." The announcement rang out among the battlefield. Pyro raised his flamethrower above his head, crying out in victory. Dell watched as everyone ran to kill the remaining members before it was time to return to the base. He sighed, shaking his head, and making his way to the base, when he heard the familiar steps behind him. He turned to see the red asbestos suited person holding his ax close.

"Rrngrrnrr..Crrn Rr Wrrk wrf yrr mrr?" The figure asked, looking down at Dell. "Nrrrn lrrks trr trrk trr mrr." They looked down to the ground in shame.

Dell smiled softly, placing a hand on the Pyro's shoulder. He felt incredibly sorry for the larger person. He rubbed the outer rubber-ish shell on the taller person's suit. "'Course ya can, pardner. I don' mind at all." He turned to start walking to the base, when he felt a light tug on his sleeve.

"Rrngerr..?" The Pyro asked softly.

"Yes, Pah-ro..?"

"Rrm glrrd yrr mrr frrnd." Pyro vocalized joyfully.

"I'm glad I'm yer friend too, Pah-ro." Dell smiled.

"Yrr Rrr?" Pyro inquired softly, his words full of surprise.

"Yes, pardner." Dell assured the fire-bug.

The rest of the walk was rather quiet, with the loudness of insects being what cut the silence with a large knife. Dell felt at peace, for once.

Chapter Text

Pyro sat at the end of the mess hall's table, fiddling with a small rubber duck. They pet the duck's head gently, careful not to make any noise. They continued to do so in a rhythmic pattern until they were jolted out of their stupor rather suddenly.

"Pyro..? Darlin', what in tarnation are you doin' being up this late? You know how cold it gets, n' all..." the drowsy, yet calm voice of Engineer echoed through the large hall. His normal work clothing was absent, being replaced with boxers and a black t-shirt with a simple wrench design on the left breast's side. Engineer's eyes were now visible without his goggles obscuring the view. The dark navy orbs skimmed the hall to see pyro sitting all alone.

Pyro's mask was shining in the light of the fluorescent orbs gleaming brightly overhead. The Texan could see through the mostly opaque lenses directly into Pyro's eyes. They shone like gemstones.

"C'mon, firefly. Let's head back to the barracks. We have all day to be awake." Dell's request piqued Pyro's interest, as the fire starter began to get up and hobble over to Engineer, setting the cold rubber of the mask against Dell's right arm. This seemed to be a sign of confirmation, as the Pyro began heading towards the barracks, with their hand in Dell's.

The barracks' walls were littered in red paint splatters, bullet holes, and the occasional explosion marks thanks to Soldier's insane logic. The place always seemed to smell of sweat and gunpowder. With a hint of blood.

Engineer watched as Pyro moved past his own room and began to poke at his door. Dell sat there in confusion as Pyro began tracing runes on his door, sitting quietly and not moving. Dell moved closer to them and opened the door for them. The pyromaniac silently stepped into the room as Dell carefully closed the door behind himself. He smiled as Pyro rolled onto the King-sized bed, his suit squeaking at every movement the firebug made.

He sighed, turning to look at pyro fully. "Scuse me, Firebug. I need to climb in there, too." The Texan chuckled at his companion, shaking his head. He moved towards his light, turning it on a lower setting, before heading to the bed and climbing on top of the covers.

After the Engineer settled into his bed, he heard a soft rustling noise, as if someone was removing something. He refused to turn around to face the other person, however. He would let Pyro have his privacy since they value that over everything else. He then heard a soft sigh. It sent shivers down his spine as he heard them whisper to themselves. He moved around until he saw a gloved hand wrap around his torso, and felt a face press against his head.

Dell could feel each breath on the nape of his neck. Each one sent shivers down his spine. He slowly began to fall into the dark and calm stupor he called sleep.

 

Dell woke up to a light blue light leaking through the window, dripping across the wood floor to the bed. He yawned loudly, trying to regain enough feeling to move around. He then heard a soft voice muttering.

"Mmm...You...awake...?" The voice suddenly inquired to Dell, it's soft tone lost under the bird's songs.

Dell smiled, turning to look up at the ceiling. "Yeah, it seems so, darlin'...." He sighed happily, patting the Pyro's glove in a reassuring manner. He wished to see his companion's face. To see every wonderful detail the mask hid. He craved the sight.

"Dell...Can you turn around...?" The voice's whisper was practically nonexistant among the early birdsongs that began to play among the early hours of the day.

Dell swallowed heavily and turned to face the Pyro, to see bright greyish-green eyes meet his own blue orbs. The face he saw was one of a thinner frame. The jawline was sharp, the cheek bones seeming to jut out from the skin. Dell's eyes took in every minor detail of the Pyro's handsome face. He could tell that he was blushing from the sheer heat trickling to his ears and down his neck. He swallowed hard, forcing himself to look away. "...So...Uh...."The Texan gentleman stuttered meekly, his calm demeanor shifting suddenly into one fit for a timid school girl, not a thirty-something year old man. He tried to regain his composure, but it was too late. Pyro began to giggle softly, a small smile forming on his soft-looking lips. Dell began to turn cherry-faced as the Pyro pecked him on the top of his head. He began to stutter, before sighing, then hugging Pyro around his torso. He. could feel each expanse of the taller man's chest, each breath the handsome man took ended in a soft exhale. The slow pattern began to lull Dell to sleep. He could only dream of Pyro's face, and how his eyes shimmered like sparkling diamonds.

Chapter Text

The first time Pyro displayed his affection was during a simple cease-fire day in June. He had walked up behind. Dell, who hadn't noted that Pyro had gotten through three locks and two passcodes, was busy chatting away to Medic about a new idea for a power source for his medi-gun. Medic quickly witnessed Pyro practically flinging himself onto Dell with such force that both men ended up with dust and cobwebs staining their respective uniforms. Pyro began to giggle at his current predicament, but Dell simply sighed, dusting himself off, and turning to the Medic, who was holding back some laughter.

"Herr Conagher, would you like me to relocate for a while so you and Pyro can chat, or?" The Medic inquired to the Engineer, a small grin forming on his face.

Engineer sighed, shaking his head a bit. "Y'all do whatever you want to. I'm gonna finish up this here teleporter, then rest for a spell." He turned to face Pyro. "Ya want ta help me, pardner? You can test the thing." Dell watched as the suited pyromaniac squealed joyfully, bouncing around. Medic smiled at Pyro's antics, then traveled out of the room with blueprints.

The second time was during the hottest month on record: mid-August. Pyro had, yet again, entered the workshop without Dell's knowledge. The heat had gotten to them, plus the boredom was getting worse. They had removed their mask partially, leaving their eyes covered.

Dell was currently elbow-deep in a robot from years ago, his sleeves rolled up and covered in oils and grease. The room smelled of diesel and paper money. Pyro tip-toed towards Dell, then hugged him around his waist. Dell let out a yelp, accidentally cutting his left arm open, the ruby-red blood pouring out in a rather large quantity. Pyro gasped, running to get a small scrap of cloth to use as a wrap for Dell's wound. Dell sighed, the sting lessening as he saw Pyro run to him with a large rag. Pyro tightly wrapped the wound and looked away, a sad frown on his face. Dell could hear a soft, raspy mumble from him. It was quiet, but he knew what Pyro was saying.

"Awh, Darlin, don't beat yerself up over it." Dell sighed, rubbing Pyro's shoulder. "Ya didn't mean ta spook me, did ya?" He asked Pyro. Pyro shook their head, looked up at the robot, and sniffled a bit. "Darlin, don't cry. I forgive ya. Ya just gotta be more careful when I'm concentrated next time. Okay, Darlin?" Dell hugged Pyro with his good arm, nuzzling the soft cheek of his Darling. Pyro hugged back, grabbing fistfulls of Dell's clothing in their hands. When they seperated, Dell smiled at Pyro. "Now, lets go to the doc about this wound, Darlin."

 

The third time was away from Dell's workshop, and was instead in the Barrack's living quarters. The Mercs were playing a rather heated game of "Tens and Twos", The only card game most of them could play. Scout had begun to rant about Demo's uncanny winning streak, whil the scot simply downed an entire jug of hard liquor. When the scot had finished, he belched, and looked right at scout, saying "And YOU think you can do better, Twig??" in a slurred,slow tone. Scout began to try to badmouth the demo, Calling him a "No-liver-having cyclops", among more colorful names.

"Crm rn, scrrt." Pyro mumbled, tapping their cards against the table, waiting for the thin man to take his turn.

"Ah, SHUT THA' 'ELL UP, YA MUMBLING MORON!" Scout snapped, chucking a can at Pyro, before returning to insulting a good portion of the team.

Pyro gently placed the cards down and quietly walked to the door to the porch. Dell quickly followed, trying to keep up as Pyro headed farther away from the camp. He began to huff, his lungs becoming weakened from the dust, heat, and dry air. He managed to catch up to Pyro, who was crying on a small plateau, Their mask discarded, their suit unzipped halfway, leaving the upper torso uncovered. The scarred skin was tanned, the long scratch marks being a startling sight to Dell.

"D...Darlin..?" Dell wheezed, out of breath. Pyro suddenly turned, their face looking tear-stained, their once vibrant eyes dull and lifeless, almost like a doll's glass eyes. His hair was greasy, his hands covered in blood. Dell slowly walked closer, seeing a sharpened rock in Pyro's hand. The rock had a light amount of blood on it. Their arms were covered in small, freshly made cuts. Dell sat next to them in shock at the intensity of some of the scars. Some were minuscule, unseeable until you were up close. Other wounds were large gashes that took up half of a part of their body. "Darlin....Are you okay...?"

Pyro didn’t answer, but simply stared. The eyes were distant, uncaring, but most of all...

They felt empty and sad.

“Darling....Pyro, please...please put the rock down...” Dell tried to speak calmly, but his throat was dry and scratchy, his eyes dry and burning.

Pyro looked at the rock, no emotions discernible in their gaze, and gently tossed it over the plateau’s edge. The cuts were dabbed in blood now.

Dell relaxed slightly. “Darlin’...you’re worryin’ me. I can help you with anything you need. Just...com here...the ledge ain’t safe...” Dell couldn’t articulate the thoughts enough in that moment. He was so worried that words didn’t work for him anymore.

Pyro got up slowly, wearily. They stumbled, swaying on their feet in a state of delirium. They stumbled forward into Dell’s arms, like a toddler into the protective arms of a parent. Dell sobbed quietly into the taller one’s slightly limp body.

Pyro was okay.

Pyro was safe.

Chapter Text

Dell never understood how Pyro survived on just soda and air, but considering Mundy and his coffee intake, he shouldn’t have been surprised. His interest in Pyro’s diet was piqued with him catching Pyro with over twenty cans of the newest soda: Doktor Popper.

Dell wanted to laugh as much as he wanted to scold Pyro, as the sight of the tall man carrying the container of soda was oddly hilarious. The scolding was for getting an entire surplus of the stuff.

Dell thought of it as just an eccentric food choice until the medic came to him with a clipboard overflowing with paperwork and a nervous scowl across his face.

“Herr Engineer, May I inquire about your lover for ze moment? I have some information for him about his...Eccentric diet.” Medic inquired to Dell, handing him a clipboard full of information about Pyro’s diet and the issues it contained. “Ze Pyro is a man in love with caffeine, but it iz not ze best for his health...I’m afraid to say it to him, but he may need to curb som of ze addiction to keep his body from collapsing.” Medic finished curtly, stretching a bloody glove out to procure his clipboard.

“Ah suppose that’s the case, Doc. Any way to get that started off?” Dell asked with a small frown, eyebrows furrowed.

“I shall ask zat you see to it herr Pyro’s sugar intake is halved by next month, at the least. If that happens, I’ll take care of ze rest. Understand?” The medicine man turned to him, staring into his eyes.

Dell simply nodded and sat back in the cushioned chair with a large fwump, his back strained against the hard wood behind him. This was going to be a hell of a thing to explain to Pyro.

The easy part would be to just to switch the sodas out for fruit juice, all he’d have to do is buy the can type. The problem was the taste was most definitely not the same. The next idea was to wean Pyro off of it, a straightforward solution. Except Pyro had the willpower of a bull and would not be easily motivated to go in a separate direction. Another option was sugar-free soda. That would not go over well with anyone. This was beginning to be incredibly difficult.

Pyro knew about Dell’s plans almost immediately. The fire starter had more of a brain to him than he let on. He watched carefully, stroking his rubber duck. Dell was fitting the fridge with a lock, it seemed. A basic lock, akin to the deadbolt locks for doors. Dell had three of them lined up, each one an inch apart from the other. This fridge was not the one used for food, thankfully. It was purely for soda and other sugary supplies.

“Now, Darlin’,” Dell sighed, turning slightly to face Pyro’s pouting form. “This ain’t because I don’t love ya, doll. Medic asked me to. It’s for ya safety.” He continued on, though he knew it was probably not going to register for now.

“Rr knrr.” Pyro mumbled, his head resting on his knees. “Rr dnn blmm yr.” Pyro set the duck down, and began to rock slightly.

Dell smiled, cocking his head to the side. “At least ya understand what I’m doin, doll. Now, it ain’t gonna be cold turkey. I ain’t that cruel .” He looked back to the final deadbolt, sliding it into place. He was finally done.

Pyro looked up, eyeing the locks.

“They’re tough to crack, doll. Made sure of it.” Dell stretched, popping his back in several places.

Pyro frowned, but nodded. He was not happy about it, but it most certainly wasn’t Dell’s fault. He was following orders. Medic was just trying to keep him in shape for battle.

It didn’t mean he didn’t HATE everything about this, though.

“Now darlin, the idea is only two per week, and only for good behavior. I ain’t gonna hand it out just because I can, Doll.” Dell chuckled as Pyro huffed. “Be good, an’ you’ll get a soda.” He wobbled off, rubbing his lower back.

 

The mercenaries didn’t expect the diet to last, but it did. The soda part of it, anyway.

Pyro had asked Mundy for some coffee one morning before the shift, his mask ajar, but still covering up the face. Mundy had allowed it, but required Pyro to NOT burn the coffee pot again. Pyro had thoroughly ruined a good half of the coffee with enough sugar to give a man diabetes and enough cream to fill the coffee pot itself. It had miraculously not killed the man, but had instead worked for a good while, until Mundy had (not so) politely kicked him out one day.

He tried to fill the fix for sugar in other ways, but nothing hit right.

Dell was particularly worried in how much coffee Pyro was trying to down. He had to find an easy out, and quick. He went to Medic one day out of exasperation and exhaustion.

“Medic, I need some solid advice...” he groaned out as he entered the wing.

Medic turned on his pivot, facing Dell. “Ah, Herr Engie! So good of you to drop by! What may I assist you with?” His smile was larger than life, and creeped Dell out. Otherwise, it was the medic.

“Pyro keeps downin’ lots o’ coffee to get his caffeine fix. Know anything that may fix that? Mundy’s gettin’ real close to puntin’ him...” he placed a hand on the table beside him for leverage.

Medic placed a gloved finger over his temple, massaging it for a moment. “Ah, Herr Pyro might need some certain tea for his need!” He offered, procuring a piece of paper, scrawling the name of the tea on it. “It’s called ‘Black’ tea, but ‘Oolong’ is a good alternative! They both have high caffeine amounts, but are still healthy!” He handed the paper to Dell, who simply nodded in thanks and wobbled away.

Pyro sat at the table, picking away at an array of steamed vegetables and eggs. He sighed, moving the fork rarely to his mouth. The sound of boots on tile alerted him to Dell’s presence.

“Since ya need that kick, I got you somethin, Doll.” He placed a bag in front of the plate. It was rather fancy for a simple bag.

Pyro looked up at him. “Rr yr shrr?” Pyro inquires tentatively, pulling the bag closer while simultaneously pushing the plate away.

“Yeah, I’m sure doll. You’ve been real good on this diet, so I got you somethin’ nice.” Dell smiled as Pyro pulled out a mug.

The mug itself was in a basic shape, and had no color. Pyro was confused, but continued to look in the bag and found two large boxes of tea. One black, one oolong.

He finally understood.

Dell grinned as Pyro thanked him. “No problem, darlin. If you want, I’ll show you how that mug there works.” He pointed to the nearly all-black mug. “It’s a color changer. Brand new thing on the shelves. It’s magic, darlin.”

Pyro lightly bounced in his seat as Dell made them both hot mugs of tea, and Dell began to explain the mug and how it was possible. The pair sat in comfort and in joy, just existing for a while. The mug eventually cooled down and had to be washed, but it was ready for the next use the next day.

Pyro wasn’t a big fan of tea, but it did pull through, for now.