A Strange Game Called Flashbacks
Chapter One: Disempowered Donut

Series: Red VS Blue
Rating: PG-13 (for language, sexual situational dialogue, and a bit of Donut's gayness)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. cough>Rooster Teeth cough>
Story Notes: This takes place after episode 57. Consider it AU from then on...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It had been seven long months of pure hell. They'd been forced to fight off the strange blue alien species that had taken over what became of Blood Gulch in the future almost night and day since the day they'd first set foot into the box canyon. The eight soldiers had also been forced to continue working together to keep alive, much to Sarge's initial disapproval. Through a combination of being too stubborn to die, a purely selfish determination to stay alive at any cost, and the fact that two of their teammates were already technically dead they all survived.

Little did they know that they were all that remained of the human race...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I've got a spare t-shirt and pair of boxers, my combat knife,...six aspirin, my wallet, a Zippo, my razor, a quarter of a tube of toothpaste,...and...um...6 copies of Penthouse." Tucker added each of the items from the compartment on the back of his armor for personal belongings to the growing pile on the grass. "That's all I've got." The teal clad soldier looked to Donut, who was fiddling for the release button on his own backpack compartment reluctantly. He only wished that Tex and Church weren't off on a last desperate search for any signs of human life left on the planet. While he had come to trust most of the Reds, Sarge still harbored the old grudge. He didn't like being so outnumbered with the older man around.

"A tube of moisturizing hand lotion, two sets of briefs, a nail clipper, my dice set,...an extra pair of pants, my CD collection, my stash of turkey jerky, and er... the rest is sortta personal." The pink clad man placed each of his items in a neat line alongside of Tucker's.

"No way Rookie. If Tucker and I have to give up our personal porn stash for the general use pool then so do you. We all agreed that everyone gets to use everybody else's stuff!" Grif interjected.

"Trust me... no one else here is going to want the rest of my stuff..." Upon Grif's stern gaze Donut's voice took on a slightly panicked tone. "Trust me guys! It's REALLY, REALLY personal stuff... I'm not giving it to you!" He sent Simmons and Sarge a pleading look, only to be met with a set of indifferent stares.

"Out with it Pinkey. We don't want to have to shoot you" Tucker added over Donut's shoulder.

"NO!" Donut turned, ready to dart away.

"Caboose! Grab him!"

The strongest soldier in the canyon clamped onto Donut, preventing his attempt to escape from them. But the moment Caboose laid hands on him Donut started struggling like a cat, flailing, and hissing, and yelling.

"Stop it Donut!" Sarge ordered, involving himself for the first time.

"NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!" His struggles doubled as both Grif and Tucker reached for his storage compartment. His panicked twisting caused Caboose's grip on him to fail for a moment, causing the blue clad private to desperately grasp at him again. Just as Tucker laid hands on Donuts final possession a loud click sounded, followed by the immediate sound of rushing air, and to everyone's horror the seam holding together Donut's pink helmet separated. Everyone, save Donut, froze as the helmet fell to the ground, leaving the pink private to breathe the toxic air of the planet.

"I... didn't mean to." Cried Caboose, as his former captive scuttled away from the rest of them. Caboose remembered well Church's constant lectures about why he should never ever take off his helmet outside.

"Jesus Christ!" Simmons gasped with wide eyes. With each panicked breath his teammate drew, he felt sicker. The atmosphere of the planet, while appearing similar to that of Earth, is at such an extremely toxic level that only one lung full of the air can kill a human within thirty seconds. The Red Army Handbook of Dangers in Space painted a grim picture.

Tucker looked upon his former enemy's face for the first time. Donut was, surprisingly, extremely tanned. Most of his facial features could easily be mistaken for a woman's, from his thin lips to his high cheek bones. His hair was a bright blond and was plastered to his head, as was usual after wearing the full armor for an extended period of time. His eyes were a piercing green and were currently opened wide, brimmed with fearful tears. "I...I'm sorry" Tucker stuttered, dropping what he held.

"What the FUCK?" called a familiar female voice, rushing toward them from over the grassy knoll along with Church. "How the hell did you guys figure it out before Church and I had a chance to tell you?" There was a long pause while everyone tried to make sense out of what Tex said. "How did you guys know about the atmospheric change?"

"What are you talking abo-" Grif started before Donut suddenly seized what looked like a leather bound book off of the ground near Tucker's feet and sprinted away. The group watched as several papers slipped free and fell to the ground behind him as he ran.

"Was he...crying?" asked Tex with a confused look.

"Shouldn't he be dead?" asked Sarge, watching Simmons retrieve several of the papers from the grass.

"That's what we were coming to tell you about. About five miles outside the canyon wall in the south we found a small group of slaughtered Reds. None of them were wearing any armor so I ran the atmospheric analysis program that is built into our robot bodies. According to the readings the air is somehow no longer dangerous here in the future."

After a long pause Caboose finally spoke. "You mean I didn't kill Lieutenant McMuffin?"

While Tex tried to explain to the others her theory about what may have happened to the air, Simmons was leafing through the paperwork he had recovered. After reading over the first few pages a very un-Simmons-like choking noise escaped his throat.

Tucker, who seemed to have recovered from his shock, craned his neck to try to read over the maroon soldier's shoulder. "So what WAS he being such a pussy about anyway? I mean, what a baby." He didn't have time to react at all as Simmons' quickly drew his pistol.

"Don't you EVER make fun of him again!" Simmons yelled, pointing his pistol in Tucker's face.

"Simmons, stand down!" Sarge ordered, desperately trying to regain control over a situation that just kept throwing him surprises.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donut ran as far as his legs could carry him, expecting at any moment to drop dead from the deadly gasses in the air of Blood Gulch. His tear filled vision started to clear as he finally reached the canyon wall. He quickly picked out an obscured cave in the rock wall and he darted into it, halting just far enough inside that the light from outside had dimmed. The pink private's legs buckled under him and he dropped to the cave floor.

'They know!' For almost two years now he'd meticulously timed his eating, showering, and changing times within the single air sealed room of Red Base to avoid being seen by his teammates. If his army training had taut him anything it was that people came to conclusions just by looking at him. And while the policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell may have been all well and good on paper, it did nothing to help him. The second he'd stepped into his trainee bunk three years ago, everyone knew. The expressions on the other soldier's faces had ranged from shock, to open disgust and hatred...

'But Blood Gulch was different' he thought. 'None of them ever saw me, so they all just joked about my gayness. Deep down they never really believed it... At least not until they got some kind of proof.' Donut ran his hand through his sweaty hair in frustration. 'They have all the proof most soldiers need now... I look like a flaming queen.'

Donut looked down to the book he still had clutched to his chest. The cover was an old looking dark red suede with the word MEMORIES embroidered into it. He opened the front cover to stare at two familiar photos glued to the front page. The first was of his family back in Iowa. His father, looking every inch the farmer he was, was smiling. So was his mother, whom he'd inherited his blond hair from. His two older sisters stood on both the left and right side of the photo sticking out their tongues. He himself stood at the center of the photograph dressed in the army uniform he'd been issued before being shipped out. He was laughing at something his stocky teenage brother, who's arm was dangling on his shoulders, had just said. The second photo showed someone who looked like he could have been Donut's bodyguard if it wasn't for the fact that he was nibbling on Donut's ear in the shot. The man, Juan, was everything that Donut was not. He was obviously both partially Hispanic and a member of the local gym. He was tall where Donut was short, masculine where Donut was feminine, and looked like he could bench press his boyfriend for hours, where Donut was lean.

Despite the seemingly hopelessness of his situation the pink clad private couldn't help but smile...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The situation with the remaining seven soldiers had quickly escalated in Donut's absence. Simmons was adamantly refusing to give up the pages dropped by his teammate to the Blues. Tucker and Church were arguing that they all had a right to at least see them, if not share them. Both Tex and Sarge stood at the debate's sidelines with their guns ready in case things got ugly.

"We ALL fucking agreed to this! Everything is supposed to be pooled together. If you're going to go around breaking your word left and right just so that your little pink private doesn't get his panties in a bunch how can we can trust you about ANYTHING!" Church yelled in Simmons' face.

"This is all his fault anyway" Tucker added angrily staring down Grif. "Why are you guys defending that flaming little bitch anyway? I thought you guys didn't even like him!" Grif simply stared madly back at the blue, saying nothing in Donut's defense.

With all the screaming and threats no one noticed as Caboose slipped away in the direction Donut had gone.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donut wasn't sure how long he'd been sitting at the cave entrance rereading his old letters from home, desperately ignoring the more official letters stuffed a bit further back in the book. But the sound of rocks scattering under someone's feet instantly snapped him into alertness. 'They've finally sent out a search party to find me and bash my skull into the rocks for not telling them sooner!'

But the figure that appeared in front of the cave entrance wasn't the search party he was expecting. "Caboose?" he called out to him. If there was anyone in this canyon that he felt for sure was genuinely friends with him it would be the slow witted blue soldier who had played truth or dare with him when he'd been a prisoner. Donut found himself lifted off of the ground in a bone crushing hug from the other man.

"I am so glad you are alive. I did not mean to almost kill you with the air" the blue private confessed, looking at Donut properly for the first time. "You look a lot like I always imagined you." Before Donut could comprehend him the subject was changed. "Church says that the air isn't bad any more. But then everyone started yelling. Yelling hurts my brain, so I decided to follow you to this cave. Church may be mad at me..." Caboose wrung his hands, or at least did the closest thing to wringing his hands the armor allowed. There was a stretch of silence between the two before Caboose suddenly spoke again. "Want to know a big secret?" Without waiting for a response the blue soldier pressed the two unlocking buttons at the neck of his helmet. A loud click and a sound of air being released sounded before he pulled the helmet free.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Simmons was so angry that his face under his helmet matched his armor color. Part of the reason was the Blues. They were being assholes, and their comments about Donut were getting more derogatory by the minute. But most of his anger stemmed from what he'd read from the paperwork his teammate had dropped. They had been incident reports...

"Look, I don't even care if it's some gay porn or something. I just wanna see it to make sure it isn't some secret plan by you Reds to destroy us all in our sleep. Then he can have it back, as long as he gets off to that shit as far away from me as possi-"

"YOU BASTARD!" the maroon private screamed, cutting off Tucker's rant. Everyone present instantly quieted and stared. "IT'S PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT DO THESE THINGS!" he continued yelling, marching up until only a few centimeters separated his visor and Tucker's and then suddenly lowering his voice to a deadly hiss. "You want to know what these fucking things say? You want a quick summery jerk off? He's gay! And it's not 'haha he acts gay'. He is a homosexual. And these" he thrust the papers into the teal soldier's face, "are incident reports. Lets read a few out loud shall we?" Simmons crumpled up the first sheet and heaved it at Church, who was staring at the scene. "That one was about his first day in boot camp. The other recruits tied him to a tree in the middle of the forest on his first night in nothing but his underwear and left him there. It was 40 degrees that night, and according to the report no one found him for three days!"

He separated a second sheet of paper in his hand and shoved it against Tucker's visor. "This is a doctor's report. Apparently he SOMEHOW got the shit kicked out of him during a group field training excursion. They beat on him until two of his ribs cracked! And then someone assaulted him while he was recovering in the medic building that night. They...they fucking sodomized him while he was too hurt to move!" Angry tears formed at the corner of Simmons' eyes as he reached his fingers to the two release tabs of his helmet. Within a few seconds he held his helmet in his arms and a man who looked to be in his late 30's glared at the rest of the soldiers. His brown hair was conspicuously free of sweat and his grey eyes looked somehow unnatural, despite the fact that they were wet with tears.

"And yet somehow he still managed to turn into the most self-sacrificing soldier here. He would die for EACH and EVERY one of you! YOU BLUES MAKE ME SICK! And you too Grif! Would it have killed you to defend a teammate?"

Grif took the pause in Simmons' rant to mutter out the exact wrong thing. "It's only Donut.."

The maroon private angrily hurtled his helmet at his teammate with all his cyborg might, hitting him square in the chest and knocking him off of his feet. "No Grif. It ISN'T only Donut" And with that he stalked off in the direction of Donut's departure, leaving six soldiers gaping at his retreating back.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donut had, at one time or another, tried to picture what each of the inhabitants of Blood Gulch looked like. But he'd never in a million years have been able to piece together what he was seeing right now. His friend on the Blue team had features that could be called chiseled, yet somehow it was also obvious that he had only barely met the minimum age requirement when he'd joined up. His brown eyes seemed to shine with a childlike sense of wanting to know about everything going on around him. But it was the hair that truly threw Donut through a loop. Blue! Other than two inches of light brown roots the soldier's entire head of almost shoulder length hair was dyed a bright Blue Army blue.

"That is my biggest secret in the world. It proves to everybody that I am dumb, so I hide it."

"I'm not sure I understand... is that some sort of weird Blue tradition? How does dying your hair make you dumb?"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

End chapter one. Wow that all just sort of came to me at once. I'm not totally sure where this is going but I'm liking what I've got so far. Questions, comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism are all welcome. I'm also looking for a beta because I'm the worst speller in the known universe!
Chapter 2: Caboose's Candor (?) arriving when it comes to me!