The Great Two-Fort Cuteness Offensive
a completely silly tale by Dot
The Soldier suspected the cardboard box full of mewling, squirming kittens to be a trap, laid by the enemy Spy, no doubt. They had to be gotten rid of at once before they proved to be a fatal distraction. At once, he emphasized, pounding his fist on the table.
Nobody listened to him. Each of the other classes claimed a handful of fluff as their own or had one thrust into their arms despite their objections, leaving a solitary runty thing to pace, looking lost and confused.
The Soldier lifted the creature up by the nape of its neck and stared at it, unsure of what to do with the mass of fur and claws.
A tiny, pink tongue darted out and licked the Soldier's nose.
The Soldier spent the rest of the day with a large pair of eyes poking out from the opening of his jacket, stalking about the base with such ferocity that he garnered no comments about the unusual arrangement.
The Scout preferred dogs, having grown up with at least two in the house at any given time. He requested one from his superiors, arguing that they could use one to guard the base or track down those slippery Spies, but got no answer.
So he was delighted when he found that he could coax the orange striped cat into jumping almost as high as his chest by dangling a bit of string over its head. As time passed he even managed to beckon the creature on command from time to time and he swore the thing would even roll over of its own volition to allow its stomach to be petted when the mood was right.
"Might as well call you Fido," he decided one day, letting the cat's tail curl around his finger. "You sure you're not half dog somehow?"
Fido peered back at its master and chirped, tilting its head at him.
The Engineer, meanwhile, was discovering that his pet had a penchant for finding new hiding places, emerging hours after the Engineer lost track of it with its white coat covered with grime and soot, looking pleased with itself. The Engineer would then have to endure minutes of agonizing wailing as he washed it out, lecturing it about not squeezing into strange spaces.
Of course, Snowball never listened. Whenever she was not trying to find new secret passages in and out of the Engineer's workshop, she was twisting herself into various shapes to nap in the Engineer's unused helmets.
"Let me work, darn you," he growled as he saw a white blur out of the corner of his eyes and settle next to him.
Snowball shot him a look that the Engineer interpreted to be 'not a chance' and wrapped her tail around herself. A moment later she had nodded off, and what sounded like snores could be heard.
The Engineer sighed and shifted so that Snowball could lean against his chest. "I have been working too hard, haven't I?"
The Medic did not want a cat, or anything else with fur or feathers for that matter. He suffered allergies something fierce, and he already had to take a small apothecary's worth of pills just to be able to fight without being impeded by red, puffy eyes or nonstop wheezing.
The Heavy tried to pitch in, but this just resulted in both men's cats becoming persistent stalkers of the beleaguered Medic.
"So sorry, Doctor," the Heavy apologized when they lay in bed together and he made futile efforts to keep the two calicoes from jumping up and kneading the Medic's chest.
"It is not your fault," the Medic sighed, holding his breath as each came by to nuzzle his head. "I will just have to order more antihistamines."
The Demoman and his pet ignored each other for the large part, sharing a living space but otherwise having no interaction save mealtime.
Then on a drunken bender the Demoman thought it would be a good idea to share his brew. The Medic was woken from dreams of furry felines by a sobbing Demoman asking why little Braveheart wasn't moving.
Nobody slept another wink that night. Many times it seems that the team would have to prepare for a funeral, but as the first rays of dawn peeked through the base Braveheart's eyes opened and blinked around, settling its gaze on the Demoman.
The two were inseparable after that.
The Pyro turned his room into a cat-sized jungle gym, building little ramps and trees for his pet to explore. Nothing was safe from his attempts to find more additions to the makeshift obstacle course.
The cat repaid the favor by submitting to wearing cute little bows tied on its collar or at the base of its tail. It loved to be photographed as well, holding poses until each picture was taken, and those plastered every available surface the Pyro laid claim to.
The Pyro also showed everyone how to identify the gender of their pets, indicating the subtle (or not so subtle, depending on the cat) differences, necessitating some name changes on the parts of their sheepish owners.
"Didn't know you had an eye for that kind of thing," the Engineer remarked, impressed. "I mean, I grew up on a farm and most of the time I can't tell if it's a tom or a queen."
The Pyro just shrugged and made a noncommittal noise.
The Sniper somehow coaxed his black and white kitten, the tufts of fur arrayed like he was wearing a tuxedo and a balaclava, into perching on his shoulder wherever he went. It didn't even seen to mind the sound of gunfire, napping in the general vicinity of the Sniper's head as he picked off his targets. Whenever it wasn't sleeping, it was stalking around the Sniper's nest for insects, birds, or even rodents, bringing the bounty of the hunt to the Sniper in return for praise, affection, and bits of canned sardines, not always in that order.
The Sniper could even be heard chatting to his companion even while in the mess hall, prattling on and on about one thing or another, paying no heed to the other class' stares.
The Spy, on the other hand, spent his days bearing the unending hatred of his Persian mix, a mangy gray blur of energy that that clawed and bit at the Spy's shins, arms and face at every opportunity. For some reason the Spy endured this with a stoic face, sometimes not even bothering to clean up his wounds when he headed out into battle, and returning with no other injuries, looking as smug as his pet.
One day both cats disappeared at the same time, and the two men almost came to blows accusing the other of inflicting unspeakable horrors on their beloved pet. Then the Sniper's cat emerged, tail high in the air, and settled into the Sniper's lap as if nothing had happened, and several months later a furious Spy stormed his way back up to the Sniper's roost demanding that the other man make restitution for his darling Antoinette's honor.
The noises that emerged next sounded less like fighting and more like, well, two cats in heat, but lucky for them their teammates were too busy with their respective pets to care.
On the other side of Two-Fort, one would expect the competing faction to be puzzling over why the enemy faction seemed less and less interested in their constant contests, but they had their hands full as well. For a while both sides still went through the motions, but it did not take long for the mock-fights devolving into harmless games. In less than a year after the mysterious boxes had shown up on the doorsteps of each side, a full armistice was declared, and no matter how many times the furious higher-ups ordered hostilities to resume the answer always came in the form of pictures decorated with whimsical captions.
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress' Notes:
So can you tell I like cats?
Not explaining where the kitties came from because I find it funnier that way. (A Wizard Spy did it!)