a fourth-wall breaking story by Dot

We always knew that there were cameras almost everywhere, and that there were sick bastards who got off from watching us kill each other--hell, some of our own team members liked the archival videos a bit too much, if you catch my drift--but for the most part we tried not to think too hard about it.

Then that damn Spy just had to go and gather "intelligence" on our audience.

They were obsessed with us to the point of ridiculousness. They snapped up the official merchandising like candy and created shrines of us; the Sniper had the biggest following, much to his irritation and our amusement. They wrote fawning letters, ones that most of us threw away without ever reading.

And then there were the stories, and don't even get me started on the artwork.

They had gotten it into their heads that we were isolated from the world and turned to each other for--ugh, it made me sick to my stomach to just think about it. Sure, both sides had a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of us did have trysts where the cameras couldn't see. But to depict us doing the kinds of things to each other that those sick minds came up with? I knew for sure that at least one of the Demomen preferred men, but even he expressed disgust at the thought of two dicks going in the back door. And the poor Scout locked himself in his room for at least a week before we could convince him that no, we weren't going to make him our bitch.

Of all of us, the Spies took it the least hard (no surprise there), but he still complained whenever he came across what he saw as an insult to his reputation.

"Why is it that they always write me as if I were a woman?" He was heard grousing once. "I am a professional, for God's sake! I wouldn't go around chasing after anyone like a lovesick teenager!"

"At least you're not being depicted like you're some kind of creep," the Sniper pointed out, ripping up yet another picture speculating on the contents of what the fans called "the Sniper's Rape Van".

"Have the world's smallest violin," the Medic sneered, rubbing his index finger across his thumb. "You do not hear me complaining about the libel they spread about me, do you?"

The worst part, though, were the ones that somehow managed to get permission to become a temporary team member. Those who didn't get themselves killed the first moment they were out in the open treated the experience like some sort of bizarre dating game, giving themselves points for talking to us or trying to get us to sleep with them. Jesus Christ, most of these girls were young enough to be our daughters! What in the world were they thinking, and where were their parents?

I wanted to start a campaign where we wrote letters or posted videos about what we were like in reality, but no one else took me up on the idea.

"They're going to believe what they're going to believe," the other Engineer said when I brought the subject up to them. "Plus, don't you think it'd just encourage them if they heard from us directly?"

He had a point, but I was still optimistic. So I sat down and wrote a letter.

"To Those Whom It May Concern,
We're very flattered that you think so highly of us, and we thank you for the care packages that you send.

But I, for one, would ask that you please at least stop sending us the fanworks that you make about us and our sex lives. I find it quite disturbing that you spend so much of your time fantasizing about us. I can't speak for my teammates, but I definitely don't need to know what you think goes on behind closed doors here. And if we needed porn, we'd go down to an adult store and buy a magazine or a video like normal people.

Our companies may not care about the filthy lies you spread, but I do. And it hurts my feelings to see that I am nothing more than something for you to masturbate to. If you must write or draw about us, do it in the privacy of your own room. You don't need to share.

No Love,
RED Engineer."

Just about every response I got back was filled with either indignation or outright mocking.

The other Engineer helped me get rid of it all. "Told you so, didn't I?"

I sighed and threw another pile of filth on the bonfire. "It was worth a shot."

He rolled his eyes. "They're fangirls. They're in love with the idea of us. They couldn't give two shits about what we're really like."

Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress' Notes:
Of course I feel bad about the horrible things I do to the characters sometimes.
The rest of the time? Bring on the porn, baby. *grins*