Agent Texas never liked Valentine's Day.
To the average civilian, it was meant to be a holiday for love and compassion, to give gifts to the ones you love. Intelligent people did know about the person it was named after, a Roman man who planned marriages in secret until he was found out by the Emperor and executed.
The black-clad Freelancer didn't see it that way. She only saw it as a day where men thought that giving fake red roses, tiny stuffed animals and crappy boxes of chocolates to their admirers, girlfriends or wives would give them the slightest chance of getting laid or even getting to first base.
She even hated the god-awful chalky candy hearts, the way they tasted, even the way they said I LOVE U or BE MINE or some other sappy shit that made her hate the holiday even more.
Even today, while checking her sniper rifle and cleaning her guns inside her temporary room inside the Blue Base at Blood Gulch, she hated the day with a fiery passion. The red head had made it clear that she was in a foul mood this morning when she screamed at Tucker for seemingly no apparent reason, her voice rising in volume.
"How many times do I have write sniper ammo on the damn list before someone gets his ass in gear and brings home the fucking ammo? Maybe I should get my combat knife and etch it in your motherfucking forehead! How hard can it fucking be? SNIPER! FUCKING! AMMO! I GUESS THAT THE PRICE I PAY FOR LIVING THREE FUCKING IDIOTS!"
She stormed out of the kitchen and into her room, closing her door with a violent slam. From behind her door, she could hear Church and Tucker talking, their voices in a barely audible whisper.
"Okay, what the fuck did you do, Tucker?"
"I have no idea. I just asked for the cereal."
"You think she's on the rag, Church?"
"Dude, shut up. Tex has ears from the devil himself. She could hear us from the other side of the base."
"Then why are we still talking?"
"Um, I don't know."
Ignoring the conversation outside, she headed towards her bed where her sniper rifle laid, intent on cleaning it, when her foot struck something on the floor. She almost tripped on a small box, but quickly caught her balance back.
It was a cardboard box with small holes with an envelope on the lid. On the envelope was her name horribly written in black crayon, surrounded by crudely drawn red and pink hearts. "What the hell-Whoa!"
Tex flinched a little when the box moved a bit. Then a small, purring noise came out one of the holes, along with a little tuft of white and black hair. With caution, she slowly opened the box and gaped at what was inside.
Curled in a little ball of fur, a small kitten slept soundly in one of the corners of the cardboard box. The light of Tex's room stirred it awake and the little ball of fluff stretched its legs and yawned, showing its almost white, tiny teeth. Its long-haired fur was a mix of gray and white with black stripes and small plots of orange fur surrounded where the white and gray separated. The kitten looked at Tex with big, yellow-green eyes and immediately stared at the black armored Freelancer with a tilt of its head, as if curious of its new owner.
It was then that Agent Texas felt something in her chest, her heart constricting at the sight of the small mewling thing. It made the anger she felt moments ago just...fade away.
She shook it off. She was a Freelancer. She didn't have time for-
The kitten interrupted her train of thought with a small cry from inside the box. Then, Tex watched with some curiosity as the kitten leapt onto the edge of the box. It tried fruitlessly to stay on the edge until it clumsily fell over into the hard gray floor, landing on its back. Then, it slowly got up and waddled over to the Freelancer. Small purring sounds were heard as the small thing rubbed against her foot.
Tex picked the kitten up and looked at it. Looking between its legs, she could tell it was a female kitten. The kitten was fucking tiny, so tiny that she could easily fit into the Freelancer's palm, making her yellow-green eyes seem a lot bigger than they were. Had to be the runt of the litter.
When the kitten's eyes darted around and found her new owner, Tex felt her chest constricted again, the feeling much stronger than the first time.
Again she shook it off. No way. I can't take care of an animal.
No matter how cute she is, the other voice popped up.
Stop it, Tex mentally slapped the back of her head.
Then the kitten, still in the palm of her hand, started playing with Tex's still gloved thumb, gnawing at its tip and trying to scratch at it with its tiny claws and teeth. Still, she's got a lot of fight in her for such a tiny thing.
Luckily, the kitten's attack had no effect on the Freelancer...
...except for the tightening of her chest again, growing more powerful with each second.
Aw, damn it.
Tex sighed and placed the kitten on the bed, where she explored the sniper rifle placed on its less then soft, starchy bedsheets and not so soft pillows.
Meanwhile, Agent Texas tried to think of a name for her new pet. When she held the kitten up, she noticed that the kitten had black stripes on her forehead in the shape of an "M." So, she thought of the first name that popped into her head.
"Macy?" God, that sounds stupid.
Obviously, the kitten didn't think so as she responded to the name with a tiny "Mew!"
"Okay, if you say so, but I think it's a stupid name." The Freelancer quipped with her arms crossed.
While she watched the now named Macy touch her sniper rifle with her small paws, one question still flooded her mind.
"Who the hell would give me a kitten?" The black armored girl asked to no one particular. She looked down at the box and saw the envelope on the ground. She opened it and inspected the card inside.
Hand drawn with crayons, horrible handwriting with Valentine's Day misspelled...
Then she saw who signed it. It was misspelled, but she knew who it was. She literally did a double take at the name, expecting to be Church's name to be there. He couldn't have thought of something like this.
You have got to be kidding me...
A few minutes later, Michael J. Caboose heard a knock on his door. He stood up from drawing on the wall with his crayons and went to answer it. The Blue soldier opened it and was surprised to find the slightly taller Agent Texas standing there.
"Oh, um, Hi, uh, Tex." The rookie stuttered on his words, expecting the Freelancer to use him for target practice or as a punching bag. "Um, how are you today?"
"I found a kitten in my room, Caboose." Tex cut to the chase, "Along with a horribly made Valentine's Day card with your name on it."
"Oh that..." Caboose fidgeted with his fingers, trying to find in his little mind what to say to Tex, "Um, well, Church always talked about how you wanted a kitten when you were little, but you couldn't because your parents were meaniefaces who didn't like cats. So, I got you one for-MPH!"
What happened next was so sudden, neither the rookie nor the Freelancer knew what they were doing when she pulled the Blue soldier close. She ran her fingers through his short light hair before her mouth collided with his in a kiss. Her tongue rolled deep into the rookie's mouth before she pushed him onto the bed.
Before he could get up, she lay on top of him, giving Caboose a threatening stare and said, "I want you to know that I like the gift you gave me and what I'm about to do is my thank you for it. But, I have a reputation to protect. So, if you tell Church or Tucker or anybody in this god-forsaken canyon about this, I swear I will start punching you in your sleep again. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes!" The Rookie quickly said, his eyes wide with fear.
"Good," Tex said, satisfied with his answer, "Now, off with the armor."