A/N: For a crack pairing competition on . To whom it may concern, Floodgates' next chapter should be up soon. Good to be back.
The diggers' camp in Sandtrap was dark, lit only by lamps scattered here and there. Most of the lights were out in the tents surrounding the Elephant. One of the few bright tents was massive, ideal for storage.
And that's why Grif was heading for it.
It had been God-only-knows how long since he'd had a decent meal. The guys here must have something. He was willing to risk getting caught sneaking around if it meant he got a chance at something better than sand. Maybe they'd even have Oreos…
With that beautiful thought in mind, Grif slipped past the guards–
"I'm telling you man, Superman could kick Batman's ass. I mean, sure, Batman's got those fancy gadgets, but Superman's got brain and ridiculous amounts of brawn."
"Ah, that's bullshit. Spiderman isn't even in the running."
"Honk honk blarg."
–and waltzed right into the tent. He could be very stealthy when the possibilities of food or naps were involved.
Grif looked around, feeling like a badass about to be loaded with food, when he noticed a few things.
First, he noticed the lack of any crates of food.
Second, the general lack of food. Only one half-eaten protein bar and an empty packet of Oreos remained. So close, Grif lamented.
Third was the fact that there was a bed and personal affects in the tent, revealing it as someone's living quarters.
Lastly was the helmet lying on the bedside table, belonging to the soldier they'd met that morning, CT. And standing next to that bedside table was a thirty-something woman with brown hair, just as surprised to see him as he was to see her. The woman, however, was not frozen like a rabbit in the headlights –she grabbed her pistol and pointed it straight at him.
Grif wanted a weapon too. Except he had left his armour and weapons in the Gulchers' (or Valhalla-ers'…) assigned quarters.
So he picked up the half-eaten protein bar and threw it at her head.
It bounced off her forehead harmlessly. She blinked in confusion.
"What the hell was that supposed to achieve?"
"You took the only good weapon," he offered, shifting uncomfortably.
"…There are better weapons available than that in here, you know," she said. The serious mood that should've accompanied having a gun pointed at your head was pretty much gone. Food always found new ways to be an icebreaker.
"Shut up." To avoid further humiliation, Grif found a new topic. "So, what, you that CT guy's girlfriend?"
She scowled. "No. I'm not."
"Ok…" Grif glanced at the Oreo packet again.
"What the hell are you doing here?" she demanded. "What are you looking for?"
"Food," he said.
She blinked again. "…Food."
"You expect me to believe that you snuck into my tent, when I specifically told you to stay away, for food," she growled. The girl did not look very happy. And the last time a girl didn't look very happy around Grif, Tex had punched him. Hard. Grif tried to channel his inner Simmons and prepared to beg for forgiveness.
"Yes, please, I only wanted some Oreos –wait, you told me? But CT told me…" A memory came to Grif, then: the memory of first meeting Tex. You broke my voice filter! You cockbiting fucktards… Grif finally figured it out. "Oh, hell. You're CT?"
The woman –CT –froze, then lunged at him. She grabbed his hair and shoved her pistol against his throat. Oh shit…
"Listen, asshole. If you tell anyone, I swear I will –"
"I won't, I won't, I won't!" he yelped, cringing away from her as much as possible. "Please don't shoot me! I just wanted some damn Oreos!"
"Either you are a really good actor or you're an idiot," CT muttered, loosening her grip and shoving him away, but still keeping her gun trained on him. In Grif's experience, it was best to agree with pissed off people. Especially ones with weapons.
"The idiot one!" he promised. The gun didn't waver. "Please, lady, I have a little sister–"
And then his stomach growled, and any dramatic tension was lost forever.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" CT demanded. At this point, she decided to believe him on the fact that he was an idiot and about as dangerous as a fat piece of grass.
"I told you… we've been eating sand for the past few days," Grif said. He wasn't sure whether to be humiliated or relieved, and CT didn't seem sure on whether she should be amused or disgusted.
"If I give you some food, will you promise to never, ever come here again?"
"Yes!" Grif was willing to do almost anything. 'Anything' possibly including work.
CT shook her head. "Just sit in the corner."
Grif did as she said as CT dug around in the small pack under her camp bed, finally bringing out not one, but two packets of Oreos.
Overeager, Grif reached for both of them but she held one back. "Screw you. I had to pay for them." She gave him one packet, and then sat on her bed.
"Where did you get these?" Grif asked, ripping open the packet and shoving no less than four Oreos into his mouth at the same time. CT raised an eyebrow at the crumbs on the tent floor. Grif wouldn't have been bothered by this, but then he remembered that every crumb dropped was a crumb wasted.
"I paid off our supplier. Wasn't too hard," CT shrugged, as at ease as anyone could be when ready to jump up and start shooting if she had to. "He's cheap."
Grif nodded. "So what's with the whole I'm-totally-not-a-girl thing?"
CT paused and Grif worried that maybe that was something he shouldn't have asked of the girl who could cause him extreme pain. But eventually, she shrugged and answered his question.
"The Aliens… aren't used to female fighters. They know that humans have them but since we've only just started working together…" she sighed. "Best not to do anything that might confuse, annoy, or just plain piss off these guys."
Grif made some incomprehensible sound that might have been an agreement while munching more Oreos.
Then he realised something.
This was the first girl he'd met in six years who wasn't constantly trying to kill him. Sure, they'd had a rough start but she seemed pretty cool now. That was a big step up from Tex, and Kai didn't even count.
"Hey, idiot," CT began. Grif looked up almost sheepishly to find her glaring at him. "This isn't something you're going to be telling anyone, ok? This never fucking happened. If anyone sees you on your way out, I punched you. Got it?"
"Got it," Grif agreed. Maybe he'd been a little hasty in his not-a-total-sociopath judgement on her. "Can I at least finish my Oreos?"
"Fine. So, I've answered a few of your questions. What's the deal with you guys?" she asked. She counted her remaining snacks while he answered.
"A pink-armoured guy told us to help this asshole pervert who was somewhere in this desert. Caboose, the dumb blue one, came along because… actually, I don't know. That kid's got something wrong with him. Sarge, the idiot red one, wanted to come so he could 'even out the teams.'" She was about to say something, but he responded for her. "We're pretty screwed up."
"I can see that," she nodded. She was only halfway through her packet, while Grif was finished with his. He really wished he'd learned to do good puppy-dog eyes like Caboose or Sister. CT (or more specifically, her Oreos) wouldn't have stood a chance.
"So, what are you guys doing here anyway?" Grif asked. He realised that was probably the worst possible question to ask. This chick was paranoid.
Instead of threatening to shoot him again or biting his head off, she just glared at him. "Not telling you. Ever."
"Ok." Again, Grif was reminded of the value of agreeing with angry women who could cause you horrible pain.
CT got up and picked up her helmet, putting it on to peek outside the tent flaps.
"In about two minutes, they'll be a thirty second break in the guard. You run then," CT ordered, chucking her helmet back on the bed. "And if you get caught, I get to shoot you."
"I won't get caught," Grif said. What is it with these guys and shooting people?
"Hey, CT?" Grif asked. He tried to channel as much of Caboose as he possibly could. Sure, puppy-dog eyes weren't as effective on messy-haired, more-than-a-little overweight men. But maybe she would take pity on his pathetic-ness. "One for the road?"
She stared at him for a moment. It didn't look like she was falling for the puppy-dog look… so he had to hope he was pathetic enough for her to take pity on.
Being pathetic. It wouldn't get you any awards, but it got the job done.
She sighed, walking back to her bed and rummaging beneath. She turned and shoved the packet of Oreos into his chest and then pointed towards the door.
Grif took a couple of steps towards it… then decided he might as well give it a shot. This was the only non-sociopathic, not related to him woman he'd met in about eight years. She had Oreos, too. And a supply line for them. Plus, she already disliked him. He had nothing to lose.
"CT… wanna do this again sometime?" he asked.
She considered it for a second. The first woman Grif had met in eight years that wasn't a sociopath or related to him considered his request.
"No," she said decisively, and shoved him out of the tent.