This little story is set during a hypothetical period of peace. I didn't really thing about that while writing it, but I guess it doesn't really matter because this is just a quick one-shot :)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything, anyone, or any storyline that is associated with the "Gears of War" franchise. This little story is simply written for fun. Duh.
As of yesterday, three years had passed by. Three years of mourning, rebuilding, readapting, and moving forward. It had been hard, but what else was there to do? They were living in a war-torn world that was battered and broken. They had no choice but to pick up their feet and keep on going. It was that method that kept them all alive, after all.
But after years and years of running, killing, fighting, surviving...you couldn't help but wake up on the wrong side of the bed every once in a while. Sometimes, you just had one of those days.
"Shit! Agh, I'm getting ambushed over here! Damn it Cole, where the hell are you?!"
Damon Baird crouched behind a slab of concrete just large enough to hide his body, reloading his weapon as fast as he could. The battlefield laid out before him was nothing but an old street no longer in use. It was littered with broken down cars, slabs of concrete and old, wooden crates rotted to the core. At one time or another, the area had been known as a busy street, then a war zone, and now a deserted wasteland that no one even knew about anymore. It was the perfect place for them to have their showdown.
After a moment, Cole finally answered him back on the radio. "I'm gettin' hell over here too, baby! Hold your position, maybe I can shake 'em!"
"Hurry it up! I can't move a damn inch with these guys on my ass!" Baird held his gun over his left shoulder and fired blindly into the air. Ammunition bounced off of the brick at his back, barely missing his bare arms. It was times like this that made him miss his COG armor, but his grease-covered tank top would just have to do.
"Okay, get ready baby! The Cole Train's goin' in!"
"Go Cole, go!"
Baird shot a careful glance over his concrete barrier to see Cole dash forward out of his crouch, roll across the ground and start a low sprint towards the center of the field. After making sure it was safe, he stood from his own spot and scanned the area in front of him, ready to provide cover fire. After Cole was about forty yards away, Baird was on the move again, following Cole with his weapon raised and ready.
"You guys are so dead," another gruff voice came to Baird through the radio piece in his ear.
"Fuck you, Fenix!" Baird spat back, stopping to hide behind another cement block. "We're about to end this."
"Not if we end it first!" Dom joined in on the bantering. "You guys are way too slow, man. My dead grandmother is laughing at you right now."
Baird ignored the comments running through his ear, giving a low and frustrated growl. He was obviously having one of those days. The days where you just wake up wanting to start a fight. The days where you wake up wanting to shoot something.
"Who you callin' slow, Santiago?" Cole's enthused voice brought Damon back to the battle. He took a moment to listen to what was going on around him. To his left, he heard quick feet scuttling across the ground. To his right, the rustling of cloth against cloth.
And then dead center in front of him, the battle-cry of his partner in crime.
"Let's go, baby! WOOH!" Cole suddenly leaped over a blue, beaten, pick-up truck, firing his weapon at something to Baird's right. There was an angry cry from a man ducked behind an old stack of sandbags, and another series of a fired off ammo.
"Agh, damn it! I'm hit! I'm hit!" Dom's voice rang through the radio, angry and pained.
"Who's slow now, Santiago? Haha!"
"Goddamn it, Cole!" Marcus's pissed off tone joined the situation. "Dom! Dom, are you down?!"
"Yeah, I'm down Marcus! Agh, look out for Cole, he's coming back around!"
Baird took this moment to leap out of cover and run after Cole. They would take down Marcus together in half the time.
"Left Cole, left!"
"Alright, baby! Let's do this!"
The two men each shot off in different directions, flanking Marcus on both sides and making escape impossible. Caution was no longer a factor. It was kill, or be killed. No turning back.
Baird tucked a leg and slid against a stack of sand bags, the technique just about practiced to perfection. Pressing his back tight against the bags, he clutched his weapon to his chest, the sudden quiet engulfing him, forcing him to focus past his breathing, and pounding, adrenaline-pumping heart.
Where is he? Baird thought, straining his ears. Where the fuck is he?
Heavy boots clunked to his left. Who's? Scooting to the very edge of the bags, Baird leaned over, and carefully tried to sneak a peak around the corner.
Three rounds fired off, nearly taking out his nose and forcing him to slam back up against the sandbags. Frustrated and angry, Baird through up a hand. "Fuck this!" He stuck his weapon over his head and the sandbags, firing back and towards the left without even glancing.
"Hey! No blind fire, asshole!" Marcus sounded pissed, and for a second Baird thought he might have actually hit him until a few rounds seared across his hair, making him duck even lower.
"Then quit hiding, you pussy!" Baird growled back, quickly and efficiently reloading his weapon. "All's fair in love and war!…and all that shit."
Baird couldn't sit there forever. He knew that. But where the hell was Cole? He should have been coming around the other side by now. Maybe he was trying to sneak up from behind. Or maybe-
"Surprise, baby!" Cole announced, and Baird grinned when he heard Marcus's grunt of surprise as he sprung from his spot behind cover. A few rounds sounded off into the air, and Baird leaped to his feet, gun raised and ready to go.
Everything happened pretty damn fast. Before Baird could get a single round off, Marcus had jumped and rolled backwards, landing on the other side of his cover before rolling and then popping up on his knees. Cole had followed the action with his weapon, but just barely, firing along the way. Then, with a haste that was almost comical, Marcus dove to his left, knocking over an old, hardly-noticeable trashcan to block him from Cole's rounds. And then, as Baird's shots followed up, Marcus ripped off the metal trashcan lid and literally hurled it like a frisbee in his direction, crashing into Baird's gun and nearly knocking it from his hands before spraying out a large range of ammunition. Baird, scrambled and pissed, dropped back down behind his barrier, scowling as he checked his gun's condition.
"What the fuck was that, Fenix?!" Baird shouted, twisting and turning his weapon in his hands. "I can't blind fire, but that was acceptable?!"
"All's fair in love and war, dip shit!" Marcus called back, sounding way too pleased with himself.
"Aaawe shit," Cole muttered from his cover, defeat in his voice. "Sorry, Damon. I'm out."
"What?!" Baird shouted, resisting the urge to stand up and just walk over to him for his own, personal confirmation. "You're hit? How?"
Cole rose from his spot, inspecting his left arm. "Yep. Hit. Right there." He pointed casually at his bare shoulder. "Good luck, baby! I'll cheer with Santiago from the sidelines." With a grin, Cole then began jogging away, finding Dom seated on the roadside curb. "How long do you think these two will last?" Cole asked Dom, his large form dropping down next to Dom's. He propped his arms up on his knees.
Dom scratched at the stubble on his chin. "Eh, Baird doesn't stand a chance. I'm sure Marcus's already got a plan going in his head. He'll finish this in the next five to ten minutes at the most."
"Don't count Baird out too fast, now," Cole said, tilting up his chin towards the battlefield. "He's still got that brain of his. He'll think of something."
"Hey, assholes!" Dom called with his hands cupping over his mouth. "You guys gonna move, or what? I'm starving over here!"
Baird had had just about enough. More agitated by the second, he decided it was time to end it. "Yeah, yeah," he muttered, empting his last ammunition cartridge into the top of his gun, spilling a few pieces to the ground. "I've got something for you, Fenix."
"You gonna sit there all day, Baird?" Marcus asked, his gruff voice filling the radio. "Or am I gonna have to lure you out?"
"Lure me out with what?!" Baird shot back, going along with Marcus's chat as he surveyed the area around him. Another stack of sandbags to the left, concrete to the right. Blue truck a few yards back, then Fenix's trashcan up and to the side. "You find some chocolate or something in that tin can?"
"Mmm, chocolate," Cole commented from the sidelines.
"Marcus, if you ever find chocolate and not share it," Dom said. "Our friendship is terminated forever."
"Who says you'd ever find out?" Marcus countered.
"I would know. I've got the nose of a dog, man."
"Says the man who can't even tell the difference between cinnamon and ginger."
Cole grinned with dreamy eyes. "Mmm, cinnamo-"
"That's it!" Baird growled, hurtling from his cover and darting towards Marcus's cover. "I can't stand this fucking stupidity any longer. Stand up, Fenix, so I can shoot you in the face."
Marcus had already complied, gun raised and backpedaling. He fired off a few rounds, a couple at Baird's feet and a few grazing his arms, but not leaving any marks. He dove behind another barrier, pausing only for a moment to make Marcus stop firing. Baird had a plan, sort of. He knew just how inaccurate these stupid guns were, and he would wait until the absolute last second to fire, assuring that his ammo would hit their target and burst on contact.
Marcus's gun suddenly clicked, and his spray of fire ceased.
Fuck yeah, I know that sound. Baird whirled form his cover and made a b-line to Marcus, gun raised and finger on the trigger. Marcus's gun had unjammed in only a second, but Baird would be faster. He tightened his finger over the trigger, waiting for the sound of the last few shots that would end the match.
Baird's gun suddenly coughed, white, freezing air rushing from it rapidly and making a high-pitched hiss. The CO2 canister, now freezing cold as well, was hollow.
Baird's gun had run out of juice.
"No," he said, shocked and pissed beyond thinking. "No! No! Not now, you piece of shit!" Baird smacked the side of the gun. "How dare you do this to me! He was in the palm of my fucking hand, and you do this?!" Rapidly pressing the trigger, Baird's anger only grew when the gun emitted a hollow click, click, click instead of ammunition. Growling, Baird just dropped the gun to the ground, letting it clatter on the concrete without remorse. "Son of a bitch!" he exclaimed. "I have the worst luck in the fucking history of luck." Then Baird shot a look over to Cole and Dom, who were now doubled-over with laughter. "Bite me, you two," he growled, kicking at a rock on the ground. "At least I lasted longer. You guys were out in, like, a fucking minute."
Cole stifled his humor the best he could. "That may be true, Damon. But you forget you're still in the game, baby!"
"What?" Baird asked, scowling as Cole began guffawing again. Then he turned around to find what he was talking about.
Marcus, a few yards away, had his gun raised, fixed, loaded and ready to go.
"Nuh uh, Fenix," Baird said, squaring his shoulders. "Shoot me, and I swear I'm going to-"
Marcus squeezed the trigger, littering Baird's stomach and chest with splotches of bright green. Cole and Dom, who had paused momentarily in their humor, erupted into laughter once more.
"Sorry, Baird," Marcus muttered, lowering his gun and looking pleased with himself. "What were you saying?"
Fist clenched at his side, Baird gave Marcus a sinister glare before throwing up his hands and walking up the street, growling and muttering all the while. He'd had just about enough of his idiot team for one day.
Cole and Dom stood from their spot on the curb and jogged over to Marcus, still chuckling at Baird's expense. "Hey, Marcus," Dom said, bending to pick up Baird's gun from the ground to hold it in the air. "What did Baird call these things again?"
"Paintball gun," Marcus answered as they all turned and slowly began walking after Baird as he continued to try and distance himself from them. "Recreational game. Supposedly some people take it pretty seriously."
"Yeah, until they realize a paintball couldn't hurt a twelve-year-old," Dom retorted, giving each of the guns in his hands a look-over. "Yo, Baird!" he called up the street. "How'd you get a hold of these things anyways?"
Baird's answered by slightly tensing his shoulders and quickening his pace.
Cole chuckled heartily. "Let's just say Baird knows a guy. When Damon tells someone they owe him, he means it. Even if it also means meeting up with a guy after the human race is almost destroyed."
Dom shrugged casually. "I don't care how he did it so long as he can keep it up. I swear, sometimes I get so bored I have to resist shooting at chickens or something like that." Then, Dom gave another glance up the street. "Hey, so Baird! When do you think you can get these things re-stocked? I'm ready for round two!"
Baird's quick stride faltered only for a moment as he slightly turned his head around. "No fucking way."
Thoroughly enjoying the teasing, Dom changed to a more child-like tone. "But Baird," he whined. "Why?"
Reaching their old pick-up truck they'd used for transportation, Baird yanked open the passenger door. "Fuck you, that's why," he snarled, and then he hopped up into the cab, slamming the door behind him and making the glass shudder.
This sent Cole and Dom into another laughing fit. Hell, even Marcus seemed to be grinning to himself. Ugh, Baird thought. Why? Why do I put up with this? As the rest of his team climbed into the truck with him, still sending verbal jabs at his pride, Baird made a quick and easy decision that he knew he'd never regret. Screw these guys, he growled mentally. Next time I wake up on the shitty side of the bed, I'm going fishing.
Whew. This is finally finished. Do you know how long ago I got the idea for this? And how long ago I started writing it? Whatever. Both unnecessary questions.
To those reading "You, Me and Delta," please be a bit more patient because that chapter is almost complete. And for the very few reading "Shattered," same goes for that one.
To those not reading either of those, um...hope you enjoyed? Thanks for reading this. It's the simplest thing I've got posted, and officially my first one-shot. Oh, and for those who have a tumblr, I just started one up if you want to follow. It's mainly a place where I can now go to be a nerd and post re-blog fandom pictures like anyone else. The link to it is on my profile if you're interested.
Well, it's late. I'm tired. Think I'll finally get some sleep tonight. Though it would be lovely to wake up to some reviews :) so if you have any response at all, please leave one!