Title: The Quiet Revolution
Character/pairing: RED Scout, RED Spy (mentions of RED Spy/Scout's mother, Scout Miss Pauling)
Summary: Missing scene to Meet The Director. RED Spy attempts to form an alliance with RED Scout while hiding his own motivations. Mentions of Spy/Scout's mother and one-sided Scout/Miss Pauling.
Author's note: For the sake of my sanity, and because canon is really shaky on this regard, this assumes that in canon BLU Scout's mother is also RED Scout's mother, that the mercenaries are different enough to have formed different friendships and love interests and that RED Scout already knew Miss Pauling prior to Meet The Director and already had feelings for her, while BLU Scout was more a hitting on single moms kind of guy.
Thanks to Jana for the beta.
The pictures were laid out across the desk haphazard, with fragments of loved ones and trophies, homes and other places held dear. From Soldier's heads, to Sniper's parents, Medic's birds, Heavy's house, Engineer's ranch, Demoman's mother, and two shots of Scout's mother.
Spy lifted up the photo, the warning ever so clear. He wasn't visible in the picture, save for one leather glove to her back, and the hint of his arm. He remembered that moment, how she had smiled up at him, flirtatious and teasing before she kissed the side of his mouth.
Now all he could picture was her lying in a pool of blood, sightless eyes half open, her hand reaching out to nothing. Perhaps a bullet to the brain, or a knife to the back for irony, to push the point home.
"Wait, that's—That's my mother—" Scout sputtered. He ripped the picture from Spy's grasp, tearing the edge slightly as he did.
"So it is," Spy said.
A shadow passed over Scout's face. "And what the hell are you doing with a picture of her?"
"Nothing," Spy said. "It's simply another mistake. This industry makes more then you'd think when I'm not the one doing the work."
"So, you're sayin' they mixed up the film?" Scout said. He still looked more than a little suspicious.
"No, I'm saying someone didn't want to admit that they couldn't find anyone to threaten me with, so they put another picture in to make it even," Spy said.
"Seriously, no one? Not even a parent, or a—" Scout said.
"No one," Spy said firmly.
Scout looked him over suspiciously, but then seemed to shrug it off. He grabbed up the other picture of her, and shoved them into his bag.
"Don't any of you be getting ideas about her, you hear? She ain't interested in the likes of you."
Several of the mercenaries rolled their eyes–a standard reaction to Scout. He'd taken the lie–but then, it was far more believable than the truth. And it wasn't even a complete lie; before her, he'd had no one. No weaknesses, no connections.
Scout tossed up his baseball a couple of times, then hurled it at the wall.
Spy stepped out of the shadows, slowly, lest he end up with pistol fire to the gut. None of the mercenaries were very good with being surprised.
"Scout," he said.
"Yeah, hey," Scout said. He hurled another ball at the wall, and it made even a louder sound.
"It just makes me want to bash someone's skull in, you know? I can't believe they'd threaten ma like that."
"Why not? Didn't you read the terms of your contract?" Spy said.
"Hell no, that thing was like a million pages long. 'Sides, Miss Pauling's skirt was kind of short that day, and she had to keep pulling it over her knees. Every time she'd do that, the top button of her dress would pop off. I couldn't focus on a word of that damn contract."
Spy sighed. He wasn't even sure why he asked, given he already knew the chance was Scout hadn't, especially if it was Miss Pauling who did the recruiting.
"I wanted to speak to you about something...but not here. There's bugs everywhere," Spy said.
"Like ants?" Scout said.
"No, more like listening devices. Get your ball and follow me."
For once, Scout didn't protest. He bent down and put the ball back in his bag, and followed Spy out past the barracks until they were past the territory of the base.
"Slip under here," Spy said.
He hoped this wouldn't tear up his suit. Of course, he could afford fine Italian made designer suits with his salary, but the knowledge that he could buy another one didn't make every rip and bloodstain any less of an annoyance.
When they were far enough away from the enclave, he turned to Scout.
"I wanted to make an offer of an alliance, should it come to that," Spy said.
"An alliance? What the hell you talkin' about, man?" Scout said.
"If they did try to hurt your mother or kill her, would you hesitate to turn on them?"
"Hell no, I'd take as many of them down with me as I could before I kicked it," Scout said. He kicked at the sand, leaving a trail with his shoe.
"You think they'd really do it?" Scout asked.
"Easily," Spy said.
Scout turned to him, a searching gaze. "Why are you askin', anyways? Why should I even trust you?"
Spy cleared his throat. "As I said, I have no one for them to threaten me with. However, I think you would be an integral part of this supposed attack. I'll be talking with the others after you, but I wanted to catch you before you went for your nightly run."
He took a few steps, his hands behind his back. "Frankly, if it comes to this, we stay together or we die alone. An unorganized attack on TF Industries would be disastrous for all of us."
"Yeah, I guess," Scout said. "I'd hate to even think about it."
Spy turned back to him. "It is something that needs to be discussed now that they have laid down their hand," Spy said. "...Besides, I noticed a certain weakness that needed to be discussed."
"A weakness? Man, you wish. I'm one-hundred percent capable," Scout said. "As long as it ain't paperwork, or school or tests or some shit, I get the job done."
"The girl," Spy said.
Spy didn't even have to say her name to get Scout to shut up. Scout clenched his fist, and for a moment, Spy wondered if Scout was going to hit him. But the moment passed, and Scout kicked at the sand, instead of him.
"She ain't a part of this, don't bring her into it," Scout said. There was a warning note in his voice.
"But she is. She works for them, and she wouldn't hesitate to kill us if it came to that," Spy said.
"Nah, you don't know her like I do. She ain't like that," Scout said.
"I've seen her kill before," Spy said. "I've helped dispose of the bodies. If you say she's a saint, then you're being willfully blind."
Scout swallowed, and seemed to consider this. "It don't bother me. I've killed people, too. I'm sure the assholes she offed deserved it."
"Think with your head, boy! Love is making you weak," Spy said. "If she won't hesitate to turn on them, her former coworkers, what makes you think she won't turn on us? Do you think she wore that by accident? Everything she did was calculated to capture your attention and recruit you."
"You're saying she likes me?" Scout said. There was a hopeful tinge to his voice.
"I'm saying she is very aware of your attentions and wouldn't hesitate to use them against you if it came to us versus them. You have to make a choice: your mother or Miss Pauling. Because if they threaten your mother, you can't trust Miss Pauling."
"What the hell kind of question is that?" Scout said.
"Choose," Spy said firmly.
Scout put his hands in his pockets and looked out at the dark, starry night. They were far away from civilization with only the ruins of old factories for company. Should TF Industries choose, they could erase the entire base while they slept with one well-placed bomb.
Every day they lived through and weren't killed off by their superiors to "clean up" was a victory in itself.
Scout shook his head. "No, you listen here. I choose both. That's my choice."
Spy started to speak, but Scout cut him off.
"Listen, if it comes to us against them, and I actually get out of this alive–she's coming with us. You act like I'm so stupid, but she knows way too much. They ain't gonna just let her go, you know? She's ain't never gonna out of this place alive. All I gotta do is convince her of that and she's bound to turn on them. She ain't gonna follow the industries if her own skin is on the line, right? Besides, she knows stuff. Codes, locations, whatever. She could probably even help us turn the side of this war, if it ever came to that. "
Scout was wiser than he gave him credit for, and yet so very stupid. Love corroded the brain, until just the thought of that person being hurt could make you throw everything away you'd worked so hard for, just to keep them happy and safe again. Spy flicked open his case, lit a cigarette, and took a long drag. Half of his reason for smoking was to give a pause in conversation, an excuse to think things through. That and a good reason to avoid his teammates.
Reasoning with him was turning out to be an exercise in futility. He was too wrapped up in her, so much that she could wrap him around her finger if she so chose. At the moment she wasn't taking advantage of this, but he'd found out about her mission to break apart the friendship between RED's Demoman and BLU's Soldier. She could be manipulative, ruthless, and would do anything to achieve her goal. Of course, it wasn't just wanton cruelty; she did it all for the Administrator. But that didn't mean she wouldn't use every trick up her sleeve (or perhaps he should say skirt?) if it came to that. Her loyalty was to her boss, and Scout was too pig-headed and hormone ravaged to see that.
He could just see it now. All she had to do was fake tears, or affection, and Scout would let his defenses down. It wouldn't take much to make him punch in his respawn code, or much for her to put a gun to the back of Scout's head.
Love and connection made one weak. But wasn't he a hypocrite in that respect? For over forty years he hadn't let anyone get ahold of him. He'd lost his family and finally himself in the second world war, until he had turned into a ghost. A nameless, faceless killer. He never stayed until the morning, never let himself think with fondness of the girls he bedded.
But then she came in. Sensual and strong, passionate and gentle, she was contradictions and lace, she was the closest thing to home he could ever remember having. He'd doom countries and cities for her, murder and lie and steal for her, all if it meant to keep her safe and well. And now he was here trying to put some sense into a boy he could barely stand on a good day, who seemed determined to go after the one girl who could break him apart. All for her, because Scout was her son, and thus his happiness and well being was now his responsibility if he didn't want Scout's mother to be unhappy.
"Don't throw your life away uselessly. You care about your mother, d'accord? Then don't make her cry. Some of us don't have the luxury of having a mother to write home to," he said bitterly.
Scout took off his cap and rubbed at his hair. "It's all just so frickin' complicated? I don't want this. First they say they want us filmed, then they're threatening us for talking to the people they sent? I don't get it! "
"It's the way power works. They wanted our weaknesses, and we served them up on a platter to them," Spy said.
"I thought you said you didn't have any weaknesses," Scout said.
"Everyone has weaknesses. The best one can do is realize it and mask it the you can."
He was revealing too much. Any more and Scout might guess where his true affections lay. He was bound to find out eventually, when the videos were leaked, but every moment he could keep Scout in the dark was better for his plans.
He breathed gray into the night. "If you can't excise her from your heart, then at least guard it. Don't go telling her things carelessly that you don't want to be reported to the Administrator. And don't tell her about this."
"I ain't an idiot, I know this is classified and shit. I know what to tell her and not," Scout said sullenly.
"What you should be telling her is nothing," Spy said.
"You haven't a clue about me, or how I feel," Scout said. "I'm not gonna be able to look myself in the eye again or call myself a man if I let them kill her. And sure, I may have to take a few bullets, and she might even be the one firin' em, but I've gotta get through to her eventually."
He put his cap back on. "She ain't like the other girls. I mean, sure I'd do 'em in a second, if you know what I mean, but her..." he shrugged, unable to put into words.
Spy lit another cigarette. "You'd kill for her. You'd lie and steal for her and do whatever she says to make her happy just for a smile. Before you realize it, it's too late. She's under your skin and you have a weakness. And when you are a hired killer, as we are, that means one day you might come home to find the remains of her body. And that terrifies you in a way that makes you weak, but you can't bring yourself to let her go because she's shown you a side to life you'd forgotten. Does that ring a bell?"
"Something like that," Scout said. He gave Spy a searching look. "You had a family once? Or some girl waitin' on you?"
"Once," he said.
He offered Scout a cigarette.
Scout shook his head. "Nah, it messes with my running."
Spy closed the case and put it back in his coat pocket.
"Sorry to hear that, man. I guess you're not a complete asshole after all," Scout said.
Blunt as ever, that one. He sighed, and Scout didn't get that it was a sigh of frustration, not sadness, nor did he get that it was aimed at him. It was for the best the boy was dense, he supposed.
He might even have a family once again, if he could keep her and not lose her to the job, either by distance, or losing patience in his constant absences, or her dying as a consequence of his job.
Maybe one day they could at least come to an understanding. They shared something in common; they both wanted her to be happy and safe, and wouldn't hesitate to get blood on their hands to make that happen.
"I'm going to win her over," Scout said, seemingly more to himself than anyone else. "Just a matter of time. There ain't going to be no choice between her or ma. It won't come to that."
He was such a lost cause. If he weren't her child, Spy would've simply cut his losses and let his inevitable death be a distraction, should it come to that. He pulled his leather gloves up one by one. Then again, if anyone was a pigheaded fool, he certainly counted. Dating a civilian–the mother of a teammate and enemy, no less. His choices, his calculations, they fell apart when it came to the simple fact that what the heart wanted, it got.
He patted Scout on the shoulder. "It happens to the best of us."
Scout didn't flinch away from his touch, but he looked up at him with suspicion. Physical gestures were uncommon for him. Perhaps he surprised himself for just that brief moment getting past his annoyance at Scout's brash ways and seeing the flicker of camaraderie.
"Remember what I said. Best case scenario, none of this will have to come to pass. But if it does, then be ready for the sake of the ones you love," Spy said.
"Yeah, I gotcha, man," Scout said.
Spy walked on and didn't look back. He could already hear the sound of Scout's shoes on the sand as he started his nightly run.
He'd kill the Administrator himself if she ever dared to go near her. That was his one promise, a quick stab in the back. He'd kill them all until a stray bullet caught him. Then no one would mourn or know him any longer, but without her, life would hardly be worth living. Everything else in his life was death; she was the one bright spot, the one point where he felt truly alive.
One down, seven more to go. It would be impossible to reason with the Pyro, so he would just have to hope that the Engineer could control him should the need arose. He'd studied them, photographed them. He knew their weaknesses well enough to exploit them, now it was his turn to use those weaknesses to bolster them.
In the end, it was only a precaution, a plan B. But should his superiors ever strike, they'd have a revolution on their hands. And revolutions could get quite bloody, as he very well knew.