Title: After The After
Series: TF2
Character/pairing: Scout/Miss Pauling
Rating: PG-13
Author's note: Multiversecafe posted pictures of an older Scout and Miss Pauling on her tumblr. They're 47 and 45 here, having gotten married in their twenties.

Betaed by and for Multiversecafe.


She took a sip, glancing up through the din of the party. The emissary was deep in conversation with a group of other businessmen on the other side of the room. For a moment, she let her gaze go back down her drink as she smoothed down her skirt. Though purple satin was soft, it was an unforgiving fabric that showed every imperfection. Years ago she could've pulled it off, but age had been kinder to him than her. Her family always gained a marked pear shape as they aged, and even though she'd valiantly fought with whole exercise regimens, nature was still catching up to her.

She caught sight of her husband was coming closer with a whole tray of food. Even though this party wasn't his kind of scene, he'd hung around the kitchen all day just to keep her company. He sat back in the chair next to her, holding up the plate of food like a trophy he'd had to battle someone to win.

"Hey, pretty lady. I saw you sittin' here alone, and thought you could use some company. You know you're just the hottest thing in this room—or any room, right?" he said.

"So you keep telling me," she said.

"It's the truth," he said. "And I'll keep tellin' you as long as I'm breathin'."

He sat back, and took a nibble of one of the crackers. He grimaced, but managed down the rest of the cracker.

"Are you going to eat all that?" she said. He never was particularly fond of Brie, or anything which wasn't the processed food you'd get at sports games or local fairs.

"Nah, you are. You been on your feet all day and probably ain't even taken a lunch break," he said.

Age had mostly forgotten him. He'd never gone bald, though not that anyone would know with how much he kept his baseball cap on, even with his tuxedo which he'd managed to unfix and make lopsided despite how many times she'd fixed his bowtie this night. His face was still boyish, even with the laugh lies and frown lines joining the many scars on his body.

She took a bite of the crisp cracker, the brie more gooey and distinct than the store bought kind she had at home. She felt a nip at her shoulder, and looked down. He'd twisted down the strap of her dress, and was now running his hand over her shoulder with a definite plan of going deeper.

"Behave, you're going to give me a reputation," she said.

"Babe, I already gave you a reputation. Just bein' around me makes people think you're one bad and beautiful girl."

"Nobody will think you're my husband of twenty years. They'll think I'm cheating on my poor accountant husband with some young lover I picked up who can't keep his hands off of me," she said.

"Fuck 'em and what they think. Except, not literally, because you the only one I'm fuckin'," he said.

He leaned on the chair, and looped his arm in hers as he looked out at the crowd. He hadn't really changed that much through the years. His insurmountable energy, his bluntness and stubbornness hadn't been dulled in the least.

Despite it all, he had matured a bit, and thankfully outgrown his flirtatious nature of his youth.
To other women, anyways. He never resisted a chance to flirt shamelessly with her, whether it be assassination attempt, floor meeting or making breakfast at home.

It'd gotten her in trouble more than once, but she never could resist that mischievous smile of his.

"You know what we should do when this is over? We should go get married," he said.

"We've already gotten married six times, and we've been married for twenty years altogether, I might add," she replied.

"Yeah, but we ain't done Vegas yet! Just think of it, you and me and the bright lights. Puttin' the the top on the limo down and makin' out while they take us to some big shot casino."

He just couldn't help but dragging her to the marriage office and finding the nearest preacher to bribe for a ceremony. Sometimes they were large, sometimes small. She never got tired of that awestruck look in his eyes as he convinced her to be his wife and partner in crime all over again.

She looked at her watch. "I have an emissary to take care of and bury, but I don't have anything else booked just yet," she said.

"You need any help with that?"

"Thank you, but I've got this," she said.

"Somebody to carry the shovel, maybe?" he said.

He tended to make kills too messy and drawn out, but he was always great when it came to disposal. In fact, back when they were young, a good half of their dates had been in the dead of night with a bag of quicklime over his shoulder and her dragging a shovel along.

"...All right, you can help hide the body if you're quiet," she said, with an absent glance across the room.

"Aw yeah, it'll be just like old times," he said.

"–We aren't going to blow all our funds on gambling, we'll both be on a very tight leash financially. I'm not going to have us come back as one of those tragedies," she said.

"I'd rather win your chips, if you know what I mean," he said. He smiled low and suggestive.

"We could play Texas Hold 'Em for clothes or...positions and predilections," she said.

"I don't know what the last one is, but I'm all for all of them, no matter what they are," he said.

He leaned back, practically in a swoon as he looked at her with such affection. "Just think, we'd get to have Ianother honeymoon/I," he said.

"How many times are you going to ask me to marry you, anyways?"

"Triple digits at least. Probably up until the day I die. They'll be wheeling me down from the hospital where some asshole filled me full of lead, and down the aisle for one last time."

She leaned her head on his shoulder. "Hardly. I'll put you in Respawn. We'll be as old as the Mann brothers together and teaching our great-grandchildren how to shoot."

"Still buryin' bodies and havin' honeymoons," he said.

She leaned up to kiss the side of his mouth, his old scars rough against her cheek.

"I wouldn't have it any other way."