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Hiiiiiii, Cactus! It’s me again, finally done with finals to bring you the next chapter. Warnings for gore, and
medicchild abuse. uwu
For a moment—briefly, like a fleeting whisper in the back of her mind, Miss Pauling saw a tiny child cowering in the corner of a dirty little room, covered in blood, and other fluids, shaking, whimpering, and holding a knife like a rosary in her hands.
She looked at the child, looking up at her expectantly.
Would she do something about the bad people?
The blade she got was from the kitchen. The sight of the countertop brought a painful memory to mind, but she shook it from her head. Now was the time, she had to do something or it would be too late.
They were all asleep upstairs. Exhausted, drunk, high. Resting on hollowed-out girls and blanketed by alcohol and drugs.
It was now or never.
Her bruises and cuts and broken soul will heal. Only if she did something about these people.
Her tiny hand gripped the handle of the blade.
A price must be paid for change to happen, always.
For her, it was her innocence, and her childhood.
Well. She had been abused, she had lost her soul anyway.
The little child stood above her oppressors, asleep deep in vices.
Her dress would get stained, she reasoned, as she raised the knife.
Her virtue was stained. A little more would not matter.
She brought down the knife a little girl.
Much later, as she was cleaning it, a woman by the name of Helen approached her in her home, now calm and collected, no longer a girl, but never quite a woman.
She had done it before, hadn’t she? She could always do it again.
“Yes, I will.” She replied, voice steely, cold, prepared, as she slowly got up from her spot.
“You will?” the girl echoed, as she watched Miss Pauling walk up to the door, and without a knock, enter.
The image Medic had conjured up lasted only until the door opened but Engineer still managed to see what was inside, and his eyes widened behind his goggles.
“M-Medic, that place…”
“Ah, yes, that place.” Death replied nonchalantly, waving the traces of smoke away from them before taking another sip of his tea. “That’s his psychiatrist. Molests him while he’s out, molests him while he’s awake.”
“What?!” Engineer gasped, his wings ruffling up in shock.
“Cursed, mein freund. It’s the way things are.” Medic set his tea down on the table. “It’s the, ah, natural way of things.”
“Curses sure as hell ain’t natural!” Engineer frowned at him, flying up into the air. “I’m headin’ right there right now!”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Medic said, mostly to himself, because by the time he was halfway through his sentence, Engineer was already gone, lost in a tiny spark of rainbow light in the ceiling of his sitting-room. He sighed tiredly, just as Heavy entered the room, peering in before entering.
“Doktor?” he asked, walking in with another pot of tea in his hands. “Where is Engineer?”
“Off to see that Scout child.” Medic replied, waving Archimedes over and letting the bird peck at the crumbs left on the table. “He never gives up, at all, doesn’t he, mein freund?”
The corpse man nodded, laughing warmly. “Is interesting happening. Let it continue.”
“Indeed.” Medic’s grin curled against the rim of his teacup, as Heavy set the pot down on the table in front of him. “Heavy, your biscuits are as sublime as always.”
“Thank you, Doktor.” Heavy smiled at him widely, clearly proud of himself, and Medic let a smile cross his face—a rare, soft one that made the corners of his mouth creak and the empty space in his chest stir—
And Death’s eyes widened in an equally rare moment that he broke from his cool exterior as a cough tore through his throat, pushing ugly heat and darkness up to his mouth, and he bent over, spilling his tea as he dropped it onto the table with a useless clunk, hot earl grey spreading across the stark white lace, hissing loudly as heat met with the unforgiving cold of Medic’s home.
“Doktor!” Heavy called, rushing to him as he slipped into a coughing fit, thin body shaking with tremors that threatened to tear his ancient body apart in sheer force, dark black blood slipping down from the corner of Medic’s lips.
“N-not again,” Medic choked, weakly, as Heavy rubbed his large hand on Medic’s back to soothe him as best as he could. “Why does this keep happening? I cannot be sick.” He gasped, leaning on the corpse for support, shaking wildly as large hands rested on him in attempts to stop the tremors.
Heavy said nothing, frowning over Medic’s shoulder, out of his eyesight.
A moment of silence lapsed as Medic’s breathing grew calmer, breaths deeper and quieter, until his coughs had stopped and only black blood remained still on Medic’s hands and Heavy’s shoulder.
“Heavy.” A quiet Medic spoke up much, much later, after a long moment of simply staying as they were.
“Is there something wrong with me?” he asked, oddly tender—tired, weakened.
“Nothing wrong with Doktor.” He replied. “Doktor is perfect as he is.”
“Heavy, I am Death—and yet—and yet—I am dying.”
Heavy pulled away to see Medic looking at the black blood turning into ash in his hands.
“You’re not dying, Doktor. I won’t let you.” Heavy said, determinedly, and Medic looked up at him, expression set and carefully neutral, and regarded him for a long time, before slowly nodding.
It was quiet, but Heavy felt it ring through his head.
“You’re welcome, Doktor.”
Medic nodded slowly, before shakily getting up from his seat, Heavy moving back to give him space. “I need some time in the Aviary.” He said, and Heavy nodded, making a move to head to the door, when Medic spoke up again.
“Alone.” He said, with finality in his tone, and Heavy stared at him with wide eyes, before nodding and backing down. He took a deep breath, and nodded. “Find Engineer. Help him if he needs it—he’s going after that Scout boy and that assassin is there as well. It would be… inconvenient if she tried anything.”
“Good.” Was the only thing Medic said, before disappearing into a cloud of smoke.
She should not have opened that door.
The moment she did, the sight was so familiar it was crippling.
The dirty man. The crying, unconscious child. The hands in unwanted places. The sound of heavy breathing over the sound of whimpering and crying and sniffling.
Something in her mind broke—repressed memories flooded like water escaping a dam, as the sight of wild eyes and fangs and bared hissing breath met her and the first thing that she thought—
This man is a monster.
She dove, the child in her kicking and screaming for escape, for release, but a different, smaller voice in her whispering for rescue—for another child’s future that should be drastically different than hers.
She could hear hissing, and screaming, sounds that weren’t entirely human, but the child lying down on the recliner was the only thing in her sights—panic rose in her like never before and her breathing grew uncontrollable. She was probably hyperventilating, and fear thundered like her heart like a force she came to forget.
She landed with a thud next to the boy and she immediately pulled him into her embrace, unaware she was already screaming for him to stop, to go away, to not touch this child, not do anything—
And in a shrill, piercing moment, everything went black.
There was screaming down the hall and Sniper’s eyes widened behind his glasses. Around him nuns gasped in shock and the priest he was previously talking to squeaked in alarm.
“What was that?!” he demanded, nodding at Sniper, flustered, before walking around him to head back out the office they were in, robes swishing behind him. “What’s going on in the psychiatric ward?”
Sniper jolted slightly in alarm. Pauling.
“Bloody…” he murmured under his breath, before hurriedly turning to the nuns. “Sorry, sisters, I think I’ll have a look at that as well.” He handed them back the records book they gave him, “Let me know if you find anything, please.”
“Of course, Father,” the one who took the book from him nodded gracefully, before he, too rushed out of the head deacon’s office and into the hospital’s emergency bay. He turned around haphazardly, looking around for those familiar cat-eye-rimmed glasses, but he saw none, and cursing under his breath, he hurried to the psychiatric ward, slinking around doctors and nurses and priests and nuns all in his way, smiling at him like he was in a middle of a nightmare, as worst-case-scenario after worst-case-scenario flashed through his mind.
There was, after all, a reason to be so panicked—this hospital had a resident incubus-possessed running around its halls, and Miss Pauling had been dealing in supernatural trade.
God knows what could go wrong.
She had never really dreamed deeply before, but now that she was, things seemed so real.
She could feel all of it all over again—the pain, the hurt, the shame, the fear. It was etched on her body, in her bones, through her blood.
She could feel hands everywhere—her throat, her mouth, her eyes, her wrists, her arms, her ankles, between her legs—
A scream escaped from her as she fought to block out the sudden influx of input, hands coming up to her head to cover what they could, but as she did it was all over as quickly as it began.
Slowly she opened her eyes to see a familiar sight—corpses strewn on the ground, her tiny hands shaking, clutching a knife like a rosary, frightened, wild eyes of a small child looking back at her as she stared into her reflection in a broken glass bottle.
She was a child again.
Miss Pauling dropped her knife, the sound loud and clanging and jarring in the background.
This was all a dream, she knew it. The past is in the past—
Now what was important was that child. She needed to clear her head, so she bent over, child and all, and picked up a bottle.
No time to waste being a virtuous prat. There were vices to get rid of.
She closed her eyes and took a swig, feeling the arid air around her change dramatically, dropping to levels she associated with only one being, and she knew she was out of whatever monster’s trance she was trapped in, as the taste of rum filled her tongue, burning her throat with a familiar, welcome sensation.
Her eyes slowly opened as she lowered the bottle, and she was at a dark, cold place—the sanatorium, an old home, a decrepit hospital, all rolled into one, with dark lighting and broken, old furniture littered about, some barely holding on some completely unrecognisable, all somehow trying to hide beneath a white sheet their sin of existing.
What a place, she thought. So this was what it was like in that child’s head.
She walked steadily down the hallway she was dropped at, following a dark liquid trail on the floor, the bottle of rum still in her left hand. Her flat, white shoes made little sound on the old, creaky floorboards as she walked, calmly, knowing completely that she was bound to find what she was looking for.
And she did, as the body of a young boy was thrown in her direction from a corridor she was about to pass, blood bone and sinew creaking with screams as it slammed against the wall next to her. Immediately Miss Pauling picked the boy up, bundling him in her arms while balancing the bottle in the crook of her neck. The boy in her arms whimpered slightly, confused and pained, but she said nothing as she ran onwards with a speed she knew was possible only in dreams as behind her she could hear the sound of approaching night terrors, urging her to go on faster.
Eventually she heard the boy weakly speak up.
“Who… are you?” he asked, and in a rare moment of tenderness, she kissed his forehead.
“I’m the one who’s going to save you.” She murmured into his hair and she could feel him jolt in her arms.
“No one’s… done that for me before.”
“No one’s ever tried?” she asked, turning a corner deftly, neatly avoiding what looked like a decrepit cabinet thrown at her.
“The Unisus did… did he send you?”
Miss Pauling paused for a moment, before chuckling fondly.
“… Sort of.”
The boy lifted his head, and smiled at her, teeth bloody and lips torn and eyes bruised and cheeks cut, but it was still as endearing as ever, as he wrapped his arms around her neck and weakly hugged her.
She smiled into his shoulder, and said nothing as she jumped up a stool, a chair and up into what looked like a ventilation shaft.
Sniper burst into the room in time to see the doctor inside drop the priest to the ground, bloody and so very much dead, judging by the hideous human bite at the jugular, before turning around to face him, eyes wide and wild with the thrill of the kill and the shock of being discovered.
“You hold still right there.” Sniper growled, pulling out a silver rosary from his breast pocket, earning him a hiss from the creature, as he crossed himself hurriedly, already murmuring in Latin as he slowly approached the incubus. “You’ve grown old, haven’t you? Living off molesting children, you’re worse than your whole kind, you bloody scum.”
It hissed at him, moving back, human maw opening to reveal three jaws, but Sniper didn’t even flinch, dropping an iron crucifix on the dead priest’s body as he passed him to avoid further corruption.
“A disgraced incubus.” He smirked, “Doomed to live off base scraps and human flesh. No wonder you’re deteriorating.”
The creature growled at him, before making a leap at him, but Sniper was ready and dodged out of the way in time for only his hat to get knocked off. “The door!” he yelled out the open door, and much to his relief, some nuns who were outside slammed it shut on the beast’s fingers before it could get out. It let out a piercing shriek, pained, and Sniper took the moment to take a look around.
He saw Miss Pauling and Scout curled up on the recliner, the both of them with creases on their brows, but a small smile cross Sniper’s lips when he saw Miss Pauling’s arms wrapped around the boy in a protective manner. No doubt the both of them were under the incubus’s mind trick, but—
His thoughts were interrupted when the incubus lunged at him, fingers missing and stumps bleeding, and Sniper immediately blocked him with the silver rosary, teeth grit and brow knotted together in concentration as he began to chant—loudly—the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, as outside, he could hear the collective quiet of people praying the rosary.
He could almost laugh—it was just like old times back in Venice.
Miss Pauling crawled through the ventilation shaft, ignoring all the cobwebs that clung to her as she carried the boy in her arms, keeping him from touching the floor, the bottle of rum in the boy’s arms as she crawled through.
She didn’t know where she was going—all she knew was that she was going to keep this kid safe. It was the right thing to do.
It was the only thing she can do.
“There you are.” A voice suddenly spoke up and in the darkness of the shaft in front of her, Miss Pauling could see something moving—towards them, very fast. In her arms, the boy began to shake, whimpering in fear.
It only took a second, and the next thing she knew she was nose-to-nose with a certain vampire she was desperately trying to avoid.
Spy kissed her gently, smirking with his teeth shining unnaturally in the darkness.
“Bonjour, Miss Pauling, I didn’t think you’d be able to join in today.”
It’s been a long time and I’m not sure if you still remember, but I feel obligated to send you the rest of what I’ve made. There are several, so I’ll include the others in separate submissions.
Humble anon strikes again.
melantha963 ‘s beautiful freak fortress 2 works. It looks like she(he) knows more than me about the relationship between ff2 spy and sniper. (and I love it.) Always cheers you up bby
Because I love your art and I really like to put tf2 mercs in skirts. And I haven’t made anything for you a while SO there you go.