What: Apologies and a smooth bromance
When: After these events, and around the time of this
Where: The roof of RED base.
All Demo had to do was follow the music. He'd spent a very uncomfortable night realizing that he had, indeed, acted like an ass to somebody who just hadn't deserved that. Whether a man or a woman, Pyro was still good company and a great teammate, and Demo wasn't too proud to admit that he was wrong.
He hoped she'd let him see her. "Hey, uh, Pyro?," he dared to ask once he'd reached the roof, prepared to escape if needed.
Pyro had spent her evening laying down on the roof, fiddling with her harmonica. That.. didn't exactly go very well, with Demo. And while she figured someone wouldn't take to her being a her well, she didn't expect - well, that. Especially from him. What the hell?
She realized, or wanted to, that part of it was because he was pissed off at Soldier - and, really, she couldn't blame him - but it still wasn't a total excuse for him. And besides - christ, he was the closest to an actual friend she had in the place. For him to say all that-- well.
Pyro prided herself on being above all this emotional nonsense - you had to, coming from where she did - but it still stung. Quite a bit, actually. Maybe her age was catching up to her.
Regardless, when she heard that question against the wind, she closed her eyes, lowered her harmonica, and sighed softly. That was sooner than she expected.
"...Yeah?" she asked, her voice tired.
"Care for some company?" He moved closer, cautious. "Sure I understand if you don't like to talk to scumbags, though. I said some pretty rotten things last night, aye?"
"Never called you a scumbag." Pyro opened her eyes, staring into the sky for a moment. Why was this so.. awkward?
She motioned with a hand toward the open expanse of rooftop when she spoke next. "Go ahead. Roof for all, right?"
"Didn't say it, but I sure feel it." He settled in beside her, leaving a comfortable distance between them. "It don't excuse it, but I was just... surprised last night, and I'd like to apologize for offendin' ya. Can we be mates still?" He shifted a small bag nervously from one hand to the other and back again. "Brought ya somethin'. To apologize. I mean, uh... here." He pushed the bag over, his cheeks pink. Inside the bag was a pile of string-wrapped cotton and an unmarked bottle. "That trick you showed me with the floating fire-- that was real nice. I tweaked your recipe a bit so that it burns with different colors of flame."
She turned her head to face him, and just listened for a moment before sitting up, a small smile on her face.
"Your wife okay with you giving strange women presents?" she mused, that smile turning into a small smirk for a moment.
"Okay, look, serious time now. Yeah, I was pissed at you - your reaction just threw me off, I guess, I don't know." she said, brushing her hair away from her eyes. "Are you cool with my being a chick? If so, then yeah, we're fine, man."
Admittedly, she was curious about the contents of the bottle and the new recipe, but this needed to be cleared up first.
He took a moment to translate her slang in his mind. "What you got under the uniform don't make you any different to me, lass. You're still tougher than most of us out here anyway, way I see it. Lotta you women are." He smiled then, thinking of his wife. He'd learned his lessons about underestimating someone for their sex, for sure. "Besides, we work too good together in battle to let somethin' like this get in the way, so we do."
"I thought so, too" Pyro said, grinning. She reached out, slapping him on the back for a moment before continuing. "It's fine, man." Christ, that felt a hell of a lot better. Maybe he wasn't an asshole after all.
She motioned towards the bag, and scooted over to him to peek inside it.
"You didn't have to go through all this trouble, but this is neat as hell. That bottle the new recipe, then?"
"Nah, the bottle's just lighter fluid. There're bits of things in the cotton there to cause the flame to change colour. You'll have red, orange, green, blue, violet, white... the end of the string's coloured like the flame'll be." He scooped one out-- a blue-tipped one that smelled faintly of copper chloride-- and passed it to her. "Wanna try it?"
Pyro smiled wide, nodding.
Plucking it quickly from his fingers, she reached in the bag with her other hand, grabbing the fluid. A quick application of that, and she pulled out the lighter Demo gave her from a pocket - she should probably give that back- lighting the cotton on fire.
Blue bursted forth from the small bit of cotton, and she laughed in delight, twirling it around in her fingers.
"This is the hippest friggin' thing."
He laughed, relieved by her reaction. "Glad ya like it, lad-- ah, lass. Pyro." He pulled a face at the title. "There somethin' else I can call ya?"
Pyro fiddled with it for a moment more, really enjoying the new colour (and anxious to see the rest, but she didn't want to waste them) as Demo asked his question.
She paused for a moment, holding the cotton inbetween two fingers as she thought about an appropriate answer.
"...Name's Emily." she murmured after what felt like too long a time had passed. "E to everyone else, I guess. Only a few people call me by my full name."
"Emily," he repeated, smiling and feeling honoured. "Pretty name. Would you prefer I call you E? Don't you worry, I won't tell anyone else. But... I do appreciate you sharing with me."
"I'd rather you stick to E around the others, yeah." Pyro shrugged, and looked over at him.
"What about you, huh?" she asked, tossing the ball at him suddenly.
"I keep callin' you Demo, or..?"
"Around others, sure. I, uh... well, I've got good reasons for keepin' me name to myself 'round most of them." He looked off, grinning faintly, then returned his gaze to her. "The name's Cass. Shh."
"Hey, your reasons are your own, man-- woah, wait" she interruped herself for a second, grinning. "Like Mama Cass? Wicked."
With a rather silly smile on her face, she held a hand out to him.
"Well, then - nice to meet'cha, Cass."
He chuckled, amused. "Surprises me every feckin' time I hear her name on the telly here. Lass's got some pipes on her, though." He took her hand and shook it enthusiastically, his silly smile mirroring hers. "And nice to meet ya, Emily."
"Yeah, she sure does." She shook his hand back just as lively as he did, and nodded before pulling hers back. "So you know a lot about music, then?"
"Ah, not so much about what's popular in the Americas now, but I've been known to sing a song or two in my time." He could often be heard singing on the battlefield, in fact; he didn't discriminate much on language, either, though he preferred Irish tunes for his especially explosive days. "They made me play a tin whistle in school, but I was never any good at it."
Pyro nodded, leaning back on the roof, propping herself up on her elbows.
"So that was you singin' out there, huh? Thought I was losing my damn mind" she exclaimed, smiling.
"I know how to play this guy-" she motioned towards her harmonica "-picked it up when I was locked away for a bit. Learned guitar from the road, friends, things like that. You should have joined us for that little mini-concert we did. Think you'd like it."
"Mini-concert? Here? Didn't hear nothin' about it. Mighta liked it." He also leaned back, gazing up and sighing. "I miss Belfast like y'wouldn't believe, but I have to admit, Emily, it's nice to see the stars outside of the city. That's one nice thing about this place."
"Seriously? I'll have to make a better announcement about it next time, then. Assuming there's a next time, anyway."
She paused for a moment, listening, and nodded at the end.
"Belfast, huh? Never been." she said, looking up at the sky thoughtfully. "And that's true. You kinda get used to it- don't notice it until its taken away from you. And hey, you know - this place ain't so bad, right?"
"It's still not home," he said quietly. "I can't walk down the street and see shops and neighbors. Haven't been to Mass in a dog's age. My family-- I'll be honest with ya, miss, I do miss them. Last night-- well." He took out his wallet and offered her a picture, warped and stained with tea, yet still clear enough to make out an image. "The Soldier ruined the only photo I have of my kids. They just had their first birthday, and I've barely seen them since they was born. That's what the fight last night was about."
Pyro took the photograph as gently as she could, glancing down at it. Kids weren't really her thing, but it didn't hurt to be nice - especially now.
"Cute kids. Twins, right?" she asked, and then shook her head.
"He's a real bastard, that one." With a small scowl on her face, she passed back the photo to him, sighing. "I really wish we could just boot his ass around. Did you see his face last night, though? He looked like he enjoyed it, the jerkoff."
"He what?" Cass scowled, far from impressed. "Sure, he's a right gobdaw. It wouldn't surprise me if he did like it." He took the photo back and carefully returned it to its home, then leaned back against the roof. "And remind me why can't we boot his arse, then?"
"Well, isn't respawn off during ceasefire? I'm not saying he doesn't deserve a beating or two, but. And, anyway, they're real big on crossteam friendships here, for some reason." She shrugged, laying down against the roof herself, and folded her arms behind her head.
"Didn't make much sense to me - we're killing each other, but we're friends outside of battle, you know? It's weird."
A moment later, she turned her head to face him.
"-The hell is a 'gobdaw'?"
"Oh, ah. Means a stupid person. Seemed right for Soldier there. You sure we can't kill him?" He rolled over on his front, gazing at her quizzically, grinning playfully. "Just a little? Nobody has to know we did it."
She started laughing at that, shaking her head. "I'd think we're the first they'd check, man. Not to say that it's not fuckin' tempting, mind." she said, cheekily smiling back.
"Naaah. They'd never suspect us." He nodded, playing serious now. "We'll make it look like he offed himself. Write a note for him. 'Dear world, I realized that I'm a right wanker and don't deserve to live no more. Give my fortunes to my dog.' It's a perfect plan!"
"Actually-" she rolled over a little to face him better, and pointed "-that's not such a bad idea. And everyone benefits!" she said inbetween laughs.
"Especially the dog!"
He scratched his head, considering a sudden idea. "Dok nixed our plan to feed dye to the BLUs, but think that still counts for the dog? Wouldn't hurt her none, but it'd scare the hell out of Chet t'see his pup pissin' purple, aye?"
She looked disappointed, but thought for a moment. "I don't know, man. I know it wouldn't hurt her, but I'm not sure that I wanna go messin' with the dog, you know? She's a good girl."
"She is," he agreed. "Don't know that I could do that to her anyway, but it's a thought." He scratched his head, then grinned over at her deviously. "We sneak somethin' into him, then. A pinch of potassium nitrate would serve him right!"
Pyro's eyes lit up at that. Interesting!
"Have I told you that I love you? Because I do. That's the best damn idea yet."
"You know what it is? Brilliant. And this is why we're mates, Em." He reached over and swatted her ponytail playfully. "The man's sick in the head. Lucky for you ladies of the base, I think he's a poofter anyway."
She laughed again, muttering 'Watch it, man!" as he swatted at her.
"That's bein' pretty obvious-- oh god, no" she made a face, quickly shaking her head.
"I don't care what he is, I wouldn't go anywhere near that, man. And I'm confident that Spy wouldn't either, I'm sure she's got better taste than that."
A beat later, and she continued.
"Course, with somethin' going on between her and Sid, well, I don't really know if 'taste' is the right word.." she mused playfully, her tone light-hearted.
"Somethin' going on?" He paused, shuddered. "...ew. Didn't know that. Don't wanna know that." He pulled a face. "Bleu's alright, but somethin' 'bout Sid just doesn't sit right with me. He and Chet-- oh, shite, there's the plan. For revenge on Soldier, we package up Sid and send him over gift-wrapped, then see who shoots who first."
"Hell, do you think I do?" She shrugged. "Sid's.. a bit loopy, I guess, but he's not bad. Just really talkative - can't get him to shut the hell up half the time, you know what I mean?"
Oh, god, did he just say what she thought he said? She started laughing, her face colouring up something fierce.
"That's-- man, I don't know what to call it. Something between beautiful and really messed up." Pyro paused, trying to catch her breath, and raised an eyebrow, looking at him "You did mean shooting with guns, right?"
t took him a moment, but his cheeks flushed dark when he realized what she meant. "Jaysus, lass, get that filth out of your head! Yes, I meant guns." Even so, he had to laugh, though the blush was there to stain his freckled cheeks for a while yet.
She pressed a hand against her chest, gasping in mock surprise.
"Why, sir! I'll have you now that I'm perfectly innocent! No filth whatsoever in this mind of mine" she said, nodding firmly.
Then she leaned closer.
"And if you believe that, I've got a couple of bridges in New York that I wanna sell you." she whispered before pulling away, nodding sagely.
"Bridges? I love bridges." He rolled his eyes and chuckled. "Can't bullshit a bullshitter-- especially an Irish one. If there's anything we know, it's tall tales." He sat up and reached in the bag for another firestring thing, and soon had a green flame twirling around his fingers. "--and explosives, if you're askin' in the right areas."
"Yet another reason why I'm glad you're on my side, man" she said, watching him play with a new cottony piece.
"I'd hate to be on a team opposite from you, that's for damn sure. Hey, you're getting pretty good at that."
"Been watchin' you do it," he explained. "Burned meself a time or two, but I think I got it now, so I do." He flicked it up and over his head, catching it swiftly with his left hand before tossing it back. "Learned to juggle some time ago. Me mates bet me fifty quid that I couldn't juggle flaming molotovs." He paused, remembering with a smile. "This was before I quit drinkin', I should clarify. I had one too many pints in me when I took 'em up on it."
"No kiddin'" she said, nodding as she watched him with a keen eye.
"Oh, yeah?" she asked when he explained his juggling.
"Did it end in an.. explosive manner?"
Hey, no one said E was good with puns.
"Y'could say that. I learned to juggle eventually. Won that fifty quid a different night. Broke 'em all and singed my eyebrows off that first night." He laughed and rolled back to his back, then tipped his hat over his eyes. "Never was allowed in that pub again, though."
Pyro shook her head, snickering.
"Could you blame 'em? I mean, I wouldn't let a guy with no eyebrows in my place, either, juggling or not!"
She grinned, and reached over, poking his hat.
"Screw 'em if they can't take a joke."
He swatted at the hand doing said poking, but it was halfhearted at best. "Aye, well. It was more that I started a small fire or two with that little trick. The first time." He coughed and looked away. "Oh, look, a change of topic. That's some right impressive ink ya've got there."
Chuckling to herself, she let the matter drop (for now, at least), and nodded as she laid down again.
"Thanks. I did tattooing at home - one of my girls thought it was kinda hypocritical to draw it and not have any myself, you know? Got one-" she pointed at a heart on her right arm, with the initals "T.J." etched into it "-and I couldn't stop. They're pretty addicting."
"Havin' needles stuck in ya again and again? Addicting? I wouldn't believe it." Even so, he was curious. "So... you mean you design 'em or you stick 'em or what?" Facetiously, he added, "Need t'know these kinda things, see. Might have to ask ya if you'll ink me one day."
"Don't think I wouldn't ink you." she warned, grinning.
"But, yeah. I draw 'em and I slap 'em on there. Good way to make a living." Pyro shrugged for a moment, unsure if she should get personal or not. Perhaps another time.
"Would have brought some drawings if I knew you were interested." she added, elbowing him.
"Pfft, like I'd let you do that. Who knows what you'd end up doin' to me. Marrin' me picturesque skin an' all that shite." He gestured to himself idly, more than facetious now. "But say that I ever do lose me mind and let a crazy at me with needles, you'll be the first I'll find, I swear it."
"Sorry, Adonis, I didn't realize I'd destroy such a pristine work of art." she said, holding a hand against her forehead in mock angst.
Why was it so easy to just... laugh around this guy?
"Aye, you'd feel terrible. Like you stuck gum on a Van Gogh." He nodded somberly, though he couldn't hide a smile for long. "Aww, you know I'm just geggin'. If you're offerin', I might like to take you up on that sometime. I've always thought about it, but there never seemed to be the money to spare. Now... well. Now I've a job paying me ridiculous sums of money for the same exact stuff I did back home, and nowhere to spend it. What's to stop me, aye?"
She shrugged, and glanced over at him.
"Hey, I'd do it for free. Maybe. It's a good excuse to touch you without your wife coming down to beat my ass."
Quickly, she held up her hands, just so he wouldn't get the wrong impression.
"Kidding, of course."
He affixed a deliberate scowl and sat up, feigning shock. "Do I smell treachery? Scoundrelish activities?" He gave her a sneaky grin and flopped back down, propping himself up with an elbow. "I should tell my priest on you."
Pyro raised an eyebrow, looking over at him in amusement for a moment. "Listen to you-- hey, maybe you should!" She rolled over to face him, and held her hands up. "Tell your priest, I mean."
She continued. "Then one of my girls' priests could meet your priest and they could, I don't know, duel. Think about it-"
She swept her hands wide in the air, as if to illustrate a headline act.
"'Salvation Brawl '68 - they fight for our souls.'"
"I will, then!" He rolled over on his back, gesturing animatedly. "Salvation Brawl-- a real altar-cation. Father O'Malley, who puts the 'Ire' in 'Ireland! Versus--!" he paused, considering. "Ach, so what's yours to be called?"
"Uh-" she thought for a moment, pausing in her hand movements. "I don't have one, but I think one of 'em's called Franklin. Yeah, sounds about right."
"...versus Franklin, who-- ach, afraid I can't come up with a fair title for that. I 'spect my lad's none too happy with me now, anyway. Certainly not friendly enough on me fer a salvation brawl." He sighed up at the stars, chuckling lightly. "But no, I think tattlin' on you would just raise questions, aye? He don't even know I'm alive, much less prancin' about the American desert lobbin' bombs at blokes."
"Aye- I mean, sure." she said, propping her chin on her hands as she peered into the dark landscape.
"So I guess they told you to keep pretty quiet about this place too, huh?"
"Quiet, yeah. It's supposed to be real professional-like, none of yiz knowin' me and nobody of mine knowin' of any of it. I, uh..." He paused, chewing on his lower lip as he phrased his next words in his mind. "I'll be honest with you. I'm not on the best side of the law right now. The company's kinda hopin' that keepin' me out here'll keep me obscure from pryin' eyes an' ears."
She shrugged, looking at him.
"I'm not gonna pry, man - none of my business. Personally, I don't think what happened before here matters. I don't care what side of the law you're on." She shifted a bit, and looked back up at the sky, thinking.
"You've more than proved yourself in here (not that you had to prove anything to anyone), and that's all that counts. That's what I think, anyway. Besides, we've all got our stories, right?"
As did E, but she wasn't about to bring it forward unless he asked.
"Sure, we do." He glanced at her, but also chose not to pry; she was scary when she got upset. "Think this here'll matter when we go back to the real world?"
"...Yes and no. I mean - the money will help us, that's for damn sure. But that's not what you mean, is it."
She paused for a moment, still gazing up. It was a hell of a thing to think about.
"I don't know. I mean, hell- we're killin' each other nonstop for the same things over and over again. Is it really makin' a difference to anyone but us? I doubt it."
"I don't ever wanna touch a bomb again after I leave this place. Isn't fair to no one. I thought I believed in things, but... but now I just don't know." He searched his pockets and retrieved a pack of cigarettes, but glanced over before lighting it. "Mind if I smoke?"
"Yeah. This place makes you.. change your mind about a lot of things. It was a way out for me, though, so I'm grateful."
She shook her head, and motioned towards him.
"Sure, go right ahead. Doesn't bother me."
"Want one fer yerself?" He lit his and took a deep drag, enjoying the burn. "A way out? Heh. Know that feelin'. Tattoo business got to be too much, aye?"
"Naw. Quit a while back - trying to be an example for my girls." She did inhale a bit of the smoke, though - it was nice for a moment, and a brief reminder of what she left outside.
"Wasn't that. Truthfully-" she paused, and shrugged. They got this far, and if his opinion changed of her because of this, so be it.
"I was in one of those mental hospitals for a few months. RED got me out on condition that I worked for them. Seemed like a fair trade."
"Good Lord, lass. That..." he paused, wondering what was appropriate. "...That explains your reputation?," he laughed. "Or maybe why we get along!" He took another drag and exhaled slowly, savoring the taste. "Mind if I ask why? Feel free to tell me to feck off if ya don't wanna share."
E laughed hard at that. "Probably why we get along so damn well!" At least he looked like he was taking it easy. She shrugged again before she spoke.
"Long story, but I'll try to keep it short. Me and my girls took a job that seemed simple - and we got screwed. Pigs wanted to lock them all up, but I kicked and screamed for them to take me instead - for some reason, they listened. My narc lawyer said I oughta plead insanity - since I was a woman, it'd look better, probably get me off the hook." She scowled before continuing, "Backfired. Called me crazy and threw me in the damn nuthouse. Few months later, RED shows up, askin' me about my 'abilities', and now I'm here."
He had to stare, but the look turned into a grin before long. "Jaysus, Em, but your story's 'bout the same as my story, 'cept for the part about bein' a woman." He chuckled and nudged her with his elbow, teasing. "So these girls of yers. Still on good terms after that? It's one thing to lose a few months, but a good set of friends is something else altogether."
"No shit?" she asked, looking over at him in surprise. "Well, birds of a feather, huh?"
She nudged him back, grinning. Talk about a surprise.
"We kept in touch when I was locked up. Haven't heard from any of them since coming here, though, so I'm gettin' worried." she smiled for a moment after that, remembering.
"Group of us traveling together for.. years, I guess. We all protected each other. I just did my share."
"Buncha fire-eatin' gypsies, I bet." He laughed, letting his imagination run wild. "Breakin' hearts and stealin' wallets, or-- or the other way 'round when ya felt like it!"
"Hey!" she pushed him lightly, laughing. "Not at all. Well, only when we felt like it."
She turned, looking at him again. How to explain?
"Most of us were from the same neighborhood, or close by - kinda.. bored with the whole-" she changed the pitch of her voice to something more proper and sterner " '-You must be married by 18 and have 2.5 children and live in a house forever'- scenario" she said, ending with a laugh.
"Some of us ran away. Others followed after high school, college, whatever. I was the oldest, so I guess they looked up to me?" she shrugged yet again. Boy, she was doing that a lot tonight.
"Someone had to set the example. Guess I was it, for better or worse. But it ain't easy, being a woman with no husband or money, so it was tough. We took odd jobs here and there to get by. Sometimes tattooing people wasn't enough."
"Hey, uh. I never really.. talked about myself this much before. Probably boring the hell outta you, huh?"
"Not at all. I'll be honest-- I've met a bloke or three with that wild'n free air, but I've never met a lady quite like ya. And... well, hey. If I weren't a married man an' you didn't scare me just a little, I'd be tempted to ask ya for a date." He flopped back against the roof, his smile fading just a hair. "There's always expectations out there. It's when ya go against 'em when things get shot to hell. Back at home, when I tried to decide for myself what was right and wrong, it backfired. The damage was already done, but shite, I only got caught because I tried to right thing after." He shook his head, annoyed with himself. "Sure it's harder for a lady who don't want to be a wife and mum, though, aye?"
She scared him? Well, she supposed she could live with that. He was probably the most honest about that, anyway, so she respected that. She settled for a cheeky grin and rubbed her chin.
"I might have even taken you up on it if I didn't suddenly find myself involved. Surprise, that." Talk about an understatement!
E shook her head, listening to his story. "Doesn't that figure? Man, no one gives a shit if you try to make things right. They only see the wrong things you've done, and -bam!- you're a criminal. I'd say fuck expectations, but... well, you've got a family at home, huh?"
She bit the inside of her cheek for a moment before she continued.
"I am sorry, though. That's the worst, and, well - you're an alright guy. Don't deserve it. As for me, well - yeah, but them's the breaks, right? And all told.. I wouldn't trade it for the world."
He smiled a sort of half-smile and glanced towards her again, pulled from his thoughts. They'd been wandering. "Aye, such is life. Wasn't no way to make right, really, but-- but. What's done is done." He rolled over to his front and cast her curious look. "'Involved,' she says. Dare I ask?"
"Well, you're man enough to at least give it a shot" she said, leaning over to pat him on the shoulder a few times. "Hell of a lot more then most do, anyway."
And at that question, she starting laughing, face flushing just slightly. "Dare, dare!"
She glanced down at the roof for a moment, a slight movement of her shoulders forming. "That BLU Engineer. Ran into him a few times here - he kinda grew on me. Real sweet, I don't know."
"A BLU! Scandalous!," he laughed, sitting up to watch her fidget and blush. "You mean what's his face with the barbecue? Um-- shite, what's his name. Jeff? Jeffrey?"
He wasn't so great with names, obviously.
"Cliff, you big ass." she said, leaning over to slap him on the arm as she laughed. "But, yeah, I think that's him. He's not bad. For a BLU, anyway."
"Cliff, that's right. And what was the hit for, woman?" He gave her a shove back in retaliation. "Aye, he's a quare bloke. Good at his job and friendly enough. Y'aren't gonna start takin' it easy on him out on the field, though, right?"
E much preferred this atmosphere, and hoped to keep it going.
"You deserved it. Anyway - uh, 'quare' fellow for a 'quare' lass, right?" Her accent was terrible.
"And hell no. We've already spoken about that."
Her accent was, indeed, awful. He neglected to say so. "Oh, good. Long as you aren't going to give me the cold shoulder for lettin' your fella eat stickies out there, then I'm going to wish you the best. You two keepin' it a secret or what?"
"Naw. We both agreed that we still needed to do our jobs - hell, probably make it that much harder for the other. I'm expecting a good challenge!" she said, grinning. "And.. I don't know, really. Guess we'll see."
"Then you've got my silence, swear it." He pulled an ick face, nonetheless. "Even if it is with a BLU."
Can't say 'BLU' without 'ew', after all.
"Thanks, man," she said with a grin, "You're a damn good friend, you know that?"
He grinned and threw an arm around her in a sort of hug. "Oh, good, you're falling for it. You'll never suspect it when I turn and betray you all horribly, see."
"Wof-" she flailed, trying to get her balance. "Just know that you'll get a flamethrower in your face if you try any shit like that, and that's A-OK with me." she smirked, prodding him in the side.
He fell over immediately, clutching his side, glaring. Was he horribly ticklish? Oh, yes. "Do that again and I'll show ya just where you can shove that flamethrower," he grumbled, feigning offense.
Oho? She raised an eyebrow, and made little claws with her hands.
"Can't do nothin' if you can't move!" she exclaimed, moving in for the kill. Tickle tickle!
He scrambled backwards, yelping and covering his sides as much as possible. "Ach, nae, ya bloody she-devil!"
"Didn't understand a damn thing you just said, beardman!" she said, poking gently at his sides here and there as she tried to tickle him, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
He shrieked and swatted at her hands, flailing. "OhChristohChristohChrist--ACH! STOPSTOPpleaseEmilystop!"
Dignity? What's that?
Laughing, she finally pulled away after a moment, sitting on her knees and trying hard not to embarass him. "C'mon, I couldn't help it! You made yourself an easy target, man."
He replied, quite rationally, with a shove that was almost a pounce. "You're a mean, not very nice woman!"
Rational indeed! She fell backwards, grabbing his arm to steady herself - and only wound up dragging him back with her. Oof!
"You figure this out now, you cretin?" she said with a laugh, looking up at him.
Okay, enough of that. She tried shoving him off her, playfully.
He rolled away immediately, blushing bright. Friend and teammate or not, Pyro was still a girl and that wasn't appropriate. He coughed and stared down at the roof, noting for a moment how unusual it was to stare down at the roof.
"Um, sorry 'bout that," he finished lamely, resisting the urge to joke about it. Not appropriate at all, nope.
"Hey, yeah, naw-" what? Spit it out, girl. "-I mean, hey, just playing around, right? No big deal, no apologies."
She sat up, rubbing the back of her neck. Well, that was.. certainly something. She didn't really want to clarify it.
"So, uh. Good a time as any to get going, I guess, huh?"
"Aye, sure is." He'd lost his cigarette somewhere. He hoped it wouldn't catch something on fire. "So... we're okay? If I ever act like that much of a bastard again, do feel free to smack some sense into me. Even if you're a rib-stabbing tickle fiend, you're a good friend, so you are."
"Thought we settled this?" she asked, looking over at his hunched form. "Yeah, man, we're square. No worries" she added with a smile.
"Maybe even tickle you again if you start givin' me lip." she threatened, grinning again. "...But, yeah. You're a good one, too."
"Don't you dare," he deadpanned. "I will fill your bedroom so full of stinkbombs that you'll never sleep in there without a gasmask again." Then, with a sneaky grin, "Guess I'd have to hit Cliff's room, too, huh?"
"Bastard, you wouldn't dare." she said, laughing as she got to her feet. "You know fire lasts a hell of a lot longer than stinkbombs, right?"
"If you're startin' fires around me, lass, we're both in trouble. Nowhere you could stand without gettin' yourself blowed up!" He stood and affixed an expression like she'd just kicked his puppy or something. "Ach, breaks my heart that you'd even suggest such a thing!"
"My heart aches~." she said, extending a hand to him.
He chuckled and glanced at the hand, unsure what to do with it. Naturally, high fives were in order. "Lead the way!"
Well, she was leaning more towards a shake, but what the hell? Brofive!
With that, she strolled cheekily past him towards the ladder, and slowly flipped herself around so she could start climbing down. In the end, she was glad that they were able to sort things out and be fine again. There was a couple of things that nagged at her, but ultimately, they would pass - wouldn't they?
"Gonna stand there all night, or what?"
"Nah, I'm comin'." He followed her down the ladder, content now that the tiff had been settled and they were back to a sort of a rad bromance, of sorts. All said, what a success!