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You were so handsome.

Aunt Junie would've been mad, had she known that was my first impression of you. "You listen well, Jessica," she demanded, "You may love the men in Hollywood, but they don't love you."

You had a gentle voice when you spoke, and I appreciated that. Although, when you put your hand on the edge of my bed, I shrank back. Mark Bishop was laughing at me somewhere.

But you weren't laughing, and your partner wasn't. He was cute, although I wish he wouldn't have judged Aunt June so roughly. He didn't know her, and he didn't know me; I wasn't innocent, either. It got rid of your pitying look when I revealed that Mark wasn't my first time. Gene had found someone else when Dad broke us up. I didn't blame him, but it really did hurt to see him holding hands with Susan, and knowing Gene used to hold mine.

When you wanted to send me home, I hung on whatever lies I could grasp, so I could stay. It wasn't fair—I was so close to becoming a star!

You broke that illusion when you told me that Bishop tried to kill Aunt Junie and me. A mermaid swam to greet you when you needed my help finding him, but she was all I remembered.

Handing me your card, you said it was time for me to leave. I saw the wedding band on your finger, and admittedly felt jealous of your wife. Didn't matter, I was done with older men, and detective, that also meant you.

I spent the first night home crying. I was angry with you for making me return, but I didn't throw out the card. Buried in my jewelry box, it was a sad reminder of the dream I had once tried to realize. Rumors ran, and the girls and boys at school laughed. You didn't laugh at me.

Enjoying a hot fudge sundae on a rainy day, I heard what became of you on the radio. Sick to my stomach, I couldn't look at the ice cream again. You had drowned, your wife had left you over a false charge, and you had two daughters who missed you. People were laughing at both of us, it seemed.

Maybe the mermaid saved you, and I hope she did. I've grown up since then, and high school graduation has come and gone. This time, I think I really do need to leave home; in small towns, bad reputations stick. Maybe I'll see the mermaid again, and you'll be with her, safe and sound. I'd entertain for Poseidon himself, and the mermaid would be a princess who would love you true.

I slip your business card into my suitcase for good luck. It's raining again, Detective Phelps. Is it sunny in Los Angeles now?
Cleito in Tinsel (L.A. Noire 4F)
Word Count: 473
Prompt: Secondary Character Narrator

This is a follow-up to The Fallen Idol. Despite the fact that the case in-game ends on a good note, with a solid ending to the Traffic desk, it marks when things begin to go downhill for Phelps, and I wanted to reflect that.

Jessica only knows the half-truth of the affair, as Roy's cover story for Phelps's adultery charge was printed as the official story. I wasn't sure if Cole's death would get a mention out in Milwaukee, but then again, he was, quite basically, the face of the LAPD in one of the most prestigious cities in the country. It was just a fluke that Jessica would find out about Cole's fate, as that part of her life has ended. As for Jessica harboring a crush on Cole, he is complimented on his appearance by many female NPC's, so I could see that angle.
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"Wave good-bye to your secret crap, dumbass!" Scout taunted as he dashed past a row of red lockers, the intelligence case strapped on his back. Papers whipped out of it with each step he carelessly took. They flew past him in a movement as he whipped around the corner to dash up the ramp leading to the courtyard, the RED base resembling more a barn than an area of military operations. A flying leap took him over the edge. A shotgun shell whizzed inches by his head to become embedded in the wall beyond.

Scout didn't bother looking over his shoulder as he landed, a cloud of dust rising around him. Instead, he took off in the direction of the sewer, his heart racing. He couldn't afford any foolish business, considering the battle between the teams had been brought to a standstill for hours. Not much time was left, and capping the briefcase would be the way to stop a stalemate from occurring.

"MAGGOT!" The RED Soldier's exclamation was lost as Scout vanished around the corner, zigzagging down the hallway. A rocket struck the nearest wall, effectively detonating on impact. Thankfully, he was too slow to catch up. Scout took another large jump, this time down the first flight of stairs, before collecting himself to proceed onward. Explosions rocked the land above him, causing the lights to dim and flicker once. It was too dangerous to head out the front, and the RED Sniper was currently camping out on the top tier. The BLU Sniper had informed him of that via his earpiece.

Unfortunately, no such help would come now. Given the fact that he was currently underground, nothing but a burst of static could be heard in his ear. He was on his own. The line of massive computers flashed by. He couldn't help but smirk at them. A few months ago, he had hurled a bottle of milk at them for shits and giggles. The result had been the entire RED team's mainframe crashing. The battle for that day had been cancelled immediately, and the teams had been forced to move to Dustbowl until it had been successfully repaired. True, he had taken a pay cut, as well as quite a disciplinary beating from his team's Soldier, Medic, and Heavy, but it had been worth it.

The tunnel's opening loomed ahead of him, and he shot through it, blinking in the sunlight. Taking a breath, he propelled himself forward, effectively treading water at a rapid rate. Curses, shots, and cries of pain sounded from directly above his head, causing adrenaline to surge through him even more until he was practically on a high. He couldn't help but grin. He lived for this.

Scout's hand met the metal floor of the bottom of the entrance to the BLU sewer tube. Pressing down heavily on it, he hauled himself forward to stand just as a loud, quick-descending yell sounded from next to the bridge, followed by someone hitting the water. Scout whirled at the noise, his eyes narrowing as his counterpart surfaced with a gasp. He had to keep going, but he would simply not move. The contempt he held for the RED Scout kept him rooted to the spot.

That arrogant, self-righteous prick. Every taunt, every dominating phrase he hurled at him…It drove him mad. He thought he was so superior to the BLU simply because he had been there longer. He would get his. The RED's eyes locked on him immediately, reflecting that same animosity right back at him. His scattergun flashed once as he swung it up to aim it at the BLU.

His target, however, had reacted much more quickly, drawing his pistol and firing a few shots at the water before the RED. The waterlogged Scout, in turn, held up an arm to protect himself, effectively cutting off his aim. The two resounding shots from his scattergun bounced off the sides of the tunnel with small sparks, and slight pinking sounds. The BLU couldn't hide his self-satisfied smirk as he backpedaled, the RED tearing after him across the water.

He was stopped midway by the distraction of someone else falling into the water, the unidentified person's form too dark to place. The RED whipped around, and was promptly met with an axe to the face. His body reeled backward and fell, displaying a bloody and badly caved-in vestige, the weapon still sticking gruesomely out of it. Blood from chunks of his tissue trailed into the water, effectively dirtying it.

The still-living BLU Scout cracked a smile at his savior, the Pyro. "Thanks, pal-y!" The asbestos-clad man gave him a thumbs-up before swimming forward to retrieve his axe, and Scout spun to take off further into his base. At least this battle was won.

XXXXXX

The briefcase Scout popped open was far different from the one he had taken from his enemy's stronghold that day. Rather than being a bright red color, the case was a dark brown, faded on one side, and held nothing inside. He kept his hands on the top of the case as he let out a long, shuddering sigh.

Casting a sideways gaze at his backpack, now open, he felt a sense of longing. He didn't want to leave this base, but in the morning, he had no choice. Scout smirked. He should be happy. He was leaving the war behind, at least for a little while, but he was entering into another conflict altogether. Letting go of the case, he reached over to pick up a folded shirt to put in the case.

The room was silent and still, his earpiece, which was sitting on his nightstand with his hat, off. The floorboards creaked outside, and he heard the muffled voices of the Spy and Medic as they talked outside, the wall and door garbling their exact words. Scout's smirk became a smile. This, not where he was going, was his home.

It fell just as quickly as he placed his toothbrush and tube of toothpaste in his backpack. Home wasn't where he got shot at day in and day out. A pair of pants was flung into the briefcase. Then again, he did get shot at home, although not in the physical sense. The picture he previously kept on his nightstand had been evicted from its position of honor before his lamp. It was now resting in the drawer below. Its replacement was that of the entire BLU team standing before their base in their respective poses as pertaining to their class and personality. Scout himself was crouched down with a grin on his face as he wielded his baseball bat. It was a standard photograph, as it simply showed the current roster of the team.

Scout yanked the drawer open, jostling the lamp and photograph. He quickly caught both before either could fall. Staring back at him beneath a spider web crack was a black-and-white photo of his mother holding him as a baby, with his three brothers, ranging from ages three to one, standing at her feet. In the background was a crib. A window with a lace curtain was above it. It was taken on one of the first day after he had been brought home from the hospital, which explained how his mother's joy was tempered by tiredness in the picture. He knew well who the photographer was, and that, along with a certain few pictures taken by his team's Spy, made him fiercely angry.

If his father had been excited about the birth of his youngest son as to take a picture of the newest addition to his family, then why didn't he stay around to see him grow? True, Scout's father and mother were still married, and his mother talked fondly of her mate, but that may as well not be. For the nineteen years of his life, his father had appeared in his personal memory five times. According to his mother, he had appeared in his life eleven times, meaning that on most of those occurrences, he was too young to remember. One of those occasions had been a holiday, but what exactly could he have talked about with his sire in front of the Christmas tree at the age of thirteen? The fact that he found the cheerleader that his oldest brother was at the time dating sexual attractive?

Then there was the issue of his mother. It was her fault that he broke his picture. The first moment he had gotten, Scout had shattered the RED Spy's pelvis with his baseball bat. It had been one thing to wake up in respawn, and find that his team's intel had been stolen, but then to see his team's Soldier and Heavy sniggering around him, as if they had played a terrible joke on him, and to have the BLU Spy shove a folder into his hands marked "CONFIDENTIAL…" Scout, although he had much rather would have fallen to his knees and cried, simply placed the photos in one hand after pocketing one, dropped the folder, and ripped the remaining pictures in half before tossing them back at the Spy. It had taken the smug look off of his face, but it had still held little consolation.

Scout had been without leave for a while, which wasn't surprising, given he had only joined the team a year ago. Now that one had been granted for him, he would have to face her, and what she had done. Scout had always looked upon his mother fondly, although somewhat coldly, as well, for she was the one who kept each of them firmly in line, sharply disciplining her boys for talking out of turn, having them do chores, and making them go to bed rather early each night when they were younger. Now, however, that connection was lost. It was all a lie. She was the bedfellow of his enemy, and that wouldn't stand for him.

Still, confronting her was going to be so hard. At least his brothers weren't around to cause more issues. The letter his mother had sent him a few days ago (which he had torn up after reading) told him that they would have the house to themselves, as his oldest brother was on vacation with his wife, and the other two were tied up with work.

He shut the drawer more carefully, so as not to break what was on top of the stand, and promptly got back to his packing. Scout had no idea how he was going to last a week with his mother without losing his mind. Truth be told, he would rather have been soaked to the bone in jarate, and blown to pieces by sticky bombs, instead of following through with this. The train from the base left at 7:45 tomorrow morning sharp, and he had already set his alarm. After the train rolled into the nearest city station, he would take a connector flight home, reaching Boston by mid-afternoon. Flying still held a sense of adventure to him, so at least there was that. For as much as he tried to push away his dread with familiar images of Boston Harbor, it crept back up on him.

Scout would finally get the straight answers he wanted. At least, he hoped. Although he was a mercenary, he still wasn't a legal adult just yet, and his mother could still hold that over him. That was why he had the photograph. Evidence didn't lie. If she still refused to answer his questions, he could always stay with Duncan and Eileen for the week. His friends, although married themselves, didn't hide anything that required his concern from him.

Well, if that was the case, he could still stay around at his family house long enough to get at least one decent meal from his mother. The guys on the team rotated who cooked, and everyone had dreaded Soldier's "cuisine," comprised of nothing more than canned food, and pre-packaged rations. The food had been unlikeable, but Scout hadn't really cared. It had been his last night with his team for a while, and it had been nice to murmur complaints about the rations while Solly's back was turned, and to recount what had transpired in the battle before. Scout had whole-heartedly put his efforts into not thinking of what had been to come during dinner, and had found the meal more appreciable. His personal issues had been dragged through the mud enough as was.

Still, as he zipped his backpack, he knew he would get little sleep over the matter tonight.
A Sense of Shame, 2/6, Five O'Clock Whistle
I'm reformatting this fanfic, as the original length was too long. I had to previously delete a few scenes to keep this fic a one-shot, but now that is full-length, the scenes are now in it, as well.
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"I'm so glad to have you back home, honey." Scout's mother commented as she turned the steering wheel of her car, "I'm just sorry that the weather couldn't be better."

Scout made no response, instead resolving to look out the window at the raindrops that were splattering it, and the people rushing by on the sidewalk. He had rarely spoken a word to his mother since she had picked him up at the airport; the erotic image he carried in his pocket caused him to hold his tongue. The matter would wait until they returned home.

Silence reigned once more, but Scout thought he could hear her sigh over the driving rain. He threw a glance at her, and saw that she had once more focused her attention on maneuvering her way through the surge of traffic, her expression twisted in concentration. Her plain dress and conservative use of make-up created an image of a devoted, innocent mother, and it turned his stomach. Who was she fooling?

The packed, maze-like streets of Boston slowly dissolved away to be replaced by the more familiar areas of his childhood, such as the back alley in which he and his friends used to play stick ball, the park in which he used to climb up its resident trees, and hang from their branches, and the house of the widower, Mr. Thatcher, with its wrought-iron fence topped with spikes. The car slowly lost speed, eventually rolling to a stop before her, no, their house. His mother took the key out of the ignition with a smile. "Welcome home." Much to his own surprise, he warmly returned her smile. For a moment, he felt like all was right with the world. That beautiful lie was killed as soon as it was born, however, and he once more said nothing. "Do you want me to help you bring anything in?" She offered.

He shook his head before climbing out. "No thanks." The steps to the front porch seemed somehow steeper than when he had previously climbed them, his footfalls heavier. The backpack was once again slung over his shoulder, his briefcase dangling from his hand. Scout still wore his hat, but he left the earpiece back at the base due to lack of need. His dog tags remained around his neck. Once the door was unlocked, he was quick to remove his hat before entering in after his mother.

The hallway was stark before him, the black telephone sitting on the end table, and the stairs beside it leading up to the next floor. Scout, for as much as he wished to run up them, and throw himself down on his bed for some much-needed rest after suffering jet lag, kept himself rooted to the spot.

"Is there something on your mind, Oliver?" His mother finally asked, placing her hand on the banister to lean against it. Genuine concern was plain to see on her face, and it frustrated him.

"Yeah," he responded simply, heading through the wide doorway into the small adjoining living room. He deposited his belongings on the sofa, and was glad to find the drapes to the window drawn, the light fixture above illuminating the room. The ticking clock on the mantelpiece kept the room from becoming too still, but it was quickly beginning to grate on his nerves. It was odd, usually his mother would have recalled him for walking away from her, but instead she wordlessly trailed after him.

Reaching into his pocket, Scout turned on his heel, his fast movement causing her to step back for a moment. Her face, held a bit of a searching aspect to it, as if she was trying to determine what was going on inside of his mind. Her scrutiny forced him to whip out the photo. "Care to explain this?" Scout hissed .His mother's eyes widened at the photo for a moment, and she gingerly took it, her expression becoming unreadable as she studied it. "You know what it is! Quit tryin' to cover it up!" Scout yelled, pointing an accusing finger at her. When she didn't respond, even to the point of not raising her head at his voice, he exclaimed more forcefully, "Don't you even have anythin' to say for yourself? Well, Ma?"

Her head snapped up to reveal a furious expression, her eyes narrow, and her face slightly reddened. "Oliver Durand! I've heard about enough out of you!" She snapped, crinkling the photo slightly in her fist.

"Why? I'm just askin' you a question, Ma!" Scout retorted, holding his ground, "I think I'm allowed to be a little concerned if I see, well, that!" He gestured at the photo once as if it was a piece of garbage.

Its holder continued to glare at him, although when she opened her mouth this time, her voice bore a high contrast in volume to her previous exclamation. In an unsettlingly calm tone, she replied, "I will answer you if you let me."

"Ma, I'm not gonna tak—what?" As what she had said registered to him, he found himself at a loss for words. Well, this was far easier than he imagined it would be. It was then that he also realized that she was shaking slightly, her body bent to a mere fraction of a crouch, as if…as if she was preparing for him to strike her. Scout reacted to her no further, shocked by this. He would never dream of doing such a thing.

His mother seemed to get a grip on herself. Her legs came back together as she stood straight up. Still, she kept her grip tight on the photo, and looked half ready to tear it to bits. Her face, although less harsh than before, still held a touch of unbridled fury in it, especially in her eyes. It was as if she was barely containing herself, and it sent a shiver up his spine. She tilted her head to the side, asking that same strangely calm voice, "Well, do you want to know, or not?"

"Yeah," Scout managed to reply in an even tone.

"Have a seat," she ordered, pointing to the sofa next to him before placing herself upon a chair set against the wall that formed the left half of the doorway. Scout shoved his belongings over with understandable hesitation. He wasn't sure what to expect out of her.

Slowly, she opened her fingers, releasing the photo. It fell to the carpeted floor, making a muted impact. She watched its fast descent for a moment before closing her eyes, and taking a breath as she raised her head once more. Her hands were folded in her lap. She wasn't a big person to begin with, but to her son, she looked even smaller than before as she sat in one final moment of thought. The anticipation made his heart pound. Her reaction of defensiveness had been just as he had anticipated, but he wondered why she was so easily going to give up the information that he was looking for. Maybe she was getting tired of hiding it? "I know what you think that photo looks like, but you're wrong," she began in a quiet voice.

"Wrong? What are you gonna tell me, that you and he were 'just talking?' I wouldn't you think you'd need to rip off your clothes for that!"

Her agitation was released in the form of her eyebrow twitching, and she cleared her throat for a moment. Once he had silenced himself, she held up the hand that displayed her wedding band. "You have barely seen your father in your life, and we both apologize for that."

He was ready to cut her off again when he noticed the regretful tone of her voice, and her sad expression. She frowned, her mouth parted, her head slightly down once more, so that her hair hung over her shoulders, and her eyes widened, the light above reflecting in them, as if she was pleading for his forgiveness. Scout felt a sense of pity for her, but it confused him. Okay, she felt bad about sleeping with the enemy Spy, but this was something much deeper than that.

She slowly lowered her hand. "But now, I'll tell you why it has been that way," her throat moved as she continued in a partially-choked voice, "you father, Dominique Durand, is the RED Spy."

Scout heard an odd noise, and it took him a moment to realize it was coming from him. It was a scream, stifled by his closed mouth. When he opened it, however, all that came out were deep gasps as he leaned forward over his knees, his hands pressing down on them. His lungs greedily sucked in the air, as if he wouldn't get enough of it. Cold sweat ran down the back of his neck. How…? What…? Why…? "Oliver?" His concerned mother asked, "Are you all right?" Oh, just peachy. It wasn't every day that he found out that his father killed off not only his entire team, but himself, as well.

As much as he didn't desire to believe it, it made some bit of sense. He wished he could stop his mind from processing the information, but there it was. His surname was clearly French, his oldest brother being named Reynard. The times he saw his father, Scout distinctly remembered hearing an accent to his words. Still, that was a very small amount of evidence to support a highly outlandish claim that he was hoping to not be true.

His mother rose, wringing her hands as she began to pace back and forth before him for a few moments before stopping in front of him. "It's probably best if I start from the beginning." She sounded surer of herself now.

He held up a hand, and asked in suspicious voice, "Wait, am I the only one who knows this?"

She nodded. "Yes, you are."

Scout felt a self-satisfied smirk creeping up on his face, despite the circumstances. At least he had that over his siblings, which, considering he was the youngest, rarely happened. "Okay."

She nodded dutifully, dropping her hands to her sides. "Remember the story I told you about how your father and I met?"

He leaned back against the sofa, placing one arm over it. "Yeah, you said he was from France, but he ran off to join the British army," he shrugged, "smart move, I guess, since the Nazis took over. He came here after the war was over, since his home country was too smashed up to live in, and that's how he met you." As Scout summarized the story, he lost the bored tone he usually had when he used to do so. Instead, he held a sense of being unsure in his words.

She smiled bitterly as she replied, "I'm sorry, but I bent the truth on that one."

He snorted. "Why am I not surprised, Ma?"

His mother chuckled, bringing her hands together. "Well, it did start in World War II, but differently. You neither have aunts nor uncles because your father and I are only children." Her face fell, and she began to pace again, twisting and untwisting her hands together and apart. "When war was on the rise, my friends and neighbors anticipated and feared what was to come. Men of all ages, from the youngest eligible boy, to a grown man with children of his own, were ready to protect their homes and families," with a sigh, she half-turned to Scout before sardonically adding, "and there was me, exempt from the responsibility for the simple fact of my gender. Men were going to die while I was safe and sound in Boston." Stepping out a leg, she turned herself the rest of the way. "That's why I joined the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS for short."

Scout sat straight up, his dog tags hitting against his chest, and each other, with a sharp clink. "You were a spy?"

Beaming and placing her hands behind her back, she nodded. "Retired Agent Juno, maiden name Hannah Carlson, at your service, Scout."

He stood, his jaw effectively hanging open. This was the same woman that gently tended to the flowers in their window shelves, baked cakes and cookies for birthdays and Christmas, and read stories to her sons at bedtime. He couldn't envision her as one of those provocatively dressed, long-lashed vixens that were the female saboteurs and undercover agents in the films of espionage that he had seen. Then again, without the BLU Spy's pictures, he wouldn't have known of her "affair." She was good at keeping secrets.

He had the good sense to close it, and she smiled indulgently. "I know, I don't seem the type, but this is real as I stand here." It made sense in context, the more he thought of it. Spies never wanted to draw attention to themselves; that was why they were so hard to catch. His mother blended in quite well. At least that explained why she had taken on a defensive pose. She had been trained to act accordingly when she had felt threatened.

She hugged her arms around herself, her voice and expression becoming serious once more. "I was one of many agents dispatched to southern France, or Vichy France, as it was known then. I won't bore you with tactics, , but the basic aim of the grand operation in which many of us were involved was to decrease the strength of the Nazi regime over their occupied countries by working with the resisting forces there. I just went to France among many other people, but other large groups went to other occupied countries such as Poland and Holland." A nostalgic, almost dreamy spark shone in her eyes as she proclaimed, "That's how I met your father."

Scout couldn't help but roll his eyes. "Oh lemme guess, love at first sight?"

She closed her eyes, shaking her head. "Not on your life! In fact, we didn't really like each other at first."

"Can't see why not," Scout murmured sarcastically, folding his arms.

Her face fell. "It was for different reasons that we didn't get along. The man I met wasn't the same one he is now."

Her son frowned. "You gotta do more than just tell me that, Ma."

"I know, and I'm going to," she replied carefully, "Dominique was known as Agent Fox then. He was a talented member of a resistance cell, one of many in Paris. You have to understand, it was in the spring of 1942 when I got there, and all of France had been under the rule of the Nazis for almost two years already. Fox wasn't exactly thrilled to see a rookie like me, and I couldn't blame him, even though it grated on me after a while." Her teeth gritted, her expression frustrated. "He was like that around any of us rookies. If you missed a shot, made a noise when stealth was needed, or slipped up and acted conspicuously American in a French setting, he would not let you hear the end of it. Not only would I, and any others like me, be disciplined by our superiors, the veteran OSS spies who were also dispatched, but he would ensure we were also punished accordingly by the leader of the cell. Let's just say that having to soldier through night watch after night watch with little sleep, or being confined to our 'base,' with nothing to do but clean up after the others were ordeals in themselves."

She put one hand on her hip, and the other in the in the air, her eyes closed. "I get it, he was trying to push us to see what we could do, especially considering, as I said before, we came from a safer environment. What annoyed me about it was that he wasn't much older than me, and he only had two years of experience. And especially considering our group brought them more armaments in the first place…" Scout gave a knowing smile. He understood where she was coming from. All rookies got treated that way, no matter the conflict.

She lowered her hand. "But after a while, things got better. We grew more used to our environment, and acted accordingly," a mischievous smile graced her lips as she declared, "we did quite a few bad things. Nothing compared to the rush it brought." Folding her arms with a smug face, his mother elaborated, "Enemy intelligence was taken right out from under their foolish noses, collaborators were dealt with accordingly, and enemy equipment was, oh how should I say, 'misplaced.'" Scout knew that she was being concise in order to get her point across, but he couldn't help but be a little taken aback by her euphemisms for a moment. Then again, that was probably how he acted in accordance to what happened on his field of battle, so he really couldn't be the one to point fingers.

"Fox came to respect each of us for our strengths. He was less hard on us, relieving some much-needed tension. Usually, he went off on his own, or worked with more seasoned members of our group, but he eventually began to partner with us newer agents as well for short periods of time."

"Bonding over weapons?" Scout asked.

She shrugged. "That among other things. The most important thing I learned about him was that he wished more than anything to be free," her tone became regretful once more, "I took so many things for granted that he was willing to sacrifice his life to get back. The ability to speak as he pleased, read what he desired, to go and live where and how he pleased…" Her voice trailed off at the endless possibilities.

She sighed. "Of course, I wasn't the only one who heard this. Fox was good friends with another agent, code name Lucky. He was an old friend of his from before the war, and understandably well-deserving of his trust." Her voice hadn't changed from before, and Scout didn't like where this was going. Her eyes closed slowly, her mouth held in a firm frown, as if to keep her lips from quivering.

"Ma," he whispered as a tear glistened at the corner of her left eye.

Her chest slowly rose and fell as she took in a deep breath. "Lucky betrayed him, and he was captured on February 16, 1944." Wiping at her eye, his mother murmured, "Sorry about that, honey."

He held out a hand. "Ma, it's okay." Inside, however, he was shocked. The RED Spy had resembled more a phantom than a man, hostile but untouchable.

"We never did catch Lucky," she now said his name with repulsion, even crinkling her nose, "but we had to save Fox. The resistance cells were in close touch with each other, and he, as a result, knew important information." She smiled sadly. "Not that he was about to give any of it up, of course," it fell off her face, "but this was 1944, and the Axis Powers were beginning to get desperate. We didn't know how long even he would last." She began to pace again. "Then there was the possibility of Fox being taken away. While he was in the custody of the Milice, the Vichy Regime's paramilitary force, he could easily have been handed over to the Gestapo, the Nazi German secret police, and brought to Berlin. If so, we would have had to give him, and ourselves, up for lost." Stopping for a moment, although without looking at him, his mother said half to herself, "Thankfully, that didn't happen."

She continued in a stronger voice, "Fox was, according to our intelligence, being held by small Milice group in a disused theater, but not for long because, as I said, he was to be turned over within a few days' time." Pausing, she turned completely around to her son. "Oliver, I'll warn you now. If you ever happen to go to France, don't you dare say 'milice' while you're there. It's a highly offensive and derogatory term."

Scout could understand why. He nodded soberly. "You got it, Ma."

"Good," she resumed her tireless pacing, "the problem with rescuing Fox was that we had too many things on our plate, as you can well imagine from what I've been telling you." He nodded again. "So we volunteered. Those of us who wished to save him, and were eligible, went. True, Fox had made one mistake, but it had cost us dearly, and after how he treated the rookies…Let alone the fact that the rest of us were trying not to get caught, as well. When it finally came down to it, the rescue party was comprised of Agents Rapunzel and Paladin, a female and a male French agent who had each worked alongside him since 1940, Blackjack, an English agent, and myself."

"So you had English people working with you, too?"

"Yes, quite a few, actually, and with the same purpose as we American agents had. Blackjack had gone to France a year before I had, and he had understood very well the danger of Fox being interrogated. Out of the four of us, I was the least experienced, and it was terrifying, I will admit." Gesturing with her hands, she laid out the mission before him. "Rapunzel and Paladin would distract and keep busy the men guarding the place, while Blackjack and I would infiltrate the area. Once Fox was freed, I would be the one to lead him out, while Blackjack would take care of any opposing forces against us."

Scout understood, and she reported, "The plan went well, and looking back, I realize how fortunate we were that it did." Despite her words, the color drained from her face, and Scout could see tears welling in her eyes again. Her mouth closed against a sob. Scout moved toward her, but she shook her head, wiping her eyes once more. "I'm fine, it's just…The Milice had been French citizens like your father, and to see what they had done to him…" She shook her head, biting her lip.

He had a feeling that she also felt this way for the simple fact that it was Fox who had been held prisoner, but chose not to voice it. How would Scout have liked it if his mother had been so mistreated? That did, however, explain the scars he saw on his father's face (in areas that were covered by the mask), along his hairline, and once on his wrists, as well as the nasty-looking ones on his back in the photos. Could he say he felt sympathy for the RED Spy now? Actually, what Scout was really sure of was how he shocked himself with his own indifference. While his mother was shedding tears, he was more worried about gathering the details of the truth. Yes, he was sure that the "interrogation tactics" used on Fox had been despicable, otherwise she wouldn't have been crying at the mere mention of them, but he couldn't pull a strong reaction to them out of himself. He just lacked the strong emotional bond with him.

"Fox's wounds kept him out of commission for a while. As you can probably guess, his reputation suffered terribly, but not once did I hear him complain. He owned up to the fact that he had been mistaken in his judgment, but it wasn't easy for him."

She eyed Scout at that moment, who exclaimed, "What?"

With a small laugh, she continued. "When France was at last liberated, several of my fellow agents, the more experienced ones, were sent to other occupied countries to continue work there, while the rest of us were kept in France to keep an established area of intelligence. We remained like that until the end of the war, and it was noticeably safer." The light-hearted ending was lost immediately. "Once it was over, however, Fox's mistake didn't go unnoticed. For jeopardizing the lives of so many, his reputation followed him," she frowned, "I'll be honest in my opinion. He made a mistake, and that's what it should be left at, a mistake. Plenty of other errors in judgment were made during the war, and Fox made up for his. But at the same time, I can see why he needed to continue to make up for it. The Parisian resistance cells had been extremely important to the war effort, and if he had given them up…well...I don't want to think about it."

"That's why the new French Republic allowed his jurisdiction to be placed into the hands of the Central Intelligence Group, or CIG, which had come into power after Truman dissolved the OSS in the September of 1945. The Republic hadn't existed at the time of the mistake, and the lives of American agents had been threatened. England had taken no interest in it at the time due to the Nuremberg Trials that had been going on. I had retired shortly after V-E Day, thinking nothing of it, it would go away. But it didn't. Fox took the consequences well, when he originally would have fought against them. His slip-up branded him too unreliable to work for the CIG, what is now known as the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, but a certain private company was more than willing to hire him, and other failed (and I use that term loosely) spies like him."

Scout's eyes widened. "Reliable Excavation Demolition!"

"Right," she confirmed, "and once Builders League United got wind of this, the company also hired many of its own spies this way, not including yours. He's Cold War generation."

Scout had gathered as much. He hadn't seen the BLU Spy without his mask, but of what he had seen, especially through the eyes and lack of winkles, the BLU one had seemed younger than the RED. What unsettled him a little bit, though, was how his mother talked about the Spies in general as if they were robotic units as opposed to humans. He doubted this was intentional, but it still threw him. Not to mention one nagging detail. "Wait, you retired after V-E Day. Where were you?"

"I was still in France on V-E Day itself. Getting home wasn't exactly a first priority while everyone, myself included, was celebrating. But when it got to be nighttime, I had to face reality." A faraway look was in her eyes, her hands spread. "I thought of my parents back home. They hadn't approved of me wanting to put myself in harm's way, and the last few days I'd been in Boston before going off to train hadn't been pleasant because I tended to get into fights with them."

Scout rubbed the back of his neck, even though she wasn't paying attention. His last few encounters with her before shoving off to join the BLU team hadn't been very wonderful, either. Quite a few things ran in his immediate family.

"Of course, writing home to them during the war was out the question, and I knew I had to patch things up." Her attention was returned to Scout. "I know I've probably painted my time as a spy like something you'd see on that Hogan's Heroes show that you and your brothers like so much, but it wasn't. I always knew in the back of my mind that I could be killed at any moment while I was on-duty, but sometimes it wasn't always relevant. When an operation went well, nothing could touch me. On the other hand, whenever our supplies got low, or I was patrolling at night, careful of every clank and moving shadow in the distance, I felt incredibly small in comparison to what we were up against. Reflecting on that when everything was said and done made me realize how foolish I was in going overseas in the first place. Well-meaning though my intentions were, I had almost thrown away my own life." Scout caught himself from bristling defensively. This wasn't directed at him; this was about her. He hadn't expected to find a kindred spirit in his mother on this sort of subject matter, but here they were.

Her self-loathing was replaced with neutral retrospection once more. "I can't remember how long I stood on that balcony as I looked over the city. Paris had truly come alive that day. I wish you could have been there to see it. It wasn't anything too showy, it was more a party about just being alive and free, and as you could imagine, it was taking everyone a while to wind down." He actually found himself wishing he could've seen that. It sounded very interesting. He doubted it held a candle to the festivities over the Sox winning the Pennant last year, but still.

"War was still going on in the Pacific Theater, but I knew I wouldn't be any help there. I wasn't really compelled to stay in France, either. I had fallen in love with the country, as you could well imagine, but it wasn't my place anymore. The friends we from the OSS had made either were going to head back home to England, or were laying out plans to rebuild their lives. We didn't need to weigh them down." Scout couldn't help but feel a combination of sadness and dread forming in the pit of his stomach, and quickly willed it away. He considered the BLU base to be his home, but eventually, his teammates would go away, no matter the bonds they had forged with each other. They were only mercenaries, after all.

She adjusted her headband, which had been beginning to droop over her forehead. "While I was still thinking, I was surprised to hear someone calling out to me. Turning, I saw it was Fox, and we talked for a while," holding up her hand, she promised, "I'll spare you the mushy details. He asked me to marry him, but there really wasn't a 'yes,' or 'no' answer at first. Really, we just talked about how it could be done, since one of the first things I said to him after he asked was that I had to go home."

"Guess he wanted to stay?" Scout inquired.

"He did, but he wasn't blind to the difficulties before him. I'm not just talking about his status. He had to get his affairs back in order during a time when France's economy was crippled. Getting by would be highly difficult."

"So what made him move here?"

"The second reason. Fox's parents had passed away during the Great Depression. That was one part of the original story that was true. His inheritance wasn't very large to begin with, and he had even less to go on in the post-war era. I told him that yes, I would marry him, and I would wait on him for two years. If 1947 came to pass, and he was fine where he was, we could consider the engagement broken. If not, and he came to the United States, we would marry. He didn't want me to stay with him for the simple reason that for me, not even being a French citizen to begin with, would be very hard, and I agreed with him."

"Two years?" Scout repeated, "What if either you ended up with somebody else? You weren't just going to live around the block, Ma!"

She giggled. "We thought of that, as well, so we made it an open engagement." At his perplexed expression, she explained, "We could have relationships with others for those two years, so long as we didn't have children with them, otherwise it would get too complicated."

"Isn't that cheating?" Scout asked, clearly lost.

"Not if you each agree that it's allowed. And before you start asking me, no, neither of us was of the mind to break off the engagement for someone else. We knew each other too well, and the others that we knew well, meaning, the other agents, wouldn't have been of the mind to be involved with either of us." Scout's face was blank as he attempted to process this information, and failed. She shook her head. "It makes more sense in context. The point is, we did eventually marry in 1946, the same year he became a Spy for the RED team."

Shaking himself out of the unfamiliar topic, Scout couldn't doubt that the RED Spy had probably missed his homeland, but he could neither bring himself to feel sympathy nor pity for him. Again, he hardly knew this man, and they were still on opposing sides.

The conversation became dreary as she asked gravely, "I guess you're aware that the respawn system occasionally shuts down?" If awareness meant staying up late some nights for fear that he wouldn't awaken in his bed the next morning, then yes, he was quite aware. Respawn rarely did malfunction during battle, usually only a maximum of five times per year, but the fact that it did frightened him to no end. At this point, he wasn't surprised that his mother was aware of it.

What actually surprised him a little was the exact amount of years that the RED Spy had been a mercenary, although that did explain the "business trips," and the fact that they lived in an upper middle class neighborhood despite the fact that his mother stayed at home. Mercenaries were paid well.

"It used to shut down more frequently in the past, so at least we have that improvement," her voice was tempered with sarcasm, "You know what can happen during a malfunction, right?"

He swallowed a good-sized lump in his throat. "Mercenaries that don't do well, and end up getting killed are gone for good. If it looks like an accident, it's less for RED or BLU to cover up."

"Yes," she sighed, "that's what all of you have to face, the older mercenaries like your father, the RED Heavy, Medic, Demoman, and the BLU Soldier more so. That was around that time we had your brothers and you." Scout wasn't compelled to look into the blatant subtext.

She blinked rapidly a few times, unable to stop the quivering of her lips this time. "Oliver, I know this hard for you to understand, but one of your father's greatest regrets in his life was to miss out on raising each of you."

Scout honestly didn't know what to say. He was both flattered and saddened that he meant that much to his father, but the days for them to bond were over. Then there was the fact that it wasn't his fault that Fox had been caught in the first place, but he caught the after-effects of it. "Why are you telling me this now, Ma? He's still fighting." Scout demanded.

"Not for long," she corrected, "isn't it true that the RED Spy will be gone in two weeks?" He agreed with her, his team having learned that via stolen intelligence. "There's no penalty. It's too late. You don't know your father even remotely well enough for it to make an impact on fighting performance," she broke off to sincerely add, "Again, I'm very sorry for that."

"Then why did Builders League United choose me, out of anyone else? They had to have known I was his son!" Scout exclaimed.

She nodded once. "They did. In fact, that's exactly why you were chosen. Once the Vietnam War began, RED and BLU began looking at the draft notes for eligible, able-bodied men. This wasn't done in Korea, since most of the men who served in it were older, being veterans of World War II. The connection was recognized right away, but what really sealed the deal was your ability to run fast." She smiled. "I'll always proud of you for that. Remember your first track meet?"

Scout grinned, remembering the gold medal that had hung around his neck. "'Course."

"Having mercenaries on opposing teams that are related isn't rare, so long as they have the same relationship between them, or lack thereof, as in the case of your father and you, exists."

"Couldn't I have easily been on the RED team instead?" Scout asked after a moment's pause, the possibility striking him in a strange way.

She sighed. "I won't say you're wrong, honey." He collapsed back on the sofa, completely lost for words. "Did I answer all of your questions?" She asked curiously. He could only nod. "Well, I'm glad." Her tone didn't match the words.
A Sense of Shame, 3/6, Rewind
My historical information might still be off, despite the amount of research I put into this. I'm by no means perfect, so if I got something wrong, please let me know in the comments below.
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"I wanted to show you this so many times before," Scout's mother began, "but I wasn't sure what it would give away." Fastening a hand around the handle, she tugged open the drawer to her side of the bed, upon which Scout was sitting, his legs slung over the side. He had rarely been in the master bedroom of the house, save for when he was younger. The nights had seemed longer to a child, the shadows longer, and scarier, taking on the forms of monsters that would eat him in his sleep. The ghost stories Norman used to tell him didn't necessarily help, but he would always beg for them out of overwhelming curiosity. His fears would cause him to scamper off to his mother's room, and find solace in her arms. Scout's eyes widened in anticipation. What further surprise did she hold for him? As enticing as it was, he would rather have called it a day. He had been shocked far enough.

Reaching down, she tugged out what appeared to be a piece of paper before flipping it over, and holding it out to him. "This picture was taken just before the war began. It's one of the very few from France that survived the occupation." Scout carefully took it, and she let go. The fingers of his other hand, which was palm-down behind him on the bed, began to twitch. He leaned forward, his pulse speeding up a little as he stared at the man that the enemy Spy used to be.

The much younger Frenchman was displayed in black-and-white, the photo slightly weathered, and creased on one side. If anything, his wardrobe hadn't really changed much over time. Even this far back, he wore a white, long-sleeved shirt, vest, and pants. The sleeves were pushed up to his elbows, his arms were folded. His dark hair was parted on the left, its free strands hanging messily over his forehead. A self-satisfied smirk was on his face, his eyes slightly narrow.

That look was the cause of his startling. That boastful, almost snarky expression, that was him. Scout was staring at himself. His mouth was dry, and he dropped his jaw open with a slight breath to lick around the inside of it. She sighed, taking it back from him. Her eyes were cast away as she looked at it contemplatively from the side. "I saw more and more of him in each of you as you grew older. When I see that spark in you, Oliver, it makes me nervous." Her words were heavy with emotion. Casting her eyes back at her son, she murmured, "I just hope that no one will try to force it out of you, as well."

XXXXXX

THUMP!

A pause came before the next strike of Scout's baseball against the ceiling. It landed back in his hands, only to be tossed up again.

Four days down, three to go until he returned to the base. Since that first day, he had spoken very little to his mother, who hadn't minded very much, knowing that space was needed after such a revelation. He had chosen to remain at his place of residence, rather than going with his beta plan, but had spent the majority of time each day visiting with them and others he knew. Sitting on the couch and watching the game with the newlyweds without a care in the world had been fun, even though the Sox unfortunately lost this one.

The latter parts of his days were spent helping his mother around the house, who was happy for his help. He really derived little pleasure from doing so, and it wasn't because they were chores. Even the food he had been looking so forward to just didn't taste as good anymore. How could he happily stomach it after all he had learned?

If anything, the answers he had found had only had given him more inner turmoil. For his entire life, he had been living a lie, and no amount of apologies could make up for it. He never knew his father. It wasn't like he missed him. Scout couldn't miss what he never had. But wasn't there that fragment of a memory when he was nine years old? Those lips softly pressing to his cheek, and a whispered, "Bon nui, mon cher fils," just before he had dropped off to sleep? Or had it been just a dream, as he had once written it off? To be honest, either option was painful.

The baseball smacked against the ceiling once more. One of those memories, stolen from him by his young age, had gone from something to be proud of, to an object worthy of being despised: the RED Spy had been the one who had taught him how to walk. It could just as easily have been his mother, but the fact remained that it had been his enemy who had opened the door for him to become the fighter he was.

He wiped the tears away with an arm. As much as he hated to admit it, and he hoped he would never tell his mother this, he had come to hate not just his father, but her, as well. Here was the end product, a young man who was trying to turn his life around. Scout had never been a perfect student, and he had felt ashamed for that. He wasn't smart like his second oldest brother, Morris, who was now well on his way to a good promotion in his career. True, Scout made up for it with his physical ability, and he had tried to apply himself in order to change this, but it hadn't, in retrospect, been much of an improvement.

No athletic scholarship. His grades were too low. With the Vietnam War still being waged, perhaps becoming a soldier would help him find his future path? Once he had enlisted, the rest had been history. No wonder why he had spent most of his time playing stickball. It was how he was able to deal with the anger and frustration of not being heard.

He put his head in his pillow. Just three more days, and he could leave this madness behind.
A Sense of Shame, 4/6, Lullabies
Translation for the French phrase: "Good night, my dear son."
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"I'm moving this!" Engineer's declaration was swiftly followed by the form of him hauling his toolbox over one shoulder as he took off in the direction of the courtyard. Scout's eyes followed him for a moment, his bat idly hitting off his palm. Again, the bridge was completely covered. He had been almost golden, hoofing it three quarters of the way across, when he was met with the business end of a Minigun, its Heavy standing in the safety of the RED base's left doorway. He'd already let out his cry of frustration upon waking up in respawn. Using the sewer was fine, but the smell wasn't very thrilling.

A shadow fell across the BLU sign for a moment before rapidly disappearing. Rather than making an exclamation, Scout switched out his weapon, and took off. He didn't want a third party this time. Besides, he would at least be a somewhat time-consuming distraction in order to grant Engineer a few extra moments to get set up.

The sign was completely blank of any movement, be it physical, or of light. He wasn't shocked at that as he darted past it, his extended arm waving back and forth, in case he would bump into someone. Scout's cleats hammered down both flights of stairs, until he was slogging through the unwanted water once more.

The water splashed once ahead of him, and he fired, the bullets of his scattergun bouncing off the rail. Drawing his bat, he skidded to a halt. Spinning on his heel in each direction as he searched, Scout challenged, "I know you're here, Fox! Show yourself!" No response. His rage grew. "FOX!"

The bat flew through the air as Scout swung it in every which direction, even so much as dashing to and fro, and grabbing onto top rail once to haul himself up, and jump off the lower one, his bat slicing through the water to bounce off the bottom. He crouched there, his shoulders heaving, his bare arms, shirt, shorts, and socks splattered with water droplets. His dog tags clinked against each other. Sweat slid down his face to fall off his chin.

Throwing his gaze up at the platform where the computers were situated, Scout knew he had been beaten. The RED Spy was long gone by now, and he was lucky to still be alive, although that information was hard to swallow. Swinging his bat back over his shoulder, Scout ran off, before diving into the reservoir between the bases once more.

Moments later, a burst of electricity was heard from the corner between the computer units, and the RED Spy appeared, his arms hugged tightly to him. Dropping them, he could only shake his downcast head.

XXXXXX

"Mind if I ask ya something?" Scout leaned against the wall of the second hallway, the orange-pink of the sunset shining through the right side opening, a bottle of BLU beer in his hand.

Sniper lifted his gaze from the scope of his rifle. "Can't see why not."

The battle had been concluded for the day, the RED team the victor. The humiliation had receded, but not completely. The enemy base still stared at them day after day. The exchange he had had with his mother made looking upon it no easier.

Kneeling down, Scout asked, "What was it like to leave home?"

Fading sunlight glinted off of Sniper's aviators as he adjusted them to sit more comfortably on his nose. "That's a tad personal, mate."

He held out a hand in front of himself. "I know, I know. If you don't wanna answer, fine." Silence stood between them.

Scout wasn't sure if it was pity from when his mother's secret, horribly skewed by their Spy, was let out, or the fact that Sniper's disembarkation from home no longer held as strong an emotional impact due to the time that had passed. Whatever the case, he answered simply, "It was difficult, but worth it." At that, he took a swig of his beer, which was sitting next to him.

Scout smirked. "That it?"

"Ya didn't ask for details," he replied with a smirk, "What do you wanna know?"

"Not much," the younger mercenary admitted, "but was the hardest part of it? Why'd you go?"

"First off, why I left is my business," Sniper replied sharply, extending his index finger at Scout before lowering it, "but it was for those reasons that it worked out the best for me. What was the hardest, though, was making ends meet." He shook his head with a bitter chuckle. "Ya never realize just how much you rely on Mum and Dad 'til ya leave. Hunting trophies in the outback was, and still is, my area of expertise, but it wasn't enough." Scout eyed his teammate's sniper rifle. He didn't need a further explanation. "I'm not telling you to stay or leave, that's up to you."

The young man was jostled by Sniper's unexpected words. He sat back, his hands splayed behind him. "What?"

The marksman held up a hand. "I'm not implying anything, but if you face that decision, that's what I'll say on it."

Scout cracked a grin, swiping his wrist over his brow. Sly dog. He had him there, but then again, Scout hadn't been very well with hiding his motive to begin the back the bottle, he took a long drink. It seemed like neither path was a good one. Stay home, and live the twisted parody of a happy family, eating dinner with the man who continuously killed his friends. Leave, and be forced to stay within the best money-making job he ever had. He wouldn't give up this team for anything, but after his "little chat" with his mother, he had reason enough for second thoughts. The RED Spy had wasted away his life, spending half of his time on the battlefield. He couldn't do that, not when he was still so young. He wasn't his father! But if he left too early…Scout had to wait it out. He was going to get his life on track, as was his original goal. Once that was met, the future would be endless in possibilities.

"If ya need anything else, ya know where to find me." Sniper's voice broke him out of his thoughts. He raised his beer to the man, who brought it together with his own. At least he had that advantage, instead of rushing blind into things like he always did. That boundless future that was ahead of him would be slow in coming, and as agonizing as it was, he would wait, and keep it.

Sniper picked up his rifle once more.

"Spying on RED again? What the hell are those freaks up to now?"

The Aussie smirked. "If I told ya, mate, you wouldn't believe me."

Scout leaned back against the side wall, his arms folded behind his head. "Doubt that."
A Sense of Shame, 5/6, Sunset of the Hunter
I honestly think that Scout and Sniper would have an odd friendship of sorts, or Scout would idolize him in a way.
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nightchildmoonchild
Ariana
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: Atlantis
Favourite genre of music: Symphonic Metal, Industrial Metal, Gothic Metal
Favourite style of art: Literature and photography
MP3 player of choice: I've got an iPod touch
Shell of choice: Conch
Wallpaper of choice: Roger and Dorothy in Big O's cockpit
Skin of choice: Planets
Favourite cartoon character: Mr. Freeze
Personal Quote: You may say your piece. Even if I don't agree with you, I'll still lend an ear.
Interests
It's been a while, hasn't it? 

My productivity on this site this year was utterly pathetic. As I've stated on a previous entry, fanficiton is becoming more and more sidelined as a hobby of mine, especially due to the escalation of commitments I have in real life. The thing is, however, I'm not quitting until I have finished all that needs completed, whether they be request fics, chapter fics that I have begun, or short story ideas, both those posted on the list I have made for myself on my FF.Net profile, and those that fill my noggin in-between fanfic postings. Then again, I've already proved myself to be a one-trick fandom pony over the years; I write more character driven short stories, as opposed to complicated fanfics, and honestly, it's a result of personal preference. I've seen excellent chapter fics, and do not knock their authors for writing them, but for me, due to the problems I incur with world-building in fanfics and plot-related issues, not to mention consumption of time, I tend to stray. On the other hand, I cannot simply say, "I don't want to do this because this is too hard." That is an utter cop-out, not to mention that not all chapter fanfics have to be long and complicated.

Why did I mention that? because a year has passed, and I've yet to update White Feather and Red Poppy due to schedule slippage. Sorry to those who have been waiting on another chapter; I have by no means abandoned it, but it's taking time to figure out what direction to take the story in.

On the other hand, I made headway with my novel, but progress on it could be faster. I've only seven chapters left to write, but my writing pace is horrendous. I guess it can be excused because I started writing it when I was sixteen, and had to take long breaks for research, but I will need to seek out an ulterior source of encouragement, as I cannot be trusted to meet my own deadlines. Term papers? Done. Entries for the campus literary journal? No problem, because both deadlines were set in stone. In general, I need to imporve my writing pace anyway. The shortest amount of time it took me to write a fanfic was four hours, and that was a flash fanfic. Original and longer fan works take me days to weeks, and that is not acceptable. On top of that, something has to give. What is more important to me, fan work or original work? I'm leaning more and more toward the latter. While I appreciate my history with fan art (it does chronicle the adolescence of my life, after all), it's not my work and not my characters, rather my interpretation of a work that I like. But to truly create my own work...Even if this doesn't get published, or if it does, and doesn't make bank, I wouldn't care. This story will be written to the last letter and period.

Visited New York City today, and got to see Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza. As it turned out, the ball that drops on New Year's Eve is actually quite small in scale, and it does not fall very far. On New Year's Eve itself, I won't be celebrating; I have to work the next morning. Perhaps I'll spend it writing.

Happy New Year, everyone!:party:
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: The Sentinel- Machine Head
  • Reading: The Historian
  • Watching: Big O
  • Playing: L.A. Noire
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Nothing

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:iconrisenwarrior:
RisenWarrior Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014
Uh, hey? ^^;
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:iconnightchildmoonchild:
nightchildmoonchild Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yes?
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:iconrisenwarrior:
RisenWarrior Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014
Nevermind. :(
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:iconnightchildmoonchild:
nightchildmoonchild Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
What is it? Did I do something wrong?
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GauntOne Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
Thanks for the favourite and comment, made my day... in return.
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:iconnightchildmoonchild:
nightchildmoonchild Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome?

In return? I'm sorry, but what did you mean? Did I do something wrong in the past?
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GauntOne Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
Nope, you in turn made my day with the comment that it made your day. :)
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nightchildmoonchild Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad. :)
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Madam--Kitty Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

Hi. wanna join my group called Anti-illuminati-01? anti-illuminati-01.deviantart.…

P.S. The group is about politics in case you were wondering.

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:iconnightchildmoonchild:
nightchildmoonchild Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No thank you.
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