agentak: (Default)
Title: The Valentine's Dance (aren't I creative)
Fandom: Red vs Blue
Rating: PG   ( O.O Holy crap I don't even swear in this. It's like a first.)
Summary: This is for my shameless self-insert. I wanted to write something Valentines-ey and (given recent circumstances) I felt like writing Rhode. So.

Why is Project Freelancer having a mandatory Valentine's Dance? For the same reason Harry Potter fics have the Yule Ball without the tourniment, that's why.

This is set a little while after Washington finds Rhode hurt by Omega. She's healed and back. I don't think I'll be adding this to the actual story post since I like the idea of just cutting to canon after the Tex confrontation and not showing most of the Wash/Rhode relationship. Anyway, here it is:

I don't dance )
agentak: (Default)

Okay! So I've had requests to put this up, here it is. I don't write sequentially, and this is a HUGE story, so I highly doubt I'll ever really be finished. For those of you who want to read it, I am including Author's Notes in between blocks of text to explain what hasn't been written. In the notes, I'm going to refer to myself in the third person just to make it easier for me.

Rated R for language, but no smut. I just can't write those with myself.

(A/N: Okay, so, first sum-up. Most of the back story will be given later on in the story, but here's what I haven't written yet. Natalie (AKA me) is Agent Rhode Island, Kathleen 'Kat' (my IRL best friend
grifkilla51 ) is Agent Carolina. This begins during Freelancer training. Natalie is involved with Tex (recently having dumped Church) and has been implanted with Omega. Tex is slowly but surely loosing control, and more and more of what she thinks/does is O'Malley. Natalie is using her missions as an excuse for the injuries she is being given by Omega. At this point, no one knows the truth about the injuries but Omega and Natalie herself, though her friends are beginning to suspect something.)


Agent Carolina was in a foul mood. There was no mistaking it. Natalie had just gotten back from her mission several hours ago, and the two had only a few minutes together before conflicting schedules pulled them apart again. Kat entered the mess hall, slamming her bag down on the nearest chair. The room was empty, apparently some deity was going to take pity on the woman. Kat sighed in relief at the idea of having a few precious moments alone to mull over her thoughts. This was getting bad. Carolina knew that Rhode Island wasn't like the other agents. A few months back the brunette investigated (alright, stumbled on) the knowlege that her friend was a glorified clone, yet another experiment from the program. Kat assured the woman that she was just as real to her before and after she found that out. The Counselor was eager to test her out as much as possible, Natalie's missions becoming more and more dangerous each assignment. Kat scowled. The idiotic bureaucrats insisted that the redhead handle the engagements alone. Carolina hated the idea that she was actually almost growing used to the idea of seeing one of her closest friends broken and bruised.

The soft hiss of the door sliding open told Kat that she was no longer alone. Glancing up from the plate she had yet to touch, the brunette saw as Natalie came into focus. The woman's eyes flicked to Kat, the redhead smiled.

"Mind if I join you?"

Kat's heart sank as Natalie came closer, under the harsh light hanging over the table. No mark was left unseen in the unforgiving florescense. A two-day old black eye cut across the pale skin surrounding her left eye, her bottom lip looked to have recently been split. Kat could make out a thick bulge under her tank top, indicating that her ribcage was tightly bandaged. A flurry of small nicks and cuts was spread across her face and neck, tensor bandage supporting the right ankle the girl was slightly limping on. Soft painted bruises decorated her arms, some fresh and some faded. Her wrists were mangled and her hands shook. But there was something else... Kat couldn't quite put her finger on it. Her eyes grew wide with realization. There was a long gauge running the length of Natalie's forearm.

"What's that from?"

Natalie looked up and down her frame, trying to pinpoint exactly what her friend was referring to. Kat gently but forcefully took a hold of Ro's right arm and twisted it so the deep cut was facing the two of them. Natalie looked at her friend in confusion. "Oh, that? My assignment. You should have seen it, two bases, ten soldiers each, the guys were armed to the tee--"

"Natalie, this wasn't there when you got back three hours ago." Ro's face fell. She scanned the room but no, no one was nearby.

"Training regiment."

Kat's eyes bore into her friend's face. "You train in the simulator. No real damage. Why are you lying to me?"

"I... I felt like something more practical today."

Natalie pulled her arm away, wincing in pain as the muscles tightened. "I had a Combat Scenario Practice an hour ago. It got brutal."

"They booked you on a CPS right after an engagement?" Kat asked in a skeptical tone, it was far-fetched but believable. Natalie's face faltered for a brief second.

"Ask the Counselor. He's the one that gave me the appointment. I'm..." Natalie had suddenly lost her appetite. "I'm going to go clean up."

Kat watched her friend leave the mess hall. Once the soldier was satisfied that she was again alone, she instructed Beta to hack the personnel files Natalie didn't know York had given her the access codes to. Beta pulled up Rhode Island's schedule for the day. The last three hours Natalie was given as downtime.


(A/N: As Tex loses more of herself to Omega, the beatings get worse. Washington finds Natalie after a particularly gruesome session. She's barely breathing and badly broken. He takes her out of there, not wanting to risk Omega getting his hands on her. After she's healed somewhat, they come back and tell Carolina and York what happened. They beat the shit out of Omega, who relinquishes control of Tex. For the time being. After what they went through, Wash and Ro start to get close. Cut to episode 7. That's when I started writing this. In this, the call to command wasn't blocked and here's the rest of it. That's when this totally goes off canon, as I planned all this before the next episode came out.)



"Agent Washington, you have new orders."

"Go ahead, command."

"The Meta is proving to be too much for one agent. You are to pick up Agent Rhode Island and continue your mission."

Washington gritted his teeth. "Rhode Island? Isn't Conneticut available? Kentucky?"

"Negative, Agent Washington. Rhode Island is closest to your position and has just been released from infirmary. I'm sending quarantines now. Retrieve the agent and find the Meta. Do you copy?"

David balled his fists. "Confirmed."

Once he heard the tell-tale beep indicating the communication was dropped, Washington cursed loudly. Church raised his eyebrow at the normally controlled agent. "What was that all about?"

Washington glared at the blue. "We're getting backup. Agent Rhode Island."

The name seemed familiar, but Church couldn't quite place it. "So?"

David paused, attempting to form the words in his head. "Rhode Island and I were.... Involved."

Church grunted. "So? Tex and I were involved, and we still had to work t--"

"She wasn't my girlfriend. She was my wife. Technically still is." Church didn't have a response to that. Wash sighed. "She's this way, let's go."

The group arrived at the apartment complex, taking the elevator to apartment 6B. Washington rang the doorbell. For a moment, nothing happened. Church was about to suggest no one was home when the door opened. The woman was young, slender, ghostly pale skin dotted in bruises. Her long red hair was matted, dark circles rimmed her green eyes. She slammed her arms on either side of the door frame, narrowing her eyes at Wash.

"Washington," she nearly spat. "I can't believe you'd drag your ass back here when you know I have no fucking intention to see you. After what you did? What in god's name made you think that I'd ever want to speak to you again! You heard about Zeta, didn't you? That's why you're here! Well, you know what? You can just go fuck yourself, because guess what? I still don't want you! Not now, not ever! I don't give a fuck if she's gone. Honestly, I don't. Just get the hell away from me you worthless, spineless piece of--"

"Natalie, it's Maine!"

The woman pursed her lips. "Give me five minutes." The door slammed again. Church blinked. "Great choice there. What happened to you two?" He chuckled. "Who's 'she'? You have something on the side? Like you could find one woman who could stand you, much less two..."

Wash turned on Church. "No. I didn't cheat on her." His face looked sullen. "That's something she could have gotten over."

The blue gave a quick glance at Caboose, still hiding in the corner by the elevator from the screaming and slamming of doors. "So... What'd you do?"

"I let her down." Washington sighed. "It was back when I was given Epsilon. You know how the project liked experiments? Yeah. Epsilon was one of them. They wanted to see if they could make an AI that could never be reprogrammed. That it would belong to one soldier, and never work with any other agent. Lucky me, I was the one picked. Epsilon was programed to be devoted to me and me alone. I don't know the specifics of it, but in her warped mind she thought that meant she loved me. One day, I just got tired of fighting her for control. I gave in. She was jealous of Natalie and wanted her out of the picture. She gave her... Something, Command wouldn't say what. Nobody saw her for three months. We haven't spoken since."

The apartment door swung open. "She tried to unmake me."

Natalie was now in her armor, pitch black with blood red accents. "She slipped a chemical in to my food designed to break down the protein bonds that hold my DNA together. Artificial bonds are so much more susceptible to damage... If Zeta hadn't detected it in time, I wouldn't be here."

Washington clenched his jaw, hoping his shock wouldn't be apparent. Church, however, was clear about it. "What the fuck? You're a clone?"

Natalie didn't look at Church when she answered, instead focusing on Wash. "Just another one of the Director's experiments. Took him three months to repair the damage." Her hands were shaking. "Three months. Three months of staring at the goddamned wall, not being able to talk to anyone but scientists in HAZMAT suits! Do you have any idea what that kind of isolation is like?!? No one has ever betrayed me like that, Wash."


"Tex was taken over, she didn't give in. Omega hurt me. But no one's ever made me a victim."



(A/N: Ro and Carolina had been in battle with the Meta, Carolina was presumed dead after the encounter. Ro had escaped due to her AI, Zeta, who ejected himself to the Meta as a distraction. Carolina was killed, her AIs and special ability were taken by the Meta. Carolina is a ghost, like Church, but her body never had a chance to decay because she possessed it shortly after dying. (Yes, I know that wouldn't work in canon, but I don't really care for this.) She has now joined the group.)

"Where's Delta?"

The redheaded Agent rejoined the group. Wash looked up from the gun he was cleaning. "Excuse me?"

Natalie glared at him. "Do I have to repeat myself? Where. Is. Delta."

Wash rose from the rock. He took a step towards her. "Why does that matter?"

Natalie crossed her arms. There is no way she was going to be intimidated. Not by him. "Give it up. I was just on the 'com with Command. To persuade me to help, they upped me to CO. And promised me Delta. Told me you have him. I find that highly unlikely, but I'm certain you know where he is." Wash's glance shifted to Caboose, then back to the woman. It was all Natalie needed. She turned to the Blue-clad soldier, her tone more gentle than before. "Caboose, can you please give me Delta." She outstretched her hand. Caboose looked over at Wash, who gave him a nod. The Blue sighed and gave Natalie the storage disk containing Delta. Natalie grasped it tight. "I'll be back later." was all she said to them, heading over to the cliffs.


Years ago. First day of training. Well, first day for her at least. The others had already been working for a few weeks. She was behind schedule. Morning in the Training Hall. The other agents went about their own business, ignoring the young teen in the room. It was early, which explained the pungent smell of black coffee filling the area. She was hesitant to enter the room. Not with fear. They hadn't designed her for that. No, she was feeling something different. Discomfort. All these people, they were real. At one point, they had a mother. A father. A family. Things she could never have... That's what happens when you're born in a tube. Natalie closed her eyes tight. She didn't want to be here. She wanted to run. But where would she go? No family, no friends, nothing. They didn't put her in a cage, but she may as well have bars around her. Natalie didn't even notice how awkwardly she was standing until she nearly fell over. Not that the older agents would have noticed. She sat in the corner and waited for the loudspeaker to announce where her group was to report. She pulled her knees up to her chest, burying her face in her arms. She knew that there was someone approaching. Her specially-selected and groomed skills told her that. Without looking up, she could tell a lot about him. Late twenties. 180 pounds. Solid walker, he was doing well in armed combat. Natalie hoped he'd pass quickly, just like the others had done. She pulled her arms tighter around her head.

"Hi there."

Natalie was surprised as the soft voice cut through her thoughts. She raised her head to look at the source of the sound. He was good-looking, sandy blond hair and light tan. He brushed some pieces of hair out of his face and brought himself down to her level. "Pretty young to be here, aren't you?" Natalie didn't know what to say. Apparently he didn't need a response. He smiled at her. "What's your name?"

Natalie pushed herself a little further into the corner. "Rhode Island."

The man smiled again and shook his head. "No, I mean your name."

She didn't know what he meant at first. Confused, Natalie tried to understand him. Oh! Right. The program had given her a human name, though they never used it with her. "Natalie." The word sounded strange in her mouth. It wasn't hears. Not really.

"Natalie." He repeated. Natalie remarked that this was the first time the name sounded... Right. "That's a beautiful name. It's nice to meet you, Natalie. I'm---"

Opening the disk, Natalie booted up the Delta program. "D? You there?" a yellow-green hologram hummed to life. "Natalie. It is... good to see you again." The redhead smiled. "Missed you too, D. Hop in."

"Yes. Preparing upload to helmet storage dis-"

"No, D. Full integration."

The hologram paused. "I advise against that option. Full integration of an AI provides risk to the Agent when it is removed, often causing--"

"I know, D. I'm..." Her voice trailed off. When Natalie had requested (okay, demanded) to be given Delta, she had no intention of forcing him. "I'm not planning on removing you. If that's okay with you." She took a sharp breath. The silence only lasted a moment, but it felt like forever. Both of them were thinking the same thing: York. Natalie shut her eyes tight, feeling the water rise up in them. No, she promised herself. No more tears. I've cried enough for him. York would never want to see me like this.

After what felt like an eternity, Delta spoke. "I would like that very much, Natalie."


"Why does she care so much about Delta?"

The group had virtually nothing to do, and they had been waiting for their CO's return for about an hour now. Church in particular didn't seem the patient type. "I mean, yeah, he's probably useful in battle, but this? Why the hell is it such a big deal?"

Wash fell silent. Kat didn't blame him. Okay, so she would still kill him in a moment's notice for what happened, but she understood. He wasn't ready to talk about it. "It's not so much about Delta... More about York." Church looked confused. "What, Delta's old agent? Didn't he get killed or something?" Out of the corner of Kat's eye she saw Wash twitch.

"Yeah. He did die. If you're not more respectful of that, I'll make sure you join him. And don't come back." Kat glared at the man. Church fell silent. A long sigh later, and Kat continued. "When Natalie started the program, she was about thirteen. I say 'about', because we weren't sure. It only took the Program a couple of months to have her ready, so we could only estimate how old she'd be. To have a birthday, you kinda have to be born..."

Church looked a little disturbed. "Wait... Wouldn't she only be seventeen now? She's... Well, she's older than seventeen."

"Clones." Wash interjected. "They grow fast until they reach adulthood, then they slow down to normal."

Kat nodded. "Anyway, she was a scared little girl, all alone, forced to train to be a killer. York took her in from day one, the older brother she never had. When he died... It almost killed her." She glanced over at Washington, rubbing his temples. "...And some of those around her. That's why I've been helping her track down Delta. It's like... A little part of him is left."

"The only part left. Do you know what happened to his body? Why he never got a burial?" Natalie was standing slightly behind them. She seemed transfixed on a spot on the ground. Natalie's tone worried Kat. It wasn't like her to be so... Detached.

"It's gone. The Program wanted to cover any loose ends. They detonated his armor. With his body still in it." She tried to keep from crying. Really, she did. But when Delta's memories collided with her own... She watched her brother die. Again. In surround-sound. She had the best seat in the house: Inside his head. "He was shot. He had two bullets in his chest and... and..." Kat made a move to support her friend, but Natalie pushed her away. "And with all that...Do you know what he was thinking?" She paused, making the group unsure as to whether or not it was actually a question. "He was thinking that he failed me. Because he was going to die, and leave me alone again!" With this, Natalie lost control. She slumped over the nearest rock and started to cry. Delta shimmered above her left shoulder, Kat's hand on her right. Washington shifted uncomfortably. He wanted to cross the threshold that separated them. He wanted to take her into his arms and tell her that it would be alright. That he would protect her. But he'd already broken that promise, hadn't he?

"I couldn't even say good-bye." Natalie's voice was barely above a whisper. "I didn't get to bury him, and why? Because they didn't want to look bad! This program? Fuck it! This program took away everything I always wanted! I wanted a family, and because of some stupid rogue AI he's gone. I wanted a friend, and she was killed and gutted for her equipment. I wanted to live happily ever with my husband..." Natalie couldn't bring herself to look at Wash. "And they ripped that away from me too. They made me. And I wish I was never created."




(A/N: The Reds have now joined, along with Tucker. (Like I said, written after episode seven.) The group has found an abandoned base and are setting up camp for the night. (IRL Kat is French-Irish and people always think she's Spanish or Brazilian, so she has bonded with Simmons. So I wrote it for her :D ) )


After announcing that the soldiers would have to share rooms, The two COs entered the abandoned base, giving the clear impression that they wanted to talk privately. Kat shot her friend a look, not thinking that it was a good idea. Natalie was stonefaced in response. She and Wash closed the door behind them. Grif was given the task of introducing Kat to the other officers. She had already met Church, Tucker and Caboose, and was under the distinct impression that all Blues had some sort of mental defect. Church seemed incompetent and arrogant, Caboose was adorably idiotic and Tucker... Well, what could be said about Tucker? After a few dozen 'not interesteds', Kat shot him in the leg with a tranq. The man continued to ask her out long after it should have taken effect. While she admired his determination, Kat still tried to avoid talking to him. Grif led her over to another soldier. His upper half was obscured by the car he was repairing, maroon-armored legs protruding from under the Jeep.

"And this," Grif started, "Is our splash of Latino flavor..."

"FOR THE LAST TIME" Two voices echoed, "I'M IRISH!"

Quizzical look on her face, Kat looked at the legs. Simmons crawled out from under the car revealing a very well-toned bare chest, sculpted jawline and chocolate colored hair. The man blushed. "Sorry, I get that a lot..."

"Irish, huh?"

Simmons nodded. Kat smirked at him. "Found my room buddy." The man didn't exactly refuse. In fact, he seemed to just stare. Kat took a step closer.

"Don't make me pull rank on you."

Simmons looked like he was about to say something when lots of screaming was heard from inside the base. Unlocking her holster and expecting the worst, Kat ran to the door. She threw it open with her gun raised and was greeted by the site of a defeated-looking Wash and an exasperated Natalie. The other soldiers gathered around the scene. Neither of the Commanding Officers spoke for a moment. Finally, Natalie broke the silence. Looking Wash directly in the eye, she took a deep breath.

"Washington, you're rooming with Caboose. Please show him to your quarters." Natalie shouldered her bag and turned towards the door. Upon reaching the threshold, Wash spoke.

"I remember a time when you called me David."

Natalie cocked her head only slightly to the side. Her response was icy.

"I remember I time when I didn't wake up screaming at night." She left.


"What the hell was that?"

Kat trailed after her friend. The redhead didn't stop, she didn't even answer. Natalie just wanted to put as much ground between herself and the base as possible. The brunette picked up her pace, not one to let something like this go. She caught up with Ro, bounding slightly ahead and blocking Natalie's path.

"Natalie, what the fucking hell was that?"

Natalie looked her friend in the eye for a moment.

"I don't want to talk about it." With that, she pushed past Kathleen and continued on. Kat stood there in the dirt as Nat took several steps further. The brunette then once more hurried up to Natalie's pace. "Nat, what's going o---"

"Carolina, I said drop it." She paused. "Please don't force me to make that an order."

The two women stared at each other. Natalie continued walking. Several seconds later, Kat followed silently. She hated it when her friend pulled out the rank card, but knew that Natalie only did it when the situation was important. She'd drop it. For now.





(A/N: Not much to say here. I just really wanted to write a Mind! scene.)

"How did you do that?"

The man blinked at her. "Do what?"

Kat was exasperated. How could he disappear into somebody and then be so casual about it? "That thing! You know, you left your body, ran over to Sarge, I can't remember what happened next but it was so weird!" Church laughed. "Oh, that thing? Right, I forgot you're new to this 'ghost' thing." He stood from the rock he was resting on. Finally being the expert in something, he smirked at the irritated Kat. "Well, it's... It's kinda like..." Church paused.

"You have no idea, do you?"

"Yeah I got nothing."

Kat threw up her arms. Was there anyone on this team that was even remotely competent? Jesus. Not to have his 'expert' status taken away, Church tried again. "It's like... You just want to. Let yourself go loose and just push yourself into someone, the rest'll come naturally."

A large grin worked its way across Kat's face. Who was closest... She looked around. Caboose was standing several yards away. Perfect. The agent closed her eyes, letting out a large sigh. Carolina let her limbs fall and relaxed. When she opened her eyes, she was a good six inches away from her own body that had fallen to the ground. Kat ran towards the Blue-clad soldier, remarking at how light she felt.


Caboose twitched. One severe light adjustment later and Kat was standing in the middle of a large warehouse. "Huh." She said to no one in particular. "This is a lot bigger than I thought it'd be..." There was movement in the shadows. Kat readied her gun, cursing at herself for dropping her guard in unfamiliar territory. "Show yourself!" Kat called.

The figure started walking towards her. A figure with a tanned skintone and streaked brown hair. Kat was looking face-to-face with herself. "What...?"

"Hello!" The other other Kat began. "I am Kitty, the command person. It is nice to meet you now, but in a few minutes I will change and start to yell at you."

The real Kat lowered her weapon slightly. "Oh really?"

"Yes." The doppelganger continued. "I am very nice now, but for no reason I will be angry at you, even if you are just trying to help and thought that I wanted mustard in my sheets for when I get hungry at night."


The other Kathleen didn't seem to hear her as another figure emerged from behind the pillar. This one had bright red hair. "I am always with Kitty!" she exclaimed. "She is my daughter from the future. That is why we had to go pick her up in the desert because her time van broke down."

The real Kat rolled her eyes. Does he *ever* pay attention?

"Washingtub doesn't like me because I told him I didn't like his dog, Emily. He was my brother, but now we just stare at each other mean."




(A/N: Once again, not much to say. Takes place shortly after the Mind! scene, the group is still at the base. This was like the best scene ever to write, btw.)


Kat smiled down at the soldier under her. Simmons panted slightly, excited that the two of them finally had some privacy... It's been weeks! Placing another kiss on the corner of his lips, Kat took off her jacket. "Having fun?" She playfully tossed the garment across the room.

"Uh..." Was the closest thing to an answer the man could make at this point. Kat knew he was hoping to cut straight to the action, but she enjoyed the thought of making him wait. His desperation was endearing, after all... Kat threw her other leg to the opposite side of Simmons, and the man instantly thrust upwards, craving the contact.

"Ah, ah, ah..." She teased. "Not so fast... We're going at my pace. Besides, what's your rush? We've got time. There won't be any distractions. Nothing--" She kissed his lips. "Will---" She kissed his chin. "Go--" She kissed his chest. "--Wrong."

"Kathleen!" Caboose burst into the room, Church not far behind. "Church is chasing me!"

Kat gave the universe a smile. "You know, I could actually feel that just as I said it."


"CHURCH!" Natalie had apparently joined the fray. "Leave him alone! He didn't mean anything by it!"


"What's going on here?" Wash stormed in, knocking over a table as he entered.

"Wash! Pick that up!" Natalie gestured to the fallen furniture.

"I heard smashing in the bedroom, and figured either we were attacked or having fun. Let me know which one it is, I want to go back to bed." In stumbled Tucker, wiping some sleep from his eyes.

"Tucker! You're not supposed to be asleep! You're on patrol!" Washington glared at the man.

"We'll be fine. If I can't even stay awake this late, how can we expect out enemies to?"

"Caboose! I swear to GOD, GET BACK HERE! What the hell is wrong with you?!?" Church and Caboose were on their twentieth lap of the room.

"Tucker did it!"

"Goddammit Caboose, we all know it was you! Besides, Tucker's been asleep!"

"Stop chasing him! You're going to break something! It wasn't his fault anyway!" Natalie hollered at Church.

"Why are we yelling? Some people are trying to sleep."

"Grif, you weren't sleeping."

"Okay, fine. Why are we yelling? Some people are trying to eat ho-ho's."

"You need peace and quiet to eat shitty snacks?"

"It's like an art form, dude."


"Tucker! Go back to your post and ACTUALLY BE OUR PATROL!"



"It's not a game, Caboose! And she's not even here!"

"I just wanted something to yell about!"


"ENOUGH!" Kat bellowed. The room fell silent. "GET THE HELL OUT! Church, shut the fuck up and leave Caboose alone! Tucker! You're entire job is to keep your goddammed eyes open. Do it! Washington! Clean up the fucking table in the morning AND YOU!" She screamed, pointing to Simmons, who was now standing beside her. "GET THE FUCK BACK ON THE BED! And why are your pants still on?!?"

Natalie had never seen a room clear that fast. And she had filled several dozen with tear gas over the years.



(A/N: IRL, Kat is a prize-winning sharp shooter. Seriously. She's so good it's scary. In this, Carolina has discovered that Simmons has a better aim than her (robotic arm/eye) and is determined to find out why. Oh, and what she says is true. I'm paranoid way past the point of it being unhealthy. It's like a superpower, but it really screws up my life.)

Kat's breath caught in her chest. She reread the screen in front of her. No. It couldn't be. Not him. Not her Richard. As if on cue, the man in question entered their room fresh from his shower. Kat wanted to shove the tablet under her pillow, pretend everything was just as it was before. But she couldn't. Kathleen had found nothing on Richard's file, other than he was a decent shot up until a few years ago. Somehow his accuracy skyrocketed. Never being one to give up, Kat dug deeper. The official records may be incomplete, but the woman knew Natalie's files would be nothing short of perfect. The paranoid redhead knew everything about everybody.

Richard was oblivious to what was going through Kat's mind. He found it eerie that she hadn't turned to look at him, but figured she was simply absorbed in whatever it was she was reading. He was right on that count.

"I never knew anyone was so extensively repaired."

The woman's voice was rasping, throat dry and scarred. Simmons poked his head over her shoulder and saw his name in block letters at the top of the computer file, medical symbol beside it. His robotic eye scanned the document, telling its owner that it was an in-depth record of his surgery. The room was quiet so long Kat wasn't sure if she had actually said anything or if she just thought it.

"I don't want to talk about it."

Was the only answer he was planning on giving her. That wasn't good enough for Kathleen. Not even close. When Richard rose to leave, Kat held his arm tightly.

"God dammit, Richard, we have to talk about it." Arms that were stronger than they should have been pushed her away. The brunette landed back on the bed with a dull thud. This only succeeded in making her more determined. "Is this why you don't react to my touch? Is that what those scars are from?"

The man was silent. He couldn't look at her. Not now. Not now that she knew that only one of the eyes looking into hers was real. He managed a shallow nod. Kathleen took a step closer, hand closing around his.

"Show me."

"It's not pretty."

"I don't care."

Richard held his left arm towards her. That was new. Fingers, wrist, shoulder. Her hands traced further. Collarbone. Neck. Jaw, both cheekbones, the left half of his forehead. Kat's human fingers danced along his scars. He wasn't born with the skin on the right half and upper front of his torso, as well as his lower back. One leg seemed stronger than the other. A thick line separated that leg from his hip. Kat gasped as she placed her hands on the square of skin were most of his internal had exited his body from.

"Just ask it."

Kat looked up at her lover, wanting to ask what he meant. When her eyes found his, she noticed for the first time that one of them was ever so slightly sharper than the other. Kathleen knew what he was referring to.

"Is... I mean, what's... What's still..."

Simmons raised his right hand to her. The least effected portion of his body. Kathleen gently placed both her hands on his one, flexing his fingers. Compared to his left, his right hand was so much... Warmer. Softer. How could she have not noticed before? Kat raised the hand to her lips, lightly kissing the surface of his skin.

"Did you feel that?" The man nodded, not trusting himself to speak. Kat pulled him closer and put the same kiss to his lips. "How about that?"

Simmons pulled away. Kathleen lowered her arms, never feeling so defeated in her life. "I still love you." She offered. Richard sighed. "I know."



(A/N: That's basically it right now. I don't have the ending planned as well, but all I know so far is that we defeat the Meta, and I finally get off my need to be mad at Wash and we get back together. And Kat stays with Simmons, because that boy really needs someone to say yes too ;) )


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November 2016

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