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Upon checking the score, Spy noted that Cliff seemed to be getting an extraordinarily high number of deaths today. Since she was still mad at Sniper and therefore not gracing him with her presence, she could afford some time to see what his problem was.

Despite her annoyance and continued grudge against the man, Spy felt that his dismal score today was entirely justified.

It was hard to build a sentry with only one hand.

She would learn later of what had happened to him from Scout. And that he had insisted on trying to work once he considered himself well enough to be up and about, no doubt against Medic's firm objections. He was severely disadvantaged, however, because the sentry and dispenser builds were too heavy to carry very far with only one hand. Luckily, the teleporters were lighter, but those could only get him so far without placing him out in the open. As such, they were lacking in defense and Cliff was finding himself in respawn much more than usual. Still, his effort was admirable, not least of all because of the work he would have had to put in just to get Medic to let him out of the medbay much less with one arm reduced to bandaged stump in the first place.

Spy uncloaked, deciding this was a more valuable place to be at the moment.

Cliff looked less than thrilled to see her.

"What do you want?" he grumbled.

"I am going to defend you while you build," Spy said, reloading her Ambassador. If she could get in headshots at approaching enemies, they might be more likely to retreat for health rather than press on. If not, she wouldn't be much help, but she was better than nothing.

"Shouldn' you be on the other side, playing pranks? You're a Spah after all."

"Spies are a support class. I am being supportive." Spy disguised as her own team's Pyro. She could play pranks on the enemy just fine from her own side of the fort, thank you very much.

"Like you supported Scout then?"

Spy scowled. Which he couldn't see because she was disguised as Pyro. "We are on the same team."

Cliff grunted, annoyed, but went back to work. He wasn't any more inclined to discuss their disagreement at the moment either.

Soon enough (not really) he had his Sentry up and beeping and a Dispenser to keep him company. Spy left him in peace then, but she checked up on him periodically throughout the remainder of the battle to ensure his machines were still up and he didn't need coverage to rebuild them.


Cliff's new robotic hand, quite frankly, weirded Spy right the fuck on out. Her disguise kit had thankfully been augmented to simulate the noises the creepy thing made, but matching its movement required a lot more study of the original than Spy cared for. Especially since she wasn't on great terms with its owner.

In her study, though, she also noted other interesting facts. Like, for instance, that while it returned Cliff's ability to build at his previous speed, his movement was still slowed. His grip on the builds was still not stable enough that he could move a machine quickly. Without the traction that flesh and fingerprints provided, he risked dropping and losing the whole machine if he wasn't careful. So he was left with the choice of hoping that he could get the machine to its intended destination without getting killed because he was moving so slowly or having to stop out in the open to fickle with his PDA first. Not ideal. She took to following after him and standing guard in her Pyro disguise.

At least he seemed to appreciate that gesture. Though that might just have been because Spy never let on that it was still her.


Mann Co., it turned out, was aware of the problem the Gunslinger presented and had already come up with a solution. For shits and giggles, Spy and Sid had spent an evening in the common room, reading each other's trade catalogs and making fun of the equipment offered within. Both magazines contained the solutions to Spy's trouble with Cliff and his with his equipment.


That Christmas, among the various other presents people had left for each other under the silly cactus they'd propped up in the common room, Spy had left hers for everyone else. Cliff's was the largest.

She hadn't signed the gift tags on his, instead choosing just to write a note in her recognizable loopy script and blue ink.

"Sometimes the best defense is a good offense."

Underneath her impeccable wrapping was a Mini-Sentry build. It was lighter weight, required less metal, was quick to build, and made to be expendable. In short, it was perfect. And it also happened to be the cutest thing Spy had ever seen on a battlefield.

It was a gesture, she hoped, that would convey that she had chosen to let go of her grudge against Cliff for the incident with the microphones. A decision not at all influenced by a gift Sid had gotten her from her own magazine that emitted radio interference of so high a pitch that it while it was seemingly silent otherwise, it rendered recordings made within its vicinity painfully unlistenable.

September 2013

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