I got to talking with excellent tumblr user Pie about how some of Scout’s shoe miscs have him sockless, and she pointed out his legs are completely smooth. And that’s just silly, so naturally I wrote about it.
“I ain’t, hey! I ain’t friggin’ doin’ it, I don’t care anymore, I take it all back, not happening—“
“You can’t be doin’ that, lad, it ain’t honorable!”
Sniper squinted. Demo was brandishing a disposable razor in one hand, and Scout seemed like he was trying to fend him off with his bat. Both of them stopped short when they saw the Sniper, who in turn peered at them over the rims of his aviators. He looked first from one to the other, and back again. “Lose a bet, Scout?”
“None a’your freakin’ business!”
“’Course not,” Sniper said agreeably. To Demo: “What’s he got to do?”
“Aw hey what c’mon shut up!”
The Demoman grinned fiendishly, waving the razor. It was pink. “Shave ‘is legs! For a month!”
A new outburst from Scout filled the air. The Sniper smirked and went back to his reading.
Five days later:
“Hey, you busy?”
The Pyro twisted to peer back at whoever was speaking, and found Scout tapping his foot impatiently. Curiosity piqued (normally Scout seemed to keep his distance, which was strange), the Pyro turned and waved. “Hhi, Hhout.”
“Yeah uh hi.”
Scout went uncharacteristically quiet for just a second before answering in a staccato of words like always: “You uh, so like I got a question for ya. That suit’a yours, it’s probably real hot and sweaty, right? Itchy?”
The Pyro tilted its head to one side. “Hhy hhuefh.”
“You guess huh, alright sure. Listen, I—hhrgh crap—“
Scout nearly fell over, cursing and with both hands scrabbling for his bare legs. Completely bare, the Pyro realized. That was right, he’d lost a bet! Now he was leaned up half against the wall, scratching at his shins madly. “Look, I’m dyin’ here, you know any magic itchin’ cures?”
The Pyro didn’t even try to disguise the laugh that burst through the filters of the mask.
“Aw, screw you!”
Three weeks later:
The canteen was nearly empty, because the Scout had driven them all away with things like: “It’s friggin’ emasculatin’ is what it is,” and “I’m gonna stick that razor right in Demo’s eyepatch when I’m done wi’this, just watch me,” and “Shaving below the neck’s fer girls.”
“And swimmers,” the Engineer said to that last one, from where he sat sketching blueprints. The canteen table was where he drafted things best and that was where he would draft them, damn it, with or without Scout having a tantrum about his hairless legs.
He regretted speaking up immediately when he was graced with Scout sticking his nose directly into his working space. “Swimmers, what, why’d they go an’ do a thing like that?”
“If you would kindly back yourself up on outta my face I might tell you.”
Scout pulled away, watching him expectantly. The Engineer sighed. Why’d he open his mouth? “Had some friends on the swim team in college. All of ‘em smooth as a baby. No hair means less friction, less resistance, makes ‘em go faster, see?”
Engineer paused, something lighting up in his brain. Something that might shut Scout up. “…Yeah. You know ‘bout aerodynamics, right?” Scout nodded, suddenly looking interested. “Same principle.”
His explanation got him a disbelieving sort of stare, but Engineer could see the gears ticking behind his eyes. Wait for it. Wait for it…
“You think havin’ no hair might gimme the one-up on the other scout?”
The Engineer let himself crack a grin. Bingo.
“’Ey, boyo, y’know the bet’s up?” the Demoman said a month later, as they suited up for the imminent battle.
Scout hardly spared him a glance. “Yeah, I know.”
He glanced doubtfully at Scout’s smooth legs. “What’re yeh still doin’ that for, then?”
“Because it’s aerodynamic, lunkhead, look it up.” That was all Demo got before the Scout pulled on his runners and sauntered away, leaving the rest of the team staring—apart from the Engineer, who just chuckled to himself as he watched the kid go.