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Title: Bring Your Daughter To Work Day
Series: TF2
Character/pairing: Scout/Miss Pauling, ensemble
Rating PG-13
Word count: 3350
Summary: When Miss Pauling is forced to suddenly kill a rather nosy nanny, the only choice is to bring her daughter to work with her.
Author's note: canon-typical blood and gore. From this OTPprompts piece. Also, this piece Hazmad did for me a ways back. Also references this voice line.

Post Expiration date, pre TF-comics. (or just ignores them for everything but characterization and Scout's whole ladykiller in love moments.)

For Sarah.



The morning was quiet. Peaceful, even. There was no lady screaming over the loudspeaker. There was nobody shooting at him yet, and Miss Pauling was somewhere in her--now their—apartment.

There were no bullet holes in the black and white linoleum beneath his bare feet. The dishes were done, instead of the increasing mountain of dirty piles at the base sink. The kitchen smelled like flower potpourri or some crap. There was no angry hyper-patriotic man trying to choke him, and there was a queen-sized bed that often had one hell of a queen in it, and if he was lucky, he might even get a kiss before she went off to work.

Life was good.

Scout opened up the fridge, and a horror scene of a cut off greeted him. This time, he didn't even scream. After sharing quarters with Doc, he was just desensitized to finding random body parts in the fridge. He reached past the bloody stump and grabbed some creamer from the back.

She came out in purple, and covered in blood, which was nothing new, but nobody looked as good covered with blood as her. Not even Scout.

"Early job?" Scout said.

Miss Pauling brushed back her dark hair. A streak of blood across the bridge of her nose, and up just above her dark eyebrows.

"Babe, you got somethin' right---here," Scout said.

She dabbed the spatter of blood away from her forehead. "Oh, thanks. Um, bad news. The nanny was a little too nosy, and she had to go."

"So that'd explain the fridge," Scout said.

Miss Pauling shrugged. "It happens."

"So, the back up nanny?" Scout said. He took a sip of his coffee. On the front was a little star, behind the black text of This Dad Hit A Home Run.

"Had to kill her, too. That's the thing--I can't take today off. My day off is still two-hundred and thirty days away."

"And we got a weddin' scheduled for that," Scout said pointedly.

She smiled. "I haven't forgotten."

"Technically, it was supposed to be last year, except--"

"I went into labor because somebody got me pregnant," Miss Pauling said, with a playful lift in her voice.

"No regrets; I got an adorable kid out of it," Scout said.

There was an ear-piercing shriek from across the monitor in the kitchen.

"Speaking of which--" Miss Pauling said. She left for a moment, and returned with little Charlie, the cutest baby in all of Teufort--hell, the world. He'd totally fight anyone else for the title, because that was just logic, like the sky was blue and baseball was the best sport ever.

She bounced little Charlie on her hip. At sixth months old, her hair was coming in dark, and right now, she had bright blue eyes. But Doc said they'd sometimes might change as she grew older. He was personally hoping for green eyes, just like her mom.

"Okay now, you're all right. I just fed you--were you lonely?"

Scout bent to her level. "No need to be lonely, baby Charlie. Daddy's here." He wiggled his fingers to get her attention. Charlie laughed. "That's my happy girl."

"Anyways, what I was saying before we got interrupted--I'll need you to watch her."

Scout looked up incredulously at her. "What? I can't take care of her, I'm goin' to be on the field. I mean, sure I can dodge the bullets like some action movie star--and I don't even need a stunt double--but I still wouldn't wanna strap a baby on while I run around Teufort and dive into those sewers to take back the briefcases."

"I can't keep her in my office. You can never tell when I'll have to avoid a hitman attack for a progress report."

It was one hell of a brick wall. If he was Miss Pauling, maybe he'd use fancy words like 'impasse.' He'd been reading the dictionary sometimes while he waited for her, just to show off his fancy wordwork.

She let out a sigh. "Just put her playpen in Spawn. Nobody is going to get in there."

"Spawn? Seriously?"

"Technically, it's the safest place in all of Teufort. Maybe the world," Miss Pauling said.

"Can't they just start a daycare service or somethin'?" Scout said.

"Their only healthcare benefits here are Medic. I had to take vacation days from the last decade to give birth to my daughter. What do you think?"

Scout sighed. This was one battle he sure as hell wasn't going to win. But the yelling lady paid them so much, it wasn't like he could quit. Besides, in a place like this, the only way they'd ever send them home was in a coffin. They knew way too damn much.

"I'm sure she'll be safe. I'll brief the men that she's going to be there, so to keep the drunken shooting to a minimum."

"All right, but we gotta get another nanny soon," Scout said.

Miss Pauling's face darkened. "Hopefully, this one won't like to look through private papers. At this rate, I'll barely get a sip of coffee before I have to head out to bury her."

"You gotta forge papers or somethin'?" Scout said.

"Nah, I only hire people without families," she said absently.

That was his girl, always smart with her hiring choices.

*

Scout took one last glance at the white walls. It was barricaded pretty good; no bullets were going to get in here. Sure, his teammates were all unwashed contract killers, but they wouldn't hurt a baby.

Okay, most of the probably wouldn't.

Still, Scout felt a tight knot of unease in his throat. He leaned over that meshed playpen, and smiled at his daughter. She had a little onesies with baseballs all over it. One of these days, she'd be slamming the home runs in. But for right now, he had to keep her in a baby cage--excuse him playpen so she didn't go lick outlets.

"Okay, baby girl. You be good and take a nice long nap, okay? Daddy's gotta kill some BLUs and get lots of briefcases."

She let out a little whimpery cry, her little chubby fists reached out for him. "Da--!"

"All right, all right, I'll sing you somethin'. Hush little baby don't you cry, daddy's gonna bash some heads in, no lie. And if those skulls get all flat, daddy's gonna wrap their bodies in a bath mat. And if that bath mat gets all bloody, daddy's gonna burn it and make lots of money."

She started to giggle as he sang some more. From behind him, Scout heard a throat clear.

"Little baby," Heavy said.

"Yeah, I'm comin'," Scout said.

"No, smaller one," Heavy said. He peered down.

"Hey, big guy. Don't get too close; you'll scare her."

Heavy grunted. "If she is anything like her mother, she will be fearless."

Scout smiled. "That she will."

He left without a goodbye. Heavy was always tight-lipped like that. Scout started to leave, but just as he did, he noticed Pyro appear just behind him. Slowly, Pyro stepped towards the playpen and looked in.

Thoughts raced through Scout's head. Bullets might stray. His bat could smash into the playpen, if Pyro put up too much of a fiht. He could slam himself against Pyro and knock the flamethrower out.

Pyro started to giggle. When Pyro laughed, things tended to get on fire. The unease morphed into a giant worry as he saw Pyro pull out an axe.

Scout rushed in and lifted his daughter up, and clutched her to his chest.

"Uh-uh. No baby barbecue, here. Bad Pyro, no biscuit!"

Pyro started to do an air guitar on the ax. Charlie giggled and giggled.

"Oh, hey, sweet air. Maybe you ain't so bad. Still, I gotta keep my kid safe and not crispy."

Pyro tilted their head at him. Then, Pyro suddenly ran out without even a muffled goodbye.

Engineer came in and grabbed some metal. He stuck it in his many pockets, before he started out. But when he caught sight of Scout, he stopped, and waved.

"Well now, you brought your daughter to work today?"

"Miss Pauling had to kill the nanny," Scout said.

Engineer nodded. "Ah, that happens sometimes."

"You wouldn't happen to have a RoboNanny500 stocked away, would you?"

"Naw, I got one better. Leave her down in the control room with me," Engineer said.

"T-the control room? That's where the entire BLUs are goin' to be after!" Scout sputtered.

"Son, this is Teufort. There's no safer place for a little one than down here with me. I'm goin' to sit out the match behind my seventy sentries and watch Scout after Scout get ripped to shreds until the big lady announcer gets bored and calls a stalemate."

"Well..." Scout said.

"I'll keep her nice and safe, on my honor as an Engineer," he said.

"All right," Scout said.

He slipped down the the control room, with Charlie, and thankfully ran into no BLUs along the way. Scout wove his way through the many sentries, and a supply machine near the edge. Engineer sat with his feet up, and took a sip of beer from just behind the massive desk. Pictures of maps and a whole meeting room Scout had never been in were just beyond the thick, bulletproof glass.

"Park that little one right here. She can enjoy the show," Engineer said.

A loud beep sounded, and a series of rockets turned some poor sucker into nothing but some body parts. Scout couldn't help but laugh. Those BLUs were something else.

"Dropped on your head when you were a kid?" Scout said. Of course, the chucklefuck couldn't respond, not in his current state of nothing but bloody pieces.

And far be it from bein afraid, Charlie broke out laughing too. She just laughed and laughed, like it was the funniest thing she ever saw. His kid laughed at everything. Ripped paper, ripped up bodies, him ripping farts. She was always all smiles.

Engineer took a sip of beer. Scout knew she was in good hands.

*

The sun slipped down the sky. The games were over, and Scout's hair was still faintly damp from his last shower. Every so often, he would tap the part of his ear piece to make sure it was still working.

To make sure he'd still hear her when she came calling.

Scout tapped his foot. Charlie was laid out over his lap, her little legs and arms kicking around like she was practicing for her audition to the latest Kung-Fu movie.

Spawn was all quiet, with only the ticking of the clock. Scout squinted to look at it again. His heartbeat cascaded as he heard her voice crackle over his ear piece. Even in their would-be-married-but-still-waiting-on-her-job state, he felt the same surge at seeing her as he did six years ago.

"Scout, I need you."

Scout couldn't help but beam. Geez, every time she said those words, it was like sunshine right in his chest. "Just the words I always wanna hear."

"How is she?"

"Oh, Charlie? She's fine. Had a blast seein' those sentries tear through BLU. We're about to close up shop down here."

"That's how it always is with Teufort. I'm surprised they don't just burn it down. Nothing but a pair of Snipers shooting each other down again and again, Medic and Heavy pairs having a pissing contest to see who is the best, and Engineer napping down in the deepest rooms."

"Could be worse; it could be Hydro," Scout said.

"That's for sure. Anyways, I've got a ton of bodies. You up for some nice burying work? You're an ace with that shovel," she said.

"Babe, I'm always up for spendin' time with you. Even if dead bodies are involved."

"Especially if dead bodies are involved," Miss Pauling said enthusiastically.

That was his girl. The baddest, most bloodthirsty killer around. He still wasn't sure how he'd done it, how he'd won over a girl like that. But somehow, God had done him a solid and here he was, with a family of his own.

"Charlie and I will be there in five," Scout said.

He pulled on the baby bjorn, which sort of sounded like something to fight bears with, not carry kids around. It was a dark shade of red, because that hid the blood much better.

"One of these days, Charlie, I gotta tell you the story of how I met your mother. But it's goin' to take a while, because it's the greatest story ever told."

Charlie tried to eat her fingers. Everything went into her mouth these days. Which almost gave him heart attacks on a daily basis. No, don't eat that nuclear waste, cigarettes are not for chewing on, stay away from that grenade were words he never thought would come out of his lips.

But all things considered, they were doing pretty good.

*

Now, if Scout had his way, there'd be some fairy lights across this cave for some ambiance, maybe a juice bar-But Miss Pauling didn't like making body dumping spots notable or leaving possible evidence behind.

The bags were ripped open, and the remains were scattered about. Scout had already dug one hell of a hole, and given her a nice show of his muscles working. And that was saying something, because this ground was seriously rocky.

His plans for cave redecoration were cut short by a sickening stench.

Scout coughed. "Ugh, that sure ain't fresh."

"Oh, it's not that bad. You get used to it eventually," Miss Pauling said.

"No, not that. Somebody got a smelly diaper. And it ain't me."

Miss Pauling looked up from her bag of quicklime. "Oh. Oh dear."

Scout pulled his red shirt over his nose. "Ack, man. If we could weaponize that crap, we could win every round, that's for sure."

"What, your next big weapon is a gun that shoots soiled diapers?" Miss Pauling said.

"BLU would never leave their spawn," Scout said.

"The clean up would be a doozy, though," she said. Miss Pauling rifled through the baby bag. It was red, like his team colors, and covered with baseballs, "We can't just change her on the sand. Her back will get all scratched up."

"Ehh, should I double back and change her in the truck?" Scout said.

"Here, this body isn't quite as bloated as the rest," Miss Pauling said. She dragged the body closer, and placed their daughter right on top. Miss Pauling could change stinky stuff in less than a minute. She threw that soiled diaper in a hazmat bag, and tied it tight.

"There, if it can keep nuclear waste, it can probably keep a smell diaper contained for a while," she said.

She still had fingerprints to sandblast off. But as she picked up the one from the body-slash-baby holder, she looked alarmed.

"Oh damn. I'm missing a finger. I can't have that--it could be fingerprinted for identification. Did it drop somewhere? God, I'm going to have to comb the streets and see where it dropped and hope that the cops didn't get called already." She sighed.

Scout started the check through the dim light of their lantern across the cave floor. It was only when he looked back to see what Charlie was giggling about this time that he saw it.

Wrapped up in Charlie's little fingers was a severed finger. She laughed to herself as she shook it like it was a rattle.

"--Charlie got it," Scout said.

Miss Pauling smiled. "You're such a good girl, Charlie. You picked it right up for me."

Miss Pauling started to slowly peel it out of her grip, but Charlie started to wail.

Scout quickly offered his finger for her to grip onto. "There you go, little Charlie. No need to cry and alert the cops. We need quiet little Charlies. Happy Charlies."

With her fingers filled, Charlie's cries quieted. Scout let out a sigh of relief. "Well, that's one crisis down." He looked at his little girl, and smiled. "At this rate, she's goin' to grow up to be a serial killer."

Miss Pauling pushed her glasses up with her index finger. "Awww, it's sweet that you think she's going to grow up to be just like me. I hope she does, honestly."

Scout lifted his eyebrows questioningly. "Babe?"

"Look, I love you, but I don't think the world could handle two of you."

"Yeah, but if she's like both of us. Smart and pretty and classy and cool. The world won't stand a chance. In a few years, she'll be killing everyone. A total ladykiller." He chuckled, "You goin' to be flirtin' with all the girls, Charlie?"

"Or boys. Or girls and boys," Miss Pauling said.

"She'll have anybody she wants. But if anybody breaks her heart, I'll be the first one goin' for a shovel," Scout said.

"And I'll destroy all the evidence," Miss Pauling said. She smiled, and leaned in. "I'd kiss you, but um, covered in blood."

"Babe, if I didn't kiss you because you were bloody, we'd literally never be able to kiss."

"Good point," Miss Pauling said. She leaned in for a quick kiss. After all, the clock was counting, and the last thing they wanted was the feds to show up with them covered in blood and the bodies only half buried.


*

With another days of BLUs beaten and bodies buried, Scout had an arm full of takeout and another balancing his daughter. When he reached Miss Pauling's office, the light was off. He flicked it on. Scout's chest felt tight as he say her there, lying right face down on the floor, her glasses off somewhere near her shoulders. There wasn't a pool of blood, and her office was as neat as ever, with no sign of a struggle, but poison wasn't out of the question here at TF Industries.

"B-babe?! Miss Pauling? You okay?"

Panic rose inside him as she didn't respond. He quickly laid Charlie and the bag of food down on her desk, and bent to check on her. Two fingers to her neck. Still a pulse. He turned her over with trembling hands, only to hear a slight groan.

"God, you scared me," Scout said.

Miss Pauling mumbled something he couldn't quite hear.

"Babe, I got food."

Her eyes opened slightly. "Food?"

"Nothin' but coffee all day again, huh?" Scout said.

"Had a sudden nanny firing to get to," she said sleepily. She reached out and grabbed her glasses. Even as she put them on, her glasses slipped down her cute nose, "Put it in my mouth. I don't even want to move anymore."

"All tuckered out?" Scout said.

"Beyond tuckered. I think I'm at level...zombie," she said.

"C'mon, I got you," he said.

He helped Miss Pauling up. Then, he sat down in her big leather chair, and pulled her onto his lap. She rested her head against his shoulder, as she devoured that hamburger. She honest to God sounded like a werewolf, snarfing down her burger. Charlie let out a whimper. He reached out and pulled her onto his lap as well. There was always room for a little more. He pulled out a bottle from his pocket and twirled it, like it was a six-shooter. In a second, he had both his girls fed.

"You're just like your mom. She sucks on a bottle and goes right to bed, too," Scout said. He chuckled to himself. This time it didn't even take a beer to get her falling alseep on him. Miss Pauling sawed logs like a lumberjack convention. She always could fall asleep pretty fast. Charlie was already pretty close to falling asleep on him too.

Scout reached into his holster and kept his gun on the desk, within reaching distance, just in case. Never knew what was going to happen in a place like this. But he'd take down any chucklefuck who messed with him and his family.

Scout kissed Miss Pauling's forehead, then the top of Charlie's head. He sure was lucky to have the best girls in the world. Sometimes Scout didn't know how a guy like him could even get that lucky. Like winning the lottery ten times over, and then God personally coming down to give him a brofist.

But for him, it was just another Tuesday.
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