For AJ! RvB: Extraction
When I have a moment, I will write you something more because it’s your birthday so you need more fics. But for now, here’s that one we collaborated on a long time ago that I found and finished this morning as a small, timely gift (to come before the belated one) :P
"I don’t see why we have a random trooper on this mission," Wyoming said, staring at the offending man in plain, unenhanced armor.
"It is the mission. Protecting a civilian,” South said and the malice was obvious in her voice. Wyoming and Connie laughed.
"Come on, guys," York said with an easy shrug. "Just give the guy a chance, it won’t kill us to learn how to play nice with others."
"Surprise, surprise," Maine growled.
"Hey, we could all use a little more teamwork."
The new guy laughed, and betrayed that “he” was actually a “she”.
"You’re not helping my case," York muttered and the girl raised her hands in defense and defeat.
"You can carry your own weight?" Carolina demanded, speaking for the first time since the Pelican took off. "We’re two minutes from drop point."
"Yeah, no sweat," she said and that seemed enough for Carolina.
"If I had known we were going to babysit, I would’ve brought my gold stars to give you for doing a good job at not dying," South muttered with a smile.
"Who would ever let you within a mile of their kids?" York retorted. North’s small, instinctive laugh came over the radio and died just as suddenly as South’s head whipped around to face him.
"She used to babysit all the time," North said, suddenly very interested in defending his sister’s credibility to watch over children. "Tons of people in our neighborhood would hire her, all the kids were scared shi—-loved her. Loved her, yes."
"I’ll have to make due without that validation, then," the girl said, her voice smothered in sarcasm.
"I see why you stuck up for her, York," Wash chimed in from across the soldier. "She’s got your terrible, obvious sense of humor."
"Hey, I have a fucking awesome sense of humor," both of them said at the same time, and Wash sat back smugly with his arms across his chest, his point sufficiently proven.
"Get ready," Carolina said firmly, cutting the other replies from the agents short. "Showtime."
"Really?" York snickered and Carolina’s helmet turned to glare at him. "Sorry, sorry, I just…really?”
The doors opened before anything else could be said, and the agents rushed out, a surly Carolina behind them.
"Are you mad you didn’t get to have the last word," York asked, head tilted towards the leader in an oddly apologetic stance.
"No," she growled simply.
"Right, because that would be silly."
York nodded. “Sorry.”
She looked at him for a moment, her expression softening slightly under the helmet, and then - “You know, I could’ve sworn you were taller.”
"Must be how I’m standing or something. We ready to go?"
She gave him an odd look- as she normally did -before shaking her head and jumping out. The cement cratered under Carolina’s feet, knees nearly touching the ground. The others had taken up observational cover around her and she was momentarily caught in the revelation that their guest, crouched between the twins, had to be taller than South. The thought was jarred out of her head when York hit the ground hard, stringing together curses as he got to his feet and- was he limping? -moved to cover next to Maine. Carolina just shook her head and barked out, “What’ve we got?” She’d long since come to terms with the fact that, so long as he wasn’t hampering the mission, York just did whatever York did.
"Looks like a full house," North said, scoping the place out on his sniper rifle. "Couple of guards and a lot of traffic in the halls."
Carolina took in the building and surroundings, forming and discarding plans until she said, “Alright, we’ll go for the tried and true method. Maine, you and South make a nice big diversion on the east end. I saw some fuel tanks there and possibly a generator on the drop in. I want you drawing as many to you as you can. North and Wyoming will scope out sniper positions and cover you. The rest of us will head into the base. Connie, we’ll leave you at the data center to get our secondary objective. Wash, watch her back. York and I will get out guest here through to our primary objective. We’ll move once North and Wyoming are in position. Everyone clear?”
They all nodded, “Got it.”
"Get to it, people!"
The Freelancers split up and as Carolina led hers close to the building entrance, she heard York whispering to the newcomer: “She sounds like some cheesey action movie.”
The newcomer whispered right back, “Hey- everyone’s got their kicks.”
"That doesn’t make it any less ridiculous."
"Hey," Carolina snapped at them. "We’ve got a mission to focus on." They held up their hands in almost identical apologetic shrugs.
By Carolina’s elbow, Connie snickered. “What’s wrong, Carolina? Jealous that York’s got a new banter buddy?”
"Try keeping up this time, Connecticut."
Connie just shook her head and laughed which was not the reaction Carolina was going for but at least she didn’t say anything again. In the end, that was fine by Carolina because, even though she’d never admit it out loud, she thought this was pretty useless training mission. Get their special guest party member to the center of the facility to gain access to some prototype only she knew the codes for. Carolina didn’t know why she couldn’t just explain how the Freelancers could get it on their own but the Director had decided and she wasn’t about to question him about it. He already shot down Connie’s attempts to ask, anyway.
They reached the data center on a slight delay, as for some very annoying reason York seemed to be slower than usual. Carolina tapped her watch impatiently, to which the new girl chuckled and York have her A Look through his helmet.
“Data center. Connie, Wash, this is your stop.”
“Have fun, buddy,” York said and clapped Wash on the shoulder, his entire voice a suggestive wink.
“Hey, York,” Wash said, too preoccupied to let the suggestiveness get to him. “Aren’t you taller than me?”
York laughed and nudged Wash with his elbow. “Come on, man. It’s the motion in the ocean, I thought you’d know that…” He made a click with his mouth that Wash instantly recognized as the sound that always accompanied a wink, and York ran off after Carolina and the new girl leaving a laughing Connie and a perplexed Wash behind them.
"Alright, York," Carolina turned, facing down the hallway to stand guard, "you’re up."
"Yeah. Sure. No problem." There was a hesitance in his voice and moving to kneel before the lock that put an uncomfortable itch between Carolina’s shoulders.
"You got this, right?" Her tone barely qualified for a question.
"No, no- totally got it."
As if York’s behavior wasn’t odd enough, their guest had moved closer to the lock, head moving this way and that as if trying to see what York was doing. By the half minute mark, Carolina was thinking about doing the same and when the doors finally opened after nearly a minute of fiddling, Carolina had to frown inside her helmet. “You <i>did</i> sleep before the mission this time, right? That took twice as long as normal.”
York’s head turned toward her, as if he were surprised. “You timed me?”
"I need to have you <i>focused</i>, York."
"I was just cherishing the moment is all." Carolina could imagine the grin he flashed her. "Not often I get a pretty lady’s attention like that."
Their guest scoffed. “God- get a room.”
"You keep hoping, buddy."
Carolina just pushed through the door. “Let’s go.”
As they passed through the doorway, new girl and York collided shoulders and smiles for a moment before following in their fearless leader’s footsteps. They paused at the entrance to a new hallway and Carolina called back “York, take out those two guards up front.”
“I got this,” the new girl said before York could respond and took efficient, accurate aim. Carolina nodded in approval. Carrying her own weight indeed. They filed into the hall quickly, efficiently, and at the end of it was their prize. They inserted a small data stick in the computer, and Connie’s voice came over the radio with “It’s safe to punch in the codes now. Are you in position yet?”
“Yes,” Carolina confirmed, moving out of the way as the newcomer took the to the keyboard. She entered the prompted passwords easily and nodded to Carolina the memory stick was set to take. “Got it.” She then switched over her communicator and said “good job, team. Pilot, we’re ready for pick up.”
Behind her, York and his friend bumped their fists in celebration. Carolina turned, ready to head to the pick-up point, and clapped the new girl on the shoulder. She noticed how much taller she was than York, with them standing right next to each other. Yet the shoulder height had been perfectly familiar. New girl must be as tall as Maine or someone like that. “Good job. What’s your name?”
“Designation Foxtrot, Agent Carolina,” she said simply, and Carolina nodded before leading the way.
York was the last one to make it to the rendezvous point, doubling over and out of breath. Carolina had been there for a few minutes now, her foot tapping, waiting on their ride.
“This pilot is slacking,” Wyoming muttered.
“No fucking kidding,” Wash said from behind his gun, keeping watch for guards coming in.
“Where the fuck is 479er today, anyway?” South growled.
A wheezing voice replied with “present!”
Carolina’s head snapped around in time to see the new girl facepalm her helmet and York, head up, realizing he just made a mistake. Wash let out a low whistle, Connie stopped herself from laughing two syllables too late, and South growled so well that Wyoming shot Maine a glance mistakenly.
“We were <i>so close</i>,” the new girl said.
“Pilot 479er?” Carolina asked, each letter dropping the nearby temperature by a few degrees.
“Yeah, so,” the pilot said, her voice coming from York’s helmet. “Surprise?” She cautiously put her arms in front of her face and chest, in case the tangible annoyance emanating from Carolina manifested itself in a punch.
“I can’t believe all you guys noticed was that she was shorter than me,” York said from the helmet of “Foxtrot”, crossing his arms in front of him and pouting with every syllable.
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