Herro. So, this chapter is basically an excuse for me to add words. If you want to see Engie be a prick and Scare the cream corn out of Scout, read on. If not, because this makes no difference to the plot whatsoever, I can hardly blame you.

DISCLAIMER: In Canon TF2, I'm pretty sure the stuff happening in this fic would NEVER. HAPPEN. And if it did actually happen it would seriously ruin it.

CHAPTER 6.

"Oi, there you are, mate! Where ya been, I thought you said to wait at the Camper?"

"Dude, I said to wait outside da workshop."

"I 'eard Camper."

"HOW could you have heard – OK, I'm not getting' inta dis. I'm callin' awf da bet."

"What?! Why? You'd never do something like that, even with no chance of winning," Mr. Mundy eyed Mr. Chatterbox suspiciously. "There's gotta be some kinda catch."

"Well, sorta. Look, I bet I could tech 'em ta win some hearts by da time leave swung round, right?"

"…Right."

"An' you bet he had a thing fuh machines, right?"

"Heh heh, right."

"Well check DIS owt."

Scout promptly thrust an old photograph at Mundy. He studied it for a matter of seconds. Scout couldn't help but notice which part of the picture he was looking at, based on his expression.

"Wow,'ho'd 'ave though a guy like 'im could 'ave come from such a rosy gene-pool!"

"Dude, I thought dey had ta be related or summin', too. I know it seems crazy, man, but…dat's his wife!"

"NO!"

"YEAH!"

"I don't believe ya!"

"Well, ya can aks 'em, an den ya gunna believe me!"

"OK, I will. But only cuz methinks you just want out of the bet." He tapped his nose.

"Sure man, sure. I know ya, an' ya gonna aks if she got a sister!"

(Back in the workshop…)

"So…uh…how long you two bin goin' faw?"

"Who, me 'n Ida?"

"Ida?"

"Full name's Ida Faye Scott Conagher."

"PPFFFFFF! Geez, man, what kind of a name is THAT?!"

"It's a Southern kind of a name, is what!" Scout dodged a screwdriver flying at his head.

"Yeah, sure. But anyways, how long?"

"We'll be 17 years in February. My, how time flies…"

"Woah, man, that's like…1 year less than like my whole life!"

"Heh, you got a whole world ahead ah you, boy. An' yah don't even know it."

Scout discretely put the old photograph back on the cork-board. "Man, I'm lookin' fawwards ta landin' a sweet piece ah booty like dat!" He instantly regretted saying that. If Dell wasn't wearing his goggles, he figured he might've burned holes in his scull with the look he gave him.

"That's mah wife yer talkin' 'bout, boy. Ah'd keep that loose tongue ah yours in line if ah were you."

"Uh…sorry, dude."

" 'Pology accepted."

There was a short silence as Scout went back to tying his shoelaces and Dell went back to adding some new attachment onto his robot hand. Scout cursed as he failed yet again to tie an bow (Something he'd promised his Ma he'd learn to do before he saw her next), and looked up as the mechanical appendage caught his eye. He remembered something he'd been meaning to ask for quite some time, now.

"Hey, um…this might be a bad time to ask, but…you know your cool robot-hand?"

"This li'l beauty?" He spun it a few times. "I call her the Gunslinger."

"Yeah, sure thing, but…Could ya make me one?"

To Scout's disbelief, Dell actually looked as if he was considering it. It felt like an eternity before he spoke.

"Gimme yuh hand, boy."

Scout couldn't belive this was really happening. He Looked to Dell, to the Gunslinger, to his own hand, back to the Gunslinger, back to his own hand, and then back to Dell. He'd gone deadly serious. Scout slowly, ever so slowly, reached out a shaking left hand. Dell gripped it firmly by the wrist, tightening his Gunslinger around it like a vice, ebbing the boy's bloodflow. Pretty soon, Scout's hand went limp and couldn't feel a thing.

"There'll still be alotta blood. You might wanna look away, son."

Seconds lasted minutes. Scout could feel his heartbeat racing and blood drained from his face. He felt a little sick. But he wouldn't give the word to stop. He couldn't. If Dell saw him chicken out now, he might never give him this chance again, and just think how awesome it would be to have a goddamn robot hand! He'd give it a cool name of its own, like Strangler, or Mechappendage, no, that was waaay too long. He needed something snappy, like –

Scout snapped back to reality as he saw Dell reach inside his toolbox and bring out a heavy meat cleaver. It glinted in the sunlight as he turned it slowly, presumably inspecting it for any nicks in the blade edge, or something. Apparently satisfied, he held it against Scout's arm to get a sense of where he'd hit it.

Suddenly, Scout wasn't so sure about this. Yeah, it looked cool, but he liked his left hand. He was left handed, afterall. He'd have to learn to go righty during alone time…

Dell drew back the cleaver, goggles locked on Scout's arm.

And what if something went wrong? What if the blood was flowing too heavily and he died? The world wouldn't last without him! What if it really hurt? What if Dell couldn't attach the Robo-hand and he was just left with a stump? All these thoughts were whizzing through his head and he felt a little faint.

He didn't want this. It was too much. He'd give anything to punch his past self in the face for even thinking about suggesting this. His mind screames at him: "AH COURSE GOGGLES IS GONNA ACTUALLY GO THROUGH WID IT, HE'S A GODDAMN PSYCHO LIKE DAT. DAT'S WHY EMPLOYED 'EM! DAT'S WHY DOSE BASTARDS EMPLOYED ANY OF US!"

Too late.

Dell brought the cleaver down in one swift movement. Scout instinctively closed his eyes and winced, preparing himself for that inevitable, sickening crunch

It wasn't coming.

"So, it's true what dey say, den. Time really does slow down when ya scared."

"Wow, it slows right down."

"So slow it's suspicious."

Scout opened his eyes.

The cleaver was just hovering over his wrist. He looked at Dell. He was looking right back at him, laughing silently to himself. Scout tried to find his voice. It took more than a few attempts.

"Wh…What the HELL, man?! Just…I dunno, do it already!"

"Ah was never going to, son!"

"…What?"

"Y'heard. Think fur a second, will ya? Use that brain yer mama gave you. Ah know exactly what you been thinking these past few minutes. Ah've been there! Y'really think I was gonna lop off yer hand an' slap on a mechanical one, just like that? You got another thing comin'."

"Then…Why'dja build it up like that? Ya coulda jus said 'No'! Dat too much t ask?!"

"You don't geddit. A simple 'No' would never get yuh off mah back. You'd keep on askin' and askin' and ah'd never hear the end of it! This way, you know what it's gon' be like. This way, ah could scare you outta the idea before you got irritatin'. Cuz, no offense, but you really do get irritatin'."

"But…if you wur as scared as me dat udda time…den how come you dun it on yaself?"

"Ah've come to learn that test subjects are a lot more trouble'n they're worth."

"…OK. Oh, by da way…what'd Ida think uv it? Da Gunsliner, I mean."

"Ah gotta say, it's more'n a li'l strange, you askin' all these questions 'bout mah wife, boy."

"Sorry, dude, I just…I'm still adjustin' to da fact you got yaself a whole 'nudda life away frum dis."

Dell just gave him another one of his looks.

It's not that late, I can probables knock out another one of these tonight. Like I said, nothing really happened. I guess if this was a one-shot it wouldn't make any difference.