djsoliloquy: ([stock] rocky)
DJ ([personal profile] djsoliloquy) wrote2012-08-14 12:10 am

[ac/tf2] Malik puts his foot down

Fandom: Assassin's Creed/Team Fortress 2
Rating: R for violence
Characters: Malik, Altair
Summary: Altair talks smack and Malik is a terrifying team mom.

Malik has no intention of allowing a threat to go unaddressed because it happens to be wearing their uniform.  
Continued from here.

The white roar in Malik’s ears fades in time to catch the end of Altair’s conceited preening. A cold sensation settles over Malik’s skin, clenching at his throat. The shame is a sharp thing passing through him but the team’s embarrassment for him is the excruciating part, knowing they heard every word. A few might even agree. Better suited to this joke of a class. That could be true—partially true—if Malik is honest with himself. He wasn’t a bad spy, but he is an excellent medic.

Without warning, Malik starts to laugh.

It silences everything, down from the quiet of whispers to the absolute stillness of a room full of mercenaries all holding their breath. No one joins in. Altair watches his face and the rest of the team moves back, deeper into the hallway and away from them.

Then it is probably safe to say, Malik thinks, that Altair is the only one who doesn’t get the joke.

He inhales deeply and proposes they move to the infirmary to continue this discussion. The medic’s office offers more privacy than the middle of the mess hall, inasmuch as a base full of spies has any privacy at all.

Altair will have none of it, and maybe that isn’t so surprising. He sees no reason to waste his own time, after all. Was there anything left to discuss?

Malik knows Altair’s ego and selfishness. He knows it more intimately than he would like. But it isn’t about Altair. For a moment Malik just tightens his fist around the Übersaw’s handle, willing himself to pull through dealing with the intolerable, stupid, arrogant spy standing in front of him. It cannot be about Altair, and Malik has to convince himself of that. It is about the team.

Altair’s posture is comfortable, relaxed. Entirely at ease. Malik all but bares his teeth as he puts it simply: the greatest harm he could do, and he hopes Altair is listening carefully to this part, would be to let Altair back on the field tomorrow. People died today because of his fuck-ups.

Malik insists on getting that point across.

And then Altair laughs in his face. They got better, he says with a smirk. Malik and the respawn system saw to that.

He shrugs off Malik’s anger, eyes glittering as they stray too long at Malik’s throat. Death doesn’t seem to have slowed Malik down at all, he notices. No reason for the medic to lose his head twice in one day, is there?

For a humiliating, horrifying second all Malik can do is stare at him.

It is about the team, Malik reminds himself. The team. While Altair is still smirking at him with that suffocating familiarity, Malik swings the Übersaw around in an underhanded arch and thrusts it up through Altair’s stomach.

Despite the pointed blade it’s still a bonesaw, a slicing and carving apparatus not intended for piercing without a boost behind it, but it suffices. Altair grabs Malik’s shoulder, stunned and unable to stop him, and for what must be a humiliating, horrifying second all Altair can do is stare too.

Altair hangs there, pulled up as skin and suit fabric snag on the blade, until Malik gives a sharp jerk and shoves him off. The body slumps onto the floor.

To Malik’s grim surprise, it isn’t even a fraction as satisfying as he’d thought it would be.

Though no doubt a few of the team snuck back in to watch, the room is still. Malik stood with his back to a room of trained spies and no one tried to stop him. He anticipates Ezio’s hand on his shoulder to gently draw him back now that he has gotten in a hit.

Altair is quicker. He coughs and struggles to push himself up, head bowed to assess the tear in his midsection, his general state of not waking up fresh in respawn. Malik swings the saw again, knocking the blade that appears with unnatural speed in Altair’s hand, then the revolver, and he finally pins Altair’s hand to the floor with his foot. Not once does Altair make a sound, only wincing when Malik grinds his boot down, smashing the invisibility watch and a few of the more delicate wrist bones.

He lowers the saw till the blade point hovers between Altair’s eyes. Even another halfhearted slice would finish him off now.

Altair glares up at him, fury crackling like static through a mask of tempered composure. His fingers twitch, curving jaggedly toward the palm. More like Hypocritical Oath, he says.

Someone told Malik once that he had a workmanlike bedside manner. He makes his voice as calm as he can for this. He’s only going to say it once.

His job is to keep as much of the team on the field as long as possible. It’s less a matter of ensuring the team survives and more seeing to it that their deaths are prolonged; it’s a juggling of lives, the crudest balancing act imaginable that nevertheless obliges one to employ a certain level of professional finesse—not always who lives, but who dies last. And today Altair made it difficult for Malik to do that job. Running around the rooftops, out of disguise and in plain sight, compromising everyone on the team…

Malik could go on. How can a top-ranking spy pretend this is excusable behavior, much less explainable?

Altair snorts, far from impressed—an impressive feat in its own right to remain deadpan while bleeding out on the floor. Difficult, Altair muses as he rolls to his side, free hand clutching his waistcoat to keep the shredded contents of his abdominal cavity in place. Malik makes his job difficult enough as it is. He doubts Malik needs help.

He cuts off, keening through the pain in poorly suppressed agony. He curls around his pinned wrist, eyes shut tight as he presses his forehead to the side of Malik’s boot.

Malik swallows and takes a steadying breath before continuing.

A medic’s contract suggests the healing of teammates. It never specifies how much. Malik refuses to overlook stupidity on the grounds that the mistakes were fixable. He has no intention of allowing a threat to go unaddressed because it happens to be wearing their uniform. Years of training spy training will do that to you.

But mostly Malik doesn’t have time to flit everywhere at once correcting Altair’s mistakes. The team could have accomplished something today. Did you ever think of that? Malik asks, not feeling as in control of the situation as he’d like.

The suggestion gets more of a rise out of Altair than anything, somewhat to Malik’s annoyance. Altair looks up, letting go of his stomach and panting against the shiny curve of the boot. His lips graze the leather. Is Malik calling him incompetent?

Altair flatters himself enough as it is, Malik says as he bristles. He doubts Altair needs his help.

He switches to the Medigun and gives Altair a quick hit before the idiot can die out of spite. The sour look on Altair’s face when he opens his eyes back on the mess hall floor makes it clear the decision to release his stomach had been quite intentional. Altair sprawls over, dirtying the floor with a bloody handprint. He can’t take Malik seriously when the fat man carries a small doll version of him in his pocket, he confesses to Malik in an airy, severe-blood-loss sort of way. What is Malik going to do, heal him to death? End it and save him the cost of some dry cleaning?

There are ways to keep a man unfit for service. Malik explains this calmly and makes sure to slip in the word indefinitely at some point.

Deep down he isn’t a medic. He’s a spy holding a medigun, and a quick death should really be the least of Altair’s concerns. 

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