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[personal profile] shadowed_voice
Title: Converse
Fandom: Team Fortress 2
Rating: Somewhere between PG and PG-13. Dammit, Scout.
Warnings: Scout's mouth. :|
Word Count: 1,265
Pairings or characters involved: All nine classes, no specific affiliation.
Notes: The team discusses the different languages they know.

The war room was, as usual, full of commotion. Soldier was berating the team's poor performance that day, despite the fact that they had captured the opposing team's intelligence and won the round. He alternated between too-loud shouts and ferocious snarls, directed at each and every member.

The team, for their part, seemed to mostly be ignoring him...looking from one teammate to the next, rolling their eyes, and showing all-too-clear signs of exasperation and boredom. Medic sighed as he put a hand to his forehead and muttered something in German, causing Heavy to chuckle in response next to him.

Soldier glared at both of them. "WOULD YOU CARE TO SHARE THAT WITH THE CLASS, PRIVATES?" He paused momentarily, his head tilted so that Medic could see his eyes narrowing under his helmet. "IN AMERICAN."

"Zhere is no reason for me to translate for you, Herr Soldier. If you vant to know vhat I am saying, perhaps you should learn Deutsch." Medic gazed coolly across the table at Soldier as he spoke. "I vondah, could a man of your mental capacities even learn anozzah language? Especially considering you seem so convinced zhat 'American' is actually a language."

"Hey, who da fuck cares about speaking da same weird shit you do, Doc?" Scout was obviously unimpressed. He ignored Heavy, whose indignant expression showed that he cared quite a bit. "We can all speak English, dat's good enough!"

"Easy there, son. Knowin' another language can come in mighty handy sometimes, that's fer sure."

Scout scowled at Engineer. "I'm telling ya, dere's no point! We all understand English, so why boddah knowin' anything else?"

"English is difficult language," Heavy noted.

"Psh, yeah, to you maybe. So what, you guys hadda learn English for this job. Guess what, genius? You're workin' in America, and we speak English here!" He glared accusingly at Medic, Heavy, and Spy, all three of which were known for throwing foreign words into their conversations.

Demoman hiccupped from where he was slouched at the table and sat up, as if the conversation was just coming into clarity for him. "Ye can'nae blame them for knowin' their own languages better than English, laddie. 'tis a difficulty, for shoor." He looked thoughtful for a moment. "I suppose if I could'ae, I wouldn'ae a bothered learnin' it, just made due with Gaelic. But tha's nae so common, now."

Spy regarded the situation while taking a drag of his cigarette. "You know, boy, zhe Labourer does 'ave a point...language can open doors zhat would ozherwise go unopened." He blew a plume of smoke in Scout's direction. "Why do you zhink I can speak so many?"

Scout rolled his eyes. "I dunno, 'cause you're a nerd?"

Spy bristled at that comment. "Laugh while you can, boy. Someday, zhis job will be over and you'll 'ave no skills to support yourself wizh." It was common knowledge among the team that Scout's "skills" amounted to running fast, slamming bats over people's heads, and never shutting up...none of which would get him very far in the world outside of their war.

"Yeah, big fuckin' deal. Like I'm da only one here dat can't speak chickenshit." He looked around the table. "I mean, come on, Hardhat, you're from da States, why would you even need anything else?"

Engineer scratched the back of his neck. "Well now, son, think about that. Texas is jes' a stone's throw from Mexico, and they don' speak English down there. Mah knowin' some Spanish has had its uses."

"Yeah, well what about Mr. America ovah here? He's from right in da middle of da States, so he don't need to know anything else, yeah?"

"Besides 'American,' you mean?" Medic quipped dryly.

"To nie prawda."

Seven and a half pairs of wide eyes locked onto Soldier in shock.

"Da fuck was dat?" Scout was the first to recover.

"WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH A COUNTRY KILLING EVERY NAZI YOU SEE, YOU PICK UP SOME OF THEIR LANGUAGE!" Soldier crossed his arms defensively and frowned. "I COULD ORDER YOU THE HELL OUT OF MY TERRITORY IN SEVEN DIFFERENT WAYS! THERE ARE AT LEAST NINETEEN WAYS I COULD INSULT YOUR SANITY AND OR INTELLIGENCE! I KNOW THIRTY-TWO WAYS A MAN CAN BEG FOR HIS LIFE!"

Medic opened his mouth to question this, but shut it just as quickly. How Soldier had picked up Polish while allegedly killing German Nazis was a mystery that was better left unsolved, and starting an argument with him over the subject would just end in a headache and no answers. There was something telling in what Soldier had boasted he knew, anyway.

Scout, however, had no interest in maintaining silence. "What, so am I like da only fuckin' one who just speaks English here?" Suddenly, the prospect of learning another language didn't seem so stupid when he was the only one there that couldn't.

"What about zhe Bushman? I cannot say I 'ave ever 'eard 'im speak anyzhing besides English, disregarding 'is ridiculous slang." Spy smiled innocently as Sniper shot him a nasty look.

"Hey, yeah, what about you?" Scout perked up, leaning forward in eager curiosity.

Sniper mumbled something in reply.

"Yo, speak up! Mumblin' don't count as a language for anyone besides Pyro." Scout suddenly paused and turned to look toward the aforementioned fire-starter. "So wait, what about you, pal?"

"Hrr crrn rrrah sprrrk hrrrn hrrah," Pyro replied, flashing a thumbs up at Scout.

Scout, for his part, was doing his best to pretend he had any idea what Pyro had just said. "Hey, yeah, dat's cool, man." With how little anyone understood of him, he really could have been speaking an entirely different language all together. Maybe his mumbling really did count.

Scout quickly turned his attention back to Sniper. "So yeah, anyway, what was dat you was sayin'?"

Sniper looked down at the table, his face warming with embarrassment. It was something he was...reluctant to talk about, at best.

"C'mon, man, we ain't got all day! Spit it out!" Scout's impatience was legendary sometimes.

"I speak Kangaroo." Sniper was still sort of mumbling, but his words came across more clearly the second time around.

There was another long silence as the team processed this new bit of information.

"Ye mean tae say ye speak with bloody animals?" The team mirrored the pure disbelief in Demoman's question.

Sniper sank into his chair, still embarrassed. "Look, it wos me parents' idea, all roight? Thought it would help me chances 'a becoming king in one'a those boxing matches."

"King in a...vhat in zhe vorld ah you talking about?" Medic's expression betrayed his utter confusion.

"In Australia, the king is chosen with a boxing match against kangaroos. Me parents thought that if I could talk with 'em, I'd have an edge over the competition, find a way to win that no one else could." It had been stupid, but they'd firmly believed it. And then he'd lost anyway. Fat lot of good it had done him, being able to understand as the kangaroos insulted him. He doubted many people knew those buggers were damned good at mind games. "Anyway, point is, I can speak it."

Scout's shoulders slumped...he really was the odd one out.

Engineer patted Scout's shoulder reassuringly. "Aw, cheer up, Scout. If ya want ta learn, Ah'm sure someone here can teach ya." He motioned around the table. "Jes' think, ya'd have a whole bundle of languages ta choose from."

Scout crossed his arms and scowled in reply, but said nothing.

Years later, he knew more languages than any other one person from the team.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So here's what was going on language-wise.

Scout: English
Soldier: English, Polish
Pyro: English, ??? (tl;dr I am too lazy to try and decide on Pyro's nationality and stuff right now.)
Engineer: English, Spanish
Demoman: English, Gaelic
Heavy: Russian, English, some German (take that as you will~)
Medic: German, English
Sniper: English, Kangaroo
Spy: French, Spanish, Italian, English, possibly others...WHO KNOWS.

"To nie prawda" is supposed to be "That's not true," at least according to Google Translate. I don't actually speak Polish, so feel free to tell me if it's incorrect. Also, I have no idea how many ways in Polish there are to tell someone to get the hell out of your area, call them crazy, or beg for your life. For humor's sake, let's pretend there are many. (Feel free to correct this, too! The language geek in me will love you for it.)

Bonus fact: Initially, Pyro was going to be speaking Klingon, but that wouldn't have worked given the timeline, since it didn't appear onscreen until 1979. I was severely disappointed.
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