Warnings:bullying/abuse, harrassment, drinking, bar fights, cursing, general cruelty, someone getting their drink spiked, uhhh idk what else, angst, barely any comfort?, brief mention of retching
It's a wild ride my guys. Be warned.
Maybe it was a bit mean of him to be like he was; Ever since they had gotten the new sniper added onto their team, Shuu had made it his point to make the guy's life a living hell. It didn't help that Kozlov seemed to have the social skills of a single child who'd lived in the middle of god only knows. The nervous smiles and the restless hands, but that didn't piss the cyborg off the most. No, it was that the guy could have been born in a barn for how his manners were. Kozlov doesn't speak up, doesn't make eye contact or behave like a normal fucking person and it grates on him. Of the good few things about him, he can follow orders and shoot a rifle and that was fine for everyone else.
Shuu on the other hand had to single him out. Maybe it was a bit maliciou but he was starting to take to tormenting the other. The Lapin's ears were the first thing he started with, pointing them out when they got in the way of certain motions and watching as the Russian would grab them and put them over his shoulders. He kept doing so, watching as the other would pointedly try to ignore him with a twitch in his shoulders and a look in his eyes. It eventually turned to him grabbing the others ears whenever he felt like, stating 'What are you gonna do about, Chubby Bunny' in response. Of course the other didn't do anything, just whimpered when they were tugged cruelly and tried to gently tug the appendages out of his hands.
It got progressively more aggressive the more he learned about the Russian. The other was sensitive to being called any form of chubby, even if he was primarily muscle, so Shuu started with that, jabbing him in the belly and sides and cheeks when he said it. He steadfastly ignored Infection's worried mumbling to the lieutenant about the Lapin not eating much later that week. Kozlov didn't like his ears or tail being grabbed at? He was grabbing and tugging as often as he could see them, feeling some sort of vicious pride at making him tear up and cry. Not a fan of tight spaces? Well, it wasn't him who'd locked the raven haired rabbit in the supply closet for three hours. The lieutenant was still pissed off at whoever had done it, and Shuu wasn't about to come forwards. Clumsy? A quick shove to the back during training or a foot stealthily placed in his path at lunch usually did the trick. The way tears started down the sniper's round face at the combination of pain and the embarrassment of being laughed at mafe something in him twinge a little painfully. He ignored it with a stone face as Captain Petrov helped him up and to the infirmary. He'd broken his nose from the force of the fall.
Throughout it all, the Lapin never complained, starting off every day with that stupidly happy smile on a recently fatigued face. It upset him, and even if he hadn't told a soul about who was doing it, the rest of Ego 5 knew and railed at him in private. Hell, Umbra had gone as far as slapping him upside the head. So he got worse. He'd dismantled Kozlov's sniper and hid the screws and scope, put spiders in his bed when he learned the other was severely arachnophobic, he'd even put a mouse trap under his bed for when the other went about reaching under it for something. He caused panic attacks, crying fits, nervous breakdowns, hell he even watched after the spiders as the younger man sat curled up on the common room couch instead of trying to go to sleep like Infection had been trying to convince him all night.
Still no rise out of him, still no telling. Shuu couldn't help but get significantly more pissed and he ground his teeth as he scrubbed the bathrooms with a toothbrush after his latest escapade.
Of course he never really thought he'd feel bad for it. Shuu had resigned himself to tormenting the other and getting away with it forever so he decided to say fuck it, go the whole nine yards.
Ego 5 got one weekend a month to go out and do as they pleased, the recruits or whoever opted out being in charge of any emergency missions that popped up. The rest of them would go out and get fucked up at bars and that's what he was hoping for. They'd drug Kozlov out with them, Moira wrapping an arm around his shoulders and walking down the sidewalk with him. They spoke in loud voices, happy and in Kozlov's case, decently protected. That was fine, Shuu told himself as he stretched, it was part of his plan anyways.
The first two bars were fun, extra rowdy on a Saturday night with loud music, good booze, and plenty of bodies dancing and moving and pushing them around. He kept his eye on the Lapin, watching as Moira would stay close or would switch off with Isaak or Umbra. The doc had stayed in tonight, waving them off with a sigh about heavy alcohol consumption and that was that. By the third bar, however, it seemed they dropped their guard. They were content to leave the other alone in his corner booth, as far away from the flashing lights and overly loud music as he could be without being outside.
They were only there for a couple of hours, occasionally checking up on the Russian in the corner who was on his phone instead of anything like drinking. When they said they were going to hop to the next one down the street, the cyborg had said that he'd go collect the rabbit, waving off a suspicious Moira as a drunken Umbra tugged her companion along. He waited maybe twenty minutes at the bar, chatting up some girl and thinking up a story before he left with one more look at the other. Kozlov didn't even seem to notice that no one was there anymore, and Shuu slipped out of the bar unseen. Catching up to the other's, he shrugged out a lie about not seeing the younger anywhere in the club and assuming he'd just gone home. He ignored the annoyed look on Umbra's face and the boiling, anger driven suspicion on Moira's before heading over to the table Isaak was at.
Half an hour later, his blood ran cold. Isaak had gotten a call on his cellphone, eyebrows narrowed as he held up a hand for them to be quiet, "It is Kozlov."
The phone was put on speaker and the behemoth of a man leaned against the wall, "Kozlov, Приве́т, we had heard you went home early-"
"Oh, good, I have gotten a hold of you! I, ah, cannot make it to pick up Ingram at the airport, Shuu, can you do so for me?" the sound of club music in the background and someone laughing loudly next to him rang out and fuck if Shuu wasn't killed by his team for this it'd be a miracle.
"I am not Shuu, Kozlov, where-"
"Right, the one in London. I am sorry to ask this of you, I'll make it up to you!" his laugh was high and nervous, and the entire group was silent now.
"Where are you." They were all looking at each other as Moira took off out of the bar to get the car up front, everyone else already moving and heading outside, Shuu included.
"That's right, terminal 3. Thank you so much," it was painful to hear the other's relieved breath, "
Пожалуйста, поторопитесь!" at the sound of the dial tone, the japanese man flinched back at the nightmarish intensity of the look from the behemoth next to him. Getting outside, Moira sat in the car, waiting for them to get in before gassing it and gritting her teeth.
"What'd he say."
"The third bar," Isaak replied hastily, leaning towards the front seat with two arms on the back of the seat and his other two digging through his jacket pockets, "Along with a 'Please hurry up'." the last part was stated while looking at the cyborg next to him and Shuu sunk down into the seat, pale faced at the phrase. They didn't even bother parking in a spot, Moira slamming on the breaks in the middle of the street and Isaak was the first person to clamber out, flashing his ID at the bouncer and disappearing in as the rest of them hurried in, repeating the process. As they entered the front lobby, Shuu jumped as Umbra grabbed his upper arm in a three fingered grip and leaned down, her four eyes focused on him and her mandibles away from her jaw.
"If he's not here," She muttered, the dark blue of her carapace almost black under dim lights, "You will be suffering worse than what the Lieutenant already makes you do. " he could only nod at the Cheomnephi dumbly, following after her.
"Where was he last."
"The corner seat-" Isaak was headed there immediately, tailed by Moira. Following after them as the crowd parted for the human and the mix, Shuu stopped after running into Moira. Rubbing at his nose, he looked around her and saw why she'd stopped.
Kozlov was still in the seat, leg jiggling nervously and a strained smile on his face at the two large men that had him boxed in on either side. They were at least as tall as Moira, putting them in the high six-foot range, low seven-foot. Isaak got closer, the sight of the older Russian making the Lapin's face twist in relief as he stumbled out of his seat, having to slide over one of the men's laps and tensing as he got a whack on the as that made him chew on his lip as he stumbled out and against their Captain.
Whatever was whispered to Isaak from the smaller's shaking lips as he leaned down to support him had the older man tensing and gripping him against his side tightly as he backed away from them. He'd made it two steps before the men got up, hollering something drunkenly with ugly sneers on their faces. It was a split second reaction; One man threw a punch, Moira diving forwards to catch the smaller Russian as Isaak shoved him to the side and took the hit. The way the behemoth crashed a fist to one man's temple and jaw each, dropping him. The drunken charge and Shuu grabbing a chair to crack him in the face. The crowd gathering to see What was happening. The music loud and unrelenting and Shuu dropping to the side as Isaak threw the other into a wall. The slurred Russian of a crying Kozlov that stopped the older man. The rush of people they forced their way through. The absence of the bouncer.
The next time it was clear was being in the car, shooting down the gravel roads to base with a sweating Kozlov pressed into Isaak's chest, eyes fluttering as he muttered in slurred Russian to the other, the older man shushing him as he drug a large thumb under a wet eye. Shuu made sure to avoid the looks of the others, hearing the lieutenant berating him with more cuss words than he knew she knew. Umbra's level voice most likely talking to the doctor as they were pulling in.
There was the rush to get the sniper into the building, the group being met by the medic at the door of the medical bay and Shuu stayed behind, sitting on one of the chairs across from a pissed and half-drunk Moira leaning on the wall across from him. Swallowing, he looked down at his sneaker clad feet and wrestled with what to say.
"Fucking save it," he flinched as the words were spat with enough venom to kill, "You fucking lied to us, Nekomata. Do you have any fucking idea what could of happened if we'd been just a minute later?" he stayed quiet, head hanging low as he shook his head. His head shot up as the doors slammed open, eyes wide as he was grabbed by the front of his shirt and slammed against the wall.
"You-You… you absolute MOTHERFUCKER!" Shrinking back, he winced at the amount of rage culminated on Isaak's face. He was bright violet in rage, pupils contracted to small dots as he stared him down.
"Do you have any idea of what has transpired tonight?! The doctor has already confirmed it was a drug, you imbecile," He ground out, glowering at the smaller, "Because of you, Kozlov is retching and hurting! What is wrong with you? Is your idea of a joke so fully torturing someone that they wish not to be alive?!"
"What the fuck are you talking about?!" he shouted back, yelping as he was dropped and shoved back, tripping over his own feet.
"He told me." The silence in the hall after that phrase was thick, broken only by the pants of the rapidly deflating captain. Eyes wide and shocked, Shuu froze where he was. The realization that the other's fevered mumbling in the car was probably what that was about, along with whatever had been said in the medbay had his breath catching in his throat.
"Two months. I want you out of this base for two fucking months. Umbra has already told the director. You are not getting away with this."
For once, he had to agree that he deserved it.
Two months away from base had been horrible. He'd gotten used to the hustle and bustle of the place, but it was mostly the boredom. That, and the worry. The more Shuu reflected on the sad and scared looks he'd gotten from Kozlov in the month he'd been there had really… hurt. Why they did was the next question he'd wondered over, still grappling with an answer as the car pulled back up to the base. As expected, the lieutenant treated him icily, telling him a basic summary of what he'd missed and the releasing him to go back to his room.
The rest of the base did the same, recruits whispering to each other as he passed and people ignoring him outright. He was an idiot to think that what happened would of stayed between the main combat team. The entire week he was back he hadn't seen Kozlov, the Lapin decidedly missing from the base and he shrunk down at the thought of the other sniper having disappeared from the base to go to his own country's military instead. He guessed it was fair if he had; His treatment of the other didn't deserve to be forgiven.
Sitting alone in the common room, Shuu jolted out of his doze as the couch dipped next to him. Looking over, his mouth went dry. Kozlov was seated there, petting at one of his ears as he stared straight ahead at the television.
"You're back." the quiet voice had him looking at the other's face. Even in profile, he seemed… sad, afraid of the other and Shuu wanted to throw up.
"Are you staying."
"Yeah." there was a silent moment before the other turned to look at him fully.
"I forgive you." Shuu stared back, feeling like he was shattering inside. The other was definitely the better of the two of them, he realized, and he swallowed. It hit him why those looks had made him hurt, just like the way the other was smiling so watery at him. Kozlov hadn't deserved it, hadn't deserved to be treated for how Shuu saw his fragility for weakness and that shattering in him turned to a rain of glass.
He knew he wouldn't have a good explanation for the other, probably never would, for why he'd ended up crying on him. It was easier to say he didn't know why than say he was sorry. It was his fault, and he wouldn't be able to take it back. The best he could do is go from here.