OK IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT HOW AMAZING MISS PAULING IS.
I was listening to the voice lines and something hit me even more than it ever has before. Miss Pauling gets every last one of her boys. She respects their needs as well as their abilities. We joke about how our fandom favorites are our ‘sons’ but these guys kind of are her sons. She has their back when they piss off Helen, stepping in to take the heat every time. She loves her job even though all her superiors treat her like literal garbage and she works in a filthy closet 364 days a year. Think about how it’s all for those nine mercenaries, the only people who treat her with any semblance of respect. So she looks out for them even when they make her mental.
Go listen to the voice lines if you have not already. Think about tiny changes in her tone for each of them. Think about how even when she’s trolling them it’s totally harmless. Imagine Spy’s face, rolling his eyes while she tries to impersonate a French accent. But secretly, he thinks it’s kind of adorable. After all, think about the comics and how often he calls her just to complain. He knows she understands his frustrations, and appreciates her attempt to lighten his mood. Think about how she treats Soldier like a true soldier, addressing him exactly how he would want a commanding officer to speak to him. She doesn’t call him stupid or tell him he’s not a real soldier even though she knows he’s not. Think about how she talks with that sweet tone to Pyro and don’t be offended by it, because it’s actually a sign that while everyone else is horrified by him, Miss Pauling is the only one who understands that Pyro has a child’s mentality and will respond better to that. Realize that she goes to Engie for all her mechanical problems, and repeatedly compliments his intelligence. Think about how she states multiple times that she trusts Heavy, and there’s a hint of friendship there that we’ve all suspected since Blood in the Water. Think about how much she has probably confided in him, noting that he is quiet and reliable and far wiser than anyone bothers to give him credit for. Think about how Medic’s insanity doesn’t disturb her. Think about how she gets along well with Sniper even though he may or may not have been completely comfortable with torturing her if he had to. She doesn’t hold grudges. Repeat that: Miss Pauling doesn’t hold grudges. She understands how to get in there and bump elbows with all these male mercenaries in the 1970′s when women were just barely breaking into this stuff. Think about… well okay she’s pretty mean to Demo but I’m pretty sure she gets away with it since he obviously understands she means it playfully. Think about how even though Scout has given her nothing but constant harassment and never backs off, she still will work with him. She knows how to brush him off and keep to business, and it’s obvious she’d like to consider him a friend if he’d just give up trying to get with her.
And then read the update comic if you haven’t already. Realize she just got her ass in deep shit with Saxton fucking Hale all to give her boys some decent incentives. Think about how he talked total shit about them and even though it’s probably all true, she’s still fighting to get them decent weapons because she has faith that they can get the job done. Consider the fact that she honestly has no real reason to care as much about her job as she seems to. It may be interesting and exciting sometimes, but that’s all she gets out of it. She gets a crap budget to work with. You just know she drives a dumpy car, lives in a tiny apartment, has a mother who probably calls her just to yell at her for not being married yet. But she can always count on nine certain assassins to keep her life interesting, and they’re never mean or condescending to her, and they’re always happy to hear from her.
So you know what? Those nine stupid assholes love her for it. You know damn well they’d all take a hit for her. Because they probably haven’t had anyone treat them with respect either.