catering van

Firebird - Chapter 4

word count: ~1500

Firebird Series Masterlist - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3

The next week and a half had you busy organizing for the party, so you had Eva and Russell working the shop more than usual.  Each day, however, one or the other of them would come back to the kitchen to say there was a customer who would only deal with the owner, and each day you served Jared or Jensen or both with a joke and update on the job.

By the time Saturday came around, the kitchen was full of delicious smelling pastries, breads, and sweets for the party.  Mid-afternoon you began loading your catering van, but only a few trays in found you with two tall helpers in slacks and button-ups, eager to assist.  It only took the three of you about 30 minutes to load everything in your van, which gave you a little more time to change and fix your hair and make up than you had planned.  

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Joseph Helmutt Burgstaller was born December 1st, 1920  in the early morning to Bethanee and Hugo Burgstaller. It was a cold morning and Hugo had been in the fields. His wife had been in labor since noon the previous day and none of the chores had been done. When he returned Bethanee had been holding a swaddled baby to her breast and smiling happily. They named the baby Joseph.

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Everything that is Canon

I wanted to make a little reference list for myself of all the things we canonically know about the mercenaries.

Grew up in Boston, had 7 older brothers. He was the 8th and the youngest.

He’s at least 23 (the Track Terrorizer tells us this, but given the game and comic take place in different times, he could very well have been younger when the gravel wars first started.)

This means Scout grew up in the 60’s.

Scout claims to have never met his dad.

He wears dog-tags, which implies some sort of military service. (They definitely did not belong to a deceased brother or friend, though he could be wearing them as a fashion statement. However, his hat is also military style– not a baseball cap!)

He’s the fastest runner on the team.

It’s strongly implied Spy is his dad.

Had been arrested multiple times. One time a lamp was his defender.

Grew up in AMERICA.

Calls himself Jane Doe, which is the name used for unidentified deceased females. It is probably not his real name.

He was REJECTED from every branch of the U.S military on undisclosed grounds. He never served as a soldier for the U.S or any other nation.

Toured in Poland until 1949 on a Nazi killing spree. The war ended in 1945.

He made himself medals after his tour.

He owns several pet raccoons. Some are rabid and he loves them all. (Lt. Bites)

He roomed with Merasmus for a while.

He had been naked and covered in honey more than once.


Suit is filled with asbestos. Probably has awful asbestos poisoning.

Sees the world differently from reality (Pyrovision).


Loves fire. Loves setting things on fire. Capable enough to run a major corporate business, apparently.

His real name is Tavish Degroot.

Grew up in Scotland. Abandoned by his parents.

Killed his foster parents while looking for the Loch Ness Monster. Lost his eye to Merasmus.

Real parents adopted him after he killed his foster parents. It was part of becoming a demolitions expert.

His family lives in a castle. They’re famous for their (root)beer.

Is drunk often, but is intelligent enough to know how to mix volatile chemicals effectively and efficiently.

Was, at one point, great friends with Soldier. See the WAR update.


His real name is Misha, which is short for Mikhail.

He spent two months in a Siberian Gulag. He escaped by killing and torturing all the guards. His father was killed as a counter-revolutionary.

He loves to shoot his gun.

He and Medic are good friends, implied by Meet the Medic.
He has a Ph. D in Russian literature. This implies any lack of wit he has in English is due to a language barrier.

He has three sisters (Yana, Bronislava, Zhanna), and his mother is still alive.

His real name is Dell Conagher.

He has 11 Ph.D’s.

He’s from Beecave, Texas.

His family has worked for the Mann. Co company for three generations.

He’s close with Pyro, and he and Medic seem to work with each-other on experiments (implied by expiration date).

His real name is Mundee Mundy
Grew up in Australia with his adoptive parents. He was born in New Zealand, but thanks to a complicated string of events (see Blood in the Water), he was sent to Australia.

He was a big game hunter and guide in the Australian Outback for years before joining Mann. Co.

He’s currently 30 years old in canon (see blood in the water).

Owns a van.

Unable to grow facial hair.

May be good friends with Scout, given the fist-bump in the Sound of Medicine.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany. Lived through WWII.

Was once a licensed doctor, but lost his license after REMOVING SOMEONES ENTIRE SKELETON.

Stole a catering van full of doves from the Prime Minister’s wedding. This is how he got Archimedes, one of his many pet doves.

Speaking of which, he has a lot of pet doves.

He may have a wife. This is only implied by one of Demo’s domination lines.

The medi-gun was his own design.

He would much rather hurt than heal.

It’s implied he’s good friends with Heavy in Meet the Medic.

Was NOT a Nazi. (Given the historical implications of this (all professionals HAD to be registered Nazi’s) , he would have either had to have left Germany during this time, faced imprisonment, or been a victim of the social purges).

A mystery wrapped in an enigma.
In some languages, he’s French. In others, his accent is English.

Had an affair with Scout’s Mom at some point. Heavily implied to be Scout’s missing father.

Is kind and caring towards children and others; see a Smissmas Story and Expiration Date.

Is generally a gentleman.

He spent five months in prison with Scout because of Scout.

Is one of the most well known and dangerous men in the world. The police in Teufort knew he was dangerous on sight.

Annnnd that’s all we know for SURE.

Engineer Thoughts

I had too many of these for me to hold onto so I’m letting them go out into the cold unforgiving world. Also I SAY Engie and I mean ‘mostly centered around Engie singular but I’ll start to derail when I get into the intermercinary relationships’. Safe for work with swears.

I imagine Engie as a pretty obsessive and cold guy under all his humble-bumble Bee Cave mannerisms. He kinda has to be able to gnaw at a conundrum until its solved, it’s his job to solve problems. (like how he spent all his Exp. Date time continuing bread-teleporter experiments) putting a lot everything else to the side. Probably goes to sleep counting force in newtons of output he did that match. When he wants a fun distraction he’ll try to figure out how Merasmus’s magic works (where does the mass come from to make the Headless Horseless Horseman, for example). And this is usually a good time for him.

Early on sometimes the mercs would ask him what he’s thinking about when he get all focused, to which he knows means it’s his duty as a holder of 11 PhD’s to fuck with them as much as he can with his answer. For the ones that are easier to confuse he’ll just let a train of thought run into the extremes, sidetracking interchangeably with something in a different field of study with ’now you can get that effect just with ample application of C4 - which is that chemical that NASA put in their Space Snail Shuttle to get it to explode slower - but the real deal is coating the stuff the inside of the glove BEFORE you arm the shotgun and you’ll get that poor sonofaguns number before he knew he had one…’ until they just kind of. Walk away.

For ones that might intend to follow his reasoning, or record the information in audio, or take photos of his blueprints, or take photos of his blueprints in certain compromising positions, (not that he’s bitter, mind), he’ll just straight up babble Thesis-Sounding words in their direction while he plays his guitar with some (but not all) of the strings untuned to hell. Which incurred a neat trick one time where he played ‘La Marseilles’ just slightly out of tune - the Spy was the one who twitched.

An Engie has to get his fun where he can take it, outside of work. Otherwise he’ll have to find other ways to keep himself busy (keeping respawn up, checking the phone lines, pretending to check the phonelines), or his team will try to walk all over him. “Hey Engie, you not busy? Repair my guns/equipment/medigun/life/marriage? Thanks!” Now he’ll do you a solid if you ask nicely, but he ain’t no maid! And dang, boy, learn how to repair your own weird shotguns!

Though when he does find himself bored enough to sit down and repair anything, he might find the issue that his brain will latch onto a train and thought it and not let him go until he’s fixed the weapon but also made it at least 50-100% more deadly and potentially OP. The Force-A-Nature? The Machina? The Cow Mangler? The Backburner? The Fists of Steel? All Engie (or ideas er, adopted, by Mann Co.). I’m sure doing all this starts to warm him up to the idea of doing more things for people who are surprisingly receptive to being given crazy weapons.

Don’t let him repair anything that was not invented/intended/needed to also decapitate foes, though. Sniper made that mistake when his camper van had to be jump-started and it came back with a electric laser cannon that fired whenever he honked. To his credit, Engie swears he left a detailed 600 word explanative post-it-note on the steering wheel as he paid off Sniper’s Bail to the county jail that had suffered a mass breakout as well as a laser to the fence. But to earn himself brownie points, afterwards he helped steal back the van from the Impounded Weapons Lot. And added a dashboard button instead of a horn. And after another incident caused by Sniper’s long legs and lack of caffeination that would make Pyro give off electric shocks for a week thereafter, he replaced it again by a button covered by breakable glass that read ’ARE YOU DOUBLY SURE?’ in red letters.

Demo has a damn good campfire horror story about the time an alarm clock got fixed up by a mad scientist, or as he calls it, the Tale of the All-Armed Clock. The tired haunted look in his eyes makes you wonder though.

Spy is under legal/lethal contract to never let Engineer have at his Spy Co. devices again. He’s learnt his lesson. For one, that when Engineer says ’He’s just taking a quick look’, in his Rule-Screwing Texan Gremlin Tongue he means ’he’s gonna take a quick look and a quick play around and quick sketch-up of an unrelated side-study of Invisibility Fields and start a quick writing of terrifying ideas like “Reconsider Invisible Sentries”’. The other lesson learnt is that Spy Co. always knows when their stuff has been tinkered with.

Also Spy, after hearing-tell of the events of Sniper’s Van, has never let Engineer have a remote chance of even accidentally getting near his expensive car, let alone access. Still, he swears that the ‘Oil Slick’ button must have always been there, they just omitted it from the manual. Because there’s no way.

(Though as much as Spy tries to stop Engineer meddling with the tools of his trade [speak for yourself, Spy], he was pleasantly surprised when there was a cigarette-box compartment added to the newest Dispenser models - which would later bear a lighter function too after a vaguely directed sarcastic suggestion.)

Medic’s Ambulance (neé Wedding Catering Van) has gotten a lot of hidden storage space longways about the width of the average human male (and an extra large special compartment too). They have some nice cooling system that Medic also uses to store perishables in hot weather. Otherwise Engineer hasn’t done much in the way of touch-ups, Medics birds were quite insistent he not touch their perch areas. He won’t tell you how he knows it, he just does.

Miss Pauling has approved of the minor adjustments to her scooter, which just encouraged Engineer to make more and pile them on top of each other (though Pauling does have a set of rules make sure he doesn’t go all out and turn it into a tank - like one that says he “can’t adjust any more than 2% the outside form of the Scooter”. She delivered these rules as a contract she wrote up. Engie appreciated the gesture.). The toxic gas tires and the headlights have a flashbang feature are cool tricks. But not as overall useful as general adjustments like the hidden gun compartment under the seat and the engine that can go from 1 to 100 in five seconds. In Pauling’s dizzy words 'That accelerated quickly!’

But upgrades take workshop space which, depending on the base and the luck of the draw, might have to be shared. Demo and Engie go to each other to confer ideas of explosive power often (and sometimes just a cold drink and a chat), but it’s a barely-held truce whenever their base forces them to share a workshop. They get a bit excited and competitive.

Engie and Medic have great times together though, and will tell everyone they’re 'doing serious research which will improve battle capability yadda yadda science words’. But really they’re just doing increasingly wacky teleporter experiments (preferably while either very drunk or very sober) until the cows come home, with intent to produce a cathartic and oogleable experience. This is probably how they found out about the bread. After a hard day once in a while, Medic will drag a weird thing in and demand to see what going through the teleporter will do to it, to which Engineer will provide the teleporter (sometimes with minor adjustments to make things interesting), and they wake up in the morning with a headache and three teleporters fixed to the ceiling each with a banana trapped in a perpetual fall.

They’ll survive sharing a workspace, somehow. Just as long as the biotic stuff and the electric stuff don’t mingle too often. It gives them ideas.

But it’s basically a three-way Passive-Laxative-Corrosive-Explosive-Aggressive Cold War situation when things get skimpy enough that Medic, Engineer and Demo have to share a single Research Room. Not that Medic blows many things up, but, oh no! Whoopsie, he didn’t expect that blood-filled lung to just burst like that! He thought it would take two hundred times more pressure! Hope you didn’t accidentally ingest any of that raining blood, hoho, no, that would be bad!

Yeah, of course you didn’t mean for it to rain blood all over his fresh coat of paint.  An accident. Which is why Engie is sure Medic’ll understand when his Miniature Prototype Gattling-Car (which he only really started working on after the blood-splatter occured, what do you know) will, oh darn, lose control to the recoil and just wander into Medic’s cadaver pile and somehow ruin all the ones with the nice intact eyes. By accident.

But of course a bullet jumped off some bone and a launched nose fell into Demo’s chemical cocktail of doom, the acid of which would have ruined his hair had he not thrown his Hat to the floor where it dissolved. And Demo was gonna be the bigger person with the nicer hat about all of this, but the bigger person could also be the guy who let the left side of the room just fill slightly with gas -

You see the point. And the explosion, if you’re walking by. Don’t get them wrong though, if these eggheads were to ever work on the same problem, they’ll solve it with enthusiasm. And whaddyaknow, Engineer enjoys the company, in between making sounds from the workshop that give the other teammates something to worry about.

submitted by  pinapin


Yuuri edition

  • Unanimously decided that they cannot be held on the same night for overlapping friend group reasons
  • Yuuri has his first in Japan and Viktor has his closer to the night of the actual wedding in Canada
  • I like to imagine that Phichit is visiting for a couple weeks in the off season anyways, as well as Yurio b/c a)why the hecke not and b) boy is a slut for japanese food and c) the whole you have to leave japan competition thing sort of wore off when Viktor and Yuuri adopted him
  • Hasetsu isn’t really known for its wild nightlife so they end up taking one of the Katsuki catering vans (to fit everyone) down to Fukuoka and renting out the SP room
  • Well i say they but Yuuri had literally no say in the party b/c Minako kidnapped him while he was taking Makkachin out for his afternoon walk
  • Viktor 100% assisted in the kidnapping plan for his own fiance
  • Members of the van include: Minako, Mari (wants to make sure that 6-drink yuuri gets to where he needs to b/c she already know how to deal with dad), Takeshi, Yuuko (they got Yuuri’s parents to sit for the triplets), Phichit, Yurio, and Minami (underage drinking is a whole thing™ in Japan- Minami heard about the party from Phichit’s instagram and they managed to sneak him and Yurio in without much issue)
  • Yuuri, 5 minutes into his own bachelor’s party: “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU KIDNAPPED ME PLEASE TELL ME MAKKACHIN IS FINE” “Relax, Viktor was in place to take over” “Of course Viktor’s in on this, why am I not surprised?”
  • Yuuri, 2 hours and 7 shots into his own bachelor’s party: “YUUKO LIFT ME ONTO THE BAR FOR BODY SHOTS”
  • There is a lot of subsequent dancing on tables, undressing, and nearly getting ejected from the place that they actually rented out as Yuuri goes full-on
  • Yurio demands a motherfucking rematch, dance-off wise and manages to hit his head on a studio light in the ensuing battle
  • They’re all still kind of buzzed (and in some cases fairly wasted) at around midnight but still ready to move on.
  • Minako suggests karaoke and google says there’s a karaoke bar a 16 minute walk away so they wander through the streets over to international bar
  • They lose Yurio and Minami for a bit and when they find them both boys have purchased 3000 yen’s worth (each) of late night yatai food from the river stalls and have consumed most of it
  • Minami has to stop and throw up before they get to the international 8 minutes later
  • Everyone makes him stick to water from that point on
  • Yurio has somehow had half of his body weight in hard liquor and acts exactly as drunk but not wasted as everyone else
  • Karaoke is literally just a mess of drunken pop songs and Yuuri has his fair share of time at the mike
  • Tone deaf: Minako, Yuuko, Takeshi, Minami
  • Good tone-matching but they’re screaming into the mike: Yurio, Yuuri, Mari
  • Actually fucking incredible especially when wasted: Phichit
  • Phichit’s been social media documenting the whole night on his phone so Viktor will just get.
  • 9 seconds of blurry footage.
  • Of what looks like Takeshi with Yuuri on his back and Yuuko with Yurio on hers
  • Jousting each other with a distinct lack of lances
  • 3 am comes, everyone’s tuckered out, Yuuko’s the only cognizant enough to find the motel they rented out to crash at
  • They rented out 2 rooms, each with 2 beds so Mari, Minako, Yuuko, and Takeshi take the one room and the rest of the boys take the other
  • Minami and Yurio are both snoring before the even hit the pillows in an ungainly heap but Phichit and Yuuri have been on a reminiscing spree since before they even checked in
  • Y: “Remember that time back in Detroit when you fell in Turtle lake and I said that you couldn’t come back out until you caught one?”
  • P: “snnnkkkkrt I actually tried for like 6 minutes before you could take a breath between giggles to tell me to stop”
  • Y+P: *incoherent laughing and wheezing*
  • Y: “hey Phichit?”
  • P: “Yea?”
  • Y: “…. I’m getting married, aren’t I?”
  • P: “Yea.”
  • Y: “Yea…”
  • Phichit passes out soon after but Yuuri’s still a bit giddy and loopy
  • Before Yuuri passes out he facetimes Viktor to drunkenly tell him he loves him, and oh my god they’re getting married??? Wow!
  • “Vik-hic, Vityaaa Vit’yechkaaa”
  • “I just want to make sure I don’t forget to tell you”
  • “I love you. I love you so much and I just want you to always take care of me, okay? okay.”
  • And Viktor is just dopily staring into the screen with the biggest heart eyes, half asleep at 3:40 am
  • And he makes sure that this is a recording that’s been properly saved before rolling back over Makkachin and falling asleep

Next up, over to Canada for Viktor’s party

yall i finally fucken published this holy fuck:

@ladysaladpuddin @sednamode @victuuriporkbowl @j-j-leroy @fadedawayy 

Story Time: Why I am Upset

So a few days ago, I was down by the shore with my family, and we went to a seafood restaurant for dinner. The restaurant (a pub) was located right next to a seafood shack called Clam Castle, and both were owned by the same person/company. Fried clams are very popular along the shore, and both restaurants served a variety of clam-based dishes. And so, in the parking lot of the pub we went to, the restaurant had a catering/delivery van. Just your typical white van, except it was supposed to look like an ambulance of sorts. The restaurant’s name was printed backwards across the hood, along with the words, “For Clamurgencies.” The restaurant’s name and logo appeared on the sides of the van.

While I appreciate there was some effort in “clamurgencies,” I’m still hung up about what could have been.

In all their cleverness, trying to make a catering van look like an ambulance, they seemed to miss something major.

I still don’t understand how it did not occur to someone

to call the van

The Clambulance


Animals happy on a blue Monday

It may be a blue Monday, but at least the animals are happy! These hilarious shots show a variety of euphoric animals enjoying a hearty belly laugh.

The pictures, captured by a host of photographers around the world, prove that a drop of sunshine can transform the mood of all creatures great and small.

A mischievous-looking macaque snapped a selfie of herself posing in Indonesia, while a grinning gorilla is seen creased up as he enjoys life. Another shot shows a raccoon that looks like he’s just heard the punch line of a joke, and a chuckling cheetah was caught throwing his head back midlaugh.

Even those with arachnophobia won’t be able to help themselves from having a smile at the aptly named Hawaiian happy-face spider who was pictured with a grin plastered across his back. (Caters News)

Photo credits: Jay Parker/Caters News, Aram Williams/Caters News, Alice Van Kempen/Caters News

See more photos of happy animals and our other slideshows on Yahoo News.

Peck of the day: These busy birds look like they’re getting right up this buffalo’s nose! The tiny oxpeckers feed almost entirely on parasites found on large mammals - and these ones seem to be having a feast as they cleaned out this buffalo’s nostrils and ears at the same time. Photographer Nico van Amstel took the picture in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
Picture: Nico van Amstel/Caters

TF2 Writing/Drawing/SFM Meme

Please tag these with #fortyeahteamfortress2 if you do any of these, and we’ll reblog ‘em! Please remember to keep anything NSFW under a cut.

  1. Subject: Your favorite character and a character they don’t interact with very much in canon. | Prompt: How did they meet? Did they get along well at first? How’s their relationship now? Do they get along, or do they keep their distance?
  2. Subject: The merc’s pets. | Prompt: Make a story starring the pets, and only the pets. The mercs cannot appear at all, or they at least cannot have any dialogue.
  3. Subject: The NPC’s. | Prompt: Same rules as above (no appearances, or at least, spoken dialogue by the mercs), but with the non-player human characters. Bidwell, Reddy, Saxton, Helen, Miss Pauling, etc.
  4. Subject: Your favorite character. | Prompt: Their biggest weakness, and how they confront it.
  5. Subject: Two characters who have the same interest, but engage in it differently. | Prompt: For example, how does the way Medic does science differ from the way Engineer does science? If Heavy and Spy are both interrogating a subject, is one the Good Cop, and the other the Bad Cop?
  6. Subject: The Noodle Incident. | Prompt: A “Noodle Incident” is a situation in fiction that is alluded to, but never fully explained. (See: Whatever happened in Budapest between Hawkeye and Black Widow in The Avengers.) Just who the heck was Medic’s doomed patient? What was he doing stealing a catering van? How did Spy and Heavy end up in jail in those promo images for the Über Update?
  7. Subject: Family members. | Prompt: What are your headcanons for the merc’s (or NPC’s) family members? You can include family we’ve already 'met’, as well.
  8. Subject: Hats. | Prompt: Involve hats somehow. Hats surprisingly don’t come up in art or fic that often. Bonus points if it’s a hat that doesn’t exist in canon.
  9. Subject: Hobbies. | Prompt: Your OTP (or favorite platonic duo) shares a hobby. Do they pursue it together? Do they even know they share the same interests? What happens when they find out? Do they spend far too much time and money on it?
  10. Subject: Weird weather. | Prompt: …Why is it snowing at Cactus Canyon? Why does Coldfront look like an Oasis? You tell me.

Now you may be asking, “But fortyeah, I don’t draw, write, or I can’t use SFM! What can I do?” Well, I have prompts for you, as well:

  • Reblog any fanart or fanfic in the fandom that has less than 100 notes. Go advertise your favorite fanartist/fanfic writer that doesn’t get as much love as they deserve.
  • Make a fanmix for your favorite character.
  • Send a nice message to someone in the fandom who’s feeling down. 

Looking forward to the results! You’re all awesome, talented people, so I can’t wait.

anonymous asked:


It took fifty miles of driving in the catering van, with a wrecked suspension and non-existent shocks, over potholed road, for Carol to finally succumb to the pain and accept the painkillers that Sasha had grabbed as they fled the bloody husk of Grady Memorial Hospital.

Ever since then, Daryl had seen the tension dissipate from her form, allowing her to sleep. It felt like he had waited for hours for her to wake up after they left the hospital, but once she was conscious, she had been in so much pain from her injuries that he had been left feeling sick for her.

She was still pale…being on the road like this wasn’t improving her condition. They needed to stop somewhere, let her rest for a few days…a whole week if they could manage it. Rick knew that, but there just wasn’t anywhere around that the dead hadn’t infested. For now, all they could do was try to avoid the potholes.

Daryl sat in the hollowed out back of the van. Carol lay perpendicular to him, her head on his leg, with the rest of her lying on the pile of sleeping bags and pillows that the others had nabbed, trying to cushion the ride for her weary body.

The bruises were stark on her skin, though the swelling had gone down. The cuts and abrasions were healing, but there had to be so much internal stuff going on that he didn’t know how to assess or treat. She was alive, that meant that it wasn’t fatal, right? Broken ribs…bruised kidneys…stuff like that could just…heal itself with rest, right?

They hit a bump, and Daryl tensed, looking down at Carol as he heard Rick hiss behind the wheel in apology. Carol’s face pinched, and her eyes remained closed. She didn’t wake. He sighed and rubbed his thumb across his forehead, catching Tyreese’s eye. The other man was sitting against the opposite wall, an arm around Sasha, who was obsessively picking at the dried blood under her fingernails. Ty was trying to look reassuring, but he was too tired to be credible.

Carol moaned, and her head shifted against his leg. Daryl looked down at her again, almost afraid to touch her, for fear of making it worse.

“Hey,” he said quietly, carefully sliding his fingertips through the hair at her temple, avoiding the bruised spots.

Carol struggled to open her eyes, and when she blinked up at him, he could see the drugs still clouding her vision. An easy smile slid across her lips.

“Hi,” she greeted groggily.

“How you feelin’?” he asked, swallowing against the emotion clogging his throat.

She hummed, leaning into his touch at her temple. “Flying monkeys stole my knife.”

Tyreese chuckled, and Daryl found himself smiling just out of relief. Her voice was even and soft, not tight with pain like before. She was talking nonsense, but that was the drugs.

“That’s okay,” he sniffed, cursing himself for the moisture burning at his eyes. “I’ll get you a new one.”

Carol gazed up at him, her expression open. Her lips pouted, and she lifted a hand, rubbing her thumb under the hollow of one of his eyes, where the tears were threatening to break free.

“Don’t rust, Tin-man,” she teased. “I don’t have an oil can for you.”

Daryl sighed, closing his eyes and turning his face into the palm of her hand. She trailed her fingers against his forehead, and he kissed the base of her wrist.

“Don’t worry about me,” he murmured, guiding her hand back down to her side. “I won’t rust.”

“Good.” She was fading again, but her smile was genuine as her eyelids fluttered closed. “Good.”

Daryl watched her drift back to sleep as he ghosted his fingers through her hair.