Non-shippy: PSJ as scout leader taking his fearless troop on a camping trip in the wilderness (been waiting on this one forever tbh)
He had a rich variety of groans. There was groan thirty-two (fake exasperation), groan thirty-three (real exasperation), groan twelve (I really did not need to see that, groan sixteen (what did you do this time, Vechs?), groan sixteen and a half (again, Vechs?), but this was a completely different one.
Groan fifty-two, complete with facepalm, the "Mindcrackers are idiots" groan.
Milbee grinned sheepishly from where he was adorning his scouts uniform with a rainbow colored wool scarf. Paul almost glared at him.
He turned his attention back to Generik and BDubs. Generik, BDubs, and their copious amounts of bee stings.
"Poked a beehive!"
"Poked a- why?"
They shrugged simultaneously and grinned furtively. Vechs giggled.
Paul groaned- groan fifteen, "Why Am I Stuck With Idiots?"- and rummaged through his pack for bee cream. He chucked it at them, somehow trusting them enough to do it themselves.
"Couldn't you have at least waited until we set up the tents?"
They grinned again, the picture of false innocence. Paul shook his head.
This was going to be a long weekend.
"Ow!" Kurt yelped from somewhere off to his left.
A long, long week, if today was any example.
It was 9:45. So far, fifteen minutes had passed without any incident. Paul hoped for fifteen more minutes. He knew, however, it wouldn’t happen
Another minute of absolutely nothing interesting passed. Then another. Then another. Thirteen minutes passed. Fourteen. Fourteen and a half.
Paul groaned groan thirty-six ("Almost!") and faced a red-faced Shree.
"What happened?" he asked the youngest scout.
"I burned myself," the dark-skinned boy pouted. He held out a hand. "It hurts."
And he had missed a gaming marathon with his friend’s for these nutcases.
After many similar incidents (because it was the Mindcrackers, what else was expected of them?), fifteen groans (many being groan fifteen), and Vechs tackling Guude, they were on their fearless journey to the peak of the mountains.
Well, mostly fearless.
"Is that a bear? I heard something. Is that a bear?"
"Shree, Zisteau stepped on a branch."
"I heard something. Is that a vulture?"
"It's the wind. Don't worry, Shree."
Vechs jumped in, much to their shared charin. "Is iffy-bitty Shree afraid of the scawy-easy animals?"
The eight year old balled up his fists. "No!"
Normally, Paul would have told Vechs off for that statement, but Shee was being annoying so, just this once, he let him off.
Just this once.
"Are we there yet?"
Paul resisted the urge to strangle the Davion boy.
"I swear, if you say now one more time-" Paul cut himself off before he threatened the kid with bodily harm.
"How about now?"
Groan fifteen was used again.
Paul, in hindsight, should've listened to Shree’s continued whimpers. But he continued to ignore them, even as he thought he heard leaves crackling behind them.
One minute they were all setting up tents, starting up a campfire, Paul ignoring Shree's repeated whimpers.
The next, he was lying on the ground, air punched out of his lungs, gunshot ringing in the air, pain in his chest.
He heard shouts and shots in a terrifying combonation- Vechs screaming in pain and yelling at Shree ("Get away, you're small and fast! Go, Shree! Now!")
Shree's whimpers before leaving- ("Bye, Vechs...")
Through his blackening vision, he saw Vechs's overly tall form taking a bullet for Shree before collapsing. He saw Zisteau, bleeding from a wound on his arm, reach out to the form of his best friends; Etho trying to shelter a fallen Nebris; Kurt crawling to reach Zisteau, his only friend in the troop-
Then it was dark. Black. And he saw nothing, couldn’t even reach out to help.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
"He's waking up!"
Paul blinked eyes that felt way too heavy.
He fell back asleep.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Shree's voice. Scared. He didn’t know why.
He wanted to ask where he was, but he couldn't even open his eyes. They felt like something was gluing them together, forcing him to stay sightless.
Beep. Beep. Beeep. Beeep. Beeeeep. Beeeeeeeeep.
"We're losing him!"
Paul was already gone.
He wanted to register a new groan in his language, though.
Groan five-hundred thirty-eight.
"Why am I in this mess?"