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Stress Relief is a Red vs. Blue Fan Fic written by Snarky_SilverHaired_Sociopath. It’s a slight deviation from canon while detailing the problems incurred while dealing with South and her anger management issues. However, there is one way they South does get some form of stress relief. At the expense of her teammate, C.T. After a training incident with her brother, Carolina investigates these issues and tries to control them.

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This story provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • C.T. doesn’t really have the front of abrasiveness that she did in canon.
    • Due to the fact that he isn't trying to attain Metastability, Sigma is much nicer when assigned to Carolina. He even has polite bickering with her during Chapter 5.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: C.T. was romantically involved with the Insurrection Leader in canon and this fic has her attracted to Carolina. One could say the same about South, but her sexuality is not mentioned in canon. Carolina also starts showing attraction to ladies after starting to date C.T.
  • Adaptational Villainy: South was already bad in canon, but she wasn’t a rapist. Her temper is also amplified.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: The writer has stated that South’s problems stem from a genuine mental disorder. (Low-functioning sociopathy is the most likely candidate.) At very least, it causes some serious anger-management issues. But it doesn’t excuse anything she has done. North and Price discuss this in more detail after she has been exposed. Price says that her behaviors are consistent with Cluster-B personality disorders.note 
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  • Ambiguously Gay: South has regularly molested C.T., but it’s not made clear whether she is actually a lesbian or just sees C.T. as an easy target. The issue is muddied further when Price notes that she isn’t after the sex specifically.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Carolina’s abs, arms, thighs, and muscles get mentioned a few times. And both York and C.T. definitely want her for it.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: C.T. giving Carolina a kiss is all she needed to let her finally know that she is in love with her. And predictably, after being raped by South and while Carolina is still with York, it comes as a bit of a shock.
  • Ascended Extra: Florida is still not as prominent as the other Freelancers, but he gets much more than in canon. And he actually has more lines.
  • Ax-Crazy: South during her Villainous Breakdown. She starts violently attacking Carolina and everyone trying to stop her while threatening to murder C.T.
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  • Badass Gay: C.T. is bisexual and South is (presumably) a lesbian. And they are both Freelancers.
  • Batman Gambit: Carolina uses South’s impulsive nature and short-sightedness to get her to incriminate herself for raping C.T. See I Never Said It Was Poison.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As noted in Chapter 5, Florida may act friendly but he can be absolutely brutal and ruthless.
  • Bi the Way: C.T. says that she prefers women, but she doesn’t mind men.
  • Butch Lesbian: South would be on this end of the spectrum with her aggressive behavior. Even her orgasm is described as unfeminine.
  • Butt-Monkey: Wash is constantly on the butt end of jokes in most of his appearances. Everyone makes fun of him. Even his attempt to protect C.T. from South is pretty pathetic.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Everyone else thinks Florida was creepy with his conversation with the guard and his ease of dismissing it after killing him. South thinks it’s creepy because he was talking about flowers.
  • Covert Pervert: C.T. looks at Carolina when she’s with her in the showers and when she sees her in the hall in only a sports bra and shorts. Unlike South, she only looks. After C.T. confesses, Carolina correctly assumes that this is the case and C.T. can’t really deny it.
    C.T. couldn’t help but take a glance at the woman next to her [in the shower]. The water and suds flowing over the redhead’s well-toned figure. She kind of felt like a perv for looking, but she tried not to focus on it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: York and Wyoming certainly take the cake. Even engaging in Snark-to-Snark Combat.
  • Deuteragonist: C.T. to Carolina’s protagonist. One would assume that C.T. is the protagonist since she is the one being molested by South. However, most of the focus is on Carolina and her trying to mitigate South’s anger issues as the second chapter quickly shows. She doesn’t even find out about the molestation until chapter five and she still takes focus in the story.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": C.T. doesn’t like being called “Connie” because it’s triggering for her. South often called her “Connie” when she molested her.
    • And South does not like being called by her civilian name “Sasha.” The Director more than proves this.
  • Double-Meaning Title: “Stress Relief” primarily refers to South raping C.T. and Carolina trying to mitigate South’s issues, but it can also relate to York and Carolina’s sexual relationship. In another way of looking at it, the title could also relate to helping C.T. recover from the abuse.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Averted. The details of the sex between South and C.T. make it clear that C.T. isn’t into it even though South makes her orgasm. The effects of her rape are treated seriously and the scene itself is played for Fan Disservice. And when the other Freelancers find out about it, many of them are appalled. Carolina is outright livid.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After being unable to confess her affection for Carolina, being raped by South for months without her facing consequences, and Carolina hooking up with York, things finally start looking up for C.T. when Carolina gets South busted. And in the end, Carolina offers her to join her and York in a polyamorous relationship with the final scene being her getting to have sex with Carolina.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: South does have her own way of loving North, but the above-mentioned Ambiguous Disorder makes her terrible at processing it and expressing it. She does at least seem momentarily heartbroken that North knows that she’s a rapist.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Wyoming really is perturbed by South’s behavior with C.T. And the Director of all people does what he can to handle the situation out of genuine disappointment.
  • The Faceless: Wash, Florida, and Maine. The author makes it a point to ensure that those three are never in a situation in which they would be taking off their helmets or in situations that they could get away with keeping them on when everyone else has them off. Except for a moment played for laughs in the second chapter where Wash tries to eat through his helmet. He almost takes it off, but Carolina has him leave before he can.
  • Fan Disservice: While the sex scene between C.T. and South is detailed in its prose, the fact that South is forcing it on her and C.T.’s discomfort during the whole ordeal make it more disturbing. That dissonance was very much intended since the writer warns about it before the story begins.
  • Fanservice: York and Carolina’s sex scene. Downplayed between Carolina and C.T.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Wyoming tends to be condescendingly polite in general, but he will offer an insincere apology for when he kills someone.
    • Florida outright has a friendly conversation with the guard he’s assigned to take out. And he does not drop his friendly attitude before, during, or after killing him.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: “Friend” is a bit of a stretch, but only North really appreciates South. Most of the other Freelancers only tolerate her at best and that’s before finding out she raped C.T.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Averted between C.T. and South since the the latter is raping the former (see Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female) and downplayed with her scene with Carolina since it is more emotional than Fanservice.
    • Carolina jokingly accuses York of this when he says she’d let her be with C.T., but he’s genuinely being sincere.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Unsurprisingly, Florida.
  • The Grunting Orgasm: South’s moaning was described as “not feminine in the slightest.” And the moan from her actual orgasm is described as a Guttural Growl.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Aside from the strategic flaws noted by Sigma, the guard that Florida takes out doesn’t realize Florida doesn’t work there and even has a lengthy conversation with him about his daughter! Even Florida is surprised with his incompetence.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It really doesn’t take much to set South off, something she openly admits. Losing to North one too many times leads to her attempting to beat him half to death. North describes her as “an aggressive rage monster ready to crack at any second.”
  • Hate Sink: South quickly finds herself in this with her actions and characterization.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: See One-Word Title below. Aside from this, the last four chapters all begin with “Co-“.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Carolina agrees to have sex with C.T. despite not showing any attraction to women.
    • Closet Key: However, Carolina starts genuinely having sexual feelings towards her.
  • If Only You Knew: Carolina thought that there was no way C.T. would hook up with someone like South willingly. She was right. C.T. wasn’t willing at all.
  • I Knew It!: An In-Universe example. York noticed that C.T. had a crush on Carolina since he noticed her acting similarly to when he was still pining for her. And now it is confirmed, Wyoming owes him 200 bucks.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: How Carolina gets South to admit to molesting C.T. She only mentioned that she saw her earlier in the day and excluded the part about it being in the showers. She just waited for her to mention them first and it would be too easy to point that out. Thankfully, Price noticed that Carolina never mentioned the showers before South brought it up. And the threads only unraveled from there.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Florida will shamelessly have a conversation about flower decorations.
  • It's All About Me: South seems to have the uncanny ability to make everything about herself. And when she can’t, she only focuses on the things that are about her.
  • Jerkass: Freelancer Agent South Dakota, full stop.
    • Wyoming is still a condescending dick with virtually no concern for others. He is only one-upped by South because even he is appalled by her sexual abuse of C.T.
    • While he can be reasonable, the Director is still a colossal douche.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Director was right to not let South on the mission, but Carolina insisted. Ultimately, they learn he was right the hard way. And he lets Carolina know that.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After months of being able to rape C.T. without repercussions, South ends up being exposed, disgraced, beat up, and even shunned by her own twin brother.
  • Kick the Bitch: If you didn’t feel bad about South getting the crap beat out of her, you are not alone.
  • Kick the Dog: South raping C.T. just to blow off steam is easily this. And her leaving without a word in the first chapter also shows this.
  • Lack of Empathy:
    • South treats C.T. as completely disposable. She rapes her and then moves on with her life until the next time she needs to use her to relieve some tension.
    • Wyoming completely blows off South violently attacking North and even finds it entertaining. Basically, any time a fight is about to go down, Wyoming will be asking you to Pass the Popcorn.
    • Florida trumps both of them! He has a friendly conversation with the guard he was assigned to take out and kills him just as casually without remorse. Even while noting that the man has a daughter.
    • The writer has confirmed that the Counselor’s lack of response about South molesting C.T. is because of this.
      By the way, if it ever seems like Price really doesn’t give two craps about what happens one way or another, it’s because he doesn’t.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: There is a lot of profanity in the fic, but South still manages to stand out. Definitely fitting her short-tempered personality.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: South is just as impulsive as she was in canon. In the first scene, Carolina notes South’s tendency to rush into things by showing her inclination to brute force rather than strategy. This is something that North takes advantage of in the fight. She also screws up an important mission due to her impatience.
  • Laughably Evil: Florida is a ruthless sociopath but he’s just so cheerful even when kicking the dog.
  • Mask of Sanity: How North explains how South got through Basic Training despite her rage issues. The made her anger build up and things got much worse.
  • Malicious Misnaming: South calls C.T. “Connie” despite how much the latter hates it. But C.T. is too scared to correct her because she’s afraid of South violently molesting her.
    • The Director starts calling South by her given name, Sasha, just to piss her off. And as much as she hates it, he says that she has no right to complain about it after her molestation of C.T. comes to light.
  • The Modest Orgasm: C.T.’s orgasm is described in this way.
  • Mood Whiplash: Much like the series it’s based on, this happens with much frequency.
  • Mr. Exposition: Price takes the time to explain some of South’s mental disorders.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Dakota Twins are named Nathan and Sasha respectively.
  • Nerves of Steel: You’ve gotta give Carolina credit for unflinchingly giving a steely-eyed stare down the barrel of South’s gun.
  • Never My Fault: South can’t really own up to her mistakes. Her roundabout way of thinking always finds a way to make someone else responsible for the problems that she causes.
  • Not Helping Your Case: To the point of a Running Gag with South. Whenever someone tells her that she’s being childish or irrational or problematic, she’ll usually angrily deny it while simultaneously doing something that only helps confirm the accusation. Either the characters or the narration will lampshade this.
  • One-Word Title: Each chapter is titled with a word relating to the contents of it.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: North notices that South’s anger is getting worse because she attacks him during training. And she never really tried to hurt him before even with her anger issues.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Wyoming is shown on two separate occasions to treat legitimate fights between Freelancers as being entertaining for him. Even when they could potentially kill each other. He won’t even try to help break it up. He encourages the others to bring refreshments for one and is disappointed when the other is ended.
    • Four-Seven-Niner also make a remark when South and Carolina are about to fight on the ship. She only stops them because they need to be strapped in on their way to the Mother of Invention.
  • Polyamory: Carolina wants C.T. to enter a relationship with her and York. C.T. accepts.
  • Porn with Plot: There are three explicit sex scenes in the fic (one being a rape scene), but they can be skipped over without detracting from the story. Though, the writer does say that they have some notable character interactions, so they’re not completely pointless. However, most of the fic is dedicated to plot rather than the porn.
  • Psycho Lesbian: South is implied to be one. She has raped C.T. regularly even before the fic starts, but it’s left ambiguous to whether she actually is a lesbian or, regardless of her sexuality, she just sees C.T. as a weak target to take advantage of. The psycho part is much less ambiguous.
  • Psychopathic Woman Child: Everyone notes how childish South is acting. She lashes out to minor slights by violently physically assaulting others. She also complains about things much like a child would and petulantly defies authority and the opinions of others. The Director even outright states that she acts “like a goddamn child” in the first chapter.
    South: Would you stop treating me like a fucking kid?!
    Carolina: THEN STOP FUCKING ACTING LIKE ONE!
  • The Quiet One: Maine has exactly one line of his own. Other times, he’s only speaking with the rest of the group. And even then, he’d only have three lines in total. Lampshaded in an exchange with Carolina and Florida that contains his only line.
    Florida: You should hear what Maine suggested. He wants all of us to have a charades night! Doesn’t that sound fun?
    Carolina: Charades night? Really?
    Maine: I’d win.
    Carolina: Of course, you would.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: South is not treated kindly when they find out she has been sexually abusing C.T. Even North is disappointed in her.
  • Reality Ensues: The fic deals with the consequences of certain actions.
    • South’s impulsiveness gets two accounts of this.
      • She ignores Delta when he says that breaching directly would be inadvisable. Not only did the alarm gets tripped, but the team lost thirty valuable seconds that could have been used for escape. And beyond that, the guard was only estimated to be heading their way. There’s a chance he wasn’t going to them. Now that the alarm was tripped, they were definitely heading that way.
      • South molesting C.T. in the showers. Doing it in such a public place only ensured that they’d get caught. Sure enough, Carolina caught them, and South was eventually exposed.
    • In response to Carolina’s insistence that she could control South, the Director holds her accountable when she fails.
    • The effects of South’s abuse also have some of this:
      • Carolina calling C.T. “Connie” still bothers her because that’s what South called her while raping her. Even though it’s Carolina saying it, she doesn’t like hearing it.
      • South usually molested C.T. in the latter’s room. C.T. is unable to stay in her room alone for too long because of it and starts having panic attacks when she realizes South is angry.
      • Even though she does trust Carolina, C.T. still has intimacy issues while having sex with her due to South’s abuse. It takes her a few weeks to even get around to having sex Carolina. Even then, there are certain acts that she can’t do with Carolina because that’s what South did. No matter how much she wants to do that stuff with Carolina, it won’t be that easy for C.T. to get over her trauma just because it’s with somebody she loves.
    • Even though it was South who molested C.T., Carolina is not off the hook for an unprovoked attack on another teammate based on an allegation without proof – regardless of whether or not the allegation is later proven true.
    • Stopping South from molesting C.T. took away her one outlet of calming herself down for a significant amount of time. Her anger only builds, and they struggle to find a way to calm her down.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly, the Director when he discovers that South has been molesting C.T.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Carolina was correct to assume that C.T. and South having sexual relations was fishy, but she assumed it was consensual.
  • The Sociopath:
    • South Dakota is arrogant, violent, impatient, self-centered, confrontational and impulsive. Shown when she nearly beats her own brother to death for beating her in practice too often. She has no consideration for anyone else’s feelings (especially not C.T.) and always belittles the opinions of authority and her teammates. She’s rather sadistic as she takes pleasure in beating other people up. And she only sees C.T. as a form of stress relief as she rapes her since she simply leaves without another word after she’s done. When confronted, she shows no remorse for the way she treated her aside from getting caught and even tries to make herself look like the victim.
    • Wyoming shows signs of being the sociopath he was in canon. When South is violently attacking North and the other Freelancers are going to stop her, he tries to get them to stay and bring refreshments. He also shows a blatant disregard for the lives of the other Freelancers in general in many moments. He suggests that South should beat Wash into a coma while Wash is sitting right across from him. While the other Freelancers make fun of Wash, Wyoming’s remark is just plain cruel.
    • Florida for sure. Despite his friendly attitude, he shows very little actual concern for others. He kills a man after having a genuinely friendly conversation with him and killing him does not affect his cheerful demeanor. Even while knowing he has a daughter. He simply states that it’s unfortunate that she’ll never see him again like it’s a mild inconvenience.
    • The Counselor downplays it. See Lack of Empathy above. That and his general job of manipulating the Freelancers make this more likely.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: The reason why the Director can’t just get rid of South outright after her sexual misconduct is brought to light. As far at the Freelancers go, there aren’t a lot of qualified individuals for the program. So, the most he can do from a financially sound standpoint is keep her on with a numerous amount of restrictions.
  • There Are No Therapists: Well, when your only option is Aiden Price, this trope may as well be true as a few characters point out. Even C.T. notes that he’s the only option she has when she tries to go to him about South’s molestation.
  • Thicker Than Water: Subverted on both ends with the Dakota twins. North just can’t accept the fact that her sister is a rapist and South retaliates against him for that. North still cares about South’s well-being simply out of habit, but he feels like he needed to know what could’ve been done to keep her from doing what she did.
  • Tranquil Fury: Carolina’s rage towards South after finding out she’s a rapist starts with only cold glares before she unleashes a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The Director, Carolina, and Sigma discuss their infiltration plan in Chapter 2. When they carry out the mission in Chapter 3, South naturally screws everything up. But that also goes for the infiltration of the guard towers as well. This was not discussed in its entirety and that part went smoothly (sans Florida talking to the guard).
  • Villainous Breakdown: South has always been impulsive and had a Hair-Trigger Temper, but when she finds out that C.T. exposed her sexual abuse, she straight-up threatens to murder C.T. and Carolina while thrashing at anyone trying to stop her, even North! And when we finally think she has calmed down, Carolina insults her one last time and South pulls a gun on her and threatens to blow her brains out right there! And it only gets worse after the Director gives South her punishment.
    • Price goes even further to suggest that the breakdown would have come much sooner had she not been raping C.T.
  • Wham Line: For Carolina and Wash, their perceptions about the nature of C.T.’s relationship to South are shattered after Carolina asks why C.T. chose to be with her:
    “I DIDN’T”
  • World of Snark: Even the A.I.s the Counselor, Florida, and Maine have some snark up their sleeves.
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