A/N: This chapter is dedicated to my BETA reader, QueensGambit, who has stuck with me the entire time; through my nagging, chapters sent at 12-3 in the morning, interrogations, and 3 chapters sent in one day. This is for you.

Chapter 17: The Queen's Gambit

Another four years of being a Joe had passed by so quick Temper was caught of guard when she realized that she and Snake Eyes had known each other for at least six years. They had been 'together' for four years and still going strong. No one had been surprised when they found out that the two shared a room and Hawk did not comment on it. Temper and Snake Eyes had their fights, let's face it, this is Temper, but it was not anything they could not handle.

Temper laid there in the bed, April 23rd had come and passed, her birthday. She was now 27 and absolutely terrified. Snake Eyes was sleeping beside her. She looked at him lovingly. There was nothing she would change about the past, everything she had done then had lead her to him. After all this time had passed she fell in love with him, the first man she had loved for this long. Sure there was Tommy, and for a short time they had mistaken their love for each other as something other than a sibling bond, but it was short lived.

Speaking of Tommy, he came and went frequently, often just visiting Temper, sometimes coming to help the Joes with missions. Snake Eyes, needless to say, became a bit frustrated and a little jealous when Tommy had stayed longer than usual and occupied much of Temper's time. She was at least 25 and the entire month the two stuck together like a couple. Snake Eyes was worried when she did not come to the room for a week straight. Scarlett assured him she was alright, but after the sixth day of being fed up with everybody seeing Temper but him, he went to Hawk. Snake Eyes was informed that almost every day Temper and Tommy have been off on one to two hour missions, as the Hit and Run team. The team that he had been apart of for almost three years, the team with just him and Temper. NOT TOMMY. He found out that she slept in his room the entire week. That was not okay with him. The fight did not last long and everybody knew not to keep Temper away from him for too long after that whole ordeal.

The warmth of Snake Eyes' body pressing against her's brought her out of her reverie.

Why are you still up? he asked.

"Just thinking," she stated, looking into his tired eyes that had suddenly lit up. He quickly crawled over her and got two bags.

I almost forgot, Hawk approved of our leave time.

"I didn't request leave time," she said confused.

I did.

"Snake Eyes! You can't just do that and not tell me."

But I already did. Now get ready, we're going to the cabin.

"This doesn't have anything to do with the fact that Tommy arrived unannounced yesterday does it?"

On the contrary, he didn't arrive unannounced, I asked him to come.

"You asked him?" she questioned. This was too confusing, first the sudden leave then Snake Eyes actually asked Tommy to come to the Pit. She pushed away the million dollar questions and got packed and dressed.

I was not long before the two were getting on the plane. They had run into Tommy who had nodded to Snake Eyes and smiled at Temper. She knew the smile well, and she knew what it meant. It was either Tommy's sadistic smile when he knew he was going to enjoy watching someone suffer, or it is his 'you have no idea what you are in for' smile. She did not have time to question it as she was dragged along by Snake Eyes.

Soon enough Temper was sitting on the couch huddled in a blanket to protect herself from any cold air that might slip in from the outside. Snake Eyes came to stand in front of her and took away the cup of tea. Before she could protest he set the cup on the small table next to the couch and ghosted his thumb across her bottom lip.

I need you to know something.

"What?" she breathed out.

You are… very difficult at times. You have little to no patience, you're very defiant, bipolar at times. But if I'm honest with myself, I wouldn't change anything. I thought you were infuriating when I first met you… the one thing I could never figure out. You were a mystery to me and I hated that I couldn't tell what you were thinking, or what you were going to do next. At the same time, I loved it. You always managed to surprise me. I never imagined that I would end up falling in love with you… or you falling in love with me, but it happened. In our own strange way we fell in love with each other, I know I'm only going to ask this once, and I'm glad it's you who I'm asking- Snake Eyes bent down to one knee, pulled out a black velvet box, and opened it, -Will you marry me?

"Yes!" she exclaimed, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him passionately. When she pulled away she could not help but grim madly as he slid the elegant silver ring on her finger.

And don't worry, Tommy and Hawk gave their blessing.

"Is that why you asked Tommy to come?!"

I wanted to ask him in person. Tears swelled in her eyes and she bit her lip to keep them from falling. I hope those are tears of joy? he questioned teasingly. She smiled and nodded. Cupping his face she kissed him again.

"Did you ever think I would say 'no'?"

There's always a possibility. I was hoping for the best... and I got it.

Temper looked in the full length mirror. She was wearing a floor length, strapless white dress. She picked up the bouquet of red roses, bound with a black strip of cloth, embroidered with white Japanese writings. Taking a calming breath she turned and exited the room. She could see Hawk and her bridesmaids waiting for her. She asked Ana to be her Maid of Honor and Scarlett, Jinx, Alyssa, and Cover Girl to be her bridesmaids. She and Alyssa had bonded fast, something Temper had not expected. Hawk smiled at her and held out his arm, which she took. The procession started and she walked barefoot down the aisle. For this special occasion Snake Eyes took his mask off, of course it is not like anybody recognized him. They only asked a select group to come, mostly Joes that the two had come to trust over the years.

They kissed and everybody present applauded. Cover Girl was the one to catch the bouquet and soon enough the happy couple were on their way to Japan once again.

Snake Eyes hovered over her and she looked up at him waiting to make a move. He slowly leaned and kissed her. One kiss turned to two, then two to three, three to four, and before Snake Eyes knew she was on top of him, straddling his midsection. She took in deep breath, preparing herself for what she was about to do, and took his hand in her's. She brought his hand up and put it to her chest, above her breast, where her heart was. "It's yours. I gave my heart to you a long time ago, I just tried to make sure you didn't know. But now you do and I want you to know that it's yours to keep, you can do whatever you want with it, but I beg of you, please don't break it."

I would never intentionally hurt you, he signed with his other hand.

"I know," she whispered, kissing the palm of his hand.

"SNAKE EYES!" Temper yelled, running to the sparring room at top speed. She found him alone and nearly tackled him to the ground had he not acted fast and caught her. "I'm pregnant!" She could hear his heart almost stop and got worried. "I just got the results," she continued, holding up a folder. "I haven't told anyone and Doc doesn't even know, he just let me use some of his equipment… I wanted you to be the first to know." Snake Eyes was at a loss for words so he just took his mask off and kissed her. "So I take it that you're happy about his news?" she asked. He smiled and nodded.

Who else are we going to tell?

"Hawk and Tommy are next and then the rest of the team. Oh, and I have to call Alyssa and the Masters," she said excitedly, looking into eyes. "We're going to be parents," she whispered, "after two years of marriage."

Almost a year of being engaged.

"And a total of seven years knowing each other," she added, looking at him expectantly.

You want to go tell Hawk and Tommy now don't you?

Temper grinned and put her forehead to his. "You read my mind."

8 months later…

Snake Eyes paced back and forth in the waiting room.

"How long has it been?" Tommy questioned.

Almost three hours, he signed. His attention was brought to the Soft Master entering the room.

"Snake Eyes, will you please come with me?" the Master asked. Snake Eyes followed him into the hallway. When the Soft Master was sure they had privacy he started to speak.

"The baby is fine; however, Temper is not."

What do you mean? Snake Eyes' heart beat sped up, a million different scenarios ran through his head.

"She had a postpartum haemorrhage and the bleeding could not be stopped. They had to perform a hysterectomy; they removed the womb… she will not be able to have any more children," he informed. Snake Eyes let the information sink in.

Where is she? he asked.

"She was not put to sleep for the procedure so she should be awake, they put her in room 117. You will find it at the end of the hall," the Soft Master said, pointing in the direction he the room was in. Snake Eyes bowed and walked swiftly to the room.

Quietly entering he made his way to his wife's side. Temper embraced him and cried. Her heart clenched and muscles tensed, she was still numb from the waist down.

"I'm sorry," she whispered.


"What?" Temper yelled.

"Come here." Temper ran up the stairs and entered her daughter's room. "Which one?" The girl of 16 held up two different outfits, a dress in one hand and skinny jeans and a loose crop top in the other. Temper smiled, if there was one thing that the two girls shared it was their taste in fashion and their stubbornness.

"That one," Temper said, pointing to the jeans and crop top, remembering her first date with Snake Eyes.

"Thanks." At that moment the doorbell rang through the house. "He's here! I'm not ready! Go stall him or something!" Temper chuckled and went to go see the person at the door.

"You must be Evan," Temper greeted, extending her hand to the boy.

"Yes ma'am, and you must be Mrs. Ray. It's nice to meet you," Evan said, shaking her hand.

"Just call me Temper. Sorry you have to wait, Adrianna can be a little slow."

"Oh, I wouldn't mind waiting an hour if I had to," he admitted.

"Just be glad you wouldn't have to wait on her an hour with her dad."

"Yeah, I have to say I wasn't looking forward to the interrogation."

"I don't think any boy is when they're about to meet the overprotective father."

"Overprotective military father."

"Hey, sorry I took so long," Adrianna said, racing down the stairs. Evan turned to Temper.

"Don't worry I'll have her back at a reasonable time," he guaranteed.

"Her curfew is 11 and I don't want either one of you to be drinking, don't take any suspicious substances from strangers, don't enter any unknown vehicle or dark alleys, no fights-"

"Mom! We know."

"Just making sure," Temper said, holding her hands up in defense. She smiled at the two and warned them, "Be safe, you don't who's out there."

"We will," Adrianna assured, hugging her mother.

"I'll probably be asleep by the time you get back so lock the door after you get inside and set your alarm clock. Don't forget, we're going to the airport to pick up your father," Temper informed.

"I will," Adrianna promised, walking out the door with Evan.

Adrianna walked out of the courtyard of the Kowarenai clan temple with the Young Master beside her.

"With my mother and father no longer here I could use your help with running the clan," she told him.

"I'll do everything I can to help my niece, and Jinx and Kamakura can also help you with the students," Tommy informed her.

"Thank you."

"How have you been doing?" he asked.


"I know that's not true." Adrianna stopped in her tracks and turned to face him.

"I'm scared of what will happen. Evan and I got married, he went off to war, didn't come back, and I was left with G.I. Joe and a son. Next my mother dies of an illness, my dad is killed, and I'm left with the Joes, a son, and a clan. I can't do this on my own, I'm not my mother."

Tommy put a hand to her cheek.

"No you're not. She was given away, trained, killed at a young age, disowned, did a lot of bad things to survive, taken in, found your father… she fell in love and at one point she had to leave him. She had her own hell. You have yours. You both are the strongest women I've ever seen. Most of her hell she went through on her own and you've had to do a lot on your own too, but through all of it, she found herself surrounded by family and you are too. We will always be here for you." A lone tear made it's way down her cheek. "Come, it's almost time for lunch."

"Hey Tommy, do you think you tell about how you guys took down Cobra again?" she asked, "you know I love the story."

"Of course," Tommy chuckled. "But understand that I will start from the beginning of Cobra's end and since I wasn't present for most of it, some parts may not be as accurate."

"I understand."

"Well, it started when Scarlett walked into her hand to hand class and said, 'Alright, because of my recent injuries I will not be involved in your exercises. So, in order to keep the number of people even, I asked Snake Eyes to join and help'..."

A/N: Oh my, I'm crying! This is in fact the last chapter. Thank you SO MUCH for reading. I will be working on a new story, but I don't plan on publishing it any time soon (still have to work out a few things). Please Review!

Please check out my new story, The Tempers of Others! (It is a Snake Eyes and Temper pairing. It is not a sequel to this story)