For C/P's shipping week day 5 prompt: moonlight

I don't know what this is really, something a person might concoct in an hour at midnight under a deadline. Basically, more sap. Enjoy.


A Life of Silver

Moonlight was a mischievous thing.

It didn't play fair like the sun. Its rays didn't bathe the world indiscriminately, reveal the truth about everything. No, moonlight played favorites. It danced and leaped on one thing and ignored another, shone on what it loved and dismissed all else as forgettable shadow.

Shana was well acquainted with moonlight. That Snake Eyes came only at night was expected, and that he was gone before sunrise was a given. So they trained under the stars, in all the forsaken places of the night. In sleeping parks or the roofs of abandoned buildings.

[Put the weight on your back leg. Don't overcompensate, or you'll end up on the floor.]

He was merciless on the mat, but Shana didn't mind a few (or a lot) of bruises in exchange for what the training offered: balance, power, and a way to gain back control over her life.

And besides, when the gloves came off she'd never met anyone so gentle.

[I told you you'd end up on the floor.] He knelt beside her and held out a hand.

She took it and pulled herself up. "I know. But I anticipated the jab and when it turned out to be a feint..." She shrugged. "I guess I still have a lot to learn."

But she was tired of waiting. The days and weeks and years stretched and Cobra was still out there, burying their enemies and turning little girls into orphans, and more and more of her life seemed to center on her time in the moonlight with this strange man in black.

She grabbed a towel from a bag and wiped the sweat from her face, off the back of her neck. Snake Eyes sat down and pulled something out of one of his pouches. [Hungry?]

"I'm always hungry. Since I met you I must be downing five thousand calories a day."

[It shows.]

She folded her arms. "What?"

He tapped his right bicep. [Muscles. I mean your muscles.]

"Right." She frowned. "I know I messed up again tonight. How do I stop myself from anticipating?"

[Meditate.]

She rolled her eyes. "Besides that." Her meditation training had been aborted at an early stage, Shana citing "pointless" as her main argument.

[You lack patience. Without patience you have no control. Without control your enemy can use you against yourself.] He pointed at her. [Learn to wait, and you will learn to stop anticipating what is never coming.] He offered the energy bar again.

Shana sighed. She peeled off the wrapping and sat beside him, munching what tasted like cardboard, unsurprised at how natural it was to be eating a midnight snack next to a voiceless, faceless ninja. Learn to wait. Right now, under the moon and stars and him by her side, his instruction seemed easy. It was easy to wait when she was nothing more than an apprentice without obligation and her life could be anything she wanted it to be.

But her life in the sun was not so malleable. She went to work. She did her job. She plodded through every delineated hour waiting for the night to come, for this second life that was bathed in silver, and sometimes she wondered which one was more real.

Snake Eyes had no day job. Snake Eyes had no day life. His only life was under the moon, and the moon favored him above all others. She could tell by how the light played along every curve and sinew.

Her glow was never off him for long.

"I can learn to wait," she said abruptly.

Snake Eyes didn't have many tells, but she caught the slight jolt across his shoulders that told her he was surprised. [Really? It could be years before you have a chance at taking Cobra down.]

"I know. But I think I can." She smiled. "If you wait with me, I think I can."

He was loyal to the moon. That's why she loved him.

[I'll be with you as long as you need.]

That's why she loved him.