Ta-da!

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Fox Has Fleas

Chapter IV: Yuuyou Hebi (The Helpful Snake)

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A few days later, Fox couldn't shake the feeling that people were staring at him kinda… strangely. He had no idea why and maybe there was a part of him that didn't even want to know. The worst part of it was that Link had completely stopped talking to him. Well, listening to him might be a better way to put it.

As far as friendship among the Smashers went, he and Link probably had the closest thing to a genuine relationship. All the others would tolerate each other like they would tolerate Mondays, jackhammers, and idiots. It's not like Fox needed Link as a friend, but it was sure as hell nice to be able to chill with someone other than Falco or Wolf.

Over the past couple of days, Fox's patience was definitely wearing thin and he was about three strange looks away from snapping.

Meanwhile, Samus and Falco were continuing their search for someone who was willing to find out what had happened. Half of the people had been swayed by the now-circulated rumor and wouldn't offer their help because they already "knew" the answer. The other half didn't know and didn't want to find out.

"Remind me why we're doing this again, Samus?"

"The only one in this damn house who's going to be willing to help us is Snake. He's a genius at recon, plus he never leaves his room so I doubt he'd know what's going on so he won't have a bias."

The pair walked down the hallway to a room that looked like it was under lockdown. "And then," Falco said, pausing his walk for a second, "what're we doing when we find out the truth?"

"We'll make an appeal to Mario. Either way, the others are harassing Fox and he's gonna have to do something."

Samus was about to knock on Solid Snake's door when his voice came out of a small speaker above a retina scanner. "State your name and business."

"Uh…"

"Hurry it the fuck up, I don't have all day."

"Samus Aran and Falco Lombardi. We're here asking you for your… services." They heard locks click and Samus pushed the door into Snake's room.

Snake was fixing some kind of explosive on his bed as the two entered. He didn't look up for what felt like several minutes and Samus couldn't quite be sure that he even knew the two of them were there. "What do you need me for?"

"Um, you see, there's this weird rumor going around and um…"

"Samus, lemme handle this one," Falco said suddenly. "Snake, we need you to find out if Fox is gay. You must tell no one what you're doing and don't trust anyone with any relevant information aside from Samus and me. We have a thousand dollars in cash that we'll give to you once your mission is complete."

"Normally, I wouldn't ask, but why exactly do you need me to do this?"

Samus cleared her throat. "Uh. Zelda thinks she saw Link and Fox… Doin' it. And she kicked Link outta her room and Link hasn't talked to Fox since and Wolf is telling everybody that Fox is gay and Gannondorf's helping now and I don't believe him and Falco needs to know for his own sake and then we're going to make an appeal to Mario to get everyone to stop so Fox can slip back into obscurity and Link can move back in with Zelda and Zelda'll stop crying on my shoulder because she thinks that Link only loves her because she can turn into Sheik so she looks good to the outside world but he still gets to have his weird little gayness an-"

"Whoa! Whoa. Whoa, that wasn't my question." Samus looked at Falco confused. He apparently knew how mercenaries function. Falco was just as confused as she was. "I didn't ask you what the point of me doing this was; I asked why you," Snake said pointing at the pair of offenders, "needed me to do this."

"Oh. Well, uh…" Samus said with a shrug.

"From what I gather," Snake said, "Falco needs me to do this so he can make sure that this CO's not a queer and you need me to do this so Zelda will stop bitching at you. That in the ballpark?"

Falco and Samus looked at each other. "Well…"

"I would have phrased it less selfishly, to be honest," Falco said.

"Whatever," Snake said finishing the C4. "I'll do it. And you two are lucky I'm not expecting the money upfront."

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God I love Snake. I've never played a single Metal Gear Solid game but the way his personality is in my head… I love him.