Hello, and welcome to 'Life is Beautiful'! As 'Simple and Clean' did, this little project will feature the friendship between a certain duo. XD Just so you know, this oneshot won't be as tragic as the previously mentioned one. XD I was inspired by Sixx: A.M's 'Life is Beautiful' song, which urges its listener to enjoy the treasures of life.
I was also inspired by another author of this category, who has become a legend in my eyes. Her story is constantly supplying me with inspiration, and for that, I am truly grateful. In addition to that, she has attained the opportunity to interview an esteemed MGS star! I wish her all of the happiness in the world!
With the addition of this fic, I shall be moving into this category. I will begin a full-blown adventure shortly, featuring not only the characters of MGS4, but two characters of different worlds as well. Sora (Kingdom Hearts II) and Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children) will be integrated into the MGS4 storyline, and they'll be Snake's eternally loyal friends/bodyguards. That storyline was previously featured in the Super Smash Bros. category (Snake makes an appearance in the Smash adventure, and I made the Hero of Time his lover), but it was gravely misplaced.
I know those ideas probably sound a little crazy, especially if you're unfamiliar with Kingdom Hearts II/Advent Children. Trust me, though. XD If you need proof of my skill, even after reading this, take a look at my other work. The upcoming adventure won't be one to forget. And with that, I'd like to wish the best of luck to Shining Zephyr. XD My ideas might sound crazy, but I NEVER would have paired Snake with Danny Phantom. Creativity is freakin' amazing.
Disclaimer: As much as I'd like to, I don't own 'Metal Gear Solid'. The esteemed Kojima does. I'm also not responsible for 'Life is Beautiful', although I'd like to own the lead singer...XD
Notes: If you're seriously going to submit a review, PLEASE make it longer than 'It was good' or 'Nice'. Painfully short reviews don't help anyone.
If you're allergic to fluff, please don't continue. I'd advise you not to read any of my other work as well.
He could see. He could see through the eyes of others, and view himself as others viewed him. The world was nothing but a blur to him, painfully cloudy and hostile, but he could see. He constantly saw through the eyes of others, engraving all of the world's opinions into his mind. As much as he claimed to be dismissive of outside opinions, he wasn't invulnerable to any of them. As a matter of fact, he wore a façade to conceal his weaknesses. He didn't want anyone to see him cry, smile or suffer. Where would he get the right to reveal any form of emotion? Dolls weren't supposed to feel anything, were they?
He knew everything. He knew of Roy Campbell's orders to have his body preserved, just to extend the life of his genes. He remembered the missions he had been pulled into, and could never forget how his well-being was ignored. No one, including the former commander, ever stepped outside of obligations and rules. No one ever took the time to form a smile on his face, laugh with him, or share a breakfast with him. His life revolved around work, work and more work. If he died during the following day, who would take the time to notice? Who would take the time to care? Of course they'd lose their most valuable soldier, but who would really care? Did anyone care about him right now?
That was right. Several minutes ago, he completed his latest assignment. His latest 'mission'. During that particular endeavor, he had been gravely wounded. He had made several attempts to shrug everything off, but failed miserably. The wound was far too great, far too deep, to ignore. An average human probably would have collapsed from the mere sight of it. As much as he tried to dismiss its presence, he couldn't tear his focus off of it. It was an intolerable burden to bear, sending waves of searing pain through his already-battered frame. In addition to that, every last one of his 'smokes' had been consumed. He felt stranded at the end of the universe, left without a prayer attached to his name. As far as he was concerned, fate couldn't be any harsher.
He was waiting. Waiting on someone to 'fetch' him. He should have remembered the person's identity, but it was hard to think. Difficult to think. Difficult to even breathe, blink or wave a hand. Even if he had a few cigarettes left on him, he wouldn't have been able to remove one from the box. Strength was seeping out of him, and it was doing so at an alarming pace. He could feel it withdrawing itself from his body, leaving him with the defenses of a twig. He didn't have his beloved nicotine to calm him down. Blood was rushing, pouring, streaming out of him. Vision was blurry. Hard to see. Hard to think. Too hard. Too painful. Everything was blurry, cloudy, and covered in secrecy.
Time passed. A voice filtered into his ears. Frantic. Desperate. And filled with something that surprised him. It was commonly known as 'concern'.
Hands lifted him. That was right. There was someone that cared. Someone had always cared about him. There were two people that cared, to be exact. And one was apparently rescuing him. His recent assignment had come to an end, and a friend was taking him home.
Right before a black oblivion seized him, he realized something.
For the first time in his life, he didn't care for smoking.
He blinked furiously, rubbing at his eyes. Tiny moans walked out of his mouth as he slowly registered his surroundings, instantly recognizing the presence of two individuals. One had been his rescuer, and the second entity was a young female. Both of them were sound asleep at his bedside. A great deal of time must've passed between the three of them. With the passage of several seconds, he regained the ability to sense time. Night had fallen, blanketing his meek abode in enigmatic confidentiality. Computers hummed in the background, resting from a day's work.
He gazed upon the faces of his sleeping companions, face seemingly devoid of all emotion. If a stranger exerted close inspection, they would have discovered the deepest appreciation. The oldest of the duo had probably worried himself into an uncomfortable round of slumber, while the young lady probably tried to calm him down. He could picture the older one running about, fretting over every dust speck that fell out of the sky-and his life. His life. The life no one else cared for.
Upon closer inspection, he discovered that the little girl was holding the other's hand. A pang shot through his tired heart, giving birth to a smile. He had evidently been through the infirmary already, judging by his patched up injuries, and his final destination turned out to be his current location. The two of them were probably by his side earlier, watching over him as he went through the care of doctors.
His smile became brighter. He knew they were by his side earlier. Just looking at them revealed that.
Chuckling, he nudged the oldest one of the duo. Pandemonium quickly broke out as the sleeping guardian awakened in a frenzy, instantly falling flat on his back. The little maiden, still holding onto her friend's arm, silently awakened and used her free hand to rub at her eyes. She looked at her fallen comrade in silence, eyes always filled with gentle curiosity. "Dave!" her friend cried out, rising back into his position. "You're awake! Finally! You've been asleep for eight hours!"
The little girl watched the following conversation as if it were a ping pong match, still holding her friend's hand.
"You might want to speak a little louder next time. The rest of the galaxy didn't hear you."
"I can't tell you how worried we've been! We've been going out of our minds, waiting for you to stir!"
The little girl directed her eyes to Snake. Her eyes were always quiet, gentle and consuming, but they revealed deeper connections to life. Childhood innocence was surpassed by the benevolence of a queen, drifting behind her seemingly fragile existence. She appeared to be a casual bystander, but was truthfully relieved to see her friend awake. "He was going out of his mind," she said, pretending to be irritated by her companion's behavior. "I knew you'd come back. I knew you wouldn't leave us."
She was swept into her friend's arms a moment later. "Are you all right? How are you feeling?" he asked the mercenary, eyes ablaze with concern. "Do you need anything? Should I send you back to the infirmary?"
Snake stared. He stared at both of them, eyeing them in the fashion of a curious puppy. He smelled the faint scent of eggs and ramen, then caught the sight of a tray on the nearby table. A bowl and plate lingered upon the tray, occupied but cold and abandoned. Two other trays were empty.
"Dave? Are you okay?"
He frowned playfully. "Stop asking me that. Isn't it obvious? And how many questions are you going to ask me?"
The other end of his conversation looked fit to burst. Not out of anger, but out of joy. Just hearing the mercenary's voice was an evident blessing for him. "I'm sorry," he said softly, gentle features burrowing into greater concern. "I don't mean to burden you with inquiries. I've just been worried. That's all."
A moment passed. Snake stared, and his blushing rescuer kept his head lowered. Sunny, still bundled in the liberator's arms, took the baton with a smile. "I made them right, Uncle Dave," she declared happily. "I made scrambled eggs today. I made some for you, but you were asleep. I can make some tomorrow, though. Oh, and Daddy liked them too."
She spoke as if Snake had merely taken a catnap.
But wait a minute. Daddy?
The mercenary exchanged a wide-eyed glance with the girl's guardian. "Daddy?" the other male asked, peering into the little one's face. Sadness penetrated his warm, almost empyrean voice.
"Sunny...your father's...not here. Remember?"
Sunny poked Dr. Hal 'Otacon' Emmerich on the nose. "Yes he is," she said, nodding with a radiant smile. "He's right here. He's been with me all along. I just couldn't see it."
Tears erupted in Hal's soft eyes. He tried to restrain them, as he had tried to do so several times before, but failed. The awakening of his friend, coupled with the little girl's words, didn't do much for a dam. He wasn't her father. She had never even see her father before, let alone her mother. She knew nothing of her parents, but...
...she had given herself a new family, feeling as if she didn't need to find her biological parents.
Did she give up? Was she saddened by the absence of her real family, or was she perfectly fine with the way things were? What was on her mind? And what about her not having a mother? A father and uncle were great, but she needed the gentle guidance of a mother!
She read Hal's thoughts with a frown. Pulling his glasses from his face, she spoke her piece. "I don't need to dream anymore," she said firmly. "I like everything here. And someday, I want...I want...I want to take Snake away from here. I don't want him to be used for money and power and things like that. It's not nice. He's human too, just like us. I think everyone here is mean to him."
She used both names- 'Dave' and 'Snake'. She used them both with a great deal of affection, wanting to emphasize his humanity. To her, Solid Snake wasn't a codename. It was a just a nickname.
Gently she removed herself from Hal's arms, bounded onto Snake's bed and placed a hand over his heart. She then took one of his hands and placed it over her heart.
For five minutes, silence walked through their room.
No words were needed.
With the passage of those five minutes, Sunny let out a tiny yawn. She then rubbed at her eyes, giving off the disposition of a newborn animal. "I've been researching," she told Snake with a smile. "I've been studying all about the outside world. It's nice. I think you'd like it. It looks like lots of fun."
The mercenary stared at her. She was smiling, not caring about herself or her lost dream of finding her family. She was completely focused on her 'family', Snake in particular. Both mercenary and anime geek stared at her, eyes filled with awe and affection. "Do you want something to eat?" she asked the spy. "No more eggs until breakfast. Daddy's going to teach me how to make omelets tomorrow, so the eggs have to be special. I can make some more ramen, if you want some."
She shouldn't have to make any more ramen. She should be eating psychotically sweet cereals, ice cream sundaes and cookies. She shouldn't be so concerned over an old, seasoned killer. She shouldn't be exposed to anything that concerned war.
But she was. And there wasn't a cereal box in sight.
"You know what, kid? I'm not hungry right now. I'll just wait 'til breakfast, all right?"
She frowned. Snake knew the reason behind that reaction, and ruffled her hair.
"Look. I'm too tired to eat. You've done enough today anyway."
Still displaying the results of rejection, she nodded. "Okay," she said sadly, wishing he would have agreed to a little something. Hal swept her from the bed, giving her a comforting smile.
"Sunny, why don't you go to bed? We'll talk more tomorrow, okay?"
"Okay. Will you get some sleep?"
"I will. I promise."
"Will Uncle Dave be okay?"
"He'll be fine. I'll be with him. Now go on. Go to bed."
She let out another yawn. "Okay," was her last word. Hal placed her on her feet, she gave one last look to Snake, then walked out of the room. She peered around the corner a moment later, face filled with simple innocence.
"Love you, Daddy. Love you, Snake. Oh, and no more smoking! It's bad for you!"
"Who said anything about smoking?" the mercenary asked a retreating Sunny, face wreathed in smiles. He then looked to a tearful Hal, who was evidently moved by everything going on. "I don't need them anyway," he said, his inimitable voice wreathed in a fusion of triumph and happiness.
Hal put on a frown of bewilderment. "Don't need what?"
"You know what I'm talking about. I don't need them anymore, Otacon."
"You mean...are you trying to tell me...you want to quit?"
Playful sarcasm composed the next words. "Wow. You catch on fast!"
The gentle Emmerich wiped tears from his face. More fell in their place. "What brought that decision about?" he asked softly, voice laden with relief, exhaustion and happiness.
Snake shrugged, appearing to be bored. "I found another addiction. Two, to be exact."
Hal gave him a tearful smile. Silence drifted between them for minutes on end, and then Snake's friend broke the silence.
"You know you're going to deal with withdrawal symptoms, right?"
The mercenary still had the look of a disenchanted cat, playing with an old toy. "No kidding. I won't have any problems with 'em. I've got the perfect ways to deal with 'em."
They stared at one another, thinking. Silence returned to their room for several more minutes, and then Hal released a gentle laugh. "I can't take much more of this," he whimpered softly, now drowning in exhaustion. "If anyone else says anything that brings tears to my eyes, I'll have to take your bed for a few days. And if you say anything along the lines of 'keep it together', I'll bash your brains in!"
Affectionate mischief made its return. "Wow. That's the most aggression I've seen from you. In all of our years together, you've never been violent."
Hal gave him a perfectly harmless scowl, which was definitely a product of exhaustion. "I'm going to bed," he declared wearily.
He put down his glasses (which he had retrieved from Sunny), patted his mouth with a yawn, closed his eyes and lowered his head.
All the while sitting at Snake's bedside.
At that point, Snake's friend was almost lethargic. "Whaaaat?"
The mercenary didn't receive an answer. His voice probably wasn't even heard. The other had returned to a world of slumber-one that was hopefully more peaceful than the last. And to top everything off, Hal actually began to snore. Unless he was outright exhausted, snoring was never in slumber's picture. It wasn't obnoxious snoring, but more along the lines of a gentle, rhythmic melody.
He used a hand to place Hal's head against his pillow. Then, wearing a smile, he closed his eyes and placed his head against the same pillow. "Huh. Guess I turned out to be wrong," were his last words, and then he quickly fell asleep.
A little girl had given herself a new family, and Solid Snake realized something.
In the eyes of Dr. Hal 'Otacon' Emmerich and Sunny, he was human.
There were those that cared, after all.
This was also inspired by 'MGS: Alaska' by Catch23North and 'Coffee and Cigarettes' by musouka.
Thank you very much for reading. XD I do hope you'll stop in for the upcoming adventure!
"You can't quit until you try
You can't live until you die
You can't learn to tell the truth
Until you learn to lie
You can't breathe until you choke
You gotta laugh when you're the joke
There's nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive
Just open your eyes
Just open your eyes
And see that life is beautiful.
Will you swear on your life,
That no one will cry at my funeral?
I know some things that you don't
I've done things that you won't
There's nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home
I was waiting for my hearse
What came next was so much worse
It took a funeral to make me feel alive..."
'Life is Beautiful' by Sixx: A.M