Snake's sexy. He's sexy in that ludicrous over-the-top kind of way that only women tend to be in most of these game worlds; he's fanservice for the female masses, and he's been like that ever since some creator looked down at his brush pen and sketched in a couple of ass straps.

Samus is much, much sexier. Snake's only been sexy for the past seven years, but Samus has been sexy since before she even had a third dimension, back when Snake was running over squeaky Japanese sand and looked exactly like Mel Gibson. She's changed a little over the years, but the way she looks in a bikini or a bodysuit is a mind-blowing, pant-tightening constant, and even when Snake had been able to pick his jaw off the floor, he hadn't bargained on the fact that he got out of most social situations with the devastating combination of his voice (dying along with his voice actor's poor overstrained larynx) and his ass. Communicating with women, talking to women, even believing women are inherently just as capable as men - all of those things are beyond him, as he was never brave enough to try to learn.

So Samus says no. He's not surprised, but as he leaves he feels a pang, or something like that. He's not too proud to realise that normally he was the one who rejected other people, so he could keep his pride, so he could be alone. It's never happened this way around before.

--

He finds Falcon when he's looking for something else to spend his time on, and Falcon's drinking something that doesn't have a label on it. He decides he'll spend his time on Falcon.

"Bad day?" he asks, looking at the way Falcon's knocking it back – hungry, unsavouring. He looks at Falcon's lips around the neck of the bottle. He looks away. "Not safe to drive like that. Over forty per cent of road collisions are caused by drink. You don't want that."

Falcon's a proud man. It's something they have in common. He's a vain man too, and that makes another thing they have in common – if Snake wasn't so proud, like Falcon, he'd admit to the time and money he spends-wastes colouring all his clone-blond and death-grey hairs a uniform shade of dark brown. It makes Snake think he'd know how Falcon works. People are a damn mystery to Snake, and anything at all he has in common with anyone is a starting point.

He looks up. Squirms. Gets out another bottle and hands it to Snake.

Snake considers this a successful social engagement.

--

"The trouble is, with women," Falcon continues, and Snake wonders exactly how many troubles he'd listed previously, and how this one could possibly be any worse than all of those, and what exactly the stuff he's drinking is, "is that they get to – to pick. No woman will ever know what it's like to have no-one love them."

Snake remembers now; this is the fourteenth trouble Falcon has with women. Snake grew up alongside soldiers; he'd hardly spoken to any women until he was in his mid-twenties, and it was still hard for him to shake off the feeling of outgroup prejudice, but Falcon's still making a few more generalisations than he'd like, and it's a little easier to feel like a defender of justice and equality now everything is so fuzzy. (He still has no idea what this stuff is. It tastes like lighter fluid.)

So he says, "I don't think it's that simple."

Falcon pounds his fist into the palm of his other hand. He forgets this means he has to put down his bottle, and Snake lungingly catches it before it hits the floor. He takes a swig before handing it back. The rim tastes of Falcon, of high-grade fuel.

"What I can't stand," Snake offers, instead, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand with a self-consciousness that he's long been a stranger to, "is how men and women both run off the second - " he loses his train of thought; he must be more drunk than he thought - "the second they see an ass they want to, to put it into."

Falcon growls in his throat like a revving-up engine, but his lips are smiling.

"That's the last time I'm gonna let myself abandon people like you for people like Samus, who don't - "

"Wait," Snake interjects. "Samus turned you down, too?"

Falcon looks hurt, and then surprised as the ramifications sink in.

They both laugh.

"She's part Chozo," Snake mentions, slugging back the last of the bottle. "That means there might have been...problems."

"Ha – those kind of problems?"

"Otacon says that Chozo are monotremes. During their mating ritual the female copulates with the most dominant male. Afterwards, the less dominant males surround the female and peck at her cloaca in order to draw out the semen before implanting their own. She later lays a single egg, which may contain the offspring of any of the males, although it's statistically likely to be the one she chose."

Falcon gives a great bark of laughter. Snake joins in. He's impressed Falcon knows what a cloaca is.

"Looks like we'll have to wait until she finds a dominant male. Who's the most dominant male around here?" He laughs, bitterly. "Not either of us."

Snake shrugs. "Mario?"

Falcon staggers a little as he hands his bottle to Snake. They share for a while.

"Which of us do you think is the most dominant?" Snake asks, lazily.

Falcon's hand thrusts forward and grabs Snake's crotch. He looks down, nervously. Falcon doesn't squeeze hard enough to be painful. Snake thinks, oh.

"Guess," Falcon says, and then pushes Snake over, landing on top of him. He feels a hand slide underneath the tight straps some character designer thought would make him sexy, over the tight buttocks some character designer thought would make him sexy, and he hears Falcon moan a little.

Snake rolls his eyes. "Just this once, Falcon."

--

Samus is making her way back. It's a beautiful night, and the sky's rich with stars; she knows they're other worlds, and the part of her that, as a child, looked up and longed to explore each and every one of them still burns in her today, even though she's been around each one and seen each world and mapped their territory like a pioneer. The air smells a little of dust. It's peaceful.

Snake's not a bad man, she thinks. He's the kind of man who pretends he wants every beautiful woman to disguise some deeper impulses; she's seen how he acts around that scientist friend of his. She's happy to flirt with him like crazy, but ultimately she prefers to be alone, and she knows he would, too. Besides, he's a guest fighter. He can't get attached to any one of them, handsome as he certainly is.

And Falcon; Falcon's alright, if dramatic. He's the kind of man who'd be the alpha – just sweet fornication with him, she thinks, grinning, he'd inever/i peck a woman, and she feels her face flush at the thought, embarrassed that she can even wonder what mating with him would be like. Almost makes her feel sorry that she's happier on her o -

A loud voice rings through the air.

"Falcoooon THRUST!"

And then a husky cry of pain.

"Naaagrh!"

Samus looks hard at the open window in the distance, and sighs. She can't help feeling that it explains everything. They really ought to shut that thing.

She trudges off back home.