Hey people! *cricket sounds* uhm,... yes. So I am new to this fan-dom and unfortunately know very little about G.I. Joe other than the film. Now before you start throwing tomatoes at me, let me point out that I was waiting for the whole movie for Rip-chord to get his butt kicked by Snake-Eyes even though I knew nothing of his relationship with Scarlett in the comic/tv-universe. Since I also went Awww... at the few Sc/S scenes, I decided to write this piece, but don't get me wrong! It is in the genre friendship for a reason because I'm not writing an AU here for the movie-verse. So much for randomly rambling. Here goes nothing:
Someone to Listen
She had just come back from another mission. Since the Cobra incident, there had been no time to rest. She took a critical look at her mirror image, making sure the circles under her eyes were covered with the make-up she was wearing for this occasion. Even before that she had been taking double-shifts and she feared that it was noticeable.
The red-haired young woman sighed and adjusted her dress-uniform once more. If the General tells you to officially meet the president of the United States, you do not say no.
Almost as soon as she stepped into the corridor, she heard a voice behind her.
"There you are! I was looking for you!"
-"I only just got back. Sorry, Rip." She tried to smile, but was not sure she succeeded.
"So, you didn't escape either?" The tall man grinned warmly as they walked along.
"Aw, come on, Scarlett! Don't tell me you like this kind of thing!" He smirked, then stopped, taking a good look at her. "Hey, you alright?"
"Yeah. Yeah!" She hastened to say, casting him another smile just for good measure and continued her way to the hangar bay.
Rip-chord stared after her, before shrugging and following her.
Neither noticed the black shadow watching from around the corner. The figure silently shook its head as they passed the exit of the barracks.
"…code-named Scarlett, Sir." General Hawk finished introducing her to the gray-haired gentleman surrounded by body-guards.
She had blanked out for a minute there and so rushed to shake his hand.
"It's an honour to meet you, Sir."
The president shook her hand with a smile that made her decidedly uncomfortable. "The pleasure is mine." He proclaimed.
She suppressed a frown. Strange, the man never appeared that way on TV. With a quick excuse, she left to find something to eat.
She had not eaten at all that day, not having had the time. While trying to catch a dangerous terrorist, you could not just have a random lunch-break.
Absent-mindedly she acknowledged Snake Eyes with a nod, who was leaning against the wall close-by, watching his surroundings.
"Hey, Scarlett! Try this!" Rip-chord suddenly appeared by her side, shoving a glass in one of her hands and what looked like a very greasy pasty in the other.
-"I dunno. Food."
"Right…" Looking sceptical, she took a bite and quickly swallowed. It was not particularly good, but he was right, it was food.
The two of them walked about for a while trying to figure out the point of this meeting that felt more like a celebration. Celebration for what exactly? For every criminal they caught, two more appeared somewhere else.
Scarlett tried to fight a growing headache by the time she had to explain the same thing to a fifth member of the president's cabinet. Give her 20 vipers and her crossbow instead any day, although last time that did not turn out so well.
Soon she was stuck with another group of people, failing to concentrate and partake in the same bit of small-talk she had gone over numerous times that evening again.
She had switched the drink Rip had given her for a glass of juice for lack of a coffee, trying to keep awake on sugar. With a deep breath, she thought of her bed longingly.
"Hey, what's the zen-master doing over there? Did I piss him off again?" The tall man's voice broke through her drifting thoughts.
Scarlett rubbed her forehead as she followed his gaze. Snake-Eyes was indeed watching them for some reason. She would need to have a word with him about creeping out the newbies.
Despite trying her hardest, she lost track of the conversation again. She swallowed against the strange feeling settling at the bottom of her stomach.
By this point she was not sure whether she would be sick all over the polished floor, or if she would simply fall over. For a moment both options seemed very inviting to her tired body.
Soon the decision was made for her as she felt the voices of the people surrounding her dim and she knew what was about to happen. It had happened in the field before. A stray bullet had hit her in the thigh and she would never forget that feeling of her vision narrowing down.
"G-guys, I'm sorry, I don't…"
She was sleeping. At least she thought she was. The odd thing was, she was pretty sure she should not be. The haze around her mind refused to clear but something was definitely wrong.
Something like panic crept up on her but it was dulled by the sleepiness she still felt.
That was when she woke with a jolt.
The first thing she noticed were black-clad broad shoulders and that she was not standing anymore. That particular memory once again made it clear that she could not have been asleep. At the same time, the sounds around her blared back into existence. She winced at the noise and squeezed her eyes shut.
There was the sound of a door falling shut behind that was vaguely registering, then silence.
"Hey! Wait up!"
At the voice shouting after her, her eyes shot open again and she looked up into the expressionless mask of her closest comrade.
"Snakes?" She questioned, still a little dizzy, still acutely aware of the footsteps sounding behind them. Almost immediately, she was placed on her feet again, only a steadying hand remaining on her arm.
"Scarlett!" She looked up at Ripchord running towards them, but quickly looked away not able to hold his gaze.
Yes, he had seen her crying over hurt pride and yes, she had kissed him in a sudden bout of excitement, but this was simply too embarrassing. Getting injuries in a fight was one thing, fainting like a bloody damsel in distress another thing entirely.
"Geez, girl! You scared me there!" The tall man told her, voice a lot more gently than usual.
All she could do was nod before her eyes flickered to Snake-Eyes who nodded towards the end of the hallway. His gloved hand squeezed her arm with insistence. Ripchord now also looked at the ninja.
"You taking her to the infirmary?"
The masked man nodded, visor turning back to Scarlett expectantly.
"Want me to come with?" The question sounded so hopeful, Scarlett gave a weak smile and shook her head.
"I'll be fine, go enjoy the attention while it lasts."
She was being tugged on her sleeve again. With no resistance, she let herself be guided towards the infirmary.
"Physically there's nothing much wrong with you." Doc said after checking her over.
"No?" She knew she sounded almost disappointed, but if nothing was wrong with her, that meant she had simply fainted (she hated that word) because of nothing other than her own temporary weakness.
"Nope," He shook his head, "your blood pressure's a bit low, but that is perfectly normal with the amount of stress you've had."
She bit her lip, shooting a glance at Snake-Eyes who was watching impassively from the doorway. She had guessed as much. Nothing at all wrong with her, other than being over-worked and the medic just confirmed her suspicion in front of the ninja.
"Can I go then?"
"Sure, just try to not fall over again."
She knew Doc did not mean anything by it, but she flinched inwardly nonetheless.
"Snakes, take her to her room, just in case." The medic continued, now addressing the silent ninja. Scarlett's posture sagged. That did it. She felt utterly humiliated. They did not even trust her to get to her room by herself.
She was sat on her bunk, staring at the book she was pretending to read. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Snake-Eyes leaning against the wall, watching her.
When he had not left after she had entered the room, she had rolled her eyes, but said nothing. He had always been over-protective of her. Usually she appreciated his concern.
All she wanted right now, though, was to be alone; not like last time something like this had happened and Rip had barged in on her.
„You don't have to stay if you don't want to, you know. I'll be fine." Her voice was shaky, she knew that.
Instead of answering in any form, Snake-Eyes simply crossed his arms, returning her gaze through the dark visor. Apparently he would not merit her with anything more.
For a few more minutes she fidgeted about, trying to ignore his presence, at the same time reminding herself to keep it together.
„Am I weak, Snakes?" She finally burst out, feeling her eyes well up. She tried to force the tears down again, but found that now, back in the confines of her quarters, it was even more difficult.
Of course she got no reply. She did not even think he moved, but at least with voicing the question out loud, she herself realised how ridiculous it sounded. Or did it?
Gulping down the tears of frustration, she looked up at her team-mate, who was still standing watch over her from his place by the door.
They had been close before. Now, that she spent much time with Rip though, Snake-Eyes had had retreated back into himself.
"If you're going to stay, d'you mind sitting down? You're making me nervous." The redhead tried to keep her agitation out of her voice as she indicated the rest of her bunk.
It took a moment's hesitation, but then the ninja stiffly sat down beside her, head lowered. This awkwardness was new to them both. She hated this development.
She started to play with her sleeves while he never moved; the only sound both their breathing.
"W-why can't it be like it used to…? She asked, more quietly and finally turned towards him.
His head lifted to face her, slightly tilted to the side. She knew that look all too well.
"You blaming this on me?" She asked, a bit incredulous.
He did not confirm it or deny it, but he did look away.
"I…Snakes…" Fumbling for words, she put a hand on his rigid shoulder. „I'm... I didn't... I know I haven't had much time lately since...I'm sorry." She haltingly managed, lowering her gaze.
She could not help but smile as he patted her arm in sign of reassurance. "Well, you know what I mean."
He nodded and got up, gesturing towards her bunk.
With a sigh she looked up at him, her smile all but gone. "I don't think I can sleep right now." She spoke quietly, embarrassment showing.
At his questioning stare, she fidgeted. "It felt a lot like sleeping at first."
He nodded again and stayed where he was, waiting for her to continue, always ready to listen. It was the one thing she could rely on.
"D'you mind staying a bit longer?" She hesitantly asked.
Without showing any kind of reaction, he sat down beside her again. That would be the only reply she would get; no weird look for showing weakness like that; no comment on how five minutes earlier she had told him to leave. It made her feel all the more guilty for having neglected their friendship for so long.
More hesitantly than she used to, she leant against his side then, resting her by now pounding head on his shoulder. She felt him stiffen a little again at first, but quickly relax.
"I've missed you, Snakes."
He responded by putting an arm around her.
No, I'm not resolving the Rip-thing, she's not gonna break up with the guy (C'mon it wasn't even a proper kiss, what kind of relationship is that?) and she's not gonna declare her undying love for mister ninja-man and they certainly won't ride off into the sunset either. I'm no good at that kind of thing anyways.
The reason why I used the whole exhaustion thing by the way, is because I thought Scarlett to be quite a strong female character, but you barely see any of that in the movie, so I pretty much decided, that the times she screws up is because she over-worked herself. I've made a draft of another story with something similar for the time when she had just joined G..
Now, you see that purple button down there? Don't you just wanna try and click on it????