AN - Sorry I haven't updated in a while, I've had a bit of a writers block. I don't know if this chapter fits in with the whole flow of the rest of the story, let me know if it doesn't. I figured you guys needed an explanation about why Storm Shadow is acting as crazy as he is. He has been a bit OOC. Review please!

I can't remember if I've said this before, but anyway, this is set in the movieverse, just in case theres any confusion.

Disclaimer - I don't own GI Joe, I wouldn't be here if I did. I'd be out somewhere commanding ninjas.


Storm Shadow silently closes the door of his room, and what he has just done finally catches up with him. He can't even remember all he did in that room... the last thing he remembers doing is setting out salt water and various other items onto a table...

Salt water...

And then he remembers. He remembers the mans screams. His eyes go wide as he realises just how cruel he was to that unfortunate gentleman. Was that really necessary? He had thought so at the time, but he isn't too sure now. He killed an innocent man... he killed an innocent man without a second thought. He hadn't even paused.

"What's happening to me?" he whispers to no-one in-particular.

He wasn't like this before.

The mist swirls around his feet as we strides towards his destination. Wait a moment, what was that over there? Was something moving in the shadows? He dismisses the thought and carries on, turning down a dark alleyway.

No wait, he definitely saw something then. a slight stirring of the shadows. He hears a faint rustling. He looks around him warily, ready at any moment for this anonymous stalker to leap from the darkness and attack him. When he is sure no attack is forthcoming, he continues, almost twice as fast as before.

He suddenly feels dizzy and has to put his hand against the wall to steady himself. What's happening to him?

He arrives at his destination slightly earlier than the meeting time. He hears near-silent footsteps slowly, painfully slowly, getting louder and louder. He can tell by the quietness of the footsteps that it is indeed a fellow ninja who has decided to follow him. He hears the ninja's steady heartbeat. He can tell by the familiar pattern that he has definitely heard this before... definitely heard this many times before... He guesses it is a member of the Arashikage clan, trying to avenge the Hard Masters death. Before he can deduce anything further, he hears the ninja draw his swords and rush at him. Storm Shadow whips round, unsheathing his own swords as he spins, to block his opponents strike. He almost drops his weapon in shock when he sees who it is behind the attack.

"Master?" he says softly, looking into the hardened, hatred-filled eyes of the Soft Master, which were once so warm and open.

"You are no student of mine" spits the Soft Master, and Storm Shadow is shocked by the pure venom and viciousness in his voice. The Soft Master tries to strike Storm Shadow again and again, and he is forced to block and twist and duck and dodge until he can manage to temporarily halt the Soft Masters attacks.

"Please, just listen to me," Storm Shadow pleads. "I can explain everything."

"I don't care what you have to say. Nothing you say can explain what you did" the Soft Master snarls.

He tries to force himself away from dredging up old memories, and walks into the middle of his room. He sits down in precisely the middle of the light, open space in the lotus position. He begins to meditate, empty his mind, think of nothing, to concentrate solely on the rhythmic beating of his own heart and the steady sound of his own breathing. He feels himself slipping into numbness and smiles inwardly at his success.

But then, just as he thought he had escaped the unwanted memories that keep invading his thoughts, the images bully their way into his mind again.

"Please! Listen!" Storm Shadow implores, a faint note of hysteria in his voice. "You don't understand!"

"I've been understanding enough of you in my life, Thomas Arashikage" he growls. He spits out Storm Shadow's name as though it is something distasteful. "Now I've had enough"

Storm Shadow cries out in protest as the Soft Master goes in for the kill. He blocks and dodges, and then everything goes blank. The next thing he remembers is withdrawing his katana from the Soft Masters chest, and the Soft Master slumping down to his feet. As the blood seeps through his old teachers white clothing, Storm Shadow comes to his senses and realises what he has done.

He lets out an anguish filled, animalistic scream and crumples to the floor beside the man who had looked after him all his life, been more like a dad to him than anyone else, even his biological father, given him solutions to his problems, nurtured his talent, explained the Hard Masters decisions...

And another cruel fact of his life comes crashing down on him. He killed the Hard Master too. He lets out a quieter cry this time, more of a low sob, and hunches over the Soft Masters body, his tears mixing with the blood, which is still soaking the clothes.

Storm Shadow resurfaces from the suffocating memories. He raises a shaking hand to his cheek and feels that it is wet with tears. He takes a deep, shaky breath and tries desperately to repress the pain and sorrow, but he fails. He fails, and the tears start streaming silently down his cheeks.

He killed them! He killed them both, two of the very few people he had ever respected in his life... and for what? For petty, childish jealousy.

He doesn't know how long he sits there, drowning in the regret and the grief, but when he finally regains control of himself there is little sound in the base and his eyes are red and puffy.

He finally manages to push his thoughts away from the truly painful subject, and returns to a relative numbness. He tries to convince himself he's fine now. But he doesn't realise that his mind has been slowly but steadily disintegrating ever since his fateful meeting with the Soft Master.

Whats happening to him?


AN - So what did you think? Did this explain why Storm Shadow has been acting the way he as? Did the characters act as they should? I didn't really know how to do the interaction between the Soft Master and Storm Shadow, so I hope this is okay.

Readers are wonderful, but reviewers are truly gods amongst men!