TinySprite: Hey guys! Just had this cutesy idea and its plot bunny was just the sweetest thing ever! So here's my latest fic! It's pretty much a one-shot but I might toss on another chapter later.
Tunnel Rat: *In background* I finally get a fangirl and she's insane.....why couldn't she just love Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow like every other fangirl?
Tiny: *Ignoring him* So anyway, please enjoy!
Disclaimer: The authoress owns nothing but the plot and the plot bunny itself....which just had a litter.....oh dear.
*speech* = means sign language
It all began one day on the Sea Titan, within the week they'd moved onto it actually. Scarlett had unknowingly started it all, simply by innocently opening the fridge.
She frowned at the contents inside, placing a hand on her hip while the other held onto the opened refrigerator door. She wasn't actually hungry per-say, but felt like a snack to tide her over until dinner. Unfortunately it didn't seem like she had many options.
Shuddering at the sight of a few plastic containers (at least Tunnel Rat had labeled those this time) and nearly losing her small appetite at noticing what looked like part of a beetle pressed against the inside of one, Scarlett made to close the door with the thought to try the cabinets. Instead she saw a cup of...something.
Curious, she leaned in towards it, taking her hand off her hip to push aside a few other food items that had previously hidden the object from view. It was just a standard glass cup, nothing too shocking about it. In fact, it looked like one of the cups from the kitchen, which didn't really mean anything. What really made Scarlett's green eyes light up and bring a smile to her face was what the cup held.
It was pudding, at least three kinds of pudding (two layers of different kinds of chocolate and what looked like vanilla) and topped with a layer of sliced strawberries. The redhead happily snagged it crowing, "Come to mama!"
Some part of her mind warned her this was wrong as she closed the fridge door, treat tightly in hand, and made her way to the silverware drawer to get a spoon. The glass was one from this kitchen, meaning one of her teammates had made it for his- or herself. However, another part skillfully argued that she'd been having a crappy time lately mainly due to Firefly (guy just wouldn't take a hint!) and partially because she'd started her cycle just yesterday and there was a surprisingly scant amount of chocolate on the Sea Titan. She wouldn't even be able to get her hands on any until tomorrow when the ship docked for refueling.
Spoon now in hand, Scarlett turned around to lean against the counter and dipped it into the pudding treat. Getting a generous spoonful, she brought it up to her mouth to eagerly place it inside and held it there for a second. An expression of pure happy glee came onto her face. Under the strawberries had been a layer of delightful dark chocolate pudding atop a layer of sweet butter-cream pudding (not vanilla as she'd thought) and all of that was above a layer of wonderful milk chocolate pudding.
Getting another spoonful as she swallowed the first one, her entire mind decided that if whoever had made this had really wanted it, then they would have labeled it. Right now it was her and this sweet treat, and heaven help any who came between the two.
She was just finishing the delicious dessert when a voice startled her, "Hey, where did you get that?"
Glancing up she saw that it was Jynx. Suddenly guilty, she was about to apologize for taking it only to notice that the brunette didn't actually seem mad. In fact, the kunoichi seemed more eager for Scarlett to tell her where it came from than to exact vengeance for a stolen goodie. The redhead motioned to the fridge with a tilt of her head, no words needed as her fellow female Joe shot over to it.
The ninja apprentice quickly opened the door, searching for whatever it was that Scarlett had. Feeling bad, Scarlett was about to open her mouth to suggest that she didn't think there was another one in there when Jynx let out a cry of triumph. She stepped back with another glass in hand, just like the one Scarlett had just about finished with. The kunoichi happily closed the door and practically skipped over to where Scarlett was to get her own spoon. Hopping up to sit on the counter, Jynx dug into the her prize, clearly enjoying it.
Blinking, the redhead shrugged and finished hers off. Curious, she put the cup into the sink and went to the fridge, spoon still in hand. Opening it, a brief search showed four more glasses, all hidden throughout the refrigerator. Smiling broadly, Scarlett claimed a second one and went back to her previous spot, bad mood practically forgotten by now. She'd just taken her first spoonful when Jynx chirped, "Hey, thanks for making these Scarlett! I really needed this."
The older woman blinked, turning her head to look at her companion, "I didn't make these, I just found one in the fridge."
The brunette gave her a surprised look, then shrugged, "Huh..wonder who made them then..."
Scarlett returned her shrug with one of her own, both still enjoying their treats, "Don't know, but I hope they make more later!"
Jynx nodded in agreement, stirring her spoon in her glass to get a strawberry slice nice and coated in pudding before eating it. Right now, it was them and these delicious treats. The rest of the world could wait a minute or five.
Spirit honestly had no idea what he'd done. He had just gone into the kitchen to get something to drink. He'd opened up the fridge to see what they had and noticed what looked like a small cake. It wasn't very big, maybe enough for two people or even three if they didn't mind getting a small piece. The cake itself was sitting on a plain plate on one of the lower shelves, simply decorated with white icing.
About to reach down and get it, a dark feeling hit his spine, as if someone with murderous intentions was watching him. Looking over his shoulder, Spirit was surprised to see Snake Eyes in the kitchen. He wasn't sure if he'd simply hadn't noticed the ninja before now or if the man had just came in. What he was sure of was that Snake Eyes' hand was dangerously close to the pouch of shuriken on his belt and seemed to be getting closer.
Spirit floundered for a minute, just grabbing a random soda out of the refrigerator and closing it. He held both of his hands up in a non-threatening manner, wincing slightly as he caught sight of the soda label. Orange soda, yuck. But seeing as how the resident ninja master seemed to a have a growing intent for murder, the Joe tracker quickly left the kitchen anyway. It was really just the after taste he hated, not the soda itself.
As soon as Spirit was gone, Snake Eyes relaxed visibly. After waiting to make sure there were no footsteps in the hallway, he poked his head out briefly to double check that no one was coming from either direction. Once he was sure of his privacy, he ducked back inside the kitchen and retrieved the small cake from the fridge. Thinking for a minute, he quickly covered it with a pair of paper towels and held it with one hand. Getting a knife and fork out from the silverware drawer with his free hand, the ninja master darted out of the kitchen back to his room.
He avoided all company and was pretty sure he dodged most of, if not all, the security cameras too. Once in the sanctuary of his room, Snake Eyes set the cake down on his desk and removed the paper towels. He already had some tea in here to drink. Removing his visor and mask, he offered a quick thanks before tucking into the cake with knife and fork. It wasn't often he got to (more like allowed himself to) indulge in sweets but for vanilla cake topped with white frosting? He'd indulge all he'd like thank you very much!
So that's how it went. Randomly treats would pop up in the kitchen. Mostly it was simple desserts like small cakes, puddings, or chocolate-/caramel-coated things. Either that or snacks like cookies, brownies, and once some rock candy. However, while the team as a whole enjoyed them, the girls would usually hoard the goodies. Duke still couldn't forget the look on Scarlett's face when he picked up the last slice of chocolate pie. Of course he immediately surrendered it over to her, but still...
If the girls didn't get to it, then often the sweets would simply disappear. The team had their suspicions as seeing how Snake Eyes was sometimes sighted around the kitchen during those times, but nobody was stupid enough to confront the ninja master about it. At least he seemed to train harder afterwards, either out of guilt or to work off that extra sugar, it was anyone's guess really.
But what no one could really figure out was who was making them! The girls had been dropping hints, but no leads. No one knew if Snake Eyes himself was searching, but it was best to not count him out.
It was dark on the Sea Titan and by all rights not even the ninjas should have been up. However, as another roll of thunder crashed out, someone was awake. It wasn't the raging storm outside that had woken him up, no, he hadn't even gone to sleep yet. For the past day...no, two days now, it'd been storming like all hell outside. As it was, he was laying on his bed alternating between staring dully at the clock next to the bed and the room's small window.
Another five minutes passed and he gave up, shifting into a sitting position. It made no sense why he couldn't sleep, it just....it was like his own body refused to. Something about the rain put him more on edge than a dozen cups of coffee packed full of sugar ever could. He'd even tested it out once, just to be sure. A flash of lightning briefly lit up a section of his room and its following roll of thunder made his decision final.
Getting out of bed with a groan, he changed into some civilian clothes and tugged on a pair of boots. Might as well do something if he couldn't sleep. Brushing his fingers through his hair in mild irritation, he left his room to wander the ship. He didn't like the idea of sleeping pills, but if this storm didn't let up soon that would most likely end up being his only option. He'd grabbed something off his dresser on his way out and now his hands were playing with it almost subconsciously as he traveled the dark halls.
While he had good vision in the dark, it probably wasn't the best idea to wander through the ship with jumpy ninjas around. Seriously, what was Snake Eyes' problem lately? Maybe the guy was reaching his supposedly non-existent snapping point or something...
The next room he entered he just reached over and flipped the light switch on. Glancing up, he was surprised to realize he was in the kitchen. A grumble from his stomach made him smile slightly, scratching the back of his head as he stepped further in. Well, a snack couldn't hurt. Checking through the fridge and the cabinets turned up plenty, but nothing that seemed to appeal to him.
Letting out another groan, he dropped his head, noticing finally that he was holding onto a bandanna. Blinking in slight surprise, he looked back up at the cabinet that he still held open. Well, since there was nothing he wanted from what they already had, why couldn't he just make something?
Standing back to take a brief mental stroll through all that he knew how to make, he settled on something somewhat easy and got to work, tying the bandanna onto his head to keep his hair out of his face. Within minutes a warm, inviting smell filled the kitchen and drafted down the hallway. Too bad no one else was up to smell it.
Some hours later, when the team finally was up and about, they were surprised to find coffee already made as well as a plate of cookies on the counter next to the stove yet no one in the kitchen. The cookies turned out to be cinnamon and Hi-Tech discovered he had a previously unknown love for them. With the glares being tossed between himself and Jynx, the approaching outcome didn't look pretty.
However, Firefly ended that by being an ass and taking the remaining cookies for himself. That sparked a hilarious chase throughout the Sea Titan. It only ended when Snake Eyes took the cookies from Firefly and disappeared. By then everyone else had gotten bored and drifted off to do what needed to be done that day. Jynx reluctantly went to practice, mumbling something about greedy senseis. Hi-Tech had to be pushed back to his lab, as he was actually considering challenging the ninja master for the treats. Long Range stayed in there with him, to make sure he didn't do anything rash.
Nothing bad really happened for the rest of the day though, aside from Duke chewing out Tunnel Rat about slacking off much later on. The only other problem, if it even qualified, was that the rain still didn't let up. Snake Eyes even discovered a fresh batch of brownies with walnuts in the kitchen, swiping only a few pieces this time given that he'd already had those cookies from earlier.
Scarlett sought him out about two days later, a strange look on her face, "Hey Snake Eyes, I hate to be a bother but we need your help."
*Certainly, with what may I ask?* he signed at her, tilting his head in curiosity.
She hesitated, not out of fear, but more of confusion, "Well...it's...."
The redhead trailed off, obviously not sure how to tell him. He waited patiently, knowing she'd tell him in due time.
Finally Scarlett seemed to get the right words together and came out with it, "We need you to bring Tunnel Rat inside."
Apparently his confusion carried over through his silence because she just shook her head and motioned for him to follow, "You got to see this to believe it."
She led him to the doorway leading to the outside deck and stood to one side, letting him have an uninterrupted view of the stormy grey skies, the still falling rain, and....Tunnel Rat jumping around like a maniac while the apprentices tried to subdue him. He honestly cackled like a madman while doing a series of backflips to avoid Kamakura grabbing him. Jynx not only got dodged, she was even shoved into her fellow apprentice's arms as Kamakura himself lunged forward, which made their heads smack together and briefly disoriented them. The redhead took that few seconds to somehow tightly tie the two of them together in that awkward hugging position with rope that he'd gotten from who knew where.
As Jynx regained her bearings and shouted at the male redhead, Kamakura seemingly blushed and got to work on freeing them. Tunnel Rat whipped a camera out, clearly took a few pictures then shot off for another part of the deck, loudly laughing.
Snake Eyes stared, then slowly turned his head to Scarlett and just pointed at the scene. She shrugged, "We don't know, he just seemed to snap this morning. He's been going at it for a good two hours or so."
The ninja nodded, signing, *Have you tried anything else?*
The lovely woman smirked, though she brought up a hand to hide it, "Jynx and Kamakura said they could handle it. They've been at it for almost as long as he's been like this."
Shaking her head, she continued, "Duke's considering letting Long Range tranquillize him if this goes on any longer."
Snake Eyes nodded in understanding with a well-hidden wince. Those darts were never fun to get hit with. He thought for a minute, questioning, *Has anyone else tried anything regardless of my apprentices?*
Scarlett frowned, keeping an eye on the outside as she thought, "I think Spirit tried something, but right now he's trying to clean glue, glitter and paper bits off of Billy. Don't ask. I don't think Heavy Duty, Firefly, Stone, or Hi-Tech even know he's like this just yet. Well, maybe Hi-Tech, he won't come out of his lab or let anyone else in."
Snake Eyes nodded again, giving her a single command before he went out there, *Go and tell them then, they might have a good idea of how to deal with this.*
He saw her nod right before he dashed out to subdue his teammate. Part of him was disappointed in his students. Honestly, how hard could it be to pin Tunnel Rat of all people! Sure he was flexible like an average ninja, but there was no way he could outmaneuver one. Perhaps he should up their training?
He came up close to the redhead maniac, who was just standing there, smiling at him. Snake Eyes decided to go for a basic tackle and pin. After all, he didn't want to really hurt his teammate. He lunged for the tackle, only for his target to suddenly vanish right when they were about to make contact. Startled, he did a beginner's mistake and kept going forward, still hunched for the tackle. A sudden pressure in his lower abdomen and Snake Eyes was startled to find himself now staring at the sky while on his back on the deck floor.
From the corner of his eye, he noticed the smaller male jump up from a crouching position, whip out his camera again to take a picture and run off, snickering the whole time. There was silence from the direction of his students, which was good for them, very good. All right, maybe Tunnel Rat could stand just a little bit of pain after all. Leaping back up to his feet, Snake Eyes sought him out...there! Movement towards the doorway! Cursing the thick sheet of rain, Snake Eyes took off after his teammate, determined to catch him.
In the end it took roughly ten minutes of chasing and blood-boiling anger, but he'd managed it despite a few additional humiliations. For some reason, his apprentices were still tied up but he'd deal with that later. Right now he needed to get Tunnel Rat to a place where he could be someone else's problem. It didn't help that he couldn't seem to find that damned camera! Certainly not for a lack of trying. He'd all but performed a strip search on the other male trying to find that damned device. Growling under his breath, he held both of Tunnel Rat's arms behind his back in an awkward and painful position as he continued to drag him down the hall.
A way too happy voice chirped out of his captive, "You know Snake Eyes, you need to relax!"
'I will not kill him, I will not kill him, I will not kill him. He is a valuable member of the team....what does he do again?' went through the ninja master's head, trying to keep the walls relatively free of blood. He was pretty sure Duke wouldn't appreciate the redhead getting a broken arm/wrist or somehow losing a body part.
That chirp came back, further angering the black-clothed man, "I know just what you need to relax too!"
Snake Eyes should have paid better attention to his captive instead of concentrating on not killing him. Because one minute he's there, arms twisted in a way that had made Cobra operatives cry in the past and the next minute he does some twisting thing with his shoulders and upper back and Snake Eyes finds himself having a death grip on air. Tunnel Rat was already down the hall and out of sight by the time the ninja fully grasped what had just happened.
Making a mental note to double check the shorter man's files (were they absolutely sure he'd never received ninja training or anything similar? Kamakura was still working on getting out of that hold!) Snake Eyes gave chase, only to get to the bend and find nothing. Spying an opened air vent he put a hand to his forehead, trying to soothe a sudden headache. Just perfect. If Tunnel Rat really was in the ventilation system, then he could be anywhere by now. If nothing else, the guy was quick as hell in small and/or narrow places.
Thankfully a distraction came in the form of Scarlett calling out to him, "Snake Eyes! Hey wait up!"
He turned to face her, trying to keep from twitching in anger. She jogged up to him and continued on, "I spoke with Heavy Duty and he cleared it up for me. Apparently Tunnel Rat has sleeping problems."
The ninja tilted his head, refraining from making a remark that sleeping wasn't the only thing that man had problems with, signing instead *Problems? What kind?*
She groaned out, "The insomniac kind."
He frowned under his mask, *Does he take any medication for it?*
Scarlett shook her head, "What's weird is that they only seem to happen when it rains. Depending on how hard the rainfall is, either he has a lot of trouble going to sleep or just can't sleep at all."
Snake Eyes winced, thinking about the past week and not liking the answer he came up with. He signed, *It's been raining non-stop for about four days now, which means...*
She nodded, clearly not liking it either, "He's been up for about the same amount of time."
He shook his head as they started walking down the hall, *Didn't anyone know?*
Scarlett shrugged, "Heavy said he only knew about it because of their mission in the Amazon rainforest. Tunnel Rat never told him if anyone else knew about it. We'd have to ask him ourselves for that."
She glanced around, frowning, "Where is he by the way?"
Snake Eyes stayed quiet and kept walking down the hall. Now where would Tunnel Rat go? Or more appropriately, where wouldn't he go? Scarlett raised an eyebrow and increased her pace to keep up with him, "Snake Eyes?"
He stayed quiet again, avoiding looking at her. Scarlett foiled that by reaching up to touch his shoulder and stepping almost right in front of him, practically forcing him to look at her without literally doing so. Finally he sighed and slowly signed, *I don't want to talk about it.*
She frowned, letting him go past her as she mentally put two and two together. Her mouth dropped open at the only conclusion (crazy as it was) her mind could make, "You mean he-"
Snake Eyes whirled around and covered her mouth with one hand, using his other to sign, *I said I don't want to talk about it.*
She nodded and stayed there as he slipped off, a look of incredulous disbelief on her pretty face. Snake Eyes didn't blame her, he barely believed it himself! After maybe half an hour's worth of searching, a very delightful smell attracted him to the kitchen. If he didn't know better, he'd say it smelled like someone was making a cake. The ninja dearly hoped that was the case, with the way today had been going, he could really use a slice of cake.
However, the kitchen door turned out to be locked, which was confusing. No one ever locked this door, there was simply too much foot traffic during the day and nothing valuable was expressly kept in there. Not to mention it was the kitchen, it simply made no sense to lock the door. Noticing an air vent just down the hall, Snake Eyes went to it and pried the cover off. Slipping inside, he easily made his way to the kitchen vents and dropped inside.
What he found honestly surprised him. Yes a cake was being made, but it was the person baking it that surprised him. The redhead male looked up from pulling some things out of the refrigerator and gave him an extremely cheerful wave, "Hey Snake Eyes! The cake isn't ready yet, mind coming back later?"
The ninja just stared, mind having trouble comprehending this. The other apparently decided his response for him, chirping, "If you wanna stay that's okay too! Just don't let anyone else in!"
Snake Eyes just nodded, sitting down slowly on one of the stools located in the kitchen. Well, if nothing else he could at least keep an eye on Tunnel Rat in here. The redhead kept on going, just happily babbling as if they were having a normal conversation, "I couldn't decide between between yellow cake or chocolate so I just went ahead and made marble cake! I even had enough batter to make a second layer! Only I don't think there's enough icing in the cabinets so I'm just going to go ahead and make my own!"
The ninja nodded again, just watching his teammate imitate a life-sized humming bird as he zipped around the kitchen gathering ingredients. Finally he mixed the stuff into a bowl, the end result being a white substance. Putting that aside, he began to do something else, talking all the while, "You know it's weird how no one expects a guy to know how to cook or at least not how to make stuff like cake. Personally I like it, I mean, store bought stuff is good and all, but sometimes it just don't cut it, you know?"
Snake Eyes nodded again, finding he didn't really need to be an active participant in this conversation as Tunnel Rat carried on. All he really had to do was nod now and again and that seemed to convince the other enough to carry on his happy babbling. Part of his mind argued that he should subdue him again and find the others. The rest of Snake Eyes' mind snapped at that part to shut the hell up. After all, if Tunnel Rat was happy making cake and whatever else he was currently doing, well, who was he to stop the guy?
The rest of the team could find out on their own time. Not to mention the door was locked and the ventilation system was only big enough for one person to go through at a time so how could they expect him to drag the other out of the kitchen? He mentally skirted around the fact that being here at this moment in time practically guaranteed him first slice when the cake was done along with the not so subtle hints the cake had been made for him in the first place. Nodding again and handing over a bowl of cracked walnuts when asked, Snake Eyes got comfortable. He deserved a treat after all, considering how today had gone so far.
Some odd hours later found Snake Eyes dragging his barely conscious teammate down the hall. Apparently as soon as the rain had let up, the redhead's body noticed its lack of sleep and just hit an internal 'off' button. Thankfully he hadn't been holding onto anything when he'd suddenly collapsed into a seemingly sound sleep.
Getting to Tunnel Rat's room, Snake Eyes managed to get the door open and simply dropped his teammate onto the bed. The smaller male barely twitched, just rolled over and dragged his legs up into a half-curl, still asleep. Feeling he'd spent enough time with him, Snake Eyes left. There was still the matter of that cake and various other goodies the other had made during his temporary lapse of sanity, although the temporary part was up for argument.
Spying said cake as soon as he entered the kitchen, the ninja master felt he could keep Tunnel Rat's secret between the two of them.