Snake Eyes walked out of the cabin and felt the sun on his face. It felt good. Here he didn't have to hide. Although he was consumed with trying to restore Scarlett, he also discovered that his mind was clear. Maybe the act of facing and defeating Sei Tin released him from the fear of losing control, from the fog that threatened to take over his mind. Now he felt more confident in drawing on his Ninja abilities to heal Scarlett.

He thought back to his departing conversation with Tommy in Japan. Tommy asked him if taking her to the cabin was the right thing to do. Maybe Snake should stay with him to seek answers in Japan. He told Tommy that the Soft Master had once told him of the power of the Kuji-no-in to heal. When it is applied in the right circumstances, it can have powerful effects. Scarlet needed to be surrounded by things that were familiar to her mind. He thought the cabin would provide that familiarity and peace to apply the Kuji-no-in. He pushed away the thought that the cabin would also help keep him sane.

"Seems too simple," Tommy questioned him.

Sometimes it is the simple things we overlook, that are the most effective.

"Yes, brother, but sometimes you have to take chances. You must decide if you will be able to risk her life to save it."

Snake Eyes shuddered as Tommy's words echoed in his mind. He walked back into the cabin and picked up Scarlett to take her to the small pool where they often swam. The pool is fed by a small waterfall flowing over surrounding rocks. It was strange. Her body often responded to stimuli, but he realized the movements were like reflexes and not directed by her mind. She blinked, she swallowed the food he fed her. He placed her into the water. He knows he must make her body feel as much sensation as possible to help her mind recognize things. After moving with her through the water, he set her down on the grass to massage her body. She would often open her eyes to look at him, but there was no recognition in the green depths. Everyday he goes through the kuji with her, trying to draw upon the power of the seals. He also still signs to her, telling her to focus on certain memories. He talks about her family. He describes them making love, then his hands falter as his thoughts dwell on how it felt when she responded to his touch.

In a moment of weakness, he broke down while he was sitting on the couch in the cabin holding her. He buried his head in her hair and felt tears come. Three weeks had passed since their arrival at the cabin with no progress. He was beginning to fear that he would have to consider a last resort measure, remembering Tommy's words…you must decide if you will be able to risk her life to save it. Tommy had threatened Scarlett's life to break him free of the mind control. Snake Eyes wiped his eyes. He may need to test Scarlett's "mental coma" to see what would happen if her life was put in jeopardy. Would her survival instincts kick in with enough force to break her mind free? He held her closer and wondered if he would be able to take that risk? What if she died instead?

He struggled for days and sleepless nights with this ultimate choice. He looked over some photos of them at the cabin. There was one in particular that he loved. She was fishing and the photo caught her in a serene moment, looking up at the trees, hair golden in the sun. He knew what he needed to do. Scarlett would want him to try anything…she would tell him to be strong for her.

The next day, Snake Eyes prepared for the test. He did some katas, stabilizing his mind, making sure he exuded confidence and strength to transmit that energy to Scarlett. He sat Scarlett across from him, took her hands and went through the Kuji…rin….….retsu, zen, zai. He kept his eyes on hers. Was it his imagination or did he see a flicker of recognition?

He carried her to the pool and up one of the rocks. He stood her next to him on the edge of the rock and tied a weight to her leg. Ok, this will either be my salvation or my destruction. He kissed her lips then pushed her off the rock into the water. He drew upon every nerve to keep from jumping in after her.

One minute passed….three minutes… Snake Eyes felt like he was going mad.

Five minutes…her father would kill him. He guessed he wouldn't care.

Seven minutes…he himself had stayed underwater for 10 minutes…his gaze penetrated the water. Scarlett! Shit, he croaked. He felt his control slipping.

Then…bubbles…are those bubbles? He stopped breathing.

More bubbles. A figure started coming to the surface of the water. At the same time that he heard a loud intake of breath, Scarlett's head burst through the water.

"Snake Eyes!" he heard her gorgeous voice.

He was already in the water next to her.

"What the hell! What is tied to my leg?"

He grabbed her grinning like a madman.

"Why was I at the bottom of this pool!"

He held her head and kissed her. His mind numb with joy.


She eventually began to return his kiss and they remained in the pool kissing and touching each other. Snake Eyes knew that his life was finally returned to him.

The Marvel Comic would sometimes show Snake Eyes, Stormshadow and Scarlett doing the Kuji-no-in before battle or a difficult task. It was a serious of hand seals that was supposed to permit ninjas to perform superhuman feats or something like that!

I had also read about the Inverse Ninja Law and thought it would be fun to include it here. When you watch the old martial arts movies, it really happens that way!

Hope you enjoyed it!