AN/: Well here it is! The FINAL chapter to this little story (: I had nothing except an Art History essay to work on and well...finish this for you guys won over the essay (: I hope you all enjoy it and let me know what you think! I had so much fun writing this story and am pretty proud of it (: Anyway, on with it!


Tiger had been sitting beside Snake's bed in the infirmary for 4 days and everyone was beginning to worry that she hadn't slept at all.

When they had rushed back to HQ with Scarlet keeping Snake alive and Tiger loosing pints of blood from all of her laceration, Doc had his hands full for hours. Tiger had been kept in a medical sleep for 24 hours after all of her cuts were stitched up but once she woke up she hadn't left her chair that sat beside Snake's bed.

He could be sleeping. His chest, bare except for the bandages that circled his chest, rose and fell with his steady breathing. His blue eyes were hid behind lids that had begun to move around rapidly in the past few hours. It had brought hope into Tiger's chest that he would wake up soon but Doc had assured her that he was probably dreaming, his blood was too full of drugs for him to wake up yet.

But Tiger never stopped hoping.

"Sweety, please go and take a nap. You need to sleep and heal yourself too." Said Scarlet as she walked into the infirmary and stood on the other side of Snake, "I'll come and get you if he wakes up."

Tiger shook her head, not letting go of Snake's hand, "I'm not leaving."

Scarlet let out a sigh, "Then at least lay down on one of the beds in here."

Tiger again shook her head, still not letting her eyes waver from his sleeping face.

After letting out another exasperated sigh, Scarlet shook her head at Duke who stood in the doorway and walked out, leaving Tiger alone with Snake again.

Duke watched the young ninja for a little bit longer before sighing and leaving the room as well. He was worried about her and Snake Eyes. They all were, but nothing anyone said to her even seemed to registered in her brain. Her eyes just stayed locked on Snake.

As the sound of Duke's boots faded, Tiger sighed and finally let her shoulders sag as she looked at her best friend's sleeping face. The few bruises that had somehow landed on his neck and face were a deep purple and the small cut on his lower lip was swollen. At first, Tiger had tried to figure out how he had gotten so beaten and bruised up through his armor but then remembered the man he had been fighting was a good 100 pounds heavier and the few punches and kicks he landed must have hurt.

When she woke up from her forced sleep, she had sat up with a start and almost threw up when her head swam like an angry ocean. Her first thought had been of watching that arrow pierce Snake's chest. Tears had immediately formed in her eyes and only slightly subsided when Doc and Scarlet had told her that Snake was stable and would be okay after weeks of recovery time.

Whenever Doc left the room to get his lunch, or breakfast, or dinner, Tiger would let a tear or two fall down her cut cheek. She just couldn't stop her thoughts from wandering to all of the memories of her and Snake when they were kids, memories she didn't even remember they had shared. He had always been there for her, and after years of hating him for leaving her, she never realized that in the short time since she came to the Pitt, that she had fallen completely and totally in love with him. She had never felt this way before to anyone and when she watched that arrow pierce his armor, she could feel her own heart stop as if the arrow had hit her chest and not his.

She was terrified that he wouldn't wake up, even though Doc had said he would, that his body just needed time to heal his wounds more before he did. Tiger still worried. She needed Snake more than she ever had before and seeing him laying there so weak and unlike himself…it always made tears brim her eyes and her hands begin to shake. She couldn't lose him. Not now and not ever.

"Here kid, I brought you some food and it would please me very much if you would actually eat it." Said Doc as he placed a tray of fruit and chicken on the small table beside Snake's head.

Tiger nodded in Doc's direction and surprised him when she actually took a piece of the Honey Dew and stuck it into her mouth. He nodded his head as he walked towards hi office, "Eat the chicken too, you need the protein."

Tiger rolled her eyes at his retreating back. She always hated it when people told her what to do.

"Eat it"

Tiger jumped about a foot out of her chair and spun her head to look at Snake. She had taken her eyes off his sleeping face for no more than a minute and his gorgeous blue eyes smiled up at her. Her eyes immediately began to flood with tears and she reached her arms around his neck and hugged him. A bit too hard.

"Ugh, gentle." He said quietly through clenched teeth.

She jumped back, tears still falling down her cheeks, "Sorry! I didn't mean to…" His hand slowly touched her lips to quiet her and gave her a weak smile.

She kissed his fingers and wiped her eyes, "I've been worried."

His smile fell slightly, "You never have to worry that I'll leave you. I made a promise remember?"

She nodded silently, her voice again disappearing through a chocked up throat. He smiled and shocked her when he pushed himself up onto his pillows, his face grimacing in pain.

She quickly put her hands on his shoulders, "What are you doing, idiot? Stay down, you've been in a coma for 3 days!"

He chuckled, causing his face to grimace again, before touching her cheek, "I wanted to have a better angle."

She look at him confused until he pulled her face to him and placed a sweet and possessive kiss on her lips, holding her cheek gently but putting every emotion into the touch. As they broke apart, he smiled up at her and kissed her nose, "I love you, Arianna. I'll never leave you."

She smiled, tears falling down her cheeks again, "I love you too." And she did. Always had, but this love was something different. Something that she now knew she needed to survive and would die without it. He would never leave her willingly and that gave her new strength, knowing that he would be hers forever.

He smiled at her again before slowly leaning back into his pillow, "I think it's time for some more pain meds." He said with a slight chuckle in his voice.

She smiled and leaned away from him, "I'll get Doc." She said as walked around his bed, "Don't go anywhere." She winked at him as she walked away.

He smiled as he watched her walk backwards towards Doc's office, not wanting to take her eyes off of him again. "Never." He said quietly and she smiled before walked into Doc's office. Snake knew that no matter what ever happened to him, taking an arrow into his chest for the woman he loved was nothing. He would do it again with a smile on his face.

But the happiness inside him, knowing that he never had to leave her side again, was enough to make his chest not hurt any more.

THE END


A/N: So there ya go (: Review please! (: