Authors Note: Welcome to my first G.I. Joe fanfiction. Feel free to leave a comment, constructive criticism, and/or praise J. The characters in this fanfiction are slightly OOC due to the plot I have chosen for the fanfiction, and they are based upon the G.I. Joe Renegades cartoon series.
Disclaimer: I know this goes without saying but I don't own G.I. Joe anything, I just enjoy manipulating the characters into interesting situations that would never otherwise happen in any version of the cartoon or comic series ^_^
Chapter 1: Secrets
It was coming up to a year since Scarlett and the other Joe's were framed for the explosion of the Cobra plant in Springfield. Scarlett looked out the window from the passenger's seat, watching the tree's go by. They'd been in Washington for two days now, hiding out in the many forests and campsites native to the area avoiding the military and their enemies at Cobra. Despite their persistence and determination they had been foiled in all attempts to clear their names of being renegades, so, therefore, they were now on a permanent road trip, the four, her, and Snake Eyes, who was an unofficial G.I. Joe.
The thought of Snake Eyes, who sat in the back of the truck meditating, made Scarlett smile. She had once been Snake Eyes' student when she was a low ranking officer stuck behind a desk twenty four seven, but now she was privileged enough to call him her comrade, closest friend, and—
"So where are we heading off to this time Scarlett?" Tunnel Rat asked, his voice shaking her out of her thoughts. She blinked for a moment, slowly computing what he'd asked, and then turned around to face him.
"We're following a lead from Breaker to a Cobra Bakery just outside Walla Walla," she answered and turned back to look out the window again feeling slightly light-headed. She had next to no energy, she was exhausted constantly whether they were fighting Cobra or eating dinner, and today she felt even weaker than she had the last six months.
"That's all well and good, but what are we actually searching for?" Tunnel Rat persisted. Scarlett rested her head in her hand, trying to ignore the awful feeling in her stomach as she answered him.
"There's been talk that Cobra is routing a new stash of weapons through this particular bakery and—"
"Noooooo! Not the bakery!" Roadblock's and Ripcord's dismayed cries made Scarlett turn back around to face them, raising an eyebrow.
"That was a delayed reaction," she said and Tunnel Rat nodded in agreement with his eyebrows also raised in amusement.
"But you didn't mention weapons dealings until afterwards! We were thinking about the baked goods. Anytime you mention weapons and cobra in the same sentence we usually end up blowing them up!" Roadblock exclaimed and Ripcord nodded in agreement. Scarlett sighed, still trying to quell the sickness she was feeling.
"We will try not to blow up the bakery. I don't enjoy destroying things you know…" she trailed off as Snake Eyes caught her gaze, coming out of his meditation.
*If I remember correctly you quite liked destroying targets as my student, and you remember where that led you,* Snake Eyes signed.
Tunnel Rat looked between the two, smirking, as Scarlett felt her cheeks flush.
"That was different," she muttered.
"What was different?" Duke asked, finally joining the conversation. Scarlett glared at Snake Eyes whose posture oozed smugness, although it went unnoticed by the others.
"When Snake Eyes was almost finished training me, he insists I had too much fun destroying targets. I managed to miss one, and I knocked myself out for two days. He's never let me live it down," Scarlett said grudgingly, feeling embarrassed. The others smiled, smothering their laughter. She turned back to look out the window. What she hadn't told them was that there was a lot more to the story than she had said. It wasn't really that Snake Eyes wouldn't let her live down the embarrassment. It was that day, and the days that followed, which changed everything about their relationship.
Scarlett had been training with Snake Eyes for just over three years and was to finish her training within the next week. However, this set time of completion made her restless. She, in truth didn't want to leave; she wanted to stay with Snake Eyes. She was more comfortable with him than anyone else she had ever met; they understood each other in a way, she believed, few people ever did. Even the fact that he couldn't speak, that he was scarred, did not bother her in the slightest. The thought of not seeing him everyday, of losing this relationship she had with him, made her more uncomfortable than she could ever remember being.
She couldn't sit still and contemplate the end of her three year stay with Snake Eyes any longer. She looked out the window, the sky was thick with snow clouds and the snow was piled high, but it was not snowing now. Maybe a little bit of target practice would take the edge off the uncomfortable thought of having to eventually separate from Snake Eyes. Scarlet pulled together all the equipment she would need and headed to her favourite spot near the lake. She paused to look out over the frozen lake. It was frozen but not strong enough to hold a person's weight, so she would have to mind that she didn't accidentally step on the thin ice while setting up her targets.
After setting up her targets Scarlett went through the different drills she'd done a thousand times before under Snake Eyes' sharp gaze. The first few targets exploded with a satisfying crack. Yes, blowing up targets was doing the trick, and taking her mind off her inner turmoil. She should really consider doing this more often, she thought as she headed towards the almost shredded target to retrieve her few throwing stars. Blowing things up was much more practical than dealing with her problems, she smiled to herself, and then a flash bomb that hadn't exploded went off only a half meter in front of her. She felt herself being thrown backwards through the air and into the lake; the freezing cold thwack of the thin ice and water hit her before everything went black.
The first thing she felt was warmth as she started to regain consciousness. Not the freezing cold of the icy water, just comfortable warmth, and security. Maybe falling in the lake had just been a dream. She had probably just imagined the whole thing, reasoned the sensible side of herself.
Scarlett slowly opened her eyes, fighting her body as she did. Her eyes were heavy, as if she had been sleeping for a long time. She blinked as her mind started to work, where were her usual clothes? Whatever she had on was thin, she wasn't wearing any underwear or bra… she felt someone's arms around her, and panicked. Scarlett shrieked, trying to scurry away from whoever was holding her, but was stopped abruptly as Snake Eyes rolled over top of her, pinning her in place gently, putting a hand on her cheek.
*Stop it Shana, it's only me. Stop and think for a moment, do you remember what happened to you?* he said.
"Nn-noo-o…" she stuttered, suddenly feeling cold, Snake Eyes warmth rapidly slipping away.
*You nearly drowned yourself in that half frozen lake you like so much. A flash bomb threw you into the lake and the impact knocked you unconscious. You were underwater for at least a minute by the time I reached you,* he signed, stroking her face calmingly and she quieted down, staring up at him with wide eyes.
*I had to resuscitate you after I pulled you from the lake; your lungs had already filled with water. Then I brought you back here, but you were already blue from the cold and in shock. I had to remove your water logged clothes and dry you off as fast as possible. I wrapped you in this kimono and wrapped the blankets around you before I changed out of my clothes which were also soaked. When I returned you had kicked off all the blankets and were huddled in a ball. You were still freezing, I had to get you warm as soon as possible, and the fastest way to do that is with human body heat so I held you while you slept. You've been asleep for two days now.*
Scarlett blinked up at him, snapping out of her stupor. Two day's? He'd stayed with her for two days making sure she was alright?
"I'm sorry I caused so much trouble," she said, turning away. He would send her off for sure now. She was more trouble than she was worth. He turned her face so she would look at him.
*You scared me Shana. I thought I was going to lose you. I don't want to lose you.* he signed. Scarlett felt her eyes tear, spilling onto her cheeks, and he brushed them away gently.
*Don't cry. What's wrong?*
"I don't want to lose you either… but I'm almost done my training… and that means I won't get to see you—" Snake Eyes shook his head.
*You won't get rid of me that easily.* he said. *I care for you too much Shana.* and then he pulled up part of his mask and kissed her. Scarlett felt as if she was melting and wrapped her arms around his neck. Snake Eyes pulled back, putting his mask back into place, and rolled them so that she was curled into him. She slowly went back to sleep, feeling the happiest she'd felt in weeks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End of Flashback~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Those few days had been the beginning of Scarlett and Snake Eyes relationship as more than teacher and student. Their relationship had blossomed quickly, and in secret. They were completely open with one another, which helped them fall in love. They had married quietly three weeks before Scarlett had been declared a renegade. Their anniversary was approaching in a month. They had agreed to keep their rings hidden from the others: Duke, Tunnel Rat, Roadblock, and Ripcord, so no one knew of their involvement or marriage. Scarlett kept her ring on a chain she wore around her neck, while Snake Eyes kept his ring on under his gloves.
However, at the moment, Scarlett had other thoughts on her mind than keeping their marriage a secret. She hadn't had her cycle for nearly four months now, and it had been irregular and slight ever since their marriage. She placed a hand on her stomach. It wasn't impossible that she could be pregnant, but it just didn't seem plausible. The two of them had had so few instances where they could be intimate with one another. Aside from their wedding and short honeymoon, there had only been two times where they had been together in that way. The first was just after Scarlett was declared a renegade, and the second time had been almost five months ago now. She had assumed it was just stress, she'd been feeling weak at moments and sick at others…, but she had decided it was because of their constant running from cobra and the military. She felt Snake Eye's sharp gaze on her, as she fiddled with the ring under her shirt. Snake Eyes knew her better than anyone… he knew something was bothering her, that she wasn't telling him something… but how could she tell him she thought she might be pregnant? That she'd possibly been careless enough to maybe miss the signs for almost five months? What kind of person did that make her?
"It's getting dark," Duke's voice shook her out of her thoughts.
"We should stop for the night then," she answered quickly, feeling her stomach churn. She went pale, and bit her lip, suppressing the urge to be sick. Maybe she just had a cold she pondered hopefully, feeling Snake Eyes continuing to watching her every move closely.
Duke turned down another road and headed for the thickest area of forest, and turned off the road, driving a ways until they were off any noticeable path, changing the truck's appearance to that of a camper.
Duke stopped the truck and everyone got out, and went about setting up a fire and basic camp. Snake Eyes put a hand on Scarlett's arm and motioned for her to go with him. Scarlett felt herself stiffen, nerves eating away at her. She turned back to the group.
"Snake Eyes and I are going to do a quick sweep of the area, make sure our tracks are hidden and such," she called to Duke and the others.
"Good idea, dinner should be done by the time you get back," Duke said. Scarlett smiled at them and let Snake Eyes lead her off into the dense trees.
They walked in the direction they had driven in, disguising all of the tracks until it no longer looked like anyone had been through the area. Snake Eyes finally stopped and held her arm gently, looking at her with concern.
*What's wrong Shana? You seem anxious… and not about the usual things.*
"It's nothing Snake Eyes," she said, and started to turn away, but he pulled her back to face him, holding her, rubbing her back soothingly. She felt her will crumbling. He was too good at getting her to tell him what was really bothering her, but how could she tell him this?
*Tell me what's wrong Shana. If it's bothering, you this much you need to tell me so I can help you,* he signed, as he released her slightly. Scarlett pulled out her chain, fiddling with her wedding ring that was at the end of it and he looked at her questioningly.
"This hasn't been the most ideal year for us," she murmured, holding her ring up to emphasize what she meant. Snake Eyes stroked her cheek gently, and she leaned into his touch.
*No one could have predicted our lives would take this turn Shana,* he signed. *I love you no less than I ever have.*
"I know that," she said quietly, still fidgeting with her ring.
*Then what is really bothering you?* he asked. Scarlett looked down and, taking a deep breath, she took his hand, placing it on her stomach which was slightly bulged.
"I haven't had my cycle since the last time we made love after our side mission," she whispered. "I thought it was just stress, but now I'm starting to wonder if… well maybe," she kept her eyes down. She felt him lift her chin, making her look at him.
*You think you might be pregnant?* he asked. Scarlett felt her eyes prickle as tears welled in her eyes and she nodded.
Before she could blink, Snake Eyes had pulled up his mask and kissed her, holding her tightly. Scarlett clung to him, revelling in his touch, his warmth, his strength. They hadn't even kissed in the last month. Snake Eyes was slow to end the kiss.
*I love you Shana. That will never change. Why were you worried about telling me?* he asked rubbing her stomach affectionately.
"Because of our current, well my current, status. Like I said, it hasn't been an ideal year for us," she murmured.
*We'll make it work, I promise," he said, kissing her again. *When did you start to wonder?*
"At the beginning of last month, when I finally noticed I hadn't had my cycle since the last time we were able to be alone, just about five months ago, and why I've been sick and lacking energy over the last few months with little appetite," she said leaning into his touch.
*Why didn't you tell me?* he asked.
"I was in denial, I didn't want to believe it was possible, with what little alone time we get, what were the odds…" she trailed off as Snake Eyes grinned.
*I'm always accurate,* he teased, nuzzling her neck affectionately. *Ninja, remember?* he said indicating his mask and weapons. Scarlett couldn't help but laugh, shoving him slightly. His chest vibrated with a silent chuckle. He was radiating smugness. She could almost hit him.
"Now it's just gone to your head. You're ego's big enough," she chided, but couldn't keep a straight face. Snake Eyes kissed her again before tugging his mask back down into place. He took her hand in his, entwining her fingers with his.
*Everything will work out Shana,* he reassured her, sobering, kissing her hand through the mask. *But we'll have to let the others in on the secret,* he said, meaning Duke, Tunnel Rat, Roadblock, and Ripcord.
"I know… but just… not yet. They'll just get over protective—" Snake Eyes put a finger to her lips, cutting her off.
*I'm always over protective of you, and you will not be out of my sight for the next while,* he said, putting his free hand on her stomach. *I now have two of you to worry about, so I need you to be careful and take precautions,* he said. Scarlett sighed and leaned into him as they walked, doing the sweep of the area they had promised to do, stealing kisses and touches along the way.
They arrived back in camp nearly an hour later, carrying four rabbits, which Snake Eyes promptly skinned and gutted, making them ready for cooking. Snake Eyes had decided she needed more protein. The others were quite happy to see the rabbits, Roadblock and Ripcord nearly drooling as they roasted over the fire along with the root vegetable soup that they had been having steadily over the past two months.
As soon as the food was done it was doled out to everyone, and Snake Eyes watched that Scarlett took enough food. When she took only a little soup, and avoided the meat, he put more food in her bowl. This action didn't go unnoticed by the others who eyed them questioningly, but didn't comment on it. Scarlett ate the food obediently, but felt extremely ill as she did so. The food did not want to stay down. Her stomach was revolting at every bit of food she ate. She felt the colour drain from her face as another wave of nausea hit her hard after finishing what she had in her bowl.
"Are you ok Scarlett?" Duke asked, looking at her worriedly. A second wave of nausea hit her hard and she bolted for the trees, dumping her bowl on the ground. As she reached the trees, she lost the fight with her stomach and heaved up her dinner, and the other contents of her stomach.
Snake Eyes was at her side with a flask of water as soon as she had stopped vomiting as he fretted over her. She murmured a thanks to him, rinsed out her mouth and took a drink of water.
"I'm ok now, I promise," she said weakly, as her stomach promptly challenged her statement.
*I'm going to make you a tea, and you will drink all of it without complaint,* he said firmly, making her look at him. *It will stop the majority of the sickness.* she nodded, resigned, and let him lead her back to camp. They were all waiting for them when they returned.
"What was that?" Duke asked his arms crossed over his chest.
"And don't say 'it's nothing'," Tunnel Rat interjected. "You've been getting sick a lot over the last few months, and not eating much. If I didn't know better I'd say you were pregnant Scarlett." Scarlet felt her cheeks flare and she looked down, unable to meet their eyes. They'd hit the nail on the head. There was a stunned pause.
"That's it, isn't it?" Duke asked.
"I'm pretty sure I am," she murmured, still not looking at them.
"Who's the father?" Duke asked. Scarlett felt Snake Eyes wrap his arms, possessively around her, pulling her until her back was pressed firmly against him, and rested his chin on the top of her head. This was followed by another few moments of stunned silence, and Ripcord falling off his chair, as the picture came together.
"So Jinx was right about you two, there is more of a relationship then just teacher and former student," Duke said and Snake Eyes nodded in confirmation.
"We're married," Scarlett said, pulling out the chain that held her wedding ring as Snake Eyes took off his left glove.
"Since when? And why weren't we invited?" Tunnel Rat asked still in obvious shock.
"Since ten months ago," Scarlett said. "We married a month before we were declared renegades. That's why you weren't invited," she said calmly, a small smile forming on her lips, and felt Snake Eyes chest vibrate with silent laughter as Tunnel Rat's jaw went slack at her comment.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Duke asked.
"It didn't seem as important as clearing our names," she said simply. "But there was also the issue that Storm Shadow was looking for Snake Eyes at the time, and he would have tried to use me as leverage against Snake Eyes." Snake Eyes nudged her and she sighed.
"Snake Eyes wants you all to keep an eye on me. He has to go collect some items to make a tea for the sickness I'm experiencing," she said reluctantly.
"Of course," Duke said. Snake Eyes led her over to where she had been sitting, stroked her cheek softly, and then vanished. The other four, including Ripcord who had recovered from his initial shock, sat down around her, doing as they had been asked, and put another pot of water on the fire so it would be ready when Snake Eyes returned.
Snake Eyes returned after about twenty minutes and set to making the tea, before coming to sit by Scarlett with a cup of the tea in hand.
*Drink this, it will help with the sickness,* he said.
"Ok," she said taking the cup from him and blowing on it for a moment.
"What's he saying?" Duke asked, coming to crouch down on Scarlett's left.
"He's telling me to drink the tea to stop the sickness I'm experiencing," she answered.
"I've been thinking, while Snake Eyes was gone, that you should be reducing the amount of field work in this mission Scarlett," he said kindly, but firm. Snake Eyes nodded but Scarlett bristled at Dukes suggestion. She shook her head, not wanting to listen to what he said, as he continued.
"I'm not saying that you can't fight, and I don't mean to keep you out of everything, but you're not only risking your own life. You're risking your unborn child's as well," Duke reasoned softly, but Scarlett turned away, tears threatening to form in her eyes. Why was she all of a sudden so emotional? Oh right, she was most likely pregnant and that went with the territory. Snake Eyes lifted her chin, making her look at him.
*I agree with him Shana. He's not saying you're unable to participate, but that you should change how you participate. Don't ignore us on this,* Snake Eyes urged, and Scarlett felt her resolve crumble. She could never not give Snake Eyes what he asked of her… which is really how she'd ended up in this situation, she reasoned with herself, but nodded in understanding. Duke looked between them questioningly.
"Snake Eyes agrees with you, and he said much the same thing as you did," she said.
"You do realize realise that we don't doubt your fighting skills or your ability as a part of this unit, right?" Duke asked. Scarlett nodded. "We've become a family over the past nine months, and I'm assuming Snake Eyes has no other family than you," he reasoned. Scarlett met Snake Eyes' gaze and sighed. Why did the men have to be right in this case? She hated them being right.
"You're right," she said resigned. "I will try and lessen my involvement in the physical aspect of the missions," she said and Snake Eyes pointed to the tea meaningfully.
*Drink it now.*
"Snake Eyes will make sure I keep that promise, and see that I eat and adhere to medical advice," she said, obediently taking a sip of the tea, and almost gagged, forcing herself to swallow the noxious liquid, grimacing as she did. She glared at Snake Eyes who, grinned beneath his mask, feigning innocence at her accusing look.
*I never said it would taste good,* he said. *Finish it. I promise you'll feel better for it,* he assured her.
"If I don't there'll be one less ninja in the world tomorrow," she muttered venomously. Snake Eyes continued to grin at her.
"Something tells me the tea doesn't taste good," Duke said with a crooked smile and Snake Eyes nodded.
"He said that he never said the tea would taste good," she said bitterly, grimacing as she finished off the tea. The others chuckled.
"Well, let's get some rest and we'll continue on in the morning," Duke said, and he and the others filed into the truck. Snake Eyes held Scarlett back for a moment.
*I know this is all happening sooner than you wanted Shana, but we will deal with each task as it comes. They care about you very much you know,* he said, pulling up his mask and kissing her softly.
"I know," she said leaning against him. "It's just hard to take it all in. I'm not used to having no control over my body, and my decisions. I've never felt so vulnerable," she said putting her arms around him. Snake Eyes rubbed her back soothingly and kissed her forehead.
*Nothing horrible will happen to you, I promise Shana,* Snake Eyes said reassuringly. Scarlett smiled.
"That's right, I have my all mighty ninja husband to protect me," she teased.
*Exactly,* Snake Eyes agreed and began leading her towards the truck. *There's nothing wrong with letting others take care of you Shana. It doesn't make you weaker, it makes you stronger. I enjoy looking after you, you are my wife after all and the view is always nice,* he teased. Scarlett couldn't stop her self from blushing and smiling and shoved him playfully. He didn't budge an inch. She sighed and kissed his cheek, truly touched by the underlying sentiment.
"I love you too, and I always will," she murmured and let him lead her into the truck, to the back where he slept. Getting comfortable, he pulled her into his lap, cradling her against him, resting his hand over her stomach. Scarlett sighed and snuggled into him, promptly falling asleep.
To Be Continued…
That's it for now please review! And thanks for reading!