A/N: So this will probably be my last post for a week or so, sorry guys. I'm going to California and I won't have access to a computer. No updating, but I can still answer PMs. HOWEVER if you have a deviantArt account, look me up. I post the same stories on each site, but everything but I often put my unfinished chapters and random ideas up there on dA until I complete them, then you lovely folks here get to see the completed version. :) So check me out, same user name, GHOST-Sherri.
I apologize for any OOC ness any of the characters may suffer from. Also, don't shoot me for the thing with Pain. (just read and find out). This idea just hit and it wasn't what I was planning, but it works I guess.
Read and review, of course. Reviews fuel my fire. I'm writing almost specifically for Sailor Pluto and demonicpoet. Thanks for the reviews, guys, you make me feel loved! I hope this chapter isn't a disappointment. Sadly, I fear it may be disapoointing because I am being rushed. It's difficult to argue with a 16 year old boy about why my typing is more important then him looking up alien porn.
This chapter popped up because a friend started playing the series and asked: WHY THE HELL IS THERE BUG SPRAY NEAR A CROCODILE? Good question. So this is my theory for all the random items, traps and cords or whatever that Snake can get from tree to tree with. Can't remember the exact name, but this is that C….Prud place. Also, italics means a flashback.
There were only two days until Snake was scheduled to return and Shadow was laying out items he might need, Fear by her side, Ocelot a little ahead of them and a few soldiers behind them. Fear helped her set up a trap near the crocodile lake and then she climbed up to a hill. Then they all climbed onto a cliff overlooking the small lake. A soldier stumbled forward and Shadow reached out a hand to steady him. She gasped as she felt the dirt beneath them give way and the soldier just barely managed to scramble to safety, panic on his features.
Shadow, however, was not so lucky and slipped off the cliff. She felt a tree branch rip into her side and then cut open her cheek as she flailed to grab something. Fear grabbed only empty air as he reached for her, and Ocelot pistol whipped the soldier for his carelessness. They heard a sickening thud and a splash and raced to get to the young woman lying broken in the water below.
Fear dropped down, seeing a crocodile coming dangerously close and killing it with the crossbow as Ocelot splashed towards them. Shadow lay sprawled in the water, blood floating idly on the water and drifting away from her head, staining her fair hair crimson. Ocelot dragged her from the water, frowning as he saw her leg was twisted strangely and her left hand was bloody. Fear kneeled down next to him as Ocelot set her on dry ground, shooting a nearby crocodile.
"We need to take her to get help." Ocelot said, feeling somewhat numb.
"Pain." Fear said, lifting her up. Surprisingly, the Pain served as their medic. The position had been held by Sorrow before his passing, but now it was Pain's duty. And he was good at it. Fury was too impatient and rough, and Fear's hands shook too much to handle little details. Pain was, however, steady and surprisingly comforting when he chose to be, despite appearances and his voice. The Pain was an asshole and someone to be feared. Jonathan Maxton, the man Pain used to be, however, was the complete opposite.
Ocelot gently picked up his bloody friend and they hurried back to base. Fear would finish up once Shadow was okay. Fear also ensured that soldier got very friendly with a crocodile. His screams could be heard for several miles.
"Boss!" Ocelot called, pushing open the door to the cabin. Boss entered the room, gasping lightly as she saw the young man covered in Shadow's blood.
"Pain." Boss called into the kitchen behind her and gestured for Ocelot to lay the young woman on the couch. Boss gently urged Ocelot to sit down, out of the way, as Pain got to work fixing her up. Pain had to wash her side and head to clear away any blood so he could see the wounds themselves. He shook his head and cleaned the gashes and set her ankle.
"Sprained ankle. No internal damage, just gonna have some scars. I can't gauge, however, any brain damage at this point. A concussion, no doubt, but…" The Pain shrugged slightly and shook his head.
Boss sat in a nearby chair as Ocelot settled next to Shadow, his head resting on her stomach and he closed his eyes.
"Get down from there!" Ocelot ordered as Shadow climbed up onto a rocky ledge thirty feet above a small pond. Shadow giggled and made a strange mewing noise.
"What the hell was that? NO!" Ocelot stepped forward, watching as Shadow stepped off the ledge, dropping into the water. Ocelot raced to the edge of the pond and, panicking, searched for Shadow. Finally, she surfaced a few feet away, blonde hair clinging to her face, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
"My battle cry! It's the noise an ocelot makes, silly!" Shadow laughed and pulled herself out of the water, flopping down next to the GRU major who was staring at her like she was insane.
A few minutes later, Ocelot tried to imitate the noise. Shadow giggled and made the same noise again. They practiced until nightfall, when Ocelot had finally mastered the cry.
"Ocelots don't cry…" A soft voice whispered, bringing Ocelot fully awake as he felt lithe fingers stroking his head. He looked up to see Shadow watching him, face pale from blood loss. He could feel her hand shake.
"How are you feeling?" Ocelot whispered. Boss was sleeping in the chair, face towards the two younger adults. Ocelot wiped his eyes, pulling away from the wet spot his tears had created. "I thought…" Ocelot couldn't finish the sentence. He had known this girl for almost 2 years, and a fall was what it took to make him realize that couldn't imagine living without her by his side.
"I'm alright." Was all Shadow said with a small smile. She scooted over on the couch and gestured for Ocelot to join her. It was cramped, but soon both of them fell asleep. Boss opened her eyes, face as blank as ever. She was glad Ocelot had someone he cared about, someone who he didn't feel the need to be arrogant and cocky with, someone he cared enough about that he would cry if there was a chance that they would be brain dead. Boss was pleased that there was a chance for this young man still, that somewhere deep down, he may have a chance at being better than all of this.
She felt something brush her shoulder and shivered.
"You're here, aren't you?" She asked softly, standing up and going to her bedroom. She allowed the tears to fall only once the door was locked.
"Why are you letting Fury cook? You know he burns things!"
By morning, Shadow was up and moving. She limped slightly, but her left wrist had taken the most damage, being shattered by a rock under the water and he weight landing on it. Pain wrapped it for her and told her, "Quit bitching or do it yourself."
"Challenge accepted!" Shadow stood up and marched into the kitchen.
Pain and Fear watched as Shadow and Fury argued about how to properly cook oatmeal.
"Aren't there instructions?" Boss asked as she entered the kitchen.
"Don't bring that up." Fear warned, sitting on the table. Pain sat with a handful of hornets crawling around his hand.
Ocelot was leaning against the wall, wincing as Shadow slapped Fury hard enough that Fury actually winced in discomfort.
After about an hour, breakfast was finally done, and it was actually good for once. Fear normally cooked for them, because with Pain there was a chance to swallow a hornet and Fury preferred his food to be charcoal. Shadow had salvaged the meal though and they all sat around eating in silence.
"He's coming tomorrow?" Shadow asked. Boss nodded, sipping water from a clear cup. "Will he be alone?" Again, Boss nodded.
"He always is. More people increase the chance of discovery." Boss explained to her.
"What about the Cobras?" Shadow's brow furrowed in confusion. None of the Cobras could blend in except Fear, and that was only in the jungle. She had been informed they had lead the attack on Stalingrad.
"We don't have to be stealthy. We like our presence known." Pain said with a dry, crackled laugh, like dry leaves crunching.
"You ask us questions, you know us. We don't a thing about you, except what Ocelot has told us." Boss set her glass down and examined Shadow. "Why are you here?"
Shadow looked down at her hands and said, "I…don't actually know. My captain, my whole team, actually, was massacred about a year and a half ago, in…West Germany. I was their translator, so the Germans sent me back to Ame-Russia to send a message to Khrushchev." Shadow hoped to hell they didn't catch it.
"How old are you?" Fear raised an eyebrow.
"I just turned 18."
"Sending a 16 year old into war as a spy. That's a very American thing to do." Pain smirked and Shadow's blood ran cold.
"I'm surprised Russia would do such a thing." Ocelot said with a laugh of his own.
"Russia just took a page out of the American book." Fear pushed his plate away and stood up.
Shadow relaxed slightly, releasing a breath she wasn't quite aware she had been holding. Boss was still watching her and Shadow stood up as well, quickly cleaning up.
"Go find the Ocelot unit of Spetsnaz, tag along with them." Shadow's captain ordered, taking shaky breaths as he stared up at the night sky, a chill setting into his stiff body.
"What about you?" She whimpered, her hand pressed to the soldier's bloody chest.
"I'm dead, kid. Ocelot needs you. Codename Adam. No one else can know, Shadow." The red haired man rasped, pushing her hands away from the bullet wound that had ended his life.
"No. I-I won't leave you to die alone!" Shadow cried, tears falling onto his torn chest.
She kneeled next to him, both hands pressed like she was about to begin CPR.
"Shadow…I'm sorry I can't tell you what's going on…just…stay with Major Ocelot…protect him…He is the only one who can answer your questions now…Sending a fucking 16 year old girl into Hell…what were they thinking…?"
"No, please, Captain, stay with me!" Shadow begged as his mismatched eyes fluttered close. "Don't leave me….you can't leave me, too…"
"Shadow…you need to find the…" The man took in a shuttering breath that wracked his whole body.
Shadow cried out again and pressed harder, trying desperately to stop the blood. "No, no, no, no…NO!"
Her captain stilled and she didn't have to take a pulse to know he was gone.
"Please…" Shadow leaned forward, her forehead against his. "I don't know what to do…what am I doing? What am I doing?"
Rain began to pour and all she could do was stay there, kneeling as rain mixed with mud and blood, staining her clothes.
Ocelot found her three days later, in a camp she had set up with four bodies lying, all side by side in a row to one side, eyes closed and blood cleaned from them as best as she could.
"Shadow?" Ocelot asked, eyeing the bodies. Shadow looked up and Ocelot spread his arms and then flicked his wrist, a gesture that would become familiar to her. "I'm Ocelot. Don't forget it!"
Shadow smiled slightly, the first smile in almost two weeks since she first began the mayhem and mission that had left her four closest friends all dead at the hands of man who was called Thunderbolt in the West.
Shadow stood and followed him away from the camp. She stopped on a ridge, looking down at her team and whispered, "Guide me. I'm so lost…"
If Ocelot heard, he didn't say anything.
Shadow jumped, realizing Ocelot had been talking to her for some time.
"Sorry, I was just…stuck in the past." Shadow whispered weakly.
She was following Ocelot through the dense jungle, heading to meet the man in charge of everything going on. The colonel, was all Boss had said about him. Ocelot stopped and turned towards her.
"I met you a year and a half ago…but I didn't find you again until two weeks ago. Why did you lie?" Ocelot did more random hand gestures and Shadow looked down.
"I trust you, Ocelot. I trust Boss. I just…don't know who I can trust with this mission, except you…God, I'm so fucking confused…" Shadow sat down on a log and shook her head.
"They didn't tell you anything, did they?" Ocelot sat next to her, patting her back.
"They said Captain knew what needed to be known. I don't have a radio or anything…I don't know what to do. My only orders were to find 'Adam' if anything went wrong." Shadow shook her head, running a hand through her short hair.
A/N 2:Sadly I must end it here, we are leaving the hotel sooooo I am done I may come back and add more, depending on what my dear readers think. I just have one major point that I wanted to get across with the flashback, and I hope it was understood.
Shadow has no fucking clue what is going on with Vogin. Also, sorry if you guys don't like it. It didn't come out the way I wanted it to, but at least you get some more information about Shadow, right? Also, next chapter I am thinking will be focused on Boss and Ocelot, and what they think of Sherri, but I'm not sure yet.
It sucks, I'm sorry. Side note: It's the longest chapter I've done, with exactly 2,500 words. Yay! Does that make up for the suckiness? :)