Two whole books read, two essays written, and four midterms taken and I finally found the free time to type this chapter! It's late, very late, I know, but I did say it would take a while for me to update. So I guess it was to be expected then, so don't be too upset with me.
Disclaimer: G.I. Joe Renegades and its respective characters belong to Hasbro, but I will claim this stories plot.
There's nothing quite like waking up to a log thrown across your stomach, especially when said log is in actuality the arm of a certain powerhouse by the name of Marvin Hinton (aka Roadblock). The guy has more power than you'd think by looking at him, and he looks pretty darn strong to begin with, so when said muscle man decides to roll over in his sleep and flop his arm over your stomach it's bound to hurt. A lot. Ugh, it's a good thing I didn't have to go to the bathroom or anything.
Successfully winded, and just a little bit cranky, I grumpily grabbed ahold of Roadblock's wrist and flung his arm back onto his stomach. The reaction I got wasn't nearly the one I had wanted; all he did in response to his arm being thrown onto his stomach was snort in surprise and roll over onto his side. How anti-climactic, I was hoping for something a little more along the lines of waking him up and ruining whatever pleasant dream he had been having. No such luck, the guy could sleep through a freight train roaring by his ear, and with the way Duke snores it's no wonder he's usually the well-rested of all of us!
Thoroughly aggravated, and not likely to go back to sleep anytime soon (my stomach still hurts); I begrudgingly crawled out of my sleeping bag and stretched. It was only then did I realize that there were three people missing from our merry little campsite. Roadblock, obviously, wasn't missing, if my smarting stomach and his sprawled out form next to my foot were any indication. Ripcord was likewise still here, curled up in his sleeping bag and sleeping peacefully on the other side of Roadblock. I wasn't sure if I was jealous that he was asleep or happy, ironically, Ripcord is the quietest sleeper out of us. Whether that's a cruel joke or not that Ripcord can be the quietest sleeper I couldn't say, but these rare moments of quiet are pure bliss. There's no telling how long it'll last before the guy wakes up and starts running his mouth, might as well enjoy it while I can.
And that's it. The only people still at camp are Roadblock, Ripcord, and me. It's not unusual for the ninja to disappear on us, heck; it's probably in the ninja manual to disappear on your pals out of the blue and only reappear to play knight in black spandex. I'm not even surprised that Red is missing either, knowing her she's probably with the ninja doing teacher and pupil things… That or they finally tied the knot and are off sucking face or something… Aw, yuck! Mental image out of my head! I didn't need the image of those two making out in my head! Get out! Get out Get out!
"Tunnel Rat, why are you hitting yourself?"
Squawking in surprised, and a little embarrassed that someone had caught me trying to literally knock a certain mental image out of my head. I spun to face where the voice had come from, and found the last member of our merry little band of misfits.
"Yo Duke, w-where ya been?" I laughed nervously; all too aware of the weird look he was giving me. "We missed you!"
A thin blond eyebrow raised in amusement. "We?" he inquired, pointedly looking at the still sleeping forms of Roadblock and Ripcord. He was obviously ignoring my first question. "Looks like you're the only one here who's awake, Tunnel Rat."
"Just give me a minute to find a stick," I said, grinning. "Roadblock's still afraid of spiders, right?"
Duke groaned, shaking his head. Apparently he didn't approve of my methods. Hey, at least I didn't suggest hitting the guy in the stomach with a log or some other heavy object! Even though he kinda deserves it…
"Let them sleep, as you've probably already noticed Scarlett and the ninja are missing. That usually means that she's found another Cobra conspiracy to endanger our lives with. They need all the rest they can get."
Now it was my turn to groan. Great, another Scarlett conspiracy mission, just what I always wanted first thing in the morning, another chance for Cobra's goons to start shooting at us.
"What are you doing up anyway, Tunnel Rat? Shouldn't you be asleep too?" Duke suddenly asked, catching me by surprise and snapping me out of my grumbling. His voice sounded strained…almost like he was afraid of the answer. Almost like he was worried about something…
Are those bags under his eyes?
I shrugged my shoulders carelessly, pretending that I didn't notice the signs Duke was unknowingly giving off of exhaustion. "Meh, let's just say that the big guy gave me a rude awakening…and a bruised stomach to boot." I joked, trying to lighten the mood. Unfortunately, that seemed to have had the opposite effect on our self-proclaimed leader.
"A bruise," Duke asked, voice sounding unusually strained. "He hit you?"
Whoa, time to back up there Duke!
"No," I said a little louder than necessary. "He didn't hit me, he just rolled over and his arm landed on my stomach when he did. The guy has more strength than we give him credit for, but all he really did was wake me up and wind me a bit. But I'm a big boy Duke, I can handle a little love tap. No need to mother me."
Duke sighed, obviously relieved, and nodded his understanding. "Why don't you try to get some more sleep? You'll need it." He said, making his way tiredly toward our campsite, seating himself on one of the logs we had used as makeshift seats while eating another round of Roadblock's mystery mush.
Ignoring Duke's suggestion to rest, that really was a tempting offer; I instead seated myself on the other log across from the one he was sitting on. When Duke responded to this by giving me a confused look I just grinned. "Not tired, besides, you look like you need company."
I was rewarded with a role of the eyes and an amused chuckled. "Suit yourself, but don't come complaining to me when Scarlett and the ninja come back with a life threatening mission. And you know how long those missions tend to drag on…"
"…I hate it when you're right."
"Which is always."
"I don't wana hear it, Duke!"
Thank you to everyone who took the time to review, and I hope you continue to tell me your thoughts! It's thanks to those reviews that I finally got over my writer's block!
Thank You! And please review!
(I know you guys want to know who's going to be poisoned, but please be patient. I need to work my way to first before anything, but don't worry, I already know who I want to poison and how I'm going to go about getting them poisoned and how he/she will be cured. So please be patient until then!)
Le Fey: Thanks! I'll try to be quicker with my updates in the future, but no promises!
Firestar9mm: I always did wonder why they never tried a psychological attack in the cartoon; it would have made an interesting change of pace. But then again it is a cartoon, it's to be expected. Either way, I hope my take of Psychological warfare is up to your standards and thanks for the review!
helen the 2nd: Very well! I shall continue and here is its next chaper!
the phantom of the arts: It is hard trying to find time to make updates, huh? I feel your pain my friend! Thank you for your support!
jadeoftheworld: I updated, I updated, I updated! You can't go wrong with a Tunnel Rat centric story, can you? Thanks for the review!
Dessi16: Very well, I think I shall! Thanks for the review!
Kittyfan12: I can't have that, you living with the suspense I mean. Don't worry, I shall continue, but it'll be some time before I reveal who gets poisoned. So stay tuned! And thanks for the review!
Dustyfay: It is updated! I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for the review!