I DO NOT OWN METAL GEAR

Hello :)! This is my first Metal Gear story. It's set after Metal Gear Solid 4 but way before Revegeance. Raiden is in the human-looking body he had at the end of MGS4. Rose is not in this, but she's mentioned in a positive manner so please no bashing her. I've only played MGS 2 and 4 and cannot for the life of me figure out where Raiden, Rose, and John live afterward XD. They are in New York in this story. If you know where they live and it isn't in New York, then the family is on a trip there in this fic ;). Anyways, please enjoy :D!

X

This world was so different compared to that which Raiden had grown accustomed. His world…his place…had been the battlefield. Lifeless terrain ravaged by the tracks of heavy tanks…smoke-tainted air pierced by deadly bullets and the screams of dying men…the sky made to look grey from the smoke of grenades…that and so much more was war. That…had been his world. This place…this time…was a whole new dimension.

Battery Park…a common place to most New Yorkers, but a paradise to Raiden. His eyes scanned over the area, taking in every beautiful detail. Lush viridian trees among other plant life surrounded the paved bench area in which he sat. A beauteous view of the Hudson lay only yards ahead of him. The late afternoon sun shone down on the water, making it sparkle.

Truly, the soldier wasn't the only one in the park today…but he seemed to be the only one to completely appreciate its radiance. Other people passed along the sidewalk next to the water, clutching briefcases as they hurried to some business gather or listening to their ipods while they jogged. To them, this world was a given. To him…it was a gift.

Raiden sat back on the wooden bench. He tugged at his ebony trench coat, even though he could not entirely feel the glacial breeze. At the casual scan, his body seemed completely normal…HE seemed completely normal. He wore a gunmetal shirt underneath the aforementioned coat, black jeans, and black shoes. His ice blonde bangs hung partially over silvery blue eyes. Combined with his pale skin, it made his clothing seem even darker.

To the average person, he was Jack…a normal guy in a normal world. But to those who knew him…knew his past…he was Raiden…he was White Devil…he was Jack the Ripper. Those who knew him could see the faint lines marring his pallid face…the lines that separated his human flesh from his inorganic parts. They knew of the war machine he had been turned into. He was someone who was said to be destined for war since the day of his birth. For so long, he had believed that the battlefield was his only place…and he had no doubt that others still did.

Today, however, he was Jack. No longer did he have to dive into hellish settings or throw himself into situations which would leave him half-dead. He had found something else to believe in.

A small smile played on Raiden's lips. His eyes flickered from the river…to focus on the child playing in the courtyard before him. John, his five-year-old son, was dressed in a navy blue t-shirt and black shorts. The color combination somewhat reminded his father of the Skull Suit he had once donned. The sun's rays shone down on the boy, illuminating the fair hair he had inherited from his father…and revealing a determined spark in the chestnut eyes which his mother possessed.

Play fighting imaginary foes with a toy katana, Little John was almost the spitting image of his father. Almost…because he was not scarred with the horrors of real war. His tiny, inexperienced hands mimicked the actions he had seen from his favorite comic book heroes. That was all he had seen…and that was all Jack ever wanted him to see. Both he and Rose coveted that innocence…and they would do what they could to preserve it in their son.

At the moment, John seemed to be attempting a lunging strike maneuver. His fingers fumbled over the toy's handle, searching for the proper manner in which to hold it. Finally, he settled on clutching it the way one would a knife they were about to stab someone with. He lunged forward… and the blade's plastic tip struck the concrete. This sent John stumbling. His weapon clattered to the ground.

Raiden stood up reflexively, surveying his child. Rose had been teasing him for awhile now about his "new father overprotective streak". But…she understood. He hadn't been a father for the first five years in John's life. He would be one now.

John stared at his toy lying on the ground…but did not pick it up. His little shoulders rose up and down in a heavy sigh. Unable to read the boy's expression, Raiden went slowly to his side. John's young features were fixed in a deep frown. He stared hard at his katana.

"I've been trying forever…" he murmured. "…I guess I'll never get that move right."

Raiden studied his son. He recognized that look…that lost expression. He had worn it many times during the Big Shell incident. Strange to think he had ever been that insecure...

"Don't give up just yet," said Jack in his low, graveled voice. Picking up the sword that was tiny compared to his own, he explained, "Here, you're just holding it wrong…"

He placed the toy in John's right hand and stood behind him. He placed his hands on the boy's shoulders. Although it was not the same as genuine human contact…the sensory technology in the human model of his cyborg body still allowed him to feel the heat and life radiating from his child. That…was more than enough.

Gently, Raiden pivoted John so that he was standing in a sideways stance. He raised the sword bearing arm upward and brought up John's free hand to steady the blade. For a split second, he stared at the sight. It was a mirror image of the position he had taken after Olga had left him her katana…the katana he still wielded.

John's brown eyes clung to his father. His entire body was frozen, refusing to move until he received further instruction. Raiden retrieved a long stick that had fallen from one of the trees. He returned to his son's side and held the stick in an identical stance.

"When you want to perform a lunging strike, drive your blade like this," Jack pushed his stick forward in a line, then back-stepped to his original position. "See? Nice and smooth."

John's wide-eyed gaze took in each movement. With a small nod, he fixed his focus straight ahead. He took a deep breath…and struck out at air. This time, he moved his sword in a downward motion, hitting the ground with it again. His eyebrows furrowed with frustration.

Jack smiled gently. He was more than familiar with that youthful aggravation. "Here…let me show you."

After placing him back in the battle stance, the cyborg grasped his child's slender wrist in his large-by-comparison hand. He surveyed the contact for just a moment…and his mechanical heart lurched with emotion. Even though he could feel the various wires and devices that composed his mechanical body…his fingers at least looked human beneath the inorganic skin. To any passersby…he was a normal father teaching his son how to swordfight.

"All right…" Raiden crouched down and murmured into the boy's ear. "…focus on your enemy."

John blinked. Then, he looked straight ahead. His eyes narrowed at whatever formidable foe his imagination had created. "Ready."

Raiden nodded. He placed his head next to John's temple to align their gazes. His other hand reached forward and grasped the arm with which John was steadying his katana.

"Now…" a teasing smile curved his lips. "…You're going to push your weapon forward; kinda like when you poke your mom with it."

A snicker escaped the boy's lips. Raiden's smile grew. "This time, however…put all your strength into it. Be sure to get your steadying hand out of the way as you strike." He moved John's blade hand forward, retracting the empty one simultaneously. "Think you can do it?"

John looked hesitant. Jack raised his brows, smiling knowingly. He took a step backward. "C'mon, I know you can do it," he said, folding his arms over his chest.

John studied his father with those round, inquisitive eyes. The soldier looked right back at him, his own blue-grey eyes exuding confidence. He knew that the boy was able. After all…he was his father's son.

Finally, John gave a slow nod. He turned, facing his invisible enemy. Taking the fight position, he stared straight ahead. His eyes concentrated…his fingers tightened on the katana's hilt…he took a deep breath…and drove the blade forward. This time…it moved in a clean, straight line. His other hand moved neatly out of its path. When John recoiled the blade…his face was awash with shock.

Raiden grinned proudly. "See?" he exclaimed, taking the child's shoulders. "I knew you could do it!"

John was grinning from ear to ear. A cherry flush washed over his face, both from the excitement of succeeding…and the thrill of being praised by his dad. Laughing, Raiden pulled his little boy into an embrace. John's face pressed against his firm torso. His fingers clutched handfuls of his father's shirt. When he pulled away…his joyous expression had changed into a thoughtful one.

"What's wrong?" Raiden inquired.

John averted his gaze. In a quiet voice, he murmured, "I wanna be just like you when I grow up.'

Raiden's technological insides writhed at this. He stared hard at the young one. "Why is that?'

John looked up. "Because you're so great at stuff," he said, as if the answer were obvious.

Raiden was silent for several moments. He didn't want his child believing that he had to have a nightmarish life and become half machine in order to succeed. Sighing, the cyborg knelt down. He placed a hand atop John's head.

"Little John…" he murmured, staring deeply into his son's innocent eyes. "…it's not how strong we are or the weapons we have or the battle techniques we know that makes us who we are." He placed a hand flat on the boy's chest. The touch receptors in his palm sensed his heartbeat. "It's what we believe…in here. My body may be a machine…but my heart is human…just like yours."

John gaped down at the hand on his chest. He cocked his head musingly. "Believe…believe in what?"

Jack's eyes glazed over with remembrance. It was unreal seeing how similarly his son's mind worked. He recalled having had this exact conversation with Solid Snake while they snuck through Arsenal Gear those many years ago.

"Find something to believe in," Snake had said. "And when you do, pass it along to the future."

"Believe in what?" Raiden had asked, his unsure expression mimicking that of his son.

Snake had glanced back at him. With a nonchalant shrug, he had replied, "That's your problem."

The rather blunt response had left Raiden feeling more than a little lost. He eventually came to a conclusion…but he had been older than his kid. Little John needed a more positive reply.

Raiden answered, "What you believe in is yours to find, kiddo. When you find it…pass it along."

John scratched his head, still thinking. Eyes snapping to his father's, he asked, "What do you believe in, Dad?"

Raiden smiled. That…he could easily answer. He picked John up, holding him against his chest with one arm. John stared into his face. Earth-colored orbs clashed with gems of icy blue. For years, Raiden hadn't really had much to believe in. He had just fought because that was what he was ordered to do. But now…

"I believe in fighting to protect innocent lives," the cyborg replied, leaning his forehead against his son's. "Particularly those I love…my family."

John's fair eyelashes brushed against Jack's long ones. He grinned and nodded in agreement. Smiling, Jack lifted his head. He turned to look out at the Hudson River, still holding his child.

Once…he had been in a world in which the will of the battlefield shaped his future. Now…he possessed something else…something he used to think he was never meant to have. He had his wife…his son…his family. He would protect them and love them to the best of his ability.

That…was what Raiden believed in.

Just a short fic I wanted to do. I hope it was okay for my first Metal Gear story haha. Anyways, I hope you liked and please review :D! Please no flames.

I DO NOT OWN METAL GEAR