Scarlett was shaken gently awake. Her immediate reflex had her lashing out at the person, but Snake Eyes had taught her the trick. Easily, he grabbed her hand to stop the punch from happening as well as the other one when it came for him. Scarlett blinked the sleep from her eyes and peered up at him in confusion when she saw his mask was on.
"Snake Eyes? What's wrong? What's going on? Are we under attack?"
But he just shook his head and gestured for her to get up. As she dressed, he handed her a bag packed with clothes and such for at least a week. Even more confused now, the red head followed him out of the room to the Motor Pool. Storm Shadow was waiting for them beside a car.
"You talked to D-u-k-e?," Snake signed.
"Of course," his sword brother replied,"He agreed quickly, saying something about too much leave?"
But Snake Eyes was no longer listening as he walked away toward the car. Tommy sighed and shook his head, but Scarlett could see the smile forming behind his mask as well as his eager body language. He was also ready to go. She waited to ask a long while as they climbed into one of the cars and took off. She managed it until Tommy looked back at her after an hour and a half of silent driving.
"You are pretty quiet after being woken up and being taken to who knows where," he said, grinning.
"I like surprises. But I don't mind them being spoiled," she said simply, despite her curiosity eating her up inside.
Tommy laughed,"Well...since you like surprises..who am I to spoil this one?"
The redhead glared at the ninja's back the rest of the drive. But as another hour passed, Tommy turned back around.
"It's another one of our secrets that we think you should be aware of. Seeing as you're my brother's fiance, it is only fair you get to...well, come along."
Scarlett knew that he had wanted to say something else, but it probably would have given the "secret" away. As they drove on, she mulled over her thoughts on what this one was going to be. But she was truly stumped about what else Snake Eyes could hide from her. A few more hours went by fast and before she knew it, the car stopped. They were in front of a small cottage. It was a little bit bigger than Snake's cabin up in the mountains. This one had a little garden in the back, a few tomato plants were peeking around the corner giving it away. It was dainty and beautiful, almost like it was in another world from a dream.
A shot ringing out as they exited the car shattered the illusion.
All three of them reacted immediately on instinct, diving into the bushes to get out of the shooter's view. A few more shots came, hitting around the car and told them the person had no idea who was here. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow looked at each other. Tommy laughed, for once breaking the rule of staying silent when being shot at, making the shooter aim in their direction and squeeze off. A curse sounded and the sound of a box being ripped open. Tommy quickly scurried out of the bush as they were distracted and called out to the house.
"Anna, I know you don't like my advances," Tommy said, his grin not diminishing any,"but that is no way to greet an old friend."
The house was silent for a moment before another shot rang out, hitting in his general direction, but no where near close.
"Annabelle," someone scolded loudly. There was some scuffling sounds before the door opened up. A woman who looked to be in her early 20s stepped out. Her black hair was tied back and hung over one shoulder, shining in the moon's light against the huge black fur robe she wore. She said nothing when Snake Eyes stood up and came towards her, but she did run to meet him, jumping up to hug him around his neck. He met her full on, grabbing her out of the air as she landed on him and picked her up in a crushing bear hug. Tommy came up with Scarlett behind him, waiting for his own turn. Like a monkey, the girl reached out an arm to curl around Tommy's neck and swing onto him. She glanced curiously at Scarlett when she opened her eyes, but Snake Eyes quickly ushered them inside before she could say anything. The woman zipped inside and bounced on her feet as she waited for them to all come in and close the door. As soon as the click was heard, immediately she began talking.
"Snake Eyes! Tommy! 'Ow are ye two? I 'aven't see ye two in ages! Who's she? Which one of ye is gettin' married? I see the ring on 'er finger! Congratulations by the way! Tommy if it's ye, I don' think Anna'll be too 'appy, laddie! Must be Snake, congratulations! Oh oh oh, is she tha Scarlett woman ye talk about when ye come? So ye ARE getting' 'itched! YAY! 'Allo! I'm Tavia! I'm Snake Eyes and Tommy's adopted sister! Annabelle's makin' tea fer us. If there's gunpowder in it, I'm sorry. But she won' put tha darn thing down after she's shot it 'nd I don't think Tommy bein' 'ere 'elps 'er mood any!"
Scarlett blinked, trying to process all that she said with the think accent she was pretty sure was Scottish. Tommy scoffed at her as Snake Eyes ruffled her hair.
"Still chatter like a squirrel," Snake teased and she grinned up at him.
"Ye'd think I'd gone crazy if I stopped," she stated matter of factly. She finally realized his mask was still in place when his grin made it wrinkle and she gently pulled at the cheek.
"Why's this still on? Take it off, don' be a stranger! I wanna see 'em pretty blues! I love yer eyes, they remind me of the sea in the day time. I miss the sea. 'Ave ye been near it lately?
As she and Snake "chatted" (his signing a lot slower than usual), Scarlett turned over the conversation in her head to untangle details and turned to Tommy.
"So," Scarlett said casually,"Did I hear that first part right? You adopted them? As your sisters?"
"Sister. Snake Eyes adopted both Tavia and Annabelle as his sisters. I didn't."
"And I think she's still mad at ye fer not adoptin' 'er," Tavia said to Tommy and he shrugged, giving her the point,"or scared 'cause she knows ye 'ave another thin' planned fer 'er."
Tommy full out grinned again.
"Wait," Scarlett mused before turning to Tommy with a frown,"You adopted her but not her sister?"
Snake untangled himself from Tavia to sign,"He has motives for her that doesn't involve adopted family ties."
"Oh," Scarlett raised an eyebrow at the smirking Young Master.
"I 'onetly don' know why," Tavia said, frowning at Tommy,"Anna keeps throwin' things at ye, yellin', cursin', shootin' at ye-"
"As if she could get me," Tommy snorted.
"I 'eard tha', ye damn ninja," a voice snapped from the kitchen. Tommy grinned widely again.
"You know you cannot, Annabelle," he said back. Scarlett turned to her man
"No," Tavia agreed, grinning at Scarlett from over her man's shoulder,"But me 'nd Anna like Snake Eyes just as much, 'e's our brother now 'nd stuck with us! But 'e does remind me a little of Finnegan. They both 'ave tha same blonde 'air! Well, Finnegan's wasn' blonde, 'e just dyed it blonde ta get on our ma's nerves and kept on since she passed so I kinda grew thinkin' 'is 'air was blonde."
She gave a big smooch on his scarred cheek, before wiggling off of Snake Eyes, and crept over to Scarlett with a small shy smile on her despite her chit chat going thirty miles an hour.
"So yer Scarlett? Id tha' yer real name or codename? Either way, it's pretty! 'Nd yer 'air is gorgeous! Me ma 'ad red 'air but not as bright. Lovely darker shade. I wish we'd inherited it. I don' know if ye 'eard befer but Annabelle and me are twins! Don' let 'er 'orrible ferst impression get ta ya, she's a lovely person. She's just been on edge these day and now that Tommy's 'ere...well, I'll leave it so ye can see soon."
Scarlett found her chatter was a little much, but she was warming up to Tavia a little bit. Who wouldn't with her smile and brightly glowing eyes. As the woman chattered on happily, Scarlett was able to see Storm Shadow slip into the kitchen.
"Don' ye come near me," the voice said a second later and Scarlett knew that it was Annabelle.
"I just want to receive some greetings."
"'Ow about a face full of tea?"
"I might like it better in a cup, Annabelle dear."
"Tha's not where it's gonna land if ye keep buggin' me! Out!"
A quiet "oomph" came next and Tommy ran from the kitchen as loud cursing started up and a cup flew out after him. He dodged it gracefully.
"It's called a hug, Annabelle," Tommy said cheekily. Annabelle came in, balancing five cups of steaming hot tea on a tray. She paused at the couch as she took in Snake Eyes and, apparently for the first time, Storm Shadow.
"'Oly shit," she said bluntly,"ye two buffed up."
Woohoo! Part Two! And the secret is revealed!
NOTHING AND NOBODY BUT ANNABELLE, TAVIA, AND FINNEGAN BELONG TO ME!