Anna's eyes fluttered open and she looked around for a brief moment wondering what had happened the night before. She looked over and found Snake next to her, still sleeping, his hand holding hers.
Never would she ever forget what had happened between them the night before. She had always been nervous with other men, but with Snake it had seemed right. Anna's spirits soared, and she didn't think of a time she'd been as happy as she was now. Deep down, she knew he was the one meant for her.
She smiled and snuggled closer to her ninja. She didn't want to wake him, so she quietly laid next to him, watching his face as he slept. She would never get tired of seeing him with no mask. She was disappointed that in a matter of an hour he would have to put it back on.
Beneath the blankets she put a hand on his chest. He stirred a bit but still didn't wake, much to her delight. After a while she looked at the clock and decided to wake him up, knowing he'd want to hit the gym before they went to the career fair.
"Snake, wake up." she said, shaking his shoulders.
His blue eyes blinked and his gaze met hers and he smiled, signing, "Good morning beautiful."
Anna couldn't help the stupid smile that came to her face as she said, "It's almost eight thirty."
He nodded, "We should do some training before the fair."
"I knew you'd say that." She said.
"Don't want to?" he asked.
"How about I meet you there, I want to go to the lounge quick." Anna said, "I'm a little thirsty."
Snake nodded, sitting up and reaching for his sweatshirt that was thrown on the floor. He donned it, along with his sweatpants and stood, stretching and yawning. Before he left, he gave her a quick kiss and, after she ran a hand along his jaw, he put his mask back on.
He closed her door, and she was left alone. Anna bit her lip and giggled falling back onto her bed.
Finally she got out of bed and changed into her yoga pants and a yellow athletic shirt to train with Snake. She looked at herself in the mirror and glared at the bandage on her head, "You will come off." she told it.
"Hey Ripcord." She said cheerfully as she entered the lounge.
"You're happy this morning." Ripcord said, flapping a newspaper to straighten it, "You know, I didn't see Snake in the training room last night. I mean I know he just got back and all, but usually you can't get the guy out of there."
"Weird." Anna said, with her head stuck in the refrigerator.
"Did you happen to see him?" Ripcord asked nonchalantly.
"Yeah, I think I saw him around somewhere." Anna said, taking a can of soda out of the fridge.
"Hmm." Ripcord responded, his eyebrows raised.
"He was being a little," Anna rounded the corner but stuck her head back into the lounge and said, "freaky."
As she walked away, she heard Ripcord burst out laughing.
When she entered the training room, she found Snake Eyes in a corner meditating. She started on her way across the room when a hand caught her arm. She turned to see Cover Girl standing next to her.
"Hey Cover Girl." Anna said, giving her a polite smile.
"Hey Anna," She said, "I um, I just wanted to say something."
"What's that?" Anna asked.
"You know," She started, "when you first joined the Joes, I wasn't sure about you. I didn't know if you had what it takes. But what you did to get Snake Eyes back," She smiled, rubbing her arm in embarrassment, "I just think that was amazing."
"Oh. Well thank you Cover Girl." Anna said.
"I guess I just wanted to say welcome to the Joes." Cover Girl said smiling, "Oh, and hey, that Storm Shadow, did he leave?"
"Yeah, he went back to his home." Anna said.
"Oh, I was just wondering." Cover Girl smiled and walked away.
Anna sat down next to Snake and mirrored his pose, clearing her mind. She liked when he did meditation, it was one of her favorite things to do during their training. They stayed like that for hours until it was eleven o'clock and Roadblock tapped Anna's shoulder.
Anna snapped out of her trance and stuttered, "Wha-what?"
"It's almost time for the fair." Roadblock said.
"Okay, I'll let Snake know." Anna shook the ninja, "Hey, Snake Eyes, it's time to go."
He turned his head toward her and nodded. Anna jumped up and said, "I gotta go change then, see you in a bit Block."
Anna left and once again changed into her armor. Now she knew why Snake liked to keep his on all the time. She put her katana's in their place at her back and strapped the nunchuck to her left hip, tucking her ninja stars into her sleeves.
Roadblock, Leatherneck, Ripcord, and Snake Eyes stood standing in the hallway next to the doors. Anna stepped up next to Ripcord and said, "Where's Scarlett?"
"She's not coming." Ripcord said gloomily.
"Well, now that we're all here we can leave." Roadblock said, "You're not too intimidated are you Anna?"
She shot him an 'are you kidding me' look and said, "Hell no."
He laughed and said, "Move out crew."
They all piled into one of the Joe's black SUV's and were on their way. Anna was squished between Ripcord and Snake Eyes, and every time they turned a right corner, Ripcord would throw his whole body weight into her. After the third time she turned to him, "Are you having fun?"
"Yeah, yeah I am." Ripcord said, smiling.
Anna rolled her eyes and rested her back against the seat so that he couldn't smash her against Snake Eyes. This time when they turned a right corner, he threw his body over her lap.
She just couldn't win.
"You're like a little kid." Anna said in astonishment.
Ripcord just smiled stupidly.
Anna looked over at Snake who was looking out the window. She reached over and took hold of the hand that was resting on his leg. He looked over to her and gave her hand a squeeze.
Finally Roadblock pulled into the parking lot of a two story high school and said, "We have arrived."
Leatherneck clapped his hands together, "Man do I love these things."
When they got out, Anna helped Snake Eyes carry in the table they would put their pamphlets and various information about the Joes on. Inside, the school was silent, the students still in their classes.
They entered the gym where different businesses were setting up their booths, and the director of the fair pointed to their spot. They set up in between a bank and chiropractic booths, right in the middle of the row.
Someone brought them some chairs, and Anna sat down next to Snake Eyes, "So what should I be expecting."
"A lot of jokes about my mask." Snake Eyes said.
"Is that bad or good?"
"Some kids just make jokes, others I'd just like to slam into the floor."
Anna laughed, not hearing him talk like that before, "What else?"
"The boys will be hitting on you," he said, "much to my displeasure. And the kids will challenge you to fights, which of course we can't do."
"And I'll sneak up behind them and scare them." Leatherneck said excitedly, clapping his hands again.
The bell rang right as Roadblock finished setting up the table with a Joe blanket and pamphlets. After a couple minutes kids started filing into the gym, looking around to find a suitable booth.
Before they could come to their booth, Roadblock set out a picture frame that held a photo of Duke, that said "Captain Conrad "Duke" Hauser 1983-2013".
The Joes were swarmed with kids within the first five minutes, all of them pushing to see them.
"It's a great program." Roadblock was telling one of the kids, "You get to tell everyone you're the best."
Snake Eyes stood next to Anna, and kids were looking at him with fascination. "Take off your mask!" someone said.
"He never takes off his mask." Anna said, "No one's ever seen what he looks like."
"Really?" someone asked, "That's weird."
"What do you do?" Someone asked Anna.
"Well," Anna said, "I'm training to be a ninja."
"You?" a boy asked, "You're a girl, girl's can't be ninjas."
"Why not?" Anna asked.
"I don't know, they're not the ninja type."
"I'm a ninja." Anna said, "Well, at least I will be. So I guess girls can be ninjas."
"Prove it." He said smugly.
"Prove it, do something a ninja could do."
"I don't know if that would go over good with your-"
The whole mob of kids started shouting different things about how she should show them something. She looked at Roadblock and Ripcord who were smiling at her and said, "Oh come on Anna, do a trick."
Anna rolled her eyes and said, "Okay, okay, make some room."
The kids instantly formed a circle in the middle of the gym. Anna reluctantly walked to the center of the circle. The whole gym was watching her, teachers included.
"Well," Anna said,"what do you want me to do?"
"Do some kung-fu!" Someone shouted.
"Okay, first of all I'm specialized in Wushu and Jujitsu. Kung-fu is a whole different story." Anna said, "So I guess I can do a little Wushu if you want."
Someone cat whistled.
Anna took a deep breath and struck the opening pose they looked for in competitions. After that she kicked, punched and leapt through the air around the circle like Snake had taught her. She ran and did a butterfly twist, making the kids murmur. She finally did the closing competition moves, and took a bow. The kids started clapping and cheering, allowing her to make her way back to the booth.
"Excuse me," a girl said, coming up to Anna, "I've been told my entire life girl's can't do the things guys can. I just saw a girl that could beat up half the male population, and I just wanted to say you've really inspired me."
Anna put a hand to her heart and said, "Never listen to those guys, you can do anything you want to as long as you still believe in yourself."
"Can I get a picture with you?" She asked.
"Of course!" Anna said, "Snake take a picture."
He took the girl's phone and Anna posed with her while Snake took the picture. She said thank you and walked back over to her group of friends who went on their way down the line of booths.
"Nice mask." A boy said to Snake, "Are you just too ugly to take it off?"
"Maybe he should give it to you." One of his classmates said, and Snake Eyes gave them a fist bump.
"Hey babe." A boy said, his black hair spiked up into a mohawk.
Anna looked around to see if he was talking to someone else. There wasn't any girls around, "Who me?"
"Yeah, that's right baby. How's about you and me go out to eat after we're done here." He said.
"What like a date?" She asked.
"That's what I'm talking about." He said, flashing her a smile.
"Oh, can my ninja master boyfriend come along too?" Anna asked, while Snake Eyes stepped up next to her, crossing his arms.
The boy's eyes widened and he gulped, quickly walking away.
A group of girls stood reading through a pamphlet, and Leatherneck rose up from behind them. He winked at Anna and shouted in his drill sergeant voice, "Atten-tion!"
The girls screamed and dropped their pencils and papers, while Leatherneck laughed and slapped his knee.
"I fly planes." Ripcord was saying to a younger girl who had asked him what he did.
"My dad's a Marine." she said, "He says pilots are hotshots and think they can do whatever they want."
Ripcord's face fell and he said, "Well your dad is wrong. Marines are stupid."
The girl gasped and ran away. Roadblock laughed and clapped Ripcord on the shoulder, "Good going."
"Why do you have a bandage across your eye?" A boy asked Anna.
"I got wounded on a mission and the scar hasn't quite healed yet." Anna said.
"You look like a mummy." he said, and walked away.
Anna rolled her eyes to the ceiling and groaned.
The mob of kids finally started thinning out as the day wore on, and a soldier from a different branch of the military approached them from a booth across the gym.
"Excuse me but, who is Ripcord?" he asked.
"That would be me." Ripcord said standing, sticking out his chest.
"What's this I hear about Marines being stupid?" The man asked.
Ripcord looked to where the patch on his uniform stated that he was a Marine. He did a little laugh and said, "Who said that?"
The Marine shook his head and walked away. After he turned his back, Ripcord held out his hands mouthing, "Bring it."
"Who's this?" Someone asked. They all looked to where a girl was pointing at the picture of Duke.
Roadblock sobered up and said, "That was our Captain, Duke."
"He died?" She asked.
Roadblock nodded, "Yes, he was killed during a mission we were on. Hes saved all our lives." The Joes nodded, and Snake Eyes bowed his head. Anna rubbed his back and tipped his head so he could see her shake hers.
Finally the teachers dismissed the students back to their last class hours.
"Well that was interesting." Anna said.
"Always is." Roadblock said.
The car ride back was filled with laughter and chatter about the kids and their reactions. Ripcord and Leatherneck were laughing hysterically, and Roadblock was laughing at them. Anna couldn't help but laugh along, and turned to look at Snake, who was watching them. She put a hand on his leg, and briefly laid her head on his shoulder.
"Anna, how does it feel to be the most badass woman those kids have ever met." Leatherneck asked.
"Feels pretty good." Anna said, cracking her knuckles.
They finally got back to the base and Snake Eyes followed Anna to her room. He helped her into sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and they laid on her bed so she could finally watch Parker.
"You are amazing." Snake Eyes signed suddenly.
"Where'd that come from?" Anna asked him.
"I just wanted you to know." Snake Eyes said, "I'll never get tired of telling you those things."
Anna smiled, "Boy do I love you."
"And I love you." He said, "Pretty soon you're going to be finished with your training and we'll be partners."
"We'll be together all the time." Anna said happily, "That's a good thing, right?"
"As long as we're together, nothing else matters." Snake said, brushing a strand of hair out of her face.
"Nothing else matters." Anna agreed, "Damnit I missed Parker again!"
This is it...sniff...Alone is officially over! :( It was such a blast writing this story and hearing your feedback. You've all been so lovely and awesome! I hope you stick around and look for the sequel to this story, because yes, I am writing one! The title I'm thinking will be Together. I know, I know, it's kind of a cheesy title, but oh well you know?
I hope you guys liked the career fair part, I tried to make it funny so tell me what you think! I know a couple of you suggested having that as my first chapter of my next story, but I got the first chapter all planned out.
And just in case I have some new followers or you just plain forgot, don't forget to check out my Storm Shadow story, Calm Before the Storm, which will be updated soon!
I love you all, and look forward to Together in the near future!