A/N: I try to get the characterizations right, but this is my first fanfiction and I am new to this fandom, so please forgive me if there are inconsistencies. Also, please do point out if I make mistakes, both grammatically and canonically.
Hope you enjoy this short piece!
The characters and universe belong to Hasbro, I am in no way affiliated with them. I receive no profit from this work, as it was written only for mine and, hopefully, everyone else's pleasure.
Snake Eyes wasn't the only one with scars; yet sometimes she wondered if he so much as to realize that.
While his scars were mostly physical, hers were mental; concealed from public eyes by a thick layer of bright personality and a great deal of self-control. Shana was content on having those memories of bitter regrets, foolish mistakes, and intense anger only to herself. She didn't want anyone to get hurt if her emotion was to explode, nor did she want anyone to show pity towards her.
Shana O'Hara had had many regrets in her life—mistakes she would love to mend, people she wanted to harm for hurting her in the past. Vengeance was dark, and she was ashamed of having it in the first place. But she was still human. She was still curious if she could change the past, if she could seek revenge or redeem her mistake… Would her scars finally be able to heal?
But she, of all people, should know better. Men couldn't change the past, nor could they fully restore the damages they had caused on other people's lives and their own.
And, oh, what a great damage she had caused that one man.
Her logical mind told her, over and over again, that the Huey incident was not her fault. There was no way she could've predicted that the webbing would be caught. She had told Snake Eyes to go, and still he had stayed. So that couldn't have been her fault, right?
At times, she wondered wryly if the supposed 'logical opinion' was only a desperate attempt to not blame herself.
Still, every time he took off his mask with her in his presence, she could feel a pang of guilt twisting her stomach uncomfortably; almost painfully. She could never quite forgive herself for her role in that event. And if he could see her wince, he would mirror her change of expression, though barely noticeable. Maybe he thought he couldn't see it, but for her, it was clear as day. She could guess what he was thinking, that his grotesque appearance of a face disgusted her, scared her. And then, for one moment, he would turn away from her, as if to hide.
She would open her mouth to explain that that wasn't it. That she didn't hate or was afraid of the sight of the scars crisscrossing his face. But her words always caught in her throat; so she closed her mouth again, and waited for the moment to pass.
Those moments never lasted long, because neither Scarlett nor Snake Eyes wanted to ruin what small time they had for themselves.
Yet, it lingered. As they laid, out of breath, on his bed—or sometimes hers—with their limbs tangled to each other, she would raise a hesitant hand towards his face and start tracing the complex lines of scars with the lightest touch of her fingers. He would close his eyes and heave a deep sigh, or hold her wrist with a firm hand, but not restricting.
Sometimes, though, he would resist. The signs were vague, but she was more than able to read the smallest of his reactions. He would scoot away, adding a slight gap between them. He would put his arm on that little gap, as if blocking her, telling her not to get closer. He would refuse to meet his gaze with hers. She could see the coldness he'd forced into those beautiful orbs of his, but the ache and weariness he'd hid behind that hard façade were still visible.
During times like that, she wouldn't push. She knew that no words could ever change Snake Eyes' harsh opinion about himself. Stubborn had always been his nature; a trait she had noted since the early times of their partnership. So she skidded further, giving him the space he wanted (or he thought he deserved) as he turned his back on her. She would hear his breathing slowing down, but she never left. If she left, it would mean she was giving up on him. And she'd promised herself not to.
When she woke up in the morning, she would find the void on the other side of the bed. The sheets were cold at touch, enough to tell her that he was long gone. She knew where he had gone to: his rigorous morning exercises, amplified by his dark mood. And she wouldn't try to approach him again for the rest of the day. She believed he would come back to her when he was ready.
There was anger, too. An anger she couldn't help but to feel. She hated the fact that he tried so hard to push her away, despite the time they had spent together. Despite everything they had been through. After everything she had uncovered to him about her more vulnerable self, he still couldn't trust her with his? Often, she was too angry to think straight. To try and see it from his point of view. But then she was always good at it, wasn't she?
So as soon as her own anger dissipated, she would calm down. She would continue her daily routines, and waited for him.
Didn't he know she would always wait for him?
And when they finally accepted each other again, with her fingers trailing absently across the rough, scarred surface of his skin, he would smile at her. A small, apologetic smile that made his eyes twinkle, the sheen of the unusually opaque blue softer. She would return the smile with a quiet message she could only hope he'd be able to decipher.
She wished that one day, he would understand; she wished he would let her see the part of him she knew he hated and was afraid to show. Because the scars he carried were her fault; her own scar to bear.
She merely wanted to heal his.