Chapter 5...Lieutenant Shana O'hara

Scarlett wasn't dumb.

No, definitely not. No one in their right would ever accuse Scarlett of being dumb, either. They knew better than that. And everyone knew she'd prove them wrong right then and there if she overheard. So it was a basic fact that Shana O'hara was not dumb. In fact, she was pretty damn smart.

Not when it came to everything - particularly social situations - but she was still a very smart girl. Correction; very smart woman. She was a lieutenant, after all.

But that wasn't the point. The point was that Scarlett noticed things, she analyzed things, she observed things, and she figured things out. From Cobra conspiracies to...more personal things. Not to the extent that the guys liked to imply, but she knew that Snake Eyes cared about her. And not an amount one could scoff at, either.

She never would have thought romantically, though. Not in a million years. He was...he was Snake Eyes. He trained her. He'd been by her side for years. And the last date she'd been on was before they'd even met. So Scarlett had never considered something more between them, even if her own feelings...occasionally went that far.

Not that she ever had time to deal with it. Cobra was her mission - her life. Snake Eyes, Duke, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat, Ripcord...they were along for the ride, but she had her eyes set on her goal. No distractions. And when she said none, she meant none. She was out to expose Cobra and avenge her father.

And that was always what she told herself anytime her thoughts started wandering around Snake Eyes and when was the last time she really saw his face? and what did Tunnel Rat mean when he said he caught him staring at her more than a few times and-?! The point being - she did not allow herself to linger on those thoughts.

But...things had changed.

Their names had been cleared. Her dad was back - safe and sound according to him after a thorough checkup at the doctor's, though he needed to catch up on the last few years. And best of all...General Abernathy knew what Cobra was up to. Everyone was finally convinced of the truth she'd known all along.

Well, that she and Snake Eyes had known all along.

And that brought her back to the point. Now that she had no mission to focus on - Cobra Commander was apparently dead, same with James McCullen, Anastasia Cisarovna and Brian Bender - her mind kept going to the same place over and over.

She'd learned so many new things the past few days. Snake Eyes was asked to watch over her by her father. He was indebted, apparently. And that begged the question - when she thought she noticed him caring for her a little too closely, or considered the possibility that Snake Eyes might have some kind of special feelings for her...was that just misinterpretation? He owed her dad, after all...

Scarlett shook her head. No, no, she knew Snake Eyes better than that. That would be like pretending that he took care of Jinx only because he felt guilty. He cared for her, seemingly like a little sister. And that meant he also cared for Scarlett. Though...hopefully not like a little sister. Shana didn't know how she would take news like that and she didn't want to think about it, honestly.

And without other things to focus her mind on, Scarlett started to wonder...was anything going to happen? Did she need to do something to make it happen? She'd never actually made the first move before. Only three boyfriends in the past and they were all the ones who asked her out.

She bit her lip. Asking Snake Eyes out? That...wasn't going to happen. They spent plenty of time together as it was. She needed to do something that actually said what she wanted. Something bold. And noticeable! Like...like what? Scarlett had no idea, to be honest. All she could think of was walking up to him and kissing him. But just the thought of doing that made her chest tighten and face flush. No way would it actually get done.

She didn't even need to do anything. Maybe they weren't meant to be and they'd run their course together as friends and partners until one of them (probably her) took too many risks and died out in the field. That seemed logical.

...but then again, dying with a regret like that was definitely not in her life agenda. Alright. So maybe she'd do something. Maybe she'd do it immediately and just get the embarrassment over with. Just count to one, do it, turn around and leave. Or wait for his reaction. Or don't. Maybe she'd...have a glass of water first. Yeah.

Somehow she ended up in front of his door.

After being brought into the custody of the military, their whole group plus Professor O'hara were forced to answer question after question relating to Cobra and all their encounters with Baroness, Destro, Mindbender - anyone. Afterwards, Duke, Tunnel Rat, Ripcord, and Roadblock all headed back home for a bit. Apparently General Abernathy wanted them to reunite with their families before some new plans would be revealed.

Scarlett, Patrick, and Snake Eyes had no homes to go to, so General Abernathy paid for them to stay in a decent hotel nearby. "Just relax for a day or two," he'd told them. Scarlett hadn't relaxed in years. And her father was spending all his time trying to reconnect with family members and old friends. She also had a feeling that Snake Eyes' form of relaxation was just katas or meditating. But either way, with her dad so busy, she had no distractions from her thoughts of Snake Eyes.

...and that's how she found herself staring holes into the frame around his room's door. And she wasn't sure what she was planning to do. But it didn't change the fact that she was there. And her heart was starting to race extra fast.

After another fifteen seconds of standing there like a complete idiot, Scarlett decided this was stupid and turned to head back to her room. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, she wasn't even sure at that point), Snake Eyes opened the door just as she did so and looked down at her.

Scarlett blushed uncharacteristically and gave him a small wave. "...hey...Snake Eyes."

He pointed to his ear, then to her, then brought a fist to his chest.

She laughed awkwardly in response. "My heart was beating that loud, huh? I guess I should...go lie down. Or something." She moved to start walking away again when Snake Eyes wrapped a hand around her wrist.

She barely looked up at him and - even with the mask in place as per usual - she could see concern etched all over his face. With her eyes back to his hand around her wrist, she cleared her throat and asked, "...can I come in?"

Snake Eyes nodded without a moment of hesitation and moved to bring her in the room. He was clearly worried about her. Of course he was worried - she was acting nervous and awkward and uncomfortable! And that wasn't how she acted. That wasn't...Scarlett. It was more like twelve-year-old Shana, realizing she had a crush on the blonde kid who sat in front of her in class and not knowing what to do about it.

In fact, it was exactly like that. Scarlett rubbed her neck absentmindedly and didn't look at Snake Eyes while he shut the door and quickly walked over to stand behind her. Clearly he wanted her to say something without being prompted, but goddamn was she going to need some prompting. For the first time in a long time.

After a good few seconds, he did just that - grabbing her forearms and turning her around to face him. Scarlett now had multiple reasons to be embarrassed - what she was planning to do, how stupidly she was planning to do it, and how worried she was making Snake Eyes. Clearly she'd had to just go for it or he was going to start grilling her.

...interrogating her might've been a better choice of words for her head to come up with. Blushing a bit, she took a deep breath and grabbed Snakes' hand, pulling them off of her arms.

"Snake Eyes, I'm not...in trouble or anything," she said quickly with her hands held in front of her. "You don't need to get all concerned like you always do."

He slowly moved his hands away from her, but didn't back up or stop being worried. It was pretty obvious she wasn't telling the entire truth.

Peeking up at him with one eye, Shana let out a short, awkward chuckle and wrapped her arms around her chest. "It's actually pretty stupid, the more I think about it. But I can't get the thought out of my head."

Snake Eyes looked confused. She could understand that. Still, part of her just wanted him to suddenly disappear or to grab her and kiss her instead of the other way around. But the chances of that happening...well, she had no idea. But she felt like they were probably slim to none.

As he started to reach out and grab her arm again, Scarlett waved her hand side to side and held the palm towards his face. This was stupid. She was being stupid. This was Snake Eyes and they could just sit and talk (so to speak) like rational adults.

So without another second's warning, Scarlett moved her hands to her partner's neck, reaching her fingers under his mask's cloth and tugging it up so it rolled all the way to on top of his nose. And before the man could even begin to question her intentions, Scarlett grabbed the sides of his face and closed the gap between them, quickly pressing her lips to his.

It took a good few seconds - that Scarlett would hesitate to admit felt more like an hour - before Snake Eyes' hands found their way to her waist and he started pushing back against her. And she felt...elated. In the strangest way. Things were just going so right for her, and that moment really brought it all together.

As they separated their lips, Snake Eyes kept his arms around her waist and Scarlett kept hers around his neck - keeping them as close to each other as comfortably possible. Slowly opening her eyes, Scarlett immediately noticed the smile on Snake Eyes' face and she smirked up at him.

"Stunned speechless, huh?"

His smile turned into what was obviously a smirk and Snake Eyes leaned forward to kiss her again. Alright, so Scarlett had to admit...maybe it wasn't a bad idea after all.

((I know it's a cheesey ending, but I had fun with this! Hope you enjoyed!))