I used to be a huge Metal Gear Solid fan, but due to a number of things had kind of fallen out of it, however, my new roommate is big into the fandom, which has renewed my previous interest. And so, in keeping with a new fandom, I of course have looked for decent fics on it, and I'm having a really hard time finding any in the style that I like. Pairings in the MGS fandom are very...skewed. Possibly, there are more crack!pairings than in Final Fantasy, and I think Snake and Otacon may beat out the entire Harry Potter fandom for the Most Available Yaoi Fic award.
However, there is hardly *any* Snake/Meryl fic I can find, that does not involve either them being bright & shiny as though nothing happened, her getting pregnant (the sons of Big Boss are *sterile,* people...), or Snake leaving her for Otacon. And so, in the instance I cannot find fics I want to read, the only clear solution is to write some of my own.
Just two short Snake/Meryl pieces for now. As with most of the fic I write, my goal is just to fill in the gaps they canon story left. This is an incredibly hard pairing to write, to me...I was very surprised that both fics ended up being from Snake's point of view, as I expected to identify more with Meryl than with anyone, but I just can't get inside her head...some characters I can't do that for...I'm a perfect mix of Tifa and Aerith, but I just cannot write Aerith fic to save my life...anyone who's read The Waiting Line is more than aware of that, though :)
But anyhow, very tricky to write, as Snake is not exactly the warmest, most emotional of people. MGS2 is proof that he is not the cold, war-robot of the original MG games, but he still isn't quite rushing out to buy black eyeliner and Death Cab for Cutie CDs, and Meryl is very strong, very guarded, and not the Desperate Housewife a lot of fics I've found try and turn her into. And anyone who's read anything I've written before knows I tend to focus on the emotional aspects of characters and situations. So trying to write two people who tend not to be very emotional in such moments, and still make it come across as natural...not easy. But, I think I succeeded--especially with the second of these two.
And now that I've written the *longest* fic intro ever, a couple of relatively short one-shots :)
Title: Fire Without Lies
Fandom: Metal Gear Solid
Word Count: 1256
Summary: Snake and Meryl meet up immediately following the events of Big Shell
“…You dove after Metal Gear?”
“How not exactly?”
“It was a different form of Metal Gear?”
“So you dove after Metal Gear’s stronger, angrier, older brother.”
“Well…I…um…” The protests were there, the denial, the need to justify his bold actions, but all he could come up with was—“Yes. I did.”
It used to be a point of amusement for him, that he could take on entire armies, fight and destroy heavy artillery including Metal Gear itself, and face countless villains with sub-human abilities…but before this tiny woman he was all but powerless. And for the longest time, all he could really do was laugh at it. He was stronger, bigger, and quicker with words, and they both knew that he would win any argument, but still, argument was almost foreign to them. She didn’t always have to be right—usually she didn’t care, she just wanted to express herself, and whether he agreed or wanted to fight it out was of little concern to her. And honestly, he didn’t care either—for as headstrong as she was, he, too, always completed whatever task he set for himself, with or without approval. It made arguments futile. So it always just made him laugh that as soon as he saw the spark light behind her eyes, he’d bow his head down with no pretense of a fight.
He knew why, now. He’d learned it a couple years previous, when they had their first and only real fight. She had wanted to accompany him on the Tanker, and he refused to let her. It was the angriest he had ever seen her. Even at the time he questioned why they had let the problem escalate the way it had, but her stubbornness, and refusal to believe that it wasn’t because he didn’t trust her, or that he was worried about a repeat of Shadow Moses, but simply because the nature of the mission allowed no possibility for a second person, drove him into an equally fervent rage.
He’d won the argument, of course. He knew he would, and he suspected that she knew as well, but somehow when they went to bed that night, not speaking and tense, he felt like he had suffered more from it than she had.
And he’d been right. She apologized the next morning, blaming herself for being insecure, and saying that under the sun of a new day she did understand that only one person could go, and she’d be happier waiting somewhere in case of an emergency than in a position where if something happened to him, it had probably happened to her as well.
The apology had made him feel even worse. He’d accepted, and they had made up, and continued the day as though nothing had happened. He didn’t want her to think he was sulking, and definitely didn’t want her to think he was upset with her, because he was pretty sure what he was feeling was guilt, not a grudge. Why guilt, though? Clearly the argument hadn’t bothered her—she never had been a very good liar, and if her apology had been just an attempt to relieve tension, or a prompt for him to take all the blame on himself, it would have shone through. It had definitely been genuine. She wasn’t the type to hold grudges anyway.
It took him three days, but he finally realized why the argument had bothered him, after watching her and Hal snap back and forth at each other over contingency plans for the infiltration. Hal was certainly no match for her, but he always put up a good fight, occasionally even winning. He loved watching the two of them argue, because there was so much camaraderie buried within every word or fiery glare. It almost made him proud in some way to see Hal start to stutter and fidget his hands, because he knew it meant she would soon be the victor.
And it had hit him, then, the real reason why he couldn’t argue with her. It wasn’t fear, or even love, but it was respect. Even in her spats with Hal, neither of them ever got truly angry or even raised their voices. The reason he didn’t argue with her—there was no reason for an argument. She listened, and she negotiated. She was not unreasonable, she was not selfish— when he would do something stupid and she’d stand up to him, fire blazing in her eyes, he knew she wasn’t looking for a fight. And even if she was, he didn’t care. She was there, as an ally, a lover, and the closest of friends, and regardless of whether it bothered her or not, she simply deserved better than raised voices and harsh words.
He shook his head of the memory, and she was still there, glaring up at him with the look he’d come to expect from his reckless (though frequently useful) stunts.
“Well were you at least able to put the sensor on the damn thing?”
“Do I ever miss what I’m aiming for?”
“Oh listen to you, Mr. Hotshot.”
“I just never give up. How did you know I dove, anyway? You were supposed to be helping Otacon escape.”
“Well…I did. But I told him we had to check on you and that puppy you picked up before I’d even think of letting him near mainland. Of course all we could do was sit in that boat with the microphone you gave me since he seemed too deep in grief still to make an attempt at climbing up there with you guys, but I still had a clear view of you flying over the edge. I would have thought you were somehow roped onto the thing, but your dive was too perfect. You never told me you could dive.”
“You never asked.”
“I guess I didn’t.”
“So you were trying to spy on me, huh?” He always tried to mask awe and intrigue behind a veil of flirtatiousness, which he knew she saw straight through, but he also knew she found endearing.
“One of my favorite parts of the mission…and just to make sure you two were going to find some way out of there. He’s already copying your knack for dramatic endings. Where is he anyway? Have you had a chance to speak with him yet, now that it’s all over?”
“Oh it’s not over…but yeah, I found him. He’s still got some growing up to do, but he’s a strong kid. He’s big enough to overlook his girlfriend’s deceit, and he’s got a kid on the way, so we probably won’t be hearing from him anytime soon. We’ll probably still want to keep tabs on him, but it looks like he’s going to be focused on creating his own future for awhile.”
“If you’re not careful, somebody’s going to start calling you a mentor.”
He grunted. “I’ve been called worse. “
“Of course you have. But I bet I can think of a few things I could call you…that nobody else can…”
He briefly thought the other reason he never argued with her was that you don’t argue with a woman who says that, but she interrupted his thoughts by dragging him to the motorcycle parked a few feet away, and with a glance that held just as much fire as before whispered something about a late checkout at their hotel. And as she drove them away from the crowds and crumbled buildings, he had never been more grateful.
Fandom: Metal Gear Solid
Word Count: 1363
Summary: Time does nothing to make the nightmares stop...
They were moving fast, swinging their arms in fluid, surgical motions, jumping from one foot to the other as though choreographed. He would jump, roll, spring up, and she was ready to spring out of the way. Swift, controlled kicks; leaps, with a turn on the landing…engaged in a beautiful dance, where one false step brought the curtain down early.
He felt the contact, the force behind his motions as her body fell away from him, watched her fall to the ground, struggle to a standing position…and then begin to fall once more, arms crossed to shield her face as she approached the unforgiving ground, her shadow making the small disruption in the ground nearly invisible, and he could not move fast enough, could not even register, as he listened to her scream out his name…
He snapped his eyes open, and his feeling of panic was suddenly amplified by the dark room and foreign surroundings. He felt a cold hand on his arm and a weak spasm ran through his body, before the dream finally started to fade.
“You’re burning up.” Her voice touched his ears and he breathed an involuntary sigh of relief, rolling over to face her. Her pale skin always seemed to glow in the darkness, and she was staring at him with an expression he couldn’t quite read.
“I was having…”
“A nightmare, I could tell…Which one was it this time?”
“Fox…Frank. My fight with Frank.” But as soon as he said it her look told him the answer wasn’t enough.
“I’ve never seen you react like this to that one. What else?”
“You called me Snake. You never use that name at home.”
“I tried…but I figured if you were dreaming about a mission, I had to bring you out of it…and you wouldn’t respond to any other name. And don’t change the subject!”
“He…It was just the same dream.” He knew she didn’t buy it, but he wasn’t sure if he could tell her…what the nightmare really was. Not for her sake, he knew she’d be able to handle it…but he wasn’t sure if he could admit to it.
“…You weren’t fighting Frank, though.” He remained silent. “Well, who were you fighting?”
“It was the same fight…same movements, same place—“
“—But a different opponent. Well, maybe you can tell me tomorrow, when it’s not so fresh, and so frightening. I’m going to get a wet towel, you’re skin feels like it’s on fire.” She moved to the edge of the bed to get up—“No!”
She stopped and looked at him, startled. He lowered his tone, “Don’t get up.”
She stared again with the same impenetrable expression, and then looked down, and mumbled something, too quietly for him to quite hear.
“I…I didn’t understand. Was I meant to?”
She looked back up, her eyes shining on the brink of tears. “You were fighting me, weren’t you?”
Again he remained silent. She would know that meant yes, and it would give them both time to decide what to say next. But he had no idea. For almost a year now she had been there, witness to the moments of terror in the moonless hours of the night he was cursed to endure, and often she was in those dreams. But he had never fought her in any. In some, he was too late to save her. In some, she died. But to this point, the minefields—fighting Frank—was by far the worst memory his mind had chosen to make him relive. He couldn’t begin to understand why suddenly, she had replaced Frank—why she was the one to die by his own hand. And he didn’t want to talk about it, because he didn’t want to think about what those reasons may be.
He drew his gaze once more to hers, trying desperately to read whatever she was thinking…and then they moved together. As he reached out to pull her close, she drew herself against him, and he felt something warm against his chest, and realized she was crying.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered. The last thing he had expected to hear.
“What on earth do you have to be sorry for?”
“For telling you I wanted to move.”
“What does that have to do with…tonight?”
“It reminds you. We’re supposed to be a team, and we wanted to go different routes. I wanted to go a different route. It…it reminds you.”
He bit his lip, examining what she had said, and realizing how much sense her words made. He wasn’t dreaming of any events yet-to-be, or feeling some strange displacement of guilt…he was worried. Worried! He almost smiled at such a simple interpretation.
“You know it won’t happen that way though, right?”
“Taking separate paths. Ending up on opposite sides.”
“Meryl…you can’t say you know that. Nobody can know that. Even if your confidence is nice to hear.”
“I know. Because this time, nobody is telling us to fight. We choose our battles…and the only way we would be against each other is if we choose to be. And if we reach that…” She reached for his hand, linking her fingers with his. He smiled at her optimism, her naivety, but also at the honesty of her words…he had never fought out of choice before—it had always been under someone’s command. He could never choose his opponents, because somebody else chose for him. But he had killed his best friend, his father, and his twin brother…and the only one that haunted him was the one fight he should have avoided. The only one he possibly could have avoided. And then he thought…the person who killed his best friend would have left a girl he had known for mere hours to die, if saving her meant risking his mission. Risking his life. He had changed, and he supposed she knew that even if she didn’t know the soldier he used to be.
“No. I’m sorry.”
“You are?” She blinked at him.
She smiled, “It’s not forgetting…it’s learning. We’re both learning.”
“Right…learning…” He tightened the arm he held her with drawing her closer, and his fingers brushed against a series of scars she had received to remind her of her captivity. She had fought, then. He knew she must have been under heavy interrogation, but she had fought. He could have sentenced her to death at any time…ended both their torture…but it was never a thought that had crossed his mind. And now, for the following months, they both remained prisoner to their nightmares…but she was always there. She had learned the questions to ask, the ones to avoid, when to push him to talk, when to give him space, and he had never had that with anyone. Despite everything he knew about himself, and knowing that he shouldn’t even be capable of caring for someone else, she was far beyond a battle comrade. He had been ready to die for her before. And against training and his own experience, which taught him that a friend one minute could be an enemy the next, he thought, maybe she was right. And maybe he would never transcend the need to fight, but he wasn’t supposed to put anyone else’s life before his own, either, or question his duty, or object to an order, or fall in love, and he had already done all of those—since he’d met her. He’d lived his life believing he had no choice in what he did, but clearly he did…it would never change or take back the events from his nightmares, but she could be right…he could choose not to create new ones.
He would have told her, but her eyes were closed and her breathing was soft and even…she wasn’t quite asleep, but she would be soon, and he had already awakened her once. Instead he gave her hand, still entwined with his, a gentle squeeze and breathed her in, trying to memorize exactly how her body felt against his; her heartbeat lulling him to sleep, into dreams of moving out of the shadow of their nightmares, to anywhere new, anywhere she had in mind.
(also, am finally starting to upload things on my fanfiction.net account, so in a moment of shameless self-promotion...check me out! Nothing there that isn't also here, but if you know anyone without an LJ account who reads fanfic...reviews are shiny! :)