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28 August 2010 @ 01:36 am
A slight change of scenery  

Look at that, another fic. I wrote this one in July for a challenge, but didn't crosspost at the time to keep it transparent. The thing is, the challenge had such a low turn-out that it seems nobody even won in the end. (Which might actually be for the better since I loved the one other story that was submitted. No regrets either way now! XD)

Title: In Nothing but Pattern
Pairing: Big Boss/Zero
Rating: SFW on screen (but warning for dark themes)
Word Count: ~870
Summary: Ever since Big Boss and Zero parted ways, they might as well have lived in different dimensions. Even if they were in the same room.
Notes: The first part would take place right after Big Boss's body was recovered by Zero the Patriots; the second one at the end of MGS4. Written for the "two dimensions" theme.
Warnings: Abuse of MGS4 quotes; non-explicit mentions of death, induced coma, and other similarly delightful plot points of this series.
Disclaimer: MGS belongs to Hideo Kojima & Konami.


I.


And so Big Boss had returned.

The manner of the event was disgraceful and crude, but it was hard to focus on the particulars when Zero was so pleased with the outcome. He had, after all, wished he'd been able to contain the man on more than one occasion in the past, and only a complete fool would wallow in disdain now that his wish was finally made manifest.

No doubt it could have been better. Still, it would have to do.

He reached for the charred form encased in plastic with one wrinkled hand, attempting, mostly in vain, to project his friend's features onto the ruined skin. Former friend's, Zero admonished himself. Decades had elapsed since Big Boss left him behind, him and the organization and that last straw in the shape of twin “terrible” children, and there was nothing Zero could have done. He'd spent years after the fact tracking, meticulously cataloguing the renegade's exploits as though they were rare beetles to pin down under glass, entertaining no illusions that Big Boss might ever come within reach again. It had been painful for all of them, of that Zero was certain. At long last, though, whatever remained of the legend was laid out before him, devoid of motion and stripped of any chance to make another one of his logic-defying escapes.

Comatose.

Neither living nor dead. Zero dropped his arm back to its natural position, regretting the action almost instantly. Big Boss might have been reduced to a near-corpse thanks to Solid Snake, but at least he wasn't aware of his ailing health in the thousand small protests Zero found himself facing with fiendish regularity. Truth be told, Zero had never quite believed he would see himself at such old age. Surely his life expectancy had been decreasing in direct proportion to the twists in his career path – yet here he stood at ninety years, a hunched but resolute figure thrust in the face of assumption. Like a forced labour survivor who went on to outlive his abusers and their children alike.

The lab he'd designated to house Big Boss's remains was little more than the sum of its equipment, sterility swathed in electronic buzz. Every vital sign monitored and assigned a guardian light. Every light belonging to a machine, and every machine furnished with a discreet switch to off.

Yes, Zero might have aged, but once more he had Jack at his fingertips.

It had been exhilarating back in the day, manipulating the young man. Giving him codenames with little private jokes, offering guidance when it was needed, with a side of seemingly innocent banter to combat the stress. Their later transformation into the Patriots might have been, now that Zero considered it, the fatal system error. With Big Boss – Snake, as he preferred to be called – and his stubborn refusal to style himself as an icon for anyone, the rest of them never realized that they had cherished him too much. More idol than a human being; theirs, timeless.

It was not without irony, the way his existence was to be perpetuated.

Turning, Zero heaved a sigh. Any day now his body could fail him, breaking his silent vigil at Big Boss's side. He would need to prepare himself for that time, to ensure that his legacy was passed on...

As he exited the room, leaning heavily on a walking-stick, his flickering thoughts strayed towards The End.



II.


Taking it all back to one solves nothing.

The evening sun made the graveyard look gentle. It was good to stand tall again, the grass flitting about his ankles. This body felt like it was his.

Everything was in place. The eyepatch, the gun. The wheelchair kept carefully close to him, and the strained breathing.

They never found the opportunity to speak again; always something had barricaded the way. Animosity or incapacitation, the result allowed for little difference. Somewhere along the line, their dimensions had irrevocably become parallel.

He studied the man in the wheelchair as if answers to all his questions could be etched in the image, discovering only empty space. It should have been his vindication, this poetic reversal of their positions at last, but what he really felt was a more compassionate thing altogether.

Yearning. For what in particular, he couldn't pinpoint.

And pity.

In a sense, this ending was the anticlimax. He should have confronted Zero, not a decrepit shell only the telltale scar still marked as the body of his comrade. Former comrade, he admonished himself.

No matter, not now. The time had almost come.

He ran one gloved hand over the wheelchair's handle before delving lower, straight to where Zero's oxygen supply was drawn from. There was a simple switch on the bottle, outrageously easy to turn and cut the airflow. Done in a heartbeat, dead in a few.

At the mercy of his cruel fingertips.

Their ending would be understated, but that was just the way of it. As long as it got the job done. His gaze swept over the graveyard, suddenly pausing, distinguishing the sharp outline of a man dressed in black.

The year was 2014, and Big Boss moved to intercept life's end.

 
 
Current Mood: okayokay
 
 
 
Cherry: Big Boss Gagacherrytruck on January 28th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)
Wow, this was pretty haunting to read. You did the whole thing with their parrallel dimensions very well. I never really thought about it that way until now really, about how in their final years Big Boss and Zero would re-unite like this. It's really sad, knowing Zero went through all this just to see Big Boss half dead, and Big Boss himself having to do the duty of ending Zero's life without having his questions answered.

/brb crying forever ;A;
See you later, instigator: Big Boss/Zero - drunk nightoudeteron on January 28th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
You've pointed out exactly the stuff I hoped to get across here. Thank you, and glad you liked! Though in a way it's pretty funny - I saw the theme of "two dimensions" and the first thing I had to go with it was the pairing, and ever since I wrote this I've been on a BB/Zero kick. They're such a tragic combo but also fascinating. (And geez, I wrote this before I'd even played PW. Sad. XD)

/aww