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07 January 2011 @ 09:17 pm
Continuing the fine tradition of belated crossposting to this journal  

Here goes my no-longer-Secret Santa for eirok who gave me the best prompt ever. (It was so awesome, in fact, that I'm working on a sequel. Thanks <3)

Title: The Times' Tidings
Prompt: Naked Snake/Python, 1959: "You were there for me when The Boss vanished, when I didn't know what the hell I was doing."
Word Count: ~2,100
Rating: Slightly NSFW
Summary: Python finds out that making someone feel better is a trickier quest than it might seem.
Notes: This assumes Snake had none of his later codenames at the time the fic would've taken place, but that Python was already known as such since BB calls him that unprompted in Portable Ops. (Which may or may not make sense overall, but I went with it since I figure it's still better than total fabrication.) Also, see if you can spot the shout-out to a character not included in the prompt. XD
Disclaimer: MGS belongs to Hideo Kojima & Konami.


The Times' Tidings


It was common knowledge that Python – as he only thought of himself now – was not one to be disturbed easily even in the direst of circumstances. There had been plenty of times when, even as others drew back in barely suppressed panic, Python went on as if nothing at all was wrong, deflecting danger by his composure alone. There weren't many to match this ability of his, let alone among soldiers of his age. Better yet, returning to the barracks on a perfectly ordinary June day of 1959, he had little reason to expect anything out of left field to come his way. At least he had none until he entered the room he shared with the one person he knew could rival his own nonchalance.

Usually.

Tonight he found Jack sitting on the lower part of their bunk bed, head resting in his hands. At first he seemed to be motionless but upon closer inspection, Python could make out strange tremors he couldn't recall having ever seen.

“Hey,” he ventured, kicking his boots to the side of the bed – out of the way. Jack gave a sort of hum in response but no acknowledgement beyond that, as though desperately trying not to betray himself.

It took a lot to unsettle Python, but this was slowly getting there.

He sat down next to Jack, only to bump his foot into what turned out to be a half-empty bottle of liquor on the floor. It had never been capped again; now it tipped over, spilling the remainder of its contents by Jack's boots.

“The hell are you doing,” Jack slurred as he tried to salvage what he could, still determinedly looking elsewhere.

“Me? How the hell did you smuggle this in here?”

Surfacing finally from his alcohol, Jack scooted away from the newcomer in what was a clear sign of anger this time. “I got that,” he sniffed, “from an officer.”

“An officer just gave you a bottle of brandy? What kinda--”

“He's alright,” Jack was clearly not having this discussion. Or any discussion whatsoever, Python suspected as he watched Jack retreat further into the obscurity of his bunk.

It wasn't as if Python had never seen shellshock and other repercussions of the battlefield before, but they had all learned to accept those things, accept that they hit without warning. Basic conditioning to the circumstances, he supposed. But this was alien.

“Be like that,” he finally snapped and made his escape onto his own bed above Jack's, because he knew nothing else to say.

.


He might have dozed off for a while, but sleep was hard when he knew he'd be the only one getting it tonight. The thing was, Jack slept fitfully, and the lack of noise or movement from below tonight was uncanny. Like all those people who got too used to the chiming of the clock, Python couldn't sleep in this room in silence. Pathetic. Like the fact that his worry hadn't subsided in the least, whereas his curiosity was getting worse and worse.

Python didn't bother with the steps, simply made a calculated jump before he could climb onto Jack's half of the bed, sitting just close enough to be impossible to ignore. Hearing an irritated groan at his antics, he decided to run with it.

“So what exactly are you doing?”

“I told you to get lost.” It should have been relieving that Jack's voice seemed a bit sobered up, but Python couldn't see it that way. It was like the change went far beyond that – this new voice sounded toneless, blank.

He did his best to ignore it. “Sorry. Guess I can't leave well enough alone.”

In the dark he more sensed than saw Jack shifting aside to make grudging room, so he lay down in the vacated space, propping himself up on one elbow to keep some sort of distance between them. Silence reigned for another moment, interrupted when Jack suddenly spoke, “I told you about my mentor, right?”

“Yeah,” Python replied instinctively rather than from memory, because he had to rack his brains for that piece of information before it managed to hit home. All he recalled was a supposed WWII-era legend, with no name or face he could put to her – but he did remember the way Jack had talked of her back then with nothing short of total reverence.

It still didn't follow too well. Python shrugged, “Got your ass kicked again or what?”

“She's gone.”

“What do you mean, gone?”

There was a shaky sigh from Jack, half a sob. “I don't know. Just,” his breath caught again, “disappeared.”

“Yesterday?” Yeah, keep asking, Python thought derisively even as he did, no other reaction on his mind. Jack's unbelievable shock alone was something he had not yet managed to process and even if he had, there wasn't much of a chance that anything he said would make it go away. Words weren't a hell of a lot in his world – or Jack's, for that matter – but if he couldn't say anything, what could he do?

What could anyone do?

Stumped, Python lay beside his silent comrade to keep watch over him till dawn.

.


He'd fallen asleep.

On the bright side, so had Jack. Even though Python awoke with a start and both of them were normally light sleepers, one glance at his companion's face assured him that Jack hadn't been disturbed. There was some weak light in the room now, not long to go until reveille. Python remained where he was for a moment more, then got up quietly to dress. He wasn't going to see Jack all day. No sense in reliving the night's ordeal till then.

He did feel somewhat guilty as he shut the door from the outside – but if Jack couldn't cope with a day of routine, then his chances at getting past this were slim at best. Python had to give him more credit than that.

.


“Where the hell did you go?” The boot slammed against Python's locker and he was glad, so damn glad, that there was no one around to witness the proceedings. Jack glared at him, face inexplicably dark and thin, yet there was passion there as well when Python met his gaze. The contrast was almost frightening.

Taking a step back, Python realized he had nowhere to back away further, already hating himself for such a judgement lapse. Were this a real battle, he'd be in for an ass-kicking right now. It was a relief to think that in a real battle, he would never be facing Jack.

“I've had it with people,” Jack advanced, trapping him in place more firmly, “leaving. I wanted to say thanks.”

Python's heart plummeted. “How was I supposed to know—”

“You weren't, but I'll say it now. Thanks.” He drew back just one cautious bit.

“So, uh,” Python struggled for words; nothing enlightening would come. “You all right then?”

Jack's gaunt face would have been an answer in itself, even if he'd chosen to stay quiet.

“I'll live.”

“That's the important thing,” Python patted him on the shoulder in a gesture he intended to be comforting, but found his hands too unsteady for that. He embraced Jack quickly instead.

“Yeah, I guess.” Then they heard the sound of more people coming. “Catch you later.”

Python caught himself staring after Jack as he retreated, as if to compensate for the lack of a goodbye. Turning, he crammed what he could of his field junk into the locker and slammed the whole thing shut; the encounter had left him restless. He shook his head, took a few deep breaths, grabbed his rucksack and went ahead. If nothing else, he was pretty sure standing around never got a guy anywhere.

He found Jack much like he had last night: sitting hunched on the side of his bed. He wasn't busy with alcohol this time, though, holding what looked like a small photograph in its stead. Although Python could barely see what it featured, Jack hid it with a start as soon as he realized he was no longer alone in the room. But he looked Python's way afterwards, which seemed enough of an improvement.

Feeling bold, Python decided to join him. There seemed to be no protest – and then there definitely was none as Jack leaned against him, saying nothing. It wasn't the first time they'd had to huddle together somewhere, but Python felt attuned to it in a way he couldn't quite pinpoint. It was the first time, probably, that he could choose what support he'd provide.

He didn't even notice when the hand he had rested on Jack's torso in an attempt to be soothing had begun a subtle caressing motion – and by the time he did take note, it was too late to deny it. “Sorry,” he immediately blurted out, but to his surprise all Jack did was cover Python's hand with his, squeezing a little. They didn't look at each other. Somehow, there was no need to.

“You know, that's really stupid,” Python said without meaning it.

“You know me - always happy to get my ass kicked.”

Python laughed, a short uneasy sound. “Not by me.” Both his hands were under Jack's shirt now.

“Shut up,” the exhaustion was palpable in Jack's voice, but seconds later he kissed with a passion that got Python shivering harder than any cold.

From there on, he did his best to focus on Jack's eagerness, not on the way he grasped at Python like a drowning man at the proverbial straw. They undressed hastily, not bothering to pause to get rid of every single article – it was access that mattered right then, and that was achieved rather fast. Python cursed under his breath at the first touch of flesh on flesh, no other words coming. He let Jack kiss him again, near-frantic.

There was no aim and most certainly no method; they thrust against each other unchecked – afraid, or at least Python was, of the world closing back in if they stopped. Then he couldn't think at all anyway, just felt his mind slide along with his body, hypnotized.

It didn't last too long, but for a moment the sensation burned out everything.

“Damn,” Jack exhaled, the only discernible word between the harsh breaths as they wound down. Python buried his face in his comrade's neck.

They lay close for several minutes, holding each other without realizing. When Python finally broke the spell, it was more out of discomfort than anything else. Jack gave him a look that would've passed for one of mild panic, had it not been for the lethargy that still held them both. Python shook his head in what he hoped was reassurance, gently prying away Jack's fingers still hooked in his sweat-soaked undershirt.

“Sure is hot in here,” he said by way of apology, pulling the offending garment over his head to throw it aside without care. Jack smiled a little, but only appeared satisfied once Python had settled with him on the narrow bed again, worn out and silent.

There was snoring in the dark soon after, and Python knew he was going to stay.

.

.

December 1970

.

.


“I'm the Anti-Snake, and I am the one man who can break you!”

Big Boss could still do nothing but stare. It, of course, wasn't like he had never been unexpectedly ambushed by an ally turned foe, but the sheer difference between the Python he remembered and the soldier who stood before him was staggering. The last traces of familiarity only managed to amplify it.

He also knew that, no matter what reasoning he tried, these confrontations were nothing words could solve on their own.

“I've been waiting for this moment...”

The sudden chill was everywhere, Snake's fingers going numb on the handgun he clutched. Yet at the same time, that gave him an idea.

“The moment when we could meet each other face to face – on the battlefield, as enemies!”

And as Python made exhortations to death, Big Boss took the chance to ensure there would be enough ammo in the Mk22 to see this battle through. Python had saved him once. Now, Jack would return the favour.

They both looked up.

“Let's go!”

end.



 
 
 
Cherry: Kaznicecherrytruck on January 7th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
AS YOU KNOW I DON'T KNOW WHO PYTHON REALLY IS BUT YOU MAKE ME VERY KEEN ABOUT HIS CHARACTER AFTER READING THIS AWESOME BROTHERLY BROMANCE AND EIRIK IS REALLY LUCKY TO HAVE YOU FILL HIS PROMPT AND DO THIS REALLY OBSCURE BUT NICE PAIRING

ALSO I SEE WHAT YOU DID DER WITH THE "OFFICEUR"



also forgive me for comparing that freaky pic of Dave to Python. HEY SEE WHAT I DID THERE I PUT DAVID AND PYTHON TOGETHER /shot
See you later, instigator: Volgin - X-mas come early!oudeteron on January 8th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
PLAY THE BLOODY PORTABLE OPS ALREADY! XD BUT I'M VERY GLAD YOU WERE ABLE TO READ AND ENJOY THIS EVEN SO. SOMETIMES "OBSCURE BUT NICE" PAIRINGS ARE THE AWESOMEST.

HEH. NOW LIQUOR PROVIDER ZERO WILL SEND YOU A BOTTLE IN APPRECIATION. It'll contain nanomachines.



How unbelievably sneaky of you.