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posted on Archive Of Our Own on the 20th of february 2020.
4,440 words.


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Metal Gear

Otacon/Solid Snake

Otacon (Metal Gear), Solid Snake | Old Snake, Sunny Emmerich, a bit of Raiden for the soul

Additional Tags:
Angst with a Happy Ending
Unrequited Love
Or Is It?
Fix-It of Sorts
Metal Gear Rising is acknowledged. i'll say that.
Fever Dreams, Technically?
Sickfic, a bit?
unreality, but watch out!
Trying To Forget Your Vanished Unrequited Love By Questionable Life Choices
Suggestive Themes
Implied Past Hook-ups
Mentions of canon character death
this has mention of the Inevitable Follow-Up of MGS4
but not tagging as major character death because… well ;-)
tl;dr i saw what MGS4 had for me i cried about it and now i refuse to keep it that way
what is canon. a miserable little pile of pixels.
can't tag much because it would be Spoilering... you know what to do ;-)
also rating is solid between a strong T and light M so don't expect Sauce i just want to be safe


Snake is dead.
Snake is dead, the accelerated aging having claimed him, and Otacon can't say he didn't expect it.
But between expecting and being prepared to handle the aftermath lays a deep dark sea he cannot quite find his footing in, and navigating alone has led him to quite a few bad decisions and slipping in and out of too many sleeps.


(i know this sounds REALLY painful but trust me, i don't want to make you suffer while reading it because i couldn't get myself to make me suffer while writing. it ends up very soft. maybe the balance leans even more on the soft side despite this summary? i know what i'm about and it's suffering THEN tenderness.)

[chapter 1]    chapter 2

Chapter Notes

his entire thing sparked from a conversation between Raiden and Sunny in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, more or less transposed in this fic. can you guess i cried over it? i cried over it.


Maverick's conversation logs security wasn't optimal, and even though Raiden had since resigned, their unofficial support of him made it so anyone with a bit of skill could access his, as well all of the members', codec history.
Not that Otacon knew that.
... Not that Otacon was supposed to know that.

He missed snooping around. He missed detective work. He missed...
He let his head fall in his arms and listened again. The firewall didn't seem to even notice the saved conversation being booted a third time.
He skipped over a hint of Raiden's voice and Sunny's followed, distorted by the file compression, in the hollow of his headphones:

"He likes to go on about how nobody would ever be happy with him long-term, but it doesn't seem like he has too much trouble keeping busy on Saturday nights..."

Otacon dropped his head lower.

"... If you know what I mean."

He winced at the somber undertones plaguing her usually cheerful voice—maybe he was imagining things. Maybe he was imagining things again.

"Yeah, well, believe it or not, he was a huge geek back when he was younger!" Raiden's voice, playful almost.
"Maybe... but even so, he's still a nice guy. I doubt he was ever that lonely."

Otacon felt his heart sink in his guts with a pinch.
Hearing it still hurt.
Hearing it still hurt.

Raiden went on about how much he changed once he hit thirty, how he got more attractive. He didn't mind the word, not even coming from Raiden, he just wished it... well. He didn't like to think about it anymore.

"... He still has this really bad habit of keeping the ladies are arm's length."

Otacon rubbed the length of his weary face with the palm of his hand.
He loved Sunny. He loved Sunny like his own daughter—probably because, after years of fucking around in nameless administrative buildings, he had finally gotten her to be so—but she was... too clever. Too aware.

"I really wish he'd pick someone and settle down already..."

And the stories about "keeping the ladies at arm's length" yet "keeping busy" on Saturday nights didn't make him look good, now did they.
He just hoped Raiden wouldn't think much more of it and mind his own damn business.

Toying with the insides of Maverick's data processing security helped him keep his mind off a lot of things roaming his head, feral horses starved for any attention he could spare.
Helped him keep his mind off a lot of things.
Helped him keep his mind off.
He put the monitor on standby, brought his three mugs to the sink and headed out without a coat.

The other guy's name started with a D, maybe followed by an A, it was getting harder to ignore.

The house was beautifully empty, the lights off, and Otacon guided his guest in between unsteady steps. His idea of their path kept being interrupted by the kisses they shared, and multiple times he had to rely on his grip on his companion's shirt to not gracelessly dip backward. 
The man wasn't bad-looking, by any means, but Otacon liked it better when the light stayed off. 

As he pushed him, a little more than patient, onto the properly made bed, the not-quite-stranger whispered Otacon's name into his mouth—the real one, the one he had given him: Hal had dropped the habit of introducing himself with his nickname a few years prior—and Hal froze.

His name sounded foreign, sounded fog under the man's tongue, sounded off by just enough to make Hal's throat close as a whimper escaped his lips, and he started to shake.

"Ah— hey, hey," his guest called, a hint of alarm bubbling up to the surface of his calm voice.

Otacon's hands had tensed where they gripped the other man's shirt, his cheeks turned pale. Reading into his panic, the man-whose-name-started-with-a-D-maybe-a-Da carefully took hold of his hands, untwining them from the fabric, and pushed them down to Otacon's sides.

"God, fuck ," Otacon blabbed, his lips trembling, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, this isn't what you—"

He couldn't finish his sentence, breath cut short. His chest heaved, feeling tighter with each inhale, and soon all that could slip past his lips were wheezing, choked gasps—he found himself being gently but firmly pushed against his pillows as he started sobbing.

"I'm so sorry," he repeated, "I know you really wish you were gone right about now."

He tried to joke it off but his attempt at a smile distorted his face in a pained, agonizing grimace.

"I've had worse hookups," his guest replied, sounding way more casual, jolly and sympathetic than Otacon thought he deserved. "You okay?"

As Otacon tried to push himself up, Da-something promptly shoved him back onto the cushions. He had very blue eyes and Hal felt his guts twist and turn like restless eels under his flesh.

"Answer me, dude. You gonna be okay? Not going to throw yourself out of the window if I leave?"

Hal managed a croaky, hiccupy laugh.

"I'll be fine. Sorry for this whole..." He gestured weakly at the penumbra around them. "Disaster."

As he writhed between the cold sheets, trying to avoid his guest's gaze—too piercing, too blue, too much—his thoughts were interrupted; he winced again at the voice.

"There's someone you can't get out of your head, huh?"

He didn't reply. He gazed off, and as his eyes started to fidget, he cried some more.
He hated being read so easily. He hated feeling like a book left open and that he couldn't manage to keep close. He hated people being able to read his entrails, anthropomancy performed against his will over the wailing mess he was.
His guest nodded. He didn't need an answer.

"I'll go now," he said, his softened voice easier for Otacon to hear. "Thanks for the drink. Do you need me to lock the door behind me?”
“Locks automatically,” Otacon replied. “Just pull it firmly.”

He almost regretted having forgotten the man’s name when he got up, hazardously but full of good intentions adjusting the blanket over Otacon’s legs. 

“And take care of yourself, dude!” he insisted, voice almost playful.

Hal could have almost laughed.
He disappeared through the door, picked up his coat, slipped out of the apartment. The lock clicked in place.
Hal’s face fell in a scream, the ligaments of his jaw burning as he began to howl. And he howled, he howled, he howled until his face was soaked and sticky with tears and his body gave out under the stress—he passed out, still sobbing.

He woke up too weak to sit up. His limp, trembling arms struggled to raise to his face and he felt like his face had sunk to the floor through his pillow, cold and wet with tears. It took him a full minute to push himself on his elbows, heavy chest embedding him into the misery-shaped dent in the mattress. As he blinked, his lids parted with the sticky, sickly sound of lashes bound together by salt and water—when he was finally able to focus his gaze, there was a silhouette leaning against the doorframe. 
There was no mistaking it; from the shape of the shoulders, the muscular slope of the trapezii, the strength of the forearms, thighs, hands—peeking behind the crossed arms— to the scar licking the side of the face, ran by streaks of light, even in the blue penumbra of his bedroom, Otacon couldn’t have possibly confused him for anyone else. 


The name slipped past his lips, more air than voice. He couldn’t breathe. 

“I talked to the guy,” a voice rose from the hazy figure, deep, gravelly, familiar in the most excruciating way. “He seemed nice. Are you okay?"

Otacon’s mouth hung open, chest heaving erratically as he inaudibly gasped—no air got to his lungs and he curled on himself.
Snake (because it was him, it was, truly, fully, in all the smallest details Hal could see when he took strides toward him) saw his distress and joined him, sitting on the edge of the bed. 

“You look like you’re having a rough time. Otacon, is everything okay?” He asked, hand reaching for Otacon’s cheek.

Feeling the palm against his tacky, damp skin, Hal grabbed the wrist presented to him—and clung in a tight, desperate hold. His fingers dug against the ligaments that ran from palm to arm, into a scar guarded on each side by faded stitch marks, into fragilized, but still strong, skin. 
He started sobbing again. His lungs were empty and the lack of air had him whine and whimper, voice a pained, struggling whistle, and Snake started rubbing a reassuring thumb over his cheek—with each stroke he moved more tears, his palm and wrist growing damp as Otacon cried.

“Snake,” he called, “Snake, Snake —”

He couldn’t let go of his wrist, and when his other hand grabbed the neck of Snake’s shirt, he took it as an invitation to climb on the bed.
David nudged Hal’s thighs open with his own, for no other reason than he wanted to, and needed somewhere to settle comfortably. Hal complied, mouth agape, eyes a bit too eager for the wreck he was.
God , he swore internally, what wouldn’t I give to not be a fucking mess right now .
But he was, and his head was growing hot with something like dizziness, or maybe exhaustion from having cried so much, or maybe even a fever that was pitching up his spine. It wasn’t quite helped when David leaned in, his weight over Otacon making him melt into the mattress, and kissed him.

Hal forgot how to exist for a spare second.

He grabbed Snake’s shoulders, the seams of his shirt splitting under his hands as he pulled the man to him as if his life depended on it. 
The kiss was a mess as well. 
Otacon couldn’t breathe through his stuffy nose and every so often hiccuped a salty, trembling sob that Snake drank off his lips; he clung to him, to his strong, capable back like it could infuse life back into his lungs, he kicked his legs open wider so Snake could meld into his hips, stomach, thorax. He wished their chests would embrace each other, their ribs would merge, would kiss even with all the fractures and weaknesses of their bones, form one cage for their two hearts.

God , I miss you,” Hal whimpered. “I miss you, I miss you, I miss you, I miss—”

Snake kissed him again. His lips felt numb from screaming but he kissed back (GOD he kissed back), hungry and drunk on David’s mouth, on the low chuckles he blessed his with, on the faint scent of smoke that still followed him.

“I should have told you earlier,” Hal choked up, hands gripping Snake’s biceps until they bruised, “I should have told you earlier and I was a fucking coward, I should have, I should have…”

The words poured out, an agonizing litany that Snake collected at the brim of his lips. Hal said he loved him until his voice gave out, and even then kept mouthing the words. His nose bumped into the scarred cheek, his hands quivered and shook through the thinning gray hair.

“Do you want to sleep?” Snake eventually asked, Hal’s erratic panting washing over his mouth.

Hal shook his head.

“You should really sleep. You’re exhausted.”

Hal shook his head harder and tears galloped down his cheeks. 
No. God, please no.
He shook and shook until his neck felt like it would snap. He didn’t want to sleep. He couldn’t sleep. 
Snake cradled him, rocking him slowly. He kept shaking his head. His grip on David tightened until his arms grew painful and weak, pins and needles writhing over his marrow. Ultimately, exhaustion whacked him in the face in a breathless second and he collapsed, a whine dying on his lips.


He woke up alone. 
The door was closed, dawn was near.

He rose to his elbows. The cold of the room stung his cheeks where salt had dried off.  
Well. I need to get up .
Needed to ping Sunny, just to see if her monitors over at Solis were in stable condition. 
He got up. His face flushed with a fever like a heatwave, and he went tumbling backward under the headache that stabbed the side of his head. He felt his stomach sink between his lungs, shriveling up, pinching his organs. His already poor vision went black as his knees hit the floor. 
It didn’t even hurt.



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