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14 June 2008 @ 11:24 pm
sarshin to otacomplex: Old Snake/Otacon  
- NAME: sarshin
- GIFT FOR: otacomplex / roomofawakening
- PROMPT: "Old Snake/Otacon; Snake is upset over aging and Otacon is starting to worry."
- SIDE NOTES: The style isn't so weird for me, but may probably be weird for (the collective) you. So I'm really sorry otacomplex, and I really hope you like it anyway.

-(and there a weird dog goes dead)-

There is war everywhere, all over - here, there, even there, yes there - and flipped over on its back like a wiggling dog begging, just begging. Scratch it there (right there, that's it) and the things inside explode. The bourgeoisie dopamine fade bit by bit by (bit) the loving hand of a patriot, guiding MAO-B's forces to victory for the people -

(the hand of the people that scratches the dog)

- and somewhere happiness in there dies and goes like a weird thing.


It's a gradual change, one that Hal only notices in David when he finds himself wondering where those awkward, strange grins he had come to know so well were being siphoned off to (the ones Dave would give him when they camped out on the couch with popcorn, nachos, and booze to top off a perfect night of marathoning B-movies; when Hal would pleasantly surprise him; when old Speed Racer episodes would find their way onto the network, and Hal would park himself in front of the television and sing along with the opening theme; and when Dave would manage to make prepare an edible meal for them from scratch, which was a stark departure from his previous diet of stewed meat and TV dinners). Gradual but not uncalled for, given the downward spiral of world affairs and everything they gave their all to change.

David doesn't smile so much when they're alone anymore, and Hal tries not to take it personally because he knows it's not really his fault -

(and clings to the hope that he's the reason why his aging lips will still pleasantly curve upward from time to time).

"When you smile at me, my heart tends to sing."

There are places that house the souls of animals, hard work, and power. But the deer left last week along with her neighbor, the wolf, late yesterday afternoon, and with it the hour of proudly testing gravity.

And in their place: mole-asses.

Property devaluing! they cry in frustration (there and there), and wage an uphill battle (right there). Then a dog shakes with its spastic violence, and all the things they really kind of liked go flying into space. But it's supposed that many good things go there to die

- and go -

(it's weird).


Dave never seems to catch it when Hal gazes at him while he sits in the basement littered with barbells after a desperate session of weight training, lost in thought, or in front of the mirror in the bathroom after a long and hot shower that steams up his reflection, lost in thought (lost, lost, continually lost).

Or if he notices, he doesn't make a spectacle of it. After all, he could be thinking of anything, really -

(feeling his muscles and making bodybuilder poses in looks of consternation coupled with genuine fear in his eyes reflected)

- and Hal knows better than to interrupt with empty words.

"I love you, and that is why this is okay."

There are earthquakes, spasms, tears of free will expelling eternally as they strangle a dog (who is not) of the people (of the patriot hand) - itch, itch, scratch, scratch. Thick and worn, they run him hard to douse him dry.

He sits. Like a good dog he sits. And waits. Shuddering, shaking, convulsing, sneezing, he weirdly waits for when the tears run no longer -

(when they dry and die)

- and then he'll go.


When Dave is visibly sick - sneezing, coughing, sweating, vomiting - Hal knows something is very wrong because Dave is never sick. No, no, not Dave. Never sick, not Dave and certainly not Snake, the plastic action hero come to life with a humanist heart to carry them all to a better world. Not him (or them).

Regardless, Hal sticks by his side and plays medic to an old, wounded soldier, even though he knows he could be infected, too. And with both of them temporarily down, where would that leave Philanthropy? When his concentration is away, when he can no longer watch, Hal knows that his bastard children will run the world over, and he can't have that. He needs Snake to recover and keep his children in check, smash them before they hatch - but more importantly he needs Dave to recover and keep his growing fears and doubts by news of the world in check, to smash them, too, before they run away and take Hal with them. Metal Gears. The war economy. Liquid Ocelot. He can't handle them by himself.

So he fights the fight when Dave is too tired, arming himself with tissues, NyQuil, herbal teas, and cool compresses -

(because you have to protect the ones you love).

"Now it's my turn to protect you."

There the time sits and waits and hates and shits on time-pelted dogs elongated and contracted by the force of some will (whose he cannot decide). A slinky can fall downstairs, a wiggling dog of war can jiggle like jelly, and the patriot hand can nod, nod, nod, and it might be an accurate telling of space-time contract-a-longation.

Nothing to do in this period of finite confusion but strain the eye that cannot see anything important, lest it turns backwards inwards. But then it goes into a weird mess, collapsing unto itself

- and of course dies



When Dave was a child back in the Seventies, he slept well. Bellbottoms and disco never kept him awake in horror, alert and wary (watching the closet and under the bed for signs of a disco party), so night was a peaceful time.

But while disco is dead, Dave is not a child anymore (anything but, really). And so he sleeps hardly, if at all, and watches the closet and under the bed not for the past but for the now - a now that consists of all the things he tried to shield the world against. It is they who hide in the closet, under his bed, awaiting for when the time is right and he carelessly closes an eye or two to fall into sleep (from which he may or may not awaken).

With Hal by his side, increasingly capable and adroit, it's all the more reason to live on miserably to the sounds of inevitable clocks than to die happily

- dreaming of the future they tried so hard to craft.

Tick tock, tick tock.

There everything is the same, as it was before, as it will be...maybe. Same in a chronological sense, same in a differentiating sense, the new same old same old to replace the old new of old life now new and old (life). And what do dogs do when they get old? Stare expectingly for the scratch.

Vision fading, recognition dying, it can no longer tell the hand it hated from the hand it loved, and a hand is just a hand is just a hand but sometimes a foot. Shoes on, off, it matters not. A scratch is a scratch (or a notch in the belt? but dogs don't wear belts; don't be weird) until it dies. And then just a lingering memory may suffice there, within the recesses of dog, until it goes, too.

- (But where do dogs go when they die?)


Cooking for Dave begins to drive Hal crazy. He could never cook to begin with (that was always David's department, anyway), so he doesn't know why Dave wants him to start now. Let's order out, he often suggests, and sometimes the old man gives in and they order pizza. But the dinner always ends the same with Dave complaining about the taste (it's all the same), because it's always them who cook things weird, never him who tastes things weird anymore.

And it always takes him longer than usual to notice past the rattatatapping of Hal's deft fingers flying low over the keyboard that the doorbell is ringing and pizza is here. He always tells Hal they need to replace the doorbell sound because it's beginning to go. It is beginning to go, not him. But Hal searches online anyway for cheap doorbells since he knows in a month Dave will complain that they just don't make 'em like they used to because the sound's gone already.

It, not him.

(Hal keeps inside the words he wants to say.)

"I stay up all night worrying about you."




--not tonight-



(Why won't you do it anymore?)
it won't-
--it won't-
it can't-


"That's it."

There it is war (on the inside).


There it is war (on the outside).

And there a weird dog goes dead.

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: Siouxsie and the Banshees - Green Fingers
ERE I AM JH: mantisjaclynhyde on June 15th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Oh, damn, this hurts. The little bits of humor and sweetness--disco, the list of things that make Dave smile--contrast the rest of the piece really well. And seeing Dave referred to as "the old man" was so jarring, because he's Snake! He's not supposed to be a crochety old man that complains about the doorbell! But he is, and you make it as hard for the reader as it is for Hal.

In other words, I loved it. :)
suzephone: cqc me now big bosssarshin on June 15th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
Thank you so much (especially since I was a little worried, heh)! And I'm quite glad you enjoyed it! :)
Pitten \\ Chaotic Serenity: the bosswrongly_amused on June 15th, 2008 05:57 am (UTC)
Absolutely brilliant. <3
suzephone: duck duck...sarshin on June 15th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
karaiikaraii on June 20th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
This was stunning. I have never read a piece like this, and I'm sad because I've fallen in love with the style. I love the way you write as if it were an endless train of thought, coherent but rambling; those blue lines of yours are quite effective, too.

Old!Snake makes me sad ;_; Beautiful work, it was a wonderful read <3
suzephone: :DD THIS IS MORE AWESOME THAN ANYTHINGsarshin on June 20th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
Aww thank you so much <3 I'm very, very glad you enjoyed!
Hal Emmerich: :|otacomplex on September 7th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Replying with Otacon journal b/c appropriate.

Even though I don't have an icon for this fff.

Firstly, sorry it took so long to notice this!

Secondly, aghhh that really went to my heart. Thank you so much for writing this. It's even more than I'd hoped for when I requested it <3
suzephonesarshin on September 7th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad and relieved that you liked it! ♥