Rating/Warnings: rated R, implied rape, hurt, angst, trauma…
Pairing: Snake, Otacon
Summary: After rescuing Otacon from his kidnappers Snake has to deal with the trauma his friend has suffered.
Author's Notes: This is my first post here. I also posted this on Fanfiction.net and hope you'll like the story. Please review!
Title: Demons (1/?)
Pairing: Snake, Otacon
Rating: R for strong language and violence.
Warnings: Hurt, Angst, Trauma…
He didn’t know which was worse. Crying like a little boy that had lost his mother in the middle of rush hour in Manhattan or the pain and coldness that was numbing his body. If there was still a single bone intact, he was probably the luckiest man alive. By now he didn’t bother to suppress the violent quivers anymore. The pain and coldness were just becoming too much for him and he already feared the next time they would come for him. He had enough of the beating, of their attempts to inflict pain on him in hope he would betray his friend. But he was determined not to break. No matter what they would do the next time… It couldn’t get worse than the last time anyway…
A whimper escaped his lips as he was forced to shift his position on the cold, wet ground in the dark cell. The sharp pain that rushed up and down his spine tore on his strength enough that he was back to wanting to tell them everything. As long as they would stop. He whimpered loudly again as he became aware of the strong pain in his lower backside. And suddenly there was fear. A strong fear of what the consequences of their last assault could be, of what could still happen to him even if he was rescued from this hell. He sent another silent prayer up to anyone who might listen to him and hoped that it wasn’t one of his torturers the next time the door would open.
His nose burned with the stench of the pants he had wetted countless times during the days or weeks he was already at their mercy. But he also knew that his own blood and sweat had already mixed with the stench and that he probably smelled like rotten fish, if not even worse.
A shudder ran down his spine when the rat he shared his cell with ran over his broken leg again. If there was no chance for him to get out of this hell, he wanted at least to die instantly, without them torturing him with poison that caused faked death throws, made him vomit long enough until he coughed up his own blood or brought him so close to death that he almost wished the reaper had mercy on him. He had also enough of being nearly drowned by them. He couldn’t even tell how much water he had coughed up by now or how damaged his lungs already were. The electroshocks were even the easiest to endure. The pain only lasted as long as they kept on torturing him with them… Still, they made his bodily functions fail and were the reason why he felt so dirty in the first place…
But what they had done the last time… What he had felt when they had kept him immobile with five men… What it had felt like when they had pressed him against the cold floor while they took rounds in molesting him… A choked sob escaped his lips and he shut his one good eye tightly. It was then that he changed his prayer and began to hope they would just kill him the next time. He couldn’t care less how, if it was slow and painful or fast and painless, as long as they succeeded with it…
“We can’t do it, don’t you understand?” Campbell nearly barked and watched the angry man pacing in front of him. “I can’t send any men into a rescue mission to safe one man! Besides they wouldn’t do it!”
“But we need him, don’t you get it?!” the man in front of him yelled and slammed both hands onto the table at the same time.
“It’s personal feelings!” the other man shot back and ignored the growl and glare he was given. “A soldier is not supposed to let something like personal feelings come into his way. You of all people should now that!”
“Personal feelings?” the reply came sarcastically and the impression was strengthen by an arrogant smirk and crossed arms. “Who begged me to save his niece?!”
“That was different!” Campbell snapped.
“She was important for the mission!”
“And he is important for me! I need him for my missions!”
“It’s personal feelings! The things he does can be done by someone else!”
“No, they can’t! I don’t trust anyone else, I trust him!” came the barked reply and the former Colonel sighed in annoyance.
“My decision is final,” he said in an as calm voice as possible after the heated debate. “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you…”
“Fine!” the man in front of him snapped and seized him up for a coffin once more before he turned and stomped over to the door. “But mark my words, don’t expect me to help you ever again!”
“What are you going to do?” Campbell asked slightly worried.
“I’m getting him out myself!” Snake growled and slammed the door shut behind him.
He had already lost too much time and when he’d finally found out where they held his partner captive, two more weeks had passed. The harder it had been to find Otacon, the easier it’s been to get him out. But Snake would never forget the sight that had awaited him after he had opened the door to his partner’s cell. He had been prepared for a lot but never for him being such a mess. But the thing that really got through to him was that everything they had done to Hal was because of him. He had suffered hell just because of him and this was what made Snake angry. The fact that Otacon had broken down was making the whole situation even worse and for the first time the legendary hero felt guilt really getting to him.
It hadn’t helped at all to change Snake’s mood when the soldier had been forced to point a gun at a doctor, and threatened to kill him if he refused to help his partner and if he dared to call the police. Normally, Snake would have never taken such drastic measures but this time, he had no other choice. His medical knowledge wasn’t good enough to treat all the wounds his partner had suffered and they needed to go into hiding as quickly as possible.
Before he had left the office with his limb partner in his arms, Snake had ordered the doctor to give him all the medicine he had, since he knew that Otacon would need them in the next days. As soon as he had been given the bag, he carried the computer nerd back to the car and drove away; determined not to stop in between except it was really necessary. While he drove, he gave the shaking man next to him worried looks. He knew Otacon was drugged enough to not wake up for the next couple of hours, if not even for the day, but what worried him were the murmurs his partner uttered, which almost sounded pleadingly and frightened to him. Snake’s knuckles turned white when he fixed his eyes back on the road again and he wished that he had given in to his instinct and killed them all, wished that he would have avenged the broken man next to him.
After driving around without a clue where he was going, Snake finally retreated to one of their secret hiding places of which he knew that they were really what the name implied: secret. He carried Otacon’s still unconscious form inside and laid him down on the sofa, before he got back and carried all the bags with food, drinks and medical equipment inside. After the door was locked and he had made sure that no one else had been in the small apartment or could enter, he carried the flyweight over to the bathroom where he undressed him and began to clean him. From the way Otacon smelled and his body and clothes looked like Snake guessed that he hadn’t seen water and soap in weeks. Carefully, he began to wash the molested and badly injured body, took also care of the hair and dressed the wounds afterwards again. Every scratch, bullet hole, burned skin or bruise made his stomach turn violently. Hate and anger against himself were clearly mirrored on the soldier’s face when he began to dress his partner in his clothes, which were too big for the slender man, and he carried him over to the bedroom they had to share, since the apartment only consisted of two rooms and the bathroom.
Even if he felt tired and close to collapsing after the mission and long drive, Snake was still sitting next to the bed after hours of watching over his partner. He would never forgive himself for bringing the man into such danger. How often had Otacon said that he had a bad feeling before Snake had left for the mission? How often had he told him that something wasn’t right over the codec during it and how scared had the soldier suddenly felt when his partner hadn’t responded to his calls anymore? That had been nearly four weeks ago and now here he was and watched over the man, who had been through hell just because of him. Just because of the soldier, who was too stubborn to realize that he wasn’t the only one in danger during a mission anymore…
Tiredly, Snake ran a hand over his face and sighed. He should really try and get some sleep, but he couldn’t, he wouldn’t. Not before he had a chance to tell Otacon in person that he was sorry, that something like that would never happen again and he would make sure that those men, and whoever else was behind it, would pay for what they had done. And Snake didn’t even dare to imagine what they had done…
Snake had been in the kitchen that was in the same room as the living and computer room and had been about to pour himself a coffee, when a terrible scream had echoed through the room. Not caring that the cup fell onto the ground, spilled coffee everywhere and broke into dozen pieces, the soldier had run to the bedroom, ready to fight whoever the intruder was. But in the end he had to notice that Otacon had only woken up and was caught up in a fit of a panic attack, since he didn’t seem to realize where he was.
“Otacon,” Snake said in his casual gruff voice and grabbed the man’s shoulders in a way that he wouldn’t injure them even more. “You’re safe, it’s alright…”
“Let go of me, please!” the other man begged but somewhere in his mind realized that it was useless to fight back anyway. They would drag him away from his cell and torture him again, ask him questions to which he had no answer and their favorite question where his partner was remained unanswered anyway. He began to sob into his arms, afraid of what would come, numbed by his aching body and hoped that this time, at least this time, they would have mercy and just leave him be. It took a while for him to realize that he must have said it aloud. No one grabbed him roughly, no one beat him or shot him, no one insulted him as boy toy, slut or faggot and demanded of him to do things he would not even do with a lover. Daring to open his good eye a bit, he had to close it again quickly. Everything was too bright, hurt his eyes and he wasn’t used to light anymore.
“Hold on,” a gruff voice that almost sounded gentle said and Otacon saw through closed lids that it suddenly became darker. “Better?”
“W…what do you want?” the man on the bed whimpered and began to quiver again. “I won’t tell you where he is! I will not tell anything at all!”
“Otacon,” Snake tried it again and touched the man’s cheek to make him look up. “It’s me. You’re safe, it’s over!” He watched how his partner opened his good eye one bit again, blinked several times and finally stared at him as if he thought the soldier wasn’t real. “Do you need any painkillers?” he asked and got up to get a glass of water and the bag with medicine. When he came back, he found the computer geek curled and with his face buried in the pillow. Even if he wasn’t someone to show feelings openly, Snake pulled a face briefly and sat down on the chair again. “Here, take them,” he said and offered two pills and the glass to Otacon, who looked up and at him with a tear stained face and something in his eyes that the soldier couldn’t really define.
“What?” Snake asked and helped him up enough for the slender man to swallow the pills.
“You…,” Otacon said and once more the soldier was glad to be trained well enough to even understand the faintest whispers.
“Yeah, I am,” he nodded and helped his partner to lie back down and tucked him in. It worried him that the body of his friend still shook and he reached out to touch the forehead and cheek again.
“You should sleep,” Snake suggested and leant back in his chair again. “We can talk when you feel better, but right now you really need to rest. I stay right here, okay?”
Only nodding, Otacon closed his eyes again; not believing that he was safe or that Snake was really there. He knew it was a dream or just another trick. They wanted him to talk, to let the wrong information slip…but he wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. Without even noticing it he began to quiver again, which alarmed his watchdog.
“You cold?” he asked and, even if his partner hadn’t nodded, got up to get two additional blankets for him and one for himself. After tucking Otacon in he sat back down and switched off the light, his gun loosely in his hand and closed his eyes to sleep, but didn’t allow his body to shut off completely. Only enough that he was still ready to strike if necessary.
At night he was roughly awoken by Otacon, who was caught in another panic attack, and realized that he had allowed himself to drift off to sleep too much. Angry with himself about it Snake put the gun on the bedside table and switched on the light again. He instantly noticed that his partner was sweating horribly and by touching the man’s flushed cheeks, he figured that it was not only cold sweat but that Otacon was also burning up with fever. Torn between waking the man and getting a bowl with cool water, he decided the first was more important at the moment.
With a loud shriek and beginning to fight against the hands that touched him Otacon sat up and tried to get away at the same time. He didn’t hear the voice that was so familiar and desperately tried to soothe him, felt even more scared when he found himself pinned to the mattress in the next morning. “I don’t know anything and I am not going to tell you anyway!” he barked or at least tried it. His voice sounded rather husky and weak. “Leave me alone! Please!”
“Otacon!” Snake tried it again and grabbed the man’s face roughly to make him look at him. “It’s me!”
“It’s just a trick and I’m not falling for it!” his partner gave back and gave up fighting since it was useless.
“A trick?” the soldier asked and had his brows furrowed. “Look at me and around the room, do you think they would bother to build a copy of my bedroom?”
“Yes!” Otacon replied determined and looked away. “And I’m not buying it!”
Sighing, Snake shook his head and tried to find a way to convince his partner that he was safe. He knew the longer the man thought that he was still in that cell or under the influence of their enemies, the longer it would take for him to get better. Suddenly smirking, the soldier looked back at his partner, who had his eyes still fixed on the opposite wall. “Well…at least you didn’t wet your pants this time, huh?”
“I didn’t…,” Otacon began angered and, after turning his head, froze in mid-sentence. Thinking about it and soon becoming too tired to do so, he just stared at the man in front of him for a while. This one was occupied in putting a cool cloth onto his burning forehead and leant back to look at the geek again. “You…”
“…are real? Yeah!” Snake replied and crossed his arms. “How often do I have to tell you that?!”
“But… How…,” Otacon stuttered and had trouble to keep his eyes open.
“Later,” the soldier waved off. “You need to rest. I stay here if you need anything, try to sleep.” Reaching out, he took his gun again and switched off the light at the same moment when a relieved sob escaped the geek’s lips. “Otacon…,” Snake sighed but didn’t bother to switch on the lamp again.
“I knew you’d come…,” the scientist sobbed and the soldier only stared at him in the darkness of the room.
“Of course,” Snake said in a calm voice and leant forward a bit to touch his friend’s shoulder, surprised that Otacon startled. “You need to sleep, Hal….,” he said once more and rested his hand on the shoulder until the sobs had died and he heard the man breathing evenly. With narrowed eyes and feeling fury emerging within him the soldier leant back again and crossed his arms; the gun ready in his hand.
While he watched over the restless sleep of his partner, several scenarios began to play in his head. He imagined what those men had done to him, what he had to go through just because he knew the soldier… But what bothered him the most was that Otacon constantly startled or backed off when he was being touched. From experience he knew what was done to captives, not all of them but enough, he knew what he himself had often done to make people talk and to get the information he wanted to have… Sighing, he closed his eyes a bit again and tried to doze off, but sleep didn’t come to him easily…
The following three days didn’t bring many changes. Since Hal became really sick and constantly switched from fever dreams to chills, or drifted between being conscious or not, Snake spent most of the time next to his partner and tried to lower the body temperature. On the day afterwards, after another night spent in the uncomfortable chair next to the bed, the computer geek finally woke up with a loud groan and, after the attempt to clutch his throbbing head, let his hurting arm drop to the bed again.
“Hey,” Snake said and bent forward.
“Hey yourself…,” Otacon said in a weak voice and swallowed hard; his lips, mouth and throat felt awfully dry. “What happened?”
“What happened?!” the soldier asked and reached out, just to notice that the forehead and cheeks were still too warm. “You suffered from a pretty bad fever and have been out cold for nearly four days.”
“So that’s why I feel like someone who’s collided with a truck, huh?” the engineer asked in a hushed voice and closed his eyes again.
“Otacon,” Snake said after cooling his partner’s face. “You need to get up. I need to clean and dress your wounds again, you need a bath and the sheets need to be changed too.”
“I…don’t think I can,” the other man said, not hiding that he felt uncomfortable.
“I know that you can’t do it on your own. Not with the cast and all,” Snake replied and pulled the several blankets and duvet aside. “That’s why I’m here.”
“You…You don’t have to carry me, Dave,” Otacon said and backed off a bit.
After seeing it, Snake became serious and sat down on the edge of the bed to look at him. “You don’t have to hide it, Hal,” he said in a calm voice, which surprised the engineer. It was rare that his partner used that kind of voice. It had taken some time for the soldier to get rid of his bad habits anyway and Hal remembered the first day on which Dave had actually acted nice towards him as if it had happened yesterday. “I know what they do sometimes to get the information they want… And the way you react…is proof enough to me…” He watched how Otacon looked ashamed away and wrapped his arms around himself protectively. “How many, Hal?” the soldier asked carefully and tilted his head a bit to have a better look at his friend.
“Five?!” Snake asked shocked and waited for another weak nod. Instantly a rage that he hadn’t felt in years began to surface and he clenched his fists. “God, Hal…,” he said and ran both hands through his hair. Not knowing what to say he just stared at them afterwards. “This is all my fault…”
Hearing it, Otacon turned his head in surprise. “No it’s not…”
“Of course it is!” Snake said gruffly. “If I had listened to you, this wouldn’t have happened… You’ve told me over and over again that you had a bad feeling and I just ignored it. And I know they only did this to you because of me! It’s always just because of me…”
“That’s not true, Dave,” the engineer said in a tired voice and moved closer again. “Even if you’d listened to me… Their attack was such a surprise that even you wouldn’t have been able to stop them. They would have captured us both.” Thinking about it, he buried his hands in the duvet. “And by catching you they’d what they wanted… They would have killed me.”
“Still I’m sorry,” Snake mumbled and met the man’s gaze. “You shouldn’t have gone through this… No one should.” When the silence became too much he sighed. “You ready to hit the bathroom?”
“Yeah…,” Otacon nodded and gritted his teeth when, despite his partner’s gentle effort to pick him up, pain rushed through his entire body.
“I still have some painkillers,” Snake said after noticing it and carried him over to the bathroom, where he put him down on the toilet. As careful as he could, he got rid of the bandages and took a cloth, which he soaked in the water. After adding soap to it, he knelt down in front of his partner and began to clean the sweaty and wounded skin.
Even if he was tired and felt like sleeping only, Otacon blushed a bit. He watched how Snake cleaned him first, took a towel to dry the skin and began to dress his wounds again. Not Snake, he reminded himself and suppressed a yawn, Dave. “Where are we anyway?” he asked drowsily and rubbed his good eye a bit.
“Near the Canadian border,” Dave replied and gave the boxers a puzzled look. Finally, he got up to soak the cloth again and gave it to Hal. “Here. I’ll get something to wear for you. Just tell me when you’re ready.” He left and walked back to the bedroom where he began to change the sheets and threw the dirty ones into the laundry. Afterwards he picked new boxers, a shirt and pants for Hal to wear and knocked onto the bathroom. But he waited for a reply in vain. “Hal?” Dave asked and knocked again, first thinking that the man had fallen asleep as sick and tired as he was. Finally, he opened the door just to freeze on the spot when the engineer’s wet eyes met his. “What…?” he began but was cut off by the devastated man on the toilet, whose biggest fear had caught up to him.
“What…what if I’m sick?” Hal sobbed and buried his good hand in his messy hair after a shake of his head. The soldier, who was confused about the sudden change in mood, remained on the same spot for a moment. Hal looked up when a hand touched his arm and his heart skipped a beat when Dave pulled him into a light embrace. “I can’t think about anything else…,” he admitted and leant into his friend. “I’m so scared…”
“Don’t you remember if…?”
“No,” Hal cut him off and began to shake. “I hardly remember anything… I can’t remember what they did. Only the pain…”
Noticing it, Dave leant back and touched his cheeks and forehead. “Your temperature’s higher again. Come on, you need to lie back down.” He quickly helped his partner into the fresh clothes and carried him back to the bedroom again. “Try to sleep a bit more. I’ll make something to eat.”
“You can’t cook,” Hal said tiredly and earned a smirk.
“No, but I can read,” Dave replied and put a cool cloth onto the engineer’s forehead. “Sleep!” he said and left the room just to run a hand over his face in the kitchen. If this assault had any serious consequences for his friend besides physical and mental issues… Forcing himself not to think about it, he began to pay attention to the food he had bought and figured that chicken soup would be the best choice for now.