A/N: It's been quite a while, hasn't it? I just got Substance and beat the Bomb disposal part. So now I know what happens again. X_x *Forgot where all the bombs had been placed* Anywho, forgive my absence from the Metal Gear Realm~~! PS-my author name was formerly Beatrix CoRal. I still sign using that name though. O.o...

Talena: ...So you're gonna write?

PLB: Affirmative.

Emma: G-GOD! I HATE that word.

Otacon+Snake: ...XDXDXDXD

Chapter 7: And I really LIKED Peter Stillman, too! Christ!

-

"So, now...what're we doing, anyway?"

"T, did you-"

"Completely ignore Mister Stillman's speech just now? Yup. I was hungry. Can't live off of MRE's forever. Rations are ewie."

Raiden snorted. Figured. Now he'd have to explain it to her, and he didn't understand everything completely. "There's a C4 bomb planted in every strut in this Shell and Shell 2. We have to deactivate them. And, uh, report their locations to Peter."

"Oh. That's all, then?"

"?"

"I was trained in bomb disposal. Duh."

"He told us just to freeze them." Raiden tossed her the container of coolant.

"Well, that's no fun, but he is a legend." Just like Snake. "What's this yellow I'm getting on the radar? Is that the C4? Oh, nevermind, it's the general location. I heard that much."

"Head that way. It's the, uhm...girl's room."

"...Ahahahaha! Come on, dinkus, it's not like there's going to be anyone in there!"

"D-dink-us...?"

She grabbed his hand and happily dragged him in and looked around for the source of the unsettling beeping rhythm. It was Raiden who finally spotted it. He pointed without a word and nodded. She glanced up at it, and then to him.

"...Raiden...? I, um...I don't think this is right. You should...you should call Peter." Talena climbed up on the sink, watching it momentarily before holding the coolant up and gently spraying it to see if it would react. When it didn't she proceeded to hose it down with the stuff, and when she jumped down, she glared at Raiden's glum face. "Oh, now what, Jack?"

"Stillman agrees with you. Pliskin-"

"Puh! Stupid bum."

"-reported two other locations, and Stillman said it was wrong, but we can't do anything to determine what's going on at the moment. He said to continue frosting the bombs."

"...Alright, then, let's go."

-

Strut B. Status, searching frantically for the final C4. Colonel not happy. Peter not happy, either. Bombs not planted with skill. Rose and Raiden-lover's quarrel AGAIN. Won't stop. Make it stop. PLEASE GOD, make it stop. Codec beeping.

"Yeah, whadaya want?!"

"Uh, T...? This is T, right?"

"...Please don't tell me this is Pliskin."

"Who else, hun? Hey, listen...I, uh, wanna apologize for being such a prick lately."

"Lately? You talk as if we've known one another for a long time."

"Uh, well, I just wanted to say sorry. I've been a real jerk."

"No shit. Raiden, close that damn locker! It's driving me nuts."

"T, listen, I'll call you a bit later."

"Right."

Raiden shut the locker and then gave a jump. "Ah! Ack!" He grabbed Talena and pointed at the wall frantically. "There! It's been there the whole time! Auuugh..."

Talena grumbled and muttered something that vaguely sounded like "This is all your fault. I had nothing to do with this."

Raiden deactivated the bombs, and then went into a deep codec conversation with Stillman and Pliskin.

"T, LET'S GO! We have to get down to the basement of Strut A!"

"It's down there, I know, but we have no idea WHERE down there!"

It was on the elevator to the basement where they recieved the fateful call. Talena and Raiden's codecs beeped, and they glanced at each other wearily before answering it.

"Pliskin? Raiden? T? Listen carefully." It was Peter! Phew. They had thought it was going to be the Colonel. Again.

"What's up, Peter?" Talena said, worry showing in her expressive eyes. She didn't like the tone he was using at all.

"I fell for it."

Pliskin blinked. "Fell for what?"

"Fatman has my number. A proximity trigger. Microwave."

"Microwave?" Came Talena and Raiden's timed response.

"With a seven foot range."

"No..." Talena's eyes welled.

"It's not a technique I taught him. Neither was that multi-bomb booby trap."

"Peter...what are you saying?!" Raiden could no longer hide his alarm. He was overanxious, and worried out of his mind.

"Looks like he's far surpassed me as far as explosives technique goes. As for the rest..."

"Pete! Get the hell outta there!" Pliskin shouted so loud, Talena hiccuped.

"There's less than thirty seconds left. It's too late."

"NO!" Raiden whined.

"Oh, God help us all..." Talena whispered.

"Pliskin. Get away from Strut H as fast as you can."

"Pete..." Pliskin sighed.

"Raiden, T, keep your distance. Use the coolant from as far away as possible."

"Me...?" Raiden blinked. "Us?"

"You can do it. I know you can."

"I'm not so sure..."

"But I am." Talena and Peter said in unison.

"Do it. I know you can."

And a tiny beeping was heard from Pete's nanomachine. Then the explosion. The scream. The sizzle.

Talena logged out of her codec and proceeded to give a sob into Raiden's shoulder. He wasn't going to be the last, she thought. She knew he wasn't going to be the last.

T followed Raiden's lead as he ran into the pool launch area, their sensor B beeping periodically. She stood by the door, and kept watch, as Raiden scouted the area with all alertness. Finally, he located it. He held the coolant up and proceeded to frost it.

He looked up at Talena and nodded. It was done.

The two left the room. It was when they re-entered the elevator room when it happened.

Fortune.

She walked out of the elevator, and the two FOX-HOUND mercenaries dove behind separate boxes.

"You don't know how long I've waited for this! I'm so very happy you're alive, Solid Snake! Now, you can send me to the grave, like you did my father!"

"Oh crap." Raiden groaned before leaping behind the box Talena had taken refuge behind, as Fortune blew his to dust with her plasma gun.

"That's not...that isn't him!" Fortune blinked, extremely confused. Raiden, however, was staring at Talena, who looked prepared to faint.

"T? Are you gonna be alright?"

"Helena!" She shrieked. "Helena, no!"

"...? Excuse m-T?!" Fortune stared at the red head who had now stood up. "T...they said you were on that Tanker with Snake!"

"Snake didn't kill your father! It was-"

"Silence! If you are going to take sides with my father's murderer, then I'll dispose of you as well!"

"NO! Hel-" But Talena was cut off as she was tackled by Raiden.

"Stay low, keep quiet, and move only when necessary!" He whispered. "Unless you wanna be so dead that you'll never see Snake again!"

Talena whimpered but obeyed, and the two huddled close to each other, frightened, fearing for their lives. It was only when the Colonel called did it get worse.

"Raiden, Talena. They've executed one of the hostages!"

"What?!" They both growled in unison.

"They plan to execute one every hour from now on! And...there's one other thing."

"...Yes?" Talena responded.

"Fatman contacted us. Says to meet him on the roof of Stut E, the heliport."

"Fatman contacted us directly?" Raiden questioned, amazed.

"Yes. He asked for you two specifically. You best go up and meet him-he's threatened to blow the Big Shell into the water if you don't show up."

"Oh God...how much time do we have, Colonel?" Talena asked.

"...About 500 seconds."

"500 seconds?!" Raiden pretty much screamed. It was lucky though, because at that very moment, the elevator beeped, and came to a stop on their level.

Fortune lowered her gun. "Vamp. What is it?"

"It seems...our friend Fatman has lost sight of our ideals. He's nothing more than a stereotypical mad bomber now."

Talena cringed at the man's voice, and knew almost at once it was Vamp, and was ready to charge him.

"I'll take care of the wayward soul. You handle this." Fortune's voice rang in their ears like a dented bell.

"My pleasure, Queen."

Fortune turned to leave, and Raiden jumped out. "Now!" He fired a few shots at Fortune, and predictably, they bounced off of her. However, what she had not predicted, was that they had managed to take Vamp-once in the forehead, once in the stomach.

"No!" Fortune cried, rushing to catch him.

"Ew!" Talena wrinkled her nose as Raiden grabbed her and drug her out. He kept his gun aimed at the two of them, but Fortune made no move to fire at them, only glared ferociously.

"That death...was meant for me!" She glared specifically at Raiden. "I thought you could give me death...why must I always survive?! How much longer will you force me to live?!"

Raiden drug Talena onto the lift, and they were carried up.

"No need to cry, Queen."

"Vamp!"

"I have already died once. I cannot die twice..."

"All right, let's move! Quickest way will be to go through Strut F!"

"Aw, Jesus, I HATE the sediment pool."

"I do too, T, but it's not a scenery tour."

The two of them ran off, and scurried past the guards in Strut A, and the A-F connecting bridge cypher was easily put out by Talena's SOCOM. In the sediment pool, they were spotted, but managed to run fast enough so that no one knew exactly what they had seen.

Strut E, they put the guard out and climbed to the roof. And they still had three hundred seconds to spare.

"Right on time. I like a punctual man. Ooh, and a punctual woman!"

((A/N: Talena: -.- *Huffs* Sexist PIGS.))

Talena corked an eyebrow and withdrew her SOCOM, staring blankly at Raiden.

"You hear that rhythm? The rhythm of time. I used to hang around Department store clock counters."

"Weirdo." Talena grumbled and Raiden nodded furiously in agreement.

The man skidded to a halt in front of them, and they both had to choke back a laugh. Yeah, this guy was psycho. The name "Fatman" was not an overestimate of his size. In fact, it was, if anything, and understatement. And to add to the hilarity and proof of the insanity running through this guy's brains, he was on, of all things, rollerblades. Then, to make things worse, the man then held up a wineglass, full of fragrant red wine, and drank the remainder of it...through a bendy straw.

Talena let out a laugh.

Thank GOD Fatman ignored it.

"Mmmm...good year. Let's drink to Peter Stillman, shall we?!"

This snapped Talena out of her daze, and enraged Raiden beyond belief. "Peter Stillman had your number!"

"You got nothin' on him!" Talena added.

"Stillman was NOTHING. He died six months ago on that fateful day!"

"The eradication of Dead Cell." Raiden said.

"That has nothing to do with this." Talena hissed.

"Call it what you want! Only the right stuff survived that hell. For me, it was an opportunity!"

This went on for a while. Soon, Talena found herself dozing. Finally, she was awakened by a bizarre laugh. "This is how the game works! I plant a bomb, it goes off soon after that. You have to defuse it before that happens!"

Talena growled and gripped the end of her SOCOM angrily.

"Let the party begin!"

It was insanity. Pure insanity that Talena almost considered fun. Hide and Seek with the risk of explosion. A nice breeze was blowing. She and Raiden had almost gotten rid of this insane, overweight bomber.

Life wasn't so bad.

Fatman planted a bomb, and Talena, who was ducking, beeped into Raiden. "I've got the bomb, kid. You get fatty. We're almost done here."

Talena listened carefully for the beeping, and realized not a second too soon that the bomb had been planted directly above her. She wasted no time jumping up and frosting it with the coolant. A few seconds later, she heard Raiden's gunshot, and Fatman's shriek of pain, and knew that it was over.

She ran to Raiden's angry voice, just as he said, "The party is over for you!"

"That's what you think, kid."

"What about the ransom?!"

"Ransom?"

"Three billion dollars in cash!"

"Hahaha. Ransom. Like I said, I'm not here for money. I'm here for the fame. I'll go down in history as the man who beat Peter Stillman."

"Well, I guess that means we'll go down in history for being the boy and girl that beat the man who beat Peter Stillman. Doesn't really make you all that important. You were intimidating for about forty five seconds." Talena growled angrily. She was ready to blow this guy's face off.

Fatman stared at her in utmost loathing. And then, he held up a trigger...and touched the button.

"What the hell did you just do!?" Raiden shouted.

"It's a trigger. A trigger to the biggest bomb in the whole place. It'll go off soon. And bring this whoooooole Big Shell with it. So long. Let the party beg-"

Talena assumed he had been ready to say "begin," but she had shot him before he had a chance to finish his sentence. They both listened in silence for the bombs beeping and knew that it was very close.

And that Fatman was slightly elevated. Raiden and Talena seized his legs and proceeded to pull him back, and revealed it. The largest amount of C4 Raiden had ever seen planted in one area.

Raiden dropped to his knees and began to hose it down with the coolant until it was fully deactivated. He then smiled weakly at Talena, who quivered and scratched her nose. They had done it. They had saved the day again.

-

A/N: Hope you liked Chapter seven! Sorry it took so long! R+R!