"Hold on, hold on!" MacTavish shouted as he slid down the face of the cliff. Gary stifled his attempts to scream as he scrambled to regain his footing on the cliff. The spikes of his shoes failed to penetrate the ice, his hands flailed wildly on the face of the cliff before the pick of his left arm hit a snag. "Ugh!" His body came to a abrupt halt, knocking him away from the wall. His right leg and arm dangled freely in the air, ice falling from his boot and glove.
Gary Sanderson regarded the foggy chasm below with wide eyes, occasionally glancing at the dangling ice pick attached to wrist of his glove. Christ on a cracker, he almost bit the dust that time! The weight of his body was putting a strain on his arm and he was beginning to think captain MacTavish had abandoned him. Gary looked up, intending call for aid when MacTavish appeared in a blast of snow and ice, arm out stretched to catch him.
Gary grabbed a hold of his hand without hesitation, unable to help the relieved smile that crossed his frosted lips. MacTavish paid little attention to it, with a simple nod his head he started to swing Gary over to a more stable part of the cliff. Pushing off with his left foot, Gary vaulted toward the other side of the cliff. Raising his right arm, he brought the ice pick down on the frozen surface and yanked.
The ice pick held. With the help of his captain, he pulled himself back up onto stable ground. MacTavish was quick to follow him up the cliff, grumbling nonsense to himself about moppets, or muppets (one of the two). Gary remained on his knees, trying steady his trembling body. "You alright, Roach?" MacTavish's brogue caught him off guard for a second. He leaned away from the man when he noticed how close the man's leg was to his head.
"F-fine," He mumbled. "Choked up for a second, I guess."
Since being hand-picked to join the four-one-four task force by general Shepherd, Gary had spent a lot of time trying to find his niche among the multinational group of soldiers. A majority of them seemed to hail from Canada, Australia and the UK, they got along like ducks in a pond or brothers separated at birth. Gary found himself spending most of his time with the US branch of the task force, as most his friends (Allen, Worm and Meat, anyway) had been transferred over with him. Even then, those outside of his circle of friends wouldn't talk to him.
It wasn't that he didn't know how to handle himself among the more national soldiers, far from it. But they all seemed to regard him as the "outcast" of some sort (maybe because he was a FNG? Garry didn't know). It made for some awkward small talk when they teased or called him something he needed a hand book to figure out the meaning of.
Shepherd seemed to notice his self-alienation from the other parts of the force (whenever he visited) and without warning, he and his comrades were teamed with MacTavish, Riley, Ozone and Archer. For the last week, Gary had spent most of his time familiarizing himself with Ghost, who was quick to befriend him and the others. Gary hoped to get to know Ozone and Archer a little better before this week was through.
MacTavish, on the other hand... this was his first mission with the guy. Sufficed to say, despite the Scotsman's relatively friendly demeanor, Gary felt intimidated by MacTavish's appearance alone. Stony-faced, mohawked and single-minded when it came to the mission's details, MacTavish rarely gave Sanderson the opportunity to do anything except answer in the affirmative when he gave him a command.
"Alright, on your feet, Roach," Without thinking, Roach raised his hand to MacTavish, the man took hold of his hand without question and pulled. Standing up, Gary tried to hide the grimace at the use of his nickname. If MacTavish noticed, he hid any indication of it. "Not terribly graceful, are ya?" The ghost of a grin crossed his face, Gary relaxed a little at the sight.
"No, sir," Roach answered, adjusting the goggles on his head. Obstacle courses were never his strong point; more often than not, Gary tripped over his own feet in his attempt to get the best time. He blamed his mother for his clumsiness, but that wasn't case here. He honestly wasn't sure why his legs locked up the second his feet reached the edge of the cliff, he just hoped it wouldn't happen again. Mistakes like that would get him killed, which was something he couldn't afford. Not with the missions he getting assigned to. MacTavish patted him on the shoulder. "C'mon, we've got a mission to complete." Roach nodded and followed him up the snowy hill.