He stood there, blue eyes wide in complete shock. Trembling hands against the apartment's door-frame, the twenty-eight year old's mouth had gone completely dry.
E.E. could only offer the faint beginnings of a weak smile, her own violet eyes—without the usual frames to hide her insecurities—growing gentle. Her stepbrother, her first crush. Upon awakening within a sterile, white, hospital room one July afternoon in 2009, her first thought was to find him. To—finally—make things right between them.
She had stayed in the elderly British gentleman's private facilities near Washington D.C., somewhat begrudgingly assisting with his System—something supposedly for the betterment of humanity. Working for her free room and board those Summer months, she knew her brother's friends would eventually follow their own path, of Letting The World Be. She knew, that somehow, life would balance itself out.
Perhaps an illogical thought coming from her, but something she truly believed in. Growing up alongside Hal—regardless of their family's numerous dark secrets—his sense of optimism would always outweigh any lingering fears, or self-doubts.
Perhaps it was loyalty? To his cause for future generations?
As such, Emma at the Patriots' headquarters, didn't mind inputting some code here or occasionally adjusting the fluid levels for a containment tube hooked up to numerous wires, which in turn were attached to various computers. Yet, how strange: Was her imagination at work when one evening, her tired eyes caught a gray, bearded, man within that tube? She shook her head to clear it, pocketing her technically unnecessary glasses to rub those tired eyes.
Clearly, she had worked hard enough for one day!
July soon turned to an equally sticky and humid August, which had quickly given way to the crisp Autumn month of September, red and yellow leaves gently covering the ground below.
She had done all she could, she accepted. One morning, she lightly opened the door to the bedroom of the sick gentleman she had assisted, as his informal caretaker these past few months.
Bending down to be eye-level due to his permanent seat within his wheelchair—David Oh's far off gaze at something unseen, unknown to Emma—her fingers lightly brushed the man's cheek, slowly cupping it.
As her lips turned upwards, she was understandably shocked to see the faint beginnings of a smile against the man's own face. She was fuzzy on the details of the sickness which had taken his free will, but was so thankful that his organization had...
A silent thank you.
She stood, wiping something away from her eyes before gently closing the door in farewell behind her.
Miracles seemed to exist to some degree, as Cipher had been generous enough to grant her a second chance at life.
One she refused to throw away so easily.
Here E.E. was, the hallway of a somewhat run down apartment complex within New York City, face to face with the brother she could never forgot.
Hal took a step forward, past the door's threshold, to wrap his arms tightly around her. She quickly reciprocated the hug without hesitation, their tears freely falling, without shame.
Those past 5 months apart, Emma presumed dead, after their brief reconciliation on that April day in the Big Shell, had been pure hell. Work a much needed distraction for them both, the supposed mutual loss of their only true family—given both of their parents—too cruel to bear. Even now, Hal's $1,394 business laptop was quietly humming against the couch, decoding processed data from Snake, as a news reporter discussed the morning's local events on a small CRT—keeping a low profile meant they hadn't made the switch to HD just yet.
"Would you like to come in?" Hal, despite his disbelief, couldn't hide his beginnings of a smile.
"Of course. I could make us some hot cocoa or tea? Chilly enough day for it."
With a nod—trying not to look too overeager at their honest chance to properly catch up—Otacon pushed the glasses slipping off his nose, throat clearing. "Sounds great."
So many things to discuss. Where should he even begin? Perhaps the current day's workload: Months of research and securing the location behind them, a retrieval mission that Hal was currently support for. Dave as the muscle—and Raiden—the main operative.
Ogla...They had to fulfill their promise of protecting her daughter, of letting the little girl live a normal life.
How would Emma react at the opportunity of acting the cool aunt, so to speak?
Friendly arm around his sister's shoulder, Hal lead her inside, adjusting his headset with a free hand. Never knew when Snake would chime in.
A measure of peace, warmth, began to stir deep within Emma's heart.
Finally. She was home.