''Ocelot did what any reasonable person faced with a mysterious red button in the middle of a weapons research lab would do. He pushed it.''

[[quoteright:274:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stray_picture_small.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:274:Romance, Time Paradoxes, and small hostile cats]]

[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2711502/1/Stray Stray]] is a VideoGame/MetalGearSolid SlashFic by Dahne that centers around a romantic relationship between [[Characters/MetalGear Otacon and Major Ocelot (also called Hal and Adamska, respectively, within the story)]]. Yes, that's the twenty year old Ocelot from ''Metal Gear Solid 3''. Not surprisingly, the story involves TimeTravel.
Apart from its unusual pairing and premise, the story is notable for its length (71 chapters plus prologue and epilogue), its multiple plot arcs, its blend of serious character-driven drama and quirky humor, and writing [[PurpleProse a bit towards the lower-wavelength end of the visible spectrum.]] And Otacon's adorable in it.


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!!Tropes contained in ''Stray'':

* ActorAllusion: "The cold, thousand-yard glare [[DavidHayter Snake]] would give anybody who spoke ill of the first two X-Men movies."
* AdaptationExpansion: ''Stray'' was originally a one-shot story, which covered major events from Hal and Adamska's first meeting through the beginning of the Shadow Moses arc in a series of vignettes. Then the author decided to do an expansion/rewrite, which included several new story arcs and more time for relationship development.
* {{Adorkable}}: Otacon. Even Raikov thinks he's cute! ({{It Makes Sense In Context}}.)
* AfraidOfNeedles: Variation - Adamska's not afraid of ''needles'', he's afraid of what might be in the shot, on principle.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler: Esau's death scene. In true MGS antagonist fashion, he's very chatty about it.]]
* AmbiguousDisorder: Otacon's brain seems to work in a rather odd way, even apart from his undeniable [[BunnyEarsLawyer eccentricity]] and DitzyGenius tendencies. Metaphors aren't his strong point, and at one point the story mentions that he's not great at reading facial expressions.
** Raikov as well, in a way. Adamska's convinced he's insane, and Raikov is certainly disturbingly odd in some ways, but nobody proposes a diagnosis.
* AncientConspiracy: The Philosophers.
* AntiHero: Adamska - he's done plenty of dubious things, but has enough in the way of [[EvenEvilHasStandards personal standards]] that the [[FutureMeScaresMe prospect of developing into]] a creepy old [[TortureTechnician torture fetishist]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking with a ponytail]] still {{Squick}}s him.
* ArcWords: "What can change the nature of a man?" and variations.
** The phrase is also a ShoutOut to ''[[PlanescapeTorment Planescape: Torment]]''.
** Also, "Find what your enemy wants, and do the opposite."
* AuthorAppeal: The writer seems to be a big fan of Scandinavian mythology.
* BadassGay: Adamska.
* BadassLongcoat: Big Boss wears one. Lampshaded when another character remarks that he must do so for the dramatic effect.
* BatmanGambit: The story has ''[[MagnificentBastard Ocelot]]'' (admittedly a younger and better-natured version) and an entire international conspiracy of [[TheChessmaster Chessmasters]]. It's not exactly surprising that someone tries to pull one of these.
* BewareTheNiceOnes
* BiTheWay: Otacon.
* BrokenAce: Adamska. He's smart, he's talented, he's good looking [[spoiler: and he manages to change history]] - but he's not exactly a paragon of personal stability.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Otacon. He's a massive {{Otaku}}, and Adamska is convinced in the early chapters that he's thoroughly - although harmlessly - insane, but the man managed to build a functioning time machine in his garage.
* CatsAreMean: A running gag with Tanya, a scrawny little stray with violent {{Tsundere}} tendencies.
* TheChessmaster: The Patriots, although they're an international conspiracy, not a single person.
* ChildSoldier: Adamska began his career quite young.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Major Raikov is a rather disturbing version of this.
* ContemplateOurNavels: Possible subversion, in that the atmospheric philosophical ramblings of the prologue (concerning the nature of time and free will) are in fact highly relevant to the themes of the story.
* ContinuityNod: Many, to the MGS games. Including some references to events which, in the story's particular universe, never took place.
* CoolOldGuy: Big Boss.
* CrackPairing: Do Otacon and Ocelot ever even interact in the games?
* DeadPersonConversation: Adamska and the Sorrow, [[spoiler: Big Boss and older!Ocelot.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Adamska. He pursues his goals despite the obstacles presented by time, space, causality, a globe-spanning conspiracy, and his own personal pathologies.
* DrinkingGame: Hal and Adamska play one in an early chapter. It involves comparing the weirdness levels of various things they've encountered in their adventures. (It's also an in-character acknowledgement of just how weird the Franchise/MetalGear universe can get.)
* EmoTeen: Esau's more crazy than angsty, but has the style. "... he could have passed for a member of one of those bands who wore girls' jeans and talked about [[MyChemicalRomance not being okay]] a lot."
* EnemyWithin
* {{Epigraph}}
* AFatherToHisMen: Big Boss. [[spoiler: Literally, in the case of the Snake twins.]]
* FinalSpeech: [[spoiler: Esau, Ocelot at Shadow Moses.]]
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Adamska. From the 1960s to the early twenty-first century.
* FlorenceNightingaleEffect: In an {{Elseworld}} chapter. Hal is the caretaker and Adamska is the patient.
* ForScience: Why Otacon built the time machine in the first place, and according to the story, a strong component of his overall personality. This has its downsides. "Sometimes he was so fascinated with a problem that he forgot it was one better off not solved."
* FreudianExcuse: Discussed. It becomes particularly relevant when the issue of Adamska's {{Tykebomb}} upbringing is introduced.
* FutureMeScaresMe: Adamska's reaction to Revolver Ocelot, although less fear than {{Squick}}.
* GeniusBruiser: Adamska and Vulcan Raven, in different ways. Adamska's more [[GuileHero cunning]], Raven's more [[WarriorPoet liberal arts]] and mystically oriented.
* GoodHairEvilHair: Variation: Revolver Ocelot's ponytail of evil. [[spoiler: Alternate Future Ocelot has short hair.]]
* HannibalLecture: [[spoiler: Esau]] loves these. Adamska also winds up getting one from [[EnemyWithout "himself"]].
* HeroicBSOD: Adamska at Shadow Moses, Otacon in Russia.
* ICannotSelfTerminate: [[spoiler: Adamska mercy kills older-Ocelot (who had been partially converted into his continuity's version of the Cyborg Ninja) at Shadow Moses at his older self's request. Hal does the same for a gut-shot Esau.]]
* ISeeDeadPeople: Ocelot can see ghosts. The Sorrow also makes an appearance, and has the same abilities he does in canon.
* IkeaErotica: Strongly averted. It is possible to tell what's going on in the sex scenes, but they're much heavier on internal monologue than anatomy.
* {{Jossed}}: On a few issues. This was probably inevitable, since the story was started well before ''Guns of the Patriots'' came out and gave the official explanation for the series' GambitPileup.
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind
* KansasCityShuffle: [[spoiler: It wasn't Adamska the Patriots wanted.]]
* LastKiss: [[spoiler: Big Boss and his timeline's Ocelot, whose spirit was being channeled by Adamska.]]
* LemonyNarrator: The prose style can get pretty chatty, and is the source of much of the story's odd humor.
* [[MayDecemberRomance May/September Romance]]: Adamska's twenty, Otacon's in his thirties.
** If you consider birth date and not years spent living, it's a May/December romance the other way, since Adamska was born decades before Hal.
* MindScrew: Most of the story is fairly straightforward, though unconventional, but "For What Was," "For What Might Be," "For What Is," "For What Can Change," and "For What?" up the story's average level of trippiness considerably. The later chapters' treatment of time travel and memory could also count.
* MoralityPet: Otacon for Adamska, in a way. "The only promise I can make is that I will never let anything hurt you. Including me." Overlaps with MoralityChain.
* TheNothingAfterDeath: Mild example. The afterlife has no distinguishing physical features besides blankness, and the dead are left to entertain themselves. It's implied that they play cards.
* OppositesAttract: Apart from being smart and having troubled pasts, Otacon and Adamska are virtual opposites. Otacon is dorky and good-natured but tougher than he looks, Adamska is a ruthless badass who keeps his vulnerabilities well concealed.
* PitbullDatesPuppy: Eventually subverted. Otacon may be a [[NonActionGuy Non-Action]] {{Nice Guy}}, but he's tougher than initial appearances would indicate.
* ThePowerOfLove
* PsychicPowers: Ocelot, the Sorrow, and Psycho Mantis. Vulcan Raven's abilities may count as well.
* PsychoPsychologist: One of them played a part in Adamska's upbringing.
* RippleEffectProofMemory: Both used straight and with some [[MindScrew weird]] variations.
* ScrewDestiny
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong
* ShadowArchetype: Adamska gets two - his older self, and [[spoiler: Esau, another former Tykebomb agent of the AncientConspiracy.]]
* {{ShoutOut}}s: Lots of them, most notably to Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion, PlanescapeTorment, and NorseMythology.
** Philip K. Dick gets a few references, too, in phrases like "I hope cyborgs dream of electric sheep, I really do" and "I saw him through glass, darkly."
** "I saw him through glass, darkly," as well as Dick's "A Scanner Darkly," is a [[Literature/TheBible Biblical reference]] (from Corinthians: "For now we see through a glass, darkly.").
* ShroudedInMyth: Big Boss, who is a MemeticBadass to his own troops.
* SleepCute
* SpyCatsuit: One of the later plot arcs gets Adamska into one of these. He's not impressed.
* SpyCouple: Adamska and Otacon, eventually.
* [[spoiler: StarfishCharacter: Adamska/Ocelot, after he changes the timeline.]]
* [[spoiler: SuicideIsPainless]]
* TechnoWizard: Otacon. He built a time machine [[HomemadeInventions in his garage, out of parts scavenged from household appliances.]]
* {{Technobabble}}: A lot of this in the scenes with Otacon and Ocelot working on the time machine. To be fair, it's not like there's an accepted scientific vocabulary for this sort of thing. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when Otacon admits that he made a lot of it up himself.
* ThemeNaming: The Philosophers/Patriots do love their Biblical references.
** Otacon's anime-inspired names for the dogs would also count.
* TheTheoremOfNarrowInterests: An aversion. It may be the only story of its kind, and for what it is, it's well-done.
* TroubledButCute: Adamska, although he's slightly older than the stereotypical example and not a James Dean homage. He is, however, attractive, [[AntiHero morally ambiguous and potentially dangerous]] but with [[TheWoobie a touch of hidden vulnerability]] and [[FreudianExcuse massive issues.]]
** Esau would be a villainous version.
* TrueCompanions: FOXHOUND under Big Boss' leadership. They're explicitly compared to a family more than once.
* {{Tykebomb}}: Ocelot was brought up as one of these by the [[AncientConspiracy Philosophers]], and the story goes into the psychological impact quite a bit.
** [[spoiler: Esau was, as well, by the Patriots.]]
* UnholyMatrimony: Volgin and Raikov, in flashbacks. "The two of them complimented each other, he supposed. Like oil and fire. Or potassium and cyanide."
* VelvetRevolution: Referenced in a ''sex scene'', of all places, as part of an elaborate extended metaphor.
-->From the towers where they hid in the most heavily fortified territory of Adamska's heart, overlooking the waterfall that fed into its own source, the last loyalists to the old aristocracy said to hell with it, threw down the torches, unbarred the doors, and ran outside to join the party.
* WarriorPoet: Vulcan Raven. He's a BFG-toting Inuit shaman who is well versed in NorseMythology and quotes ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}''.
* TheWoobie: Otacon is a self-deprecating ShrinkingViolet with a screwed up and fairly traumatizing romantic past - and the events of the story aren't entirely easy on him either.
** Adamska has moments of woobieness as well, due to some rather traumatic plot developments and his own personal issues.
* YaoiFanboy: Otacon, although it's only mentioned in passing via an ExpospeakGag. (The context is the brief and anti-climactic tale of [[ComingOutStory How Snake Found Out Otacon Was Bi.]])
-->Fortunately it didn't come up, except when, say, he happened to get careless and leave something around with text that could be most accurately described in a phrase that ended in "...imi nashii" and illustrations that were described by Dave as "what the hell...?"

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