|Flying Paper Cranes
Author: OtakuLibra PM
Batou/Motoko, semi-sequel to Solitude. Set after Solid State Society. Batou and the Major trying to reconnect. Rated T for language. Sorry for the title. It's really awful.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,216 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 7 - Published: 11-21-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4669040
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
We're sitting in my office, and I'm thinking that it's strange. We'd usually be at the apartment on the floor below, or he'd go home and I'd go to the bar. I know what that made the others think about us, but it didn't bother me so much before I left. Now, though, I'm always hyper-aware of everyone's attention, and it's beginning to drive me crazy.
But still, here we are, and he's fixing me with a stare, those inhuman eyes that are attached to the most human person I know.
I sigh, wanting a drink or a smoke or something to get my mind off things. As if reading my mind (which I'm not convinced he isn't), Batou holds out a cigarette.
"Wanna smoke?" I nod, and he passes it to me, lighting it from between my lips. And I can't help thinking about the old days, more than two years ago now, when this scene would have been easy, would not have held this tension, this feeling that things will never be right between us. Not that I would be surprised. Batou doesn't have to forgive me. He shouldn't have to forgive me. Just the fact that he's talking to me, that he's been able to even look at me, should be enough. But it's not. It's never enough. I know that feeling. That's exactly like it was before. It should have been enough, what we had. In our line of work, just both being alive should have been enough. But it never was. It never was.
"I'm back," I whisper though the smoke. For a minute, just a minute, I want to die. And then the next, the only thing I want to do is snuggle into his strong, kind, safe arms and never leave. Christ, did I just use the word "snuggle"? You're losing it, Kusanagi.
"Let's go." Batou stands, his thumb pointed at the door. "Cigarettes and alcohol's all I can handle tonight. C'mon."
Somehow, that's the first time I realize how much I must have hurt him.
I hesitate, and he knows it. I see the questions in his unreadable eyes that, for all their blankness, really are the windows to his soul. But they're unreadable because, once I see that soul I can't navigate through it. He doesn't seem all that complex. Most people just think he's a thug, and to be fair, he does look like one. But something underneath. . . for all my searching, I've never found something so human, not even in those of flesh and blood. Not even in Kuze.
And that's when he's finally gone. I never accepted his death until now; even when I returned to Section Nine. That, really, was more out of a feeling of duty than anything else. But that was then, this is now. Feelings change.
I realize something now, something I should have known before. You see, it's Batou. He's my humanity. He's my ghost. My. . . My soul. And I love him. Always have. Always, but also never.
I wonder if he thought of me, while I was away. I was missing, Batou. This is what I want to tell him, but lack the courage to actually say. But that's it. I was missing.
"Motoko." His voice says my real name, in that gruff way he has that makes him sound so tough. He should know better. I would see right through him, if only I wasn't so happy. He said my name. Not "Major," not my title. My name.
I smile, just a little. He puts his hand on my arm, just as he's done before, but this time it's different.
The cigarette falls from my lips and he steps on it, grinding a stain into the carpet.
Breathing seems much harder than usual. "You crazy bastard," I manage to say, my voice sounding surprisingly calm, though my throat feels as if it's collapsing. "You fell in love with me, didn't you?" I don't know where either the words or the confidence come from, but I say it all the same. And there I go again, saying the one thing that'll ruin everything, add to the sadness between us.
His hand drops, and my skin immediately feels the contrast between my cold metal skin and the warm spot where his hand used to be.
"Did you love him? Motoko, I. . ."
He goes home after that, not waiting for an answer I don't know how to give. I go the the bar. My first drink, I have my alcohol processor on. After that, I turn it off and get wasted.
Ishikawa picks me up later. I'm still drunk, too stubborn to put the processor back on. He doesn't say anything for awhile, which I'm glad of. I don't want lectures.
I get smokes from a convenience store. We sit in the car, smoking in silence. Finally Ishikawa flips on the radio, and Julie London's mournful voice fills the car.
"So," Ishikawa says. It's more of an exhalation than speech.
"Don't ask," I say. I don't want to talk. My brain is still swimming in alcohol, and I just want to sit here and suck down cancer sticks that'll never kill me and drink more than a flesh and blood person could without shooting his liver to hell.
"I'll take you to his place if you want," Ishikawa says.
"And who's that you're talking about." Hey, there's the outside chance he doesn't know.
"Don't play dumb." Damn old man sees right through me. "You were moping over that picture of you two as a happy cover family when I came in."
"Fuck you," I say, flicking cigarette ash on the armrest next to me. Ishikawa gives me a dirty look, but doesn't say anything.
"You want to go home, then?"
"No." That's the last place I want to be. Next to Batou's place. I haven't been home since I got back.
"I ain't taking you all over the damn city. You're too drunk to know what you want. I'm taking you home." He turns the car on. I try to protest, but my words are slurring and my mind can't figure out what it wants to say. So Ishikawa takes me home.
He tells me to take a bath and sober up. I don't want to, but the bastard sits in my kitchen until I do. The alcohol processor works fast. I miss the buzz. But at least Ishikawa leaves.
Though maybe I shouldn't have been so quick to get him out. Being alone here. . . I almost want to go get a six pack or something, but I really don't want to drink any more. Sleep, then.