You love this city after dark, the second shift in this sleepless whirlpool of neon lights and sulfur lamps and flourecent shadows, all amounting to one huge great underglow that shifts and blurs, dims and brightens as we speed past it all. You love looking out at Tokyo, knowing that Tokyo can't look back in, that no one can see your face through the bulletproof black glass. You love the highlighted anonymnity it brings, to rip through the streets in the middle of the night, safe in a ton of sleek steel and surrounded by the roar of bristling motorcyles, making your way. You don't need to imagine that people turn their heads to stare and wonder as you pass; you know, and you love it.

You love being the biggest bully on the playground at last, reaping the fruits of your long and vicious struggle. You love having earned this, having fought tooth and nail for it. You love that you're better than those sweating, money-grubbing, overdrinking little men whose fathers gave them their positions, who eat from your hand and stink with fear of you. You love the drug of being feared; you immerse yourself in it, opening every pore to it, breathing it in, letting it flow through your body and saturate your being in distilled safety. You love the icy skin of power and superiority. You love what kept, keeps, and will keep you alive: You love your iron nerves and razor-wire heart. You love feeling nothing. You love being above it all.

Because mostly, you love safety.

So, after a fashion, you love the things that keep you safe. The men and women whose dark wild eyes and quick swords protect you until the last – you love them. The meter of thirsty silver at your side – you love that. The girl who has learned to smile a little bit like you do, and who hides in firece madness a little bit like you do –

You love her.

You love her unquestioning eagerness and her doglike devotion. You love her desperately clung-to innocence and the blood splattered on her face. You love her fiery eyes and how they always seem to be drifting back to you. You love how they close, sometimes, and how she trusts you with all her heart. You love not ever having to ask her to die for you. You love having it be enough that you just continue on your course, and allow her to follow at your right-hand side. You love that she demands nothing in return.

You love speeding at night, safe in your car, with the lights flying past and the engines like muffled thunder. You love petting her ragged dark hair, scratching her behind the ear like a cat, feeling her press back against your hand in rapture. You love her metal-smelling cold hands begging for permission to touch you. You love her shallow eager breath, and the intensity with which she wants to make you happy. You love her head between you legs, the ruffled secret of it all, the silence. You don't know if you love seeing your reflection staring back at you just then, but it's there, every time. You love her flushed shaking and how she curls up at your feet and sucks at her fingers and betrays herself with the honest adoration in her eyes.

And you love saying nothing but, Get up, Go-Go, we're there.