This fic makes some references to the past I've assigned Togusa; I know they're very obscure and mysterious, they're supposed to be. Hopefully I'll soon be posting some pre-SAC Togusa-centric fics to explain them.

As usual, the name of Togusa's wife is Meijiro (Togusa has his own nicknames for her.). Warnings for cussing and psychotic!Togusa

Dissonance: noun - lack of agreement; especially: inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs.

Togusa puts his pocket dictionary back in his pocket and loads his Mateba. One, two, three, four, five, six bullets.

"Mateba Model 6 Unica, hybrid handgun (define: uses the energy of firing for cocking the hammer and revolving the cylinder), 18 inch barrel, forward stock, and rifle butt. Automatic double-action; only takes .357 mag, .44 mag and .454 Casull, goes 1800 feet per second with that last one; .38 Special rounds don't have enough power to operate the cylinder rotation mechanism. A weaker recoil spring designed for .38 Specials specifically can be had as a separate accessory. Installing it requires a gunsmith since the mechanism on the Mateba is quite complex --"

Goddammit, he'd gotten the thing because he needed power and accuracy, and he knew it wouldn't jam up on him at the crucial moment. He'd learned his lessons from those puny automatic pistols. Goddamn.

Raise it, sight it -- clean shot at the target? Good, now FIRE --

Blam, blam, you're dead!

Two shots, right next to each other right in the middle of the circle. Accuracy is everything in the field. Let off four more shots, form a perfect square around the first two. Ha, ha.

"The Mateba Autorevolver's barrel alignment is different from most other revolvers in that the barrel is aligned with the bottom of the cylinder instead of the top; this brings the barrel closer to the grip of the handgun, reducing the upward recoil and increasing accuracy --"

His marksmanship was fine. Better than fine. What the hell was that son of a bitch Batou complaining about?

If your ass isn't shooting, it oughta be reloading.

Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. Lateral and diagonal movements are preferred.

Use a gun that works every time.

"Think he can handle it?"

"You know, Togusa, that's what we used to say about you."

Rage. Way too much of it. Feels hot inside, and when it comes out it's red and even hotter and sticky. Real sticky. All over his face. Tastes salty.

Dump out the spent cartridges, reload all six, move on to a fresh target. Hands are shaking. Can't have that, interferes with the accuracy. Goddamn.

Grasp the worn leather on the grip. Deep breathes now; have to get those hands to stop trembling.


Not gonna turn me into goddamn piece of machinery. Some shitass piece of metal.

Togusa doesn't even bother looking at the target this time, just squeezes his eyes shut, raises the Mateba and fires off all six shots. They weren't going to get to him, the goddamn motherfuckers. They wanted to mouth off about his accuracy, they could fucking go ahead, and wouldn't they be surprised when he fucking pulled off ALL of his fucking shots?

They're not going to make me like them.

Pop out the spent cartridges, look at the target. A grin stretches his face. A five-point star with the sixth bullet directly in the middle. He used to do that trick all the time back at the force, hadn't been sure if he could still do it.

Still got it. I don't need any-fucking-thing replaced.

Togusa was different. He wasn't like Batou and Saito and Major and Boma and all the rest. He wanted -- needed -- it to stay that way.

Goddamn shits, think they can get to me?

I'm me. No one but me. Never going to be anyone else. From now, to the day I die, I'll be me. I'll grow and I'll change, but I'll still be me. I won't do anything to change that. Can't change that, because if I do I'll stop --

Hand shakes. Mateba falls to the ground. Togusa falls and sobs and tries not to lose his mind.

I'll stop being me.

Tries to grab the gun, fingers are convulsing too badly to grasp it.

Son of a bitch.

What the hell was the matter with him? Why the hell was he breaking down like this? He wasn't this flimsy, this weak.

Shit. Shitshitshitshitshitshit --

Breath. In, out. In, out. Calm down. Think.

I'm not weak. Just...vulnerable.

Reaches for his dictionary.

Vulnerable: adj. - open to attack or damage: ASSAILABLE.

Weak: adj. - 1. lacking strength. 2. mentally or intellectually deficient.

Alright, then. He can deal with that.

Close the little book. Toss it to one side. Lean against the wall. Breath. Have to remember to keep breathing.

Batou and the others better keep their goddamn mouths shut. Togusa doesn't know what he'll do if they don't, but he knows good and well how close he is to blowing up.

Thing is, he likes it. He likes the feeling of teetering on the edge and not knowing which side he'll fall on. If he falls at all.

A giggle, a laugh, a chuckle, bubbles up inside of him and threatens to tumble out. He clamps his mouth shut. If he starts laughing while he's like this, he'll never stop; just start howling at the moon like a rabid wolf.

"What, my eyes don't bother you?"

"I like your eyes...they're fierce. Like a wolf's."

"Some women would take that as a bad omen."

Mei. Mei-Mei. He never called his wife by her full name, Meijiro, not even when he furious with her. Which he never was.

Mei. Mei-Mei. His Mei-Mei. The Major was a hag compared to his wife; Mei was the most beautiful woman in the world.


His hands had stopped shaking. The anger was beginning to drain out of him.

His wife always helped him. Always saved him.

"She pulled me out of a bad place."

Mei-Mei couldn't pull him back from this though. She couldn't save him; he had to do it himself.

No psychotic ward for me. Not going to that place again. Ever again.

They weren't going to make him into a soulless piece of machinery. They weren't going to stick him back into a straight jacket.

He wasn't fourteen anymore. Wasn't the kid that had to be held down and injected with enough tranquilizers to put down an ox. He wasn't that thing anymore either.

I'm not crazy. I have a soul. I'm not selling it.

But he still likes the teetering.