(A/N: I would like to give a special shout-out to Strike To Incinerate for assisting me in thinking up a mental image for the setting in this one-shot. Go read her Virtua Fighter stuff, she kicks butt.)

Ghost of A Smile

By Space Toaster

He never ended up calling her. Everyday, it was either he forgot or he didn't feel like it. Either way, they didn't see each other for two weeks. That is, until Goh got bored and decided to meander down to the club again for a drink. It wasn't like he at much to do at home anyway, unless the J6 had an assignment for him, which they didn't. So here he was with more free time then he knew what to do with. Getting into the club was the same old process, glare you way in, weave through the crowd, random alcoholic drink no ice. It was when a familiar petite girl took a seat next to him that he thought he was experiencing déjà vu.


She turned her head, and smiled. "Hey..."

Awkward silence. What DO you say to the person you slept with twenty minutes after meeting them in a club two weeks ago?

"Um…so…" Ruri racked her brain for something to talk around and came up with nothing. As if the Powers That Be detected this awkward moment, her cell vibrated in her pocket.

"Sorry, excuse me." She turned away from him and covered her other ear so she could hear who she was talking to. "Hello? …Yeah, sorry, you're going to have to talk louder. What? …No, I'm not in a brothel! It's just a club…dammit, I'm 23, stop checking up on me!" She snapped the phone shut. Goh raised an eyebrow as she turned back around.


"…What was that about?"

She shook her head. "Long story."

"I have the time."

Ruri sighed. "Basically, my mother disapproves of everything I do, because I'm not like my older sister. Apparently I'm a delinquent because I want to be a photographer rather then meet a 'nice boy', get married, and squeeze out babies. …Sorry, I'm rambling…"

Goh shrugged to show it didn't bother him.

"What about you?"

His jaw tightened remembering it. He never knew his mother…and it only hurt more when he found out about his father's murder. And the man who did it was their friend, too... the bastard.

Ruri cringed. "That bad, huh?"

"You could say that." He answered grimly. She figured it was a good idea not to press the subject.

The rest of their time at the bar was for the most part uneventful. They had a few more drinks, talked, and avoided the dance floor. Ruri was beginning to get tipsy and Goh was getting a headache from the thumping music.

"My place is just a block from here, if you want to go somewhere more quiet…" She suggested, sliding off her seat.


They paid for their drinks and weaved their way back through the crowd to get back onto the street. She lead him down one block to a small apartment building were she lead them to the top floor. Her apartment was a lot smaller then his, and cluttered. There was a coffee table strewn with folders and some photographs, a slightly untidy bookshelf, and from where he was standing, he saw a bedroom with an unmade bed and a messy desk.

"Sorry about the mess…" Ruri was blushing she unzipped her boots. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to find anything…"

"Organized chaos."

"Exactly. I'll be right back, make yourself at home." She nodded, padding off into her room for a moment. Goh took a seat on the sofa, just then noticing an overweight black cat curled up on the cushion next to him. The cat opened its eyes, yawned, and eyed Goh with a look that said 'Who the hell are YOU?' He ignored the bloated feline and turned his attention to the photos on the coffee table, picking one up at random. It was a girl with bright green hair, lunging at the camera with a mildly psychotic look on her face.

"Oh, that's my friend Jun…"

Goh jumped slightly and looked up at Ruri. She had let her hair down.

"I take it she doesn't like having her picture taken?" Goh tossed the picture back onto the table.

"Exactly." She removed her overfed cat and took a seat next to him. He didn't blame Jun, he was never a fan of cameras either. It came with his line of work. You get your picture taken, you could be identified, and if you're identified, you're dead. He didn't even like using them.

"Can I take your picture?" She asked, holding up a camera, one of those Instant Polaroid ones.

"I'm, uh, not what many would call photogenic."

"Oh, okay." She nodded, taking the hint.

Another awkward silence ensued. Goh ran a hand through his hair and let it fall back to his side…where it rested on Ruri's hand. Rather then being embarrassed, she regarded it curiously.

"Is it me, or are your hands always cold?"

He brought his hand up to rest it on the side of her neck where she shuddered softly. His hand drifted up to rest on her cheek. Her breath caught in her throat as he brushed his thumb over her lips.

"I know how we can warm them up…" He smirked, leaning in to bite the side of her neck. She giggled softly and climbed into his lap, where their lips met. It was a deep kiss with that familiar taste of lollipops and alcohol. Hands drifted under articles of clothing while things not meant for public consumption were purred into ears. They ended up curled up on her bed, drunk on kisses and half-dressed. Some time after Goh sat up and started to button his shirt.

"I can't stay, I have work tomorrow..."

Ruri nodded sleepily. "All right…well, I'll see you around then, I guess."

She was probably too tired to hide the disappointment in her tone. He sighed and leaned down to kiss her one more time.

"Good night." She muttered against his lips.

"Good night…" He took his jacket off the floor and left her to sleep, closing her bedroom door behind him. On his way out, he spotted the camera she held up earlier. He picked it up, staring at it for a while.

"…Ah, what the hell."

In the morning Ruri found on her coffee table a Polaroid photo. It was Goh, and judging by the positioning he was holding the camera at arm's length. He squinted slightly from the flash, but if Ruri looked close enough, she would see at the corners of his mouth, a ghost of a smile.