Disclaimer: Tekken and Tekken characters are the property of Namco Limited. This is nonprofit fan fiction.

Pairings: Marduk/Anna. It should be Craig/Anna, but I've been Namco'd with the names. What they have on the screen is what I'm taking here.

Fool for Love

by Salysha

Craig Marduk strode down the street feeling ridiculous. He hated the monkey suit he was wearing, and he felt like the worst kind of fool being here in the first place.

The monkey suit, as Marduk called it, was a light brown jacket with elbow pads and a pair of trousers: a compromise between a full suit, which Marduk shuddered to think about, and a casual outfit of jeans and something from the bottom of the closet, which he longed to wear. That wouldn't do now; he'd have to pull this through, or know he'd come this far and turned yellow.

Marduk looked at the card in his hand and the address scribbled on it and searched for the name of the street. Almost there.

A couple passers-by gave him wondering looks, but he couldn't be bothered by them. One look in their direction, and they would have scattered like a school of fish. What was the fun in that? He was looking for a much better catch.

Marduk arrived at the worn-down condominium, double-checked the address, and entered the proper staircase. Inside, he straightened his suit with one last, suffering look and made sure he had his bearings right. He navigated through the claustrophobic corridors until, at last, he found the right apartment. The name on the door was someone else's, but the address was right. Marduk rang the door and waited.

Not long after, the door was opened, and there she was. Clothed in a red-hued, knee-length negligée, she was every inch as breathtaking as Marduk remembered, and more. Where previously he had been enchanted, he was now sold.

"You." Her voice was alluring, even when it conveyed pique. "What are you doing here?"

Marduk slouched by the door, which was made for far smaller users, and felt like an idiot. Like he'd ever find the words that would make this lovely creature even tolerate him. He, one hell of a big, red-blooded man, was struggling with something as mundane as talking to a pretty woman.

The silence threatened to prolong, and he knew he had to make a move before this unexpected, unwarranted cowardice ate him up completely.

"These are for you," he said.

Despite herself, Anna instinctively reached out and took the proffered bouquet of flowers, which Marduk had been hiding under his jacket, out of view of prying eyes. The bouquet had white and purple flowers and an intoxicating scent, which caressed her sense of smell. Anna was lost for just a moment, and Marduk's confidence boosted. She hadn't told him off yet.

The illusion was broken when a male voice rang from inside the apartment. Marduk felt a stab in heart and said feebly, "You have someone in there..." He didn't know why he had assumed otherwise, and felt humiliated.

Anna jerked too, and her expression turned into one of vexation. "It's the television. Hold on. Wait here." She pushed the flowers back to Marduk and turned heel. Watching her disappear into the apartment, Marduk wondered again at how petite she was, especially without the high heels. Then again, most of the world was petite to him.

One hell of a romantic he was turning into, using words like "petite."

Inside, Anna Williams made her way to the television and shut it off. Her back was to the door, as her hand slipped to the side of the DVD player and pulled out a dagger. She swung around... and there was no one there. Anna frowned and licked her lips in confusion. What was this?

She tiptoed toward the entrance to the apartment, and surely enough, the man was still there, waiting just as she had told him to. He hadn't inched inside; he was waiting outside in the corridor, which unsettled Anna. She hid the knife in her garter and, with a draw of breath, returned to the door.

"What do you want?"

"Would you have these?" Marduk offered the bouquet again. "Please." Manners—a caveman wouldn't have them, and she had told him she disliked cavemen. He'd show her he was better than that.

Anna felt like laughing, and still... "They are lovely," she conceded and accepted the flowers. Marduk was happy to let the silence continue, but Anna was starting to feel uncomfortable. "What do you want?" she repeated.

"Would you go out with me?"

Not that it had been unexpected; the flowers had been a giveaway, and that strange attire of Marduk's was just as good a cue, and still the request floored her.

Anna hesitated. Not that she was shy to express herself, but she was at loss with this. This ogre showed at her door—how? How had he found her?—and asked her out, and with those words, too. Something more feral would have suited him better.

Marduk read the hesitation right. "It's all right," he said. "You don't need to spell it out." The lady wasn't interested, nor would she be, and he wouldn't beg her; he'd be a man about it and accept defeat, even when it dug deep. There was no need to lose the last of his pride.

Anna reached to him with the purple and white flowers still in her hand, but he raised his hands and shook his head. "No. Those are yours. Keep them." Even though he wanted to mask his disappointment, his voice sounded more gravelly than usual. He turned to leave, as Anna closed the door quietly.

She leaned on the wall and heard the receding footsteps sound in the hallway. She looked at the flowers in her hands and breathed in the scent. It was tantalizing. Anna studied the flowers closely without thinking much, all the while thinking too much. She fidgeted a bit. The flowers were lovely. She set out to move and then drew back.

On a whim, she made up her mind, and yanked the door open. "Marduk!" she called. The footsteps which sounded from afar at that point stopped, reversed direction, and approached her. Soon, he came within her line of sight. "Tomorrow. Pick me up at 6.30."

A smile spread across Marduk's face slowly. He wasn't used to it, smiling a genuine smile, but he didn't try to hold it back. "I'll be there. Thank you."

Anna gave him a wordless peek before withdrawing into her apartment.

Marduk walked out of the building. It was drizzling outside, but he took no notice of it on his own cloud nine.

She had said yes.

"Oooh, yeah, baby; that's what I'm talking about. You need to get with me, girl."
"I am not into Neanderthals. Go back to your cage."
After Marduk wins, he exits the stage carrying the limp Anna over his shoulder.
"I always get what I want."
(Craig Marduk and Anna Williams, Craig Marduk's Story Battle, Fourth Stage, Tekken 5)

I hope you review.

Hearty thanks to Gypsie (Gypsie Rose) for the beta'ing!

Published June 9, 2008.