Author's Note: So glad I finally got this done! –pleased grin- This is kinda AU. Kinda, I guess. More like a 'what if' really. And and and, fluff warning ahead! I feel fluffy lately. Like a cloud, lol. Also, you lucky American people in particular, enjoy the game. ENJOY IIIIT –shakes fist-. Aussies have got another nine days or so –siiiigh-
ALL THAT MATTERS
You'd think after saving the world from a beast of the past and overthrowing a tyrannical dictator with a legion of loyal men behind me would make me more prepared for the smaller things in life. For those things that you're expected to do at least once in your life. For those things that'll help you out and everything, to alleviate the growing pressure in your chest to the point where it feels like that it's gonna give in on itself.
Lars Alexandersson. Tekken Force Officer. New CEO of the Mishima Zaibatsu. That'd be me.
Since ascending to the CEO position, I've been airing out the skeletons in the closet. Now everyone knows what Jin was, everyone knows what happened to the Mishima family, and numerous other dirty secrets. If my company killed your family before my reign, I'm sorry, but all I can offer you is my apologies and some compensation money. My human heart bleeds for you, though – but you survived, and that's all that matters, you know? It is hard doing this though, because Jin has left me with so much to clean up. I'm judged. The articles, now printing freely once again, all say the same thing.
'Will he break us too?'
I won't. I wouldn't. I can't.
But I wouldn't have made it to this stage in the first place if it wasn't for the loyalty of my men. I thanked them all, and if they wanted or needed anything that was reasonable, I gave it to them as thanks. Money, a mansion, a new type of car, I gave it to them. Sometimes though I wish I could've given more, because they had my back for the whole time. As G-Corporation men stormed through the flanks and got to me, they defended me and brought them down.
They were the strength in my arms. The strength to lift up the heavy wall to help the dying woman out. The strength to pull through even after getting a bullet in my arm. The strength to get past Nancy-MI847J and destroy the robot. The strength to throw that punch across Kazama's face. The strength to face Azazel in its chamber, and shatter that crystal orb.
But where as they were my strength, she was my resolve.
She is my resolve. She was my resolve to help that woman. She is my resolve to cope with the pain of that bullet wound, even all of these weeks later. She was my resolve to break down the heap of machinery. She is my resolve to get through the whole 'Jin was family' issue that likes to bounce around in my mind. She was my resolve to destroy that orb, so that Azazel couldn't threaten anybody else, let alone her. She always… managed to get my thinking down to just this one thing I had to do in the moment. Just the one thing that mattered then.
Like this matters now.
And inspired by the resolve she always flooded me with, I raise my hand and knock at the door to Doctor Bosconovitch's laboratory. Looking around for a moment, I adjust my black and grey shirt, trying to help pass the time and the nervousness that's chaining my heart down. I might be the head of the Mishima Zaibatsu but I still prefer to wear my basic clothes instead of anything that goes 'hi, I'm a huge corporate boss, come and shoot me and you might get my company'.
Geppetto opens the door, a withered smile on his face. He tugs at his orange tie and steps aside, "Greetings, Mr Alexan – Lars," I've told him several times not to address me formally. He really needs to remember it, and I'm glad in this instant that he remembered, somewhat, "Would you like to check out the latest Nancy blueprints? I'm almost done, but I've been meaning to come and see you. And like you asked, there are no weapons on it, just materials to help clean up the damage done by the war."
I clear my throat and flick my head back. He turns and looks, seeing what's in my other hand, and a knowing and pleased grin overtakes his face. I don't know if I'm blushing, but it certainly feels like I am and I don't like that feeling. I speak, "Perhaps at a later time. I've actually come to visit someone, and I was wondering if she was here."
He nods and cups his hands around his mouth, gathers all of his voice and shouts out, "Alisa! You have a visitor!" He then turns to me, still grinning madly, and says, "I'm going to slip out for a while. I've been cooped up in this damn laboratory for way too long today, I need some fresh air." After I nod, he indeed slips out, and I'm thankful he does because it gives us more privacy.
Zooming out from behind various tables and machines, I see Alisa with two test tubes, one in each hand. She stops and lands on her feet, the boosters retracting back into her back. She's at the other side of the room. She smiles at me, and in the quirky, robotic manner I'm so accustomed to, she turns only the top half of her body and puts the test tubes down in their little holders on the table to her right. During the actions, she's still looking at me.
"Lars!" she shouts with joy. I feel my smile stretch, and she's now running towards me, jumping on me, her cold arms wrapped around my body in a tight embrace. Her green eyes are shut tight, and with the only free arm I have, I return the affectionate gesture and listen to her ramble on, "I've missed you! You need to visit more, I don't think two times a week is enough!" she then gasps and pulls back, prodding my shoulder, "How's the bullet wound? Is it any better? How are you?"
I chuckle and let her go, thereafter patting her head, "I've missed you too, I'll try and put aside work to make it four times a week, the bullet wound is okay but it still hurts, and I'm…" I'm unsure for a moment. How am I? How am I really? After thinking for a moment with furrowed eyebrows, I look to her again, the smile back on my face, "I'm better now."
Her smile widens. She presses her hands together, her white gloves creasing at the action, particularly around her wrists. She speaks, giving a reply to my answers. It's a game she used to play while we were on the battlefield all those weeks ago – give me numerous questions, I give numerous answers, she gives numerous answers to my answers, and so on and so forth. I don't know why I do it or even find it entertaining. Maybe because it's just… her. It's endearing, "Well I've missed you more, don't overload yourself with work just to see me, I'm sorry that the bullet wound still hurts, and I'm glad you're better now."
And I answer again, rolling my eyes at the first part. I know better than to challenge her right now. I learnt that numerous times in the past, "Whatever you say, it's worth it if I get to spend more time with you, the wound isn't your fault, and I'm glad that I'm better now too."
Deciding to cut the game short, I look down to my feet and think to myself – you're weak– and I bring out what I've been hiding behind my back. I hear her short, surprised gasp, and I feel her hands clasp around mine for a brief moment before she takes away the bouquet of roses I bought for her. And I bought them for numerous reasons. Knowing her, she's bound to ask sometime soon, and I already have a response - here it comes, "Why?"
And so I answer, scratching the back of my head, "Because you like roses. You told me that when we met Wang Jinrei, remember?" I chuckle a little and look up at the ceiling of the laboratory. The room and everything in it is cold. I feel like I'm the only warm thing, "Just a little token of my thanks for helping me overthrow Jin's regime, I suppose. A token of how much I appreciate our –" I bite this word out, "- friendship, and how I wouldn't trade it for anything."
"Surely there's more."
Its here I realise – you know – and I say, looking directly at her, "I'm better because of you."
I'm not better because I've overthrown Jin and achieved the task I've worked so hard towards. I'm not better because I'm fixing the wrongs that the Zaibatsu caused. I'm not better because the world is under repair, going back to the way it should be. It's none of that, it was never any of that. I'm better because she made me better. Because she's here now. And that's what matters to me. She made it too.
"I care about you," I finally say, nodding. I want to run away, and I think on situations that are undoubtedly worse than this, but none of them feel that way, "and I don't care whether you love me like I do you, but I just wanted to show you that I care. Our friendship, that's enough for me," Coughing, I take several steps back, "That's really the only reason I came by today. I'll drop by again on Friday and Saturday, but now I have to return to work."
I turn away, but the moment I do, I feel her hands grip one side of my body and spin me around so I'm face to face with her again. Just behind her, I see the roses on the floor, as though they were dropped hurriedly and without a second thought. It all happens to fast, because I feel something cold and soft against my lips, and it takes me several seconds to realise that she's kissed me. And it feels good.
I don't care that you're cold, I think to myself, just standing there, You're warm to me.
Her arms move to around my neck.
I don't care that you're a robot either.
And mine are around her waist.
You're more human than you know, Alisa.
Her hands move to my hair.
You feel. And that's the most human quality anybody can have. Not warmth or a beating heart, just the emotions inside.
She pulls back, breaking free of my arms, still smiling in that Alisa-way that summons my own smiles each and every time, even now. She sits up a little taller, proud of what she's done, and moves some of her pink hair away from her face. I don't know if robots can blush, but it certainly looks like she is, "You're your own boss, Lars. Take the rest of the day off and spend it with someone who cares about you too."
I don't even get a chance to answer or comment on her statement, because her hand grabs mine and drags me further into the laboratory after picking up the roses again; and she nervously goes on about showing her new 'boyfriend' – when did this happen? – things in the laboratory that she's been working on with Geppetto, namely the new Nancy. And I don't mind. I wouldn't want it any other way. Her heart might be wired, but it beats just like mine, with the same feelings and the same care.
That's all that matters.