Disclaimer: Tekken and Tekken characters are the property of Namco Limited. This is nonprofit fan fiction.
Warnings: Portrayal of m/m relationship, slash. Implied het. Spoilers for Tekken 6. Asynchronous narration.
The quotations in italics are from Tekken 6 Scenario Mode, Lars' campaign.
"I get this feeling that you and I were close."
Lars to Tougou, Dragunov's Stage, Tekken 6
"Lars, you really don't remember anything?" Tougou tried not to sound shocked when Lars said the line that must have sounded innocent to him. He spoke in past tense, as though they were not close anymore.
Brilliant mind—yes, all agreed on that. An easy smile and an impeccable manner. The favorable characteristics attributed to Lars Alexandersson were plenty and not without merit. He was not an open book, but not as withdrawn as the elusive head of the corporation, either. Strangely enough, it always seemed comparisons were drawn between the two. Jin Kazama's past was well known and catalogued, but Lars kept his close to his chest. The man he was came through in his actions.
He took each injury on his men personally and each loss as a personal failure. As an atonement of sorts, he decorated himself with visible scars. In time, after finding it futile to talk him out of it, Tougou had followed suit.
Close rapports often came from their line of work, but Lars and Tougou had bonded more profoundly. Their relationship had developed to one of mutual appreciation and trust, and they had found themselves enjoying each other's company. The liking built up until one night of shooting cards had culminated to Tougou's sudden rush forward until his lips were pressed upon Lars' and his heart was leaping up his throat. No... that wasn't how it had gone; his mind was lying. Tougou reached for the memory, determined to correct it.
There was something in the air the night it had begun. In the end, he blamed it on the water, and Lars credited it to him. The evening of shooting cards had turned increasingly comfortable companionship and their rapport into intimate, contented ease that culminated to lips pressing against each other and neither of them pulling back.
That was the memory leering at him now. "Who's the girl?"
"I met her at a lab up this way. She says her name is—" Lars saw the flicker of hurt, but it vanished before he was able to make sense of it. Like names mattered, when Lars had gone and picked up that Lolita.
Lars was looking at the girl like he was interested, too. The look he regarded her with was almost predatory, a little too lingering and keen. Every man knew that look: it told that the pursuit was on, and that she would be his yet. Then Lars pried his eyes away and looked at him, curious and friendly, and nothing more.
In happier times, things had progressed on their course and they—after running around in circles—to sharing a bed. Neither of them was born yesterday, but Tougou was surprised to discover that he, a grown man, could be so shy. He also couldn't remember laughing in bed out of sheer feeling-good, and he couldn't help it if he had fallen hard. It had never been that natural, that easy, with anyone.
They knew that matters of the heart didn't belong on duty. They carried out their work with sharp, mindful correctness, even more conscious to strive above excellence. The men probably noticed that two highest-ranking officers shared quarters even when they could have stayed in separate ones. The accommodation always had two beds for the sake of modesty: it depended on the night which bed carried two and which remained empty. The men gave their tacit approval because secretly, Tougou thought, they were a little in love with Lars, too.
When the time came to walk the walk, and Lars had masterminded the coup d'état, which would effectively lead to all of them stepping outside the law and the protection of the Zaibatsu, so many had followed. He still remembered that fierce pride that had swelled in his chest as he had looked at their ranks. All those men were willing to put themselves in the line of fire for Lars, who had made himself the face of the revolution for the sake of tomorrow and burned the bridges behind him. Tougou had followed him as his lieutenant and stood by his side, as always.
"You're really sure? I'm your captain?"
But Tougou could see that Lars did not remember any of this. He could only confirm the fact, saying, "Very, very sure," and carry on as nothing was amiss.
Warm thanks to Gypsie (Gypsie Rose) for the proofreading!
Published April 6, 2010.