Disclaimer: Tekken and Tekken characters are the property of Namco Limited. This is nonprofit fan fiction.
The Folly of Ganryu II
The enterprising life wasn't enough. It was no paradise to run a restaurant, and sooner or later, the incentive for fighting had to surface. Ganryu felt the heat.
Financial obligations were a powerful motivator, but another good reason prompted Ganryu to retreat to his old ways: it was time to end the carefree bachelor days and settle down. What better place to look for a prospective spouse than a fighting tournament?
Ganryu played with the idea until it made perfect sense to him, and he could hardly hold back. He was prepared to spread his wings, though surely he was no stranger to love—merely an estranged patron. The course of true love never did run smooth, but his time had come at last. He felt so light at heart; he felt he could fly!
It was a mere formality when he, right then and there, amid the registering formalities, saw the fair beauty of whose affection he had been bereft his whole life. Ganryu became infatuated, and his presence was remarked when his chosen one noticed him with a sweet start and a spoken, "Hello...?" He dared deduce she found him unforgettable.
He remembered all too well the previous indiscretions upon meeting an enchanting creature, and this time, he did his background research with care. Ganryu studied the fighter spreadsheet meticulously. Age: 21. Adult! Never again would he mistake that. Ganryu was overjoyed... and missed that he had been inspecting the wrong row. His eyes didn't stray on the next one. Country of origin: Germany. She spoke German, the language of love and poetry! Her name, Leo, Lay-oh—she had spirit! He wondered what the name stood for. Leona? Kleopatra? She was so sure of her feminity, to dare use such a masculine name. A woman of character, elfin and delicate—this was love. She would be his lioness to tame and entrap.
All information only strengthened Ganryu's resolve. No pattern, no form—she swore off the Eastern martial arts. International—went well with a cosmopolite like Ganryu himself. Who would know more of society life and be more experienced in life than a wrestler from the sumo stables? Furthermore, his figure was robust, and he was at the height of his vigor. Ganryu ran a hand through his mane proudly.
The opportune moment to advance his happiness came at the opening gala. Amid the crowd, he spotted his angel. Beautiful blond hair haloed her face, and her attire was sensible. His treasure needn't wear showy dresses to prove her excellence.
Ganryu saw the officer, the foreign-born, eyeing her as he walked past. Lars looked at Leo, furrowing his brow.
Lars had already moved on when he stopped in his tracks and turned to look again. His double take was only interrupted when he found Ganryu glowering at him menacingly. One to opt for discretion, he retreated to exchange a few words with the Korean hothead, in turn clearly displeased by the impromptu approach.
Ganryu had no time for their foolery. His chosen was beginning to rouse the interest of other men. He promptly went over to Leo and bowed.
Such an enchanting voice, rich and deep. "Miss, you take my breath away. Please, allow me to introduce myself most humbly: I am Ganryu, and at your service."
Leo's expression was incredulous, but soon changed to unhappy, and a frown settled. "Not interested."
Coy, in addition to feminine? She teased him, so demure. His love only swelled. "When women say 'no,' they really mean—"
Leo stalked off, and Ganryu was left standing in open-mouthed stupor. Eagerness had stained his pure intentions; he had been too forward in his manner and far too excitable, neither of which was his wont, and said something to offend his sprightly heart's chosen. He must remedy this breach between them instantly! Ganryu loathed admitting as much, but the finesses of courtship were not always known to him.
Ganryu eyed around for help and—with great relief—spotted an old and trusted friend from the early tournaments. Who would know more about women than Paul Phoenix? Ganryu saw Marshall Law, too, but instantly dismissed him as a source of useful information.
"Paul Phoenix," he greeted as soon as he reached Paul's side.
Paul Phoenix looked like the sport jacket was strangling him. He took one look at the arrival and wondered why—in the name of all that was good and pure—he had to be the one to face this. "What's up, Ganryu?"
"I am confident that I will be entering into matrimony soon."
Paul couldn't say that he was surprised: more like flabbergasted, open-mouthed, and floored all at once. "You've found a ball and chain for yourself, huh?"
Ganryu shot Paul an evil eye, and the man actually looked sheepish.
"Sorry. That's great news, really. Congrats."
Ganryu was still offended, but he decided to take the felicitations with dignity. "Thank you," he said gracefully.
"Who's the lucky lady?"
"There has been a slight complication," Ganryu hesitated, "and I was wondering if you, as a gentlemen and a man of the world...?"
His initial fear had been right: the sumo was at it again. Paul prayed to God it wasn't a Chang. He didn't want to argue over nothing with a man who had a hundred pounds on him, but damned if he would help sumo stalk Michelle's girl again. He needed some fortification to hear this. Paul helped himself to a glass of whiskey and braced himself for the bad news.
"Lay-oh," Ganryu pronounced solemnly.
What? "Did you say Leo?"
Suddenly, the sight of his heart's desire caught Ganryu's eyes, and all discretion was blown to wind. "There she is. You will excuse me, Paul Phoenix! I must not miss my chance."
"Wait, sumo—!" The liquor went down the wrong pipe, sending Paul Phoenix gagging and allowing Ganryu's escape.
"Miss, I profess my deepest regard and affection to you." Ganryu was one step from serenading, and Leo was two steps further away from him.
"You must forgive me for my abrupt manners," Ganryu said cordially, displaying all the right earmarks of repentance, "I forgot myself in your lovely presence, but I assure you that—"
Ganryu wasn't discouraged, but his next overture never got a chance to start.
"Do you want to know why there will never be anything between us?"
"But you mustn't dismiss me easily, my angel! I am not a man without standing and means, and my heart belongs to y—"
"Bend, so I don't have to shout." The rich timber was chilling.
Ganryu was about to launch into another one of his tirades, but Leo gestured at him agitatedly, convivial as a thunderstorm. Surely, he could humor her for one small request before sweeping her off her feet. Ganryu stooped down obligingly and lent his ear to Leo.
Sometime later, Paul Phoenix found Ganryu rambling around the drinks table. His desire to not get involved battled with the obligation to do something until the good guy won over. He strode over, cursing every starry-eyed idiot that had ever been born.
Ganryu caught the familiar face and hung onto him like a lifeline. "...told me that...," Ganryu managed wildly before sinking back into incoherent mumbling.
"Drink this." Paul Phoenix interrupted him and pushed a drink on Ganryu's mouth, nearly knocking him in the teeth. Ganryu sputtered, but Paul Phoenix shoved a fresh glass in his hand. "Not a word, sumo. Just drink it," he said gruffly.
Ganryu stared at Paul with wide eyes, still trying to comprehend, but Paul looked at him warningly and shook his head. Ganryu contained himself with effort.
"Out on your ass with love, sumo? Have one of these babies, and you stop thinking it." Paul Phoenix downed a shot with discomfiting ease and gave something of a smile, almost sympathetic. "It gets better over time."
It can be inferred from the manner of delivery and the content that a certain amount of jesting was involved. Hope you had a laugh!
Cordial thanks to Gypsie (Gypsie Rose) for the proofreading!
Published May 23, 2010.