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Far Behind

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Batou meets Misagi in a bar three weeks after finding out the Major has been fucking one of the grunts from Section 1 for almost a year.

She is sweet, awkward, and not a natural blonde, and five minutes after she starts chattering at him about her bum marriage and no-good parents, he knows she’s a plant.

He takes her back to his second safe house – just for aesthetics – and fucks her anyway. The entire time she is riding him, her head back and voice way more vocal than it probably should be, he watches her face. Pointedly doesn’t remember the last time he had sex or the way he watched that woman too. Just watches Misagi rise and fall, her notperfect breasts flushed and peaked just above his mouth.

She keens when she comes, and he holds her as she comes down. His hands look strange against her pale skin, and it’s only later as he’s listening to her snore into his ear that he remembers what was wrong.


“The creep is set up for the night, Major. Looks like he’s in for the long haul.”

“Okay, Batou. Stay put and keep your eye on him. The faster we get this done, the sooner we get back to our real cases”

“I hate doing favors for the old man’s friends.”

“Me too, but it keeps us in spare parts.”

“Amen to that.”


It takes Misagi nearly four months before she feels safe enough to try her first dive. Frankly, he’d been getting a little bored waiting for it. As such, he’d gone to some rather amusing lengths on the detail of the barrier filter she ended up in.

He’d made sure to emphasize Gabriel’s grave and his feelings of guilt on the subject of Costa Rica. It had been sappy and mean, but she was screwing him for information (literally,) and he figured she deserved what she got.

The next day, he’d spent his off day showing her around the New Tokyo Zoo. They’d laughed at the bears and penguins before winding into one of the smaller trendy districts for dinner and a movie.

He’d watched the whole thing holding her hand, pretending to lose himself in the moment and the woman. Mostly, he was wondering how long he could get away with fucking over whatever enemy had sent this little mole into his world.

Later, after slow marathon sex, she’d asked if he minded her bringing over a few things. She was there more nights than not, she reasoned, and someone needed to water his plants during his long personal security business trips. It might as well be her.

He’d wanted to laugh. Instead, he’d chattered something freaked-out and male and eventually said yes.

He figured if he’s going to be nothing but a means to an end, he might as well be an active participant. This is a lie, but it gets him through the night.

He dreamed of a plane to Morocco and of purple eyes who never quite met his own.


“Are you okay, Batou?”


“It’s a simple question.”

“I’m fine. Why?”

“I don’t know. You seem... different these days. Quieter.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Togusa said you were dating someone.”



“Yep. Twelve o’clock, I think it’s Fugisawa.”

“Oh, him. Got it.”


Almost eight months to the day he met Misagi, she pulls a gun on him and gets her brains blown across the back wall of his second-best safe house. Apparently, her bosses were getting desperate. Or something.

He doesn’t actually care too much.

After the cleanup crew had done their thing – a stern warning from Aramaki to report anything like this in the future trailing silent once he’d handed over all the backdoor intel he’d gathered in his last hack – Togusa had taken him out for a drink to commiserate.

Batou had gone along, mostly because he figured the images in Togusa’s mind were of his wife and children, and while he was a cranky old man, Batou wasn’t completely heartless. He’d even sat through Togusa’s awkward attempts at bonding, camaraderie, and sympathy.

In the end, Batou gets Paz to drive the man home so he can finally drink something in peace.

Unsurprisingly, the Major joins him soon after the younger men stumble out.

She waves to the bartender for something dark and probably bitter when she settles next to him.

They don’t say anything. Batou ignores the volumes of things that are passed between them, beginning and ending with the echo of a bullet across a tarmac and a scream she had no reason to ever hear.

He misses Gabriel.

In the end, she stands to leave and he lights a cigarette. He listens to her walk away and watches the end of his smoke glow red. She pauses by the door, the heel of her boot clicking against the door frame.

“Good night,” she says, and keeps going.

Across from him, the mirror behind the bar is hazy from who knows how many years of not being cleaned. Batou wonders if the biggest lie of this whole charade is him not returning the goodbye.