Ghost in the Shell – Extreme Measures
‘Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex’ by Masamune Shirow
“Extreme Measures” by Ryuuzaki Kusakurin
DISCLAIMER:I am only a fan of GitS, and so it logically follows that I own… the Solid State Society DVD… *hugs tightly* If you don’t like yaoi, DO NOT READ.
Warnings:Yaoi, language, WAFF, violence… the usual.
Characters:Major Motoko Kusanagi, Togusa, Batou, Saito, Chief Daisuke Aramaki, Ishikawa, Pazu, Borma, Uchikoma, Tachikoma.
Theme Songs:Inner Universe [Origa], Player [Origa], Torukia [Gabriela Robin], Zero Signal [Yoko Kanno], Preparation Montage [Trevor Rabin], Fuyu no Seiza [Minami Omi], Persona [Blue Man Group], Miracle Drug [U2], Broken Wings [Tomoko Tane]
Pairings:Batou x Togusa
This story will not be featured anywhere else – not even on my various fanfiction accounts on mediaminer and fanfiction.net – so please tell me if you see it there or anywhere else.
Some of the elements of this story are based on the story “Notice” by my friend Anibee, which you can find here: http://www.mediaminer.org/fanfic/view_ch.php/111506/378571#fic_c
The shield was cracking.
Inside were the huddled forms of two survivors and two full cyborgs – the only ones left from this remote village in China that had been wiped off of the map as retaliation by a national radical faction.
Outside there were blazing guns and assassins, sent to kill the Section 9 team. It seemed that they had gravely miscalculated, for out of nearly one hundred radicals, only nineteen remained. Normally they wouldn’t be such a big deal for Section 9, but these radicals had enhanced their bodies with so many illegal parts and programs that even the Major had run into serious trouble.
“Eighteen,” Batou counted as one fell to the ground, paralyzed due to an internal systems error. The Major was hacking them one-by-one as she went along, though all of them knew it wouldn’t be enough. She was among the fastest on the planet at her job, but even she wasn’t fast enough now that the faction had caught up with them.
It was never enough, was it?
Togusa began to wake up under Batou’s gaze, and the cyborg found himself grateful that the human had woken up at all. Indeed, he had wondered sometimes whether the sharp human would survive. Then again, was there any day that he wasn’t in danger? They’d had their share of bad times, sure, but the good times made it always worth it.
“Seventeen.” The crack in the Major’s protective shield was widening, and he could tell that she was putting her all into hacking and keeping up the spherical barrier. It was a program that she had invented recently, though this was the first live-combat test it had gotten. She had called it – what was it that she had called it – a ‘Dyson Barrier’.
“Sixteen,” Batou continued counting, much to the annoyance of the men outside of the bubble. To say men might have been incorrect, though – there was at least one female out there, too.
“So we’re gonna have to fight,” Saito groaned, his wound obviously bothering him. “Major, Batou, hate to say it, but I’ve gotta leave this one to you.” The Major, to her credit, acknowledged the comment by unholstering her handguns and readying them even while she hacked her opponents.
“Fifteen,” Batou commented once again, gently moving Togusa to Saito’s lap, silently asking the sniper to watch over his friend. “We’ll be out of here soon.” A loud crack confirmed that, yes, they would be out soon, whether of their own choice or not. Suddenly the Major appeared in his cybernetic vision.
“On my count, I’m going to drop the shield and attack. I need to know who can fight.”
“I can,” Batou replied instantly, smiling as he watched their targets silently watching them. “I don’t know if Togusa can, though.”
“I can barely feel my legs,” Togusa confirmed quickly.
“I’ll do my best to provide cover fire,” Saito added with a grim smile playing across his weathered features.
“Alright. Three. Two. One. Shield drop… now.”The protective bubble that had encased them long enough to assess injuries and opponents dropped without any verbal warning, though both cyborgs leapt immediately into action, one of the people the Major had hacked rising to help them in the coordinated assault. The only sounds were those of their guns and the cries of the dying or dead. But then, one stood out in the cacophony of sounds; a single bullet hit Togusa in the lower shoulder, very nearly missing his heart. He cried out, and Batou was immediately at his side, rushing him away from the fighting once the Major could handle it alone.
“Stay with me,” he muttered to the brown-haired man, who grabbed his hand instinctively, not noticing the slight shiver that ran through his friend’s body despite the humid air.
“I’m trying,” Togusa gasped, wincing as a shudder ran through his body and more blood spurted out of the wound.
“Keep trying,” the Major told him, having suddenly appeared in his peripheral vision. “Our transport is here.” Letting Batou lift the injured man into their helicopter, he was greeted by Aramaki.
“Will he be alright?”
“Yes,” Batou said firmly, brushing past his boss as if there was nothing wrong at all.
—–ghost in the shell—–
Three months later…
As usual, Batou and Togusa were the last ones in the office – Togusa was waiting on Batou to finish working since he still couldn’t drive a car after the injury recieved in China, and he had nothing to go home to anymore. His wife had finally had enough and had left him, taking his daughter and son with her as she left. He had no idea where she was, honestly, but she had made it quite clear that she wanted nothing to do with him any more. Her note had been quite simple, honestly… she had just said that he had changed and he was no longer the man she had known and married. It had broken Togusa up, and finally Batou had decided to take care of the man after the incident a few weeks ago.
Togusa hadn’t come to work that day, and when Section 9 had let Batou go looking for his friend, he had found him in his apartment with his head in his hands, sobbing. His firearms had been laying in front of him, though none of the bullets appeared ti be discharged, but still…
Chief Aramaki had give then both the day off, seeing as Togusa wasn’t really able to take care of himself and Batou was willing to keep an eye on the former police detective. The first few days, the man had done nothing but sit and stare bleakly out the window or at a wall, but slowly he opened back up – it seemed that way to the cyborg, at least. And then… this Friday marked the end of his first week back in Section 9. Batou had stepped out to take a phone call – it seemed old-fashioned for a cyborg to use a phone, to say the least – but at least it gave Togusa some time to his own thoughts.
Sighing, he reflected over the past few months of his life and, while he realised the amount of care the former grunt had shown him, he hadn’t really recognized the kindness shown at the same time. As he thought it over, Togusa sighed and decided not to dwell on it any longer – no use on trying to predict Batou, anyway. The only thing that really stuck him was that the cyborg was capable of showing kindness at all, much less to a human like him. Everyone thought that he only reserved those kinds of attentions to the Major.
He must’ve been really worried about me, he thought, an ironic smile playing across his face. Rubbing his eyes tiredly, he sighed and tried to think of some way to repay the man.
—–ghost in the shell—–
“You seem to be in a better mood,” Batou observed as he drove to their now-shared home.
“Yeah,” Togusa responded, refusing to look at him. Instead, he was watching the city fly by them as Batou sped around regular traffic. He noticed particular landmarks as they went on – the area in which he had lived, the hospital his daughter and son had been born in, his daughter’s school… all of them were almost painfully clear in his memories as he watched silently, leaning back into the seat while Batou just kept driving, knowing something was nagging at his friend but thankfully not bringing it up.
—–ghost in the shell—–
“Want another?” Batou offered, holding out a second can of beer to the man in his favourite recliner. Togusa nodded silently, accepting the offering gratefully. Batou had locked Gabriel, his basset hound, in 0one of the rooms in his basement, though it seemed that the dog would be fine – the cyborg had more or less made that room Gabriel’s anyway. Glancing into his room or the time, he noted with a slight degree of amusement that it was already well beyond midnight. Taking a sip of the alcohol, he felt more than saw the reaction his body was having to the effects of it – his mind wasn’t quite as sharp, and a lot of the inhibitions he normally had were all but gone, which prompted him to ask Batou the question all of Section 9 had been wondering about, with two obvious exceptions.
“When’re you going to ask the Major out, anyway?” he asked, genuine curiosity drawn across his features. “Everyone else’s just waiting to hear about it, too,” he protested weakly when the cyborg turned to look at him.
“I’m not going to answer that,” he replied with a quiet sigh, as if dealing with a troublesome child.
“Oh, come on, big guy.” Another sigh came from Batou. “Your secret’s safe with me.”
A particularly troublesome child.
“I’m not interested in the Major,” he replied, starting to walk out of the room. “It’s someone else, but I’ll never have the one I want,” he explained, careful to keep the emotion out of his voice.
“Who is it?” the former police detective asked firmly, curiosity and determination etched in his face.
“What kind of alcohol tolerance do you have, anyway? I always had you pegged for a lightweight.”
“I have a high tolerance,” he answered, still pushing the question and setting the alcohol to the side in favour of reasoning skills. “You know, I might be able to help you out.”
“No, you wouldn’t,” Batou replied with an air of finality, walking out of the room, mentally adding, ‘and if you could, I would still probably never tell you.‘
“Why am I even here?” Togusa murmured to himself, laying on his bed still dressed from the day at Section 9, his hand raised above his face as he looked at it with a detached sense of morbidity. Absently, he remembered the first time he had tried to kill himself – it had been after a heated argument with none other than Batou, who had essentially said that he couldn’t understand the Major’s reasoning on bringing a mere human onto the team and that he was worthless. Later that evening, Togusa had just walked outside, trying to sort out his thoughts and such, when he had found himself on a bridge high above the water. Sighing, he remembered closing his eyes and steeling himself to step off when Batou’s voice had made him pause – and then, determined to stay away from another argument and further depression, had stepped off, tears he didn’t even know he was shedding rolling from his cheeks. When he didn’t feel the sensation of falling, he had realized that Batou’s arms were wrapped around his frame, keeping him aloft… and alive. Come to think of it, Batou had taken him home that time, too, and he had spent the night in the same bed he was currently occupying.
In the morning, when he had questioned the cyborg, Batou had simply stayed silent, replying with a vague ‘it seemed like the right thing to do.’
Maybe someone had been there to save him that time, but this time, Batou would be asleep and none the wiser until Togusa’s body washed up and was found by the police. Standing up with a grim sense of purpose, he holstered his usual firearms in his jacket and left the house silently, making sure that nobody noticed his departure.
—–ghost in the shell—–
Hailing a taxi, Togusa was reminded of his injury and subsequent inability to drive. Directing the driver to a small park near the same bridge from years ago, he watched and waited. Looking out at the skyline of the city he had once loved, he saw the buildings that he and Batou had passed today – there was the one building that he and his Tachikoma had scaled while acting as a decoy for the security cyborgs – and remembered all the good times in Section 9. Between Batou and the Major, they were capable enough, though he had never quite understood why they wanted him around. Apparently they did, and even Ishikawa had remarked that he was fitting in better than anyone had expected him to.
With a heavy sigh, he paid the driver his fee, and stepped out into the secluded park, following a trail towards the abandoned railroad bridge he was all-too-familiar with. Walking out across the tracks, he grabbed one of the cables keeping the bridge standing and leaned out over the water, his firm grip his only lifeline, simply looking at the buildings illuminated by their artificial lights and thinking about his life. It seemed fitting to him that a mere human, as Batou had once put it, would die by his own choice and weakness, did it not? Closing his eyes, he felt the breeze rustle through his hair for one last time before he let go…
“Togusa!” That voice could only belong to one person that he knew, and when he turned his head to face the voice’s owner, he found that he was right. He expected angry questions, choice words perhaps, but what he didn’t expect was for the man to pull him into a simple hug, holding him gently and ruffling his hair in a very un-Batou-like display of care until the tears subsided. He waited for Batou to start questioning him, but it never came. Instead, the cyborg sat down on the abandoned bridge, motioning for the former detective to sit down as well and waiting until he did to speak. “Togusa… what do you need me to do?” Uncharacteristically strong emotion coloured his words as he spoke.
“I… I don’t know,” he admitted shakily. I’m so lost that not even I know,he thought, putting his head in his hands. Letting Batou lead him to his sports car, he wondered how the cyborg had found him.
“There’s a GPS in your cyberbrain,” Batou answered his unspoken question roughly. Softening his tone, he gently took one of Togusa’s hands off of his lap and pulled it into his own, larger hands. “There are some of us who would miss you if you died, little guy.”
“And plenty of others that wouldn’t,” he muttered under his breath, though Batou of course heard him. Even though he remained silent the entire way back to Batou’s safe house, he refused to let go of his friend’s calloused hand.
—–ghost in the shell—–
Once Togusa was ready for bed and had laid down, Batou walked in and sat near the door, simply watching him as he laid down in a futile attempt to get some sleep and rethink the dynamics of his life.
“You aren’t going to stay in here all night, are you?”
“Someone needs to make sure you don’t run off again,” he replied softly, watching the brown-haired man with some degree of affection in his unchanging gaze.
“Don’t you get tired?” Togusa questioned, honestly curious. He was still a human with no intentions of being transplanted into a cybernetic shell, and thus had no idea.
“Sometimes,” the man admitted. “Right now, I’m tired – working a full week with no sleep can do that to you.”
“If you’re going to be tired, why don’t you go to sleep in your own room?” His voice held more of a bite than he intended for it to, though thankfully the bigger msan said nothing about it.
“No can do, little guy. I’ll be in here with you tonight,” he replied calmly, stifling a yawn that threatened to reveal just how ‘tired’ he actually was after not taking any time to rest for the full week. When Togusa moved over to the far side of the large bed, Batou simply stared, confused. Finally Togusa sighed.
“If you’re just going to sit there and pretend you’re not tired, you may as well sleep up here,” he offered sleepily. Not one to question an offer that tempting from someone he knew wouldn’t try to kill him while he was vulnerable, Batou climbed onto the side of the bed and lay facing the ceiling until Togusa’s breathing evened out and the cyborg knew he was asleep.
—–ghost in the shell—–
Batou didn’t actually sleep – he entered a dream state where most of his mind could rest while the rest of his brain could be devoted to other thoughts as well as connecting to the Net. Right now, his thoughts were on the man sleeping beside his inert body; Togusa was a constant source of confusion and – dare he admit it – fascination to him. Over the past year, he readily admitted that he had developed feelings for the man, but he wasn’t sure how to tell him. Either way, whatever he did was bound to have a negative effect – obviously Togusa could tell that he was fixated on someone, but if Batou told the man exactly who, there was no doubt in his mind that his friend would push him away and probably attempt suicide again when nobody was looking. Really, it was obvious that he was depressed; maybe someone else could keep an eye on the man for him? Batou immediately shoved that thought out of his mind. As long as he stayed near the former detective, he could make sure that he was safe. That thought out of the way, he settled into other important thoughts for the night – how would he tell the man that was his fixation on life?
He knew that he would have to leave if Togusa found out, but he owed this much to the man, he decided. He would leave a letter for the ‘little guy’ tomorrow, as well as a key to the safe house and a few cars.
—–ghost in the shell—–
When Monday afternoon came around, Togusa was leaving the workplace for lunch with the team when he noticed an envelope with his name scrawled out on it on his desk. He opened it, curious, and a key fell out and into his hand. Unfolding the letter inside, he sat down and began to read.
—–ghost in the shell—–
This is the key to the safe house where you’re staying. You can have the house, as well as the cars I’ve left there – all of the key cards are in the second drawer of the large desk in the main bedroom. You’re probably wondering why – hell, I’m wondering why I ever had to worry about this – but when you brought up the topic of asking the Major out, I knew that I’d have to tell you sooner or later.
I haven’t asked Motoko to date me because the person I’m interested in is you. I’m going to quit Section 9 as of tomorrow, the chief already knows, though he doesn’t know my reason. As far as I can see it, there’s no way we could work together. You’re a family man and I’m an ex-soldier, Christ knows that you don’t feel the way I do. So I’m leaving you everything. I’ll take you home today, but tomorrow, you’ll have to find another ride home. Sorry about that.
—–ghost in the shell—–
Straight and down to the point, as the man always was, Togusa thought, shaking his head while he tried to raise Batou over the Net. After about five tries, the man gave in and answered him.
“Batou. I need you to come up to headquarters. Sorry to interrupt lunch.”
“It’s alright. I was headed back with your lunch anyway after we figured you’d be a no-show,” the cyborg replied, suddenly at the door and walking in.
“Talk about service,” the detective murmured, clearly impressed with how well Batou seemed to be able to read his actions and thoughts. “Thanks,” he said, readily accepting the sandwich presented, though he set it to the side. “What was this for?” Holding the letter up, he clearly let Batou know that he had read it and understood what it meant.
“If you want, I’ll leave right now,” the man replied, uncomfortably shifting his weight from foot to foot. “I thought I’d let you know.”
“Why are you leaving Section 9 though?”
“I knew you wouldn’t want to be around me,” Batou replied, walking towards the door.
“Hold on, I’m not done yet,” the man called, giving up on that approach and grabbing Batou’s hand to get his attention. Completely sure that he had his friend’s undivided attention, Togusa told him what was on his mind without any beating around the bush, as the Major would have called it. “I still want you around,” he said quietly, refusing to turn his eyes away from the man in front of him. Reaching behind Batou and grabbing onto the cord that could link cyberbrains together, he sighed with a defeated air. “There’s really only one way to show you,” he said by way of explanation, closing his eyes and wincing as he let the man access his entire cyberbrain.
That didn’t hurt, Togusa thought in surprise, having never linked with someone else before. He was even more startled when he heard Batou’s voice in his head.
You care about me? He seemed uncharacteristically amazed. I always thought you were a family man, little guy.
That doesn’t mean I couldn’t be attracted to someone, as long as I didn’t act on it, he shot back in his mind. I didn’t know you swung that way anyway, what with your thing for the Major.
“My ‘thing’ for the Major,” he answered, disconnecting them with ease, “never existed. She knew that I thought of her as a friend and nothing more.”
“Oh.” The brown-haired man seemed at a loss for words as he watched Batou’s reaction.
“You’re not mad at me,” the cyborg said in wonder as he watched Togusa walk forward and sit in the seat directly in front of him.
“I’m willing to take the fall if you are,” came the reply.
All Batou could do was lean forward and kiss the man after that statement, not even worrying about what could be said about them or what others would think.
—–ghost in the shell—–
Later that day, Togusa had essentially passed out from over-straining himself and so Batou had offered to take him home. Now, he sat in Batou’s room, petting Gabriel and watching the ex-soldier as he got various toys for the dog out of his closet.
“Easy, Gabu,” he told the basset hound. “I’ll give ’em to you in a minute.” Taking the toys down to the dog’s room, he dropped them and leapt out of the way when the hound charged in. Locking the door, he saw Togusa waiting on him, a smile on his face. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing,” the man replied, a ghost of a smile still in his warm gold-brown eyes. “Gabriel has you wrapped around his paw, doesn’t he?”
“Yeah,” Batou admitted grudgingly. “Yeah, I guess he does.”
—–ghost in the shell—–
“So you wish to withdraw your resignation letter?” Aramaki seemed stunned. “You’re acting indecisive, Batou. It’s not like you.”
“Sorry, chief,” the large cyborg replied with a smile. “I guess I just need some time to think.”
“Take some time off, and take Togusa with you,” the old man replied, watching Batou closely. “I know the man needs some time off if you do. Come back next week,” he finished, waving Batou out. As soon as he left, Aramaki contacted the Major over the Net.
“Major. Can you handle a week without Batou or Togusa?”
“I should be able to,” she answered nearly instantly. “Give them some time off.”
“It’s not like you to be so perceptive, Major,” he told her. “Very well. I’ve given them the rest of the week off.”
“It might do them some good. Kusanagi out.”