Sweet Rivalry

By Sapfarah

As he turned about on his bed, he collided with the body laying next to him. A man's body. He opened his eyes unwillingly and under his arm, his last night's lover stirred. Out of curiosity he didn't take his hand away.

The other man having waken, pushed himself to his elbows. Paul studied him. Black, very black hair and long, bushy brows. Lovely nose bridge and very thin, long lips. He was still groggy as he forced his eyes open.

"Baka yaro..." he muttered to himself, trying to shake it off. What was that? Paul could swear he talked in fluent English last time he spoke and he had a great voice too. Very deep, very melodious, very manfully sensual to lure a man. Yet Paul had enjoyed talking to him, in that little talking they had. Of course, kissing him had been far better.

The body slipped under his arm, dragging the covers as he stood up. Paul grunted pulling the sheets to himself. Whatever was it with all this early hyperactivity? He then watched the body making for the bathroom, his bare feet slapped the floor. Nice figure, yet rather muscular for his liking, apparently strong...

"Where the hell did I pick this one from?" Paul mumbled unconsciously.

Covering his face from the scanty light coming through the shutters, he searched for his watch on the commode and it wasn't until he noticed that the sound of his hand on the polished surface was sharp that he realised he was still wearing it.

"Of all the god-damned days..." he grunted even though it made no sense, as he peeked through two fingers. It was early, too early for someone who went late to bed, drunk and with a neatly packed piece of flesh, demanding ferocious urges. As he dropped his watched hand back on the bed, his body complained as the pain of the battle was surfacing. Shit, what exactly happened last night?

The flush echoed painfully in his migraine and then he heard his lover exiting the bathroom. He didn't come to the bed and when Paul looked at him after a while, he was already in his underwear and pulling up his trousers.

"Leaving so soon?" he said in a morning grumble.

He was a little surprised when he stopped to look at him. But he said nothing, he just finished with the button of his denims and buckled his belt. Worn denims, one knee and, as he recalled, one buttock had holes on them, really he was as poor as it goes, a drifter of the four winds... what was he, a biker, doing with a fortune seeker?

Then suddenly the memory began slipping back into his brain. He wasn't particularly smart but he had an elephant's memory. That memory recalled the man from numerous times before. His memory was meshed with filthy places below the surface of the lawful society, shattering his way through fight after fight, making Paul churn with jealousy.

All of his life, Paul never considered anyone fit to be his rival. That was until he saw him fighting. Then he started watching him. Then he challenged him but didn't defeat him, somehow. Of all that he had ever met, he was the only one who fought against him and was still standing the next day. Specifically, he stood up from his very bed...

"Aww, shit!" he grumbled as he covered his eyes and sunk into the pillow.

The other man halted for a little, his flannel top halfway over his chest, leaving the lower part of an impressive scar to view. He gazed at Paul with apathetic interest, more like being surprised he had talked, before pulling the rest of his top all the way down and minutely fixing it inside his trousers.

"How the fuck did you get in here?" Paul grunted.

"No point in asking now," the other said in the voice he remembered from last time, unwavering as it spoke, lacking any empathy and the same indifference was in the rest of him as he sat down to put his flame red sneakers on.

Paul winced in dismay. Good god, what kind of a choice for clothes was that?

One foot was squeezed into the sneaker, the only thing about his clothing that was in a decent state and then he went onto the other.

"Fuckdammit, I don't remember how you got in here but I'll kick your ass in a minute," he promised.

The second shoe being in place, he stood up. "Can't stay."


He really snapped at it as he turned to his way. The indifference was suddenly replaced by a hint of a nasty smile. "Will you miss me?"

Paul stared back at the glossy hard eyes, deep as the darkest night, noticing them for the first time. There was an insane glimmer flashing over them. And while he was absorbed in watching those eyes, the face grinned mischievously and tossed the jaw in an extrusive nod.

"Hell no! I only wanna kick your ass!" Paul protested.

"I share your feelings..." the indifferent voice returned as his hand dived in his hind pocket to reveal a bundle of bank notes.

Paul watched him taking out a few and then he left them on the commode. It was surely more than half the price of the room... in his shape he threw his money to the wind?

"Leave it, damn it," he said but immediately regretted it and yet he was relieved he didn't take the money back.

Off like that he prepared to go, picking up a duffel from the floor. Yes, the rear of his trousers definitely had a hole.

"You pass me the cigarettes, sweet cheeks?" Paul said in a purring gurgle.

Sweet cheeks found a packet of cigarettes thrown somewhere and tossed them to him. He caught them just before they hit his face.

"Sho wash yior nae?" Paul muttered with a cigarette in his lips, looking for the lighter.

One brow pressed over one eye, a smile almost made its appearance. "Didn't I tell you already?" he nearly sounded like teasing him.

"Aaw, come on!" Paul said louder, a little cheerful after he took his first nicotine sip and even forgave the early awakening. "You gave so much more last night!"

But other than a smile he didn't get any reply.

"I need to know who you are so I can find you and kick your ass!"

The other man though loaded the duffel on his shoulder and opened the door. He only stopped for a moment to look back at him.

"Tekken," was all he said before walking through the door and closing it behind him. Paul was left with his cigarette at hand and his memories, slowly waking up.

King of the Iron Fist... in five months... Japan...

"He' is that an invitation, or?" Paul cried out. But naturally there was no reply.

Laughing aloud, he took another inhale as he rested comfortably on his back. Five months was a long time so he needed not rush. It was still very early and he could use the rest...

Five months had passed.

Paul was healed physically and emotionally. Of that encounter all that was left was the sweet reminiscence of the intense opposition and the fervid desire to subdue the untamed spirit of his restive opponent, the only one he found worthy of him. He wasn't in love with him or anything but pursuing him gave him a purpose, something to labour about and he wasn't leaving him indifferent either. From his seat in the very front rows of the enormous stadium, he admired him as he rehearsed in the fighting ground, effortlessly bringing down a spirited, pretty Navaho girl who, despite all her skill, swiftness and tenacity hardly fared against him.

Marshall Law had too come along. Who knows why. Maybe he was indeed fascinated by the reward promised to the winner, which would surely make things for his family and the dojo he dreamt to open more easy. Or maybe he wanted to keep a watch over him, to ensure he wouldn't do anything stupid. Like he could buy that. However, he wasn't especially keen to know why his lifelong friend, who had no esteem on freestyle, open tournaments, not to mention money to waste on pursuing them, had come all the way to Japan with him. He wasn't particularly interested when he had his eyes on the statuesque body of the reason he came, before him.

Paul swallowed the sweet anticipation as he watched his rival bathing in the sunlight that glistered on his sweaty muscles and leered to himself. Law by his side barely constrained his already exceeding nervousness for his oncoming fight against the mysterious alien-looking samurai, named Yoshimitsu and Paul had entirely forgotten that his match was soon due, against the very much talked about fighting menace, Nina Williams, whom he had never seen before. All that mattered was that these were the semi-finals and the object of his obsession had passed them. By all means he would too be there and face him. He was determined to extrude an undeniable victory this time and claim whatever boons he thought fit from his defeated opponent.

"Kazuya Mishima wins!" the doubled voice echoed above everyone from the loudspeakers and under the wild cheering of the spectators, the winner walked away, leaving behind him an empty arena.

Paul implicatively narrowed his lids to his thoughts as a smirk of satisfaction stretched his lips. Kazuya Mishima... Kazuya... Ever since, it wasn't the first, and he knew it wouldn't be the last time to hear this name.

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