Chapter 5

By The Lizard

Hwoarang glanced from Jin to Lei, backed as far into the corner of the room as was physically possible, wiping his dampened lips on the back of his hand as if to remove the evidence of their kiss. If looks could kill, Lei would have murdered him a hundred times over by now. Jin however had managed to regain his composure, and clutching the rumpled sheet to his chest, was struggling to sit up properly.

"Lei, it's all right. He didn't do anything wrong!"

"Jin, just stay quiet, I'm gonna have this punk thrown out." Lei growled, never once averting his gaze from the Korean, who waited like a trapped animal in his corner.

"I told you it's not necessary!" Jin gave an exasperated sigh, trying to motion with one hand for him to back down, but only succeeding in tugging the drip in his arm painfully. He flinched and tore away tape and bandage to pluck it out of the vein.

"Jin what're you doing! Idiot that's there." Hwoarang was cut off as soon as he tried to speak.

"You shut your trap "Red", we don't need your input here." Lei propped his fists on his hips, teeth bared as Hwoarang abruptly flipped him off.

"Both of you, I'm serious, just stop it!" Jin's commanding growl, though quiet due to his weakness, finally brought a stop to their bickering. "Lei, I promise you he didn't do anything."

"Then what was he doing pinning you to the damn bed huh? What do you think your Grandfather would say?"

"Ugh! It was nothing just forget what you saw!" Jin spat back, frustrated and wishing that everyone would disappear.everyone but Hwoarang. His curiosity was piqued.

Hwoarang however was staring at the floor, looking distinctly ashamed. Well there you are. He told himself crossly. He just said, "It was nothing". It hadn't felt to him like "nothing". To him it had felt more right than anything else he'd experienced. And damn it, nobody had ever just dismissed his affections like that before. They'd all but begged for it! Trust it to be Kazama to be the first to do otherwise. Just as Kazama had been the first to withstand him in a fight.

"Hey, just. I'm going OK? Don't give him a hard time Wulong." Hwoarang left his corner and stalked past the furious cop without saying another word, long strides taking him hastily out away from the cramped little room.

Lei and Jin regarded each other in silence, until finally Jin could no longer resist the temptation to lie down again. He was still feeling too feeble to sit up for long. The blood from the drip was making a steadily enlarging puddle on the floor by the bed, and Lei shook off his annoyance long enough to fetch a nurse to see that it was properly replaced, the instruments removed from the floor and everything put to rights again

Jin lay staring at the ceiling, Lei sprawling in a small seat beside his bed, arms folded over his broad chest. He was bandaged around one wrist, but otherwise just a little bruised it would seem. His brows were knitted, dark eyes lost in thought, tattered clothes, the same he'd been dressed in the previous day smudged with enough dirt to convince anyone he was a hobo.


Jin's voice was hoarse, little more than a croak.

"What is it?" The cop's voice was harsher than he had intended it to be, but he couldn't bring himself to apologise while he was this angry. Jin had obviously noticed his tone, because he seemed to hesitate before continuing.

"What happened.? After I got shot, I mean. I don't remember how I got to the hospital."

"After you got shot." Lei sat up, chair squeaking against the floor as he leaned forwards to rest folded arms upon his knees. "You changed Jin. You attacked your Grandfather's men. I don't know whether any of them died."

" What do you mean?" There was a tremor to the boy's voice, as if he was expecting something.

"On your forehead. There were symbols." Lei sighed, wishing he were a little more eloquent, the better to explain what had happened. "Your eyes, they had this. strange, feral light. I've only ever seen something like that in one other person."

"Kazuya." Jin murmured. It wasn't a question, it was a statement, as if somehow he'd known it all along.

"Yes, like Kazuya. Then you attacked the men that were dragging me around." Lei stopped, as if he'd come to the end of the story, prompting Jin to raise himself on one elbow, peering at the cop expectantly.

"Did I attack you too.?" The fearful look in the boy's dark brown eyes made Lei consider lying for a moment, but for some reason the truth demanded to be known.

"Yes." Lei glanced up at him, watching his eyes close shamefully, jaw muscles working as he clenched his teeth together. "You came at me, grabbed my wrist when I tried to throw a punch at your nose to fend you off, then collapsed at my feet as if, all of a sudden, whatever energy you were running on had fizzled out. Never seen anything so strange. So fast it was like someone had flicked off a switch."

Jin nodded, waving his hand in silent request for Lei to end his dialogue. Slowly, he curled up, knees to his chest, palms together beside his face on the pillow so that he almost seemed to be praying. It was the same thing that had happened the night before at Hwoarang's, that he knew for certain now. Something triggered it off in him.raw anger, a desire to lash out and destroy whatever was the source of the emotion. How he loathed it.

"I remembered, where I was that night, before you found me." He whispered quietly, lashes fluttering a little as he fought off sleep. "I was at Hwoarang's place."

"Jin, I don't think I need to hear."

"I don't mean like that, Lei. I mean I'd gone there to hurt him. I changed that night too, just like you described me changing today. I remember it in flashes that hurt my eyes, but I never actually seem to have any self- awareness when I'm doing these things." He sighed, curling ever more tightly into a foetal position.

"Jin." Lei wasn't sure how to go about discussing such an unusual issue, but somehow he slipped easily enough into his comforting policeman act, voice calm and steady. "I don't think you should talk to your Grandfather about this. It's something you may in time learn to keep under control, and if Heihachi were to find out about it, I have a feeling he may try and provoke this side of you into making more frequent appearances."

"He would. I know he would. Ever since Kazuya revealed himself in that form, he's been.obsessed with finding out how such a feat was performed." Jin shivered beneath the thin sheet, and Lei stood up to tug a blanket up around his shoulders. "He's only put it aside temporarily while he satisfies his curiosity about this new.thing, in Mexico."

Lei had heard of it, this supposed monster which had managed to annihilate so many of Heihachi's Special Forces and taken up residence in some ruins close by. For a while he'd thought the rumours to be pure over-dramatised gossip, but as prominent fighters began to disappear one by one, many from the previous Iron Fist Tournaments, he'd found himself admitting that there had to be some kind of connection. Wearily, he rubbed at the bruised flesh of his wrist, wishing that he'd never found Jin wandering the street that morning. Now he'd have a pile of paperwork as high as his head to take care of when he got back to work, and despite his nap earlier in the day, its restorative effects didn't come close to a proper night's sleep.

"I'm going to head out now, kid. I have to go and sort out the mess at the hotel and file a report for last night's events. I'll contact your Grandfather and let him know what's happened. Mind you, I expect by now he's got word of where you are. Not much escapes him unnoticed."

Jin only nodded, on the verge of begging Lei to stay with him a while longer, but biting back the words. He didn't want to have to explain all this to his Grandfather, who would no doubt question him rigorously. He didn't want to stay here in this hospital bed and wait idly while nurses jabbed him and injected who knew what into his veins. He just wanted to go home and sleep, but such peaceful times would, he knew, be a long time in coming. Lei patted his back gently, giving him a reassuring smile, and quietly left, leaving him in the dim room with only the constant beeping of the machines he was connected to for company. What he'd give to have the cop.or Hwoarang back for company.

Hwoarang. What on Earth had they been doing? They were opponents, not lovers. Jin shivered as he thought of them as such, wanting those lean arms to return and cradle him while he lay here. With those thoughts in his head, he drifted slowly into slumber.

Return to Archive | next | previous