Chapter 7

By The Lizard

Hwoarang, irritable and confused, was alone again. It had become a regular occurrence, over the past few days, for him to get so sarcastic and downright unpleasant, that his friends drifted away at the most convenient opportunity, and he was getting to the point where he just didn't care anymore. His arm ached. He had a constant migraine (probably due to his frequent alcohol binges) and sleep was impossible. It had been a week since he'd stalked off, leaving Jin to deal with Heihachi's security guards, and he'd been angry ever since. Now to top things off, there was a storm outside, and the poor drainage in the street meant that the road was ankle deep in water.

"Another." He slurred, banging his empty glass noisily upon the counter. He was feeling dangerously wobbly on his stool, and the bartender was a blur as he approached, leaning towards him.

"No. You've had quite enough. Time for you to leave son."

Despite being well aware that the tender was right, that didn't mean Hwoarang had to like it. Spouting strings of obscenities, he slithered off his seat, weaving his way towards the door, and ignoring the polite query as to whether he'd get home all right. Of course he'd get home all right. It didn't matter that it was pouring with rain that soaked him to the bone only a couple of seconds after he'd exited the establishment, or that he intended on riding his motorbike in the rain, without a helmet.

It was sheer luck that prevented him from swerving and hitting anything, that and maybe the fact that he was so cold and wet, he was shocked into being a little more awake. He ignored the angry yells of pedestrians that he soaked as he sped past, continuing without any real destination in mind. He only knew he didn't want to go back to his apartment and mope anymore. He was so damn sick of being stuck with his own thoughts for company. Maybe he'd go and get in a brawl somewhere, unleash a little of his anger on someone without feeling guilty.

Instead, he ended up sat outside the Mishima School, still astride his bike, watching as the students ran out to waiting cars and busses. He ignored the admiring glances he was given from some of the older girls that passed him, girls that he would normally have given a dazzling grin, maybe a wink, but now barely noticed. By this point his hair was a soaked mop that clung to his jaw and neck, his clothing clamped skin tight to his slender, but well muscled body, and he was shivering from the cold. Silently he made a note to himself not to dress in chaps and sleeveless tops next time there was bad weather forecast.

Slumping over the handlebars, he sighed, vision blurring with weariness. This wasn't the first time he'd been sat there watching the students leaving. He'd been here every evening, though concealed somewhere rather than out in the open, and all in the hopes of watching Jin come out. The few glimpses he had caught had confirmed his suspicions. Jin was a loner, civil to those that approached him, but never being so friendly as to give the fellow student any hope of friendship. His car was always waiting for him, chauffeur standing with the door open and ready, groups of girls loitering nearby to watch him, not that he ever so much as glanced in their direction. For some reason that gave the Korean some twisted kind of hope. If Jin didn't like girls, maybe he hadn't just been curious that time in the hospital.


The Korean blinked, wondering how long he'd been staring at the perfectly polished shoes in front of him. Lazily, he sat up, gaze drifting upward, still unfocused, to a tall figure stood beside his bike. It was the very person he'd come here to watch, and he hadn't even noticed him wander across the road, rapidly becoming as wet as he was and apparently not bothered in the least.

"Kazama." He mumbled, trying to smear the rain from his face with little success.

"It's Jin." The reply was a little weary, but not unfriendly.

"Yeah, sorry."

"What're you doing here?" The question seemed slightly strained, but there was no hiding the curiosity, or the hopeful note. Was Jin glad he was here? This was all too confusing for the drunk Korean. "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to sit out drunk in the rain?"

"Oh go to hell." Hwoarang snapped, unable to control his temper, and about ready to ride off again.

"Wait!" A warm hand wrapped around his wrist, holding him in place. Hwoarang peered up through narrowed eyes to find the Japanese youth looking distinctly concerned. "You shouldn't ride like this, you'll get in an accident.

"Like you give a shit." Hwoarang's retort was venomous, but Jin refused to release his wrist. "Listen Kazama, I mean Jin!" He added, before the other could correct him. "I'm not in the mood for this let go before I knock you over."

Jin stood unmoving, pale face stoic as ever, the slightest frown upon his brow.

"Go get in your limo and go home, rich boy. Your Nannies will be getting impatient."

"I doubt that, they're not here yet. They're stuck due to flooding somewhere." Jin replied nonchalantly, and without any saying anything further, moved to straddle the seat behind Hwoarang. The latter was, as might be expected, rather lost for words, and peered behind him, wondering if he was starting to hallucinate.

"I'm not taking you home, you ride with me and you go where I go." Hwoarang muttered, doing a good job of hiding his delight with a faint growl.

"You'd ride drunk even with a passenger?" Jin asked, evidently rather surprised, but not climbing off either. The Korean nodded with a sly grin, but the dark haired youth behind him remained, in fact shuffled closer on the seat, and took hold of his waist.

For a moment Hwoarang sat there undecided. He didn't want to risk hurting Jin. He liked Jin. He had annoyingly fluttery feelings about Jin that he didn't like to talk about. But Jin was challenging him, and he never could resist a challenge.

A few seconds later and the engine roared to life, the bike rumbling beneath them before they sped off, leaving several astounded students staring after them, and soaking anyone in the near vicinity.

Jin was far from happy. What had he been thinking, climbing on a bike with the crazy redhead? Especially without even a helmet! His arms tightened about the slim torso in front of him, the rain spattering his face until he finally ducked his head down, pressing his brow against the Korean's shoulder. Hwoarang wasn't happy either. Jin's proximity was distracting him, and he wasn't feeling particularly safe, their speed high above the limit, which, coupled with his poor vision was making him regret accepting the challenge.

Before long, and after several dangerous swerves, Hwoarang felt Jin lean further forward, muscular chest pressed against his back, lips close to his ear.

"Pull over." The words were a bare whisper, but Hwoarang did as he was told, his thirst for victory dampened by his own fear.

Both men had trouble climbing off, one shaken and trying desperately to regain his composure, the other feeling much like a boneless sea creature of sorts, still too drunk to co-ordinate his limbs properly. It was a miracle they were still alive.

Stumbling, Hwoarang almost fell on his face, but Jin reached out and swung an arm around his waist, lifting him enough so that he'd at least be able to steady his feet. The rain continued to fall, curtain after curtain of it beating down upon them.

"That was stupid, Hwoarang." Jin seemed to growl softly at him, but the Korean could only smile.

"I know, but you were stupid to climb on in the first place." His laugh was playful, but it hurt his head to do so, and he cringed, lifting one limp hand to his brow, and managing to twist around to face Jin, who still kept an arm around his waist. "I'm sorry though." He added, slumping against the Japanese youth's broad chest, one arm slung over his shoulder, suddenly serious. Jin was amused by his mood swings, and slipped his other arm around him, struggling to keep him upright as spur-clad boots slid in the puddles.

"We'd better get you inside, this building looks empty enough." Jin mumbled, trying to keep himself from stroking the wet, red hair from Hwoarang's face and concentrate on getting them out of the rain. The drunken fool had taken them into a derelict looking industrial area, doors hanging off hinges, windows broken. It was a squatter's heaven, and for the moment it would have two new, temporary residents.

"Jin?" Hwoarang's voice was muffled against his neck.

"What is it?"

"I think I'm going to pass out. Do me a favour." Jin arched a brow as his burden glanced up at him with a devilish grin. "Don't take advantage of me till I wake up eh?"

Jin rolled his eyes as the Korean passed out, and dragged his comatose body into the warehouse.

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