Chapter 10

By The Lizard

"Wulong, you never learn." Bryan growled, thumb and forefinger plucking at the flesh around the wound in his neck, fumbling until they managed to pry out the bullet, which fell with a metallic clink upon the cement.

Another shot was fired, this one glancing off his temple, more of a warning shot than anything meant to damage. The undead cop's eyes narrowed, shining furiously, lips slightly parted in a sneer. It didn't matter how many shots Lei fired at him. They wouldn't take him down. Not like they had while he was alive in Hong Kong, caught in the middle of a shoot out that'd been his end.

"Come on Lei, waste a few more why don't you? You know it'll do you no good. Now why don't you turn around, walk out and let me play with my new toys in peace huh?" Fury glanced at Jin and Hwoarang, both of whom were on their toes, wary of another attack. He regretted doing so a moment later, because a bullet took out his right eye, and dead or not, it still hurt like hell.

"You talk too much." Lei muttered, light on his feet as he closed in, watching the flailing zombie that clutched at his bleeding socket, half- blinded. "You two get out." He snapped. It was an order, no suggestion, but neither moved. "What's wrong with you kids? Get out now!"

Jin and Hwoarang had no intention of leaving the cop on his own. If bullets could only hold this monster at bay, and not truly destroy him, what would Lei do when he'd fired his last? Both moved to flank him, one on either side, leaving Wulong in something of a dilemma. If either of them got harmed, he was in trouble. If he was left with Fury alone, he was also in trouble. For that moment, he decided not to argue.

Still aiming the gun at Fury, who had by now, stopped cursing, and was stood quite still watching them, Lei tugged out his radio, fully intending on calling for back-up. Bryan didn't hesitate to react. Three he perhaps had a chance against. An entire police squad was just pushing his luck.

All three were taken by surprise as he lunged, incredibly fast for someone of his size, and knocked Lei to the floor with his shoulder. The radio went flying, soon to be crushed underfoot by Bryan's steel-toed boots as he broke free of the hands that grasped at his arms, and sped out of the warehouse door, hissing at the intense morning light.

Lei sat up, muttering under his breath. When Jin tried to help him back to his feet, he swiped his hand away angrily, rose and brushed himself off, sliding his gun back into its holster. Jin and Hwoarang shared a nervous glance as the cop examined the remains of his broken radio. That was the second he'd lost in only a couple of weeks, both times due to Fury.

"Great. This is great, finally track him down and you idiots have to complicate matters." He spat the words at them venomously, Hwoarang automatically taking offence, and Jin looking decidedly ashamed. Nevertheless, the Korean managed to hold his tongue. He was indebted to the cop for saving them, so he'd put up with a bit of a reprimanding.

Lei sighed, turning away from them and stalking over to the duffel bag Bryan had left behind, searching through the contents and then flinging it away with a growl. There was nothing of use in there, nothing that might indicate somewhere else the zombie might go. He was back to square one, so much time wasted! With a defeated sigh, he dropped to a crouch, leaning back against a cold patch of wall, and not much caring when he felt the damp through his thin shirt. He was so damn tired of chasing his ex- colleague around and trying to live up to the expectations of his superiors that it was exhausting him.

"Lei." Jin began, taking a few steps towards him, away from Hwoarang whom stood with his thumbs hooked in the waist of his chaps.

"Forget it kid. Forget whatever you were gonna say, just get the hell out of here. Go back home to Heihachi." He hadn't meant it to sound harsh, but he hadn't the energy to deal with them either, even if he was curious as to why Kazama was hanging around with the street punk in a warehouse.

"Lay off him, he's just concerned." Hwoarang snapped, speaking up before he'd had time to think about what he was going to say. The cop glanced up at him from beneath strands of dark hair, giving him a look of barely restrained impatience. "We're both sorry we got in your way, that's the truth." The Korean added, sounding a little more humble.

Jin was faintly proud of Hwoarang at that point, not only for defending him, but also for managing to control his tongue. He just knew that had to have been a challenge for him, particularly when taking into consideration how much he disliked cops, Lei in particular.

"I know, I know." Came the muffled response, Lei smothering his face with his hands as he tried to rub away some of the weariness. "Just thought I had him this time. You two all right?"

Jin and Hwoarang nodded, though neither was feeling particularly well that morning, throats aching where Fury had applied enough pressure to leave some nasty bruises.

"Who was he anyway?" Hwoarang asked curiously, unable to hold back with the questions, but that didn't surprise Lei. Anyone would want to know why Bryan was so insanely strong, why bullets hadn't killed him and why he felt as hard as a slab of stone.

"Bryan Fury. He's my main reason for being here, other than the tournament that is." Lei rubbed lazily at his chest, wondering how long it would be before the pain from Bryan's shoulder-barge set in.

"But why's he so damn strong?" Hwoarang pressed. A name wasn't going to answer any real questions.

"Because by all rights he shouldn't be here. He's a walking corpse." Wulong couldn't stop his lip curling with faint distaste as he spoke. "Ex-cop, dirty one too. Don't know how he's still wandering around, but I suspect it's something to do with Heihachi's scientists." Lei could see that Jin was about to protest, but bit his lip and decided against it. He knew Heihachi was dealing in things he shouldn't.

"Hey that's typical Mishima style for you." Hwoarang shook his head, only remembering that Jin had Mishima blood in his veins when Lei gave him a sharp glare. "You're the exception though." He added hastily, though the Japanese teenager seemed not to have heard his first comment. For a while there was a stiff silence, Lei still brooding over his failed mission, Jin dwelling on Lei's theory about Heihachi. Hwoarang reached over and clasped his shoulder gently, giving it a faint squeeze. Lei didn't miss the gesture, but chose not to ask any questions.

"Hey, Jin. We should do as the cop says and get out of here."

"Ah, the punk finally says something sensible." Hwoarang turned to growl at Lei, but saw only a playful smirk on the cop's face. It caught him off- guard, but finally he smiled faintly and then returned his attention to Jin.

"You coming? I can take you home if you want." When Jin didn't answer automatically, Hwoarang gave him a little shake. "Jin, you listening at all?"

"Yeah. Sure." Jin answered, looking at neither man, face set in a perpetual frown. Lei chewed his inner cheek thoughtfully, watching the boy. Talking in one-word sentences was never a good sign. He watched as they turned to go, then called out suddenly.

"Hey Jin! Are you sure you're feeling all right?" It seemed like a perfectly normal question, but the Korean was too observant to miss the meaningful expression on Lei's face, or the faintly startled look that appeared on Jin's, finally snapping him out of his thoughts about Heihachi.

"Yeah. I'm sure. Thanks Lei." The cop nodded, grinning a little as he saw the faint flush of colour on Jin's cheeks, obviously embarrassed, particularly with Hwoarang stood right next to him, who was looking perfectly suspicious of them both.

They left without saying anything further, leaving Lei to mull over his problems. Hwoarang still wasn't feeling fit to ride, but he'd promised Jin he'd get him home, and now the boy was slumped against his back, hands resting on his hips as they travelled, slightly slower than the Korean's usual reckless speed. Before long, Jin Kazama was going to have to answer some questions.

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