Author's Notes: WOO-HOO!! Half-way baby, YEAH BABY YEAH!! Only six more chapters to go and this saga is DONE! … *thinks about it * That’s a lot of chapters... And to answer Angel_Dragon’s question: Rebound, my friend. Rebound is the keyword.

Can you believe it? I actually finished it. DAMN, I’m a slacker. I’m really sorry everyone, I’m going to make up for it for everyone at the end of this saga, I promise. I’m contemplating on making a contest, so let me know if ya’ll are down for it? As for right now though, HUGE BONUS POINTS for ANYONE who can guess the song that Neko sings at the very end.

The Chronicles of Obsession: Desire

Chapter 6 - Learn

By Jiji Kero

Jin gritted his teeth as he took another painful step forward, feeling the tearing of his aching muscles. He wasn’t going to give up now, he refused to. Even if there was a possibility that Hwoarang still hated him or even if he could never see his love again… just as long as there was a chance, not matter how slim it may be, if it meant he could be with Hwoarang and Ling again, he had a reason to fight against this wasteland. His tiresome body was ready to collapse at any moment, but he ignored the distressed cries of the pain and forced himself to continue. He marched another step of his shredded leg and found himself standing on top of a cliff that revealed more of this dry, crusted land. His eyes scanned across the earth, hoping for some sign of civilization… but there was nothing, just more plots of withered trees and bushes lying in one of many valleys. Jin let a sorrowful sigh, the weight of his burdens and his bones had begun to tug at his unwavering soul in an attempt to wear him down. And at this time, he couldn’t ignore it. All he wanted was a road, something that could lead to a town, city, anything. He took in a deep breath, clearing his head free of his nagging thoughts, trying to figure what to do. However, as he contemplated his situation, he felt his world closing in on him and his weary body trying to sink to the ground. Jin groaned in exhaustion and glanced deliriously around trying to find something that could keep him from passing out. And just then, from the corner eye he spotted a gray haze coming from a bush.

“Is that… smoke?” Jin asked, his senses perking up by the seconds as he peered with his squinting eyes. There was only one way to find out. Jin climbed to a determined stance and gripped his hands into a fist. In one sip of breath, he took one step forward to his destiny… and realized that he was still standing on a pretty sharp cliff of a hill…

Shit, Jin managed to murmur before tumbling and flying down the steep valley.

Not too far away, there was talking and laughing echoing from a herd of bushes. The smell of alcohol and smoke reign in the air as the fired roared wildly and danced for the drunkards. The four intoxicated men rolled on the floor as the fifth one entertained them with silly tales in his thick Australian accent.

“ “N so, Oim standin’ ‘ere, lookin’ at ‘is thing he call a knife and Oi say That’s not a knife,” the joker said with a laugh, recreating the scene in his mind while reaching behind his to pull out a jagged razor blade edge 14 inch knife, “Naw, this is a knife.” In seconds, his fellow men were gawking and guffawing up a storm, spilling beer and throwing dirt everywhere. The jokester gave a crooked smile, juggling his beer in one hand and his weapon of choice in the other until he finally decided to place it back in its leather sheath. He was just about to join his circle of friends when he saw a stumbling, dark haired man coming his way. The joker stared dumbfounded for a while before his beer slipped out of his hand at the sudden realization that this wandering man was injured.

“Bloody ‘ell! Ar’ ya all ‘ight mate?” The man asked rushing to Jin who had just collapsed in the sand. The Aussie kneeled next to the injured boy and quickly pulled an arm over his shoulder, holding him up. Jin opened his mouth to speak, but only a dry scratch against his throat could come out. Not only that, he was too weak, exhausted, hungry, and thirsty to think of words. The eager man helped Jin manage a few steps towards the drunken crowd. However, during this short trip, the jokester got a closer look at Jin and gasped suddenly as he completely dropped Jin who hit the dirt with a thud.

“Bloody ‘ell! He’s a Chinese!” The Aussie said in a startled voice at this amazing discovery. Jin gave out a long groan in response. Another exasperated groan filled the air as one of the men stepped or rather, stumbled forward.

“He’s not Chinese, he’s a Japanese, you dumbass.” The voice stated plainly. Jin moaned as he lifted his head, looking for the owner of the voice. This one didn’t have an accent like the rest of the giggling idiots.

“Aw’ right, Oi f’rgot you ‘ere a Chinese. Sorry Mate!” The joker replied with a foolish smile. The man paid no attention to his friend and kneeled over the wounded man. There were gashes and cuts all over the boy’s body, many of them even ripped through his clothing. His sunburns were the worst though, they had turned his skin to a bright red and in some places, cracked scabs had formed. The curious man glanced over Jin’s body before bending down to face him.

“Daijoubu ka?” (Are you all right?) He asked, looking at the Japanese’s burned face. Jin uttered in pain as his voice cracked in an attempt to speak.

“Wa..ter.” He moaned in a raspy voice. A smile peered over the drunken stranger and he let out a roaring laugh.

“English, huh? Well, you really aren’t having a good day, are ya kid? Well, sorry, all we got is beer, liquor, and the spirits!” He replied merrily and stood up, waving his friends towards the battered jeep. The wild pack of hooligans hooted as they raided toward the vehicle and climbed all over it like monkeys, tilting the metal beast back and forth.

“But the good news is there’s a city only an hour away!” The foreign drunk added triumphantly and chugged away at his beer, finished off the rest of his fine tasting drink. Jin looked up at his rescuers who were staggering and wavering away with their alcohol in their hands as the sound of engine screeched to its awakening. Jin’s eye grew wide in horror at the comprehension that one of these brilliant fools would be driving under the influence. Before he could make any kind of remark, Jin was wisped away and placed in the passenger seat, right in front, to get a view for the ride of his life. Before the car had even trudged along the rugged terrain, Jin found himself praying to all the different gods he could think. And after some swerving and some near death experiences, well several of them, Jin was passed out from exhaustion and shock.

Jin sat peaceful on the floor with his eyes close, clearing his mind of any thoughts. It was quiet in the dojo, the sounds of the city had failed to reach this temple of silence and Jin took the opportunity to meditate. However, the process was interrupted when someone decided to drop a load of clothing on Jin’s lap. The curious boy opened his eyes to see a grinning Ling leaning over him. He eyed the clothes suspiciously then looked back to the cat grinned girl.

“What are these?” he asked, staring at the pile of cowhides, poking at it now and then.

“The clothes you’ll be wearing when you see Hwoarang!”  Ling said, smiling brightly with her hands on her hips… as always. Jin grew a nervous smile and glanced up, or rather, cowered at Ling.

“But I was thinking of wearing this.” Jin replied a bit tense. He gathered the leather clothing into his arms and climbed to his feet to reveal his black gi pants with the blue flame on the side. Ling glared at Jin with a raised eyebrow.

“You want to wear a neon sign that screams “GAY” too?” Ling retorted, shifting her weight to her right. Jin sighed sadly, he really liked these pants. He placed one foot out to glance over the design of the blue flame and pondered to himself.

They don’t look gay… Jin said, trying to convince himself.

“Yes, they’re gay, Jin.” Ling replied without having to think of what Jin thought to himself, and casually walked over to him, “And the last thing you want to do is walk into “Harlem” Tokyo screaming I’m gay.” An unhappy whimper came from Jin as he shook off any hopes of wearing his favorite pants. Ling pulled one of the articles of clothing out and unfolded it before Jin, giving him a goofy smile

“Besides!” She added cheerfully, stretching the leather a little, “I did a survey at our school and the majority of girls said you would look sexy in tight leather.” Jin gave the clothing one more good look and then finally pulled it out of Ling’s hands.

“If you say so.” Jin replied, walking towards the bathroom with the leather to seal his fate. It didn’t take long for Jin to change and once he was finished Ling dragged him off to a taxicab where they spent a good hour trying to find the meeting place Hwoarang told Ling about. When they came across an old, battered basketball court filled with sorts of colorful people, they knew they had found the place. Jin stared out the taxicab’s window, watching the crowd hustle around a fight, waving money in the air and screaming cheers of encouragement. Just then, Jin felt a knot developing in his stomach and let out a mortified groan. Ling, however, failed to hear his cry of distress and grabbed his hand as she attempted to jump out of the car.

“Come on, Jin!” She cried happily, ready to hop along the way only to be yanked back into the car by her nervous friend. The girl landed back in her seat with a thud.

“I can’t go out there looking like this!” Jin whispered, slightly tensed. Ling growled a sigh and dragged the insecure boy out into the open, leather and all. Jin immediately clung to Ling like plastic wrap as soon as he was he pried from the comfort and safety of the taxicab. He glanced around the groups of people who were smoking and drinking, making fun of each other, pointing fingers here and there. Among those talkative groups were people cursing angrily and snapping at one another, some becoming aggressive. Jin soon felt extremely out of place and had the strange feeling that he was crowded. Suddenly, Ling disappeared from his side and went running towards a handsome leather chapped individual. She jumped directly into a hug, embracing the beautiful orange-haired youth.

“Hwoarang-kun!!” Ling cried merrily, giving him a tight squeeze. Hwoarang nearly toppled over from the unexpected greeting and laughed as he gently pulled the hyper girl off of him.

“Ling… you’re energetic as ever.” Hwoarang stated with a blissful smile and patted her on the head. Ling smiled with her cat grin and wrapped her arms around his, tugging him towards Jin’s direction.

“Come over here!! I brought him!!” Ling declared cheerfully, hulling the chuckling biker boy away from his friends. Jin stared in horror as he saw Hwoarang approaching him and felt a gulp in his throat.

Oh, God, not now Ling. I’m not- No, no, no, don’t bring him any closer, I’M NOT READY!! Jin cried helplessly in his head. He knew he didn’t have the courage or the confidence to be speaking to his crush so soon, but nothing could be done, simply because that crazy girl was dragging that sexy, bad boy over to Jin and no one could stop her.

“TA-DAAAA!!” The mischievous girl sang, bringing Hwoarang to a stop right in front of Jin, “I bring you, Jin Kazama! Fighter extraordinaire!” For some reason, the gulp in Jin’s throat just got bigger. Jin flashed a weak smile and bowed humbly before the beautiful, awe-inspiring entity known as Hwoarang. Now, Jin was having problems controlling his breathing and not to mention, the pounding of his heart. Not only that, Jin had found his eyes straying across the gorgeous, sweating body.

God! He’s wearing tight leather chaps!!! Jin screamed in his head, trying to prevent his face from growing red as he explored over the youth’s body even more. Yes… yes, he was indeed wearing tight, form fitting black, leather chaps that gleamed a dark emerald. And he wore an even more arousing black shirt that stretched firmly over his well-formed body, revealing ever ripple of a muscle across his smooth abdomen. Then there was the face, the face of a sleek, high cheek boned Korean. His lips looked soft to the touch and the eyes were the gateway to his playful soul, hidden slightly by bright strands of his hair that were as rich and colorful as the sun. Jin took a deep, silent breath, getting himself under control or at least trying to.

All right, Jin, there’s nothing to worry about, you can keep a straight face as long as he doesn’t smile, Jin confided in himself. Just then, Hwoarang grew a sly smile, slightly narrowing his eyes mischievously at his new acquaintance, he had sparked his interest.... Jin immediately began to fight with all his might to keep his face from turning to a beet red.

“Jin Kazama, huh? Wouldn’t happen to know a Jun Kazama would you?” Hwoarang said jokingly with a laugh. Jin’s eyes lit up and open his mouth to speak… but nothing came out.

“Uh… um…. I-uh…” Eighteen years of vocabulary had somehow disappeared into thin air and Jin was at a complete lost for words

“Actually, Jin is Jun’s son!” Ling butted in, saving the day. Hwoarang’s eyes grew wide at those words and in less than a second, he ran up closer to Jin, nearly bumping into him. The nervous youth was so startled by the sudden close contact that he stumbled a few steps back, but Hwoarang quickly closed that gap and was only inches away from the edgy youth.

“Jun Kazama is your mother?!” He yelled with a thrill, grasping the shy boy’s shoulders into his grip, “What was she like? Did she teach you her martial arts? DoyougotoschoolwithLing? Howoldareyou?! Areyouplanningtostayhereforawhile?!” The eager Hwoarang asked, rambling his words together the more he talked from sheer excitement. However, it was hard for Jin to focus on an answer when he felt the gorgeous man’s breath brushed against him, which sent a chill down his back. But the enthusiastic boy didn’t waver from his touchy ways and kept stalking Jin for some reply until the poor boy couldn’t deal with it any more.

“I… have to go.” Jin tried to state calmly, pulling himself forcibly from Hwoarang’s grip and walked away. He kept his eyes along the floor, trying to ignore their confused expressions.

“But Jin!!” Ling cried, stomping her foot next to a rejected Hwoarang.

“I’ll be back.” Jin sighed, hoping Ling wouldn’t follow him, but just to be sure, he disappeared into a crowd of people. The embarrassed soul wove into the web of people, slipping by the masses until he came across an opening covered with shattered wooden boxes. Jin let out a defeated sigh and sat down on a random box, leaning over his knees with his face in his hands. He really was pathetic looking, and felt it too, but he knew if he stayed any longer, he would have blushed to a crimson red. And to Jin, that wasn’t a way to start a friendship, by letting them know you have a serious crush on them. Another frustrated groan filled his throated as he contemplated his situation. He wasn’t sure how he was going to get through this without embarrassing himself in the process. He glanced down at the black and red leather that was strapped around all over him and let out a moan, he really did look ridiculous.

Just then, a stranger emerged from the crowd and stood in front of him at a distance. Jin glanced at the man curiously, waiting for him to speak… but he said nothing. He had short black hair that hanged wildly in his eyes. Jin blinked as he took another look at this unfamiliar person’s eyes, they were an intense amber color, actually more of a golden color. Suddenly, this mysterious youth grew a wicked smile, baring his clenched teeth as he sunk to the ground, in a hunched over sitting position. Jin raised an eyebrow at this strange boy, he was sitting with his forearms in front of him, legs crouched apart, and his back slightly curved over his body. The stranger lowered his head now and then, peering suspiciously at Jin… it sort of reminded him of a cat. All of a sudden, the kid scurried towards to Jin, closing in halfway of the distance that was between. Jin drew a blank expression, he didn’t know if he should be scared or nervous. The yellow youth gave one more look to his prey before slithering to the left of him.

“Kirai…” (I…) He said plainly, crawling on all fours and then preceded to scurry behind the confused Japanese.

“Desu…” (Hate…) He added, eyeing his victim skeptically with a bobbing head. Jin made sure this troubled boy was in his eyesight the entire time and followed his movement as he scampered to his right.

“Ne…” (You…) The estranged youth uttered with a sneer while returning to his original position, making a complete circle around Jin. Silence drifted between the two, until the bizarre man crawled cautiously towards Jin, keeping near to the ground and stopped when he was but two feet away. Jin kept a nervous eye on the awkward child and watched him carefully. The boy stared long and hard at Jin’s feet, then suddenly whipped out a knife and raised his hand swiftly in the air, ready to stab his prey in the foot. Jin stumbled away just in time as the kid pierced the pavement, knocking the wooden box away.

“Eh? Nani?!” (Eh? What the-?!) The kid said in disbelief, staring at the spot where Jin’s feet were. It looked as though he wasn’t expected his target to move. Shortly after some pondering, the bewildered youth glanced around looking for the same feet. Jin couldn’t help, but be confused as well and watched the boy’s reactions more closely. A surprise, happy cry came out of the kid when he spotted Jin’s feet and hopped to him eagerly. The delighted child made another effort to stab at Jin’s feet, but Jin could see his attack from a mile away and simply turned his foot to avoid the knife. The knife made another cling when it slammed against the concrete and it’s owner stared baffled once again. Jin raised an eyebrow at the kid, he certainly wasn’t too bright considering the fact that he was a teenager. However, this time it didn’t take too long for the puzzled youth to figure out Jin only turned his foot to the right and proceeded to make another stab attempt.

“NEKO!!” Hwoarang cried, quickly pulling his sadistic friend away into his arms. Neko grinned happily as he sunk into his friend’s arms, letting him have the pleasure of holding his entire body weight. Hwoarang let out a grunt while struggling to maintain his lazy friend’s weight.

“Neko, I thought I told you to play nice!” Hwoarang said, trying to reprimand his friend who was still hanging limp in his grip.

“I just wanted to plaaaaaay!” Neko whined a howl as he was being dragged away. Meanwhile, Hwoarang was grumbling while attempting to pull Neko to his feet. Jin watched the two with amusement, he couldn’t help, but smile at their childish friendship.

“Well, go play with Ren! You two think on the same twisted wavelength!” Hwoarang growled, Neko refused to do anything, but be a rag doll for the moment.

“Yeah!” Neko grinned with delight and slipped out of his friend’s arms, dashing towards the anonymous herd of people, “Go play with Renny-chan!!” Hwoarang exhaled an exasperated sigh and turned to Jin.

“Sorry about that, he just… tends to get excited when he’s around people he hasn’t met.” He explained with a nervous laugh. Jin glanced at Hwoarang hesitatingly, but quickly turned his attention elsewhere. Whenever Jin seemed to look at him, it made him want to blush. The nervous wreck of man took a deep breath, telling himself that it was all in his head.

“You don’t say much, do you?” Hwoarang asked bluntly. Jin eyes immediately snapped back to the Korean. He opened his mouth to say something again, but just as before, his mind went blank. Jin growled in frustration, it felt like he was going through puberty all over again.

“Cat got your tongue?” Hwoarang said with a laugh and flashed a beautiful smile. That about did it for Jin, he rushed off with his head hung low to hide his flushed red cheeks and was once again, trudging his way through the gathering of people, leaving Hwoarang confused, yet again. Although, he had managed to escape from his crush, he failed to remember one hyper little girl who he just bumped into. The two gave a startle look to each other before Ling smacked Jin in the arm.

“Ow!” Jin yelled, clasping his arm, she hits pretty hard.

“How the hell are you suppose to get Hwoarang’s attention if you keep running away like a school girl!?” Ling roared, placing her hands firmly on her waist.

“I can’t help it! If I stay in the same place with him for more than 2 seconds, I feel like I’m going to faint!” Jin cried, feeling even more pathetic than ever. Ling rolled her eyes and placed a firm grip on his arm.

“Well, if you keep running away then how are you going to get better?” Ling asked tiredly, pulling her devastating friend in an aimless direction. Jin sighed to himself, she did have a point, but then again when didn’t she?

“Just be yourself, Jin,” Ling said softly, trying to find Hwoarang at the same time, “I think if you opened up to him and be yourself… I think he would like you.” Jin thought about it for a while as Ling lead them into random places around the concrete yard. He was a bit confused by the words, “Be Yourself.” How could someone know who they were, if they spent the past few years hiding who they truly were? He was a different person at school and a complete stranger when he was in front of his grandfather. And there times, he tried lying to himself, hoping it would make things easier, but in the end it made things worse. The truth was, Jin didn’t really have a grasp of who he was or even of what he wanted to be.

After they had spent a good ten minutes wandered around the place, they finally found Hwoarang resting comfortably against the ascending seat of benches, that were much like a seating for a football stadium. Hwoarang laid sprawled out on the bench and peeked open an eye.

“I was wondering where you guys went off to.” Hwoarang said with a yawn, scratching the back of his neck.

“I had to go to the bathroom.” Ling lied happily as she lightly pushed Jin to Hwoarang’s direction.

“DAMN IT!” Ling cried suddenly, smacking her hands together, “I forgot my purse in the bathroom, I’ll be right back!” Jin’s eyes grew wide at her statement and tried to object, but Ling cut him off before he could get a word in.

“You guys enjoy yourselves without me!” Ling added with a sinister smile, running far, far away. Jin made a soft whimper at his abandonment and turned back to Hwoarang.

“Have a seat.” He said with a warm smile and gesturing hand. The damn gulp appeared in Jin’s throat again. He swallowed his breath and cautiously sat next to the orange haired youth. Jin tried to calm the beating of his heart, repeating Ling’s words over and over in his head while wrapped his arms around his waist.

How can I be myself? Jin wondered, leaning over his legs. His thoughts were interrupted by a nudge against his shoulder. He glanced over his shoulder to see Neko crawling between the two of them and watched curiously as the childish boy slithered to a bench beneath them. Jin didn’t know why Neko was like this, but it was sort of comforting to see a person who wasn’t afraid of being himself, even if it was someone as bizarre as Neko. The others didn’t seem to mind him and Hwoarang, who hadn’t budged from his spot, didn’t seem to mind Neko’s strange ways. In fact, just from the few moments he had seen with Hwoarang and Neko, Hwoarang seemed to act… well, like a mother to Neko.

Neko eyed the two inquisitively, like an easily entertained kitten and then started picking at the air above Hwoarang’s lap. Hwoarang who had been trying to sleep, sensed Neko was up to something and peered at the feisty kid. Jin watched Neko carefully pluck at the air with one hand and placing whatever it was he was catching into a invisible bundle that he held in his other arm.

“What are you doing?” Hwoarang asked in a stern voice, like a parent suspiciously eyeing their kid. Neko smiled a goofy grin and clasped his transparent nothings in his arms.

“Taking away your bad karma so you can win the fight!” Neko replied proudly. Hwoarang sighed a soft laugh, resting his head back down on the bench above him as he slipped his hand into his pocket. Neko smirked cheerfully, continuing to yank away at Hwoarang’s karma until he had collected a huge pack in his arm. Jin smiled softly as the playful child glanced around the area, looking for a place to put the bad voodoo and gasped in excitement at the perfect spot. Hwoarang chuckled at his friend’s delight while he pulled out his pack of cigarettes and personal lighter. A giggle came out Neko’s lips as he hopped a space over to Jin and began delicately placing the bad aura into Jin’s lap. The stunned, shy boy stared for a while as the hyper kid dutifully positioned one tainted karma after another onto his legs. Hwoarang started laughing at the sight of the two and proceed to light up a cigarette, Neko never ceased to amaze him.

In the meantime, a childish smile crept across Jin’s face before he started grabbing the imaginary aura and dropping it to his side. Neko stopped at Jin’s sudden involvement and clenched the aura to his chest in shock, making a short hiss at the moved karma. The golden eye youth was completely baffled by what happened and continually stared back and forth rapidly, at the spot where he placed it, and at the new location Jin had put it. When Neko finally figured it out, he grasped the moved aura into his hand and threw it back into Jin’s lap. Neko snickered triumphantly at his achievement, but meanwhile Jin kept his boyish smile and placed back to his side. In turn, this created a panicked Neko who quickly wisped the karma back to Jin. The two began tossing and throwing the tainted aura back and forth like a couple of squabbling siblings until a voice broke them up.

“NEKO!!” A voice roared. Neko ceased all movement when he recognized the voice and carefully turned around to face his other friend… Ren. Jin glanced up to see a tall, dark, handsome raven haired man wearing black leather pants and a unbuttoned white silk long sleeve shirt.

“” Ren tried to asked calmly, scratching his nails against the palm of his hand. Neko grew one of those “oops” faces and clasped the karma tightly as he darted off, laughing evilly who was quickly followed by Ren yelling at him. As their obscenities faded away, Hwoarang and Jin were left alone. The smile never once left Jin’s face as he thought how playful Neko was. His face glowed happily as Hwoarang continued to stare wide-eyed at him with his hands clasped around the end of the cigarette, which was still in his mouth

“Why did you do that?” Hwoarang said, slightly muffled by the cigarette… which the lighter was still burning… at an alarming rate. The shy boy could feel himself sinking as Hwoarang’s words ran though his head, he still didn’t have the courage to look Hwoarang in the face.

“Do what?” Jin asked, a little confused.

“Why did you play along with him?” He said with a serious tone, still staring in shock at his new acquaintance. The cigarette was still burning. Jin thought about it for a while then saw an image of Neko in his mind. A warm smile seeped onto face as the image became clearer and clearer.

“How could you not?” Jin replied, cheerfully. Hwoarang’s eyes grew even wider as he glanced over the blissful expression of this graceful man. But before Hwoarang could do anything else, a sudden searing pain struck his lip and glanced down to realized that his cigarette was completely on fire. The startled man tossed the blazing stick onto the ground, stomping on it in a craze. Hwoarang panted in a panic as his foot danced wildly, putting the fire out quickly. Once the madman had smashed the cigarette to death, he glanced back to the shy, demure boy to still see that priceless smile on his face. A fierce throb pounded against his chest as he stared for a moment longer. The bewildered man opened his mouth to speak, but only a soft, crack came out. Hwoarang shook his head swiftly, trying to clear his mind in order to speak to Jin. But before he could even attempt to ask him another question, a loud voice boomed across the crowd of people.

HWOARAAAAANG!!!” The voice roared, “Get your ass down here and represent!!”

“Could you be any louder, Tomo?” Another voice said with a hint of irritation. A sly smile sipped onto the youth’s mouth as he gritted his teeth slightly in frustration from the sudden interruption. Jin watched as the carefree youth climbed to his feet and stretching his arms widely to the open sky as the voice thundered again.

“WHO THE HELL IS THIS JIN KAZAMA?!” Jin felt his heart stop at the mention of his name as his eyes grew wide in panic. Hwoarang blinked a few times, it couldn’t be what he thought it was… it couldn’t be.

“YO, HWOARANG!! Whoever this Jin is, kicked his ass!!!” All emotions dropped off Jin’s face at those words.

How?… How?!, he thought to himself. How was he going to fight the very one he adored? How could he even think of even hurting the one person he longed to hold? Jin peered up, feeling hopeless, at his beloved. Was he thinking the same thing?

Hwoarang stood stunned for a moment as the words echoed in his mind. Moments passed as the youth pondered the situation until he came to a final resolution and hopped down to the pavement, letting out sigh.

“Even if you are Jun Kazama’s son…” Hwoarang spoke softly, staring at the ground. Jin glanced up at the soft-spoken youth, he could sense something was different in his tone.

“Huh?” Jin asked quietly.

“… I won’t go easy on you.” He finished sternly. Hwoarang turned around slowly, peering over his shoulder with a friendly smile. Jin lost himself in the youth’s radiant smile and slowly began to grow a smile of his own. Maybe things would turn out all right in the end.

The two walked towards the open range on the cement surrounded by the mass of roaring people, cheering and placing bets like there was no tomorrow. The two warriors paced to the opposites of the ring, adjusting themselves to their environment, becoming familiar with the friction of the pavement.

Jin wasn’t worried by thought of being defeated, but rather with the thought of defeating Hwoarang. Jin knew he could easily defend himself against any style of martial arts, he was very well aware that Mishima Style was superior to the other arts. Whether he liked it or not, the way his grandfather trained him harshly for the past two years had prepared him for anything- he was, after all, expecting to destroy the monster who murdered his mother. The shy boy sighed softly to himself, he was positive he could defend himself, but how would that end the fight if he didn’t want to hurt Hwoarang? Perhaps, if he threw some punches that he knew Hwoarang could block, then maybe it wouldn’t look like Jin had a huge advantage over him.

Before Jin could think anymore on the subject, Hwoarang sprung forward like a demon, smiling evilly. The calm boy knew once the fight started that the red haired was set on winning, but unfortunately, there was no chance of that happening. Jin blocked and dodged every move Hwoarang could throw at him, he was able to read every motion the fiery boy was going to perform. The frustrated soul didn’t know what to do, none of his attacks were landing and anger could be sensed in the air.

The fight ensued, but the longer it continued, the more intense it became. With every attack that was deflected, Jin could feel Hwoarang adding more and more of his hatred into his punches until fire reigned in his eyes. But he could also see the more anger that flowed through the tortured soul’s body, the more tired and fatigued he would become. Jin began to feel the very same symptoms in his body as well. His legs have become weary from sliding and dodging Hwoarang’s quick blows, and his arms have become sore from the fierce beatings they have been taking. This fight has been going on for at least an hour and now, it has begun to take a toll on their bodies. Jin wanted to end it more than anything, the sheer rage in Hwoarang’s eyes made him look like a savage beast was more than he could handle. But how could it end if Hwoarang was desperate to win?

In an instant, Hwoarang began the swift motion of sweeping Jin’s legs out from underneath him, but Jin could see it coming just as soon as it started. The torn, baffled boy situated himself accordingly to intercept the blow in an attempt to parry off the attack. However, the furious soul withdrew his leg in one quick motion, leaving Jin wide open. The angered man took that opportunity and raised his leg high above his head, gathering all his strength in one more blow. In one quick movement, his leg slammed down with a heavy force connecting and smashing through the block of cement. Pieces of debris flew through the air, scattering like crushed leaves in the wind. When the dust cleared, Hwoarang glanced down to see nothing but a sinkhole from where his leg landed and Jin… kneeling a distance away from the corner of his eye.

Hwoarang collapsed to his knees in pure frustration and exhaustion. He grasped the crumbled pieces of cement in his hands as his teeth scraped against each together as Jin pulled himself wearily to his feet. Had that hit connected, Jib’s ribs would have been crushed and broken. Jin held his side at the thought of that and only stared tiredly at the aggravated youth, praying that it was over. The silence between them was disturbed by the mumbles and the snickers of the crowd. Jin watched with confused eyes as they pointed and laughed at Hwoarang. Jin’s eyes grew wide in realization of what he had done. This was a completely different world, where one mistake could destroy everything you’ve worked for. It was clear now, why Hwoarang wanted to win so badly, it was to avoid this… the loss of respect and dignity from fellow acquaintances. Jin could hear the voices… whispering terrible things, having no regard for their once esteemed friend. He had begun to wish he had lost instead of letting his pride get in the way. The worried youth walked over to the devastated Hwoarang, keeping a decent distance away and blocking any coarse voices.

“Hwoaran-” Jin attempted to ask, before Ren came raging through the mass, shoving them aside until he reached his distressed friend. The concerned friend laid his hand gently on Hwoarang and spoke his name quietly, asking him if everything was all right. Jin replied with a discontent sigh, he only wished that he could have comforted Hwoarang… but he knew it would probably only anger him even more. When the defeated man gave no reply, the uneasy friend glanced up at Jin and glared angrily at him, as if he meant to kill him. Jin began to close his eyes, ignoring Ren’s eyeing threats and shuffled his feet around to walk away, but before he had chance to look away, he saw the enraged man ripped out of Ren’s grasp and knocked him furiously away. Jin stared with wide eyes as the determined youth crawled to his feet and stormed his way towards Jin. Once Jin was in reaching distance, Hwoarang yanked his rival by his leather jacket and pulled him to his face.

“This isn’t over!” Hwoarang roared with ever growing temper, shaking Jin around, “You will be coming back here and we will have another match! And the next time we meet, I will crush you!! Hwoarang snarled with a finish, staring straight into Jin’s averted eyes. The silent youth continued to look away, giving no reply to the infuriated man. The red head growled through his clenched teeth and tossed Jin aside, stomping away from the herd of people. Meanwhile, the audience in short, didn’t know what to do, and mumbled amongst themselves. After a few moments had passed, the gathering of people began to disperse, collecting their money and heading out towards their cars. However, once the masses had disappear, three figures still remained quietly on the courtyard. Ling stood speechless and shocked against the brick wall, accompanied by a humming, dancing Neko while the third person hadn’t moved from the spot Hwoarang had shoved to… and his eyes hadn’t left his victim either.

Time passed between the two, Ren continued to gaze with a quiet fury burning up inside of him while Jin looked away, escaping the angry man’s icy glare. The tension between the two began to grow when Ren started to walk dimly towards the nervous man. With every step that was taken, the tensed boy would cringe from the crackling of debris beneath Ren’s feet. As the stranger was getting closer, Jin couldn’t find it in himself to run away, nor look him in the eye. All the scared soul could do was close his eyes tightly and turn his head away, trying to ignore it like a bad dream. The steps continued, crunching the dirt louder as they approached Jin even closer until they stopped right beside him. The wind howled as it swept onto the court, twirling the dust into the air as it flowed pass them and continued down the alley way… leaving silence.

“I would suggest… that next time, you would stop fucking around him.” A voice stated calmly. Jin’s eyes crept open slowly, revealing a serene, casual looking Ren. The nervous youth turned cautiously, facing and cowering before the quiet soul.

“Huh?” Jin managed to barely whisper.

“Don’t fucking toy around with him!” Ren snapped in a subtle, sharp tone. His eyes narrowed unpleasantly as he tried to regain his calm and gently closed his eyes while focusing on his words.

“Everyone else may be ignorant, but I could see it….” Ren stated in a smooth, gentle voice. He opened his eyes once more and glanced directly at Jin with a kind and tender face while his eyes sparkled like jagged ice. It was hard to believe his voice, eyes, and face all belonged to the same person

“You were messing around with him… throwing weak punches, making it look like it was a decent match.” Ren continued with a purr, advancing closer to Jin, who stood like a stunned deer. The helpless boy quivered as the predator’s gentle hands reached out and lightly grasped the collar of his unzipped jacket. The leather creaked as Ren’s hands slithered their way down the seam, grazing over Jin’s chest with a trickle, stopping at the bottom of the jacket. Then delicately, Ren placed his fingers gracefully around the zipper, softly scraping his nails against a firm, trembling abdomen, sending chills up his prey’s spine as he began to slowly pull the zipper up, which hummed a scratching sound as it ascened it’s way up.

“Hwoarang doesn’t need your pity…” Ren whispered faintly, gazing seductively into Jin’s eyes. Then, suddenly, the zipper was ripped up in one coarse thrust, nearly choking Jin as the deviant beast yanked the shying victim closer, “And he most certainly doesn’t need you.” The conniving monster breathed softly against Jin’s ear and released the jacket from gripped of his twisted hands. Jin stood stunned, like a shaken animal, feeling the chills that Ren sent through his body. The beast sighed a laughed at the sight of Jin and walked away.

“So, you and your friend can just mind your own affairs.” Ren added in a harsh tone, leaving Jin, alone with his friends. The moment Ren was out of sight, Ling rushed over to her trembling friend who was still in a fright, gazing at the concrete floor.

“Jin…” Ling said in a tender tone, laying a delicate hand on his arm.

“It’s over…” Jin stated faintly as his eyes began to grow empty, “I ruined it…” He cried, closing his eyes from the world. Silence drifted through the air once again as Ling tried to find words to comfort her distressed friend until a voice perked.

“Ranga likes you.” Neko sung happily, teetering from one foot to the other.

“I doubt it, Neko.” The miserable youth replied sadly, still keeping his eyes closed. Then, a finger pressed against the distraught soul and Jin opened his eyes to see Neko pointed his hand against his forehead as if it were an imaginary gun.

“If Ranga didn’t like you, Renny-chan would have gone pow!” Neko exclaimed, indicating the pow with his finger and slithering back a few steps, resuming to his swaying, “See? Ranga likes you.” The cheerful boy said with a smile. A glitter a light gleamed in Jin’s eyes as they grew wide at Neko’s blissful face.

“Are-Are you sure?” Jin tried to say without rambling his words together. Neko began prancing around holding his arms out long and wide.

“You’re like big brother! Bigger, stronger, faster. Ranga like little brother, wanting to be like big brother!” The delightful soul replied, hopping about. The confused girl watched Neko’s dance as she tried to comprehend the strange one’s language.

“Are you saying that Hwoarang admires Jin?” Ling asked.

“Admires?” Neko asked, stopping in his play, looking stumped. After a few wheels had turned in his head, he began nodding wildly, “Yep, yep! I will crush you means I wish I was like you! Ranga doesn’t know nice words, so he screams instead!” The childish youth stated with a giggle.

“Do you think there might be a chance, Ling?” Jin asked anxiously, with the sound of hope in his voice. Ling contemplated to herself for a moment, placing her hand on her cheek until she convinced herself with an answer.

“Hwoarang spends more time with Neko than anyone else, so he knows Hwoarang more than anyone, including that Ren bastard!” Ling exclaimed with a smile, smacking her hands together.

“Renny-chan!” Neko cried cheerfully, lacing his fingers together, “Renny-chan’s a bastard!” He added with a childish smirk. Jin smiled once again, flashing a beautiful smile to the bright, blue sky, and bowed deeply before Neko.

“Doumoarigatougozaimasu!” (Thank you very much!) Jin said in a content, polite tone.

“Ne?” (Huh?) Neko replied, tilting his head confusingly to the side and Jin could only expressed a warm smile in response. Neko gave a big grin and stuck out his tongue cheerfully while he began to dart off.

“Matane!” (See ya!) The joyful child yelled with a wave as he marched like a soldier, down the street. Jin and Ling looked to each other and sprung into each other arms, shouting happily with screams of joy.

“Aru ko! Aru ko! Watashi wa genki! Aru ko no daisuki! Don, don aru ko!” Neko began to sing, lighting up the mood with a childish song from good old memories.

It’s going to be all right!, Jin cried happily in his mind. For first time since his mother’s death, he had a chance to be happy, to be who he was. The blissful youth held Ling tightly in his arms, the girl who helped him find himself and his true path to happiness. And this was the time, to walk down that path with the people he loved and to create a whole new world. Jin could feel it in his heart, this was going to be the start of something great and wonderful. This moment and everything afterwards was going to be the best days of his life.

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