Author's Notes: Long time no update. That’s because I recently attended a Design conference in Melbourne, Australia – the AGIdeas conference – and had no access to the Internet or any of my files. At any rate, here’s the first update since two weeks ago – more on other stories to come soon too.
DISCLAIMER: I dun own Tekken.
Chapter 3 - Appreciation
Finally, he realised where he was.
Not at home, that was a given. Time to stop lying in bed dreaming, and come back to reality.
Sitting up and glancing around in the dark, Jin found himself wondering where his mysterious father was. He was groggy, and still partially asleep, but he spotted the dark figure still sitting by the tiny desk at the foot of the bed, slouched slightly, but definitely not asleep.
With a deep yawn, he swung his feet out from under the thick covers and placed them down on the carpet, then slowly stretched his muscular arms above his head. The bones through his torso reacted with a series of synchronised cracks.
Easily hearing the sounds of the stirring to consciousness, Kazuya turned and looked over his shoulder toward the bed. Seeing Jin awake finally, he smiled slightly, and mimicked the stretching himself. Somehow he didn’t seem to mind that the curtains were closed and the room was cramped, and it looked like he hadn’t slept a wink. The strange part about that, was that he didn’t look like he needed to sleep a wink.
By now Jin’s eyes had adjusted to the darkness in the room, and he remembered the previous evening’s happenings. They were spurred with a somewhat stabbing pain of remembrance by the barely visible dark patch on the front and back of Kazuya’s shirt; not to mention, the rather obvious tears in the fabric. The mere thought of the attempted murder – the sickening thud, the stench of blood, the bloodied knife – caused a wave of nausea to wash over the young man, and he forced back the stinging in his eyes. It was funny, wasn’t it? Funny how it was possible for him to become so attached to a man he’d known for less than a day – a man he’d previously hated, only the day before. Now he felt his pain almost as badly as the sufferer himself. It seemed that the injury wasn’t even bothering Kazuya at this time, and it most certainly didn’t phase him one bit at the time of the stabbing, that was clear. But why?
“Otousan…?” Jin cleared his throat after the address, since his voice was slightly choked and cracked in the middle syllable.
“Nani?” Kazuya arched a brow, turning to face Jin.
“That wound…” He pointed groggily with a finger at the bloody stain on the dark shirt.
Looking down, Kazuya found himself being reminded of something he would have otherwise forgotten about. “Oh, that…”
Jin just sat there, waiting expectantly for an answer. Of course, Kazuya didn’t want to give one. But both were stubborn men, and it would only be justice to give some form of roundabout reasoning for a seemingly bizarre occurrence.
“Let’s just say that I have a few more abilities than your average human.”
Jin frowned a little in confusion. “What do you mean? How?”
As usual, Kazuya delivered a cryptic smirk. “You’ll learn one day.”
Saying nothing more, the older Mishima stood and headed toward the…kitchen thing…which happened to be a refrigerator with a kettle on top. Looks like there wouldn’t be too much for breakfast this morning. Taking a peek inside the fridge, he noticed there really wasn’t much worth eating anyway. A few small alcoholic drinks, several bottles of orange juice, a snickers bar amongst a few other chocolate bars, and a few giant cookies. Very healthy indeed.
Jin glanced down at his discarded trousers, which to his dismay were still sopping wet. He couldn’t comfortably wear those, and he couldn’t very well walk around in nothing but a robe. With another yawn he turned his attention to Kazuya, who was squatting down in front of the small refrigerator.
“I hope you’re not hungry Jin, there’s very little to eat.”
Almost as if on cue, his stomach growled noisily.
Kazuya looked over his shoulder with one eyebrow perked. “I’ll take that as a yes…”
Jin sighed and stood up, stretching. As he did so, he realised with embarrassment just how short the robe was, and quickly tugged it back down over his butt cheeks, blushing all the while. “Yeah, dinner was a while ago.”
The sound of plastic rustling caught his ears, and a second later, one of the giant chocolate chip cookies landed in Jin’s lap. “Sorry but that’s all that’s really edible in here.”
Great, biscuits for breakfast. Oh well. He pulled back the plastic, and pushed back the plastic. After a bite, he realised it really didn’t taste that bad. In fact it was delicious considering how hungry he was. As he quickly devoured the tasty morsel, Kazuya shut the fridge and sat back down on the chair he’d been sitting on all night. Odd. Not only did it seem he hadn’t slept a wink the whole night, now he wasn’t even bothering with filling what would have to be by now an empty stomach.
“Hey, aren’t you hungry?” A few crumbs fell to his lap as he spoke; after doing so, he swallowed, and filled his mouth again.
“No.” No? How could he not be hungry? This man certainly was bizarre.
“Because.” What a pointless conversation.
“Fine, I won’t share then.” Grinning, Jin demolished every last mouthful of the cookie, and went to the fridge to see if another was in there. Lucky last one was sitting on top of the beer – though, not for long, since Jin spotted it and took it back to the bed, kicking and screaming.
“Whatever.” Kazuya stood, and headed toward the bed. “I’d better go and buy you some clothes. You can’t walk around in what you’re wearing now…it’s too short.”
Jin pulled a face. “Just don’t get anything hideous.”
The smirk he got in reply wasn’t a comforting one. “Whatever you say…” And then he left.
Lazing around in First Class seats on a Qantas 747 was usually much more fun than this.
Usually though, things didn’t go as horribly wrong as they seemed to these past few days.
With his hair dyed back to its natural silver, Lee Chaolan felt more or less like himself again, only gutted. There were already rumours spreading over Tokyo about a fight that went on last night at the Mishima Zaibatsu’s home quarters, and that had him thinking much more than he’d like to. Perhaps Kazuya really was alive, then again, it was tomfoolery to believe that a man who burned to death in a live volcano could have possibly been brought back in any way. Then again, what caused that rumoured battle? Was there a battle at all?
It was building up inside him annoyingly. Perhaps he shouldn’t have left for the Bahamas so quickly. Perhaps he should have stayed to investigate, rather than letting his anger dictate his actions.
Definitely time to read a magazine.
He pulled it from the pocket beside his seat, and flipped through casually. He’d always found that a good read settled a tormented mind after all. Crossing one leg over the other, he sat back in the over-luxurious seat, and looked for any interesting articles that may be in the in-flight mag, not particularly expecting anything. His thoughts were confirmed when he reached the end of the magazine without stopping to read anything.
Drat, he thought. Just my luck. With a sigh, he picked up a newspaper instead.
And his heart almost leapt into his throat.
On the front cover was a massive, black and white image he never thought he’d see again.
It was Kazuya.
Not even bothering to read the article, he pulled out the handset on the seat’s armrest, flipped it over, and used the phone installed on the back to call ahead to his next stopover, Singapore Airport. After mere minutes, he had his next flight cancelled, and another booked. Another that would bring him straight back to Tokyo.
Investigation time had come, along with a burning of excitement in his veins. After all, he had foolishly hoped that his brother really was alive.
And now he was.
Jin honestly couldn’t understand what was bothering his father so much. It wasn’t like the outside world was going to kill him after all.
The whole time they’d been walking down the street, Kazuya had refused to walk out of the shade, and several times he’d urged him to go inside rather than walk down the pleasant, active streets of central Tokyo. It wasn’t even busy compared to what it usually was! And since the G-Corporation’s environmental program had begun, there was no longer use for face masks; the air was as clean as a city could hope for.
Yet he still wanted to go inside.
It was a bizarre behaviour Jin couldn’t even begin to understand. After all, he’d claimed earlier on that he loved Jin’s mother, and doing that would involve a lot of hanging around in nature – be it lakes, forests, farms, anything. Surely he knew how to at least tolerate it by now.
His thoughts were interrupted by a heavy sigh. Looking over his shoulder, he noticed that his father looked thoroughly uncomfortable. Not just as if he was thinking about his stomach or anything as simple as that, but it seemed he almost had a cloud of doom hanging over him, and he couldn’t see what was affecting him that way. He also noticed, in the bright sunlight, just how pale Kazuya seemed. Sure, he wasn’t deathly pale or pasty white, his natural skin tone couldn’t go that light – but he definitely wasn’t a healthy colour. In fact, he looked like he might just puke at any moment.
“Otousan…are you alright?”
Kazuya glanced up momentarily, and gave a solemn nod. He wasn’t alright, it was plain to see, but he’d keep up the pretence at the cost of his life. He was one of those people.
Jin perked a brow, and placed a hand lightly on his father’s shoulder. In doing so, he immediately withdrew it; what his hand touched was like ice. At the touch, Kazuya’s dark eyes moved to meet Jin’s, his expression as stoic as ever and even more unreadable. Jin awaited a response, and for seconds there was nothing but silence. Kazuya knew that Jin had realised this sudden burst of inhumanity – the coldness, sleeplessness, lack of hunger, deathly pallor…it all added up, and had come out to a total.
There was no longer room for procrastination – the secret had to be revealed. Kazuya motioned with a nod of his head to an alleyway that they were conveniently passing by, and headed down it, into the darkness, with Jin in tow. The two walked deep enough into the alley that the street they’d come off was out of view, then Kazuya turned to his son, his face still completely unreadable.
In the quietist, still unreadable voice he could muster, he finally began the end of the tormenting wondering.
“You want to know what I am, don’t you?”
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