Author's Notes: Yet another update. Things starting to happen, kinda. Or preparing to. Yes, I know I’m an angst whore.
May this leave you confused >D
Chapter 10 - A Nice Warm Meal
This time, Jin was the first one to rejoin the world of the conscious. Maybe it was the loud snore and rustle of covers next to him, or maybe it was that little hint of delicious morning sunlight sparkling and twinkling through the slim gap between the curtains, dancing on the end of his bed. Whatever it was, he was awake now, and he sat up, yawned and stretched.
He glanced over at the bed next to him, and his eyebrows rose substantially. Kazuya had obviously had a restless night or something, because he had ended up lying on top of the covers with one foot still stuck under them, face down, with the pillow lying on the ground on the other side of the bed. Jin couldn’t help but chuckle at his rounded little butt sticking up into the air like that…wow, if his mother was here…let’s not go there. But damn, no wonder his mother loved his father so much.
The curtains needed opening, and the room needed warming. Jin stood up, scratching the back of his head, and reached out to draw the curtains back. He threw one open, and as he reached for the second one, he was interrupted by a loud ‘GAH’ and panicked scuffling about on the sheets of the other bed. He looked over, and saw Kazuya glaring at him from underneath the covers; he was curled in a sitting foetal position with the blankets up to his nose, and he didn’t look impressed. Then, Jin remembered.
“Uhm…sorry Otousan.” He drew the curtain shut again and sat down on his bed.
Kazuya rolled his eyes. “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?”
He shrugged his shoulders as he crossed his legs on the end of the bed. “I kinda forgot. After all, you were walking around in the sun yesterday just fine.”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I like it…” He’d dropped his guard a little now, and the blankets had lowered to only just cover his lap.
All this vampire stuff was starting to get him confused; so many of the others were susceptible to weird things, but his father seemed different. “Why don’t you turn to ashes, when the others do?”
Kazuya thought a moment. “Trust you to ask the most annoyingly difficult questions…”
“Don’t tell me you don’t know…”
He shrugged, and leaned back, only to discover his pillow had deserted him. “Hm.” He reached down a moment, and picked it up, placing it back where it belonged. “Actually, I have a good idea but I’m not certain. This Devil presence inside me wasn’t lost when I was killed. Instead, it became dormant. I think. I still possess its’ abilities, nevertheless, and it also adds a few advantages to my defences. Sunlight, for example: I can withstand it, but only to a certain extent. Most of my kind will die within around two minutes of complete exposure. I would die within twelve hours of non-stop exposure, apparently. The process is slowed down to a near halt. I tried to keep out of it yesterday as much as possible because it burns my skin very quickly, and it takes an incredible amount of energy to heal. Not only that, but it hurts. A lot.”
That was a pretty damn good explanation, actually. “I see. How long does it take to burn you?”
“Well when you consider human skin will begin to burn, on a good day, in around thirty minutes…fairly quickly. I ended up with burns on the backs of my hands after ten minutes once. I’ve never let it get worse than that.”
As he spoke, Jin reached down to retrieve his clothes. He’d showered the previous evening, so he simply started to get dressed. “So basically you’re like a super-strong albino in broad daylight…”
“Actually, I lose most of my skills in daylight. My strength returns to the same level I had when I was alive twenty years ago.” At this point, he kicked his covers back, and stood up to get his clothes out of the bathroom. Jin did a double-take at the lack of…dignity? Shyness? He was still completely naked! He mentally slapped himself back to reality, and continued getting dressed.
“What other skills do you have?”
When Kazuya came back out of the bathroom, he was dressed in yesterday’s inadvertently washed and dried clothes…with the odd crease in the shirt and pants of course. “Each one of us has a natural gift when we’re created, I suppose you could say. Mine, believe it or not, was the ability to heal, despite my past of violence and fighting skill…”
That would explain the fact that I don’t have any chew marks on my neck, thought Jin. “Weird. So you can’t do that at daytime either?”
He shook his head. “No, not unless I’m indoors and away from the sun. I never used to believe in magic and all that shit, but since I haven’t learned the physics behind all of this mythology, I’m forced to believe it for my own survival.” After brushing a few of the creases out of his shirt, he changed the topic of discussion. “You going to have breakfast?”
At the mention of food, Jin shoved his hands into his pockets. After a second, he pulled his pockets inside out, and looked down at them in mild dismay. “Erm…nope…”
Kazuya rolled his eyes, then fished around in his wallet, which just so happened to have fallen out of his trouser pocket the night before, when they were hanging up. He handed Jin a few notes…enough for a hell of a breakfast. “Go downstairs and feed up.”
It’d been a while since Jin had taken orders from anyone, so he just stood there a moment, unsure how to take it. Then he remembered, Kazuya was his father, of course he wants him to eat and be comfy and happy and safe and grow up to be a good boy. That’s what all fathers do. So he smiled, and took the money, and after running a hand through his ruffled hair, he headed to the door. “Domo arigatou, Otousan.” Then he wandered downstairs to get something to eat from the restaurant.
It was a buffet breakfast. Jin liked that idea. A lot. In fact, already, he’d gone through three plates of hot food, and a bowl of cereal, three glasses of juice, and was now onto another plate of hot food with a cup of coffee. The two-seater table he’d occupied was still only half occupied, and his used plates and bowls were stacked neatly in one pile. He didn’t mind being alone, since he knew he ate a lot most times, and the only person that would join him would be his father, who couldn’t eat anyway…so that was just mean. No one else would join him anyway…or so he thought.
Half way through a mouthful of coffee, a plate lightly clinked down on the bleach-white tablecloth. He looked up, and saw none other than Nina Williams sitting down opposite him with a plate of fruit and a few other items...she clearly wasn’t a big eater. He found himself captivated by her, once again. She was wearing, of course, something that exposed her cleavage; a black halter neck t-shirt, and under that, dark blue jeans that hugged her figure as well as the rest of her wardrobe. She’d obviously noticed his staring, because she was staring back with one brow raised higher than the other, waiting for him to speak.
Jin blushed and looked down at his food. Damnit, he was forever embarrassing himself like that. “I’m sorry, Nina…I just…” He couldn’t think of the words to say.
Nina smirked and toyed with an apricot half on her plate with her fork. “Y’know Jin, most men are content with laughing and grabbing…”
He honestly couldn’t believe that. Why would people be so rude? His mother had always taught him to be exceptionally polite to girls, and never give sexual innuendo, because it insulted and embarrassed most nice girls. “Well I wouldn’t do that…I just think you’re…well, really pretty…”
This time, Nina blushed ever so slightly, but she kept her cool. “You’re the first man who’s ever called me that, you know…” She smiled softly at him, still toying with her apricot. “Most people would be harsher…”
“I don’t see the need…because you are pretty…other guys are too dirty nowadays, all they think about is sex…I think that’s wrong. My mother would turn in her grave if I was like them.”
For once, Nina did feel pretty. Not sexy, not like a slut, not like a sex object…just pretty. And it felt good. Really good. She was, in Jin’s eyes, pretty. That meant he really respected her along with everything else…sure he admired her body, it was obvious, but there was more in that little brain of his than testosterone. She couldn’t help but smile a little more. “You’re so sweet, Jin…” Whoa, did that come out of her mouth?
He grinned slightly, and took a sip of his coffee. “I try…”
She sat back, and finally took a nibble from the apricot she had half mutilated by this time. “If only your father was as gentle and as open as you.”
“I think he’s really just like me inside. That’s why he’s so introverted.”
Nina raised a brow.
“I think he’s just shy, ya know. I mean, Heihachi was a bastard to me, so imagine what he was like to Otousan. I’ve come to realise he’s a nice guy under this ‘Kazuya’ exterior, but Heihachi would have abused it out of him, I’ll bet. He’s so used to hiding it, that’s what he’s become.” Jin put the remaining part of a hash brown into his mouth, and left what was still on the plate for now. “But he’s been really nice to me so far. Heihachi always told me he was a cruel, arrogant bastard, but so far I have yet to see him like that.”
Somehow, Nina couldn’t imagine Kazuya being nice. Cold, yes; cruel, yes; silent, yes; nice, no. Not Kazuya. But she took Jin’s word for it. After all, she’d been thrown around a bit by his strange moods lately. Sure he was acting like his normal self for a while there, but last night he was just adorable. Playing innocent. He knew she was offering him a nice warm spot in her bed, but he played coy. Somehow it suited him. She decided, right there and then, that she would get to know this man better, to find what he had to hide under that cold exterior.
Jin snapped her attention back to reality. “Speak of the Devil…” She glanced over her shoulder to see Kazuya out in the hotel lobby, talking to one of the receptionists. A moment later, he turned and headed inside the restaurant. He spotted the two sitting at their table, and walked toward them. He’d changed clothes; he was wearing his favourite blue shirt, top button undone, and a fresh pair of black slacks, and a leather coat draped over one arm.
“Enjoying breakfast, I presume…” He pulled up a chair and sat down on an unoccupied side of the table.
Nina eyed his chest through the fresh shirt. “Went and bought more clothes, huh?”
He shook his head and sat back in the chair, possibly to avoid the smell of the food. “No, while you and Jin were busy eating, I went back to my old apartment down the road and got my stuff. At least I’ll have some money and clothes to survive a little while.”
Jin took another sip of coffee, and Nina finished off her small breakfast, after commenting one last time. “I thought you would have put some money aside from twenty years back…”
He nodded. “I did, but the account has been locked since my ‘death’. I’m still trying to get it open. Another two weeks or so and I’ll have access, but they have to go through some stupid great identification system because of the amount of money in there.”
A thought sparked in Jin’s imagination. “What exactly are we going to do today?”
“Well, I need to organise a few more things, and I’m meeting with Lee later on this afternoon. Not sure what you two will be doing.”
“I need to tidy up a few things today. I’ll be back tonight.” Nina took a mouthful of juice, then continued. “But you,” Here she pointed at Kazuya, “Will have to make yourself free tonight.” After that, she winked. “After dinner.”
He smiled slightly, and stood up. “Alright, if you insist. I’ll be off now, I’ll see you two tonight.”
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