Author's Notes: Finally sat my ass down and WROTE for a change, and hey presto. I’ve had a few urges to resurrect old stories lately, so I’ll do that sooner or later...including my old comedy, Beach Day. For now though, the final showdown has arrived here! And no, I’m not ending this story as soon as I did with Jakunen Mirai; I haven’t resolved it yet =D
Chapter 19 - Take All the Shame to the Grave
If I could change, I would
Take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
If I could take all the shame to the grave I would
If I could change I would
Take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
I would take all the shame to the grave.
-Linkin Park, Easier To Run, Meteora album (inspired a lot of this chapter’s emotions, though not as much as the most recent chapter of Déjà Vu. Thank you Mike Shinoda!)
Finally, the day of the big tournament had arrived. It was the final battle between the two Mishima titans...in fact, because of the crowd that had bought tickets, the venue had to be shifted from the Mishima arena to the local grand stadium, where over 100,000 had been seated. The noise already was phenomenal, and the crowd was simply chattering and babbling amongst themselves.
Below the arena, Kazuya was pacing back and forth anxiously, fiddling with the leather straps on his red and silver cut-off gloves. Jin and Nina, and a choice other few, were sitting in the locker room, watching him pace. He was actually dressed in a full Gi again; long white sleeves with the pants and shirt held against him with the black belt around his waist.
Finally Nina couldn’t take watching him wear a track into the ground any longer, and marched right up to him, grasped him by the shoulders, and sighed. “Kazuya...just calm down, honey. You know you’ll win, there’s no way that old fart could win.”
He sighed too, and stood where he was stopped, letting his head drop back. “I know I’ll win, leave me alone.”
After being shaken off, Nina found herself standing like an idiot, watching him going back to pacing. Again, she stepped in front of him. “Kazuya, look...I don’t need to be a telepath to know something’s bothering you, okay? You might as well just tell me, because you don’t want it to bother you while you’re fighting!”
He gave her a deadly glare, then folded his arms over his chest. “There’s a lot on my mind, Nina. Little things adding up together to make me feel just a little uneasy about the whole situation.”
She led him down to the seat they were all sitting on, and pulled him down. Surprisingly, he complied. “Anything we can help you with?”
He shook his head, and leaned back against the wall. “No, not really. For a start, there’s the entire freaking stadium and the worldwide television audience...as much as I don’t mind crowds, as much as I don’t mind being watched...I would have liked to finished off the old man in private. In the family dojo perhaps. That, and after all these years, is killing him off really going to help us? Will he get what he deserves in death? I can say for one that living is often a greater punishment.”
After a moment Nina rested her head against his shoulder, and put her hand against the icy skin on his partially bared chest. When the temperature of his body hit her, she flinched and pulled back, scowling. “Well no wonder you’re as nervous as a guppy in a piranha pool! You haven’t fed since we last...” she trailed off. Announcing their sex life to the entire audience in the small locker room wasn’t such a good idea.
He shook her off again, and wrapped his arms around his stomach. “Nina, will you stop...”
She cut him off by forcing his face against her neck. “Listen buddy. This time you’re going to take more than your fill to give you energy for the fight! I don’t care if it knocks me clean off my feet, DO IT!”
Kazuya pulled his lips away from her neck a moment. “You do realise that ‘my fill’ would leave three people dead, right?”
The thought of that sent her blood running cold momentarily. How much can one vampire consume? Ignoring the deadly fact, she pressed him against her neck again. “Then take as much as you need. I’m sure Jin will be happy to donate as well...”
The boy nodded. “Of course. Any time.”
He knew they were right, and decided it best not to defy them this time. Without any further disruptions, he sunk his teeth into Nina’s throat, quickly drinking down the hot liquid that came to his lips. At the same time, one of his arms looped around her waist, holding her close, the other hand grasping the other side of her neck gently. The bizarre embrace received a few funny looks from the others in the room, but he ignored them. This time, he took a lot more than usual...enough to leave Nina very, very uneasy on her feet. He did finally break away, letting the wounds heal over, and righted her against the wall.
Feeling rather dazed and as if she was floating on a fluffy cloud, Nina chuckled heavily. “Woo...I don’t even need to get drunk to get drunk!” Jin smirked somewhat, and pulled his hooded jacket off to expose his neck.
“Better take it while the offer’s hot, Otousan.”
Kazuya didn’t rebel, and simply turned to face his son, before doing to Jin what he did to Nina a moment before. One after another in this fashion, he could taste the distinct difference. Jin’s blood, somehow, was tastier. He could’ve sworn it was because of that demonic inheritance of his; that, and his close relation to the sweet and innocent Jun Kazama. At any rate, it was a good thing Jin was twice Nina’s size, because Kazuya found it difficult to tear himself away eventually. He did, but it left Jin feeling distinctly faint. He wavered a moment, then shook his head about, pulling his jacket back on.
Both of the ‘vampire victims’ watched their attacker as he wiped his lips on the back of his arm, and adjusted his gloves somewhat. Somehow he wasn’t as pale as normal, though, he wasn’t a ‘normal’ colour for a Japanese by any means...he still looked like he could use a good tan. There was almost a glow about him too...like he was radiating energy and power. He almost looked like he was alive.
After a moment of silence, he stood back up again and started stretching out his arms. “That feels so much better...you two are great.”
Jin smirked and stood too, looking down at his watch. “Because we’re tasty. Anyhow, the fight starts in five...better get yourself ready.”
As Jin scraped Nina to her feet and held her up – since she’d flopped limply against him – Kazuya got ready to go upstairs to the gates; final preparations included microphones and the like being attached to him, along with a run-through of the rules, which he wasn’t looking forward to. That would take up most of the five minutes. Before he left however, he turned, bent down, and gave Nina one hell of a passionate kiss...she didn’t hesitate to return it.
Upstairs, things were getting hectic. The microphone dude – Kazuya didn’t know what else to call him – was getting bitchy about his clothes, because there was nowhere to put the microphones. Bitchy was the right word too...he put Britney Spears’ tantrums to shame.
“I don’t care; you should have better taste in clothes!” He stamped his foot, balled both fists, and huffed several times in front of the tall, slender Mishima. “There’s nowhere to put the microphones, and we have to put them on NOW!”
Kazuya rolled his eyes and sighed exasperatedly. “Look, why do we need the stupid things on this time anyhow? And why don’t you put one on my belt like you did last time?”
There was a momentary pause in movement. Great, the tough-as-nuts warrior just provoked the Bitch.
“I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!”
Even Kazuya was blown away by that, and ended up sitting on his backside before the petite French-looking man. After a moment he did stand back up though, and grabbed the man by the collar. “Listen you, either you put the mike where you can, or I’ll put my fist up your nose! I’ve had enough of your bitching!”
The man let a whimper escape his throat, and as Kazuya let him drop, he scrambled away. A moment later, he regained his composure and coughed, getting to his feet. “Ahem...you two, uh...put the microphones on his belt! Two more minutes to go...chop chop!” Before long, he was ornamented with a mike on either side of his waist...they would catch all his speech and the sounds of hits; rather important in a fight like he was about to engage in, considering the sheer size of the crowd out there.
Finally they were ready, and the announcements were being made as to the next contestants...the crowd out there went wild with enthusiasm as the announcer riled them up. As his name was called, rather dramatically of course, Kazuya stepped into the stadium, heading toward the centre of the playing field; that would be the fight arena.
As he did, he was immediately deafened by the rising screams from the audience...as he looked around, he saw massive numbers of people; the stadium was packed! There were numerous banners being waved about, most of which had something to do with him. He couldn’t believe it; he was the fighter most people were cheering for!
After a short look around, he spotted Jin and Nina sitting in the front row to his left. Of course, both were waving wildly and cheering along with the thousands upon thousands of fellow spectators surrounding them, despite their apparent lack of energy from the blood loss. Smiling faintly, he returned the wave, causing an even louder uproar from the crowd, if it were possible.
The announcer, short moments after Kazuya reached the centre of the ‘arena’, called Heihachi out from the opposite side of the stadium. He was dressed in wooden sandals and nothing else but a white Mawashi...not a pleasant sight on a man of seventy-five years. Kazuya groaned inwardly...he wasn’t only embarrassing himself in that attire, but everyone else in his family along with him...including Jin, who’d slapped his forehead with one hand at the sight and was shaking his head in despair.
The crowd’s cheering dropped back slightly as the elderly warrior entered the arena; after all, he didn’t quite have the same number of supporters in the arena. He was known for being cruel and cold, and his days were nearly over, or so most of the crowd had judged. His opponent, on the other hand, was relatively unknown; most didn’t know him from the first and second Iron Fist tournaments, and to add to it, he was young and handsome...a more popular choice for the women in the audience...and a few men.
Speaking of which, an admirer was in the audience, sitting high in one of the expensive private boxes above the stadium. Lee Chaolan had always secretly admired his brother’s physical prowess, mental endurance, and all-over cold exterior toward what would usually rile the younger silver-haired man into extreme violence, or at least a heated response. Kazuya, in short, was everything Lee wanted to be, but he didn’t resent him for it, he held him in the highest respects. For a start, that was the single reason he continued at the Zaibatsu after Heihachi was expelled for the first time. That was also the reason he’d paid a fortune for one of the best seats in the house to watch this final battle.
However, neither Kazuya nor Heihachi were aware of their foster family member’s presence; they were aware of only each other – no one else registered. Not the crowd, not the deafening noise of human cries and cheers, not the announcer babbling endlessly in the background...only their hatred for the other; that hatred would soon be fulfilled, indulged, and ended. There would only be one survivor of this match.
Both regarded each other in an equally steely scowl, unmoving in the warm air hanging about them. From a distance, the announcer stood, watching the pair. A moment passed, and he finally announced the beginning of the battle.
“Final round: no tag battle, no time limit, no desperation attacks permitted. Ready? Fight!”
Of course, with no time limit, there was no need to leap right into things. His Gi-clad arms held high in front of his chest, Kazuya began to slowly circle around the old man, searching for an opening. As usual, however, Heihachi’s guard was flawless, and he would, as per usual, prove a deadly opponent. This wouldn’t be a pushover, no matter how much extra speed and strength he was provided with as a vampire. The old man defeated Fury and Combot – both weren’t human. There was no guarantee that supernatural abilities affirmed success.
Heihachi joined him in circling, searching for an opening in the same manner. For at least a quarter of a minute this continued; a painfully long time in terms of a fight – striding back and forth, sliding one foot behind the other, then turning the other way, and back again. Finally, Heihachi smirked and snorted with laughter.
“You’re taking this nice and slowly aren’t you, baka?”
Kazuya smirked right back. “I’m only trying to keep myself from catching a view of those flabby ass-cheeks of yours.”
That earned him an infuriated makeshift right hook from the old man’s bound fist. The anger in the attack made it predictable nevertheless, despite the speed and power, and Kazuya sidestepped the attack, grabbed the incoming arm with his right hand, and performed one of his trademark throws; his right leg swung high over Heihachi’s head, then came crashing down again, throwing him sideways and face-first into the concrete. As the crowd went wild with excitement, he hopped back and stood guard. Funny how no one seemed to predict he’d ever use Bitch-kicks to start off in a fight.
Spitting a little blood, Heihachi scraped himself off the ground, obviously a little more than annoyed already. As he stood, Kazuya stepped toward him, ready to throw a long-range punch with his right, but was intercepted and thrown back by both of his father’s fists flying at him, palms open and held together vertically. Sparks literally flew between the two as Kazuya was thrown back, hitting the ground with the back of his shoulders.
The impact wasn’t enough to keep him down for long, however, and he simply flipped back up onto his feet from that position, as ungainly as it was. He too wasn’t impressed with the sudden violent attacks, but he wouldn’t fall for the trick of a hasty attack, like Heihachi had earlier. As the old man dashed toward him again, he countered the attack by ducking low, and swinging his right leg about beneath him, letting his body complete two revolutions on that pivot point; his left foot. Slow and awkward, but effective; Heihachi was caught by the swinging leg, tripping over it, and landed flat on his bared backside on the hot concrete.
The sheer heat of the ground was enough to get the older Mishima up rather hastily, though he didn’t drop his guard to nurse his assaulted rear. He let it steam as much as it wanted as Kazuya flew toward him...with an attack he’d never seen before. So far, Kazuya had only come up with a few attacks of his own; the rest he’d hand-taught the boy. But this one; it was, for once, incredibly swift. Before he knew what was happening, he was met with an unnaturally fast flying kick, and under the force of the extending leg, and the seventy-eight kilograms of raw muscle hurtling toward him, he was thrown back again.
Once again, he found himself lying on the ground, with Kazuya waiting for him to stand. It was time to teach the cocky bastard a lesson or two in fighting.
Flipping up onto his sandal-clad feet, Heihachi stooped low as he righted himself, then launched upward in a rather powerful and most definitely painful uppercut with his right fist. Kazuya, unsuspecting of the attack, took the full brunt of the fist in the jaw, and cried out in pain as he stumbled backward, landing unceremoniously on the hard concrete ground.
A snarl escaped the younger man’s lips as he stood, wiping his mouth on the back of his Gi sleeve. He threw the arm aside violently in disgust, then raised both before him again, blocking whatever Heihachi had to throw at him next. For the moment, neither made a move; they simply waited for the other to fight.
In the front row of the arena, Nina and Jin were shrieking at their comrade at the top of their lungs. Between them sat a large, half-eaten bag of candy, two bags of pink fluffy candy-floss, and two oversized cups of soft drink...they needed the sugar almost as much as the warriors at the centre of the arena did. Jin was appalled; Kazuya was fighting and blocking terribly today. Nina was equally appalled...and wanted to throttle the old bastard for hurting her lover.
High above them, the massive screens displayed various angles of the fighters in relative close-up for those that were too far away to get a good view. Over the powerful speaker system, every word, every hit, grunt, cry of pain, every breath was broadcast at considerable volume...serving only to make the final battle of the Fourth King of Iron Fist Tournament all the more dramatic.
Finally, after the prolonged period of inactivity from either fighter, Kazuya decided to move. Stepping forward, he feigned a short medium-range punch, only to pull back as Heihachi stepped back to parry it...as he pulled back, his right leg shot up in an almost painfully high roundhouse to strike the old man in the side of the head. For a moment, Heihachi wavered, then collapsed to the ground as he saw stars for just a second or so. As he fell, Kazuya leapt forward with his flying kick again, striking Heihachi in the chest, throwing him into the concrete ground again.
With a grunt, Heihachi righted himself again, dusting off what little clothing he was wearing quickly before standing guard again. This was terrible – Kazuya was proving to be more difficult than usual. He would soon put an end to that. Surging forth once more, he reached out for Kazuya with his right arm. Mistaking the attack for a punch, Kazuya readied himself to block...but found, in a flash, his head being caught under the old man’s arm, bent on his knees, and as a result of the painful grip around his neck, he was unable to breathe...thus unable to defend himself.
Along with half of the crowd, Nina stood in front of her seat, gasping. Clasping both hands over her mouth, she watched on in horror as brilliant yellow sparks flew around the old man’s body, and Kazuya’s struggles got him seemingly nowhere. She put her hands around her lips like a funnel a second later, crying out toward the centre of the stadium. “Come on Kazuya! Fight him!”
Choking for breath as it was, Kazuya was hardly in a state to even hear her over the din. He managed to choke out his disgust at his father’s tactics, however. “You cowardly bastard...”
With that, Heihachi tightened his grip and pulled back at a dangerous angle, snapping Kazuya’s neck backward. A unanimous gasp rose from the crowd as the younger man fell back onto the arena floor, lifeless. Smirking, Heihachi stood over him, arms crossed over his immense chest.
“Well, well, look what we have he-NNGH!”
Before he could continue, the raven-haired warrior had swung a leg out whilst lying on the ground, flipped the old man onto his back, and sat on his waist, both legs curled around one of Heihachi’s slightly longer legs. Grabbing the ankle with both hands, he forced the leg to bend and pull down at an unnatural angle, wrenching a cry of pain from the old man’s throat.
This time, it was Kazuya’s turn to smirk. He stood, rubbing his assaulted neck, and drew his arms in front to guard. Jun Kazama’s self defence attacks were useful after all, he decided. “What exactly do we have here, old fart?”
With a snarl, Heihachi got to his feet again, standing uneasily on his mildly damaged leg. If anything, it was painful...but not badly enough to affect his combat efficiency. “You sly little bitch.”
That was almost enough to tip Kazuya over the edge...it was that kind of insult, coming from that creep, that was one of the few things that angered him. Without warning, he stepped forward, slamming his left foot into Heihachi’s head, the right fist in a high punch into his jaw, the right foot into another high roundhouse, then a final Entrails Smash into the gut...sending Heihachi falling to the ground again. This time, Kazuya came down with a rather violent stomp onto the ground, merely missing Heihachi’s chest as he hastily rolled away.
Clambering to his feet, Heihachi wasted no time in returning the favour, despite the dull ache in his midsection after the attacks. Leaping into the air, he kicked out at the younger man with one foot, and using the impact from the attack, he spun around, still in the air, and struck with the other foot on a half revolution. With the sheer force and power behind the attack, Kazuya found himself sprawling to the ground once more, unable to move for a second or so.
He rolled over a moment after, thankfully, and stood up. Darkly, he chuckled at the situation. “Why do I get the feeling this is going to be one of those fights where we spend more time on our backs than on our feet?”
“Probably because you’re a hopeless fighter.”
Kazuya snorted. “Hey, who’s the one with more injuries?”
It was true...Heihachi was already bleeding in several places, and in comparison, Kazuya had only a few rising bruises and a split lip. It hurt to smirk, so he avoided doing so. Again, he leapt at the older man, coming forth with a fury of punches.
In the audience, Nina and Jin glanced at each other nervously. Shouting above the noise of the crowd, Jin felt the urge to comment; “This is the longest fight so far...unfortunately the odds seem quite even!”
Nina scowled at the old man. “Kazuya will beat him though...he’s got better stamina!”
Sighing, Jin watched the fight on the screen for a moment, before looking back down at the actual figures engaged in a brutal punching and kicking session. At the moment, it seemed neither were really going for style, just beating the hell out of the other with haymaker kicks and punches. Heihachi pulled out another violent uppercut which Kazuya only partially blocked, sending him stumbling backward across the arena. Several steps backward, however, and he caught his balance, and ran straight back at the old man. As he got into range, he jumped, raising one knee, and landed a leaping side-kick directly into the old man’s chest.
Somehow, it still didn’t keep him down; Heihachi got to his feet again, wiping sweat from his brow. Kazuya once again surged forward, ready to attack, but the elder fighter swung around backward, the struck out with a powerful back-fist into the stomach, sending the younger warrior flying backward across the arena again.
By now it was obvious who the crowd was supporting; with each fall of the raven-haired fighter, there was a gasp or a boo. Every time Kazuya landed a significant hit, the crowd roared. Kazuya caught himself as he slid backward, and bounced back onto his feet. It was time to end this; the fight had drawn on too long. Both fighters by now were losing their oomph, and the fight had dragged on for almost five minutes. As Heihachi ran toward him, Kazuya ducked low and stepped forward, fist ready to strike. An opportunity arose as the older fighter was caught off guard with this tactic, and was sent flying high into the air as Kazuya rose with considerable power in the strike...the Demon Godfist. He himself was propelled around a foot into the air with the sheer force of the attack, but landed neatly on his feet. Heihachi, on the other hand, plummeted into the ground far away, and stayed there for what seemed like forever.
The crowd went absolutely berserk; the fight was over. Kazuya slowly approached the figure on the ground a few metres away, trying to ignore the horrible view of the Mawashi from between the old man’s legs. He stood beside him from a few feet away, arms folded over his heaving chest.
From the ground, the old eye’s snapped open, and stared up at his son. His face displayed his livid anger at his defeat...between his teeth, he snarled; “We...are...not...done...yet...”
Kazuya smirked, and dragged him up by the wrist, throwing him back. The old man stumbled, but caught himself. His breathing was ragged at this point, and he was uncertain on his feet.
“We are done...but if you think you must continue, then be my guest. I will only have to kill you.”
With a roar of utter rage, Heihachi threw himself at the shorter man, the fist extending dangerously close to Kazuya’s face...surprised, he stepped aside...making way for Heihachi to crumple back to the ground.
The temptation was almost too great; there he was, the man who’d stolen and ruined his life before it had begun, the man who’d tortured and beaten him throughout his youth, the man who’s ruined his reputation, caused him to become this loathsome creature...here he was, lying at his feet, defenceless, defeated. All it took was one strike...one decisive blow...to end that wicked life right there and then.
But he saw several things that stopped him before the deadly blow was dealt; the audience, and the people within it. Everyone was already cheering; there was no need to cause bloodshed. Nina, watching on with those beautiful eyes of hers...sure, she was an assassin, a professional killer...but he felt no need to show her his bloodthirsty nature. She already knew of it, he had no need to prove it further by killing. And Jin...the last embers of his saviour’s soul...watching on, his face unreadable. Whilst he saw a lot of himself in the boy’s visage, he radiated the beauty, compassion and love of Jun Kazama. The innocence, the delicate nature of the late Jun Kazama...it was enough to turn his blood cold at the mere thought of killing...especially in front of such a massive audience.
Finally, with a sigh, he crouched down in front of the old man, pulling his face up at the neck with one hand. For almost eternity, the two exchanged their vehement glares; then Kazuya spoke. “As much as you have tried to make me become you...your efforts have been in vain. I am not like you...I do not kill for no reason. As much as you deserve to die...I won’t lower myself to your disgusting level and take even the most vile and undeserving life of them all. As you promised, the Zaibatsu is mine...but your life is yours. Do what you will with your remaining years...but rest assured, if I see you in Japan ever again, the Tekkenshu will hunt you down and destroy you.”
He let the old man’s head drop to the concrete floor, and with an emotionless visage, he left the arena, and headed back underground to clean up. The Zaibatsu was his. Once again, he’d defeated his archenemy. Once again, he was victorious. But this time, this time, he would not make the same mistake of letting his arrogance get the better of him; he would make the Zaibatsu worth something – honest, and powerful. Heihachi would return, he knew it...but, as he’d learned over the last twenty years, there are so many more punishments so much worse than death.
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