**Disclaimer**: Tekken is owned by Namco and not me. I just manipulate the characters for entertainment purposes.
Chapter 8 - Throw It All Away
"Nothing ever goes right! I can't do anything without something bad happening!" Hwoarang shouted, kicking the heavy bag in the middle of the dojo, while Julia stood in the corner, watching him freak out, "I'm fucking cursed! I can't take it! How long is it going to be before everything completely ends? Where's a fucking knife?"
Julia shook her head, "You're in no condition to have a knife."
Hwoarang walked over and grabbed his girlfriend by the throat. Desperation distorted his features to an almost terrifying extent. He looked her in the eye watching her struggle for breath, and then asked in a quiet but powerful voice, "Give me your fucking knife, now. I want to show you something that I have been lying about. Now is not the time to get on my nerves."
His voice alarmed her, and she quickly complied. Once free, she rubbed her neck, and watched the Korean pace back and forth as he pulled his black wife-beater over his head. Hwoarang pointed to his chest as he paced, "You see these scars and scabs? I didn't get them in fights. Not all of them anyway. I did this to myself. I fucked myself up, and I intend to continue to do so!" He flipped the knife open and put it to his forearm.
Julia ran, and grabbed at the knife only to go crashing to the floor, empty-handed, when he shoved her away. She turned and looked up at the Korean, shocked that he would treat her so roughly. When he pressed the blade into his arm, she screamed for him to stop, but he only ignored the frightened pleas, and continued. He smiled at the blood running down the blade, and dripping to the wooden floor.
"It's the only way I've kept from going insane, but even pain can't help me forever. I've got so many fucking secrets, I just want to get them out right now, but I won't because I haven't completely snapped It feels so good, Julia. So fucking free. Have you ever been so high on a sensation that you felt like you were flying? That's how this makes me feel. You know what else? I don't want to land, and it's not because this rush is so sweet, it's because I hate coming back to this shithole of a reality! This is the only relief there is. You should try it."
She got up and approached the man cautiously, "Life is only what you make of it. Give me the knife, Hwoarang."
"I think you'd better back up, babe," Hwoarang warned, "You wouldn't take bees away from a beekeeper, would you? How fair is it to take the knife away from a masochist? You're the last person I'd expect to be so narrow-minded."
"You're not thinking. Let me help you."
Hwoarang grabbed Julia by the hair and put the bloody knife in front of her eyes, "This is who I am. This is what I am. What will it take to make you understand that? I am not ashamed of who I am. Not even you can make me ashamed."
Before Julia could respond, Jin walked in. The young Japanese froze upon catching sight of the couple, having expected to find the dojo empty. It wasn't a very promising sight with Hwoarang holding Julia and the knife so dangerously. Of all the dojos in Tokyo, he had to come to that one. He probably would have turned around and left if it weren't for the terrified look on Julia's face. If only he was heartless enough to leave her, things would be so much simpler.
Jin dropped his bag on a bench by the door, and spoke calmly, "Hwoarang, let her go."
"Oh look," Hwoarang smiled bitterly, "It's mister knight in shining armour." He shoved Julia away, once again, "Come on, pretty boy. Don't let the woman down. This is where you take her up into your arms and share a kiss of true love. She's been waiting for this moment for oh so long. Three years if my memory serves. What are you waiting for?"
Julia wiped a tear from her cheek and shook her head, "It's you I love, Hwoarang, now stop this!"
The Korean growled and whipped the knife at his girlfriend, landing it inches away from her neck. He looked at Jin and gestured at the girl. "Do you see the lies she feeds me? She's always been ashamed of me, yet she says shit like that. No wonder I screw up so much! Being lied to constantly makes me crazy! So I lie back." He laughed and turned to Julia, "Wanna know what else I have lied about? When Kazuya attacked Jin and I brought him home, we didn't meet up to fight."
Julia looked at Jin, "What's he saying?"
"Nope. The only fighting that night was between Zekkai and me. I'll tell you exactly what happened, but beware, I tend to explain better through example." Hwoarang smirked. He walked up to Jin and kissed him, laughing at the shocked gasp the American made.
Jin pushed his rival away, bewildered that Hwoarang would be acting like that. It was as if the redhead had completely given up on his attempts at not being alone. But why would he just suddenly give up and self destruct? Why throw his own world into shambles? It didn't make sense. Or maybe Jin missed something. His brow furrowed as he assessed the crazy Korean, not knowing how to handle the situation. So he waited for Hwoarang's next move.
"We almost fucked too. Three times. But something always got in the way. I assume I had my last chance before you found out about Zekkai. I lost you, I lost Mishima-sama, and so, I figured I might as well lose her too while I'm at it. Throw away two years of lies all because Actually I don't even know why. It doesn't matter. Just go the fuck away, and if I see either of you again, you'll regret it. Now go." He looked between the two before shouting, "Go, damnit!"
The two confused adults obeyed quickly and quietly, leaving together. For a few moments Hwoarang stood there, just staring at the doorway, listening to a car drive away. Moments later, he fell against the heavy bag, clinging on to the chains holding it up, and bowing his head slightly so that his forehead rested on the rough material, and his eyes faced the floor. Uncontrollable sobs wracked his body, sending him into convulsions whenever he tried to stop. Eventually he stopped trying. Who cared about dignity? Who cared?
As if in answer, two strong arms wrapped around him and pulled him into a supportive and protective embrace. Still he didn't stop crying, nor did he dare look to see who it was, not wanting to know who was witnessing his breakdown. But those arms were definitely those of a Mishima. Could it be Zekkai?
"You didn't lose me, Hwoa-kun. I'm right here, caught in your web with no intention of going free."
Hwoarang buried his tear-streaked face in the older man's neck. A million different things to say stumbled through his mind, but any attempt at voicing them was in vain. He clung to the older man, afraid to let go, afraid to fall to his knees. Being as low as he felt frightened him more then anything. Fear was the ugliest emotion he could think of, and he was up to his ass in it, whether or not he had reason to be.
"Shhh," Kazuya cooed, stroking the fiery hair, "You need rest. You're over tired Do you want Zekkai?"
Unable to speak clearly, the Korean simply shook his head and allowed the Japanese to pick him up and carry him out the backdoor, to a Honda waiting in the back street. The fresh air calmed Hwoarang down somewhat, so he was able to stop sobbing, but not even fresh air could cure trembling. He hugged himself self-consciously after he was placed in the passenger seat. He watched Kazuya walk around the front of the car, wondering why that man came back for him. What did Zekkai think of it? Did Zekkai care?
When Kazuya settled himself in the drivers seat, he leaned over and presented the Korean with a kiss that served as an apology. That would be put into words later, because it wouldn't be fair to start a serious conversation when the younger of the two could barely stand, let alone think clearly.
"Was what he said, true?"
Jin stared out the windshield, refusing to meet Julia's demanding eyes. His responses were so quiet that she had to strain her hearing in order to understand correctly. He glanced at the car beside him, and shrugged, "I don't know. I'm not so sure he even knows what he is."
Jin sighed, stopping at a red light, "Normally I wouldn't dream of telling you because it isn't any of my business, but since his involvement with Zekkai worries me, I'll make an exception. Zekkai is the one we know as, 'devil'."
Julia gasped, staring at the Japanese and hoping he'd tell her he was joking. No such luck. What else didn't she know about Hwoarang? What type of involvement did he have with that thing? It couldn't be possible. How long had it been going on? She shuddered to think how far her boyfriend had gone with other men when he was going home to her. She suddenly felt very sick. "Can you stop at a hospital? I should get some testing done and I could probably use a translator if you're not busy."
The Japanese man glanced at the American through the rear view mirror, and nodded. It was obvious what was on her mind, and all things considered, he didn't blame her. He'd probably do the same thing. Did his rival have similar relationships before Kazuya? The Korean's meltdown was still a mystery when it came to the cause, and it rose the question: had it happened before? Even if it had, that still wouldn't explain anything.
"I'm worried about him," Julia told Jin, "In the two years we've been together, the only time he'd really explode would be when he was panicking about something, and he's never exploded like that before. He's never physically expressed his anger, outside the tournaments, toward me. Until now, that is What if he's in danger? What if he purposely pushed everyone away because he didn't want to put us in danger?"
"Or maybe you're reading too much into it," Jin suggested, "Maybe he's tired of living a lie. Some people do freak out for that reason."
She frowned and looked out her window, "Should we really take that risk? Just assume he's ok and leave it at that? You're probably right, but if you're not, we're leaving him to deal with it all alone. If what you say about Zekkai is true, then he is in great danger. He's up against evil. Real evil, Jin. There's no way he'd stand a chance against this evil. I have to help him After the tests I'll go find him. I'll give him a chance to cool down. He could use your help, too."
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