Author's Notes: I thought I'd promote my return with the start of my new Yaoi fic. Just another classic pairing, so no big deal here. I'll try my best, however, to make it as original as I can. Let me know what you think.
**Disclaimer**: Tekken is not mine... Not yet... I'M COMING FOR YOU NAMCO!
A humid, stuffy morning. It was definitely going to be a long day. The birds were screaming for rain, begging the clear sky to form clouds. At least block out the sun for a moment. Anything to kill off a degree or two of the temperature.
Hwoarang kicked at the sheets that somehow got around him in his sleep. His hair was wet with sweat, and clung to his neck and forehead. The rays of sunlight streaked across the room, somehow breaking their way into the room through the blinds. He groaned and pushed himself up, kicking the mat and sheets aside. He made his way across the room, and picked up a pack of cigarettes. Empty!
In milliseconds, he was in the next room, rummaging through a drawer for his wallet. Once found, it was opened and searched. A bit of change. Not even enough for a damn chocolate bar let alone a pack of smokes. What the hell would be for breakfast? A good old-fashioned meal of fresh air? Sounded good.
Outside was even more humid, but less stuffy. It was difficult to decide which he preferred. The shade provided shelter from the sun's glare, but no protection from the heat. Eventually the Korean found himself walking past the Mishima Tech. He yawned and settled down under a tree across the street, watching carefully for vulnerable schoolgirls to prey upon. He peeled off his white wife-beater and used it as a pillow. A group of girls walked past, giggling and smiling shyly at him. They were too young. Freshmen. He was sure there were laws against that.
After a while, a black limo pulled up, and a bunch of goons stepped out, muttering into their wrists. After they were all out, Heihachi followed, granting Hwoarang a brief look of disgust. It was common knowledge that the grandson of Heihachi Mishima, no longer attended Mishima Tech, so there had to be some other unimportant reason for the founder's presence. As the main doors closed behind the Mishima and his fan club, the tree shook behind Hwoarang.
Hwoarang looked up to see glowing red eyes glaring intently at the school through the branches. Black feathered wings folded at its back in waiting. It didn't even notice the Korean's presence, or he was simply ignored. Being ignored by a devil possessing his mortal enemy wasn't such a bad thing and he decided he'd just let it be.
He looked away from the creature and back to the school in his lazy search for schoolgirls. There were probably more important matters at hand, but he had nothing to do with them, so why get involved? It wasn't his dysfunctional family. It wasn't his jackass grandfather in there. It wasn't his prissy-ass devil-possessed grandson perched in a tree like some sort of psychotic peeping tom. Besides, even if he did want to get involved, it was way too hot for that. He was sure he'd get sunstroke if he immerged from the shade too fast.
The creature landed quietly in the grass beside him. Hwoarang jumped to his feet, cursing wildly at it. "Fuck! Don't do that again you asshole! I'm not in the mood for your bitchass! Get the fuck away from me, and do whatever sick shit your planning for your dear old grand pappy."
The wings were extended as if prepared for flight, yet it made no move to leave. Instead, it took a step closer to Hwoarang, backing him into the trunk of another tree. Hwoarang swore under his breath, and went carefully into his fighting stance. Schoolgirls screamed in fear from across the street, and ran for the doors, shouting something about a demon. The Korean launched a clumsy punch, greatly affected by the heat. It was easily dodged, and the creature did not counter. It simply watched through the silky screen of black hair.
"Fuck it," Hwoarang sighed, giving up and sitting down where he stood, "Come back when it's cooler. I can't do this today. And bring some ciggies."
The creature stepped back, suddenly looking unbalanced and dizzy. Hwoarang hadn't noticed before how flushed the creatures face was. The heat was obviously affecting it too. Hwoarang was on his feet again just in time to catch the creature before it fell. As soon as he remembered who and what it was, he dropped it. One of the Goons stepped out and spotted the devil right away, and soon, the man was running back into the building, shouting for Heihachi.
Hwoarang kneeled over the creature. "Man, snap out of it. You gotta get out of here. Grand pappy's gonna be out here in seconds, and when that happens, its all over for you." He cringed as the wings spread, obviously trying to keep cool. Hwoarang shook his head and pushed at them. "Put those away. It won't help if your drawing attention to yourself like that. I'd carry you but you're too heavy, and I hate you."
The wings folded and disappeared into Jin's back. The marks began to fade, and soon it was as if the devil had never been there. Jin just lay there, his eyes closed, but his breathing was uneven, proving that he was not unconscious. What could be done to get him out of there? Hwoarang sneered, and hauled his rival over his shoulder, almost losing his own balance, and heading away from the area. He staggered down the street, fighting the exhaustion caused by straining himself in the intense heat.
Hwoarang filled the tub with ice cold water, and dumped his rival in, not bothering to remove any of the man's clothing. The heat could have a very serious impact on a person's system. It was possible it was the same way for people possessed by devils; then again, Kazuya did survive an active volcano.
"S'too cold," Jin slurred, his eyes still closed.
"I don't give a damn. I'll be right back with some ice cubes." Hwoarang got up and walked into another room.
Jin turned his head, trying to get comfortable, only to dip his face in the cold water. "Too mush wader… Hwoarang… Hwoarang! Mush wader! … Hell… cold…"
The Korean came back in, "Well, I ain't got no ice cubes so your in luck. I think that's only for a really high fever, anyway, and you ain't that bad yet."
"What was that? You want more?" Hwoarang twisted on the cold water until it wouldn't turn any more. He grinned at Jin's irritated growl-like noise.
Nothing was on the three TV channels and the air conditioner was broken. The fridge was empty with the exception of a half empty jar of pickles. Two light bulbs needed changing, so the main room was exceptionally dark. There was a pile of clothes that had needed cleaning for weeks. It was hard trying to get money when all you had experience with was illegal gambling and winning random tournaments. It would have been easier if he hadn't pissed off all his fellow street fighter punks more then a year ago.
What kind of scam could he pull to get a little cash? Pretend to be homeless? No he didn't have enough fake scars and other fake disfigurations. Telemarketing scam? He could sell pictures of valuable things! No. He didn't have pictures, and he didn't have a properly working telephone. Damn it.
It was the next morning, and unfortunately, it was even hotter then the one before. Hwoarang blamed his early awakening on lack of alcohol the night before. He wasn't normally a morning person, mostly because he liked to stay up all night partying, or beating people up, or preying on fan girls, who rarely even knew what the Tournament was called where they seen him, only that they seen him, and that he's cute. He hardly needed something like a sickly devil boy to throw his whole world off… Though, he wouldn't be able to afford his typical lifestyle anyway, but he liked to have someone other than himself to blame.
The bedroom door opened and out walked a sweat soaked Jin Kazama. Hwoarang looked him over with a sneer, and turned back to opening his mail. "Fuck rent. Fuck Electricity. Fuck Ca… Why the hell am I still paying a cable bill? They cut that shit off three months ago! Oh… Good morning, Kazama. Sleep well? You look different. New tie?"
Jin looked in a cracked mirror hanging on the wall, only to find that his hair was down, falling in silky waves about his head and face. Must have been the humidity. He glanced back at his rival and studied him for a moment. "Why did you help me?"
"Had nothing better to do, and how am I supposed to kick your ass if you're stapled to a table in Heihachi's lab getting things shoved into you from who-knows-where. Now maybe you should tell you're bad side to stay home in this weather, because I'm not so sure that thing can take the heat very well." Hwoarang tossed the torn envelopes behind him and started trying to get the remote to work by hitting it against the broken coffee table. "Goddamn batteries. Long-lasting my ass!"
"Well I guess I owe you one. What do you want? Anything at all… within reason."
"Hmm…" The Korean considered, "Brunch?"
Jin quirked a brow, "You save my life and in return, ask for a measly meal? Come on, Just because I'm no longer supported by Heihachi, doesn't mean I don't have much. I'm rich Hwoarang, take advantage of it."
"But I'm hungry. I swear the next pickle I eat, I'll choke and die! God, I hate those goddamn things."
"How about you come to my place. I got tons of food there. A huge fridge, so full that it's about to explode. I got digital cable too…"
Hwoarang sneered and gave up on the remote. "I don't much care for you trying to pick me up, Kazama. Forget it, I'd rather eat my own foot then go back to your place. I may have saved your life, but the score will be evened when I demolish your entire existence in our next fight."
"It's air conditioned."
It was almost too cold in the upper-class loft, especially for a topless Korean. It was a large beautifully decorated room. A dining room, living room, kitchen, and office all in one room, and a couple doors off to the side. The office was on a platform, guarded by a wooden rail, and accessible by three large rounded steps. The dining room and living room were separated by the strategic distribution of furniture and other such fixtures. The Kitchen was practically a world of its own, surrounded by counter space built into the floor, and connecting with the walls.
Nervous? Why would he be nervous? Stepping into his rival's turf perhaps, but he knew he was safe. Jin would never trick him like that. Not with that Kazama blood in him, anyway. So why was Hwoarang so nervous? It couldn't be that he had never been in a place so nice… Well… Not legally. Maybe it was that it was somewhat weird being with Jin on less then unfriendly terms. It was weird not throwing random threats and insults at his rival.
Hwoarang looked around suspiciously, "This place stinks like pig. You had any cops in here recently?"
"Actually," Jin answered, shocked that Hwoarang could tell, "I have a friend that's a cop and he was here two nights ago, with his cop sister, and lawyer girlfriend."
"Double dating with cops? Well, I guess that's just the kinda guy you are. Why the fuck am I here again? I got work to not do today! I'm out of here!"
Jin grinned, "Do you always act like this when you're uncomfortable? Or am I just a special case?"
"I'm not uncomfortable. I'm… Ok so you're a little creepy. That's hardly my fault."
"What makes me creepy?" The young Japanese moved closer to his rival, clearly amused by the rare situation. How often does one get to see the Blood Talon so agitated? A rare, and priceless opportunity. Jin almost wanted to enhance the experience, make it even more entertaining.
As if sensing the thoughts, Hwoarang stepped back, starting to shiver from the cool air on his sweat-coated skin. It was refreshing, but Jin was not acting how he expected. Wasn't this the quiet, disciplined schoolboy he had met all those two years ago… or was it three? "That right there. That grin makes you creepy. The way those wings sink into your back makes you creepy. That thing on your arm makes you creepy. You're hair makes you creepy… though not right now. Your blood makes you creepy. You're just creepy!"
Normally those words would get to Jin, but he was in a good mood, having had a long good nights sleep, knowing that Hwoarang had slept on the greatly uncomfortable couch so he could have the mattress on the floor. Just the type of noble thing the Blood Talon would never admit to. The rough and tumble, street punk pride was another element that made the scene so amusing. It would've been a dreadfully boring day had he not invited the dear redhead.
"Why don't you take a seat. What do you want to eat?? Fruit? Pie? Or if you're willing to wait, I cook make eggs or something of the sort.."
"Got any beer? Smokes? No, what am I thinking? You wouldn't have that shit. I guess an apple will be fine."
Jin absently gave Hwoarang a side-long glance as he turned and started toward the kitchen section of the room. The glance was not lost, however. In fact, it served almost as an answer to a baffling riddle, and was a relief to have. Knowledge may not be welcomed my many people, but the Korean was greatly comforted by it. He sat down on a white leather couch, and put his feet up on the glass coffee table.
Jin pulled open the large fruit drawer, and bit his lip, "Well, I got about 4 different types of apples. Got any favourites?"
Hwoarang shrugged, shuffling through an essay he found by his makeshift footrest. "Surprise me… Hey Kazama, I didn't know you wrote an geek paper… About a bunch of dead bald guys. Wow, you're really a boring person, ain't ya? Isn't there anything in that creepy little skull of yours slightly more creative than the history of some monastery?"
"It's a haunted Monastery," Jin replied, picking out a golden apple. "It's a dangerous place. Some say the spirits are angry about the way they died; others say that after it was closed down, a homicidal slasher type moved in. There's about a million different ghost stories to go with that place." He tossed the apple to Hwoarang. "Creative enough?"
"Come here, Kazama. I want to ask you something."
"Ask away. As far as I know, we're the only ones here. No need to keep anything quiet. I occupy the whole top floor so the closest loft is below me, and no one lives there anymore." The grin returned, "Or are you shy?"
The Korean shook his head, "The heat gave me a bit of a headache, so I don't feel like shouting across the room to you. Now come here before I freeze to death."
"Oh you're cold? It's a bit warmer in the bedrooms. Follow me…"
"No. Come here."
After a few seconds of hesitation, Jin finally complied, keeping enough distance between the two so that the Korean could easily tell that Jin was suspicious. The grin switched faces, now occupying the redhead's features. He heedlessly reached out and grabbed Jin by the collar of his wrinkled sleeve-less silk shirt, and pulled him in so that there was less then an inch between them. "I think you'd better tell me what the hell it is you really want from me, because all this beating around the bush is really making me dizzy."
In a reckless act of obedience, the young Japanese grabbed Hwoarang by the back of the neck, and pushed him into a rough inexperienced kiss. A major shock to both of them, Jin not realising what he was doing until it was over, and Hwoarang not believing that his rival had the guts to do something like that. Once they were apart, they stared at each other, trying to make sense of what just happened, and trying to decipher whether it was real or not.
Hwoarang awkwardly licked his lips, the feel of his rival's still lingering on him. He tried to think of a way to recover smoothly without losing face, or anything else that may be on the line. It was too late. The damage had to be done, but maybe he was safe. The Japanese man seemed to be just as taken aback. Was there anyway to take control? It was difficult standing there, in a pathetic eye-to-eye state. Someone had to say something that would clear the air, but Hwoarang had no idea what would be appropriate.
"Uh…" Jin stepped back, finally looking away. "I have a couple phone calls to make. I'll be in the next room."
Jin paused and hesitantly looked back toward the redhead. His dark lashes lowered slightly in subtle submission. He turned away, toward the door of his bedroom, but stayed put, waiting, yet not willing to face his rival any longer for fear that it would happen again.
Hwoarang's brow knitted in frustration as he tried to sort out his thoughts. It couldn't possibly be worse. The situation had gone down in a tailspin, and he couldn't even figure out who to blame. Was it his fault for asking, or was it Jin's fault for doing? Did it matter? It happened, and placing the blame wouldn't give him the intelligence to come up with something rude and angry to say at the moment, so his thought pattern switched to more important matters.
"So you were trying to pick me up, after all." The Korean grinned slightly, trying not to appear so baffled. Though it didn't work. "What were you doing over at the Mishima tech, anyway?"
Jin smiled briefly at the casual subject change. He glanced back at his rival, eyes lowered enough to avoid meeting the Korean's inquisitive gaze, and proceeded to walking into his bedroom.
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