-A/N: I suppose I should start scolding myself for not making these updates sooner. -.-;; I keep worrying about getting flamed. (I’m being honest here...) ChibiShiva, I also I finished the challenge fic, which I will also probably post here later today or tomorrow, and once again hope not to get flamed... I’m still saddened after a real nasty one I received a couple weeks ago... Not here, though, it was at livejournal. I can at least laugh at the fact that this rabid fangirl didn’t know WHY I had given Jin wings in a few fanworks, which she also flamed me for. Apparently, she knew nothing except that Jin, Hwoarang, Lee, and Lei were hot to her and should have a big orgy. (laughs) She also flamed me for not pairing Lei with Lee, when I actually have before.. :P And me is mad that even MORE of the symbols are gone... Chibi, I share your wrath of the lost symbols...
I also need to mention this just because. TO updated today, and did anyone else out there other than Audrey and I note the way ALL of the screenshots were of BryanvsLei and KazuyavsLee? LOL. (I’m stupid...) And I suppose Lei’s taken a very big liking to baby-pink silky stuff..
Okay, I’ll shut-up now...
In the Shadows
Chapter 2 - Caught on Carousel
“Thanks for the ride, Lei-Lei,” Xiaoyu said with a nod of the head. “Though I still don’t get why Hwoarang insisted on having me ride in here, rather than on his motorcycle.”
Jin and Lei both sighed in unison, knowing exactly the reason.
Suddenly, a honking noise was heard from Lei’s right, as he looked out the window to see none other than Hwoarang.
“Whoo-hoo! I feel the need for speed, mothafuckas!” the redhead shouted, proceeding to speed past Lei’s police car and down the street; interweaving between every vehicle in his path.
“...I’m not even going to say anything,” Lei once again sighed, while Jin rubbed his temples.
“So Lei, why haven’t you left to return home yet?” Xiaoyu asked from Lei’s left, as she sat in the middle between Lei and Jin.
“Another case to worry about, go figure,” Wulong replied, keeping his eyes set on the street before him. “But I will eventually be leaving soon, nevertheless. I have to get back to my station in given time or the Interpol with have my throat.”
“That doesn’t seem very nice...” Xiaoyu stated in a trail, “After all, you’re the one doing the work.”
“I know, but it’s hard to get credit for solving your own missions these days...”
Xiaoyu’s brows furrowed. “But shouldn’t solving the missions and saving lives be worth much more than the credit in the first place? That’s what you should have your eye on, for that is the prize.”
Jin laughed, while Lei wished he had a dashboard to bang his head against at this time.
Ling was dead right.
“I know that, Xiaoyu...” Lei muttered, then flicking on his car’s headlights since the darkness had mounted rather rapidly outside. “Oh go figure, I’m always wrong, though...”
“You should stop putting yourself down so much,” stated Jin in remarks. “You can only speak with sarcasm so long before it disappears.”
“It did a long time ago, Jin...” Lei said with an exhale, the sky then filling with bright lights of the sorts.
“Ooh, we’re here,” Xiaoyu said with her voice beaming in excitement.
“Good luck finding a parking place,” granted Jin, instantly noting they were most defiantly going to have to park a mile away from the theme park. The lot seemed to be full already.
“Leave that to me,” Lei assured, sounding rather hopeful.
“Why are you heading down the front row?” Jin immediately inquired, “We’ll never find a vacant space here.”
A completely free lane soon came into view, which Lei no sooner parked against.
“Uh, isn’t this a ‘no parking’ lane?” Jin asked in more of statement.
Lei nodded. “And this is a police car, therefore I have special benefits while driving it.”
“No argument here,” Ling chuckled, while Jin gave a shrug.
Right when the long-haired fighter exited the vehicle, he sighed yet again, shaking his head.
“What is it?” Jin asked with furrowing brows, before directing his glance to what Lei’s was set on.
“That’s Hwoarang’s Harley parked in a handicap space. What I want to know is where he acquired that phony handicapped license plate to put over his own...”
“Probably a junk yard,” Jin remarked.
“Go figure. I wonder what other lovely trinkets he finds in his home,” Lei smirked.
“That was rude,” Xiaoyu criticized, “Though Hwoarang does deserve a hauling for this...”
“Please don’t do it, Lei,” Jin entreated, “Then we’ll never hear the end of it. You know as well as I do it’s not worth it...”
Lei shuddered to some degree. “Okay, point made...”
“Well what are we waiting for, let’s go have some fun!” Xiaoyu exclaimed, ringing either of her arms around those of Jin and Lei as she stood between them.
“I still can’t believe I’m here,” Jin sighed.
“Me neither,” replied Lei.
“I know. I never would’ve expected you to come.”
“I meant believe that you’re here,” Lei added on.
“Oh shut up.”
All three of the fighters began to laugh, as they proceeded in their walk towards the large theme park, still arm-in-arm.
“So we’re heading for the ferris wheel, right?” inquired Jin.
Xiaoyu nodded, either of her neatly pulled back pigtails shaking with each motion of the head. “That’s where everyone agreed to meet.”
“And it looks like we’re not actually at all that late,” stated Jin, “Thanks to Lei’s handy parking.”
“Hey, Hwoarang didn’t do much better,” Lei pouted in retort.
“But he’s Hwoarang,” Xiaoyu sighed. “Thankfully, he’s actually not acting so much like an asshet as he was before.”
“I find that hard to believe,” replied Lei with a roll of the eyes.
As the three fighters reached the front entrance, they briefly stood in one of the short lines to pay their ways in.
“Just great,” Lei said with faked enthusiasm, “I just love burning money.”
“In most cases these days, you have to burn money to burn time,” Jin added on.
“Good point,” Lei chuckled, paying the entrance fee directly after Jin had.
“Ooh, just look at this place, you guys!” the young Chinese girl brightly exclaimed while tugging at both Jin’s and Lei’s arms yet again. “See, one day when I build a theme park, it will be even bigger than this! Oh! And I’ll have a huge rollercoaster that’s pink, and rides made up of flying panda planes, and a water slide, and a pink spinnaker, and a large store that sells just cotton candy, and, and a loopdeeloop that goes way up high, and ice-cream, and a mini-zoo, and, and just oh so much!”
Jin and Lei were looking at each other over Xiaoyu’s head, struggling to skip along with her. Both of them just laughed yet again.
“Sounds like a good goal, Xiaoyu,” granted Lei.
“Think it will happen?”
“I’m sure it will,” Lei said with a smile.
“Well it’s about time you fuckers got here.”
“It’s Hwoarang,” Lei said without even turning to face forward. “I just know it.”
Jin nodded sure enough.
The redhead walked up to Lei, and slapped him hard on the back to where he nearly fell over. “I’m surprised driving two miles per hour could get you all here that fast.”
“And I’m surprised you haven’t been called in for sticking fake handicap plates over your own,” Lei smirked in response to this.
“You parked in the fire lane, didn’t you?”
Lei sighed yet again this day. “Forgetting...”
“Hey you guys!” Miharu Hirano exclaimed with a wave, then rushing over to give Xiaoyu a hug. She was soon followed by Steve Fox and Christie Monteiro.
“Hey bloke,” Steve said directed at Lei, “Didn’t expect to see you here tonight.”
“Or did you mean ‘didn’t want’ to see you here tonight?” Hwoarang rudely laughed.
“Give it a rest, Hwoa,” Jin stated with a shake of the head.
“I had some free time tonight and thought ‘why not?’”, Lei replied to the blonde boxer.
“Yeah, cause’ the hair salon was booked,” Hwoarang snickered.
“Really? That happened to me too,” Christie stated as she joined the group, “Isn’t that so annoying?”
Hwoarang continued laughing, while Lei continued sighing. “Sure...”
“Ooh ooh, let’s go ride the carousel,” Xiaoyu suggested happily, clinging onto Jin’s left-arm. “Sorry,” she then giggled, “I suppose after all the non-stop school work for so long, I’m excited now that it’s finally over.”
“Why not?” asked Steve, “Christie and I have already ridden the ferris wheel ten times waiting for you all to get here.”
“And four of those times, Miharu and I were on it too,” Hwoarang scolded, looking at Lei. “Like I said, two miles per hour.”
“Yes Hwoarang, I drove the speed limit. Whatever shall we do?” the detective stated with sarcastic fright contained in his voice.
“Hey, watch it, ‘Lei-Lei’,” Hwoarang warned.
Lei huffed. “Please don’t call me that, Rangy.”
“Oh goddamnit,” Hwoarang said, flailing his arms, “Let’s just go ride those horses already.”
“Yay,” Xiaoyu stated in tune to this.
The seven fighters began ambling in the direction of the carousel, which actually wasn’t too many yards away. Lei walked alongside Christie, as Steve moved forwards to talk to Jin. “So, any luck with Eddy?” asked the long-haired detective.
Christie let out a saddened sigh, facing the ground beneath. “Even now, no one’s been able to find him... I know he’s here... I just know it. Yet I also know Eddy doesn’t want me to get hurt over him...”
“I think that shows he cares a great deal for you,” Lei admitted with a nod.
“I know that... but I had always hoped he would show me this in a different way,” Christie replied in an uneasy voice.
“So how’s it going?” Jin asked Steve, gesturing back to where Lei and Christie were walking.
“I feel it’s just no use...” Steve remarked, running a hand back through his blonde hair. “I’m knackered. No matter what, it’s obvious that mentor of hers is the only guy in her eyes...”
“This is getting confusing...” Hwoarang laughed, looking over his shoulder to make sure Miharu and Xiaoyu weren’t listening in, “So you want Christie, Christie wants Eddy, Julia wants you, Xiaoyu wants Jin, Miharu wants me, and Jin wants me. Oh what the hell? Everyone wants a piece of this redhead,” Hwoarang boasted.
Steve sighed with a chortle. “So... how are you planning to tell everyone about this?” asked the boxer.
“It’s brewing in here, it’s just, you know, not ready yet,” Hwoarang said while tapping his head. “I mean... I like Miharu, after all, and Xiaoyu’s a fun gal too, when she’s not stoked up on sugar like it was cocaine.”
“Why isn’t Julia here again?” Jin questioned the British fighter.
“Oh you know her. Always doing work at the labs, still researching this genocell.”
“How fucking boring is that?” Hwoarang laughed, “The only way I’m staring at a screen all day is if there’s a remote or game controller in my hands. Or porn.”
“Remind me to give you another one of my boring lectures, Hwoa,” Jin sighed with his arms folded.
Hwoarang threw his left-arm over Jin. “Well ya know, the birds and bees are just as interesting.”
“You’re hopeless,” Steve laughed.
“Jin and Hwoarang seem to be on good terms, lately...” Lei said in a curious voice, looking forwards at the two as they laughed together.
“Well, you know how it is. The enemy of your enemy is your friend,” Christie replied.
“Still, there is a difference between choosing sides and choosing comrades,” remarked the detective, as they reached the carousel.
“We’re in luck, it’s just now loading,” Miharu made noticed, as her and Xiaoyu trotted up the small flight of stares.
The other fighters then followed, soon reaching the large collection of artificial horses.
“I’m riding the unicorn,” Xiaoyu stated, hopping atop it as she grasped the gold-colored pole. Miharu jumped up on the neighboring horse.
“This one’s kind of high, want a lift?” Steve asked Christie in a polite voice.
She smiled. “Sure.”
The tall boxer knelt down, to help the Brazilian woman up onto it.
“Thanks Steve,” Christie granted once on top of the horse, “Yet, I don’t think it was necessary for you to grab my thighs that low.”
Lei started laughing, before Hwoarang punched him in the arm, fairly hard. “Lay off, dumb ass.”
“Hey, you better—”
“Okay, that’s enough you two,” Jin ordered, standing between the two men. He looked up at Hwoarang, and then down at Lei with a smirk. “Let’s just ride already.”
Hwoarang grabbed Jin’s arm, then pulling him further down the round row to find some empty seats, “Yah, you know you’d like me to have a good ride.”
“...Did that just sound like what I thought it was?” Lei asked in a murmur. “Of course not. I don’t know what I’m thinking...” he scolded himself at the sheer insanity of the idea, then jumping up on the horse to Christie’s right, which was on the outside. No sooner later, the carousel started to move, as the horses all began moving up and down in tune to the classic music. Numerous lights flashed in a bright illumination, as the carousel began to speed up with its rotations.
Everyone began laughing, smiling, and talking brightly.
“Look, no hands!” Steve exclaimed, right before nearly falling off with a squeal.
“Watch it there, Steve,” Christie chuckled, as Lei also did.
This was definitely new for Lei. He was actually enjoying himself, and in such a careless way. No schedule, no tasks, nothing set in stone to be completed or solved. It actually felt nice. The cool night air blew back through his vastly long raven hair, as Lei just briefly contemplated while looking at his surroundings.
Lei’s smile faded in an instance, when in the midst of the large crowed, he saw something.
“B-Bryan...?” Lei murmured. No. No, it couldn’t have been. He was seeing things, right? There were a lot of people, one after the other. Perhaps his eyes were just playing tricks on him again? Not used to having this much fun, right? That’s what it was all about. The carousel was quick to make another full rotation, as Lei looked to the exact spot he thought he had seen Fury standing before.
The crowed was there, but no Fury.
“I’m losing it,” Lei whispered to himself.
“Something wrong, Lei?” Christie asked, noting Lei’s smile had faded in such a fast motion.
Lei chuckled, and shook it off. “No, not at all.”
“Isn’t this fun?” she then inquired, raising her voice to overlap that of the loud music associated with the carousel.
“It sure is,” Steve said with a laugh, “Giddiup there,” he ordered, smacking the side of the plastic horse. Christie and Lei both started laughing in hysterics, until Lei briefly looked in the mirror past Steve which lined the carousel’s center.
And in the reflection...
Lei gasped, and quickly turned his head back to the right.
“Lei?” Christie once again inquired, “What is it? You’ve got that shocked appearance again?”
No sooner, Lei swore he heard a dark laugh in the distance. This voice was so low... So low it could be distinguished over every other noise there was ringing through the air. The detective turned around.
On the outside of the railing, he saw none other than Bryan Fury waving at him...
“Oh my gods,” whispered Lei, who jumped straight off of the horse, barely missing a rather harsh fall to the ground. No sooner, Lei was seen jumping right over the rather tall railing which surrounded the circular carousel.
“What the hell?!” Steve exclaimed, not understanding what was going on at all.
“What’s he doing?” Christie also questioned aloud.
Xiaoyu and Miharu both turned around when hearing Steve’s abrupt exclamation. “What’s going on?” asked Xiaoyu, then noticing the empty horse. “Where’s Lei?”
“I don’t know,” Steve yelled, struggling to keep his voice at a level which could be heard over the music and other voices combined, “He just took off.”
“What was Steve yelling about back there?” Jin questioned Hwoarang, who was on the horse next to him. The horses were moving up and down at opposite paces, so it was hard for the two fighters to maintain decent audibility.
“I don’t know,” Hwoarang remarked, then turning around. “Hey wait a minute... Where’s Wulong?”
“Right there!” Jin exclaimed, looking ahead as he saw none other than the detective himself running through a large crowd as various people were near to knocked over. He was blatantly holding his gun.
Hwoarang just stared. “What the hell?”
“Move! Sorry! Coming through!” exclaimed Lei in one after the other words as he broke through the large crowed of people. Popcorn and cotton candy went flying every which way, since the detective was bumping in to and knocking people over one after the other like dominos. Up ahead, Lei could see people who had already fallen standing back up, which was a sure sign that Fury had just ran in the same direction. After sprinting about forty more yards, the crowd began to thin, and the darkness grow. Before he knew it, he was at the very edge of the park.
Lei stopped, and looked around. Suddenly, there was no one to be seen at all.
“Where.. are you..?” Lei harshly muttered to himself. There was a high railing another fifty yards ahead showing what was surely the theme park’s border, and it was rather perceptible there were no dents or holes, so Fury obviously was, indeed, still in the theme park. Lei looked down to exhale a huff of frustration as he kicked the ground.
And then took something else into view all too clearly...
Lei’s eyes widened. This was not a good sign...
Though it was darker over here, Lei was still able to make out what was an obvious trail of crimson cerise on the cement in ongoing splotches. The long-haired man let his caramel eyes follow the trail, as his face slowly began to raise up.
The trail stopped at the house of mirrors.
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