In the Shadows
Chapter 5 - Location Change
“I know I haven’t really said anything yet, but before we make it to your place, there is a question I must ask of you...”
“What is it?”
“Are you and... Hwoarang... well...”
Jin sighed as he turned away from Lei, who was still driving intently. “I think you know the answer to that, Lei...” Jin remarked to this.
“Oh...” Lei all but replied in a sense, just continuing to drive.
“I can bet this doesn’t thrill you very much...” Jin added on, still facing out the window to his left. “I know it doesn’t.”
“Well... I mean, I still think it would be better if you were with a woman to begin with... Along with the fact that this is Hwoarang we’re talking about here...” Lei muttered with a sigh. “But this also is your life.”
“I suppose I’m not very good at keeping secrets,” Jin said in remarks with the slightest laugh.
“Trust me, Jin. It is not you who has so many secrets...”
“You are going to tell me what really happened to you in the mirror house?” Jin once again pressed the issue.
“I told you, it’s nothing... I chased a criminal in there and couldn’t see very well with only a few neons, so he was able to get a few hits in on me, that’s all,” Lei remarked, trying to sound sure of himself.
Jin didn’t believe this. “And who was this criminal?”
Out of the corner of his eye, Lei could tell Jin was shooting him that pressuring look again, which also had shown annoyance. “You wouldn’t know of him. Just some bank-robber I recognized.”
“Oh,” Jin replied, knowing there wasn’t a lot he could really say to this. Still, Lei obviously didn’t feel comfortable discussing the subject. “You sure you shouldn’t get that cut on your chest looked at?”
“It’s not bad,” Lei replied with a shake of the head, “I’m more concerned about just putting a shirt back on. I look like an utter idiot walking around shirtless when the temperature’s obviously under forty degrees Celsius by now.”
“Well, that is true... You do look rather stupid.”
“Shut up,” Lei partially chuckled, knowing Jin had meant this more along the lines of jokingly.
“This is it,” Jin made noticed, as the detective turned left into a parking lot thereafter. “Looks like we just about made it. It looks like rain, soon.”
“That’s unfortunate for the others still at the theme park,” stated Lei.
Jin nodded in response. “It’s really not fair, though if it’s not too bad, I’m sure they’ll still enjoy themselves all the same. Especially Xiaoyu.”
“It seems hard to bring her down,” Lei agreed, pulling into one of the parking spaces up front. “Jin... I think it would still be best if I just drop you off here. There’s no point in me staying, and unfortunately enough, I’m going to have to actually agree with hothead on something. I am an adult, and can take care of myself.”
“Will you just stop for one second in thinking it’s always your job to protect everybody else? What about yourself?”
“Sometimes, Jin, it is not always about the credit for me... I do not want people to suffer, especially if it’s on my behalf...”
“I feel the same way...” Jin murmured.
“Jin, I just...”
“Ah!!!” Jin and Lei simultaneously exclaimed, Lei even hitting his head on the roof of the car.
Hwoarang had also given a loud slap to the car window at Lei’s right during his exclamation. “Alright, you two have been in there long enough. Out!”
With a long, frustrated sigh, Lei pressed the automatic unlocking button, as he and the Karate fighter exited the authority vehicle shortly afterwards.
“That took you two an awfully long time to get back...” Hwoarang stated with suspicion dripping from his voice.
“Please don’t start again, Hwoarang,” Jin sighed in an annoyed tone.
“Alright, Hwoarang,” Lei began after once again rolling his eyes, “I know about you and Jin, and I have no problems with this, okay? It’s what Jin wants that’s important, and I respect that.”
“What about what I want?” Hwoarang inquired.
“I don’t care about what you want,” Lei remarked with a smirk.
“You little fucker,” Hwoarang snapped back. “I’m going to teach you to show me some respect, because no one backtalks the Blood Talon.”
“I think I’ll just be leaving now, if that’s okay with you?” Lei sarcastically questioned the redhead. “I’ve got work to do.”
“Yeah, and put a shirt on while you’re at it. You look like an utter idiot walking around shirtless when the temperature’s obviously under forty degrees Celsius by now.”
Jin started to chortle, while Lei only sighed yet again.
“Detective? Detective Lei, are you there?”
All three of the standing fighters turned, to face the depths of Lei’s police car through its lucid windows.
“It’s my radio,” Lei stated, hurriedly opening the driver’s side door back open. Directly after this, Lei took the small radio from the plated dashboard into grasp. “Wei, this is Detective Lei speaking.”
Jin and Hwoarang both continued to stand outside, though listening to Wulong’s spoken words intently.
“What? When was this? I see... Do you know who it was? No... Yes, I understand...”
When Lei put the radio back into place, Jin and Hwoarang were, needless to say, rather curious concerning the topic of Lei’s sudden alerting.
The long-haired fighter exhaled a deep breath, and turned around as he fully stood.
“Well?” Hwoarang asked in impatience.
“My hotel room was ransacked... And a message was left there for me...”
“What did it say?” inquired Jin in definite interest.
“It said I would die soon...” Lei remarked in a trail.
The Korean and Japanese both blinked, looking somewhat shocked at the same time.
“Alright...” Jin abruptly spoke up. “Now you’re definitely not going anywhere tonight.”
“Ah damnit...” Hwoarang grumbled. “I wanna retort to this, but I’m not THAT much of an asshole.”
“Alright...” Lei sighed, knowing not many wise options were open at this point. “I’ll stay, but only until more detectives from my fleet arrive tomorrow. Then, I’m just going to have to get back to work in solving whatever’s going on here...”
Jin nodded. “Well, up we go, then. My door’s on the second floor.”
“I know exactly where your door is, Kazama,” Hwoarang sniggered in Lei’s direction.
If this was an anime movie, Lei knew this was exactly the prime point to insert a classic sweatdrop next to his head.
Hwoarang sniggered again. “Heh. Heh heh...”
Lei sighed. Make that a big sweatdrop.
“Hey Kazama,” Hwoarang began in the same tone of voice as his last comment, “How about you and I take the elevator up, while Lei can take the stairs?”
“Hwoarang...” Lei started in a grunt, “It’s only one floor.”
“I know, but Jin and I could still use some elevator time,” Hwoarang snickered.
“You didn’t let me finish,” the detective remarked. “This is an apartment complex. There is no elevator, you idiot.”
“Damnit,” Hwoarang muttered under his breath, despite the fact that he’d been joking about not just taking the stairs in the first place.
“Will you two stop fighting already?” Jin questioned in a voice full of aggravation. “I’m not sure I can take much more of it, especially for a night.”
“Oh, well that’s easy. You and I can stay in the bedroom the whole time and sleep on the bed, while Wulong stays on the couch.”
“Fine with me,” Lei remarked in a nonchalant voice as he reached the top of the stairs.
Jin had been the first to reach the door, removing a small key-card from his pants pocket soon after. Once he had unlocked it, the Karate fighter turned the metal doorknob and held the door open for the other two men to follow.
“And don’t worry Wulong,” stated Hwoarang as he continued upon his entrance into the living room. “We won’t be too noisy tonight.”
“That’s because there will be no noise,” Jin smirked, causing Hwoarang to grumble in disappointment.
“Jin, do you have shirt I could borrow for now?” Lei inquired.
“I do, but I don’t think they’d fit you, since my muscles are bigger.”
Lei looked annoyed.
Hwoarang started laughing. “Yeah that’s it. Wulong’s a little shrimp.”
“I most certainly am not,” Lei retorted. “You insolate, arrogant twit. And I’m not going to warn you again on the issue of addressing me by my given name.”
“Here you go,” Jin stated rather randomly, tossing a set of folded shirts in Lei’s general direction.
“I don’t know about you, Kazama, but I’m starving. I must’ve ate two loads of cotton candy back there, but it just wasn’t enough,” the Korean stated.
“That’s must’ve ‘eaten’,” Lei corrected, slipping what appeared to be a black tank top over his head.
“Ner nun shiba geseki,” Hwoarang grunted.
“Ni shi bai chi,” the detective smirked in response.
Hwoarang turned to Jin. “I hate Chink talk. What the hell did he just call me?”
“What did you call me?” Lei snapped back.
“Though I understood all of that, I’m not getting involved,” Jin sighed yet again.
“Hey, this shirt is a pretty nice fit,” Wulong stated, then slipping the button-down shirt on over it, which was also black. “Not my usual choice of attire, though.”
“They’re Hwoarang’s,” Jin bluntly stated.
“Ack, get them off then,” Lei instantly remarked to this.
Hwoarang gave the same look. “Eww, I don’t want Wulong wearing my clothes!”
“I told you not to call me Wulong!”
“Will you grow up and start acting mature already?” Jin criticized.
“Yeah, hothead,” Lei added on.
Jin then turned to the long-haired fighter. “That was directed at you, too.”
When Jin turned around, Hwoarang immediately gave Lei the finger and stuck his tongue out while making a rude face.
“Jin, did you see that?” Lei accused, pointing at the redhead.
“Hey, I didn’t do anything,” Hwoarang said in an abrupt statement to this. “He’s making it all up!”
Jin felt a headache coming on, as he rubbed either of his temples in a temporary circular motion. “Let’s just eat already. I have plenty of rice, udon, and domburi.”
“Well hurry up and fix it then, cause’ I’m still starving here.”
“I can help you in there if you want, Jin?” Lei inquired in all politeness, “I’m not rude, lazy, and ungrateful like some people are.”
“And I’m not shrimpy, bitchy, and prissy like something people are,” Hwoarang stated shortly after Lei’s previous words.
Jin smirked. “And I’m not immature, annoying, and aggravating like two people are.”
“Heh heh, he called you annoying,” Hwoarang teased Lei as Jin stepped over to the kitchen area.
“Well he called you immature, you twitful buffoon,” Lei remarked back.
Jin was literally about to go crazy.
“Alright, I’ve had it. If you two don’t shut the hell up right now, I’m going to kick both of your asses just to shut you up.”
Hwoarang and Lei both stopped.
Ah... silence... Jin thought to himself. It was just so wonderful...
“Haha, why don’t you speak up, Lei? I’d love to see Jin kick your ass,” Hwoarang whispered in a barely audible voice.
“Well the fact that you’re whispering shows you’re afraid of getting your ass kicked. I, on the other hand, just want to prevent you from driving Jin nuts.” Lei also spoke in a whisper.
“Hey, I can still hear you,” Jin scolded from the kitchen.
“What do you want?”
“You’re not the only one who doesn’t like orders. You already know what I want, and I’m willing to help you in return.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“I’ll take care of the target. Just make sure you’re there at the time I gave you tomorrow, and we’ll both get what we want out of this.”
“We’ll see about that...”
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