DISCLAIMER: Tekken, Jin, Hwoarang, and everything else associated with the game are owned by Namco, not me.

Notes: This fic has no point, really. But I like it. ^-^

Part of the Day

By Keishi


They ran... they ran like it was going out of style and they had so many yards of it left... they ran like Hwoarang fucked, hard and fast and like he'd never be able to do it again... they just ran.

"Fuck, Kazama!" The words came out without voice, just a force of breath. Hwoarang slowed his breakneck pace as he looked over his shoulder; no one was following. He doubled over, hands on his thighs, heaving. He thought he was going to be sick.

Jin slowed a few yards ahead, not trusting that an entire fleet of the Tekken force wasn't hiding in the crack of the alleyway they had taken refuge in. The sky was dark as ink; what stars may have been shining above were blacked out by the bright, grimy city lights. There was a rustle behind Jin, and he swung to meet it so fast, Hwoarang's head nearly spun itself off just watching. Jin glared menacingly, chest heaving, as a bone-thin cat skittered its way out of the no-longer-empty alleyway. It could find its nightly meal elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.

"What the fuck were they, Jin? Huh?" Hwoarang's voice sounded angry.

Jin turned to face his-- he guessed Hwoarang could be considered his rival, though he personally had nothing against the blood-haired Korean. "They were after me. And keep your voice down, they may still be around somewhere." He shot a mildly annoyed look at the lanky fighter.

Hwoarang threw his hands up. "They're always after you, Kazama! What the fuck, do you have molten gold running in your veins or what?!" He didn't bother to keep his voice down, either.

"Not gold." A wry smile graced Jin's softly curving, arrogant lips. "Something even more valuable, apparently, to old man Mishima."

Surveying a cut on his upper arm, Hwoarang looked up at Jin's words. "Whatever it is that makes you go all Superman?"

Jin studied Hwoarang for a minute. "You've seen me when I turn into It." He made his words accusatory.

Hwoarang held up both hands, as if to ward off a verbal attack. "All I saw was you were pretty injured at the end of last King of Iron Fist, when I helped you out. You got this really weird aura around you, and suddenly you could leap across buildings with a single bound. Whatever that was, it's beyond me, man. I'm just saying what I saw." Hwoarang spat out the last few words, turning away from his rival. And yes, Jin was his rival, dammit! He unconsciously cradled his left arm to him almost protectively, keeping one eye on the black-haired man, not willing to completely ignore Jin. "So what now?"

Jin looked over at Hwoarang. "What do you mean, what now? We go our separate ways, you go to a hospital to get that arm looked at, and we never see each other again. It's that simple." He shrugged.

Hwoarang threw himself in front of Jin. "It is _not_ that simple, Kazama! You were there! They were trying to kill _me_ as well as you!"

"Only because you were with me!" Jin yelled back. His brown eyes flashed swirling red for an instant, long enough for Hwoarang to see.

"W-what are you, man?" The blood-haired man unconsciously backed away a few steps. When he realized what he was doing, he frowned and regained them. The Blood Talon was nothing if not brave.

Jin lowered his head, looking down at the grimy asphalt under his shoes. He flipped up the hood of his jacket and turned away. "You don't want to know. _I_ would like nothing better than to forget what's inside of me. Just go, man, it's safer that way." His voice was soft.

Hwoarang studied the profile of his arch rival, his most hated enemy. His jaw was set in an uncompromising scowl, but his eyes were rimmed with wetness. The fact that Jin's last words sounded so hopeless as to actually make him, the Blood Talon, choke up just made Hwoarang angrier. "Who the fuck do you think you are?" The words came as a surprise to even Hwoarang as they ripped themselves out of his throat.

Jin turned back to him, blinked. "What?"

"Who the FUCK does Jin f-ing Kazama think he is, acting all 'world on my shoulder' and 'woe is me.'" Hwoarang strutted around the alley on long, stalking legs, gesturing wildly. "You're a fucking whiny little pansy-ass, Kazama. You're not the only one who's got it bad, ya know?!" He received no response from the fighter. Angrily, Hwoarang reached up and yanked Jin's hood down. "Look at me, dammit!" He shoved his face into Jin's. "LOOK AT ME!"

Slowly Jin did as he was bidden, his eyes trailing up Hwoarang's still-panting chest, long, graceful neck, up to his arrogant face, currently a mask of hot fury. His dark eyes burned into Jin's, his mouth twisted into a look of total hatred. "Hwoarang--"

"No. You're listening to _me_ now, Jinny. Ever since we first met, I've done nothing, _nothing_, but think about you. I think about how I can beat you, or how you might beat me. I first entered the stupid tournament because you were in it! That, and..." Hwoarang spun from Jin, holding his head in his hands. "Baek..."

Jin couldn't make out the last that Hwoarang said, but he could hear how broken the man's voice sounded. "Hwoarang?"

"Shut UP!" Hwoarang turned quickly, planting both hands on Jin's chest. He pushed with his palms, head down, until Jin was pressed between the wall and his arms. He looked up at the black-haired man, tears dripping from his eyes. A small laugh escaped his throat.

"You okay?" Jin dared, looking intensely at his 'rival.' His own hands gripped the Blood Talon's scratched-up forearms.

Hwoarang weakened his own grip, hands sliding down Jin's shoulders as he fell slightly forward. Jin's hands were really the only substantial thing holding him up. He chuckled again, bitterly. "...Yeah. I'll be just peachy fucking keen." He lifted himself off of Jin and turned around, presenting his back to his fellow fighter. "So they're after you again, huh?"

It took Jin a moment to process who 'they' were, but he nodded. He then realized that his self-proclaimed rival probably couldn't see that, lacking eyes in the back of his head as he did, silly Blood Talon. "Yeah. But they're always after me. Nothing's changed, not in several years."

Hwoarang snorted. "Same old, same old, right? 'What'd you do today, honey?'" he parodied. "'Oh, you know, the usual-- ran from the Tekken force, forced to hang out in an alley/parking garage/convenient dark place with my arch-nemesis again.' That about right?"

Jin laughed softly, one shoe scuffing at the ground. "About it, yeah." He leaned back on the wall, watching the Blood Talon closely.

Hwoarang turned back around, a grin on his tearstained face. He wiped at his cheeks with one arm, looking up into the barely discernible night sky. "I'd say it's time for a change, Jin." He looked back at his rival. "Wouldn't you?"

Jin regarded Hwoarang silently, watching as the wiry fighter hopped from one foot to the other in a constant flow of movement. It seemed the man never stopped moving. He glanced down at his own stagnant self, his mouth twitching. Looking back up at Hwoarang, staring straight into his eyes, he said, "I would." He then moved into a basic karate stance and beckoned his rival, now friend, forward. "Care for a rematch?"

Hwoarang chuckled, his mouth breaking out into a genuine smile. He backed up a few inches, and motioned at his arm. "If you're man enough to finally issue the challenge, I accept. But now I'm finally man enough to say when I can't fight, and this arm's telling me that I can't. Take a rain check?"

Jin's smile spread wide, relieved. "That's what I was hoping for. Come on, I know a place we can get you patched up and no one will be the wiser."

One eyebrow quirked up. "All a part of your day?"

Jin nodded, and laughed. And it felt good; finally.

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