Author's Note: I know I write the characters a little weird, me and my OCCness...^^; I'm sorry if I've totally ruined the characters for you ^_^; *double sweatdrop*

Well, ain't that quaint

Chapter 1 - Aitaku nakatta kedo...

By Crimson Assassin

Dark cloth draped a well defined face, hooding his features in a shroud of dangerous mystery. Deep brown foreboding eyes scanned the giant bustling international airport and he let a worn duffel bag drop from the gloved hand at his right side. He had returned to a land that he had painfully tried to erase from his memory... and yet here he was again, back in his homeland of Japan, and ready for the 4th Iron Fist Tournament. He grunted at the irony of it all. He could have just ended it all back at the 3rd tournament, taken everything there with him, including that bastard of a man that claimed to be his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima. He clenched his fist angrily, breathing out the musty cigarette smell. But he hadn't ended it. He refused to take the lives of those innocent. In a way, the Demon residing in his soul was almost the exact opposite of his true inner self. He loathed his Father for his curse, and he loathed his grandfather's betrayal.

At that moment a woman and her small child rushed by, shoving past him in any way but politely. He took the less than subtle hint with a crease of his eyebrows and grabbed his single bag, removing himself from the busy flow of traffic and headed towards the parking lot. He reached into his back pocket, grasping at his wallet and grumbling at the estimation of the cost of a taxi to the nearest hotel. Suddenly his eyes met that of the one other person he had tried so desperately to forget... the Blood Talon.
Amber eyes darkened, immediately drinking in the sight before them. The Japanese youth only stood speechless. The red hair that was once so long and untamed was cut short, and spiked in all different directions. Features that once glowed with disobedience had a more disciplined look to them -not much, but enough worth mentioning-. Dog tags rested against a muscled chest clad in a dusty Korean military uniform. A dirty little satchel hung loosely from a pale hand.

"A-aren't you ... ?"

"... Hwoarang... "

The Korean looked annoyed as he strutted up to hooded fighter and looked him over. He pulled the hood off roughly, suddenly snatching his hand back as if he had just burned himself.

"Jin Kazama! It is you! You've come for the tournament, haven't you!?"

They stared at each other for a few moments before Jin nodded and pulled the hood back up over his head. He was about to make his retreat when Hwoarang blocked his path with his own body.

"W-Where are you going? You can't leave me, I don't know how to get there!"

Jin fell over.

"W-What do you mean you don't know how to get there... !?"

Hwoarang swirled away from him and crossed his arms over his chest with a humph.

"I just escaped from the Korean Military to get here. I didn't have a lot of time to pick up many details... "

Jin sweatdropped.

"Well... what were you're plans before you met up with me? What were you going to do... !?"

Hwoarang turned back around, amber flashing mischievously.

"I hadn't really though about that! All I could think about was kicking your ass again!"

He grinned and snickered.

Jin shifted the grip on his bag, scratching his upper arm.

"Hwoarang, ties mean there were no victors... and you did NOT kick my ass."

Hwoarang laughed, obviously joking, rewarded with an actual genuine smile from his stoic archival.

"I was going to go call a taxi and find a hotel. Did you bring any money?"

Hwoarang turned away again, shaking his head 'no'. Jin took that as his cue.

"Would you care to accompany me then?"

Hwoarang stared at him for awhile before he raised a slender eyebrow.

"C-can we do that... ? Last time I saw you I wanted to knock your head off... and you probably felt the same about me. Wouldn't this be kinda weird... ?

"Alright, be that way then."

Jin made to walk past him, smirking proudly to himself for calculating the red head so accurately. Hwoarang placed an uneasy hand to his shoulder. Knew it.

"Um... if it's alright with you... I mean... Well, you know what I mean."

He'd matured. He wasn't the same young fighter with the one tracked mind aimed solely for revenge. He was beginning to think things through and was a lot less difficult for Jin to handle than he was three years ago.

Hwoarang picked up his tiny bag and followed Jin down the wide airport corridor. It was so packed Hwoarang practically had to hold Jin's hand, instead grabbing his shoulder whenever they were almost separated by the crowd. Businessmen chatted on tiny cell phones and carried leather briefcases, shoving their way through the riot. Hwoarang wasn't sure what he was most uncomfortable with; brushing up against so many strangers, or relying on Jin Kazama to lead him safety through them. Finally they reached the giant glass exits lining the front wall, Hwoarang breathing a sigh of relief. Jin looked back at him and smirked, Hwoarang made a face.


"Nothing. Let's go."

While Jin signaled for a taxi Hwoarang grabbed a cigarette from his front pocket and searched his body with his freehand for a light. He grumbled in a huff as he noted he hadn't stolen the one sitting on his tent mate's cabinet as he left earlier that morning. He let it hang from his lips as he straightened his dirty uniform cuffs, glancing up suddenly as a flame danced at the tip of his unlit cigarette. He nearly fell backwards at the sight of the lighter's owner.

"B-bryan Fury!? What are you doing here!?"

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