Author's Note: This starts in medias res because of the harddrive problem, but I've tried to make the flow from here on out as smooth as possible, so this should be the last week of rocky narration. Hang with us, please! Here we get Hwoarang's 'real' name, which is after a friend of mine who does tae kwon do and was chosen before I even .. well .. you'll see!

FEEDBACK: Constructive criticism is welcome!

DISCLAIMER: We dunt uwn Namco.

In the Skin of a Lion

Chapter Five

By Aaronica and Orfik

Korea's ruined templesare at the edge of the Japanese earth.

There. Here. On Japanese earth, that is where I remember Doo San.

- Try to curl your lips more ..

- Hoowawaan ...

- Curl them a little more.

- That's not your real name .. is it?

- Nah.

- Oh .. Right. You don't ..

- I want you to know. Doo San talked about her sometimes. He told me just once that she called me Joon.

- Oh. You know, my mother ..

- I know. Your mom was a legend.

- Yes. I miss her very much.

- I never heard my mother's voice. Never heard her call me ...

- Joon-kun.

- Yeah.

Breath caught in Hwoarang's throat, the jolt of contact sealing his gaze. Suddenly were no more crumbling walls of temples reminding him of Baek, no more wild flora reminding him of Pusan. There was only the sounds of Japanese birds, of Pacific waves, the soft glow of the dying Nippon sun behind his closed eyelids and the imperialist touch of Kazama Jin.

" .. you're .. going to be so sick in the morning .. Jin- kun." He stammered, but the Korean still arched the smaller part of his back, adding slight encouragement to the touch. His even teeth clamped at his lower lip in a tender effort to silence himself.

"Tired, maybe..." drifted Jin's voice as he closely watched the reactions his fingers earned him. The back of a knuckle played over the contour of Hwoarang's arousal, and then his hands were joined in their slightly clumsy efforts to ease open the buttons of the leather chaps.

Apathetic in the clutches of his lust, Hwoarang abstained from aiding Jin in the disrobing task, forcing his gaze to linger on the Japanese's face. The entrapped lip slipped free of hard enamel, receiving a brief dampening from his tongue before he leaned down to press a kiss between the other's hirsute brow.

Briefly Jin sucked his lower lip into his mouth for another taste of the Korean; soon after his mouth sought the original source, running a warm tongue down Hwoarang's throat to his collarbone. It ended only there because Jin felt the binds of the fabric give way under his fingers and lowered his face to see his handiwork. It was not so difficult a task to undo the one button and zipper of Hwoarang's jeans fly ... but instead of disrobing him immediately Jin's fingers and palm molded about the firmness there and give it a hard, lingering squeeze.

A sharp hiss left the Korean's mouth, a corruption of the Japanese teenager's name. Rendered a chord by Jin's ministrations, Hwoarang's body curved like the plucked string of a guitar in response to the attention, remaining suspended to manage a shameless, subtle undulation. His breathing came with an undisciplined freedom, reacting to each maneuver that Jin's unpracticed fingers made against his heated length.

So pleased with the reaction was Jin that his hand remained there, shifting and rubbing in a pattern of slow, firm revolutions, even as he shifted his own body further below Hwoarang; there was a great deal more to taste. Supple lips touched the slightly smaller man's body a second time, breaking apart against it for the returning presence of the hot, slick muscle. The tip of it trailed down and across Hwoarang's body to dance in a circle about his left nipple.

Flexed, muscle-lined arms tried with little success to hold Hwoarang stationed above the other, his palms grinding into the earth. Such prolonged, mutually involved foreplay was a novelty to the Korean whose proclivity for speed encompassed more than just his handling of martial opponents. The sheer thought of his lover's identity threatened a premature eruption -- had that always been the dynamic that drove him to hunt Jin out as if his life depended on it?

Strong, comforting hands were running liquidly down the sides of Hwoarang's half-naked body, unable to decide upon one single place to linger. Gravity, however, was nevertheless reeling Jin's face and hands closer to the monument of Hwoarang's lust. Jin's fingertips eased under opened denim, peeling it away and down from the hips to which they clung. The Japanese was watching now, gazing at his own doings and what they would reveal. When the denim and leather were perched precariously on the ledge of the redhead's body his hands melted across the sides of a lean waist and pooled at the small of Hwoarang's back. From there they slid downwards with painful slowness, Jin's fingers delving between flesh and fabric and easing it fully from Hwoarang's hips. It left one muscled globe in the grip of each splayed-fingered hand, and Hwoarang's nudity close before Jin's eyes.

The erect organ recalled in description every physical trait of the tae kwon do artist. Extending from a luxuriant down of dark silk, it curved sleekly, capped with a deep red, swollen crown. Stiffening more under the Japanese's touch, Hwoarang's arm bent as he drifted adjacent to lie on his side. Tilting his head so he could view Jin's face, positioned at that private locale, Hwoarang found himself whispering with the uncertainty he'd once mocked the Japanese for.

" .. are you .. cool with this .. ?"

Jin readjusted himself similarly, almost as if functioning as an extension of Hwoarang. Jin's opposite arm folded in, propping its forearm against the ground to support his turned weight. With his other hand Jin held Hwoarang's hips close to himself. Lost in his gaze at the arousal he said nothing for a short time. Finally he lifted his head, turning the wide, peaceful stare at Hwoarang's.

"You're perfect."

With a relived breath, the slightly slimmer teenager let his head come to rest on his arm, eyes retaining perspective of Jin. Slender fingers stretched for the recourse of raven, veering over resilient spikes as his lips filtered a relaxing whisper.

" .. how .. do you get your hair to do this .. ?" The words might have been teasing in another context, but there presence here fueled Hwoarang's growing urge to ravish -- as if there wouldn't be another night with Kazama Jin. His uncertainty was more than justified.

Even as Jin's palm trickled over the front of Hwoarang's hip, Jin's eyes floated away, the awe and lust dueling with another sudden presence, something soft but powerful and disturbing.

"It's a cowlick," he murmured, his mouth fading into a wan smile. "I gave up trying to hide it." Jin watched as his fingers curled delicately about the shape of Hwoarang, sprawling comfortably against the fiery bed of hair. His thumb swept lightly over the underside, which he knew to be sensitive. Hwoarang was so long.

More warmth than before formed Hwoarang's chuckle, his fingertips flicking at the shredded density of the Japanese's strange hair. But as lips parted to offer more, the stroke cut off any further conversation the Korean might have been willing to pursue, manipulating his voice into another husky chant of Jin's name. A hand crusted in the earth beneath him spread palm down, cushioning his cheek.

For some reason Jin found more courage to act upon his desires once Hwoarang was no longer watching ... but he found it difficult to fully banish the worry and doubt that had swept into his eyes. There was a moment of stillness that surely must have been an agony to wait for Hwoarang. After it, something soft and warm touched the peak of his arousal, pausing there before pioneering further forward about its width.

Hwoarang's fingertips escaped from the unconvincing tangle of Jin's hair, creeping along the warm, thin layer of skin behind his ear. Hwoarang's sensitive exploration was a struggle for control -- his intermittent moans evidence of an impending a loss of it -- and soon the pad of a forefinger curved over the Japanese's earlobe, delivering provocative strokes that spread to his strong jawline.

If not erotic, the touches were supporting to Jin. He closed his eyes and tried to relax his mouth as he imagined was the most comfortable process, feeling more of the considerable length as his lips took to its shape and his tongue rubbed along its underside. A spill of hot breath filtered through the silky forest at its base in a silent moan.

True to prediction, Jin had developed a cough. He was able to smile through it as he stood at a window, serenely pruning his newest bonsai. It was sickly when he received it, stunted in ways uncommon to the dwarfish trees, but under his nurturing the leaves were proliferating. A knock at the door hardly bothered him, so certain was he of his visitor.

"Come in, Hayase-san."

A discrete smile, present on Jin's lips when the woman entered and walked the length of the capacious chamber designated as his bedroom, faltered only slightly at the coldness in her eyes.

"What is it?"

"Where were you last evening?" she asked in a clipped monotone, retaining a businesslike expression.

"With a friend," Jin contended, slightly defensive. The thought of lying never entered his mind.

The woman handed the young Japanese a tan-colored enveloped, peering into his face as she did with veiled concern. It was the same way he looked upon his bonsai, only with less warmth, less humane interest. Puzzled, Jin took the offering and slid the contents out to examine. His features froze, his lips went numb -- a strange reaction, considering the heat he could feel collecting within him.

"How did you -- "

"There are ways, Mishima-san. I only ask that you be more discrete if you insist on continuing with this behavior. Your grandfather would be -- "

"Get out. Please." Forcing his eyes from a glossy image of Hwoarang's torso, three more of Jin's profile, countless more of them embracing, Jin glared at the woman. One might have marveled at how he managed to keep his voice rational.

"As long as you understand. Oyasumi, Mishima-san."

As the old man prepared to clip the excess branches on the scores of rose bushes ornamenting the Mishima estate, Ichiro Tsukase was startled to find a them littered with torn scraps of photographs. Under Jin's bedroom window, no less. He groaned, muttering under his breath about extra work, and wondered how such a nice young man as Mishima Heihachi's grandson could have become such an insensitive boy.

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