Author's Note: Yes, another chapter up. Sorry it took me so long to put it up but I was a bit lazy. If it ever takes me a long time to put a chapter up, it is mainly because of that fact. Only rarely do I have an actual excuse. Hehe, well, thanks for the people who reviewed and let’s get on with the story!
DISCLAIMER: Me don’t own Tekken, k?
Art of Fighting
Chapter 2 - The Inquiry
I flinch as Xiaoyu jumps on me, hugging me tightly. I stiffly hug her back, trying my best not to drop her gift. It was a last second thing I found in a store by the corner. An old cuckoo clock to add to her collection. It was inexpensive, but still very good. Yeah, I know I’m cheap.
I looked around and saw her parents coming up to me. I almost groan. They were very watchful over their daughter and I still remember how long it took for them to warm up to me. I glanced over my shoulder and saw Julia hustling in, also overtaken by a hug from a too enthusiastic Xiaoyu. Other guests included numerous cousins, nephews, nieces, and grandparents. Damn, I had no idea her family was that big.
“Jin, nice to see you again. You look well,” her mother greeted. Her name…dammit, how could I forget it…???
“I have been well, thank you, Mrs. Ling,” I replied. Oh well, if I can’t remember, just call her by the surname. Easy as pie… The father looked at me. “So what have you been doing lately??” he asked, his eyes glistening.
Oh brother…it was one of those little tests to make sure I have been doing something otherwise they would disprove. I wasn’t about to make them think I was some lazy guy friend either…
“I’ve gotten a job at a restaurant as a cook and I’m graduating this year also,” I answered, making sure I didn’t sound too indignant. Mr. Ling made a “hmmm” sound before smiling.
“That’s very good. Well, continue on. Have fun,” he said, waving me away. I sighed in relief once I walked a safe distance from them.
Then Xiaoyu found me again.
And with that mischievous look on her face, I knew I was in for something I wasn’t going to like.
“You have to be kidding me!”
Xiaoyu crossed her arms. “What??” she remarked, arching an eyebrow.
My jaw dropped slightly at her attitude. She had just told me she invited Steve. I was okay with that. I didn’t even know the guy that well. But then she said he was coming with Hwoarang and Steve was really more of Hwoarang’s friends than hers. I pretty much lost what she said after that.
Why oh why did she invite Hwoarang?? I didn’t even know they were that close!
“Come on, you and Hwoarang settled your differences,” she said. I gave her a look and she frowned. “Didn’t you…?” she added unsurely.
I almost felt like strangling her. She was always a smart girl, but she couldn’t seem to grasp the obvious very well.
“No, Xiaoyu, I haven’t really seen him in…” I paused. Technically, I had seen him just a few days ago…twice, too. But it wasn’t anything special. All he did was rebuke me on being a “shame to fighters everywhere.” I didn’t even ask for his opinion. He just waltzes in and assumes he can say whatever he wants when he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.
Okay, Jin, calm down…calm down…
“Jin?? You don’t mind do you?? I know you two won’t cause any trouble, right??”
Xiaoyu’s voice breaks into my thoughts and I looked at her. She wore a look of desperation and hope. I sighed and nodded. Well, I know I won’t be causing trouble. But I’m not so sure about Hwoarang… And when did he and Steve become such good friends?? Ah, well, I saw them talking a few times back in the tournament, but…oh God, screw it.
“You’re the best!” she exclaimed, jumping on me once again. I sighed and hugged her back. I really was too nice for my own good…
“When are they coming?” I asked, almost too afraid of the answer. She looked at me and tilted her head to the side, making a “hmmm” sound. Suddenly the doorbell rang and her finger went up.
I groaned as she ran to the door. Instantly I heard Steve’s heavy English accent greet a “hello” and Hwoarang’s own arrogant voice in a “what’s up?” God, this was like some kind of nightmare I was in. I wasn’t necessarily afraid of him, I just got really annoyed when he was around and usually it took me a lot of my own will to resist from punching him.
They burst in on my thoughts and I looked up to see a smirking Hwoarang. I narrowed my eyes. Why was he always smirking??
“Hey there, mate.”
I glanced to the right and saw the blond-haired Steve Fox smiling at me. I nodded back.
“Hey,” I replied. I never did get to talk to Steve all that much during the tournament, but he seemed like a nice guy. But how he ended up with Hwoarang was my question.
Speaking of Hwoarang, the Korean youth crossed his arms and glanced at Xiaoyu, who was coming up behind them.
“You never told me Kazama was coming,” he said, his tone teasing yet serious. Xiaoyu shrugged and smacked him in the arm. “So?? I know you two are mature enough not to start a fight…especially with my parents here,” she said, a gleam in her eye.
I saw Hwoarang shudder.
“Oh good God, your parents are here?? They creep me out, man,” he remarked. I laughed in spite of myself. He looked at me and actually cracked a smile. Not a big one, but still a smile.
“Ah, so the man can smile,” he said, arching an eyebrow. Steve laughed and patted my back. “Relax, mate. We aren’t here to hurt you,” he remarked, grinning. I felt myself relax considerably. There was a very amiable and patient aura to the English guy in contrast to Hwoarang’s rush and impatience on matters.
Hwoarang cleared his throat and looked at Xiaoyu expectantly.
“Well, are we going to just stand here and talk or day or what??”
My point exactly.
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