DISCLAIMER: Me don’t own Tekken, k?

Art of Fighting

Chapter 5 - Carnival Time

By Prosopopeia

"I hate being sick. I usually never get sick! I…ahh…ah-choo!"

"Shut up and take the damn medicine!"

The look on Steve’s face was enough to make me feel sorry for the man. Hwoarang was forcing him to take tome Tylenol pills and the blond was shaking his head consistently, making his already proclaimed headache worse. Xiaoyu and Julia were working on coaxing him into it and Hwoarang looked like he was about to explode from his own headache as he stood in front of Steve with a look of exasperation on his face. I was watching them from afar in Xiaoyu’s living room while they busied themselves in the dining room.

Part of me almost wanted to go up to them and help them with the seemingly impossible task, but I held that feeling back. They didn’t need my help. They always managed to get around without me. And then just as I was about to turn around, Hwoarang snapped his sharp gaze on me and I almost fell back against the couch. He looked at me so angrily that I actually felt intimidated…by him. I never once got afraid of Hwoarang. But that moment fled away almost immediately as he spoke to me…or rather yelled at me.

"Kazama! Get your lazy ass down here and help us!" he demanded before turning back to resume trying to force the pills down Steve’s throat. I blinked in surprise at the command before finding myself standing up and walking towards them. I glanced at Steve from behind Xiaoyu, Julia, and Hwoarang and felt a pang of pity for the blond. He looked steadily worse and he was paler than ever yet he remained steadfast in his decision of not taking the medicine. I couldn’t help but wonder how a strong fighter like him could be afraid of just two small pills.

He caught my gaze almost immediately and looked at me wearily.

"Jin! Please, not you too!"

His voice almost came out as a squeak and I couldn’t resist a small smile as I took the pills from Hwoarang’s hands. I brought them and the glass of orange juice Xiaoyu had and held it to him reassuringly. "They’re not going to kill you, Steve. And you really look like you need them," I said as soothingly as I could possibly muster.

I wasn’t used to this at all. Memories of my own mother doing this to me whenever I got sick painfully flooded my mind as I tried to hold them back. Steve looked at me almost grudgingly before he finally took them and swallowed them with one large gulp of orange juice. Xiaoyu and Julia clapped and hugged both my arms, squealing happily. Even Hwoarang wore an amused look on his face as he crossed his arms. For a fleeting second, I almost felt like we were all friends sharing in on a happy moment.

"Nice going, Jin!"

"Yeah, and now you, Steve, will go to sleep!"

I watched in a slight daze as Julia and Xiaoyu both grabbed Steve and dragged him to the couch. I couldn’t help but feel relieved that it wasn’t me who got sick. Steve groaned before he finally sank into the blankets that Xiaoyu supplied, closing his eyes with a small, "’Night everyone." I smiled slightly in the blond’s direction. He must have really been feeling sick in order to actually give in like that. I glanced at Hwoarang and could tell he was thinking the same thing. Suddenly Xiaoyu and Julia grabbed both Hwoarang and me at the same time. I looked down at them in surprise. Why was everything today feeling so rushed?

"C’mon! We’re going to my room to watch some movies while Steve rests!" Xiaoyu whispered into my ear as to not disturb Steve. I looked down at her wearily. Where did she and Julia get their energy? And why was it that in the ring they were so much more different from now?? It was one of those mysteries that I would never understand.

"What movies?" I heard Hwoarang ask as we approached Xiaoyu’s room at the end of the hall. I heard Xiaoyu and Julia giggle profusely and watched as the Korean’s eyebrow twitched in suspicion.


It was just as he feared, I suppose, as his face suddenly blanched.

"I’ll never let go, Jack… I’ll never let go."

I never did know how this movie managed to top off the box office. I mean it’s nothing more but a shitload of crap and romance. Of course naturally Xiaoyu and Julia love it. They insisted on getting the version with subtitles saying that they didn’t "want to dishonor the Americans’ voices," or something like that; it really should have been "we just wanted to hear the heavenly voice of Jack!" I didn’t even know what was the point of even getting the subtitles. They already practically memorized the entire thing.

And the movie was long.

I don’t think I had ever been so bored in my entire life. So throughout the movie and numerous cries and woes from the two fanatics, I spent my time divided between making sarcastic remarks to make the girls angry and watching Kazama. Honestly, I didn’t even know how he in any way could have paid attention to the movie. I’ll give him that at least. Chick flicks were not my thing and never will be.

"Oh, Jack!!!!"

I rolled my eyes as the scene showed a shot of the main guy falling into the water after being frozen to death. That scene I actually did like. Die, characters! I glanced at Xiaoyu and Julia and noticed they had tears in their eyes as they stared bug-eyed at the screen and smirked.

"Oh God, at least the guy’s buried in the ocean. Goodness knows how you would react if they cremated him," I remarked with an extra lining of sarcasm. Xiaoyu and Julia instantly turned to me and gave me their so-called "death glares."

I just couldn’t stop laughing.

"I hope that you do get cremated when you die, Hwoarang!"

That was Xiaoyu for you. So sweet, yet so vicious when angered. That comment only made me laugh even harder as I saw the look of pure rage on hers and Julia’s faces. They were defending a goddamn fictitious character! In the midst of it all, I noticed Kazama staring at me from the corner and managed to calm down slightly to say something to him.

"Come now, Kazama. Please don’t tell me you actually like this movie!" I exclaimed, looking at him amusedly. He blinked in surprise and just shrugged while Xiaoyu and Julia went back to the TV. I leaned back in my seat and watched Kazama carefully. When Steve got better, we would make a move on him to snap him back to reality. I would do it myself, but then poor Steve. He never had the privilege of beating someone senseless till they got your point. Not that I actually intended on engaging in a fistfight with Kazama, it still would be fun.

Anything for a little blood.

Sighing, I watched as the ending credits rolled in with great satisfaction. Finally…

"Eh, Hwoarang! You’re such a grump. How could not like Titanic???" Julia exclaimed, stretching her arms as she spoke. I glared at her from my seat. "How could you like Titanic??" I snapped quickly. She threw me an exasperated look and I jumped up from my seat.

"Well, hey, now can we do something with a little more on the action side??" I suggested, clapping my hands. The day was barely half done and already we went to a frozen beach, Steve got sick and was out of the picture, Titanic was definitely in the picture, and I wanted something more.

These guys never heard of sports did they?

Xiaoyu threw her hands to her hips and glared at me hotly. "Don’t forget it’s my birthday and technically you should be doing what I want to do!" she snapped, eyeing me dangerously. I closed my eyes and groaned. Why oh why did I let Steve drag me into this??

"Fine, fine, you little spoiled brat. We’ll do what you want to do," I replied in a dead tone. Maybe by the end of the day, I’ll play a prank on her or something. This just wasn’t fair.

But she just clapped her eyes with a glint in her eyes that I knew meant trouble for me. "We’re going…" she began and I cringed as Julia joined in with her and the answer.

"To the Winter Carnival!!"

What greeted me when we finally reached the site of the Winter Carnival? A lot of people and children, games, and rides. It was a circus for kids, so naturally Xiaoyu and Julia were ecstatic. Okay, in all honestly, it wasn’t too bad. The scenery was nice considering it was near a lake in which the moon reflected brightly on. It was still bitter cold, but it started snowing lightly and all the kids were jumping around trying to catch them in their gloved hands. I couldn’t help but smile at the sight. I hadn’t been in this part of society in quite a while.

Xiaoyu was turning me into such a sap.

Suddenly both Julia and Xiaoyu grabbed my arm and started dragging me to the entrance. I suddenly yelped as a little girl ran past us and I tried to avoid crashing into her by turning to the right, causing all of us to fall down to the ground. I landed on my back rather ungracefully with Xiaoyu and Julia tangled up in my arms. I felt myself grow red in embarrassment. Fuck this! I pulled my arms out of their grips and stood up quickly.

"You could have at least helped!" exclaimed Xiaoyu and Julia unanimously as they both sat up, glaring at me dangerously. I arched an eyebrow. "What is this, a twin procedure??" I replied. Those two were just scary sometimes…

They were about answer before suddenly a soft laughter was heard before us. I looked ahead and found the same little girl I was about to crash into pointing at me, laughing her head off. She had dark hair and small eyes that were filled with mirth. In her arms, she was clutching onto a doll. I sighed and looked at Xiaoyu and Julia, who looked as if they were about to scream their hearts out. Suddenly they jumped up and rushed past me to the girl, screaming out little comments such as, "Oh, isn’t she adorable??" and "Oh, you’re just the sweetest thing!!"

I rolled my eyes in disgust.

"What’s the matter, Blood Talon? Too mushy for you?"

Suddenly I turned and faced Jin, who in turn stared back at me with a look of amusement. I forgot the guy was even there… God, and he witnessed that horrendous accident, too! Someone up there is teasing me…

"Shut up, Kazama," I snapped back before realizing something. He actually spoke to me. My God, the mute Kazama has spoken! I looked at him strangely. "And why are you in such a good mood?" I added curiously. He stared at me silently, but I could see the humor in his eyes. Damn, maybe that fall wasn’t too bad of thing after all…

"Winter Carnival…always managed to cheer me up," he replied quietly before looking out to all the kids screaming and laughing before us. Xiaoyu and Julia were still worked up over the little girl and started walking her into the open field of games and rides. Kazama soon followed and I smiled and shook my head.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

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