Summary: While Hwoarang kept his promise to stay with Jin in Yakushima, Jun's promise to watch over things in Korea holds her there to watch over Yon in the aftermath of the redhead's escape. There she finds a way she can repay Hwoarang for everything he's done beyond her request to simply help Jin. The only thing left standing in her way is her inability to properly communicate with Yon to warn her of the sudden danger.
Feedback: Comments are welcome; constructive or positive. Flames are nice too because they make for something to laugh at and keep my feet toasty.
Special Thanks: To my beta Kat for betaing everything I send her, and listening to me talk her ear off about this thing.
Disclaimer: The characters found here *do not* belong to me. The story itself *does* belong to me. I am making no profit from this endeavour.
Notes: I'd been wondering if I should go back to explore how happy Jun is with Hwoarang. He wasn't her first or even second decision, but I think he's turned out to be the best. This has been a while in coming. I'd written up chapter 30, and then realized that this chapter would go great as 29. The thing was I hadn't formally written it up beyond a rough sketch. Hence, why I'm delayed and there is a double-whammy of Unlikely Angel.
This is taking things away from Jin and Hwoarang for a bit, but I hope it goes well with the flow of the story (and it'll explain Yon and Baek's appearance later on at the tournament).
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details, chapter links and fanart.
The effort from visiting her son left Jun feeling drained. She’d slipped from Jin’s dreaming mind as he’d woken, sinking down to recover with a light feeling in her heart. She had promised herself that she’d leave him to get stronger on his own, with Hwoarang and Angel’s help, but she hadn’t been able to resist reaching out to him. She’d only wanted to see him, maybe touch him – as intangible as she was on the best of days – but when she’d actually looked at him, she’d been compelled to do more. The affection he had for Hwoarang was obvious as they slept so close together. She’d come to accept the truth of their situation and was all too happy to assuage his fears when he spoke with her in his dream. Devil may have been strong, but Jin was stronger. His heart was thrumming loudly, despite his fear, and she soothed him as only a mother could. Telling him the truth.
What was the truth? That Hwoarang was a good choice and Jin was free to love him? Yes, Jun had understood the depth of affection that flowed between them as she’d watched the two interact. Their interactions had been aggressive and painful at first, but their friendship had grown fast in such a short period and her spirit had leapt with joy when she’d seen the first traces of affection tracing through Jin’s aura. His stuttered words and jokes made only for Hwoarang… she’d rarely seen him like that. It wasn’t a question of Jin being attracted to males or females, this was more personal. The bond was between Jin and Hwoarang on a level that seemed to transcend gender, or, at least it had the potential to go that far. Once bitten twice shy, Jin had closed his heart off from everyone. Hwoarang seemed to be the only person that Jin would let in close. The only one. He had been the right choice. Hwoarang took things slowly; he was dealing with Jin as only he could, in the only way that Jin’s guarded heart would accept.
When she’d told Jin to listen to his heart, she’d meant it, because she could already hear loud and clear what it was saying. It didn’t take a genius to know that their bond had moved beyond friendship even before their first kiss.
She had to shake her head at that. She hadn’t expected to check in on them and find Hwoarang pinning her son to a tree with a kiss. Shocking? Yes, but once she eyed up Hwoarang’s aura and felt that it was evenly matched with Jin’s feelings, she’d backed off. Not her first choice… not her first choice… but it wasn’t her choice in that area anyways.
Once she’d recovered her strength, she quickly returned to Korea. She’d promised to watch things there for signs of trouble, though she felt she should be doing more. Hwoarang was helping in more ways than she could have expected, and she felt that she should do something more as a thank you, though with the language barrier stopping her, and her intangible nature, it would be difficult to do anything meaningful. Still, she owed him something more than the loan of Angel’s powers. Something significant.
Jun had decided after her first day of following the Major who’d tried to lock Hwoarang up, that she’d have better luck following the doctor that had helped him escape. She quickly decided that the military had lost interest in Hwoarang, either having written him off as an incorrigible loss, or someone actually having argued on his behalf to leave him alone. Either way, nobody was moving to follow him beyond the dogs they’d sent out after him that first night.
Still, Jun continued to fulfill her promise to watch over things. That woman, Yon, was far more pleasant to be around than the Major and she’d started following the doctor on her rounds. It was obvious how miserable Yon was, despite the seemingly good work she was doing. The environment was stifling her and with superiors like Major Kang, who could blame her? Jun tried not to follow the doctor every waking minute of the day – wanting to leave her with some measure of privacy – though she became curious when the doctor began leaving her ward at odd hours to go to the training complex. Jun was comfortable enough in a room full of soldiers being trained in martial arts, but Yon’s demeanour and aura told otherwise. She was a healer, she didn’t fight. The doctor’s frequent trips got the better of Jun’s curiosity and one night she followed to find out what was going on. She hovered behind the doctor when Yon rushed over to visit the training instructor at the end of class.
Jun almost turned to give them some privacy. The woman had a right to fraternize with whomever she wanted, it was beyond Jun’s business to follow her into that room. Yon deserved some time alone with her lover, but Jun halted her retreat when she looked again at the pair. There was something missing from their spirits that screamed passion. It was more like a close friendship, close enough to thrust them into each other’s arms later, but now it was more… comfort. So Yon was friends with this man, so what? Jun knew she should have left, but instead she followed closer. She could see the colours in Yon’s aura swirling with emotions that never made it to the surface in her everyday life. She cared greatly for this man and Jun had to smile and the thought that even in that place she could find someone to talk with. She turned her attention to this man, startled that she couldn’t read his aura as easily. He was guarded, only a small opening shining through in his conversation with the doctor. That was strange, usually people were oblivious to what they projected, though it seemed he was in control of himself on a level greater than most other soldiers were. She looked at his outward appearance; he was older, a few lines gracing his face and adding distinction to his smile. His hair was long enough to be tied back and he’d grown a trimmed moustache and goatee that made him stand out from all the clean-faced soldiers she’d seen around base. Jun couldn’t help but think it odd that a military man wouldn’t have cut his hair short. Well, whoever he was, she was definitely interested in finding out more. He seemed oblivious to her presence as he led Yon from the dojo and out beyond where Jun felt it right that she follow.
Since that day, Jun followed Yon to the training dojo to meet with this mystery man. She’d proudly picked up a few key Korean words, though she couldn’t wholly understand conversations. She didn’t need language to recognize that this nameless instructor seemed to soften when he met with Yon, his strict countenance melting away once his students left and it was just the two – three – of them left in that room. Jun hadn’t a clue who he was. It wasn’t until she’d plucked up the courage to follow Yon back to this man’s quarters that everything became clear. She’d walked through the door, following behind the couple at a distance, observing the very plain living quarters with just a newspaper folded on the couch and a television tucked into the corner. She’d looked around at the books, thinking that he couldn’t be such a bad person when she’d tilted her head to look at some papers thrown haphazardly on a table. There, staring her in the face from beneath a pile of mail was a very familiar envelope. The cool white paper was pristine and flawless, embossed with the Mishima seal that Jun recognized as a King of Iron Fist invitation. Her head snapped back to stare wide-eyed at the man who was leading Yon from the kitchen, smiling tightly and offering her tea. Jun felt her spirit falter for a moment of sudden realization that flooded her senses and she felt her purpose for being there solidify. “Oh my… it’s Baek…”
She would alternate between following Yon and Baek around. It was a change to her routine, which was nice and helped take her worried mind off her son. He was fine, they were fine. Yes, Jin and Hwoarang were just fine. She watched Baek train his students for a while. He looked older than when she’d seen him at the earlier tournaments. So much older, his hair turning a light silver and crows feet marked the sides of his eyes. She visited him when Yon became busy with medical happenings, and she found herself in Baek’s dojo on more than one occasion, though it was obvious after witnessing her first class that something had been off, hadn’t felt natural. She understood the level of effort that a teacher put out; doing their best to instruct their students to be the best, and Baek just wasn’t involved with his class on that level. He’d been tight-lipped about a lot of the techniques – she couldn’t understand, but she could see the level of repression in his aura skyrocket – even as he set the bricks up for his students to practice smashing. They were ill-prepared. It was unclear to Jun if the military had restricted him to a specific set of forms, or if he simply had no interest in teaching a proper class.
What bothered her, even after the first two students with injuries were sent to the medic, was the lack of respect from the class. None openly said anything, though she could sense the dissent among the young soldiers. Jun knew what kind of men were training under Doo San, they were too similar to the man who’d hurt Hwoarang. It was an awful feeling to watch their distrustful eyes burn though a man that she was beginning to view as good – for Yon at least. Her anxiety rose when they began sparring one-on-one and the students would blatantly try to take him out.
Of course, Baek put them down instead, though it was a heartbreaking thing to see a teacher have to do, and she could sense his emotions just boarded off, his face growing hard and unmoving until the end of class. He wasn’t there of his own free will, that much was obvious. The military had pressed Hwoarang into service, forced him to do terrible things. It was logical to assume that Baek was there under some sort of conscription as well. He was on contract with the military, and until that contract ran out, he was their dog.
Jun watched Yon and Baek, wondering when she’d find some way to repay Hwoarang for his kindness. Wondering if she’d be able to do anything when the moment came.
The letter arrived none too soon, and Yon felt her heart flutter with both relief and despair at the same time. Her eyes lingered on that white envelope, knowing its contents and fingering the outside where Baek Doo San’s name was printed. He’d been waiting for it; the standard military stationary with the standard release of service letter. His calendar had been marked with the day that he would finally be free from his service and now the paperwork had come to finalize it.
Soon she’d be left alone in that building with those people and military dogs. When was her service going to be up? The thought of Doo San leaving her behind left a dark cloud hovering over her heart. She tried to shake her head and turn back to the kettle that had started whistling on the stove. He was waiting in the other room for her to return, slumped on the sofa with his head in his hand, his body radiating exhaustion after his training class. He’d tried to hide the details of his classes from her for a while, and she hadn’t asked. His stern expression was hard for her to break, though once she’d found that he’d needed medical attention, she’d forced the rest from him. Forced being the key word, because even after she’d treated him for his bruised bones, he still didn’t want to talk about it. One of his students was vehemently against him for one reason or another – a real upstart with an inflated sense of self-importance – and he’d surprised Baek while the older man had been busy with another student. She shuddered at the memory of Chin attacking Hwoarang in a similar way…
She set the cups with steaming tea on a tray and thought to bring the mail out to him as well. She reached out; her hand hovered over the envelope and a sudden feeling washing over her. Almost as if someone were hovering over her. She spun around to look behind her, but she was still alone. Baek was in the other room and she was left, heart racing and staring wide-eyed at the kitchen for that invisible presence that she’d been sensing for the past little while. It was usually a ghost of an impression that she could easily brush off as overwork, though this was one of the stronger moments that she couldn’t ignore. It was the same feeling she got when someone was reading over her shoulder. She wouldn’t have been surprised if she was being haunted, but this just… didn’t feel like a vengeful ghost. She looked at the rows of cupboards, eyes scanning the faded paint on the walls and sighed, beginning to question her sanity, just as she always did when that presence had gone. She left the envelope on the table and carried the tray out to the other room. Doo San would find the letter when he was feeling better, right then; she knew all he needed was silence and someone to share it with him.
Yon stepped through the door to the training gym and looked about. The class had already finished and the only person left in that spacious room was the man who’d asked her to come. She was a little later than the time he’d specified, but she’d timed her arrival so she wouldn’t have to see any of his students. She’d found that his students were brash and offensive towards him, they were even worse to her with their snide remarks and glares. Lately she’d only had the desire to visit with Baek. Her few acquaintances didn’t appeal to her as friends, they were desperate to prove themselves for a promotion, which just turned her stomach at the thought of spending more of her life in that place. The incident with Hwoarang had opened her eyes to the way things worked there. She’d healed many soldiers that had been carted off and dealt with by Major Kang or men like him. If she hadn’t met that brash redhead, she’d still be lying to herself, thinking she was happy and doing her job without question, and she never would have sought out Baek Doo San. Now all she wanted was to find a way out of there. She knew that Baek felt the same way. He’d been unhappy with his contract before he’d met her, but after she’d explained the situation with Hwoarang, he’d been furious. He hadn’t believed that Hwoarang would do anything as violent or despicable as what they’d told him, though they’d made a very convincing case. He’d risked making the arrangement with the Major to send Hwoarang on that special mission. On the surface, it had appeared that Hwoarang had betrayed the deal he’d risked making. If it wasn’t for Yon he would have still been upset with Hwoarang. Now he was furious at the men who’d told him that his student was a traitor. Nobody lied to him like that about his students, especially about Hwoarang. He may have been many things, but he wasn’t a murderer. Yon had to hide her smile whenever she heard the older man talking about his student. He spoke so fondly when he recalled the redhead’s antics, it was almost fatherly. She really felt herself being drawn in close to Baek, so much that it would be painful when he finally left the next day. Baek was leaving in the morning, his obligation to the military at an end, and she was feeling the telltale heartache at the thought. Helping Hwoarang escape had left her feeling melancholy at his absence. Watching Baek leave… she didn’t want to think of what she might feel at that.
He was laying into a punching bag with a series of kicks, firm, precise hits echoing in the cavernous room. She approached, quietly waiting for him to finish the barrage. He usually unwound after his classes, exerting himself and getting his discomfort at the pressures out of his system. His face was stern as he lashed out; more drawn than it usually was after a class. “Doo San?” she asked, standing to the side of the mats. Her voice seemed to draw his attention and he looked up at her. After a few seconds his mouth quirked up into a smile, though his eyes remained hard and unreadable.
“How was it?” she asked, ready to get him out of there and maybe serve him a hot meal. She slipped her shoes off and stepped gingerly onto the mat, walking up to him when she was sure he wouldn’t turn back to the bag.
He didn’t say anything, his hands curling into fists before he forced them out and reached up to rest them on her shoulders. “I’ll be glad to get out of here,” he avoided the question. “I don’t want anything more to do with this place,” he looked deep into her eyes and he finally softened. “Well, none of this training soldiers, anyways. So… do you want to go to my-?”
The door to the dojo slammed shut, cutting off his question and Yon looked to see who’d returned to class. Nothing could have prepared her to face that man. That hateful, evil man who’d plagued her nightmares ever since he’d threatened her for helping Hwoarang escape. He’d approached her after it couldn’t be proven that she’d had any hand in the redhead’s escape. Somehow, he’d known the truth and had threatened to put her into a coma as well. That threat still rang in her ears as he marched up, never taking his boots off as he strode across the mat towards her. Her body felt like it was as stiff as a board. The buzzing in her veins was deafening and she wanted to scream. He was going to kill her… panic began to rush through her body, but ebbed suddenly and a strange, calming sensation filled her. It was reminiscent of a mother calming a frightened child and she breathed outward, welcoming whatever force had stilled her fears. That feeling was over her shoulder and the mentally grasped at the familiarity, welcome distraction from those black eyes.
“What do you need, Chin?” Baek asked, completely oblivious.
“I’m here for a lesson,” the younger man sneered, leaning around to eye the doctor. “I heard you’re leaving, I wanted to get one last lesson in before you abandon your students.”
“You’re not my student anymore, Chin,” he frowned at the other man and crossed his arms. “You don’t appreciate the art. You only use it as a tool to get what you want… and I won’t teach you anything more than I already have.”
Chin seemed to smile at that and he clenched his fists at his sides. He seemed to narrow his eyes at the older man before they cut to where Yon stood somewhat behind him. “So, you’re the bitch that helped that traitor escape?”
Baek narrowed his eyes. “Don’t turn your anger towards her, Chin. They’ll find another trainer for their dogs.”
“Whatever. Once you’re gone you won’t be here to protect her…”
“You’d dare?” Baek’s body tightened like a coiled spring, his fists balling at his sides and his feet instinctively moved into a fighting stance.
“What do you care, old man? It looks like there’s a bunch of cowards running away these days. Heh, Hwoarang ran after I beat him down too…”
Baek twitched. Yon instinctively stepped behind him, feeling his aura suddenly change to a dangerously dark air. His breathing thick, controlled breaths, teeth grinding as he turned his head to look at her, a silent question burning in his eyes. Yon could only nod, tell him that this man was responsible for Hwoarang. “He’s the one…”
Yon didn’t even see him move, she felt paralyzed as her vision went white and it felt as if someone was hovering over her. It was comfortable and helped distract from the horror of Baek’s sudden shift to murderous intent. She watched him throw his weight into his attack, full-force brutality that Chin was surprisingly able to counter. A few hits broke through and the cocky young man was spitting up blood soon enough.
Baek’s attack continued; flamingo kicks knocking his opponent back against the wall before he followed with another attack. Chin dove out of the way, grabbing one of the training boards and swung around to catch the older man upside the head. The force of the strike would have dropped any other man to his knees, but Baek seemed unfazed.
Yon was torn between wanting him to stop, and hoping he’d kill Chin. She could only think of Min and Hwoarang and how that despicable, savage man had attacked them. Hurt them. Killing one and nearly ruining the other. It went against the oath she’d sworn as a doctor to protect life, but at that moment, she felt completely justified to want more than a few drops of blood to hit the dojo mat.
Chin swung the board again, this time Baek broke it with his foot, a perfectly executed kick that cut through the wood and stopped short of doing the same to Chin’s throat. Time seemed to stand still, the master’s foot hovering in the air, a breath away from the killing blow. Chin blinked, confusion mingling with his anger as he backed away.
Yon could see Baek waver as he brought his foot down to the ground and she rushed up to him. His hands were still balled into fists, shaking at his sides; his entire body was rigid and twitched with the anger that no-doubt still burned inside of him. Yon felt her anger dissipating in the quiet lull of the fight, suddenly feeling the guilt rising up in her like bile at the realization that she’d been hoping for him to die. He deserved many things, but death was too easy for him. “Doo San?” she asked, lightly putting her hand on his arm, she could almost feel him buzzing with adrenaline, but she held on. “…Baek… let’s just go.”
The darkness in his eyes seemed to break and he looked over to her, still hard but there was some underlying emotion that she couldn’t pinpoint. Something deep-seated that quickly flashed away as he looked back to his former pupil – not good enough to be a student – who was quietly picking up a brick from the training stack. “Shit…” he cursed, pushing Yon off to the side as Chin rushed forward again. The masonry broke into pieces as it broke across Baek’s forearms. The military dog was showing his fangs and it was obvious Chin was out for blood, even if Baek had lost his taste for it.
Yon rushed to the other side of the dojo, trying to keep clear of the fight, which had become so much more intense than before. Baek launched Chin backwards, the momentum sending him crashing against the wall. Plaster and paint chips flew everywhere, dust falling in small puffs from the cracks in the wall. The soldier picked himself up, wiping blood from his mouth and turning to look at Yon.
She was closer to him than Baek was; a few short steps away from that monster and a mile away from the other. She stood still against the wall, feet together, eyes wide, heart racing. For a second she watched everything happen in slow motion before her, that evil man lunging towards her, even as Baek’s shout for him to stop rang out as a low growl. Everything felt fuzzy around her, everything felt intangible and unreal. She slid back against the wall, her foot catching on something that felt solid. She felt something inside her tell her to move, not to run, but to fight! Without even thinking, she bent down to grab one of the training bricks, gripping it with white-knuckled determination and swinging around as hard as she could. The weight caused it to arch like a pendulum, bringing the solid masonry up to connect with his face, a loud, sickening crack echoing in the dojo and he fell to the ground.
The brick hit the mat with a dull thud and the last thing Yon remembered was sinking to her knees just as Baek rushed up to catch her.
It was late when Yon finally opened her eyes. The remnants of a dream telling her to get out of there were still tugging at the edges of her consciousness, though she couldn’t remember why it was important. The first thing she saw was the familiar and drab curtains that circled around her hospital bed in a sickly oval. She stared up at the ceiling for a brief moment, wondering why she was even there when memory hit her and she sprang from the bed. Her clothing was still in place, the hospital gown blessedly not drafting behind her and she could only surmise that she’d been left there to rest.
Her shoes clacked on the floor as she ran down the hallway, she had to find Baek… find out what happened… She stopped dead in her tracks and looked over her shoulder. She could have sworn that someone had said her name. Clear as crystal and urgent in warning. She had a strange feeling that she wasn’t alone and without thinking ducked into one of the rooms. After a few moments, she started feeling silly. Why was she hiding in her own hospital? She was about to walk out into the hallway and find out what had happened when she felt a jolt run through her body and she leapt back, drawing a curtain around her and held her breath. Heavy footsteps were ringing through the hallway, soldier’s boots and she could hear the click of their guns as they walked past her hiding place.
“Bring Dr. Yon out here so the Major can talk to her!” one of them ground out and she drew back even further. They were going for her room. Once they discovered she wasn’t there they’d find her! Frightened eyes looked around the small recovery room, though the only door was out to the hallway where the soldiers would be any moment. The idea of climbing through the window sprang to mind, though froze mid-thought as she heard those footsteps again. Their boots thudding along the floor, the same voice coughing and muttering something about being on the wrong floor. She waited for a full minute before she even dared to release the curtains from where she’d pulled them up around her body. She had to get out of there… now.
The hallway was as deserted as it had been before, though now she was careful to carry her shoes against her chest, her socks muffling the sound of her footsteps as she glided down the corridor. Avoiding the nurse’s station she quietly opened the door to the stairwell and slipped inside. The door clicked shut behind her, as quiet as she’d allow, though it seemed to echo in that cavernous space. “Great, what do I do now?” she whispered under her breath. She’d been able to help Hwoarang escape, but who would help her? She turned and pressed her back to the wall, her mind reeling, unable to focus. What had happened? She’d defended herself. Chin had been going towards her and she’d defended herself… but even as she tried repeating that fact in her head, she remembered Hwoarang and how the truth had been covered up with his attack. Staying would only lead to her being stripped of her license and locked away as a common prisoner. She couldn’t… she held her breath, shrinking back into the shadows when she voices on the other side of the door. There was the gruff voice of Major Kang barking orders to his men. She dared to peek through the window, thanking the shadows that she wouldn’t be seen. He was further down the hallway, tearing a strip out of the soldiers she had seen rush out to collect her. Things were unraveling so fast, she was the target and she had to get the hell out of there. She began to back away from the window, hoping to escape down the stairwell unnoticed. Her eyes were glued to that window, the dim light pouring through the other side. The Major wasn’t looking, she could turn and leave. She kept her eyes on the men in the other room. Watching for them to turn and see her as she backed away. Watching to make sure they didn’t see her. Backing away as slowly as possible, she could slip down the stairs and get out somehow. She held her breath, feeling that small victory of escape within her grasp when someone suddenly came up behind her and it was a hand over her mouth that stifled the shriek that tried to escape. She struggled in blind panic, but those strong arms clamped around her, pressing her tight against his body. She wrapped her fingers around his arm, trying to wrench away from this stranger when she heard a welcome and familiar voice whispering for her to calm down. She stopped struggling immediately, waiting for him to release her so she could spin around and throw her arms around his neck, shaking and utterly scared. She could barely make out Baek Doo San’s face in the dim lighting, though he was the most welcome person she’d seen since she’d woken. She released him and stepped back, feeling a little foolish for holding him so tightly, though it had felt wonderful. “Doo San… what’s happening?”
“Chin is in a coma,” he said, grabbing her by the wrist and dragging her down the stairwell. The angry voice of the Major faded as they reached ground level and then traveled even further below to the basement. “I already gave my statement that Chin had gone crazy and tried attacking you,” Baek explained as they hurried. “I talked to a few of my higher up contacts and they’re going to pull some strings, but right now Kang is… that bastard is on the warpath. He has enough sway to bring you in for interrogation… but, I won’t let that happen.” He pulled her along the basement corridor, passing dusty rooms with cobwebbed frames. The scene was so familiar.
She clutched her shoes under her arm, thinking of all the things that she’d be leaving behind, even a spare change of clothes would have been nice to bring. “Where are you taking me?”
“There’s a tournament I’ve been invited to, it will be a good place to hide until things calm down.” He said it just as the overhead lights flickered to life in the forgotten hallway and Yon was gripped with the same urge to get into the nearest room and hide. Something over her shoulder, that feeling breathing down her neck. She stopped dead in her tracks, yanking back to pull Baek in a different direction. “What the-?” he began to ask but shut up when the footsteps began to echo in the corridor far behind them. They were faint as they echoed in the stairwell on the way down to the basement, setting a chill to run up both their spines.
Yon grabbed the doorknob of the first frame to her right. She began to turn the rusted metal handle, but something in her mind screamed ‘NO!’ and she jumped back as if she had been burned and bolted across the hallway to an identical door. The knob turned smoothly and she pushed the aged door open, pulling Baek inside behind her. Her hands immediately flew to her mouth, stifling the coughing fit at the particles that swirled about in the air. A big cloud of dust had been disturbed as she’d swung the door shut behind them and she fell to her knees, breathing through the fabric of her sleeve as it settled once more.
“The hell…?” Baek breathed through his own rasping coughs. Yon reached out in the dark, her fingertips brushing against his leg as he crouched and she gave him a reassuring squeeze, which was funny because she felt anything but sure. Outside, there were sounds, scuffled footsteps and talking. The air seemed to freeze between them, her fingers digging into his thigh in that heart-stopping moment when they heard the sound of the doorknob to their hiding place shifting. Yon swore she could feel fingers tightening around the handle, ready to turn it and swing the door open. Her own fingers tightened on Baek’s leg and he pulled her close, raising them both to stand before he pushed her behind him. Any minute the soldiers would find them… any second that door they’d forgotten to lock would be opened…
“Shit, this one’s locked up tight!” the thickly accented voice rang through from the hallway. “They musta taken the other path back there! Let’s go before the Major has our heads!”
They listened to the retreating footsteps. Yon’s heart felt like it had leapt into her throat and she let out a shaky sigh. Baek shifted beside her, his body relaxing from the fighting stance he’d moved into.
“I think they’re gone…” Yon breathed, stepping up to the door and putting her hand on the knob.
“We should wait!” Baek hissed, but the doctor turned the knob and opened their dark room to the lit hallway.
“They’ll be back soon,” she replied, pulling him out and along their original path. “I can’t explain how I know, but I just feel something…” She looked imploringly into the fighter’s eyes, dark and foreboding. “Now’s our chance to get away from here. I… Doo San, please, let’s just go.”
He brought a hand up to run through his goatee, thoughtfully tugging on a few hairs before his eyes flitted back to hers and he reached out to grab her wrist. “Alright. I gathered some of your things to take with us to the tournament. There’s a car waiting for us.”
Yon smiled and together they continued down the forgotten hallway to their escape.
Jun settled heavily into the spirit realm. Helping those two escape had been beyond exhausting and she encircled herself with safe, white light before bedding down to recover her strength. Yon had been semi-aware of her, which had been helpful when she had been trying to direct her, though convincing the guard that the door had truly been locked pushed even her abilities. That man’s mind had been so clouded and thick with outside influence that, for a moment, she’d been positive that he’d try turning the knob anyways. She’d forced her way through, slamming her will against his to induce a miniature dream that included a door he was so positive wouldn’t open he didn’t try. After that, she’d fallen from his mind and settled back into the spaces between the air; an invisible spirit exhausted to the point where all other action was impossible. She had to rest. Beyond that, she couldn’t think of much else, other than hoping what she’d done would help Hwoarang, because he was beyond what she’d expected when she’d met him. He was more than she’d hoped for with finding someone to help her son. She’d only intended him as a force to break Devil down to nothing, but he’d become a companion and lover who healed Jin’s heart the one and only way it could be mended.
She smiled, she’d definitely made the right decision. She only hoped that whatever was happening back in Yakushima, that Angel recognized that as well.
~End Chapter Twenty-Nine~
| Index | Chapter Thirty |