Summary: Hwoarang and Jin take a trip into Onoaida for a nice, relaxing trip to the hot springs. Though, when they get there, it seems that things have been happening in the town while they were away. There's a festival happening, and they can't seem to get a moment alone without someone talking to them about something.
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. Also thanks to Sapphire for having a look and helping me decide on some potential ooc behaviour.
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 know some people were really eager for smut in this chapter, and it's coming. Eventualy there will be more. I hope I don't disappoint anybody, but at the same time, I really wouldn't be happy if I just denerated into smut every chapter. I really like the plot that's happening here and I'd originally started out this project with minimal-smut in mind. I'm hoping the plot and action in this is entertaining enough as it is. If not... well, I've been writing side-pieces between Hwoarang and Jin that don't take place in the UA universe, so check those out and then come back to this! ^_^
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details, chapter links and fanart.
The two fighters noticed something very different when they walked into the small town of Onoaida. Even by Inoue’s onsen, on the outskirts of town there were more people than usual. Even more disturbing was the strange, intangible but palpable excitement that hung in the air.
“Good morning!” came the welcome when Jin pushed the door open to the tiny hot springs building. The warm greeting quickly turned to one of surprise and excitement. “Oh, Jinny!” the older woman rushed out from behind her table where she’d been sitting with her friend and hugged the darker man. “Jinny, Momo and I were just talking about you.” She pulled the fighter along to sit, Hwoarang followed along, amusement written all over his face.
“Jinny, we were starting to get worried. You were here and then you were gone,” Momo said, offering both men a tray of cakes. “I saw your handsome friend here and gave him your tea and that was the last I saw of him! You didn’t even come back to say thanks!” she looked genuinely hurt. Jin felt guilty for having caused her to worry.
“Ah, that would be my fault,” Hwoarang chimed in, casually leaning on Jin, earning him a sharp look from the other man. “I’ve never been here before and I convinced Jin to take me through the island.”
Jin felt Hwoarang nudge him and he nodded, “I’m sorry Momo, Inoue… I really wanted to take him to see Jomon-sugi. We were getting a little bored staying in my cabin…” The stern look that the women were giving him seemed to soften and Jin breathed a sigh of relief.
“Well, you should let us know the next time you two want to get away together! We can call our friends, you’d stay with them for very cheap!” Momo giggled and Jin blanched at the way she said it. “And you,” she continued, motioning to Hwoarang. “Now that you’re back, you have to do something about your hair. It’s so beautiful, but it’s obvious you don’t take care of it!”
“Ah… what?” Hwoarang asked, suddenly looking very confused and Jin laughed, watching as the Korean reached up to run a hand through his shoulder-length hair. “What’s wrong with it?” Jin looked the other man up and down, rolling his eyes when he saw that Hwoarang had no idea.
“You’re all roots! You need a touch-up!” she dug around in a box behind the counter, pulling out a card and handing it to him. “My niece has a salon. Visit her and she’ll take care of you.”
“Ah, thank you?” Hwoarang said awkwardly causing Jin to laugh more. He’d never met Inoue’s daughter before, but had heard that she was a bit of a black sheep in the family, whatever that meant. If he had to judge from the way that the two sisters behaved, as well as Nana’s tendencies, he had a feeling that this salon would be crazy.
“So, what’s with all these people?” Hwoarang asked, shooting Jin a sideways glance as the other man tried to stifle his laughter. “There’s a lot more people here than before. Is there something happening in town?”
“Oh, everyone is gathering for the festival!” Inoue said, indicating the people who were in the onsen office. “We’re very busy because they’ve all traveled to see the competition tonight. Are you two going to see it? They’re having it on the beach.”
“Competition?” Hwoarang’s eyes flashed, earning him an elbow in the ribs.
“Ah, we’ll see, Inoue. I’ve got a couple things I wanted to do…” Jin tried to brush off the invitation with grace; he wasn’t in the mood for crowds of people right then. He still wanted to spend some time meditating to properly deal with the beast inside him. He’d locked it away earlier while he’d finally made a move on Hwoarang – something he’d fully enjoyed, despite Devil’s threats afterwards – and he wanted to strengthen his mind for the backlash from his actions. He had no doubt he could handle it, but also he knew that attending the festival would just distract him – even though he really would have liked to go. “Is there a room available?” he asked, hoping against hope that one of the private rooms was still available to them.
“I’m sorry,” she said with a smile that didn’t show it. “All the private rooms are booked. Some of the pools outside are open, though.” She looked thoughtfully out the window to check. “Yes, yes, the larger ones only have a couple other people in them. It’s a nice day so you should get outside. Get some colour in your face.”
Jin smiled though he really wanted to grumble as she handed him a bucket with towels. He supposed sitting with a couple other people would be fine, so long as Hwoarang was there. His was the only company he really wanted right then.
The Korean seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself as they walked towards the showers. Undressing was a painless affair, nothing embarrassing like it had been for Jin that first time. He folded his clothes and set them in a basket, pushing it into its shelf and turning back to the little shower booths. Everyone was outside in the onsen. It was just him and Hwoarang in there, the only sound being the pleasant chatter of the other man, sprouting his opinion on one thing or another.
Jin stepped up behind him, his broad back exposed as the redhead sat on the bathing stool. The little showerhead was raining water down upon him, though failing to wash away the dirt from their training and fooling around that morning. He briefly thought to himself that they wouldn’t be let in the spring if they weren’t properly washed up. It was that thought that drove him to reach out and grab a brush and scrub Hwoarang’s back.
The redhead’s talking stopped abruptly and he peered over his shoulder a fraction, his eyebrow quirking at the sight of a naked Jin washing his back. The Japanese fighter pursed his lips and continued scrubbing, keeping the silence between them and watching Hwoarang’s amber orbs as they seemed to dance with ideas.
“Sitting under the spray isn’t going to do it this time. You’re dirty all over and they won’t let us in if we’re covered in mud.”
Hwoarang straightened up and leaned into the contact, bowing his head forward. “Who’s idea was it to press me into the mud again, Kazama?”
Jin grinned, “Well, maybe I won’t do it again…”
“Oi, Kazama. Don’t be a dick. Next time you get to be on bottom and I’ll grind you into the mud.”
Jin’s eyes went wide at the lecherous tone in the other’s voice. He was beginning to regret that none of the private rooms were available. The images of their training encounter earlier that day flooded back to him and he could see in clear, vivid detail the reversal of their roles, with him on the bottom and Hwoarang pressing, grinding him into the mud.
“I’m not surprised. Make you come and you’re a fucking whore for his filthy…”
‘Shut up!’ Jin squeezed his eyes shut, slamming a barrier down around Devil’s disparaging remarks and silencing the beast in an instant. He opened his eyes again, staring down at Hwoarang’s back, the mud swirling away in the spray of the water. It had taken a second, a split second to lock that beast out and Jin was alone in his mind again.
His hands faltered in their task, he’d done it! It had been so easy and he was overcome with a strong sense of freedom. He could do what he wanted without worrying about a snide, distracting remark from that beast. Hwoarang cocked his head to look back at him and he began scrubbing again with renewed vigor, cleaning his friend’s back and urging him to finish up so they could get out to the springs. He wanted to get out and enjoy the day, enjoy his freedom and enjoy Hwoarang. There were some things he wanted to do right then, but the hot springs showers were not the place and he didn’t trust himself alone with his lover in that place. He’d wait until that evening before approaching the other man on that topic…
Hwoarang’s lecherous glint had died down to a friendly gleam and he’d begun chattering about the upcoming tournament as they left the showering room. He continued speculating about the competition as they walked outside with their white terrycloth towels wrapped around their waists. “I wonder what kind of new arenas they’ll have ready for us this time,” he said, casually removing his towel from his waist and throwing it behind him before climbing into the water.
Jin watched, admiring the curve of the other man’s ass before he caught himself. That was the worst place to think such things; he quickly removed his towel and folded it before slipping into the water beside his friend. The pool was fairly large, meant for corporate groups, no doubt, but was very comfortable for him and he didn’t even notice the other couple that they were sharing with. He slid into the water, feeling the steaming liquid seep into his skin, watching it rise until it finally stopped at his chest. That was when he noticed it: a bright red, round mark on his shoulder. Definitely a bite, definitely male, definitely Hwoarang’s. “Fuck…” he slid deeper into the water, noting with some dismay that the water didn’t become murky until somewhere around his waist. He tried to ignore it, but now that he knew it was there, it was always visible from the corner of his eye. A big, red mark hinting at what he’d done. He frowned at the thought that what they’d shared was obvious, on display for everyone to see. He shifted irritatedly; Hwoarang was sitting so close, it was obvious who had bitten him.
He looked over at the other people in their pool, hoping that they didn’t come over to talk to him. He just wanted to relax and get out of there to put his shirt back on and hide the mark. He thought of giving Hwoarang a bite to match, but figured that he’d probably wear it as a badge of pride. “Here’s my boyfriend and he’s a biter!” Jin shook his head and sank lower into the pool. The other people would have no reason to talk to him, that was if Hwoarang hadn’t started chatting them up and inviting them over. Jin leaned back against the seat, closing his eyes and hoping for a second that he could just disappear. Hwoarang – while endearing – had a habit of being too gregarious for his own good. He kept his eyes closed and focused on his breathing. He was content to let Hwoarang make friends with the tourists while he let the hot water soak into his bones. He’d been looking forward to this, and he probably wouldn’t get another chance to visit an onsen until after the tournament so he resolved to thoroughly enjoy it. If he didn’t open his eyes he wouldn’t see that red mark and he wouldn’t have to answer any questions about it. He relaxed further into the water, listening to the hum of conversation as Hwoarang chatted up a storm. He wasn’t being called into the conversation and if he concentrated, he could block out the words, just relaxing. Devil was still locked away in the white room he’d constructed and the atmosphere of the onsen was making him feel deliciously mellow. He sighed deciding that it was the most peace he’d had in a long while when he felt Hwoarang reach out to poke him.
“Hey, Jin, you awake?” Hwoarang nudged him in the chest again and he opened his eyes to look flatly at him. “Jin, you’ve got a fan, wake up!”
“Hmm?” he opened his eyes to see what exactly his redheaded lover was talking about. He looked from Hwoarang to the other two Koreans that had moved to sit opposite them. “What?” he asked, frowning as he sat up and looked from one face to the other.
Hwoarang turned and quickly rattled off something that he didn’t understand before turning back. “Ah, their Japanese is alright and I told them you don’t speak Korean so we’re going to try this cultural exchange in your mother tongue, Kazama. So,” he turned to the men. “Yeah, this is the Jin Kazama that you know.”
“Wait, what?” Jin asked as politely as he could, trying to figure out what Hwoarang had brought him into. They appeared to be middle-aged, maybe in their early forties. They were smiling politely at him, relaxing back into the water and didn’t appear to want him dead, though he couldn’t imagine how they knew him. At least they weren’t assassins from the Zaibatsu.
“We’re so happy to have met you, Kazama-san,” the man closest to him said, nodding his head in respect. “My name is Dak-Ho and this is my partner Soo.” He indicated the man beside him and Jin nodded politely at him, still confused as to why they claimed to know him. He didn’t recognize them at all. “We were telling Hwoarang that we’ve enjoyed watching the two of you fight at the King of Iron Fist Tournaments, though I have to admit that seeing the both of you in person is so much different than what they show on television.”
Jin quirked an eyebrow at Hwoarang who seemed far too excited. “Jin,” the redhead reached out to poke him and he frowned, moving to poke back. “These guys watch our tournaments; they even get into arguments over who is better!”
“Oh lord,” Jin groaned, keeping his smile in place as he looked back at the pair. They had met some fans!
“I used to take Tae Kwon-Do when I was a kid, so I always cheer for Hwoarang!” Soo said enthusiastically before rattling something off in Korean to the redhead.
“But I always liked your style better, Kazama-san,” the other man, Dak-Ho commented warmly. “You changed it from the first time I saw you, but I still like it. I suppose I like strong punches over fancy kicks,” he looked back to Soo with an expression that Jin couldn’t mistake as anything other than affection and it suddenly hit him. They really were two couples sitting in that hot spring.
“They always make it look like you two are big enemies in a huge rivalry, but it’s nice to meet you both and see things are so much different.”
“I told you it was just to make people watch,” Soo beamed and Jin watched as he reached out to nudge his partner under the water. At least, he thought it was a nudge.
Dak-Ho seemed to jump a bit and then elbow his friend in the side before turning back to Hwoarang. “Will you be going to the next tournament? We have tickets and we were hoping…”
“Yeah, we’ll be there,” Hwoarang broke in when the man began fumbling over his words with his thick accent. “We’ve got some unfinished business, don’t we, Kazama?”
“Yes, yes, we have a big rivalry,” Jin yawned. “Nice that they made it seem bigger than it really was. That’s just like grandfather…”
“But that’s how they sell tickets. Invite some crazy fighters, invent storylines… it’s almost as fake as wrestling, only the fighting is real,” Hwoarang nodded, obviously happy about that fact.
“We heard there will be some new fighters this year and the television commercials showed some old fighters will be coming back too! It should be really dramatic!” Dak-Ho said with a knowing look on his face. “We’re meeting some other people when we get there, since it’s the first time that there are two fighters from Korea in the tournament. We decided to pool our money and go to show our support!”
Jin could see Hwoarang’s expression falter and he tried to recall what other Koreans had fought in the past. Was it a new fighter? He’d been so preoccupied with his father and grandfather that he couldn’t remember anybody else that had been there… well, aside from Hwoarang. The redhead seemed to be repressing a smile that only quirked the side of his face and Jin suddenly realized who it would be. “This other Korean…” he started slowly, earning him a look from Hwoarang that said everything he needed to know.
“It’s Baek Doo-San,” Soo said happily, completely oblivious to the events that had happened to the older fighter only a short time earlier. It seemed that Baek’s “death” hadn’t been part of the storyline that had been broadcast. “We’ve made signs and everything, so we hope you two fight well!”
Jin tried to smile, but couldn’t help noticing Soo’s gaze shifting towards his shoulder every so often. He tried to cover it with his hand, but that only drew Dak-Ho’s attention to it and he felt his face begin to burn with embarrassment. The two men shot each other knowing looks and Jin glared at Hwoarang, wishing that the other man knew the kind of embarrassment he was enduring at that moment.
The redhead was oblivious. ‘Figures…’
“Oh… I nearly forgot.” Dak-Ho picked his watch out of the onsen bucket without actually looking at it. “I’m very sorry,” he said, looking at the two fighters and winking at Jin. “Please excuse us, but I just realized we’re late to meet some friends.”
“Sure thing,” Hwoarang beamed at them as they stood to climb out of the water, wrapping their towels around their waists and leaving.
Jin watched them leave, seeing the casual way they strode to the building and thought with a sinking feeling that they didn’t look like they were in a hurry. He looked back at the bite mark, seeing the dark bruising that was hinting around the edges and shivered, hoping it faded before he got to the tournament… He puffed out a breath and put the embarrassment from his mind. “So it looks like Baek got away somehow.”
“And he’ll be at the tournament too!” Hwoarang beamed, oblivious to the two men who had left them alone so quickly. “I’ll find him when we get there and tell him what happened,” his excitement faltered and Jin could feel the wave of anger washing over him, turning the excitement to a somber mood. “Those bastards probably told him I just ditched him… left him there to rot.” Hwoarang shook his head, “I still can’t believe the shit that I did do for those assholes… I can’t believe I went in there knowing I was going to kill… that I did… and Baek fucking knows…”
Jin suddenly felt an intensely strong sense of deja-vu as Hwoarang trailed off, his expression becoming dark. They’d been down this road before. The whole situation felt too familiar, only this time it was the Korean dwelling on dark thoughts and Jin was left wanting to do something about it. He watched for a long moment, wondering if this was how he looked when he was battling Devil and he realized why Hwoarang had acted the way he did; touching him and saying loud things to distract him. It was like an epiphany into the workings of Hwoarang’s actions, and into his own mind.
A wave of realization struck him like a damn thunderbolt and he did the one thing he could. Firmly, purposefully Jin reached across to touch Hwoarang’s shoulder, digging his fingers in and sliding closer to his rival until their thighs were touching beneath the water. “Hey, do you really think Baek would believe them?” he asked, having no idea where his speech was going but speaking from his heart and knowing it was enough to trust in. “He’s your father, Hwoarang. No matter what happened, he’ll believe in you… just like my mother does.” His fingers loosened their grip in his shoulder when Hwoarang looked at him with wide, amber eyes. “Neither of us is fucking pure… nothing is perfect.” The words echoed what Hwoarang had been trying to tell him before and he finally understood everything. Everything Jin had been afraid of looked so different when viewed from the other side of the glass. He couldn’t understand Hwoarang’s problems, but he could try and make him feel better and it was with half-selfish intentions that he reached out to grab the other man’s jaw, tilting it towards him and rushing in to kiss him.
He’d meant to kiss him softly, chastely, comfortingly but the moment they touched Hwoarang opened his mouth and turned the act into a deep and aggressive affair. The Korean pulled him into a crushing embrace and Jin was grateful for their moderate privacy in that public place. Hwoarang kissed him with heated passion that made a shiver rush up his spine and settle in his belly. He could have melted into that mouth, feeling the tension in the other man just release in that one act, burning him.
Then he remembered where they were.
Hwoarang seemed to come to his senses too and quickly pulled back, still keeping close, but his amber eyes darting around to see if anybody had noticed.
Jin gazed back at the building where he knew that Inoue and Momo were still chatting away. It seemed that nobody had really seen the kiss, but he suddenly felt very uncomfortable staying there. He looked back at the other man before they both nodded and exited the pool to get dressed and head out to get something to eat.
There were too many people around that day, too many people and not enough privacy for what they were aching for.
Hwoarang didn’t want to admit just how much better he felt after his little pep talk. The kiss had been a release, but his words had really hit home. Heh, was Baek really stupid enough to believe the people who’d held him against his will? He’d find the other man and explain everything. It wasn’t worth worrying over just then and he hated how his guilt over Min’s death was still bothering him. It really wasn’t his fault and he shouldn’t have let it affect him like that, not when he had an empty belly calling to be filled. His unsated desire to further the kiss Jin had started would wait until later.
The door to the Yamamoto Sky Café shut behind the two fighters setting off a chime somewhere in the store and one of the attendants welcomed them warmly before directing them to a table. There were many guests packed into every seat imaginable, yet they were shown to a table with a view of the beach and Jin sighed at their luck as he settled into his chair. Hwoarang didn’t even glance at the menu, instead he looked through the polished window at the people who were setting up for the fireworks display that night. He really wanted to go to it, but he knew that Jin wasn’t up for it. He probably wanted to rest, which would have been a good idea, except that Hwoarang really wanted to see the competition.
“Aren’t you going to look at the menu?” Jin’s question drifted over to him.
“Mah, what’s the point? Nana will just tell me what I’m getting anyways,” he said, flipping open the laminated pages to look at the pictures. The action seemed to cue the shop’s eccentric owner to appear with a smile and curtsey before she leaned in close to look at Jin with wide eyes.
“Something’s different!” she announced immediately looking between the two men before setting her sights on Hwoarang. “Are you two excited about the festival?” she finally asked, scratching her head and Hwoarang breathed out a sigh of relief, wondering if their little bump n’ grind from earlier was that obvious.
“A-ah, probably not,” Jin said, looking down at his menu to hopefully change the topic.
“Aww, that’s alright, you can see them from all over town, so you don’t have to go to the beach, although it’s much prettier if you do!” she winked and looked down at the menu. “Ah, please come to the kitchen, I have to determine something,” she pointed suddenly at Hwoarang, pulling him to his feet and dragging him into the back room.
He looked back to Jin who seemed to wave goodbye and he disappeared into the kitchen with a silent frown on his face. “What?” he asked when he was brought to a pot that was bubbling on the stove. The kitchen was small but well organized. The pots and pans were shining clean in their places on the racks and Hwoarang marveled that he could quite possibly eat off the floor.
“I knew from the moment I saw you that you’d be good for Jin,” she said as she picked up a ladle to stir the contents of the pot.
“Ah, really?” he asked, feeling a little odd at the statement, considering how strained their first days together had been. “What makes you say that?”
“He smiles,” she said, looking at him with a calculating eye before reaching to the cupboard and withdrawing a shaker of spice.
“Yeah, he did that before I came along,” Hwoarang rolled his eyes, wondering why he was even there. “That guy is Mr. Quiet and Polite.”
“You’re wrong,” she shook her head with a knowing smile that just pissed Hwoarang off with its smugness. “He’d smile, but it was so artificial I wanted to fix it somehow… throw laughing powder in his squid cakes or something… I didn’t like it.” She spoke with startling seriousness and Hwoarang wondered if she was having a moment of sanity or if he should even bother to wonder what ‘squid cakes’ were. “He would smile to be polite and hide what he really felt, but since you got here it has been a real smile. I like it. He’s so beautiful, don’t you think?” suddenly her hand shot up to grab his chin and she pulled him close to her, bright eyes peering into his and he felt a more than a little uncomfortable. “No doubt about it,” she sighed, a small smile quirking on her face. “The beans wouldn’t agree with you today.” She released him and set to stirring the pot. “Your food will be ready soon. Better get back to him…”
Hwoarang felt as if he’d been under a spell and stumbled out of the kitchen as a resounding crash echoed behind him. He didn’t look back. He didn’t dare to see what she was doing. He returned to his seat wondering if she had really needed him back there or if it had just been an excuse to talk to him about Jin. It wasn’t her fucking business, but then again, she seemed a bit too crazy to be a nosy bitch about it. Well, whatever, so he knew that he really had had an impact on Jin. That brought a smile to his lips, just the reaffirmation that he was significant in the others life – even though he already knew it – made him gleam with pride. He trotted back to their table, stopping short when he saw that his lover was talking to someone. She was leaning casually against the table, her tight jeans clinging to her curvaceous hips and he watched her laugh at something Jin said that he was certain as fuck hadn’t been that funny. Jin seemed to look up and glance across the room to where Hwoarang had stopped. The smile that was already plastered on his face seemed to crack; turning into something brighter and more real and in that moment, Hwoarang thought he knew what Nana was talking about. It wasn’t an overly exuberant smile, but it seemed to brighten the room and draw him in like a beacon. “Hey, Jin,” he said, smiling at the girl as he settled down across from his lover. She looked surprised to see him, a moment of shock that quickly passed and she smiled back, her eyes dancing with ideas that Hwoarang knew all too well as she looked over at another girl – presumably her friend – to give the female-equivalent of the thumbs up.
Hwoarang raised an eyebrow at the other man, silently questioning what was happening. Jin smiled at him, a little more subdued and his eyes were wide like a deer caught in headlights. Hwoarang didn’t need to be a mind reader to know that the other man had been surprised, trapped by her chitchat and far too polite to tell her to piss off. The Korean would have had no trouble shooting her down, but Hwoarang felt like being creative and winked at his rival as the girl turned back to them.
“My friend and I are here for the festival,” she said, looking at Jin in a way that made Hwoarang’s eye twitch. “Would you two like to join us at the beach?”
The question was innocent enough, but it struck Hwoarang with a need to keep what was his. Shove her face in the fact that she’d never get his man. “I don’t know, what do you think, Jinny?” He asked the question as gaily as he could manage, feeling like a fucking fool but keeping a straight face, even with the priceless look Jin shot him. His face hurt as he tried to keep his expression light and innocent as Jin looked between him and the girl and back again. After a few moments, he sharply squeezed Jin’s hand to make him say something to back up his story. He tilted his head down, giving Jin a smouldering look that told him to fucking move.
“Ah, sorry,” the other fighter said in the most polite and apologetic way Hwoarang had ever heard someone ask forgiveness without actually bowing. “We’d love to see the fireworks for you, but I had a… surprise planned for Hwoarang when we go to the, uh, festival tonight, so…”
Jin was a terrible liar so Hwoarang broke in, almost springing from his seat while he clasped the fumbling fighter’s hand tighter. “Oh, Jin! You kept saying you didn’t want to go to the festival and all this time you had a surprise planned?” He looked at the girl. “It’s our anniversary, you know!” he gave Jin his best loving look and tightened his grip when the other man tried to pull away. He smiled up at the girl that was watching them with a mix of disappointment and excitement on her face.
After a minute Hwoarang hardened his stare, clearly telling her to fuck off which seemed to jolt her into action. “Well, maybe we’ll see each other there… congratulations!” she blurted out before turning to rush over to her friend.
The moment they had left the restaurant, Hwoarang released his grip on Jin’s hand, who quickly ripped it away as he looked around. “Our anniversary?!” he asked in a harsh whisper.
“You’re a terrible liar, Kazama. You wanted her to leave you alone, right?”
“Well, she was just trying to be friendly…”
“She was trying to get a date,” Hwoarang kept his voice terse as he tried to understand how Jin could not see what she’d been trying. Maybe Jin had known, but didn’t want to be rude and turn her away. “Besides, I thought you liked me.”
“I do!” Jin said a little too quickly, making Hwoarang grin widely. “Well… you like me too!”
They stared at each other for a few long moments filled with comically uncomfortable silence before Hwoarang cracked and reached out with his foot to run the toe of his shoe up Jin’s leg. “I was just fooling around, you think I like being all lovey dovey like that? Besides, you know I like you, and if you don’t believe me, I’ll show you how much I like you later. Right now I wanna see this competition, Kazama. So what’s this surprise?”
“Ah, uh, you’ll see when we get there, ‘Rang,” Jin folded his arms over his chest and frowned. “As soon as I think of it, you’ll be the first to know.”
~End Chapter Thirty-One~
| Index | Chapter Thirty-Two |