Summary: The arrival of Hwoarang's friends from Korea is sudden and definitely awkward.
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: Ph33r my awesome summary. Seriously, though, it's too late for me to think of anyting more entertaining or telling. I like this chapter, it's fun.
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details, chapter links and fanart.
Hwoarang slapped his old friend on the back a few times in a manly display of affection before the bottle-blonde released him and stepped to the side of the doorframe. The redhead opened his mouth to ask what the fuck his buddy was doing so far from Korea and standing in his doorway, but a smaller body pushed its way into the room and wrapped itself around his waist before he could utter a sound.
“Hwo!” Sun shouted, squeezing Hwoarang’s waist tightly and looked up at him with bright eyes. “Mom convinced uncle Doy to bring us to see you, just like you told us to!”
“Great…” Hwoarang trailed off, trying to smile for the boy while keeping an eye on Doyon as he pushed his way into the hotel room and towards Jin. He had the other man cornered and Hwoarang gracelessly stepped over to the pair with a lazy-fast gait before he could say anything stupid to his lover.
He roughly slapped his friend on the back to distract him. “So… You actually came!” he tried to pull Doyon away, but the other man stood his ground and refused to budge. “How the hell did you find my room?”
“Well, yeah, ‘Rang,” Doyon said, turning to his friend with an incredulous look as he jammed a cigarette between his teeth and dug around for a lighter. “You left Moon and Sun and told them to come, so I figured that I should come too because we need to show our support and all that shit, right?” He lit the smoke, “Plus, Sun wouldn’t leave me alone. Kept pestering me with that damn tournament flyer you gave him. As for finding you,” he waggled his eyebrows suggestively. “I was chatting up a couple cuties in the lobby. Seems they knew exactly who you were when I mentioned your name and they told me where I could find you. Lucky, eh?”
“Heh,” Hwoarang smiled lopsidedly, “I didn’t expect you to actually come.” He sheepishly stole a peek at Jin; the other man was standing there with his arms folded, watching Hwoarang intently. “So… where are you staying?” he asked his old friend, secretly hoping that they all had rooms of their own, though he knew that wouldn’t be the case.
“With you, of course,” the blonde said, settling himself in one of the chairs and flicked his cigarette into the ashtray on the desk. “I spent a shitload of cash to get us here. I can’t afford to book a room in this place.” He hauled off his smoke and looked at Jin. “So, who is this?”
Jin stared back at him with a blank expression before turning to the redhead.
Hwoarang stepped closer to him, “This is my-”
“Oh, this is the guy you left me for, then?” Doyon cut in, getting an intrigued look in his eyes. “The one with the wi-”
“Yeah, man,” Hwoarang cut him off before he could mention the wings. “This is Jin Kazama.”
“Kazama, eh?” the blonde got a look to his face that said he was thinking about something profitable. “Any relation to Kazuya Mishima? Ya kinda look like him…” he leaned forward, “any chance you could get me a meeting with the head of G Corp?”
Jin’s blank expression remained, though his eyes shifted to Hwoarang and the redhead mentally kicked himself for inviting anyone along. He should have known this shit would happen. “Uh, Jin? This is my friend, Doyon… from back home.”
Jin’s eyebrow slowly rose before he let out a sigh and nodded politely to the other man, though his mouth remained tight and he kept quiet.
Hwoarang finally understood what it was to be between a rock and a hard place. He was the one Doyon and Jin would look at when they wanted something, and he hated the ball of anxiety churning in his stomach when he thought of how the hell he’d manage this. The distance between those two hard things closed in on him the moment that Moon stepped in the doorway.
Moon stepped into the room and approached Hwoarang. Sun seemed to become suddenly interested in whatever was outside the window, leaving Hwoarang to face Moon all alone. He heard the murmur of Doyon prying a conversation out of Jin, though he couldn’t focus on the words as he tried to smile at Moon. Her expression was unreadable, but Hwoarang was relieved that she didn’t seem angry. There was no way that he could tell them to find another room now that he knew she was there. He looked back to Jin who seemed to be making an effort to communicate with Doyon and felt Angel shifting in his mind.
“Hey,” he said to Moon. “So, you took me up on my invite, huh? It should be a good show.”
“You left without even sticking around for my brother to wake up. He gave me a message to give to you,” she stepped up, her smile tight and sad.
Hwoarang heaved a sigh, he knew Hitch would have been fine after he’d healed him, but he did feel a bit guilty for leaving so quickly. Still, despite his guilt and the verbal reaming he expected, he was still surprised when Moon lashed out with a strong right hook. He felt his cheek sting stronger than any hit he’d taken in a proper fight. His instinct flared up to hit back, but he stopped himself, feeling Jin’s eyes on him and was acutely aware that all conversation in the room had stopped.
“Mom!” Sun shouted, rushing over to his mom to take her hand. “You said you wouldn’t give Hwo that message!”
“Yeah, well,” Moon sniffed, crossing her arms and fixing Hwoarang with a hard look. “I’m the one that had to deal with Chu’s cranky attitude once he came home, so that was from me,” she winked. “Don’t pull that shit with me again, Hwoarang.” She uncrossed her arms and reached out to give him a big hug in her usual manic way. The redhead stood stiffly before fumbling to return the gesture and then Sun joined in and he really felt Jin’s eyes burning into his back.
The rock was rolling towards the hard place and Hwoarang felt like he would be crushed in a very socially awkward way. Everything was spiraling out of his control, even without worrying about Devil. He breathed a sigh of relief when Doyon pulled him out of the way and announced that they should all get something to eat.
“I can’t stay cooped up in this room. I didn’t get a chance to visit the bar, meet some other businessmen… I don’t get opportunities like this too often.” He looked over and placed his arm around Jin’s shoulders as the other man stiffened visibly at the too-familiar gesture. “C’mon, Kazama. Let’s get to know each other better over a few beers, yeah?” He laughed and looked over to Hwoarang.
The redhead shrugged, “You wanna come down, Jin? Didn’t your schedule put you in for a match early tomorrow morning?”
“Y-yeah,” the other fighter sighed with relief. “I’m facing Julia at seven o’clock. I need to prepare…”
Hwoarang watched him nod respectfully at Doyon and the pudgy blonde simply laughed. “Fine, fine, we’ll get out of your hair, Kazama. Don’t want you losing on the first day.” He turned back to Hwoarang and ushered everyone out of ‘their’ room before leading the way down the hall to the hotel lobby to find something fun to do.
Hwoarang paused in following them, looking back to see Jin turn and walk further along the hallway to his room. He looked over to his friend before looking back after his lover. “Shit…”
“Oi, ‘Rang! Ya comin’ or what?!” Doyon yelled obnoxiously.
Hwoarang gave his best cocky smile and waved, “I’ll meet you down there. I have to do something!” He practically sprinted along the hallway, only catching up with Jin once the other man had opened his door and was stepping inside. “Jin…” he slapped his hand against the wall and breathed heavily, catching his breath before the door shut behind his lover. “Jin?” he let the door click shut behind him and he peered into the darkness of the room.
“What?” Jin asked, his voice was calm and void of emotion.
“I…” Hwoarang started, balling his fists. He stared at the other man, barely visible in the dim lighting of the room before he grunted irritably and crossed the distance between them.
Jin was stiff when he placed his palms on his shoulders. Stiff and resisting, even when he pulled him close and kissed him for all he was worth.
Damn, Hwoarang kissed him, made Jin feel how badly he wanted him and how the arrival of his friends wouldn’t change a thing.
The dark-haired man relaxed into the embrace and tightened his own grip around the redhead’s neck.
When they finally broke for air, Jin held them close, face to face and Hwoarang looked plainly into his eyes. His bravado was gone – he’d left it out in the hallway with Doyon – and all he wanted right then was for Jin to… to… he just wanted Jin. His hand began its questing descent down Jin’s arms, kneading the thick muscle of his biceps and was surprised at the shiver of excitement that ran up his spine before he stopped himself.
“Y-you probably want to meditate, huh?” he was still a breath away from Jin and he felt the warmth radiating from the other man. Jin smiled and that simple act washed away all of Hwoarang’s anxiety and trepidation over the changed situation. He cocked a grin too. “Keep that evil fucker under wraps, Jin. I know you can,” he stole another quick kiss before backing away and flashing the key card he’d lifted from the other man’s pocket. “I’ll be back.”
“I’ll be waiting…”
Hwoarang bit his lip and forced his feet to keep moving away from Jin. He had so many indecent thoughts flashing through his mind, and they didn’t stop the entire elevator ride down to the lobby.
It wasn’t until he’d seated himself across from Moon and Sun in the lounge that his brain finally shifted gears and he switched to his native Korean, which seemed to change his attitude back to his tough façade. He spotted Doyon talking to a man at the bar and took the opportunity to start smoothing things over with Moon.
Sun scuffed his feet on the plush carpeting and sucked back a monster milkshake while Hwoarang explained to them how the matches worked and the way to get good seats. He could see Moon’s frown lightening as he talked and she finally broke out into a small smile.
“Yeah, I’m sorry I had to leave you guys like that,” he finally said, playing with the beer coaster.
“Heh, I’m sure you are, ‘Rang…” she lowered her eyes before taking a gulp from her own glass. “Chu didn’t seem too pissed when he finally came home. I…” she looked away and Hwoarang swore he could see tears glinting in her eye.
“He was fine!” Sun broke in, patting his mother on the arm. “Hwo said he helped him, and he did!” He turned back to the redhead. “That man upstairs… was he the friend you left to help?”
“Yeah,” Hwoarang said, looking back to Moon and deciding not to say anything more about her brother. Hitch was the only family she had, besides Sun, and despite her tough appearance, he could tell she loved him dearly.
Just then, Moon’s phone buzzed to life and she rolled her eyes, slapping her hand onto the device that was vibrating across the tabletop. She looked at the screen and frowned. “Doy’s got me stuck in an office all damn day learning English and making deals with assholes overseas. He wants to expand his fucking business and for some reason, he pulled me off the tables to handle all this crap,” she narrowed her eyes. “He says you had something to do with that…”
“Uh…” Hwoarang muttered, looking to Sun who was smiling brightly. He looked back to her, not really finishing the opening grunt and she sighed.
“I hate all that cordial bullshit…” she huffed, looking at her phone again before looking at her son. “But I guess… well, we should get going, then,” she pushed her chair back and motioned for Sun to follow her. “I need to find the business centre of this place to get some work done, and this guy should get to bed.”
“Bye, Hwo!” Sun yawned and hopped up from his chair. “I can’t wait to see you and Jin at the fight tomorrow! I really like him!”
“Yeah,” Hwoarang nodded, watching them leave just as Doyon walked back from the bar. “Yeah, I like him too.”
The pudgy blonde set his beer on the bare tabletop and sat heavily in the leather chair, looking hard at Hwoarang. “I figured as much…”
The redhead cut a look back to his friend, his brow furrowing. “The hell is that supposed to mean?”
Doyon huffed, squaring his shoulders as he hunched across the table. “I knew you wouldn’t leave us for just anybody, ‘Rang. I knew it was going to be someone important to you. But… fuck… getting involved with that guy,” he sucked his teeth before muttering under his breath. “I pegged him for a fag the moment I saw him.”
Hwoarang felt his blood racing and he had to resist the urge to jump up and deck his friend. What the hell was he saying? He briefly thought of hiding his relationship with Jin, but that notion got him angrier. Why the fuck should he hide it?!
“Doy, you’d better shut the hell up right now before I beat the piss outta ya.”
The businessman reached into his pocket for a cigarette, taking a long drag before looking down his nose at the fighter. “Just be careful, Hwoarang,” he breathed, the smoke flying across the table, thought he words stung worse than the grey smog that hit him in the face.
“Mind your own business, prick. He’s my boyfriend, alright? I don’t need your goddamn permission.” He didn’t care that other people were looking at them. At least they were still speaking Korean; not too many people would understand their words.
“Fine, fine, whatever, ‘Rang,” Doyon slid his pack of cigarettes across the table for the redhead to take. “Forget I said anything about him, then.” The silence grew between them for a long moment before he changed gears and cocked his head to the side, “So, what happened with those wings? How did that shit go, anyways?”
Hwoarang fought the urge to continue the argument – he sure as hell couldn’t forgetabout it – but decided to follow his friend’s blatant change of conversation if only to avoid a brawl. “Ugh, it went and it’s still going.”
“He’s the one you came out to help…” Doyon looked at him analytically. “He an angel too… or maybe a devil?”
Hwoarang chuckled. “It’s some freaky shit…”
“But you enjoyed yourself… the fight, I mean?”
“I suppose…” Hwoarang thought back to the big blow out over Yakushima. Aerial fighting was incredible and aside from the danger, and the utter fear that he’d felt when he’d reached inside Jin with his mind… yeah, he’d really enjoyed himself. “I’m looking forward to the tourney, though,” he decided to change the topic again. He liked Doyon well enough, but he didn’t need to go into the details of his time with Jin on the island. “There’s a few people I’m looking forward to putting down, and Baek Doo San is back.”
The blonde businessman nodded, “I heard about that. Some group on the plane over here was all pumped for seeing him or you or something. Ya gotta represent, Gi. Get invited to some places so I can meet a few people…”
“Cut it with business,” Hwoarang yawned, rubbing his eyes and looking across to his friend. “I’m fucking tired.”
Doyon’s expression flattened out and he looked thoughtful for a moment. “Gonna hop into bed with you boyfriend, then?”
Hwoarang folded his arms over his chest. “Yes.”
Doyon cracked a smile, “No need to get all defensive.”
“What the hell am I supposed to do when my friend starts bashing on me for liking a guy?”
The blonde huffed out a sigh and scratched the back of his head. “If I sounded pissed, it’s cuz I didn’t see it coming, is all. I thought I knew ya… but I guess shit happens, right?” he gestured to indicate the wings that weren’t there.
“I’m not gay,” Hwoarang said flatly.
Doyon waved off the statement with a laugh. “Don’t split hairs with me, man. I don’t give a shit if you like to walk up and down the street in a dress and screaming show tunes at the top of your lungs. My boy, Mick was dating some guy a while back – not that I give too much of a fuck what any of my guys do. Gay, bi, I don’t give a shit.” He reached out for Hwoarang’s glass, drinking the last of the redhead’s beer. “The way you swing isn’t my business, so-long as it doesn’t interfere with my business.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Hwoarang frowned, stealing another cigarette. He still got a weird feeling from the other man, even though his earlier behaviour screamed of intolerance. “I’ll catch you later. I’m going to see Jin’s fight in a few hours.” He pushed his chair back and walked out of the bar, leaving his friend to mingle with the crowd that still filled the lounge at that late – or rather, early – hour. In a way, he was glad that his friends had shown up, though he was still seething with the other man’s words.
His blood only began to settle when he slipped into Jin’s room. The curtains were drawn and the only light in the room came from the glowing numbers of the alarm clock. He moved to the bed by feel; stealthily removing his clothing and climbing under the covers wearing nothing but his boxers. He stretched his limbs out across the king-sized bed until he felt the warmth of Jin’s body and he pressed the balls of his feet against the other man’s leg. He loved having all that room and he’d use it all, even if he woke with a kink in his neck. Well, a couple hours of sleep wouldn’t be enough to do any real damage, anyways. There was no way he’d miss Jin’s fight.
~End Chapter Thirty-Six~
| Index | Chapter Thirty-Seven |