Summary: Doyon decides to find out for himself if Jin is good enough for Hwoarang.
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'm glad that I explored what's up with Doyon and his reasons for the pseudo-homophobic outburst earlier. Umm... yeah. Whoo?
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details, chapter links and fanart.
Doyon closed the hotel door behind him, mindful to keep from waking the two slumbering bodies he left behind. He really hated waking up so early and grumbled as much when greeted by another guest in the elevator.
“Hello again!” the girl with the pigtails said in an all-too cheery manner for that time in the morning. “Going to see the early matches?”
He eyed her, his face cracking into a leer when he remembered her from the day before and the cute bathing suit she’d been wearing. He eyed her up and down, noticing her petite – but fucking well defined – body. Damn, Bloom would kill him for that. “Yeah, just going to watch someone fight.”
“Oh,” she seemed to remember something, placing her finger to her mouth. “You mean Hwoarang?”
“Not exactly,” he said, stuffing his hands into his pockets and walking out of the elevator.
She followed behind. “Come with me!” she said, grabbing him when they approached the entrance to the arena. The security guards eyed him suspiciously and he shot them a glare back. He fucking hated these rent-a-cops, though these ones seemed to be better equipped than any security he’d seen back home. He popped on his sunglasses, despite the early hour, and eyed the entrance from behind his dark shades. Four guards, each well protected with light firepower… they all seemed to have been trained in physical combat, with the way their arms bulged from beneath their short-sleeved shirts. He bowed his head; security cameras too. Damn, he didn’t like getting caged into shit like this, but then again, he had a bigger purpose.
He looked back to the girl who had taken his wrist and was holding on tightly while trying to pull him in a different direction. “What do you think you’re doing, girl?” he asked as nicely as he could even though she was starting to annoy him.
She winked and led him to a side entrance where she said something to the guard who quickly stepped out of the way and let them inside. Doyon watched the guard before his attention was drawn to the beach and the large, portable bleachers that had been set up for the spectators. There weren’t many people around, despite the appeal of the fight the crowd was sparse. Not that Doyon paid much attention to things like that; what he was interested in was the man who would be fighting that day. He allowed the girl to lead him around to the front of the bleachers, and watched as the girl maneuvered her way to the best spot. There were already a few people seated there. The girl released his hand and approached them on her own, leaving Doyon to fold his arms over his chest and watch as she began speaking to them. He eyed them carefully as she did, picking up the innocent and cheery tones she used in combination with a few keywords that would eventually make them move. It was forceful negotiating that Doyon could truly appreciate.
Within a few moments the people had vacated the spot and Doyon sat heavily on the plastic bench. “Damn, girl, you’re pretty good at that.”
“Good at what?” she asked as she winked in a way that made the Korean think she might be playing with him too. “I’m Ling Xiaoyu, by the way. Who are you?”
It was a blunt topic change, but he let it slide. “Ling, huh? I’m Doyon.” He lifted his sunglasses and propped them on his forehead while he talked to her. She couldn’t have been more than eighteen years old. He tilted his head a bit and let the eyewear fall back into place. She was nice enough, but he was there for someone else, and it took him a moment to locate that someone in that nearly-empty ring. He didn’t recognize the track suit that the fighter wore, though he did gauge Jin’s height and build and figured that it was probably him. He was due to fight, and who else would be stepping into the ring at that ungodly hour?
He ignored the woman who stepped in opposite the Japanese man. She had dark hair, in braids or something, but Doyon couldn’t take his eyes off the man. The one who his childhood friend was probably fucking or getting fucked by. Hell, he didn’t want to think about it…
The bell rang to announce the start of the match and the blonde Korean watched them face off; watched Jin block the first attack before lashing out with a move of his own. He didn’t recognize any of the moves, though he heard murmurs through the small crowd that gave him the impression that each way the guy moved had its own name, each attack had a title. The woman took an offensive stance and Jin blocked or dodged everything she threw out, fluidly lashing out with a few harsh kicks of his own.
Damn, Hwoarang sure did know how to pick them. The blonde ripped his sunglasses off to properly watch as the Japanese fighter effectively juggled his opponent in the air with a series of kicks and punches. It was terribly impressive.
The bell finally rang out and the second round was over. Despite her strong demeanour and fighting style – he guessed - that woman, Julia or whatever, wasn’t doing so hot. She climbed to her feet after a few moments and walked over to speak with Jin. It seemed strange and Doyon was ready to hop up and see if he could read her lips. He’d always been a bit of a nosy little fucker, but that idea left him when he caught sight of someone more familiar. Someone who’d been on his mind since leaving home and visiting Japan for the first time in ten years. Xiaoyu seemed to have met up with a friend and he excused himself as she giggled while the other girl was still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
He walked with purpose, though he kept his footsteps quiet as he approached Hwoarang. The redhead was standing with his arms folded, staring out at the fighters at the far side of the beach that had been corded off for the match. Despite the early hour, and the time that Doyon knew that he’d gotten to sleep the night before, Hwoarang’s expression seemed serene… or high, Doyon was never good with distinguishing between the two.
“Hey,” he muttered, fishing a smoke from his pocket when the other man didn’t acknowledge his arrival. He held the filter between his teeth and lit the end. “Pretty fuckin’ early, ain’t it?”
The redhead seemed to start at that and Doyon didn’t miss the dark shadow that fell over his eyes when he looked away from Jin. Well, looked at him, anyways. “What are you doing here, Doy?” Cold.
“What does it look like?”
“Casing the fight?” the redhead raised his eyebrows expectantly. “I don’t think there’s much to rip off here…”
“Nah,” the blonde laughed louder than he’d intended. “I’m just watchin’ the fight. I ain’t never been to a live one of these… well, never something so official and nice looking. Those underground fights don’t get this kinda publicity…” He inhaled sharply, drawing the cigarette away from his lips and letting the smoke out through his nose. “But that’s not exactly it, either,” he said, looking back to Jin who was taking his place against Julia again.
“Fuck, are you going to be sayin’ more shit against what I got with Jin?” the redhead asked. Damnit, he was still upset or defensive. The blonde grinned; he knew Hwoarang rarely got that worked up over anything. He must have been really serious about Jin.
“Actually, I wanted to see your boyfriend.”
That shut Hwoarang up.
Doyon took a deep breath and pulled the cigarette from his mouth. He didn’t do heart-to-hearts. At all. He looked squarely at Hwoarang. “I wanted to see him fight, see if he could handle himself, ‘Rang.”
“The hell? Of course he can! He went up against me, didn’t he?”
“Yeah, you know, you’re not that tough, eh?” Doyon smirked before getting serious again. “Look, I can see what this guy means to you, and I didn’t want to see you get hurt if he was some faggy pussy… Uh, no, that’s not what I meant to say. If he gets hurt and dies. I mean, if you get all attached to him and he leaves… what happens to you?”
Hwoarang’s smirk quirked up a fraction. “Man, let me tell ya something; you’ll die before that guy does. He won’t lose easily; he held his own against me, and that’s saying something. He’s seen worse shit than you and lived.”
Doyon frowned. “What about you?”
“I… I’m starting to see the shit he’s seen. It’s fucking freaky, man… but I won’t leave him either. I won’t.”
“Yeah?” He’d never heard his friend talk so passionately. Well, with as much passion as Hwoarang ever had. “This have anything to do with the… uh, you know what?” he gestured to the absent wings on Hwoarang’s back.
The redhead got a far-off look as he watched his lover out on the sandy beach, kicking up and blocking an attack before swinging out. Doyon began to wonder what kind of wings or powers the other man had if he was worse off than Hwoarang. He’d committed the image of Hwoarang with the white wings to his memory. Fuck, he couldn’t escape the dreams that had started up again – it was partially why he’d come to the tournament – he wanted to make sure his last living friend from the old neighbourhood would live past thirty.
“Fine, fine, ‘Rang,” he changed the subject. “I guess I came off bad the other day, so I wanted so say I’m sorry for that.” He felt his back tighten up at the apology; he didn’t make apologies either. He mentally ticked off the list in his mind of shit he’d never say to Hwoarang again; talking about his feelings and saying he was sorry being at the very top. He didn’t want the other man to get the impression he was going soft or anything like that.
He looked out at Jin, maybe he was. “Shit, I can see that bastard is good for you, ‘Rang. Hell, you wouldn’t get up this early for me.” He watched the other man kick out and catch the woman in the jaw, sending her flying. His body was solid but still moved fluidly through the air. “I can see the way he looks at you… and, well… I know you guys are good together, so I won’t get in the way.” He pitched his cigarette to the ground and folded his arms over his chest. “That’s it, I’ve said my piece.” He nodded and turned to leave, feeling his cheeks burning as he did so. Fuck, why did he feel so vulnerable right then?
Doyon looked back to see Hwoarang walking out to meet Jin, his lover, at the centre of the ring where he was proclaimed the winner. It would be a long tournament, but they were off to a good start.
He looked around for the exit and dug around in his pocket for the phone number he’d gotten from the lounge the night before. He’d met a man who seemed to share his vision for business, and if he could get a meeting set up with his boss… he might have more overseas contacts for Moon to deal with. He grinned widely and fished the last cigarette from his pack. He’d have to thank Hwoarang for suggesting he put her to other work; she was really good at negotiating for him.
He eyed a notice board for scheduled fights, committing to memory the first match that Hwoarang would have the next day. He had a feeling he wouldn’t see the other man before then, something about the way that he’d approached Jin after the fight… He rolled his eyes and looked back to the ring, but it had already cleared out for the next match. He saw Hwoarang’s bright hair across the sea of people as he led the dark-haired fighter through another set of doors. Yeah, Doyon sighed and turned away, he was glad they weren’t sharing a room anymore.
~End Chapter Thirty-Eight~
| Index | Chapter Thirty-Nine |