Summary: Hwoarang is noticing Jin's descent into something darker than he is.
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: This one is a bit short, but I wanted to just show a bit more of what's happening to Jin and how Hwoarang is dealing with it. (An attempt at foreshadowing??) I was a bit apprehensive about posting this, but I realized there were enough aspects to this short chapter that I really liked and wanted to keep. Enjoy! ♥
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details, chapter links and fanart.
“You think you’ve found happiness, don’t you, my precious host. Well, enjoy that little rat while you can. Do you really think he can make a difference? He is nothing! Nothing!! Once I have found my other half, that pest will be the first thing I tear to shreds. Then, I will proceed by order of what you love… greh, disgusting. No matter how hard you work for it, you will never win. Your little golden cages never last for long, and I always break free in the end.”
Hwoarang kept his arms folded over his chest and stared out at the ring before them. The holographic simulators had created this area to look like the Antarctic, complete with sliding penguins and frost breath. The Zaibatsu had really gone all out in making it feel like the frozen South and he rubbed his arms to bring some feeling back to them. Turning the arena into a giant freezer was too much.
Ling Xiaoyu stood beside him, clapping her hands together and hopping from one foot to the other as she yelled out encouragement to the fighter who was a few feet away from them. Ring-side seats only meant being colder.
It had started nice enough; Jin had bowed politely and said whatever was on his mind, though after the second round, with each man holding a victory, things were becoming desperate… and violent.
Craig Marduk was a huge man and could take a beating as well as give one, though the moves Jin had been displaying were leaving him a bloody mess. Hwoarang watched with growing… concern, frowning deeper when he saw Jin drop to one knee before punching out to send Marduk flying with a devastating Corpse Thrust.
“Wow, Jin’s really strong!” Xiaoyu said, leaning against Hwoarang. Her jacket and mittens did little to warm the growing pit of cold inside of him as he watched his lover follow up with a brutal uppercut. He recognized the flares of electricity moving over his taught body, concentrating in his hand before he lashed out and determined the match with that final blow.
Xiaoyu said something else, though Hwoarang didn’t hear as Jin was declared the winner and stepped closer to the ring. Getting closer to see Jin pressing his hand to his head, and getting a sick feeling as he knew what was happening. It was just like the times that Jin had asked for a spare moment to centre himself, or that day when Devil had won out and taken over… Hwoarang balled his fists as he circled the ring to meet Jin as he tried to escape from the arena.
“Jin…” he folded his arms, unsure what to do with them.
“Not now, Hwoarang,” the dark-haired man said, trying to brush past him. Hwoarang felt his anger flare and he stalked after the other man, catching his arm and stopping him from disappearing into the change rooms. He could see the darkness flaring in Jin’s eyes as he looked warningly at him. His hair was severe and away from his face, even the little licks of bangs that somehow managed to fall in front of his eyes were lost in the mess and Hwoarang reached out to touch the splash of blue that mingled in the dark tresses.
Jin inhaled sharply and Hwoarang pulled him close, whispering into his ear. “I know he’s there… if you don’t want my help, then take a time out. You were pushing yourself out there…” He looked back to the arena where he could see the medics carrying Marduk away on a stretcher. “Don’t make me think of something encouraging to say, Kazama.”
To his surprise, instead of pulling away, Jin leaned into the caress. Hwoarang spread his fingers, cradling Jin’s head as he pulled him into a hug and suddenly felt the cold and the contrast between Jin’s body and his own; Jin was freezing. He closed his arms around the other man, surprised that he’d fought bare-chested in that low temperature, but grateful that he could warm his dark-haired lover in that way.
After a few minutes, Jin sighed and propped his chin up on Hwoarang’s shoulder, never relinquishing his hold around the redhead’s body. “I-I think I’ll be okay now,” he said slowly. “I can control him, but it’s just… something outside of me is giving him strength and I don’t know what it is. It’s hard to fight both of them, and… I don’t know if I can do it.”
“Of course you can,” Hwoarang tried to say lightly, arrogantly. Part of him was eager for a fight he could sink his teeth into, but that was only part of him, and it was much smaller than the other part that thought back to their night together, hoping it wouldn’t be the last. The thought of something besides Devil getting into the mix also left him feeling uneasy. It was like there was a giant fist coming his way that was going to hit him like a freight train, but it was invisible and he had no idea where it was coming from.
That fist was getting closer; he knew it when he’d woken that morning with Jin sleeping beside him. He’d watched the other man’s features crinkle erratically as he dreamed, some internal warning system telling him that shit was getting out of control fast.
That shit would probably hit the fan soon. He could feel it, and he fucking knew it when he saw the way Jin had fought moments earlier, but what could he do? “Don’t let that asshole win,” he muttered against Jin’s hair, nuzzling the blue streak. “And if you think there’s enough of a fight for the two of us, do me the favour and invite me in on the tag match, eh?”
He could feel Jin nod in agreement.
~End Chapter Forty-One ~
| Index | Chapter Forty-Two |