Warnings: References to fake blood and gore. Really, this is a pretty tame Halloween story.
Characters: Hwoarang, Devil Jin, Jin, Xiaoyu
Summary: Hwoarang takes a job in a haunted house, but it's just a paycheque. It takes a special person to teach him the true meaning of the season.
Special Thanks: Sammei for prompting me!
Disclaimer: I am making no profit from this fanfiction. I do not own Hwoarang, Devil Jin, Jin, Xiaoyu, Tekken, or Halloween (though, I wish I did, because I'd turn Halloween into a week-long festival)
Notes: This was written as per a prompt on my Tumblr. My friend Sammei requested some Hwoarang and Jin (or DevilJin) for Halloween, with some spoopy fun. I hope this pleases!
Out Comes the (d)Evil
Hwoarang crouched in a pool of fake blood and waited. His feet were soaked, and his prosthetics were beginning to itch, but he waited. When he said he'd do something, he did it right and he was determined to get the biggest screams out of this year's haunted house. He listened to the screams of guests as they moved through the various rooms built around the warehouse. It was the newest addition to the fair, and it was the most popular attraction that year.
“Hey, Hwoarang!” Yami poked his head around the corner. His black costume and black facemask made him invisible in the dark hallway before Hwoarang's room. “Next group has someone named Takashi,” he said, indicating the radio in his hand the employees used to communicate with each other. Part of their scares was making things personal, and nothing was more personal than a ghost who knows your name.
“Alright, alright,” Hwoarang nodded and crouched. The things he did for money. He'd be out on the street, hussling street fights for cash, if it wasn't for Baek. Hwoarang always felt a twinge of guilt when his father figure learned that he'd used his fighting skills to con others. 'I didn't teach you how to fight so you could deceive others...' he'd said, and then Hwoarang felt that seed of guilt blossom in him and he hated himself for days after. Well, he should be happy that Hwoarang was earning an honest paycheque, even though he probably wouldn't appreciate Halloween any more than him.
Hwoarang drew himself from his thoughts as he heard the next visitors hitting Yami's hallway. It was almost showtime! Hwoarang gripped the side of the bathtub and waited. His room was set up like a bathroom with red lighting casting grotesque shadows across the white tile walls, floors, and ceiling. The mirror was broken and blood was smeared along the wall towards the tub, which was full of blood. His boss had wanted him to stay in the bathtub, but Hwoarang had opted to wait behind the tub instead. He wanted to avoid being completely soaked in fake blood, but, even behind the tub, he'd managed to get splattered, and the blood caked through his hair and into his shoes.
From the hallway came a woman's scream as Yami did his job by grabbing the guests from behind in the darkness. A man yelled out as well, trying to be brave and tell off the evil spirit, before they both laughed, then they entered Hwoarang's room.
“That was scary!” the woman said, her footsteps echoing on the tile floor.
Just a few seconds more and they would be where Hwoarang wanted them.
“Don't worry, Usagi. I'll keep you safe!” the man, 'Takashi', said.
Hwoarang took a deep breath and got into character. “Taaaaaaa... kaaaaaashiiii...” he groaned as he stood and held out his arm.
The woman's laughter melted into a scream.
“Taaaakaaashiiiiiiiiiiiii!” Hwoarang said more forcefully. He could see them now, and the woman was clinging to Takashi's arm, and Takashi wasn't faring much better.
“H-h-h-how...?” Takashi began to ask.
Hwoarang shuffled along beside the bathtub, splashing up blood as he did. He kept his eyes wide and glued to the man. “Youu..uu wiii...iilll..l paaaaayyyy...” Hwoarang laid it on thick and continued moving, shuffling, slowly, building up the tension. He didn't blink, didn't look away from his target as he inched closer and closer, making them visibly tremble.
Finally, Hwoarang made his move. He stomped once, hard and loud, triggering the strobe lights that bathed the room in flashing, urgent, terror. Hwoarang lunged at the couple, moving as fast as he could. He grabbed for Takashi's arm, but missed, as Takashi's arm was gone, having bolted into the next room along with the rest of Takashi and his date.
Hwoarang crashed to the ground in a puddle of blood and lay on the floor for a second, rolling onto his back and smiling as the strobe light continued to flash above him before timing out and leaving the room in darkness and red ambient lighting. He could hear Yami laughing in the hallway and saw him poke his head into the room.
“You really like milking it, don't you?” he asked, leaning on the door frame. “You know you're supposed to whisper their name and then rise out of the tub?”
Hwoarang got to his feet and ran a hand through his damp hair. “It's not my style,” he said. “I'm one of those really aggressive gwisins. You know, all out for revenge.”
“I didn't think you were into ghost stories, man. And look at you! You have a backstory for your character and everything!”
“Fuck off,” Hwoarang felt his back tighten. “I don't give a shit about ghosts or Halloween or whatever. Being scared for fun is stupid. This is just a paycheque.”
Yami's radio crackled at that point and one of the other workers got on the line. “Next group that's coming is a man and a woman. Her name is Xiaoyu.... other is Jin...” Hwoarang and Yami nodded at each other, ending their conversation, and they returned to their stations.
Hwoarang crouched behind the tub and waited. Who would he scare this time? Maybe he'd try for the woman. They were easy pickings in his position, but he always loved taking on the men. Especially if they were young and stupid and put on lots of extra bravado for their female companions. 'Don't worry, I'll protect you' or whatever shit they said to seem big and brave. Maybe he'd go for the both of them this time. He knew their names... he tilted his head and listened, but Yami's station was still quiet. They must have been held up in the hanging corpse room. Hwoarang quickly popped out from behind the tub and rushed to the cracked mirror and began to write Xiaoyu's name. He dipped his hands in the tub and smeared the name on the mirror, making it legible, but how he imagined a vengeful ghost would write it.
He stood back and admired his handiwork. He idly hoped he'd written her name correctly, but didn't worry too much (ghosts didn't worry about spelling, so he wouldn't, either). Then he got another idea, and quickly wrote the word 'run' under the name. He heard Yami's station triggered, and the high-pitched scream of a young woman.
They would be in his room next! Hwoarang started towards his tub, but stopped. No, he would get them from behind. He quickly checked his refelection in the mirror: scary as fuck. Good.
He slipped in behind the open door, and waited. He could see through the crack as the couple approached and walked into his station. The girl, Xiaoyu, was giggling as she walked ahead, talking easily to her companion.
“See, Jin-kun? I want a funhouse like this in my fair. It's so... fun...” her enthusiasm drained from her voice as she saw the mirror with her name. “H-how...?” there was a tremble in her voice.
The man, Jin, had been quiet until this point, but he moved now, placing a hand on Xiaoyu's shoulder. “It must be...”
Hwoarang was eating it up. From his hiding place he could see their expressions in the mirror's reflection. Her eyes were wide as she read the name, and then shifted to the little addition he'd added.
“Run...” Hwoarang hissed.
That was enough to send her running, leaving her companion behind as she bolted into the next room.
Jin's head turned sharply in the direction of Hwoarang's hiding place. He wasn't leaving so easily.
Hwoarang felt a thrill at the challenge and took a breath. “Jiii~iinn” he whispered, slowly pushing on the door to reveal himself. He knew the lighting was poor and the ambient red light would only give a hint as to his appearance. The fake gore and matted blood all in his hair and across his face would finish the effect.
Jin's eyes went wide, as he saw exactly where Hwoarang was. His body swivelled and he stood, facing Hwoarang, his shoulders visibly tensed. He was cut. He had the body of a fighter.
Hwoarang's pulse quickened and he slipped into character. Time to put the frighteners on this guy!
He slowly raised his arm, extending his fingers in awkward angles and angled his head painfully against his shoulder. He took a shuffling step forward. “Jiii...iii..iinn...”
Jin didn't budge. Only his hands tightened into fists.
Hwoarang's jaw tightened. Nobody had ever beaten him at this! He always scared everyone. Always! He took another shuffling step and then stomped, kicking off the strobe lights as he rushed forward.
Jin shifted his stance, allowing Hwoarang to fly past him, and he turned towards him, in a proper fighting stance, ready to go.
Hwoarang hissed as he rushed past and slid in a puddle of fake blood. He caught himself and spun around, ready to go. This guy was pissing him off now. They were supposed to be idiots getting scared for fun, damnit!
“You gonna let your girlfriend run off like that?” he broke character. “She might get scared or something.”
“She can handle herself,” Jin said. “Anyways, if you're the scariest in this place, I doubt she has much to worry about.”
“What was that?!” Hwoarang couldn't stop himself before he said it.
Jin's expression changed, then. He'd been calm until that point, his eyes dark and bored... no, maybe sad? (Hwoarang didn't give much of a shit about the customers' emotions.) But that face seemed to shimmer for a moment, and a sninister curl twisted that serene mouth.
The strobe lights continued to flare, distorting the whole encounter, and Hwoarang tightened his stance, sensing the crackle of electricity in the air that always preceeded a fight. It was his (un)lucky day.
In the flashing light he observed Jin's form, tight and ready to go, and suddenly, it seemed to morph. One second it was in a defensive stance, and the next it was... bigger. Hulking... and flying through the air towards him.
Those eyes – the dark ones – were flared almost golden, and Hwoarang managed to slide back, his knee barely in the air in time to block the powerful blow that came down on him.
The whole aura around this 'Jin' had changed. What the hell?
“You like scaring people?” Jin drawled, looming over Hwoarang, his shadow spreading out behind him like wings, nearly blocking the strobe lights.
“Yeah, so the fuck what?” Hwoarang barked and lashed out, kicking low and landing a few successful hits. He straightened and made to kick at his middle, just to create space between them without actually hurting the customer. (He knew he was losing this job, but he didn't want to send the customer to the hospital!)
He needn't have worried. He'd been pulling his punches – kicks – and that had left him open. Jin grabbed his foot and held it mid-air. “You don't know what fear is...” he hissed around sharp teeth. His eyes were glowing bright and he squeezed his hand around Hwoarang's boot.
“You take this 'Halloween' thing a little too seriously, don't you?” Hwoarang muttered as he tried pulling his foot back. Jin released his grip and Hwoarang regained his composure. “You know this is supposed to be fun, right?”
Jin's aura flared and the shadows spread out behind him, resembling... wings. “But I am having fun. Aren't you?!”
Hwoarang felt his pulse quicken. He couldn't hold back the smile. He'd never expected to meet another fighter... let alone someone with this kind of strength...
Jin's smile faltered, as if he was resisting the fight that was brewing between them. The evil aura shimmered and then--
“Hwoarang! If boss catches you fighting with the customers again, you know you're fired, right??” Yami poked his head around the corner and glared at him and then at Jin. “Big man, you're a real horror afficionado, aren't you? How about you and 'Rang can catch up on spooky shit after his shift, eh? The next couple are coming through, and her name is Xinyi, not Xiaoyu.” He gestured towards the mirror, as if to indicate what Hwoarang should do. “Why can't you just hide in the bathtub like everyone else who works this room?” He shook his head and then vanished into his hallway again.
Hwoarang swore and turned to wipe the mirror off. Why did he let himself get caught up like that? He needed this job! “Shit...”
“Get in the tub.”
“Huh?” he asked, looking at Jin. He looked different. That aura had changed and he was the same as when he'd entered. The strobes had finally stopped flashing, but Hwoarang could see that strange shadow was gone from behind Jin, and his eyes were dark and... remorseful?
“I'm sorry, that wasn't...” Jin shook his head. He began wiping at the writing on the mirror. “Let me fix this. I shouldn't have...”
“Don't worry about it,” Hwoarang said as he prepared to climb into the tub. “I can handle myself, and it's been a while since I've had a good fight.” He slipped a foot into the blood and felt it fill it shoe and soak his pant leg. “If you want to have a rematch sometime--” He heard Yami's station triggered in the hallway, and it was nearly showtime again. He rolled the rest of the way into the tub and cursed as the fake blood soaked into the rest of him. Fuck, he'd need to bathe in a lake to feel clean after this!
He peered over the edge of the tub, just as the next couple walked in, already clinging to each other. Jin was gone.
“It's too dark to see in here, too...” the woman muttered. “This is too much...”
“Xinyi, let's go...” her companion whined. “I'm scared! Oh... shit...”
Hwoarang prepared to rise from the tub and whisper the name, just like he'd been told to do, but he didn't get the chance. The women grabbed at each other and and rushed from the room, squealing the whole way.
“The hell?” Hwoarang muttered and rose from the tub to peer after them. He didn't even say anything, so why the hell the did they leave? He began to climb from the tub to ask Yami, but then he saw it. The mirror, where Jin had wiped the name away, a new message was in it's place.
I'm waiting for you...
“Well, shit...” Hwoarang rubed the blood from his face. It definitely helped him scare the customers... and if it was a message for him, well, he'd look forward to learning just what this guy knew about Halloween... and fighting.
After his shift.