Chapter Four - Framed
Almost a year had passed since Hwoarang had last seen Jin. His life had changed a great deal. His friends had all welcomed him back but they were different. They never wanted to fight anymore. They were all settling down with women. So Hwoarang found himself a new group of people to hang out with. His new friends were not as tough as he’d have liked them to be but they were strong and they were fun. He had a little trouble growing accustomed to the fact that there was a leader of his new little group and it wasn’t him. They weren’t necessarily gangsters or bikers or even fighters but they involved themselves in all of the above one way or another. If they were anything, they were everything. Hwoarang liked it that way. He got to be everything. He got to be himself and someone else, all depending on what he wanted or what the situation called for.
Hwoarang walked into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of beer out of the fridge, completely ignoring his friend sitting at the table reading. It was a week until Christmas. The thought of this holiday brought back painful memories, memories of a day where he didn’t hate a certain man. It brought back memories of…
“Jin Kazama.” Hwoarang heard a whisper.
He whirled around to face the Television, “Eunsoo, turn that up.”
His friend complied; tearing his eyes away from his book out of curiosity, thinking that what ever would have caught Hwoarang’s attention might be worth watching.
“Police found him in an old abandoned warehouse at 8 a.m. this morning, holding the murder weapon. The police department and the department of mental health services are currently discussing his case. From what the officials are telling us, it seems that what ever happens to Jin Kazama depends on what Mishima, Heihachi has to say. But that will have to wait. Mishima, Heihachi is on his way to Japan from Hong Kong where he had been on a business trip. Got to pity the old man. I’d hate to have a serial killer for a Grandson.”
Hwoarang couldn’t believe his ears. Serial killer? Jin? That was impossible! “No way,” Hwoarang muttered, staring at the screen in disbelief. The camera showed police Taking Jin Kazama out of the warehouse and forcing him into a squad car. Hwoarang thought they were a little too rough on a guy who was showing absolutely no resistance.
“Isn’t that the wimpy mama’s boy rival of yours? Wow. Who would have thought that rich bitch would be a serial killer?” Eunsoo chuckled to himself.
Hwoarang kicked the table, causing it to flip over and loose a leg. He shot Eunsoo a murderous look, “Shut the fuck up! He didn’t do it.”
“Whoa,” Eunsoo said, holding up his hands in surrender, “Sorry man, but I have to ask… What the hell do you care? … Oh I get it! Now you won’t be able to fight him! Hwoarang, really, get over it.”
“Don’t talk about what you don’t fucking understand. Get the hell out of my face, asshole.” Hwoarang snapped.
Eunsoo shrugged, picked up his book and walked out the door. He knew enough to give Hwoarang space when tables were flying, otherwise he might end up joining them.
Hwoarang leaned against the counter and drank a few gulps of his beer before looking back at the screen. The anchorwoman was talking about some radical environmentalist protest going on down town. It wasn’t right. Some man was falsely accused of being a serial killer and he got less then 1 minute screen time? What kind of news program was that?
Another of Hwoarang’s roommates walked in and grabbed a beer. It was the leader of the pack, Bae. Hwoarang didn’t mind Bae as a leader, and they were becoming good friends. Bae could do almost anything. He could get them into any club; get them out of any police station, anything. Bae was also a ladies man, always had at least two or three women over at a time. The bachelor pad was always crawling with people. All of the residence had an active social life. All of them constantly had women or men over, depending on their preferences. All Except Hwoarang. He never brought anyone back. When he wanted someone he stayed out with them or went to his or her place, but never back to the pad.
Bae glanced at Hwoarang, sensing an all to common mood swing, but not moving. He wasn’t afraid of the Blood Talon, and he needn’t be. “So what’s going on?”
Hwoarang glanced to the side, not looking at Bae directly as an act of defiance rather then fear. “Eunsoo is a dumbass. That’s what’s going on.”
“He’s not the only dumbass here,” Bae stated, obviously hinting at the furious redhead at his side.
“No,” Hwoarang agreed, “Fuck.”
“My…” Hwoarang paused, forgetting for a second what Jin was to him, “My rival is going to be in prison for the rest of his fucking life for something he didn’t do. What the fuck good is a rival if he’s in prison for the rest of his life?”
Bae caught Hwoarang’s eye, studying him, “Get a new rival.”
Hwoarang knew what Bae was doing. The taller man was testing him, he suspected that Jin was more then a Rival to Hwoarang, but Hwoarang wouldn’t give, “Ok.”
“What?” Hwoarang asked, bewildered.
Bae rolled his eyes, “How blind do you think I am? I’ve lived with you long enough to know when you like someone. You’re so upset about this Jin guy going to prison, then do something about it!”
“What the fuck can I do about it? And … actually he probably won’t go to prison. Heihachi will probably take Jin to his lab and kill him for his old perverted fantasies of being stronger or whatever he wants that red-eyed fucker for.”
“… What the hell are you talking about?” Bae laughed.
Hwoarang grinned and shook his head, realising that he must have been making no sense to someone who didn’t know about the devil gene. He sighed and took another gulp of beer. He had never felt so helpless against anything. Not even the law. But Jin was in trouble! There had to be something he could do. Jin and he still had a fight to finish… “Well you’re so smart… What do you think I should do?”
“I think,” Bae paused to add emphasis, “You should wait to see where he goes, and then break him out. We’ll help.”
“Wait? I can’t just sit around and wait! What if Heihachi takes him, which will most likely happen? There’s no way I could get him away from Heihachi! I’m not the devil… I’m not his dad for crying out loud!”
Bae shrugged, “There’s always a way. Nothing’s impossible.”
The doorbell interrupted their discussion. Hwoarang and Bae looked at each other and shook their heads confirming neither of them were expecting anyone, so they assumed it was for someone else in the place and went back to drinking their beers.
A crash sounded from the next room and they heard someone scream. Without hesitation, both men were sprinting into the next room, only to see… Her. The woman and the wolf. Eunsoo was ducked behind the stair railing, scared half to death. Bae’s eyes widened in fear but he made no move to hide or cower.
The woman tilted her head to the side slightly as she looked at Hwoarang. She was still standing outside, waiting calmly, “Hwoarang.”
“Wolf woman,” Hwoarang nodded.
“Call me Unknown.”
“Then call me Bob,” Hwoarang laughed.
Bae looked at Hwoarang in confusion, “You know… it?”
Hwoarang suddenly grew excited, “Yes!” He looked at Unknown with hope in his eyes, “You’re here… You’ve got a plan? We’re going to get Jin, aren’t we?”
Unknown nodded, a hint of a smile on her face, “Yes. Our plane leaves in 2 hours. We need a bit of help so you may take whichever friends you’d like. I suggest you hurry and pack.”
“Bae, go get Jong, Sunghee and Young, and get yourself packed.”
Bae looked between Unknown and Hwoarang, “Well what about Eunsoo?”
“I’m too pissed off at him right now. Besides, he’ll probably just piss his pants if he hasn’t already.”
“Alright. Fair enough.” Bae said, walking up the stairs, stepping over Eunsoo, “If we’re going on a plane though, you’d better find a way to hide that wolf so we don’t look too suspicious. All we need is to be stopped in the middle of our important mission, whatever the hell it is.”
Hwoarang watched Bae exit and then turned to Unknown, “He’s right, you know.”
The wolf started moving closer to the woman until eventually it started going through her skin and disappearing completely inside of her. She nodded, still not taking her eyes off of Hwoarang.
“So why did you come all the way to Korea to get me only to go all the way back to Japan? Why didn’t you get someone there to help you?”
Sadness came over her, “I don’t know anybody else who would risk their life to help me save Jin’s. Let alone someone with four friends who would risk their lives to save a man they’ve never even met.”
Hwoarang grinned, “I don’t think they know their risking their lives yet.” He averted his eyes from the woman. “Tell me…” He said, “Why Is Jin so Important to you?”
“There is no need to worry, Bob. My connection with Kazama, Jin is far different from your own. I have no desire to become your competition. Now you must pack so we may be off. We do not wish to miss our flight for if we do, we will be too late and Heihachi will have already gotten to him.”
Hwoarang nodded and bounded up the stairs, almost tripping over Eunsoo.
The questions went in circles. Jin doubted the Officer’s intelligence for only fools run in circles. He answered the questions to all his knowledge nonetheless. His story remained solid.
He had returned to the abandoned warehouse from work, just to look around and reminisce. Somebody he didn’t see hit him on the back of the head and he was knocked out. The cops had woken him up, and there was a machete in his hand, but that was the first time he had ever touched a machete in his life. He didn’t even know how to use a simple knife besides for cooking.
The Officers didn’t believe his story. They kept trying to make him confess. They pressured him into it. They even tried a measure of fear, but Jin was too stubborn to give in. He knew he didn’t do it and they wouldn’t make him admit to otherwise. None of it mattered, though. No matter what he was innocent or guilty of, it would all result in one thing. His name was out. Heihachi was coming. Jin’s life was over.
A week until Christmas… The room was empty. The officers had left to discuss Jin’s answers. They probably just wanted a break. Jin shook his head remembering last Christmas, “Merry Christmas Jin Kazama,” He muttered, “Christmas is bullshit.” A smile spread across his lips as he thought about Hwoarang. He couldn’t help but wonder what Hwoarang was doing. Would he be spending Christmas with a man? A man or two? Jin laughed, trying to convince himself that the thought didn’t bother him in the least.
Jin looked down at his torn black polo-style knit top. He didn’t suppose he’d get a chance to patch it up. His Khaki Beige Twill jeans were only slightly stained from falling on the floor of the dirty warehouse when he was knocked unconscious. He glanced around the room considering letting the devil in him take over and break out of here. He broke through a wall once already; he could probably do it again. Only he didn’t want to hurt anybody…
The door rattled as a guard unlocked it. It opened with an irritating screech and in walked Lei Wulong. “So we meet again. How you feeling, Kazama? Tired? Hungry? Scared?”
“I didn’t do it,” Jin muttered, looking down at his feet, “I’d never hurt anybody without good cause. I swear!”
Lei nodded, “Yeah except me.”
“I had good cause,” Jin replied and looked up at Lei, “I’m sorry but I couldn’t let you arrest Hwoarang. He only did to those men what they did to others, if not less.”
Lei’s eyes softened, “You’re not a very good rival, sticking up for him like that. Do you really think he’d do the same for you? I don’t see him here trying to bust you out. He’s off in Korea, probably getting laid.”
Jin smiled, remembering when Hwoarang and Unknown got him out of the lab, but he didn’t share his thoughts with Lei. He figured Hwoarang had a reputation that he wouldn’t want to be ruined. “I didn’t help him to build an alliance. I helped him because the Justice system was about to produce the opposite of Justice. I never knew how privileged the rich were when I was one of them. They have the law wrapped around their middle finger so that they can get away with anything… Do you know what it means when the rich get away with things?”
“Why don’t you tell me,” Lei said, almost sarcastically.
“When a crime is committed, someone must be blamed in order to keep normal citizens believing in the Justice system. If the ones responsible have manipulated the Officials enough to get away with it with power or money, or whatever they have to give, that only means that the lower caste people get blamed. The people like Hwoarang. The kind of people that, even if they’re completely innocent, the public have no trouble at all believing that they’re guilty, because they’re the troubled ones. The outcasts… The freaks.”
“What are you, then?”
“I’m the grandson of one of those manipulators… and he has it in for me,” Jin paused and looked down at his feet, “I didn’t do it.”
Lei sighed, “I know you didn’t do it.”
“Reverse psychology isn’t going to make me confess to something I didn’t do either,” Jin said with a hint of anger in his voice.
“I’m not here to make you confess,” Lei admitted, “I’m here to tell you that Heihachi’s plane has landed. He has gone to speak with his lawyers and will be here to see you in 3 hours.”
Jin dropped his head on the table, trying to stop himself from screaming in despair. He had secretly been counting on a miracle. Perhaps Heihachi’s plane crashing into something and bursting into flames. The plane had landed. Any hope for Jin was completely gone. He fought back tears, biting his lip, hoping the pain would help.
Lei watched Jin, not knowing what to do, “Maybe Heihachi will believe if you’re innocent. As long as you don’t rant so much to him…”
“He doesn’t give a flying rats ass about what the fuck I did! All he cares about is the devil gene now! And once he has that he’ll kill me! He’s tried to kill me before and this time nothing will be able to stop him! My life is literally over! No exaggeration! No nothing! No nothing ever again! It’s over…”
“Calm down, Kazama…”
Jin shot Lei a threatening look, “Would you calm down if you were in my position? Honestly? Why the hell should I calm down? Nothing I do can make this better, and maybe if I freak out I’ll be put in prison… NOTHING can be worse then Heihachi! I’d rather drop the soap for the rest of eternity then spend one minute in the same room as him!”
The door opened again, only this time a familiar face walked in. It was Unknown. Jin stared at her, thinking he had gone crazy. There was no way she could be here. He would have heard the screaming and the noise of her killing everyone in her path… But when Lei looked at her in subtle fear, Jin knew that he was not hallucinating. Unless, of course, he was just imagining that Lei noticed her…
“Kazama, Jin,” Unknown said, “Come.”
Jin got to his feet and looked at Lei with Uncertainty. When Lei made no move to stop the Japanese man, Jin followed Unknown. Four men that looked like Tekkenshu escorted them out of the building. This alarmed Jin. Was Unknown working for Heihachi? She wouldn’t do that… Would she?
Once out of the building, they got into a white van with the windows in the back all blacked out. Jin was placed in the back with unknown and three of the Tekkenshu while the forth drove. It seemed like hours of driving. Jin couldn’t see where they were going and there was no clock in sight. The men seemed a little casual for Tekkenshu, but Jin ignored it, not knowing exactly what to think. He decided on keeping his mind focused on other things so that he would not jump to conclusions. He only hoped that Unknown wouldn’t serve him up to Heihachi.
Finally the van stopped. The one driving the van climbed into the back and all four of them took off their masks and their uniforms one-by-one, to reveal Korean faces, T-shirts, and blue jeans. After the last one revealed themselves, Jin found himself feeling a little disappointed. He had found himself hoping, once he seen that one was Korean, that perhaps Hwoarang was one of them. Unknown saw the look on Jin’s face and appeared to be amused. Even smug. This perplexed Jin to a further extent, but he did not voice his confusion, still not entirely sure whether to trust these men or not. After all, it was possible that there would be four Korean Tekkenshu.
“Kazama, Jin?” One of the men asked, “I’m Bae. The one on my right is Jong, on my left is Sunghee, and on your left is Young. I assume you know Ms. Unknown.”
“Yes,” Jin nodded, finding them strange to not say their full names. How was he supposed to address them in the polite manner if he didn’t know their full names? Maybe these weren’t even their names if they were anything like Hwoarang. Jin shook his head, wondering if he’d ever be able to go an hour in December without Hwoarang entering his thoughts.
“Do you have any questions?” Unknown asked, sounding slightly more human then usual. Perhaps it was the emotion in her voice.
Jin nodded, “Where are we?”
Bae answered, “Outside of Tokyo waiting for our other getaway vehicle. You see we went to your rescue in two teams. The other team will ditch there vehicle on a different highway and will transfer to a normal looking truck and will be along to pick us up so we can ditch this piece of shit before Heihachi discovers that some people posing as his men came and stole his grandson… Hopefully team Dumbass will be quick.”
“Quite a sense of humour, that team,” Sunghee rolled his eyes, laughing.
Unknown got out of the Van, “I shall be lookout.”
Bae stepped out after her, “I think you’re a little too suspicious looking to be lookout.”
Unknown looked at Bae, “I have sex appeal I can use on any Official. A Man of your size standing by a Van with blacked out windows will only be taken as a definite criminal. Get back in the van.”
“This girl’s got spunk,” Bae grinned, climbing back in the van, “and she’s smart. I could use a girl like that in our group.”
Jin looked up at Bae, “Group? Gang?”
“No. Group. We’re not gangsters. We’re just a group of friends who do stuff sometimes. Nothing special.”
Jin frowned, once again loosing hope that these men would somehow be connected to Hwoarang, “So why are you helping me?”
“Because That Hot mama out there needed help in order to get a head start before the big guns start tracking you down.”
The four boys talked for about an hour about girls and sports and people they knew. Jin sat quietly, contemplating his situation, and what he’d have to do once he was free, assuming he’d ever actually get free. Unknown stood outside equally as silent, taking in the scenery. Jin was somewhat thankful for the door being left a crack open. The fresh air felt good, considering he had been stuck in that interrogation room since 8:30 a.m. even though he had no clue what time it had come to be.
Finally the sound of a car pulling up brought a smile to Bae’s face, “I’d recognise the sound of that driving anywhere. Team Dumbass is here! Unknown? Is it safe to come out?”
Unknown opened the back door and handed Jin a tan suede outback hat and Black sunglasses with Bronze lenses. He put them on reluctantly, finding himself to look far too much like a tourist from Australia then anything else. He had to admit, it was a good disguise, besides the fact that most of his face was still showing. “This will hide me?”
Unknown paused and walked away for a couple moments. She came back, seeming even more amused, “The other team knew nobody in their right mind would be satisfied with such a simple disguise, so they purchased this, as well…” She held out a fake moustache that curled at the ends. “It’s called a ‘Strong man Moustache’.” Bae and Sunghee look at it and snicker.
Jin looks down at the hideous thing being held out to him, “You have to be kidding me.”
“I do not kid. It will disguise you, no?”
“I guess… But…” Jin sighed, not having a good excuse not to, and put it on, “It doesn’t look real.”
“Actually it does. Our fake body hair provider does an excellent job. In fact, if I had ever doubted his ability before, I wouldn’t now that I’ve seen one of his many masterpieces on you, Kazama, Jin.” Young grinned.
Jin rolled his eyes, annoyed by the fact that these men were getting a laugh off him. They pulled him out of the van and put him in the back of the truck, since the inside was only a three-seater, he was stuck outside with Bae, Young, and Jong. He thought it was strange that the other team only had one member, but he wasn’t able to get a good look at whomever it was driving because the mirrors were out of his view, and the man was wearing a cowboy hat.
Unknown, inside seated in the front, put on a long black coat over her splattered attire, and topped it off with a classic black beret. Jin saw her take Sunglasses from the driver, but wasn’t able to see her put them on. He figured she looked very much like one of those stereotypical poets. Although he did find the style to be interesting, and was sure Unknown would be one of those few who could pull it off.
Once everyone was ready, they started off toward Tokyo again. Jin, being oblivious to where exactly they were planning on going in Tokyo, decided to continue sitting in silence, waiting for everything to be explained.
It was another hour or so before they got to their desired destination, of course, the trip there was slightly longer then it normally would have been but they had to stop for a restroom break. Jin still, through all that hadn’t gotten a good look at the driver. He did, however, get a look at black hair under the cowboy hat, proving his suspicions false. Whoever the Mystery man was, he was scary as a driver. Swerving in and out of Traffic like a drunk Baboon.
The three guys in the back with Jin pulled him out of the truck and into a hotel. They were laughing and chatting in English, acting a lot like Tourists. Apparently they already checked into their room because they went directly to the elevators and up to the 6th floor. Jin found it fairly strange that they had appeared to be not allowing him to lay eyes on that Mystery man. It all seemed set up. Suspicious…
Jong opened the hotel room door, and motioned for Jin to enter. Jin complied reluctantly and seen only two beds, “Who’s staying here?”
Bae grinned, “Me, you, and Team dumbass.”
“There are only two beds.” Jin pointed out, confused.
“There’s a cot in the cabinet,” Bae glanced down the hallway, “You get the bed farthest from the window. We have 2 escape plans worked out just in case if that old bastard somehow got on our trail. We’ll be switching to a different hotel in the morning and we’ll be using a different vehicle as well. I imagine you’re exhausted. It’s been a long day. We all might as well get some sleep. You know, jet lag and all.”
“You just got off a plane before you came to my rescue?” Jin asked in disbelief.
Bae shrugged, “All in a days work.” He walked into the room, and shut the door behind Jin, ignoring Young and Jong, “Oh! And I almost forgot. Unknown had taken the liberty of gathering some of your stuff. There’s a green suitcase under your bed, if you’d like to change into some nightclothes.”
Jin frowned, a little upset that the situation hadn’t exactly been explained. Maybe it didn’t have to be. Maybe it was so simple as Unknown just got a bunch of Koreans to help her help him escape Heihachi. Could it really be that simple? Was that all there was to it? Then why was it so strategic and mysterious, as if they were hiding something from Jin?
So the young Kazama took out his suitcase and found a pair of loose-fitting sweatpants and a muscle shirt. He stepped into the bathroom to change and locked the door. He found it even more odd that out of all the people involved he could share a room with, it would be the Mystery man. A man he had never even said one word to yet. Why didn’t they put him with Bae and Sunghee or Bae and Jong, or Young and Sunghee? Maybe the Mystery man was their strongest or most trusted or something of the sort. There had to be a reason.
Jin brushed his teeth and then his hair. He washed his face, suddenly feeling extremely dirty. He was unable to come to terms with how grungy he felt so he turned on the shower.
About 5 minutes later he stepped out of the bathroom, clothed in his clean sweatpants and shirt. He was in a much better mood now that he felt clean and comfortable. His hair was too wet to stand in it’s usual spike and was slicked back, besides the few locks falling in his face. He pushed at the stubborn locks but to no avail. The air outside the steamy bathroom was chilly. Jin shivered as he stepped out, but the shiver was more then the cool air… It was the suspense. The Mystery man was bound to be in.
Jin stepped around the corner to see him. The Mystery man was still wearing his hat and his back was to Jin, but his build was family. Too familiar. The Japanese devil looked at the bare arms of the Mystery man, near to convinced that he knew whom it was… But black hair?
Bae looked up from a car magazine, “Kazama, Jin!” He glanced at the mystery man, “Hey dumbass, don’t be rude. Greet our new roommate.”
The mystery man put a coke bottle down on the table beside him and turned around. And there he was. He got to his feet, and took off the hat, “How’s it going, honey?” Hwoarang asked with a smirk.
Jin was awestruck. “You… But your hair.”
Hwoarang rolled his eyes, “Ever heard of a wig? Hey Wise guy, I’m supposed to be the dumbass here.”
Bae threw a pillow at Hwoarang, “I said don’t be rude.”
“Bae go to your room.”
Jin looked at Hwoarang, “I thought this was Bae’s room.”
“Yeah right,” Hwoarang laughed, “He only wishes! No. He’s rooming with that fat ass Jong. There are six guys with a ton of money! Do you really think we’d go three to a room with only two beds? No fucking way! Now Bae get your Bitch ass out of my room.”
Bae raised an eyebrow, “What did you call my ass?”
“… Nothing, sir.” Hwoarang said submissively, with a playful grin. It was obvious who was boss.
Bae smiled, “Now that we have that cleared up, I’ll be leaving you two alone. Sweet dreams. Don’t stay up too late. We’re taking off at 7.
Hwoarang smiled back, “See you in the morning, bitch ass.”
“See you Kazama, Jin,” Bae said politely bowing his head as he parted.
The Korean turned to Jin, his eyes somewhat filled with emotion, but difficult to read. He sat down on the bed closest to the window and looked up at Jin. The two stared at each other, not knowing what to say or do. This awkward situation seemed to be a common occurrence in their lives. Especially when they came across one another.
Jin sighed and sat down on his bed, facing Hwoarang, “I guess we’d better go to sleep. What time is it?”
“It’s 21:00… We only need 7 hours of sleep.”
“I think you mean 8 hours.”
Hwoarang smirked and shook his head, “I mean 7 hours.” He stood up, “That gives us 3 hours to kill.”
“Hwoarang…” Jin protested feeling slightly like a sex toy, “I’m tired. It’s been a very long day and I’m not in the mood for this… this… whatever the hell this is.”
“Alright,” Hwoarang said, getting back in bed, “I don’t suppose you want a beer then, huh?”
“No…” Jin couldn’t believe this. Hwoarang respecting his space? That wasn’t like his rival at all. He wasn’t even using the pitiful rejected approach to get his way. Jin decided to let it go and he crawled into bed and switched off the lamp. Hwoarang gulped down the rest of his beer, and turned off the lamp by his bed, engulfing the boys in darkness.
6 days until Christmas. It was dark outside. Hwoarang, Bae, Young, Jong, Sunghee, and Jin were all seated around a table in their new hotel room, playing poker. They were betting chocolate bars and other random things they had. Hwoarang was always bad at poker or any other card game for that matter. It wasn’t exactly his favourite style of gambling. Jin was doing remarkably well for a man like him. Hwoarang was impressed. Young was the one who kept winning, though. And Sunghee kept getting caught making lame attempts at cheating.
Bae didn’t seem to be trying very hard. He never asked for different cards. All he really did was bet and lay his cards out or fold immediately. He was obviously thinking about something. He stood up and looked at Jin, “Do you know who that Unknown chick is?”
“Maybe,” Jin answered, looking at his cards calmly.
“Is she… You know… Seeing anyone?” Bae asked, a little bit more shyly then Hwoarang was used to seeing his friend. “Not that I… Well… I just wanted to know… because I’m curious.”
This got Jin’s attention, “Yeah she’s seeing someone.”
Hwoarang glanced at Jin with interest. Why was he getting so defensive about that Unknown bitch? He watched the young Japanese lay his hand out on the table. It was a Royal flush. Hwoarang swore under his breath and laid down his two 4’s and three 9’s.
Young had folded earlier that round, surprisingly. He seemed a little upset about getting a bad hand, and sat sulking with a bottle of beer. Sunghee was also slightly upset about his failed cheating attempts and now Bae was upset at Unknown not being up for the taking. Hwoarang tried to think of something that would cheer his friends up when he got what he thought was a genius idea.
“Let’s go to a club!” Hwoarang suggested, cheerfully.
“Are you insane?” Bae snapped.
Hwoarang grinned, ignoring the cranky tone in Bae’s voice, “Do you have to ask? But I have an idea how we can stay hidden.”
“Do tell,” Sunghee said, obviously not wanting to hear it.
“Well,” Hwoarang started, grinning at Jin, “We’d all make beautiful women. 3 of us can Dress up as women since I don’t think the dresses we have will fit everyone… and the other three will come wearing the fake moustaches and stuff and have our backs.”
Jin opened his mouth to protest but stopped himself when he seen the men who were once upset perk up. Hwoarang got to his feet and opened a Navy blue suitcase and pulled out a bunch of women’s wear, including dresses, fake breasts, bras, make up, wigs, shoes, tights, fake eyelashes and fingernails, and a ton of other accessories. He knew that it made him look like a professional cross-dresser, but he wasn’t. He had never dressed like a woman in his life; he just had figured he had to be creative with the disguises. He bought all the women’s stuff earlier that day when he had gone shopping with Unknown.
Jin stayed silent. Hwoarang knew he was trying to go unnoticed so he wouldn’t have to dress like a woman, but the Blood Talon was way ahead of him, “Jin, Darling. There’s something I got specifically in your size since you’re the one we’re trying to hide. Go get changed and be our model,” Hwoarang grinned, handing Jin a pile of clothes.
“… Oh fine,” Jin sighed in defeat and walked into the bathroom.
5 minutes later Jin came out. Hwoarang grabbed a hairbrush, using it as a microphone, “Here we have Jin Kazama wearing a Black stretch PVC long skirt, and a bat wing necked lace up top. Sexy, no?” He put down the brush, “But your figure is a little too manly. We’re going to have to hide that with a fishnet top or something. I think we’ve got an industrial fishnet shirt in there somewhere. Guys find it for Jin!”
Young and Sunghee started going through the clothes while Hwoarang fitted Jin for a wig and fake breaks. He was enjoying this, knowing perfectly well that Jin was not. “I’m going to try some shit on. Uh… Jong! Would you mind doing Jin’s makeup and accessorize him while I’m changing?”
Jong saluted as Hwoarang grabbed some clothes and walked into the bathroom. He chose a black leather dress with buckle straps and attached gloves. He glanced at himself in the mirror, finding it slightly embarrassing that his figure could pull off such a dress. He added a chain collar and numerous other chains to the outfit and exited the bathroom in order to get the rest of his getup together.
Jin was getting his eye shadow applied and he didn’t look very happy about it. The other guys were laughing like crazy as they went through all the stuff. Young was the only other one who could pull off being a woman so he went and got dressed. The makeup was hard to chose from so Bae – being the expert on women that he was – helped Hwoarang chose colours.
They all got themselves together, having a bit of a disagreement about the boots; Jin not thinking he needed to be wearing plat formed knee-highs since he was quite tall enough. Then they had the argument about who would be whose girlfriend, it being Sunghee’s brilliant idea that it would be more believable if they were couples. Of course Sunghee immediately chose Hwoarang, deciding that since Hwoarang looked believable like a woman, they wouldn’t be mistaken for a gay couple. Bae chose Jin by way of giving him a big kiss on the cheek, and Jong and Young were stuck together.
Off they went.
The men drank and danced and talked for about an hour before Bae approached Hwoarang. “I can’t find Jin anywhere.”
Hwoarang, not sure he heard right, stepped out of the crowd and to the bar, “What did you say?”
“Jin went to the restroom 15 minutes ago. I waited outside of it but he never came out. So I went in to look for him and he wasn’t in there. I can’t find him.”
“Shit,” Hwoarang said, loudly, “Get the guys and start searching the club. I’m going to check outside,” and he got up and bolted for the door.
The two men grabbed Jin by the arm and dragged him into the alley behind the club. They were drunk and Jin could barely understand what they were saying. Something about prostitutes, he gathered.
“Let me go,” Jin ordered calmly, trying not to let the worry show in his voice.
“Whas the madder sweeeeeheart?” one of the men slurred.
Jin tried to shake them off his arm but their grip wouldn’t give, “I’ve got to get back to my friends before they worry. Please let me go.”
“HAHA! Oh yeah. I’m REEEEEALLY about to let you go JUST so your little friends don’t worry about you. HAHA dream on sister!”
Jin figured these guys must be really drunk if they couldn’t tell that he was a man, “Well what the hell do you want then?” He asked then, “Is there a reason your wasting my time like this?”
“Yeah. I’ve bee looky for fresh meet to put out on the corners… you know, hoing around like bitches like you should be doin. Now get on your back and give me some of that sugar that you’ll be giving the clients.”
“Uh… No.” Jin raised an eyebrow, not taking these guys seriously.
They looked at each other and then suddenly lunged at Jin, knocking him to the dirty ground with surprising force. Jin gasped, the wind being knocked right out of him. The ground smelled of urine and rotting lemons. A dead rat lay a few feet away from Jin’s head. He struggled to keep from gagging.
“Wha? Can’t take the heat? Pull your damn skirt up bitch.”
Jin frowned, “Not very likely.”
The man’s eyes closed with drunken rage, “She just denied me! Let’s show her exactly what she denied! … Gredi find the end of her skirt.”
“My name’s Gado,” The other man pouted.
Jin rolled his eyes, “Get the hell off me,” And attempted to shove them off. His attempt was welcomed with a punch in the face.
“Don’t push me, bitch. Just lay there and spread your fucking legs.”
“Ouch…” Jin put a hand over his cheek where he was punched.
The man turned red, “Spread your fucking legs before I spread them for you!”
The situation wasn’t going well. “No.”
“I said ‘No’.”
The guy got to his feet and kicked Jin in the stomach. The other guy thought it was a great idea and joined his friend by way of kicking Jin in the back. The young Japanese man held his stomach; his eyes squeezed shut in pain.
The men continued kicking him, not very hard but every once in awhile they hit a sensitive area in the stomach, or the spine. Their laughing grew colder and crueller by the second until eventually it seemed unreal to Jin. Everything became unreal. He felt as if he was watching a film and he could see a man who looked like himself getting beat up by a couple thugs. He pitied the man. He wondered why the man didn’t fight stand up for himself… He thought the man was pathetic.
The men whirled around. Jin turned his head to see Hwoarang standing there in his Buckle strap dress. He hadn’t noticed before but Hwoarang looked extremely sexy in that…
“Oh look. Another whore.”
Hwoarang laughed, “Did you call me a whore? Oh man, are you going to get it, asshole!”
Hwoarang ran at the man, going immediately into a subtle fighting stance. He did a few low kicks, not able to fight to his full extent in the dress. He seemed uncomfortable fighting without being able to use much of his legs. He eventually settled for using his fists. The man was screaming in pain once Hwoarang finally dusted his dress off. The other man was gone. He ran off.
“Are you…” The Korean was cut off by a bunch of voices behind him.
Jin caught sight of a group of thugs walking toward them, lead by the man who ran away. Damn. They had friends. Hwoarang looked at Jin. Something in his eyes scared the young Japanese. “Jin… Why don’t you stand up for yourself?”
Jin didn’t have an answer for that. He sat up, and looked at Hwoarang who was watching the approaching thugs with an expressionless face. He wouldn’t give Jin the satisfaction of knowing what he was feeling. Four of the thugs immediately attacked Hwoarang, getting him to the floor and hiting him with cheap blows to the lower abdomen. Hwoarang wasn’t fighting back. It was obvious. He was making a statement to Jin.
One of the bigger guys crawled on top of Hwoarang, and started kissing his neck savagely. Hwoarang remained expressionless, not even flinching. Jin wondered if he was enjoying it. The man on top of Hwoarang put his hand up the skirt of Hwoarang’s dress. They had to know he was a man. They didn’t seem at all phased, they just continued as if they had found what they expected.
Hwoarang sucked air in through his teeth and closed his eyes. He was in pain and was having trouble hiding it. The man laughed and jerked his arm that was up Hwoarang’s dress, roughly. The Korean Swore, beginning to squirm. He couldn’t take it, but there were too many men holding him down that he couldn’t possibly recover the ground that he had lost.
‘Pathetic,’ Jin thought, ‘I’m pathetic.’ And he got to his feet and threw himself at the men in a flurry of uppercuts; spin kicks, and roundhouses. Eventually there were only four men left. He finished three at once with one powerful uppercut, and the last one with his move, Corpse Thrust.
Silence followed. Jin stood there in silence with unconscious bodies at his feet. Hwoarang was breathing deeply, trying to breathe the pain away. His eyes were closed still but he was somewhat relieved. He opened his eyes and looked up at Jin. A weak grin on his face, “So,” He swallowed hard, “How’s it feel to not be the damsel in distress for once?”
Jin helped Hwoarang to his feet, “Why did you do that?”
“So you would do that.”
“Thank you,” Jin said quietly.
Hwoarang rolled his eyes, “I’d say any time but I’d be lying. I ain’t never doing that shit again, no matter how idiotic you get. You hear?”
Jin grinned, “Yeah.”
It was a quiet evening. Everyone had gone directly to bed after they returned from the club. Jin was feeling a little anger toward Hwoarang, feeling that Hwoarang had served him up into the hands of assholes just like he did last Christmas by showing up at the potluck. Why did Hwoarang have to make him go clubbing in the first place.
A faint smile came across Jin’s lips in the dark of the room as he remembered why. Hwoarang had suggested the club because of his friends. His friends were upset and he wanted to cheer them up. Maybe the Blood Talon wasn’t so vain after all…
Jin crawled out of bed and walked quietly across the room to Hwoarang’s bed. Once there he leaned over and whispered, “Thank you” into the Korean’s ear, and then followed that with a gentle kiss. He then returned to his bed and pulled the covers up to his chin.
Just as he was about to fall asleep he felt lips on his own. “Your welcome,” Hwoarang whispered, and Jin pulled the lean Korean into his bed, taking the opportunity to run his hands along Hwoarang’s abs and down beneath his boxers.
“Damn it, why’d you have to decide to want me now? I’m hurtin’ man!” Hwoarang whined quietly but Jin could tell he was smiling by the tone in his voice.
“Hurtin’?” Jin asked playfully, “Well we’ll just have to fix that now won’t we?”
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