Author's Notes: For the sake of the plot, Hwoarang must win the 3rd tournament, so just... deal with it. This does not mean that some of the endings for the other characters did not happen. ^^; I started writing this almost a year ago. I decided finally to type it up and post it here. Itíll take me a while to update with the three other series stories Iím working with... but, hey, I think itíll be fun! The couples are a surprise, but I will warn you guys there WILL BE SHONEN-AI!! As in boy-boy relationship. Got it? Okay. ^^ Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Tekken is not mine, it is Namcoís. If they offered me Hwoarang, Lee, and Jin (in that order) Iíd take them up on the offer, but it isnít gonna happen.


Epitaph

Chapter 1 - Getting to know you...

By Link621


Ling Xiaoyu never was my favorite person. Too perky for my tastes. So sweet sheíll rot your teeth. Ick. Anyway, I couldnít control that she was there. She was summoned, as all the Tekken fighters were, to that island. Something about testing out the new models of AI. I didnít even want to know what sick plot Mishima has up his sleeve. Letting him keep his damn company was the dumbest decision Iíve ever made. Not that I really had a choice facing the barrels of guns wielded by his little personal fan club - I think he calls them his "body guards" or maybe just his "people". Trust me, fan club.

Ling, of course, managed to get in an argument with the guy behind the counter of our hotel over god only knows what ending up with her getting her way and walking over to him. Yes, I mean my hated enemy, my nemesis, my rival, my blah, blah, blah... Jin Kazama. MY Jin Kazama - who looked exceedingly dorky in a pair of khakis and a white polo with a sweater vest. Someone promise to shoot me if I ever dress like that. Anyway, he looked calm and composed as usual, and strikingly handsome. He was quick to notice my stare as well. He gave me a short wave to which I simply nodded. He didnít know that he was mine at that point, but even then I had him wrapped around my little finger. Well, I thought so anyway.

Nina Williams, the beautiful blonde assassin, drew my attention away. She was giving me a "come hither" look and motioning to her sister with one hand. I smiled and walked over to Nina. "Ms. Williams, can I help you with something?" I recognized the accent in my voice and hated it. The Korean accent was so distinct, and I practically tripped over it when I tried to speak English.

"You looked lonely, and I canít deal with my sister, so I thought Iíd say hi," Nina replied sweetly. That was terribly counter-intuitive to call Nina sweet, though. The day she was sweet would be the day no man would live through a relationship with a woman.

My smile didnít fade as I gazed into her dark blue eyes. "Let me walk to your room, Ms. Williams." I held out the arm not holding my duffel to the blonde. She accepted and we began to walk to the elevator.

"I saw you looking at Kazama earlier," Nina commented. She gave me one of those looks I hate to get from women, and they all do it! It is that look that tells you "Iíve caught you red-handed, even though you never actually did anything to be caught in the act of, and you will find yourself feeling guilty right... now!" I tried to ignore her, but she was right.

"Doesnít everyone stare at him?" I asked nonchalantly. Better to be comical than defensive. Even though I thought I had covered well, Nina still laughed at me as she stepped onto the elevator in front of me. I really didnít get women. I still donít. Frankly, I never will. No man ever could.

"Perhaps," Nina responded with a smile more confusing than anything sheíd spoken. I sighed. So I was looking at Jin, so what? Was she jealous or something?

The rest of the ride was silent. When we reached the floor where Nina was staying, she got off the elevator and I went to the top level where I was staying. The 12th floor had always been my favorite. When I got off the elevator, I ran into someone head-first. "Damnit," I muttered.

"Are you okay, Hwoarang?" I looked up to see who had addressed me. My eyes narrowed. It had to be Jin, as cruel fate had long ago decided for me. "Never go easy on the cute ones", was fateís rule. The worst part was, Jin looked genuinely worried, and I felt no need to lash out at him as I had in the past.

"Geeze, I save your ass and this is the thanks I get?" Normally I would have spat a comment like that at him, but I simply laughed as I spoke in jest. It was almost... flirtatious...I shook my head, my auburn hair falling in my eyes. Iíd forgotten to push my goggles up. I was just about to reach for the hair when a hand gently brushed it back, stopping on my cheek.

"Hwoarang..." I looked up at Jin in surprise. "I never did say thank you for that..." Jinís eyes, chocolate brown, had my full attention. I wasnít used to people being so gentle with me. I didnít need them to be. Normally, I didnít even want them to be. What the hell was going on, anyway?

Being the ass Iíve always been, I quickly changed the subject with an insult. "Jin, that outfit is horrible," I muttered to my rival. He simply smiled back at me. Be angry, damn it, I thought. What a lost cause that was. Making Jin mad was about as hard as convincing Ling that sugar is NOT your friend. In any case, Jin had no fashion sense, and the outfit proved it. I had done him a service by telling him when I did.

Jinís expression twisted in a way I wouldnít expect of him. It was rather reminiscent of... well... me. "Would it be better if I wasnít wearing it at all?" Jin asked. I blinked. Had he really just said what I heard? How was I supposed to answer that? Damnit, that is why I hated Jin! He was such a confusing bastard! I grumbled something that to this day I am positive is not what Jin heard. Well, okay, so I donít know what Jin heard, but he suddenly took my face in his hands and kissed me - forcefully!

Like Iíd resist.

The next few moments were a blur. I know I got that awful plaid vest off, but then I couldnít tell you what happened in any real detail. And then it was over. He picked up his vest, that damn smile of his still on his face, and turned his back on me. "Good to know you havenít lost any of your old spirit, Hwoarang," Jin commented as he left me in the hallway, half-slumped against a wall.

"What the hell?" I shook my head. "What the hell was that?!"


That evening...

I walked into the grand ballroom of the hotel with the hopeful little notion in my heart that Jin was just anti-social enough to not be there. With a quick glance around, I was pleased to see no black spikes of hair. My mouth curved in a half-smile as I made my way to the bar. I never got there that night, but it isnít worth bitching about. When I was walking across the floor, my arm was snared by that horrible she-beast that calls herself "Julia". "She-beast" is all I ever call her. She doesnít know that.

"Hwoarang, I am so surprised to see you here without a date! Will you dance with me?" Julia put her head on my shoulder and I resisted the roll of my eyes.

"I have two left feet," I lied. In reality, I was an excellent dancer. Many of my stance changes and kicks required some of the same techniques and motions as the finer art of dancing. Julia seemed to know that when she looked at me skeptically. Like any dumb teenage male, I said the first thing that came to mind to escape. And I regretted it.

"Iím gay," I sputtered, not able to come up with a better excuse.

With my luck, Julia would turn out to be a man.

"Oh," Julia muttered. "I see. That will be a real let down to Ling. You know, she really likes you a lot." Julia winked at me. I looked back at her as if I didnít comprehend. I actually just didnít care. The VERY last thing I needed, on top of Jin hitting on me, and Julia being easily convinced Iím gay, was Ling flirting with me. Julia let go of my arm and gave me a wave. "I wonít tell anyone, but Iím gonna go look for someone to dance with." Oh boy, I thought.

I turned my attention back to the bar, this time with renewed spirit. "Drink," I muttered. "Get wasted, be happy, forget about..."

"Me?" Something just short of being horrified and on the heavy side of annoyance flashed through me.

"Get a life, Jin! Donít you have a hobby, or something? Anything to keep you off the streets?" I turned to him them with anger and contempt in my voice and my heart, but it all melted away at the sight of Jin. "I hate you," I said plainly, "I fucking hate you." This brought a laugh from him. Ultimately, I laughed with him. "Youíre a pain in the ass," I muttered with good humor.

Jin just smiled back at me. A real smile, just for me. I loved that smile, and it wasnít often I was graced with itís presence. Jin took one of my hands in his. "How Ďbout it, Hwoarang? A truce for now?" Jin brought my hand up against his chest, out of sight of other occupants of the ballroom. "Please, Hwoarang?"

I frowned back at him. "Truce, for now. But you have to stop doing this stuff." I pulled my hand away for emphasis. Did I enjoy the contact? Yes. Would it be good for our conduct in the Tekken tournament? Probably not. Did I give a flying fuck? At the time, yes, I did.

"Fair enough," Jin commented. "But... I have one question for you."

"Shoot."

"Are you falling for me, or was I just going out on a limb by kissing you earlier?" I think my chin actually made contact with the floor after Jinís question. Was... I... falling...?

I was falling. Not for Jin, though. Falling from grace... and falling to the ground. I prepared to make contact with the floor as my knees suddenly lost their ability to hold me up. I never hit the ground. Hell, I never even completely lost a standing position. Jin was there for me, to catch me. Jin... was always there... But, that wasnít what I wanted, damn it! I wanted a rival, and I wanted a rival who wouldnít hit on me especially if we were gonna keep this damn makeshift truce!

"No, Jin. Now, let go of me," I growled with more anger in my voice than Iíd intended, but I rather liked the sound. "Go the fuck away," I added for good measure. When I pushed away from Jin, I was pleased to find that I had my legs back, and that I could properly storm off if I wanted to.

"Hwoarang, wait!" Jin grabbed my wrist, and that was the last straw. I spun, using my wrist as an axis point. I pulled my arm towards me, pulling Jin with it, and used the other hand to punch forward. A satisfying crack hit my ears as my fist made contact with Jinís chin. I could feel the after affect of the punch in my hand, doubled by my lack of gloves. Jinís fingers slipped away from my arm like sand slips through fingers. Jin also folded to the floor as a sheet does when it is being spread across a bed. I didnít move to catch Jin.

"Donít fuck with me, Kazama. Iíll hold a truce so long as you donít fuck with me." I turned coldly away from Jin and began my march out of the ballroom. I was aware of the people watching me go, and I frankly didnít care. I hoped they were thinking that I was a son-of-a-bitch who would strike such a nice little boy scout like Jin Kazama.

I was once told by a girl I know that I was "nice". I told her one thing in response. Thinking that I am nice always gets people into trouble. Jin Kazama can attest to that.

~ TBC ~


Link: Ah... this should be good...

Jin: *rubbing his chin* Why is Hwoarang the protagonist in all your stories and not me?

Link: Heís cuter, so stop whining. Anyway, you need to get ready for the next chapter.

Jin: Next chapter?

Link: You guys are embarking on a journey, and Hwoarang gets naked on the beach.

Jin: Am I gonna be there?

Link: Youíll have to wait and see!

Jin: ... damn.


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