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DISCLAIMER: All featured Tekken characters are the property of Namco and not the authors.
Notes: The middle part of this installment is strictly from nurse Miki's perspective -- poor Hwoarang. Constructive criticism is welcomed!
Warnings: Eventual lemon parts, language & violence.
Chapter Two - Hospital
By Aaronica and Orfik
Except for a cheerful card from Ling, who drew a daisy next to her name and dotted the i with a heart, the table beside Jin's hospital bed was void of sympathy. There were, after all, neither family nor any close friends who cared about the injury of the grandson of the wealthiest man in the world.
This mattered little to Jin, however, because of the form who lay asleep in the bed aside his own.
By the time the country's leading plastic surgeon had been flown into Tokyo from Osaka, the story had already hit the press with as much force as the punch responsible for it. "Five Dead and Grandson of Mishima Heihachi Injured in Tokyo Gardens," announced the first television news report, complete with interviews of several frenzied witnesses. Two hours later the tally had been raised to six. The next morning families of the guards were flown into the city by Mishima planes for the grand, televised mass funeral. A countrywide search for Bryan Fury was also instated by police and Mishima Forces alike. They checked anywhere that a man could possibly be living. As a result, he wasn't found.
When Jin quietly turned his face to the ceiling, his neck was sore for having been so long twisted towards Hwoarang's bed. It was a comfortable room as far as hospital suites were concerned, he imagined; he didn't have much experience visiting them. Jin knew without looking at the clock that it was very early in the morning, and the hospital floor was relatively peaceful outside their door. (It helped that Mishima security kept all press off of the entire floor at all hours.) Miki, the night nurse, paid him visits often since the thin oxygen tubes threaded up his nose and the ample shell of bandages and protective tape that covered it made Jin too uncomfortable to sleep. She called him "child" as she readministered his painkillers and both acts made him smile gently. Upon her first visits Jin had so often asked her to check on Hwoarang for him that now she did it automatically every time she entered. When he had awoken after the surgery they had asked him if he wanted anything from home. All he'd requested was his bonsai.
It had been brought to him by Niji Ueda, Vice President of Mishima Incorporated. His surprise and currently medicated state now made the brief visit blurry in Jin's mind; he could not recall their conversation nor even its topic but even the vague recollections coursed a mind chill down his spine.
It was raining now, and though he couldn't see the gentle fingers of water tickling down the drawn-curtained windows, Jin thought he could hear them. Listening to them for minutes or hours, he did not feel himself drift off. The next time that Miki stole inside to check on him, she wondered why he looked so worried even in his sleep.
Miki didn't really like Koreans -- didn't take to 'em at all. Not like she was a bigot or anything -- her sister married a Chinese and even though grandpa like to went into cardiac arrest at Kumi's announcement of her engagement. Miki was nothing but supportive. Her mother told her about the Koreans, how their country was dirty and needed to be guided and rule over by the Japanese because the Japanese were clean and inherently superior. And look at this guy, Huaraing or something [sounded Chinese to her], thinking he was a king and a master and Japanese just because Mishima-sama's son Kazama Jin was his best friend.
"Does it hurt?" She unbent his suspended right leg with a caustic gentleness, doing her best to seem concerned, to seem as if she really cared about his answer.
"No! I told you my leg was fine!"
Sassy. Didn't like him because he was sassy, and maybe that had nothing to do with Koreans. Miki bothered only because the epitome of all nobility that was Japanese Kazama Jin had requested she place emphasis on nurturing Huaraing. How could the distinguished young man be associated with this vulgar street garbage, she wondered. Carefully rotating the ankle, she nearly froze at his yell.
"OUCH! It will if you keep doing THAT!"
Hah. She fought a smile; the twist was deliberate. At the bequest of first rate nursing care, Huaraing had a leg that he protested was only mildly cramped put into a casting suspended from the ceiling, and the minor bruising of his shoulders entailed a full wrapping of bandages about his chest and upper left arm. His only real injury -- the shattered bones of his wrist and left hand -- was encased in a thick white cast after the painful surgery.
Funny how he never screamed as much in the operating room as he did now. Those crazy Koreans.
The remote to the television had been left on Jin's table and he had no means of transporting it to Hwoarang other then throwing it, which he had vehemently refused to do because of Hwoarang's lack of one arm. In the end, Jin was flipping steadily through the channels, waiting for Hwoarang to tell him when to stop or go back or leave-it-just-a-second. Jin disliked television and besides, he would rather fix puppy eyes on his Joon-kun.
He might have spoken up when Jin clicked past the broadcast of the Ms. Universe pageant if he hadn't been engaged in fumbling with the suspension holding his /healthy/ right leg prisoner. As it were, Hwoarang had sat up from the over-propped pillows and weathered the mild ache forming in his bandaged shoulders to sabotage the contraption.
"Goddamn -- she has it so tight!"
"Do you want me to call her in? Maybe she overdid it," Jin offered before being distracted by the television and pausing his own channel-roaming. It was a documentary about the fishing of endangered tropical fish.
"NO!" The yell might have called in a few nurses if Hayase's men hadn't seen to keeping the entire floor quarantined. "No .. that's all right. She'll make it worse." A heartbreaking sigh broke from his lips as he gave up, staring with large eyes at the binding when he leaned back. Jin's half-bandaged face flopped from being startled at the yell to pitiful at Hwoarang's passive suffering.
"I'd try to help if they'd let me get up," he offered with a meager smile.
"Jin ... it's okay." The besieged Korean lay which a cheek against the pillow when he smiled faintly over the distance. He knew that Jin was doing the best he could to see that the staff treated Hwoarang like a Mishima, and with the exception of Miki, they all did. He felt a little out of place with all the fuss being made, because he knew it was all very undeserved.
"How's your face feeling .. ?"
Over these past several days Jin was slowly growing haggard from cabin fever, medication and uselessness, but talking to Hwoarang seemed always his best medicine. He brightened a degree and smiled -- carefully, and not very much, since it made his nose ache, but still.
"It seems like it's feeling better, a little. What about your hand?" This was when the bleeding started, a tiny trickle that would have been impossible to notice.
"It's fine." /It hurts so much./ From all his vocal and physical exertion in combating Miki, Hwoarang was looking as fresh as all the flowers. He blew Jin a kiss, beginning to grin a little. "You're lookin' good."
"Don't lie," he laughed, rubbing an itch on his upper left arm. "I forgot how nice it is to be healthy. And do things like, you know." But the itch turned into a vague tingle and felt hot and wet against his fingers. He lowered his face towards it. "...Get out of bed, or..."
Jin's fingers covered not the familiar tattoo, but six clean, freshly made gashes in their place which formed their shape. And now blood was gushing, running to freedom as it pooled in an oily mass on the bright tiled floor.
Utterly dazed, Jin clamped his hand on the wound. "Um..."
" .. what is it?" Hwoarang queried, an uncertainty entering his observation as he raised himself upright, peering at Jin. Unable to see the source of Jin's reason to stretched on arm over his chest -- the tattoo was facing a wall, not Hwoarang -- the Korean frowned at the sudden shift in Jin's mood.
"Are you getting nauseous .. ? Want me to call for the nurse .. ?"
Jin's eyes were still fixed unblinkingly on the thick vermeil racing between his fingers.
"Yyyyyeah, um -- tell her to please hurry." Showing Hwoarang would do nothing but make him worry, correct?
A depression of a white button located on one of the panels attached to the medical bed brought nurse Miki through the door in a matter of seconds, her face stern with dislike when it dropped on Hwoarang.
"Suspension need tightening, Hua Raing .. "
"No," he muttered through teeth bared like a predator's. ".. something's wrong with Jin. I think he's sick from that dog food you bring us."
Jin despised making a commotion and being a burden and it regretfully seemed now that he would have to be both. With a quiet, weakly smiling expression Jin raised his blood-soaked hand briefly and, for the short duration of the barrier's removal, blood poured unhindered at a sickeningly inhuman rate, laughing at Jin in each of its muted gurgles against the tile.
"I um. ... Help."
"What did you do to him .. ?!" Hwoarang yelled, fully propped up on one straining arm.
The unfurled bandages soaked through with fresh, bright fluid alarmed him to an accusatory panic which further contorted the disconcertment in nurse Miki's visage.
"Oh, my, this wasn't here before. Oh, I should get the doctor."
"What wasn't there before .. ?!" The Korean couldn't see a thing but those bloody bandages, and his incapacity was driving him insane. "Jin-kun!" he demanded, as Miki stumbled back on a soft-heeled shoe.
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