Author's Note: The story will rotate POV between Hwoarang and Jin. It will always be fairly simple to tell which is which, so you shouldn't get lost. Koorime wrote all of Jin's POV, actions, and dialogue, while Link621 wrote Hwoarang's actions, POV, and dialogue. Else than that, please enjoy.
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon, strong language, and that's about it. There is some character bashing, but it does not necessarily reflect our opinions of the characters. Any derogatory remarks containing something about being British are plainly out of anger for Steve Fox, and are in no way intended as discrimination.
DISCLAIMER: The Tekken Tournament/ King of Iron Fist and it's competitors are not ours, they are property of NAMCO. Lyrics quoted in the beginning are from the Wallflower's "Baby Bird" off of their album "Breach".
Tattered Wings - Part 2
~ Now outside faces cry
With the tears of lonesome orphans
And behind every mask
Is the face of another
Wherever you have been
wherever you took cover
No arms that pulled you in
could hold you like your mother ~
Act I: Scene II
I was angry. Extremely angry, to be specific. The kind of angry where you pace a hole in the rug and scream just because you don't know what to do with your hands. The worst part was, I wasn't angry with anyone but myself. I would kick my ass, if I could. I settled for finding a nice place to lean against a stone wall and cry. No, I do not sob, but I turned my head to the sky and felt a wetness on my cheek.
Jin and I had another argument. I went way too far this time, though. I think I may have upset him far more than usual. But, I was angry. Over the past few weeks, I had repeatedly stumbled upon a very icy Jin, and found myself either holding him in his sleep, or being asked to use sex to "help" him. I'm not going to complain or anything, but as the fourth Tekken tournament drew nearer, I wasn't sure Jin should really be entering anymore. But, I'm getting sidetracked again; that was not why I'm angry.
I was out all night, just enjoying the cold air of the Tokyo night while I could, and mentally trying to prepare myself for what was to come. When I'd told Jin where I was going, he'd just opted to call up Steve and spend an afternoon with his friend. I think that is part of the reason why I stayed out so late. I'd found a shrine nearby our apartment, and I spent endless hours there doing the billions of warm-ups Baek had run me through more times than I'd like to remember in my childhood. When I realized just how late it was getting to be, I decided to return home.
What a sight to see upon coming home, too. I walked into the living room area of our apartment, not surprised to see the fire that burned in the fireplace. What was surprising, was what was happening right across the room from it. Steve had Jin pinned against the wall, and he was way closer to Jin than anyone who was just a "friend" should be in such a compromising position. I vaguely heard Jin whisper what sounded to be, "please...."
I really don't remember what I said or did, but I know that Jin practically had to hold me back to keep me from biting that British, monkey raping, ass hole's nuts off. I was seething. The stupid punk had only made it worse right before he left. He came up to me, taking the cloth of my gi in his hand, and pressed our chests together, putting his face right by my ear. "You're not good enough for him, Hwoarang. You're nothing but a penniless, irresponsible, daft punk." Then, he released me. Lucky for him, he made it out the door before my fuse blew completely.
I'd turned to Jin, feeling betrayed, for some reason. I really shouldn't have cared at all. In fact, I'd made tons of progress in ignoring the healthy friendship that was developing between my lover and his friend. Meanwhile, I couldn't help but think my relationship with Jin had grown more and more purely physical. But, those eyes he gave me then, as if I was the one who he'd just walked in on. That was too much. I really don't remember anything that came out of my mouth, but I know I left the apartment with the promise to never come back, while Jin shivered, leaning heavily into the wall as he begged me not to go.
I don't care. I don't care. I don't care.
Jin would probably just run to his little Stevie-poo and make it all better. I don't care. I was left alone, in the cold, thinking about all the stupid things I'd said. I don't care. Jin looked so hurt. I don't care. I doubt he'll ever talk to me again. I don't care. Steve Fox won. I don't care.
Who the hell am I kidding? Even if I don't care about Jin's feelings, I was not about to let my rival claim his victory over me over some little lover's dispute. Furthermore, no chance in hell was I going to let Steve Fox win. I smirked, looking back down across the street. That was when I realized, I was there again.
I stared at the gravestone long and hard, wondering why it kept drawing me back. Right, now the gravestone is to blame. I rolled my eyes mentally, but was actually quite entranced, so I slowly advanced on the memorial site of Jin's mother. Mishima Kazuya, the man with the devil inside him, had learned to love for this woman. I had to wonder what was so great about her that persuaded the devil. But, somehow, in the end, she had suffered the same fate as my master. Both were kind, gentle people, and should not have been given such early deaths.
I had to wonder who would be the one who could calm the heart of the demon in Jin. Well, it sure as hell wasn't me! Seriously, it's a wonder he didn't go demon-bat-boy on me and rip me to shreds back there. I was lucky he had the longest temper fuse ever to, uh, walk the Earth. I felt myself kneeling, brushing thin pale fingers over the words carved into the white stone. "Did he really love you?" I wondered aloud.
I tilted my head to the side. "Did you even know what love was?" My finger brushed over a rough spot in the stone, and I could feel that it scraped my skin to the point of drawing blood. I smirked, looking at the wound I'd acquired. "To love is to bleed, eh?" I laughed ironically, putting the finger in my mouth and licking off what little blood welled up there. "I wonder if Jin can even love? I'm starting to think he can't." I felt myself look and sound distant as I added, "He bleeds, though. I know he bleeds."
I looked back at the gravestone. "What about me?" My eyes slowly fell to half-lidded, staring at the stone through silently welling tears. "I don't care..." I insisted for the first time aloud, which made the sentiment sound distressingly hollow.
Something in me ached dully, sitting back on my heels looking at the vine that was trying to weave its way up the gravestone of Jin's mother. I couldn't pinpoint the feeling, and I sure wasn't familiar with it. I pushed myself to my feet, feeling energy leave me as the feeling got more intense. "You loved him, Kazama Jun. Please, tell me how to help him." I looked at the gravestone expectantly for a few minutes before sighing, feeling foolish for talking to an inanimate object. I stood, bowing slightly to the gravestone. "Thank you for your time, Kazama Jun."
The walk home wasn't a long one from there. I was ice cold by the time I got home, though, because I'd just rushed out the door still wearing my gi without thinking. When I returned to the warm apartment, it made me shiver, just from the sudden temperature change. "Jin," I called quietly. "Jin, are you home?" I was not surprised to get no response. I went into the bedroom, taking a quick shower and changing into my fatigues before emerging again. Still no sight of Jin, though.
That's when I spotted it. A small piece of paper sat on the kitchen table, innocently shifting slightly from the warm air blowing on it from the vent. I picked it up, instantly recognizing Jin's perfect kanji, and read. My heart froze, and I dropped the note, barely remembering to grab a coat before racing out the door. I had to find him, and soon. As promised in the note, he was going to go after his father, and I knew challenging Mishima Kazuya was like a death wish.
I cursed myself for running too slow, even though I am sure it was the fastest I'd ever sprinted as I wove my way through the streets of Tokyo. I had no idea where I was going, but this direction just felt right. "Hold on, Jin," I hissed through teeth clenched against the bitter cold. "Wait for me."
I sank slowly to the floor, arms tight about my shaking frame as Hwoarang slammed the door behind him. I barely managed to plead for him to stay, knowing it was futile, but I had to try. Those amber depths were so scathing as they locked on me a final time, I think he had run out of things to shout. I knew what he was thinking. As I looked in his eyes just before he turned away, I knew that he didn't trust me. That he would never trust me. A few tears strayed but I didn't bother to wipe them aside. It was useless, anyhow. More tears would always come, I didn't understand how. Everything just felt so... hollow. As though my chest was simply a shell of ice. And it would always be like this. Nobody could change that. If not me, then no chance did Hwoarang have.
I'll chase it away…
My hands tangled in my hair as I drew my knees to my chest, trying to preserve what little warmth I retained. Such an empty promise. Instead I chased him away. I knew that he would never stay; how could anyone ask him to love a demon? No. I knew that this would happen. One way or another, even if Hwoarang hadn't mistaken my earlier predicament for cheating, we would have parted by other means. I think that Steve knew this. I wonder now if he had planned the encounter when I invited him over today, not wanting to be alone. The voices spoke less when I had company. And as Steve spoke to me, it was nothing I hadn't heard before. He and Hwoarang despise each other, and would prefer it if I didn't hold the company of the other. I would hear none of it, tried to make him see my side. In the end he held me still, making me listen to all that I already knew. But hearing it come from Steve made that distant ache return in my chest, and pitiful as I was, I pleaded for him to stop.
Advocating my friendship to Hwoarang, my relationship to Steve… on both sides it's like talking to a brick wall. They don't see how useless it is, their heated disputes. But soon… Soon they will understand.
Swallowing hard, my head on my knees I don't know how long I sat there, the wall cold against my back, through my shirt. I barely noticed the dark whispers all around and inside me; picking myself up, I tried to stand and at first, fell back. My nails clawed at the wall as I pushed off again, the familiar cold numbness making me stumble slightly as it froze my joints. I would have thought that I'd have become accustomed to the cold by now. My hand clenched on the table's edge as I hunched down, struggling to catch my breath. Every intake was a harsh labor but I forced myself to ignore the needles of ice, accepting that I could never regain what I'd lost.
So that was it. I had only one thing left to do…
// Will you join with us now, little Mishima? //
My jaw locked as the voice entreated once more, clearly audible this time as a bell's chime. To one promise, I held true: never would I give in to my father's curse. I had to end it-- tonight.
My hands were reasonably steady as I wrote a quick note lest by some fortuitous miracle, Hwoarang returned. I had to stop as my eyes watered again, brushing them away with the back of my hand; I looked at what I had written. The pen fell before I could consider signing off, but I hated good-byes.
Shrugging on my jacket, I pulled the hood down even though it was night. It gave me an odd sense of security. Even that seemed silly now, as I exited the apartment and entered the lift. I would find the family that laid this curse upon me and I would ensure that this evil ended tonight.
Or I would die trying.
I'm not sure how I got there, but my feet led the way, drawn by a silent call I knew simply due to the demon that often whispered in my own mind. I stood at the foot of a lake, the moonlight cast silver shimmers across the unbroken surface. Flawless, peaceful.
I closed my eyes. So soothing was this place, I understand why my father would come here. My mother loved nature, but the open waters, most of all. I wonder if he thinks of her now. If he ever thought of her after news of her death. I know that mother loved him, even until the day that she died; she always spoke of him fondly. Not until I was accepted into the house of Mishima Heihachi did I hear the flipside of the coin. The corruption, the conspiracies, the unyielding feud between father and son that had seen Mishima Kazuya assumed dead. I never knew my father, but I loved him based purely on principle. Now I know how that is simply not enough, principle.
My eyes rose to the highest vantage point, and there I saw, silhouetted against the full, glowing moon; my own profile. The odd spike of hair that is unique to our bloodline, the angular jaw and thick build. I realized then that I had never actually spoken to my father, nor seen him in person. Only in articles, photos and such materials. None of them elicited such a response as did the moment I stood cast in his shadow. He was here. I swallowed quickly, trying to remember all the exploits and treachery of my blood. I couldn't lose sight of my goal…
Warm, glowing fingers brushed my jaw, traced the heavy chains that bound my wrists…
Forgive me, mother.
My head fell back as I looked to the stars for what I felt could be the last time. I slid the hood of my jacket back, the motion feeling incredibly final. A deep breath. This was my final thread, my one last reason. I looked back to the cliff and was struck as I saw nothing but the moon. I glanced around as I heard a heavy thud, as though a dense weight had been dropped from high above. Strangely, I was gripped with worry as I thought that perhaps he had fallen? Starting forward, I had taken but a step and then a figure rose from the shadows, a scarce meter away.
I couldn't stifle my gasp as I looked on the face of my father, cold and so chillingly empty. There was no life in his eyes, yet he moved towards me with the deathly grace of no mortal. Silence hung heavily between us and his gaze never strayed from mine. There was so much power in his aura, to hold his gaze would be a hard task for any human, but I was no human. I was his son.
Finally, he spoke. "Your name, boy?"
It was some time before I replied. "Kazama… Jin."
The corner of his mouth twitched and I couldn't be sure what he was thinking. "Jun was your mother."
I nodded slowly. "She's dead."
"… Yes. I know." Could that be sadness in his voice? Looking at him, I wondered if he was still capable of emotion, wondered just how much of himself he had given to the devil; forsaken for power? But then his gaze hardened and he folded those strong arms over his chest; I could see the end (or was it beginning?) of a scar just above the collar of his shirt. "You've come to kill me then?"
I couldn't find my voice to answer, but the scoff under his breath indicated that he already knew.
"Believe you're doing the world a load of good, don't you, boy?"
I gritted my teeth. "My name is Jin."
My father shook his head in disgust. "And you are as foolish as she. I can see it in your eyes, far too innocent for this world. She wanted to save everyone, believed that she could even save me."
I recoiled, seeing the shadow illuminated by twin pools of glowing crimson.
"… And she got herself killed."
"She fought for what she believed in," I retorted, struck by the pure venom in the man's voice.
"And you?" he snapped, and I thought I heard the sickening break of skin. A third crimson eye glowed in the darkness and I realized that it was not an eye at all, set above his brow. "What do you fight for?"
I could not answer that. The infernal gaze narrowed and he extended a taloned hand towards me in beckon.
I was back at the temple where I'd been training earlier. I'm not quite sure why, but that was the first place I thought to look. I stopped to breathe, doubling over to calm my wild panting. Swallowing hard, I straightened again, and began to explore the courtyard cautiously. There was nothing. Through tall shafts of bamboo, I could see a small shrine, and something in me told me to investigate. I was running again, throwing myself full-speed toward the small stone structure. Bamboo would occasionally roughly remind me that I was still mortal, surely leaving bruises on my pale flesh from my desperate flight.
I came to a skidding stop as I spotted a man ahead of me. He was dressed in tight leather pants with a loose blue silk shirt, left unbuttoned, and slightly blue tinted sunglasses, even though it was dark. He had to be cold in the cold night air. He was a little shorter than me, and his smile was akin to one that often found my face. He looked to be in his mid thirties, at most, but I could just tell he had to be older. I wouldn't have thought much about it, except he was built like a martial artist, and his hair was like liquid silver, falling around his face in a beautiful but careless mop, which was familiar. "Silver Devil?" I wondered aloud, not really meaning for the words to slip through my lips.
"You're Baek Doo San's boy, right? The Blood Talon?" The man took a couple steps in my direction, removing his sunglasses. His eyes were like those of a husky. They would appear frost blue sometimes while the darkest brown at another. I nodded dumbly, not really sure what else to do. The man extended a hand. "Lee Chaolan," he said as a self-introduction. "It's a pleasure... ?"
"Hwoarang," I said, shaking his hand quickly. I thought about the name, wondering what I knew of him. Baek had said something about him being Heihachi's adoptive son... so he was Kazuya's adoptive brother. Maybe he would know the location where I could find Jin and Kazuya. "Chaolan-san, I shouldn't ask a favor of you so soon, but do you know your brother's whereabouts?"
Lee blinked, then smiled very slightly. "Yes. He is with my nephew by the cliff near here. It is rather ironic that they chose that spot to fight, after what happened to Kazuya when he was younger as a result of Father insisting he was weak." Lee cocked his head to the side. He must have caught the worry that had set into my features. "Hwoarang, you shouldn't go after them."
My fists tightened at my sides. "Why the hell not?" I demanded, suddenly liking the idea of killing this Lee Chaolan guy. He stood there like he would physically block my route to Jin if I did try to get through. The silver devil just laughed softy, smiling at me like a naďve child. I didn't like this. "What?"
Lee let out a heavy breath. "Why do you think Jin wants to fight his father?" I looked at him blankly, honestly not entirely understanding the whole situation myself. "He wants to destroy his curse, once and for all. The curse that falls upon a Mishima is that of the devil himself. Well, and Father is just victim to his own human nature." Lee shrugged. "Honestly, I want to destroy evil just as much as Jin, and I salute his efforts." Lee ran his fingers through his frosty mane, tossing the hair like glitter in the sun. "Kazuya believes he will destroy his son, but I'm not so sure, anymore."
I felt my heart catch in my throat. Yes, I'd been running all this time for that exact reason, but somehow hearing the words from another mouth made it more real and more horrifying. "But... you think Jin will destroy Kazuya first? Then what, will he go after Heihachi?" Lee was already shaking his head. "What?"
"They will destroy one another, Hwoarang. Jin is making this easier on all of us by attacking Kazuya himself. Otherwise, I fear, I would have to kill him myself." My eyes opened wide, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't breathing. Lee turned those now dark eyes on me, looking utterly cold. "Would you have been prepared to kill him, Hwoarang? You know that is what it will come to if you rush in there and try to save him. If he lives, and Kazuya dies, the curse will only grow in him. Would you be willing to end his life?"
I felt myself slumping to my knees. I wasn't prepared for this kind of questioning. "Why Jin?" I asked quietly. "He's a gentle soul! He would never...." My voice was too choked to continue as the reality of Lee's words crashed over me. It was true, Jin had the devil inside him just as his father before him had. I guess I just never thought that Jin deserved to die for his curse. In fact, I wanted quite the opposite.
"I see," Lee said, smiling that horrible knowing smile I was growing to hate already. "Does he know you love him?" I almost died hearing those words spoken to me. I don't love him... right? I looked back up at Lee, and the older man was just smiling; though looking more absently at me.
I did not love Kazama Jin. If I loved him, I think I would have noticed... right?
I cupped my hand around one side of the proud jut of his jaw, and found myself lightly caressing his cheekbone with my thumb. He was a sight to behold at any hour.
"I... I don't... I don't know...." I couldn't think of how to answer the silver devil. That ache in my heart was swelling, killing me slowly from the inside out. I was shaking, and I felt so weak that if a feather dropped on me would have floored me. I was growing more and more aware of my labored breathing. It seemed no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't properly get oxygen into my lungs. "How...? How did Jun...?"
"Hm? Oh, Jun was able to repress both Kazuya and Jin's demons with unconditional love. Obviously, her death has brought peril for the two men she loved unconditionally." Lee's voice held a twinge of irony as he added, "She was being strangled to death by Kazuya when he finally understood her message. She was like that, though. She always had to be so extreme about everything." Lee's eyebrows raised. "Actually, if you love Jin so much, you might be able to repress his demon as Jun did before."
"I... I don't..." I stuttered, still searching for air. The ache was now everywhere from my lower back to my throat. My lungs were burning, and I felt light-headed from the lack of oxygen.
"That is, if Jin loves you back..." Lee spoke as if he hadn't even heard me, but his words froze everything. My attempts at breathing stopped entirely, the pain instantly dropped off, and the world froze as if time itself had stopped. What if Jin loved me?
Impossible, he just could not possibly love me.
"I chose you."
Memories bled into my mind like a slow-action poison.
"Why don't you stay with me?" Jin sheepishly hid his face in his hood.
"Baka," Jin grumbled, gently kissing the burn I'd inflicted upon myself by attempting to cook.
"... Please..." Jin's hand stretched out to me through his pain, those eyes looking fearful.
"No..." Jin whispered like a mantra as I continued to throw out every last frustration upon him before leaving him for what I proclaimed to be the last time.
I stood, suddenly filled with too much adrenaline to notice the heavy painful pounding of my heart or the raspy, troubled nature of my breaths. "Chaolan-san, you have to take me to them!" My eyes were wild with emotion, and I knew it. Surprise met me in Lee's dark eyes. He looked at his watch.
"A few hours before eight. Dawn hasn't yet broken."
"I guess we've let them fight this out for long enough. I think we'll get there just in time for the aftermath. Ready, Hwoarang?"
I looked out on the scenery before me, both feeling and seeing the sun gently break over the horizon and through the trees. Finally, my body willed itself into motion again. "... Yes."
White. It blinded my vision like sheet lightning as the talons raked deep wells down my back.
I was screaming.
There was a hard pull on my arm and then the ground gave way beneath me. I seemed to be dangling for a few moments; I didn't have the strength to cry out as I was thrown to the ground, rolling several times. A low groan broke into weak coughs as I fought for breath, dirt clings to my open wounds stung terribly. Sometime later, the pain became just bearable and I crawled forward, stopping suddenly when the earth gave way beneath my palms. Opening my eyes, I realized that I had come to the edge of the cliff; he must have brought us up here. Fear gripped me as I heard the sound of strong wings spread in the wind; he lands not far behind me.
I stumbled to my feet, almost crumbling as my ribs screamed in protest; breathing had never been this hard. I hoped that my jaw wasn't broken, though something in my chest definitely had. My eyes widened and I was too slow to avoid the vicious backhand that sent me to my knees again. Blood trailed down my broken lip, warm and bitter as he loomed over me, lips curling in a snarl.
"What do you fight for, boy?" His voice was low and promised pain if I hold this silence.
I was panting as I stayed down, knowing that if I were to rise, I would most likely be struck down just as promptly. "To stop you," I replied, weakly. For some reason, voicing my motive made it seem hollow, empty and almost futile. Suddenly it didn't seem like enough. There had to be something else. I closed my eyes for a second, feeling a different pain threaten to swell beneath my open wounds. Coughing again I choked back blood and bile, clutching a loose fist to my chest.
My father grunted in disdain and then a hand clamped around my throat, I was faced at point blank with twin pools of burning blood; the jewel above his brow glittered malevolently.
"You think you're righteous? You won't even defend yourself against me… " The fingers on my neck tightened; I winced as the thick claws drew blood. "Pathetic," he growled, fanged jaws clenching. "What makes you think you can pass judgment on someone you've never known?"
"Because… you put the devil… inside me," I rasped, feeling something strange stir in my bowels. It glowed… warmed… I blinked in confusion as that burning gaze flickered over my form.
"You haven't accepted it, stupid boy." He almost sounded surprised but was surely displeased. "Don't you know that as long as you resist, you'll be weakened? The Devil brings power… "
"I don't want it," I hiss. I never wanted it, had never asked for it. "I'll never use the Mishima art again."
"… She was right to name you as she did. You are not worthy to be a Mishima." He leaned forward and I could feel his hot breath on my cheek. "No son of mine is this weak." I swallowed hard at his words and the hand clamping impossibly tight over my windpipe. My vision soon became blurry and blotted with white sparks.
"You are not my son."
I'm not quite sure what happened next, but of one thing I was sure: flying. Or was that falling… ? The dark night was suddenly illuminated by violet lightning reaping dark Earth before reaching me. Searing blades of neon flame tore the skin of my arms, scorching the flesh of my chest. My throat felt hoarse, dry and scratched; I couldn't find the voice to scream anymore. Burning… Gravity pulls me down, down…
Cold knives assaulted my bleeding back and then I was submerged. The salty water streamed into my lungs, stabbing my open wounds in bitter agony. Drowning… Not quite sure where the surface was, I didn't have the strength to break it even if I knew. Light glimmered above me, I watched it fade and then it hit me. There was no doubt: this was it. This was how I end.
Choking gasps painfully constrict my chest as the water flooded my lungs. Maybe I should have fought harder to live and to hold on, but it was so easy to just let go.... So easy. Shadow was bleeding into my vision, dappled with glaring, translucent white as something suddenly clamped around my wrist, an even stronger hold taking my torso and then I saw no more.
Black feathers swirled all around me in a flurry of pandemonium. I stumbled to and fro, drawn by its own gravity and at the same time, repelled. In this darkened place of abysmal shadow, I was startled to more feel than see the feathers part and shatter, finally falling away completely and a sense of heavy reality bowled me over.
My chest heaved as I turned on my stomach, retching salt water onto the wet sands of the lake. Exhaustion blurred my vision, bringing me down to the hard ground, but a strong, gentle hand pulled me up. The frigid air swept icy kisses over my fresh wounds and I clung to the form that held me. Very distantly, a voice broke through the haze of my mind; I could only discern mere fragments of speech.
"Jin… okay now… Stay awake… "
My head nodded forward as I slumped again, but this time I was held strong. Pressing my face into the person's wet hair, my eyes cracked open as I heard a few clicks and then the person spoke again.
"I need an ambulance… corner of pol… lake… "
Moments before I was pulled down into numbing oblivion once more, I almost dismissed the faint glimmer of moonlight on gold.
Too mother fucking late.
A snowflake drifted past my eyes, glowing gold in the brilliant morning sunrise. I stood silently in the golden snow of glitter and looked at the barren landscape.
They were gone.
The land had been ravished with the quick decisive movement of feet, and there was a deep perfectly strait trench that went clear from one side of the battlefield to the other. At one end, there was some blood splayed about as if it had sprayed out of a body. I had to use all my will to not bend down and touch the blood. I wasn't sure how I'd even know who it belonged to if I did. My eyes flicked to Lee who had his arms crossed over his chest, looking very pensively at the trench.
"Chaolan-san?" I whispered, barely even grabbing his attention. He looked at me with worry-filled frost blue eyes. Something was very wrong, I could tell by his expression.
"There is no mistaking what did this," Lee explained, motioning to the ground. "This is the devil's third eye," he explained solemnly. Unfortunately, that meant nothing to me, but my throat tightened all the same. "It's where Jin got the name 'Fatal Lightning'. Lightning is the power of all of the Mishimas, but most literally for my brother and Jin. Kazuya has a third eye, through which he can attack with a focused beam of lightning energy." Now my stomach was dropping. "There is simply no mistaking it.
"Would it kill someone on impact?" I asked, not liking the words coming out of my mouth. My mouth tasted bitter just from uttering those words.
Lee gently clasped pale fingers around his shirt and pulled away the right side to show me his rib cage. An angry scar ran along the otherwise perfect skin. The disturbing part was, the scar was perfectly strait like the cut of a surgeon. "Kazuya wasn't trying to kill me," Lee explained. "It was before the curse consumed him completely... before Jun's death. If he didn't know my strength perfectly, I think this could have potentially killed me." Lee let the shirt drop back down, and I found myself blinking at the shirt like it was some faint memory slowly coming back.
"Then... Jin is okay?" I looked at the site one more time. "He could not have gone far after a fight if he was wounded like that. Someone must have been... here..." My eyes narrowed, my blood coming to a healthy simmer that would soon lead to boiling, and my fists clenched at my sides. "Steve Fox," I growled the name viciously, barely even making it two words instead of just one jumbled animal sound. That rat bastard was as good as six feet under.
I know, he saved Jin, I should have been grateful.
I just hoped he didn't die before I could kill him.
"Steve Fox is one of the Tekken competitors this year, right?" Lee looked at me with a confused eyebrow raised while I seethed like a rabid dog. "He's that English boxing champion, if I remember correctly. I've heard he's a very nice guy."
Jin was not Steve's to save.
I didn't deserve to be either, after what I did.
But, hell if I was going to let that vain, squalid, inconstant, blonde, son of a bitch win without a fight! "Chaolan-san," I said in a very controlled voice, amazingly enough. "Do you have a car?" The silver devil nodded, spilling his sun-kissed platinum locks across his brow. Snow drifted between us, and the temperature was as frigid as ever, but I was no longer cold. I just smiled. "Take me to the nearest hospital."
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