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 Beatles song “Blackbird” (yes, I have an obsession with bird songs)
Tattered Wings - Part 7
"Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.”
Act II: Scene II
I was growing to really hate hospitals. Every time I got away from one, I was whisked away to another. It was a wonder I had only been kicked out of one. I have no patience for medical staff. Har, har, it’s a pun. Get it?
I really must look into investing more of my time on sleep.
I sighed, turning my attention back to Jin’s sleeping face. At this hospital, I was the only one that had been allowed into the room at all. Xiaoyu, Steve Fox, and that Julia thing were all in the waiting room, and Lee had made his presence known by getting into another fairly heated argument with the nursing staff. All of this was a sharp contrast for Jin’s peaceful features as he slept.
“He’s been dying for a while. We’re very sorry to have to tell you this way.”
I reached out a hand to gently wipe the sweat of a passing fever from his brow. I found my hand resting against his cheek, and I couldn’t help it. After all that had passed between us... I still wanted him to open those beautiful almond eyes and tell me he loved me. Even if he didn’t, I would still tell him how I felt, every second of every day, if I could.
Tears were coming again, and I could feel the slight twitching pull of my lip as it formed a frown. I inhaled, my breath shaky, and leaned down closer to Jin. “Please wake up,” I begged quietly, kissing his cheek. I let my forehead rest against his, closing my eyes. I could feel a tear fall from my face, just to fall on his. “Why do you do this to me, Jin?” My lips were rested just above his, but I couldn’t do it—I couldn’t kiss him. Jin wasn’t in love with me. Not this Jin... whatever that meant. I shook my head. I was definitely talking (or is that thinking?) nonsense.
I let my head finally rest next to Jin’s on the pillow, resting my whole upper body on his hospital bed. Beautiful. Untouchable. Kazama Jin. He was an angel of the Earth, and I was the devil unlucky enough to love him. Now, isn’t that ironic?
Outside my door I could hear two voices talking quietly to one another. One was that of Chaolan Lee, I would recognize his light tenor anywhere. The other was vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place it. I listened, looking through the heavily clouded windows at the figures that moved just outside the door. “I don’t think it would be wise, brother.”
Oh, so the other person was Kazuya. What the hell was he doing there?
“Lee, this is none of your business. Go annoy father, or something,” Kazuya suggested. I was a little surprised by the tone of his voice. It was annoyed, but teasing, like they were still children, or something. I’d never pinned Kazuya to be the type to have a soft spot for anyone anymore... but I could tell there had been some sort of change in family dynamic since Lee and I met for the first time. I’d like to think it had changed for the better.
“Kaz, please don’t kill him. That boy... I think that boy can do something about the demon inside him. Jin... Jin is strong enough to overcome it if he has Hwoarang; isn’t that a proof of his power?” I blushed a little at Lee’s words. It never ceased to amaze me that Lee had so much faith in me. He made me feel needed. No, Jin made me feel needed, and Lee made me feel like I could trust Jin... believe in Jin.
“Lee....” There was a pause, and I could see the two shadows were very close. I could only guess that one of them had hugged the other. Locked in their embrace, Kazuya continued, “I am not here to kill my son, Lee. I would never fight him like this.” Kazuya whispered something else after that, but all I could catch was something about purple. Lee’s light laugh touched the air in response. My heart hurt at the sound. Lee was right; Kazuya could love.
My eyes shifted to Jin’s face as I sat up. Kazuya might even still love Jin, if he could love Lee. Even if it was some sort of really fucked up love that no one could ever understand, I think Kazuya’s obsession with Jin’s weakness was bred from his desire for him to be the best as his son. Kazuya did not really think that Jin was not his own kin. Jin was just the only one who could even begin to understand him. I leaned down, hesitating a moment before letting my lips touch Jin’s just barely. He didn’t wake, or respond for that matter, but it made me feel better to show him some affection, even in his slumber. I hadn’t been the most loving boyfriend.
I was blushing again, though I didn’t know why this time. I hid my face in his chest, realizing it would actually be comfortable to sleep like that. I was just about to settle in to do so when there was a light click of the doorknob across the room. My head shot up, and I was met with the dark scrutiny of Mishima Kazuya. Even though his face was distorted by scars, I could help but see Jin in him. “Mishima Kazuya...” I whispered, not really meaning for the words to come out.
He smiled at me—not a nice smile, mind you. “Hwoarang, was it?” His voice was deep, ominous... like a very evil and older Jin might sound. The smile was gone the second he began to cross the room to where I sat next to Jin. He stood next to Jin’s bed silently staring at the death-bound visage of his sleeping son. I couldn’t judge his expression well enough to guess what he was thinking looking upon the slumbering boy.
“Why did you come?” I demanded, only intending to ask nicely. The venom in my voice was left over from the wounds Kazuya left on Jin... every last new scar that I’d not been there to help with. I hadn’t been there, and I was making it Kazuya’s fault, for that moment. Everything and anything that had ever harmed Jin, I was making his fault. The only excuse I needed to kill Kazuya myself was for him to attack Jin again, especially if it was this prone version of Jin. I didn’t really expect Kazuya to attack the sleeping form, though I found myself instantly posed to defend Jin if I had to.
Defend Jin against the devil himself? Talk about nonsense.
I shivered subconsciously. How far gone was I anyway? Even Baek, my master and maybe still my superior in death, had spoken with a twinge of fear when he was explaining to me what he knew of Kazuya. Who was I to think I could really stand up to that? I spared a moment to look at those eyes, and I had my answer. One eye was dark, brooding, endless... while the other was mechanical and glowing red. I had to be completely nuts.
“I came to see my son,” Kazuya replied with cold indignation. He snorted, his lip curling slightly as he gazed upon the sleeping form between us. “I have made this trip in vain,” Kazuya closed his eyes as he spoke, turning from the bed. What the hell did that mean? “This is not my son.” Oh, thanks.
Not his son?
“’The fuck is your problem, you son of a bitch?! Jin is dying! Don’t you give a shit about that?” I was shaking, and I was barely restraining myself from jumping over the hospital bed and attacking Kazuya. “This ‘he is not strong enough’ shit is getting really old, fuck face!” I clenched a fist where Kazuya could see, and stood out of the chair slightly just as a natural reaction.
Kazuya smiled. “I’d thought you would notice, Hwoarang,” Kazuya commented, sounding more than a little irritated. He turned from me, heading for the door. My rage was so complete that I couldn’t think of anything else to shout before he was gone, though I did managed to throw the vase of get-well flowers from Xiaoyu into the door so hard that it shattered just after Kazuya closed it. This won me an amused-sounding laugh.
Then, there was a weak sound from the bed beside me. I looked down to see Jin’s eyes flutter open, though he looked far from in the present. I was speechless, looking upon him, for I had too many things to say all at once. I managed only, “Jin....”
“...Hwoarang?” Jin turned to me, his eyes full of recognition. “Is... is Xiaoyu here too?” I nodded and his head turned from me, speaking to the wall across from me. “You were looking after me... why?”
“I’m worried.” My voice caught in my throat momentarily, keeping me from saying what I meant to right thereafter. As a result, Jin turned back to me and fixed me with a gaze I couldn’t even comprehend. It held surprise, fear, and just a hint of hope complimenting the blush that kissed his cheeks. “Jin, they think you’re dying,” I explained, when I could finally bring myself to say it.
“I can tell,” Jin replied softly, beginning to look distant again. “What does is matter to you?” Jin wouldn’t meet my eyes, and instead stared at something near my neck. It only took me a moment to realize my locket had fallen open. I quickly snatched it and snapped it shut, gaining Jin’s eye contact again.
“I love you, Jin. I don’t want to live without you,” I explained, a little surprised I had to explain it at all. Then, it struck me.
“L... Love me?” Jin stared at me in utter disbelief but just a hint of joy and revelation in his words. I nodded, once again shocked that Jin didn’t know this already. “Really?”
“Always,” I replied before I could stop myself. Was that true? Would I always love Jin? “I’ll never leave you alone again,” I added, unable to stop my words. It didn’t matter, though. I needed to tell him eventually.
“I... Hwoarang....” Jin’s eyes were dark, clouded, and sleepy. He smiled. It was a genuine smile I missed so dearly whenever it was absent from his face. “Thank you....” His head lolled to the side as he slipped back into sleep. It didn’t worry me at all until the tell-tale sign of the steady note and the flatline told me that Jin was no longer with us.
“Nurse....” I whispered, unable to produce a greater sound. “Nurse!” I backed away from the bed, racing out into the hallway. “Someone, help!” It was unnecessary to say anything, though, because there were already seven people rushing down the hall toward me with all kinds of equipment. I could only hope....
The group pushed past me, slamming the door behind them so I was locked out. All I could hear, though only vaguely, were the shouted orders of the staff as they desperately tried to revive Jin. “Jin....”
"Why are you so afraid of heights, anyway? Do you fear that you will fall to your death?” Jin smiled at me, and I knew he was just giving me crap. I sulked all the same, sipping my Chai and falling farther into our couch.
“No, I know I will fall to my death,” I joked in return. I looked at him, just to see some amusement had lost his face. “Do you fear death, Jin?” I asked quietly, fearing his answer on some level.
“No, I fear yours.” I looked at him carefully, not trusting the words I’d just heard. I wasn’t used to such a caring tone.
But I wasn’t dead, Jin was. It shouldn’t have been that way. I wasn’t supposed to be forced to live without Jin. I fell against the wall, trying to block out the obvious sounds of failing emergency room doctors. I closed my eyes, letting my head fall back against the wall. As soon as I did, I pictured Jin. He lay on a bed much like the one I’d just seen him in, only there were chains... heavy chains held him down by the arms, and he was looking at me with a clouded expression, as if not even seeing me.
Hwoarang... help me. Please....
I opened my eyes instantly to clear the image, biting my lip hard to keep from sniffling. In the room behind me, there was silence. I heard the head doctor declare time of death before the people began to file out of the room, past me, with their heads hung. When the doctor came out, he stopped next to me, and looked up at me solemnly. “Hwoarang... I couldn’t do anything to help... Kazama-san....”
“It’s okay,” I assured, turning to him with a very small pained smile. “Thank you for your efforts.” I put a hand on the doctor’s shoulder, and he nodded, looking like I’d just lifted the weight of the world off his shoulders; and I very well might have. The doctor would never have forgiven himself for the patient he just lost unless the victim’s loved ones forgave him. I couldn’t promise anything of my companions, but I was certain I had put the man to rest.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” the doctor said almost as a formality as he bowed to me. After that, he quickly made his way to tell the others before calling in the clean-up. I took this chance to step into the now darkened room. I couldn’t clearly see Jin’s face, but I could make out his figure, now deadly still in the dim light.
“Jin, I donno if you can hear this, but I wanted to tell you... I hope you’re happiest wherever you are.” I edged toward the bed, not really believing, or wanting to believe that Jin was really dead. I held out a hand to lightly brush waxen skin and had to try my best not to recoil. Cold, lifeless, almost boneless with the loss of life. Jin’s hand was not the firm instrument it had once been. “And... you better wait there for me because I will get my damn rematch!” I was shouting, but it didn’t really matter anymore. I collapsed against Jin’s motionless form, all but bawling as I heaved sobs over the once great fighter. “Damnit, Jin... why did you leave me here all alone?!”
I closed my eyes tight, and the image of Jin came again, his voice like a sweet memory—though no memory of mine.
Hwoarang... please. I need you.
I slowly opened my eyes, looking at the peaceful body below me. “You need me? No, Jin, you have it all wrong.” I gently let my fingers touch his cool lips, briefly losing the ability to breathe as I brushed the icy skin there. Those lips, only a few minutes before, had been soft, inviting, willing....
There was no will left in the body of Kazama Jin. There was no Jin. All that was left was a body.
“Tell your mother ‘hi’ for me,” I whispered, putting my face against his neck. A tiny bit of warmth remained there. It had been his favorite place to be kissed. I nuzzled there often when drifting off to sleep, and he’d always responded with surprise, and held me closer.
How had I never noticed he loved me?
My hand slowly searched along the line of his arm, finally being won over by curiosity. The mark on his arm was the same temperature as the rest of his body. I could feel tears coming all over again, but this time out of joy. Jin may have died, but it felt as if the devil died with him. There was no sign that he wasn’t finally in peace, even if it had to be in death.
“I wonder,” I ventured, feeling my eyes sting terribly. “Would she have liked me? I mean, I am sure Kazama Jun liked everyone, seeing as she married your father of all people, but... would she have accepted me?” I drew away from Jin, standing my full height. I clenched my teeth hard, biting back a small helpless whimper as I tried to speak again. “Goodbye, for now, Jin.” I turned, refusing to look upon him any longer. “I love you.” My voice cracked as I spoke, tears anew meeting my skin.
Somewhere in the blur that was the next hour, I had been whisked away to a separate room to lie down. Lee had come and gone, and I had briefly seen Xiaoyu who came in for a shoulder to cry on. Steve offered his apologies to me before exiting the room flustered, and finally I had one last guest. She was cute, about Ling’s age, and dressed in the same school uniform as Ling wore. She had introduced herself as Miharu, but what really stuck in my brain was her auburn hair that was rather akin to mine.
“Lei Wulong said he wanted to see you. I’m not quite sure why,” the girl explained in a voice like a light pleasant bell. “Should I send him in?”
“Yeah, thanks,” I replied, sitting up. I was starting to feel stupid for just moping there while I should have been supporting all of my companions who were also mourning Jin’s death. Before I could ask about their well-being, Miharu slipped back out of the room. A moment later, she was replaced by the well-aged Chinese cop that had once been friends with my master via Tekken before ever meeting me. I ventured a smile for the man standing before me, as I would for an old friend.
“Hwoarang.” Lei said nothing more before sitting on the edge of the bed and looking at me very seriously. “I need you to listen to what I am about to say carefully, and I need you to trust me. I have very good information that what I am about to say is true.” Lei caught my gaze, and I knew I could trust him. Lei was a lot of things, but he wasn’t a liar.
“What is it, Lei? You sure have a strange way of offering your condolences,” I joked wryly, lacking any real humor at that point in time. It was my way of dealing with things when it got really bad. Fall apart when I was alone, and make bad reassuring jokes through false smiles when someone was there to watch me. I’d done it to Jin more times than I could count.
Then again, the thought of him hurt, so I didn’t care to think of any such instance.
“Quite the opposite, really.” Lei’s words surprised me. He was normally such a kind, caring fellow, too. I opened my mouth to demand an explanation, but he hushed me with a finger to his lips. “Hwoarang... that wasn’t Jin back there. Well, it was, but it wasn’t the Jin you know. Three years ago, when Jin was living with his grandfather, some of his DNA was taken to be cloned in hopes of duplicating the devil gene. Unfortunately for them, the clone was imperfect, and they were unable to replicate the effect.”
My jaw dropped. Jin... was still alive? But if the clone was the one that died, that meant that the real Jin was still missing.... “That would explain a lot. He didn’t really remember anyone the past few days... and he was using Mishima ryu.” I put a hand to my forehead, an unwanted grin forming on my lips. “But... he really is alive, huh?”
“I told only you, for now,” Lei replied, handing me a manila folder. I took the cream folder in one shaking hand, barely able to control the racing of my heart. Jin... he hadn’t left me. Jin wouldn’t do that, though. Jin wasn’t a bastard like me; like Steve Fox, for that matter.
Though, that did bring up an interesting question. “Why only tell me?”
“You’re the only one who can save him, at this point.” Lei motioned to the folder, and I opened it to see a blueprint for some building. From the looks of it, it was a laboratory. “Jin is there. Heihachi captured him because he needs the devil gene. He is after Kazuya, too. As far as I can tell, the whole reason he held this tournament was to try to lure out Kazuya.” Lei smiled wryly. “Not long before the clone died, Kazuya left for the facility to ‘take care’ of Heihachi. Knowing him, it will only end in disaster. Well, I guess Heihachi’s plans were sound, anyway.”
“They worked,” I grumbled, looking more carefully at the layout of the building in front of me. “So, you say Jin is here?” I motioned to a room, at random, and Lei made a surprised face before nodding.
“That room even, we think,” Lei said, shaking his head. “Hwoarang, in the military, you excelled at these types of missions. All I ask of you is to go in there, get Jin, and get out before you get killed.” I nodded to him, adrenaline already filling my veins just at the thought. Not only would I get to see Jin again, but I got to go on a suicide mission to rescue him. Normally, this would sound like a crazy thing to be excited about, but there were a few things I needed to vent anger about, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.
“I see why you don’t want anyone to know. Thank you, Lei. I’ll leave tonight.” I stood out of bed, stretching my body as if for the first time. All the trauma I’d been through earlier that afternoon... all of it was nullified by the news that Jin was still alive.
Thank you, Jin... even if you weren’t “my” Jin. Thank you for showing me what it means to be a lover.
What it means to be a friend.
I let my eyes close again, and I could almost feel the warmth of Jin’s body against mine as a hard contrast for what I’d experienced no more than an hour before. I could fell his smile, as a matching smile met my lips. I opened my eyes, looking at Lei who was looking at me curiously. My smile grew, and I could tell it worried and confused him at the same time.
I’m coming Jin.
Wait for me.
I think my head hurt. It sounded ridiculous, but I couldn’t be sure. It had been ringing for hours now, probably even days. I didn’t have any way of tracking the time. But if felt as though I had been here (wherever ‘here’ is) since before I cared to remember.
Have you ever heard the stories about prisoners of war who were tortured? In most cases, they would drown themselves in memories of the past in order to block out the agony of the present. Now the past was all I had, and I liked to pretend that my reality was the nightmare. Unfortunately, one that I couldn’t escape, that was there every time I opened my eyes and tried to reach out and was held down by invisible chains. I was so tired I could hardly… Breathing was so hard. Why was my chest so heavy?
I knew the weight of sorrow, but this was different. It was actually hard to inhale and breathe; almost as though something was pressing down on me. I wish I could move. I wish I knew what they were doing!
… Actually, that’s something of a lie. I knew exactly what they’re trying to do, if they had not succeeded already. God, it was so cold.
I took in deep breaths of cool, clean air and fell out of my fighting stance as Toshin crumbled before me. There was a bright flash and my arms crossed to shield my face reflexively, a few glowing sparks raced away and into the night sky; I had to wonder if they were perhaps souls, finally free. There was the soft click of footsteps behind me and I turned to face a few of my grandfather’s Tekkenshu, rifles raised.
I frowned in confusion. Why did they point their weapons at me? Toshin was dead…. There was the swift shutter as the man on the right cocked his weapon and I froze, realizing, but not really processing what would happen next. There was no time to run.
Gunfire exploded in the dim light of the temple, echoing off the somber walls of stone. It was cold against my back as I fell, too shocked to move until I saw my grandfather above me. Even though my blood was pooling on the ground, the reality of the situation was yet to hit me.
“Ojii-san.” It hurt to speak, even more to move as I reached towards him, almost expecting him to help me. That was when I realised he was staring down at me, over the barrel of a handgun aimed at my forehead. I didn’t understand; none of it made sense.
What had I done wrong?
His expression was utterly void as he looked at me, and then he lowered the gun a fraction. For a moment I thought he was putting it away, but then his brow knitted and I saw the barest contraction of muscle in his hand when he squeezed the trigger.
There was a final spear in my chest and after that, my world was forever dark.
Something in the air prickled and I knew that they had come again. How much longer would I be here? What did I have to do for them to release me?
“Success, you say?” The familiar voice was deep and rumbling in its skepticism that even I could gauge. My head was so fuzzy, but I was still conscious, amazingly. Truth be told, I didn’t think I’d have strength enough for that much. Everything felt so distant and detached; the voices were far, far away, echoing all around me. My ears rung from a mute siren and I knew that I should have also been in physical pain, but I stopped noticing a long time ago. Now my entire world was agony that lacked distinction.
After everything I had endured… I was surprised I was still alive.
A part of me wished that I wasn’t. That side that only wanted release and I was so tempted to give in to it. It was the memories that kept me going. If I distanced myself from the present, I was safe in those memories; in the dojo where I sought asylum for two years in Brisbane; in my grandfather’s house where I had remained blissfully ignorant until the day I was shot down.
No, I was never really safe in those places, was I?
I never had to worry about keeping safe in the arms of my mother; but then Toshin took her life and the journey that bound me here began. If this was where I was headed, should I have just died with her on that day?
"I love you, Jin. I don’t want to live without you….”
I stilled, hearing Hwoarang’s gentle voice in my mind. Just remembering him made my chest ache again, and it wasn’t due to the fresh wounds. God, I missed him so much. I tried not to call for him when I saw him in my dreams, when I woke and found myself alone again.
What was he doing now? Was he safe? I hoped they were leaving him and the others alone; I would never forgive myself if they were harmed because of me. They didn’t ask for any of this; though, neither did I. I was at least willing to accept the price of bearing my father’s curse. It was strange that I heard the demon’s voice less and less recently. I would have expected the opposite.
“… Managed to successfully trigger the gene… subject is relative….“ He was cut off by the first voice and I could literally sense the tension in the room rise. I knew how that man felt, for I had often been the target of the voice’s owner. It was intimidating, but I never took it to heart that my grandfather could or would ever hurt me. When all you’ve known is a mother who loves you unconditionally, and so freely… how would you know much apart from it? As they say, ignorance is bliss.
Somehow my head was clearing and I was able to make out more of what they said.
“You said he was building a resistance to the drugs…” Heihachi growled, obviously displeased. But the other man, I only knew as Abel (as he was once referred to by Heihachi) quickly interjected.
“Oh, y-yes, he was but those were experimental and as you can see from these results, we-“ Abel stopped abruptly and there was the sound of fluttering papers, I could only assume something had been discarded. All of this made me feel rather self-conscious, because I knew, without a doubt that it was I they were referring to. Just a subject. Just some lab experiment that stood in the way of unlocking hell. I don’t know why they would want my demon, what could my grand – what could Heihachi hope to gain from it?
“Make this short, Abel. You said you had a breakthrough.”
A heavy sigh. “We know how to activate the gene.”
The sadistic pleasure in Heihachi’s voice was unmistakable. “That is most assuring. Have you extracted it?”
“We’ve isolated it in his DNA, but-“
I don’t like that word, Doctor,” Heihachi growled and I felt myself shiver. Had he ever loved me at all?
“We have made considerable progress, having come so far in so little time. But Mishima-sama, I need more time to study the subject!”
“Do what you need to, it doesn’t matter. Just get that gene and make it compatible for assimilation,” the head of the Tekken Zaibatsu snapped. The Doctor’s voice absolutely shook as he spoke, he was anxious but I could sense that he felt something more needed to be said.
“Mishima-sama, the subject was born with it, a stark contrast to Kazuya. I believe that Kazuya would be a more suitable subject for this sort of study.” He spoke quickly, but curtly and he must have said something right because the tone had returned to Heihachi’s voice that told he was somehow pleased.
“Yes… Kazuya would prove an invaluable subject.” I could hear the sneer in his voice as he said it. I was just another tool in his endeavor for power, it made me sick. I might have scoffed in disgust but I could hardly breathe as it was, and I didn’t want to attract attention to myself.
They exchanged a few more words, most of which I ignored until Heihachi requested a demonstration of how they could activate the demon within me. There was the shuffle of footsteps and the familiar creak of metallic wheels; I tensed on reflex. I knew that sound all too well by now, and I knew what came next. A frail hand settled on my arm, methodically tightening the band that was strapped there and a weak sound escaped me as I tried to move away. Strong fingers lifted my chin, and I vainly tried to move my face to the side, away from the brutal hands.
“Is he awake?” Heihachi asked, and I thought he sounded surprised. I don’t know why it mattered.
There was a pause and small prick in my arm before Abel answered. “In a few moments, it won’t matter.”
Heihachi chuckled and released my chin roughly, my head lolled to the side. “Why is his skin so cold? He feels dead, like a corpse.”
“Ah, now that is an interesting point, Mishima-sama. Notice what happens once the demon is dominant….”
My breathing grew shallow and quick as daggers of rushing heat swept through my blood. The ringing in my ears was soon overcome by loud drums, my hands clenched into fists as the weight on my chest grew denser.
This was worse than any of the other times. I couldn’t breathe and it hurt, it burned and didn’t fade.
“Remarkable, isn’t it?” Abel asked when Heihachi made a sound of approval at the back of his throat. I could barely hear them, the drums were near deafening. The familiar mold of a breathing mask settled over my nose and mouth as I was forced to inhale the foul sleeping gas. I stopped struggling almost immediately after the first inhalation, just as I felt it stirring again. It was funny that I’d become accustomed to this.
The screams reverberated only in my head, and I didn’t mean to call for him; but I couldn’t stop myself. I was only thankful that he wasn’t here to see me like this.
Hwoarang, I’m so sorry....
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