Author: Razer Athane PM
There's obnoxious clapping, and she swears she can feel his smirk draping over her shoulders. -Asuka x Hwoarang, Oneshot-Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Asuka K. & Hwoarang - Words: 3,764 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 2 - Published: 08-17-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7295673
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Tekken.
Author's Note: I'VE NO IDEA. Another one of those rage moments at this section spawned this one, again. Also wanted to do something for TeaC0sy's birthday. Happy birthday, dear!
"Your hair is stupid."
The statement's concise but simple, and it's a slap in the face. So much so that Hwoarang splutters, quirks an eyebrow and turns wholly to face the direction of the voice, mildly amused, "Excuse me?"
"I saaaid," the girl remarks again, glaring – and she knows that the familiar face has been checking her out quietly from his place by the food court like the dirty little perv that she knows that he is, "Your hair is stupid, Hwoarang!"
He strolls over, hands deep in his pockets, and Asuka's eyes are darting around to see if any company comes to join him. She knows she can take him if he's alone, even if his biceps briefly remind her of tanks. Why'd she come with stupid Xiaoyu and stupid Miharu to the mall anyway? She's got exams soon. She should be studying, she hated coming here with them. Everything's boring here! Almost as boring as his drawling voice, "Why's my hair stupid, Sunshine?"
"It's what you remind me of right now," he teases, and there's a light smirk because he knows that the comment's getting to her somewhere. They'd been in tournaments together before, he knows that she's Kazama's cousin, but she certainly doesn't act all high and mighty like one. 'Server of Justice', sure, but not 'Angelic Goody-Two-Shoes', "Y'know, your teeth are so damn white that if they glinted off of the sun, I'd probably be blinded."
Asuka raises a fist and launches it straight for his face. He anticipates the attack and leans to the right, avoiding it entirely – and he expects the low sweeping kick to come, so he jumps over it and grabs her by her forearm. The move somehow renders her powerless, but if her scowl could kill, he'd unquestioningly be dead on the ground, "Let go of me!"
"Not until you tell me why my hair's stupid. You don't have to insult me to get my attention, Sunshine."
"I don't want your attention!" she shouts, trying to pull her arm away from the man, "What makes me think I'd want your attention?"
In the nick of time, Xiaoyu and Miharu are bumbling back from the giant Hello Kitty store. Their arms are loaded with an entourage of merchandise, and just by glancing at them, Asuka can tell that Miharu's not exactly thrilled by this. Xiaoyu beams and speaks, "Asuka, can you please hold these for me? I need to call Jin!"
She doesn't even notice Hwoarang there as she dumps all of the items into the youth's arm, and it's so tall that her vision's entirely blocked now. She yells from behind the pile, face burning with embarrassment – what if some of the students from school saw this? "I didn't agree to this! Why are you making me hold this so you can stalk my cousin?"
Of course, Xiaoyu's already blabbing away, and Miharu shoots her a look of sympathy. When the girl from Osaka finally manages to get her head around the tower to return the look and inspect her surroundings, she notes that Hwoarang's long gone, and she can't help but wonder where he disappeared to. He'd been an interesting part of the day – or, well, of the last few months. Since the tournament, at least.
Everything just felt so… dead.
Then there's the other, more dominant part of her that's doing little happy dances that he's gone, because then he can't see her with this armload of bullshit.
"Louder!" her Father encourages, pointing at the wooden training dummy, "I want to feel your energy. You're not putting enough energy into it – fight like a Kazama."
Shouting 'heeyah' as loud as she possibly could, Asuka rams her shoulder into the dummy and watches it as it spins in continuous circles afterward. Heaving for breath, she leans forward and rests her hands on her knees, and she can feels sweat drip down her skin, diving off of her nose and onto the plywood floors. Her training's been relentless as of late because she wants to get the next ranking, and her Dad thinks that she can do it, so she's gonna try anyway.
Her Father frowns and approaches, offering her a small towel and a bottle of water. She seizes both as though they are lifelines, and as she wipes the sweat from her face and drinks as much water as possible, she listens to him speak, "Asuka, what has happened to your fire? It's missing. If you are going to be my successor, then you need to put your all into it, not 'a little bit'. I know you're capable of more, so why are you being so lazy?"
"I told you," she says, standing a bit taller, "I don't wanna run the dojo. I'll help out, but I don't wanna run it on my own. I wanna be out there on the streets and putting people in place with my fists! All those crooks…" she pounds one of her hands into the air, like a mini shadowbox of sorts, "They're gonna go down thanks to me."
"A crime fighter," he chuckles, grinning.
She frowns, "What's wrong with it?"
"Nothing… But you still lack the discipline."
Her eyebrows furrow, and she shouts, "Lack it?"
"If you can't focus on your training here, then I'm certain you'll be unable to focus on the streets when it really counts. You're not as alert as you were in the tournaments, and that's worrying me," he sighs and turns, heading out, "I suppose you should focus on your schoolwork, for your Mother. Forget about training. It's not important."
She rushes after him; she doesn't want to let go of something that sparks life in her, "Forget about it? What are you –"
She sighs and hangs her head and stomps childishly. There's silence in the dojang.
That is, until there's obnoxious clapping, and she swears she can feel his smirk draping over her shoulders.
"Why the sigh, Sunshine?" Hwoarang chimes, folding his arms again and leading against one of the wooden pillars, "He's got a point. Can't focus on two things at once. Gotta give up one for the other. Its better being a famous master of something than a jack of all trades."
"What the hell do you know?" she spits, turning to face him wholly. Her nails are digging into the palms of her gloves, and she wonders if her body's shaking from the sheer annoyance of his presence, or from the exhaustion of training. Or maybe she's angry at her Dad for being the way he was – she never felt very connected to either of her parents, and she often thought that they'd not know if she disappeared one day, "You're just some… some ass from the tournaments with stupid hair!"
"Why's my hair stupid?" he asks, approaching her. He's patting himself down for a cigarette and a lighter, and once he finds them, he lights one up and starts inhaling the nicotine, as though he can't live without it. And she hates to admit it, but the image makes him look all the more –
And then the realisation hits –
"Are you smoking in my dojo?" Asuka roars, eyes wide and angry, pointing an accusing finger at him.
"Don't smoke in my dojo! Put it out!"
So she attacks him again, throwing out a kick – but once more, he predicts it and leans to the left. But this time, he raises his right leg and brings it crashing down onto her unprepared body. As he moves, he withdraws his hands from his pocket and kicks her a few more times, and its only then does Asuka realise that she's been struck several times and is getting reacquainted with the floor – and she had no idea, for that whole time.
"You're not focused, Sunshine," he says in an unintentionally taunting manner, "Those kicks weren't exactly slow. Gotta keep on your toes and stay aware. I get that I'm handsome and shit but that's no reason to let your guard down and be so unfocused in a fight. Now get up and hit me again."
Asuka's only beginning to realise how stressed she is by the exams and her desire to do well in that and in her martial arts. Huffing and determined more so to whip the cigarette out of his mouth, she spins in a small circle and thrusts out a palm, and she knows that Hwoarang feels it slam into his stomach – he's let her hit him. Gritting her teeth, she does double lift kicks, and she notes how he again lets her hit him for the first kick, but not the second.
He's grabbed her by the ankle and parried it away, coming at her with a confusing and dizzying amount of highs, mediums, lows and tricky sweeps. So many hit her, but the more that he throws at her, the more focused she becomes as she counters a strike by flipping him over. Once he's standing again, he raises his guard, aware of the shift in demeanour, and continues the strings, watching as she seeks an opportunity to get in.
He throws himself into a triple spin kick, and all three connect with her form, the last of which sends the girl to the ground. He takes several steps back and gives her an opportunity to get up, inhaling and exhaling more tainted air into the vicinity. He's flicked some ashes off of the cigarette, and the careless action angers her further.
With the loudest shout she could muster, Asuka runs and tackles the man to the ground, straddling him thereafter. She punches him fiercely across the face for taunting her – but he doesn't let her this time, and that makes a big difference in her ego – and then leans in close. Her expression's a borderline snarl as she plucks the cigarette from his lips and crushes it in her hand, ignoring the sizzling sensation against her skin.
Her guard's down due to her victory, though, and she's somehow been flipped over so that the Korean's lording over her, holding her in place so that she can't escape. He's pinned her legs down with his heavier ones too, because he gets a small satisfaction out of seeing somebody so vibrant and free chained down like this. He wonders if she felt the same when she was holding him down, "Don't. Let. Your. Guard. Down."
And then there's another woman's voice from atop the stairs as she shrieks, "Asuka! What are you doing?"
Hwoarang hurriedly jumps to his feet and looks between the karate student and her Mother. Without a second thought – because his mind's running too fast to really think of something better to do – he bolts out of the dojo. He doesn't wanna start something, but he's pretty sure that he's unintentionally done so by escaping.
By the time he's out, her Father's inside, "What happened?"
"There was a man here," her Mother says, and her lip's beginning to wobble, "A-a-and –"
"Ewww! Mum, it's not like that!" Asuka hisses in protest, standing.
"Your room," he remarks, folding his arms across his chest, "Now."
Xiaoyu's blowing bubblegum at the table and gives a very unenthusiastic 'oh' when she learns that Asuka's been banned from martial arts until the end of the year because 'it stimulates her sexual system far too much and far too early in her young life'; and Asuka's still raging, "Me and Hwoarang? Seriously? Doing that! I think I'd much rather be buried alive while listening to Justin Bieber! Just no, I can't imagine it!
"He just came into the dojo and started talking and then smoking! And then we started fighting!" she's exasperated – being banned from martial arts felt like a strike to the face, and it just continues to burn afterwards, "He's such a jerk! It's like he gets me in trouble deliberately and just for the fun of it, and I just want to hit him across his dumb face! I don't care how hot he is, he's still a jerk!"
Now, Xiaoyu's never really interested in training, unless she gets to see Jin without a shirt somehow - but hearing 'hot' drop from Asuka's mouth in reference to some kind of eye candy has made her ears prick up and gotten her attention entirely, "'Hot'? You think Hwoarang's hot? Oooh, you like him!"
"I do not! I can compliment someone on their appearance and still hate them! I hate him! There, I said it! I hate Hwoarang!"
But Xiaoyu merely giggles, pulls Miharu down as she arrives from the cafeteria line with a bunch of food for them all, and proceeds to ramble on about how she should toootally set up Asuka with Hwoarang and see how it goes; and for a moment, Asuka thinks that Xiaoyu's face is a punching bag, and she wants nothing more than to reach across the table and smack it.
The first week passes, and she thinks she's doing okay. She's thrown herself into studying.
The second week passes, and she thinks she's slipping a little. She's kicking air under the table.
The third week passes, and she's emotional. She didn't realise how much she needs to fight.
And then a pair of goggles hits her window and causes her to jump out of her seat, her knees grazing against the desk.
Hwoarang's downstairs and outside her window, and she hates that it sounds cheesy, but she mostly hates that she goes down to talk to him. She didn't mind him at the tournaments – thought his hair was stupid and that his vendetta against Jin, whilst justified in her eyes, made him seem entirely homosexual – but she doesn't understand why he's suddenly giving her all of this attention. Sure, it's not constant, but it's more noticeable now than it had been before.
"Haven't seen you at your dojo for a bit. Broken ankle?" he glances downward, readjusting the goggles he'd since picked up after launching them at her window, "Wait no, you're walking."
"Banned from martial arts for the rest of the year," she growls, jabbing him in a – whoa okay, very nice and well-defined pec is too light a description, but it'll have to do in her mind, "because you made it seem like we were fucking on the dojo floor!"
His laughter's uncontrollable, "Us? Fucking? Sure, whatever!"
Asuka folds her arms across her chest and unintentionally makes a semi-pouting face.
He settles and runs his fingers through his hair, "Sorry that I got you into trouble, Sunshine."
"Why 'Sunshine'?" she finally queries with a hiss.
"Why's my hair stupid?" he counters.
She huffs and turns on her heels, heading back inside before her parents find out she's out of bed, "Look, I don't have time for your bullshit. I'm going back to bed. And don't come bother me again or I'll –"
But he's seized her arm before she gets too far away, "Whoa wait, this isn't what I came here for."
"Hwoarang, my parents hate you because you 'captured my virginity and won't give it back'. Let me go back to them before I give 'em a reason to hate me too."
"Fuck what they think of you. Only thing that matters is how you see yourself. Come hang out with me for a while. We can go to a bunch of arcades and shit – you like that, right? I remember you mentioning that you liked to play Guilty Gear or something back in the recent tournament," he pulls himself closer, "Or we could go out to eat," he can see her pull a face, "Not like that, but as friends, you idiot."
"I have an exam tomorrow, and I need to study…"
"Fuck studying, fuck the exam, and fuck your parents."
Somehow inspired by his words, Asuka seizes his leather jacket and pulls it off of his body. She slips it over hers and begins to walk away from her home, and it takes a few moments before the Korean jogs after her, wondering where they're gonna go at twelve in the morning.
The arcades were first. A snack was second – he bought her a bunch of pocky, because he remembered that that was her favourite treat. A movie was third, and now they're prowling the streets at three.
"Lots of crooks here," Hwoarang says loudly, as though he's trying to get their attention, "So be careful, lady," and then he adds in a low whisper, "But I'm sure you're completely capable of handling yourself if any decide to inconspicuously sneak up on us. Your punches really fucking hurt, y'know. Took me a while to get that black eye to settle down and quit being on its period."
"Black eyes can't have periods, Hwoarang."
"I know they can't, I'm just being a poetic asshole."
There's movement behind them. Hwoarang glances at Asuka and smirks, "Hey, did you hear that?" and then he feigns idiocy, "Sounded like a cat. Let's go look for it! You could take it home and keep it with the other two you have. One of the bastards scratched me when I jumped over your little fence to get to you. You should get a leash on 'em."
"They're not dogs."
"Cats can have leashes too!"
At the same time, they turn and deliver a kick each to the man. There's another three behind him, and the Korean darts ahead to take care of those two as this one at the front stands to his feet again and produces a knife, daring Asuka to try again. The money in her pocket's worth more than she'll ever know, and his buddy registers a similar idea.
She ignores it anyway and elbows him in the face, watching as his body collides with the wall. she spins around and elbows the other in the face, and then kicks him in the side, flooring him. Up ahead, she's temporarily distracted by Hwoarang kneeing one foe in the face, leaping off of the wall closest to him, and then delivers a roundhouse to the other man – and he glances at her with intense eyes that make her bite her lip, "Focus!"
The word brings her back to reality, and she weaves out of the way of the man. He looks at one of his friends, and they both advance towards her, throwing out whatever they could at her. But she was too focused for that and too good for them – she was an Iron Fist participant, for God's sake – and she fights and fights and fights, and she's never felt so alive. She has never felt so alive.
With rebel yells, they fought until all four dared not to stir again.
"Crime-fighting," he says to her with a grin, dusting his hands, "Isn't that what you wanted?" and they're walking again, walking out of this alley and into a main street, "You said so, on the boat. Well, then again, I was a crook once, I guess… You gonna fight me too? Wouldn't mind being handcuffed by you, haha. Well, I would really but, I hope you appreciate the joke at least."
"How do you remember all this?" she asks, shaking her head. She needs to know, "The arcade, the pocky, and now this?"
She's been so lost in her thoughts that she doesn't realise that he's effectively trapped her against the wall. A hand's beside her head, and the other's idly hanging in his pocket. Hwoarang asks her again, his voice low and it sends chills down her spine – and again, she doesn't even notice until his mouth stops moving, "Why's my hair stupid?"
Asuka's not very confident or knowledgeable in this field, but she thinks, she thinks, that she might've somehow developed feelings for him. Maybe because he encouraged her to fight for the reasons she wanted to instead of just to take up the dojo, or maybe because she found him stupidly attractive or infuriatingly fun to be around – she doesn't know. But she knows she's curious. She's definitely curious about his lips.
"Because," she finally manages to bite out, wondering why her pride's forsaken her from speaking and from reaching out and pulling down his goggles so that his hair falls around his face, framing it, "It looks better like this," and she's still holding onto his goggles when she asks, "Why 'Sunshine'?"
He smiles, "Because you make me happy."
She reaches for him and claims his mouth with hers, and for several seconds she forgets that she's out with him at three in the morning, without her parents' consent, with a man that her parents hate. But she does remember that it's not just fighting that makes that little spark – he makes her feel so alive again in a world so dead.
She's still alive.
He breaks it first and murmurs by her ear, "Come run away with me. Just for a bit. I'll bring you back home safely when you're willing to come back."
"I don't want to go home," she remarks, staring up at his face.
"Then you're not going home."
There's not much else to do at this time of the morning, but they find a way to make it work, hand in hand.