Author: ChemicalCucum PM
Three conflicting ambitions cast Jin Kazama into a battle to save humankind, himself and those he loves. But just how can he run from himself when the world will not let him? After everything, after failing those who trusted him, dragging the world down to the depths of lunacy, perhaps Jin Kazama is consigned to suffering.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Suspense - Jin K. & Hwoarang - Chapters: 29 - Words: 116,095 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 04-10-13 - Published: 09-27-12 - id: 8560393
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: Figured I'd give this a better introduction as it's quite drawn out and therefore hard to get into for casual readers. Based after the events of Tekken 6 this is mostly drama and suspense with big doses of angst. I'm focused on characterisation of Jin and Hwoarang, as well as challenging my ability to write characters. This is partly a sequel to Master which is Hwoarang-centric, but that one is ignorable (And due a re-write). This story hasn't taken any likers but feedback and critique is really appreciated.
There was awareness that putting things right, making amends and fixing all wrongs was a difficult process; so much harder than it was putting things asunder. It was a knowledge that disturbed him and only reinforced his guilt over the wrongs he had committed, but Jin Kazama was determined to put things right.
Already two years had passed. Two years since the last King of Iron Fist tournament. He had not announced another, as there was no goal, no prize or true need for it. He had lost it anyway.
The Mishima Zaibatsu had changed. No longer was it the central hub for tyranny and despair, but a haven of beneficial resources and philanthropy. He had become determined to right his wrongs, and thus had spent the last two years carefully balancing the company and donating to causes to restructure the damage caused by relentless war.
It had not been easy and he was still on edge. Despite the peace, despite his deepest wishes that all things where alright, even despite Nina and Eddy being at his side almost constantly, Jin was anxious. About what? His father. His grandfather. They were quiet, much too quiet, and their sudden silence made living and enjoying life a difficult challenge for the youngest of the bloodline; his anxiety cast all things into doubt.
What scheme will there now be, what other exploit will cast him back into chaos and refuse him rest? How much more suffering did he need to endure before he was brunt clean and freed from it all? These were his thoughts.
The day was sunny, air fresh and the sky was the warmest of blues. Birdsong was in his ears, clouds of purest white in his vision. He could feel every step he took on the tarmac, could feel the heat of living and the words and colours of the people around him. The local shops were all back in business and life had become normal, fixed and it soothed his regrets.
Though he was still feared by many and on occasion harassed with vile words and a thrown object or two, it seemed the world had forgiven Jin Kazama on his change of heart and had seen his intentions for their truth, relenting to pass over him. Now he walked the familiar streets, feeling happy, hands in pockets and eyes always on the lookout. Jin gave himself a moment to pause and smile as he approached the lone figure of a girl sitting by a water fountain.
It took her a moment to notice his presence, and she gave a happy cry, bouncing up onto her feet as he approached, waving energetically.
"Jiiinnn! I've been waiting for so long for you!"
She was slinging her bag onto her back absent-mindedly, grinning and giggling, eyes focused only on him, pigtails waving in gentle harmony with the breeze. Jin smiled; she always brightened his day.
"Hey Xiaoyu, sorry I'm late, you know how it is," he shrugged, allowing the pigtailed girl to wrap her arm around his, hugging him tightly.
"You're here now Jin so let's just enjoy the day together huh? Tell me everything about your day ok?" She smiled that sweet smile he loved so much and he nodded his assent.
Of all the people he would ever know she would always love him, always forgive him and pass over his shortcomings. His previous apathy for her had waned considerably. Her gentle words and sighs, delicate prodding, concerned glances and warm brown eyes were a balm to his aches, pains and fears.
He had never been in love and he doubted that feeling in honesty when he regarded her, but she was a happiness to him, and he loved her for that at least.
Dark hallways, phosphorous lights behind glass windows revealing an array of equipment and individuals bustling about in white lab coats. He strutted down the corridors, confident, sure. He was feeling good, on top of the world. Finally after two long years he finally had the opportunity to put his plans into motion.
He reached the end of the hall. Standing before the door he smiled; now was the time to put it all into motion.
He pushed through the door, striding into the wide laboratory room. There were three people present, plus a fourth if one counted the individual currently lying down on a bed in the far right of the room. It was this individual he approached, eyeing the sleeping face intently, his smile widening.
"Sir, the operation was a complete success. There is one hundred percent fusion between the subject's tissue and the Devil cells. We estimate he'll be up and ready in about a week's time."
He simply nodded, grinning.
"Perfect. Make sure to keep an eye on the tissue samples. Begin initiation of the next stage of the operation and report back when instigated."
The scientist nodded, jotting down a few notes on the clip board in hand before turning away from her superior. The man turned to the individual on the bed and looked him over carefully.
This one had been the perfect candidate. Not only were they physically fit and able to bear the strain of the operation, they had the desired mind-set. This one's lust for power and violence was admirable and their past actions rendered them a virtual unknown. Nobody would miss this one, nobody would know.
He looked down at the face, the face of a young, pale and well-built man. Scruffy black hair no longer than his eyes, nose large, jaw prominent, the trace of stubble coating his jawline. He was a fine specimen of health.
He reached out and slapped the sleeping man on the face, startling him awake with an inhuman growl. He stood back calmly as the young male snapped up, lashing out at his attacker, eyes bright and wild with callous fury.
He considered the ferocity of those eyes, their greyness with the glint of vile red dancing as the subject's head turned. There was no reason behind those eyes, nothing but the desire for violence. Cold and callous to life yet full of fire and lust for hot blood and stinging tears, so bright they could blind, entrap, ensnare.
He was truly perfect.
"Calm yourself Enzo or I'll have to put you down," he stated calmly, smirking.
The man, Enzo, pulled back realising whom it was before him. Quickly the fire of his eyes died down, replaced by cold grey hardness. He pulled his large outstretched hand back to himself, smirking back in return, demeanour becoming calm.
"Many apologies sir, I wasn't expecting you."
He waved a hand, "Not to worry. How are you feeling?"
Enzo paused, his eyes lidded over, complexion darkening. He suddenly grinned wickedly, clenching and unclenching his hands, staring at them with an almost maddened expression.
"Invincible. Already all I want to spread myself out."
This answer pleased him, "Good. In a few days' time I will send you out. I will be back then to inform you of your next task, but for now you will remain here, letting your…" he was thoughtful for a moment, "Contagion grow more potent."
Enzo gave a nod, "Thank you sir."
Footsteps behind him, and he caught the glint of devilish intent in Enzo's face, as he turned to the figure behind him.
"Kazuya sir, the second phase of the operation is under way in the East wing laboratory."
Kazuya smiled, not turning to the scientist behind him, eyes focused on the licentious gaze frozen in his subject's face, "Very well. I'll be off."
One last look at Enzo before he exited, satisfied by the thrilled fire in the young male's eyes. Yes, this was going to go very well indeed…
He could not shake the feeling of being watched. He knew he was paranoid, he had to be, but something about the past two weeks had just been off every time he stepped outside his front door. Jin was certain he was being watched.
He was more often than not a shut in, generally keeping in touch with friends and clients via his personal assistant, e-mail and the odd phone call, but Xiaoyu's insistence that he get outside had won out in the end; she could always get him to do whatever she wanted.
As it was, he had been spending all of his time outside with her, chaperoned from a distance by Eddy or Nina. He spent his days eating out, shopping and taking his sort-of girlfriend around various theme parks. While he was definitely having fun, he couldn't shake the feeling of eyes on his back, something he had not felt before at all.
There were moments when he caught glimpses out of the corner of his eye of a shadowed figure, standing just beyond vision. But when he turned to look they were gone. On one occasion he could have sworn he had seen the face of the shadow, with cold grey eyes staring directly at him, but only for an instant.
For the first time in a long time, Jin began to feel apprehensive. Was this it? Was his world about to change once again, become chaos, became mad? He was not afraid, but he was unhappy, worried. Regardless of his desires, regardless of his attempts to put it aside the figure remained, teasing him out of the corner of his eye, at the edges of his thoughts.
"Seriously Jin, you're too paranoid!" Xiaoyu was lightly slapping him on the arm, ice cream in hand, "You need to relax; everything is fine!"
"I am not so sure Xiao, I'm really not," he replied, staring at the spot where the shadow had been moments prior, for the fourth time that day.
His suspicions were confirmed a few days later when just as he was unlocking the front door to his modest down-town condo; Jin had turned to see the figure of a man standing directly across the street from him. He had only appeared in a brief second when Jin's back had been turned, sending alarm bells ringing when he caught a glance out of the corner of his eye.
He whipped around to look at the man, who did not disappear this time. Jin could not help but feel his heart catch in his throat as he locked gazes with the man, his features dark on an otherwise pale face, body shrouded in black.
He was frozen in the moment, face to face with his stalker, his dreaded revelation: stuck and exposed. The features of the man where clouded but they held him tight, bound him by shock, his blood as cold as ice in his veins. Was that a smile? A snicker? He looked so familiar and yet not. He looked wrong somehow; he was a blur except for the eyes.
"Is something the matter, sir?"
He was pulled from the snare by his chauffeur, who had come up the steps behind him. He shook himself and looked at the elderly man; the world had been silent, still, the illusion breaking by the gentle timbre of concern.
"N-no it's nothing, I am fine," he replied, looking back across the street.
The figure was gone.
He resolved to stay indoors for a while there on then. It wasn't that he was frightened, definitely not, but he had the suspicion that either his father or grandfather had something to do with this; therefore he wanted answers. Neither Nina nor Eddy had caught hide or hair of the figure in their guard duties, and their searching for the mysterious figure had proved fruitless.
This fact bothered Jin immensely. The air felt heavier almost, and he found it difficult to concentrate. His sleep became restless and haphazard, his mind plagued by the image of the figure's eyes. There was something about them that just wasn't right. But what?
Was it that glimmer of a colour he could not place? Somewhere between red and…other? A colour he could not understand, a colour that was but was not, and there was only one other person whose eyes struck him with that sensation of otherness.
He had managed to fall into a deep and troubled sleep after a third day of nothing but wakeless nights and tumbling of sweat-stained sheets. In his dreams Jin was haunted by the visage of his waking life, walking through a miasma of greys that shaded the world in a rippling haze, those eyes constantly flashing from cold grey to a fiery red to that horrid otherness. In his dreams he came to know fully what it was that the figure reminded him of: himself, his father, and the devil inside them both.
His dreams where heavy and plagued with dust. Jin was rooted to the spot in a desert, the crumbling temple of Azazel blurry on the horizon. He was forced to see the world burn, a voice whispering over and over how it all was his fault; that he was a monster, that nothing he could do would right all his wrongs. Throughout all the torment he had struggled against his invisible bondage, screaming for release while the grey eyes tormented him, morphing into the eyes of his father, his grandfather, his own self.
The world burned, his flesh seared, his eyes refused to open against the buffeting of hot dust and stinging ash, tears lacing his dirty cheeks in reaction to the pain. He gave a warbling cry when he suddenly found he was forced to stare into the eyes of his own self, under the influence of Devil.
Now no matter how hard he tried he could not close his eyes, and they burned with sharp agony as he looked upon himself: filled with revulsion and self-hatred, detesting himself as he seen all of his hate, anger and malice flash briefly through his mind before him in the contrast image before him. He felt his mind begin to tear at the seams.
When he finally found the force to close his bleeding eyes and pull away unable to stand it anymore, there was a voice, barely a whisper. Soft, delicate and soothing. Jin cracked an eye open and his vision was filled with plumes of purple smoke. Small, wispy tendrils danced across his vision and caressed his cheek; the ash began to flutter to the ground like grey snowflakes, no longer whipping into his sight.
"What is this?" He mumbled, opening his eyes further to see that his reflection was no longer present. In its place stood the silhouette of a woman, smoke covered her figure and he could not make her features out.
"Be still Jin, you must listen to me carefully." The woman spoke. Her voice echoed in his head, spoken and yet not spoken, far away and distant as if she was speaking to him from a great distance. In his mind he thought of water and drowning and death.
"They are coming for you Jin, you must leave. Please abandon the Zaibatsu; if you stay they will surely kill you."
Jin felt confused, the sudden quickening of his conscious mind coming to the fore. Wasn't this just a dream? Why did this feel so real?
"Please leave. Go to your friends and seek out Asuka Kazama, your cousin. She can help you but please don't stay here. You need to go!"
The woman's voice was urgent; panic laced her words over the divide. Jin registered this only vaguely; more concerned over the information he had just been given: Asuka Kazama was his cousin?
It was an unusual piece of information to fixate on, and he would consider it often why that was so, given the pain in his eyes, the searing of his flesh, the reality of this dream tearing at his mind with microscopic slashes and the presence of this woman so familiar yet somehow distant.
He supposed he could have been concerned over whom the woman was, yet Asuka Kazama was his first fascination.
He felt himself snap just then and everything faded in an instant of white light. Jin's eyes broke open and he jolted upright in his bed. He glanced around rapidly, taking in the familiar sights of his dark room, breathing heavily.
"A dream…" he rubbed his forehead, "A very strange dream…"
He sat for a moment, thinking hard about all that had happened. His heart raced, sweat caked his body, causing his shirt to cling uncomfortably to his body. But the familiar discomforts of corporeal reality were ignored, his mind was transfixed. That dream felt too real and when he stopped to consider it he noted that the dream also felt familiar.
It was like the dreams he used to have about Devil inside of him. The entity enjoyed tormenting Jin in his earlier days, and made more and more frequent appearances before his eventual possession. He had not had a dream like that in over two years, since he had been controlling his emotions as well as taking medication to help suppress it.
He glanced to his bedside table, noting the bottle of drugs there. He had taken them earlier today, and so far everything had been fine, so why this dream?
Perhaps it was not Devil this time.
He thought about the contents of the dream, analysing each moment with precise consideration. He noted that for the first portion the dream felt just like that: a dream. His encounter with the eyes and his own self nothing more than a paranoid jumble of memories and thoughts as was common dream fare, the second half though…
That woman. She was not of him; but she was familiar in a way, very familiar. She felt like him and yet not like him. He could not tell if her countenance was malevolent or well-meaning, but there was a hard reality to her words that Jin could not shake.
Had it been a premonition? A warning? Somehow he doubted her presence and words were just a dream but he couldn't be sure. He certainly did feel like things were going places that he did not like. He had been on edge, and his recent shadowy stalker had solidified the feeling.
He fell back onto the bed with a sigh. He'd sleep for the rest of the evening and in the morning think more about his predicament.
He woke first thing in the morning and had proceeded to dress quickly. It took him a shorter amount of time than he had first anticipated coming to his conclusion. He had decided to heed the warnings in his dream and leave for a while to see how events would unfold.
Informing no one, Jin left his home quickly, taking his motorcycle rather than alerting his chauffeur; he'd head to Xiaoyu's for the meantime.
On the way there he thought about the other piece of information he had been given in his dream: the issue of Asuka Kazama. Initially he had thought it only a coincidence and had not spent much time mulling over her sharing of his name, but the more he thought now, the more he realised the similarity between her and his mother. He knew she had siblings, but they never met and he was unaware of any other family except her, his father and grandfathers.
He reflected how this knowledge was the first thing his mind had latched onto during his hellish vision, and yet until now he had not considered it.
Finding her would be easy but explaining the situation would be difficult. He did not know how much she knew about him, though he suspected she was in the same boat as he with regards to knowing about their relation.
He was lucky to catch Xiaoyu leaving her apartment as he pulled up, smiling as she squealed in delight at the unexpected visit.
"JIN! You came to visit me as a surprise didn't you!" She was beaming, bouncing up to him and wrapping her arms around him in a tight embrace, pigtails light, airy. Jin found himself fixated on them as she approached, their sway a comforting sight.
He held her back lightly for a moment as she clung to him, sighing a little and expression grave; even her presence could not relieve him.
"I'm sorry to say no Xiao; I came to ask a favour."
She stepped back, concern etched on her face, "Anything Jin. What's wrong?"
"This may sound strange but…I got a message, a message that things aren't safe for me right now and that I have to leave. Can you take me in? Just for a while. I need to lay low and see how things go."
Xiaoyu looked at him thoughtfully, "Yes Jin gladly but…" she tapped the side of her chin with a finger, "But no funny stuff!" Jin smiled despite himself.
"Promise." He held up his hands and Xiaoyu grinned.
Jin spent the next few days laying low, keeping an eye open for any news from the Zaibatsu. Nina had informed him that an individual had been around several times, harassing his personal assistant about meeting with him but had been told on all occasions that Jin was simply too busy to make appointments.
When Jin asked Nina to describe the individual she simply said, "He was funny, with strange grey eyes." That was all Jin had needed to know.
With Xiaoyu his anxiety did not grip him as it had and his sleep was restful, quiet. With her there was repose, a sense of safety despite everything. Of course she had enquired into the nature of his predicament, with that brown-nosing kind of concern she had only for him, but he would not say.
Further reports later on in the week informed Jin that his house had been broken into. They left no mess apart from a broken backdoor and his room turned upside down, obviously looking for something. With his suspicions confirmed, Jin decided to hunt down his cousin.