Author's note: This chapter has been edited (15/12/2011).
Chapter Thirty-Six: The Conclusion
"Take care everyone!" Miharu yelled with a grin, giving everyone – even Hwoarang - a hug, "We'll see you fighters here next tournament, okay? And you'd better show up!"
Hwoarang grinned, "Yeah yeah. You'd better be there."
She nodded rapidly and released him, standing alongside a silent Ling Xiaoyu and a sitting Panda. They watched as Michelle and Julia went through the boarding gates to their flight to America, and as the other two did the same for South Korea. As their forms vanished, they moved to the window, waiting to watch the plane fly high.
'Leavin now. c u lot in about 2 or so hrs. Will take bus from Icheon.'
"Sir, please turn that off," a hostess chastised, tapping Hwoarang's leg.
"Yeah, just doing that now," he switched it off and began to tilt the seat back.
"And we need you to keep that as it was for take off," she growled.
He quirked an eyebrow and lifted it back up, watching her leave. Afterward, he glanced at Razer, who was on his left, Unknown Soldier shirt on with the hood all the way up. He sighed and mimicked her slouching position, tugging his dirty green jacket closer to his form, resting the base of his skull at the top of the uncomfortable chair.
The plane took off slowly and steadily, and there was little turbulence. As it rose, so did his doubts and fears for the future. How was the gang after Roh-Hwang's death? Where did they bury him, if at all? How was he going to help Razer get through all that bullshit with Kazama's demise and all? He wasn't sure he'd be able to, particularly after he received that letter fro –
Giggling? He turned his head to the left again and saw Razer flipping through the photos with a smile on her face. He leant over and peered at them, seeing the pimp Lei picture. He grinned and spoke, "Pimp my cop."
"It is kinda funny," she flipped to the next one of Hwoarang being smacked upside the head by her.
"That one hurt."
"Yeah, I kinda noticed considering how your teeth are gritting in the shot."
The Greek smiled. It soon faded after she turned over to the next photo, seeing the shot of her and Jin staring at each other. She felt her cheeks heat up as she realised how close they actually were, and she could feel the tears biting at her eyes again. She didn't want to cry right now – she wanted to be able to remember without feeling that pain.
Her memories were interrupted, "He really cared about you. You can see it there, look at the smile."
She nodded and quickly flipped to the next one, finding Xiaoyu and Miharu in their stances, pretending to fight each other. In the background was Panda, who appeared to be acting as the referee. The shot that followed afterward was of Julia sitting under a tree, blissfully unaware that her photo was being taken. The one that came after that was just of the area in general – everybody but Lei was in the photo, who had taken it from a distance.
It was around twenty or so minutes before they put the pictures away in the pocket of the seat in front of her. Comments were generally sparse – when Jin was there, there were none. She leant back in the chair and sighed, looking up at the gadgets in the ceiling, noting how the seatbelt light was still on – and there was a light touch to her hand. She looked, noting how Hwoarang was resting half of his hand on top of hers.
It wasn't that that interested her, though. It was the look of apprehension on his face.
She furrowed her eyebrows, "Something wro –"
"I've… been drafted."
She released a breath she didn't realise she'd been holding, "You're kidding, right Red?" Not now. Not now…
"I wish I was," he was grabbing something from his back pocket – the letter – and then he handed it to her.
She skimmed it, unable to read any of the Hangul, but noticed 'SpecOps' in English. She pointed to the word, "Is that where you will be? Like, your unit or something? Your place in the military?"
"Mhm," he took the paper off of her, folded it and crammed it back into his pocket again, "Not lookin' forward to this. Still… Every Korean guy's gotta go through this sometime. It'll be a matter of time before its Seong-Hada or something," the mental image of that guy in the army… he shook his head.
"Is this why you've been so quiet?"
He looked to the other side of the plane with an absent mind, "Yeah."
"How long have you known this for?"
"Since Kazama's match against Paul."
"And you didn't once think of telling me," she remarked blandly.
"I did. I just didn't know how to, or when the right time would be," he scratched the back of his head.
"And now is obviously a good time."
"Better now than by a letter in the morning."
Razer sighed and looked down at her uncertain reflection in the window, "I suppose."
"I'm worried about it."
"I doubt you'll get killed."
"No no no, I mean… I don't wanna lose my hair. Being bald doesn't sound at all awesome."
She blinked and looked back to Hwoarang, who was now looking at his feet, genuinely looking uncomfortable. She tried to picture the man beside her with no hair – and the image eventually came to mind, causing her to laugh profusely.
"It's not funny!"
Razer's laughter soon subsided. She smiled and looked at the chair in front of her, resting her head on his shoulder, "So you're leaving tomorrow morning, then?"
"I'll be back before you know it," he remarked optimistically, "You won't know I'm gone. I'll write and I'll call, all at the same time."
"Makes me wonder how you'll fit wanking into the picture…"
"I have two hands, idiot," he shook his head and mock-growled, slouching in the seat, "You've been around me for way too long. What happened to that girl who would shift uncomfortably whenever I said 'ass' instead of 'butt'?"
She shut her eyes, "Times change, Hwoarang. One minute… you are flying, soaring above all of your troubles and doubts, all your woes… Nothing can touch you. No one can lay a finger on you as you are guarded by that happiness. And then, bricks are pulled from underneath you, and your world crumbles to its destruction."
Bricks like Mum, Baek, Jin. He sighed a little, "Doesn't stop you from rebuilding it."
"Not when the biggest support beam is leaving tomorrow."
The Korean smiled and rested his head on hers, "I'll be back. I promise."
"Don't leave me like Jin did. If I lost you… I… I have no idea what I would do."
"I'm an Iron Fist Fighter! No douche's gonna even think about shooting me."
"Yeah, you're right. They'd be blinded by the shine of your bald head."
A low growl emitted from the Blood Talon's throat. He sat up and leant across the armrest to tickle her sides. Considering Razer was trapped, well… this was gonna be easy. But tomorrow… Tomorrow wouldn't be.
It was the typical type of goodbye you'd hate.
There were tears. On my part, at least, and I'm pretty sure his too. Couldn't see too well.
I don't know how I'm going to do this. I don't know how he will, either.
It's the last time I will see Hwoarang for two years.
Considering he'd been in my life every day for the last few years… This is going to be so hard.
There's this vague memory I have… I was about fourteen, fifteen. He was at camp.
According to Baek, I was in a really crummy, angry mood and looked like I would kill everything or something –
There I go again. Trying to fill that… void.
He had held me tightly, promised he'd come back and that he'd look after himself.
I held him back, promised that I'd be waiting and that I'd be alright.
He promised to call and write, and I promised to respond every time.
And as I watched him speed away on his motorbike to the barracks in the mountains…
Just like I watched Jin walk away to the final match, to his death…
I knew, I know, that you both deserve better than me.
Whether you're just like me, or not.
Author's Note: It's done! I can't believe this story has finally been posted up completely! Woo! I started writing this in April 2007, and I finished it in October 2007, and now on the 21st of February 2008 (yes people, if you haven't figured yet, I'm in Australia, and us Aussies are a day ahead of the rest of ya –eyes America, for example- XD) 'Just Like Me' has been completely posted –sigh of relief- I will say, it felt like forever.
I never dreamed I'd get such a large response for this story. I mean, it is my first story, the first serious story I have written and had the intention of posting for others to see. Yes, it is fan fiction, but whatever, it was worth the experience. I mean, come on, I received a truckload of hits and I got a hell of a lot of reviews, both of which I find amazing seeing as it's my first story. There were three people who really really really really really kept me going in my times of doubt, and I have to thank them specifically:
YOU ROCK GIRL! I always loved reading your lengthy reviews, I mean you picked up things that I never picked up myself –is still waiting for a response on what you meant by 'sexual tension' between Razer and Jin in Chapter 16– XD! Even though you don't know Tekken that well, I think you are picking up on it pretty fast, so kudos to you in that respect too. Thank you for your input throughout all this time, I truly appreciate it. Thank you for everything.
YOU RULE BUDDY! XD. You were basically my first reviewer. You didn't know me or anything at all. Thanks so much for sticking by me and this story! –huggles- I loved reading your reviews, you made me feel like I was a proper author, and you made me feel like I was communicating my ideas properly. You basically understood everything I put into this fic. You really made me feel like all this work was worth it. So thanks!
And lastly, My Beta, who'll remain nameless because I think she'll strangle me if do I name her XDDD:
If you're reading this, thank you so much for everything you've done and for all the input you put into 'Just Like Me'. Yes I know its short but there isn't really much else I can say, unless typing 'thank you' a hell of a lot of times counts. Shall we test? XD Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you -… K I think you get the picture. THANKS! XD
And I can't forget all my other reviewing buddies, so thank you to: Marron Everard (-throws Sephiroth at you- XD!), Divinely Ethereal (thank you for your advice), Chichi4goku (thanks for your enthusiasm), story+time (thank you for your support), Esther-Diana (thanks!), Dynasty021 (lmfaoooo, I still can't believe you've reviewed this fic, you're one of my fave authors and its still a bit scary, but anyway, thank you so so so much, –huggles- Respect dude!), Demon's bliss (thank you for your support, buddy), AngelicStorm (thanks!), DEGxMDM (thanks!), PopShop (-throws Reno at you-Oh XD!), Hidden Fan (thank you for your support), and lastly, katana777 (thanks!).
Well, now I'm off to go and put up some other fan fics outside of the Tekken area. Keep an eye out for 'Better Than Me', I'll start posting it up soon. 'Better Than Me' will be focused on the events in Tekken 4 (as you'd probably expect XD), and is a little different to 'Just Like Me'. I feel that it is more dramatic, which was deliberate because Tekken 4 lacked a supernatural opponent. I wanted to stray away from Adventure for a bit and have a play around in another field. So yeah. See you all later, and again, thanks!