Disclaimer: Don't own Tekken. If I did, Bloodline Rebellion would already be out on console.
Author's Note: …Um. Hi. Idk why I wrote this X] But it is a companion piece to "Decoy". Ironically both were written to Paramore, and are the titles of Paramore songs o.o lolololololololololol. But anyway. I haven't written anything with these two, and I enjoy this pairing. I think it's about time I supplied the Hwoasuka fans a little bit of goodness ;) Also? I don't write Asuka often (the only story of mine she has actually appeared in to date is "With Me", and even then, barely), or very well imo, so I've tried my best, and am quite pleased with the outcome :)
I'm not the type to wallow in self pity. I don't sit there in my little emo hole, wishing that whatever problem would fix itself. I don't sit there, feeling sorry for myself, wishing that the problem would take pity on me and flutter away. Or, in a totally not realistic example, wish the boy I like would look my way. For example.
…I said for example! Don't look at me that way, I'm telling the truth! Honest.
Fine, shut up. On with the story.
There's this boy at Mishima High, my new school. He's nineteen and his name is Hwoarang. He's about… 6'0 and he's Korean. Orangey hair (though we're all aware that this isn't his real colour, though he likes to believe it is), he's pretty much never seen without his goggles, smokes, does Tae Kwon Do, hates my cousin, does decently in his classes (but excels in maths and music), has a motorbike, and has a gorgeous rebel grin that causes at least ninety percent of the girls at this school to drop everything they're doing and just drool.
There's this mysterious, bad boy feel about him, and every girl digs that. Even me, though I don't like to admit it. Girls are naturally attracted to bad boys, especially if they're loners like this one. Some think they can change him, others want him for his looks or for protection, and others want their man to be like him. And then there's this small percentage of people, like me, who just want to get to know him. Become his friend. Maybe more, if I'm lucky.
Uh – I meant if they're lucky – shut the hell up.
We've spoken a couple of times. Nothing too major or drastic. Either a 'get out of my way', or 'nice kick', or 'you dropped this' and so on. And I'm left with this tingling feeling in the pit of my stomach, just hearing his rugged voice. It is annoying, I'll admit, but I like it. It's like when you win a fight, there's this massive, sudden rush running throughout your system. Or when you prove someone wrong, that swarming feeling of 'in your face, I was right, you weren't'.
He knows who I am. He knows I'm there, he knows I am the relative of his rival, he knows I'm two grades below him.
He knows that I'm a fighter, not a cryer.
But… he doesn't know I exist, you know? It's difficult to explain. Like, fine I'm physically there, I'm a real person, and he acknowledges that I'm alive, but… I don't exist to him. In a sea of girls, whether they're fat, thin, muscular, smart, stupid, blonde, sexy, pretty and so on; I'm just a girl. I don't really wanna turn to a crummy flora analogy like Julia Chang would, but… I'm a tree in a forest, never to be observed. Kinda like that.
I passed a couple of tables in the cafeteria one day with my tray in hand, food daintily placed atop it, when I heard a girl by the name of Miharu sobbing. I had learnt to ignore her after my brief time here, but nonetheless, what the hell was she crying about this time? Did she break a nail? Or did the all guys find out about her dye job?
"I n-never thought i-it'd happen…" she moaned, slamming her head into the table viciously.
One of her friends squeezed her shoulder tighter. She too was teary, "Don't cry, Mi! Everyone's devastated!"
She wasn't kidding. Pretty much all the girls who were here were in one way or another, mourning, whether by crystal clear tears, elevated bitching, sad faces, or silent fuming. My brown eyes curiously scanned amongst the miserable kids, wondering what the commotion was about. I remained motionless in the process, standing just before a table of my own. I didn't really have friends. I was seen as an 'outcast' by the female populace.
Suddenly, the door opened, and a multitude of smudged, mascara-outlined eyes flicked up to the two intruding people. I too looked, watching Ling Xiaoyu enter, her high-pitched laugh bouncing between the walls. She was everything I detest, right down to the 'innocent girl' façade. Jin is absolutely smitten by her – I fail to see why.
Her hand was connected to something, and when I saw that firm hand and soft skin, I knew exactly who it was. Right up to the scrunched up blue sleeves, the open white shirt, the baggy pants, the bag lazily slinging off his shoulder… There was no doubt in my mind that she, in all her hyperactive blight, was dragging Hwoarang inside.
So, Hwoarang. It seems that you… finally set foot into the forest and lobbed down a tree.
A shame that this one is diseased.
They moved into the line and began ordering some food. She excitedly rambled about the latest celebrity gossip, and he looked just plain bored. Yet, he also looked partially satisfied, as though he had accomplished something, a personal goal. Whatever it is, I don't wanna know. For all I know, it could be the completed mission of 'taking her 'alleged' virginity', or just 'getting in her pants' in general. Ugh, men.
…Considering it's a 'partial' satisfaction, maybe he got into her bra? Wait, why the hell am I thinking on this?
While the rest of the wretched witches wailed, I took my food and left the vicinity, deciding that it'd be better to eat outside in peace and quiet. One cannot devour the holy food of lasagne in the presence of depressed little children. At least I'm holding up fine. Sure, Hwoarang's hot, we've got common interests (as far as I know), but there's no reason for me to get all teary and fight tooth and nail for him. No one is that important.
Maybe this way, I can get the hell over him and find someone who is willing to look my way. Maybe I can befriend Julia and just hang out in the library for every waking moment, ignoring every male student within five hundred metres, and ignoring the name-calling of the other girls. It sounds like a good idea to me. Or maybe I could switch it up a little, and I can just go and live in the gym. Trade books for fists.
That's what I did that day. I devoured my lunch at lightning speed in the peace and quiet of the garden, and then left. I put all my anger into my fists and feet, slamming them repeatedly into the idle sandbag in the gym. It helped, a lot. What helped even more was putting all my childish jealousy to work, and pictured Midget's face on the damn thing. Beat her porcelain face to a bloody pulp. Break that prissy nose. Split open those fluro pink lips.
…I cannot believe I just admitted that.
My attacks on the item got fiercer and fiercer. Before I knew it, three and a half months had gone by. I was much stronger than I was before (a fact that Jin was indeed surprised about, questioning my motives for throwing myself headfirst into training), and while I did feel better, my jealousy did not dwindle, nor did my attraction to the asshole.
It's like he's just decided to go and carve his basic stats and a full body shot of himself (in colour) into my brain. Maybe he whacked in a few high-definition video clips while he was at it, deliberately making all of his actions go in slow motion (minus the slow-mo talking. Slow-mo talk sucks). Shove in some audio of that heart-melting voice, put everything on repeat, and we're done.
A personal, irremovable shrine inserted into my mind by Hwoarang himself.
Wait… I'm rambling again, and I'm sure none of that crap made sense to you. Sorry.
See what I mean, though? Even three and a half months on, whilst the rest of the populace admire him… um… loudly and openly, I don't. I admire him in silence, keeping it locked away deep within the closest. My admiration and… crush, I guess (if you tell anyone, I'm putting my foot up your ass) is so far back in the closet that it can see Narnia.
Now that's an analogy!
But in all seriousness, this can't be healthy, right? I mean I'm even getting in trouble at school for day dreaming in class. I often wonder what its like to ride that motorbike around, to feel the wind rush through my hair, to feel it caress my bare skin and ruffle my clothes, wheeling through the road freely without a care in the world… whilst my arms are wrapped around the best six pack I've undoubtedly ever seen. You should see them, honestly –
I remember that got sent out of class for that particular day dream. It had consumed me entirely, to the point where I swore at the teacher for spooking me. I mean I've had worse – who in class would have a sexual fantasy about him in a Science laboratory? What, do I find beakers erotic or something? Lay me on my back, oh you sexy man, and swipe the test tubes out from underneath me! Do me! …Excuse my unusual, sarcastic, imagination.
And even out in the hall, I was still thinking on it. I wrapped my arms around myself, pretending that it was him. I wanted that to happen one day. I wanted my dream to be a reality. Stupid lovesickness - …no wait. Crush-sickness. Yeah. That's better. I don't 'claim' to love him like just about everyone else does. It's stupid. There is no such thing as 'love at first sight'. Anyone who tells you that is lying. Hmm, I wonder if he believes in such a thing?
I think we have an emergency.
This has gotta be unhealthy. It's almost like… like… an obsession, of some form. I mean I'm not as bad as the others, but –
…I think we have a real emergency.
Stupid brain! Why did you have to go and do this to me?! It's not fair, and you know it! You're not helping the cause! I yelled silently, watching as from the classroom opposite to mine, Hwoarang emerged. He had this deep scowl on his face, and his eyebrows were furrowed together. The teacher behind him clearly looked furious, veins almost popping out of his neck. The teacher growled something along the lines of 'I will be seeing you after class'. The Korean merely muttered 'whatever' and leant against the wall, just as I was.
The door slammed shut. The sound echoed throughout the empty corridors.
His hands were buried deep in his pockets, and his eyes remained on his shoes, as though he was in deep thought. I bit my lip, quickly adjusting my arms so that they were folded across my stomach, and watched him for a few moments. Here he is, in the flesh, standing not-so-far-away from me. The orange hair, the goggles, the lot.
Despite myself, I opened my mouth, "What did you get in trouble for?"
"Wasn't paying attention," he replied, looking up. Oh God, those gorgeous amber eyes, "I was thinking too much on something else."
"You and me both," I grinned, tilting my head to my left briefly, where the entrance to my classroom was, "Stupid teacher scared the shit out of me by dropping this massive book on my table, and I swore at her. You know how us sixteen-year-olds get. You were one, once upon a time. I'm sure you've had your fair share of cursive compliments."
Hwoarang grinned too, chuckling slightly, "Yeah."
Silence. I looked away, realising that if I looked for too long, I'd suffer death or humiliation by a number of causes. Look, I can even give you a list. Let's call it 'Possible Consequences Of Looking At Hwoarang Doo San For Too Long':
A) Blush myself to death
B) Beat myself to death
C) Be beaten by him, to death
D) Be taunted by my entire student body, to death
E) Some other horrid alternative that involves being massively humiliated, then dying somehow.
God, even thinking on this crap is activating the Hwoarang Shrine in my head. Deciding to try and focus on something else, I began to remember my sixteenth birthday, which wasn't so long ago. I had entered a tournament on that day, and I got second place. Not the best birthday present, but a damn good one. Even Dad came down, and then started trying to persuade me to come back home. Sorry, but I like it here in Tokyo. I'll probably go back to Osaka at the end of the year.
"Asuka, right?" he asked.
I looked back, "Hm?"
"Your name is Asuka?"
"Yes. And you're Hwoarang."
The grin expanded slightly, "The one and only."
I too smiled. I raised my right hand and lazily waved at him, "Nice to meet you."
He mirrored my actions, "Likewise."
Oh my God I can't believe this is happening I can't believe this is happening I can't believe this is happening.
Pinch me, please.
MAKE CONVERSATION, YOU IDIOT!
"So…" I began, watching him move his hair from his eyes. Damn sexy senior, "You do martial arts, right? What type?"
"The best!" he chimed.
"Tae Kwon Do. I know you fight. What's yours?"
"Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts," I answered, "My Dad taught it to me."
"Cool. You and I should spar sometime. It'd be awesome."
"You're a better fighter than me, you would kick my ass."
"Not if you kick mine first," he teased lightly.
Soon enough, my teacher stuck her head outside and glared at me, "Don't you think it's about time you came back in?"
I shrugged and smiled at Hwoarang one last time, waving good bye, "See you later."
For the next four months that passed by, we would speak a lot more than we had in the past. Not enough to necessarily be called 'friends', but definitely enough to be called 'close acquaintances', or 'borderline friends'. And we had that spar – he, as expected, kicked my butt. One of his kicks really hurt my leg, but he kindly took me to sickbay, and stayed with me for a bit before heading off to his music class.
During that time, I had noticed how much closer he had gotten to Pigtails. In the early times that we had spoken with one another, he barely mentioned her. Now, it's almost as though she's invaded his every thought. Maybe she snuck into his head and built a mental Xiaoyu Shrine, like he did to me. Well, he didn't actually do it but you get what I mean.
I noticed a change in her too. Their roles had practically reversed. He was the one practically doting on her, doing everything she said, helping her out with her problems and so on. She was the one looking bored, though slightly satisfied. There was something wrong in her crooked smile, and while most people, including Hwoarang himself, were oblivious to it, I wasn't. And I didn't like it. I would say something but it just wasn't my business.
One day, I saw him sitting in the gym by himself, hunching forward in his dobuk, his head in his hands. I had come to the gym to, as always, bash the crap out of the punching bag. I was already in my gear, ready and revving to go, but just seeing him there like that had me stop entirely. Clearly something had happened since the last time I saw him. Come to think of it, I hadn't seen him with Xiaoyu for a few days now, and they were always together, normally.
He snapped up immediately once the door closed and swiftly rubbed his eyes. They narrowed, and he glared at me from across the gym. Silence swept between the two of us, and before long, his rugged voice, which was incredibly raucous at the moment, rung through, carrying over to where I stood motionlessly, "What the fuck do you want?"
I put my hands on my hips harshly and glared, "This isn't just your gym, Hwo. I was gonna work out."
Wow, he's swearing at me. He hasn't done that before. Well then, if it's a swearing, insulting contest he wants, then that is what he will damn well get. I may be a Kazama, but I am not like them. I am the black sheep in my family, the one who was looked down upon for her attitude, the rebel who refused to abide to the rules. If he wants a challenge, then he will get one. I will not back down from a challenge, unlike Jin.
So, exactly why aren't I opening my mouth and shooting back various quips, such as the ever so popular size of his genitalia? Or perhaps remind him that his hair isn't really orange. Better yet, why am I contemplating this? I like the guy. Guys are the ones who are supposed to constantly insult the girl they like in an attempt to get their attention, or something equally as stupid.
I squinted, noticing how his chest heaved, yet there was not a drop of sweat on his body. Something was seriously wrong with this picture. It was like someone had done all the line work, but given up halfway on colouring the image. The aura around him at the moment was an amazingly sad one, as though he was being dragged down by the black dog.
You know what that analogy is, right? It's usually associated with depression.
I hesitantly spoke, choosing my words carefully, "Hwoarang? Is everything alright?"
His voice, so strong yet vulnerable and shivering, erupted from his throat, "Get out, Asuka!"
Let's rephrase that from an 'emotional' man's perspective. That would be a hell no.
Ignoring the dog's warnings, I approached quietly, praying he wouldn't bite. I had fought so hard just to be a small part of his life. I didn't want him turning away and bolting, going to hide. Hopefully his current sadness wouldn't influence the Korean's actions. But even so, I would have to brave the bites to try and help him. Wounded animals attack to defend themselves. Hurt men will scream and shout to keep everyone away from their core emotions.
I think we have an emergency.
As I got closer, I realised that he had been crying. His eyes were still watery, and they were also puffy. There were tear tracks down his cheeks. How I desperately wished to wipe them away, but it is not my place to do so. I'm not his girlfriend. I'm not even his friend, "Seriously dude, what's the matter? What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he growled. He backed up in his chair a little as I approached further.
Yeah, he's definitely been crying, "Please…"
Hesitating, he bit his lip and looked down, curling up in his seat, "Xiao broke up with me."
I told you the tree was diseased. Hwoarang, I'm so sorry.
"She used me."
"Why…?" I asked sympathetically. As much as I would like to not believe what he said, I knew in the deepest depths of my heart that she was a snake, and always had been. She approached her prey and strangled the life out of them, before moving onto the next victim. Everyone has to be wary of Ling, honestly. Even her friends.
He merely trailed off, unable to explain, clearly devastated and heartbroken, "She… She…"
I watched as he covered his face again, the tears falling in the comfort of darkness. I frowned and sat next to him, wrapping one arm around his sturdy frame, feeling every sob beneath my slim limb. I'd love to get back at Xiaoyu at the moment, but right now, he needs help. He needs someone, anyone. Even me. And I give it to him.
"There's always someone else," I remarked, patting his thigh with my free hand, "Everything will be alright."
To my surprise, he rested his head on my shoulder and slipped an arm around my waist, as though loosely returning my comforting actions. I tried hard not to blush, and placed my other arm around is form, caging him in my hold. He's safe here. He can rest here, and he won't be disturbed until he thought it was alright. He was trying very hard to reign in his wracked weeps, but to no avail. They just kept coming, like a waterfall.
"You know," I began, "While I can't imagine what you feel like, whenever I feel like crying, I always remind myself that I'm a fighter, not a cryer. Crying will get you no where. Sure, it'll make you feel better, but so will breaking a couple of blocks of wood. It's a better distraction. I'm not the type to wallow in self pity, and neither are you. The Hwoarang I know, however… little I know you, is strong and proud. He never lets anything get the best of him – not even that draw against my cousin. You keep on going like a train, through whatever obstacles stand in your way."
He looked up at me, though I only noticed it from the corner of my eyes.
"I'm a fighter, not a cryer. And in that, we are the same. Fight off this bullshit. Rise and stand proud. It has no place in you."
I looked back at him, sporting a cheesy thumbs up and grin, and was pleased to find that he mirrored my actions once again. I patted his shoulder sturdily before releasing all forms of comfort, watching as he rubbed his eyes. The lopsided grin morphed into a fully fledged smile, causing butterflies to randomly parade around joyously in my stomach.
And then his voice shattered the serenity, "You're a good friend, Asuka. I'm glad I met you."
Friend. I inwardly sighed at the word. Maybe I can be something more in due time…?
He stood up, offering me his hand, "Did you wanna swing by my place this afternoon? We can verse each other in video games and watch a couple of scary movies, if you like. Maybe you can stay over, if Baek'll let you. I mean, that is, if you're okay with riding on my motorbike there. Xiao hated it, and I dunno what other girls think of the bike or me."
Oh trust me, we think very highly of the bike and you, Hwo. More so you than the bike.
"How about it?"
"Sure," I remarked, taking his hand, being pulled up onto my feet. I was unable to keep the smile from my face.
His tragedy soon faded away, becoming nothing more than a mere memory. He'd go quiet if Xiaoyu was spoken of, but he would still speak, eventually diverting the topic. Of course he was clearly over it, but wounds sometimes leave stinging aches in their wake. And that is what she is to him, not to mention a venomous sneak.
But for me? I don't have an emergency anymore, or whatever. What tragedy? Stupid teenage drama! I'm fine. My life is great. I've got a good friend standing beside me right now, eating nachos (and deliberately keeping them away from me, the bastard) and complaining at how ring outs should be banned from this game.
Yup. Life's pretty sweet.