If it is in normal style, then it is speech.If it is in italics, then it is thought.
If it is in bold, then it is the individual's natural tongue.
If it is underlined, then it is Devil.
Disclaimer: Don't own any characters except Razer, the gang (excluding Hwoarang) and any other non-Tekken characters that appear throughout the duration of this story. All other characters belong to Namco. No further disclaimers will be entered, as they ruin the pace of the story.
Author's Note: Well, here is the last definite story I am bringing you featuring Razer, Seong-Hada and the rest. A lot of you were interested in how Razer and Hwoarang met and grew up together, and were interested of their times together before the events of "Just Like Me", which is set during the King Of Iron Fist Tournament 3. So I decided to write it out and bring it to you. Updates will be slow at first, however they should pick up as times go by. If not, have permission to bite my legs off XD
The pairing is strictly Razerang, and because I have to cover six years, I'll be jumping around a lot, sorry to say. In this first chapter, Hwoarang is thirteen, and Razer is twelve. You can see how the story evolves from there as I post the chapters. The outlook currently looks to be… thirty-nine chapters, simply because of the time period I have to cover. It may creep to forty though I doubt this. In addition, the chapters will be longer because I have to cover so much. Mind you, this is not evident as of yet, but trust me, they will get longer. When I was originally a hardcore Jin x Razer fan, I used this as an excuse to write Razerang continuously. It was my justification for finishing "With Me" as a Jin x Razer, but as time went by... The more I thought about this story, the more I realised that it shouldn't end that way, and that's why I made the alternate endings.
But then my brain started ticking. Seeing as you guys think a Tekken 6 Story would be nice (I'm still taking opinions, by the way - nothing is set in stone), I would undoubtedly branch that off of Jin's Epilogue. So to correspond for a... 'sequel'? To Hwoarang's Epilogue, this story serves as one. Basically like, a collection of memories or something, or the two of them thinking back. But that's not really the case. This is the prequel to "Just Like Me", and that is what it is at its most basic and truest level. Actually just ignore this whole paragraph of ramble.
Furthermore, seeing as this is before the events of "Just Like Me", "Better Than Me" and "With Me", what I once referred to as Devil in Razer will be referred to as Devil once again. She hasn't had her massive adventure yet, so it is fitting to keep the description as I had it originally in "Just Like Me". Mental speech has been eliminated, so anything that has a singular quotation mark around it is now strictly text messages (like this: 'hi noob, this is a sms'). lol. To add, those who were curious about "With Me" and didn't jump on the bandwagon, now is your chance because this is the first story in the arc. Welcome aboard! XD. But anyway. I myself an probably going to read this as it should be read once its done - "Take Me Back" first, then the other three. lolololololololol.
I've brought this out earlier than I was going to because I wanted to thank you guys. And to show my gratitude for my readers and reviewers, I've posted this chapter up right now. Also? It's still Valentine's Day in some parts of the world, so consider it my little gift to you guys. Seriously. Thank you, for everything. And wowww that's a big author's note, I'm really sorry! On with the story! :)
Chapter One: Open Your Eyes
Someone snickered, "So articulate."
The Greek youth finally managed to peel her eyes open. A crack. Just a crack. She felt far too weak to open them any further. On the other side, behind her own eyelashes, she could vaguely see a human form, sitting next to her. Who could it be? And more importantly, why did that person even care…?
Razer was as good as dead, last she recalled.
So then, why was she still here, breathing, feeling, being in an immense amount of pain?
There was a gentle touch on the shoulder, and she was shaken lightly, "Hey?"
Athane did nothing slide her eyes closed, shivering, still possibly in shock.
The youthful male voice was suddenly interrupted. It was a deeper male voice – much more commanding, controlling, authoritarian, firm… Everything related to that, "Hwo, she's exhausted. Let her sleep and stop pestering her."
Hwo? Who in the world was this 'Hwo'?
Don't drift off too far now, will you?
The 12-year-old jolted up into a sitting position immediately before screaming out in agony. Her eyes were wide open now, and she could see a redheaded boy and a brown-going-grey haired man jump in surprise. The boy, 'Hwo', whatever, had been sitting next to her, and tried setting her back down gently by the shoulders. The man lumbered over and assisted, both hands under her back.
"Relax, just relax," The man had whispered, seeing how her eyes were darting around in panic, "You're safe now."
It took her a good long moment before she spoke in shaky English, "What happened…?"
The man sat on her left side, hands sliding out from underneath her back, one hand now pressed lightly on one shoulder, trying to keep her down. He looked to the boy for a moment, talking in a language she didn't know, before looking back at her, speaking in English, as the boy stood and left, "My student found you passed out in an alley nearby, two days ago… You don't remember?"
Razer paused for a moment, trying to develop some sense of thought through the agony. She remembered waking up in some place she didn't know, cold, aching, bloody, and she remembered that same boy running over and squatting down to her level. She could see some more pictures, though faint, one that included that man being seen through her eyes over someone's shoulder, but as for speech, she heard nothing.
The man frowned a little, "Looks like you don't…"
The boy returned with a glass of water and a couple of pain killers. He forcefully put them in her quivering hands, and behind furrowed eyebrows and cold sienna eyes, he almost appeared to be worried. He sat back on her right side and spoke quietly, turning away, "Take them. You'll feel better."
Not wanting to question either of them due to her weak state and the fact that she felt like shit, Athane shoved the pain killers into her mouth and drank all of the water. According to the man she had been out for two days… That was a long time to go without water. 'Hwo' reached out and took it from her hands once more. He had looked back at her, and looked at her eyes for a moment, as if that held a 'thanks'.
"I'll put this away…" He said in some language, looking away once he found that 'thanks'.
The 12-year-old groaned in pain once more, turning her head to the man, "Who are you…?"
He was sitting cross-legged in the chair by her side now, confident that she would remain lying down on the spare bed. With a little smile, he spoke slowly, as if to keep her calm, "My name is Baek Doo San. I am a Tae Kwon Do Teacher…" He looked over his shoulder, pointing to the boy leaving, "And he is Hwoarang, my student."
"Hwoarang? Hwoarung? How do I say that?"
"Either, he doesn't care."
"Where am I…?"
"South Korea. As for where you are right now, you are in my dojang, where the two of us live."
A slight nod.
So they were talking in Korean… Interesting.
One thing she remembered before passing out was that to communicate to this… voice in her head, she had to think at it, not speak aloud. Either way, this thing scared her. Then again, she was accustomed to fear. What Razer didn't understand at the moment was why she wasn't screaming at these two to go away, and getting up to run away as fast as her wounded body was able. It was almost as if she trusted them already…
Ah… trust. Such a fragile thing. But you are trusting them too soon, or at least, relaxed around them… What is to say they have not done something to you whilst you slept? What is to say one will not do something to you now? You know, that Hwoarang kid has been eyeing you strangely since you've woken up. He might try something once this Baek person leaves. A shame that you will be so defenceless if this does occur.
Pain slapped her up the back of the head, and she groaned, eyes closing once again, trying to put a hand to her head, failing because she was so sore. The arm just fell back onto the soft surface beneath her, the bed, and lay there, motionless. Every breath she took was so painful. It was as if –
She heard footsteps approaching again, and she assumed it was Hwoarang returning. Baek's voice accompanied the sounds, even after they long left, "What happened to you…? Why are you so wounded…?"
"I… don't remember…"
In truth, she did, but there was this massive blank between her Father's cruel activities, and her waking up with Hwoarang running over to see how she was. And to be perfectly honest, Athane did not want to remember one thing, though she knew that the times at home, though freshly abandoned now, would remain in her mind for many years to come, no matter how hard she tried to forget.
What was she going to do now…? She couldn't just stay here…
What a wonderful question, mortal. You are in a foreign country, heavily wounded, and somehow did not die from bleeding to death due to the wounds inflicted by your abusive Father, who is dead. Your Mother is also dead, and everything you have ever known went up in flames two days ago. You have no knowledge of the Korean language, have no place to go, and no way of healing up if you do not stay put. You have no goal, no help… No life.
"There has to be some explanation," Baek murmured, giving her another chance to speak.
"I don't remember what happened," Razer replied with a firmer voice, eyes opening once again.
Hwoarang finally cut in. It was as if there were words hovering on the end of his tongue, desperate to get out into the open, "Your name was Razer, right? You said you're from Greece?"
"Razer Athane, and yes I am from Greece…"
"How old are you?"
"How'd you get here?"
"I don't remember."
"Do you think the authorities are looking for you?"
A pause. Pfft. No way that the Greek authorities would be looking for her… As far as they were concerned, she was probably dead like her parents, in their home which was now probably nothing but ash… Her parents remains were probably the same, and so the authorities probably thought the same in regards to her body.
"I… really… doubt it."
"What about your family?"
His tone was gentle, was soft, as if almost understanding. Still, her response was fast, "They wouldn't care."
Ah… Suppress, suppress, suppress. Suppress the fact that your parents are dead, that you have no elder siblings out somewhere who could come and save you, that two of your Grandparents couldn't give a shit, and that the other two are too old to try and find you all the way in Asia.
"You ran away?"
Silence. If the kid wanted to believe she ran away, then yes, she ran away. The 12-year-old wasn't going to say anything about that. Why? Because that simple reason would fill out the rest of story. Maybe in his head she was mugged for everything she was worth, and had been starving, and had collapsed from exhaustion conveniently nearby a place where she may have received help. That clarity would've been enough for him. He didn't need to know what happened, and for all she knew, he couldn't care.
He took her silence as the answer, "So you ran away."
Razer closed her eyes again, the pain still there, but fading a little, probably due to the pain killers Hwoarang had given her. With a sigh, she spoke quietly and defensively, "What is it to you…? I don't matter. I am an intruder in your life. I should be tossed away without a care…"
The Korean youth furrowed his eyebrows, his arms folded across his stomach. What a negative little girl. But he was one to talk… In any normal circumstance, that's exactly what he would've done. Hell, he was pretty sure that once he and Baek returned Razer to her family, he'd just forget her. She didn't matter. She was just another person struggling to survive… like he had been once upon a time.
Perhaps that is why he offered her his hand and hauled her onto his back.
What was to say though that his heart would warm towards her? What was to say that maybe in the future, he'd want her around to annoy and to have fun with? What was to say that she'd get through to him and be a friend? Better yet, why the fuck was he so optimistic at the moment? Why did he even care?
Stop it… The 13-year-old thought, eyes narrowing. He thereafter reminded himself, You're cold, remember?
Still… Just thinking back to two days ago, seeing Razer so alone and vulnerable like that –
Concern is weakness, He pressed his teeth closer together behind the firm line that was his mouth.
But if he strove to be strong… If it was weakness, then why'd he go over and help her anyw –
"How're you feeling?" Baek asked Athane, eyes laced with worry about the stranger.
"A little better, thank you…" She bit out weakly, eyes open again.
The 40-year-old man patted her head and stood, heading towards the door of the spare bedroom (which was oh so conveniently next to Hwoarang's, he noticed), "The two of us will leave so you can get some sleep. Sleep is the best medicine here… I'll leave the door open a little bit for you. Give a shout if you need anything."
The youth saw how her unique (what the fuck was he thinking?) green eyes darted around in panic as the elder Korean left her side. It was almost as if she felt very safe in his presence, or relaxed. Her voice died in the back of her throat, and the only reason he heard was because he was so close by, "But… Wait…"
Don't leave me here by myself! She screamed inwardly.
A sinister laugh greeted her from the… thing.
"Everything will be alright, Miss Athane," Baek said, looking over his shoulder, walking out, door now half open.
Hwoarang looked at the girl one last time before turning on his heels and leaving as well, eyes still narrowed.
It looks like it is just you and me, Athane. Let's start with the basics of getting to know each other, hmmm?
The stress overwhelmed her system. What happened at home, the injuries, the new places, the new faces…
…The new voice.
If they came in and asked once she woke up, the pain killer put her to sleep, as it relieved her system of the ache. In actuality, she was almost one hundred percent sure it was the stress. Razer heard nothing but the thing within chuckling darkly, each chuckle seemingly bouncing between the walls of her skull, every breath she herself was taking becoming shorter and shallower, until everything faded into nothing.