Chapter 5
The Epilogue

"I wasn't sure you'd come."

Jin had great respect for the virtues of silence, but the morose Hwoarang was getting too much. Hwoarang had responded to his greeting by pushing him aside—hard—and storming into the apartment he had never been in. He had accepted the food and eaten it hatefully and then managed to make it through the day without saying much besides a sizzle. Now, the storm was brewing in Jin's living room after a lonesome shower and a locked door to make sure the shower stayed that way. Jin's shower, respectively, had been lonely despite the unlocked door. Really, how long could Hwoarang stay mad?

Jin winced as he ventured into the living room.

The storm took residence in an armchair that had been dragged as far as possible from the door. Rooted firmly in his spot, the storm was, nonetheless, wearing the bathrobe Jin had offered. Jin took in Hwoarang's posture . . . and wrapped his own bathrobe on tighter, wistfully. He sidled up to Hwoarang, who refused to acknowledge his presence. Jin placed his hands on Hwoarang's shoulders lightly; they were shrugged off vehemently. Sighing, Jin came crouching on his side and flung an arm around the backrest. It was close enough to touch Hwoarang, but it wasn't really touching him. By all civil measures, Hwoarang was cornered.

Hwoarang drew the same conclusion. He was about to shoot a hateful look, but then realized that it would lead to them making eye contact. He crossed his arms.

Jin scooted closer. "Don't be this way."

Something flickered in Hwoarang's eye; the corner of his mouth moved, but it settled back into a frown before any other substantial expression formed.

Jin pressed closer and murmured into Hwoarang's ear, "I know you let me win..."


Hwoarang couldn't find way a retort, and he was halfway furious, halfway into accepting Jin to his good graces. Jin made the decision for him: he let his hand drop from the backrest onto Hwoarang's shoulders. He slinked nearer until he was finally close enough to touch his lips on Hwoarang's. He was permitted to stay there, and made for a more determined kiss, hugging Hwoarang to himself at the same time. He released Hwoarang and cocked his head entreatingly.

"That hurt, you bastard," Hwoarang said sulkily.

"I'm sorry."

"You could've broken something."

"I didn't mean to..."

Hwoarang let out a strangulated snort.

Jin gave him a breather before reaching over again; this time, Hwoarang responded to the kiss. The response wasn't burning at first, but quickly burgeoned: Hwoarang brought an arm around Jin's neck and grabbed a hold of his robe. Pleased, Jin delineated Hwoarang's mouth attentively. He was let go reluctantly, which bode well for the future.

The post-fight discussion had been covered in sufficient detail, Jin deemed, and he progressed to crouch by Hwoarang's side again. The reconciliation efforts were allowed to continue. Jin placed a quick peck behind Hwoarang's ear, which turned out to be a low blow; ticklish or pleased, Hwoarang kept his composure only with effort. Jin reached a hand over Hwoarang and cupped the other side of Hwoarang's face gently; circulating a thumb across Hwoarang's cheek, his other fingers caressed ovals around Hwoarang's neck, light as a zephyr. Jin pressed his lips to Hwoarang's cheek.

The harshness on Hwoarang's face ebbed away. By the time Hwoarang was craning his neck toward Jin—willingly, this time—Jin had found the flip of his bathrobe and was on his way to easing the bathrobe off. When no protest came, Jin slipped a hand in, feeling the muscles. He stopped to hold his hand over Hwoarang's heart as he drew kisses from the man.

Jin traced down Hwoarang's robe to the knot of his belt and untied it with skillful fingers. Jin rested a hand on Hwoarang's knee and brushed it along his inner thigh. His touch was light enough to merely create an illusion of trailing all the way up. Hwoarang sat back more comfortably.

Jin returned to his chest, tugging a line down to pry the bathrobe open. The top of the bathrobe hung by a thread on Hwoarang's shoulders, but Jin continued his way down with a chuckle and played with the belt ends. The robe loosened further surreptitiously. It fell open and revealed Hwoarang's chest as Jin went down. Jin reached his mark, and Hwoarang let out a guttural "rhmph" as Jin slowly began fondling him.

He was still Earth-bound, even though Kazama had sent him around the orbit. At this precise moment, he was in Jin's bed—his real bed, this time.

Jin was asking if he'd come around for a while, and he had to concentrate on keeping his face reactionless to keep the look of triumph off Jin's... and he slipped because he fell into thinking what it would be like, as Jin's treasured trophy, and found the thought whimsically droll. That wasn't what Jin was suggesting, though, and he needed his head to hide how the offer of equal partnership affected him. There was chemistry that corroded his guard. He held his answer before drawling out one.

His guard failed; he flashed a quick smile and almost thought it worth his while when seeing Jin's look. He couldn't promise forever, but he could promise fractions of eternity.


Concluding Notes

Many thanks to all who reviewed this story: Razer Athane, 191026, CrazyCartSalad, Ck (best review ever, thanks!), LoZenYa, HOIME G, Dechuu, HappyMe-O, Anonymous, XNightLadyX, Merriadoc, Darial Kuznetsova, Lil' Miss Spookiness, machao, cardboredbox, HaruHaruGD, Zairal, Another-of-Me, Munelyte, and xCamilleon! Thanks for the other pleasant interest as well.

Decidedly grateful thanks to Gypsie for proofreading the entire story!

Published September 23, 2010.