Title: Sleepless Memories
Word Count: 2
"I only speak in English"
"I can speak Chinese"
'I can hear your thoughts'
"I still can't believe grandpa let us leave." Yun said as he stepped off the charter bus and into the station, rubbing the sand of sleep from his eyes. He looked at his surroundings in mild interest before walking over to retrieve his and Yang's bags from the attendant unloading the bus. It was already getting a little late in the morning.
Yang yawned, nodding in agreement as Yun handed him his duffle bag and hoisted it on his shoulder. "We did let him know our intentions this time. Even though he couldn't come with us, I knew he missed granny Yan Lin." He was beginning to feel a little nervous but he didn't allow it to show through the mask of indifference he'd been wearing ever since the two of them departed from China and landed at the airport the next city over called Fadden Hills, Oregon.
The plane ride had been an ungodly, torturous five and a half hour long flight. They had left fairly late in the night so Yun either slept, played his portable handheld video games, or watched the in-flight movies while Yang napped or enjoying one of his more favorite novels he'd brought along… or at lest he would have had he not been seated in front of bratty little six year-old boy who spent most of the flight screaming and kicking the back of his chair in a temper tantrum. Yang felt for the boy's haggard and harassed looking mother as she tried to quiet and pacify him. When Yang's patients finally wore out and he could no longer take it, he had calmly put his book down and turned around in his chair to look at the mother and son behind him. In a low, almost frosty voice to the child's poor mother, he asked if she would let him give the boy of his brand of discipline, giving a few exaggerated details of his grandfather's training methods the twins had been subjected to while learning Kung Fu when she asked.
The brat made no more noise after that and kept his feet to himself, especially when the older woman looked to be seriously considering the offer.
Yun, who had sat next to him, laughed the entire time… until Yang leveled a glare at him that promised to put him in a hospital bed. Brother or not.
Luckily the bus ride had been a mercifully quiet hour long trip from Fadden Hills to Heatherfield, leaving the young martial artist tired, a bit stiff, and slightly irritable. The only real plus was that Yang got to watch the sunrise that morning, the yellow-orange sun had been beautiful during its upward ascent above the misty green horizon, painting the sky magnificent shades of blues, purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows.
Looking around, the twin went over what little they knew of place they were now in. Heatherfield was a large ( but nowhere near New York City or Los Angeles big ) and relatively new harbor city that was divided by a long winding channel leading from the mountains some dozen miles away to the sea and surrounded by rolling hills. America was also a pretty multihued country too, from ethnicity to style. The nation was after all the 'Melting Pot' of the world, a mix-and-match mosaic blend of dozens of cultures and people from all over the planet. Heatherfield was no different that the rest of the country. Not to mention the language barrier wasn't as profound in America as it was everywhere else. With so many languages floating around, someone was bound to be a Chinese-English speaker.
Which was important to the twins since their English wasn't all that great.
The bus ride through the city allowed them to see the imaginary boarder between the urban area and the suburbs. If the information their grandfather was right, then the Silver Dragon restaurant shouldn't be all too far from downtown and the bus/train station and the Lin house was at least a ten minute drive back into the suburbs.
With a general idea of where they were going, the Lee Brothers went to find a pay phone to call the Lin family.
Hay Lin looked up from her painting of Heatherfield park at her desk when she heard a ruckus from just outside her door. The pigtailed fifteen year-old swiveled he chair around and stood. She crossed her room quickly and opened the door. Hay Lin poked her head out to see he dad walk past and down the stares in a slightly hurried manner.
"Chen! Don't forget to stop by the dry cleaners and pick up my linens while you go get the boys!" Joan Lin shouted from her and her husband's room.
"Yes dear!" Chen called back as he breezed out the door.
Hay Lin blinked in confusion. "Hay mom, what's going on?"
Joan gave her daughter a bright smile and said excitedly, "We're having guests staying with us for a few weeks. And you'll never guess who they are either. It's been so long since I last saw those boys!"
The young Air Guardian's brows creased in thought. She couldn't think of too many boys she hadn't seen for a while. She had a few cousins on her mom's side in Florida and California, but aside from that, she drew blanks. "Who's coming over?"
Joan giggled behind her hand in amusement. "Hay Lin, I'm shocked you've forgotten. After all, those brothers gave you those goggles and that red brush set you love so much."
Blue-black eyes widened when recognition finally set it. Hay Lin gave a happy yell and rush toward her mother across the hall in giddy excitement. "Yun and Yang?! Are they really coming to visit?!" when Joan nodded, the little Lin squealed in anticipation. "When will they get here?"
"You're father's gone to pick them up from the station now, so they'll be here in twenty or thirty minutes." Joan stated before giving her daughter a once over. "You'd better go change out of those clothes and put on something nice."
Hay Lin looked down at the large, paint splattered tee, baggy shorts, and puppy slippers and nodded in agreement. The small teen hopped off back to her room where she threw off her painting clothes as she closed the door. She bounced over to her wardrobe and went through her available clothes. Hay Lin eyed all the different outfit pieces intensely, looking for something cute yet casual. She pulled out a pink, wide collared short-sleeve shirt that flared out at the hem and a pair of jean Capri that had pink and purple dragonflies stitch on the pockets with pink sandals. After changing her clothes, Hay Lin stepped in front of her dresser mirror and braided her hair, leaving a bit of side fringe to frame her face, into a pair pigtails before wrapping them up into buns and tying them in place with purple ribbons. She slipped a few different shaded purple bangles on her wrists, a silver necklace with her birthstone around her neck, and a matching pair of simple stud earrings for the final touch.
Hay Lin didn't have to wait for her father's return for very long, about forty-five minutes had passed since he left, when the sound of door opening and her father's call out to his wife and daughter, there were also two more whispering male voices speaking Chinese Cantonese that reached her ears, carried by the air currents inside her home. The two foreign voices were more or less identical except one was softer and pitched lower with cool, almost aloof reserve while other one energetically louder, arrogant even, but still friendly.
The girl poked her head out her bedroom door a second time towards stairs in time to see he mother already descending them to greet their house guests. Hay Lin followed after her mother quickly.
The twins' first impression of Chen Lin after so long was that the man was still the kind-hearted fidgety worrywart they remembered. The first few minutes of the car ride had been spent in awkward silence, at least until Yun's usual impatience broke the ice between them ( "Would someone say something already?!" Yun threw his hands up in exasperation as high as the small blue mini van allowed. "It's too quiet!" ) and the three slowly dropped into easy conversation. The two brothers had been going back and forth with the man since then; asking all sorts of questions about how things had been over the years.
Chen had found out the two boys were tournament level martial artists, that they were helping their grandfather out with his restaurant, how they were graduating high school in one more year before going off to college, and that Yun had apparently landed himself a 'bossy, demanding, and violent' girlfriend.
Chen looked up at the seemingly 'sulking' teen through the car's rearview mirror and smiled as he drove pass the 'WELCOME TO WHITE MOUNTAIN' sign of his neighborhood. For all Yun's complaining, he could easily see the devoted love he had for this Houmei girl in the younger Chinese man's eyes. But that didn't last long, the edges of his smile dipped when he caught the flash of hurt and longing in Yang at the mention of Houmei before his face went blank.
'I see how it is,' Chen reflected, 'Yang must've liked this girl as well, but Yun asked her out first.' Yang turned his head away to watch the world speed by out the window impassively, unwittingly confirming Chen's suspicions. 'Poor boy.' the older man thought sadly, his face not betraying his thoughts.
The twins in turn learned a fair bit of what had been going on with the Lin family. Like their grandfather, the Lins opened up a restaurant called the Silver Dragon that they had recently expanded, making the small family move out of the apartment above it and into the suburbs, and that Hay Lin was preparing for her junior year in school while pursuing an art or dance career. The only down was hearing that Granny Yan Lin had passed away a little over two years ago.
"May we go pay our respects?" Yang asked, both his and Yun's heads were lowered.
Chen nodded soberly. "Of course you can. Mother's shrine is in the sitting room and we'll go visit her grave tomorrow after you're settled in." he said as he turned into and parked in his drive way.
The twins nodded before getting out as Chen popped the trunk and shut the car off as he grabbed the dry cleaning. The brothers stared in interest at the 'Dragonfly' house as they approached it, they had never really seen a house designed like it before.
"Joan, Hay Lin! We're home!" Chen called.
The two looked up, eager to see the only 'aunt/mother' and 'sister' figures they once ever knew again. Not a minute latter Joan came downstairs and just behind the woman was a smaller girl followed.
"Aunt Joan!" Yun exclaimed as he met the woman.
The elder woman smiled fondly and pulled both boys into a hug. "Yun, Yang, oh look how you've both grown." she spoke in Chinese as she stepped back to look the twins over, picking out what the years had done for them.
Yun looked as any teenager his age would be, he had let his hair grow long enough to wear it in a braided ponytail and dressed in a dark green tee that had a twisting, snapping, clawing white and blue dragon with the print 'Unleash the Dragon' in bold Chinese-esque English, and a pair of grey converter pants/shorts with black sneakers. There was a dark blue sports band on his right wrist. a pendant of the white half of the Yin-Yang hanging from his neck, and an old yellow visored blue baseball cap. Yun also allowed his hair, his bangs specifically, to grow out and was a bit more traditional with his look but still retained a casual appearance; he wore a deep red Chinese shirt that had been left hanging open and the sleeves rolled halfway up over a loose black tank, slightly baggy pants, and sneakers. Also around his neck was the black half of the Yin-Yang and a long wallet chain visibly hanging at his side. Both teens now towered over her by a little more than a head, she could see and felt through their clothes how strong both built themselves, and the look in their dark grey eyes was strong, shinning with their pride and honor as martial artists.
"You've became such fine looking men," Joan's hands rested on her hips, a mischievous glint in her eyes and a grin on her lips, "a regular pair of heartbreakers. And to think, last I saw you two, both of you were a couple of klutzy, scrawny small fries who could barely see over the counter."
The twins were caught between embarrassment and indignation as red heat stained their cheek and ears.
As Yun whined in protest at Joan's teasing, Yang's attention turned to the second female in the room, and found his breath caught and his heart skipping a beat.
'She's beautiful,' was the first thing that came to mind as the young Street Fighter saw her, her petite form standing at the foot of the stairs and watched the four inquisitively with an amused smile on her face. Then it hit him, suddenly he had an inkling who this new girl was. "Hay Lin… is that you?" Yang asked, drawing Yun's attention instantly.
Dark blue eyes immediately met Yang's dark grey. Hay Lin gave a wide smile and nodded as she suddenly came forward and threw her arm around the older boy's waist, hugging him. "I can't believe it! You guys are here and I finally get to see you after so long!" her words were muffled since her face was buried the older boy's chest.
Yang almost froze at the sudden bodily contact before he managed to wrap an arm around her shoulders, though his back remained somewhat stiff. 'Snap out of it Yang. This isn't some random girl, this is Hay Lin, remember? The friend you haven't seen in years. GET. A. GRIP!' He had rarely been hugged by members of the fairer sex before and feeling such a soft and curvaceous body flush against his own left Yang feeling out of his depth.
"Hay Yang! Stop hogging Hay Lin! I want a hug too!" Yun popped out over his sibling's shoulder.
Hay Lin let go of Yang and bounced over to Yun who pulled her into a short hug. "How've you guys been doing?"
"Oh, we are fine-" Yang answered.
"But we got some stories-" Yun continued.
"That we think you would like to hear-"
"About, since we've been up to a lot lately."
Hay Lin giggled at their old antics. It seems that they were still in the habit of finishing each other's sentences. She remembered they used to love confusing her as often as possible and how at one point she couldn't tell them apart because they always dressed identically and had the same haircut. But now it was easy to see who was who.
The smaller girl nodded. "Yeah, I'd like hear it."
"But we'd want-" Yun started.
Yang picked up the sentence. "To know what you have-"
"Been doing." the twins finished together.
Before Hay Lin could answer Mrs. Lin spoke, "Before you kids start reminiscing on 'Memory Lane', have you boys had breakfast yet?"
The Lee brothers looked at each other before shaking their heads at their 'aunt'. "No"
Joan looked at her daughter and said, "Take the boys upstairs to the guest room, sweetheart, while I find something for them." she then looked at the two brothers pointedly. "I expect you two to be settled, showered, and dressed if you plan to go out today. And Chen, it'll be time to open the restaurant soon, you'd better be on your way. I'll be along in an hour or so." she called to her husband as she turned towards the kitchen.
The twins and Chen nodded in understanding, but the two Street Fighters had no intentions of walking back outside anytime soon that day. The plane ride had left them tired and the bus ride only added to their fatigue. The only thing the brothers wanted was a shower, food, and a long nap. Hay Lin walked the pair up the stairs as the oldest Lin rushed out the door.
The smallest Lin led them to her home's extra room, pointing out each door to the bedrooms, closets, and bathrooms as they went and left them to settle in. The room the brothers were bunking in together was fairly sized and had only one queen sized bed and a complete, matching room set with a desk and TV. In no time, about thirty minutes later, both look-a-likes were unpacked and bathed and on their way to blissful unconsciousness on their shared bed when someone knocked, more like lightly kicked, on the door.
"Hey guys," Hay Lin called from the other side of the door, "Could you open the door please? My hands are full." She had a pair of small trays loaded with food and tea in her hands.
Yun lazily nudged Yang, muttering, "You do it, you're closer." from his belly down position.
Yang grumbled in annoyance at his lazy brother before he went to let the younger girl in with their lunch.