Chapter 7: "Was it wrong?"; Realizations; The truth
AN: Warning! Severe clichés, screaming, and fangirling might happen in this chapter.
Disclaimer: Don't own Tekken.
That morning, Lili and Asuka promised to meet each other at the café. Last time they went there, they were with Hwoarang, Xiaoyu, and Miharu, laughing their hearts out and joking around. But due to the situation they had, they began to miss those moments; laughing, hanging out together, fighting, and going altogether.
"You know what, Asuka?" as Lili puts down her mug. Asuka, whose mouth was filled with white cream, lifted her head up to face her.
"I thought being rich and living in a mansion makes you different from other people. I thought I was happier than them. I wouldn't feel distraught at the situations coming forward. To me, everything is money. But –." she paused as she gripped her mug tightly. "…those were just thoughts of a selfish brat."
Asuka blinked at the words that just came out from Lili's mouth.
Lili was a stubborn girl when Asuka meet her at the King of Iron Fist Tournament. She thought Lili was stupid enough to chase her again and again to beat her up and prove herself to her. She thought Lili only shows her riches by clothes, limousine, and fancy gestures. But she had never seen this side of her.
She couldn't believe it. She knew Lili was a spoiled and annoying brat, which came from a rich family and travel to fight at streets around the world. But now, Lili is here, spilling something to Asuka that was out of her league. Has she changed? Or was that just the effect of the espresso? she thought.
Asuka made a slight smile on her face. "Like what are you talking about exactly, huh Lili?" she said as she snaps her fingers in front of Lili. "This isn't you, you know?"
Lili was still blankly staring at her mug, with her own reflection in the coffee. "Hwoarang is now on his way to PIC then meet Lars to discuss such plans; Xiaoyu is staying at the Mishima Zaibatsu with Jin for her own protection; Miharu is getting worried for us, even though she hides it with her smile." then she lifted her head up to Asuka, with stern eyes, wanting Asuka to realize something. "Tell me, was it wrong if I decided to be friends with you? To join the tournament? To help my friend and father in need? Was it wrong?"
Asuka's eyes narrowed down in despair, feeling Lili's saddened words she just said to her. She began to ask those questions inside her head. "Lili, let me tell you something." as she looked outside the window o the café. "We didn't know this was going to happen, right? Nor even wished for it." then she paused to look at Lili. "However, it was never wrong for us to choose this side. I mean, come on! We are Tekken fighters! We should be ready for this, prepared for it! We couldn't let our friends down …specially Miharu and Xiaoyu."
Lili's widen, tears almost flooded her eyes. But she shook her head, making the tears to fade away from her eyes. She looked at Asuka, with a smile that was normal for her, to pretentiously annoy Asuka, for just a bit. "I never knew you're like this dramatic …thank you."
"Oh please! You know I'm not used being like that, especially when you're right here in front of me!" as she hits the table with her fist. Then her mood began to change. "Besides, I know how much you like Hwoarang. It's normal to be protective sometimes."
Hearing that, Lili looked at her with big eyes and frowning face tinted with red. "Like what's that suppose to mean?!"
"Oh admit it, you like Hwoarang. I can read that in your face." as she stares at her, placing her chin with her hand and drawing a like to her cheek. Lili stood up to protest, but accidentally hit herself hard with a chandelier hanging above them. "See? That proves it!" she exclaimed to the hurt Lili.
"Shut up!" she said furiously, massaging her head with both of her hands.
"Haha! You look dumb!"
"Like you're the one talking!"
Asuka started to laugh again, which was gradually followed by Lili. They both forgot their problems, and totally think of the possible outcome if they get through these things together with the others. As much as they wanted to end this, the more they strive to help their friend. Suddenly, Asuka's phone rang and received a call from Nina.
"Wow Hwoarang. You came back fast." exclaimed Lars, as he welcomed him at the entrance of the Mishima Zaibastu car parking area. "Nice bike anyway."
"Thanks." Hwoarang replied as he turned off the engine and jumped off the motorcycle to face Lars. "You said you need me?"
"Well, actually, the ZAIBATSU needs you."
"Me? Oh please, don't tell me I'm going to help that freaking Kazama!"
"Nope, but Xiaoyu does."
Hwoarang flinched and frowned at Lars. He looked at another direction as he rests his back lazily on the bike. He agreed to Lars that he'd help FOR THE MEANTIME (but he hopes it's worth it) in planning military tactics, since he was a soldier, a part of an army back at Korea. He had agreed to help Xiaoyu, yes. But it will also mean that he'll help for damn sake Jin, right?
He sighed deeply at the thought.
"Ah, huruzai ne! (Yeah yeah, just shut up already!)" he said, tossing his hands up in the air. "You've hit my spot, happy now? Let's get to business, shall we?!"
Lars smiled, then nodded. "Does Xiaoyu knew about this?"
"Nope. I don't want her to know, and if ever I have to wear that shitty MZ soldier uniform to hide myself while on the job, I'll do it." after that, he sighed, then looked down to his feet. "I just don't want my friend know about it. She might get worried to me or something like that."
"Well …don't worry. I'll make sure that'll happen." said Lars in reply. Suddenly, Hwoarang's eyes widen in shock, twitching his upper lip, looking at Lars.
"About making me look like Jin's petty soldiers?" he exclaimed. Lars took a moment to let the question dig into his mind before bursting into laugh.
"Silly! What are you thinking?" said Lars, still laughing.
After such long chat, Lars gestured an inviting hand at Hwoarang to the elevator.
"Come on, Nina's waiting."
Grudgingly, Hwoarang took a step to the elevator followed by Lars.
Jin opened the door to his office and gestured the soldiers guarding the door to leave at once. He let Xiaoyu enter first as he quietly closed the big door behind him.
Xiaoyu, tilting her head up, looked around the big office. It was so big that she felt even smaller. As she walks around, Jin was following behind her; staring at her blankly, nervous about the questions Xiaoyu might ask to him. He breathed and exhaled deeply at the multiple possibilities that might happen. Then he began to speak.
"Watch out for the vase."
But Xiaoyu was till touring her eyes round the office, when she suddenly bumped into one of the vases. In reflex, she grabbed the vase to prevent it from falling, but it slipped to her hand multiple times. She frowned and grabbed it again and again, until she caught it. She sighed in relief, then placed the vase to its rightful place carefully.
Seeing such scene, Jin was trying to hold back his laugh, by digging his lips into his mouth and turned to another direction.
The girl, in front of him, was the only one that could make him laugh like that; after his mother died. Xiaoyu hasn't changed, he thought. She was still the girl back at the mansion whom he'll laugh at because of her clumsiness. But despite of that, he adored her. He liked it when she makes him laugh. After all, it's been a long time since that happened. But here she is again; filling his dark asylum with light of joy again.
"Phew! That was a close one!" as she stood up straight and faced Jin, who was still at the state where he tries to hold up his laugh. "Jin? You ok?"
Jin flinched. He tried his best to erase the smile on his face, so that Xiaoyu wouldn't see him; having an assumption that he IS laughing. He turned to face her.
"Yes, of course I am." he said as calmly as possible.
"You're office is so dark. Don't you have lights here?"
"The table lamp and my computer will do." replied Jin, as he walked forward to Xiaoyu. Xiaoyu frowned at Jin. He could clearly see it, even at the dark room.
"Well in that case, I hope your eyes' vision isn't that blurry." she said, as she followed him to the glass wall, viewing Tokyo's beautiful city, with all of its lights shining at night.
"So beautiful." she breathed out, filling the silence between them. "Remember the times we'll go high up Tokyo's plateaus with Panda?" she asked, hoping that somehow, Jin would remember something from their past.
"Yes, I do remember." as his voice became deep and calm again. Then he flinched, and turned his body facing Xiaoyu. "How's Panda?"
Xiaoyu glared at Jin surprisingly. She didn't expect that Jin would ask about Panda.
Back then, Jin has been close to Panda too, as how much he has been close to Xiaoyu. She began to remember the day when she woke up early in the morning; she saw Jin and Panda playing together at the mansion's garden.
"You can't catch me Panda!" Jin blurted, as he laughed with his pajamas on, running around the garden like a kid. Xiaoyu looked dumbfounded somewhat laughing inside as she watched them carefully. "You want your snack? Catch me first!"
"Raaaaaaaaarrr!" screamed Panda. Tired of running around, Panda suddenly made an evasive jump, landing at Jin. Jin who was down, was pulling himself out, struggling to get out.
"Oh alright Panda, you win." he said in defeat. Xiaoyu was laughing at her room balcony when he saw Jin and Panda together. Hearing her hard laugh, Jin looked up, and saw Xiaoyu.
"X-Xiao?!" he exclaimed. "You've been watching us?!"
"Ahahahahaha! Of course I am! You were so noisy you woke me up!" then she stared at him. "Jeez Jin, you look like a loser!"
"Xiao! Help me get Panda off me!" Jin pleaded. But Xiaoyu just made a smile as she rests her chin with her hand, looking down at them.
"Say the magic wooorrrd!" she said mockingly.
Jin unintentionally made a puppy face to Xiaoyu, looking at her directly. "Pleeeassee?"
Seeing Jin like that, made her face flush to pink. Jin looks so handsome with that look, oh how I wish he stays like that! she thought. But, she couldn't make the poor boy being dug like that by the big animal. If only she could take a picture of that face and store it on her cellphone, she would keep it forever.
"Panda, let the poor boy go!" she commanded, mimicking Heihachi. Jin stood up and took a moment to shove away the grass on his pants before she could glare to Xiaoyu.
"Xiao, how dare you call me a poor boy?"
"Oh yeah, you're rich after all. Oh wait! Nope, your grandfather is!" she joked, sticking out her tongue.
"Oh yeah?" then he started to run inside the mansion. "I'm coming for you!"
Hearing that, Xiaoyu began to run too, knowing that Jin would come after her to tickle her sides again; her worst kryptonite. She would hide at any places; closets, under the table, under her bed, and bathroom.
When the memory was gone, she smiled to reply to Jin. "She's fine. After the tournament, I sent her to China with grandpa Jinrei to rest." then she shyly smiled as she bent down her head. "She hesitated at first, but in the end, she agreed to go back. You know what? I think she misses me."
There was another silence. Both of them knew the awkwardness of it. Their thoughts wandering about what they should say to each other.
Am I going to ask him? Will he answer all of it? What if he tries to evade it? What if he refuses all of it? I want to talk to him about it, but how?
Will she ask and talk to me? What's on her mind now? Why do I feel like my hairs are rising on my skin? What should I tell her? Shall I tell her the truth now?
Those thoughts keep luring on their head; counting seconds to speak, but failed. Unintentionally, they made a deep sigh together. After that, they looked at each other, and started chuckling about it.
"I think …we are thinking the same thing, aren't we?" as she made a slight chuckle, looking at him, who was now smiling at her.
"Yeah, I think we are." he said, still smiling at her. He turned his body to face Xiaoyu as he placed his hands to his coat's pockets. "You said we need to talk."
Xiaoyu's feeling changed. She felt her heart pounding rapidly again, making her breath uneasy. She sighed to calm herself before she could answer Jin.
"Yeah, I did say that." then she looked up at him, staring at his chestnut eyes. "Jin?"
"Yes, Xiao?" he replied.
"Why did you start a war to many countries?" she asked. "To others?"
Jin only moved his eyes away from Xiaoyu, changing his expression from the question she just spilled. "You heard about my father, right?"
"I know Jin, I truly know about that. He even put a price on your head recently."
Jin sighed at the news that Xiaoyu heard about him. True, Kazuya has made him the people's criminal and bad guy all the way, while he makes himself the one who 'sets everything alright' in a good way, which is the total opposite of it.
"Is that the reason why you raged war to other countries?" she asked again.
"They were against me, Xiao."
"But Kazuya was your ONLY enemy here, right?"
"They were with my father, which means, I'll have to deal with them as well if I have to fight him." he said flatly.
Xiaoyu walked closer to Jin, holding both of his arms, looking straightly at him. "Zafina had told me about you and Kazuya being the 2 evil stars, and how your fight has awakened Azazeel."
Jin, surprised, turned to Xiaoyu with his eyes widen and mouth slightly opened. "Xiao, how—."
"It's true, right?" as her eyebrows began to narrow down. "You believed that facing Azazeel would make your Devil gene disappear, by making those things possible, right?" as her voice began to shake.
Jin was flabbergasted, still and rigid. He couldn't believe what he had heard from her. He never predicted that Xiaoyu will know so much, this far. His heart began to thump rapidly, his shoulders were numb and his spine was nerve-racking. He looked at her, right into her eyes.
"How …how could you know so much?"
"Because …I …" but her words died out there. "Doesn't matter. Just answer me, Jin." then waters started to flood her eyes. "Why did you have to go this far?"
But Jin only closed his eyes, sighed and looked away.
"Jin …please …I need to know!" as she pleaded, gripping his coat. Jin caught her hands by his sudden grasp.
He looked at her sternly, leaning his head towards Xiaoyu. "WHY do you HAVE to know!?" he said, precisely looking at her eyes. "WHY?!" he asked again, as he tighten his grip even more to Xiaoyu's hands.
"Because …" she glimpsed at him. Tears started to run down her cheeks. "…it hurts Jin!" she said, sobbing right in front of him. "It hurts whenever I hear news about your actions, how to destroy things and how they think about you, almost wanting to kill you off!" she continued, sniveling. "I want to justify that! Telling them you are not that kind of person they think you are now! But seeing you like that makes me doubt sometimes! I don't want that Jin! I've put my trust on you, that is why I asked you! I need to know so that I could believe you again!" then she rests her head slightly down to his chest. "I CARE, that's why! Is it wrong!? Tell me Jin!"
Jin lowered his head down, saddened. "No."
"So tell me why Jin! Why does it have to come to this just to face your father? To diminish the Devil gene and end your bloodline?!" as she stared heartbreakingly to his eyes with tears.
Jin seeing Xiaoyu like this makes him feel guilty. True, all of his actions are malevolence. Killing people and putting others in danger are all fraction of his plan. He knew many people will get hurt, feel lonely and even swear to kill him. But all of those pain that people had mourned, was seen to Xiaoyu. He could feel her heart crash, her mind puzzled, convincing herself not to believe the people around.
He felt guilty by making her faith to him undergo like that. He was cold, thick-skinned, and unsympathetic; but all of it was changed while he watched Xiaoyu in tears. He couldn't hold it, he wanted to tell her the truth, now! He wanted to clear things out to her, make her understand at last.
"Because I believed if I could turn things out, I could be my normal self again!" he exclaimed. "…to be the one I used to be …to laugh without having any burden or worry to carry within me …to be …with those people I cared and loved the most …"
Am I going to say it at last? Am I? Do I have to? he thought, as he tightly closed his eyes preventing the tears to come out. He breathed heavily, defeated by his tears as he opened his eyes, looking at Xiaoyu who was startled at him.
"…to be …" he paused, letting one tear escape his eye. "…to be with you forever."
He exhaled deeply, slightly sniffing his sinuses. Xiaoyu was startled. She blinked at the statement he uttered, repeating the words inside her head, digging it down to her mind. Her tears continued to go down like rain.
"W-Why?" she asked impassively.
"I'm doing this because I wanted to be with you!" he exclaimed. "Once I remove …this curse …I could do everything that I wanted a long time ago; to be with you, to marry you, to have a family with you, to grow old together and die together!" he said furiously."Now tell me Xiao, was IT WRONG? Was it wrong to desire those things, including you?!" then his tears began to fall. "This was the only way I know, and I'll take every chance to remove this curse …just to be with you …"
Xiaoyu was still baffled, looking still blankly at Jin, paying no attention to the tears coming down reaching her chin. Jin clumped his hands to her cheeks, and leaned his forehead to hers.
He wanted to say this a long time. "Xiao …I …I …" but the words were stuck there. He HAS to let them out now; he has to force himself to do that. After gathering enough courage, he began to inhale and say the words again.
"I love you."
Xiaoyu's eyes widen, breathing quickly.
Finally, after a long time of waiting, the waiting which made him sick, he said something that dug his heart and speak his mind. Those 3 sweet words he's been longing to tell her since highschool. He planned to tell her after the 3rd tournament, but after Heihachi had intentionally planned to execute him and awakened his Devil gene, it was hindered.
First time of his life, he cried. It's been years since he last cried after his mother died.
Xiaoyu wiped off his tears, caressing him on the face. She understood now.
She knows he had no other choice. It was not his fault he had fallen onto this kind of burden of his. She now knows why he had to shove her away, why he's been protective of her, preventing her to join the tournament, to follow him; because he doesn't want to hurt her …literally. He's bothered what might the 'within' might do to her.
Xiaoyu smiled at him, with her tears being drawn on her lips. "Jin, you know I've never left you, right? I've never stopped believing in you, and I've always known you REALLY are Jin!" then she slid her fingers to his hands which were still clumped on her face. "I'm so happy …I've never stopped loving you, Jin."
After hearing that, he held Xiaoyu closer to him. Xiaoyu felt his warmth as he wrapped his arms around her. "I'm sorry if I have to put everything this way, so much for you to handle, make you feel upset so much." he said, whispering to her ear.
"I believe you Jin …" as she slid her hands to his back, then caressed his arm, where the Devil gene was branded to him. Then she looked at his face, gazing at his soft, chestnut eyes.
"Just always remember Jin, I'll always be here for you. If you feel alone, just call me. If you're lost, I'll work with you. If you're unhappy, just look at me Jin." then she whispered to him. "I will always be here for you, and I'll always will …"
Jin, having tears down his eyes, smiled at the girl he had loved all the time, the one he never had second thoughts to protect her, the one that made him remember his mother, made him smile, and made him full again. For once more, he leaned his head to hers, closer and closer, then brushed his lips to her lips. Xiaoyu pressed herself to Jin. He didn't let go, he still kissed her, making it passionate and long-lasting, making them feel they were the only people inside that world.
As he slightly pulled away from their kiss to hug her, he whispered to her ears.
"I'll never leave you Xiao. Don't ever leave me. I want you to be here with me. I promise, the time I protect you."
The lights of the city lit the whole room, the silence was filled with promises and hopes. Jin and Xiaoyu are now going to face each problem …together without delay.
Miles before the Zaibatsu, Anna was busy filing her nails, only sitting at one edge of the seat while the military helicopter was in motion. She, along with Gen. Maxwell, were on their way to their headquarters.
"Don't get me wrong, Anna." said the general. "…but don't you fell tired chasing after your sister?"
Anna stopped what she was doing, glaring at him slowly with her eyes. "Aren't you tired chasing those little brats of yours?" she snorted back. The general was surprised by this, letting out a chuckle as he crossed his arms and fixed his glasses.
"No …I don't." he replied.
Anna scoffed a breath as she begins to file her nails again, ignoring the mocking chuckle of the general to her. "Well …so do I."
"May I ask, why do you look so young especially at your 40's?" asked the general again.
Annoyed, she faced him grimly. "Listen, I don't have fetish for old generals like you, obsessively chasing 3 annoying brats, asking me about my intention to my sister, and my age."
The general was baffled, at the words the Caucasian woman blurted to him. "Relax, you're just stressed at the assignment Kazuya gave to you."
"Finding something that was gone a long time ago. Tch! What was he thinking?" she scoffed, as she came back filing her nails.
The helicopter were a few miles now, before they could reach the said destination.
What are their plans now? Where are they heading?