He was falling, quick and heavy. The rush of air against his ears was almost deafening. The noise overwhelmed the sound of his heart hammering against his chest. His panic filled yells shattered the black silence that surrounded him. The velocity played tricks on him, blurring the blackness and teasing it with white wisps within the darkness. The falling seemed endless and … THUD! He landed. He crashed. Jin groaned in pain and passed out.
She was so glad to be going home but Jin's recent behaviour unnerved her to no end. Maybe we'll talk when we're comfortable. These thoughts rushed through Mia's head as she stared out the car window. She refused to make eye contact with Jin, wringing her hands nervously as she continued to gaze outside.
"Babe." She cringed inwardly. His voice was soft as opposed to his cold composure; she didn't have to look to assure that. He called again, it was silky smooth and it set off something that exploded something in the pit of her tummy.
She hesitated, braced herself, and turned to look at Jin. To her surprise, the cold front was gone. The softness of his voice was matched with a look of concern. His handsome features were marred with discomfort, but the concern didn't reach his eyes. Mia dared to make eye contact. His eyes were doing that thing again. The molten gold smouldered and fanned the flames in the pit of her tummy. She gulped and the only word that escaped her pouted lips, "Jin…"
The gold eyes hardened and darkened at the sound of her voice. Mia broke eye contact. Jin shifted closer and Mia's head exploded as it bombarded her with racing thoughts. She wished he wouldn’t come closer. His stature intimidated her and the eye contact was already placing her on the edge. The car felt cramped and congested and it made Mia feel smothered. Suddenly, staring into her lap was the most fascinating thing in the world.
"Hey there," he spoke so gently that it made her jump. She only nodded in response. "Look, I know my attitude and behaviour may seem a little strange now…"
Oh my God! How did he know what I was thinking? She thought with panic. "But I will explain in due time. Just bear with me, hun." Mia shifted slightly. Never had she felt so awkward with Jin. Jin placed his hand over hers gently.
Mia's head almost snapped up to look at him. He was way too close to her. She gulped again as she found herself staring at his lips. She tried to look right through him but she was being distracted by his chest being in such close proximity. She looked up at him again and locked eyes with him. The swirling molten gold warmed her and he moved to close the space between them. Mia closed her eyes and gave into the emotion she had been denying herself. She gave into it despite the throbbing pain that kept shooting through her arm.
Jin hissed in pain. Mia's eyes flew upon at the sound and found Jin glaring, darkly, at his hand. She glanced down at her wrist; the tattoo mark was white. Shit!
"Jin…" His name rolled off her lips before she could think of anything else. He looked up at her through his jet-black bangs. His eyes full of sorrow and anguish. "Mia, I'm sorry…" and he recoiled into the seat on the extreme end away from Mia's hand that reached out to him. She sighed and pouted again as she watched him flinch away from her.
Devil Jin recoiled into the seat furthest away from Mia to stop himself from strangling her. His hand stung mildly as he reflected on the past few moments in the car. As he did this, his anger and urge to kill Mia right there was put at bay. Instead, his urge to laugh hysterically returned but he had to remain in character. He was playing heartbroken and hurt. Inside, he was already in stitches. He realised how to make Mia squirm with ease and how easily she trusted Jin, so much that intimacy existed. He took pleasure in recalling how her fine features twisted in confusion when he was about to kiss her.
Devil Jin glowered at his palm for his carelessness. The beast in his chest growled. He mused what else he could do to her. The psychotic side to him whispered the endless opportunities that were possible. The beast in his chest rumbled in agreement as he broke the silence with a soft "hmmm." But the car fell back into awkward silence. Shortly, they came to a stop as they pulled into the grounds of the Kazama Manor.
"Jin, why didn't you drop me off at my apartment?" Mia's voice rasped. It was almost as if she had forgotten how to use her voice. "You're going to stay here until you've healed." He replied coolly. More time to play games with you. His inner voice chimed in. Devil Jin smirked inwardly at that comment.
"But I'm fine. It's just a couple of bandages." Mia protested. "That is only your physical injuries. Mind you, babe, you've been out for few weeks. You need to recuperate." Mia fell into silence and Jin smirked as he exited the car. Mia didn't miss that smirk. She huffed in annoyance, flung the car door open and stepped out to prove a point.
Upon exerting herself, Mia's legs turned to jelly and she crumbled into a heap. Hoping that the floor would be kind to her, she was surprised when strong muscular arms caught her and lifted her. He chuckled "So, I should have left you, alone, at your apartment, huh?" Mia groaned in annoyance.
“Fuck you, Kazama!” She yelled. She was pissed at his cocky behaviour, and she was pissed at this sudden one-eighty degree change in him. “Now?” He chuckled. She threw him a look of disgust and judged him.
Jin's sturdy arms supported Mia into the grand house. It was dark in all its colours and heavy closed curtains, and the general ambience was foreboding. The thought sent chills down her back and she shivered. "Cold?" His soft voice filled her ear as his cool breath brushed over her shoulder and ear. She could only nod. He ushered her into a warmer and brighter room. Mia wondered how far this room was from Jin's room.
How much distance was there between the Devil and I? She shivered again as she began to think about what it would be like to live here within such close proximity of the Devil. She was on edge as she recalled her last encounter with him. "I'll get your blanket." Jin said as he settled her on the bed.
Soon after that, Mia was wrapped up in the blanket and the room was significantly warmer. Jin sat on the bed next to her after he tended to all her dressings. For the first time Mia had a closer look at her injuries and saw what the Devil had done to her. Jin wore a pained expression the entire time he dressed the wounds. His lips pressed into a thin line while his brows furrowing in concentration.
"Are you comfortable?" his voice reached her ears, drawing her out of her thoughts and she nodded in response once more. He had moved closer, she realised, as the weight on the bed shifted and his voice grew clearer. "If you need anything, please let me know."
Oh no! He's doing that again, Mia thought as she listened to his soft smooth voice, which set the flames ablaze in her tummy. She turned to the side to look at Jin but she found herself staring straight into his eyes. She squeaked, "Jin…"
The Devil fought back his laughter as he watched those sweet delicate features on her face twist in utter confusion. "Relax Mia! You must be tired; I'll leave you to rest now." He brushed his lips against her cheek, leaving her expression astonished.
He got up to leave the room and walked to the door. He placed his hand on the doorknob but glanced back at Mia. She sat there dumbfounded, and stared blankly into space with parted lips. Her reaction was as if it was her first kiss. The Devil felt his smirk grow into a psychotic smile but recovered his mask as he chuckled aloud and left. After closing the door behind him, Jin's eyes flashed a raging molten gold, the beast in his chest swelling with excitement as he growled maliciously.
Jin felt ready to give up as he finally started to catch his breath, which settled after some moments. He seemed to be at it for hours. He had lost count of how many nightmares he had lived through. Correction, how many he fought through, he thought drily. Every single one of them was taking its toll on him. He felt weak with dense, non-responsive muscles. His strong muscular body was decorated with fine bruises and cuts. So far, most of the nightmares were battles he had experienced in the King of the Iron Fist Tournament but every single one ended horribly and Jin could only fight to survive.
He lay against the cold blackness while his defined and chiselled chest heaved slowly and heavily. His fighting gauntlets were worn out and balding. His pants were smeared with blood, a mix of his own and anyone else he had faced. His jet black bangs stuck to his forehead while pure brown eyes stared into the blackness. He wished it would end. Although he won most of the fights, he was dealt some serious damage. He felt a wave of exhaustion wash over him.
The circle of light returned, almost blinding Jin in the process. With a knee-jerk reflex timing, his hand covered his eyes. He sighed and got up despite his body screaming protests. He positioned himself in fighting stance and awaited his next opponent. Let's make this a quick one, please. Jin thought tiredly.
The arena was pitch black and silent. There were neither intense lights nor screaming crowds. Just darkness. A beam of red light cut through the darkness and knocked Jin onto the ground. What the hell? The silence was broken with a malicious laugh.
That laugh seemed so familiar to Jin. And then it hit him. "NO!"