Disclaimer: This belongs to Itagaki, Team Ninja, and Tecmo, thanks.
AN: Thanks readers! I'm not really out to get reviews, but if I was, yours made up for whatever I've missed. Especially yours, anon o.o;, if you remember what you said to me. As a physics major with laughable creativity, I put much more stock in my technical skills than in my ability to create plots. So when you reverse criticized me, I giggled.
I'll watch out for monotonous fight scenes. Since this is a fighting game, I guess I [wrongly] assumed that people are looking for more fights. I thought I didn't have enough confrontation, or am I misunderstanding you…that my fight descriptions just suck? Either way, it works out, because I hate writing them.
I hate clichés. I'm a reader/critic first. But I can honestly say that the jealousy angle was the best I could come up with. I hope it works. I also think I've made Tina a complete moron, but I do like her. It's just that I'd do anything for humor. Thanks for the feedback! And if you anon. review, leave an email so I never have to post this much response again. :)
Jann Lee sat back down on the couch, head in his hands. "I think…I just got sicker."
What the hell did those two know? Americans. If he were ever to consider even thinking about fighting in Spitfire, he'd not only survive, he'd blow them away. That is, if Tina didn't get in his way.
And Tina…what gave her the impression that he and Leifang were anything other than
What were they, exactly?
Well, with her following me around and threatening to beat me up constantly, I guess you could label it a stalker/victim relationship, he thought, laying back and closing his eyes.
He was at the city park again, where he just finished running and was now practicing his kicking techniques on a tree. The boy might be "The Dragon," but he was also an orphan on a budget. He didn't have many options, as far as training equipment went.
15-year old Jann Lee circled the tree, jabbing at it lightly, spinning and kicking it, but held himself back so he didn't injure himself or the tree. He was getting stronger on his own, but he couldn't kid himself. He knew that he was just wasting potential. He felt he was capable of much more.
The skin on the back of his neck prickled. He thought he heard an odd strangled laugh, and turned around to see some student gasp, then walk hurriedly past.
"Some student," with pigtails floating behind in the breeze caused by their walking hurriedly past, sped up. His eyes flashed in disbelief. He trotted up to her.
She froze for a second, caught. He recognized her at once…as the girl in the alley. He wondered suspiciously why she was there. After his casual good deed, and her unjustified anger, she actually was the last person he ever expected to see again, and close to the last he ever wanted to see again.
"You!" he stated, gracefully. He knew there was no way she could explain her passing through as a coincidence. She seemed to realize this and reverted to an unconcerned stance. She tapped her foot and rested her hands on her mini-backpack straps.
"Oh, fancy seeing you here," she said innocently.
"Don't give me that," he started, impatient. "I know you saw me. You were just laughing at me, back there!" he accused.
"It wasn't me laughing at you," she said, examining her nails. Her lie was so weak that he didn't bother mentioning that it was 6 am, and there was virtually no one else in the park yet. "Who in the world would find a teenage boy attacking a tree funny?"
He scowled. "How the hell did you find me?"
"'Find you?' You're full of yourself!" she exclaimed.
"I don't have any ties to anyone in this city, and there really aren't a lot of ways to track me down…" he started suspiciously.
"If you're suggesting that I followed you, you'd be completely wrong," she huffed. "Besides, why would I be looking for you?" she added airily.
"Because you forgot to thank me?" he suggested.
"You're so vain! I didn't come to thank you!"
"So you admit that you came looking for me," he said.
"Since I succeeded, I guess that means your security measures aren't as good as you thought," she shot back, grinning. Her smile faded.
"Why do you put barriers like that around you?" she added softly, genuine curiosity shining from her eyes.
He stepped back, alarmed at the change. "What are you really doing here, Private School?" he asked abruptly.
He saw her clench her jaw at the nickname, and he was satisfied. Prissy kids were really easy to throw off.
"I've come to fight you, of course!"
"What?" Adrenaline spiked in his system, at the opportunity. But was this some kind of joke? She was a girl. And he didn't even know her!
"You heard me. And I'm Leifang, by the way," she said, extending her hand.
It was an unnatural setup, possibly more so than a plot from a Bruce Lee movie; a damsel-in-distress's random appearance, to pick a fight with someone who had no connection to her, other than that he saved her? Who does that?
He checked her expression, and saw only sincerity there.
He grasped her hand briefly. "Lee."
Her face brightened as she slowly smiled. He looked away.
Against his better judgment, he asked, "Why do you want to fight me?"
"So you don't go and get the idea that I'm some weak, rich schoolgirl who's absolutely defenseless," she replied.
Too late. But what did it even matter what he thought of her? They probably never would've seen each other again, if she didn't track him down…This was too bizarre, and she was making it entirely too personal.
"I don't fight girls," he threw out there. Which was a valid reason to bow out, among other things.
"What?" she shrilled. "When you fought my battle for me, back in the alley!" she started accusingly. "One of them was a woman. You fought her!"
"That's different. She was a thug." Jann Lee was startled though. He definitely didn't see any women that day.
"Oh yeah? Well, I'm different too!" she said, waving her arms around her.
"What are you doing?" He really thought she was putting up a charade, about being able to protect herself. She was freakishly energetic; he had no doubt that she could've talked her way out of harm just by annoying that gang into surrender; but he didn't see her as the combative type.
"I'm not just a girl, I'm a fighter too!" she said, high kicking near his face, as if that proved something other than her flexibility or sense of humor. "Come on, let's go!"
He didn't flinch. "I said, I'm not fighting you."
"Pretend I'm just another street kid…a boy even!"
He glanced at her. Yeah, that was going to be easy.
He must've looked indecisive to her, because she stepped back, eyed him. He felt exposed. He hated it. "I know you want to," she observed quietly. "I can see it in your expression," she announced. "Don't hold that back, just fight me," she demanded, stepping into his personal space.
His adrenaline spiked once again, but he didn't give in.
"Fight me!" she repeated angrily, punching him.
He caught her by the wrists, carried her over his back and flipped her to the ground.
Immediately he felt awakened. It felt good to be fighting again, but he didn't want to harm a girl. He was torn.
But like a guilty pleasure, he wanted more.
Leifang made his decision for him. She grinned victoriously for a moment, but that look changed to determination as she sprung up and struck him open-palmed, quickly going into two mid kicks.
He simply parried the blows, punctuating each block with a quick jab at her midsection not really meant to hurt her, but to slow her down.
"You should give up while you can still walk," he said, to distract her.
"Sadly for you, I don't give up that easily." She went through a series of graceful palm strikes, but he blocked every single one. Even her more powerful hits, he was taking in stride. He could tell it was starting to get to her as her attacks became more frantic and reckless.
But he didn't strike back. "Why don't you show me what you've got!" she yelled frustrated.
Jann Lee's mouth twitched into a grin. He knew she wasn't at his level, but she was asking for it. He triple punched her following up with an elbow strike; but he did not know that Leifang's strength was her defense.
She waited patiently, circling her arms, and caught his last hit, kneeing him in the stomach and flipping him over.
Like too many things that morning, this took him by complete surprise. He landed awkwardly with one leg folded under him. She came to stomp on him before he got up. The girl was actually going to try to hit him while he was down! But he wouldn't let that happen. He deflected her attack by swiping at her ankle just as it was above him.
Of course she tripped onto him, and was now draped over his torso just so. Her face was inches above his. Her hair grazed his cheeks. He just stared.
Like an idiot.
Adrenaline, or something like it…flooded his system. He was stunned.
He remotely registered her gasp, face flushed, but ultimately she recovered before him, and made to strike his neck.
That snapped him out of it. He tossed her off of him before she hit, and flipped back up. He immediately ended the fight with a combination he had been experimenting with.
It was already dubbed by its few witnesses as the Dragon Cannon, a tribute to its effectiveness. He used repeated punches to her abdomen, followed by a powerful stunning punch to her back. Not at full force of course, but it was enough.
Once again, the air was knocked from her lungs.
He on the other hand, was sick with disappointment. It took Leifang a full minute to recover and stand up, and that was an eternity for him to wonder what the hell his problem was.
"How did you do that?" she asked, once she gained control of her lungs again.
"I practice every day," he said distractedly. "I am constantly training."
"I want you to show me," she demanded shamelessly.
He ran his hand through his hair. "What?"
"Teach me how to knock people out like that!"
"No way," he said. "You couldn't possibly execute it!"
She pouted. "Fine. It doesn't matter because one day, I will fight you again. I will find you."
She left the threat hanging, and he was left standing there.
That didn't even matter. He was too angry with himself to care. What had happened to him? He got sidetracked. This was his first intentional fight with a girl, and she had something over him…he hated it. He came so close to losing, and yet...
It was, as always, exhilarating to fight. He knew this was what he wanted to do with his life.
As far as Leifang went…she was a distraction. All girls were. Hopefully, that was the last time she popped up in his life.
How wrong he'd been then. But now, there actually was the possibility that he didn't have to worry about Leifang taking his focus off of more serious fighters.
He slept well for the rest of the afternoon.