Comfort fills him when Wonshik enters the training room, as he so often experiences. The man leans against a pillar on a shoulder, watching him. Their eyes meet for a second, then Hongbin’s gaze flits back to his bow, the arrow poised, and focuses once again on the target, imagining all the worst demons in front of him. The arrow is drawn so close to his face that when he stops moving his hand and focuses, he can see the small runes inscribed on it. He knows what each of them does; he placed them there. He makes each of his arrows with the same care and eye for detail, making them powerful, able to kill a demon.
In a second, he releases the arrow. He doesn’t stop to look at where it ends up; instead, he reaches for a new arrow from his quiver as he walks to the next target. He fires the next arrow, takes a new one, fires, and keeps going with complete concentration. Then, someone grabs his shoulders from behind, and in his surprise he kicks back, making the hands let go of him, and turns around with an arrow ready to shoot-
Wonshik is in front of him, laughing hard while stabilizing himself even though he’s sort of cupping his junk from the kick. He’s gotten better at handling pain over the years - all Shadowhunters learn it. “Don’t shoot,” he says, even while he’s still laughing.
“Holy shit, Wonshik,” Hongbin almost shouts, immediately taking the arrow off the bowstring and placing it back in his quiver. Although he was shocked, looking at Wonshik he can almost feel laughter bubbling up his throat as well. “By the Angel, what the fuck did you do that for?” he says incredulously. It’s not like they haven’t practiced surprise attacks before, but Hongbin saw Wonshik coming in and he didn’t see him move away because of his focus on the targets in front of him.
“Sorry,” Wonshik says, still giggling, and Hongbin kicks him gently. “You should be prepared for other attackers, but it looks like you are, buddy. I don’t think my junk is going to function for a while.”
“Not like you need it to these days.” Hongbin snorts at his offended look, and turns back to the targets, going over to each one to survey his shots. Most of the arrows hit the bullseye, and, well, that should be good enough, but it never is. He pulls each arrow out and places them back in his quiver, a disgruntled look on his face every time an arrow is off the mark. One misfire, after all, and a demon could live long enough to kill more people. His shots need to be perfectly calculated.
Wonshik seems to be able to tell what he’s thinking - they’re parabatai, after all, connected by a bond stronger than blood. They know each other like the back of their hand. “How about a spar?” Wonshik suggests, and Hongbin is ready to catch the staff thrown at him before he even puts away his bow. He grins easily at his parabatai as he goes into fight stance, staff readily poised in a split second, an extension of his arm.
As Shadowhunters, they learn to be familiar with nearly all the weapons in their possession - Wonshik could fire some good arrows if he borrowed Hongbin’s bow, and Hongbin could probably make some damage with Wonshik’s axe, but that’s a matter of preference - and to be natural with the most important ones, like the seraph blade sheathed in his belt, the best weapon for killing demons in close range as it ensures the demon’s death. Still, Hongbin will always reach for his bow first, and his arrows are created to be lethal in the same way as seraph blades.
“Do your worst,” Hongbin says, and there’s a glint in Wonshik’s eye as the spar begins.
They circle each other for a few seconds, until Wonshik lunges forward with his staff, trying to hit Hongbin’s shoulder. Hongbin blocks the attack, and slams his staff into Wonshik’s side in retaliation. He moves quickly, in order to protect himself the moment he strikes, immediately holding the staff in front of him. He’s good at blocking Wonshik’s offences, but Wonshik also gets in some good hits. Because they know each other's patterns so well, after years of training together, they’re often able to predict the other’s moves. To them, sparring like this isn't so much for enhancing their fight skills anymore as it is for enhancing their bond, improving their cooperative skills.
With a swift movement, Hongbin advances on Wonshik with the staff, going for his face; Wonshik uses his own staff to block the attack and nearly forces Hongbin's staff out of his grip from the force with which he hits it. This gives him an opening, and he kicks at the back of Hongbin's knee, bringing him to the ground with a grunt. Wonshik stands over him, pointing the staff at his chest.
"I win," he says brightly, and then removes the staff and holds it at his side, offering his free hand to help Hongbin up. Hongbin accepts it, pulling himself up, and playfully pokes his parabatai with his own staff.
Then, within a split second, he returns the attack that took him down, kicking at Wonshik's knees. He chuckles when the man drops to the floor, groaning a bit more dramatically than Hongbin. "Don't think you've automatically won," Hongbin says, amused.
He's about to help Wonshik up as well, but is distracted when he hears a Portal opening outside the training room. "Is that-" he wonders, dropping the staff and going to see who is entering the Institute.
“Junmyeon hyung,” he greets happily at the sight of the warlock closing the Portal he just came through. “I thought you were only coming this evening.”
Junmyeon smiles at him, straightening his coat. “I was asked to come earlier,” he explains. “Nasty demon attack, apparently. Oh, hello, Wonshik.”
“What’s this about a demon attack?” Wonshik asks curiously, coming up next to Hongbin.
“A flock of demons somewhere in the northern part of the city. Do you guys want to come along?” Junmyeon sizes them up, as if he hasn’t known them since the two Shadowhunters were children, eager to learn and prove their worth.
Working for the Seoul Institute - because the High Warlock is apparently “too busy”, but Junmyeon says the man just can’t be bothered - he would come around often to help Shadowhunters by performing protection spells and tracking spells and whatnot else they wanted from him. With all his visits, he would also chat with the two boys and play around with them, much to the chagrin of both of their parents, who only tolerated a Downworlder in their midst because they needed his help. Despite his parents’ discontent, Hongbin developed some admiration for Junmyeon over the course of his youth, and so did Wonshik, although he shows it less readily after the recent weeks spent in Idris with his own parents.
“I was just getting warmed up,” Hongbin reasons, “so why not?”
“I haven’t fought anything in almost a week. It’s been quiet,” says Wonshik, already starting to reopen the door to the training room, definitely to get his axe. “A hunt sounds good right about now.”
“All right,” Junmyeon says, “gear up. I’ll be back with you in a few minutes.”
Here we go again cairistiona !