Author's Notes: This time it wasn't my fault! The site just wouldn't let me log in yesterday Saturday. Me and my good luck. Anyway, here I am.
(takes deep breath) I don't even know how to start this. Say, I've been writing this fic for centuries, it's kind of hard to come up with the final chapter.
And to think all this started with the trip in the woods, hm? I hadn't really planned this arc to cover the Russian T. but, well, I just couldn't wait and start another fic about that, so I included everything in here. Yeah, kind of messed up, but what can I do now? Plus, I kind of like the name of this fic (humble god of death)
Thanks for all your reviews, more than I had ever received ('coz I had never written something so long) at the end of this epilogue, there's a thanking list. You guys deserve all the credit (bows in gratitude)
How funny, I'm starting to receive mails from my GW readers asking me why I have deserted my origins, and when I am supposed to return. I enjoyed a lot writing this different anime fic, and I really love all the BB readers, you are all very kind and kind of perky (in good way)
Okay, enough rambling. Here we go, let see if we can tie together some loose ends, and make readers smile this day.
(Man, how I would like to pull an insane end like a accident occurring to them, or Kai or Rei being kidnapped again, but I'm gonna ruin the mood if I do it! Gee, why is that happy endings win over us?)
"Staring Into Scarlet Eyes"
by Shinigami's Voice.
["Some things are just chimerical, like the fire of its wings, like the silence of its ashes, when the cycle of life ends. But they said legends are truths, in disguise of distant tales, like the image of the phoenix, resurrecting in this day..........."]
The constant yelling and cheering flooded the place, signaling the presence of buoyant, vibrant teens having a good time.
Sitting some feet behind the plate, the Chief smiled in good humor at Takao's always-so-silly remarks.
".........But of course, the waiter said I could just have all I wanted in reward!!!"
"Oh, that's why you've been whining all day long, ne, Takao?" -Max teased- "Four settings for breakfast is just too much!!!"
"Hey!" -the dragon protested- "I never said I had four! I had six!!"
"You're incredible" -Rei rolled his eyes at the loudmouthed blader.
"Takao is a living proof of human's resistance. I just wish his wisdom was the size of his hunger" -Dizzy, from Kenny's laptop, joked in that electronic voice of hers.
The smaller blader chuckled, as he let his permanently-hidden eyes wandered around.
They were in the local stadium of Tokyo city, practicing their favorite activity and number one sport.
They were the BB World Champions, after all.
They had won not only the Asian Tournament, but the American and Russian as well............
They had left Moscow two months later.
Yes, after waiting three months for their captain's return.
But they received not a word more about him or his whereabouts.
Like vanished from Earth.
"I bet Draciel can't stop my new Storm Haunting Chaos" -Takao said defiantly, while his blade spun on the smooth surface of the plate.
Max's eyes shone with resolution.
"Is that so? Are you forgetting my beast is a defense champion?" -the blonde said.
"Well....." -the dragon dragged the word, taking that in consideration.
"Okay, lets gamble" -Max cut him off- "If you win, I'll invite you lunch, if I win.......hmmmm.......you'll stay home practicing with your grandpa and I won't visit you for two days"
The long-haired teen paled- "Are you nuts, Maxie?! My grandpa is bad enough, and if you're not around how am I suppose to escape him?!"
The tortoise laughed merrily- "I was just kidding!"
Rei watched the exchange with a smile, though it didn't seem to reach his eyes.
'Five months............it's been a long time...............I had really hope you'd show up before we left Moscow, Kai.....................but you didn't..................'
The four Breakers were packing all their belongings in their hotel suite.
The room was oddly silent.
"So" -Takao broke the silence as usual- "We're going back home, ne? This cold weather was starting to turn me permanently blue"
Small smiles were his answer. His dry humor didn't seem to make the effect he expected.
"Mr. Dickenson just called" -Kenny said- "There's a minivan waiting to take us to the airport. He's already in the lobby"
"He didn't tell you anything else?" -Rei asked, not lifting his eyes from his deed of folding clothes.
The others looked at each other, knowing well what 'else' was the Chinese teen referring.
"No" -the Chief answered.
Rei nodded in understanding- "It's okay.....Well, I'm done with mine"- the long-haired boy finally looked up with a perfect smile on place.
"Yeah, mine is ready too" -Max added, and Kenny also lifted his bag.
"Gee, I don't know how did I manage to bring all this" -Takao muttered, stuffing all his clothes and attires in a very messy and haphazard way into his bag- "The hell with it" -the boy huffed, finally managing to close it.
They descended the stairs, seeing how the elevator wasn't about to pick them up. When they finally reached the lobby, Mr. Dickenson was there, smile and kind eyes as always.
"There you are, World Champions" -he greeted amiably.
"Yeah, a red rug for us, please, the stars of the show!" -Takao, always the modest, grinned from ear to ear.
Many fans were gathered around the hotel doors when they exited, and they spent almost 20 minutes taking pictures and signing autographs.
"You know" -Max commented- "Russia is not as cold as we thought. People here are just as warm as in other places" -he smiled, as they made their way towards the van.
"Aa" -Rei agreed.
"Dizzy and I are taking a last, peripheral record of the city" -Kenny informed, as he whirled slowly, the camera of his laptop-beast taking in the surroundings.
After loading all the bags and other stuff in the van, the vehicle started the way, as they silently crossed the streets towards the airport.
In the front seat, Mr. Dickenson turned slightly to look at the teens in the back seats.
"Oh, I also have a letter addressed to you guys" -the manager said.
Golden eyes lit up with anticipation.
Mr. Dickenson, at seeing this, added in a somehow sympathetic voice: "Well, it's from the Tala and the other Demolition Boys"
The tiger managed to suppress the sigh, understanding Kai was not included in them.
"Cool! Let us see it!" -the dragon smiled.
The page was handed to the Breakers, and Max did the honor to read it. It was a normal, thanking letter, like extracted from a manual, with a last congratulation for their victory and wishes of a safe trip.
"Well, it seems they are very scarce when it comes to words" -Kenny opined.
"Man, I appreciate them writing us, but why didn't they come and say good-bye?" -Takao wondered.
"They are already training hard for the next local tournament" -Mr. Dickenson informed- "They didn't want to interrupt their routine. And from my point of view, training is exactly the first thing you guys have to dedicate time when we arrive to Japan"
"Ohhhhhh" -the dragon whined pathetically.
"Come on, Takao, practice creates masters" -Dizzy chided.
Rei stared through the window, with wistful expression.
'You can see a pattern there. It's the way they've been raised. Training hard, just like Kai did. And the lack of words, so much like Kai used to be before.......................'
Without noticing it, the Chinese teen let his hand rest against his own pants pocket, where a folded letter was.
'His last letter was different................' -he thought.
"We're here" -the tortoise announced when they arrived to the airport's parking lot.
"I already called" -Mr. D. said- "And our flight will leave in time. We got 20 minutes to reach the F-14 gate"
In the middle of the chatting and moving, the Japan team and its manager walked through the slightly crowded place, while their bags were being loaded into the plane.
The attendant smiled kindly at them, checking their tickets and instructing the older man.
Max's blue eyes studied the way his Chinese teammate was almost purposely delaying his walk, and the way he would turn to look back.
As if expecting.
"Rei" -the blonde called- "We're ready"
The yellow-eyed teen nodded, as he walked towards the plane's entrance.
"Ne, pal, probably........" -Takao started seeing him advance, but the same tiger cut him off.
"I know, don't need to tell me" -he smiled- "I'll just have to wait a bit more"
But..........he had really expected him there. No one showed up.
** end flashback**
"Hey, kiddos!!!" -a voice called from the other side of the gym. A tall man in uniform was calling them
"What is it, Kyo?" -Takao asked aloud at the gym's keeper.
"Here's another one looking for you" -the man answered- "Another applicant to your team!"
"Gee!" -Takao muttered- "These guys don't give up"
"It seems every blader in the city wants to become a Breaker" -the Chief opined- "And who wouldn't? Being the World Champion Team, and currently lacking a member............"
"Oh, my, if they only knew about Takao's snoring. Make it public and the bladers will run off" -the electronic bit-beast snickered.
"Very funny, Dizzy" -Takao frowned.
Since the Breakers landed a foot in Japan, it seemed like the day was declared holiday.
There were celebrations in their honor, matches, even t.v. programs. They were the local heroes.
And it didn't pass long without the audience realizing Kai, leader of the BladeBrakers hadn't returned with them. Rumors started to be heard, that he had resigned after defeating Tala in the last round, or that the same Breakers had asked their resignation due to his former betrayal.
Because, even if the t.v. channels transmitted the fire that destroyed the Moscow Stadium, it wasn't made public that there were any victims, less than a blader had been trapped there.
No one knew, except the teams and people that were there that day. So everyone assumed that Kai had gone for sure.
Therefore, his place was vacant. And the bladers went crazy.
Three or four kids would appear every day, wanting to become a new member, wanting to show them their abilities.
"It would have been better if we had said the truth and that we were going to wait for Kai's return since the beginning, instead of accepting their challenges" - Max sighed.
"Yes, but you know what Mr. Dickenson said" -the Chief reminded him.
It had been the manager who convinced them not to make public Kai's temporal absence or its motives. Besides, he had told them it would be sad and demoralizing to the other bladers to be rejected just like that.
If a blader wanted to be in the team, he/she had to defeat them in a beybattle first.
No one had until now.
"Oookay" -Dragoon's master said- "Let him pass, Kyo!"
"Do you want me to handle this one?" -Rei asked- "Drigger would like a little warm up"
"No!!!!" -Takao and Max exclaimed at a time.
"You took care of the last two ones" -Takao folded arms- "And you're not very merciful to say the truth. You beat them in a matter of minutes"
Rei smiled guiltily, looking at the floor.
"I can't help it. I wouldn't like some one making it through Drigger. The place in this team is taken"
The others smiled at him.
"We know it, Rei. No one's gonna take Kai's place, don't worry" -the Chief said nicely.
"And I'm gonna make sure of it!" -Max beamed- "Draciel and I will battle this kid"
Rei nodded, flashing his fangs in a feline smile.
"See you guys tomorrow, kay?"
"Be punctual for once, Takao!!"
"Geez, you're worse than grandpa!"
Rei walked contently towards his apartment. He passed by a little park and some shops, reaching a nice neighborhood, like 5 blocks away from Takao's own dojo.
Mr. Dickenson had found that place for him. The Chinese teen had stayed in Mr. D. building during his first weeks in Japan, but after a little while, he had settled in his own place.
Takao, Kenny and Max envied him for that. An apartment for himself.
'Come to think of it, I never knew where Kai lived.................' -the tiger thought as he advanced towards the building. It was a two-story one with a quiet and neat appearance. The neighbors were nice, though they weren't much apartments occupied at the time.
'Yeah, it's nice to have a place for your own. But, being raised with Li and the guys back in China kind of used me to social life. Now it's a bit lonely................'
A smile curved Rei's lips. He remembered the visit he received a month ago.
"Mariah?!" -the boy opened the door with an expression of surprise and joy.
"Hi, Rei!" -the girl beamed as he hugged her former teammate.
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming to Japan?" -Rei asked, still awed.
"It was a surprise, you silly" -the feline girl smiled.
"And Li? Kevin and Gary?" -the boy looked past Mariah, but she was alone.
"They send you greetings and lots of back pats" -she answered- "They wanted to come, but Li's grandfather decided to retain them. He's training the juice out of us"
"I see. Well, come in" -Rei invited.
"Pretty" -she said, looking around.
"Thanks. Mr. Dickenson has been really nice to me"
"Yes, he's the one who bought me the ticket to come and visit you" -the pink-haired girl said.
"Really? Uh, why?"
"What?" -Mariah put her hands on her hips in a reproving manner- "Not glad to see me?"
Rei sweatdropped- "Not at all, Mariah. I'm really happy you're here. It's been lonely lately" -he admitted.
"I imagined that" -she said with an intense glance- "You know, I really wanted to talk to you"
Rei nodded- "Lets sit. I'll bring you something"
Once they were settled, Mariah started.
"Okay, to begin with, I'm leaving tonight"
"Nani?!" -the boy exclaimed.
The girl smiled- "Galux and I need to train too. But I stole this day, just for you"
"Thanks" -the tiger smiled, feeling a bit awkward, specially since his friend was staring at him with enigmatic feline eyes, just like his.
"Has he contacted you or the others?" -she asked.
"No" -Rei answered, kind of expecting this was what the conversation was going to be about- "Kai's letter was the last news we received, and we received it from you. Thanks for helping him back in the fire, we are all.....---"
"Hey, you've thanked us like three times on phone already. And add Takao, Max and Kenny's thanks to that" -Mariah dismissed the matter- "When Li and us decided to go back for him, we didn't exactly know why. We just were aware that he returned our beats, and that he had returned to the Breakers. So, we supposed we should do it. After hearing all his story from you and what Biovolt was doing, we are glad we did it"
"Aa" -Rei said. He had told a edited version of Kai's life to his former team, avoiding details for the phoenix's sake and privacy.
"Plus, I knew you would have done the same" -she added- "if they had allowed you, you would have entered the fire even with all those wounds, ne?"
"We would all have. He's our captain and friend" -Rei explained.
"Aha" -Mariah nodded, then took a sip of his tea- "Is something lacking those reasons?"
Rei stayed silent for a while- "Do you think so?" -he questioned back.
"Do you want to tell me? I can stop asking if you want" -the girl said kindly.
To this, the tiger smiled- "You've been my friend since we were babies, Mariah. You can ask..........though you seem to have some idea..................."
"Well" -the girl smiled proudly- "I know you pretty well, Rei Kon. Since you were that little brat that pulled at my hair"
"Hey! You also pulled at mine!" -he defended himself.
"Yeah" -she said- "I'm happy we're friends" -and that tone of hers had a sense of thoughtfulness. Just friends.
"You know I love you all guys, you are like my family, just like the Breakers are now" -the Chinese boy said.
The Chinese girl looked back at him- "Kai's in other level, right?"
Rei looked at his cup of mint tea- "Aa. It was difficult for me to notice it"
Mariah's fresh laughter made him turn to see her with wide eyes.
"I give you that" -she said between snickers- "I think we noticed it first. And you were the careful watcher, ne?"
"We? Li and you?" -Rei asked, feeling his cheeks blushing.
"No" -Mariah said- "A friend I made at Russia. Her name is Calypso, she's Greek. She was the first one to confirm my 'idea'"
Rei's eyes widened even more. He remembered the black-haired girl captain, and her amethyst eyes.
"We befriended while being there, and she told me she knew the Breakers. Then I told her me too, and we started talking. We got along really well. We still mail each other, you know? .........She said she used to like Kai when she met him.............."
"Aa. She told me" -Rei finally talked.
".............and we ended talking about both you and Kai" -the girl said.
"I couldn't see clearly back then. Kai neither" -Rei sighed.
"That you liked each other?" -she inquired slowly.
The black-haired teen nodded.
"So.............." -the girl dragged the word, expecting Rei to say something.
"So" -the boy smiled- "I love him"
Mariah returned the gesture- "I figured that much"
"And he loves me" -the raven-haired youth added.
Mariah snickered- "I also figured that"
Rei put the key and the lock and turned the knob, stepping into his apartment, still remembering his chat with Mariah that day.
He was really grateful to her and her comprehension, as well as support. She had wished him all the luck of the world, and promised to give Kai a piece of her mind if he didn't return soon.
But a month had gone by since that.
It wasn't like if he was doing that badly, but he was becoming nervous and anxious lately.
He was very strong and firm-determinate, and he had showed a good humor and mood despite the facts.
Still, the Breakers were always backing him up, inviting him to come over and practice, or some other activity to pass the time.
Last one had been a pajama party at Takao's dojo, which included lots of laughter, water balloons war, food and even Takao's grandpa extravagant antics.
"I better go to bed now" -he yawned, slipping out of his shoes and falling onto the soft mattress- "We have to go practice tomorrow morning, and Mr. Dickenson wants to check on us again"
Then, the boy groaned in dismay- "I haven't brushed my teeth"
The boy got up, murmuring something about hating to stand from bed. Once his task was done, he returned to his room and pulled the covers over him.
His last glance was directed upon a silver case resting on the night table.
And the lamp was turned off.
"You're 15 minutes late!!" -three boys chided at the incoming dragon.
"Only 15?! Wow, that's a new record!" -Takao laughed merrily.
"Baka" -Max said in an endearing manner, as he stepped close and placed a light kiss on Takao's cheek.
"We've been practicing without you" -the Chief said- "Dizzy and I designed a new strategy last night. It involves your three beasts working at a time. Drigger and Draciel already synchronized their moves. Lets see if Dragoon can---"
"And Mr. Dickenson? I thought we were coming early because the Great General was checking on us" -the dragon interrupted- "If he wasn't coming I would have stayed more time eating my breakfast......."
The rest of the Breakers magically resisted the urge to slap their foreheads. Takao was Takao after all.
"I think he had a delay in his office. But he mailed Dizzy and he's on his way" -the red-haired boy informed.
"So, Takao, ready to put Dragoon to dance?" -Max said.
"Sure!! You should see the moves my grandpa has taught me!"
"Ah.........I don't think we're eager too" -Rei giggled.
"Oh, boys, here you are" -a well-known voice said from the steps of the stadium.
"Hi, Mr. D!!!" -they all greeted.
"Sorry I am late" -the manager explained while descending- "But another applicant wanted to battle you, so I had to talk to---"
"Yet another?" -Kenny inquired.
"Did you tell him we were out of the country?" -Takao asked.
"Come on, guys, it's in order to keep the bladers' spirit up. If you dismiss everyone without giving them a chance, it's gonna be mean and unfair on your part"
"Yes, Mr. D." -they all nodded.
"Besides, I think this new applicant's got skills. I brought the blader here to challenge you" -the man informed.
"Then I'll battle this kid" -Rei said firmly- "Where's he?"
"Oh, right here, waiting for you. Come, young man" -the manager pointed at a blader walking towards them from the left gates.
Takao folded arms, acquiring a somehow snobby attitude. He liked to seem dominant and sure of himself in front of the apprentices. He smiled smugly.
"Tell me, you're the applicant to be one of our teammates?" -he asked to the incoming person.
The teen stepped closer, a self-assured aura around him, and he entered the battling area.
"No" - a deep voice answered- "I want the Captain place"
Scarlet eyes glared, if not hard, firmly at the dumbstruck bladers staring at him.
Mr. Dickenson smiled.
Four voices exclaimed at a time, as the four teens shot towards him.
Once at arms' reach, Takao and Max grabbed his shoulders, and both at the same time, shook him back and forth.
"Where have you been?!" -the two boys inquired- "You had us worried!!!"
Kenny laughed, watching the scene where both tortoise and dragon seemed to have a real connection in their actions and words. And that, surprisingly, the phoenix hadn't sent them flying away.
Kai seemed concentrated in other aspects. Like the long-haired boy also watching him.
Rei was standing few steps behind, a real smile, not like the forced or somehow melancholic smiles he had sported before, a real, brilliant smile on his features. Golden eyes equally illuminated.
And Kai all-heartily repeated to himself how beautiful the Chinese teen was. And how much he had missed him...........
After Takao and Max's loud inquiries, which weren't answered by a silent Kai, they stepped back in order to study their recently arrived friend.
The phoenix was in black baggy pants and night-blue shirt, an open and long black coat and---
Mentally, they all noticed coats fit him really well.
And a white scarf in his usual way. But there weren't gloves covering his wrists, and neither................neither marks on his face.
Rei's eyebrows raised in contemplation, studying the messy mop of blue hair and the paint-clean skin.
'He looks ..........more..........innocent without the stripes........but equally good.............' -the tiger said to himself, while he seemed to be nailed to his spot.
Kai wasn't moving either, just standing there like waiting for some kind of life sentence.
Meanwhile, the other three boys were nervously looking at Kai, then at Rei, then at Kai, then back at Rei.
"What are you waiting for?!" -the dragon finally asked- "No nice to see you or how are you doing or I missed you or hug or---"
"Shut up, Takao" -Kenny kicked the other boy ceremoniously not.
"Hmmmmm......Kai?" -Max asked, as if encouraging the slate-haired teen.
Kai gave two steps.
"Hi" -he said, barely smiling at the others, his glance still glued to Rei.
"Plurgghh!!" -Takao sputtered- "A one syllable word?! That's all?! Come on, you can do better!" -the buoyant blader exclaimed- "We'll teach you how!! A bear hug!"
And the other boy threw himself over Dranzer's master, who very calmly stepped back and outstretched his leg, making Takao trip over and fall face first on the pavement.
"Yes, glad to see you too" -Kai said, watching the dragon on the floor.
"You, mean!!" -the fallen boy protested- "You said you would change!"
"Some things" -Kai shrugged- "You can forget about me liking group hugs" -he said smiling slightly, and offering his hand to help the other stand.
Everyone stared at the phoenix. He had never used that kind of gestures.
"Wow" -Takao murmured- "You sure you don't have a tricky thing in your hand and you want me to fall for it?"
"It could be possible" -Kai replied- "If you don't wa-"
"No, it's okay!" -the dragon said rapidly, extending his arm and pulling his weight up to take the hand and come to his feet.
"Does this mean you're nicer now?" -Kenny asked in awe.
The slate hair stirred as Kai shook his head- "No. I'm just making you look silly" -he said in all seriousness.
"But your marks............." -Max pointed at his face.
Kai nodded- "It was hard to get used not to wear them. Some days I would look through all my things looking for the paint, but ..........but I left it here........as a compromise................"
And Kai's eyes fixed on Rei's again.
"Hmmm, say..........ahhh........we have some things to talk about, right Chief, Takao?" -the blonde said, hinting the others to give the other two some room.
"Sure" -Kenny said, starting to walk towards Mr. Dickenson.
"Things? What things?" -the dragon scratched his head.
"Just come" -Max pulled him away.
"Ohhh! He he he" -Takao laughed mischievously- "You mean to leave Kai to Rei, ne? Go for it Rei!!!" -the boy said with a wink.
Rei shot the leaving dragon a glare, and the turned to smile nervously at Kai.
"It's been five months" -the tiger finally said.
"Five? It seemed like a year to me" -Kai said back wistfully.
Rei gave a sweet smile- "I felt a bit lonely too, but I had the guys. You didn't have anyone"
"Used to that" -Kai shrugged.
Rei frowned- "You don't have to feel like that anymore bec-"
"Because I have you" -Kai interrupted, then let a real smile to appear on his face- "I was hoping you would say that"
"Silly. Of course I would" -Rei giggled as he stepped closer to him, but Kai halted him with his hand.
"I have to tell you something" -Kai said with serious expression as Rei listened- "Rei, I'm not a nice person like you deserve, even I have managed to steel myself and accept the others' closeness, if you noticed. I still have many bad things. I'm still very messed up and you must un--"
"Kai" -Rei cut him off, taking hold of Kai's arm and moving it to the side, in order to stand just an inch apart from the phoenix's face. He could feel his breathing tickling his pert nose- "Don't dare to ask me if I still want you. You told me you had only yourself to offer.........Well, it's only yourself I want" -the Chinese teen said with firm conviction, leaning his forehead against Kai's.
"I kind of knew you would say that" -the crimson-eyed youth smiled.
"Arrogant" -Rei chuckled, as he embraced his phoenix.
"Aa" -the other teen agreed, also wrapping his strong arms around Rei's frame, and whispering in his ear- "But I love you upon arrogance"
The slate-haired teen felt Rei nod against his shoulder and murmur something back.
Kai knew what was Rei saying.
"No marks, hm?" -the tiger said, raising his head a bit to look at Kai- "And you're also smiling more. Though you barely smiled with the guys here"
"I didn't want to give them a heart attack" -Kai replied- "I don't want to be the one carrying them to the morgue"
Rei laughed- "You can be comical sometimes"
"Lets keep that to us" -the boy opined, then his mood sobered a bit- "I'm not sure if I am able to show other aspects openly either. I feel very uncomfortable just thinking about it"
"Like now, when you just appear and didn't greet me in front of them?" -Rei asked.
Kai averted his eyes- "Aa. I know it hurts, that I'm not showing you my emotions only because I thi-"
"I understand" -Rei soothed- "You don't have to explain. I would also feel odd to have you showing affection in public. It's not Kai-like"
"That's a relief" -Kai sighed- "Though if you had asked, I would have tried to do it. That I feel uncomfortable doesn't mean I'm afraid or ashamed...."
"Really?" -Rei smirked with a naughty expression.
Instead of words, Kai affirmed his statement by placing a kiss on Rei's smiling lips.
Muffled giggles and voices were overhead at this point, something in the fashion of: 'man, if I had a camera' and 'turn Dizzy on'
Both kissing boys drew back, glaring at the peeping toms, namely Max, Takao and Kenny.
"Oops, they found us" -the Chief gulped.
"And it seems Rei has learned to mimic Kai's death glare" -Max opined with a guilty smile.
Takao chose to play the fresh one: -"Oh, hi. We were just checking how you guys were doing, ya know? Everything fine, ne? .........Specially seeing how Rei welcomed Kai back..." -Takao chuckled, not resisting the urge to tease on them.
"I had started to miss strangulating someone" -Kai declared, making his way towards the dragon.
"Eck!" -Takao paled.
"Wait" -Max interfered in defense of his dragon- "if you kill him now, you won't get to see our new strategy. We need Dragoon for that move. It's very impressive and undefeatable"
"Hm. Really?" -Kai wondered.
"Aa" -Kenny nodded- "Dizzy and I worked on it. Want to see it?"
"Sure. I'll fight you. Mr. Dickenson said you would accept some one who did it" -Kai replied.
"That doesn't apply to you" -Rei explained, joining the others.
"Of course it does. If I win, it would be fair to be Captain again"
"Pretty confident there, hum?" -Takao smiled- "What if you don't make it?"
"I will" -Kai said with complete conviction.
As the Breakers surrounded the plate, Kenny asked from behind:
"By the way, Kai, where have you been?"
"Everywhere. Training. I stayed in Russia sometime, then I spent sometime in Europe and back to Japan. Dranzer is very well tuned up" -he warned the others.
"Oh, and where are you staying now? You already got a place?" -Max asked, readying his Draciel.
Before the phoenix could answer, Takao spoke.
"Stay at home, you can help me clean the dojo!! And grandpa loves having guests"
Kai shot him daggers- "You insane? I'm gonna end up really killing you"
"How cruel" -the dragon protested with a pout- "I'm not that bad"
"Keep saying that to yourself" -Dizzy joked from the Chief's lap.
"Mr. Dickenson says he knows a place, an apartment building" -Kai explained.
The multiple match seemed to had frozen while they spoke.
"There are some vacant in my building" -Rei smiled.
Kai nodded, with a very small but naughty smile - "I imagined it"
"Careful there, eh? We'll have to be watching over you" -Takao smirked.
Rei's face colored red- "What are you implying?!"
"Nothing!" -the dragon faked innocence, while Max and Kenny fought to contain the laughter, and Kai had his eyebrows arched in slight surprise at Takao's insinuation. The same dragon continued- "I'm just saying that if you guys live in the same building you're gonna visit every five minutes and won't concentrate in training"
"That's foolish" -Kai snarled with a tint of superiority- "Rei and I know our responsibilities"
"We just have to set our minds on the beyblade training and with strong wills we'll let the other train too" -Rei added.
"Sure" -Takao said sarcastically- "If you're like magnets, muack muack muack" -and the boy puckered his lips, imitating the kissing sound.
"You're so dead, Takao" -Max said in warning, expecting Kai to fume and throttle the teasing boy.
But Kai kept his cool, ignoring the taunting. Inwardly, he was wondering which poison to pour in Takao's food.
Rei folded arms, feigning annoyance- "You're one to talk, if you and Max are always at it"
Both tortoise and dragon practically fell from the plate ring.
"That's not true!" -Max said, completely pink.
Rei chuckled, seeing how the others were utterly embarrassed- "I mean at kissing"
"Ah!" -Takao sighed- "then it's true"
The other four Breakers started at him with raised eyebrows.
The dragon slapped his hand over his mouth, realizing what he said- "Eck!"
Max covered his eyes, feeling his face tinting even redder.
Rei chuckled- "But you don't have to be embarrassed. We're not" -he said, looking at Kai for approbation.
Kai nodded at Rei's words.
"And Takao" -the phoenix spoke- "Different from you, we do have strong will"
"That's right. You held yourself back at Russia by not going to see Rei when we left" -the Chief opined.
"Lets stop chatting and battle" -he said, the fighter emerging.
"Ready, everyone? Lets what our Captain has to show us!" -Takao exclaimed, and everyone launched their beasts.
By the end of the morning, Kai was, once again, the Breakers' leader.
And in his office, Mr. Dickenson was already setting things up to rent an apartment in a three story building, five blocks away from Takao's dojo.
The bit-beast trapped inside Kenny's laptop kept silent.
Even if Dizzy knew the truth. But, she had wanted to allow Kai to presume of his strong will.
She owed him that, for saving the other beasts.
That's why, in her data records, she kept secret the image she had recorded the day the Breakers took the plane to leave Russia.
That peripheral image of the airports surroundings, which pictured the crowded place, lots of faces of strangers.
In a lone, distant corner, in silence, a teen with a white scarf watched the Breakers leave.
Scarlet eyes fixed in the sad-looking Chinese blader.
"But you couldn't hold back, right Kai?" -Dizzy murmured, playing for herself the tape again. The Breakers had left to eat dinner at a restaurant, even if the phoenix protested of not wanting a celebration.
"You had to go and see Rei again" -the beast laughed softly- "Humans are silly. They try so hard to hide their strongest instincts, and they always fail"
Dizzy also checked the international news from some months ago, the ones that reported Boris' death and Voltaire's trial, which concluded with perpetual time in jail.
And BioVolt's disappearance.
"After everything they put you through, you managed to stand up, ne Kai? Takao calls it stubbornness, I would call it tenacity. That's needed in a leader. To be able to fall all the way down, and emerge again. Like Dranzer would"
In the restaurant, while everyone laughed and enjoyed, or chided Takao for stuffing all the food at once, Rei turned his golden orbs on Kai.
And found Kai staring back.
It seemed they were always seeking each other with their glances.
The Chinese teen smiled- "You happy?" -he asked in soft voice.
The slate-haired teen paused to think of it -"No one had every asked me that"
Rei leaned closer, again in soft voice: "Well?"
Kai nodded- "I am"
"Good" -the tiger said with a lopsided smile- "Wait until I give you your good night kiss when we go back"
Kai raised an elegant eyebrow as he looked at his food and started playing with the chopsticks. He had noticed the others going quiet and looking at them.
"What? Aren't we invited to the conversation?" -Takao asked, mouth full.
"No" -Rei replied, throwing at him a spoonful of rice.
Kai smiled every so slightly watching his teammates snicker and chat amiable.
He wouldn't participate that much, but at least he would enjoy it. He couldn't change completely, after all.
Everything seemed to have an equilibrium.
If the rest of the Breakers were the light, he was the counterpart, the dark.
His thoughts were interrupted, as a hand grabbed his under the table and gave a squeeze.
He continued eating in silence, holding back, not saying anything as he stole another peek at Rei's profile.
"I know what you're thinking" -Rei whispered at him- "We will make it through together, Kai, you just care to much. I am sure, because you will become my light"
Crimson eyes started at golden ones intensely.
'I had never been anyone's light...............but if you ask me to, Rei, if you ask me to be......................'
The phoenix is fire born from the ashes, at the end.
But it's a cycle.
And Kai knew it.
A permanent cycle. The fire bird was doomed to return to darkness.
The question was...........
How long would it be..............until he would be forced to follow his cycle again?
That's a weird finale, ne? At the end, I couldn't quite suppress my wish to leave a loose knot, a question hanging in the air.........................does this mean we'll have a sequel??
Who knows, that's up to you.
Well, it's got lots of sap, I know. But come on! You guys wanted a happy ending, right?
It turned like this.
I hope you liked it, and please don't go anywhere without leaving tons of reviews.
Shinigami's Voice is glad to say: Mission Accomplished (bows to audience)
Comments are craved and much needed, hope to get good ones from you. Love you all, and thanks to everyone who stayed with me.
Here are some examples, to these people, the God of Death is grateful:
-Chibi Kai Lover
-ShapeShifter 13 (the other one)
-Sapphire of Light
..................I know there's a lot more people, thanks enormously. Keep in touch, kay?
"Staring Into Scarlet Eyes" , multipart story is over. Domo Arigatou.