Mizu_Tenshi: I've took down this fic and put it up again, see end of page for details.

It's another angst of mine. No offence is intended; I know orphanages aren't as bad as the one Kai goes to and that people are friendly I do have a friend who was adopted and did go to an orphanage. The Bladebreakers will be in this too but later on.

Disclaimer: I don't own this anime

".." Speech '...' Thought *...* Implied words


Chapter 1: Home, sweet home?

Outside was unusually sunny for winter weather, through it was still a bleak, chilly morning the sun shone down with as much force as it could muster to drive away the gloomy spells.

Birds tittered and fluttered from the bare branches, singing and dancing with each other in the cold day. The sight was strangely uplifting, of course Kai didn't pay any attention to his surroundings.

Kai didn't even look out of the smoked windows the limousine on his journey 'home' nor did he say a word for the duration of the long and uneventful ride.

He just sat on the black leather seats with his head bowed so slate coloured bangs tumbled onto his face, his closed eyes revealed garnet orbs when open. He was deeply submerged inside a whirlpool of thought as they swirled inside his mind.

It was a full five weeks before the next tournament; everyone had taken this short break as an opportunity to see their family. They had thrown a party yesterday to celebrate his birthday, it wasn't until today but they had one early because they would all be leaving the next day.

Kai wasn't exactly thrilled; he found the attention and flashing cameras annoying to say the least, all he had done that day was glare at anyone with in a ten-foot radius of him, especially if they happened to have a camera.

Now everyone had gone their separate ways until the five-weeks were up. That left Kai with nothing to do, he was forced to live with his grandfather in one of his mansions in Japan; Voltaire was his legal guardian after all.

God knew how much he hated that insane bastard, he felt like he was suffocating in his presence but there was nothing he could do. That was another thing he hated: helplessness.

"Master Kai, we're here," the chauffeur respectfully opened the door for him.

Kai just nodded to the driver, in front of him was the mansion; it was several stories high and covered a decent amount of land.

Anyone passing by would probably whistle at its magnificence; it was pure white with not a single stain to taint its impeccable reputation.

Kids would die just to live in such a grand estate but to Kai it was hell. Everything inside and outside was bought and built with dirty money, therefore everything reeked with the stench of greed and corruption.

The sound of the boot opening shook him out of his trance. "I'll take my bags," Kai ordered rather than offered.

"But master Kai - "

"I said I'd take them!" Kai snapped.

"Of course. Right this way, master Kai," The chauffeur led Kai to the mansion once he had collected his bags.

'I know the way, I do live here,' Kai refrained from saying. He had enough crap to put up with once inside without dealing with half scared servants.

The driver knocked on the hard oak door with white fingered gloves, inside the sound of scuffling could be heard and then the door slowly creaked open to reveal an employee in the usual black suit and tie.

Kai stepped into the large house and set his bags on the floor for now.

The laminated floor boards were polished and so shiny you could see your own reflection, portraits of former owners hung on the walls and priceless pieces of art and pottery were displayed in glass cases or on golden pedestals.

"Ah, Kai!" Voltaire descended from a flight of stairs from the left of where Kai stood.

He was going grey, with wrinkles lining his ageing face but nevertheless he was still an impressive picture of power and malice to behold. He hid his clothes with a long brown trench coat; it was unusual attire for someone who was a famous billionaire.

"Beelzebub," Kai acknowledged warily.

Voltaire's face went cold with rage; he landed a punch to Kai's gut. Kai stumbled and swayed under the force of the blow but didn't keel over.

"Now Kai, if you don't behave you'll find yourself in chains," Voltaire waved his finger, scolding Kai as if he was a disobedient toddler.

Kai growled at his treatment. It insulted his intelligence whenever Voltaire acted like this, maybe that was why he kept on doing it.

"If I may be excused," Kai said slowly as if the effort to be courteous was too much. "Then I would like to drop my things in my room."

"You don't have a room anymore," Voltaire said icily. "In fact, this isn't your home anymore either." He handed Kai some legal documents.

Kai scanned them one through; his eyes would have widened in shock if not for his ability to keep a perfect poker face.

"You're disowning me?" Kai's tone indicated that he couldn't care less but inside he was just a little worried on where he would stay.

"I won't have a failure in the family," Voltaire said sternly. "I think the world tournament really put things in perspective for both of us, don't you think? But don't worry, boy, I won't leave you on the cold streets of Japan." He barked orders in Russian for the chauffeur to take Kai back to the car.

Kai, being half-Russian, understood what was being said perfectly. "An orphanage?" Kai spat in disgust. "I think I'd rather sleep on the streets."

"Don't be petulant, boy," Voltaire hissed. "You want me to be in trouble? You're going to an orphanage!" Voltaire grabbed Kai's wrist and tugged it so Kai stumbled forward. They were face to face now. "Happy Birthday," Voltaire hissed and then turned back into the depths of his mansion.

~ Car ~

Kai felt like he'd gone back in time. Back into the car, refraining from looking out of the smoky windows at the bleak winter sunshine.

The car rolled to a stop in front of a rather crumbly old orphanage. The chauffeur didn't open the door for him this time but merely honked to indicate that they had arrived at their destination.

Kai took his own bags from out of the trunk and made his way along the path that led to the building.

That bastard had sent him to the worst orphanage in Tokyo; Kai knew for a fact that there were many good ones around but no, Voltaire had to send him to an under-funded, dilapidated orphanage for him to rot in.

'Good thing I'll be back to with the team once these five weeks are up,' Kai thought as he knocked on the door.

A large smiling woman appeared at the entrance, she was very thin and an obvious optimist with blonde hair pulled into a tight bun and shining green eyes that reminded Kai a little of Max.

"Welcome to Crossroads Orphanage! Ah, a new one are you? Come in, come in," She ushered Kai inside in a high-pitched but strangely soothing and musical voice.

Inside was not nearly as bad as what Kai expected, it was pretty decent in fact. There were no crumbling walls or leaking pipes and the hallways were clean and polished; the only bad thing was that the paint on the walls were peeling in certain areas but that was nothing.

"I'm Miss Berry," the woman stood behind her desk in the hallway, gathering papers from the shelves behind her. "And your name is..."

"Kai Hiwatari," Kai answered nonchalantly.

The woman looked up from her papers. "Kai Hiwatari? That's a good one but I'll need your real name please."

Kai felt his anger rising. If this woman ever watched TV she'd now what he looked like but he guessed that they didn't have TV here and that all her information came from reading magazines on blading so he therefore kept his temper.

"It is Kai," he answered with icy calmness, "I'm not a liar." He then proceeded to bring Dranzer out from his cargo pants pocket. "Is this enough proof for you?"

"What a nice birdie!" The woman exclaimed. "Now, your real name?"

Kai really felt like punching something but his logic told him to keep his temper. Maybe it was better to have an alias; that way any annoying kids wouldn't go around bothering him for a battle.

"I don't have one," Kai said out of lack of being able to choose a convincing alias. "Call me what you wish."

"Oh, you poor thing! Going so long without a name!" Miss Berry said in a baby voice that made Kai roll his eyes. They had been together for five minutes and already he had had enough of her to last a life time.

"Well aren't you the perfect little stray? Hey, why don't I just call you Stray until someone adopts you? Then they can be free to name you."

Kai agreed, hoping that this meant he could go to his room now. Stray...that wasn't half-bad.

"You're room is down this hallway," Miss Berry stepped from behind her desk and led Kai down the hallway to long corridors all lined with numbered doors.

Miss Berry opened the door to reveal a small room with dark grey wallpaper that was once white and thick, musty crimson drapes around the window to the right. The room contained two wardrobes and bedside table separating two small beds and a door leading to the bathroom.

'Two beds!' Kai's mind screamed. 'Don't tell me I have to share!'

Kai was one of those people who craved silence and his own personal space, which he doubted he'd get when sharing a room.

"Here you are, you've got a room all to yourself," Miss berry beamed like the sun and Kai sighed with relief.

"That is until Ryo gets back from hospital tomorrow, he seems quite aggressive but he's really very nice and I'm sure you'll get along perfectly well."

Kai stared at her as if she was a mad woman but as soon as she let him be and closed the door for him he decided to shrug the prospect of a room-mate off. Sliding his duffel bag underneath the bed furthest from the window but closest to the bathroom.

He sat there bored for a few minutes just watching the outside world he now felt cut off from. Before lying back onto his bed and deciding to get some sleep.

~ Morning ~

Light once again filtered through the window of the small, dim room to shine on Kai's face but it didn't wake him up; Miss Berry's high-pitched voice did.

Her rolled over to check the clock on his bedside; it read seven thirty, an adequate time to be up but for Kai who was used to early training sessions he had slept late.

Miss Berry was at the door with another orphan about his age with a large plaster slapped across his forehead.

"Stray!" She smiled. "You fell asleep so you missed dinner but I'm hoping you'll be able to introduce yourself at breakfast; it starts at eight in the hall so be there on time, okay?"

Kai glared at the woman; this just seemed to be getting worse and worse. And introduction? What the hell was he supposed to say? He hated being in the spotlight.

Miss Berry either didn't notice the death-glare he was giving her or was just too cheery to be fazed by it. "This is Ryo," she indicated the boy next to her. "Ryo, this is your new room-mate, Stray."

Kai scanned the boy down. He was bigger than Kai by a few inches, he wore blue jeans and a grey T-shirt with a fireball pattern on it. His chestnut brown hair was short and scruffy while his green-grey eyes were staring intently at Kai.

Miss Berry finished the pleasantries for both of them and then disappeared behind the door reminding them to be at breakfast.

Once her head had disappeared behind the door Ryo began to speak.

"Wow, Miss Berry told me I was sharing a room with someone but if I knew I had to share my breathing space with a silver-haired freak I would have stayed in hospital for a few more days."

Kai wasn't the one to get angry easily; he had much practice at keeping his temper when with Takao and so he ignored Ryo's spiteful comments.

"Hey, can't you hear me?" Ryo was obviously infuriated that he was being ignored.

He was probably an attention freak Kai guessed.

"You must be a zombie then," Ryo smirked. "If you can't hear me and you've got such pale skin and silver hair. Why the hell are you here? No-one's gonna adopt a silver-haired zombie."

"And I have no intention of being adopted," Kai said calmly.

"Then why the hell are you here?" Ryo asked again.

'He just wants me to get angry and lash out so he can get some attention, what an idiot!' Kai rolled his eyes.

"Well," Ryo finally looked like he was going to leave. "This was my room before it was yours and I intend to keep it my room and my room only!" And with that threat in mind he slammed the door.

"What a drama queen," Kai muttered and rolled his eyes again. He hoped the other kids wouldn't be as stupid or annoying as Ryo but he was smart enough not to count too much on that possibility.

It was going to be a long five weeks.


Mizu_Tenshi: You want an explanation? Well when I uploaded this there was something wrong with FF.net so it kind of screwed up my fic so I'm just making necessary corrections. R&R, every review is appreciated. The Bladebreakers will be in this fic but a little later on.