Disclaimer: I don't own this beautiful tortured song or this beautiful tortured Kai, but neither do you MWAHAHAHA. It's only fair, if I have to admit it, so do you ^_~
Warning: This will have some dark moments; blood, torture, and possibly death. You have been warned.
Author's Note: While not my first fic, this is my first attempt at Beyblade. Please read and enjoy, then review ^_^ I have never seen the history on Kai's parents or the origin of Dranzer in the anime, so I made my own. There will be some minor changes to the known story to accommodate my idea of Kai's past. I'll try to keep Kai true to his character, but he will be a bit more vocal than portrayed in the animation. I mean it would be a very short story if he wasn't, i.e.
"Look out, Kai! It's Voltaire!!"
See, it needs more. Anyways, enjoy!
A World So Cold
Chapter I: Passion's Lost
It was the night after the conclusion of the Russian championships and laughter and shouting filled the hotel room. Rei had just been released from the hospital and an impromptu party had broken out. The boys who shared the common room usually thought it was quite large, but with the BladeBreakers, White Tigers, All Starz, and Majestics all gathered together eating and celebrating, the room seemed much smaller.
"I knew we'd win 'cause I'm the best blader in the whole world!!" A small fist was waving wildly in the air as Takao bounced joyfully among the other boys. The loud pre-teen suddenly stopped in mid-jump, turning to the black haired boy who was watching him with an amused smile. "Rei, I'm sorry. We wouldn't have won without you. You're the best!"
"To Rei," cheered their blonde team mate, raising his glass of coke. The toast was quickly repeated by all the celebrating bladers, the White Tigers cheering the loudest, of course.
"To the BladeBreakers, we can accomplish anything together," Rei countered, with a toast of his own.
The noise level rose swiftly as the boys enthusiastically took up the new cheer. Rei sat in the midst of the activity letting the laughter wash over him. He found that he was still pretty worn out from his match at the championship and was satisfied to just sit and enjoy everybody else's celebrating. Inquisitive as a cat, his amber eyes took in the activity of the room. Rei laughed softly as Takao returned to wolfing down anything and everything that came under his hands. The Chief was easily spotted hovering over his ever-present laptop, in deep conversation with Emily. Max was a bit more difficult to find, but Rei eventually spotted him in the middle of the All Starz team. The taller bladers had been obscuring him from view, but Rei's keen hearing enabled him to distinguish the blonde's cheerful voice among the background noise. Rei smiled fondly at his team mates and friends. Everything is back to normal.
His smile faltered slightly as he failed to find Kai among the celebrants. Looking around, he finally spotted his silent team mate leaning against the far wall, half hidden in the shadows. The quiet boy stood in his usual pose, arms crossed and head slightly bowed. His slate-colored hair fell forward shadowing his face, but Rei could see his crimson eyes watching the room. Rei wondered if it was just chance that Kai was standing in the one place where all of the entrances to the room could be observed. A small frown ghosted across his face. Yep, back to normal. I thought we had reached him out on the ice, but he's still separating himself from us. He's going to tear himself apart.
Rei closed his eyes with a soft sigh. Maybe I can talk to him tonight. Maybe he'll open up if there's no one else around.
When he opened his eyes again, he blinked in surprise. Kai was gone. A quick look around revealed the main door shutting quietly behind a gently flowing white scarf. Yeah, and maybe cats love water.
A lone figure moved with instinctive grace and silence through the lonely streets. The only signs of his passage were the brief glimpses of his form seen when he moved in and out of the dim light cast by the widely placed street lamps. Despite wearing his usual blue cargo pants, black tank, and trailing white scarf, the boy showed no sign that he felt the biting cold of the Russian winter. Kai strode swiftly and assuredly through the deserted streets, to all appearances he moved with purpose. No one watching would have believed that he was actually feeling lost and confused, roaming with no destination in mind.
Below his feet, Kai felt the street gently climbing. When he looked up, he saw a large, stone bridge crossing over a frozen river. The bridge was draped in shadows. Perfect, the shadows will conceal me. And on the bridge, there are only two possible routes for anyone approaching.
Kai moved to the apex of the bridge and leaned against the cold stone balustrade, his crimson eyes drawn to the frozen water below. He whispered softly into the night, "Would it have been better if I had let the ice take me?"
That day on the frozen lake had changed so much in him. He had let the ambitions his Grandfather had carved into him become his only passion, his only reason to live. He had betrayed his team and all the other bladers for the strange pull that he felt from Black Dranzer. It wasn't until he battled against his ex-team that he realized that he wasn't using his passion to battle and win, it was using him. When he lost, he lost more than the bey battle, he lost his connection to Black Dranzer. That sudden emptiness had almost destroyed him. His shock holding him on that cracked ice flow more surely than the cold could. The icy water clawing its way slowly up his body.
And yet, somehow, even after I betrayed them, they still reached out for me. They told me that they wanted me on the team, that they wanted to be my friends.
Kai's soft murmur held a mixture of confusion and wistfulness to it.
"I never really had true friends before. Except for…" Kai's brilliant crimson eyes darkened as his thoughts started reaching back.
He turned away from the ice below and leaned back against the frozen stones. Before his recent return to the abbey, Kai had had no memories of his past. His life had started the day he crept out of the hold of the cargo ship he had stowed away on. When he had stepped onto shore, he had not known where he was, where he came from, or even who he was. Those first few months had been very hard. He had lived on the street, barely surviving. It hadn't helped that he had not known the language of the strange world he had landed in. Despite all this, Kai had survived. I never really understood how I was able to endure it. Starvation. Exposure. The constant attacks and ambushes of other desperate street kids. Until I had proven my strength and established my own gang, it was an ongoing battle just to survive.
Kai looked down at himself, studying each component of his usual outfit. He had built his appearance after he had established himself on the streets. It was based on two things; first off, to show strength, power, and intimidation, and secondly, to cover the scars that decorated his body. I think it may have been the scars that helped me survive those first few months. I knew that if I had been able to survive them being placed on me, then I could survive anything. They probably even decreased the number of challenges I received on the streets. Most kids backed down after they got a good look at me.
Although the clothes covered the scars from the prying eyes of others, that was not the reason he wore them. He used them to hide the scars from himself. The scars represented a life he didn't remember, a life that he had been sure that he didn't want to remember. And yet, the memories had invaded his mind when he infiltrated the dark abbey.
His eyes became shadowed, haunted by the memories of the one person he had ever trusted, the memories that he had unknowingly betrayed. His hand instinctively sought his blade and he felt its usually comforting heat infusing his palm. His face twisted into a grimace of remembered pain for an instant before he could replace his impassive mask. But as practiced as he was at hiding his feelings, he couldn't quite banish the shadows that lingered in his eyes.
Kai's eyes burned intently as they scanned the roads leading to the bridge. In the past three years or so, Kai had been hunted down by his grandfather 4 different times and each time Kai had managed to elude his determined predator. Kai chuckled darkly at the memories. Damn arrogant bastard, he always has to come and gloat in person about finding me before he sends someone to retrieve me. That's all the warning I ever needed. Even when I didn't remember him, I knew there was something wrong, that he couldn't be trusted. And now that my memories have returned I know what he is truly capable of.
"I need to get out of here. Now that my grandfather has tracked me down, he'll probably try to take me again."
Kai's thoughts were confused as he tried to determine the best course to take. Normally, deliberations were easy for him. He had always closed himself off from his emotions and therefore made decisions based on facts and calculated risks. Now, however, he felt the new found emotions clouding his mind. The normal drive and passion to win, to become the best, were missing and his emotions seemed to be warring with themselves as to which one would fill that empty hole.
Kai closed his eyes to the night, trusting his sharp ears to give him warning. He spoke softly to the night wind, trying to settle his thoughts and find his path.
"If I stay, he might come after me directly. I've certainly done enough to piss the old man off. But as devious as he is, he could decide to come at me through my team. I know what he can do, I've endured it before, I'm pretty sure I can do it again if need be. I don't think the same is true for my team mates."
My friends? Kai was inundated with images of Rei, Takao, Max and the Chief, all suffering at the hands of his grandfather. I can't let him hurt anyone else because of me.
"If I leave, I can escape Grandfather, maybe permanently. It wouldn't be too hard to start over in a new country, but I'd have to leave blading behind. I'm sure that's how Grandfather has been able to track me down in the past. I would also have to abandon my team. Again. They'd be safer without me, but I don't think they'd understand. They may even think I betrayed them again."
Kai reached into his pocket and brought Dranzer out. He looked down at his bit beast, gripping the blade tightly to his chest as if it were his only life line. If I escaped and brought you with me, I'd be denying you the chance to fight beybattles. It wouldn't be fair to you, Dranzer. I've experienced the joy you feel when battling against a worthy opponent, I can't deny you that.
"Dranzer, you'd be better off with Rei or one of the others, but I don't think I could let you go again. Now that I remember everything, I just don't know if I could survive without your strength. Everyone's always saying what a selfish bastard I am, I guess they were right." A bitter laugh drifted across the ice as Kai returned the beyblade to his pocket.
There were no answers in the chill wind that tugged insistently at his long scarf. Kai stood quietly as the night moved past him, his newly reborn emotions continuing their internal struggle. Kai felt something akin to pain as he fought to control them. The new emotions seemed to cut his soul with serrated edges, they felt rough and unfinished.
Fear of… vulnerability…loneliness…pain…loss…betrayal
Hope of… acceptance…friendship…freedom…happiness
A sharp crack from the ice below broke his concentration and Kai looked up at the waning moon. He had no idea how long he had stood on that icy bridge waging his private battle, but he knew it was time to make a choice.
Kai turned away from the bridge and the ice and walked off into the cloaking shadows.
^_^ I'm not sure, is that a cliff? *giggles*
I know what's going to happen next, but you'll have to stick around to find out. The good news is I have done a quick free form outline of the entire story, so this is a fic that will definitely get finished. Of course, I make no guarantees about the speed of my updates, it all depends on how well I feel the chapters flesh out as I write them.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed.
*bows low* Please review!!!! Anyone who writes knows that reviews make the days seem brighter. Bring the Sun!!!