Disclaimer: I own none of the characters.

Wow…it's been a very long time. I wonder if anyone is evening reading this anymore, along with my other stories.

Once again I apologize, but I've finally finished school, and have a whole six months to write ahead of me. I'm hoping to get these stories done. This one is almost done, and my others will follow soon. Hard to write when its been a while since I've seen the show as it doesn't air anymore here.

Chapter Ten - Contemplation

"That's it?!" Exclaimed Ian who was sitting on the edge of the couch cushion listening intently to Rei's explanation.

Rei looked over at the small blader. The Demolition Boys were arranged around the room. Spencer stood by the doorway leaning against the frame, while Tala sat next to Rei on the armrest of the plush chair. Bryan and Ian sat on opposite ends of the couch.

"Yeah. I'm sorry." Rei said looking at the carpet.

"Why are you apologizing? That's nothing. You're a saint compared to what we did." Ian said.

"Still…" Rei tried to explain, but Bryan rolled his eyes.

"Stop it. I'm not falling into a pity-fest. So you messed up, your whole team did." Bryan said before standing up. "Besides Voltaire would have approached you again by now if he was intending to use you again."

"Matter of a fact he would of contacted Kai by now too, but since Kai hasn't barged in murdering people yet, I bet nothing's happened." Tala said thoughtfully turning his cyan eyes onto Rei.

Rei tilted his head towards Tala, golden eyes filled with curiosity.

"How do you know that?" The neko-jin asked. Tala scoffed.

"Voltaire may be an evil mastermind, but he is way too predictable. I guess in some weird way it gives him an upper hand. Most people would think he plans everything to the barest detail. He doesn't. If something doesn't work, he quickly finds a substitute. With this blackmailing stuff, he didn't hear back from you immediately. His next move would have been to contact either Kai or me, and I haven't heard or seen anything and Kai is like his grandfather in that matter. Kai didn't seek you out yet. I bet he's either figured it out, or stupidity has rubbed off onto him." The red-haired captain explained. Rei listened to Tala taking in everything.

"Tala's right. None of us have heard anything." Spencer spoke up from where he stood. Rei looked around the room taking in the agreement from the others.

"If Kai's figured it out, why is he letting this go on? I mean shouldn't he have said something to the others?" Rei questioned. Tala rolled his eyes.

"The idiot probably is jealous." Tala answered.

"Jealous, why?"

"Ha. I can see it actually." Ian replied an image coming to his mind that caused him to chuckle to himself.

"Well first you get that letter. Not Kai. Then he throws a fit, and kicks you out. He expected you to come running back, but instead lies awake all night staring at the ceiling wondering if maybe you took it seriously. A day or so goes by, he sees you with us, which just makes it worse. His jealously plus his hate for us equals him being a stubborn ass." Bryan said. The room fell silent as all eyes turned to him. He glared and rolled his eyes before walking out of the room.

Spencer sighed before pushing his self off the door frame.

"Rei, Bryan's right. You're not in any danger, and Voltaire's not someone who's going to waste his time waiting. I'd be concerned with talking with the Bladebreakers then worrying about being a target." Spencer said putting in his two cents before turning and walking off.

"They're right. Nothing to worry about Rei." Ian said hopping off the couch before following Spencer demanding a rematch.

Tala and Rei remained sitting, both lost in thought at the discussion that had taken place. Before long, Rei let out a sigh and slumped back into the chair, watching his bangs fly up with the breath he released.

"What's wrong?" Tala asked turning slightly.

"I was expecting a different reaction." Rei said quietly. Tala smirked, turning a bit towards Rei, pushing a red strand of hair out of his eyes.

"We're not as bad as you think."

"I know that…but..."

"Don't worry too much. We're not going to blame you. I'm not blaming you, and you shouldn't blame yourself. I really don't like seeing you like this. It doesn't suit you, and it's not what we admire you for." Tala said to Rei, not looking away. Rei didn't look away as well, taken aback by the statement.

"Tala…I…" Rei sighed defeated. Looking up through his bangs, he smirked, letting a fang poke out over his lip. "Thanks."

Tala smirked as well letting a hand move towards Rei's face and run his fingers through the raven strands.

"My pleasure." He replied moving his fingers move to Rei's forehead tracing the lines of the cloth that held up the bangs. Rei closed his eyes sighing in contempt as he followed the feel of Tala's fingers trace relaxing lines along his face. They sat in silence for a while both enjoying the others presence. The tick of the clock on the wall echoed through the silence.


"Hmmm." The neko-jin sounded, enjoying the relaxing touches. A moment of silence followed the reply. Tala didn't stop the light strokes he placed on the neko-jin's face.

"I know you don't want to hear this, but…. you have to go back to your team." Golden eyes flew open at statement. Rei sat up quickly pushing away Tala's hand staring confused and slightly hurt at Tala.

"What?!" Rei asked quickly. Tala sighed leaning back.

"I'm not trying to kick you out. I wouldn't do that, but you have to go back. You know you can't stay here. They're your team. Despite what they've done even they deserve a second chance and an explanation." Tala said quietly, trying to not let his guilt change his mind.

"Go back? I can't. They want nothing to do with me." Rei said shaking his head.

"Rei...I…" Tala started trying to look for the right words. Rolling his eyes at how difficult this was he gave up. "Kenny came by earlier. He wanted to talk to you." The Russian said.

Rei stared back at Tala before sighing.

"Kenny probably just wanted to see if I had damaged his work."

"He didn't bring his laptop or any type of box. He wanted to speak with you, didn't curse or look at me with disdain." Tala answered. He looked down at Rei, trying to see some sort of reaction besides the blank stare that had taken over.

"What happened?" Tala only assumed Rei meant what happened when Kenny asked.

"I told him you weren't here. He said okay, and mumbled something I think about coming back later before walking off. Rei…you have to go back."

"What if I don't want to anymore?"

Okay, not bad for a returning phase. I apologize that this was short, but I can't write in long sections for the moment. Mind doesn't want to function that way. If I get productive there should be another chapter soon.

On a lighter note I need to get back into writing so I'll do a little activity. If people review/message/email me a pairing and a brief summary I'll write them a one-shot. If you want details, put them in. (I'm insane for doing this but I need something to do).

Thanks for sticking by.

Please Review!