"Tree House"
Chapter 5: "Romance to the Max"

Disclaimer: In the first chapter, and that's the only time I'm saying it.

Author's note: Sorry for the long wait. I've been working on a few other stories that have taken up my time. At long last, we will see some Tyson/Hilary romance. Whether this leads to a lemon or not . . . that's up to me, but I am willing to listen to suggestions.

Timeline: After V-Force.

"Hey, Tyson, wanna practice with me?" Max asked.

"Sure," Tyson replied. "Just don't say anything about how Hilary and I would make a good couple. I don't like her in that way at all."

"Sure you don't," Max said sarcastically. "C'mon, let's go."

They climbed up into the tree house and took their positions at the bey-stadium. "Are you ready, Tyson?" Max asked.

"Yeah, I'm ready," Tyson replied. "Ready to beat you into next Tuesday, that is."

"We'll see who beats who," Max answered. "3 . . ."

"2 . . ." Tyson continued.

"1! Let it rip!" Max shouted, launching Draciel.

"Let it rip!" Tyson echoed, launching Dragoon.

The two beyblades circled each other, only to collide forcefully. The blades spun viciously, each trying to grind the other into dust, it seemed. Dragoon struck Draciel, sending the green blade spinning backward. Draciel hovered dangerously close to the edge of the dish before launching itself back at Dragoon.

"Dragoon, counterattack!" Tyson ordered.

Dragoon countered with a vicious slam that nearly sent Draciel out of the bey-stadium. However, Draciel quickly recovered and went at Dragoon once again.

"Stay on him, Draciel!" Max shouted.

"Attack, Dragoon!" Tyson shouted.

The two blades went at each other, spinning with everything they had.

If only I could summon Dragoon, Tyson thought.

If only I could summon Draciel, Max thought.

"Hey, Tyson, is this the best you can do?" Max asked.

"You haven't seen my best yet," Tyson retorted. "Dragoon, Victory Tornado!"

A tornado swirled around the white blade as it raced toward Draciel.

"Fortress Defense!" Max shouted, activating Draciel's defenses. Dragoon found its attack soundly blocked. "Heavy Viper Wall!" A tornado swirled around the green blade as it slammed Dragoon. However, Dragoon had been rushing at Draciel at the same speed, so the two blades forced each other out of the dish and into their owners' hands.

"Good match," Tyson said.

"You weren't so bad yourself," Max said.

"Hey, guys!" Zeo shouted from the bottom of the tree.

"It's Zeo!" Tyson exclaimed to Max. To Zeo, "Hey, Zeo! How's it going?"

"Everything's all right!" Zeo shouted. "That was a sweet match up there!"

"Thanks, but it was just practice!" Max shouted. "Hey, why don't you come up and hang out with us?"

"Sure!" Zeo replied and climbed up the steps to the tree house. Once inside, he sat down with Max and Tyson. "How've you guys been?"

"We've been all right," Tyson replied. "Haven't seen you in a while, though."

"Ah, Dad and I have been doing the father-son bonding thing," Zeo explained. "I think he's trying to make up for forcing me to fight you guys in the last Beyblade World Championships."

"Yeah, he put us through a lot with doing that to you," Tyson said, sounding serious, which was something he was known to do occasionally.

"I'm sorry about that, guys," Zeo said, still regretful even after all the time that had passed.

"No sweat, Zeo," Max said. "We wouldn't be good friends if we didn't forgive each other for our mistakes. We all make those." He snickered. "Especially Tyson."

"Watch it, Max," Tyson advised in mock anger, playfully shoving him.

"Hey, where're Kai and Ray?" Zeo asked.

"Out with their girlfriends," Tyson replied. "Ray is Mariah and Kai is with Mariam."

"Weird," Zeo commented. Catching the looks Tyson and Max were giving him, he elaborated. "I mean their names. They're almost the same, don't you think?"

"Yeah, we noticed," Max said.

"Wait, Mariam?" Zeo wondered. "As in Mariam from the Saint Shields?"

"Yep, one and the same," Tyson confirmed.

"I wonder how they got together," Zeo said. "Kai never seemed to be the type to have relationships of that nature. I thought he'd think they were a waste of time."

"Well, Mariam apparently is the right girl for him," Max said. "Kai is one lucky guy."

"I did some research on you guys before we first met," Zeo admitted. "Mariah's from the White Tigers, right? Ray's team before he joined up with you guys?"

"Yeah, they're old friends," Max said.

"And more," Tyson added. "She's here on vacation, you know, and Ray couldn't possibly be happier. They're in love."

"Just like you and Hilary," Max commented.

"Enough of that, man!" Tyson exclaimed. "I'm telling you for the last time, Hilary and I aren't like that! I don't like her in that way!"

"Sorry, but you kinda looked chummy to me," Zeo remarked.

"Not you, too, Zeo," Tyson moaned despairingly, burying his face in his hands. "Oh, whatever higher power is out there, strike me dead now so I don't have to deal with this anymore!"

Suddenly, a wooden sword came down on Tyson, or it would have if Tyson hadn't dodged at the last second.

"Man, and I thought my prayers were answered," he said. "Crap."

"You will be struck dead if you don't look out for yourself, li'l homeboy!" Tyson's grandfather replied. "Now what's gotcha so down, huh?"

"Max and Zeo keep saying I have a thing for Hilary," Tyson replied.

"Ah, yeah, that!" Tyson's grandfather exclaimed, as if a light bulb had gone off in his head. "It's probably true, you know."

"Et tu, Grandpa?" Tyson asked.

"I didn't know you were studying Julius Caesar," Tyson's grandfather replied. "I didn't know you liked any of your classes at all."

"I liked phys. Ed," Tyson said. Then his eyes narrowed. "Don't change the subject! You're all ganging up on me with this whole I-got-a-thing-for-Hilary thing!"

Max, Zeo, and Tyson's grandfather all laughed.

"What's so funny?" Tyson asked angrily.

"Quit playing yourself, dog," Tyson's grandfather advised. "You can't deny what you feel for her, and keeping it all bottled up ain't good for your health!"

"For the last time . . . I have no feelings of that nature for Hilary!" Tyson yelled. "None!"

"Suit yourself, dog," Tyson's grandfather replied. "But I expect ten push-ups and ten swings of the wooden sword tonight. Catch you on the flip side!" He jumped out of the tree house, still nimble for his age.

"I'm going for a walk," Tyson said curtly. "See you later." He climbed out of the tree house and walked away.

"Tyson is so stubborn," Zeo said. "I wish there was some way of forcing them together so they could confess their feelings for each other."

"There might be a way," Max replied conspiratorially. "There might be a way."

Later

Tyson came back from his walk and entered his room, only to find a typed note waiting for him. Curious, he picked it up and read it.

The letter went something like this:

"Dear Tyson, I have loved you for so very long. Your laugh, your confidence, your bravery, your chiseled good looks --- you drive me wild, Tyson. I cannot hold my feelings for you in check anymore. Come to the beach as soon as you receive this letter. I'll be waiting for you. Signed, your secret admirer."

"Sweet!" Tyson exclaimed. "Now where did I put my swimming trunks?"

Meanwhile, Hilary got a typed letter of her own when she arrived in her room in her own house, going like this:

"Dear Hilary, I have loved you since I first met you. Your dedication, your intellect, your passion, your beauty --- you drive me insane, my love. This love I have for you is so strong that if I don't tell you face-to-face, I will go mad. Come to the beach as soon as you receive this letter. I'll be waiting for you. With love, your secret admirer."

Hilary blushed. "I wonder who my secret admirer is. What should I wear to the beach?" She rummaged through her drawers and wardrobe, looking for something to wear.

She found something all right: a pink string bikini that one of her friends had bought for her a year ago. She'd declined to wear it at the time, but . . . if she really did have a secret admirer, then she just might wear it to look good for him.

The beach

Tyson arrived in a pair of navy swimming trunks. He looked around, checking to see if anyone unusual was watching him.

"Man, I wish my secret admirer had left me a picture!" Tyson exclaimed to himself.

"Somehow, I think that's the whole point of a 'secret admirer,'" a familiar cool female voice said.

Tyson whirled around to see Kai and Mariam standing in front of him, both in swimming attire. Kai was in a pair of black surfer trunks and Mariam was in an indigo bikini that complemented her hair.

"Hey, Kai, didn't know you liked the beach," Tyson commented.

"It was Mariam's idea," Kai replied. "So you're waiting for a secret admirer, huh?"

"Yeah," Tyson confirmed. "She'll probably be really hot." He smirked. "Chicks dig me, you know."

Kai and Mariam just gave him blank stares. "Yeah. Sure," they were saying with their eyes.

Tyson just looked around once again, and saw a brunette in a pink string bikini. "Whoa. Who is she?"

Whoever she was, she was stunning to look at, even though Tyson only saw her from behind. She was slim, but with sexy curves, gorgeous legs, and a shapely backside barely covered by her bikini bottom.

Then she turned around, and Tyson freaked out.

"Oh, holy shit!" he exclaimed. "Hilary, is that you?!"

"Yes, it is me, Tyson," Hilary replied sharply. However, turning around might have been a huge mistake, as Tyson was now staring at her breasts, which were barely concealed by the bikini, much like her bottom. "Quit staring."

That brought Tyson back to his senses. I don't believe this, he thought. I don't believe I was lusting over Hilary, of all people! Although . . . she has quite a body . . . What the hell am I on? He shook his head vigorously, as though trying to exorcise demons.

"So what are you doing here?" Tyson asked.

"What are you doing here?" Hilary asked.

"Waiting for my secret admirer," Tyson replied cockily.

"As a matter of fact, I'm waiting for my secret admirer, too," Hilary said, smirking.

"Really?" Tyson asked mockingly. "I thought you'd have scared off all the guys by now."

"And I thought any girl in her right mind would find you too immature," Hilary retorted.

"Who says it's a girl?" Mariam asked, giggling at Tyson's shocked expression.

"Don't even go there, Mariam," Tyson uttered, shivering.

Kai just smirked. It was fun seeing Tyson get freaked out.

Tyson and Hilary looked at each other for what seemed like eternity. Hilary found herself blushing when she looked at Tyson, and with good reason. She'd never seen him shirtless, and she had to admit, she liked what she saw.

Damn, all that kendo must have done him some good, she thought. Just look at those biceps! And those pectoral muscles, not to mention the abs. It's a good thing his grandpa makes him work out so much. Then she snapped to her senses. What am I thinking?

"Hey, I didn't know it was Couples' Day Out today," Max joked.

Tyson, Hilary, Kai, and Mariam turned to see Max, Kenny, and Zeo all in their swimming trunks. Max wore blue trunks, Kenny wore gray trunks, and Zeo wore green trunks.

"So how do you like the beach?" Hilary asked, glad for something to take her mind off Tyson and those well-developed muscles of his.

"It's cool," Zeo replied. "Except every time a guy sees me from behind, he thinks I'm a girl. And girls keep checking me out."

"Well, you're a very cute guy, Zeo," Mariam said. "Of course girls are going to check you out."

Kai sighed in annoyance. "The one thing I hate about the beach."

"So girls were checking you out, too, Kai?" Zeo asked.

"Not that I liked it," Kai replied.

Just then, Ray and Mariah came down to the beach as well, Ray in white swimming trunks and Mariah in a white bikini.

"Now I know it's Couples' Day Out," Max joked. "Hey, guys."

"Hey yourself," Mariah replied, looking at everyone. "Looks like the whole gang's here."

"How was your date with Mariah?" Tyson asked.

"Very . . . enjoyable," Ray replied.

Tyson contented himself with a smirk, deciding that he didn't want Hilary nagging him again. Even if she had a very sexy body, that still wouldn't prevent him from being annoyed by her nagging.

Kai felt a deep chill run down his spine, and heard a cold voice in his head calling his name.

"Kai?" Mariam asked, catching the haunted look in his eyes. "What's wrong?"

Kai didn't answer her; he simply turned to his left and stared down the shoreline until he saw a bey-stadium. A closer look revealed a tanned white-haired boy in a pair of white-and-black swimming trunks. Without a word to anyone, he stalked toward the boy, letting nothing distract him.

"What's wrong with Kai?" Hilary asked.

"Think it has something to do with that guy down there?" Mariah asked.

Realizing who that guy was, Mariam started running toward where Kai was walking. The remaining Bladebreakers, Mariah, Kenny, Zeo, and Hilary followed her.

"Kai," the boy said. "I wish I didn't have to see you under these circumstances."

"What do you want . . . King?" Kai asked.

"Dranzer," King replied. "I want Dranzer, and not just him. I want your teammates' bit-beasts, too. And I'll get them all with this!" Upon "this," he held up a black beyblade with a chillingly familiar bit chip inside it.

"Black Dranzer!" Kai shouted, horrified. "How did you get your hands on him?"

"Never mind," King replied, attaching Black Dranzer to his launcher. "Ready to lose, Kai?"

"Ready to shut you down for good!" Kai retorted angrily, attaching Dranzer to his launcher.

"3 . . . 2 . . . 1 --- let it rip!" Kai and King shouted, launching their blades into the stadium.

Just then, the other eight teens arrived. "What the hell's going on here?" Ray asked. "Why are Kai and King battling each other?"

"Yeah, didn't King and Queen change their ways after I smacked him around in the last Beyblade World Championships?" Tyson asked.

"I guess it was too good to be true," Mariam said.

"Stay out of this, all of you!" Kai ordered, his voice twisted with anger. "This is between me and King!"

The blue blade clashed against its dark counterpart, spinning with all its might. The black blade raged against its opponent, apparently intending to grind him to dust.

I wish I didn't have to do this, Kai, King thought, but I have no choice. As Black Dranzer fought Dranzer, King began to remember just how he got into this predicament.

He remembered when he'd left his and Queen's home after an argument. He didn't even remember what it was about now. Anyway, he'd come back only to find a letter, a disk, and a beyblade.

"If you ever wish to see your precious Queen again, King, you will do as I say. With this letter comes a beyblade, the blade that holds the dark bit-beast known as Black Dranzer. You will hunt down the Bladebreakers and you will use Black Dranzer to capture their bit-beasts. The disk contains the coordinates to the place of Queen's captivity. I will be there waiting for you, and you will have the Four Bit-Beasts, or else Queen will suffer greatly. Don't try to rescue her; you won't succeed and I'll kill her once I know you're coming. Anyway, what are you doing reading this letter; go out and capture those bit-beasts for me! Signed, Dr. K."

"I'm sorry, Queen," King whispered in the present.

"What was that?" Kai asked.

"Nothing you need to be concerned with," King sneered, affecting his usual arrogance. "Black Dranzer, attack!"

"Dranzer, attack!" Kai shouted.

The two blades clashed, each driven by the feelings of its blader. Black Dranzer slammed Dranzer so hard that the blue blade nearly flew out of the ring. However, Dranzer was able to regain its bearings and it slammed its dark counterpart. Black Dranzer countered by pursuing Dranzer with vicious strikes.

"Man, Dranzer's taking a real beating," Max commented.

"Dranzer . . . finish him!" Kai screamed, pouring all his rage and hatred into his blade. In that moment, the phoenix emerged from within the blade.

"Black Dranzer!" King shouted, and a dark phoenix with feathers tipped in blood emerged from the black blade.

Kai shivered in fury, loathing, and fear when he saw Black Dranzer again.

"Why's Kai so worked up over that bit-beast?" Mariam asked. "Sure, it looks like an evil Dranzer, but so what?"

"It's worse than that, Mariam," Tyson replied.

"Black Dranzer represents everything Kai hates about himself," Ray explained. "Kai once wielded him, but in exchange for betraying the Bladebreakers and joining the Demolition Boys, a front for a corporation called Biovolt that intended to use Beyblade to take over the world. You see, Black Dranzer is a reminder of the person Kai once was, and it is a person that Kai hates with every fiber of his being."

Just then, Kai could hear Black Dranzer's voice in his mind, hissing with fury. I will never forgive your abandonment of me. I will tear you apart and leave you nothing more than a shell of what you once were!

In his rage, Kai responded to Black Dranzer's voice. Really? Take your best shot, you pathetic excuse for a phoenix!

The dark phoenix screeched with hellish rage and flew right at Kai, talons out to skewer him.

"Kai!" the other seven teens shouted.

Fire suddenly rose around Kai, blocking Black Dranzer's attack. The fire seeped into Kai's body and then released itself as wings grown out of his back. Kai's eyes were closed and then opened, revealing that they were now iris-less and pupil-less scarlet with flames raging within.

"What just happened?" Mariah asked.

"I thought it was only a myth," Mariam replied breathlessly, "but it's not! Kai and Dranzer have become one being!"

"How is that possible?" Kenny asked.

"The bond between you and your bit-beasts is very strong," Mariam replied. "Apparently, it's so strong that when Black Dranzer tried to attack Kai, Dranzer merged with him in order to protect him."

Kai Dranzer smirked at his dark twin. "Hello, there. Ready to be vanquished?"

If you can possess your blader, Dranzer, then so can I! Black Dranzer retorted. He converted into black flames that enveloped King before seeping into his body and releasing itself as wings grown out of his back. King opened his eyes, revealing iris-less and pupil-less blood-colored eyes with black flames raging within.

Black King Dranzer smirked at his twin. "Hello, my brother."

Everyone who had gathered to watch the bey-battle gaped at the two with shock. Similar expressions of amazement were on the Bladebreakers' faces, as well as those of Mariam, Mariah, Kenny, and Hilary.

The two phoenix-possessed bladers flew into the air to have their battle. Both withdrew swords of flame, only Kai Dranzer's was red and Black King Dranzer's was black. Then they dueled.

Kai Dranzer swung his sword, but Black King Dranzer blocked with his own sword. The phoenix bladers struggled against each other, both straining to gain the upper hand. Finally, Black King Dranzer kicked Kai Dranzer in the stomach and slashed his chest, leaving a flaming mark on him.

Both Kai and Dranzer screamed in pain.

"Kai!" Mariam shouted.

"I'll be fine, Mariam," Kai Dranzer replied. He recovered and quickly slashed Black King Dranzer. "You are a thing that should never have been granted life. So it is that life that I shall take from you now!"

"Just try it," Black King Dranzer challenged.

"Volcanic Emission!" Kai Dranzer shouted, flying at Black King Dranzer. Once he was close enough, he triggered an explosion of fire. Unfortunately for him, Black King Dranzer was ready with his own attack.

"Black Volcanic Emission!" he shouted, creating an explosion of black fire. When the smoke cleared from both attacks, Kai and King both fell to the ground, their bit-beasts back inside their blades. Dranzer was still spinning, while Black Dranzer was shattered and the bit chip fractured.

"No . . ." King murmured. "I lost . . . She'll kill her now . . ."

"Who?" Kai asked, marching over to King and pulling him to his feet. "Who will kill whom?"

"Dr. K," King replied. "She'll kill Queen now, now that I've failed."

"The not-so-good doctor," Zeo said. "She's back?"

"Yeah," King confirmed.

"Why should we believe a word you say?" Mariam asked suspiciously. She didn't have a very high opinion of King or Queen, given that they hadn't played so fair in their battle with her and her brother Joseph.

"We were serious about turning over a new leaf," King replied. "If you don't believe me, read this." He pulled out the letter that Dr. K had left him and gave it to Tyson to read.

"Holy shit," Tyson breathed out. "Where's the disk?"

"Right here," King replied, pulling it out of a pouch and giving it to Kenny, who inserted it into the disk drive of his laptop.

"Kenny, you don't bring a laptop to the beach," Tyson chided.

"Not now, Tyson, I'm checking out the map on Dr. K's disk," Kenny said. "Wait, that's an abandoned laboratory outside town."

"Then what are we waiting for?" King asked. "Let's go rescue Queen."

Outside of town

Dr. K was staring down her prisoner, a black-haired girl in a black-and-white outfit.

"So what are you going to do to me once you get the Four Bit-Beasts?" the girl asked.

"I'm keeping that my little secret," Dr. K replied. "Anyway, I'm sure your present accommodations aren't to your queenly taste, now are they, Queen?"

"You're not going to get away with this," Queen declared.

"Oh, is your precious King coming for you?" Dr. K asked mockingly. "If he knows what's good for you, he'll deliver the Four Bit-Beasts to me all tied up in a pretty bow."

"You want the Four Bit-Beasts, you crazy bitch?" an ice-cold voice asked. "They're right here."

Dr. K turned and saw the Bladebreakers, along with their technician Kenny, their cheerleader Hilary, the sole female Saint Shield Mariam, Zeo, a pink-haired girl, and King.

"King, King, King," Dr. K intoned mockingly. "Didn't I warn you about what would happen if you defied me?"

"We're getting Queen out of here," King replied. "Just try to stop us."

"Yeah, we dare you," Tyson added.

Suddenly, a multitude of mecha shooters emerged from the walls. All of them launched dull gray beyblades at the bladers.

"Let it rip!" all of them shouted, launching their blades to combat the enemy beyblades.

"King, we'll keep them busy," Mariam said. "Go rescue Queen."

"Thanks," King replied, picking up his blade and running toward the glass panel that kept Queen trapped in her prison room.

"You came," Queen said.

"Of course," King said. "Hold on; I'm going to get you out of here." Just as he was about to launch Ariel to shatter the glass panel, a laser burst interrupted him. "What the ---?" He turned around and saw Dr. K with a laser rifle pointed at him.

"Try it," she snarled. "Try it and die."

King growled in rage. "Do you think I care what you'll do to me? I'm going to set Queen free, and if you try to stop me again, you'll regret it."

"Quite the confident boy, aren't you?" Dr. K sneered.

"Let it rip!" King shouted, launching Ariel right at Dr. K, who shot at it. "Ariel, evade!"

Ariel evaded the shot and ricocheted off the wall and onto the computerized number panel that controlled the glass panel that restrained Queen. The impact short-circuited the panel, which opened the glass panel that provided the fourth wall of Queen's prison, setting her free.

"Are you all right, Queen?" King asked.

"Yeah," Queen replied.

"Now that Queen's free, you have nothing to hold over my head," King said to Dr. K. "Leave us alone and never trouble us again. Otherwise, things won't be very pleasant for you."

"You think to order me around?" Dr. K asked angrily.

"By the way, we already called the police on the way here," Hilary said. "They should arrive right about now."

Dr. K turned to run but Dragoon, Dranzer, Driger, and Draciel blocked her by spinning around her. An aura of light surrounded each blade and then light emerged from each bit chip, reaching to the ceiling.

"What kind of cheap lightshow is this?" Dr. K asked disdainfully. She started walking, but a force field blocked her.

"Bit-beast containment field --- our way," Ray explained.

Later

"So Dr. K's in jail now," Tyson said to King and Queen. "Guess you two don't have to worry about her anymore."

"I guess not," Queen agreed.

"So where are you two going to go now?" Max asked.

"To Paris," King replied. "Queen wanted to see the Eiffel Tower."

"Yeah, so do you," Queen answered.

"All right, you got me there," King conceded. "Besides, it's a rather romantic place, I hear."

Max just smirked at them. "I knew you two were into each other."

Queen gave King a mischievous look before kissing him. King was surprised but that didn't prevent him from kissing her back. The Bladebreakers, Kenny, Hilary, Mariam, and Mariah had to watch them make out for several minutes before they came up for air.

"Does that settle things for you?" Queen asked.

After King and Queen had departed for Paris, everybody else went home, except for Tyson. He walked Hilary home, which surprised everyone.

"So why'd you walk me home?" Hilary asked. "Not that I mind."

"You think this is something we could talk about inside your house?" Tyson asked.

"My parents aren't home, so sure," Hilary replied. She took out her key and inserted it into the lock, then turned it and opened the door. "Come on in."

So they went inside her house. "Nice house," Tyson commented.

"Yours isn't so bad, either," Hilary replied. "So what were you going to tell me about why you walked me home?"

"Remember that kiss we had while we were spying on Kai and Mariam?" Tyson asked.

"Yeah, I remember," Hilary replied, blushing slightly.

"I don't regret it," Tyson confessed. "I don't regret it at all." He paused, as if considering his next words. "I'm in love with you, Hilary. At first, I thought you were just this loud, annoying, pushy girl, but then I came to realize something: I like loud, annoying, pushy girls. I mean, you always say what you think, you never give up, and you really keep me from going over the deep end."

"To be honest with you, Tyson, I'm in love with you, too," Hilary admitted. "At first, I thought you were just this arrogant, immature little boy who thought he should be ruler of the world just because he won a stupid spinning top game. Then I saw your passion, your bravery, and your dedication. That's when I realized that there was a lot more to you than I thought. And to be honest, you taught me how to live a little."

"Honestly, I was kinda hoping you were my secret admirer," Tyson said. Then he paused, considering what he'd just said. "Did you write me that letter?"

"No," Hilary replied. "I got a letter from a secret admirer, too, and I was kinda hoping it was you. That's why I wore that bikini. Did you write me that letter?"

"No," Tyson replied. "But if I didn't write that letter to you, and you didn't write that letter to me, then ---" A conclusion suddenly slammed into him like a cyber bit-beast. "Max!"

"He must have written those letters!" Hilary exclaimed. "That weasel!"

"Ah, forget about him," Tyson said.

"I'm not sure about this," Hilary said. "I mean, in a relationship like this, trust has to be built, we have to get to know each other . . . But we trust each other already, and we've known each other for a few years, so can we skip all that? Can you just love me now?"

"I'll love you forever," Tyson replied before kissing her on the lips.

End Notes: There you go. That's the end of "Tree House."

Now I have to explain some things. First, the bit-beast/blader fusions were something I thought of after seeing the bond between the Bladebreakers and their bit-beasts. Since bladers have been known to transfer their emotional energies into their blades, couldn't they theoretically become even closer to their bit-beasts? The bit-beast force field was another one of my ideas.

As for "Et tu," it's Roman or Latin for "even you." I was inspired by Julius Caesar's last words to those who stabbed him to death. Specifically, "Et tu, Brute," meaning "Even you, Brutus," and Brutus was the person Caesar trusted most. Anyway, I'll be inserting a lemon scene in this chapter, but the lemon-flavored version will appear only on adultfanfiction.net and mediaminer.org.