DISCLAIMER: If I owned Bakuten Shoot Beyblade, the first thing I would do is to show a lot of signs of Kai and Hiromi falling for each other. Scratch that, make them a canon pair. But since I'm making a fanfic out of it, it's obvious that I don't.

(What do you mean, unexpected error during the process or something similar! Fanfiction . net, nggggh! Again something has to go wrong with a chapter where mainly Kai and Hiromi are involved; I must be cursed or something... T.T )

Okay, now I'm back! Before anyone starts slaughtering me for taking this long to update (not that you can, or else I won't be alive to update or post my other fics), and before I thank my reviewers, I'd like to take this opportunity to… burn my academic notes. -ceremoniously dumps notes to the big trash can- -lights up a match before throwing it- Burn, notes! Burn! Nyahahahaha! Okay, we're done.

Hutchy: Once again, thank you!

City Games: Thank you very much! After what you said, of course I won't stop! Hehe, you have no idea how long it took me to design everything especially the songs…

Phoenix-Roar: Glad you love it. A fight? Secret! No, you weren't freaking me out.

(question mark; the actual sign wouldn't appear): Thanks!

caitlynne: Glad you love it. :) I knew I emailed you but it seems like the message wasn't sent, sorry. -kicks Yahoo- By the time you read this you probably got the answer from someone else but I'll say it anyway: No. Hiromi is Hilary, while Jin/Hitoshi is Hiro.

Scars of the Phoenix: Thankies! -runs away from PUDDING-

Samantha: Thanks!

Akina Hiwatari: Thanks!

grand admiral chelli: Thanks for those wonderful compliments!

Queen of Fantasy: Thanks! No, I wasn't siding with your brother. Hardly. I just meant that he didn't know what he was doing, because what kind of a person in his/her right mind would keep on shutting the TV off when it was getting to the best parts (coughKxHhintscough) of the show?

Anyway about your question, you have to read this chapter to find out…

Hope's Tears: You're right. So far, no one has ever complained about the song after reading the previous chapter. Thanks for the support!

elsiey: Couldn't agree more. Thanks! And there will be more KxH goodness here as well! Here's a Kai cookie for the author alert.

Kais Devil: Here it is!

Suheil373: -hands over Kai and Hiromi cookies for the high recommendation and adding DwM to favorites—Absolutely thank you so much! How about it, Kai? People love it when you're confused.



Kai: …

Speechless, aren't we?

Kai: Hn.

carzla: -nods in agreement- Thanks! For a minute I thought Kai was extremely OOC but writing him for the rest of this fic was getting harder, so it's a relief to know he's still in character.

Darkwolf88: Thank you very much! Here's a Kai cookie for adding this to faves. -gives cookie- A fight scene? You'll learn when you read this chappie…

Devour Thy Flame: Thanks for those compliments! Hope this final chapter will completely satisfy you…

kaihilary all the way: Thanks! Well, making these chapters depends on how long and how much I'm inspired (or itching) to do so. If my writer's block keeps on getting in the way, it would take me months. -spiral eyes-

T-Bisqit: Thanks! Well, things will turn out fine for both of them eventually but in the meantime I feel sorry for Hiromi.

Nubia: Thanks! Read and find out…

sorekai: Thanks!

Anime Fan: Thanks! I'm glad you love it.

noomma: Thanks! Oh, I will.

LilAngelPuff: Thanks! Well I hope this chappie still will. You and Hope's Tears must be the only ones who supported me about the flamer, well, so far. So thanks once more!

SweetStealer: Here we go!

Raiki-Casinio: Thank you. :) -–hands over a Kai cookie-

SOMEONE2003: Thank you so much! Well, you have to read and find out if it's really about a beyblade battle…

Final chapter. Hope you enjoy!


Chapter 4

"And this will be paradise…"

Those promising words barely registered on Hiromi's ears, the owner still left frozen with shock and hurt. Still dimly aware of the loving pairs swaying all around her as they were equally just unconcerned about her. Auburn orbs still fixated to the space where Kai used to stand. Before he had deserted her.

A sudden accidental bump from a couple nearby snapped her back to awareness, and the last line finally dawned upon her. And this will be paradise…

Paradise. How more ironic could it be? She could feel needles pricking the back of her eyes again and her chest threatening to explode along with her tears. Kai had physically drawn himself back from her but it was so more like she had been pushed away by him. Completely. Kai, what did I do wrong? Why did you move away? Did you think of me differently even when I was only about to accept your k…?

Suddenly the cozy light atmosphere lost its romantic air for Hiromi while extreme pressure and threat found their places. But even on the verge of tears, she refused to crumble. Not in front of all these people having the best time. Taking a slow deep breath to calm herself, she took her time gracefully exiting from the magical white mist, eyes shifting in search for her partner.

Then she caught sight of the giant door swaying its way to seal the entrance of the restaurant, resulting to her inner voice nudging her toward its direction. She followed it, and, within seconds, was already outside the Aquose Cavern.

What the… Momentarily forgetting her pain, eyebrows knitted together at the weird scene before her. The one she was looking for was standing with his back on her a few meters away but who on earth were those other guys surrounding him?

"If I didn't see it with my own two eyes, I never would have believed it. Sorry to bother you both but my purpose demands your date to be cut short."

"It's not a date. We're just having dinner."

Not a date. Just having dinner… It was really true, wasn't it? In fact she was the very first one to state to herself that.

So why did she feel so disappointed?

"Really." The first voice sounded unconvinced.

But as Hiromi quietly stepped nearer, surprise took over her. "You… You're the one who gave me that aster." That amiable guy from the dance floor. "What's going on here?"

The three guys with unknown names turned to her.

Kai whirled around. "Hiromi, what are you doing here?" he demanded.

"So that's her name. Nice." The brunet glanced first at Kai, then back at Hiromi. "That's right but please call me Eri. I'm glad when I saw you cheer up."

"Never knew you have such a soft spot for girls." Kai had a touch of wariness underneath his steel voice.

"Don't get the wrong impression. It's just so wrong for a girl like your partner to be deprived of even a simple flower just because her man doesn't seem to care giving her one."

"I said I'm not her boyfriend. I'm just accompanying her to that dinner."

It was all Hiromi could do to not let the way her feelings back inside the restaurant repeat right now but it was just impossible to stop the words from hurting her and all. After what was happening at the dance floor, he was denying everything? "Kai…"

He shot her with a hard look that commanded, Just cooperate and don't you dare even say a wrong word, a look so cutting that she nearly stepped back. But it had an urgency that seemed to convey, For whose sake am I doing this?

For a moment Hiromi was confused but soon looked back and forth between Kai and Eri, finally getting it.

Eri turned to shift his attention to her. "Hiromi-san, you were saying something?"

"Kai's right," she answered in a steady voice. "I'm the one who got the ticket last Sunday. It doesn't hurt to get one of my friends to escort me, does it?"

The blue-eyed young man didn't seem convinced.

"Well, how about you? What about your date or whatever you'd like to call her?"

Eri remained silent for a while. "…Being accompanied by a best friend doesn't hurt either. Smart answer; you got me there."

He received a sharp stare from Kai in return. "Then why try wounding yourself around someone else's partner when you have yours to worry about?"

"Ayana won't mind as long as it's for a higher cause. Besides, I just want to assess where your partner stands in your life. But that's not the reason I'm here."

"So what is?" Hiromi demanded, sensing she had somehow misjudged this kind guy in front of her. "What do you need from him and why now?"

"I'll let him answer that." Deep blue met pale gray. "Hiwatari Kai, do you remember a ten-year-old boy with wavy black hair, eyes the same shade as mine, wearing a dark green shirt while owning a dark blue beyblade that is constantly used for practicing?"

"No. Should I?"

"Hn. I knew you'd answer that. But then again, why am I expecting you of all people to remember him along with a thousand other beybladers you barely knew?"

"What. Is that boy supposed to be you?" Sarcasm dripped from the gray-eyed teen's voice.

"Close, even when you did humiliate me before by severely defeating me but don't act too smart for your own good. That's my brother we're talking about." An accusing finger was pointed at Kai. "More than a year ago you reduced his beyblade to unrecognizable pieces and even took pleasure in doing so. You ruthless Shell Killers think you can do anything you please just because you think you rule the town, don't you?"

Shell Killer? Why does that sound familiar? Then a flashback of the blue-haired guy and his companions appeared, and she remembered. Wait, so Kai was—

"That was more than a year ago," Kai stated flatly. "I don't lead them anymore ever since I joined the BBA Team."

Hiromi's mind reeled. So it was true? No. But Kai himself had given the revelation. Kai, the one who kept on saving her, the one who always looked out for her and protected her… was also the same Kai who was one of the strong yet cruel beybladers preying on innocent hapless ones? And he led them?

"Hn. Once a Shell Killer, always a Shell Killer. You guys never care about other beybladers besides yourselves and your own damn good. That obviously includes my brother. Making him give up his beyblade as a consequence of his loss is one thing, not that I condone you for that. Looking down at his skills and totaling his beyblade especially in front of me are another. You crushed his spirit as a beyblader and even since he was too devastated to even pick up a beyblade again."

Kai smirked. "You said when you and I need to talk, you don't mean words. Now how are you going to eat your own?"

"Just thought you need to know the topic first before this actual conversation." Unfazed, Eri whipped out his shooter and his beyblade from the pocket of his suit. "I'm challenging you, Hiwatari. My beyblade against yours."

Vengeance in the form of a beybattle. This is the real talk. Hiromi tried to force away the ugly realizations to concentrate on what was unfolding before her. Kai needed her support, not her condemnation, even though he didn't seem to. Surely he'll win! After all the upgrades Kyouju have been giving Dranzer, they're an unbeatable pair. There's nothing to worry about.

"Sorry to disappoint you. I don't have Dranzer with me now."

Hiromi stared at her partner as though he had completely lost his mind. Kai didn't bring Dranzer? What was he thinking! Of course; I invited him to dinner and nobody plays with a beyblade in this kind of occasion. She couldn't completely blame Kai but at the same time she wished the challenge had been done at any time other than tonight. Now how was Kai going to pull this off?

Eri's face was sketched in surprise, raising his eyebrows the minute he recovered. "Now this is a rather refreshing concept. You went out without your winning beyblade with you. But that doesn't mean you've found your way out of this match." He motioned to one of his companions, a guy with sandy-brown hair. "Higashi, give him a beyblade to use."

"Why must you pick me, of all people?" Higashi grumbled. Nonetheless, he took out his shooter with a beyblade set already and tossed it to Kai, who caught it with his right hand. "Don't you dare break it or else."

Kai cast his stare at the shooter in his hand before looking up. "I'm not going to be a part of this battle."

"What, chickening out already?" Eri's other companion, a tall mahogany-haired guy, sneered. "Or you know you'll lose without your precious Dranzer?"

There was something familiar about this guy. Now where had Hiromi seen him before?

"I don't run away from a challenge. But I don't waste my time accepting pointless battles either."

"We'll make it worth your effort then."

Suddenly he and Higashi appeared at each side of Hiromi. A rough hand snatched her bare arm and began pulling her before she knew it. Indignation charged her while she was pulling it back to free herself. "What are you doing! Let me go!"

Kai let out a low growl of warning. "Lay your hand off her. She's got nothing to do with this!"

Eri threw a withering stare at the commotion. "Ren, stay out of this and don't touch our audience. We must make sure she gets to watch the special performance, get it?"

Ren reluctantly let go of his grip as Hiromi glared at him, although thankful for the unexpected rescue.

"Nobody help." Then the brunet faced Kai. "One on one. No interference from outside. If you win, we'll leave you alone tonight. Otherwise, you'll come with me tonight and make a public apology in front of my brother while on your knees."

"And a few other extras too," Ren added, snickering while giving Hiromi a dangerous stare that made her want to slap him and hide herself from his sight at the same time.

Hold it. And then realization hit her. He's the same jerk who was staring at my legs at the beach a few days ago!

"Ren." There was hard warning in Eri's tone.

Kai eyed Ren, Hiromi and Higashi in wariness for a while. Then with one swift movement, he shrugged off his jacket and tossed it to Hiromi, who caught it, as light gray pools darkened. "Challenge accepted."

"Kai, you don't have to accept this!" But no one was listening to Hiromi as Kai and Eri moved to a more open area. How she hated herself for being a liability. Instead of being a support, she turned out to be his weakness. If only she had known this would happen, she never would've followed Kai in the first place. There must be something else I can do even though I'm just watching!

"This should be interesting," Higashi mused, watching the two beybladers prepare their stances. "Hiwatari Kai without Dranzer? I'd love to see how Eri beats him in no time flat."

"No, you're so wrong! Kai's going to win for sure, I know it!" The hard force in her tone was enough to even make Kai and Eri turn to her. Hiromi herself was surprised, knowing she had never sounded this forceful before.

"Oh, really?" Higashi asked, a smirk on his face. "How can you be so sure of that?"

A deep mixture of red and earth eye caught a pale smoky orb.

"Because I trust him. I trust him that he can win even without his beyblade, even with one that isn't even his. It's not about Dranzer. It's… It's about Kai."

Inwardly Kai was taken aback by his partner's words. Hiromi trusted him even though he pushed her away without explanation? Despite being deserted at the dance floor by him she still supported him? Believed in him?

He had heard it in her voice. The strong conviction despite the odds against him.

"Is it?" Higashi returned. "Without Dranzer, Hiwatari might as well admit that he had never held a beyblade before in his entire life. Wanna bet on that?"

"I don't have to bet anything," Hiromi shot back. "If my friend's skill is too much for you to handle, then that's your problem, not his."

"You have guts." Higashi turned to Eri. "Hey, Eri, go and beat the crap out of him! Just make sure you don't hurt my beyblade too much, okay?"

It didn't help that Kai felt weird whenever he heard Hiromi's lines referring to him as her friend despite knowing she was just playing her part after receiving his unspoken message. After Eri had implied that his business didn't mean chatting, Kai had figured out that if these guys found out how much she was linked to him, either she might be in danger or might be used as something against him. Of course it had been too late for him to realize she would follow him outside but if he couldn't undo it, at least she mustn't be involved more than necessary. If it had been possible, he would've reduced the impression about them to being just mere acquaintances. But with the way they had been observed and the unusual way Kai had been behaving, Eri had probably seen too much to believe him.

"Go, Kai! Show him who's boss!" Hiromi seemed to have put aside the dance floor incident, concentrating more on cheering for him.

Well, the same went for him. Kai faced Eri once more. I won't let you down. I promise that. "Let's get this over with."

"It's about time," Higashi stated. "Three, two, one, GO SHOOT!"

Eri's blood-red beyblade flew from his shooter while Kai released the completely unfamiliar forest-green one. The two beyblades circled around each other for a while, then tried to launch surprise attacks against each other.

"I've been waiting for this for a very long time," Eri said. "I never expected that all the time I spent just to track you down and have the chance to get you alone would only end up to this free dinner."

Damn, this won't be easy. If only he had brought Dranzer with him, this battle would've been over in only half a minute or even less. But aside from the fact that he still hadn't gotten the feeling of use for this beyblade that wasn't even his, it was practically everything Dranzer wasn't. Now he had to make everything he could with what he had, mentally cursing Yuuya in the process. This was the last time he was ever going to listen to his friend's "words of advice" on dinner and etiquette and all that senseless crap about how inappropriate and insensitive it would be on Kai's part for Dranzer to be brought at a beybladeless occasion such as tonight.

Also, he silently growled a curse upon himself. If he didn't have all these weird sensations regarding Hiromi earlier, he wouldn't have any hard time rejecting Yuuya's advice, and he wouldn't be in this tight spot tonight.

"You're not saying anything," the brunet observed. "You're saving it for the end of the battle like before, correct?"

"You talk too much. But two words: I'll win."

Eri raised his eyebrows in a That's all you'll say? expression but it melted into one of contemplating something. "Hmm."

Kai stared at him. "What."

"Nothing." Now the brunet's expression was unreadable. "I just recalled what you said to me the last time."

"I don't even remember meeting you, much less what I told you."

The battle continued for what felt to be a long time and sparks ignited everywhere as the two beyblades spun from one point to another, attack ring against attack ring. But Kai knew that wasn't enough.

"They must be battling for over two minutes now," Ren commented, stifling a yawn. "This girl said Hiwatari's skillful but with the way this battle's going on, I find it hard to believe how he became the leader of the Shell Killers, let alone one of the world champions. Guess he's nothing without Dranzer after all."

Hiromi turned to him. "That's not true!"

"You forgot, Ren, that he only played, like, once or twice during the entire world tournament more than a year ago," Higashi replied like Hiromi hadn't even spoken, the next statement coated with sarcasm. "I suppose we low-level beybladers aren't worthy of witnessing his excellent talent unless desperate times call for desperate measures. Although, he did lose during the finals while using Dranzer itself. A rare defeat rarely goes forgotten, and the entire beyblading world got to see it."

"So what if he lost once!" Hiromi defended. "It happens to everyone sometime in his life."

"Haha, but what sheer irony of him losing to a guy who's a member of the team he had sided against the BBA Team during the opening of the finals. That was the one time I saw him so victorious."

Kai froze in dread, mentally cursing at the same time at those words. Higashi was talking about the old Kai betraying the BBA Team during the Russian Tournament, the one thing he didn't want Hiromi to know!

"Sided against the BBA Team?" he heard Hiromi echo in confusion. "That's ridiculous. Kai's always been a part of the BBA Team."

"You mean you don't know?" But soon the surprise on Ren's face was erased by a look of mock pleasure. "I thought you're his friend. But by the look on your face, you must've met him sometime after the tournament. Higashi, do the honor of enlightening her."

Higashi seemed to notice how their conversation was diverting Kai's attention, a good means of ensuring Eri's victory. "I bet you never knew that there had been issues about your friend. I don't know how reporters can dig in to get all those information but news had it that Hiwatari had suddenly deserted his very own teammates to join the opponent team, a group of Russians, I think, without giving a reason at all. That guy had a lot of guts to pull off such a stunt during finals! And that's not all; he even used another beyblade instead of Dranzer and showed off its power by literally destroying the other teams' beyblades singlehandedly during the exhibition match."

"You're lying."

"And you know what's more? According to rumors, he even tried to do the very same thing to his teammates during a match outside the tournament itself. An act of pure betrayal if you ask me."

"Well, nobody's asking you. Kai wouldn't do any of those horrible things! I know you're only trying to mess up with my head so that he'll lose the match!"

"We're not interfering, if that's what you're implying. But it's not our problem if he's getting distracted. Besides, what I'm saying is true to the core. Like I said, the entire world had witnessed it already before." Higashi smirked, flipping his light brown locks. "If you think Ren and I are lying, go ahead, ask Hiwatari. Maybe he can tell you."

"I don't believe a word you're saying." Hiromi turned to Kai. "Kai, tell these guys how wrong they are! They're obviously lying, right?"

Kai couldn't do what she was saying.

"It's not the truth…" Hiromi seemed confused that he wasn't defending himself. "…Right?"

But he could only remain silent, torn between the battle that would judge his pride, skill and dignity but most importantly Hiromi's safety, and the exposed past that would dissolve Hiromi's respect of him.

"So they… weren't lying…"

The look on Hiromi's face made Kai's stomach twist.

"Told you." The smirk on Higashi's face never left.

No time for this! Trying to erase Hiromi's horrified reaction from his mind, one smoky orb narrowed at Higashi before Kai turned to Eri but the latter seemed unaware of the events outside the beybattle. In fact, he was so focused on grinding away Kai's temporary beyblade like there was no tomorrow. Too focused.

"I can't believe you." Hiromi's voice sounded low. "How… How could you do that to Takao and the rest of the team? They…"

"Hey, Higashi, take a look at her face," he heard Ren call extra loudly for Kai's benefit, his eyes not leaving the former leader. "Doesn't she look disgusted or what?"

"They're your friends…"

Red on the ground seemed to be teleporting around dark green, crash after crash.

"Concentrate on the battle, Hiwatari!" Eri ordered, his heated gaze on the fighting scene between him and his opponent. "I will not get my revenge through a shallow victory!"

He's right. I can't let these guys keep on distracting me. Kai must win this battle no matter what, even though this beyblade he was currently using didn't match up Dranzer's strength. If only he could think of a way how to earn that victory…

Wait. This type of beybattle seemed familiar—wasn't this the kind of situation Takao used to face during the World Championships? And wasn't Kai the one who always gave him the appropriate advice for that? Study the beystadium and its nature. Study your opponents first. Use what you learn to beat him.

For a while Kai observed Eri, studying the intensity of his gaze, his focus. A lot of fighting spirit inside him that gives him strength. But his concentration… It seemed that once Eri got himself involved in a beybattle, he was so unconscious of the world outside it. That would be his strength… and a possible weakness.

Study one's own beyblade…

"This is taking too long, Eri!"

The next thing both beybladers knew, Ren's beyblade had joined the fray, grinding and grinding on the forest-green beyblade.

"I said, stay out of this, Ren!" Eri hissed, concentration temporarily broken.

"Damn it, Eri—!"

"This is a matter strictly between me and Hiwatari, get it? And not even cheating could change that!" His beyblade knocked Ren's out of the battle area, and Ren snarled.

Kai took in the slight anger and hostility ringing out of the brunet's voice and the sudden flash on his deep blue eyes, realizing that it wasn't Eri who was his real problem. Then his eyes shifted next to his opponent's beyblade, then to Higashi's as it retreated to his side. It seemed to lack vertical attack abilities, one of Dranzer's specialties. If so… The memory of what it looked like came back to him. The attack ring—five pointy designs on it, gold outlines… Five sides…

His acute mind saw a certain type of movement, then picked up an image, and then it suddenly hit him.

"I can't keep my brother waiting for too long, Hiwatari," Eri said. "Finish him!" His beyblade rushed straight forward for the final attack.

"Now!" At the last minute of the assault, Higashi's beyblade dashed out of the way, then another straight rush to reach the other side of his opponent's beyblade.

"What?" Eri seemed baffled.

Then the beyblade slammed right into Eri's, nearly knocking it to its rest, as it left behind a trail that crossed the first line earlier and then changed angles. On the next charge, the red beyblade managed to dodge but received a hard blow at Kai's subsequent attack. A figure was evidently drawn on the ground, and Kai found himself smirking a little.

"How the hell did he find out?" Higashi uttered a curse at the sight. "Nobody's supposed to know about that special pentagram move I was saving for Hiwatari until we battle!"

"Pentagram?" Hiromi echoed.

So I was right, Kai thought, glancing at the five-pointed star-shaped figure before him. Although I'd assumed this was just a basic attack.

The shock and disbelief on Higashi's face quickly faded away. "Well, you're still in a disadvantage here, Hiwatari," he stated cockily. "Once you start making the pentagram, Eri can predict your next moves and anticipate your attacks!"

As if on cue, Eri's beyblade dodged the next two supposed slams against it.

Ren's eyes followed the anticipated slashes across the ground. "He's going down. Too predictable."

"You're really hopeless without Dranzer." The teen with the light brown hair shook his head. "The pentagram is the only effective shape you can use to attack. My beyblade was designed to specialize in that."

"Hn." Kai couldn't help but smirk again.

"What are you smirking at?" Higashi demanded.



"You said I'm hopeless without my Dranzer. But you're even a more worthless beyblader than you claimed me to be. You don't even know your beyblade well."

The said beyblade made a straight move at Eri's but retreated at the same fast speed the moment the blue-eyed guy tried a counterattack, then came back, changed directions, returned halfway in a straight path to intersect the first path and then suddenly struck successfully in another direction.

Eri sucked in his breath. "What the—!"

"Your beyblade doesn't specialize in pentagrams," Kai continued. "It specializes in angles. The acute ones in particular are the best, making your pentagrams seem like an effective and powerful attack—"

Now Higashi's beyblade drew irregular pentagrams without following the standard easy five-equally-long-lines manner, changing degrees and speed, stars stratified by stars of different sizes drawn. And Eri was visibly having a hard time keeping up with the sudden and unpredictable maneuvers that he could barely launch an attack of his own.

"—so I can change the beyblade's distance, the angle's size and its range at anytime I want—"

The red beyblade suffered long and short audible strikes from Kai, bits of red flying about.

"—and still get the powerful pentagram that I need—"

Shift of angles once more, temporary separation of the two beyblades from each other.

"—without anyone being able to predict what move will come next!"

As the final strike the pentagram beyblade slammed its hardest on Eri's beyblade, the latter flying straight toward its owner in an unstoppable speed.

Kai stepped forward, momentarily forgetting the battle. "Eri!"

The beyblade socked Eri right in the stomach, blue pools widening, sending him flying and landing to the ground on his back. The next thing his beyblade slowed down before finally reaching its stop.

Gray orbs moved over to the now motionless beyblader lying on the ground. The same amount of strength that Kai usually shared with Dranzer must have been a great impact of an attack when he transferred it to Higashi's beyblade. No wonder Eri was knocked out by his own beylade just moments ago. Then the gray eyes shifted to the lying blood-red beyblade, then to the still spinning pentagram beyblade, the latter ceasing speed before shooting out fragments and fragments of its own parts until the weight disc was the only remaining component still intact when it finally stopped. The said amount of strength earlier must've been too much for Higashi's beyblade to handle that it got destructed for good.

I did it. He won. Even though I didn't use Dranzer. Apart from Black Dranzer, Kai couldn't remember when he had ever used a beyblade other than his long-time partner.

"It's not about Dranzer. It's… It's about Kai."

Kai turned to the only girl around him, knowing he was eventually going to face her and what he had kept from her.

Hiromi's reddish-brown eyes widened slightly at Kai's steady gaze before her expression shifted into an unreadable one.

Light breeze picked up its way and passed through the space between them, the strained silence growing longer and heavier. As much as he dreaded it, at that moment Kai would've preferred Hiromi yelling obscenities at him for his former bastardly ways over her undecided features. It never mattered to him ever before but now it was important that he knew where he stood.

Finally Hiromi, still in the same incomprehensible mask, tossed to him his dinner jacket. With one hand Kai automatically caught it, looking now at the fallen Eri as he wore it again.

"Kai, look out!"

Kai started to turn around but then felt a hard fist meet his face and he recoiled.

"Didn't I warn you not to break my beyblade?" Higashi growled, both hands balled in anger again already. "Now you pay!"

Trying to anticipate the attacks, Kai used his arms to cease Higashi's fists. As much as he hated to admit it, though the brown-haired beyblader wasn't a match for Kai in beyblading, he made up a lot for it with quite an impressive level of physical offense. Just in time Kai made a cross out of his arms over his stomach, blocking the assaulting foot from reaching its target. And fast too, he noted as he was sent skidding backward.

"Stop this!" Hiromi screamed. "Kai won fair and square already! Eri, wake up!"

"You insulted the honor and strength of our group before. For that you also pay." Higashi dashed fast, enraged fist after strong fist aiming for Kai. Kai dodged both before delivering a sharp elbow on the light-haired teen's back and returned the same attack on Higashi until the BBA member's punch found an opening and landed across Higashi's face, sending the latter to the ground.

Alert eyes caught movement from the peripheral area at that exact moment, and he moved out of the way as silver cut through the air, missing him by one second. Just when he was about to get slashed by a follow-up, Kai quickly let his jacket shrug itself off him, spun and threw it at Ren to block his view for a while. Automatically trying again, Ren managed to tear only the bottom part instead. Seeing the knife stuck there, Kai grabbed his coat before beating the air, the blade whirling out of the way and landing somewhere else on the lot. At the same time he saw the mahogany-haired boy's blow heading his way so he sent a hard kick on Ren's chest before the taller boy's fist could touch him first. Ren struck the ground first, while Kai's shoes screeched against the ground, a cloud of dust trailing along the backward skid. That was close.

What he never realized nor felt was the thin trail of blood traveling down from his paintless cheek.

This can't be happening! Hiromi could do nothing but look on with horror and dread at the wild scene unfolding just a few meters away from her. Immediately she glanced at Kai quickly picking up his soiled coat. Didn't he realize that he was bleeding already?

The next moment Higashi had already risen up to hurl his fist at Kai again. Hiromi saw Kai move away while throwing his black coat at him but the other guy swatted it away from his sight and threw another punch at Kai, who managed to evade it. But much to the brunette's horror, it seemed like her partner wasn't able to anticipate Higashi's other fist that easily struck Kai on his face. Before the latter had any chance to recover, he received another blow on the stomach, causing him to collapse on the ground. Kai tried to get back on his feet but with the way he staggered and landed on one knee instead, it looked like the powerful force behind his opponent's strikes was making it impossible for him to get up.

For a strong young man like Hiwatari Kai to collapse in a physical fight like that—Higashi must be more than just tough. He was dangerous.

Higashi took slightly fast breaths before one corner of his mouth curved up. Then he walked over and bent down to retrieve the knife.

At any other circumstances Hiromi would've found herself frozen with panic or fear but right now, strangely, the circumstances of this totally one-sided fight dissolved it as suddenly every cell of her body was flooded with anger. "What kind of beybladers are you! Two armed with a knife against one—that's completely unfair! Just because things didn't go the way you liked it doesn't mean you gained the right to be sore losers about it!"

"Shut up! I didn't ask for your opinion!" Higashi roared at her, hurling a nearby fist-size rock right at her.

It was so fast that Hiromi was barely able to evade it. At one precise moment, as though everything suddenly underwent slow motion, she saw the rock cut right through a few strands of chocolate hair, and oxygen left her for a few seconds when it was over. She stared at the rock in horror. Just a few centimeters more and it could've struck her directly at the eye. Hard. And by the size of the rock, it would be a target not hard to miss.

"Too bad; it's already over."

Hiromi spun and fear resumed its grip when Kai's polo received a longitudinal slash, buttons cutting through the air, exposing his well-built chest and torso. Without realizing it her arm covered her own ones as though to protect herself. If Kai hadn't been able to jump back in time…

And now Kai received a spinning kick from the angry beyblader that seemed to disable him from completely rising up again.

"Higashi! Stop attacking him, please!"

But it was too late.

For she saw Higashi charging at Kai, arm drawn back, the knife already anticipating Kai's blood in his clutch.


Higashi's arm and legs muscles tensed in preparation as he heard the girl's scream somewhere. Hear her voice, Hiwatari. Because this will be the last time you'll be hearing anyone screaming your name. His armed hand eagerly shot forward—

And froze midway.

"If any of you touch her, not even hell can accommodate the suffering I'll grant you."

Kai had already looked up at him, low steel voice coated with poison immobilizing him. But what really sent Higashi chills from his chest to his spine was murder he saw in Kai's deadly eyes. For a few seconds that seemed like forever, he was struck by a pair of pools no longer pale gray but blackened not just by rage and vengeance but also by dark conflagration that could instantly burn him mercilessly to his death without a second thought. Those weren't the eyes of a ruthless Shell Killer that he had experienced before nor even of a murderer. What Higashi saw that surpassed those eyes were the orbs of a demon alight with thirst to make all who had wronged him pay him the highest price. Never had he thought anyone could make him feel so terrified with just a single glare while nearly completely draining him out of strength and stability at the same time. Numb fingers lost hold on the knife, the blade clattering uselessly on the ground. When he could move already, he found himself stepping back.

And Kai had done all these to him—without even moving?

But he didn't seem aware of Ren already standing behind him.

Fist drawn back.

That idiot Higashi. Why the hell is he wasting his chance! Ren had already silently crept behind Kai. Well, it doesn't matter. His arm prepared itself for one last crushing blow. Soon that brown-haired chick will become dateless.

But just when he let it go, his fist suddenly halted by just a few inches away from his target's skull.

"What—!" Why the hell couldn't he move? He glanced at Higashi for explanation but his friend just looked past his shoulder.

"You interfered with my match yet I let you go. But you're seriously abusing the advantage now."

Ren's eyes fell on the hand gripping his wrist before he twisted his head. "Why did you hold me back, Eri?" he demanded. Since when did the brunet get up? "I was so close to getting my revenge. Stay out the way!"

"'Stay out of the way'? Don't give me that. You're only here because of me, and I agreed to bring you both only because you said you want to enjoy seeing Hiwatari defeated and humiliated in public later on and that alone. Attempting to kill him and touching that girl are completely out of the plan."

The mahogany-haired teen immediately recognized the powerful authority behind Eri's relatively calm voice, the force that usually kept him and Higashi in check, and based on experience he knew they should back out for their own good. But still, Kai was just one strike away! "You don't like him as much as we do. He defeated you again, remember? Think about your brother, Eri! And now you're siding with him over us to protect him?"

"All these for saving your skin… It's not Hiwatari who's in danger right now but both you and Higashi. Look at your target's hands."

"His hands?" Ren turned and found a large and sharp-edged stone in each of the former Shell Killer's hands, tensed and already positioned for striking first.

"You might have been too busy to notice it but he was just waiting for the right moment and distance to use them on you. He's so good at that, though he appeared to be losing and weakening already. Higashi, it was smart of you to draw back when you had the chance. Otherwise you wouldn't want to imagine how literally fragmented your skull would be by that unexpected smash right on your head. Even before you attacked him, he had already been ready earlier to get ahead of the two of you." Eri shifted his attention to the coatless teen below him. "Am I not correct, Hiwatari?"

Kai remained silent.

Damn it, he's right. He had underestimated that dual-haired beyblader.

The second time it had failed him.

"Higashi, go back inside and call Ayana. We're leaving already."

"Has your beyblade knocked you more than just in the stomach? You know Ayana will be furious with you!"

"She won't. Just give her a brief explanation."

"It won't be enough if we're talking about giving up fine food and wine."

"I'll deal with her."

Higashi let out a grunt but stepped away from Kai. "Your choice." With that he straightened his clothes and headed back to the Aquose Cavern.

Higashi's out of the way. Good. Eri had one more problem. "Don't make me drag you, Ren. Move away. Now."

Ren did as he was told but with much reluctance.


For a while Eri ignored his companion and watched Hiromi rush to her date's side and kneel down. Then he walked over to Kai. Hiromi tensed, taking Kai's shoulders as though to protect him while glaring at Eri, like she couldn't trust him not to hurt her friend.

The defeated beyblader lowered himself to Kai's level so that he was looking at him eye to eye. While Hiromi's wary orbs never left the brunet's every movement, Kai returned his stare evenly, and Eri was surprised, though he made no point of showing it, at the blazing fierceness and protectiveness that he witnessed there. "You give her too much thought. I thought she's just your friend."

"I told you before. She's mine."

Eri studied him for a few more moments. I know what you're thinking. But…

"The day I care about someone…"

A few more seconds, and then he stood up. "You're not him."

"What?" Hiromi gazed up at him in confusion. "I don't understand you, Eri. One moment you wanted to defeat Kai so badly, then your friends attempted to hurt and kill him, and then after all these trouble you caused us that's all you have to say?"

"I also said our deal is that we'll leave him alone if he wins," he replied, glancing at Kai. "Though the result wasn't my first choice, I know how to keep my end of the deal."

"To let your honor cloud your sense of vengeance—you're too idealistic for your own good, Eri," Ren stated as Higashi and Ayana emerged out of the restaurant and joined them. Meanwhile Hiromi helped Kai stand up and they watched Eri's group. "Someday it will be the one to kill you."

"Call me idealistic if you want but I want my revenge personally done in the proper way I know best. If I go beyond a match just to see someone hurt—or killed, then I'm no different from Hiwatari."

Ren had that Whatever look on his face but nonetheless followed Eri walk away. Higashi trailed after them in stony silence and the girl went to Eri's side in slight puzzlement but none of them looked back at the couple they had left.

Ayana gave her best friend a sidelong glance as they walked. "Okay, I know you're not part of Higashi and Ren's group, which means no interference with each other. But all of you had the same enemy though for different reasons." Then she plunged in even before Eri was about to speak. "I know, you'll say you allowed them to come provided you deal with that guy alone but still—!"

"That isn't him."

She cast him a strange look. "What?" But when he said nothing, she just fell back into silence.

That wasn't him all right. That guy is not the Shell Killer I promised my brother vengeance on. Where was the ruthlessness, the familiar iciness? The trampler of his brother's beyblade and spirit wasn't as skillful and powerful as the Kai he had battled now.

I thought Dranzer was the one responsible for his cockiness. Now I know he knows how to back up his superiority, he thought, his mind wandering back to the way Kai shifted the battle to his favor. Before he had lost consciousness, he had seen his beyblade stop spinning before Higashi's did. And the way Kai had shouted his name in warning of what was to attack the brunet before he got socked… Eri had never expected that from the coldhearted former leader of the Shell Killers, whom he had thought should take delight in what happened.

But most importantly…

"And you call yourself a beyblader?" Hiwatari Kai looked down at Eri, gauntleted arms crossed over his black-shirted chest. "This is the third time you have challenged me this month with a worthless trash you called your beyblade." Eyes closed, he turned away to leave.

"W-Wait." Dark bangs drooping from his head, Eri's tired body shook, trying to get up from the ground but failed. "The first time you defeated me—I supposed I had that coming because I was no match for you. But now—I won't stop—until you pay for the internal damage you caused my brother—and for crushing his beyblade!"

"Hn. Now I'm supposed to feel sorry and all concerned for him?" Hard eyes opening again, Kai cast him a cold smirk of arrogance. "Do you know one of the many things that makes me stronger and different from you?"

The brunet glared right at him. "Would that matter?"

"You might want to make use of it." The Shell Killer seemed to enjoy every bit of this exchange of talk. "You put others first before you that you lost what it takes to make you strong. You fight for your brother. I fight for myself."

"Don't you turn your back on me." Eri breathed hard before speaking again. "You may be strong now, Hiwatari, and for now maybe nobody would like to face you. But someday, you'll know how I feel when you learn how it's like to fight for someone you really care about."

"Care about?" That mocking tone. "Do you still want to give yourself more false hope? The day…"

His mind raced back to the events inside the Aquose Cavern. People say you think rather than feel. Will you claim the same thing after you took most of my actions earlier the wrong way? When Eri had learned through Ren and his sources that Kai was coming for the free dinner with a girl, he had been genuinely surprised. For a female to be even in the same perimeter with the coldhearted beyblader, this one must have a difference from the rest. He had to know for sure and all he had in mind was to observe her first then question her and, at the same time, gain some information about Kai. Size up his target. Based from past experiences, and unlike Higashi and Ren, he knew how to be subtle when needed; that also meant his warning for Kai that there was an unfinished business between them—and they would finish it tonight—through his coolly smiles earlier. But Kai had misinterpreted the message, clearly thinking Eri meant to say he could touch Hiromi any time, when on the contrary Eri really respected girls in general. The latter mentally shook his head. Not even rage could make anyone that blind.

"The day I care about someone…"

He took out his defeated beyblade from his soiled coat.

"…will be the day you stand a chance against me."

The minute Eri and his group were out of his sight, Kai collapsed on one knee.


He felt Hiromi hug his back and, within moments, something warm and wet seeping through his shirt. He hated it. He made her cry. Later when she released him, he turned to face her.

Hiromi studied his chest for any sign of slash marks, then placed a delicate hand on his punched cheek. "You didn't have to fight those two jerks. They could've caused you some serious harm!"

"Crying doesn't suit you, you know that?"

"How can you think of that at a time like this!" she yelled, sounding so angry. "You could've died tonight!"

But she was about to pull her hand away when Kai placed his over her own and closed his eyes, looking down as his expression hooded.

"Did you believe I could forgive myself..." he uttered, "...if you were hurt?"

They were showered by a very light drizzle, and Hiromi's anger seemed to vanish, her hand not pulling away. Kai didn't dare to move either, enjoying the last moments of holding the hand of the person he found too important to him to deny to himself any longer, and if he moved, he would lose it for good now that she knew his past. He liked her, no, more than just liked. Until tonight, he didn't realize how much he cared for someone besides himself—to the point of thinking of himself the last to put that someone first in his priority. What he had assumed to be most likely his teammates' thing—awareness that put emotion over reason, something he thought was too foolish to even happen to him—had changed everything. Hiromi was past the girl he cared for more than just a friend. Maybe this wasn't the first time that he had. Maybe he had already cared the moment he had saved her life. Maybe he already had begun to when he really started paying attention to her. He must've been sidetracked with so many things to realize she was a special person to him. And he had stated twice already tonight that she was his.

But now she could never be his. Would never be his. It was over now.

"Don't say that," Hiromi pleaded softly. "Don't do it again. Please?"

"If they come back—"

"Then don't fight them anymore! I care too much for you to let yourself get killed!"

Kai was stunned.

Hiromi blinked, looking like she had said something too much but she seemed to think it was already too late. Getting on her feet, she turned around. Away from his face. "I don't know how I started to. But I do know I don't want to lose you, especially in front of me." Her voice dropped. "Especially because of me."

Kai looked away. Hiromi didn't know what she was saying but he had to make it clear now. "The person you claim you care for is the new Kai, the one who had looked out for you. But you would've turned away immediately if you had met his former self more than a year earlier. The old Kai would never save your life and could care less about you and his teammates." He watched for some reaction but so far nothing came. "You can never really be attracted to the new Kai without appreciating the old one."

Hiromi turned to him. "I get it that it's part of your past. But I still don't understand something. Why did you switch teams during the finals?"

He cast his gaze down. "From the beginning I was under the influence of my grandfather who wanted to take all the holy beasts to take over the entire world. But I myself was driven by my own desire to attain perfection and become the best beyblader. As long as I was part of the BBA Team, I could never get what I wanted, and for me to be on my way to being the best, I needed what I thought was the perfect blade, Black Dranzer. I could only have it if I left my team to join my grandfather's side, and that's what I did. I left Dranzer, Suzaku and the other guys and made them my enemies to use Black Dranzer and Kuro Suzaku to steal the holy beasts of other beybladers."

"Like the way ZO did to you?"

"Worse. I tried the same thing to Kinomiya and the others, but that was a mistake. I made countless mistakes and now that they resurfaced, I regret making them."

Hiromi fell silent for a few minutes. "But that was the old Kai. The new Kai… you… you're the new Kai in the present, the one with me tonight. The one who took me to the dance floor."

Kai was silent.

She lightly touched her lips. "That kiss… you were starting to kiss me… before…"

Before I hurt her. Kai was suddenly loaded with guilt. Now that he realized how much she meant to him, he was going to lose her. He felt horrible about the way he had treated her and turned his back on her, still looking away. The words wouldn't form at first. Damn, this was even harder than when he used Higashi's beyblade. This wasn't a strong suit for him.

But he couldn't let her go in misunderstanding. "I didn't mean to push you away. It's just… I don't know why I started looking at you in a new light. I don't know when or why I started having these thoughts, these sudden unexplainable feelings for you. I tried to make them disappear but I couldn't. I don't know how I got them, I couldn't understand them… and when I thought I did, I acted without thinking. After that kiss, suddenly I didn't know how to deal with them anymore. I don't know what would and should happen next and that scares me." Now how could he face her? "I'm… sorry."

But he felt a hand grasp his lower arm. Kai froze, slowly turning around, and watched as Hiromi wrapped her right arm around his neck, her left hand still holding his arm. She moved next to his ear.

"Don't be."

Before he knew it, her lips felt soft against his own, brushing lightly like the way he had done to her. Then they turned sweet as they completely melded for a few seconds before she pulled away. Kai stared at her, unable to comprehend what was really going on.

"Because I'm yours."

The drizzle ended its course, leaving drops of glistening water sliding down past Kai's shocked face.

"I know what you're thinking. But it isn't. Listen to me," Hiromi said, releasing him. "This might sound unreal to you but I don't care. So what if you had been bad in the past? What matters is who you are now."

Finally Kai recovered. "You're accepting this too easily."

"No, you're wrong. True, you can't completely ignore the past. I know it also counts but don't you think the present is even more important? What has been done is done already and no one can change that. But to change yourself now takes a lot of courage that could only come from a stronger person."

"Hiromi, didn't you hear me before? I had a past, the same repulsive past like those of the other people who tried stealing our team's sacred spirits. The enemies that we—"

"Kai, if you took me in and considered me even after learning how so much I was against beyblading before, then what makes you think your level of past is any different?"

"My betrayal. My selfishness. You weren't there. If you were, you wouldn't be talking this way."

"That's what you think? Kai, learning about your nasty past didn't really change the way I look at you." Even if she met the old Kai, she still would embrace him. Because...

"You can't deny that your views about me changed during my beybattle."

Hiromi looked away. "Yeah, I admit, at first I was shocked. Everything was so hard to digest that when it did, I guess I was naturally turned off about how someone I looked highly of and really respected could be capable of being that low." She somehow felt Kai's internal flinch, then look steadily at him. "But when Eri's friends attacked you, and I was watching you risking your life while you played with death… When Ren and then Higashi fought with that knife, I—I was really scared. At that time, the only thing important to me was how you would come out of the fight still alive because if you didn't…"

The memory of the horror was still as fresh and sharp as before, making Hiromi feel like crying again, and she tried to block it. But the tears forming in her eyes betrayed her. "I really thought you were about to get killed. In front of me. And just right after you went livid when Higashi nearly stoned me, like—like you were protecting me. Could I really care about being repulsed after all that?" This time a tear escaped, and she wiped it away with the back of her hand.

Kai appeared like he didn't know what to say.

"It's not that I don't hate you." The girl smiled through her tears. "I just couldn't."

"You have every right to."

"After what you told me during dinner, I don't. And between your life and your reputation, you know what I'd value more."

"You're accepting all these—without any problem?"

"Well," she admitted, "I really like the Kai I had met better than the former one." She paused. "But if I can't receive the truth about you that way, I might as well admit I'm too shallow to accept a person for who he is." The Kai before was a part of who he was as much as the present one did. She didn't know what his other mistakes had been but she didn't care. "Besides…" Her eyes closed. Besides…

"Of all the challenges our team had encountered, Kai and the thick wall separating him from us must be the hardest to meet but we did meet it. As a team. Even though he kept on pushing us away, we didn't give up. From the beginning we accepted him for who he was and even to the point of an incident in Russia when we thought we lost him for good, we still accepted him. I guess we did a pretty good job of destroying that wall because he finally considered us not just as some teammates but as his friends. You can see how he fights for us instead of just for himself. I had initially thought before that Takao as a rookie who ended as a world champion had the most improvement during the tournament. But upon closer look, it's really Kai."

If Takao and the others could accept him, well, so could she.

Her eyes opened. "Besides, in a way, I'm glad I learned all about it." In fact, learning who Kai had been before made her even appreciate more the Kai she was with now. "And I won't leave you, no matter how less you give yourself a chance. And I really think you should, just like your fellow Shell Killers. I saw them a few days ago, and they seemed reformed."

"My past, my cold self. My betrayal and everything I've become. Knowing all these, you'd still take me in?"

"Well, you're Hiwatari Kai. I wouldn't want to settle for anything less than the whole package."

Kai seemed somewhat uncharacteristically bothered. "Hiromi, you know I'm not—"

"Yes, you are." Hiromi knew good at expressing feelings was the unfinished part but it didn't matter.

For a long moment Kai gazed at her silently, assessing how real everything was. Hiromi met his gaze directly and steadily, auburn to smoke gray.

Finally Kai relaxed and wiped her tears away with the back of his finger. "You shouldn't cry anymore. Like I said, it doesn't suit you."

Hiromi reveled at his touch. Kai might not be the best at using verbal means but his actions, even in suppressed state, spoke a lot for him—and expressed more emotions and meaning than words could ever do. She loved that he could convey his feelings for her in such a way for a guy of a few words. And for such a man who might think I like you or I love you were too intense for words, well, there was no need for him to say them. She knew Kai would never say them directly but Hiromi could accept his own language of telling her.

Then for the first time she realized how damp the drizzle had made them. As she noted the way Kai's messy stormcloud bangs stick to his forehead, not that she was complaining since it made him even more winning, she grimaced, wondering how bad she might look now. "My make-up must be ruined by now."

Kai looked as amused as his standards could permit him. "A major fixing up would do you some good now."

Hiromi pretended to scowl at Kai's dishevelment. "I can't be looking that bad. Besides, you don't look at your best yourself. So what do we do now?"

"Back inside. Dessert hasn't been served yet."

"Making the best out of the free dinner, aren't you. You sure? Even if we look like…," she paused, gesturing at their less-than-tidy appearance, "…this?"

"We do have what's remaining of the pass. They wouldn't dare block us from entering."

Good point. "I guess we can fix ourselves inside."

"Good. Besides…" The last word lingering in the air, Kai slowly leaned close to her ear, hot breath tickling it for a while, and his voice grew low and unbelievably husky. "We still have some unfinished business at the dance floor…"

Shivers of excitement skidded down Hiromi's body, her face breaking into a teasing smile. "Hiwatari Kai, by that do you mean the dance or the kiss?"

"Try to guess." Moving back, his lips stretched into a seductive smile, Hiwatari style.

By Kai's expression he was suggesting both, but Hiromi decided to humor him, intrigued nonetheless. "But do I really have to guess while like this?"

"So what?" His eyebrows shot slightly heavenward. "You don't seriously care how the others will think of how you look, do you?"

Hiromi watched him wait for her reaction for a few moments. "You're right, so what? Come on."

Kai picked up his slashed coat from the ground while Hiromi brushed off the remaining drops of moisture on her bare arms. Then they started to walk together, her arm around his, the free hand touching the blue fabric as she leaned her head on his shoulder.

Take my hand

Make a wish

Close your eyes…

This dinner had been full of so many twists and turns. She had thought this was just a simple dinner with one of her friends on a Saturday night. Hiromi wasn't exactly sure of all of Kai's assumptions but whatever they had been, it couldn't be denied that both of them had guessed wrong. Neither of them had expected the real invitation behind the evening meal, the dance, the fight, the revelation of everything… Neither of them had expected tonight.

And this will be paradise…

Hiromi gave herself a smile of content, relaxing and enjoying the sensation of her arm rightfully linked around Kai's. She herself had one more guess to try. Turning her gaze at Kai, she saw him carrying his jacket over his free shoulder, an expression on his face matching hers. But no matter what her guess would be, she knew it would be always right.

And she knew that not even a million wrong guesses about anything could come close to ruin the rest of this night.

Or what awaited them after it was over.

: Owari :

My first multichaptered fic to be finished!

Kai: FINALLY. -rolls eyes-

Be thankful I didn't have Higashi stab you.

Kai: I suppose. At least the ending wasn't such a cliché.

Well, I hope. Because if it is… -dies-

Rei: I still can't believe you made Kai undergo that kind of beybattle.

Kai without Dranzer… I thought of doing something different for a change; I mean, come on, he always wins while using his partner. But I won't change the fact that he still kicks ass.

Please leave a review, dear reader! Flames will be used to cook my next breakfast. Man, I really need my bed right now...

And before I forget about one thing… Since I spent the most of my energy in this fic of all the Beyblade works I've ever done (and since this is my first finished multichaptered work), I would like to receive extra feedback through this: Which particular part/moment in the entire fic did you find the best/coolest/greatest and why, and which part ranks the second best after that? Thanks!

Rei: Thank you for your time. Bye!