Title: When Worlds Collide

Authoress: Ladya C. Maxine

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Ray and the White tigers have always been together, living in the small village in the Chinese mountains. He and Lee are best friends. Their friendship is strained, though, when Tala, having been freed from Russia's Abbey, is sent to the village to recover….a Tala/Ray fic.

Warnings: yaoi, possible language and violence (but nothing at all graphic)

Disclaimer: I do not own Beyblade or any of its characters. Any and all unrecognizable characters belong solely to me and are not to be touched. I am not making any money off of this and write with the sole intention to entertain.

A/N: To Angel Kitten and Gaby: HAH! Bet you thought that I had forgotten about this plot!

Yes people, I have done it again. Anyways, this is a slight AU, slight in the sense that everything that happened in the series; forget that. There are no Bladebreakers, Ray never left the White Tiger, no championships, etc.

Why write the story like this? Because it is the only possible way to write a Ray/Tala fic and make it believable. Face it, they have absolutely no contact in the series; no history together like Tala and Kai, didn't battle each other like Tala and Tyson (and wouldn't THAT be a freaky pairing?) Hell, even Kenny had a few word exchanges with our favourite red-head! Soooooo, I had to start from square one.

When Worlds Collide

By Ladya C. Maxine

"Tiger Claw attack!"

"Black Thunder, Dark Lightening attack!"

All four covered their faces as the force of impact blew over them, stirring the leaves that lay on the forest floor beneath their feet.

"Awesome!" Kevin shouted, leaping off the stump he had been sitting on. "We are so ready for the tournament!"

"Earth to Kevin, we aren't going," Mariah rolled her eyes, tugging at the tail of her pink ribbon. "You know the elders don't want us to leave the village."

"You kidding! Once they see how good we are they'll beg us to go and represent the village! Right, Gary?"

"Uh, I..."

"See! Gary's with me on that!"

"As if," she murmured.

"Aw, come on Mariah, can't a guy dream?" Ray smiled as he and Lee walked over, having retrieved their blades from where they had both been blasted out of the 'dish' by the impact. "You never know, maybe one day the elders will let us compete."

"Yeah, stop being such a pessimist, Pinkie," Kevin added with a grin, jumping out of the way as she tried to swipe him with her long nails.

"I hate that name!"

"We know, Pinkie. Choking on a fur ball?--ACK!"

"Now you've done it, Kevin!" Lee laughed as the two tumbled on the floor, Mariah finally ending on top.

"Ha! Say it! Girls rule!"


"Saaaaay it!"

"Let it go, Kev! It's not worth it!" Ray and the others laughed, cheering their friends on.

Despite the 'threats', it was all play.

They had all grown up together as little kids, living close by one another. There were other kids in the village but they had a special bond. It was very rare to see them apart; wherever one was, the others were sure to be nearby. Their biggest dream was to take part in the Asian championship. Everyday they would train hard to perfect techniques they themselves had created.

Ray and Lee were close. Since his parents' death five years ago, Ray had been living with Lee and his grandfather. They had a bond of respect and, more importantly, friendship that outdid everything else. They stood up for each other against even the biggest and meanest kids in the village. Both could be very stubborn but both also had a strong sense of pride and loyalty. In fact, they shared many things in common.

"Ow! Man, I'm gonna be black and blue for weeks!"

"Serves you right for calling me 'Pinkie'!" Mariah replied, sticking out her tongue in her defence.

"Alright, let's get on with actually having a life," Ray said, remaining between the two. "We have better things to do."

"Yeah, like having lunch! I'm hungry!" Gary agreed, his stomach rumbling loudly to back him up.

"We've been training all morning; I guess we deserve something to eat."

"For once I agree with you, Pi-- Mariah," Kevin corrected himself quickly when she hissed. "Whose house should we go to?"

"Well, we still had some food left from yesterday's dinner," Ray opted, turning to Lee. "Chief Burma wouldn't mind, would he?"

"Nah, as long as we don't make a mess."

"I got first dibs on the chicken!" Kevin shouted and sprinted ahead.

"Don't you dare!" Gary bellowed, lumbering after him.

"Look at him!" Mariah said exasperatedly, walking with her hands on her hips. "The moment it comes to food he will do anything!"

"His heart is bigger than his stomach."

"And that is big."

Laughing, the three friends followed their screaming peers out of the forest and into their small town.

The isolation of their village had kept out most technology. They had no video games or television or computers, though they had heard of them. It wasn't a matter of money, but a matter of tradition. Things were simply left unchanged and the villagers lived happily and in good health.

There was a school (for kids under 16), a temple where the villagers would gather to pray every morning, a small grocery store, a tailor, a black smith; all simple but useful things that were more than sufficient. People used horses and carts to get around, or walked it themselves. So it went without saying that the large, dark green, heavy duty 4x4 off-road vehicle that was parked outside of Lee's house caught their attention as they turned the alley corner.

"What the…?" Lee blinked, looking over at Mariah and Ray who looked just as surprised.

They quickly made their way over to where Gary and Kevin, having already reached it, stood gaping at the shining vehicle. Other villagers also crowded around it, whispering as they studied, to many, this new contraption. Most of the elder generation were in shock to see such a thing.

"Hey, Lee, you didn't say you guys were having visitors!" Kevin said with eyes wide.

"We weren't expecting any…were we?" he turned to Ray who shook his head.

"I didn't hear anything about guests."

"What do you think this is all about? Hey! Maybe it's someone who is looking for bladers to compete in the Asian championships!"

"Will you get off that already?" Mariah rolled her eyes. "It's just probably someone from the government. We are after all still a part of China."

"So why haven't they ever sent someone up here before?" the small boy challenged, actually making a good point.

"What if they come to confiscate the village?" a worried woman whispered loudly to her friend though everyone heard it. A wave of concern washed over them and they began to murmur amongst themselves.

"You're grandfather wishes to speak with you."

The teens jumped slightly as one of the temple guards spoke up, having appeared seemingly out of no where.

"Um…okay," Lee nodded, shrugging at the inquiring looks of his friends.

Too curious to ask anything else, the four followed him up the stairs that led to the temple which was Lee's home. The muttered whispered of the crowd behind them faded when the heavy doors were closed behind them.

Being the leader of the village Lee's grandfather, Burma, and the two boys lived in the great temple on the highest point of the village. It was a large building and very spacious as the neko-jin preferred their homes to be sparsely furnished with only the most necessary furniture. The walls were hung with tapestries and candles lined the hall ways and rooms but that was basically it as far as decoration went.

Moving silently down the entrance hall, the four were led to the sitting room at the end which Burma used to welcome and entertain guests. Two guards stood, in uniform and armed, before the closed door but moved aside as the group neared, one of them opening the door and motioning them in. The guard that had been sent to fetch them bowed and returned to his post.

"What's going on?" Ray whispered softly to Lee, the importantly formal way the guards were behaving making them nervous; was the government really going to confiscate their home for the land?

"There's only one way to find out."

With that the five entered.

Seated on his usually spot was Burma, his hunched but wise figure facing them. Before and opposite the table from him was a stranger, no doubt the owner of the vehicle that had the entire village in a tizzy. Standing on either side of the stranger was a man dressed in dark suits; body guards.

"Join us, young ones," Burma said, indicating to the empty seats around them.

The stranger turned to face them and all concerns left Ray.

He was obviously not a neko-jin, his pale skin contrasting with the race's darker tone. He wore a grey business suit and a bowler hat was sitting on the floor next to him. Round glasses balanced on a round nose. He was bald though had a heavy moustache which didn't hide the smile he granted them, bright eyes twinkling with a certain jolly light over his glasses. He wasn't near as old as Lee's grandfather, but Ray guessed him to be well in his 50's.

Obeying Burma, they mutely took the appointed seats; Mariah, Kevin and Gary on Burma's left while Lee and Ray took the empty spaces on his right.

"Is there something wrong, grandfather?" Lee asked, eyeing the guest suspiciously.

"Depends. Children, this is Mr. Dickenson, head of the BBA."

Kevin looked ready to let out a howl and the rest remained in stunned silence. Isolated as their village was, they kept up with the happenings of the outside world and knew enough to recognize the name of the BBA's chairman.

"It's a pleasure to meet you all," Mr Dickenson said with a voice as equally jolly as his smile.

"It's an honour to meet you too, sir," Ray said, bowing his head slightly, his friends following his lead.

"Did you come to ask us to join the BBA?" Kevin, unable to hold back anymore, asked freely.

"Kevin!" Mariah whispered, elbowing him in his ribs. "Don't be so rude!"

Mr Dickenson laughed, though, waving his hand.

"It's alright, young lady. And I've heard of your skills from Burma, but I fear we aren't recruiting at the moment. In fact, there isn't going to be any championships this year."

"Wha! Why!" Kevin asked, crestfallen and shocked.

"That is why I am here. Burma and I have discussed it and he has agreed to aid me in this. Now I ask for your cooperation as well."

All five nodded silently.

"I am not going to go into details as it is not allowed. However, the case is that the World Championships won't be taking place this year. Something came up and at the moment it has affected the entire BBA. Do you know who the current world champions are?"

"Russia's Demolition Boys," Kevin eagerly said, always keeping track of what happened in the beyblading world as much as possible. "They've been the champions for five years running, ever since they first competed. Man, I've heard they have some sweet moves and awesome powers! Also--"

"We get the point, Kevin," Mariah again intervened, "Let Mr Dickenson finish."

"It is no problem. But yes, the Demolition Boys are the champion. Or, were actually. The complications I mentioned earlier concerns them. In any case, the team was forced to step down and have been disbanded. Believe me when I say it is for their own good."

"That's hard for them, but what does it have to do with us?" Lee asked.

"They have been through a hard time and need to recover. It has been decided by the BBA that the best way to do so is to get them away from Russia. Three of the four members have already been relocated to America, Europe and Australia where they will recover with foster families. However, the fourth member is still in need of a place to recover and I think it would be best if he came here."

This time Kevin really couldn't contain himself, jumping to his feet.

"No way! Too cool! A world champion is coming to stay with us! Cool!"

Though they didn't express it as openly as Kevin, the others were also shocked at the news.

"And…And why did you choose here?" Ray managed to ask. "I mean, our village must be very different from what he's used to. I've heard that that team used the most modern technology and we don't have any of that here."

"Exactly," Mr Dickenson smiled. "That is exactly what he needs; a respite from all that modern mechanical life. I am hoping that staying here will give him a second chance."

'A second chance to what?' Ray wondered but didn't ask.

Burma spoke up. "I was hoping that you could be his guides, so to speak. Show him our village and our traditions, make him feel at home. Can I ask that of you?"

"You bet!" Kevin shouted before disciplining himself, "I mean, sure."

"Wonderful!" Mr Dickenson clapped his hands. "You don't know how great a help you're being. The BBA will be thrilled. In fact," he smiled, "your selfless help deserves a reward. I will put in a good word for your team when I return and perhaps, if you want, you can join the championships next year?"

If Mariah hadn't held onto his hand, Kevin would have shot right through the ceiling.

"I take that you like my proposal," Mr Dickenson laughed.

"We are really honoured," Lee responded, unable to hide his grin. "Thank you very much. That is, if we are allowed…" He turned to Burma who rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

"You have been training hard…though I'm still not sure…" The thick brows knotted for a moment before the old neko-jin nodded. "If you can do this task, then you have my consent. It will be a good lesson in responsibility."

"Thank you, grandfather."

"Thank you, Chief Burma," the others bowed as well.

"Mr Dickenson and I still have a few things we need to discuss so you may go."

They bowed again and stood, ready to leave the two elders to talk but Mr Dickenson stopped them with a raised hand.

"I just have to let you know that this is a serious task. Your guest is in a rather fragile state of mind and could prove to be a bit difficult to deal with. He's not a troublesome type but he isn't used to large groups of people and has the tendency to prefer to be left alone. I am hoping that you can extend to him the friendship the five of you share amongst each other."

"Now he tells us," Lee said quietly, making Ray stifle a soft laugh though both nodded.

"We understand."

"Um, Mr Dickenson?" Kevin asked somewhat timidly, wringing his hands together when the business man looked at him. "Which one of the Demolition Boys is coming to stay here?"

"Oh, silly me! I forgot to mention that, didn't I?" Mr Dickenson shook his head. "Sorry about that. Your guest will be Tala Ivanov."

At the mention of the blader's name, Kevin almost fainted.

"The team captain! The Tala Ivanov is coming to our village!"

Despite having a full stomach, Kevin ran about his room, rambling as he searched madly through drawers and his closet.

Having finished a hefty lunch at Lee's house, Kevin had then dragged them to his place to show them something. The small boy's room was filled with posters and flyers and everything else concerning beyblading. He'd often get them from the mail carrier who came by every two weeks to deliver the post.

"Why do you think the team was separated?" Mariah asked from where she was perched on the bed, nosing through a sport magazine she had found on the floor. Beside her Gary was still eating, too engrossed in his meal to answer.

"Maybe they cheated during a match or something," Lee mused.

"Uh-uh!" Kevin loudly shouted from somewhere within his closet. "The Demolition Boys never cheat; they're so strong they didn't have to! I heard that their matches never lasted more than two minutes and not one member of the team has ever been defeated-- AHA!"

A piece of paper was held with utter care in his hand emerged from his closet and ran over and to sit down with the others.

"I've had this for two years. It was in the Russian newspaper one day after the Demolition Boys had won their third championship in the row."

The others crowded around him.

Indeed, it was the front page of a newspaper, somewhat crinkled but obviously kept in good care. The words were in Russian but a large picture of a group of four teens dominated the page.

"The short one is Ian, the blond's name is Spencer, the pale guy is Bryan and that's Tala, the team captain," Kevin pointed out.

Flaming red hair contrasting with ice blue eyes, Tala mingled as well as stood out from his team; his bright eyes were cold and he looked like a soldier ready for war, like the others. But whether it was his delicate features or the ghost of a smile/smirk on his face, he looked…different from the rest. More human.

Lee studied the team, mentally admitting that theirs was a force to be reckoned with. Stopping on Tala, he wondered if the captain had changed after this whole mysterious incident.

"He looks like an okay guy, I guess," Mariah said. "Is he good at beyblading?"

"Good? Good!" Kevin repeated incredulously. "He's said to be the most powerful, most cunning, and all around greatest blader to have ever competed in the history of beyblade!"

"It would be great if he could show us some of his moves," Ray said, eyes still on the picture.

Lee scoffed.

"Our moves are strong enough; what's wrong with leaving things the way they are?"

"There's nothing wrong with picking up a few new techniques," Ray answered though didn't press any further. Stretching, he lounged back in the chair. "So…what are we going to do when he gets here?"

"Show him around, I guess," Lee said, also forgetting the short squabble. "After what Mr Dickenson said I think Tala will probably want to spend most of his time alone."

"I feel sorry for him," Mariah added. "This must be very hard for him; leaving his homeland and his friends to come to some far-away place. He probably feels so alone and miserable."

"Don't be so dramatic, Pinkie," Kevin rolled his eyes.

She glared at him.

"How would you feel, Kevin, if we were split up?"

Even Gary stopped his eating to mull over that one and the room fell silent for a minute as they tried to imagine being forced apart after all their years together; it made them shudder.

"Mariah made a good point," Lee affirmed. "We should do our best to greet him. We don't know how long he'll be staying but while he's here he'll be part of the clan. Understood?"

They all nodded before falling into easy conversation about other things though in the back of their minds those blue eyes lingered.


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