OHMIGAWD, I haven't updated in sooooooo long... o.o Bows I am deeply sorry. Beta was really busy and all... Actually, she gave me a note for you.

Beta's Note: Blame me! It's my fault that kuronekohikage has taken so long to update! Don't shoot her down! Focus all your blame and hatred onto me I say! -Jedi Princess Clarrisani

As long as you don't kill my Beta... o.o I need her...

Won't be answering reviews this time around. Not enough time... . Sorry... Have to work in fifteen minutes... Anyway, enjoy the finally finished chapter 3. -squee-

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Completely exhausted and utterly bored, Kai decided it was about time he came out of his room. He'd been lying on his bed, content with a thick, Russian novel. He ignored everyone else all day, the attention mutual from his teammates, and his injuries remained unnoticed. Tomorrow was a Sunday, the only day he let the Breakers have off, so by Monday he should feel okay enough to blade. Because of the lack of activity for today, he'd have to train extra to make it up.

Kai traced a finger around the book's edge, thinking. Tala had given it to him, last time Kai was at the abbey. He'd only just got around to reading it, being so busy with training and all. On the black, leather-bound cover was a wolf outlined in gold.

Whenever he looked at the cover, it reminded him of Tala, yet another reason to avoid touching it. He felt so guilty for leaving them, but Tala wouldn't hear of it. Nor would Bryan. They had told him not to worry about them, that they would be just fine without him and they would meet up with him in the outside world.

Now they were missing, disappeared mysteriously from the abbey, and Kai feared the worst... until he got an anonymous email.

He still had it saved. Maybe he could convince Dizzi to let him read it over again, even though he remembered each word.

Phoenix,

Always assume the worst. It saves pain.

He knew it was from Tala. He tried to reply to it, but it had said that the user didn't exist. It lifted his heart a little, but it also left a big black hole. 'Expect the worst'... Was there a chance he was going to never see them again?

He shook his head, a rueful smirk on his lips. Bryan the serious, Tala the flirt, Ian the shrimp, Spencer the large, and Kai the troublemaker, they had been quite a team when they were all little. They could bullshit their way out of anything and everything, and blissfully ignorant. But they'd grown up, and Boris had become harsher in their training. Voltaire had visited more often, but only talked down on his grandson.

And then, upon reaching twelve years of age, it fell deeper downhill. They had been there for him the first time he got raped by Boris. They were there for each other throughout all the beatings and hardships. It just didn't feel right being here, when his true team was out there. If it weren't for them, he probably wouldn't be living now, and hecould truthfully and honestly say thathe missed them, and nothing in the world would make him happier then to see them again, to be enveloped in a group hug, much like the ones they shared when they were younger.

The book was in his firm grasp, and he gave it a small squeeze. Kai then let out a quiet, strangled cry and threw it across the room to hit the wall, where it slumped open on the floor.

He had momentarily forgotten about his injuries and hissed in pain. He grabbed his shoulders and leant forward, face touching the footboard of his bed. He couldn't resist the tears any longer, either. Pain, frustration, anger – all of his emotions worked their way to his eyes.

He was crying for them, the first time since leaving the abbey. Both Boris and Voltaire had given him a "private" good-bye, but he'd not broken down until in the room he had shared with his team, his brothers. They'd slept well that night, huddled in one big group.

Kai tried recreating that feeling, shifting so he lay on his side. He curled himself into a ball, one hand wrapped around his stomach, the other under his head, fingers in his dual-bluenette hair. He imagined Tala and Bryan hugging him from either side, and Ian sprawled on the other side of Tala. Spencer would be the last one in, making sure they were tucked in, had enough blankets and pillows and acted as everyone's teddy bear.

Imagining them almost convinced him once more that they were near, a small smile curling his lips. He reached out to grasp Tala, or perhaps Bryan, but it close closed over air instead. Opening eyes that he couldn't remember closing; he didn't see the shared room in the abbey. Instead, it was the lone room he had at the Breakers' house.

He sighed, smile disappearing. He felt like he could lay there all day, all night, and the days and nights after that, just zoning in and out of the past and the present. He cried, and it felt good. Not that he'd let his teammates see it. They were good boys and all... Tyson may be an idiot, but his intentions are good. Max was always in a good mood, but he could get serious as well. Kenny was way smart and very mature, well beyond his age, and that growth spurt was helping a lot. And Rei...

He didn't know what to think about Rei. He was definitely hot, maturer than the others - with the exception of Kenny - and probably the only one Kai found worth starting a relationship with. Rei worried a lot, but not enough to the point of jealousy or over-protectiveness. Rei had a calm face when things got rough. He could handle himself in a fight and probably had enough skill to take on Kai, so he was no wimp. Kai pondered how Rei would fare against his team. He could definitely kick Tala's arse as well as Ian's. Spencer would be tough... but Bryan would most likely kick hisarse. The guy was a natural when it came to fighting, and in the abbey, no one could top him. Kai was second, then Spencer, then Tala and Ian. The shrimp was pretty good at spy-work, though.

There he went again, thinking of his team... until his stomach growled. He had barely eaten anything all day, so he figured he should go to the kitchen. Getting up and walking over to the bathroom on shaky legs, Kai made sure to check his appearance. A tear-streaked face stared back at him and he groaned. His face paint is was smeared, the little mascara he wore running at the corners of his eyes that were red from crying.

Seeing the shipwreck he was, he set to work. He washed off his face, put some eye-drops in, and re-applied the face paint and mascara. Making himself look somewhat presentable, Kai nodded to himself and made his way downstairs.

"What the hell is up with all these flying seahorses?"

Unmistakably Tyson's voice, Kai lifted an eyebrow at his choice of words, wondering what brought that sentence about.

"Tyson, they're for your potions class... And can you please work on your language?"

"Oh? What would you rather have me say?"

"Um... how about... Crap apples?"

Not really all that interested in listening to where this conversation was going, Kai rushed into the kitchen. His eyes came to rest on Rei's backside, standing at the stove, stirring some sort of mariner sauce. Thick and tomato red, the heavy scent was crowded around the room and instantly pulled into his nose.

"I'm surprised Tyson isn't in here hanging all over you."

Rei jumped in surprise at the sound of Kai's voice, and he turned to face him with a bright smile. "I'm not. I told him I would lock him up in his room with nothing but bread and water for a week if he so much as put a toe in here. He pretty much ran out of the kitchen, screaming."

Kai chuckled, walking up to the counter and leaning against it. "I don't suppose there's anything I can dip my finger into?"

Rei stood in a guarded stance, spoon held as a weapon. "Not a chance!"

Kai let out a laugh at the neko-jin. It wasn't anything new, when it was only he and Rei.

Rei always managed to make him commute some sort of happy feeling, no matter how down he was seconds before.

"Are you okay?" Kai looked to see Rei staring at him, head tilted. "You seem bummed."

If only you knew the half of it, he thought, looking at the floor. "It's nothing, don't worry about it."

"You tell me not to worry, when I already am."

Rei gave him a sad smile, before going back to work. "If you aren't going to leave, then make yourself useful. I don't intend for Mr. Dickenson coming over for an ill-prepared dinner."

Kai was about to leave, mumbling about burning the kitchen down, when a wicked idea came into his head that caused him to smirk. It would freak him out, but Kai was sure Rei would enjoy it.

Turning from where he started for the door, he gave Rei's backside one more lustful look before bringing his hand back and slapping the Chinese arse, giving the cheek a light squeeze.

A squeak of surprise, and Rei turned around, as the bluenette had planned, and being the stronger of the two Kai quickly restrained Rei against the counter. Rei still held the wooden stirring spoon in his hand, wedged between them, tauntingly in front of Kai's face. Crimson locked with gold as a Kai's tongue traveled slowly from his mouth to the spoon, licking the sauce suggestively.

A triumphant smirk broke out on Kai's lips as he saw Rei swallow hard, eyes widening, and a blush spreading quickly and quite dark across his cheeks. No doubt, he was definitely thinking something dirty. Kai was guilty for quite a few of those.

Savoring the meaty, tomato sauce, Kai gave a small nod of approval. "It's good." He put a hand on his silenced stomach. "That's all I wanted." And with that and a wink, Kai walked out in a confident stride, leaving behind a shaking, quivering, and aroused Rei Kon.

Tyson and Max were still arguing about proper language in the living room, Kai's somewhat good mood turning annoyed.

Ready to shut them up in a heartbeat, Kai was interrupted by the doorbell. Everyone pretty much ignored it, so Kai was stuck with answering it. Goddamn, he hoped it wasn't a door-to-door salesman...

"Kai!"

Suddenly encircled by large arms and senses filling with expensive cologne, Kai immediately relaxed his tense body and hugged back. He was the only person who was allowed them.

"Hello, Mr. Dickenson."

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Oki, there you go. Mr. Dickenson has arrived, and things are about to get interesting. -cackles- Please, don't forget to review... they help me.