The Future Bides Its Time

Chapter 1

Hilary reclined in her airplane seat, knees pressed against the seat in front of her. Kai sat beside her, as still as a statue, arms crossed over his chest, staring out the window. He hadn't spoken a word since take-off.

She glanced across the aisle at Tyson, whose head was leaning over the side of the headrest, a little in the aisle. Drool dripped from his lips as he snored. Hilary shook her head. Tyson was so pathetic. But he was loveable, even if he was rather annoying.

Kenny sat on his other side, looking through his lenses at the computer screen. The pilot had told him when he could turn it on. He typed some data into Dizzi, constantly looking at a sheet of paper on a clipboard, probably transferring the information it held into a computer soft copy.

Ray and Max sat behind Tyson and Kenny, respectively. Max, too, had taken a trip to Sleepyland, enjoying a nice, peaceful slumber. Everyone had agreed to let the two sleep (Tyson and Max). After all, when they landed in Japan, it'd be back to training. Best to let them get some rest first and save their energy.

Ray sighed softly. It was so quiet on the plane without the background noise of the American and the World Champion. He opened the table from the back of Tyson's seat and began to play a game of cards on it, one Hilary had yet to discover.

She returned her eyes to the seat in front of her. It was so boring.

After another half an hour, Ray's head lay on his arms, folded on top of the table, cards scattered everywhere. Kenny's fingers were frozen on the keyboard and his head drooped. His glasses dangled from one ear, threatening to fall into his waiting lap. Even Kai had his eyes closed, but it was always hard to tell when he was sleeping.

She felt so...alone.

She sighed. It had been a while since she had had some time to herself. She wasn't sure she liked it.

Her thoughts shifted to Tyson and Kai, just like they always seemed to do. How could she possibly choose a favorite? They were both so awesome in their own special ways.

Tyson, the reckless believer, who was always willing to rise up to a challenge, no matter how high the odds were stacked against him. That attitude had gotten them a lot of wins in the past. He was one of those cocky, overconfident people that you knew would back you up.

Then there was Kai, the responsible, sensible protector, who looked over them in every situation, never really giving them a straight answer, but usually let them figure things out on their own. The silent guardian who you could mostly count on, unless there was a very good reason.

She looked at them both, taking in their for-once peaceful state. They were both equal on the hot scale (They both looked good), but they were like complete opposites. Maybe that's why, even though they would never admit it, they were pretty close. Sure they didn't get along, but their arguments only proved that they were buddies. Kind of like she had always been with Tyson.

She had always admired that about them. She had always admired them. They were...it was hard to explain. They had that quality about them that you knew that they were the best. She had always wanted to be like that. So confident. A winner. But she wasn't. (Yuh-huh! You beat Justin!)

Tyson had that aura about him that attracted others to him. He was outgoing, never quit, and was fun to be around. The thing she admired most about Kai was that he could control his emotions. She, on the other hand, was emotional. He never showed weakness, an act that she was constantly doing. He never let the world get to him, and she always accepted the criticism over the praise as true.

She shook her head. She was so pathetic. Wishing she could be like them when she knew very well she'd never be on the same level as them. At least she had never had to choose between them. She didn't know what she'd do if that ever happened.

But she was grateful for what she had now. She valued their friendship, and asked for nothing more. She didn't really want it. Many a night had she lain in bed and thanked the Lord for having sent them. She'd never have turned out like she had if not for them. They had taught her quite a lot, and she had learned to love herself, to support and trust others, to understand the game of beyblading...

It was true. She never regretted that she had gotten involved in their team. Never once did she ever think that it would've been better had she just let Tyson alone or get on his case. She thought of this team...as a sort of second family.

What would she do if she ever lost them?

Trials had nearly broken them apart, and fights and petty arguments had proved powerful enough to divide them up, but they had gotten through it. That in itself proved that they all belonged together, needed each other. They were a family, and they'd stuck together through thick and thin, especially when things looked grim. As a team, they could do anything. They all actually believed that.

It was something she never thought she'd be able to believe again. That through trust and friendship, you could accomplish your wildest dreams.

Kai glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. He had always silently watched over her, from the shadows, just as he had for the rest of them. She was one of them.

"Hilary?" he said softly, barely audible, and she jumped in surprise. She had thought he was asleep.

"Yeah?"

"When we land, I think it's best we had a little talk." He still hadn't looked her in the eyes, and he was still facing the window.

"Um...okay," she answered, a little confused. "About what?"

"Don't worry about it." He closed his eyes, leaving Hilary to take the hint that it wasn't to be talked about now.

"Right," she whispered, not quite understanding. Was there anyone that had figured out the enigma that was Kai?

But then again, the mystery was what made Kai so appealing.