A/N: Hey, you guys! Sorry for not updating yesterday. I wanted to keep it going day by day, but ah well. It'll probably take me around two days at a time, possibly, to do chapters now. I have track practice after school so it doesn't leave me with a whole lot of time. I'm trying to do chapter 6 right now and possibly get it loaded after this chapter.

Anyway, don't fear, I'll stick with the updating and I want to thank GaBz, Himeko, and Fireanice for reviewing! You guys are too smart for your own good! Lol. Hopefully you won't see what's coming next. Wuahahahaha!


"Starlit"

Chapter 5

Tala sat at the booth of the ice cream parlor, Kai sitting on his right. Both boy's gazes were fixed on the current event of the moment.

Tyson, being the very vacuum that he was, had hovered the whole three scopes off his cone in one go, and now he writhed on the floor, clutching his head.

Tala squinted his eyes, ears tingling painfully at Tyson's outraged shouts, Max and Ray at his side trying to pick him up and console him at the same time.

Kenny sat in his own booth a safe distance away, apparently intent on whatever he was furiously typing over.

A sudden smirk slapped itself onto Tala's lips as a memory flashed in his mind. "Hey, Kai?" He asked slyly, turning to the boy who was poking at his cup of vanilla ice cream with his spoon. He looked up suspiciously.

"What?"

Tala chuckled evilly. "Do you remember-"

"Don't even mention it." He snapped, eyes narrowed.

Tala grinned furiously. " 'Ahhh, my head's gonna explode!' " He chortled, imitating a young Kai.

Crimson eyes flashed irritably. "Shut up."

Tala continued to laugh softly. On one rare day, he and Kai had been allowed to go outside of the Abby, but only on a visit to Voltaire, Kai's grandfather and higher up of Biovolt. Tala being the little mischievous devil that he was, pushed Kai to come with him to get some ice cream before they reached his grandfather's. He pushed Kai even more to come when Kai told him that he'd never had ice cream before.

Eventually he got the crimson eyed phoenix to enter the shop, buying him some ice cream. Kai, inexperienced in the way's of frozen desserts and a little nervous over the fact that they were disobeying Boris's orders, ate too fast and promptly ran around the shop in circles, yelling that his head was going to explode when he received a brain freeze.

'Ah, how amusing that was.' Tala thought with a syrupy smile, blue eyes glancing over at Kai who returned his look with an unhappy scowl. He snickered at the look, almost ticklish bubbles popping in his chest.

The red head blinked at the strange feeling. It'd been so long since he'd laughed purely, a long, long time. Sure he'd laughed just last week, but that was something forced and frigid to get on Boris's nerves.

He sighed, feeling oddly fatigued all of the sudden. When the room seemed to spin in some slow swirl, colors mixing together, he slapped a hand down on the counter and stood, nearly knocking over his chair.

Kai stood up next looking more alarmed than he probably meant to look. "Let's go back." He said immediately, taking Tala by the arm and leading him away. "We're leaving." Kai growled over his shoulder.

Ray promptly dropped Tyson, who was still blubbering over his head, and blinked rapidly. "Um..wait, should I come? He doesn't look very good."

Kai shook his head as he opened the shop doors, letting Tala shuffle his way out. "We'll be fine."

Ray watched with a mild frown as they disappeared from view before looking down at the squawking Tyson, Max laughing next to him out of sheer amusement. He shook his head.

Tala breathed the outside air deeply, the strange toilet-like flushing of his vision clearing away. He sighed.

Can you feel it crush you

Does it seem to bring the worst in you out

Kai watched him with hawkish eyes. "…it was a bad idea for you to come outside. I shouldn't have let you." He grumbled.

There's no running away from these things that hold you down

Tala smiled weakly, tired blue eyes twinkling with mirth. "You sound like a mother hen."

Do they complicate you because they make you feel like this

Kai's previously open mouth closed at the comment, an indignant expression washing over his usually stanch visage.

Of all the colors that you've shined

This is surely not your best

Tala chuckled. "I'm just joking around, you need to learn to laugh along." He said with a smirk. "…but I dunno, I kind of like the grumpy Kai."

But you should know these colors that you're shining are

Kai's slate brow raised in mild scrutiny.

Surely not the best

Colors that you shine

The rest of the walk was rather silent not that Tala cared much, he found himself lacking his usually talkative spirit. Something was ticking in his head like a clock and it was steadily getting on his nerves.

Soon enough, they arrived back at the hospital, meeting Judy coming out of the elevator and into the lobby. "Oh, good. I didn't think I'd find you again. I'm surprised to see you're walking." She said, brows raised at Tala who forced a smile trying not to look sick.

"What's the matter?" Kai asked, crossing his arms.

Judy nodded, digging into the pocket of her jacket and pulling out a piece of paper with a plastic card. "I got you and Tala a room to share. Here's the access card and the number. You'll find the hotel we're staying in just about a block away."

Kai nodded, taking both.

"Thanks Judy, I appreciate it." Tala told her before turning and heading back out the doors, Kai following after him. 'I just need to lay down.' He thought exhaustedly.

He felt relief wash over him as he dropped down on his cushy twin, ready to sleep then and there, but the ticking in his head was almost deafening with the complete silence that shrouded the room.

I know you feel alone yeah

And no one else can figure you out

When he turned his head, he spotted Kai leaning on the wall by his own bed, arms crossed, eyes closed. Tala knew this was one of the most famous poses you found the Phoenix blader in.

But don't you ever turn away from the ones that help you down

"Oh hey, we have a little kitchen." He said with interest as his eyes spotted the rather discreet gray square opposite their side of the room.

Kai said nothing.

He let out a huff of breath. "Well fine, at least I think it's cool." He muttered, rolling over onto his back. "I'd watch yourself now, the appliances will start boycotting you."

Kai grunted in a way that seemed like a disbelieving laugh and a wordless 'whatever.'

Well they'd love to save you

Don't you know they love to see you smile

Tala smiled, pulling his pillow down from next to the headboard so he could lay his head on it, his feet dangling off the bed. "….you know…when we were younger…I used to say this vow to myself every night, especially after Boris or your grandfather had yelled at you…." He paused, staring at the light turquoise wall on the left side of his bed. "…I vowed never to lose the true me…and I haven't…not really, sure I grew cold, but it could only be expected. Anyway…it was a prayer for you….I knew they'd turn you into something bitter…cold. Out of all the kids at the Abby, you got the worst treatment. I sometimes hoped I'd be the one to save the day and bring back the Kai I knew…but they did it." He exhaled slowly. "…I'm jealous, I'll admit that, but all in all, I'm just glad they broke the ice…."

But these colors that you've shined

Are surely not your style

When he heard shuffling, Tala looked up to gaze straight into deep crimson orbs. "..Let him always be there…." He whispered, leaning off the wall. "…that's what I would say." And with careful strides, he went to the door, opened it and left with only the quick murmur that he was going for a walk.

I know you're feeling like you're lost

You feel like you've drifted way too far

But you should know these colors that you're shining

Are surely not the best

A/N: (Obviously, him means Tala. And when Tala was talking about 'they', he was talking about Tyson and the others.)

Tala stared at the closed door in complete shock. Had Kai really said that or had he imagined it? …cause…for just a second he saw the Kai that had been his dearest friend as a kid….the Kai he-

"How sweet. I think I might have developed a cavity."

Tala jumped from his bed, whipping out Wolfborg, searching the room frantically.

"Are you confused, Tala? Having a hard time finding me?"

Tala scowled, feeling some sort of steady terror building inside of him. Boris's voice seemed to be off balance, like it was coming from his right. "Boris.." He hissed. "Show yourself, you snake."

"But I'm right here….I'm inside of you." Boris told him in a sadistic manner that made him want to puke.

"You're full of it! You're in here, Boris! Come out so I can shred you with my blade!" Tala shouted, head whipping around this way and that.

Menacing laughter floated in his ear. "Death, Tala. You will see these pathetic fools fall around you one by one…..hmm, but how shall I do this?…Slit some throats in the secret of night?.."

Tala's hands shook with barely suppressed rage.

"Suffocate a few, watching their fear filled eyes as they take their last breath."

"SHUT UP!" Tala roared.

"Or should I kidnap one and drain all the blood from him so slowly he screams for death's arms."

"I said shut up!" Tala screamed, before he went deathly quiet. That itch. He'd felt it a few times lately. A strange itch behind his right ear.

Wild with panic, he dashed into the kitchen, searching each counter drawer until he found the utensils. Swiftly selecting the sharpest looking knife, he held it before him, blue eyes flashing rapidly in the curtain-drawn light of the room.

"…nice try, Boris." He whispered breathlessly and without waiting for another word, he dug the tip of the knife into the skin behind his ear, carving at the place he knew Boris would be.

"What are you doing? Stop that, Tala! You're a fool! A fool! Your friends will die! You can't run! You serve me, do you hear-"

And out a tiny object flipped, clinking on the cold tile of the small kitchen.

Tala, not realizing it until Boris's voice left him, was screaming the whole time.

And abruptly the knife was smacked from his hand, the sound rushing back into his ears as familiar voices yelled at him.

"What the hell is wrong with you!" Ray's voice demanded loudly, his hands tight around the red head's wrists.

"He's lost it!" Tyson's voice exclaimed loudly.

Looking down tiredly, Tala stared at the blood that covered his twitching fingers.

"Tala! Tala?" Max's voice assaulted him, filled with worried pleading.

He vaguely wondered why their faces weren't forming before his eyes. All he could see were blurry, colored shadows. Next to that, he felt a strange falling sensation. A sensation like he was melting through the kitchen tile and farther and farther, down into the earth's core.

"..Tala..?" Came the grave voice of Kai, a crimson shadow flickering in front of him before the world went completely dark for what seemed like the trillionth time in his life.


-

TBC….

"Colors" by Crossfade