-Oh, I can see the shore-
-When will I ever see the shore?-
—"Life is like a boat" by Rie Fu "Bleach"
A/N: I struggled with this chapter. Should I go with everyone's suspicions? Or should I follow my own direction? So I spent many hard days trying to figure out the outcome to the story that I started on a whim. Finally, I got an idea and decided "This is how it will end" no sequels, prequels of any sort.
"This will be the end of a long year"
Kai had no hope or love for the month of August. It was a dull month. Schools were beginning and students flocked to them like mindless sheep. There were shops reopening and closing. As the schools mark the dawn of a new year (for the younger generation), Kai wondered whether he would be ableto go to school after this. He wondered if he would be able to look back and look forward. Doing both, would he make his own future, carved and shaped with his own hands? Or will he be clichéd and fall into the pattern of self-despair of his ineptitude.
Tyson would be coming back today.
When Kai had discovered about the disease, he forced Tyson to take the treatment. Tyson did not complain, but his eyes were dark and hollow. Kai's resolve nearly broke at Tyson's own weakness. But Kai shipped him off to get the treatment and spent the rest of the month literally biting his nails off. He tried to drown himself in the training of his sport, but even the repetitive spins of his beyblade sent him near the deep end. His teammates told him to stay at home.
"And do what?" Kai nearly screamed in frustration.
"Try reading a book," Max said and slammed the door on his face.
Kai considered going back to beyblade practices, but he decided to take Max's advice and read a book. Unfortunately, when Max came to check up on him (ever since Tyson left, Max began doubting Kai's mental state) and found him reading the book upside down. Max walked up to Kai and said with false sweetness, "Is the book good?"
Kai answered, "Very."
It took Kai a while to realize what exactly had transpired. And it took even longer for Kai to find a suitable threat—uhh, bribe to keep Max from telling anyone else.
Needless to say, whenever Max saw Kai carrying any kind of book, he would start chuckling to himself.
But in Kai's mind, the days had never passed so slowly before. Finally, the month of August is here and Kai waited by the airport. People passed all around him and sometimes, someone would recognize him and say, "Mom look! That's Kai the captain of the Bladebreakers! Oh, mom can we meet him?" and some fretting mother would reply back distractedly, "I'm sure he's very busy right now. Oh, now where is that gate?"
Kai found their reactions a great way to pass the time. But as the minutes ticked by and the clock hands looked distant to him, Kai felt like sand slipping through someone's fingertips. The futile strands that mingle with the wind seem like the interweaving of destiny. And Kai has never quite felt so helpless before. Fighting against the inevitable tide…when Tyson comes, what would he do?
Would he stand by and watch Fate deal with the winning cards?
What could he do?
Announcements rang across the halls and echoed dimly in his ears. Everything seemed to be pushed back into the background scenery. Kai could hear his breath in rhythmic pants. Finally, he brought himself out of his reverie and stared around the airport. The whole world felt like alien to him. People walked in and out with perpetual smiles and Kai wondered whether he was placed on another planet.
And there, in the middle of all those people was Tyson. Kai could see him so clearly, as if he was seeing Tyson for the first time ever. The world seemed to fade away around him and he began thinking about the disease again. But Tyson kept walking towards and Kai found that he was unable to move. Then Tyson stood right in front of him and Kai tentatively put a hand on Tyson's cheek.
It felt warm. Tyson felt warm.
Kai wondered if he was crying again.
Tyson smiled and Kai went closer and held him tightly. He buried his head into Tyson's hair and inhaled the scent of medicines and mint. Tyson didn't say anything at first, letting Kai hold him. They stood there for what seemed to be the eternity in a minute. And Tyson sighed softly and happily. He looked at Kai who lifted his head to meet his eyes.
"Shall we go?"
Kai looked at him and smiled. A smile not many would ever have the privilege of ever seeing. Then putting his hand over Tyson's, they walked out of the airport and never once looking back. Yet…they never quite looked forward either.
The car trip back was spent in silence. Tyson stared out of the window, watching the lights flash against the glass. And Kai stared at Tyson, struggling with words he thought he understood. Kai watched as the neon lights of Baycity reflected in Tyson's almost empty eyes. Then he looked away and watched the string of colours pass him by.
"Stop here," Tyson said suddenly. Kai stared at him and then signaled the driver to stop. Tyson got out of the car and started walking. Kai (still quite confused) followed him. Tyson then increased his pace and Kai had to run. The leaves seemed to spin around him in a waltz and the wind seemed to be running with them. Kai ran, following the blue trail of Tyson's ponytail.
"Tyson, what are you doing?" Kai gasped as he kept on running. The trees began spinning as well and Tyson was further and further away. Kai's eyes began to blur and he wondered why he was losing strength again.
I can't lose him.
I can't save him.
Tyson stopped suddenly and Kai's footsteps slowed down. Kai noticed for the first time where they were. The trees seemed to form a holy ring around them and the clouds began to gather at the centre of the sky. The dead leaves gathered at his feet and he walked closer to Tyson. In his mind's eye, he could see the past repeat.
Kai choked. His eyes spun quickly onto Tyson who was still leaning back and admiring the sky. And he could see it, the slight glimmer of tears near the eyelashes like little droplets of dew after an early June shower. Tyson was crying and he was smiling.
Tyson turned around and Kai could see the tear marks on his cheeks. Kai came closer and he could feel the erratic breath coming out of Tyson's mouth. Kai wondered what he was supposed to do. Tyson was always the stronger one, always been the one who knew what to do, who knew what was right to do. And now Tyson needed saving and Kai didn't know what to do.
Kai came closer and touched the tear marks with his fingers. Tyson smiled, one of those smiles that only Tyson could give to people. The smiles he had always shared with Kai and no one else. Kai felt a shudder rip through him and wondered if this is what mortality meant to the gods.
"Stop crying," Kai said finally, "Please, stop crying."
Tyson held onto Kai, letting Kai slowly rub away the tear marks on his face. Kai knew the answer now, even without words. The very expression on Tyson's face seemed to mirror his in cruel irony. Kai felt his knees hit the ground, felt Tyson's weight beside him as they lay on the ground, the auburn leaves piling over them, no gentler than winter snow.
Tyson kissed Kai softly and stared at the sky. The clouds lazily circled over them and the sun shone in the centre like an irreplaceable jewel. Kai's felt his eyes close slightly from the glare of the sun and looked at Tyson. There were no more tears, but Tyson's eyes were closed in bliss.
"If I could…I would stay like this forever," Tyson whispered, "It would be nice…"
Kai said nothing. His throat felt constricted and he couldn't breathe. It was like standing at the edge of a cliff and wondering whether you would fall into the ocean.
Tyson's eyes felt like the ocean.
Kai held Tyson closer, felt his heartbeat against his own, beating together in a synchronized manner. Tyson sighed and leaned in closer. Kai could feel Tyson's cold breath cloud his neck. And it began to slow down until utter silence descended over them. Kai felt his own eyes flutter and close as well. The world felt black beneath his eyes and the silence…
The silence was deafening.
A/N: The epilogue is coming up soon. So be patient! It took so long because I was in Malaysia for the vacation. Gomen nasai minna-san!
-Last pieces scattered-
-On a whim-
Mikin Ishida: Kai has been through a lot of pain in this story. Maybe I should be nicer to him.
Dead Cat: I'm working on it. But I have several other new projects lined up and continuing stories I want to finish…(hands you a stick to help ward of other reviewers)
Destruction Devil: Rei: A fan!
Me: Okay, now you're just sad Rei.
Minako Mikoto: Rei: Yes, poor Rei. (glares at Timmy) I have fans too! Better than yours!
Me: (mutters) I have fans?
Omnimalevolent: That's an interesting idea. Kai the Pixie Fairy. Oh dear, Kai is aiming some very nasty glares at my direction…(runs to hide somewhere)
JadesRose: I did read it, though I avoid the Sailor Moon section. That place could kill a person sometimes. At any rate, I do think my chapters are too short. Demo, that's how my style is. I really can't help it.
Yukiko-Angel: Yeah. And Kai varies in strength doesn't he?
Kaay-chan: Medication…hmm…I really hadn't focused on the details of the disease because I wanted the feeling more than the factual evidence. Plus, I didn't want to be cliché and pick cancer. And I, for one, would know about cancer than most.
Yami FireKali: Kali-chan! I knew you would! Buy Tales of Symphonia next! XD It's a good game!
XZanayu: Kai can't do anything. That's why Kai felt weak.
Luvyagal: That's a little overboard. Kai's life would be different, true. But don't mistake love to be a weakening force. You know what they say. It's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved before.
Yazzy: Thank you! Here's your update!
Hiyami: Well, there is 50/50. Place your bet!
xXxAngel VxXx: Kill me? (hides in cupboard) Don't hurt me! I'm innocent! Blame the muses!
CS (in Hawaii): (sneezes) I get the strangest feeling someone was talking shit about me….
CT: Ah well (soaks up in the sun)
Lady Psychic: You have great faith in me. I'm touched. This chapter has given me so many headaches, but your support makes me feel a lot better.
Waterlily: Rei: See? Fans!
Me: That's getting old Rei. Everyone apologized. Give it a rest or I will turn you into a pimp in the next story. As for the bad feeling and Tyson, I hope this chapter explains the better part of it.
Lady Kirei: Thank you. Here's your update. I hope this chapter meets your expectations.
Vanakuvixen: thank you!
Serena429: thank you as well.