(A/N) A small side story to go with Learning to Fly. Doesn't have to be read with the rest of the story, but some details, such as Original Characters and the general situation at the Abby will be later explained in the main storyline. No pairings, mainly a friendship fic about Tala and Kai. The first two scenes are rather strange, particulary for a story about the childhood at the Abby... but really, I have reasons for it... and yes, I'm making Boris an actual human being.

A rather evil, twisted and completely hateful human being though.

Again, this will be explained in detail in the main storyline...

Especially dedicated to Starlight HBT, for being such a great friend, and to Syaoran-Lover, for being my favorite reviewer!

Hope you enjoy it girls!

Disclaimer: I don't own Beyblade, but I own plot and OC.

Learning To Fly.

Interlude, Prison Walls.

Tala knew, the instant Boris stepped into the shabby hall, that the taller man was in a fool mood. His brow was darkened by his hair, which for once wasn't slicked back, and his face had strained expression marks on it... more than usual that is. The redhead sighed, climbing down the portable steps he was balancing in to try and clean the ceiling, and walked towards the taller man, head bowed slightly in a respectful stand.

He knew this wasn't the time to make remarks.

"Get in the car, Rascal. I've got work to do" Even Boris' voice sounded more forbiding than usual and the redhead congratulated himself for not flinching.

"Bye Beth, thanks for the room" The redhead called with a wry grin towards the woman in the corner, who stood in a somewhat frightened stand at the sight of the taller, purple haired man, before he followed Boris out of the building.

As he sat on the passanger seat, he saw Marie coming out and waving at him, with a somewhat worried expression marring her pale face. He tried to smile reassuringly to the bruenette, before they sped away.

The drive to the Abby was a silent one.

Clearly, Boris wasn't in the mood to talk, and Tala wouldn't talk unless the purple haired man did so first. It was one of the few rules of their relationship, so to speak, one the blue eyed boy had no intention of braking that particular day.

As they stopped infront of the forbiding building, Boris sighed.

"I need you to start browsing though our top students. Hiwatari wants us to start setting up the team and the auxiliar players" He grimaced slightly, and Tala couldn't but snort.

"I gather that was a subtle way of ordering us to put his kids in the team, then?" He rose an eyebrow sardonically, smirking with amusement.

Boris chuckled slightly at the image of the young boy. He had to admit, though never outloud, that for all the shit Tala had gone through, he was more mature than most adults the purple haired man knew, and had to deal with.

"Exactly. Do your job for once?" The last remark was added with a risen eyebrow of his own, and Tala shruged.

"Ian's Sherra is working just fine, and so is Kai's Dranzer. They'll be just fine through the elimination tournament, but..." The redhead's brow furrowed slightly though "Permission to speak freely sir"

"Granted, the hell you want, Rascal?"

"The new kid. Sokolov. I don't particulary like him, Boss" Tala scowled "He's not trustworthy. His blade and his style is perfect for the team, and he'll surely pass through the tournament easyly, but... I'm not so sure having him in the team will be a good idea"

"Hn. He's the little pest isn't he?" Boris shruged slightly "Doesn't matter though. I've got a few cards to keep him in his place. You shouldn't have so much trouble with him... and now if that's all, scram, I have a room full of baurocratic fools trying to get under my skin"

"Sir, yes sir"

They walked into the ancient building, under the main archway, and afterwards, Tala calmly went into the basements where the top students where, while Boris disappeared towards his office. The redhead had the nerve to smirk at his boss rather cockyly.

"Anuk! Dodge and counter, now!" The white blade glowed slightly, and it slamed itself rather harshly against it's opponent, shattering the yellow blade, pieces falling scattered in and outside the dish.

Tala smirked at the startled trainee, then gave those around the dish a look of cold arrogance.

"The team that will represent the Abby will be chosen soon. Those of you who think that are good enough will go through the elimination tournament and only the five best of you will be selected. If you are planning on entering the tournament, I recommend you to start training, seriously. Squadron dismissed"

The twelve year old redhead breathed a sigh of releave once the twenty or so kids left. Something in the way they carried themselves around, so cold and emotionless, unnerved him. He knew it to be Hiwatari's ideal of a perfect blader, but still, it was too unnatural for his tastes.

"More like soldiers for a war the old man wants to fight..." He muttered with some bitterness as he caressed the image of the ice wolf in his blade.

"In most places, speaking to yourself is considered a sign of insanity"

"In most places, is common courtesy to announce yourself when you enter the room, Kai" The redhead retorted smoothly, adding a slight sneer "And it's militar protocole to announce your rank and purpose when you present yourself to a higher ranking official"

"Capitan Hiwatari, sir, nothing special" The dual haired teen made a mocking salute, then smirked "But I thought we were past the militar bullshit already?" He tilted his head slightly, his smirk slowly melting into a knowing grin.

"You're such a child sometimes Kai..." Tala shook his head and gave the dual haired teen a suffering stare "But not while I'm on duty. I have a few reports to take to Valkov, and isn't he particulary cheerful today..."

Kai snickered.

"I used to envy you, you know? When I was little and you arrived and all attention was suddenly on you?" He gave the redhead a superior smirk "Then I realised you had too spend so much time with Boris, and I started pitying you"

"Just shut up Hiwatari... and for god's sake, don't set anything on fire while I'm gone"

"Sir, yessir!"

"Oh cut it out..."

"Aren't you cold?"

Tala looked up at the window and smirked, watching Kai sitting in the rail of the window, looking at him with a risen eyebrow. He was laying comfortably on the ceiling of the North wing of the Central tower, where the higher ranking students had their dormitories, resting over the thick sheet of snow and frost, wearing his usual white and purple uniform.

"Have known me for almost seven years and you still can't answer that?" The tone was much lighter and inviting, and the redhead's smirk melted slowly into a smile.

"Bastard" Kai made an amused noise as he jumped towards the redhead, joining him in the roof.

"My, my, such language from such a young kid... what would your father say if he heard you?" Tala smirked mockingly as Kai arranged himself to lie next to him.

"He'd ask me why I bother with non sense instead of simply crushing the enemy" The dual haired teen answered half annoyed, half truthful "And I'm not a kid"

"Hn, you're pretty naïve still Kai. Like it or not, you still don't realise a lot of things going on here" The redhead looked up at the sky with a thoughtful expression.

"Oh, and you do?" Kai rose an eyebrow challengely, he was marginally older than Tala anyway.

"Most of the time, more than I'd like to" The redhead shruged, and they fell silent.

The night was clear, and the stars drew beautiful patterns in the skies. Auttum was almost gone, the chilly winds of winter caressing the frozen land almost gently.

It was Tala's favorite time of the year, because it reminded him of the fierce sea breeze, back at the North shore.

It was also Kai's more detested time of the year, given he prefered the spring days back in Japan, or the summer days in their alternate training center, in Volgograd. He wasn't particulary fond of cold weathers as a whole, anyway.

"How's it?" Kai asked suddenly, voice laced with true curiosity "Outside I mean. You get to go outside so much... how's like to live in the city?" He glanced at Tala, frowning slightly.

"It's... different. Then again, I can't exactly count as a reliable source. Last time I checked, Whorehouses aren't exactly the normative of city life" The redhead chuckled slightly, eyes alight with mirth.

"You still get to be free for a while"

"Freedom comes with a price Kai. Like everything" For some reason, the redhead's voice was much more serious than before "We have, if not perfect, a place to call home here. I know for a fact a lot of people who don't have that luxoury. We may have to train and work harder than others, and perhaps you feel like this is torture, but you really don't know what's like to live out there like a street rat"

"You talk as if you had been there" The redhead swore there was a sulking tint in Kai's voice.

"There's a reason why your Granny calls me Boris' pet street rat, you know?" Tala rose an eyebrow, looking particulary amused at that piece of information.

"He calls you what?" Kai looked torned between shock and amusement.

"Well, that or Rascal. But's generally Valkov who calls me that" Tala grinned, utterly amused "Apparently your Granny isn't fully convinced I can do everything Boris claims I can. Then again, if he got hold of the last incident in the second floor bathroom, then yeah, my plumbery skills have been greatly devaluated indeed"

"You're crazy" Kai huffed, he wasn't particulary keen in asking what about Tala and plumbery.

What he heard in rummors was more than enough. Tala grinned.

"Crazy? I was crazy once... They locked me in a white room with rats... Rats? I hate rats, they drive me crazy... crazy? I was crazy once..."

"Oh for God's sake, not again!" Kai groaned, last time the redhead had started that he had gone on for hours "Cut it out!"

Tala snickered as he was hit, then broke down laughing quietly at Kai's suffering stare on himself. A few seconds later, he was joined by the dual haired boy's quiet laughter, right along side his own. After a few moments of relaxing, they fell silent again.

Tala, trying to pin point the old constellations his father, and later Boris had taught him, Kai, trying to get rid of the feeling of uneasiness that had suddenly filled him.

"I hate the walls here" He admitted after a long time.

"Mm?" Tala looked at him, only to find the dual haired boy frowning deeply, and trying to keep his voice from wavering "The walls? Why?"

"'Cause they're as tall as prison walls" Tala marveled at the clear innocence tint behind Kai's strained voice "I feel small when I'm standing next to them"

The redhead smiled.

"C'mon" He stood up, walking towards the window.

"Wha – where?" Kai followed him even as he asked.

"I've got something to show you, Blue" Saying no more, he started down the corridor, his face the stern expression he used when dealing with students.

Kai scrambled slightly to catch up with him, then kept silent.

He followed Tala through the corridors and staircases towards the main patio, and watched with some undefined emotion as the redhead commanded respect, even from the olderst guards. He was known by rank and by his ruthless character when dealing with official matters. His orders were obeyed almost the same as Boris, though Kai wondered how he managed to seal himself in his role so perfectly, given he knew the redhead to be completely different when they alone. It was almost as if it were two different people. Kai rose an eyebrow as the four guards in the patio left after the redhead told them something he couldn't hear, and gave the redhead a what now look.

He was starting to regreat having said anything.

"So?" Tala smirked at Kai, he was standing right next to one of the walls "Come here"

"What's so glorious you can't wait until tomorrow to show me?" The blunette asked somewhat annoyed, but walked towards the redhead non the less "Well?"

"Look up"

Kai did so, and inmidiatly saw why he hated the damn things. He felt a misserable nothing against the unholyly tall walls. He glared at Tala. The redhead was smirking.

"Now, close your eyes and take forty steps back" The redhead, for some reason, was amused.

Non the less, his curiosity already perked, Kai obeyed.

"And?" He was starting to feel rather stupid, standing in the middle of the patio, in the middle of the night, obeying orders from his best friend, who seemed to have finally lost any sense he had.

"Open your eyes"

Kai did so, and he stared.

The so called prison walls, due to the perspective effect, seemed awfully shorter now. Kai blinked, when he saw Tala laugh.

"The walls, and your problems, Kai, depend on how are you looking at them. Are you still afraid?" The redhead winked, then rose an eyebrow curiously.

"I'm not afraid of anything" Kai sulked, and the redhead laughed again.

"C'mon Sourpuss. It's late and I'm tired" Tala swung an arm around the blunette's shoulders, and walked him towards the tower, they separated each other, though, as soon as they neared the first guard post.

They walked in silence towards their rooms, Kai poundering Tala's words and actions, the redhead a sudden idea that had poped into his mind. Mm, I'll have to go through this with the Boss, though...

When they realise it, they were standing infront of Kai's and Ian's room. Tala patted the blunette in the back.

"Sleep well, Blue" He smiled sincerely "And don't forget what I said, ok?"

He didn't expect the dual haired blader to answer though, and he started walking towards his own room.


When Kai reacted though, the redhead was already gone. He stared at the long corridor for a moment. Then he smiled.

"Thank you"

Tala looked down at the patio from his perch in the window's rail. Four storyes below him, he could see the newest reclutes training under the monks. He looked at the other side of the room, where Boris had his nose buried in a pile of papers, muttering unpleasanties in a strange mix of russian and german. A small part of Tala resisted the urge to snort as the purple haired man shoved his ridiculously small reading glasses up his nose for what it seemed the untenth time.

"They need a time off, Boss" Tala mused outloud, looking at Boris with a risen eyebrow.

"Yeah, and I need a new job, but neither is getting what we want" The purple haired man growled somewhat annoyedly "It's out of the question, Rascal, and you know it"

"Yada, yada, Hiwatari breathing down my neck, I know" Tala rolled his eyes "But I've been thinking..."

Boris gave him a suffering stare. Famous last words...

"And didn't it hurt?" The older man smirked when Tala threw him a dirty look.

"Ha, ha, no. But seriously, if we schedrule the elimination tournament in two weeks, then we'll have the final team align for Hiwatari before you leave to that trip in to St. Petersburg next month" Tala smirked knowingly. Boris groaned.

"No. Absolutely no. I'm not taking you and your pet squad to St. Petersburg next month" He glared "Having to deal with beurocratic shit will be more than enough, to add it the wonders of baby sitting" He rolled his eyes in distaste.

"And who says you have to take care of them? What, I don't count or anything?" Tala rose an eyebrow, knowing the moment that Boris faltered slightly that he had won.

"Ah... yes. There's that too..."

"And given I can surely come up with something to keep them out of your hair for the two days the trip it'll take, you'd probably see us only in the train ride..."

"Well, yes, but..."

"And I'm sure it'd be a perfect opportunity for me to label them down and start their files as a team..."

Boris glared.

Tala smirked.

"Get the hell out of my office, you manipulative, sodding rascal. Now"

"Sir, yessir"


Notes on the story:

Heh. That was fun.

And yeah, the place Boris picked up Tala in the beginning is a whorehouse. Details will be explained in LtF. Heh.

Sherra: Wyborg. Why the name is different, it will be told in the main storyline.

Anuk: Wolborg. Same reason (getting repeatitive, aren't I?).

I personally hate those exaggerated descriptions of the Abby. Seriously people, it's a training center, not a torture hall. I like to portrait it as a military center, given that I know personally what's like to study under militar discipline, and I can see the Abby being one. Comments are more than welcome, though.

If so you feel, please review.