Chapter One: Deep as you Go
It was the ideal summer afternoon. The sky was clearer than a whiteboard slate and there were birds perched on the trees, chirping merrily at the people. Then the wind would move slowly through the branches, making the leaves shudder and whisper in tongues unknown. And that same breeze would flit past the man with the large cloth-bound book in his hands and ruffle its pages.
Kinomiya Makoto was twenty-three years old. He followed in his father's footsteps for a short while, but decided to leave Beyblading to the younger generation. He bore Kinomiya Tyson's resemblance that even those who knew him well would see him as his father. It was hard, especially hard for himself, but he has learned to cope.
As well as he can, at any rate.
Makoto clutched the book closer and walked down a small path. This path led to a small house built on the edge of the river. After many years of searching, Makoto had found it. He was scared, infinitely so. Makoto didn't know how they would react. Will they refuse him?
Makoto mustered up his courage and walked up to the door. It was a large ebony door with a large brass knocker. The emblem on this knocker was a phoenix and even though Makoto felt his insides wracked with uncertainty, he smiled at this reference. He knocked on the door three times, listening to the sound echo in the empty house.
It was a big house, large enough to hold a small army or platoon. But if Makoto remembered correctly (and here, he had a better memory than his father) then this house would always have too much space. Because this house was not meant to keep people in, but rather keep people out.
The Hiwataris were not only eccentric in name only.
The door creaked open slightly and then opened fully to reveal a handsome youth of a year older than Makoto himself. His eyes were a sharp burgundy, finer than any European wine and he had duel hair that marked him as one of the Hiwataris. His eyes widened and without realizing it, Makoto felt the sting of tears prick behind his eyes.
"Hello Gou," Makoto said, his voice choking, "It's—been a while," Surely an understatement, but Makoto found his vocabulary drying up when faced with this remnant of his past. Makoto stretched out his hand slowly and brushed against the painted marks on Gou's face. Gou's eyes fluttered slightly at the contact. Makoto immediately drew his hand back as if burned and then let it hang uselessly by his side.
"Makoto…" Gou looked down at the ground and then looked at him, "Well, come in!" Gou said in a voice much more cheerful than his own. Makoto stepped into the house and noticed how bare some of the walls seemed. Gou pulled him along and they went into the living room. It seemed as empty as the hallway. The living room had a large fireplace by the wall and a large picture of the Xeniq Cross, depicting the four sacred spirits.
Makoto walked up to the picture as if in rapture. Silently, he touched the legendary Blue Dragon and felt the urge to pull out his beyblade. He withdrew his fingers from the picture and smiled slightly at Gou, who had entered with two steaming cups of hot cocoa. Gou placed it on the table and gestured to the seat. Makoto sat down, placing the book beside him.
"…I thought that you had given up on me," Gou spoke tentatively, his eyes drifting over Makoto, "Since we shifted, I thought you were still angry with me."
I never want to see you again!
Makoto tightened his hands on the sofa, nearly tearing the material, "Did you really think I was serious about a word I said?" His voice was so high, almost as if it had reached a point of climax, "I—we were kids. I never meant a word I said. I sent you letters almost every week. You never replied."
Gou looked stunned, "I never got any letters. How is that—," Then his eyes hardened imperceptibly, but Makoto caught it nevertheless, "Father."
"That's the other reason I came here," Makoto stood up and tried to rearrange his scrambled thoughts, "I came to complete the past."
"Complete the past?" Some of the anger had burned to the back of Gou's mind, but it would still be there, lingering like a subtle poison. Like father, like son.
"Can you take me to your father?" Makoto lowered his voice, "Please?"
Gou gave him a level stare and started walking up the steps. At the end of the steps, Gou took Makoto through a long corridor. At the end of the corridor was a room. Gou knocked on the door. He didn't get any response, yet Gou opened the door.
The room was pitch black, but Makoto could see a TV placed in the end of the room and the walls were littered with photographs of all kinds. There was a beyblade dish in the center and the bed was next to a large window that overlooked the river.
And staring out of the window was a man. He didn't look old, but there were wrinkles on his hands and cheeks. His eyes were the same burgundy as Gou's, but duller and less fiery. Like tempered blunt steel of a sword, Makoto thought. There was a walking stick besides him and he was toying with a white scarf. His clothes were a white suit that seems to bear the same ageing marks as the man himself.
"Father," Gou walked up to him and shook him slightly. The man's eyes fluttered slightly and he stared at his son, slightly dazed. Makoto clutched the book tighter into his chest and prayed silently.
"What is it?" The man's voice was rasp and harsh, like a crow. Makoto shivered slightly and walked up to him. The man jerked his eyes off his son and scanned him darkly. Makoto held his composure as those hard (Gou's eyes were so much softer and gentler) eyes roved over him like a panther eyes his prey.
"…Makoto," the man grunted and turned his eyes back to the window, "Such a pity that you have your mother's eyes."
"Father!" Gou's outburst rang in his ears dimly as Makoto tried to calm himself. But images flitted in his head. Makoto could never remember his mother. Whatever he knew about her was through pictures and when his father was feeling nostalgic enough to talk about her. To his father, she was a symbol of pain and joy etched onto one's chest. And she was one of the few people whose memory could make him cry.
"Feh," Makoto wondered why Mr. Hiwatari's eyes were always so cold, "Get out. You're not welcome here."
Makoto could see Gou clenching his fists in the corner of his eyes. Makoto put a hand on his shoulder and watched Gou relax slightly. Makoto closed his eyes and opened them once more, "Mr. Hiwatari, I have something important to give you. Maybe after you let me speak, I will leave."
Gou stared at Makoto as if he was speaking nonsense. Mr. Hiwatari's eyes narrowed at Makoto's retort, but he gestured to the seat and Makoto (letting out a sigh of relief) sat down and avoided looking into Mr. Hiwatari's eyes and stared at the ground. Gou sat next to him.
"Don't look away!" Mr. Hiwatari snapped, "If you need to speak to me, you'd better look at me! That's what your father would have done!"
Makoto stared back evenly, "I am not my father," He breathed softly ("Never back down" his father had told him, "That is the road of victory. When you give up is when the world ends for you").
Mr. Hiwatari stared at the even dark look building up in Makoto's eyes and said simply, "I know."
Makoto relaxed slightly and leaned back on his seat. Then he stared at the ceiling before facing Mr. Hiwatari once more, "My father is dead. He died in his sleep last week."
Mr. Hiwatari's face was covered in shadow so Makoto couldn't see what he looked like. Gou looked away, from his best friend and his father.
Makoto continued, "I went through his room and found this book," The memories were coming back, Makoto thought, staring at the book.
Otousan, why won't you wake up? Otousan? OTOUSAN!
…died in his sleep they say…
I always thought the former beyblade champion would go out in a blaze…
..he wasn't even that old and he kept himself fit…
…how is Makoto taking the news?
Otousan is dead. Otousan is dead.
Stop crying, stop crying,
How old are you?
Get up, Makoto. Shame on you! Your father would have…
What happens now?
Not yet, not yet, not yet, I don't want to see it.
when everything is settled, I suppose. Put the dead man's matters to rest first.
"Go on," Makoto jerked at the sound of Mr. Hiwatari's voice. It sounded the same; harsh and cold. Makoto felt a flame build up inside of him, but he restrained his temper.
"It's his journal," Makoto said softly, "And I think you need to read it."
"Bullshit," Mr. Hiwatari got up in one fluid motion and threw his walking stick at Makoto. Makoto ducked just in time, "Get out, get out, GET OUT!" His voice was wild and blazing like a rampaging fire.
"He loved you!" Makoto yelled back suddenly, some of the old tears leaving the nest of his eyes, "You have to read it!" (love me, love me, love me. Old wounds were too deep and Makoto can't take out the bullets)
"He left me," Mr. Hiwatari said angrily, "How dare you come to my house and say those things—,"
"Father, calm down!" Gou said, his own eyes blazing, "Too long you've carried around with your grief. Won't you read his last words!"
Mr. Hiwatari collapsed against his seat and mumbled, "Leave, leave, leave…."
Gou moved to approach his father, but Makoto blocked him.
"Give him some time," Makoto said, looking at the murmuring Mr. Hiwatari. Quietly, he left the book by his side and walked out with Gou.
And when Makoto closed the door, he swore he heard him cry.
A/N: Again with the depression and the angst. Mostly the angst. Do review anyway!