Me: (Pokes head in sheepishly) Hi? Ok, so it took me a year, but I finished it! Eh... so very sorry for the very long delay, but here is the final chapter! Enjoy! Also, this was originally for Ranma's summer contest, which never went through in the end, so this is now a giftfic for her.
Half an hour of being tempted by delicious smells wafting from the kitchen had made both Tyson and Daichi impatient. Naturally, both were very happy when Rei finally came out with the evening meal of the day.
However, Kai wasn't too happy that his lover was ignoring him in favour of eating his meal enthusiastically. While having the others not paying any attention to him suited Kai just fine; having the bluenet disregard his presence stun a little.
Hilary noticed the dual haired teen's frowning expression and decided to do something about it. Being sat on Tyson's either side, she nudged him lightly with her elbow.
The blue haired teen opened one eye at her, eyebrow raised in slight agitation at being interrupted eating.
She jerked her head, indicating that Tyson lean closer.
He did so, shuffling about on his knees at the low table, putting his bowl down on the wooden surface with a dull 'thunk'. "What?" He hissed.
Hilary pointed at Kai with her chopsticks, "stop ignoring him, it's his birthday for Heaven's sake!"
"I'm not ignoring him" was the affronted reply.
The brunette merely frowned sternly at him, jabbing him the cheek with her finger to push him back over to Kai. She scowled some more when Daichi began tugging at her sleeve insistently. "What?"
"What was that all about?" The red haired boy questioned, flicking his pointing index finger between Hilary and Tyson (who was now attempting to coax a smile out of his older partner).
"Private matters." Hilary replied after a moment's pause. She wasn't entirely sure how to answer Daichi's question truthfully without some noise of childish disgust.
Daichi huffed, annoyed at being snubbed, but soon brightened at the new, sweet smeel wafting in from the kitchen. He turned eagerly around to face Rei, beginning to question what it was he had just put in the oven when he was met with an empty space. "Where did Rei go?" He asked, flicking his head around the room.
Max chuckled. "In the kitchen, making dessert!" He answered brightly, with a wide smile.
Tyson immediately grinned at that, whipping his head around to beam happily at Kai, who was now a little less surly. "Hear that? Dessert! I bet it's cake. It has to be cake." He told him enthusiastically, tightening the hold of Kai's hand that he had beneath the cover of the table. (Which Kai had taken after a few minutes of Tyson's prodding to get him to cheer up.)
The older teen – adult – favoured him with a tiny smile, the corner of his lips rising just slightly as he listened to Tyson babble without a word.
Although Kai did have to raise an eyebrow in surprise when Rei finally emerged from the kitchen with a red cake fresh from the oven, the Chinese man grinning at the chorus of cheers that resounded from the table.
Hilary reached over to take the matchbox from Rei so he could wipe the icing smudges from his face and hands, and lit each of the eighteen white candles that circled the cake gently. "There." She said, pleased when she was finished and the cake shone beneath the warm orange glow of the candle flames.
"Now we sing." Max announced with a grin.
"Sing?" Daichi repeated, "You have to sing to it? Why don't we just eat it?"
Hilary and Rei smothered amused laughter beneath their hands as Tyson leaned across the table to explain, snickering openly. "We have to sing 'happy birthday'" He told him.
"When it's someone's birthday, you have to sing to them before they blow out the candles. Then they make a wish!" Max informed him brightly.
Daichi nodded his understanding, "then we get to eat it, right?"
"Yes, yes, you little dustbin." Hilary replied wearily, patting the top his head in a mocking manner.
"Who are calling a dustbin, you hag?" Was the snarled reply.
"Perhaps we should just begin?" Kenny put in meekly, hoping to put an end to Hilary and Daichi's squabbling before it got too bad.
Kai shifted uncomfortably, not really wanting the attention, nor the childish sing-song of 'happy birthday'. "You don't have to." He muttered, though it was only quiet enough for Tyson to hear.
He lover tilted his head at him, confused. "Of course we do, it's tradition you big lug." He told him fondly.
"It's childish." Kai corrected.
"It's fun." Was Tyson's insistent reply. "Now shush and sit there and enjoy it."
Rei started off the song, sliding the cake so it was sat in front of Kai, singing the words softly under his breath. He was soon followed by the others, who all sung quietly, but with large smiles across their faces (aside from Daichi, who didn't know the words, yet he was grinning all the same). No-one raised their voice so the song would be audible outside the room, and Kai was grateful for that and he obediently blew out his candles with a small roll of his eyes when Tyson nudged him to do so.
Around an hour later, when the cake had been eaten and finished, found Kai and Tyson outside.
The sun had set, leaving the world humid and dark. Kai, on the other hand, found it darker than it should have been when Tyson took out a handkerchief from his pocket and covered his eyes with it. "What's that for?" He asked, as his lover tied the 'blindfold'. He attempted to reach up and undo it, but got his hands smacked in retaliation.
"I'm taking you somewhere and I want it to be a surprise!" Tyson told him brightly, placing his hands on Kai's shoulders and directing him forwards.
"Can't I just shut my eyes?" Kai muttered.
"Of course not." Tyson replied, "You might peak."
Nothing more was said after that as they walked along in silence. For Kai, the whole experience was rather boring other than hoping he wouldn't trip over anything. Tyson, however, was excited at giving Kai his gift. Reaching into his pocket, he checked that he had remembered to bring their blades and sighed in relief when he felt the cold metal surfaces of Dranzer and Dragoon.
Just as Kai was about to ask when they were going to get there, he felt Tyson stop him walking and remove his blindfold. He raised an eyebrow at what he saw. Whatever he had been expecting, it wasn't standing inside the cold, dark warehouse that had once been the headquarters of his old gang. He turned to his lover, "Tyson… what?" He questioned, and blinked in surprised when Tyson placed Dranzer into his palm along with his launcher.
Instead of answering the older teen's question, the bluenet just walked around the old red dish in the middle of the warehouse's floor. He held up his Dragoon and shot Kai one of his competitive grins. "What do you say to a battle, Kai?" He questioned, winking and setting his beyblade into the launcher.
Kai blinked, surprised, but smirked all the same at the challenge. He too readied his Dranzer and took a stance ready to fire. "I have to say, this is a weird gift." He called out from his place at the dish, letting his blade fly at the same time as Tyson. "Not that I mind, though."
Tyson grinned, watching their blades dance around the dusty dish before ordering Dragoon to attack when he saw an opening. "This isn't just what I wanted to give you." He replied.
The dual haired teen blocked the move and batted the white blade out of the way in retaliation. "What do you mean?" He questioned, flicking his wrist to tell Dranzer to start spewing out flames. He cocked one eyebrow, his face illuminated by the light of the fire rocketing around the dish trying to catch Dragoon.
His partner's grin just widened as he ordered Dragoon to dart around the sloped sides of the dish to escape the flames before resuming bashing into the dark blue beyblade. "I wanted to take you somewhere special."
"Special?" Kai repeated under his breath, sparing his surroundings a quick glance before returning his concentration to the battle before him. "It's a dusty old warehouse."
"Who said I meant the warehouse?" Tyson called back, over the sound of rushing wind as he commanded Dragoon to release his trademark storm, a large tornado forming in the center of the dish.
Kai's eyebrows knitted together in concentration of both escaping the storm and what Tyson had meant by that and he growled in frustration and commanded Dranzer to circle the lip of the dish, flames streaming behind it to create a whirlwind of his own.
There was no movement on his Tyson's part, both not wishing to bring the warehouse down around them by unleashing their full strength. Warehouses were considerably less durable than Beystadiums.
Although, the ferocity of the fight in the dish brought on a familiar competitive smirk as he thought back to their previous battles; the one in the park, surrounded by fans and friends and that World Championship final battle… his widened in realization as it occurred to him what Tyson meant.
Tyson's face beamed at him as he noticed Kai had finally grasped what he was talking about. "Understand now?" He called over, his voice muffled by wind and fire.
Kai simply nodded at him, the ground beneath his feet feeling less solid and the air lighter. The sounds of the battle became distant and he found himself feeling like he was floating. His vision narrowed and the image before him dissolved to be replaced by something completely different altogether.
Kai's first thought when he found himself on the familiar sandy beach with an endless ocean stretching before him and stars sparkling and streaking across a black sky dotted with planets was that this trip was sufficiently nicer than the first one. Tyson being sprawled across him might have had something to do with that thought.
"Like it?" The blunet questioned, shifting so that he could dip his head towards Kai's and make the tips of their noses meet.
His lover simply stole a quiet kiss, winding one large, strong hand behind Tyson's head and knocking off his hat.
Frowning at the loss of his hat, Tyson reached across and plucked it off of the sandy ground, flapped it in the air to rid it of any grains and plopped it back on his head. "Was that a yes?" He questioned.
Kai merely grunted the affirmative, drawing his hand from under Tyson's hat and threading his fingers through the long navy ponytail. He scowled at the snags he found and untied them with both of his hands, pressing his face lightly into the curve of Tyson's neck to inhale his scent. That wind of Dragoon's did no good for his ponytail, but it did make his younger partner smell nice.
Tyson let him groom his hair with a wide smile, babbling on happily. "I thought you wouldn't want a big expensive gift. Well, no, that's not quite true; I couldn't even afford one let alone think of one you would've liked because you would've bought it yourself, you know?" He listened to Kai's quiet hum, rumbling across the skin of his throat before continuing, "so I sat around for ages trying to think of something to get you, and Hil' came up with the idea of taking you somewhere. So I thought of this place. You had the nicest smile when we came here before, do you know that?"
Kai made another contented noise, finishing untangling the younger one's hair and letting his hands fall to the side to fall onto the sand with soft 'fwump's. "I like it here" He murmured quietly after a while, drawing his head back from Tyson's shoulder and resting it on his arms that folded above him. "It's peaceful, and there's no-one here to bother us."
"Like Daichi." Tyson agreed, rolling off Kai to sit up and watch the stars shine above them. "The kid's great and all when he's not being a pest but I could really do without those constant challenges he gives me."
"You are the world champion, why are you surprised?" Kai pointed out, shutting his eyes.
The blunet cocked his head to look at him, "you're not still miffed about that, are you?" He questioned cautiously.
"I don't need a title." Kai snorted.
Tyson worried his bottom lip and laid down beside Kai to pillow his head on the older one's stomach. "Sorry." He mumbled.
Kai opened one eye to look at him, "Why?" He asked, confused.
"Just sorry." Was all the bluenet said, picking up one of his lover's hands and lacing their fingers together.
Kai puffed out a sigh and wound one arm around Tyson's chest to hold him in a one-armed embrace. "You're an idiot." He said fondly.
Tyson turned his head slightly so he could grin cheekily at him. "So I'm told." He replied, snuggling into the embrace with a happy sigh. "Hey, you know what? You can do all sorts of cool things now you're an adult." He commented, grinning up at the sky.
"Really?" The older replied dryly.
"Yeah!" Tyson said enthusiastically, missing the sarcasm. "You can, um… do all those things with alcohol!"
"Like drink it?"
"And buy it." Tyson told him wisely, "but don't abuse that or I'll have to hit you or something. Or cigarettes, because they're just disgusting."
"Both are pretty foul."
"Exactly, even though drunk is funny, it's not funny in the morning, and I don't want to deal with an even grouchier you."
Kai glared at him. "You aren't exactly a morning person yourself."
"I just can't get out of bed; at least I'm not a grump." Tyson said simply, though his tone was accusing and his smile remained.
"You're extremely odd sometimes." Kai mumbled, feeling a little amazed as usual that Tyson put up with him and all of his bad qualities so happily, and feeling incredibly grateful for it. He gave the bluenet a light squeeze, and the younger one's lips turned up higher.
"There's driving and getting cars and stuff too, plus all those travel laws…" Tyson was saying, tracing little patterns on the sand and smiling that same warm, comforting smile as though nothing could possibly drag him down.
Kai shut his eyes again and listened to the sound of partner's voice, not bothering to point out any errors that Tyson made and laid there, letting the waves and vocals soothe him
"Hey." Tyson poked him in the side, just as Kai's mind was beginning to drift. "Don't fall asleep on me."
Kai grunted and shifted. "What is it?" He grumbled, noticing the lack of his lover's heat by his side, and frowning at it. He swiveled his gaze around until it landed on Tyson kneeling beside him.
"We've known each other for long time, haven't we?" Tyson commented happily, drawing his knees up to his chest smiling at nostalgic memories.
"Yes…" Kai said slowly, propping himself up on his elbows.
"Don't you think that that's amazing?"
"Somewhat." Was the simple reply. Amazing that he still had Tyson's companionship after all the things he had done over the years. He had asked why once, last year, and got one of those beautiful endless smiles and a wink.
"Because you're you, and I love you." Had been the answer.
He sat up fully and captured Tyson in a desperate kiss, curling one hand around his tanned neck and letting his thoughts wash away and his nerves soak up everything that was his lover and just float.
"That was nice." Tyson said quietly when they parted, eyes warm.
Kai buried his nose in the soft patch of hair beneath Tyson's hat and above his ear, breathing a soft 'I love you'
Coming back to reality, where there were no sparkles and endless beauty (save for Tyson's smile, perhaps) was a slight shock but it ebbed when Kai focused his regained vision on the wobbling beyblades in the dish below him.
The fire and wind had subsided, leaving a burning smell in the air and their hair and clothes windswept and messy. Dragoon and Dranzer tilted in slow circles on their points, the white falling a couple of seconds before the dark blue one. The clatter echoed round the large, empty walls of the warehouse.
Tyson planted his hands on his hands, an amused smile playing at his lips. "Hey, you won for once."
Kai snorted. "I've beaten you many times." ('When you were younger and more naïve' his mind added silently. He dropped down into the dish to scoop up their blades and clambered out to join Tyson on the dusty, dirty floor.
"You're not sulking." He noted as he handed Tyson Dragoon.
Tyson cocked his head at him, confused. "Why would I be sulking? I like battling you; it doesn't bother that much when I lose."
Kai raised an eyebrow.
"Ok, maybe a little." The bluenet relented with a small grin, stuffing his hands in his pockets and scuffing his shoe on the floor in his slight embarrassment. "Whatever, shall we go?"
"Go where? Back to the dojo?" Kai questioned, followed the younger out of the rusty old building and grateful to be out of the musky air and into the clean evening breeze. He had to admit that he didn't particularly want to go back straight away and be surrounded by the others, having no idea how to deal with all of the attention.
"The river?" Tyson suggested, "It's nice there at this time of day." He stretched and yawned, swinging his arms by his sides and humming to himself under his breath.
"Why the warehouse?" Kai asked after a while of silence, save for the gravel beneath their feet crunching.
"That where we had our first real battle." Tyson answered, tilting his up to now coloured sky (night here would never be as black as there). "Where we fought properly, with bitbeasts and everything."
Kai smirked. "Even though you didn't quite know what you were doing."
Tyson punched him lightly on the upper arm. "Shut-up, I had no idea that a great blue dragon was going to come out of my 'blade. I'm not complaining though."
They stopped by the grassy riverbank slopes that slid down the river and small pavement below. The river wasn't very clear at night, but it sparkled every now and then as it rushed by. Heading down quickly, Tyson rocked back and forward on his heels impatiently as he waited for Kai to join him.
"You're so slow." He complained when the older halted by his side.
"I don't particularly want to break an ankle running down a slope at night." Kai retorted.
"Did I fall?"
"No, but you aren't exactly renowned for elegance."
Tyson huffed and plopped down on the grass, flopping backwards. Kai sat down and joined him, Tyson shuffled over to pillow his head on his lap.
"Have you had a good birthday?" The bluenet questioned.
"Of course." A small amused smile appeared on Kai's face.
"Good." Grinning, Tyson looked up at Kai. "I like summer, it's nice and warm and there's no school and you can hang around with your friends and 'blade all day. Plus there's your birthday to celebrate."
"I would've thought you'd like winter, that's when there's snow, Christmas and your birthday."
"But it's cold." Tyson wrinkled up his nose. "Having my birthday in winter sucks, I'm indoors all day!" A sigh, before he said more cheerfully, "happy birthday."
Kai chuckled quietly, flicking his wrinkled nose. "Thanks."
"And you say I'm childish."
Me: Aaaand, that's the end! I hope you enjoyed it!