Disclaimer: Don't own. Don't sue. Don't say a word.
Rating: PG for this chapter. Will change of course. Maybe not. I don't know. Perhaps?
Summary: Rei got dropped into another dimension where beyblading does not exist but magic does.
Warnings: Shounen-ai. Don't like? Then DON'T READ! So far, it will have a one-sided Max/Rei pairing. Guess who's the oblivious one?
A/N: I found this hidden in my file gathering dust. Completely unfinished, unpolished, untarnished…and I was completely puzzled. Why did I not finish it? When the plot is already all there? And face it, there's not a lot of Beyblade fantasies … or not enough. (and I didn't realize how long this chapter was until I posted it.) ENJOY!
Title: Roaming Sheep
"Roaming sheep in search of a place you've never known."
ER is as it always was. Busy. Busy. Busy. Busy with the arrivals of ambulances. Busy with the scurrying of doctors and nurses. Busy with the cry of sick children and the grumbling of their parents. Busy with arguments that broke out from stress and tension. It was a sea of chaos. So it was a common site to see stretchers being hurriedly transported into swinging doors. It was also common to see throngs of reporters bursting through the door to catch a glimpse of an unfortunate victim. Doubly unfortunate if you were a celebrity.
Fortunately, Rei was already half gone from the world when this all happened to him. Unlike Tyson, he disliked the noisy crowds and annoying fans. And he especially disliked reporters spot-lighting on him. It reminded him too often when the Elders in his village singled him out purposefully to dance for the harvest gods, or the time when chief's prized vase broke and he was singled out as the instigator of the crime, or the time when he got singled out by a pack of street thugs without his wallet. Those weren't good experiences.
Rei was, however, still conscious enough to know that he had just been rushed through a throng of reporters with their many flashing lights. The siren's scream faintly echoed away but the clicks of cameras and patters of footsteps continued in frantic frenzy. Rei tried to ignore that all, it wasn't really that hard. Just a matter of closing his eyes.
One of the rushing paramedic quickly slapped him, hard. "Don't fall asleep yet. We need to ask you a few questions. What's your name?"
Rei drowsily tried to reply. What a rude paramedic! He opened his mouth for a few choice colored words but his mouth felt like cotton wool. "R-r-r-rei K-k-k-k-on." Rei silently added a 'you bastard' at the end of that phrase. He didn't have to hit him so hard! Wasn't he the victim?
The paramedic mumbled something and asked him another question that Rei couldn't quite catch.
"W-What?" Rei blinked slowly trying to get rid of the fuzziness he felt. Why can't he speak up? Who does he think is the patient here! What a rude and inconsiderate man!
A voice somewhere in front of him was calling a nurse for a bag of B negative blood. The pattering of feet surrounded him and Rei felt something pinch him in the arm. He tried to look down to see what it was but his head wouldn't move. The paramedic was speaking to him again, a string of words that made little sense. Rei blinked as his vision turned darker and fuzzier. Was this was it felt like to be drunk?
Rei refrained a sudden maniac urge to giggle. Was it just him or did the whole hospital sink underwater suddenly?
Dimly, Rei thought he heard more shouting. He wasn't quite sure but he thought there was a hint of desperation if he heard it right. There was also a sudden dull pain blossoming on his other cheek. Does he really have to slap that hard? This really must be a pretty bad paramedic. Or maybe an failing intern.
Someone quickly strapped his oxygen mask off in favor for another similar mask. There was another quick babble of voices, this time coming from outside the closed curtains. Rei strained his senses out, but another jab on his arm caught his attention. Three minutes later, Rei was knocked out cold and carted hurriedly into the emergency room.
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Amber eyes slowly slide open. Rei was drowsy, even though he felt like he had slept an eternity away. Closing his eyes to clear the fogginess of reality, Rei opened them again slowly, black slits of his pupils narrowing as he adjusted to the stark whiteness of the room.
It was abnormally white.
Abnormally white and sterile.
Rei came to the conclusion that he must have been sent to the hospital to patch up all the wounds Byran gave him. He hadn't seen so much white since the White Tigers went camping during winter on the mountaintop. Rei had to admit that wasn't one of Lee's brightest ideas.
Sure enough, tilting his head slowly to one side, he could see a very bandaged right arm, a very sloppy job by the looks of it. Did people really hate neko-jins so much that he did not even deserve a proper doctor? Rei sighed and leaned his head back. At least they got him a room of his own. Or was it to separate him so he wouldn't 'scare' the children?
Rei quickly shook himself of such depressing and racist thoughts. No use in dealing what cannot be changed.
He laid on the hard mattress, drawing his mind away from his previous thoughts in favor of mentally assessing his injuries the way his village elders taught the youngsters. From what Rei could feel he wasn't hurt as badly as he looked on the giant stadium monitor. The neko-jin found it somewhat amusing that the commentator made it sound as if he were dying during the tournament. Not that the commentator cared, but making a mountain out of a molehill does bring in a lot of revenue. Apart from having a deep gash on his right arm and a possible concussion from hitting headfirst onto the hard floor, he was perfectly fine. At least no worse off than when Mr. Dickenson met up with him in the streets of Hong Kong. But then, at that time he had Drigger. Rei didn't care for anything else except to strengthen his blading skills.
But that changed.
The only thing he cared now was his bitbeast. Well, that and his teammates. But he was sure they'd be okay. Kai was there afterall. Kai, their 'perfect' captain would not let Tyson starve to death.
They would be fine.
But Drigger was not.
Drigger was gone. Rei gritted his teeth at that memory, sharp feline fangs glinted under the light.
It was his entire fault! If he ever met up with Bryan again, the Russian teen is definitely going to get a good awakening punch! He must revenge for Drigger! It is the only way to honor his bitbeast and to take him back, if he still deserves the noble beast. Yes, Bryan is definitely going down!
But wait, he already is down. Rei had already defeated him, with the expense of Drigger. The boy's anger wilted quickly, replaced by an overwhelming sense of concern, panic and guilt.
Drigger. I got to get him back!
Silently, Rei promised himself that when he took his bitbeast back and he'd make Voltaire and co. suffer as he did so. Yes. Maybe boil them in a vat of hot cooking oil and then pour salt water over their wounds.
His train of sadistic thoughts was quickly derailed by the opening of the door to his sickroom. A man with graying hair and whiskers stepped into the room with a curious expression on his face. Rei turned his face and smiled warily at the older man, consciously keeping his fangs hidden. Some people squealed at his fangs, but most people turn white, stutters something ridiculous and rushing out of the room. It was better to be on the safe side. The door closed with a soft click as the older man, Rei presumed he must be the doctor, walked towards him with a look of shock. That's odd, Rei thought to himself, he did keep his fangs hidden, maybe it was his eyes that shocked the man.
Finally the doctor reached Rei's bedside and simply stood there, staring at Rei as if he was trying to memorize his features. Rei shifted uncomfortably and wished that his teammates, being loud and obnoxious selves, would come barging in break the tension. He was sure that they would be here as soon as the tournament was over.
But they weren't here yet.
So maybe he wasn't out of it for so long then. Until then, he hoped the doctor spoke English. Russian was just too hard to learn, even with his newly bought 'Learn Russian in Three Days' book.
Well, no harm in trying. English is an international language right? "Erm." Rei hesitated as he examined the wide-eyed doctor. "H-hello?"
The doctor's eyes widened a little more before his lips tugged into a smirk. "Who would have thought the cat speaks afterall."
". . ." What was with this doctor? Rei sat up slowly, wincing slightly at his pounding head. Yup. Definitely did a face-smash on the gravel alright. His right hand gingerly touched the bandages wrapped around his head instead of his usual bandana, noting that his hair was nearly all unbound, and that a black silk ribbon tied loosely at the ends was the only thing that kept the mass tangle-free. If he felt better, he would start raging at whoever made him look so 'girly'.
The older man beamed back at his patient, soft wrinkles appearing around his eyes giving him a friendly appearance. "Just a small concussion. You'll be alright in a day or two but lay off the training for a few days or so. Give the cut some time to heal first."
Rei smiled back, happy that he didn't need to an extended hospital stay. "Thanks. Does that mean I can leave now?" Reaching over, the boy threw the blankets to one side getting ready to hop off the bed without waiting for the answer.
"I suppose. I think your friend's coming over soon to take you back."
"Really? That's nice of them." Rei grinned happily at the thought of having such caring teammates. Swinging his both legs slowly to the side of the bed, Rei stood up, relieved to find that his headache had deceased for a while. Hmmmm, now that Rei thought about it, he could not feel pain anywhere. Russian medicine is a marvel.
Seeing his patient up and about already wasn't really that surprising. The older man made his way to the door quickly. It was strange to see Rei in a good mood, stranger yet to see him smile. What with all the horror stories of his apprentices had told him, he had expected someone larger in stature, malicious yellow eyes and gleaming incisors ready to tear you apart with one roar. What he saw was a relatively harmless, friendly boy with a confused and adorable look on his face.
Young people do tend to exaggerate more.
Rei sighed with relief as the door shut quietly behind the doctor. Not that he didn't like the doctor, the man was alright, but his stare was rather unnerving. Carefully slipping on his simple black shoes, Rei pondered for a moment before deciding that it was time to buy new shoes. Cloth shoes, no matter how comfortable, are not meant for the snowy weathers of Russia.
He stood up, fumbling around to straighten his robe finding that his beyblade was not in its usual place, in his right pocket. Frowning, Rei turned to the dresser intending to search in it. Biovolt already had his bitbeast, they have no reason to want his blade too!
Besides, they have more advanced technology so logically, should they not rebuild the blade from scratch? A blade that would suit Drigger more than his own, worn, handed-down blade?
The door creaked open for the second time in the past five minutes. Rei looked up just in time to catch a bundle of blonde and orange blur in his arms. There was a slight 'oof' noise as Rei landed back onto the bed with Max clinging onto his shirt shouting his name.
"Rei! Are you alright? I was sooo soooooo worried!" Max bawled, clutching Rei's robe front with a fist. Rei smiled indulgently, Max was always one to have extreme emotions. Maybe that's what made him and Tyson get along so well. It was just so like Maxie to bowl over him despite of the fact that he was the patient. The raven-haired boy patted Max on the back calming the blond down.
It worked, sort of. Max snuggled into him like a cat, arms hooking around Rei's slim waist, his whole head of blond locks digging into Rei's chest. All in all, it was rather uncomfortable for Rei, especially when Tyson had secretly confessed to Rei a fortnight ago about his crush on his best friend.
Rei fumbled around, trying to sit up but Max was proving to be heavier than he thought. The older boy was stuck underneath an unyielding blond who was still digging into his shirt like a starved raccoon, albeit a cute raccoon. "Erm…Maxie…" he started, a blush evident on his face.
Max was in heaven. Never did he once thought that he could finally hold Rei in his arms. He had dreamt of it often enough. Those strong lithe arms wrapping around him, embracing him with warmth and comfort, whispering secrets that only they would share. He had dreamt of it for so long, ever since he had first saw the other boy. For two weeks after his first glimpse of the raven-haired beauty, he had stayed awake in his dorm room dreaming of Rei's eyes, golden as topaz, and filled with the warmth of a summer's day sun. He would then reach up and trail his fingers through Rei's long, raven hair, revealing in the softness and silkiness of the mass of liquid onyx. Then he would whisper endearments to him in a low, soft voice. He could almost imagine Rei blushing, a soft pink that was almost impossible to detect with his tan. Max had dreamt of that as often as the sun rises every morning. Never had he thought it would come true.
Max tightened his hold around the neko-jin, unconscious of how uncomfortable he was making the other feeling. All he knew right now was the warmth radiating from his long-time infatuation, how Rei's hair smelt like peaches and cream and how Rei himself smelt of fresh wild flowers. Rei had never permitted anyone this close before, at least not while he was awake. Max was going to milk it all for what it's worth.
"Erm…Maxie…" Rei began again, praying fervently that Tyson doesn't come in at the wrong moment in this particular position. He really did no fancy dealing with a furious Dragoon-wielding blader. Placing his hands gingerly on Max's shoulders, he slowly pulled himself away from the snuggling blond.
Max pouted as his crush pulled away from him. At least he didn't punch him like the first time Max glomped him. Maybe, Rei was finally warming up to him? The optimistic boy smiled brightly at the thought and searched Rei's face for any sign of approval.
Rei was looking away from him and towards the drawer. His profile highlighted with the moonlight streaming in from a small slit from the curtains. And, here Max stopped and caught his breath. The raven-haired boy appeared to be blushing! Whoah! Max's blue eyes widened gleefully at the sight. So kawaii!
Rei squirmed as he somehow managed to push Max completely off him. There was a moment of silence as Rei continued fidget under Max's unnerving scrutiny. What's wrong with everyone today? Why do they keep staring at me like that? "Ne…Max? Have you seen Drigger?" Golden eyes stared staunchly at the drawer, trying to will Max away from him without being too impolite.
Max's heart burst as he heard the other boy call him, for the first time, by his name. It had always been stupid or idiot or loud-mouth before. Max is a definite improvement. So, does this mean that Rei finally realized his attentions are genuine afterall? Max blushed at the thought. He opened his mouth, "D-D-Drigger's in the C-hall."
Rei blinked slowly. Right. Wherever that is. That meant Drigger is fine right? Judging from Max's gleeful, red face, Drigger should be fine. If not, Max would probably be babbling some explanation, punctuated with many 'sorrys' and ending with a 'don't worry about it now, we'll get it back together, somehow.'
Rei's stomach chose that moment to make itself known. The raven haired boy blushed deep red.
Max giggled, dizzy at the thought that even Rei's stomach growling was cute. "I think we have ten minutes before the dining hall closes. Come eat with me?" Blue eyes batted hopefully into amber ones. Would it be too much to hope for? Rei only ever sat next to his teammates. Even then Rei never really talked unless he had to, until now at least. And he called him by his first name too! Life was good indeed!
He said sure! Rei said sure! He said –
Rei wondered what had happened to the Max he knew. He wasn't usually this giddy, or zoned out. "Um…are you coming Max?"
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Rei decided that this hospital was the most unfriendly and creepy-looking one he had ever been inside. Instead of the white walls like he had in the room he was stuck in, the walls were a drab gray brown, the floors looked and felt like they were made of rough stone, cold and unyielding to Rei's cloth-bound feet. There were no bright lights, luckily the corridor had large ceiling to floor windows allowing moonlight to stream indoors. It appeared as though he was in some archaic castle instead of a hospital. The whole atmosphere seemed unsettling to Rei and he unconsciously folded his arms across his chest, Kai-style, protectively in front of him.
Max seemed to be perfectly at ease, Rei noted with an odd detachment. Doesn't he find this strange? That the biggest city in Russia has no lights in their hospital? Wait, is this place even a hospital?
Max bounced around Rei, unmindful of his crush's musings as he opened the heavy oak door that lead to the dining hall. His mind was going faster than his body could move but the blond was afraid. He didn't want Rei to hate him like he did before. So he kept his mouth shut, instead of chatting to the other as he always did to get Rei's attention.
Rei was greeted a sight that looked similar to a school diner. Long benches and oaken, heavily splintered tables currently occupied by a few groups of teens around his age. A self-serve counter ran along the left wall, the platters and bowls nearly empty. It was odd, Rei finally concluded, that hospitals should be the buildings where hygiene is on the top of the list and yet look at how the food was placed. And, Rei decided finally, there must be power outage, the dining room was lit by candles, creating a cozy, dreamy atmosphere.
"We saved you some food Rei. Or rather Bryan did." A familiar voice came from behind him. Rei's head whipped around quickly, eyes resting on a familiar red-head.
"Y-you…" Eyes widened with astonishment at the Demolition's team captain standing calmly behind him, ice-cold blue eyes glimmered in the candlelight like beacons. Rei's mouth gaped open and whirled his head around to examine his surroundings better. There, in a secluded corner glaring daggers in his direction, sat the pale lavender-haired boy. Unconsciously, Rei's amber eyes slitted at the sight of his enemy, his bit-beast thief.
"Well, aren't you going to thank me? Your generous, kind and handsome team captain?" Tala nonchalantly wrapped his arm around the neko-jin's shoulder. He was one of the few with the privilege of touching the neko-jin without a returning scratch, kick or punch. Being the team captain does have its quirks. Of course, being handsome, kind, generous, benevolent also helped. Besides, flaunting his privileges in front of Max was most amusing. He smirked at the red-faced Max. Jealous already. How cute!
Rei's mind whirled in a kaleidoscope of confusion. Team captain? Captain?
"Y-you're my captain?" Rei stuttered out.
"No. I'm your wife dumbass. And Bryan's your personal pet. Who do you think I am?" Tala smirked, noting in satisfaction the redness on Max's face was turning purple. Max is so easy to tease. "Oh. You think I'm your God! Why thank you Rei! Remember to come to my room tonight to worship me!" The red head cracked up and easily dodged Max's poorly aimed fist.
Amber eyes blinked dazedly into the sight of Tala and Max rough housing like best friends. Of course, why didn't he see the similarity of this building to the abbey? What with all the gloom-doom atmosphere and zombie-like children if can only mean one thing. And since Tala was his captain that meant . . . but he couldn't possibly be a Demolition Boy!
Rei decided that this must be some sort of warped nightmare. A very warped nightmare indeed, since he somehow mixed in a hyper, bottle-of-sunshine Max with a bunch of gloomy, cult followers.
So he did the only thing he could think of.
He sunk blissfully onto the ground, thoughts swirling him into unconsciousness.
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Soft. Like rabbit down. Rei snuggled deeper underneath his thick covers, lazy eyes squinting at his surroundings curiously. He was not a fool. Unlike Tyson who tended to barge headlong, like a boar, into whatever he does, Rei preferred to wait, weighing all pros and cons before deciding his next step.
However, this tactic doesn't seem to quite work under his circumstances. As far as Rei could analyze, he had absolutely no idea what, where, when and how he got to where he was.
The pros to all this was, well, staying in his cozy bed with his fluffy blanket. Perhaps taking a little rest before attempting to break out of whatever he got himself into. Rei wasn't quite sure what he got himself into but if Bryan was here, then it shouldn't be something good.
The cons were, Drigger was still missing…. Drigger, his bit beast and his blade are missing. He was also positive Tala claimed to be his team captain, which simply is impossible. And Drigger was missing.
It suddenly occurred to Rei that his mind was running in circles.
Right. Perhaps the best course of action is to figure out where his blade is being withheld, take back what is rightfully his, make his way out of whatever he got himself into, and find the nearest BBA quarters.
Sounds like a decent plan. Rei snuggled back into his covers, amber eyes peering cautiously towards the doorway, ears straining for any human sounds.
Nothing. Except for the sound of the wind rushing through the trees. Rei strained his ears more. There. A faint scratching sound coming from down the hallway second room to his right. Probably someone was writing something, but that could be easily bypassed.
Sometimes, Rei mused as he ran barefooted past the hallways soundlessly, being a neko-jin had its advantages. Even if they were racially discriminated in the world.
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Rei found the C-hall without trouble. In fact, skulking around was easy. So easy that it felt wrong. Firstly, there were no security cameras. Secondly, there were no busy bodies. Thirdly, there were no guards. Fourthly, there were no artificial lights, only the moon shining in through the windows providing Rei ample shadows to cloak himself. Finally, even more remarkable was the fact that there were signs directing the neko-jin to the C-hall. All in all, it was very confusing that it was so clear.
Didn't Murphy say if everything is right, that means something is going wrong?
Rei examined the C-hall's wall quickly, noting with interest the vast array of medieval weaponry on display. He always have had a huge interest in ancient fighting techniques and he could tell, by the looks of the polished and dangerously sharp points, that these weapons were well taken cared of.
Rounding the corner, the neko-jin finally found this beloved bitbeast.
And that was when it all went wrong, and Murphy proved himself right again.
Rei noted with relief that Drigger looked perfectly intact, judging by the pictogram, but it was no longer a blade. Hell, Drigger wasn't in a chip. The white tiger was stuck in some kind of heavy, jade-colored ball attached to some kind of wooden staff. Like all the other medieval weapons, this too was well polished until it gleamed under the soft moonlight.
"Drigger…" Hesitantly, fearing the worse, Rei reached out and took the staff from its storing place on the wall.
A slight stirring in his mind and soft green glow filled the room. Rei felt relief flooding through like a broken dam. Drigger was intact! Drigger was safe and wasn't dissected into itty-bitty pieces by Voltaire! Take that Bryan!
"Rei…" a soft growl from the back of his mind resounded with familiarity with a tinge of annoyance. "It's two a.m." There was a stifled yawn from the mental link.
"Drigger! What did they do to you!"
"Huh?" The white tiger stifled another mental yawn.
"You're not in a blade!" Rei hissed.
"And why would I be in one? You're more magically inclined afterall. . ." Drigger blinked sleepily and pawed his left ear.
"Huh?" came Rei's intellectual response.
"It's two. Good night. Long day tomorrow."
"DRIGGER!" Rei mentally screamed in frustration.
Drigger rolled over with soft growl. "What's wrong with you today? First you wake me up at the dead of night then you scream your head off. Most unlike you. Did you have too much wine?"
"What!" Rei didn't think he could take any more shocks today. First Tala being buddy-buddy with him, now this! What's with his bitbeast!
"Give me a break Rei! It's two! In the morning! You got a test in the morning! So sleep. Good. Night." Rei felt Drigger fade away from his mental link. Panicking, Rei tried to use his strength to pull Drigger back into his mind but the tiger had managed to put up mental barriers. What was wrong with his bitbeast! What was wrong with everyone! What was wrong with him!
Either this is some really weird dream or maybe he had fallen into some weird universe where everything had gone wrong. The boy chuckled to himself. This sounds way too much like those playstation games Tyson, Max and Chief are addicted to. Or those fantasy novels Rei liked so much.
So of course that wouldn't happen. Right? It's simply logically impossible.
Placing Drigger carefully onto the floor, Rei rubbed his eyes. Maybe, just maybe everything is just a dream and he would wake up any second and laugh at this all. Rubbing harder and pinching himself a dozen times on his own cheek, and after deciding that self-mutilation is not on the top of his favorite things to do list; Rei concluded that this was indeed a reality.
Or maybe just a very realistic dream?
Or maybe some elaborate mind joke Tyson had persuaded Kenny to try on him?
(A/N: Rei is still in denial, which is why he's so calm. He's just been thrown completely out of his world, so of course it takes time for reality to hit him on the kitty-head. On another note, it is already mildly shounen-ai and will stay that way but nothing will be too graphic. Pairings as of yet are undecided. . . I was planning on a someone/Rei but the someone is still unknown. Or maybe I'll just leave Rei be. Suggestions?)