Title: The Colour of Envy
Authoress: Ladya C. Maxine
Summary: Brooklyn can only watch and desire his obsession from afar, and brood over what he can never have.
Warning: implied yaoi, language
Disclaimer: I do not own Beyblade or any of its characters. Any and all unrecognizable characters belong solely to me and are not to be used by others. I am not making any money off of this and I write with the sole intent to entertain.
A/N: Yeah…well…this one's been plaguing me for weeks now. It's gotten so bad that I decided to just get over and done with. I'm trying to work my way out of my bad writer's block.
Told from Brooklyn's P.O.V.
The Colour Of Envy
by Ladya C. Maxine
What is it about him that keeps pulling me back? Is it his skills? His spirit? His eyes? His arrogance? His confidence? Is it the way he carries himself? The way he talks? The way he can look at a person with the greatest intensity one minute, then total lack of interest the next? Is it his famous background? His family's power and wealth? Is it his mysterious past? Is it because, like me, he once wielded a horror, an abomination, a demon within him?
What is it about Kai Hiwatari that makes me want to actually care?
I don't care much for the other teams. I hardly pay any attention to my team. I would have spent the entire championship lying in the park, actually, if Hitoshi hadn't been on my case all the time. I am grateful now. If it weren't for Hiro, I would have let the whole championship slip by without attending a single match. I would have let the chance to meet him pass by.
A single nod. That's all he gave me when we were formally introduced. I watched him from a distance at first, admittedly piqued by his formidable presence. When in the same arena with him, even Garland and Crusher appeared meek, despite their stature. Hiro beckoned me over and finally supplied me with a name to go along with the stoic face and flaming eyes: Kai Hiwatari.
In turn, Hiro gave the Russian my name. I smiled pleasantly, as I always do, and held out a hand in greeting. He purposefully blew me off with a casual nod that wasn't so much a greeting as an acknowledgement. With a single tip of his head, he made it known that he knew that I existed but that my existence meant nothing to him. A single nod, and then he walked away.
I wasn't offended. I just smiled. An honest smile. Oh yes, my curiosity grew more. No one has ever treated me like that, and, much to my surprise, it was…refreshing. To not have false praise showered upon me. To not have friendship forced onto me. To not have to stand there and smile pleasantly at someone I know is as interested in me as I am in them, which wasn't very much.
No. Kai is like me. At least, me before I met him. He doesn't care to learn more about others. He's so distant…So untouchable.
To a certain extent.
He is, after all, captain of the Bladebreakers; hence, he has an obligation to form something akin to a relation with those under his command. Supposedly, they were the reigning world champions. I had never heard of them until the week before we flew to Japan for the tournament. I never watch the news, or even the television. But, nonetheless, it was, apparently, a well-known fact that Kai's team captain and that under his harsh regime the team had battled its way up the ladder to become the best in the world. Most of the praise and attention fell on Tyson, mainly because the boy has never met a camera or reporter he didn't like.
Kai hates cameras and reporters. He seems to hate people in general.
Just like me.
I never instigated a conversation between us. He never wanted to have anything to do with us. He made it clear on his first day that he only joined team BEGA to get a shot at Tyson, who happened to be his long time rival. We were just a stepping stone for him. He wasn't ashamed to admit it. He shamelessly reminded us about it, in fact. Garland never took to him. Kai was keen to remind Garland that he hated him anyway, so our team captain's feelings were of little value or impact.
Kai openly hated Garland for one specific reason, relating to a specific match between Garland and a specific blader. The tension between Kai and Garland in between matches was near stifling, or so the others complained to Hiro and Boris. Locker room meetings soon became dreaded and everyone sat with rigid backs and uncertain eyes, awaiting a possible blow-out between the two.
The tournament started. The tournament ended. Between those two, a lot happened, I suppose. I didn't attend a lot of the matches and, of course, my final battle with Tyson ridded me of my curse, which is a blessing. But my battles with Kai are the ones that stay fresh in my mind. I can still hear the crowd. I can still feel the adrenaline. I can still smell the sweat, tears and blood, all belonging to him.
In the arena, during a match, Kai had automatically melted into another faceless opponent to me. When we fought, and as I stripped him of everything that made him the enigma he made himself to be, his appeal lessened. Beneath the masks and ice, he was another human. Just another human. The demon within me demanded that I dealt with him no different than I dealt with others. I obeyed willingly. His blading, revered by all those simpletons, was mediocre, at best, compared to my natural skills.
He wasn't worth my interest, was he?
Perhaps not, but he was talented.
I beat him so shamelessly, that first time, waving off his hard work and spirit with a bored hand. I brought the great Kai Hiwatari to his knees. I knocked him off his high pedestal. He's the captain of the leading blading team; a champion in his homeland; an exalted blader; basically a living legend, (in)famous for his ruthless, inescapable strikes.
Until I completely blew him out of the dish, reducing him to nothing but a shell. I broke him. Shattered him into so many pieces it should have been impossible for him to put himself back together. He was breakable, like everyone else.
He wasn't interesting…was he?
Perhaps not, but he was resilient.
A walking contradiction, that's what Garland called him, amongst other thing. So passionate yet so impassive; so strong yet so easily broken; so cold yet so fiery. As the medics carried him away, I watched, wanting to see more of him. I wanted to follow them, to see where they'd take him, to see what he'd do. I tarried, and he slipped away, disappearing into the concrete jungle that is the city of Tokyo.
But only for a few days.
To my secret delight, he returned, having learned nothing from our last battle. Which, of course, only made him more interesting. As we battled, I watched him, so focused on his blade, his beloved Dranzer, that he didn't even care to return my stares. He no longer withheld his emotions; they were all there, in plain view, for me to decipher and absorb.
He interested me.
He tempted me to be interested.
He ensnared me.
Only, he didn't know it.
It gave me a thrill. Me. It was I who could bring Kai Hiwatari to such a irate state of mind. I was the one who could get under his skin and tweak his nerves in a way that made him sneer, curse, glare and, in the end, scream in agony. I was the one who broke his flesh and spilled his blood. I broke through every last one of his defences. I evaded all of his attacks. I used his most powerful attacks against him. I single-handedly deconstructed everything he had built his life and destiny on. I brought him to his knees.
But I couldn't keep him down.
I hit him hard, he'd go down, only to stand back up. I slashed him. Cut him. Burned him. Crushed him. And he still managed to straighten his back and pull back his shoulders and challenged me. He met me straight in the eyes and dared me to kick him down again. I accepted. Several times. He kept getting back up.
What was giving him the strength?
Not the physical strength; not even Crusher, with his physique, would have been able to stand the torture for so long. It was something within Kai that was giving him the power he needed to survive. Something was fuelling him. Something that I kept missing. No matter where I'd hit him; in the chest; in the stomach; in the head, I kept missing.
What was I missing?
It wasn't until after the tables were turned; after he pushed himself to the utmost limit; after Zeus was slammed down into the earth; after the announcer proclaimed Kai the winner; it was only after Kai defeated me that it became clear that the reason why I couldn't defeat him was because I kept missing the one thing that mattered to him the most. The one thing that would have him fight till his very last breath.
His fist raised in victory, a feeling that never reached his face, Kai stared at something in his torn hand. A blade that wasn't his, yet still familiar. He stared at it with glistening eyes and a proud expression. I watched as his lips parted to form one word. It took me a while to understand what it was he had muttered. When I managed, I sunk to my knees, stunned.
A name. He whispered a name.
That name…A person? The cold and distant Kai Hiwatari was driven, motivated, impassioned to mystify, excite and overpower others by…another human? That wasn't like him. That wasn't like me, so it couldn't be like him then. It made no sense.
It made no sense, but I am intelligent enough to piece together the shards that I myself had broken and, once formed, I found myself staring at a whole new picture of Kai.
Kai is a creature who offers himself no faith. On his own, with no one around him, he'd perish through neglect and decay. On his own, he'd have no reason for living. He doesn't care about himself. He doesn't love himself. He doesn't trust himself. He doesn't love others. He doesn't trust others, not even his own team, with whom he has now been reunited and will remain with here in Japan.
There's only one reason why Kai Hiwatari is still living today.
The missing element. The source of Kai blazing hatred for Garland. The need that pushed Kai to continue our second and last battle. The One who had wordlessly urged him to win back his honour. The One who he had returned to after I drove him out of the ring of blading champions. The One who, just by living, ensures that in Kai's life there will never be room for another, such as myself.
And watching them now, standing down there in the stadium parking lot along with the other two members of their former team, waiting for the bus that will bring those going back home to the airport, I know not who to hate more: Myself, for allowing my arrogance to stir such a bitter bond between us; Kai, for refusing to grant me a second chance; or The One, just for being the most important, the only person, in Kai's life.
Tyson healed me when he banished the darkness that had haunted me since my early years as a lonely and misunderstood child, but this new shadow in me is unlike any I have ever felt before.
I am the one people envy. I am the one who is so perfectly flawless, as a blader and as a human. I am the one that others look up to in awe, marvelling at my unworldly powers. I never respond to the crowds that chant my name during my battles, but I am well aware of how, in their eyes, I am truly the King of the Blade.
I had everything and wanted nothing, except perhaps to be allowed to enjoy the peacefulness of nature. I am Brooklyn, the blading world's poster child of perfection. I had nothing to be jealous of.
Until I did not get what I wanted. Until I realized that I never will get him…
"Mystel," I respond solemnly, not looking away from the scene outside.
Hanging from a ceiling beam, my light-footed team mate flips and lands softly before hopping over, as childlike as always. He looks up at me, frowns at my pensive expression and follows my stare outside.
"Don't worry," he says when he thinks that he sees the problem. "You guys had an awesome battle, even if he did beat you in the end. You're stronger now."
"Duh!" He slaps me on the shoulder. "There's always next year."
"Yeah. We'll use the time to make our team better, stronger and smarter than it already is. We'll train really hard and become unstoppable."
"I do not need to train," I remind stubbornly.
"Doesn't matter. This time next year, we'll be the new world champs. So cheer up, Brook!"
Little, optimistic, disillusioned Mystel. Another slap, this time in parting, and he runs off, no doubt to spread his new philosophy with the others. I suspect we'll be subjected to his enthusiasm all the way home tomorrow, and for the next year.
Next year…We won't return until next year, for the next World Championships. Our flight leaves tomorrow and it will carry us away from Japan, back across the seas, where we'll resume "normal" lives. Chances are we won't see any of the other teams for the entire year. Chances are I won't see him for the entire year…
The bus pulls up, honking its horn as if proud to be late. Those who are leaving quickly say their last goodbyes to those who aren't. Cries and promises and swapped phone numbers and tacky cards; it's a lot more dramatic than it really is.
I, however, can only stare at the two bladers standing away from the others, obscured from the crowd by the shadows of the walls and pillars but almost right below me where I stand, oblivious to my presence. They have left their taller team mates, who have already boarded; apparently, none of them are particularly emotional concerning things like farewells.
Except Kai and…
I watch, my arms folded and hands fisted, as they exchange words not meant for any other ears but theirs. I watch, eyes narrow and lips tight, as Kai pulls him into a tight hug meant for no one else . I watch, my heart constricting and my throat dry, as they share a kiss too tender for Russia's two most fearsome bladers. Only when they pull apart do I regain control of my body and thoughts, though the meaningful looks they share drives the proverbial stake into my heart.
Kai is not like me. Kai does not like me. Because he already has someone who is his everything. Someone who he loves.
Wordlessly, Kai watches as the other boards the bus. His hands buried in his pockets, his red eyes never leave the other's back until he disappears towards the back of the bus to where the other two have undoubtedly saved him a seat. I watch, emotionally drained, as the great Kai Hiwatari allows himself a deep sigh.
The bus pulls away and soon turns onto the main road.
Looking down, I find myself staring into bright red eyes. I blink slowly. Kai studies me for a moment, closely and accusingly. I let something slip in my calm countenance and the red eyes narrow.
"Not a chance, Kingston," he scowls up to me. "Not a chance."
Not a chance. Of me being with him. Not a chance.
Not when he already has someone.
He "greeted" me with a simple nod of the head.
He left me with a warning in his voice and a loathing in his eyes.
I won't see him for another year.
He won't see his reason for living for another year.
A lot can happen in a year.
This time next year, I will be the one in his arms, with his lips on mine.
This time next year, I will be his reason for living.
All that stands in my way, is a name.
A human, who can easily be broken.
All that stands in my way…is Tala.
A/N: Oooooooh! Angsty ending.
In case you don't know, Kingston is, apparently, Brooklyn's surname. Don't know if it's the official name, but it's the one I've heard and the one I always use (except in "Sinners", where I use Mason).
Read & Review, please.