Darkness clouded his vision, however he could tell that there was nothing to see really. Just a bunch of meaningless faces and objects: memories; nothing really mattered anymore, so what was the point in trying? He waited between living and death, wondering if he would just topple over the edge and fade away into oblivion. He did not know anymore, but it didn't matter since in the back of his mind he knew his eventual fate.
Memories danced across his mind and friends came to the teen's side as if pleading with him to stay with them just a bit longer. In his mind they smiled and laughed and ran around his still body trying to convince him to join in the fun. For once, he really wanted to… the boy who usually liked being alone wanted to share their joy, but it was impossible. There was no way he could fight the cold feeling inside of him for much longer. He was drowning in darkness about to finally run out of air and in the end he could do nothing about it.
If he could have cried he would have. All of those regrets; all the things that he had wanted to get done or put right would never happen. He knew with almost certainty that he would never be able to tell them how much he had appreciated everything they did. The teen had not felt fear in a long time, but he did now. What would be said about him when he was gone? Did any of them really care in the end? He knew it was selfish of him, but it did not stop him from wondering.
He had come close to death several times, from the cold ice to the relentless darkness, but in some ways he thought it was ironic that he will die at the hands of his own element. He had given everything to that last battle and he had given his close friends the courage they needed to finish the fight. This is it then, in the back of his mind there was a voice telling him that he should be satisfied for what he had sacrificed; without any regret about what will happen.
"The problem is that I am selfish and I do regret my victory because I want to live. I still want to be considered immortal, the one who has always slips away from death, but I guess it seems that my time is up." He thought pragmatically.
There was no white light at the end, but there was no darkness either. It was just empty and part of him would have given anything to get away from that approaching feeling of death. It was if his calls and prayers were answered when a warm body pressed up against his own cold skin, wrapping itself around the fragile boy that lay between life and death. The boy was able to manage a smile because of the familiarity of its touch as he felt himself being dragged from Death's talons only seconds later to feel the warmth disappear from around his body, being replaced with a cool breeze.
Finally opening his eyes, Kai saw blurs of orange and red falling outside of what he could tell was a window to the blank room he was in. He could faintly hear someone snoring not too far away, which seemed to increase in volume as his senses returned to him. It was maybe minutes or hours before Kai gained enough awareness back to distinguish the sharper details of the room and smell the light breeze barely coming into the disinfected room. He was still alive and in that moment he was probably the happiest that he had felt in a long time, or he would have been if there was not a foreboding feeling inside of him; like something had been ripped from his soul when he was brought back to life.
Eyes opened slowly to the darkness around him. Kai was still haunted by that nightmare, but the worst part was that it was also a memory of what had happened to him only a few weeks ago. The scars were still visible on his body and he could still feel the emptiness in his soul where one of the most precious things in his life had resided. Turning on his side he looked over to a watch that was attached to an arm hanging out of a sleeping bag; 3:30 am. He groaned rolling onto his side before standing up and silently walking out of the room.
There was no moon to light the outside as he stepped out into the dark, but the stars seemed to be brighter because of it. The cool late autumn wind wrapped itself around him, cooling down his sweat-soaked body, causing him to shiver as he stood barefoot in the garden. His feet felt like they were frozen even after a few minutes, but it was worth it even if it only temporarily got rid of the pain he felt. Finally clearing his head a bit he walked back inside and settled in his sleeping bag for another few hours of disturbed sleep.
"…if anything Kai's getting worse."
"I know boys, but there's nothing I can do for him. He needs our support and that is what you kids can do to help him. I'm sure he would very much appreciate it."
For the second time that day, crimson eyes opened to his surroundings. Light poured in through the windows, but none of it touched the sole figure in the room. The Bladebreakers were talking about him; how he never seemed to be well enough to do anything. Sighing in resignation, the teen sat up in bed, catching the attention of the others in the next room who immediately became quiet.
It had been the same ever since he had come back from the hospital (after they had realised he should never have been at Brooklyn's battle due to his injuries). He watched their worried glances and saddened faces as he refused to do anything with them. It was too late for them to bring him back. He had to go off on his own and the worst part for them was that they knew it.
"Hey Kai I'm glad you're awake. I made breakfast if you're interested." Ray said as he poked his head around the door, his hair looking slightly more violet with the morning rays hitting each strand on the top of his head.
"Sure." Though Kai answered more out of habit than actually being hungry.
Kai sat down at the table where minutes before Tyson, Ray, Max, Kenny and Mr. Dickinson had been talking about him. All but Ray were still sitting there, looking slightly out of place where they were in front of him. He hardly blamed them, after all they were watching their former captain lose the battle that he had fought so hard to overcome and win. His victory against Brooklyn had been a great triumph for beyblade, but he only felt hollow.
"Hey guys!" The horrible silence was broken by the cheerfully high voice of none other than Hilary Tatibana.
Kai's eyes sluggishly shifted towards her as if silently asking why she was so happy. Even the others were giving her similar looks. As she looked around at each of them, retaining her gaze on him, the same smile remained (though looking closely Kai could see it was more forced than when she had entered).
"Have I interrupted something important?" She asked as her eyes shifted to Mr Dickinson, feeling the slight tension in the room that wrapped itself loosely around every one of the occupants.
"No, of course not. We were actually just sitting down to have some breakfast now that Kai's awake."
If Hilary had processed what Mr Dickinson had just insinuated about Kai getting up so late, she did not make a single movement to show that she had registered its strangeness. Instead, she sat down with the rest of the boys at the table as Ray brought over the last of the breakfast plates.
They ate in silence, which in the past would have been wonderful for Kai. The unfortunate reason for the silence was one that made everyone feel uncomfortable, yet no one knew how to say anything without doing even more damage to the teen who had yet to put his eating utensils anywhere near his mouth. Everyone had their eye on him as he stirred the contents of his plate around and around, not really caring about their opinion of the situation.
Closing his eyes in order not to see all the concerned faces he pushed back his chair and walked outside, hiding the guilt and shame with a look of boredom. He slipped on his shoes before stepping outside and quickly breaking into a sprint as he made his way from the dojo; from the pain and the guilt; from the fake smiles and pitying looks. There was nothing that he could do to stop them from worrying about him, because he did not even know how to help himself get better.
After not paying attention to his surroundings for some time he finally looked up. Kai's gasp of shock was almost unheard by himself as he realised where he was.
"Dad hurry up!" A little boy shouted back to his father as he ran into the clearing.
"I thought I just said that I would help you understand the art of patience?"
Kai watched the opaque boy being followed by his similarly see-through father walking behind him. The man's face was slightly blurred, but he was laughing as his son ran over and dragged him to the clearing, holding a beyblade attached to a launcher in his other hand.
"But Dad I am patient!" The boy countered.
The man laughed, "Alright then. Are you ready Kai?"
The image disappeared with the shout of a voice behind him. The corner of Kai's mouth twitched into a smile before answering the voice. "I thought no one would find me here."
"Everyone's very worried about you Kai." Mr Dickinson said between breaths as he walked up behind the boy, "I am especially. I've known you a long time and I have never seen you upset for so long about something."
"Yeah." The answer was barely a whisper and he knew that the old man behind him had not heard, but the next statement was loud enough to hear. "I want to leave."
He felt the grip on his shoulder tighten, "What makes you want to leave?"
"I have nothing to gain by staying here Mr Dickinson. BEGA is gone and each of the Bladebreakers is now a champion. I am no longer needed, sir." He seemed to add at the end as an afterthought.
"Kai how can you say…"
"How can I not?" Kai exclaimed as he turned around to face Mr Dickinson. "I was never supposed to be a champion. I was supposed to collect bit beasts for my grandfather and lose to your team." He turned his head away from the old man in shame, "I was never meant to be a Bladebreaker."
Kai turned his back to Mr Dickinson and walked away, but not before the old man got in the final word, "I'll pay for you to go anywhere you want. Before you argue, I am not doing this because I am guilty or for something in return. I am doing this because I want you to enjoy your life and for you to think of it as a thank you for being there when I needed you."
During this time Kai had stopped. "I would like to go to China."
"I'll tell you when your flight is as soon as I can." As Mr Dickinson watched Kai walk away he smiled, but it did not reach his eyes, wondering if he had really seen the famous Kai Hiwatari beyblade for the last time.
Kai lay in bed unable to get to sleep. He looked over to the window where the moon could just be seen in the corner of the frame. Part of him really hoped that this was not the end, but there was another part that reminded him that he should never have gone this far in the first place.
"I invented the word possible."
He had had too many lucky breaks with everything in life and this was his opportunity to pay the price for getting it so easy. He wanted to start over after all of this and China was a place to start.
The sun was not even above the horizon, but Kai was awake. Having barely had any sleep, Kai finally decided to get up, knowing full well that it was less than likely he would get any more sleep than he had. He sat outside on the porch as the sun rose above the sleeping town and that is where he was when Mr Dickinson finally arrived.
"Are you sure you want to leave?"
Kai looked into Mr Dickinson's eyes before nodding. He just wanted to forget what had happened.
"We are almost ready to take off. If passengers can make their way to their seats as quickly as possible we will be on our way."
Kai was staring out the window of the plane, still wondering if this was the right thing to do… no, that was not the real issue. He knew that leaving his friends without saying goodbye was wrong, but part of him had been afraid they would be able to convince him to stay if he told them. He didn't want to be talked out of this.
"Excuse me, but can you move your bag please?" A feminine voice asked.
Kai's bag had been on the seat next to him, so he guessed that someone was sitting there. A pity. The last thing he needed was to have someone questioning him the whole trip over. He just had to hope this girl was not a crazed fan of him or beyblade.
As he removed his bag from the seat he looked up at the girl's face. He almost dropped the bag as he looked at her face in shock. The girl smiled at his expression as his brain finally caught up with his mouth.