Chapter title: Run
Disclaimer: I don't own Beyblade.
Notes: I may have to re-watch Beyblade soon, to reacquaint myself with their characters; I'm trying not to make Ray some pitiful, OOC sack of sorrow, and I can't remember much of Kai at all other than the fact that he didn't talk much. And I really don't know where I'm going with this fic. Please help me, guys.

Ray tried to attract as little attention as possible on his way out of the hotel. He controlled his speed carefully, making sure he wasn't walking fast enough to look suspicious, and kept his gaze firmly focused on the carpet. He didn't need eye contact with anyone, didn't need attention; the way he was dressed made him look out of place as it was. He just wanted to get out and as far away as possible.

Which made no sense at all, as he was already beating himself up about leaving. He shouldn't have walked out. What was he thinking? If there was anybody in the whole world who might've been able to get him out of the mess he'd got himself into, it was Kai. And he'd just flat out rejected his help. He must've been out of his mind.

But then, he was also totally fuming. Yes, Kai had been subtly offering to help, but he really had absolutely no business whatsoever butting into his life. He couldn't just waltz off to another country whenever he felt the need for an indefinite period of time without telling anybody, only to show up again years later and demand that he should be filled in on what's been going on. It wasn't fair. Kai had once been their leader, but not anymore. He had no right to get involved with Ray's life.

When Ray got out of the hotel, he started to run without hesitation. At least that was one good thing about London; there were so many people everywhere that nobody paid any mind to one person who might have been acting a little strangely. Besides, there was nowhere nearby that he could have stolen anything from. He was just in a hurry to get as far away from Kai as he could.

He raced through the streets, glad that he hadn't lost any of his old stamina or speed over the years. He had always been good at running; it was one of his strengths. When he lived in China as a child, he could remember going running all the time whenever he got bored. And there had always been places to go, new places for him to discover.

Except with London it was all the same; a street, a road, some shops, another road, another street… it was really quite tedious. He wanted something different. Even just a patch of grass would be nice; those were rare enough in the city, after all.

Before long, each street he ran through began to look more familiar than the last, and he realised with disappointment and a smidgen of something he couldn't quite place that he was heading towards the apartment he lived in. He didn't like going there, and tried to avoid it whenever he could.

It had potential to be a nice place, really; it wasn't like it was situated somewhere unpleasant. If he could ever find the motivation to do something about the messy and disorganised interior, he might be able to start describing it as 'cosy' rather than 'cramped'. But alas, the motivation simply wasn't there. If he ever did do something to make the place look better, it'd only end up being undone again, or made worse than it had been in the first place. So Ray left everything the way it was unless it was seriously in the way.

He began, as he neared the apartments, to think that maybe he should move out, before he promptly decided that that was a stupid idea. He couldn't afford to move out because he didn't have any money, and no employers would take him on board for the same reason. So he was stuck where he was for the time being.

Besides, where would he go? Even if he did have the money, he couldn't think of anywhere he could move to.

Kai's face appeared in his mind, and he mentally scowled at it. He didn't need nor want Kai's help. True, there had once been a time when he would have jumped at the opportunity to have Kai help him with something, but those days were long gone. Kai could do what he wanted as long as he didn't interfere with Ray's life.

He gradually slowed to a gentle walk, hoping he could think of somewhere to go other than his apartment before he got there. He really didn't want to go there; he knew he'd have nothing to do except maybe tidy the inevitably waiting mess, which would be pointless because it'd only untidy itself again. Maybe he could get some sleep, since he knew he'd probably need to feel well rested later. But he'd never found it very easy to sleep during the day.

By the time he reached his door, he still hadn't come up with any suggestions and so, in defeat, he tried the door handle. Locked, just as he'd left it. That was a good sign; it meant that nobody else was there, so at least he wouldn't have to worry about having an argument as soon as he walked in.

Just in case though, he checked all the rooms before he fixed himself a drink. He didn't want to end up being surprised if someone was there after all.

"Stupid Kai…" he muttered to himself as he raided his cupboards, trying to find a clean glass. "Who does he think he is? Sticking his nose in where it's not wanted. He makes me so mad sometimes."

Then he laughed and shook his head as he filled his glass with tap water. He was still thinking as if Kai had never left, and doing that wouldn't help anything because, he reminded himself, Kai seemed to be different now. He couldn't let his old opinions of him keep slipping into his mind.

But it was difficult. Ray sighed, and took a sip of the water. He'd loved Kai before. Really, properly loved him, with everything he had, and it had broken his heart when he'd left without a word of explanation. He had found himself questioning everything he'd believed in, and was swallowed whole by the regret he felt at having never been strong enough to tell Kai how he felt.

He couldn't allow himself to fall into the same predicament again.

He wouldn't allow it.