Windstar: Here we are at the end of all things. I hope you all really enjoy this update of The Pulse. This is the last chapter of them all, and so I hope you have enjoyed this segment. I will be posting Lies and Deceit up next week some time, so I hope you all enjoy it when it comes!
A special thanks to all of my reviewers, this isn't my favorite segment by far, but I still liked doing it. I hope you all have enjoyed it!
Disclaimer: same as always!
Every day Damion Fratello walked by the little cottage that used to house the two runaways. Everyday he would be disappointed to see the lights still off and the door locked. Everyday he'd walk to the play house and look at the cast and shake his head. The two weren't back yet.
News of the two disappearing from Italy and the truth about who Luca was soon filled the playhouse. They could hardly believe it. No one said anything for a while, but then life moved on at a slow pace. Fratello found himself being the person everyone went to for news on the kids, but he didn't know anything. They never called him and never spoke to him again.
There was money wired into his account though, for cleaning purposes he'd supposed as he stared at the strange increase of numbers that appeared in his account. He didn't want to know how they managed to get into his account, he didn't particularly care. He soon opened a separate account and started transferring all the money into that account. He wouldn't waste a cent of it. He wouldn't even use one penny of it. It wasn't his in his opinion. He wouldn't accept the offering.
Eventually though, he found that the money just got wired to that new account. He laughed when he'd first seen it, he could hardly believe just how savvy the girl (he'd assumed it was Anna of course based on what she'd told him about what she did) was.
Twice a week he'd go to their home and clean it. He'd vacuum and mop and make sure everything was alright. He memorized the location of everything, and made sure that nothing was out of place whenever he went there. He made sure the server was in working order, though he never dared to turn it on.
Anna had taken all the blue prints with her. Just in case. She'd said, though he didn't understand what the Server was or how important it was, he knew that it was supposed to be a secret.
He sang his prayer each night like he had promised, and as the months faded, he found himself wondering faintly just when he was going to hear word about the teen.
Soon though, he found himself getting more and more depressed as dark nightmares assailed his dreams. He didn't know what was happening, and so his imagination was supporting scenarios for him. It terrified him. He woke up each night it occurred with fear in his heart and he found that he couldn't go to sleep afterwords.
He searched every newspaper and ever magazine that he could, and every once and a while he was gratified to find a picture of Tala in the beyblading articles. Soon the green room of the play house was starting to fill with various articles that were about their redheaded star.
Everyone was praying and wishing him good luck. Before the show each night there was a special tradition that was followed. A tradition that was soon dedicated to their two missing members. It was the least they could do since Fratello had explained loosely (he refused to go into to detail because he knew how sensitive the information was) just how important and dark the teens' job was. Everyone was praying for them.
This tradition though was called "Passing the pulse" and the rules were simple. The entire cast and crew would stand in one huge circle and hold hands with each other. Someone would start at the directors orders, and when you get a squeeze you give a squeeze. Soon the whole circle would be filled with this one pulse that was circling through them.
Every person that was involved would be apart of this heartbeat. They would be apart of this moment. They would have this moment shining through them. Everyone would experience a moment of oneness of beauty and truth. They went through it three times now though, instead of just once.
One time for the cast and for the crew, a pulse that beat within them to provide the unison and the beat that they needed to keep the ensemble together. That was what it had been originally, just one pulse beat that was sent between everyone.
The second time had been added on for Anna, the girl who had charmed everyone and had become the most celebrated Eponine Livorno had ever seen. Everyone prayed for her in that moment, wishing her happiness and wishing her health. Since she was not the celebrity that Tala was, she was not in the newspaper. They could only hope that she would be alright and that she wasn't in any danger.
The third time was for Luca. The redheaded child that with a small smile had melted the hearts of every one of them. He had arrived there broken and depressed, and he had left them with the power and strength that everyone was drawn to. That third time seemed to mean the most to everyone because to them, Luka was their hero. Their champion who was going to wash away the wrong in the world. Fratello himself requested the extra rounds, and everyone had agreed.
The Pulse was sacred, and it was something that everyone needed. When they get a squeeze they gave a squeeze back. It was their priority, and it was their mission.
Tala and Anna would not be forgotten.
He was flipping through various magazines when he came across Kai's picture, and he couldn't believe what he saw. He read the article, his mind taking in everything that he saw.
Blade Breakers Continue Sweep
Heading to Russia for the World Championships!
By Natalia Luciano
After taking the world by storm only a few months ago in China,
The Blade Breakers have once again showed the world what they're
made of by defeating the runner up team for the World Championships in America-
The All Starz!
Comprised of a mostly rookie team that no one's even heard of, this power house combination
is heading to Russia for the World Championships in just four months!
Kai Hiwatari is the team's captain, and some may recall him being
registered as a back up blader to the Russian Champions of the world:
The Demolition Boys.
This silent boy is an enigma in the Beyblading World. With the power
of his amazing Dranzer blade, he's taken the world by storm and everyone's
coming along for the ride. As Team Captain he's responsible for training his teammates
and it seems like he's doing a fine job of it too!
With him on the team, it's going to be one interesting match when the
Championships come up. We're look forward to seeing more great things from this
fiery blader in the future!
Next to the article were several full page pictures taken of Kai from the American Tournament. His blade at the ready, his eyes fierce, was the one that captured Fratello's eyes.
He could have been imagining it, but there in the crowds just passed Kai's left ear was a young blonde girl, her eyes down cast onto her laptop. She looked far too familiar for him to pass it up. If he didn't know any better, he could have sworn it was Anna.
So he took it to the green room and circled it. He posted it on the wall and he smiled. It was the first sign of the girl since she'd disappeared with Tala. As far as they knew, everything was going well.
Damion found himself deciding to embrace all that life had to offer him. He invited Giana Cioffi out for dinner one night, and she agreed. Her husband had died a few years before because of heart failure, and she'd been alone with her kids ever since. It wasn't really a romantic dinner though, and he realized that right away.
To him, Giana was just a very good friend. He didn't mind that it wasn't something more, he didn't particularly care. He just was happy to have some company now that the kids were gone.
The two were walking back home from the restaurant, when they passed by a fully lit cottage that used to be locked and dark to all the world. Damion froze, his eyes staring in shock at the sight. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"Signore? What is it?" Giana asked in confusion as she looked at him.
"That...that's the kids' home." He said as he looked at the cottage. She looked at the lights in the window and the shadow of a young woman as it walked passed a curtain.
"Dios mios!" She whispered under her breath. Suddenly they were running towards the door, Damion flying up the front steps and into the doorway. It was unlocked and he threw it open.
Almost instantly his eyes narrowed in on a small child, no more then four years old with bronze hair and brown eyes who was staring at him with a terrified expression on his face. The man blinked in confusion, and when Giana rushed up to his side, she too couldn't help but stare at the boy. She blinked in dumb awe at the child, not sure what to say.
Then all of a sudden the boy was screaming at the top of his lungs, screaming louder and louder and saying something in a language that neither understood. From out of nowhere a brunette child around the same age as the first boy flew forwards and kicked Damion clear in the shin! The man yelped and reeled back, staring at the little pit bull who was punching at him with tiny fists that wouldn't do any good.
There was the sound of something crashing to the ground, and then hurried footsteps from the kitchen, and suddenly Adeline was there, her hair slightly out of place in her rush to run to see what was the matter. She took one look at the situation though and seemed to understand the problem immediately.
"Adrien no!" She shouted at the brunette who turned to look at her suspiciously, she scooped up the bronze haired child and then ordered Adrien to her side. The brunette frowned but did as he was told, walking towards her and slipping his hand into hers. "I'm so sorry M-Signore Fratello." She apologized as she breathed out an exhausted gasp of air. She was speaking in Italian for their benefit, but she'd still almost slipped up and spoken in French while addressing him she was so flustered.
"Donna Adeline, whatever is going on here?" He asked as he looked at the two boys that were clinging to her.
"I'm a babysitter!" She gasped out as she looked at the two. "This is Kiril and Adrien." She introduced. Then she looked at them and ordered them to say hello in Italian. They repeated it, but it seemed like they only did it grudgingly.
"Who are they exactly?" Giana asked as she looked at the children. She was still at a loss about the whole mess and nothing was getting cleared up at all.
"Kiril is Luka's blood brother, and Adrien was Kiril's roomate at the Abbey. A...a dear friend of Luka's lost his life trying to bring these two to safety...and Kai asked me to look after them for him while things were getting wrapped up. Anna suggested here-"
"Hod on one moment Donna, you said someone lost their life?" The director looked dumbfounded at this point and the girl winced, realizing she probably said too much. As she glanced down Kiril was looking sad about something, but it was Adrien who oddly enough had a blank expression on his face...eyes that showed that he knew so much and yet knew so little at the same time. He was almost a shadow as he stood beside her, fading into nothing. "What on earth is the Abbey?"
"Well my dear, I believe we have some things to explain to you hmm?" Damion said as he looked at the boys still in shock. Now that he knew the relation, it was obvious who Kiril took after. Even if they looked slightly different, it was clear that there was a resemblance.
The little boy struggled to get out of Adeline's hold, and yelled at her in Russian. She stared at him for a moment, and frowned, answering back calmly.
"What'd he say?" He asked in confusion, and she translated.
"He says I'm not allowed to talk about the Abbey." She sighed and placed him on the floor. She told the boys something and pointed to the room that Tala had used as a bedroom, and they grudgingly went into the room and closed the door.
"Well behaved little boys." Giana commented lightly, and the blonde Princess nodded, running a hand through her hair as she breathed out a tired sigh.
So she explained everything she could, leaving out the details that could prove fatal to her friends in Russia, and telling things as they were. The one thing she did explain in detail though, was the ball that everything had started at, for her at least, and for Mikhail too...the young man who had died not too long ago had started his journey at that ball where he'd met the girl he was destined to love but never have.
It was snowing, something that wasn't all that rare considering where they were, but at the same time it was somehow more special then everything else because of the night. It was so beautiful. She was smiling as she danced around her room in her beautiful white ball gown. Her hair was done up all nice and she wore a tiara on her golden locks.
The door opened and her father was standing there with a great smile on his face. She looked at him and grinned brightly, curtseying to him out of respect. He offered her an arm and she took it, a smile planted on her face as she walked out the door with him.
They walked down the hall of the palace like building the ball was taking place in, and when they got to the doors that would lead to the dance floor, he kissed her hair and smiled at her.
"You're a woman tonight." He told her in French. She nodded enthusiastically, then corrected herself and settled for a petite grin. Not too far away Kai was being walked forwards by his grandfather. It would have been ideal if he had a mother to do it for him, but since he didn't, Voltaire had stepped in.
The two men met in the middle and shook hands before walking out of the room and down into the special floor where the guests were waiting. Kai was dressed to kill, and Adeline felt her face blush as she looked at the shiny tux that he was wearing. His long hair was pulled back out of his face and he looked stunning. He walked forwards and placed a flower around her wrist delicately.
"You look beautiful." He told her, his face blushing slightly. He was still slightly awkward around her sometimes, but she found it endearing all the same. Still, he said the words in her native tongue and she wouldn't be bested by that. She'd been studying for a while now to know how to say some words in his own language and though he was perfectly fluent in French, she wanted to share the common ground with him.
"Thank you, you as well." She told him back in flawless Russian. A grin appeared on his face as he offered her his arm. There was a man announcing their names now, and she knew it was time to go.
Together they walked through the doors and the whole room applauded when they saw her and her stunning match. They walked gracefully down the stairs, and she found herself feeling like she was floating on a cloud.
She looked around the room, the boys she'd met at the ISA building were all there, dressed to kill as well. They looked gorgeous, each and every one of them. Nearby was the boy she would later know was named Mikhail. He stood next to Tala and a few other teenagers who had been invited from the Abbey, and though she didn't know it then, he would be responsible for doing so much good in their fight to save the world.
Kai led the debutante down the stairs onto the floor and once they were in the middle he gracefully guided her into the beginning of a waltz position and slowly the music started up. The announcer was talking over everything, and soon the teenagers and the adults were matching up.
Who would have thought any differently, but somehow Tala ended up with Anna on his arm. The two of them dancing not too far away from Kai and Adeline. They were a beautiful couple, and Tala's stunning looks did nothing to stop heads from turning to stare at them as they moved as fluidly across the floor as the stars of the evening were.
"How you all meet?" She asked as she looked at Kai, she was stumbling slightly over the Russian she was trying to speak, but he couldn't help himself and smile. He knew it was probably rude, and she'd probably think he was making fun of her, but he couldn't stop it. She never spoke unless it was perfect and contained no flaws un grammar. Her slipping on the language she was struggling to learn was far too adorable for him.
"We met at the Abbey." He told her simply in her native tongue, knowing she wouldn't know the words if he'd tried his own.
"Anna too?" He shook his head at that, a secret dancing in his eyes.
"No, Anna and that boy met tonight. He would have had no time to meet her outside of the Abbey." There was a warning in his voice, and she picked up on it instantly. He spun her around so she was looking at a dark looking man with purple hair. "His name is Boris Balkov, he's the Director of the Abbey, and no women are allowed to come close to his students. I daresay that this is the first time any of them have even been in the presence of a girl,let alone one as beautiful and graceful as yourself." She blushed deeply, but understood what he was trying to say. Tala and the others weren't supposed to know who Anna was, let alone have a relationship with her.
Not too far away, Tala was grinning like a fool as he danced unabashedly with his brunette angel. He knew the steps to the song because it was what they'd been practicing for for weeks now. Under no circumstances were they allowed to make the Abbey look bad by dancing poorly.
Anna kept glancing around, but her eyes ended up on Boris the most. It was the first time they'd been in each others presence, and he kept staring at them darkly. She looked at her partner worriedly. He didn't seem to notice or to mind as he stared down at her with loving kindness.
"He scares me." She told him softly, and he laughed slightly.
"He scares everyone." He replied, stepping slightly closer to Kai as he continued the waltz.
"Is it okay for you to be dancing with me?" She whispered worriedly.
"Of course it is, I don't even know your name, how could it be wrong?" He reminded her politely.
"Ah...it's Anna Jones." She introduced, feeling foolish for introducing herself to her boyfriend. He laughed.
"A pleasure Miss Jones, and I am Tala Ivanov."
"Ivanov? The son of Ivan hmm?" He grinned, knowing she was trying to make random conversation to avoid feeling foolish. "I'd heard that in 1897 the surnames of those in Russia came from a slight change to the first name of the male. Peter to Petrov, Igor to Egorov...Ivan to Ivanov."
"Actually my father's name is Nikoli," She blushed furiously, she'd known that too! "Though his father could very well have been named Ivan." He told her, smiling as she blushed all the harder.
They danced for a few more songs before stepping off the floor and heading towards the drink table. Tala served her a drink and she took it gratefully. After a few minutes of conversation, Boris appeared out of nowhere and requested his son's presence somewhere so that he could talk to him. Tala bowed like a gentleman to her before disappearing with the man, and she found herself alone in the hall by the punch.
Feeling silly just standing there, but knowing that one of the other Demolition Boys would be willing to dance with her if she asked, she set her glass down and walked towards them determidly. They were off to the side lines and not really getting involved, and a gaggle of girls were nearby trying to figure out who should ask who out first. They really were all fine specimens of the male species. The only problem was Ian...as short as he was it would be complicated to try to dance with him. He didn't really want to get involved either, he just stayed by his brothers and let them get all the attention.
Before she could even make it over there though, Mikhail appeared out of nowhere and asked her to dance. He was blushing like mad and it was clear that it had taken all of his courage to do so. She smiled slightly. She didn't know who he was, and she thought that was better too. At least this way no one could tie her completely to the Demolition Boys.
"Sure." She replied with a slight curtsey to his offered bow. He took her hand and led her back on the dance floor and the two began the dance.
"Who's that dancing with her now?" Adeline asked as she watched the two. Kai glanced over, he hadn't been paying attention really, he'd been staring at his partner. His eyebrow raised slightly when he saw the other.
"I...think his name's Mikhail. He was a foster brother of mine when I was a child." Kai explained as he watched the two.
"Ah, when my parents died he came to the Abbey with us so maybe he could still be considered my brother. I don't know where the other kids went though." He added with a shrug.
They eased a little closer to the couple to eavesdrop more then anything else. Adeline had giggled when she caught onto her partner's over protective nature towards his friends. Although they soon realized that it was completely harmless and that Mikhail was acting like quite the gentleman towards the girl. Anna seemed to be having an excellent time with him as well, and the two were laughing and talking like old friends in no time.
"So you moved here from America?" He asked her as he spun her around. She nodded.
"Yeah, several years ago. Mr. Hiwatari looked after me for a little bit before I was adopted." She said as she motioned towards the man who was talking shop with Adeline's father. Business men never did know when to have fun.
"What's it like there?"
"Where? In America?" She asked, stunned.
"Yeah, is it nice there?"
"I don't know if you could call it nice." She rolled her eyes. "In all honesty I like it here better, but my opinion's not the best one. I didn't get along with my parents very well and so when I ended up here and got adopted- my outlook on the world around me changed." Mikhail seemed to be drawn in by her words.
"You...didn't have a good relationship with them?" He asked softly as he stared at the girl he was holding close.
"No, not really. In fact, I'm only here because they abandoned me." She shrugged. "It used to bother me a lot, but now that I have a family that loves me, I don't think about it much."
Mikhail seemed so entranced by her words. He listened to her and asked her stunned questions that made her think about and answer. Everything she said was imprinted into his memory. He downloaded it all for review later. He listened and he kept on listening.
"My parents abandoned me too..." He whispered as he looked at her. "I was found on the streets by a kind woman who later adopted me."
"Similar situation, Mr. Hiwatari introduced me to my father." She said as she listened closely.
"I'm Kai's brother you know." He announced suddenly, blushing slightly. She blinked, she hadn't been expecting that.
"Are you now?" She asked as she looked to the silver and blue haired boy who was dancing a little too close to them. She glared at him when he took a step that constituted as crowding and he grinned, getting the point and started to dance away.
"Yeah, I was adopted by his parents." He informed, not noticing the exchange at all. Then he paused. "It's my fault they're dead..." He whispered. She snapped her eyes up to him. They'd stopped moving and he'd stayed silent there, standing still as he seemed to be entranced in memories of the past. Anna placed a hand on his cheek and he looked up at her.
"Let's go talk somewhere." She invited, and he'd nodded.
Adeline didn't know what the two had talked about, and she'd said as much to the two she was telling the story to. She didn't know at all. Occasionally Kai would pass by the stairwell the two had hidden in so they could speak, and he'd make sure that they were alright. Once he'd said that Mikhail was actually crying and that Anna was holding him gently.
By the time Tala had returned to the party he was rather confused as to where his partner had vanished too. Kai passed along a message through the game of telephone that Anna was talking to Mikhail and that they needed to be left alone for a while. He'd nodded and went to get something to drink, not really concerned with it at all.
A few moments later he walked into the stairwell as well, interrupting the chat for only a few brief moments. Adeline could remember just seeing Tala handing two drinks of punch to the two teens and smiling slightly to them before disappearing out the door.
"Should he really be doing that? Won't that boy expect that Tala knows that girl?" She asked as she looked at Kai. Kai shook his head though.
"Mikhail's one of us even if he doesn't want to admit it. He won't tell Boris anything regardless of what the content is. Besides, Mikhail loves Tala like a brother, he's not going to say something to Boris that'll put him in harms way."
Towards the end of the ball Mikhail and Anna appeared again, and Anna slipped from her new found friend's side and went to dance the rest of the night with Tala who not once asked about what they'd said to each other. She wouldn't tell him anyway. Whatever it was was their business and it wasn't for him to know if Mikhail didn't want to tell him.
"Mikhail gave his life up and brought Kiril and Adrien out of the Abbey. He was trying to bring Luka's mother with him, but he wasn't able to and he went on ahead with the boys." She said at long last. She sighed and placed a hand on her forehead. "I was having dinner with Voltaire, Kai's grandfather, when I heard..." She bit her lip. "He never saw Anna again. He never got a chance to see her before she'd left for America with Kai.." There was more...so much more, but there was one little boy back there who wouldn't be able to handle hearing anything else about that man. They'd been very close, and his death was still hard on him.
"She was with Kai in America?" Damion asked as he caught onto that detail.
"Yes, she went with him as his intel officer, and they thought it would be safer for her to be away from Russia for as long as possible." She bit her lip, a tear rolling down her cheek. "It's four months...four months until the World Championships. Four months and he would have been free." She cried bitterly and Giana felt terribly out of place as she watched the sad tears as they rolled down the pretty blonde's face. The man moved forwards and placed an arm around her shoulders.
"You took the boys here because you thought they'd be safe?" He asked softly, and she nodded, looking up at him. "Well I'll be dammed if I let anything happen to those boys that that brave young man gave his life protecting. I'll help you."
And he did.
For four months the man came to Anna and Luka's house and slowly started to help adapt the toddler children to their new environment. He struggled to learn some Russian so he could communicate better with the children. He brought them to the play house and everyone lavished them and spoiled them rotten with everything.
They were the apples of the actors' eyes. They were like little mini mes of their friends long gone. It was refreshing to see them. Kiril took after his brother and when he started to pick up on the language it was obvious that the two were related. They talked the same and acted the same and had the same manner of behaving. Adrien was everyone's cuddle bug. People would pick him up and cuddle him senseless and the little boy would hug their necks and be content and happy for it.
He was a tiger when people messed with Kiril though. The so called Prince's guard dog he wouldn't let anyone near him who he didn't approve of. Even if he was tiny, he was most certainly going to be a pit bull when he got older.
Soon he earned the nickname of Gavroche due to the part in Les Miserables where the character of that name sang about little people:
And little people know
When little people fight
We may look easy pickings
But we've got some bite
So never kick a dog
Because he's just a pup
We'll fight like twenty armies
And we won't give up
So you'd better run for cover
When the pup grows up!
It was easy enough to see the boy was going to have some bite to him when he got older, and Kiril knew it too. Sometimes people would see him purposefully throw a fit so Adrien would come to the rescue.
Time passed at the play house, and everyone was waiting anxiously as news about the Blade Breakers arriving in Moskva started to circulate. Then one evening Adeline arrived at Fratello's home looking frantic.
"Signore could you please look after the boys I need to go to Russia!" She said holding each boy in her arms. He nodded and told her it was no problem, and before he could ask what for she was gone.
Only a day or so later she arrived with another child from the Abbey. A brunette eleven year old boy named Alessander who was quiet and withdrawn. Unlike the toddlers who didn't seem to have been affected by the Abbey yet, this boy most certainly was. He kept looking at everyone like they were beneath him and he seemed to hold them all in contempt.
At the same time though he was easily afraid and he was more skittish then he felt like he should be. Fratello discovered soon after their arrival that this boy had been slated for death and that the ISA had swooped in and saved him. Adeline had flown back to Russia to get him and bring him back to Italy where he could be safe. When he'd first walked through the door though, he'd stared at Kiril and reeled back in shock and horror.
"That's Kiril! That's Prince Kiril! You've kidnapped the Prince!" He accused as he pointed at the child. The toddler hopped to his feet, recognizing the title and the language as his own and instantly being drawn into the conversation. By now Fratello had been able to pick up on much of the language as well and looked at Adeline in confusion.
"Prince?" He asked in awe.
"If Boris takes over the world, Kiril will be seated as the heir to the throne and be the Prince of the World." She informed as she frowned at the boy who was staring at the child like he was a pay day.
"If I tell Boris where he is, I'll be able to go back!" He said as he looked around frantically for a phone. Adeline caught him though and forced him to be still.
"Listen here you little fool! You will be doing no such thing. I will tie you up if I have to for the rest of the week to stop you from doing so if I have to!" She said forcefully.
"I can go back! I'll be fine! No need to bother you lady!" He hissed. She glared at him.
"You do understand that if you go back there, with that boy or not, you will still be killed? It's only a matter of time. Now sit down and help them with their puzzel!" She ordered as she pointed to where the toddlers and Fratello had been working on a five hundred piece puzzel.
Properly chastised the boy growled but did plop down next to them.
They watched the tournament every night. They didn't miss one minute of it. They watched as Kai switched teams for a time. They watched as the bitbeasts of the world were collected. They watched as Kai switched back. All the while there were no conversations, no information, nothing.
They watched as Kai lost rather pathetically to Spencer. They watched as Bryan beat the crap out of Rei. They then watched as Rei made a recovery and defeated Bryan for all he was worth. Then they watched Tala.
Calm impassive Tala who so calmly just let Tyson destroy him. He barely batted an eye, he just moved on as though everything was under control. They watched as the second match seemed unnecessarily drawn out until it finally came to a climatic end where Tala released every bitbeast that he had collected and allowed them all to return to their proper owners by Tyson knocking his blade down.
They celebrated and cheered excitedly at the thought of how Boris was overthrown. Almost instantly news reports came flooding in on how Boris was arrested at the Tournament. Reporters were everywhere, trying to figure out what was going on and why he was arrested. Anna got a cameo as she brushed passed the reporters on her way to a van. When of course, someone caught the terrifying scene that shock the people of Livorno Italy to the core.
Kai stepped out of the building, his hair whipping out around him. For the first time in a long while he looked truly peaceful. Damion found himself smiling slightly at the sight. He looked totally at ease with the world. Like a great load had been lifted off his shoulders. Tyson ran up behind him, his face plastered with that annoying smile of his, his hands swinging wildly. Kai allowed the hug that was coming, he knew he couldn't avoid it anyway.
"Happy...he looks happy." Adeline murmured with a smile as she looked at the news reporter's secret find as the camera was fixed on the team.
Kai had glanced back at the Bladebreakers. They were going to head back to the hotel; that was all that was left. After that the award ceremony…but with the police heading over to arrest Boris at that particular moment he doubted the ceremony would take place for a few days. He couldn't help but let the mask fade just enough to let out a pleasant smile. Everything had worked out perfectly.
Suddenly there was snow falling directly above Kai's head, and the teen looked up at it. The reporter said something but no one really was paying attention, all eyes were on the gorgeous enigma who was standing there getting snowed upon. There wasn't any snow anywhere else, just…above him. He frowned and stepped to the left. The snow hesitated, but then followed him. He glanced up, but there was nothing there. Just…snow. He looked back at his teammates. They looked equally perplexed, but then and he laughed slightly, ignoring the stunned looks on the new champions' faces. He looked around, and caught sight of the boy who was clearly responsible.
"Luka!" Damion announced when he saw the teen standing across the street from his brother. He looked fantastic. Red hair was tied back into a ponytail at the base of his neck; and a long white coat was over a dark blue shirt and jeans. He was smiling, care free and ecstatic, and Kai looked up at the snow that was above him. He laughed. He couldn't help himself. Across the street was a boy who had finally earned his freedom after a lifetime of imprisonment. Above him was snow that was impossible and yet magical at the same time, and behind him were four stunned boys who couldn't believe what they were seeing.
Kai was actually laughing and the red head was laughing too. He was giggling with delight, and above him was snow as well. Donned in those clothes that were brand new and a smile that could go on for miles, the other boy spun in a circle, glee echoing off every part of his body.
"What's going on?" The reporter asked, but before the cameraman could answer the newly dubbed champion was shouting across the street.
"How does it feel, Luka?" Kai called over, taking a step towards the street. His teammates watched in confusion as the snow followed him. They still couldn't understand it. The red head looked up, blue eyes shining with love and a light that could not be diminished.
"It feels-" Screeching tires cut the scene abruptly. The snow stopped; the blade that had been dancing in the middle of the street – completely run over. Horror crossed the boys' faces. The red head looked at the car that was going straight towards him. He didn't have time to get out of the way, the pedal was pressed down.
"Oh dear God!" The reporter screamed. Damion felt his heart stopping in his chest as he stared in horror at the scene that was playing out before him. Adeline just managed to grab the two toddlers and thrust their faces away from the screen, but nothing could stop the sound.
"LUKA!" The boy just managed to meet Kai's gaze before the car prepared itself to impact itself with the teenager who had been dancing with joy not two minutes ago.
Everything happened very quickly. Luka, jumped higher then a normal person would even think about jumping, and landed gracefully on the roof of the car that had so purposefully attempted to crush him. He winced as a bullet shot up through the roof and nearly took off his foot. Rolling to the side he fell from the car and quickly attempted to scuttle across the street to some form of safety in the Arena (or with Kai, either one would work).
The reporter was screaming, trying to figure out what was going on as the cameraman struggled to keep up with everything that was happening. In Italy all of the actors and actresses were staring horrified at the television. They were all staring at the set, praying that everything would be alright.
He didn't make it across the street though, the car slammed backwards and he had to twirl to the side to avoid another attempted collision. Adrenaline seeped into his blood and he turned and ran. Behind him the car followed, eager to kill its victim, and ignorant to the fact that a very pissed off teen was in close pursuit.
"Dear God what's happening?" Damion whispered under his breath. He tried to keep Alessander from watching the sight, but he didn't get very far because the eleven year old shoved him out of the way to see.
"Sacré bleu..." Adeline looked like she was going to hyperventilate.
Kai was running as fast as he could, the cameraman struggling to keep up. Luka was dissapearing in front of them. He shot forward though, forcing himself to run faster. He was almost out of sight of the camera when a car pulled up beside him. He stared at it for a moment before throwing open the door and climbing inside the drivers seat. Then they were gone and the camera lost all sight of them.
"I don't know what's going on here but did you get all that?" The reporter asked as she looked back at the camera.
The people of Livorno Italy were screaming at the lady to get her act together and follow the shooter that was chasing after the frantic sixteen year old, but there was no such luck.
For hours they kept the television on. It took Adeline ages to get the toddlers to bed, and she didn't even try on Alessander. There would be no way to keep that boy down. With promises that she'd wake them if something came up, she forced the boys to sleep and went back to the living room where Alessander and Fratello were staring at the set.
A reporter was now in the hospital announcing news on the shooting.
"Just fifteen minutes ago, the young redhead that was shot at outside of the beyblading arena was taken inside of this hospital. Reports now say that the sixteen year old victim was in fact Tala Ivanov. The former world champion is said to be in critical condition, and arrived here by the help of his team and the captain of the current world champions, Kai Hiwatari. No more information is known at this time, though family and friends are awaiting news of the blader's health anxiously. All the beyblading champion teams of the world seem to have gathered in the waiting room to await any news that may follow."
Fratello looked up at Adeline with worried eyes as she bit her lip. "Did you get through to Kai?" He asked as he looked at her. She shook her head.
"I didn't expect there to be, if he's been chasing after gunmen and the like I doubt he had time to answer his cell phone." She told him quietly. Alessander was staring at the screen like it's word was gospel. "Xander, I think you should you should go to bed." She repeated again, but he shook his head, ignoring the nickname and staring onwards.
So the wait went on. They stayed vigil around the television and waited, watching the screen in hopes of getting any news. It was terribly late at night when finally a call came into their home. By this point, most of the actors and actresses had congrugated at the runaways' home to wait with them, and everyone looked up anxiously when the call came.
Adeline answered the phone quickly, and breathlessly she called out Kai's name.
"What's going on? Is Luka alright?" She asked worriedly. "The news-"
"I know Adel, I know. He's fine. He lost a bit of blood but that's what I'm here for right?" He snickered slightly and she scowled.
"That's not funny Sacha!" She used his birth name to purposefully annoy him, she was furious enough as it was that he was making jokes while she was so worried. Although her words seemed to relax the audience who were waiting anxiously for news. If Kai was making jokes then things weren't as bad as they seemed.
"I'm sorry Adel," He told her gently. "He was shot in the back, and he ended up getting half drowned in Moskva Lake, but other then that, he's doing fine. He woke up and started making jokes just a little while ago." He sounded exhausted. "I heard there was a news footage of what happened and I figured you'd be worried. How are the boys?" He asked as he remembered the children must have been watching too.
"Everyone's fine, I put the little ones to sleep, Xander's being stubborn." She continued as she glanced at the boy who frowned. He held up his hand, he wanted to talk to Kai too. All the while she'd been speaking in Italian for the benefit of the people in the room, and Kai had been knowledgeable enough to answer in kind.
"Are there a lot of people there?" He asked softly, his voice now sounding completely spent. She could imagine him leaning against the wall of the hospital with a cup of coffee in his hand. In the background she heard Anna's voice saying something to him.
"Yes, the whole cast and crew."
"Didn't know that many people could fit into that tiny house." He mumbled. She cracked a grin.
"We're kind of on top of each other."
"Kai!" She'd never heard him say something like that ot her before and he apologized quickly enough.
"Sorry! I'm tired!" He whined before shaking his head. "Put me on speaker phone there's a girl here who's nagging me to say a few words." She nodded and took the phone away from her ear and pressed the speaker button. Everyone in the room fell silent as she held it out for all to hear.
"You're on speaker phone." She announced, and then Anna's voice filled the room.
"Hey everyone." The girl said briefly, and almost instantly there was a clamor as everyone reacted to her voice.
"Anna! Is that you?" Everyone was so excited to finally here some news from the source that they called out random questions she couldn't possibly keep up with as they fought to hear her talk.
"Yeah, me too..." A tired voice spoke up, it sounded completely lethargic and weak, but it was no doubt Luka's.
"The dipshit gets shot and laid out in the hospital and the first thing he decides to do is make a phone call to Italy." A snarky voice came from somewhere in the hospital room. It was said in Italian so it was obviously meant for them all to hear, and they blinked, trying not to laugh as Tala whined back.
"Hey, it was not the first thing I decided to do. If I remember correctly, I yelled at a few idiots first."
Damion looked up at Adeline who was struggling not to laugh.
"Who was that?" He asked politely, and before she could answer the person introduced himself.
"Nice to meet you good Signore, I am Tala's bestest friend in the whole wide world-"
"You're a conceited ass that's what you are." Tala muttered he coughed slightly and then was a crash.
"Bryan! You're going to get us all thrown out knock it off!" Another voice shouted and there seemed to be some kind of rukus going on.
"Jesus Christ-" This was now obviously Anna who was shouting at them all in Russian because she honestly didn't want her Italian friends to pick up on what was being said. Alessander though laughed extremely hard and Adeline looked like she was about to pass out she was blushing so deep. Fratello who could pick up on a few of the words she was saying stared at the phone bug eyed. He couldn't believe those words had left her face. There was silence on their end, and then Anna continued on in the neutral language everyone knew. "Now, introduce yourselves politely." She ordered.
"Good evening Signores and Signorinas-" This was Bryan again, and once more something seemed to be the problem.
"They're not children Bryan!" Anna hissed, referring to the young title he'd used for the women.
"I know that, but all ladies are beautiful young women at heart despite with their physical age may be, how can I dare call them Signoras when I know they truly they are budding beauties at the prime of their youth in reality?" Someone was laughing and all the women in Italy were blushing furiously at the charming words.
"Such a shmoozer Bryan." Tala murmured with a laugh, his voice still quiet but it was obvious that he was making an effort for their benefit.
"Ah, I am but a common man embrassing the truth all men should follow, women are to be treasured-"
"You had no problem knocking me flat on my back two years ago when I cut in line at the cafeteria..." Anna muttered, her voice quiet and accusitory.
"Well Anna, I don't know how to tell you this, but you're not exactly a woman-" There was a crash and a yelp. "You're claimed!" The boy continued as he apparently out maneuvered whatever was going on in the room. "Tal' would kill me if I tried to flirt with you. You're kind of one of us anyway."
"One of what?!"She shouted, clearly not amused. Suddenly a much older adult voice cut in, speaking in Russian, and several voices said the same thing in unison. Alessander bravely translated for them. The nurse was warning them that they were disturbing her patient's rest, and they had all replied that they were very sorry and that they would be quiet from there on out.
"My name is Spencer." Someone continued, ignoring Bryan who was oddly quiet for some reason.
"And I'm Ian!" The last person introduced. Kai finally spoke up.
"Now that we've sufficiently made my phone bill go up to over a hundred dollars this month, can we get on with this show, I'm sure the good people of Livorno don't want to here you all bickering."
"Right, well, I originally wanted to talk to you all and say that we're sorry for making you all worry like that and that we're fine, all of us." Anna started, but was once again cut off before she could continue.
"Nah, you wanted us to meet your friends too right Anya?"
"Bryan, knock it off would you, I'd like to get to sleep sometime this month." Tala growled lowly, and instantly the boy was silent. He continued on since Bryan seemed to listen to him better then Anna. "Sorry about if things seemed hectic on the news, it's worse then it sounds everybody, I'm actually fine."
"We all saw you nearly get hit by a car Luca!" Giana stated as she got closer to the phone.
"Yeah, sorry you had to see that. It wasn't my best moment to be sure." He sighed heavily. "If it makes you feel better the people who did it are all in jail or something like that. Some ISA people came and took care of them I don't know what happened really." Damion frowned. Everyone in that room could be counted as an ISA person...any one of them could have taken the matter into their own hands and the teen was just covering up for it expertly.
The bedroom door opened down the hall, and Adeline looked up to see a bleary eyed Kiril standing there rubbing the sleep from his brown eyes. He was walking forwards, mumbling something in Russian. Alessander jumped up and moved to him, answering the boy and going to move him back into the room. Oddly helpful considering how he had been acting the past few days.
"Kiril?" Tala's voice instantly took on the accented quality it did whenever he spoke his native tongue. The little boy blinked and looked around in confusion.
"It's alright Xander let him come over, he's awake already." Adeline told him, and the brunette nodded and helped the child over to the phone.
"Luka?" He asked in confusion as he looked about the room.
The teen started speaking in Russian now. He knew, just as everyone else in that room did, that Kiril understood very little Italian and he wouldn't be too receptive to being prattled on in a language he didn't understand yet.
"Hey buddy." He said softly, and Adeline took the phone off speaker mode and pressed it to Kiril's ear, giving him the privacy he deserved. Even if only Alessander and herself would understand every word spoken, it wasn't right to eavesdrop on the teen's conversation.
She did here the child's sleepy words as he rubbed his eyes and talked back, still trying to understand how the phone worked. He didn't seem to get it, but he accepted that it worked all the same.
"When can I go home Luka?" He asked wearily in his native tongue. He yawned and scratched his hear slightly as he listened. "Can I see mama then?" There was a long pause and the boy frowned slightly. "Why not?" He yawned again. "What about after that...can I see mama after that?" Fear started bubbling in Adeline's heart as she raised a hand to her heart.
Kai had told her that situations with Marina Valkov were tenuous at best. If she was dead...would a four year old be able to understand that? Would Kiril be able to accept that? She felt tears forming in her eyes. Even Damion seemed to pick up on the direction the conversation was taking. Alessander bit his lip, looking away. He knew it better then everyone else.
"Xander...Kiril's mother...? She whispered to him in Italian. He looked back.
"She wasn't doing good last I heard...Boris was real mad about something and there were a lot of calls to the infirmary...rumor leaked out saying that his wife was there..." He said biting his lip. "None of us knew he had one, even though we knew Kiril was his kid. We didn't...you know...know." He looked away as the sleepy four year old continued his conversation with his brother.
"Okay...so I see you soon?" He asked as he tried to stay upright. The brunette Russian steadied him, looking down at the child. "Okay...what's that?" He looked up at Adeline. "He says to give the phony to you." He said as he raised it up to her. She took it and she motioned to Xander.
"Put him back to bed before Adrien worries alright?" He nodded and picked up the child.
"Come on little Prince." He said as he carried the boy away.
Tala and Anna both talked to the rest of them for a little while, assuring them all that everything was going to be alright and they'd be there as soon as they could. Everyone accepted that and they hung up the phone.
It took two weeks though, before there was sign of the car driving through Livorno that was heading straight for the cottage where the three Russians and Adeline were staying.
Tala had bandages wrapped around his chest still, but he didn't particularly care. He hid it all under his clothes and when him and his whole team got out of his car, he was met at the door by an excited four year old that flew into his arms.
"Luka, Luka you came back for me!" He shouted out in his native tongue. The redhead held him despite the discomfort with his injury, and he smiled into the boy's hair.
"I told you I would silly." He told the boy gently.
Adeline rushed out and Kai pulled her into his arms, hugging her for all she was worth.
"Thanks for looking after the kids, love." He told her as he held her close.
"Not a problem." She replied, breathing a sigh of relief into his hair. It had been far too long since they'd been together.
Then, there in the doorway was Damion Fratello. He stood there, looking at the redhead with a loving smile, his arms held wide, and despite the fact he was holding Kiril in his arms, despite the fact that he had been shot, the redhead rushed up the stairs and gave the man a hug that just exuded how much he truly cared for him.
"How have you been Jean?" He asked as he looked at the man that had come to mean so much to him and now his family over the past year or so.
"I've been doing well Marius, and how is my lovely Eponine?" He asked, and quickly the girl flew up the stairs to get involved in the group hug as well.
"What about me?! I want some love too!" A voice called out, and Damion looked up to stare at the three new teens who were standing awkwardly behind Kai and Adeline.
"Ah...Signore Fratello, this would be Bryan and my two friends Spencer and Ian." Tala introduced lightly.
"What do you mean by that Luka? Am I not your friend anymore?" The falcon blader asked, looking rather hurt by the whole thing.
"Of course not Bryan, why would you think that?" The redhead asked, rolling his eyes.
For now, the healing was over. Everything was done with. Everyone was where they should be and where they needed to be. Damion, a man from that forth onwards he called Papa Jean Fratello, became a huge part of their family. He became the father to the boys that they'd needed as they got through their lives.
Kiril and Adrien referred to him as "Nonno" or grandfather in Italian. Alessander even called the man his Uncle at times. Those three boys became very close. Xander becoming much of an older brother figure to them as they grew up under the Demolition Boys rule at the F-5 complex that had been built for them.
Adeline and Kai's relationship remained tenuous at best, and even when they were in their mid twenties they still had trouble truly describing it. The two would never loose touch with each other though, and they always admitted a deep and strong love that ran between them.
As for Anna and Tala, well, their relationship was more complicated then even Adeline and Kai's...and that's a story best left for another day.
One thing more they did take from the play house and Italy. Besides the taste of true pizza and the excitement of learning how to swim, and the feelings of a true family, and a home that they could call their own. Besides the love and warmth and healing that Livorno always stood for in their lives. Besides the friends that they'd made and the memories that they'd keep. Besides the Pulse that would run through them uniting them all as one unified family and group. One body and soul that was beating and living for a future that would dawn before them. One last thing they took from it all.
A song, a song that would become the anthem for the Fortune Five-Hundreds and their successors. A son that would be the embodiment of everything those children and their friends and families felt for what had happened in those six long years of working for the ISA in order to bring an end to Balkov Abbey. This song would be their last memory of everything that had happened to them. This song would be their last stand. The official Anthem of the F-5 campus, and the closing words to this tale, this song marched on, passing the pulse forever more into generations of children who would not fall into the darkness of the Abbey anymore.
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!