Disclaimer: (And this disclaimer shall ring true for all the chapters of this fic.) I do not own Beyblade; I just can't get over loving it. The works of literature referred to in this story belong to their respective authors.
Author's Notes: I have had this story on my computer for a long, long time and have not had the courage to publish it because I was a little nervous about how it will be received. But everyone to their own tastes and taa dah! Here it is. Anyway, in this story, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is the central thing that leads the narrative along. I played around with the character of the various characters and the dynamics between the characters to write this. I can only hope it works somehow.
All the Beyblade boys are in their late teens and attending one of those prestigious colleges that prepares boys for positions in top universities, though in every institution there will always be the occasional bad boy. ;) Oh and another thing, the educational institutions are only semblances of those in the real world. So sometimes, it doesn't tally with the school levels we go to. Nevertheless, I hope you like it!
Warnings: Multi-chaptered work. Completely, unabashedly AU. Pairings: Tyson x Kai (the main one which will be the fic's central focus), Tala x Bryan, and HEAVILY hinted at Max x Ray.
Chapter 1: Another day, another year in school
Kai Hiwatari strode up to a table at the back which had been immediately vacated by the junior who had been sitting in it when the said young man met the boy's frightened freshman eyes the moment he stepped into the classroom.
A slim red-head languidly sat in the lap of his grey-haired boyfriend, arms around the other guy's neck in the seat beside the one Kai just occupied. He looked at Kai and grinned, aquamarine eyes glinting with certain humor.
"Always the bad boy, aren't you Kai? First day of school and already scaring little boys with those stares of yours," he said voice overly sugar-sweet, with a snicker which was mirrored nicely by Bryan, the guy on whose lap he had made himself comfortable.
"Cut it, Tala. You retained too?" Kai asked, loosening his tie and leaning back in his chair, resting an arm on the backrest.
"Uh-huh," Tala affirmed with a nod, gritting his teeth. "My attendance last year was only a measly 32%. I thought they were joking about the minimum of 75% attendance thing, but it seems they actually kept count. They even barred me from the exams, which I actually studied for."
"You lovebirds just need to turn up for class more instead of fucking around," said Kai with an amused smirk. "It's amazing they let you both keep your dorm rooms. I guess they are too stupid to know what you two do inside either of them."
"Har har har," Tala responded sarcastically. "You are retained because your attendance only chalked up to 24%! At least we have some urgent things to attend to."
"You can't blame me for being bored in classes where I practically know everything," the other young man smugly. The smug look went as fast as it came, however, as he suddenly remembered something. "But this time I can't be retained. My grandfather wants me in the University he picked for me."
"Still that old man's shit licker aren't you?"
Kai whipped his head to the maddeningly grinning red-head and was about to retort furiously with something when a voice came from behind him:
"First day of the semester and already at each other's throats? How we remain good friends I don't know."
"Ray?" all three of them, even Bryan, shouted in unison, turning astonished eyes to the golden-eyed, black-haired pal of theirs. Of all four of them, Ray had the best grades and was the only one who took his studies seriously.
"You're retained too?" Kai could not hold back his astonishment.
Ray clenched his teeth and bared it in annoyance at the reason behind his retainment.
"I was suspended for a year, remember? Principal Boris accused me of bringing a woman into campus!"
"Which you did," Tala pointed out practically.
"She's my cousin! Lee's sister? We're all cousins!" Ray shouted, near hysteria, gesticulating furiously despite all the heads his shouting had made turn.
"People in the past marry cousins all the time," was Tala's dismissive answer.
"Tala, you're not helping and eww, gross," Ray responded. "I shouldn't have agreed to show her around but still, it is not as if there are absolutely no women in this campus. There's the Math teacher and…"
Ray drifted off to a stop when he saw that the three of them were silent and that Tala was feigning concentrated interest at something in the far corner of the fast-filling room. He turned towards Tala's object of interest and started. While he was speaking, apparently a particularly cute blond had streamed in with a bespectacled guy and a couple of other boys (despite their age, let's call them boys).
Tala was quick to notice that Ray's attention had been caught and drawled, "Say...isn't that the kid you couldn't stop talking about since we were in high school? The one who lives down the street from you, whom you see everyday on your way to school, and who sometimes walks home with you, and whose parents invited you over before, and in whose home you slept over once when your parents were not home, leaving you with an aching side because you dared not turn to see him asleep?"
"He is hardly a kid anymore, eh Ray?" Bryan added knowingly.
Ray looked like he was about to have a seizure. He sat rigidly in his chair, looking on as the blond took a seat at the far corner by the window, his bespectacled friend taking the seat behind him. Ray still had not recovered from his shock when the blond took to looking around the classroom and spotted him sitting like a stone statue in his chair. He could barely respond when the blond lifted a hand and subjected it to a vigorous wave.
The blond shot up in his seat and bounded over to where the gang was sitting.
"Hey Ray! I didn't expect to see you here! I thought you'd be—"
Keep it cool. You need to appear friendly and normal, Ray lectured himself inwardly.
"I was suspended for a year for bringing my female cousin into the campus so I am retained," Ray blurted out in one breath. "And hey, Max."
Max was taken aback by Ray's train of hastily spoken words and had to take a while to decipher everything that was being said. In time he laughed heartily.
"Oh man, that's too bad. This school sure has some tough rules huh?" Max remarked looking about the room. "It sure was competitive getting into the school."
"Yeah, and it being an all-boys school, you have to be careful not to be felt up by other boys," Tala added in, grinning when Ray shot him a don't-desecrate-his-innocent-mind look.
"That's expected, but I doubt I am that attractive to other boys," Max replied with a laugh, he seemed to be rather intrigued by the fact that the red-head who was talking to him was sitting in the lap of another burlier looking guy.
Still looking at Ray, and with a certain glint in his eyes, Tala replied, "Oh you never know..."
Perking up, Tala offered his hand, "Oh by the way, I am Tala, this is my boyfriend Bryan, and this here sourpuss, Mr. Anti-Social, is Kai. Don't bother he won't shake your hand."
Kai proved him wrong by firmly shaking the younger boy's hand and even giving it a hard squeeze much to Ray's distress. Max extracted his hand and commented on his grip. Kai only replied with a 'hn'.
"We are so excited to finally meet you," Tala went on, not noticing Kai's little show of strength. "We've heard so much about you from Ray. He likes—"
Ray's eyes widened to comical proportions as he stared at Tala. His head was shaking in small movements so as to not let Max see, his wide, golden eyes beseeching, and he mouthed, "No". Tala could not wipe the evil grin from his face.
"He likes your hair," Tala finished. For all his cruelty at times, and his Ice Queen hissy silent tantrums when he was mad, Tala was not one to cause his friends pain. If Ray loves Max, it was always best that he did it himself. Unless Tala saw that a push was badly needed, he would not intervene. "Been wanting to dye it blond for some time now."
To the company's mild surprise, Max turned and demonstrated how much of a neighborly bond was there between the black-haired older guy and himself by touching the former's dark bangs.
"Don't Ray," he said, stroking a clump of hair falling over the face of the older guy. "I think it looks better black."
With a good-natured laugh, he let go and added, "We can't have two blonds, can we?"
Tala mouthed "two blonds" to Bryan who had to stifle a knowing laugh. Ray saved his glower for later because Max was still examining his hair and commenting on how long it had grown since he last saw it.
"You like long hair, Max?" Tala asked in a very suspicious attempt to be simply friendly.
Max touched his own hair and scrunched up his nose as he answered, "Nah. It would not look as good on me."
"Do you like long hair on your men, Max?" Tala was not going to let it go.
"I don't have any man, if that is what you mean."
The blond's face read no deception and gave no indication that he was being just as cheeky with his answer as Tala was with his question.
God, this boy is green! Tala thought in bemusement.
Ray felt himself breathe out a sigh of relief. Thank goodness for Max's "green-ness". Tala's question was giving away too much.
Just then, their form teacher, a certain Mr. Barthez, stepped into the room and called for order. Max gave Ray a parting smile and wink, which sent Ray's heart dropping out and rolling on the floor, under feet and in between table legs; before bounding back to his seat.
"You can't wait any longer, Ray. You need to teach that kid the ways of us men," Tala said, leaning across Kai's table in a conspiring manner as if to pass top-secret information to Ray. His tone carried with it mock seriousness. "I suggest what, when he have Physical Ed. the next time, jump him in the locker room, confess your love and get kinky on the benches. Kai, Bryan and I will make sure no one goes into the room."
"You would do that," Ray hissed and Kai actually smirked at the image, which one (Bryan and Tala in the locker room, or Ray and Max in the locker room) we couldn't tell for sure.
"Back there!" Barthez's voice boomed across the room. "Quiet! And you misters! Such public displays of intimacies are not allowed in class or anywhere else on college grounds!"
Tala retorted insolently, even as he slid off Bryan's lap and settled in his seat in front of his boyfriend, "But this is not really considered a public space and no one seemed to mind."
A round of titters ran through the room, but died down as Barthez swept a glare about the room. He was about to say something which spelled along the lines of "You are grounded mister" to Tala but was stopped when the classroom door suddenly burst opened and a figure ran in, clutching his bag for dear life and panting.
"Oh, what have we here," Tala drawled, genuinely interested in the latest freshman who had arrived. He had seen no one interesting, besides Max, but this young man was quick to draw his attention. At this point, Kai, who have been near dozing, looked up and started. He looked around to see if anyone saw him start, but saw that everyone was looking at the young man who had just arrived.
What is he doing here? he demanded inwardly.
He frowned and looked harder. Some things had changed but that young man up front, apologizing to Barthez was definitely who he thought it was. The guy's long, midnight blue hair was tied back into low ponytail which hung down his back, longer than it used to be. A shock of bangs covered his forehead and at times, Kai remembered, shielded his forever sincere dark eyes from view. The bluenette had a longer face and a slenderer body, which was, though slender, no longer the body of a boy; a boy he had known from his past. The voice was only just a little deeper than it used to be...
Kai couldn't help remembering the boy. The same, yet so different. When he first met the boy in primary school, the boy had the worse dress sense ever—shorts with the long socks—on top of that he was loud and gregarious, and always somehow getting on Kai's nerves. They fought a lot even though they were in different classes because Kai used to pick on little boys at the playground and that particular boy would have none of it. Small he may be, but Kai remembered he could deliver some really painful punches. The frequent playground fights ended up being ritual friendly playground fights, all the way till they were about twelve and thirteen. Kai's iciness never seemed to get over to the boy and he was always the one to come up to Kai and let him have it when he needed to. Yet, the fights were always the best part of school for Kai, never mind the detention they got, or the cleaning duty. Of course, as the boy grew older, he thankfully shed his dumb shorts and socks for better looking jeans instead. It was some time after Kai just turned fourteen that...
"And then he was gone," Kai told the gang, with his usual nonchalance, at the end of the day's classes as they stuffed things back into their lockers. "Must have transferred to another school or something. I was just surprised to see him in class today that's all."
Ray had been more concerned about more pressing issues. The reading list for Literature class proved to be an immense cause for distress. Just as he was about to say something about it, a collection of voices approached from around the corner and caused them all to turn. Tala turned away first just as the group appeared and rolled his eyes at Ray. Ray only smiled knowingly.
"Have you seen the list of all the new students for this intake?" a heavy Scots-accented voice asked before the person asking came into view.
Their immaculately polished shoes clip-clopped across the floor as they walked, seemingly oblivious to all the commonplace hullabaloo in the corridor. However, people made way for them and they passed with no acknowledgment of such honors bestowed upon them, in crisp uniforms, bearing proudly the crests of their aristocratic families on the front of their blazers.
"I have and I must add, being rather out of my character here, that a certain Tyson Granger looks awfully...attractive," a clipped voice mused. "It is a pity that he created such a bad impression of himself on the first day of school, so I heard."
At the name, Kai looked up and recognized Robert. His family owned the school and he pretty much had access to all school facilities and information. His family was also the one who gave out the scholarships which had allowed Tyson Granger, yes that was the boy, to study in this school.
"He may improve upon further notice, do not give up on him yet," green-haired Oliver remarked with a smile.
Tala and Bryan executed mocking sweeping bows as the group of four passed. As always they ended up being snubbed by the school's resident royalty but still had a good laugh over it because they knew the four—Robert, Johnny, Enrique, and Oliver—were deliberately ignoring them. Their Majesties never had much time for lowly retains and commoners, unless they struck their royal fancies.
"Well, my dear," Tala said, imitating a London Street accent of the Victorian ages as he turned to Bryan. "Isn't Oliver TWIST looking well today?"
Bryan, barely containing his laughter could only respond with, "Yes!"
And the two burst out laughing, stumbling into each other. Ray shook his head in bemusement. When the two were not entwined in each other, they were best friends. That was how they started anyway. Best friends. Ray heaved a heavy sigh. There was still hope for him and Max yet.
Next Chapter: Princes(ses), Birthdays and Trials