Author's Note 1: This story takes place in an alternate universe with a different character as a main protagonist. Though it will mostly appear similar to its mainstream counterpart, there will be a few changes including a somewhat sci-fi feel. Think of it as Ultimate Marvel that only thinkers, not butchers many of the characters with a modernized redux plot (I'm talking to you Bendis! You lucky Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions fixed Deadpool to how he should've been from the start, you bastard!lol).
Author's Note 2: I do not own Sekirei. That honor goes to Sakurako Gokurakuin. I only own Kai and a few other OCs in this story.
Author's Note 3: Italics are for thought or emphasis.
It was a cold afternoon in the city of Tokyo as a nineteen year old dark-skinned young man was busy looking over the results of his cram school final exam posted on the bulletin board. He stood at around 5' 10", wearing a red sweatshirt beneath a black jacket with a high collar. His jeans were black with red seams, pockets, and cuffs at the bottom of each leg. With hands in the pockets of his pants, the male's brown eyes skimmed over the listings as he searched for his identification number. "379201… 379201…" he recited in his mind before he finally found it. He saw that out of the many students, he manage to pass at twenty-ninth place. "Not bad for my second shot," he thought contently. Satisfied with his score, the young man left the board and followed the rest of the crowd out of the school grounds. As he exited the gate, he heard a small ring coming from his pant pocket. Digging into the pocket, he pulled out his red cell phone and took the call. "What's up?" he greeted.
"Yo, Kai! What's going on!" a voice boomed from the other side of the line, the sound being loud enough to cause the young male to pull the device away from his ear to avoid going deaf.
"Damn it, Shiro! Are you trying to make me deaf?" Kai irritably hissed as he moved the device away to the left side of his head, rubbing his now ringing ear.
"My bad. So how'd the test go?" Shiro replied in a normal level.
"It went fine. Managed to pass the thing."
"Ah sweet! About time you finally got to join your boy at Tokyo U. Guess you took my advice and studied, huh?"
"Took your advice and- Man, quit playing!" Kai snorted. "If I toke your advice, not only would I have done worse than I did last year, but I'd be on a street corner as a hobo thanks to that failed get-rich-quick scheme you were cooking up."
Shiro only laughed in response as the dark-skinned male shook his head. "Yeah, yeah. The point is that you finally passed and we need to celebrate. You know where that bar is, right?"
"The one a block away from Hibiya Park?" Kai asked.
"That's the one! Meet me there tonight. We are gonna get wasted, man!"
"Yeah, sure," Kai said with false enthusiasm as he spun his finger around in the air. "Later, man." Kai ended the call and slid his phone back in his pants. The young man continued on to the train station a few blocks away and boarded a light rail train.
For the next twenty minutes, Kai stood in the moving vehicle, muting out the noise within the car as he gazed on the cityscape outside the window. In particular, he focussed on the tall tower in the distance that was the headquarters of a corporate juggernaut called M.B.I. He couldn't help but be impressed by how something that started as a simple company here in the city some twenty years ago grew into an enormous juggernaut that unofficially ran the world. "They own nearly every business sector and virtually the capital itself," Kai thought. "I wouldn't be surprised if some of the conspiracy crap Shiro blabs about are true."
After his ride on the train and a ten minute bus ride, Kai arrived at his apartment complex located in the Taito prefecture. It was a large building about four stories tall with multiple rooms. Taking the stairs, the dark-skinned male climbed to the third floor and walked down the path until he arrived at Room 306. Taking out his room key from his pant pocket, he unlocked the door and entered his apartment. "Home sweet home," he thought out loud.
The inside of his quarters was modestly sized. On the left was a small kitchen consisting of a sink, counter, and refrigerator. His right was a space for his 'living room' which had a television, a couple game systems attached to the device, a cabinet with movies and games, and a couch. "Hey, I'm back," Kai replied as he closed the behind him. However, he heard nothing except the noise from the television set.
"Hey, Izuma. You still here?" he replied as he opened the sliding door across the living room. He entered his bedroom, which was the largest room in the apartment. Resting in the corner to his right was a bookshelf filled with many books (manga, comics, training manuals, and magazines). Beside it was a clothes dresser with a pair of sheathed swords on a display sitting on top. On the far side of the room was his work desk where his computer sat and a large window just above the device. Finally, on the left wall was another sliding door which led to the bathroom.
Kai looked around his room and saw nothing missing, but no one else present. He sighed as he realized he was alone once more. He then noticed a small yellow sticky note attached to his dresser's left side. Curious about the piece of paper, Kai pulled it off the furniture and read it.
"'Hey, Kai,'" the note said. "'The last few days were great, but I couldn't stay any longer. I met a hot guy who works for this company I was trying for and was hired on the spot. He gave me a full-expense paid trip to San Diego in the United States. If you ever visit the California, try looking me up. See ya later, Izuma.'"
Kai scoffed at the message. "Well. At least this time, the girl wrote something before she ditched," he thought. He then checked his dresser, bookshelf, and cabinet in the living room to see if everything was accounted for. "Since nothing was stolen this time around, I guess I should count my blessings." The young man tossed the piece of paper behind him where it bounced off the wall and entered the small garbage bin sitting in the corner.
Having a woman leave him was nothing new to Kai. Whenever he entered a serious relationship, something always happened that caused them to leave. Whether it's because of a job opportunity, argument, or infidelity (on the girlfriend's part), he ended up returning to a bachelor life. For him, it was a case of perpetual bad luck that had haunted him since middle school.
Kai dropped his backpack on the floor and went to his desk. He pulled off his jacket and placed it on the back of the chair before taking a seat. Turning on his computer, the male surfed the web. He sat back and watched a trailer for the upcoming movie "Deadpool 2: T-Ray's Revenge". Watching the preview, the young man said with a small smirk, "That may be the only movie I'd want to see."
Two hours had passed since Kai had returned home. He was now in the kitchen digging in the refrigerator for ingredients to make a sandwich. "I'm sure I had some ham here, too…" he replied as he searched around each compartment before finally finding it hiding in the far back. After fixing his food, Kai returned the items into the refrigerator before taking a seat in the living room.
"Let's see what's on the air," Kai wondered as he grabbed the remote laying next to him and began changing channels. He flipped through the stations, searching for anything of interest. "American tourist's guide to Japan. No… Dog grooming tips. Pass… Law & Order: Osaka. A rerun, so no… Old Mickey Mouse cartoon. Next… Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Love it, but I'm waiting for the new season… MTV Japan… Nu-uh!" Deciding there was nothing on for the time being, the young man decided to leave the television on the local news network as he started eating his sandwich.
Halfway through his snack, Kai's cell phone began to go off. He swallowed the food in his mouth before pulling out the device and taking the call. "What's up?" he said nonchalantly.
"I heard that the results from the exam came today," an older male voice on the phone said.
Kai let out a sigh before replying, "Yeah. That's right, dad."
"So how did you do? Don't tell me you failed a second time."
"Gee, you flatter me with that confidence of yours," the dark-skinned male said in a low sarcastic voice. "Yeah, I got in. Managed to get in the top forty."
"So you've been accepted. Good job, Kai," his father replied congratulated in a satisfied tone. "How high did you score?"
"Got to twenty-ninth place."
"Not bad. Not bad. You know Masaru managed to get rank at 11th on his first try. It's good to see you're taking the initiative, though you could have done better. If you needed help, I would've gave your brother a call."
"Yeah. That would have been swell," Kai muttered flatly, knowing full well that his father would mention him at some point in the conversation. Masaru was Kai's older brother by five years and his family's pride and joy. He was always the prodigy, bringing home many academic achievements. He scored the highest marks during his time at school and was given a full scholarship into Todai University after his high school graduation. The last Kai heard (or rather cared to hear before muting out the misdirected praise) was that he had started a teaching job in the U.S.A.
Though Kai loved and respected his elder sibling and father dearly, he hated the fact how his dad would always compare his accolades with Masaru's. No matter how well he did, his efforts were overshadowed by his brother's, who he felt had set the bar high. "Well, the point is you finally passed," Kai's father said. "That's all that matters."
"Finally passed? It's only been the second time, dad," Kai clarified.
"Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you're doing alright. Since you managed to get through your lessons, I'll add an extra fifty percent to your current allowance. Try not to spend it all in one place."
As Kai's father laughed at his own quip, the young male only released a small groan. "Spend it all in one place? Besides books and rent, what more can I use it for?" "Thanks, dad."
"Alright. Well, I need to get ready for work. You focus on passing those courses. Talk to you later."
"Yeah, later." After hanging up, Kai fell backward with an exacerbated sigh. Sure he had passed his entrance exam and managed to raise his allowance. However, he was once again dumped and his father rubbed his older brother success in his face yet again. "Talk about taking the good with the bad," he muttered as he stared aimlessly at the ceiling.
He wondered what was the point of even trying to enter the university in the first place. True, his chances of getting a high-paying job would increase upon graduation, but that wasn't the point for him. "After all this time, I still don't know what I want to do with my life," he thought. "The old man wants me to follow in my bro's shadow, aiming for standards that are set too high and be another big shot professor. As if that crap would happen. Besides, knowing my chances, I'll only find myself in some low-level position. Like janitor or high school teacher. Just another loser in a big-ass world." The young man sighed as he understood the cruel reality. "Shit, I wonder if I actually have some kind of purpose other than being another guy taking up space? ... Yeah, I doubt it."
It was now dusk in the capital as Kai had got off the bus. After the half hour ride and a quick trek through the park, the young man arrived at the bar. "Well, here I am," Kai said before he stepped inside. It was a rather large place that was packed with numerous patrons. The sounds of cheap, partially intoxicated one-liners and other pieces of small talk filled the air of the establishment. The dark-skinned male managed to pick out a few familiar faces from the crowd of people who went to his cram school. Many were students who passed their classes, merrily celebrating with close friends. Of course, there were a few others sulking alone, hoping their drinks would help them forget their failure. "Poor chumps," Kai thought as he glanced at the unlucky customers.
"Hey!" a familiar voice called out to him from a few feet away. He turned to the direction of the shout and saw a male around his age waving to him from a stool at a table on the right side. He had dark brown hair and wore a light blue jacket with blue jeans and a white t-shirt. Kai let a small smirk as he walked over to the table. "Well look who took his sweet time getting here!" the young man replied with a smile and hearty laugh. "All hail the conquering hero!"
"What's happening, Shiro," he greeted as they shook hands. Shiro was Kai's old comrade from elementary school after he first moved to Japan from the United States about a decade ago. As time had passed, the two had become best friends and were virtually inseparable. Of course, they would always take potshots at one another simply for shits and giggles.
"Nothing much, man." the young male said as he took a swig of his beer. "So you finally made it to the big leagues, huh? How high did you hit?"
"I managed to take the twenty-ninth spot," Kai replied. "Though to be real with you, I didn't think I'd actually make it through that final exam."
"Yeah, I had my doubts too on the first try. But all I needed to do was study hard and long."
"Why do you keep saying that crap!? I know you, Shiro!" Kai replied. "Between hacking into the accounts of businessmen and chatting to your conspiracy buddies on the forums, I'm surprised you even managed to get your ass in the university."
"Hey, I managed to snake in some time to hit the books," Shiro replied defensively. "Though it doesn't hurt to also be a bit of a genius, know what I mean?"
"Genius is a relative term, man," Kai responded as he leaned back in his chair. While he didn't want to admit it, Kai was well aware of Shiro's intelligence and ingenuity. About a couple years ago, Shiro once took an IQ test as a joke. When the results came back a week later, the results listed him with an IQ level of 140 points. However, brilliant as he may be, Shiro's acumen was rivaled by his eccentricity, lechery, and national conspiracy theories.
Picking up on Kai's behavior, Shiro folded his arms. "Alright, Kai. Spill it," the comrade said. Kai rose his brow in confusion as he wondered what his friend was suspicious over. "What's got your underwear in a twist."
Kai gave a short glare toward his friend before blowing a relenting sigh. "Am I that easy to read?" he asked.
"Dude, we've known each other for over ten years. We can read one as easily as a cheap magazine," replied Shiro. "You might be a smartass, but you're only in this mood if something's got you in a tight bind."
"Heh. Guess so. Well for starters, my girl left me for a job, another guy, and a country whose soil I hadn't stepped on for years."
"Izuma pulled the trifecta? Damn!" Shiro responded in surprise. "And I figured she was a keeper. It's been what? Three days since you two hit it off? …Or at least hit it."
"Four," Kai corrected as he held up the number of fingers. "We were together for four days. And no, I haven't done… that."
"Damn. Three more days and you could have made a trope. But hey, at least it lasted more than five hours."
"Shut up," Kai replied as he turned away from Shiro. He then mumbled, "...Besides, the longest was two weeks."
"Oh, well excuse me, Eddie Murphy," Shiro replied as he rested his left arm leisurely on the back of his seat while taking another drink of his beer. Kai only responded with a scowl from the reference. "Anyway, what else happened? A little girl trouble can't be all that's got you down."
"My old man called a while back."
"Oh, I get it," Shiro responded in understanding. "He's still clamoring over Masaru, huh?"
"That's one way of putting it. Don't get me wrong. My dad's a cool man and I'm proud of what my brother's done, but…"
"But when will he get it through his skull that I ain't him? I can never be him! He expects for me to walk in Masaru's footsteps, follow the same path thinking I can, or rather should, do what he did before me. We may be blood, but I'm no carbon copy. Know what I mean?"
"Maybe he just wants you to be a successful guy," Shiro said. "Besides, if it's biting at you so much, why not just tell him?"
"Please. Like dear ol' pops would lend me an ear. I get that he wants me to go far in this crappy, boring world, but being some scholar isn't my thing."
"Then what is it?"
"That… I have no clue…" Kai reluctantly replied, forcing a smile on his face. "I have no idea about what I want to do. I know how people say everyone has a purpose, but what the hell is mine supposed to be? Am I just destined to be another obscure nobody in the crowd? Alone with nothing to show for it? What kind of second-rate legacy is that?"
"I get what you're saying," Shiro replied as he placed an elbow on the table and rested his head in his hand. "Life's become nothing more than a mundane cycle full of droll routine. You try to apply yourself, but feel you'll be just another person in the backdrop watching someone else take the spotlight. You want to be free to find whatever type of happiness and self-worth in order to cement your existence to everyone around you."
Kai was only looked at him with widened eyes as his friend gave a calm, yet serious stare. The dark-skinned male was surprised at how succinctly Shiro understood what he was saying. "Shiro..." Kai gasped.
A smile appeared on the young man's face. "Man, you worry too much about this crap," he responded as he sat back in his chair. "Kai, you're not the first person to be down about things like this and you won't be the last. The thing is that you're nineteen years old thinking about shit like this. What you need to do is kick back, relax, and worry more about those Deadpool comics you're collecting and training manuals you've got laying around your place. Leave all that heavy thinking crap to the dead philosophers."
Kai scratched the back of his head as he thought over Shiro's advice. He knew that his friend had a point. "Good things come to those who wait," Kai figured with a shrug. "Thanks, man," Kai replied as he took him up on the offer.
"Don't mention it. Besides this is a bar, not a shrink's office or Buddhist's temple," Shiro said. "Now let's drop the existential crap, hit the booze, and start getting laid!" Kai only smirked. Shiro knew that he rarely drank alcoholic beverages (on the rare chance he did, he only drank less than two bottles). Still, the dark-skinned male decided to take his comrade up on the free offer. The duo left their table and grabbed a couple of stools at the counter. After ordering their beers, the two friends clacked their bottles together in a toast before they began drinking.
After taking his first swig, Kai shuddered from the strong, bitter taste of the beverage. "As old as I am, I'm still not used to the taste of this shit," he thought.
A hour an half had passed and both Kai and Shiro were leaving the bar. Kai, being a light drinker who took his time, only consumed two bottles of liquor. Though he had a bit of a buzz, the dark-skinned male was still in control of his functions.
Shiro, in contrast to his friend's state, was far from sober. After drinking seven bottles and a mug (the later because he felt it was more 'refined'), the young man was obviously plastered. During his inebriated state, Shiro tried his best to hit on every woman he could find. Unfortunately, his efforts were in vain. Aside from his slurred speech, the brunette had vomited twice (each before he could speak with a young woman).
Kai was not surprised by the outcome as he dragged his friend from the building. Every time they went to a bar, such events would always transpire. Aside from the shenanigans, the dark-skinned male only agreed to join his friend to make sure he got home safely. "Kai…" Shiro groaned, his cheeks flushed thanks to the booze. "Did you see that chick…? You know… The one with the hair…?"
"Yeah, Shiro. The one with the hair," Kai replied, not really acknowledging which girl in particular he was talking about.
"I think she likes me..."
"Whatever you say, man."
"...And you know what else?" Shiro added.
Mustering his strength, Shiro pulled himself up and began to whisper in his friend's ear. Kai had to hold his breath as the stench of booze wafted before his nose. "She had some sweet… New Tokyo boobs…" the young man said.
"Yeah, Shiro. They were nice," Kai responded offhandedly as Shiro slumped back to the ground. The young man decided to change the subject, being more concerned over his friend's health than women which had no interest. "Why do you always do this to yourself?"
"Chug down booze like a goldfish gulps in water," the dark-skinned male specified. "For a guy who says he's a genius, the lack of self-control and deteriorating brain cell count is pretty stupid."
"What? Can't a guy… enjoy himself once in a while? I'm like Tony fuckin Stark!" Shiro defended. "You need to learn to… loosen up a little… Like actually getting laid... after meeting a girl. Yeah, that's your problem..."
"Right," a cynical Kai responded. "I'm really gonna take advice from a guy who hasn't been with a girl in five years and was spewing four pints of booze and God knows what every ten seconds."
"Hey! I said it was a celebration, didn't I! And I… I love to celebrate! ...Celebrate good times, COME ON!"
Kai only shook his head as he continued escorting his friend to the corner of the block. When he arrived at the destination, he peered down the street and saw an in-coming cab. "Sure. Here comes your chariot, o' great Dionysus."
"Oh come on! Do we really have to leave?" Shiro whined. "Let's go back… Oh! Better yet, let's go to another bar! I bet I can stomach a few more beers! Beer run! Beer run! Beer run!"
"You're already a couple ounces shy from alcohol poisoning. I don't know about you, but I have better things to do than watch some drunk fool getting his stomach pumped. Again."
"Yeah, whatever," Shiro scoffed. "You have terrible bedside manner anyway."
When the cab drove up to the two youth's, Kai helped Shiro into the backseat. He then went up to the passenger side window of the cab and gave instructions to his friend's home before paying the fare. "Sayonara, Shiro," Kai replied. Shiro only responded with a loud groan before promptly falling asleep. Kai closed the taxi's back door and watched as the vehicle left for its destination. Once the taxi cab was out of sight, Kai left from the corner and returned to the bar's location. He then returned to Hibiya Park, knowing it was the quickest way to the bus stop.