Disclaimer: I don't own Beyblade. I only own Amber.
Dedication: For Sasha who gave me the idea for this piece and kept me company while I wrote it.
A.N.: Just a simple little one-shot because I wanted to write.
Ducks - to defeat the spiders
'Alright, don't be going too far. Okay? We just want to get the bare essentials for this trip and blah, blah, blah, blah…'
Amber nodded to show she completely understood her directives as she surreptitiously played with her iPod, and studied the market thrown out before her. It was a mess of stalls, and empty boxes, fruit, and statuettes under the bright morning sun. Already people were sitting on the grassy verges talking and eating ice cream, while others gathered at food vans in lines and clusters, the vendors reaching down to trade food for money.
Her fingers wriggled.
Her eyes flicked to her group and she stifled a sigh. A whole bus trip with him and now she was being forced to endure his company for the rest of the day. Karma hated her. She caught her head bobbing to the music and she stilled it, quickly making sure no one had caught her slip up. Nope. They probably just thought she was nodding her head to whatever they were babbling about. She was old enough now. She knew what she could and could not get away with on these trips. Do enjoy yourself; do not be left behind. Do spend money; do not be kidnapped. Do eat; do not die. It was pretty understandable.
'… not even listening!' a voice growled in her ear.
She bit back a yelped and rounded on the boy who held her earphones. 'What?' she hissed.
'We have a job to do – and what the hell is this?' he asked, holding the buds to his ears. He grimaced.
'Music, Hiwatari. It doesn't surprise me that you don't recognize this. I suppose you spend all day in your big mansion listening to classical stuff, but this is what the cool kids listen to.'
'You're not even Japanese, you psycho.'
'I'm sorry, am I just supposed to limit myself to the culture of one nation? I like to be diverse. I like to be open-minded. Something you clearly know nothing about. Which is ironic, because aren't you half Japanese? You're so frickin' weird. Give me that!' She swung to grab the earbuds, aimed too high and almost clocked him on the chin. It was totally an accident. She just misaimed. Pity he dodged.
'Can't you two stop flirting for one hour?'
'Go shove –'
'Shut up, Jurgen.'
'This sucks. We had to sit beside you two on the bus. Surely we can't be – what the hell is that noise?'
'Benson thinks she's being cultured.'
She snarled at Kai.
'Fucking japanophile. I told you she had yellow fever –'
'Ian! That is incredibly offensive.'
'Oh, it's Hilly-Billy. Are you in our group too?' The Russian Midget roared his annoyance when their class rep nodded. Kai smacked him into Robert, who neatly stepped away causing the kid to flail and almost land on his stupendous nose.
Amber took the moment of distraction to grab her earphones back, kick Ian in the rump, and stalk off. Karma was raping her. That was the only explanation for the major pains in her ass. Robert Jurgen, Ian Papov, Hilary 'I'm-fricking-perfect' Tachibana and Kai Hiwatari. She must have been Hitler in another life. It was the only explanation for this kind of Karmic repayment.
Kai picked out a mango and tested the tip of it. Having lived on his own since moving out of his grandfather's mansion, when the old man decided to disown him for the fourth time, he had taken to buying his own food. He had learnt the basics to survive and while he wasn't throwing himself into the chore with the same enthusiasm as Hilary, he was doing better than Ian. The boy had almost been kicked out of the market for knocking over a box of apples.
'This is the most ridiculous thing. Are we supposed to be competing?'
Kai glanced at his best friend and shrugged. 'Who knows. Actually, Rei?'
The Chinese boy at the far end of the row of fruit changed his direction and sauntered over. 'Hey guys. What's up?'
Tala lifted an orange and waved it in front of him. 'Competing with this?'
'First group to get all their list wins a token or something I think. Maybe gets first in line for food or beds. I'm not sure.'
Tala groaned and slapped his forehead. 'Does anyone care that we're not ten? I did this when I was ten; it was torture then. It's not getting any more "fun".'
'Dude, quit complaining. We're not in a classroom and they can't watch us all the time.'
Kai frowned at Enrique, wondering from where he'd appeared. 'What do you plan to do when they're not watching?'
'Chicks, man, chicks.'
'You mean girls,' Rei corrected.
'Keep your hippy-dippy lingo to yourself,' Enrique said, picking up a mango and biting into it. He spat it out. 'What the fuck is this?'
Kai blinked at the fruit Enrique was offering him while the other two boys snickered. 'I'm not taking it. Go pay for it, you stupid fucker.'
'What the hell is it?'
'It's a mango, you turd, and you're supposed to peel it. You really are blond.' Tala yanked the boy by the shoulder of his sweater towards the seller.
Kai shook his head and grabbing four more mangos, moved to pay for them. Rei fell into step beside him just as Mariah burst into the marquis, all vibrant pink hair and pale pink fashion. She glanced around wildly; then charged over. 'Amber's gone missing.'
'Has she actually gone missing or can we just not find her?' To Kai this was a big difference.
Rei choked back a laugh while Mariah took a deep breath and slowly let it out, glaring at him. 'Rei! I need your help to find her.'
'Aw Mariah come on, Amber does this kind of thing. We'll find her later.'
'No, we have to find her now. If we don't, the teachers will realise she's missing and the girl's dorm will be constantly watched tonight. So our little plan will not happen. Comprehende?'
Rei nodded slowly, his expression sobering. 'Ah. Okay. Yeah let's find her.'
'Why does she always have to do these things? She can be such a pain in the ass.'
Kai looked at the mangos in his hands. 'I'll pay for these then I'll come help you look. Knowing how much Karma hates her, anything could have happened.
Markets were so cool. People were so friendly and they didn't mind her asking loads of questions about their produce. In fact they wanted to talk to her, which was completely different to supermarkets where they spent the whole time trying to rush her out of the place. Also they never knew where their stuff came from. That was always worrying to her. What if their banana's had spiders in them? Did anyone ever think of her spider phobia? Hell no. People in shops were rude. Except for those people who were nice. She liked them, but they often didn't know about whether there were spiders in their fruit. In the markets people were at least honest about their suspicions about spiders. Sometimes they straight up said no. Other times they admitted to being unsure and other times they said there could be spiders because spiders were sneaky and could show up just about anywhere.
Ducks ate spiders. Thus when hiding from spiders the best thing to do was find a duck. Ducks liked water, so to find a duck you had to find the nearest water source. It was elementary, also known as logic.
Of course, knowing all this meant that Amber also knew how to get the ducks to ally with her. Bread. She'd chosen a particularly nice loaf of fresh, crusty, Tiger bread to give the Ducks the fierceness to combat the spiders. She didn't think the class would mind that she'd borrowed a loaf of their bread; there were loads more in the coolbags. Though she probably shouldn't have eaten that apple. She didn't feel so good now and it had been out in the sun a while. It might have fermented.
She slumped forward and tossed more bread towards the elusive ducks. They ventured forward to gobble her offerings but then retreated to the middle of the lake once more. It was frustrating because were they to mill around her, any spiders that may have ventured onto her being would be immediately annihilated.
She sighed. Plan A, fail.
Tilting her wrist she noted the time and got to her feet. People were probably gathering their stuff. She should go back. Maybe she could have a peek at the jewellery stall again. Climbing up the bank, she glanced back at the ducks and rubbed her stomach. It really was beginning to feel quite awful. The trip into the market was easily managed; all she had to do was clamber over a few boxes, sneak past a vendor and jump over a cart.
She stumbled out into the main street once more and rolled her neck. Her head was starting to throb. Maybe she was getting food poisoning from the fermented apple.
A hand swung around her waist and another hand clamped on her mouth. She knew those hands.
'Where the hell have you been? Everyone's been looking for you.'
She slumped to let him take her weight because she was nothing if not an opportunist. She also didn't try to reply. She didn't want to have Kai's fingers in her mouth. She was already fairly certain about food poisoning, why add to it?
He removed his hand over her mouth and whipped her around to face him. 'Well?'
'I think I might throw up.'
He stepped back but angled her chin up so he could see her eyes. 'Benson, did you put on sunscreen this morning?'
'We left before the sun was up. Of course I didn't.
'Your nose is burnt. This sun is really hot, moron.'
'It's the sun.'
'And you're missing the point as usual. Do you put your brain in gear –'
She didn't have the energy to fight with him. With a moan, she dropped her head to his chest but it was too warm.
'Shut up. I don't care. Go away.'
She closed her eyes but that only made the throbbing worse. She wanted to smush her head into a little ball, and kick it far away. 'The world is spinning.'
With a groan, Kai clamped a hand on her shoulder and began to direct her down the street. 'You are way more effort than anyone has a right to be.'
'I wanted to find ducks to defeat the spiders.'
There was silence to that.
Ducks? To defeat the spiders. Of course.
That made complete sense.
With a shake of his head, he moved her towards the bus where their teachers were probably lounging, sleeping off the hangovers from the last night if Hitoshi Kinomiya was anything to go by. Shades on a bus were never cool, and even Hitoshi would not be seen dead with them on inside.
'What happened?' Mrs Tate asked, coming out of the bus with her medi-kit.
Because naturally when someone brought Amber anywhere, there had to be something wrong. 'She was out in the sun too long, probably.'
'I ate a worm and then there were spiders so I had to find the ducks.'
When Tate looked to him for answers he shook his head. He was not drama-kid's nurse. Benson was a walking-talking pain in the backside with serious mental issues. Why on earth would he understand?
'Let's get you inside Amber. It's nice and cool in there with the air conditioning. Kai, you'll sit with her, right?'
Gathering fruit or sitting with Amber? Gathering fruit or sitting with Amber? Fucking tough choice. Which was easily decided when Amber locked her hands around his arm, holding it in place between her breasts. Obviously the girl was dying because there's no way a normal Amber would do that. He sighed heavily.
'Sure, I'll sit with her.' She wasn't going to thank either of them for this when she recovered.
And when Amber decided his lap was a better place to curl up, he realized that Karma was a fucking spider that was sucking the life out of him.