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Several Blows To The Head

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Kai has a really cute ass. I don't know if I've mentioned that before, but he does.

I'm sitting under a willow tree and am watching him practice. I have to say that I have the best view in the world. It shows his perfectly sculpted ass in those beautifully designed blue pants of his. The gods are smiling on me.

It's not unusual for me to like a guy. I'm bi anyways. Yes, bisexual, not heterosexual or homosexual. I like both boys and girls. That is possible in real life; bisexuals aren't just hookers you see on street corners in New York City. I don't seem like the hooker type to you, do I? Well… if it was Kai picking me up I'd be his hooker. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself…

"Rei, get off your lazy ass and train." He didn't even turn to look at me, just spat the words as he focused on his blade.

EEP! He must have eyes on the back of his head! Maybe if I just sit still and look like I'm sleeping I'll fool him… I can think about Kai in the meantime. Kai and his fine, fine ass… and beautiful hair and skin…

The two of us together

In the den of the house

No

In a bedroom

His bedroom with that gorgeous King size bed… why does he have such a large bed anyways?

But us together…

It's enough to make me drool…

…………

Tap, tap.

I shoot up like a cat with its tail on fire. My head connects with something hard and I come crashing back down to earth. Something else lands on the ground beside me with a loud thud and a moan.

Squinting one eye open, I saw Kai lying on the ground beside me. OH MY GOD I JUST KILLED KENNY! I mean Kai... No more moronic, insulting American television for you Rei…

But still! I just killed Kai! Oh my sweet precious Kai!

Wait… what will I do with the body? Maybe I can dump it in the river? But then people will be wondering what happened to him. I don't think I could keep it a secret for too long. Maybe if I tell the others they'll help me dispose of the body.

Kai moaned "I guess you really were sleeping… or really spaced out."

Phew! Kai's not dead. I just gave my captain brain damage though… if that doesn't put me in the black book, I don't know what will.

"I guess…" I muttered and rubbed at my throbbing head.

"I made a lot of noise when I came over, I figured you would have heard me." He muttered.

I could hear him shifting around and then something warm brushed against my arm. I opened my eyes to see Kai sitting beside me. His arm was touching mine and he didn't seem to notice.

I decided I should just bask in the moment. Don't want to ruin a good thing ne? Closing my eyes again, I relaxed (as much as I could with a throbbing head) and decided to enjoy myself.

Suddenly I felt a weight on my shoulder. I opened my eyes again and looked down to see Kai resting his head on my shoulder.

"Kai… are you alright?"

"Mphk." He hissed "My head just hurts."

"I'm really sorry Kai." I replied and rested a hand gently on his knee.

He just sighed onto my shoulder. "It's alright. Next time I'll know not to get so close."

"Speaking of close… you do realise you're leaning on me."

"You have a problem with it?" He shot back. A hint of annoyance was evident in his voice.

"Wasn't saying anything…" I muttered and closed my eyes. It seemed that Kai wasn't planning on moving, so I wasn't going to either. I was quite content having him in such close proximity.

"KAI! REI! Are you guys out here?!?!" Came the annoying and loud voice of none other than Tyson.

I heard Kai hiss something along the lines of "His stupid voice is ringing in my ears. Stupid twit, I'll wring his neck."

The now familiar warmth of Kai's head left my shoulder. Kai got up from the ground slowly, but he still looked a bit wobbly. I followed suit and also discovered that any fast movement caused everything around me to spin in circles. It reminded me of that time I went on the tilt-a-whirl after eating those chicken salad sandwiches that were past their prime. Except right now the desire to vomit wasn't as strong and there wasn't some guy in a panda suit asking me if I was alright. I had later vomited on the poor guy…

"THERE you are!" Tyson bounded over to us. "Kenny's been looking for you. Something about screwing with your Beyblades. I think he had some brilliant idea while watching reality TV. His obsession with Survivor is starting to scare me guys."

Just like Tyson, he was completely oblivious to the fact that Kai and I are both about ready to pass out. Some days I wonder why I don't bash his pudgy head in.

"Tyson, shut up." Kai snapped and took his team-mate by the collar of his shirt. "My head hurts and your annoying voice is only aggravating me."

Tyson blinked a couple of times. "Why does your head hurt?" For the first time he seemed to notice that both Kai and I didn't look to good. "Did you guys eat something that made you sick? Don't tell me it was the guacamole!"

It was my turn to abuse Tyson. I hit him upside the head "No, Kai and I bashed heads. Now just shut up and let us wallow in Peace."

Getting the hint, Tyson shut his yap.

In frustration Kai flung Tyson to the ground and then stormed off in a stagger to go find Kenny.

Yet again, I followed suit, but I think my first destination won't be Kenny; it'll be the bathroom to search for a painkiller.

---Kai's pov---

I'm not sure what came over me back there under the tree. I mean Rei's nice and everything and he seems to be the only sane one out of the bunch. I think it was the blow to the head that affected my thinking. I mean, I like girls… right? Or at least I thought I did. Not that I ever flirt with them or anything… they're just pretty to look at. Like flowers you know? Oy… that really doesn't sound good for my sexuality.

Oh my… I wonder if Rei thought I was hitting on him. I should really have a talk with Rei later. But, maybe I should wait until after I figure out my sexual orientation. Now that I think of it, I have been noticing myself staring at guys that would be considered 'kawaii'. And there was that dream about Rei the other night…

-----

A pretty girl with long black hair sat on a rock by a lake. The moonlight shimmered off the water and loons could be heard calling in the distance. Which was strange… since I don't even know what a loon looks like, let alone what they sound like. Anyways, the girl seemed to be just staring at the water. I walked over and brushed some silky tresses out of her eyes. She looked up at me with beautiful golden orbs and smiled. She was so incredibly beautiful, and cat-like. She took my hand into hers and pulled me down so that I was kneeling before her.

"Don't look away my love." She whispered. Her soft voice was ethereal.

There was an eerie yell that emitted from the bushes behind me; I turned despite the words she had uttered only seconds before. All was still and when I turned back I found myself facing Rei.

"I told you not to look; now you will atone for your deed." His silky voice echoed through the peaceful night air.

Rei had then pushed me backwards onto the packed ground and straddled my waist. A soft hand had run down my face and I was frozen. Just as luscious lips were mere centimetres from mine, the obnoxious voice of that gimp Tyson had woken me.

-----

I had my hand on the doorknob and was just about to open the door when someone grabbed me by the shoulder and hissed "Don't go in there! You'll get suckered into doing something! Kenny's in one of those work-everyone-to-death moods. I'm already stuck, don't get yourself stuck too. Give me Dranzer and run like hell Kai." Max looked absolutely exhausted.

Yeesh, can this day get any stranger? First I hit on Rei, then Tyson is silent for more than 3 seconds and now Max looks like he's going to collapse from exhaustion.

"Err…" I pulled my blade out of my pocket and gave it to the weary teen.

With a final sigh he trudged into the room. "And tell Rei to just leave his blade on the table by the door here." And with that said, he closed the door and went down the stairs to the basement to do Kenny's bidding.

Sighing, I went off to find Rei, and a bag of frozen peas. I never would have guessed that Rei had such a hard head.

---Rei's pov---

I found myself sitting in the kitchen staring at the empty freezer. I went grocery shopping just yesterday and nearly everything was gone. Sure, there were five of us, but how can all that food go missing?

"Hey, Rei." Tyson said as he wandered in. He went to the cupboard, grabbed a box of crackers and then went out the other door to the living room. A moment later the TV was turned on to something moronic and Tyson's laughter echoed throughout the otherwise silent house.

I should never wonder what happens to food again. It seems the only things that Tyson doesn't eat are broccoli, kumquats and cottage cheese. I once saw him eat three cans of Spam in less than twenty minutes… I don't know what disturbs me more, the fact that he ate that much Spam or the manner in which he consumed it. You have to admit, his manners are less than civilised when it comes to food.

"Out of frozen vegetables again?" Kai asked as he sunk into a wooden chair.

I nodded my head. "There is a tub of frozen yogurt though. I wonder why Tyson hasn't consumed that yet."

"That's because I wrote my name on it and wrote 'touch and receive death'."

"Ahh, that would explain why it has survived." I smiled and looked over to Kai.

Deciding that there was nothing decent to snack on I closed the freezer and took a seat beside Kai. He was just sort of staring off into space. He's so cute when he thinks. Wait, he's always cute. Except for when he's in a bad mood in the morning. Let's just say that Kai's not a morning person some days and leave it at that.

"How's your head?" Kai asked.

"I think it's broken, but I was stupid already, so it doesn't matter."

Kai gave a little laugh. "You're not as stupid as you'd think. You're just… ditzy."

"DITZY?" I yelled. After getting a foul look from Kai I decided that yelling wasn't the best thing to do. "I mean… ditzy? In what way am I ditzy?"

He shrugged. "You're just ditzy, and sometimes you act a bit feminine. You seem to care more for your hair than any other guy I know, and it is rather long…"

"You have a problem with that?" I batted my eyes in a way that Mariah would be proud of.

"Stop that, you're too cute when you do that."

 I blinked.

Kai looked ready to bash his own head in. "I mean…"

"KAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!" Tyson yelled from the other room. "THE TV JUST DIED! FIX IT!"

Kai made a fist and punched the table. "I told you! Don't touch any remote but the small grey one! You stupid git, do I have to do EVERYTHING for you?" He stormed off into the other room.

Our precious little moment has been broken. I'm starting to see a pattern here. Every time I have a moment with Kai, Tyson screws it up. I wonder if he knows, or he just has impeccably bad timing. Note to self: find some way to slowly drive Tyson insane.

While Kai was in the living room giving Tyson hell, there was a loud boom that resounded from the basement. After that everything went blissfully silent.

Kai poked his head into the kitchen. "Did you hear that?"

"It was sort of deafening you know…" I muttered. "Do you think they're dead?"

A door slammed open and coughing could be heard.

"I didn't mean to do that Kenny!" came Max's voice.

"It's alright, Max… I didn't think it'd do that either."

Tyson, Kai and I all filtered into the hallway to see Kenny and Max, who both looked rather shaken and charred.

"What did you two destroy?" Kai crossed his arms over his chest and scowled at them.

"Nothing really, it was just the reaction between h-"

"Actually, save it. As long as there's no fire and nobody's dead we're alright. Where's Dranzer?"

Max produced Kai's blade from his pocket and handed it back over. "It's fine."

"Uh… since the house is starting to smell kind of bad from whatever you guys blew up, can we go out for supper? I'm starved!" Tyson said rubbing his stomach.

Everyone else sweatdropped.

"Alright," Kai said. "But you're buying your own meal. And if you're going to eat like a Neanderthal you can sit by yourself. I'm tired of people giving us funny looks in restaurants.

-----

We somehow found ourselves at a sushi place due to my request. Tyson had bellyached for a couple minutes; or he had until he remembered his never quenched hunger. Inside the restaurant, his manners had been as bad as ever. So, in a fury, Kai had told him to leave and eat his dinner on the opposite side of the restaurant. After nearly having his eye jabbed out with a chopstick, courtesy of Kai, Tyson had complied and moved to eat elsewhere.

"You didn't have to be so hard on him Kai," Kenny said.

Kai just scowled at him. "He's making us look bad."

"But you also looked like a jerk, yelling at him and waving your chopsticks like a madman," Max added. But after receiving a scowl in his direction he went back to staring at his sushi.

Just to be safe, I kept my mouth shut and enjoyed the silence due to Tyson's absence.

I was sitting next to Kai, and across from Max. Kai was sitting by the window and kept staring out it onto the street. He seemed sort of preoccupied. But maybe he was just thinking of the many ways to kill Tyson. Suddenly, I felt a foot kick mine… and again… and again. It seems to be Kai's foot. Is he playing footsy with me? This is one weird day. Just out of curiosity I gave Kai's foot a nudge. He blinked and looked over to me.

"Sorry, was I kicking you? My foot fell asleep."

I felt the urge to fall over. His foot had been asleep. And here I had been so hopeful… so lusty. Stupid Kai… wait… beautiful, stupid Kai. That's better.

"Would you like some more tea?" the server seemed to come out of nowhere and I jumped several centimetres in the air.

"Uh, sure," I replied and pushed my cup towards her. As she was pouring, someone bumped her from behind and she sloshed tea all over the table, my food, and my lap.

"AAAAGGGGGHHHHH!" I jumped up from the table. HOT TEA ON THE CROTCH! HOT TEA ON THE CROTCH!

I grabbed at a napkin to wipe up some of the scalding beverage but it was really to no avail. Suddenly, someone grabbed me by the arm and dragged me off somewhere. Before I really knew what was happening I found myself in the men's room with Kai.

"Are you alright?"

I groaned, "After the searing pain subsides, I'll be fine. It didn't actually land on my crotch just my leg." I really have no idea why I told him that. But I did.

"That's… good." He said.

I went over to the sink and tried to wipe up the tea with a wet paper towel. White pants and brown tea are never a good combination. After a while my paper towel started to disintegrate (like paper towels usually do after they're wet). I was going to grab for another one when Kai placed a slightly damp one in my hand. I found myself gazing into his beautiful red eyes. The colour reminded me of roses… Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo. For I am Juliet, the sun and the East.

Ok, really corny Rei. That was really fucking corny.

He was leaning in though. Our lips were just about to touch and I stepped back slightly with my left foot to get better balance…

Squish.

I cringed. What did I just step in/on? Wait, don't answer that. I'd rather not look.

Seeing me cringe and hearing the squish Kai looked down. "You're really not having any luck are you?"

"No. I swear I didn't piss off any fortune tellers or anything!"

I lifted up my foot to reveal what had once been a rice ball. What it was doing in the men's toilet I had no clue, but I had stepped on it none the less and the remains were now ground into my shoe. And being my luck, there had been a plum on it. And now that plum was splattered on the bottom of my pant leg.

"Kai, Rei, are you in here?" Max asked as he poked his head in the bathroom. "Oh, there you are! Are you alright Rei? The server is really freaking out. She thinks she's killed you or something. Kenny and Tyson are trying to calm her down but she's starting to hyperventilate. I don't think she'll calm down until she sees you alive and well." He said it all in a rush; neither Kai nor I really understood a word he said.

"I really am not sure what you said, but I better go see if that server is alright." I pushed past Max and into the restaurant. I found the server in hysterics on the floor. By now all the customers had made a crowd around her and the restraint manager was kneeling by his employee trying to calm her.

I knelt by the server and put my hand on her shoulder. "It's ok, I'm alright. You mostly just scared me. It wasn't really that hot. And I've been injured worse. Just yesterday I burnt my hand on the toaster and that hurt far worse."

She looked up at me oddly, and wiped away a tear. "So you're not angry?"

"No."

She wrapped her arms around my neck "I'm so SORRY!" And then she began sobbing into my shirt.

"It's alright, Ariel." The manager said and gently tried to pry the sobbing girl off of me. "The young man's alright. Let's get you in back and clean you up." He then turned his words to me. "I'm dreadfully sorry about this. Your meal will be free."

Tyson poked his head out of the crowd. "Mine too?"

"No." the manager replied. "You're on a separate bill, aren't you?"

Tyson scowled down on the manager but let it be. For once, Tyson did something smart.

Hurrah.

---Kai's pov---

I don't really know what happened back in the washroom. I just found myself magnetically drawn to him. Over the years I've learned that some things are just unnaturally drawn to others. Like mustard and white shirts; oil based products and kitchen tables and mud and white pants. Except this is a different kind of magnetism. It's between two living, breathing things with conscious thoughts. (and not like a dog to a person's crotch either)

I've always longed for love; someone to curl up with on those lonely nights. But I always pictured myself with a girl. I never even humoured the thought that it might be with a guy until a few days ago. I have to admit though; it doesn't disturb me or upset me in any way. I'm rather content with the prospect of having Rei all to myself. And maybe subconsciously I've always known that I liked him. I mean, I've always been nicer to him than any of the other group members. I've been more lenient to his screw ups and more willing to help him. Maybe my body's been trying to tell me this for a while now and I'm just too stupid to realise what it's been trying to tell me.

I flopped back onto my bed. We've been home for a while now and as soon as we got in the door, Rei disappeared like a cat and nobody's been able to find him since. Tyson is off being a doof somewhere and Kenny's in a workaholic mood. To my knowledge Max is off looking for Rei. And Rei, I want to find him… see if he's alright. Maybe even kiss him…

But I am kind of tired. Maybe I'll do that in the morning. Yes morning…

---Rei's pov.---

I sat at the kitchen table drinking my orange juice. I haven't been able to bring myself to drink any hot beverages since last night's incident.

Earlier Tyson had hastily scarfed something down then disappeared. I suspect he is trying to avoid the wrath of Kai, which could be especially brutal in the morning. Sitting beside me was Kenny; he was tapping away at the keys like a madman. Every once in a while Dizzy would make some comment and Kenny would just scowl at his laptop. I have to admit, it is sort of unnerving watching someone converse with their computer. You'd think they're insane, but when you hear the computer answer back you'd be convinced that you yourself are insane.

Max still hadn't been heard from this morning. I think he was trying to avoid being forced into doing more work by Kenny.

I heard the loud thuds of Kai trudging downstairs. Kenny glanced up then at his watch.

"I'll be going to my room now." And with that he had Dizzy tucked under his arm and was out the door in .25 seconds. Chicken.

Though Kai's stomping was unusually loud. I'm guessing he didn't sleep well last night. Whoopee, I guess I'll have to make sure he doesn't kill anything in his sleep deprived state.

Kai sauntered in, still a mess. His hair was unruly and his clothing was askew. I think his shirt was even on inside out.

"Morning Kai…"

"Mpkfk. Gmmo awfwmay" He muttered and sunk onto a chair.

I think I'd be treading on dangerous territory if I said anything much, so I just poured him a glass of juice and made him a piece of toast.

In a stupor he ate his breakfast and then sat there on the kitchen chair. This was definitely not a good morning for him. Usually after eating something he'd be able to say coherent words.

"Kai, are you alright? Did you sleep ok?"

"No and no." He muttered and glanced up at me.

Ok, maybe he was a bit more awake than I thought he was.

"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked and sat down at the table across from him.

"No."

Ok, maybe that question was too early in the morning for him.

Dull thuds came down the stairs and Max sauntered into the kitchen. "Mpkfk" He said and sat that the table.

I sweatdropped. Seriously, was anyone else even conscious today? Am I going to be stuck with a bunch of unsociable slugs today? Maybe I'll find myself conversing with trees again. It is best not to ask about that one… it's a long story.

"Uh… since you two are so bright and awake today I'll leave you to your own devices." And with that I snuck off and headed outside. Maybe I'll get off my lazy ass and train today.

---Kai's pov---

I hate mornings. I especially hate mornings after I've had dreams about Rei, I can never sleep after them. My head sort of feels like it was run over by an 18-wheeler and I think I slept on something because my back really hurts.

No, I'm not snarky today. Note the sarcasm.

Max doesn't look to be in much better shape though. I wonder if he slept like me. Not that I care to ask though. I just want a pot of coffee and a sledgehammer… a sledgehammer to pound my own head in so that the pain stops.

"I'm making coffee," I grunted. Max just nodded his head and continued staring at the wall.

You know, it's unusually quiet here. I wonder what happened to that gimp, Tyson. I haven't seen or heard him yet. Maybe he's still asleep.

I think I spoke too soon. The said idiot wandered into the kitchen. Upon seeing me he blanched and glanced around like he was looking for an escape.

"Uh… have either of you seen Rei?" He asked.

I gestured towards the door that he had just come through. The idiot blinked. I sighed. "He went outside you dolt."

"Tyson scowled at me and then turned on his heels to go.

I'm starting to hate today.

The coffee maker started to dribble coffee into the pot. Maybe after a cup or seven I'll be awake.

-----

After my morning coffee I had headed outside and trained with Rei. Tyson had made a run for it after I appeared. I think I might have scared some sense into him yesterday.

Anyways, training was nothing special, I was a bit sluggish and Rei nearly beat me a couple of times. Note: nearly beat me, he didn't actually succeed.

After that we had a semi peaceful lunch, at which Tyson's manners were close to civilised.

Shortly after lunch ended it began to rain, so I had spent much of the afternoon reading. It was a dreadfully dull book… I hadn't understood any of it. I have to admit, my English wasn't stellar, but this book was boggling. It didn't help that the book switched between flashbacks and 'the present'. It was well past 7:00 when I decided I should go see why nobody had called for supper yet.

I could hear them… the little droplets of water hitting the windows in a soft pitter patter. It was enough to drive anyone insane, certainly more than enough to drive me insane anyway. Every once in a while you'd hear a crack of thunder then see a flash of lightning if you were near a window. I hate rain, and I especially hate thunder storms.

I entered the kitchen to see Rei holding a piece of paper like it was diseased. No, that wasn't strange. Note the sarcasm.

"Rei, what are you doing?" I inquired and rummaged through the fridge for something to drink. I came up with a can of pop. Miraculously it was Root Beer, which I favoured. I wonder why Tyson hadn't consumed it yet.

In a daze he just handed me the slip of paper. "It's from a fan… just read it Kai."

I shrugged and began reading the letter.

'Dear Rei. First I want to say that you and Kai rock my socks off! In the world of blading, you two are the top (even though Tyson may be the world champion…but that gimp doesn't deserve it). I want to say that even if you screw up sometimes and aren't the best blader, you're still number one in my book and have a place in my heart. Love Lizzy'

I had to laugh at this, this girl was so pathetic. She even put a little heart sticker at the end… I took a swig of pop and went to read the post script.

'Ps: My girlfriend and I think you and Kai would make a sexy couple.'

I spat out my pop and started choking on it.

Suddenly I felt I couldn't get enough oxygen in my lungs and my brain felt numb.

"Kai?" Rei asked worriedly

All I did in response was hack and stare blankly at the letter. Pervy high school girls! What are they thinking?

"KAI?!" Rei shouted but I ignored him.

Suddenly I felt a hand on my arm and someone was muttering soothing words in my ears. I looked down to see Rei kneeling beside me with a look of worry in his eyes.

My coughing was slowly subsiding. I could talk now between hacks. "I'm fine Rei."

Maybe those girls were right… maybe I do like Rei, and maybe he likes me. I really don't know anything anymore. I don't like not knowing either. I'm one of those people that if I don't know the answer I have to figure it out. And I was going to do just that.

I took Rei's chin in my hand and tilted it up so that I could better see his face. I leaned down slowly, giving him space and time to back away if he wanted to. To my somewhat surprise and mild joy he didn't pull away. Our lips were just about to touch when the lights flickered out.

I felt him pull away. "Uh, Kai, the lights just died."

"AAAAAA!!! THEY'RE COMING TO GET US!" Tyson screamed from somewhere else in the house.

I sweatdropped. "Tyson, quit being an idiot!" I shot back.

Tyson then continued to yell incoherent comments, it sounded like Max was in the room with Tyson and was trying to calm him down as well.

I heard a snick and then a small ball of light appeared in the corner. Rei had lit a match, and was now lighting a candle.

"It might be nice to see our surroundings, huh?" He smiled a bit.

I nodded and watched him grab other candles and light them as well.

I don't know if it was the candlelight or the fact that I probably had carbonated sugar stuck in my brain, but Rei looked absolutely gorgeous.

I think I really am falling for him.

---Rei's pov---

I can feel him watching me; it's sort of sweet yet unnerving all at the same time. I think he was really trying to kiss me back there, why did the lights have to go out? I swear, fate is trying to keep us apart. I bet next time we try to kiss there will be some natural disaster that will swallow the two of us into the pits of hell. Or just to the hospital which is just as bad as hell, but with an antibacterial stench that makes you nauseous opposed to the scent of burning flesh and KFC chicken. Yes, I believe KFC is an agent of the devil. If you think that's crazy, you should hear Max's views on canned noodles.

I walked over to the table and placed a candle on it. I then sat down beside Kai to wait for the power to come back on.

He was still watching me you know…

"Uh, Kai…"

"Yes?"

"About just a minute ago, were you going to…?" I left the sentence hanging.

"Are you opposed to that?" He inquired and raised an eyebrow.

"No." I smiled back and leaned forward across the table.

He leaned forward as well, and for the first time - in reality - our lips touched. It was beautiful, and everything that I had imagined.

And then, after kissing him for the first time I realised something… the table was on fire.

Chapter Text

---Rei's pov---

It was the smell of burning wood and varnish that tipped me off. Also, the room seemed to be strangely brighter… and my arm was getting awfully warm.

I pulled away from Kai and looked beside me. Sure enough the table was aflame. Quickly the flames caught the napkin holder. It made a pretty torch… I was momentarily transfixed…

"Rei… the table's on fire." Kai stated. He was just as mesmerised by the flames as I was.

"Yo, is something burning?" Tyson asked as he entered the kitchen. He then noticed the table. "HOLY SHIT! THE HOULSE IS ON FIRE!"

His annoying voice broke me out of my trance. I bounded over to the closet and grabbed the fire extinguisher. Due to the fire, the kitchen was fairly illuminated, though the smoke made everything a bit hazy. I pointed the extinguisher and sprayed.

After a while, the fire went out and the room was pitch black again.

A moment later, the smoke detector went off. That was just a little delayed… Some days I wonder if this house is really safe to be inhabited.

Suddenly, the room was bathed in light and the hum of the TV emitted from the other room. I guess the power was back. I hate thunder storms.

Tyson, Kai and I all stood around the smoking foam covered remains of our kitchen table.

"Was someone making toast?" Max asked as he entered. Upon seeing the former table he blinked. "Well, very fibre-filled toast."

"I didn't do it!" I glanced nervously between the other bladers.

"Yes you did…" Kai muttered and glared at me.

Shit, I go from kissing him to having him death glare me. I can't win.

To interrupt the silence, Kenny entered the kitchen as well. He sort of just stared at the demolished table. "I guess we'll need a new table sometime?"

"I'm going upstairs." I stated and then headed upstairs. We could deal with this in the morning. Right now, all I wanted was a shower (which I wasn't going to take during a thunderstorm) and read a good book.

---Kai's pov---

I had cleaned up most of the foam from the fire extinguisher and was trying to figure out how badly damaged the table was. It wasn't quite collateral damage, but I could see right through the table in the spot where the candle had fallen. Not to mention there was scorch marks on the wall and the floor. I leaned over and touched the centre of the table. It crumbled away in my hand and left my skin covered in a fine black powder.

Collateral damage.

I sighed and washed my hand off in the sink. This wasn't going to be pretty trying to clean up the kitchen further. Mr. Dickinson wasn't going to be please either… he was leasing this summer home from his friend for us to use when we weren't touring. So far we had only managed to spill soda on the carpet (which, naturally, was a result of Tyson's goofing off). Mr. Dickinson wasn't going to be happy when he learned about this.

And the part that bugged me the most, Tyson couldn't be blamed for once. Instead I had to blame it all on my precious neko… wait, since when has Rei been my precious neko? I mean we only kissed once…

In reality anyways.

This is going to be confusing… I sighed and slumped onto a chair.

Kenny wandered into the room. He peered at the table and cringed. "Mr Dickinson isn't going to be happy."

I shrugged. "I think he'll be glad we're all alive, and that we stopped the fire before it got out of hand."

"So, what happened that Rei knocked over the candle?"

I froze. What exactly could I tell Kenny? Somehow admitting that Rei and I had been kissing wouldn't go over too well. Especially with Tyson about; somehow he didn't seem like the type to take gays too well. Not that I'm gay anyways. Or at least I don't think so. This is all rather confusing. My head's hurting more now.

"Kai?" Kenny's voice broke me out of my train of thought.

"Rei was just careless and knocked it over with his arm." I shot with my regular cold shield.

For a second Kenny seemed like he didn't believe that was just it, but he let it drop and just sat at the table (or what remained of it) beside me.

Much to my annoyance my stomach growled. I guess I still hadn't had any dinner. I looked to the smaller teen and inquired, "Has anyone had supper yet?"

"Tyson has probably scarfed something down in the last hour that could be considered dinner for three… Max eats when he's hungry; Rei hasn't had anything though, we were modifying his blade earlier. Actually, I'd fancy a snack right about now too."

"I'll make something then." I got up and inspected the cupboard. Strangely ravaged… Tyson must have been in here earlier. There were still a couple bags of Lipton soups. I shrugged; soup sounds good right about now.  I pulled out a pot and set about to making dinner.

---Rei's pov---

I was pacing across my room. I wonder how long it will take me to make pace marks on my floor. It seems like I've been pacing for hours. This whole being confined to the house is really getting to me. I can't go out and walk around.

So I pace

And make grooves in my floor from where I walk.

I hate today.

No, today was a good day. I kissed Kai. I finally got to be with the object of my desires. But I screwed it up good. I started the table on fire. I'm going to be in hot water when Mr. Dickinson finds out. If I wasn't already a big enough screw up. I can't do anything right. Not even make macaroni and cheese! I burnt it good… Kai wasn't happy. Now that I think of it, Kai never seems to be happy. Why did I fall for someone so… grouchy? Like Oscar the Grouch. Except Kai's not green and fuzzy and he doesn't live in a garbage can.

You know, I think I'm just getting too worked up over nothing. Maybe I need to forget this whole Kai thing… I need to move on and find someone… maybe a nice pretty girl…

Knock, knock.

I jumped a foot in the air and clutched onto the nearby desk chair. Holy cow in the sky! That scared me.

"Rei, are you in here?" Kai asked from the other side of the door.

Breathing normally again I sighed in relief. Its just Kai… Gorgeous Kai with his soft skin and deep eyes…

"Rei?"

Oh there I go again with my mind in the proverbial gutter.

"Yah Kai, I'm in here."

"Then can I come in?"

"Oh yah, come on in. I'm not indecent or anything."

Oh that was smooth. Smooth but not slick… it is best not to ask about that saying.

The door swung open and Kai entered balancing two bowls in one hand. "I thought you might like some dinner, even though it is getting awfully late."

"Oh, that'd be nice." I smiled and took a bowl from him. "There are shaped noodles…" I blinked at the little aliens and spaceships floating in my bowl.

"Yah, I wanted to add extra noodles but the only ones I could find were space ones. I don't want to even know who bought those."

I poked a little purple alien dude with my spoon. It's looking at me.

While I was off tormenting my noodles with my spoon, I hadn't noticed that Kai was still in my room, watching me intently. After decapitating a space man and eating his head I noticed Kai's gaze.

"Kai… you're staring at me."

Kai blinked, I seem to have woken him from a daze. "Sorry, I was just thinking."

I shrugged and sat down on my bed with my bowl of soup. I gestured towards the sagging beanbag chair in the corner for Kai to sit on. After looking at it suspiciously he sat down. The chair seemed to swallow him. I think it has a leak in it… His knees were now up to his chin and he looked a tad uncomfortable. He set his bowl down then got up and shifted the chair around so that it wouldn't swallow him alive. After a moment he looked comfortable, or as comfortable as one could get on a saggy beanbag chair.

"This thing is sort of…"

"Dead?" I finished his sentence.

He nodded and went back to eating his soup. "How are you doing?" He interrupted the silence.

I choked on a piece of chicken. I started coughing. He got up as if he was going to try to help me but I waved him away. After a moment I no longer had a piece of half masticated poultry lodged in my windpipe and was able to respond. "I'm fine, why would you be asking?"

"I was just curious, that whole fire was sort of scary."

Is it just me, or is Kai acting exceptionally civil today? Well, except for his treatment of Tyson, that's still the same as ever.

"You know, I really do-"

"TYSON! GIVE THAT BACK!" Max's shriek echoed throughout the corridors. A panicked Tyson skidded past my door and then his door slammed shut. A second later Max sped by and started banging on Tyson's door.

"IT'S MINE NOW MAX!"

In all the excitement I had spilled hot soup on my lap. Ow.

What is it with me and having hot liquids on my crotch? Oh boy… that could have been taken in a very perverted way…

Kai sighed and got up from the squishy chair. He stormed over to the other room, pushed Max out of the way and yelled at Tyson in a very cold and ominous voice. "Get out here you stupid gimp, give Max back whatever you stole and if I hear one more peep out of you tonight you'll be up at 5:30 training. You HEAR me Tyson?"

With that said, Kai stormed off to his room and the door shut firmly. Seconds later Tyson opened his door and I could hear Max and him talking quietly in the hallway.

Well, this had been a day chalked full of fun for the whole family. Well… maybe not the whole family, it was rated PG-13 after all.

I looked down at my lap. There was a little alien sitting there. I scowled at it. "What are you looking at?" the noodle stayed immobile. Stupid noodle.

---

I shot up in bed after a particularly loud clap of thunder. I glanced around the pitch black room. Oh joy, I think the power's out again. I sighed and pulled the duvet up to my chin. I had been having an interesting dream about playing ultimate Frisbee with Gandalf and my first grade teacher. And Jaken had been eaten by a tiger. I'm sure the dream had some profound meaning… but I really had no clue what that meaning might be.

After a while I realised I couldn't go back to sleep. The storm was too loud, and the rain tapping against the windows was getting on my nerves. Some days I hate having sensitive ears.

Sighing I sat up and then made my way to my doorway. I was going to go to the bathroom and get a drink of water. I had left a glass in there… it couldn't be too hard to find in the dark, could it?

I groped for the door handle and went into the dark hallway. The bathroom was across the hallway, right next to Kai's room. I managed to get across the hallway without incident and found the door slightly to the left and opened it. I stepped in. The bathroom was carpeted, I never understood what drove a person to carpet a bathroom, but somebody had and we couldn't do anything about it. I sighed and reached out for the counter to grope around for my glass. My hand came in contact with air. Well… this is new…

I wandered around a bit. The first solid thing I came in contact with was what felt like a dresser. To my horror I realised I had accidentally walked into Kai's room. Thankfully the lights were off, so nobody could have seen the bright red blush forming on my face. I turned around and headed back to the door as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, I had gotten turned around instead of finding the door, I found Kai's bed.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid…

How can one get lost in a bedroom?

There was a soft shuffling motion. Something else was moving in the room. I glanced around frantically in the dark, but still couldn't see anything.

Suddenly, something cold and most likely metal touched my throat.

"Get out Tyson." Kai hissed in the darkness.

I blinked. Tyson? I'm not Tyson… oh no. Kai thinks I'm Tyson and now he's gong to kill me!!! AGH!

"I mean it Tyson; get the fuck out of my bedroom. It's late and I'm in a bad mood already."

"I'm not Tyson!" I squeaked.

"Rei?" The metal object left my throat and a light flicked on.

I was blinded and obviously very stupid. I guess the power hadn't been out; everyone must have just turned out all the lights.

When I could see again, I saw Kai staring at me, half annoyed and half bewildered. He was wearing loose pyjama pants and no shirt. Oh god… no shirt. Just give me a moment while I drool.

"Rei, what are you doing in here?" Kai crossed his arms over his chest. He was holding a letter opener. That's good, that means he was only going to stab me with a letter opener, not a knife.

"I… err… I got lost on my way to the bathroom." I stuttered.

He laughed. "On the way to the bathroom? It's only across the hall."

I scowled at him. "It was dark… I must have gotten a bit disoriented… or something."

He just shook his head. "Just go back to bed, Rei." He walked towards me and took me by the elbow. "I'll even walk you back."

We headed back to my room. There was a tremendously loud clap of thunder and the house shook a bit. I jumped about a foot in the air and ran into Kai, in the process managing to elbow him in the chest.

"Oof!"

I cringed. "I'm so sorry Kai…" I turned to look at him, and he just scowled at me some more. He's so pleasant really… note the sarcasm.

"Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." He snapped.

"Let me see." I gently put a hand on the place where I had hit him. He scowled at me sceptically. I leaned in closer, watching his face the whole time. His expression changed from that of a scowl to one of mild surprise. I held his eyes until the last possible second. I was going to try something and if it failed, I would be screwed because Kai is a LOT stronger than me.

My lips gently brushed the spot where I had hit him. Before moving on I waited to see if he'd throw me off. Kai didn't seem to be objecting so I started to trail kisses up his chest, then his neck. I halted right before I came to his lips though. I pulled back and looked up into his eyes. He looked rather confused at the moment, rather un-Kai like.

I trailed a hand up into his hair and smiled slyly. "Feeling better now, captain?"

His usual icy persona returned. Shit! I'd said something stupid to set him off… Oh how I hate this life…

"Stay the rest of the night."

I nearly fell over.

"Just lock the door first." He added and retreated back to his bed.

In a stupor I went over to his open door, closed and locked it. I slowly walked over to his bed and climbed in beside him. This is too weird… but very pleasant none the less.

I looked over to Kai; he was lying on his back with his eyes closed. Tentatively I scooted closer to him. When I was pressed up beside him he opened his eyes and looked at me. A faint smile formed on his lips and he wrapped an arm around me. Soon after I fell asleep in his arms, and I'm assuming he followed me shortly.

---Kai's pov---

I woke up to the sensation of something jabbing into my ribcage. I did feel unusually warm too… I opened my eyes to see Rei sleeping beside me. This is… new…

Wait, I asked him to stay the night in my bed… I don't know what drove me to do so. There was just something in the way that he kissed me. Something snapped. I don't know if it was my sanity or something else, but I definitely snapped.

I shifted and removed Rei's arm from where it was nested between my ribs. In the process I woke him up. Lazily he opened his eyes and blinked up at me. A second later he shot up in bed.

"Wh- what are you doing here?" He pulled the duvet up to his chin and scooted away from me on the mattress.

"What do you mean…? You're the one that came in here at two in the morning."

He blinked at me. "Oooo..." He slid back down so that he was lying beside me again. He then proceeded to stare at the ceiling.

"Reeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" Tyson's voice resounded through the house.

Rei muttered something under his breath and pulled the covers up over his head. "I don't want to know what he wants. It's probably something trivial."

"If you're referring to Tyson, it's always something stupid."

He chuckled. "Normally I'd go out and see what Tyson wanted, but it might look odd with me coming out of your room in my pyjamas."

There was a loud knock at the door. "Kai, you up yet?" Max inquired.

"Yes." I responded then turned to Rei and asked, "You locked the door, right?" Rei nodded in response.

"Mr. Dickinson is here and he wants to talk to you and Rei. So if you see Rei, tell him to we're looking for him." Max's footsteps were heard going down the stairs.

Rei re-emerged from under the blankets. "So, how're we going to get me into my room so I can change?"

"I'll see if I can get everyone downstairs then you can come down on your own time."

We both got up. For the first time I noticed that his pyjama pants had little cartoon cats on them. I was mildly amused. I never expected him to be the kind to wear things like that. He noticed me staring at his pants and blushed.

"Mariah gave them to me for Christmas…"

I nodded and started digging through my drawers and closet to find something to wear.

---Rei's pov---

I found myself watching him the whole time. At the moment I don't really care if it's rude. I can't help it…

He glanced at me one last time then started to change out of his pyjamas. A brilliant blush covered my face and I had to turn my back. A moment later he put a hand on my left shoulder. I took that hand in mine and turned around. He was completely dressed, armbands and everything. I found myself craving those lips again. Apparently he was thinking the same thing for he wrapped his free arm around my waist and pulled me closer. I found myself blissfully happy again when we kissed. To my amazement nothing interrupted us and there were no disasters. We broke apart, out of breath and content. We stayed close though, panting.

"I better go see Mr. Dickinson and you should really get dressed and come down. I don't think the other guys would ever stop mocking you if they saw those pants." He walked to the door end peered out. "The hallway's safe."

As he went downstairs I hurried into my room. In a split second I was dressed. I as about to let out my loose braid and then attack my hair with a brush but realised that would take a long time. Sighing I just left my hair.

I opened my window and stepped out onto the balcony. With cat-like grace I leapt to the ground a story below. If I could go into the woods and circle through the trees I could come around the back of the house and claim that I had been out walking. They'd all believe me since the rest of them (minus Kai) think me a perfect little angel… wouldn't they be shocked at my porn collection?

I grinned. I am really too good.

---Kai's pov---

I was leaning against a wall of the living room. I was half listening to the others talk with Mr. Dickinson. But mostly I was staring out the window, watching little colourful butterflies flutter by or squirrels chase each other. I hate squirrels and butterflies.

That's when I saw Rei sprint across the back lawn. The idiot! I hope nobody else was watching out the window, because if he was seen we'd have to do a lot of explaining.

"Kai, is there something the matter?" Kenny asked.

I turned to the others, they were all watching me. "Uhh… no. I just saw a stray cat. You know those Bumpus hounds will eat the poor thing if it gets too near."

Everyone cringed at the mention of those hell hounds, but after a moment returned to their conversation. The Bumpus hounds were about 30 giant dogs that belonged to the neighbours. They were known for terrorising the nearby wildlife and even managed to sneak into our yard from time to time. They only person they listen to is me. And that is because they feared me.

I went back to watching the scenery outside. I think I was the first to notice it: the frantic yelling of someone outside. Seconds later everyone turned towards the entryway to the kitchen.

"Is it just me, or does it sound like someone screaming bloody murder outside?" Max asked.

Seconds later the back door slammed open and somebody ran into the house. That person was followed by yipping dogs and the sound of paws on tile. Rei skidded into the room and hid behind the couch.

"THEY'RE TRYING TO EAT ME!"

As if on cue, the Bumpus hounds skittered into the room and started barking at everyone.

Slowly I walked over and stood in front of the first dog in the pack. "Out."

With that one simple command they were out of the house with their tails between their legs.

Rei poked his head out from behind the couch and looked at me adoringly… Uh oh… Noting that the hell hounds were gone he sprung out and wrapped me in a tight hug "THANK YOU KAI! You saved my life!"

I felt my cheeks redden. I'm sort of starting to feel light headed… I think Rei's cutting off my oxygen supply or something.

"Rei… I think you're killing Kai." Tyson said. "He's starting to turn an odd shade of red."

With that said, Rei released me. I sought out the nearest chair and sat down with the intention of trying to regain control over my hormones.

"So, what happened just now? Tyson asked.

"Well, I went out for an early morning walk." Rei said and began fixing his clothing and hair. "I was coming back in when I heard this barking, then before I knew it those demon dogs were chasing me. Reminds me all too much of the Kai Kitty incident…"

Yes, Kai Kitty… I hated that stupid cat. Maybe this deserves an explanation.

See, we sort of adopted this stray cat.

Wait.

Actually, he adopted us…

---

I was walking down the sidewalk on my way back to the house. We'd been there for a whole week. It was hell. It was the earthbound equivalent to fiery pits and demons with pitchforks. But instead of being fiery, it was icy cold because the heat was broken, and there weren't any demons only Tyson's voice, which was a form of torture in on itself.

I felt someone watching me and spun around. There was nobody there. I guess I'm just a bit paranoid. I continued walking. But that sensation just wouldn't leave me alone. I turned back around and still found no one. Grunting I went to continue on, but there was a small orange kitten sitting in my path. It blinked up and me and mewed. Did I ever mention I don't'like animals?

I stepped over the stupid thing and continued on my way. After a block I heard a loud mew and turned to see the cat following me. "Go away kitty."

"Mew?" It blinked up at me.

I grumbled curses under my breath and walked faster but the stupid animal kept up with me. I got to the front steps and stopped. I stopped to open the door and the cat was right up against my ankle, nuzzling my leg.

"I said GO AWAY!"

The cat just mewed and nuzzled my leg more.

I tried to shoo it off with my foot, but the darn thing was fast. I wouldn't be able to open the door without it getting in. With a final grunt of defeat I sank to the steps and glared at the cat. It crawled onto my lap and purred contentedly.

I must have sat there for 20 minutes trying to contemplate how to get rid of the cat when Rei came up the lawn. He gave me an odd look, but when he got closer a look of excitement overcame his face.

"KAI! You brought home a kitten!" He swooped down and picked up the kitten from my lap. He nuzzled the kitten, and it nuzzled him back.

"I didn't bring it home, it followed me!"

"Can we keep him?" he looked down at me with puppy dog eyes.

I stood up and glared at him. "No. We're not keeping any pets at all in this house."

"But Kai, he's soooo cute!" He put the kitten near my face and it pawed at my cheek gently.

He looked so… cute then. I blinked, wait, why am I thinking he's cute? "Fine damn it, keep the cat." I stormed off.

---

Kai Kitty, as the orange cat had come to be named since it followed me home, shot off across the lawn. It was in hot pursuit by the infamous Bumpus hounds. Rei was running after them screaming. I grabbed him by the sleeve and tried to restrain him.

"Don't worry; your stupid cat will be alright. Don't'go in there or those stupid hounds will eat you too."

The orange fuzzball that was Kai Kitty disappeared into the woods and the monstrous brown blobs chased after it.

---

We hadn't seen Kai Kitty ever again after that fiasco. I felt sort of bad… Rei had loved that kitten so much and was absolutely devastated when it disappeared. He locked himself up in his room for three days straight, only coming out to use the toilet and to get some food.

I also wonder why cats seemed to like me so much. That hadn't been the first nor was it the last time a cat had followed me around.

"So Rei, are you alright?" Mr. Dickinson's voice woke me from my thoughts.

Rei nodded. "Just a little spooked."

"And you're fine from last night too? Don't worry about the fire damage. It's only a material object; your safety is what really matters."

"Yes sir, I'm perfectly fine."

"That's good; I must be going now boys. I'll have someone in here soon to look at the damages. We should have that kitchen patched up in a few days. In the meantime take care of yourselves and mind yourself around fire." He seemed to focus on Rei in particular when he said that last thing about minding fire.

With that Mr. Dickinson grabbed his hat off a chair and headed towards the door. Kenny saw him out.

"Well… I'm going to go train." Tyson smiled and hurried out of the room. That was a first, Tyson said something intelligent. I must reward him for that. Maybe I'll give him a cookie, and then see if I can teach him how to eat it properly.

Kenny poked his head back in the room. "I'll be upstairs if anyone needs me." And with that he disappeared up the stairs.

Max, however, made no move to leave. He was glancing between Rei and me. "Do you guys mind if I ask a question?"

"Go ahead and shoot." Rei said and flopped onto the nearby couch.

"I've just been noticing… you two seem to be spending a lot of time together. And I think it's great! Kai's been more pleasant. So thanks for that Rei." He grinned like a fool.

I blinked at him, Rei did the same. "Is that all?" Rei asked.

"Actually… Iwaswonderingifyoutwoweregayandyea…"

Both of us stared at him like he was growing a second head. I hadn't understood a sound that had come out of his mouth.

"Excuse me, but could you say that again? But slower." Rei sat up and leaned towards Max.

Max coughed as if clearing his throat. "I was wondering if you two were… you know… 'seeing' each other?"

This day is just full of surprises. Rei blanched and I could feel myself blushing again. Stupid Max…

"I mean I don't want to seem rude, but I'd like to know. And if you are, then great! I won't say a word. But I'd like to know, you know you can trust me. I won't tell any of the others and you-"

"Shut up Max." I spat. He blinked at me. "You're babbling like a moron, which you aren't, and it's starting to annoy me."

Rei sighed. "You were right though Max…" I scowled at him but Rei just continued on. "Not that we've really done anything. The whole burning down the table thing was really when everything started. Well, not at that exact moment, we were kissing when I knocked over the candle." Rei blushed; he's cute when he blushes.

"Ahh…" Max had a look of wonder on his face. Slowly that look of wonder transformed into a broad smile. "Don't worry guys! Your secret's safe with me!" With that he bounded out of the room to do God knows what.

I got up and walked over to the couch. I dropped down beside Rei. He had been trying to un-braid his hair. I gently took his braid from him and began to unravel it. His hair was so silky and smelled like fruit. It's really marvellous how someone can have hair this long and have it look this good.

After a while I found there was no more hair to untangle. Sighing contently I pulled him back into my arms. We sat there like that for a while.

His stomach rumbled… I guess neither of us have had breakfast yet. Whimpering softly he pulled out of my arms and turned to me. "We better go have something to eat. And if we sit here too long someone may walk in on us.

I nodded. He went to get up but I caught him by his arm and pulled him back down and into a soft kiss.

Chapter Text

---Rei’s Pov---

We broke apart from our moment of bliss and sat, panting. I sighed contentedly and just leaned into him as he held me close.

“KAI IS MOLESTING REI!” Tyson’s voice killed our moment.

I jumped up, bashing the top of my head into Kai’s chin in the process. I put my hand to my forehead and moaned. Cripes! Kai has a hard head.

Footsteps thundered down the stairs and Kenny and Max scrambled into the room. The whole time Tyson had been yelling incoherent things.

“What’s happening?” Kenny inquired. He scratched his head, completely dumbfounded.

“I walked in and Kai was molesting Rei!” Tyson shrieked and gestured frantically.

Both Kenny and Max blinked. They glanced between Tyson, Kai and me, trying to figure out what had really occurred to put Tyson in such a state.

Glaring, Kai got up and took Tyson by the collar of his shirt. He shoved Tyson against the nearby wall and growled, “Did you ever stop to think that maybe Rei had consented to me touching him? Did you ever consider that we may be gay?”

“Actually… I’m bi.” I muttered, but nobody seemed to be paying attention to me.

“Uh, Kai, let’s calm down and then we can discuss this in a non-violent fashion.” Kenny was slowly approaching Kai until Kai snarled at him and Kenny stopped his advance.

I’m probably the only one he’ll listen to. I slowly got up and walked to him. With a burst of courage I put a hand on his arm. “Come on Kai, let’s not kill Tyson. Murder is still illegal.” He turned and scowled at me. But he did release Tyson by flinging him to the ground. Without any words he stormed over to the couch and sat back down. I followed and sat down beside him.

“How long have you been together?” Kenny sat on a nearby chair, watching Kai and me.

“Officially… since last night” I began fiddling with my hair, the long strands were getting rather tangled. I’ll have one joyous time trying to brush it out…

 “S-so you weren’t molesting him?” Tyson ventured.

“No!” Kai crossed his arms over his chest. I sighed and gently laid a hand on his shoulder, but he flinched away from me.

“I’m glad to see you two together finally.” Kenny smiled. We all turned to him (even Kai), and gave him an odd look. “I always thought you two liked each other. Rei’s attraction to you, Kai, was a bit more blatantly obvious though.”

I nodded, Kai seemed to calm slightly.

“I’m cool with the gayness.” Max grinned.

Tyson sighed. “Yea… but it makes you think about all those times Kai and Rei have seen us naked or in just our undies. Were they checking us out?”

“Tyson, I wouldn’t check you out even if you were the last human alive.” Kai spat.

Looks like everything’s back to normal now.

“That’s ok then… hey! That was an insult, wasn’t it?” Tyson yelled.

I grinned and Max laughed. Yea, definitely normal.

You know, it feels pretty good to get this whole thing out in the open.

---Kai’s pov---

If I could Kill Tyson, I would. But then I would have to go to jail and I wouldn’t be able to snog Rei.

I can’t believe I just thought that. Since when has the word “snog” been part of my vocabulary?

Before I really knew what was happening Rei leaned over and kissed me in front of the other guys. Then Rei was dragging me somewhere. Maybe I should have been paying attention to what was going on. He dragged me outside and onto the back porch.

“You alright with the other guys knowing about us?”

“They’d have found out eventually anyways.” I leaned against the railing and looked out over the yard.

“I like it, now we don’t have to sneak around.” He pulled me close and I held him to my chest.

“True.” My lips curled up in the corners in the attempt at a smile. Maybe this wasn’t so bad after all.

His stomach growled again and I sweatdropped. “I guess you haven’t eaten yet, huh?”

“How about I just eat you?” He grinned, then leaned up and kissed me.

-------

Nearly a month has passed since Rei and I “got together”. The road to here has been kind of bumpy, but there weren’t too many incidents… though there was that one time that Tyson was sleep walking in the buff and I had the misfortune to see him. He still thinks I’m trying to get into his pants. I wonder if he was dropped on his head often as a child or if he was just born stupid. Looking at his grandfather I’m going to say both.

Outside of the home there haven’t been any major incidents either. Though Rei did shove his tongue down my throat when we were at a picture last weekend. I didn’t really mind that though… But the lady in front of us looked rather horrified. She kept making the sign of the cross and muttering things about Satan worship.

The whole shunning gays because “God says its wrong” is bull. If God created man, then he created the gays. As you can see, I have issues with the church. Then again, I have gripes with a lot of things. Like fangirls, and people who don’t understand punctuality. Think how many problems could be solved if Tyson could just be on time. Trust me nothing will work... I’ve even tried resetting all the clocks in the house. That guy has some strange internal clock.

I sighed and moved some hair out of my eyes.

You know, I’m really not such a cruel guy. For years I was forced to show no emotion, to be the ultimate warrior. But Rei’s really changed me. Well, except for my hatred of Tyson. Which reminds me, he’s the one I blame for my current predicament. See, the idiot had answered the phone last week and got to talking with Mariah. Now she and Lee are coming for a visit. They don’t know about Rei and me yet.

A large plastic disk came in contact with my face. I picked up the Frisbee and scowled at Tyson, Max and Rei. They had been playing Frisbee while I was relaxing under a Sakura tree. 

“You alright there Kai?” Rei walked over calmly and bent down beside me.

I sighed and just handed him the Frisbee. “Fine.”

“Sorry about that… I sort of missed I guess.”

I shrugged. “It really didn’t hurt.”

He smiled and started to lean in for a kiss.

“Reeeeeiiiiiiiiii!” A feminine voice squealed. A pink blur glomp-tackled Rei and he half landed on me.

“Mariah!” Rei exclaimed half in shock, half in joy. She released her long-time friend and smiled brightly. Rei grinned back stupidly.

“Mariah, you shouldn’t attack your host…” Lee grinned at the two. Rei got up and to the surprise of everyone, gave Lee a warm bear hug.

I got up and watched Rei interact with his childhood friends. His smile was so bright and beautiful. I haven’t seen him this happy before. He has never smiled that way before in my presence. I have to admit that it does make me a little bit jealous.

“Yo Kai, you coming?” Max asked.

While I had been thinking, everybody had started to head inside. I nodded at Max and followed everyone in. We headed into the living room. Rei was almost bouncing with excitement.

“Ooo, I’ll get some drinks. Come with me Kai.” He grabbed me by my scarf and dragged me into the kitchen.

“Your giddiness is scaring me Rei.” I began taking glasses out of the cupboard and putting ice cubes in them.”

“Sorry, it’s just exciting. I haven’t seen them in ages!”

I walked over to him, and when he turned to me I placed my hands on his shoulders. “Calm down.”

He took a couple claming breaths and sighed. He then fell against my chest and wrapped his arms around my waist. He leaned in for a quick kiss...

“Eww! Kai’s molesting Rei!” Mariah shrieked.

Rei and I both sweatdropped and turned to Mariah who was frozen in the doorway.

“Why does everyone think I’m molesting Rei? I’m not some big pervert you know!” I scowled and slumped into a chair.

Lee hurried in behind Mariah and Max and Tyson followed soon after.

“That’s what I said.” Tyson grinned like the fool he was.

“Err… well… you see Mariah…” Rei stuttered, he obviously thought that he wouldn’t have had to tell his childhood friends so soon.

“You’re gay?” Lee asked, he seemed to be taking this a lot better than Mariah.

Rei just nodded.

“You mean… you and Kai are dating?” Tears were brimming in Mariah’s eyes and she took Lee’s hand when he offered it to her. “But… I thought you liked me. I wanted us to get married some day. I know you think it’s silly, but that’s been one of my dreams since we were little.”

Rei blushed beet red and his mouth made a little o. “I didn’t know you felt that way.”

Really Rei, are you blind or something? Mariah only hangs off you like a wet noodle. If she wasn’t one of your friends I would have told the police you had a very pink stalker.

Rei sighed and walked over to Mariah. He brushed some of her hair out of her eyes and tilted her chin up so she was looking in his eyes. “Don’t get me wrong Mariah, I love you, but not in that way. You’ve always been like a little sister to me. I’ll always love you and nobody can take your place in my heart. But Kai’s different… I feel something different towards him. It’s love, but it’s the love of two soul mates. I hope you can understand this, and be happy.”

She wiped some tears away with the back of her hand and sniffed. “This is just such a big shock. But of course I’ll respect your choice, Rei.” She collapsed into his chest and began sobbing.

I wonder if she’s genuinely crying, or if she’s just trying to cop a feel. I shouldn’t be so cruel, she did just find out the one she loved was, well, gay. That has to be a blow to anyone.

---Rei’s pov---

As night drew nearer and the drama cooled down we were all hit with the same problem; where are Lee and Mariah going to sleep? I’m not quite sure why nobody thought that out beforehand but, right now we are all standing in the hallway upstairs trying to determine where.

The basement, where there was a guest room, was not an option. There had been a slight incident down there a couple days ago concerning Tyson. He had been helping Max move some furniture and had managed to put a chair through the wall. There was now an 1 metre square hole about half a metre up the wall right next to the door.

The living room wasn’t exactly an ideal sleeping location either. We didn’t hive a hide-a-bed couch, so that meant that someone would have to sleep on the floor.

So, that left bedrooms. Lee had offered to sleep on the floor somewhere, but there was really no need for that. We had plenty of bedrooms; some people would just have to share.

“Someone can have my room; I’ll stay in Kai’s.” I offered.

Mariah looked about ready to protest but Lee nudged her with his elbow and she just whimpered.

“And someone can have my room.” Max said. “Kenny’s is full of Beyblade parts and other junk, and Tyson’s is a disaster area.”

Tyson scowled and crossed his arms. “You don’t have to rub it in that you’re so neat and organized while I’m not, Max. And it’s not a disaster area, it’s an organized mess!”

“Where will you stay then Max?” Lee inquired. “I don’t really mind staying on the floor.”

“Maxie will stay in my room.” Tyson smiled. “It’s no bother really; we share rooms all the time when we’re travelling.”

Max sweatdropped. “That’s only because nobody else will…”

“Are you saying you don’t like me?”

“No, it’s not that. It’s just that your sleeping habits are a bit… different.”

“You’re telling me you never sleep walk?”

“I may sleep walk, but I’m not a) naked or b) screaming and running about.”

Kenny, Lee and I grinned as the two bladers bickered. Sort of remind you of an old married couple… Actually, Kai and Tyson are more like an old married couple, but those two wouldn’t get together even in an alternate universe.

“I’ll take Rei’s room.” Mariah piped up.

I nodded. “I’m just going to grab a few things and put them in Kai’s room.”

-----

Kai pulled me closer and I sighed contentedly. It was 9:30 am, but neither of us felt like getting up. It didn’t sound like Tyson was up either. In other words, the house was pretty quiet. I wonder if Mariah and Lee needed anything. They’re smart; I bet they can figure things out on their own. Urgh… I don’t think anyone told them about the toaster or “the evil toaster from hell” as I like to call it. See, no matter what it always incinerates my toast. Everyone else can get theirs golden brown and perfect, while mine isn’t even considered food anymore. Not that my grilled cheese is any better.

“Rei… you’re chewing on your pillow.”

I sweatdropped and stopped chewing on the pillowslip. “I guess I’m a bit hungry.”

He sighed and released me. “You always seem to be hungry. At least you don’t whine about it like Tyson.”

I smiled and shifted so that my head was resting on his shoulder. “I could always do that if you wanted.” I smiled and nibbled on his neck.

“Do it and die.”

“I thought you’d say that.”

There was a loud crash and yelling erupted from downstairs.

“I swear we’re living in a jungle.” He muttered and pulled me tighter to his chest.

I smiled, “We don’t have any wild animals though.”

“Tyson is an animal… I’m not sure what but he’s definitely something else. And you’re my little cat.” He began running his fingers through my hair… sort of petting me. Like a damn cat. I wasn’t sure if I should hit him with something or purr.

“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT TYSON!” Mariah shrieked as she stormed into my room and slammed the door so hard we could feel a vibration from it in Kai’s bed.

“Do you think she knocked some plaster loose?” I cringed. I bet all my pictures fell to the ground. And they were all straight too…

“Plaster is repairable, but what I’m going to do to Tyson’s head won’t be.” He got out of bed, grabbed a nearby shirt and pulled it over his head. Before I could protest he was out in the hallway.

I sighed and got out of bed as well. Slowly I wandered downstairs. Kai and Tyson were arguing while Max, Lee and Kenny were trying to break them apart. I made a bee-line to the kitchen to make myself some coffee. While I was waiting for my morning energy boost to brew the doorbell rang. After a few seconds of continued arguing I figured that nobody else was going to get that so I sauntered over to the front door. And yes, I was still in my kitty cat pyjama pants. Damn.

Opening the door I revealed a somewhat familiar brown haired boy.

“Wyatt? What are you doing here?”

He blinked at me, transfixed by my pants. “I’m… uh… here to visit. I’m sorry I didn’t call first. I’ve been out of therapy for a couple days and wanted to come see Kai to tell him I was alright and se how everyone else was doing. And I hope you really don’t mind…”

I shrugged and stepped aside. “Come on in then. Kai’s fighting with Tyson; they might have gotten to the physical blows by now so watch your step.”

The other boy made his way to living room, guided by the raised voices of Tyson and Kai. Silently I followed to see what the Russian boy would do. Upon spotting Kai, Wyatt walked quickly over to him and latched onto his arm. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or yell at Wyatt.

Kai stopped yelling and turned his head to look at Wyatt. “… Wyatt…? What… what are you doing?”

Wyatt blinked up at him cutely. “I’m here to visit you Kai! My therapist says I should have more human interaction and said I should stay here for a few days, so please can I stay? PLEASE?” He peered at my boyfriend pleadingly and gently stroked his arm.

Kai blanched and glanced at me. He was really at a loss for words. Not that he said much normally.

I sighed. “Alright, you can stay, Wyatt.”

The brunette turned towards me, eyes large. “Oh thank you, Rei!”

And then he glomped me.
-----

Kai removed the bag of frozen vegetables from my head. “You feeling any better now?” I grimaced and whimpered in response. He replaced the bag on the back of my head and pulled me back to his chest.

“That kid is crazy… he didn’t have to hit me with a lamp just because I took you by the hand.”

“I didn’t know he was that obsessed with me. I thought it was just a little school boy crush.” He kissed the top of my head. “Do you want me to get him out of the house?”

“It’s ok. He knows we’re together now. He shouldn’t abuse me with anything else. Only thing we have to worry about now are Mariah and Wyatt plotting together to break us apart.”

Kai nodded and sighed.

Ever since his arrival Wyatt’s been hanging off Kai, sort of like how Mariah does on me. Only difference between them is that Mariah hasn’t actually come to physical blows with Kai… yet. Which sort of surprises me… She’s had a horrible grudge against Kai since that whole incident at the World Championship where Kai lost his marbles and stole everyone’s bit beats with Black Dranzer.

“Rei, are you in here?” Wyatt poked his head into the kitchen. Upon seeing us together he frowned. “I… I uh, wanted to apologise. I sort of overreacted. I should have waited to find out if you two were together before I hit you with that lamp. And I’m very sorry for breaking the lamp. It was a very nice lamp. And is your head alright? I didn’t mean to hurt you…”

“You hit him with a lamp, how could that not hurt?” Kai shot back and held me protectively.

“Kai, it’s alright really…”

“No, it’s not ok! Every time he comes around, something bad happens.” He scowled over at Wyatt. “Get out!”

The brunette’s eyes began to fill with unshed tears. “I’m very sorry for what happened. I’ll be out of here in no time.”

I pulled myself out of Kai’s arms and got up. The room spun slightly but I regained my balance. “No, it’s alright. Kai’s just being a bit of a jerk. I don’t care about the lamp and my head’s fine.” The room began to spin more violently. “I think I’m gong to pass out now…”

---Kai’s pov---

I dove forwards and caught my precious cat.

“Mmm. Thanks Kai. Still feel a bit tipsy.”

“Can… can I get you something Rei? Something to drink, something to eat? Anything?” Wyatt pleaded.

Rei stood up, but leaned on me for support. “How about a pain killer and a glass of water?”

Wyatt nodded his head vigorously and headed off to find what Rei had requested.

“How about we go to the living room?” I stroked his hair gently.

Rei nodded in response. I wrapped an arm around his waist and slowly led him into the other room. I sat down then he laid down so that his head was in my lap.

He’s so peaceful when he looks like he’s sleeping. His body moves ever so slightly with each breath. His mouth always opens ever so slightly and sometimes those soft lips utter words, sometimes incoherent babble others beautiful poetry. Once he said “don’t worry Miss, our chickens are delivered daily.” I never quite understood that one. It was adorable none the less though.

“Do you ever regret starting this relationship?” His words were so quiet I almost didn’t hear him.

I chewed on my lower lip slightly. Did I regret this? Regret kissing him that first night, regret letting him sleep in my bed when he mistook my room for the bathroom or regret telling him my secrets? No, anything I’d done with him I’ve never regretted. He was perfection, he made me a little more perfect.

“Never.” I whispered and began stroking his cheek. “I really do love you, Rei. Don’t ever think otherwise.”

He opened his eyes and turned his head to look up at me. “I love you too.” Slowly he sat up then leaned in and kissed me.

“Get a room.” Tyson groaned and threw a throw pillow at us.

“Can I hurt him, please?” Rei asked. Our lips were still touching.

“Be my guest.”

Slowly Rei turned his head to Tyson. “You’ve taken your last breath kid.” With lightning fast speed Rei took a 100 yen piece off the table and flicked it at Tyson. The yen hit Tyson on the tip of his nose then bounced off and across the room.

“Ow!” Tyson brought his hands to his nose and glared at Rei. “You could take someone’s eye out like that!”

“Too bad he didn’t.” I muttered.

“So you want me to be a one-eyed blader?” Tyson yelled back. And he could wear an eye patch and go “yarr mateies” and be a pirate…

“I never said that.” I muttered back and put a hand to my head. His voice is really beginning to grate on my nerves.

“Tyson, stop yelling!” Wyatt entered the room and handed Rei a glass of water and a pain killer. “Your voice is only going to make Rei’s head hurt worse.”

“You’re protecting your rival? You want to go out with Kai, don’t you?! So then why are you being so nice to Rei?”

Wyatt turned bright red. “Err… I want… I want Kai to be happy…”

“Then why’d you hit Rei with a lamp?”

The brunette was silent.

The phone rang. “I’ll get it.” Tyson muttered and left the room.

We all sat or stood in silence. I never knew I was this popular with guys before. I suppose I am attractive, but this is all rather ridiculous. At first I thought Rei was just so understanding and watchful of everyone. And I thought Wyatt just wanted to be like me, not be with me. Can’t a guy live in peace?

“GUYS!” Tyson skidded back into the room. “I was just talking to Mr. Dickinson and he wants us to go to a charity tournament tomorrow. Some of the best bladers in the world will be there. Oh, and Mariah and Lee are invited too. Isn’t this exciting? We haven’t been in a tournament for a while.”

Oh great, a tournament… just what we needed, more screaming fangirls trying to molest Rei. If he flirts with any of them, I’m afraid I may have to do something drastic.

“Oh wow! A tournament! I’m sure you’ll win Kai, you are the best after all.” Wyatt swooned.

“HEY! I’m the best!” Tyson yelled back.

“Well, statistically you are ranked the top blader, but you just win by blind luck, Kai has all the skills. Wyatt beamed and looked hopefully at Kai.

“It’s ok Tyson, we all know Wyatt is Kai’s little fanboy.” Lee smiled as he entered the room.

“I’m not a fanboy.” Wyatt pouted and turned his back to Lee.

The doorbell rang.

“I’m not getting it.” Tyson scowled at the floor.

I sighed and got up. “Fine, I’ll get it then.” I stalked off into the front hallway and swung open the door. “If you’re trying to sell something, go away.”

“Hello, Kai.” She said with a nasal voice.

I blinked down at Hilary. What is she doing here? Never has one female grated so much on my nerves, even Mariah’s more tolerable. And that’s saying something, because she is incredibly annoying. I loathe her clinginess to Rei.

“Well, I came to see if you guys needed a trainer for the upcoming match.” She smiled brightly.

I had this unnatural urge to slam the door on her smug face. What was she thinking? It’s just a charity event and its tomorrow, there’s no time to practice really. Anyways, statistics on this didn’t matter much, as long as Tyson loses to me at some point. I want to grind his ego into the ground.

“Uh… Kai?” Hilary blinked up at me nervously.

I moved out of the way and motioned for her to enter the house. Maybe she can occupy Tyson for a while so I can get some alone time with Rei.

“Tyson!” Hilary yelled in her no-nonsense voice. “Where are you?”

All noises from the other room stopped. There were quick steps retreating out of the living room and up the stairs.

I silently followed Hilary into the living room.

“Oh, hey Hilary…” Rei put on a fake smile and waved slightly.

Hilary blinked at Wyatt and Lee. “Uhh… hello there.”

Both boys scrutinized her carefully. She was an interesting sight. She wore a hot pink t-shirt and powder pink Capri pants. She was like an even more annoying Mariah with brown hair.

“Hello, I’m Lee…” the Chinese blader stuck out his hand tentatively. “I’m an old friend of Rei’s.”

“Oh, nice to meet you.” Hilary smiled and took his hand confidently. “I’m Hilary, I used to coach the Bladebreakers. We’ve been out of touch lately though. It seems that nobody answers the phone around here anymore.” 

Yes, let us all bask in the miracle of caller ID.

Hilary turned her gaze to Wyatt. “And who are you?”

Wyatt glanced around the room then back to Hilary. “I think we’ve met before.” He scrunched up his nose while he thought.

After a second Hilary exclaimed, “You had the cyber bit beast right? I thought you died.”

Wyatt sweatdropped at Hilary’s obvious mistake. “I’m not dead. Well, I nearly died and wound up in a psyche ward for a few months. But I’m better now. Mostly…”

“Ahh, Hilary,” Kenny paused as he came to a stop beside Wyatt. “It’s… nice to see you.” He forced a smile.

“I came about the tournament, is there anything I can do to help?”

“What tournament?”

Have I ever mentioned that it disturbs me that you can’t usually see his eyes through that mop of hair? I bet he wouldn’t need such powerful glasses if he didn’t have all that hair. I’ve always wanted to go in during the night and snip it all off. It’s not my style, but I could easily pin it on Tyson.

“There’s a charity tournament tomorrow that we’ve all been invited to. Well, except for Wyatt.” Rei smiled sympathetically at my fanboy. “I don’t know many details though, Tyson took the call.”

“And where would Tyson be?” Kenny glanced around the room. Well, I assume that’s what he did, his head just sort of turned this way and that in a scanning motion.

“He disappeared when Hilary came in.” Rei stated.

“That’s not very nice of him.” Hilary crossed her arms and looked towards the stairwell.

“Come on you chicken!” Max was dragging a very reluctant Tyson down the stairs. “If you don’t come down now, Hilary will only yell at you more. They both came into the room and Max smiled at Hilary. “Hey Hil’, nice to see you again.”

She smiled at Max then turned her gaze to Tyson. “What were you doing hiding from me? It’s not like I’m going to beat you with a stick.”

Tyson scowled back at her. “No, but you’ll make me clean or something.”

How juvenile. If one of them sticks their tongue out, I will just have to leave the room. Actually, why don’t I just leave now. Then I won’t have to suffer through those two arguing. Silently I walked over to Rei, took him by the arm and brought him into the kitchen. “We’ll make punch.”

After we entered the kitchen he smiled up at me. “Couldn’t stand to be there any longer?”

“Frankly, I’m getting sick of all these people staying at our house. Its bad enough Lee and that pink leach are staying a week. Now I have my dutiful fanboy and the terror in pink to deal with.”

He laughed and leaned up to kiss me. “Mariah’s not a leech, she’s just… ok, she is a bit of a leech.” He leaned up and kissed me again.

“Kai, are you… KAI’S MOLESTING REI!” Hilary shriekd.

Rei and I sprung apart and Rei covered his ears. “Ow, that hurts the ears Hilary!”

My hand shot out and grabbed the pink pain in the arse by the collar of her shirt. “Listen, if I was molesting Rei, don’t you think he’d be protesting just a little?”

Her eyes widened and her mouth gaped open.

“I leaned in closer, scowling. “Now, do you have a problem with me kissing Rei?” I leaned back and glared at everyone else. “Does anyone have a problem with me kissing Rei?”

Mariah and Wyatt who were standing in the doorway along with everyone else looked like they were going to say something but quickly halted their actions and stared at the floor.

“I… I… I’m sorry.” Hilary’s voice was shaky and her face was pale.

I released her and she swayed and almost fell but Tyson caught her.

“You don’t have to yell at her like that Kai.” Tyson spat.

“So, first you run away from her and now you’re protecting her?” I shot back and crossed my arms.

“What?” He looked down at Hilary in his arms. His eyes widened a little bit in surprise and he dropped her on the floor.

“Ow! That hurt Tyson!” Hilary glared up at him from the floor. “That was uncalled for!” She got up from the floor and dusted herself off.

“Look… guys…” Rei tried to interrupt them but Hilary and Tyson were in a screaming match. “SHUT UP!” He yelled at the top of his lungs.

Everyone fell silent and stared over at Rei.

“Look, fighting isn’t going to get us anywhere. I say we have a nice relaxing evening and catch up on old times. That sound good to everyone? Maybe we could have a barbeque or something.”

“That sounds great!” Max grabbed Tyson’s arm. “We’ll go to the grocery store and get some supplies. Hamburgers sound good to everyone?” He didn’t even wait for any responses, he just dragged Tyson out of the kitchen and to the front door. “We’ll be back soon! Make sure we have enough propane for the barbeque!”

---Rei’s pov---

Whoever bought the ‘Kiss the cook’ apron should die. I’m currently having problems with it. At this very moment Kai’s standing over the grill, wearing that dorky apron and he looks so incredibly hot. Its about 30 degrees out and its certainly not helping my thinking. His shirt is clinging to his well toned body and he keeps moving his glistening hair away from his forehead.

Oh god, I’m drooling…

I wipe away the drool and turn to look at Lee and Max who were playing Frisbee. Lee could throw and catch the Frisbee perfectly, well when Max managed to throw it straight. Max couldn’t throw or catch a Frisbee unless his life depended on it. It’s really remarkable he’s such a good blader.

“He’s rather pitiful, hm?” Kai sat down beside me at the plastic table.

I looked over to him and smiled. “Makes me wonder how he can shoot in the dish when Beyblading. He’s not even throwing towards Lee, he’s aiming for the tree 10 metres from him.”

A faint smile graced Kai’s lips and he turned to me. “Feeling any better?”

“Much, I think the fresh air’s done wonders.”

“Though it is blistering.” Kai tugged at the collar of his shirt. Sometime when I wasn’t watching he had discarded the ‘kiss the cook’ apron. Mmm… he looks so yummy.

“You’re staring at my chest again.” Kai gave me a funny look.

I blushed bright red and glanced away. “Sorry…”

There was the rustle of fabric and when I turned back around Kai was shirtless. I practically fell over. Not a good thing for my hormones. I could feel the blood rushing south and Kai sensed it. He smiled and looked down at my crotch. If he kisses me, I won’t be accountable for my actions!

Our lips were mere centimetres apart when the Frisbee hit me in the back of the head. Owwwwww…

“I’m so sorry Rei! Are you alright?” Max ran over to me and put a hand on my shoulder.

“I’ll be fine.” I rubbed the back of my head and gave my team-mate a small smile.

“Kai, I found the barbe-” Wyatt froze when he saw Kai shirtless. His eyes widened and a slight blush crept across his cheeks.

“Thanks.” Kai got up, took the barbeque sauce from Wyatt and went over to finish up supper.

I got up and walked over to Wyatt. “Remember, he’s mine.”

He nodded dejectedly and turned to Max and Lee. “You guys still playing Frisbee?”

“Yah, man!” Max grabbed the Frisbee off the ground and he, Lee and Wyatt jogged into the open grassy area to continue their game.

I wandered over to Kai and slid my arms around his waist while he cooked. I placed my chin on his shoulder and sighed contentedly. We stood like that for a while. Him cooking, me purring like a content kitten. I closed my eyes, just for a moment, just so that I could enjoy the serenity of it all.

“Dinner’s done. We can call everyone to eat.”

Reluctantly I released Kai and followed him to the table. The burgers look so good. I got so distracted with Kai that I forgot about my empty stomach. It gave a decent rumble and I smiled.  

“Looks wonderful dear.” I grinned stupidly and kissed him on the cheek.

A faint blush formed on his cheeks, but that could have just been the sunlight I suppose. “Just call everyone.” He grabbed his shirt and put it back on. Not so yummy…

I opened the back door and yelled into the house “Time to eat!” then turned to the boys playing Frisbee and yelled the same thing.

Within 3 seconds Tyson bounded out the back door and nearly ploughed me over. He flung himself into a chair and began serving himself some food. Kai was absolutely fuming but I couldn’t help but laugh.

Mariah and Hilary came out together, giggling like school girls. When Hilary looked over at me she burst into a fit of laughter. Why do I have this sinking feeling that my whole childhood had been revealed to that wench. I must remember to put frogs in Mariah’s bed later tonight.

My stomach growled again and I glanced at Tyson who was shovelling food into his open maw. Oh well, might as well eat now. I grinned.

---

I took another long swig of the sparkling grape juice and wrinkled my nose. It really was foul stuff. Somehow Kai didn’t even flinch when he drank any. It wouldn’t really surprise me if he’s been drunk before. I remember my first sip of Vodka back in Russia. I had thought it was water, but upon the foul liquid entering my mouth I’d realised that it wasn’t. Max hadn’t been too happy when I’d spat it out on him. I really want to know how that glass of vodka had gotten in our hotel room.

I watched Kai watching the others play Pictionary. I loathe drawing so I hadn’t joined in, and Kai was just being Kai. He didn’t need a reason to not join in.

“<GLOBAL>!” Tyson yelled after the timer ran out.

“What the fuck do you mean <global>? How do you get that?” Max yelled back and pointed at the paper, annoyed.

Tyson’s drawing was of the planet earth with little squiggly lines coming off it. And beside it was a bell. “It’s a sound alike!” Tyson crossed his arms and scowled.

“<globe–bell…>” Kenny pronounced the English words slowly. “I hate playing the English version of Pictionary. Can’t we play something in Japanese?”

“There’s nothing else to play,” I muttered. “Well, unless you want to play Monopoly until four in the morning again.”

“There’s Twister.” Max said. Kenny, Kai, Tyson and I all looked at Max like he’d mentioned some horrible disease.

“I thought we disposed of that after the whole ‘groping’ incident.” Kenny pushed up his glasses. “You mean you’ve had it stashed away all along?”

“Groping incident?” Mariah looked to Tyson, somehow sensing that he had something to do with it.

“Right after our relationship became known,” I gestured towards Kai then turned to Tyson and scowled slightly. “We decided to play Twister one night. Kai was up against Tyson. Kai had to reach past Tyson’s crotch to get to a dot, so Tyson assumed he was trying to cop a feel. All hell broke loose, Tyson wound up throwing a chair and then we all spent the night in the emergency room waiting for Kai to get stitches.

“That’s so mean.” Wyatt looked worriedly at Kai. “But I’m glad you’re alright. I say we play Twister.”

“I’m not playing Twister.” Kai crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Tyson.

“Oh come on love,” I leaned in closer to Kai and began nibbling on his ear. “I’ll go up against you.” He shivered and relaxed slightly.

“Fine, but only for you.” He leaned in and kissed me, tongue begging for entrance. I permitted him entrance happily.

“Get a room.” Lee groaned and swatted at my arm lightly.

I broke away from Kai and grinned at Lee. “Come on, let your voyeur side show through Lee, I know you like it.”

“I’ll get the game!” Max bounded off up the stairs.

The others began cleaning up Pictionary and clearing a space for the Twister mat. Within minutes we had the game set up and Kai and I were the first to go. The beginning wasn’t too exciting, it didn’t help that Max hadn’t spun anything for my left hand yet. We need to make this more interesting…

“Rei, left hand green.” Max smiled.

Alright, now is the time to cop a feel and make things good. I looped my arm through Kai’s legs and grinned at him.

“Kai left hand blue”

Kai turned so that he could reach the blue dot he desired. He leaned in closer to me and smiled predatorily. Yes, now he’s getting into the spirit of the game. Within a minute we were a mess of arms and legs. My knee kept giving this uncontrollable twitch. If I don’t move my left leg soon I think…

I toppled over into Kai knocking us both to the floor. He was on the bottom and I straddled his waist. “I win dear.” I grinned like a madman.

“No you don’t.” He took me by the shoulder and flipped our position so that he was straddling me.

“Jeeze! Go upstairs already. We all know you two are horny as hell.” Tyson threw a pillow at us.

I grinned up at Kai. “Let’s go and see how much noise we can make upstairs.”  I pushed him off me and rushed out of the room with him in hot pursuit. When we reached his bedroom he practically pounced on me. After several moments of heated kissing I pulled away and grinned mischievously. “We should simulate sex.”

He raised a brow. “I thought we agreed it was too early for sex…”

“No, not actually have sex. Just make it sound like we are. Lots of banging and creaking of bedsprings. Then throw in some grunting and me yelling your name. It’ll be a hoot.”

He smiled and nodded. “I’ll lock the door.”

---Max’s pov---

Mariah’s eye twitched every time we heard Rei yell from upstairs. Lee on the other hand couldn’t stop laughing. I wonder if he’s found some sort of alcoholic beverage in this house. If he has I could go for some. The sex is sort of excessive; they’ve been going at it like bunnies in heat for nearly an hour now. Don’t they get tired? Well, they both do have remarkable stamina…

“Max, are you going to spin anytime soon?” Tyson asked and scowled at me. He was in a rather compromising situation with Wyatt currently.

I sighed and spun “Wyatt, left hand yellow.”

There was a really loud thud and hysterical laughter from upstairs. Kai laughing, now that is something truly scary.

“Ok, those two need to stop before they wake up the whole neighbourhood.” Mariah stood up from the couch and started walking towards the stairwell.

“Oh come on Mariah, Tyson’s yelling doesn’t seem to bother the neighbours. How could Kai and Rei’s lovemaking bother them?”

Her eye twitched.

“I’m with Mariah.” Hilary scowled at the stairwell. “I’m sick of them doing that!”

“KAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!” Rei’s voice echoed throughout the house and then everything went quiet.

“I’d say they’re done.” Kenny stated then looked at his watch. “Fancy that, its past 1 in the morning, we should get to sleep. We do have a tournament tomorrow.”

Everyone nodded in agreement and started to head upstairs.

---Rei’s pov---

Everyone’s out in the hallway discussing where they’re going to sleep. Kai and I both have our ears pressed against the door.

“I’ll stay with Mariah, that’s if it doesn’t matter to you, Mariah.” Came Hilary’s muffled voice.

“That’d be wonderful.” Mariah squealed.

Hmm, nobody seems that phased by the faked sex… I wish I could see their faces. I smiled.

“Kai, I’m going to go out there.”

“You don’t look like you’ve had sex…”

I bit my lip, true.

“Hey, you got any water in here?”

He got up and began rooting through a drawer. He produced a couple half-drank bottles of water.

I pulled off my shirt and told him to make me look sweaty and sexy. He sort of shook his head but went about pouring water on me. I ruffled my hair then inspected myself in the Kai’s mirrored closet doors. I looked alright I suppose.

“Get in bed and look naked.”

He leaned over and kissed me. “Whatever you say.” He pulled off his shirt and got into the mussed bed.

Slowly I opened the door and rubbed my eyes. Damn, the hallway is bright…

Everyone stopped what they had been doing to stare at me. Mariah’s mouth made a little o shape as she looked me up and down. Hilary blanched visibly. The smile that had been on Lee’s face disappeared slightly but after moment it returned.

“I hope we didn’t disturb you guys.” I smiled sheepishly at them.

“Um… no…” Mariah looked uncomfortable. “I’m tired, going to bed. Good night, Rei.”

“Uhh, so yea I’ll share with Lee.” Wyatt said and turned back to Lee.

Lee just shrugged and entered Max’s room. Wyatt followed.

The two boys just sort of stared at each other.  I’m quite amazed they agreed to stay together in the same room. I mean they hardly know each other. I know I wouldn’t want to be sleeping in the room of a strange boy in the same bed as another boy you don’t know…

“Um… do you want the left or the right?” Wyatt asked and ran his fingers through his short hair.

“I’ll take the left.” Lee said. And laid down stiffly on the bed.

I guess they’ll get along.

Tyson gave me an odd look, opened his mouth as if to say something, but just turned around and went into his room. Max gave me a little wink then hurried after Tyson. The Chief gave me a knowing smile and then headed into his own room. I think he knows we faked it… he really is a smart little guy.

I sauntered over to Kai’s room. I knocked gently and waited for Kai to say I could enter. I heard a soft grunt and took as it as an invitation. I entered slowly, stepping over piles of my clothing. Yeesh, since I’d been staying in his room it has really become a sty. 

He sat up as I approached. I slid onto the bed and leaned against him. He wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me even closer. “This house feels like a zoo.”

“I always thought of it more like a hotel… We have four guests after all. I don’t know how Hilary and Mariah are getting along so well. I figure they’re making up some plot to get us apart...”

“I suppose.”

We sat in silence for a while, just enjoying the other’s presence. Then Kai leaned over and kissed me gently. He sighed and released me then slid down under the sheets. I laid down too and snuggled up beside him. His strong arms encircled my body and I fell asleep with ease.

Chapter Text

"Absolutely not."

"But Kai…"

"Rei, I said no ." The team leader scowled down at his boyfriend. "I refuse to pretend to be a horny pervert in front of people."

"Come on, Sourpuss…" Rei gave Kai the cute eyes and put a hand on each of his boyfriend's shoulders. "If we act really touchy-feely, then maybe it'll get Mariah and Wyatt off our case."

The Russian's face fell. "I hate it when you're right. Why are you always right?"

"Because I'm the cute and crafty one, Kai." He winked. "Besides, we'll have fun and if you do a good job then I'll reward you." His tongue snaked out and licked his lips.

Kai sighed. "Ok, you win."

"And no training while we have company, remember?"

Kai scowled. "I didn't agree to that…"

Rei wrapped his boyfriend lightly in his arms and began trailing kisses up his neck. "Yes you did. You were kinda pissed that night though. Drinking all that vodka probably wasn't a good thing."

"You try being left alone with Tyson for a whole day." Kai spat.

"Well, I'm sorry that Tyson got sick and all, but you did volunteer to take care of him."

Kai gritted his teeth. "Fine, you win again. Now let's go see what kind of damage Mariah and Wyatt are inflicting."

---Rei's pov---

I yawned and stared out the bus window. I was sitting beside Kai and leaning on his shoulder. Some of the other bladers keep giving us suspicious looks. Wyatt keeps staring lustfully… he's sitting behind Mariah and Hilary, pretending to be listening to them. Somehow I don't think those three together is a good combination.

"Who do you think will be there?" Kai asked absently.

"I don't know… maybe the rest of the White Tigers. The All Starz? Possibly the St. Shields? Maybe the Demolition Boys?"

Kai tensed at the mention of his former team and glanced over at me. It looks like he still doesn't think too highly of them even though he hasn't spoken to Boris or Voltaire since the whole Black Dranzer incident. I wonder if he still has issues with some of the bladers? I know I have a bone to pick with Bryan. He did put me in the hospital after all… I also want to repay him for that.

"They are some of the best bladers in the world…" He trailed off and went back to staring out the window.

Maybe there's more to it than I think. Kai's gotten letters postmarked from Russia a couple of times. Of course I never pry… well, I can't read Russian except for the words for bathroom. But that's because I've spent a lot of time reading the signs in restaurants.

"Hey guys." Max plopped into the seat in front of us and grinned. "All ready to battle?"

I smiled. "Of course, Maxie. I'm always itching for a fight. And I think Kai here wants to see Tyson lose. But that's no different from any day. Anyways, do you know who's going to be there?"

Max bit his lip in thought. "I think Tyson mentioned the teams, but I can't remember who they are." He turned around to face the front of the bus. "HEY! Ty! Who's supposed to be there?"

Tyson bounded up to our seats and sat across the isle. "Well, there will be just four teams. Us," he pointed to Max, Kai and me. "The White Tigers, The All Starz,  and… err…" He scratched his head for a second. "Oh yah! The Demolition Boys."

Kai stiffened further. Seems he's not very happy with the prospect of seeing his old team mates. We've beaten them before, so we can do it again. Right? As long as I don't have to battle Bryan, I don't care.

"Do you know who we're going up against?" Kai asked.

"No clue." Tyson shrugged. "I want to go up against the Demolition Boys though. Want to teach Bryan a lesson for what he did to Rei, at the World Championships. I'm sure you want to battle them to, eh Kai?"

Kai just scowled at Tyson.

Suddenly the bus lurched to a stop in front of the stadium. Kenny stood up and turned to everyone in the bus. "Ok guys and girls, we're here. Let's try to get off the bus in a somewhat orderly fashion…"

Naturally everyone got up in a rush and pushed their way to the front. Kai and I waited for everyone to pass before we got out. All this pushing and shoving was just going to lead to…

Tyson fell out the bus door. "HEY! Will you guys stop shoving! I could have been hurt real bad!"

"Tyson, you were the one shoving in the first place." Kenny muttered and stepped over Tyson. "The bus is late; we have to be in there now."

"The only reason we're ever late is because of Tyson." Kai groaned and pushed past me.

Upon exiting the bus we were surrounded by a crowd of fans… the majority of them being fangirls bearing signs that read, "I LOVE YOU, KAI!" or "I LOVE YOU, REI!" Actually, the fangirls were chanting both of them as well.

"Kai… should we make a run for it?" I tried to hide behind him.

He nodded and we made a break for it. A crazed mob followed the two of us. We cut into the stadium and pushed past a security guard. He yelled things after us, but was soon engulfed by the crazed mob. We ducked down a stairwell and headed to the team rooms. Two security guards saw us coming and opened the door for us. We dove through and the door clicked shut behind us.

"Is it just me, or do those fangirls get scarier every time?" I panted. At least all the Beyblade training had kept me in good shape.

Kai nodded. "Next time, we go in the back way. I don't care what the others say; I'm not running from fangirls anymore."

"I wonder if they even know what Beyblading is… I bet they just watch because of us… well, a lot of the beybladers are rather attractive now that you think of it…" I chewed on my lip and thought about the others.

"We should go get ready. We still don't know who's blading who."

The door swung open and Max and Tyson pushed their way in.

"Holey moley, what did those girls eat this morning?" Max fixed his shirt.

Tyson had a grip so hard on his hat that his knuckles were turning white. "A couple of them were after me and Max… but a lot of them had Rei or Kai signs."

"Where are the others?" I asked and got up.

"Everyone else decided to go in the side entrance." Max smiled. "I suppose that would have been the smart thing to do."

We sat in silence for a moment, trying to regain our composure.

"Ahh, boys, there you are." Mr Dickinson came down the hallway and smiled at everyone. "If you could just come down to the dressing rooms, I would like to have a small talk with you and the other teams."

We all followed Mr. Dickinson down the winding hallways until we came to a team room. The White Tigers were all there, along with the All Starz, Hilary, Kenny and Wyatt.

"Hey guys." Max grinned at the All Starz and gave Michael a high five. "Haven't seen you guys in ages. My mom come over with you?"

"Yes, but Judy's helping them prepare the dishes." Emily turned to Max, she had been conversing with Mariah and Hilary.

"Well, can well all gather around?" Mr. Dickinson asked. Everyone quieted down and turned their attention to the older man. "Good, it's a simple tournament. Each team will chose three players to go up against another team. Best two out of three wins. When your team loses, you're out of the tournament. And you must remember-"

There was a crash from the hallway and some cursing in a foreign language.

"<Dammit, I told you that was the wrong way.>" Someone hissed from the hallway.

"<Just because you're 'special' doesn't mean you know where we're supposed to go.>" Another person responded.

"<But I know my way around.>" The first voice shot back.

"<I was the one told the instructions on how to find the team room though.>" A third voice added in.

"<Yes, but that was for a different entryway. The one we were supposed to use was blocked by fangirls.>" The first voice was becoming increasingly annoyed. "<Come on, I think the room's just around the corner.>" A very familiar form entered the doorway. "See, I told you I knew where we had to go." The person said triumphantly in Japanese.

"Ahh, Tala, good to see you boys found your way here." Mr. Dickinson smiled at the Demolition Boys as they entered the room.

A general air of hostility filled the room. Ahh yes, old grudges do die hard…

"Hello Kai, Bladebreakers." Ian grinned and nodded towards our team. Kai answered him with his standard glare.

"Well, now that you boys are here I'll continue where I left off. Where did I leave off?" Mr. Dickinson began fiddling with his moustache. I really wish he'd stop doing that… It's all flat and sticky-outy on the one side.

"You were explaining about the tournament." Kenny pushed up his glasses and looked up from his laptop.

"Ahh, right…" He fiddled with his moustache some more. "Remember to always respect your opponents, and let's keep these matches clean." He clapped his hands together. Now let's go up there and the White Tigers are up first against the Demolition Boys."

That leaves us to the All Starz. Pity, I would have preferred to battle the White Tigers sometime during this tournament. Not saying that they don't have a chance against the Demolition Boys… it's just that the Demolition Boys are tough. I hope nobody goes up against Bryan.

---Kai's pov---

I took one look at the mob of fans and turned around. "I'm going to the washroom."

Rei's eyes widened. "Are you ok, Kai?"

"I'm just going to the bathroom."

"O…k…" He gave me a worried glance but followed the rest of the team to our temporary seats in the stands.

I really have no desire to be in a room with this many people at the moment. That can be a problem though since I have to battle. I'll just have to cope. Get something to drink and find a quiet place to be alone for a minute. I retreated back down the stairs and started wandering around. That's when it struck me that the only vending machines were upstairs or in the staff office. Oh well, the bathroom has running water.

I turned down a couple hallways and then came to the bathroom door. I swung it open silently, took one look inside and then closed the door just as silently.

You know, on second thought I'm not actually that thirsty. Maybe I'll go sit with Rei and the others.

In a dazed state I wandered up the stairs, over to the row in which everyone was sitting and I sat down in my seat, rigidly. I did not just see that.

"Uhh… Kai, are you ok?" Rei raised an eyebrow and looked me up and down.

"Lee… has he… ever discussed his orientation with you?"

"Orientation?" he blinked cutely a couple of times, completely confused.

"You know…"

"Oh!" Realisation dawned on his face. "Well, when we were growing up we did experiment a couple of times on each other. He was my first kiss after all… why are you asking?" He chewed on his gum and peered at me oddly.

I leaned in closer and whispered in his ear. "I just saw him in the washroom, with Wyatt."

"Talking?"

Rei now is not the time to be naive. "He was using his tongue, but it wasn't to talk. He had it shoved down Wyatt's throat."

He choked on his gum and began hacking. I glanced around nervously, unsure of what to do. I never paid attention when Boris taught us first aid…

"Rei? Man, are you alright?" Max gave Rei a couple good whacks on the back until Rei spat his gum out.

Rei coughed a couple more times and smiled weakly at the others. "Just peachy." He sat back up and leaned in closer to me. "You're kidding, right?"

"Rei, do I kid?" I raised an eyebrow at him.

"Point… I'm going to see for myself."

He began to get up but I pushed him back down. "Let them be. What they do in their spare time is their own concern."

"Yah… except for when the White Tigers are up in two minutes and Lee's not out there yet."

"Washroom right next to the dressing rooms, downstairs."

He grinned at me, "Thanks." And fought his way out of the isle and towards the team dressing rooms.

At that moment Jazzman stepped up to his place. "Well, are you all ready to blade? We've got some exciting matches to watch here folks. Today we've gotthe best team from China, America and Russia and of course our home team!" The stadium erupted with cheering.

I sighed. Jazzman annoys me, yet not nearly as much as AJ and Brad. Their inane babble is what annoys me most about tournaments. Well, actually I think I hate the fans the most at tournaments. They're just loud and obnoxious and…

---Rei's pov---

I sucked in my breath and then opened the door to the restroom. Lee was leaning over Wyatt, who was sitting on the counter between two sinks. Holy… cow in the sky. I never thought I'd see that. I Silently closed the door and took a couple deep breaths. I gripped the door handle tightly and flung the door open, making as much noise as possible.

"Lee! You in here?" I yelled

Lee and Wyatt sprung apart, Wyatt managing to fall into a sink basin.

"There you are! The White Tigers are starting. AJ and Brad were just starting to talk as I came down here." I put a hand on my hip and looked at them accusingly.

Lee blinked a couple of times. "Oh… oh right! I better get up there!" Without a look back he sprung past me and down the hall.

"Um… could you give me a hand, Rei?" Wyatt smiled sheepishly. "I'm kind of stuck in the sink."

I smiled softly and walked over to the boy. "So, why were you sitting on the counter in the first place?"

I pulled him out and he blinked at me innocently. "I… had a nosebleed." He gestured towards the bin which was full of bloodied pieces of paper towel. "This dry weather causes me to have them. Sometimes just inhaling can set one off like a fountain. Not very pleasant." I nodded, that does explain why he was in here with Lee.

"Come on, let's go watch the White Tigers." I looped an arm over his shoulder and led him out of the bathroom. "Lee's a good kisser, eh?"

He stumbled slightly but managed to keep walking. I glanced down at him and saw a faint blush forming on his cheeks.

"You're not… mad, are you?" he stuttered.

I grinned. "Not in the least. My relationship with Lee ended a long time ago. The one you have to worry about is Mariah. Now, not only am I dating a guy but now Lee's found someone too. She might get a bit possessive."

Wyatt blanched and glanced up at me. "You'll protect me, right?"

"I'm not promising anything, kid. Mariah's wrath is something I try to avoid at all costs." I removed my arm from his shoulder so that I could open the door. As we entered the stadium we were met with excited cheering and some incoherent babble by AJ and Brad. I fought my way through the crowd dragging Wyatt by his left arm. "Come on Wyatt, I don't want to lose you in the crowd. Then Lee will have to kill me or something." I grinned and he blushed further.

I came up to the row in which my team was sitting and fought my way through until I got to my seat next to Kai. "So, what'd I miss?"

He glanced up at me and shrugged. "Gary's very embarrassing loss to Spencer."

I glanced down at the floor. Gary was sitting on the White Tiger's team bench being consoled by Kevin and Lee, while Mariah looked about ready to tear Spencer's eyes out. I grimaced, some days she scares me. A lot. I then glanced over to the Demolition Boys; they were as smug as ever. I wonder who was going up next.

"Alright, up next we have Mariah of the White Tigers versus Bryan of the Demolition Boys!" Jazzman yelled into his microphone.

Oh crap…

Mariah got up from the bench and stormed to the dish. She clicked her blade into her launcher and then began spitting a long string of words at Bryan. I couldn't see Bryan's face nor hear what Mariah was saying, but I don't think Bryan was taking it too well seeing as he was backing up slightly.

"Three," Jazzman yelled. "Two," Bother bladers stood at the ready, "One! Let it rip!" Both blades flew into the dish and Mariah was instantly on the attack with a ruthless torrent of blows on Bryan. The Russian boy winced and tried to take back the offensive.

"GALUX! Attack!" Mariah's bitbeast erupted from her blade and made a vicious strike on Falborg.

Brain stumbled back a step and Falborg was spinning near the edge of the dish.

"I will not lose to a girl!" Bryan yelled. His blade picked up speed and Falborg appeared. The fearsome hawk swooped around the dish creating a vicious wind.

A large gash appeared on Mariah's cheek just under her right eye and blood dribbled from her wound. More invisible blades flew at her and the ribbon from her hair fluttered to the floor in shreds.

She stepped back slightly and glanced around, trying to see her invisible assailant. But from watching my battle with Bryan she knew she'd never find it. By now Galux was losing power. A small piece chipped off and flew past Bryan's ear.

"You should learn to be more respectful of your opponents, kitty." Bryan spat. "Falborg, attack!"

Falborg hit Galux with one final attack. Galux flew into the air and shattered into hundreds of little pieces which rained down like pink teardrops. Mariah sunk to her knees and reached out to grab her bitchip since it was the only piece that was still intact...

I could feel tears sliding down my cheeks as Mariah's hopes shattered with Galux. I will have my vengeance on Bryan. I will make him suffer if it's the last thing I do.

"Uhh…" Jazzman paused. "Bryan of the Demolition Boys is the winner." There was some cheering, but not nearly as much as there would have been for Mariah.

"She'll be fine." Kai whispered in my ear.

I glanced over him and wiped a tear from my eyes. "I know, but Mariah doesn't like losing like that. She wants an honourable fight no matter what, and what Bryan did…"

He put a finger to my lips. "Shh. You can avenge her in the next round."

"He can't do that!" A girl behind me shrieked. Suddenly I felt something very cold and damp running down my whole backside. I could feel it seeping through the cloth of my shirt and through the wrapping of my hair.

I turned around slowly to face the girl. She was standing up and holding an upturned cup of soda.

"Oh my God…" She sunk back down in her seat. "I'm so sorry I just spilled my soda on you, mister!" She looked at me worriedly. "Its only Sprite!"

Somehow that doesn't console me. My childhood friend was just beaten into the ground by an emotionless prick, and now I'm very cold, damp and sticky.

Kai grabbed me by the arm and stood me up. "Let's get you cleaned up."

"But the ma-"

"If you catch a cold all of a sudden then you won't blade at 100%. And you need to be 120% if you want to beat them without getting beat into the ground first."
"But Lee's battle…" I whined. Kai wasn't listening though. He was in full must-protect-Rei mode. It was sweet yet very annoying at the same time.

He dragged me through the crowds, down the stairs and into the bathroom.

"Take it off."

I blinked at him. "I'm sorry?"

"Your shirt. I'll dry it under the hand dryer."

I blushed madly and unfastened my shirt. It's not that he hasn't seen me shirtless before and I know I have a nice body…. But still… this is Kai after all. I still feel this little fluttery feeling in the pit of my stomach when I remove clothes in front of him.

I handed him my damp shirt and turned my back. "Thanks."

"Just looking out for my team-mate," He grunted and started up the hand dryer.

I crossed my arms and looked at myself in the mirror. I really looked like a deer in the headlights or something. Eyes large and sort of watery, cheeks slightly flushed and I was trembling slightly. I closed my eyes and took some calming breaths.

The hand dryer clicked off and I heard Kai approaching me. He slid my shirt over my shoulders and then took my hair in his hands. "The wrapping's pretty wet in some places. Do you want me to try to dry it or do you want me to take it off?"

"It'll never dry with the wrapping on." I opened my eyes and watched him remove the wrapping from my hair in the mirror. When he was finished he let my long hair fall against my back. I slid my shirt on and fastened it shut. I turned to him and gave him a weak smile. "Thanks, Kai."

He put two fingers under my chin and tiled my head up. "It was no bother." And he leaned down and kissed me.

---Kai's pov---

I clicked Dranzer into my launcher and fixed my gaze on my opponent. I gave Steven a foul glare and waited for AJ to yell let it rip. I was anxious to get this pointless round with the All Starz over with so that I could get onto the Demolition Boys. Tala in particular. How dare he send me all those letters!

"Three, two, one! Let it rip!"

I released Dranzer and circled the dish close behind Steven's Trihorn.

In the last round of The White Tigers vs. The Demolition Boys, Lee had put up a good fight against Tala; making the battle last nearly 15 minutes. But Tala had managed a win, making the Demolition Boys score three wins, zero losses.

Max had started off the match against the All Starz with a close loss. He had gone up against Emily and had managed to hang on until the very end when her blade got the better of him in a sneak attack. I had convinced Rei to sit out the match against Steven. He had protested a lot at first, but after I relented to let everyone have time off from training until our guests left. Sometimes I wonder how he has such control over me. Although it could have something to do with the things he can do with his tongue. And talking is only one of them.

Turning my attention back to the current battle I gritted my teeth. This guy's blade is built like a piece of rock. Luckily I practice breaking rocks into gravel in my spare time.

"Dranzer!" I yell and my blade picks up speed, unleashing a brutal torrent of blows on Steven's Trihorn.

"No, Trihorn attack!"

His blade makes a surprising round-about and gives Dranzer a good hit. Dranzer loses momentum and is temporarily off balance. Damn, that was a bad blow. He goes in to make another blow of equal force and I manage to sidestep him. Barely.

Tim to bring out the heavy artillery. "Dranzer, Volcano Excellent Emission!" Dranzer appears from my blade and gives a magnificent battle cry before swooping down on Trihorn and releasing a new fury.

Across the dish Steve grits his teeth and scowls at me. "Come on Trihorn, don't let this bird get to you." His blade picks up speed and his mighty Trihorn appears.

Now's my chance. He's making a direct charge. I go at him head on and our blades collide. It's a slightly risky move, but it's all I got…

Both blades flew into the air. Dranzer caught the edge of the dish and kept spinning. Trihorn somersaulted through the air, hit the edge of the dish, spun a couple of times then finally tipped over the edge and stopped spinning.

The crowd erupted with cheering. A faint smile graced my lips as I looked over at Steven.

"And Kai of the Bladebreakers takes the win! Now, it's one-one! That means that Tyson has to work hard in the next round in order to advance the Bladebreakers to face the Demolition Boys."

I stalked down to the team bench and glared at Tyson. "Make this a quick win or you'll be doing laps."

"Now, Kai…" Rei began to protest

I scowled down at Rei and he shut his yap. I'm losing my patience with this stupid tournament. I want to get through it and battle Tala. I have a few bones to pick.

Rei took me by the wrist and pulled me to the bench beside him. He rubbed my shoulder to soothe me and whispered into my ear. "Calm down, it's just a silly little tournament. Unless you have some big bone to pick with your old team, then you shouldn't be in such a hurry." He looked at me pleadingly. "Don't be so harsh on Tyson. He's trying to get along, why can't you?"

He did it; he gave me those damned cute eyes. I go all week at the knees when he does that. Damn him and his damn cute eyes! Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn-

"Our third and final match will be the reigning champion, Tyson of the Bladebreakers and team captain of the All Starz, Michael!" AJ yelled and the crowd went wild.

---Rei's pov---

I wish they'd stop yelling at each other. I glanced over at Tyson and Kai who were on the other side of the team room having a very heated discussion. Scratch that, all out yelling war.

"You pansy!" Kai punched the wall beside Tyson's head. "You're just afraid you might go up against Bryan! I'm your goddamn team captain, so let me go last!"

"But I always go last, Kai!"

"They're acting like second graders." Max muttered and rubbed his temple.

"I don't see why Tyson won't give in," Kenny muttered. "Tyson will probably win no matter who he faces. If Kai's so gung-ho about facing Tala, then why doesn't Tyson let him?"

"This is Tyson we're talking about, Chief. He doesn't want Kai to face Tala, he wants Kai to face Bryan to avenge what he did to you." Max gestured to me as he finished his explanation.

"And here I thought he was just being a stubborn idiot." I scowled at my team-mates

Max smiled gently. "You've been hanging around Kai too much."

Ok, this is really fucking enough. I marched over to my boyfriend and pushed him against the nearest locker. I placed a hand on either side of his head and kissed him.

After a moment Tyson interrupted us. "Geeze, you interrupted our conversation to ki-"

I pulled away from Kai and turned to Tyson. "Let Kai go whenever he wants or you'll start finding dead mice in your room."

Tyson cringed and crossed his arms over his chest. "Fine. Go whenever you want, Kai." He spat Kai's name out like it was a diseased piece of garbage. Maybe I'll leave a little present for him in his sock drawer. How does a dead toad sound to you?

"So, who's going to blade in this match?" Max asked and looked between his three fellow bladers. "Because I don't mind sitting this one out…"

"Tyson will blade first, then I will and finally Kai." I turned to Kai. "Now come on Kai, let's get you calmed down. Guys, we'll meet you upstairs before the match begins." I took my love by his wrist and led him out of the room. Silently he followed me as I headed towards the bathroom. I swung open the door and headed inside.

A small smile spread across my lips as I saw Lee and Wyatt going at it again. It seems that those two are quite content with each other. Kai didn't seem as excited to see the other two in the room.

"Rei, perhaps we should-"

I put a finger to his lips. "Show them how to really go at it?" I winked and then pounced on him, wrapping my legs around his waist and melding our lips together. Kai made a slight oomph but quickly complied to my demands.

I heard the washroom door swing open and knew what was coming.

"Dear lord! Rei's molesting Kai!" The voice sounded both surprised and amused at the same time.

Kai dropped me and my tailbone connected with the floor with a loud thwack. Grinding my teeth I looked up to see Tala and Bryan standing in the door. Tala was the one that had just accused me of molesting Kai. Funny, people usually think it the other way 'round.

"I was not molesting Rei!" Kai spat.

The other two Russians blinked in confusion.

Tala made a couple of gestures, muttered some words in Russian, turned to Bryan and then turned back to us. "Didn't I say Rei was molesting you, Kai?"

"He did." I muttered from the floor and then got up. Man does my ass hurt. "And I'm Kai's boyfriend, so he was quite happy with my hands roaming his body." I wrapped an arm possessively around Kai's right arm and pouted at the other Russians.

"Five minutes until match time." A female voice came over the intercom.

"Oh, we're going to talk about this later." Tala smiled at Kai. He turned and dragged Bryan out of the room.

"I'm going to break his jaw," Kai muttered and clenched a fist angrily.

"Are… are you ok, Rei?" Wyatt asked tentatively.

Gingerly I rubbed my ass. "Fine, no thanks to Sourpuss."

"I'll break your jaw too, Rei." Sourpuss glared.

"Come on." I took Kai by the arm and led him out of the bathroom. We need to get back upstairs so that we can continue on with our match.

---

It had finally come to my turn. After a fairly drawn out battle Tyson had defeated Spencer gloriously. Slowly I walked to my spot at the dish, all the while watching my opponent, Bryan.

AJ: And there's Rei, Brad. And it looks like he has his hair down.

Brad: It's really starting to look like a repeat of the World Championships in Russia

AJ: Let's hope that Rei isn't pulled out on a stretcher this time though. Rei seems to be a crowd favourite, with the ladies anyways.

Brad: Yah, look at the amount of signs saying, 'Rei, I love you' or 'Marry me, Rei.'

AJ: What guy wouldn't love to be in Rei's shoes right now?

Brad: Maybe Kai. He's not the most social of people after all

AJ: Brad, Kai has an even more obsessive fangirl following than Rei. He is the bad-boy of blading after all.

Brad: Really? I never noticed that before…

AJ: Brad, are you sure you don't need glasses?

Brad: No, I can see perfectly fine. See that advertisement for beer over there?

AJ: That's a shampoo ad…

Brad: No it's not. That's an ad for… no wait, yes it is shampoo…

"Bladers, at the ready!" Jazzman yelled into his mic. "Three, two, one, let it rip!"

Bryan and I launched our blades into the dish simultaneously. Both of us circled the rim. He led while I followed closely. Drigger being the quicker blade I began to grind on the back end of his blade.

Clenching his teeth Bryan dove into the centre of the dish. I followed quickly, never letting up my attack.

"Trying to win again, kitten?" A faint smile passed over his lips.

I'm not sure why, but that smile chilled me to the core. "I'm going to beat you for Mariah." I hissed.

That chilling smile widened. "You look very pretty with your hair down. Almost like a girl."

I began to pound his blade with attack after attack, my anger was getting the better of me.

"REI!" Kai shouted from the team bench. "Calm down, if you get angry you're just going to get reckless."

Reckless? I scoffed. I'll show you reckless.

"Drigger, Tiger Claw Attack!" Drigger came fourth in all his glory. He swiped viciously at the Russian's blade.

He missed. Falborg appeared and swooped down on Drigger. The Falcon took my precious tiger in its beak and proceeded to crush my blade.

That's when I started to feel them. Like little blades cutting into my skin. He was using his special attack. All of a sudden I was brought back to the finals in Russia. I was brought back to the pain. How I almost lost, but Drigger saved me. I was brought back to Kai's loss to Spencer. I was brought back to Black Dranzer.

Letting rage take over me, I growled low in my throat. "Drigger, destroy him!"

Drigger broke free of Falborg with one strong swipe. My opponent fell back. A small amount of blood trickled from the side of his mouth.

"Look what's happened now; you've made me bite my tongue." He licked away the blood and smiled at me.

Damn him. Damn him and his smile. I felt more blades cut into me. My clothing was being slashed and I had already sustained countless wounds. If any of these scar I'll kill him with my bare hands.

"Drigger!" With all my strength I made a bee-line for Falborg. At almost the same time Bryan had yelled Falborg and made a dive for my blade.

There was a brilliant flash of light and a metallic clang. After the light faded and the smoke cleared there was only one blade left. The other lay split in half, attack ring shattered into powder.

I slumped to my knees, letting my face be hidden by my long hair.

"And Bryan of the Demolition Boys takes the match!" Jazzman yelled.

Everything became a blur after that. I didn't hear a word that AJ or Brad said. I vaguely remember being brought to obtain medical aid. But the only thought going through my mind was, 'I lost'.

---Kai's pov---

AJ: Well, that was sure an upsetting loss on Rei's part.

Brad: Yah, a lot of those fangirls out there look mighty scary. I think it would be in Bryan's best interest to keep well away from them.

AJ: No kidding.

Brad: Looking at their faces is making me kind of uneasy, AJ.

AJ: Brad, that was the bean burrito you had for lunch.

My eyes locked on Tala's and I let off a soft growl. I could see the corners of his mouth turning up in a faint smile. I wonder what his smile will be like when he sees Wolborg after I'm done with it. I don't intend to leave any of his blade intact except for his bit chip.

"Bladers at the ready. Three, two, one, let it rip!" Jazzman yelled.

We both shot our blades into the dish and landed hard. Relentlessly I pounded Wolborg. Stupid, snot-assed, punk-arse, mother fucker of a…

"<Kai, is that smoke I see coming out of your ears?>" Tala asked sweetly.

"<Shove off, Ivanov.>" I snapped back.

"<I guess you're a bit angry about those letters, hm?>" He smiled broadly and dealt a couple hard hits on Dranzer.

I stumbled back slightly and growled. "<You're a real pervert, you know that? How'd you even get away with writing erotic letters in the Abbey anyways?>"

"<Several of the guards sneak mail out for me. It's actually quite easy. Being Boris' favourite does have some advantages. And now I realise why you've been rejecting me for so long. I didn't know you had the hots for the tiger. So, you fucked him yet?>"

"<Don't be vulgar.>" I shot back and tried to refocus on the current beybattle.

Ever since the World Championships in Russia over a year ago he's been sending me these letters. At first I had enjoyed them. I learned things about my past that I never would have remembered otherwise. To say the least, I learned about a shitload of stupid things I did when I was young. But after a while, the letters had changed from innocent childhood mischief to very suggestive letters. The most recent ones had been bordering on erotic. For once I'm glad I'm the only one that can read Russian in the house. Surely if Rei found those letters and read them, I would no longer have a face.

"<Alright, I'll rephrase.>" Tala tried to strike Dranzer with a hard hit but I evaded easily. "<Have you had gay sex with him yet?>"

You know, I don't think words can express how much I hate him at this moment. Though I can swear in several languages… maybe that can give me a hand expressing my hatred.

"Dranzer!" My phoenix erupted from my blade and made a glorious swoop of the stadium. Many spectators gave out cheers.

"<So you want to play it that way, huh.>" It was more a comment than a question. "Wolborg!" The wolf erupted from his blade and tried to counter my fierce attacks. "<You know, I heard an amusing song sung by a group of girls earlier today. I was sitting in the stands and I just thought it would be perfect for you and Rei.>"

I don't want to know what he's going on about. I have this gut feeling that whatever he's going to say it's going to be childish and will result in me wanting to hurt him more.

"Kai and Rei, sitting in the car, both are naked yes they are. One gets drunk, one gets high, then they do it all doggy sty-"

"FUCK OFF, IVANOV!" My shout echoed through the stadium. All around us the environment became rather quiet. Even Tala looked surprised.

AJ: I don't know what they were saying before, but apparently Tala's said something that's upset Kai.

Brad: Yah, he looks about ready to pop a vein.

AJ: I wonder if Jazzman heard anything.

Jazzman: Sorry, can't say that I have. I don't speak Russian guys. Though the last thing that Tala said was-

"And you shut up too, Jazzman." I spat.

Blinking a couple of times Jazzman looked over at me. "Yah… continue on then."

---Rei's pov---

My head snapped up as I heard Kai yell "Fuck off. Ivanov." I was sitting in the Stadium's medi-clinic letting a middle aged woman tend to my various cuts.

"My, my," the woman muttered. "That one sure has a mouth."

"Yes… it's a lovely mouth." I muttered absently.

She paused while dabbing at a still bleeding cut on my left arm and gave me a funny look. "I suppose you'd know. You're on his team, aren't you?"

My attention was drawn back to the TV screen when I heard Kai cuss out Jazzman. I need to get out there before Kai pops a blood vessel.

I stood up from the bench and the woman looked at me, confused.

"Mr. Kon, sir, please sit back down. I need to finish bandaging you up."

"I need to get up there though. Can't you make quick work of this? I need to stop Kai from completely destroying the beystadium."

She sighed, obviously having dealt with similar situations to this before. After bandaging a few more cuts she put down her gauze and looked me in the eyes. "Keep these clean and make sure they don't get infected."

I smiled faintly at her then got out of that room as fast as I could. After exiting the medi-clinic I had no clue where I was. I glanced up and down the corridor, looking for some sign of how to get up to the match. Gritting my teeth I went left. I have a 50-50 chance of getting it right after all… I wandered around blindly until I found myself in familiar territory. Just around the corner was the stairwell to the stadium. Quickly I rounded the corner and mounted the stairs three at a time. When I got to the top I swung the door open violently and dashed out onto floor.

"Kai!" My voice echoed throughout the strangely quiet room.

Everyone seemed to turn to me at that moment. But the only one that mattered was Kai. When he saw me he lit up slightly and gave a faint, though slightly malicious, smile. Then he turned back to Tala.

"Dranzer, dark phoenix attack!"

I could feel the temperature rise in the stadium. The dish erupted in brilliant, orange and red flames.

AJ: Brad, is it just me or is the dish on fire?

Brad: Yes AJ, the dish really is on fire. I wonder if their blades can withstand the flames?

AJ: Well, during the World Championships in Russia we saw that Tala could create ice. I wonder if that skill will come in handy now.

Brad: If he even has a blade left amongst all those flames to create it with.

AJ: Hey Brad, for once you made a good observation.

Brad: Thanks AJ.

Dranzer and Wolborg could be barely seen through the flames. You could see them fighting, but nobody could really tell who was winning. Well, aside from Kai and Tala. Their usually emotionless faces were both set in determination.

Suddenly sparks erupted. After a moment the flames disappeared and the smoke cleared.

"Uh… I think we have a winner." Jazzman muttered and stared at the melted dish. "It's… Kai of the Bladebreakers! The Bladebreakers win the tournament!"

Our whole team raced up to Kai. I peaked in the dish and saw Dranzer still spinning. Wolborg was another story completely. It looked sort of… melted. I'm not quite sure how Kai managed that, but Tala's blade seemed to be a lump of metal with a bit chip on top. Frankly Tala looked a bit bewildered too. Don't blame the poor guy. First he gets his ear chewed off by and put in a blender by Kai, and then he gets his blade melted.

"That was amazing, Kai!" Tyson yelled and clapped Kai on the shoulder roughly.

"Hn." Kai grunted.

Before I really knew what was happening, I felt two arms around my waist and Kai's lips were on mine. Holy cripes! I wonder if he realises that we're standing in public, in a stadium from which the tournament's being broadcast not only across the country, but across the freaking world! My eyes widened and I tried to pull back slightly.

"Fuck it, Rei." Kai muttered between kisses.

Oh well, I'm screwed no matter what. Might as well give them a good show. I wrapped my arms around Kai's neck and opened my mouth so that we could play a little tonsil hockey. I hate to see what this will result in, but at the moment I don't really care.

You know, maybe this will get those fangirls off our cases…

Yah.

I smiled. This isn't so bad after all.

---

I yawned and sauntered into the kitchen. I glanced around to find the source of the glorious smell. I smiled, grabbed a plate from the cupboard and piled 5 pieces of French toast on it. I glided over to the table and sunk down next to Kai.

"Morning, love."

"Ugh." was his response. Ahh, its one of those mornings.

I just need to get the syrup, and then I can quench my hunger. I glanced over at Kai's plate. That's… interesting… But it still doesn't answer the question of where the syrup is. With a sigh of frustration I turned to Kai. "Where's the syrup?"

"Tyson used it all up while you were getting ready."

"So, is that why you have peanut butter on your French toast?"

"No."

"Then wh-"

"Because I like it this way."

Youch, somebody's sure not having a good morning. And something's changed since we woke up. He was very pleasant right before he went downstairs. In fact, he was very interested in shoving his tongue down my throat. Now he looks about ready to snap at me and tell me to give him 50... push ups, what else were you thinking?

Sighing, I reached for the peanut butter and spread some on my toast. I suppose that's better than eating it plain. Or with jam, as Kenny sometimes does. Since Kai's not being very conversational I grab the newspaper. I shove a large piece of toast in my mouth then glanced at the headline.

I choked on my toast.

---regular pov---

Two of Beyblading's best gay?

In an interesting turn of event,s two of the Bladebreakers Rei Kon and Kai Hiwatori (pictured below) kissed after a victory over the Demolition Boys yesterday. The crowd responded to this act of intimacy with mixed feelings. Many people were cheering them on while many others were yelling comments against gays. [Full story on A3]

---

The front door opened, and then banged shut quickly. Hurried footsteps came into the kitchen and Tyson glanced nervously at Kai and Rei.

"Uhh, Kai… I don't think we should do any training outside today."

Kai's head snapped up and he scowled icily at the other blader.

"What I mean is… we shouldn't go outside, period."

"Tyson, we are NOT skipping out on practice. Despite the fact that we have guests, you will be practicing. Your turns were sloppy yesterday and your battle with Spencer was too close for comfort."

"Aww, what about Rei? He lost his battle. Why aren't you ragging on him?"

"I will. He just needs to work on his concentration. That's why he lost his battle with Bryan. He wasn't paying attention to his opponent. He was sloppy and won't have any lunch until he shows some improvement."

Scowling, Rei turned to his boyfriend. "What gives you the authority? And have you forgotten about our deals?"

"What deals?" Tyson asked with enthusiasm.

"None of your business." Kai spat back. "But back to the original subject; why can't we go outside, Tyson?"

"Oh right…" Tyson smacked his head and smiled sheepishly at his fellow team-mates. "Well, take a look out the front window."

Grumbling, Kai got up and headed to the front hallway. Grabbing his final piece of toast, Rei followed him while Tyson brought up the rear.

"If you're trying to be funny Tyson, there will be no end to the suffering I will inflict on you."

Grabbing the front door handle Kai swung open the door. His eyes widened as he took in their yard. Noticing Kai's sudden intake of breath, Rei scurried forward and peered over the other boy's shoulder."

On their front lawn and down the street were countless fangirls and news reporters. Many of the fangirls bore signs in support of Kai and Rei's relationship.

As soon as someone spotted the two bladers in the door, they began screaming and pointing sporadically towards the door.

Kai was caught like a deer in the headlights, unable to move a muscle. Noticing that the mob was quickly moving closer to the door, Rei grabbed Kai by the arm, pulled him back and slammed the door shut.

"I don't think we'll be going anywhere today…." Kai muttered.

Rei locked the door and turned to Kai. "No, me either."

"I need a drink." Kai muttered and headed off to find his secret stash.

Chapter Text

-x- Rei’s pov -x-

“I’ve told you for the millionth time, Rei,” Came his voice from the other side of the door. “I will not open the door.”

“Come on, Kai! You don’t need to get pissed!” I pleaded and rattled the doorknob. Trust me, a drunk Kai was not a fun Kai. And I know that there was alcohol in that room somewhere. I just haven’t been able to find it as of yet.

Wyatt and Lee were standing with me, giving me sympathetic looks. Kenny, Max and Tyson were trying to deal with the paparazzi and fangirls outside. Mariah and Hilary had not been seen or heard from for the last couple hours.

“Maybe we should pick the lock?” Wyatt offered.

“The bureau’s up against the door.” Came Kai’s muffled voice from the other side of the door yet again.

Oh, just make things more difficult, why don’t you, Kai! I rubbed my temple and glared at the closed bedroom door.

Suddenly Lee laid a hand on my shoulder. He brought his lips to my ear and whispered to me, “I have a plan. Just stop for a second and think. What is Kai the most possessive of?”

Well, Dranzer for one. The guy’s deathly serious about his blade. The only time I’ve ever seen them apart was during the whole Black Dranzer incident.

“Dranzer,” I stated simply. I really have no clue what Lee was trying to get at.

“No, think someone.” He looked me in the eyes.

“…Me?” I blinked stupidly.

Lee nodded and smiled. “So, if say I was hitting on you, wouldn’t he become possessive and come out?”

Taking that as a cue to leave Wyatt said (perhaps a little too loudly), “I’m going to the bathroom, you boys think of something clever to do.”

Just spell it out, why don’t you? Lovely job of being discreet there, Wyatt. I think Kai’s bitterness and sarcasm were starting to rub off on me…

As Wyatt exited, Lee wrapped his arms around me. I moaned loudly, just for effect. “Lee, you don’t have to comfort me.”

He began kissing my neck. Ok, he’s going a bit far now… “But I want to.” He smiled against my neck. “Besides, I still have some feelings for you. I always have, Tiger.”

If my ears aren’t deceiving me, I do believe Kai is growling.

“Oh my GOD! What are you doing to Rei, Lee?” Mariah shrieked from somewhere behind us.

Both Lee and I spun around to see Mariah and Hilary gawking at us. Seconds later there was a loud scraping sound and Kai emerged from bedroom. He grabbed me none too gently and held me possessively.

“Rei is mine!” He hissed at Lee.

Why do I suddenly feel like a slab of meat or something? “No sweat, Kai.” I took both of his wrists in my hands and spun around to face him. “It was just a ruse to get you out of the room.”

Mariah sighed with relief. “So Lee isn’t really gay?”

Laughing nervously Lee glanced away from Mariah. “Actually… I am.”

All I saw was a flash of pink as Mariah’s body slumped to the floor. Ahh… lovely, she’s gone and fainted.

Having heard the commotion the rest of the people in the house congregated in the hallway.

“Should I get some smelling salts or water?” Wyatt asked tentatively.

“You could get some frozen vegetables. You’ll need some of those when Mariah regains consciousness.” I grimaced. Mariah was not going to take this well. Well, that was a given. Though I do think she took my confession rather well. Maybe deep down she already knew. Not likely, but it still is a possibility.

“Guys, this may not be the best time to say this…” Kenny looked flustered and was wringing his hands. “But Mr. Dickinson is going to be here any minute now and he’s bringing Boris, who he says is not very happy with this whole ordeal. Mr. Dickinson didn’t say much, but he didn’t sound very enthusiastic either.”

It felt like all the air was forced out of me because Kai’s hold on me had tightened dramatically. Geeze, can this day get any worse? First: snarky Kai, bad but that can be worked around. Second: paparazzi and fangirls, scary yet they’ll go away eventually. But a pissed off Mr. Dickinson and Boris is coming to visit? We may have a problem now…

“Kai, you’re squeezing me too hard!” I squeaked.

He loosened his grip on me and sighed heavily. “I assume this has everything to do with the kiss on the internationally aired tournament yesterday?”

“He didn’t say anything specifically, but one would assume so.” Kenny was still wringing his hands.

“NnnnN…” Mariah moaned from the floor. “My head doesn’t feel very good.”

“That’s because you hit the floor with it, Mariah.” Hilary looked at her new found friend with concern. “You fainted. Let’s get you downstairs and see if you’re alright.” Hilary helped Mariah up and led her downstairs. I should really go make sure Mariah’s ok, but there are more pressing matters at the moment. Like trying to keep Kai from murdering someone. I think his homicidal instincts are running high at the moment and Tala is his prime target.

The doorbell rang and everyone went deathly silent. I even forgot to breathe for a short time.

“I’ll get it.” Hilary yelled from downstairs.

The rest of us remained frozen as we heard the front door open. Hilary talked with Mr. Dickinson for a good couple minutes before an icy voice interrupted them.

“I don’t care about this pointless jabber, where is Kai?”

At that moment Kai tried to make a break for his room. I caught one of his wrists and pulled him back. Running away from your problems won’t solve anything. And frankly, Boris isn’t something you want to run away from. He does work for your grandfather who, like it or not, is your legal guardian…

“You can’t run forever. You knew that Biovolt wasn’t going to take this lightly. I’m just amazed Boris didn’t come sooner,” I voiced my thoughts.

He gave me a very foreboding glare. “Let me go, Rei.”

“Boris, he’s up here.”

We all looked down the staircase to see a very familiar red-head. There was a faint smirk on Tala’s lips. I wonder if things will go as badly as yesterday with him and Kai.

Within seconds Boris pushed past Tala and made his way up the stairs and over to Kai. None too gently he pushed me to the ground. I sat there in mute fascination and horror. Kai didn’t seem any better seeing as he didn’t even flinch when Boris took him around the neck and flung him into the wall.

“You dirty little roach! Do you not realise what you have done to the Hiwatari name? And Biovolt for that matter?” Boris hissed all the while his voice rising. “Your grandfather is far from pleased. He will be coming out here himself once he has finished with some pressing business. Until then you shall be in my care. Shall you object I will have you removed forcibly from this establishment.”

“Bastard,” Kai hissed.

That outburst resulted in him receiving a harsh blow to the face.

The boy I love is being abused by a psychopath and I can’t do anything to help him. I’m afraid not only of Boris but also of what might happen if I try to help. I may only make things worse.

“Boris! I must strongly object to this all!” Mr. Dickinson huffed as he came up the stairs.
”Dickinson, this doesn’t concern you.” Boris spat at the head of the BBA.

Have I ever mentioned how completely this guy scares me? He’s the size of a skinny bear, he has the stature of Hitler and is even more amoral than Bryan. The guy’s a fucking loon.

“This is very much my business! You’re mistreating one of my best bladers.” Mr. Dickinson was beginning to turn red in the face. He sort of looks like an angered woodchuck when he gets worked up. I realise that was a very inappropriate thought at the moment but frankly this is all happening a little too fast.

“I am acting upon direct orders from Voltaire himself.”

“You can’t do anything to Kai unless I have written permission from Voltaire himself.” Mr. Dickinson shot back, tutting afterwards.

That stopped Boris in his tracks. “I thought you might say something like that.” His voice chilled me to the bone. “That’s why I brought Tala.”

We all glanced over to the red-haired blader. He was casually leaning against a wall. At the mention of his name he looked over to Boris. “What? You never-”

“Don’t say anything, Tala. You will do as I order.” Boris turned his merciless eyes on Kai again. “Tala will be staying with you. He will observe you and keep you here until your grandfather returns to Japan. Is that acceptable, Dickinson?”

Despite the fact that Mr. Dickinson was turning purple with anger he managed to mutter. “Yes, that is fine. Now you may take your leave, Boris.”

Boris began heading out but paused at the top of the staircase. “Tala, your things will be sent later today. Keep a very close eye on Kai.” And with that he stalked down the stairs.

It wasn’t until after the front door had slammed shut that I heard the struggle behind me. I turned on my spot on the floor to see Max, Lee and Wyatt trying to restrain Tyson. Wyatt’s hand slipped from Tyson’s mouth. “Yah, leave your minion, Boris! You’re just a pansy chicken!”

“If you want my advice, don’t upset Boris, unless you have very good medical coverage,” Tala spoke up.

Tyson’s mouth fell open. “You’re protecting him?”

In the same monotone voice Tala responded, “No, I’m just trying to save you a lot of suffering.”

An uncomfortable silence fell over everyone. Everyone was watching Tala except for Kai and me. Kai was staring at a spot on the wall and I was watching him. I’m starting to regret that kiss from yesterday. I really do wonder what possessed him to do that. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in his head. Despite the fact that I adore him, I think he really does need serious therapy some days.

Mr. Dickinson coughed, thus breaking the silence. “Kai, Rei, could I please talk with you privately?”

Kai looked down at me and nodded. I got up from the floor and the three of us headed downstairs. We walked into our redone kitchen. Mr. Dickinson took a seat at the table while Kai crossed his arms and stood by the wall. Not really knowing where else to go I hoisted myself up onto the kitchen counter.

“We’ve had phone calls by the millions about your little show yesterday.” Mr. Dickinson began but fell silent for a moment. “There were lots of complaints and questions. But there were also lots of people supporting the two of you. I’m very disappointed with the fact that you boys did that, but Beyblade sales have skyrocketed. Especially among females.”

That was not what I had been expecting. Apparently neither had Kai seeing as his mouth was hanging open slightly.
”Normally, I would be furious with you boys but seeing that the outcome’s been positive overall I can’t stay angry. Though I do expect you to be a bit more discreet in the future.” He stood up and put his hat on his head. “I must be going now. Too many things to clean up. Security guards are being posted around the neighbourhood. I’d advise you boys against going outside in the next few days.”

Kai and I saw him out. After the door clicked shut Kai let out a sigh.

“That was a lot better than I thought it would be. I thought that we were going to get our ears chewed off.”

“Then why did you kiss me in the arena?”

“Impulse.”

I almost fell over. So Kai almost ruins both of our reputations because he just felt that he should kiss me? “I should throw you to the fangirls!” I waved one of my arms sporadically as I yelled at him. This was no time to be calm.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t let you do that, Kitty.”

We both turned to look at Tala. What I really want to know now is what made Kai yell at him yesterday. I’ve only ever seen Kai yell at Tyson in that way before. I didn’t think Kai would hate anyone as much as Tyson… maybe it has something to do with those letters from Russia. 10,000 yen says Tala wrote those letters and another 10,000 says they’re the reason that Kai snapped.

“There’s a guest room downstairs, Tala. If you stay there then I won’t kill you.” Kai stormed out of the room and stomped up the stairs. A second later his door slammed shut yet again.

I was torn between chasing after Kai and staying to question Tala. I’d probably have better luck getting information from the infamous Tala than I would from my own boyfriend. Somehow there’s something not quite right with that.

“He’s a real piece of work, isn’t he?” Tala was the one who broke the silence.

I laughed. “You’re telling me. I live with the guy.”

“You do more than live with him.” He winked. “Besides, I grew up with the guy. I understand what’s going through his head.”

“Care to give me some insight? I’m really at a loss most of the time.”

He smiled faintly letting some of his icy mask melt away. “He has a soft spot for cats. Not just neko-jin like yourself, but actual felines. Once when we were kids he found an injured cat and snuck it into the Abbey. He tried to nurse it back to health. When Boris found it, he was furious. Kai got into so much trouble and the cat was thrown out on the streets again; he loved that little kitten a lot. So as you can see, Kai wasn’t always the way he is now. Nobody that goes into the Abbey comes out the same.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to say. I mean, I sort of knew that (well, not the cat story…) but hearing Tala say that now and in that tone of voice really made it sink in. To be truthful, I don’t think Tala’s such a bad guy.

“I know it’s hard for outsider like yourself to understand what we went through, but you just trying may make all the difference in Kai’s heart. If you work hard, you may be able to pull him out of the darkness; he may be able to smile again…”

I couldn’t help it, I smiled. “Thanks Tala.”

Now if only I could remember what I had wanted to ask him… oh well, it must not have been important. Maybe now it would be best if I just found Kai and made sure he wasn’t drunk.

-x- Wyatt’s pov -x-

Wyatt Smithright, age16, of Japanese heritage. Father is a successful lawyer. Mother is deceased. I met Kai at school; I could barely believe my good fortune that day. Since the first time that I had seen him, I had been obsessed. What’s not to love, beautiful crimson eyes, dual-coloured hair, a mean fashion sense, and a lean and very sexy body. The only things that are keeping him from perfection are his inability to express simple human emotion and almost non-existent social skills.

But all of that doesn’t explain why I’m currently sitting on the lap of none other than Lee Yin, captain of the White Tigers. Sure Lee’s sexy, but he’s no Kai. Which is probably a good thing. Some day, Kai’s going to give Rei an aneurysm.

Lee’s a lot more caring though. And more muscular. And he does have a tendency to walk around with his chest exposed. Plus he has those adorable neko-jin features, like Rei. Speaking of Rei, he’s a really nice guy. I feel bad about hitting him with that lamp.

Suddenly I was being shaken by someone.

“Wyatt, are you in there?”

I blinked and turned to look into Lee’s golden eyes. I guess I was spacing out a bit. “Mmm hmm,” I muttered.

“Lee?” Rei popped his head into Max’s bedroom. “Can you give me a hand? I’m trying to fix up the hole in the guest room wall so that Tala can stay there.”

Lee sighed. “Sure, but why won’t Phoenix help you?” I got off of Lee’s lap and he got up from the bed.

“Are you kidding me? Kai has locked himself in his room again. It’s going to take a lot to get him out again. He’s going to need to use the washroom sometime though, I’ll be waiting then.”

“I’ll try and stop him from locking his door if he does come out,” I offered. I should at least try to help where I can. And try to make amends for hitting Rei with that lamp.

Rei smiled faintly. “That’d be great, Wyatt!”

With that they both left the room. I watched both of their asses. Hey, who wouldn’t if they were in my position? Despite the fact that I like my men more sexy than pretty, Rei really does have a nice ass. But nothing can compare to Kai’s… I really do have a dirty mind.

This brings me all back to my Kai obsession. Sure I still worship him, but he’s like my fantasy. Think of it like how some Star Trek fans want to get it on with Seven of Nine [1] (who I have no interest in by the way). I’m 100% gay. No girls for me. My dad put me in an all boys school so that I wouldn’t be distracted by ‘voluptuous young women’, as he put it. My studies haven’t been hurt though by that fact that I’m surrounded by some very attractive students. On the contrary, I get help from many of the other boys and excel in most subjects, Russian in particular. I took Russian up so that I could converse with Kai in his native tongue. Wait, does that make me sound like a stalker?

Well, it’s not like everyone doesn’t have their own little obsessions and secret crushes. I happen to know Lee’s. Two nights ago when I first arrived we wound up sleeping in the same bed. I woke up to him nibbling on my neck and purring, “Rei, you taste like cinnamon.” When he woke up and realised I wasn’t Rei he made me swear to never tell a soul… It’s kind of funny that the two of us wound up together since we both like someone else. Two someone else’s that happen to be in a relationship together.

It’s sort of funny how the world works sometimes, especially when it comes to my relationship with Lee. I mean, one second I have bloody nose and Lee’s helping me stop the bleeding. Then the next minute he’s got me pinned to the sink countertop and is kissing me like there’s no tomorrow. I didn’t even think Lee was into any other guy besides Rei. I mean, I agreed to sleep in the same bed because didn’t want to sleep on the floor. Heehee, maybe he thought I was cute or something?

Kai’s bedroom door swung open and he stepped out. Quickly, he headed towards the bathroom.

“Kai!” I latched onto his arm.

“Now is not the time for this, Wyatt.” He spat and tried to shake me loose. “I have no interest in you.”

“I’m not doing this because I want to kiss you. I ‘m doing this for Rei. He’s really worried!”

“Then why isn’t he here?”

“Because he is being the responsible adult and is fixing up a room for Tala to stay in.”

“Oh…” He sighed. “Are they-”

There was a loud crash and both Kai and I looked down the stairs towards the basement door.

-x- Rei’s pov -x-

At the moment I wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or call emergency. He just… I mean the… I burst into hysterical laughter and pointed at Lee.

“This really isn’t funny, Rei. I’m in a lot of pain.” Lee hissed.

I fell to the ground and grasped my sides. Oh! The agony!

“Does he usually do this?” Tala stared at me with concern. “If he’s not careful he might run out of oxygen.”

“Fine by me if he passes out,” Lee growled.

At that moment both Kai and Wyatt rushed into the room. Wide-eyed, Wyatt rushed over to Lee. Kai on the other hand stood in the doorway and stared at me like I was crazy. Which probably wasn’t that far off from the truth.

Moments later Tyson came crashing down the stairs followed by Max.

“Holy cow! Why is Lee sitting in the broken bed frame? How’d you guys manage to break it anyway?” Tyson asked in a rush.

Tala laughed slightly. “Well, I sat down on the edge of the bed and it creaked ominously. So I informed the others. Lee was going to prove to me that it was just a little old, and could support my weight. He took one jump and upon his landing the bed frame promptly gave away.”

“Did you break anything?” Wyatt asked Lee worriedly.

“Only his pride!” I began to laugh hysterically again.

“Shut up, Ra-Ra!”

I stopped laughing when he said my childhood nickname. He wouldn’t… he couldn’t… Please don’t let him tell the story!

“Ra-Ra?” Tala asked and looked between the two of us.

“When we were growing up, Rei used to pretend he was a fearsome tiger. To everyone else he was a pesky three-year-old with an extended teething stage who yelled ‘ra, ra’ because he couldn’t say ‘rawr’.”

The bastard… Wyatt, Tala, Tyson and Max are laughing openly. I think even Kai’s snickering a bit. Death by mortification. Definitely not my choice of ways to die…

“Don’t worry, Rei.” Tala calmed slightly. “It’s not as bad as Kai’s nick-” A Beyblade launcher came in contact with Tala’s head. He muttered something in Russian and glared at Kai. Tala has nothing on Kai’s glare, but he can still give a rather icy one.

I chuckled and went over to Kai. I wrapped my arm around his waist and he loped an arm around my waist in return. It’s amazing how much he can express without saying anything. Though he usually only saves random acts of violence for Tyson.

I sighed. “We’re going to have to find somewhere for Tala to sleep though… don’t we have an old army cot up in the attic?”

Kai shrugged. “We could just give him a blanket and make him sleep on the floor.”

The fellow Russian pouted and said something in Russian to Kai. Kai’s eyes darkened as he responded in Russian.

Wyatt made a little cough which caught everyone’s attention. “Umm… shouldn’t we clean up this mess? There are little bits of bed frame all over the room.”

“I’ll get the vacuum!” Tyson sprinted out of the room. The kid had an obsession with the vacuum. He didn’t actually like to clean with it; he just liked how he could irritate Kai with it by trying to suck up Kai’s pant leg. As I’ve said before, the level of maturity in this house sometimes astounds me.

“Come on; let’s go looking for the cot.” I turned and took Kai by the wrist to lead him away from the carnage that was once a bed.

“Oh, I’m coming with you.” Tala hurried behind us. “I haven’t got a full tour of the house.”

Kai just muttered in a language I didn’t recognise. Why do I have the feeling he’s swearing?

-x-

For the second time in the last couple days I sat in the kitchen holding a bag of frozen peas to my head. This is really starting to get ridiculous. I mean, if I receive any more head injuries I may obtain some form of brain damage. Well, that is if I haven’t already.

Tyson entered the room and paused when he noticed me holding the now mostly thawed peas to my head.

“Did Wyatt… uhh, did Wyatt hit you again?” He stumbled over the words.

I shook my head no, which sent waves of disorientation and pain through my head. My stomach churned. This one hurt more than Wyatt’s lamp incident. Wyatt really does swing like a pansy girl…

“Oh? Then who hit you?”

“Kai,” I stated simply.

Tyson looked about ready to fall over. After a moment of gaping like a fish his face contorted in anger. “WHAT??? I’m going to pound his pale Russian ass into the next fucking continent!”

Tyson spun to go find Kai, but I grabbed him by the arm. This time waves of extreme dizziness overtook me and I teetered on my feet, almost taking an unwelcome trip to the linoleum. “No, it’s not what you think.”

The younger boy paused for a second, noting my unstable stance. With a sigh he sat me down on a chair and crossed his arms in a rather Kai-like fashion. “Then please tell me what happened.”

“Well, we were walking through the living room when Tala said something in Russian. This made Kai tense a fair bit. Before anyone knew what was happening Kai had the same lamp that Wyatt had used on me in his hand and was making a swing at Tala. Being the only one not frozen in surprise I moved in the way hoping that Kai would stop his assault… unfortunately he didn’t and I was the casualty.”

Tyson got up “I’m still going to pound his ass!”

“Tyson!” Kai snapped.

A look of utter shock and horror overcoming his face, Tyson turned to see an absolutely fuming Kai enter the room. I swear, the Kai that swore at Tala yesterday looks like Mary Poppins compared to this beast in the kitchen. For once I was actually regretting living in this madhouse…

“There is no need for constant swearing in this house. Furthermore, it was an accident which I greatly regret. And finally, if you don’t make yourself scarce voluntarily I will do it forcibly.”

It’s weird to hear so many words strung together at once from Kai, but nothing can get weirder than the past few days in this house. But, then again, Tyson could bring out Kai’s more talkative side.

With a large shiver Tyson started backing out of the room. He was moving very slowly and watching Kai’s every move closely. “I’ll be… ungh.” He made a break for it and I heard the back door slam shut a few seconds later.

Kai sighed and knelt down before me. “Are you ok, Rei?” He moved my bangs away from my face and looked into my eyes… most likely checking for a concussion.

“I’ll live.” I gave him a weak smile.

“Come on, you should rest.” He swept me up into his arms bridal style, despite my protests, and carried me up to our now shared room.

-x- Kai’s pov -x-

The kitchen looks like it was hit by a hurricane. I can hardly wait until this place goes back to just being the five of us. Though I could do with having Tyson and Max out of the house for a while as well. This place is beyond a madhouse. Especially with Tala showing up. Speaking of Tala, I wonder how he’s fairing in the broom closet. He’s been awfully quiet in there, I wonder if he’s accidentally ingested some highly toxic solvent. Wouldn’t be a loss if he had.

There was a loud yelp from the hallway. Funny, that sounded like Hilary. I wonder what she’s yelling at. Noting that Mariah was still bent over the stove with Lee and Wyatt, her reluctant kitchen aids, cowering in the corner, I decided to go investigate myself.

Upon entering the hallway I saw Hilary sitting on the tiled floor staring up at a madly laughing Tala. Ahh, it seems that the little brat has come across the pervert in the closet.

“What were you doing in there?” Hilary shrieked and pointed a shaking finger at Tala.

A twisted smile appeared on his face and Tala turned to me. “Kai put me in there. Told me I was being a bother.”

Hilary gave me a funny look. “That almost seems inhumane…”

“Uhh… everyone better come in here!” Rei yelled from the living room. Something sounded the matter.

Quickly I went into the other room to see Rei staring at the TV. I noted why within seconds. We were headline news.

“In further development in our headline breaking news,” some of the others began to filter in as the reporter continued her story. “Police and security services are set up around the neighbourhood where the world famous Bladebreakers are known to have residence. Sources say that earlier today, BBA head Stanley Dickinson visited the team along with the Demolition Boys trainer Boris Balkov and Demolition Boys team captain Tala Ivanonv. It was said that Dickinson and Balkov left the house but it is assumed that Tala is still with the boys. Rumour-”

“I think you two have become the relationship of the century.” Tala smiled. “And I’ve just made headline news. I bet the others are jealous.”

“{Can’t you ever think intelligently, Tala?}” I growled in Russian.

“ Kai, you more than anyone know my intelligence. I’m no fool.}”

“{Then why do you act like one?}”

“{You’re too uptight. You should let Rei loosen you up more.}”

“{Does everything you say have to have a sexual innuendo?}” Growing up in the Abbey you think he’d know how to hold his tongue.

“{Hey, I can say things that aren’t meant to be perverted. It’s just your dirty mind making it all up, Kai.}”

“Will you two stop talking in gibberish?” Tyson asked irritably.

“It’s not gibberish, it’s Russian.” I spat back at him.

I looked up to the screen just in time to see video of Rei and myself kissing at the tournament. Despite all the trouble it has caused, it really was fun to do. I only wish I could have seen my grandfathers face when he saw this footage. I bet he’s never looked that surprised before in his life.

“So far the Bladebreakers have been unavailable for comment,” I tuned back in to what the news anchor was saying. “But Stanley Dickinson has quoted that ‘after things die down we shall arrange for a conference date’.”

Conference date? Funny, Mr. Dickinson never mentioned that to us. I wonder when he intended to inform us.

Voicing my thoughts Rei asked, “What conference? There better be good security if there is one… I don’t want any fangirls or homophobes getting a piece of me.”

I nodded solemnly.

Suddenly there was a strange aroma in the air. It reminded me vaguely of burnt oil… as in the stir fry that Mariah was making. It seemed that other people were starting to notice the aroma too. With a start Mariah darted out of the room and to the kitchen. Looking between each other Lee and Wyatt concluded that they should return to their slave labour and help Mariah.

The news then switched from the story about Rei and myself to how some card game was becoming a popular craze and almost threatening Beyblading. [2]

Slowly the others left the room as well until only Rei, Tala and myself were left. After a moment Rei spoke up.

“I checked the attic for the cot… it looks like a piece of rust with a moth eaten mattress on it. I think it’d be safer to sleep in quick sand than it would be to sleep on that thing.

“So then, where will I be bunking?” Tala sat on the armrest of the couch.

“How about he stays in our room, Kai? He could just sleep on the floor like you suggested earlier with a blanket and pi-”

“No, absolutely not.” I spat and looked at Rei with venom. There was no way that Tala was sleeping in the same room as me.

“But Kai, he’ll be on the FLOOR. Besides, he can’t go in the living room. What if a fangirl breaks in, he’ll be the first victim.”

“Do you think I care about that?” I spat back.

“Now Kai, you’re hurting my feelings.” Tala pouted.

“If you continue to talk, more than your feelings will be hurting!”

I don’t see how Rei could find it a logical solution to have Tala stay in OUR room. He’s just going to try to get into my pants and nothing will end well.

-x-

I hate this. I really do. I turned away from Rei in the bed and faced the wall. I can’t believe he convinced me that he could sleep in here. Two clear blue eyes appeared before mine and I shot up with a start. What the hell is Tala doing? Can’t he just leave me alone for a moment?

“Aww, is Kai cranky?” Tala got up from the floor and then sat on the bed beside me.

I promptly pushed him off the bed and looked over at Rei. “If he doesn’t shut up and go to his spot on the floor, I’m throwing him out the window.”

“Now you’re starting to sound like Bryan.” Tala rolled his eyes and got up for a second time. “Besides Kai, how often do I get time away from the Abbey? Not since I was seven. I want to feel the touch of those that love me.”

“I’ll give you a love tap.” I growled. I swear, if he doesn’t lay off I’ll throw him out the window without opening it first. Hopefully the shards of glass will slash his body and cause him excruciating pain before he falls to the ground a mangled heap.

I hadn’t been paying attention, but I immediately snapped back when I felt Tala’s hand on the back of my neck. His fingers trailed across the scar that lay there. Rei had once asked me about the scar, but I had refused to answer him… it held too many painful memories, memories that I wanted to forget.

“I know you walked away from that place with a few scars… but it’s nothing compared to what I went through.” The playfulness was suddenly gone from his voice and eyes. He had become the stoic blader once again. I have to admit, it saddened me slightly to see those once bright eyes dull and become like the ice he could control. Slowly he removed his shirt. I was about to protest when I saw the reasons. His once perfect ivory skin was marred with countless scars running every which way. It’s like his skin was a giant imperfection. Some of them were years old, but other ones looked fairly recent.

“Losing is not an option… I received so many of these after the World Championships. I don’t even remember who inflicted most of these. Boris did some and the guards had their hands at me as well. After a couple hours I was absolutely numb.”

Slowly he turned his back to us. I heard a soft gasp beside me as Rei took in Tala’s bruised back. There were fresh wounds there; it looked like Boris had been rather unhappy about the loss yesterday. One caramel hand reached out tentatively and gently traced the Russian words etched onto Tala’s lower back.

“What do they say?” Rei’s voice was barely audible.

Tala turned his head to Rei and opened his mouth to speak.

“Don’t lose,” I said softly.

Tala turned his head back and nodded. “Boris did that after the World Championships. One of the first things he did. He wanted to etch it into my memory, so he carved it into my skin.”

I barely registered what was happening as Rei flung his arms around Tala, tears were running down his cheeks. “I’m so sorry.”

Tala tried to turn slightly in the younger boy’s arms to console him. “Shh, Kitty. It’s not your fault. It’s the life I was given.”

“But can’t you do anything about it?” Rei sobbed.

I rubbed Rei’s shoulder. I was really unsure how to console him. I still wasn’t very good with the whole relationship thing. “We can’t do a thing until Boris and Voltaire are dead or behind bars.”

“But why haven’t you tried?” Rei lifted his head to look at me.

“Voltaire… my grandfather is a very powerful man. If we…” I wasn’t sure how to put this into words. My head was swimming with the ideas. I’ve tried to figure that out myself. How exactly would we be able to imprison Boris and Voltaire permanently? If we failed…

“If we were to not succeed… then we would most likely suffer until the point where we prayed for death.” Tala finished for me.

A little harsh for my liking, but it was true.

“Get your pillow,” I said

Tala turned, though with difficulty, to look at me. “What?”

“Are you going to sleep on the floor with those injuries?”

He gave a soft laugh and pried himself from Rei “I knew you weren’t a complete bastard, Hiwatari.”

I figure letting Tala sleep with us would console Rei somewhat. If Tala tries anything funny though I’ll add to his injuries. Despite his sympathy plea, I will still show no remorse for throwing him out the window; though I might consider opening the window first.

I was just about to encircle Rei in my arms when Tala plopped between us. “Night boys.” He winked at me and slid down under the covers. Shortly after, Rei followed suit and snuggled into Tala.

I could feel a muscle in my eye give an involuntary twitch.

Tala poked me in the middle of the back. “Come on, there’s no use fighting your love for me.”

With a sigh of defeat I sunk into the bed and turned away from Tala. After a moment his arms snaked around me and pulled me closer. I stiffened tremendously. Think happy thoughts, Kai. Like murdering Tala tomorrow morning. And I think everyone on my team will be in for a rigorous training program at the crack of dawn. Fangirls or not, there was no excuse for our sloppy blading yesterday.

“Two inches lower and you lose your hand.” I spat.

Tala’s hand stopped its descent on my abdomen and he chuckled slightly. “It’s good to see you again, Kai.”

After a pause I added. “You too, Tala.” And I smiled.

Chapter Text

“Mmnghkt…” I shifted on my pillow… which felt strangely human. Funny, Kai hates it when I sleep on his chest. Now that I think of it, Kai smells a little different. And his chest feels different.

I’m not sleeping on Kai.

I shot up in bed and looked down at the person. I had been sleeping on. T… Tala…? I blinked a couple times and continued to stare at the sight before me. Kai was snuggled into Tala’s right side and Tala was on his back.

Right… I remember now. The talk last night… Tala…

“Do you always wake up that way, Kitty? Or do you just act that way when people other than your lover are sleeping beside you?” A soft smile played across the older boy’s lips and then two clear blue eyes fluttered open.

“We’re not lovers.” I huffed. Just like him to assume things like that.

“That’s not what the others say. Apparently you two did it like bunnies for an hour a couple days ago.”

“We faked it,” Kai spoke up. Geeze, he’s awake now too. “You two talk too loud.”

Tala began running his fingers through Kai’s hair. A slight pang of jealously ran through me. “I see.” Tala was silent for a moment. “I also heard that Kai laughed.”

“Rei fell off the bed.” A genuine smile tugged that the corners of Kai’s mouth.

-x-

Why don’t I ride you like a cowboy?” Kai jutted his hips out in a provocative way. He began crawling across the bed until he was practically on top of Rei.

With a slight laugh Rei backed up slowly, looking like a cat ready to pounce on its prey. “How about we play Cat and Mouse?” He wiggled his bum in the air and took a final crawl backwards only to topple off the edge of the bed.

-x-

“Mm, I see.” Tala murmured and pulled Kai closer. Despite the burning jealousy in me, they do look sweet together. “What time is anyway?” Tala murmured.

“7:31 a.m.,” I said as I glanced over at the bedside clock.

“We should train.” Kai’s voice was muffled slightly because of how he was resting against Tala.

I nearly fell off the bed at Kai’s comment.

“I’d agree, but somebody melted my blade.” Tala nudged Kai jokingly.

“Get Kenny to make you a new one.” Was Kai’s icy response.

“Aww, you’re no fun, Kai. Besides, I’m enjoying my bonding time with two of the world’s sexiest bladers.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere.” Kai mumbled.

“Oh, I don’t know…” I laid back down on Tala’s chest then snaked an arm out to wrap around Kai. “I always liked flattery. Makes a guy feel special.”

“Sure you don’t mean girl?” I could hear the smirk in Kai’s voice.

I used the arm that had been holding him with to give Kai a good, hard smack. “My feminine side just happens to be more prominent than yours.”

“Now children, play nice,” Tala chided. “Besides, if you two fight then I’ll get hurt in the crossfire.”

“Didn’t you realise that was my intention all along?”

This time it was Tala’s turn to give Kai a playful smack.

“We should get up and have some breakfast.” Kai wriggled himself out of Tala’s and my hold and sat up. With a sigh I got up as well. Just after I had gotten off the bed Kai caught my chin and pulled me into a lingering kiss. After he pulled away he turned to Tala. “Rei is mine; I’m not interested in you. Get that through your exceptionally thick skull.”

Yet again I am little more than a slab of meat…

-x-

I happily munched on my cereal. It was some outrageously sugary stuff that had zero nutritional content. Not even Tyson would touch the stuff.

“How can you eat that?” Kai wrinkled his nose. I merely shrugged in response.

After several moments of silence and eating Mariah entered the room. I glanced up and took a double take. She was still in her pyjamas and looked slightly dishelved. There was a rosy hue to her cheeks and a slightly inflamed part on her left cheek. It looked kinda like…

“Who hit you?” I asked through a mouthful of cereal.

“… Hilary.”

The others looked up at this. I proceeded to choke on my breakfast. After my coughing subsided I motioned for her to continue.

“Well, you see… when she woke up one of my hands was kind of… gripping one of her breasts. She thought I was trying to feel her up. I mean, she’s cute and all but not really my type. If we happened to make out I wouldn’t really mind.”

Well, this is a fascinating plot twist. I dropped my spoon in my bowl and it made a plunk noise. That was the only sound in the room currently. I always thought Mariah was straight. I mean, she’s been after me for years. I can’t believe she wouldn’t tell me this! Where’s our trust? What about our friendship? Then the little voice in the back of my head spoke up. But you didn’t tell Mariah about YOUR preferences. At that moment I had the undying urge to kick that stupid little voice in the shin. Providing it had a shin…

“Rei…?” Mariah brought me back to the conscious word. “I uh…”

I got up from my chair and went over to Mariah. I did something that no one was expecting, not even me. I hugged her.

“Rei… what are you doing?” Mariah asked and pushed me back slightly.

“You’re a lesbian! I don’t feel so bad about breaking your heart now.” I grinned like a loon. “Wait… if you’re a lesbian… then why did you say you loved me and wanted to marry me?” My smile faltered slightly.

“I do and I did. Rei, like you I’m bi.”

I blinked at her stupidly.

“I like both boys and girls…” She added since she noticed her words weren’t processing in my brain. “…Rei?”

“I think that cereal has rotted his brain.” Kai muttered and went back to his toast.

Bi… as in bisexual… as in liking members of both sexes. I get it now. I never would have guessed. I mean, come on! Mariah was head over heels for me, I figured she was perfectly straight.

We both headed back to the kitchen table and sat down.

“Why didn’t you say anything earlier?” I questioned.

With a slight shrug Mariah grabbed the cereal box by me and poured herself some breakfast. “I was still sorting out my feelings. I wasn’t going to bother you or Lee.”

“But maybe we could have helped. I mean, the two of us have gone through pretty much the same thing.”

She poured milk over the sugary substance and set about to loading her body up with more sugar than is healthy for a person. Kai shivered as he watched us eat our breakfast. Tala merely smirked at Kai’s reaction and gave me a slight wink of approval.

“I didn’t feel the need to bother you two. And I didn’t know about your preferences until the last few days.” She continued eating and everyone fell silent.

After a moment we heard footsteps approaching the kitchen. We all turned to watch Kenny enter the room. Kenny sat down at the table and stifled a yawn. “Morning.” He opened up his laptop and began typing.

“Morning, boys,” Came Dizzi’s voice from the laptop. “I’m guessing you didn’t have an orgy since you three were very quiet last night.

“Dizzi!” Kenny yelped and stared at his computer with horror.

“What? You all saw how Tala looks at Kai. And come on, Rei’s easy so it’s not that unlikely.”

Easy? Was I just called easy by a computer? I think I have been reduced to an easily seduced piece of meat. Kind of sounds like a corpse or something. Oh god, now I’m thinking about necrophilia. This thought process is only leading down bad roads.

“Kai!” Kenny yelped as he dove under the table hugging Dizzi to his chest. “She didn’t mean it, did you, Dizzi? Did you?”

Kai was now standing where Kenny had only been seconds before, dangerous gleam in his eyes.

“I was just joking!” Dizzi was slightly muffled since Kenny was holding her so tightly.

Being in a sulking mood I went to pour myself another bowl of the cereal, but Kai snatched it away from me. I pouted at him. “Give it back, Kai.”

“No, you’ll rot your brain.” He growled.

“Technically, it’ll only rot his teeth. But only if he doesn’t brush properly.” Tala smiled.

That resulted in Kai shooting Tala an icy look.

Maybe I should interject before something dies. “Kai… it’s alright, really. I’ve had worse insults.” I smiled and took him by the arm and led him back to his seat.

Shooting Tala another glare Kai sat back down. After a second he seemed to calm and then directed a question at Kenny. “Could you make a blade quickly for Tala to use to train with?”

Coming out from under the table Kenny took something out of his pocket and then proceeded to straighten his clothing out. “Uhh, I figured you’d ask that so I took the liberty to-”

Tala grabbed the blade from the boy excitedly. “It looks sweet! Very different from any I’ve gotten from Biovolt. I’ll give it a go right away!” He grabbed Kai and me by the arms and tried to drag us out of the room. “Let’s go test out this blade!”

Suddenly he goes from voyeur extraordinaire to a three-year-old with his first blade. Whatever they did to Kai and Tala at the Abbey, it sure messed up their minds.

-x-Kai’s pov-x-

“Kai, are you alright?” Rei waved his hand in front of my face.

“Hn?” I glanced up to look at Rei. “What?”

“Tala’s been trying to ask you something for a minute now and all you’ve done is stare off into the trees.”

“There’s someone watching us.”

Rei shook his head and laughed. “Silly, there are fangirls out there probably.”

Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I swear I know this gaze… it just seems so familiar. “Whatever.” I shook my head to clear it and turned back to Tala and Rei. “So, what did you want, Pervert.”

“I resent you,” Tala muttered. “Sourpuss.”

“Idiot.”

“Prick.”

“Immature.” Rei grumbled and rolled his eyes at us.

“Feminine.” Both Tala and I said in unison. We then laughed as Rei sighed in exasperation.

There was a rustling in the trees behind Rei. I moved forward to grab the fangirl before she mauled anyone, but I came face to face with two very familiar cat-like eyes.

“Kai Kitty!” Rei practically pounced on me and grabbed the cat from my arms. “I thought you were gone! You came back!” He hugged the small cat to his chest and the cat purred happily.

Kai Kitty…? I was paranoid over a stupid cat? I think being in the presence of all these idiots is finally starting to take its toll on me. Next I’ll be eating Max’s cereal and watching idiotic television programs with Tyson.

Tala tapped me on the shoulder. “Kai Kitty?” He raised an eyebrow at me.

“The stupid thing followed me home a while ago. Rei took a liking to it so it was our pet until it was chased off by the Bumpus hounds.”

My former team-mate smiled. “Still got a soft spot for cats, eh?”

“I do not have a soft spot for cats.” I spat and turned away from him.

Rei shoved Kai Kitty in my face. “But how can you not love this face?”

I stumbled back a step in surprise. “I uh…” Rei looked at me expectantly. “Yes, the cat’s cute. Ok? And you’re cute… but those are the only cats I like!”

Rei grinned madly at me. He put Kai Kitty in Tala’s arms then gave me a tight hug and lingering kiss.

Breathless we broke apart and he smiled. “You’re so sweet sometimes, Hiwatari.” He winked.

I could almost feel a blush tugging at my cheeks but I pushed that desire away. “Don’t mention it.”

“So, you have a cat named after you, eh, Sourpuss?”

“Quit it with that, Pervert.” I shot back at Tala.

“Aww, isn’t widdle Kai a widdle snarky?” Tala smiled down at the cat that padded at his shirt collar playfully.

A launcher came in contact with Tala’s head again.

“Ow! Quit doing that!” Tala growled at me.

“Then quit being an idiot.” I smiled at him.

-x-

Everyone was crowded around the kitchen table, elbow to elbow. There was barely any breathing room.

“Do we really need to sit together?” Tyson whined.

Mariah shot Tyson a glare as she passed the salad bowl to Lee. “Yes we do. We haven’t done anything as a group except have supper the other night. And since we can’t eat outside where it’s more spacious we’re eating in here.”

I don’t really mind sitting so close to Kai’s kitty.” Tala smiled and rubbed up against Rei.

I growled softly. “Touch him again, you perv, and I’ll make sure you lose that arm.

Come on, Kai. He likes it.

Rei shot me a confused glance. “What are you guys talking about?” He glanced between the two of us.

“Nothing, Rei. He’s just being a pervert.” I shot the second comment more at Tala than at anyone else. Why is Tala doing this to me? Is he just trying to piss me off, or does he really want to get in Rei’s pants. Or mine. Or both of our pants?

You’re being so cruel, Sourpuss. Your words wound me. Maybe Rei will comfort me.

“Why do I not like the way that he just said my name…?” Rei was becoming concerned now.

“Look, guys, if you’re going to have a conversation in gibberish then don’t have it at the dinner table!” Tyson said between bites of food. The sight of his half masticated sandwich was making me nauseous.

“It’s Russian.” I snapped back.

Or we could always have a lovely threesome!” Tala smiled and winked at Rei.

It was at that exact moment that Wyatt began choking violently on his sandwich. Grateful for the distraction I threw a spoon at Tala’s head. Lee gave Wyatt a couple hard whacks on the back and Wyatt spat his food out in a napkin.

“You ok there, Wyatt?” Max asked and handed Wyatt another napkin to wipe his face with.

“Yah.” Wyatt’s voice was slightly hoarse. “It just went down the wrong way.”

“I’m going to the bathroom.” I pushed my chair away from the table and headed out of the room.

“Kai!” I heard the scraping of another chair on linoleum and Rei appeared by my side seconds later. He took my arm and pulled me along the hallway. “What was Tala talking about back there?”

“He…” I paused as we started up the stairs. “He was just being a pervert.”

We reached the top of the stairs and we paused. Rei cupped my chin in his hand and smiled softly. “You know I’ll never cheat on you. I’m just not that kind of person. Don’t let what Tala says get to you so much. I may not understand Russian, but I do understand flirting. And Tala was sure doing a lot of that.” He kissed me softly.

I should really just listen to Rei… but that doesn’t mean I can’t have vengeance on Tala. I shall make him suffer for all the pain he’s put me through.

When we broke apart Rei wrapped his arms around me loosely and leaned into my chest. “Though I’m sure you still want to take vengeance on him, am I right?”

He knows me far too well… “Do you have any ideas?”

He pulled back and smiled up at me. “I have a dead toad I was saving for Tyson, but I guess I can spare it for Tala.”

I raised an eyebrow. “And where would you keep a dead toad?”

“It’s in a bag for frozen brussel sprouts at the bottom of the deep freeze.”

I laughed slightly. Well, that would explain why Tyson hadn’t come across it yet. The kid had a fear of brussel sprouts. He says they look too much like little green brains.

“Then let’s go retrieve Tala’s present.”

-x- Rei’s pov -x-

Kai had just finished placing the dead toad in one of Tala’s socks when the doorbell chimed. We both froze and looked to the bedroom door. We knew who it had to be… Voltaire had come and nothing was going to go well.

“Kai-” I began but he placed a finger to my lips.

His crimson eyes met mine. There was a look of longing and sadness in them. “Rei, I want you to keep out of this. I don’t want you getting hurt.”

With that he got up and headed out of the room, white scarf billowing behind him. After a moment of stunned silence I sprung to my feet and shot after him.

How can he seem so calm? We all know what’s coming. And I’m going to be damned if I let anyone lay a finger on Kai this time.

Kai was the one to open the door. Everyone else was crowded around the foyer. The first face to be revealed was Voltaire himself. Right behind him was Boris, flanked by Spencer, Bryan following them and Ian and then Mr. Dickinson bringing up the rear. Mr. Dickinson’s face was flushed like he had been yelling, which he probably had considering the circumstances.

With an air of arrogance, Voltaire made his way over to Kai and towered over him.

“Grandfather,” Kai said in greeting.

With that Voltaire took Kai by the collar and pulled him into the living room. Bryan and Tala followed him, probably to guard the doorways. They knew that the rest of us would try to help Kai.

The others entered the foyer and Max closed the front door behind them.

“Voltaire, while I’m here you will not-”

“Save it, Dickinson.” Boris stepped between Mr. Dickinson and the doorway.

“Boris I must strongly pro-”

Mr. Dickinson was cut off again as Boris pushed him to the wall. “This is not your place. Voltaire is Kai’s grandfather, his only family. This matter solely concerns those two.”

I tuned out the rest of what Boris said to Mr. Dickinson. Tyson was now being restrained by Spencer while Max and Lee were having an argument with Ian. I’m not sure where I stand on all of this…

Smack

It felt like the blow to my own body. I knew what Voltaire had done. I knew that he had just struck his own grandson with his cane. I squeezed my eyes closed; hoping that if I prayed enough it would all go away, that I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this. That I’d wake up next to Kai and it’d be the morning before the tournament.

Click

I snapped my eyes open and saw Kenny opening his computer and then he began tapping away at the keys furiously. What is he up to? Nervously he glanced up and caught my eye. He motioned for me to join him.

“I need a distraction.” He whispered when I got close enough. “I’m going to phone the authorities, but I don’t want Ian, Spencer or Boris to see.”

I half registered his words. I was still so focused on the harsh voice of Voltaire yelling in the other room.

Smack

I have to get in there, I have to help Kai. I don’t care if I have to maul Bryan and Tala, I’ll do it to get in there. I’m tired of sitting around and letting things happen. Kai Kitty came back after facing the Bumpus hounds, I can stand up to Kai’s insane grandfather. “I’ve got one distraction coming up for you, Kenny. Make sure you’re not caught, ok?”

He nodded at me and smiled weakly “It’ll be ok.”

Nodding I turned to survey the situation. I could see Bryan’s back and Tala was nowhere in sight. He was probably guarding the other entrance to the living room. Boris was occupied with having a shouting match with Mr. Dickinson. Spencer was still trying to restrain Tyson. The remainder of the people were arguing with Ian. Ian was the closest to my desired destination, which was just past Bryan.

Then I saw the moment arise. Bryan left the doorway to move more into the room. Purposefully, I marched towards Bryan. I’m going to punch him in the face as soon as I re-

“Stop Rei!” I heard Boris yell then made a dash for the door.

Ian stepped in my way and opened his mouth to say something but I took it in stride and punched him in the nose. Come on, it was the best target. His nose is bigger than any I’ve seen. And I thought Lee’s was big.

I didn’t even pause to see what kind of damage I had inflicted, I just continued towards my destination. I entered the living room and faltered slightly. Kai was on his hands and knees, blood dribbling from the corner of his mouth. Voltaire stood over him, cane raised. I was about to storm over there when strong arms encircled my body, trapping my arms to my side and stopping my advance.

“Don’t go in there, Kitty.” Bryan breathed in my ear. “If you get involved, you’ll only get hurt.”

Smack

I shivered when I heard Voltaire’s cane connect with Kai’s back again.

You have brought shame to me. I thought you were going to carry on my life’s work and help satisfy my goals, but I was proven wrong. You are not even worthy of the Hiwatari name. Never before have I been so ashamed of someone” His cold voice accenting the harsh Russian words, giving them an added air of malice.

Smack

The cane came down again. With every blow Kai had not uttered a sound. He just took the blow in stride and remained utterly silent. How… how can he do that? He’s being beaten by his grandfather and he’s doing nothing to fight it.

I struggled fruitlessly against Bryan’s hold. “Kai! Don’t let him do this to you! Don’t-”

Tala placed a hand over my mouth. “I’m very sorry for Rei’s interruptions. Let me remove him from the room.”

“No need, Tala.” Voltaire smiled wickedly. “The boy should stay. I think he needs to see this. Make sure he watches it all.”

Sick bastard. If only I could get free, then I could rip his body to pieces.

Kai…

“You have outlived all usefulness.” Voltaire returned his attention back to Kai and switched to Japanese so that I could better understand him. “Goodbye, grandson.”

I saw him raise the cane one final time then I closed my eyes. I couldn’t do anything. The tears slid down my cheeks softly.

But it never came; there was never the sickening crack of Voltaire’s cane connecting with Kai’s skull. Slowly I let my eyes flutter open to see Tala holding the cane mere centimetres from Kai’s head.

“Tala, what are you doing?” Voltaire snapped and tried to pull his cane back.

The redhead was not letting go though. “I’ve had enough of this. I’m sick of being a punching bag, sick of seeing those that I even give a shit about being beaten like they are worthless.”

“Tala…” Kai’s voice was barely audible.

“You foolish boy, do you forget who made you? Who gave you life? Who will take you in if you leave the Abbey, knowing that you’re a freak of nature? That you were created in a lab?”

I felt Bryan’s hold on me lessen. I almost missed the strong hold. I didn’t feel that I had the strength to stand anymore. Created in a lab…? Did that mean Tala was… was not human?

There was a flash of metal. A gun! Voltaire had pulled a gun! Using Bryan’s weakened hold on me to my advantage I sprung form his hold and took two running steps towards Voltaire before leaping into the air. My leg extended in a powerful flying kick.

Bang

I fell to the ground rather gracelessly. Tala stood in mute horror. He hadn’t even seen the gun coming. Instead of having Tala’s brains decorating the room, a feather pillow had sacrificed itself.

Voltaire was already on the move again. He had abandoned his cane in favour of going for the gun he had just dropped. Just as his fingers brushed against the cool metal of the gun, a pale hand wrapped its fingers around the handle and snatched it away. Kai knelt unstably on the ground and pointed the deadly weapon at his grandfather.

“Don’t move, you bastard.”

The older man froze. “Kai, you wouldn’t-”

“Why don’t you shut up? You know I would. You and the Abbey programmed it into my brain that I should do anything I can to survive. This is natural instinct coming into play. Not to mention you would have fractured my skull just now had Tala not intervened.” A twisted smile came across Kai’s lips.

A hand appeared in front of my face and I looked up to see Bryan looking down at me. “Here.” He was offering his hand to help me up. I took the offered hand and got to my feet.

“What the hell happened?” Ian stumbled into the room. He was holding a cloth to his nose, which was still bleeding. I guess I broke it or something. His fault for getting in my way really.

It was then that the sound of approaching sirens broke the strained silence.

Police… the police were coming.

It’s over. They’ll arrest Voltaire and Boris and then… then it’ll all be ok.

I let the tears fall freely.

-x- Kai’s pov -x-

I stared up at the white ceiling boredly. My stomach gave a churn, but I managed to refrain from vomiting. Why did I always feel worse after I had entered the hospital? Weren’t hospitals supposed to help you recover?

“Fractured arm and three broken ribs, that has got to hurt like a bugger.” I looked up to see Bryan entering the room followed by Tala and Rei.

I shrugged. “I’ve had worse.” And truly, I had sustained worse from my grandfather. He’d just never gone to smash my skull in before.

Rei sat down beside me on the bench and laid his head on my shoulder. “They kept us in questioning for ages. Then these two insisted on coming to talk to you.”

“So it’s true then, old Phoenix has gone and found himself a pet.” Bryan smirked at me. I should go and wipe that smile off his face. Breaking his nose should do that…

Speaking of broken noses. “How’s Ian doing?” I asked.

“I broke his nose…” Rei mumbled into my shirt.

“Oh, and there’s some other interesting news, Phoenix.” Bryan’s twisted smile broadened slightly. Why do I not like this…? I have a premonition coming on.

“Yes?” I waited for him to continue.

“Since Boris and your grandfather have been arrested, we needed somewhere to stay… So, Rei has so graciously offered to let us stay with you and the Bladebreakers.”

What?!

“Yes, we’ll be staying with you until the investigation gets underway.” Tala smirked.

Rei and he hugged me reassuringly. “It won’t be that bad. Just think, none of them are like Tyson...”

“Yah, but Tala’s a pervert…”

“Will you quit it with that?” Tala shot back at me. “Sourpuss.”

I can’t believe Rei did that, wouldn’t he think that this would only piss me off more? I sighed in frustration.

“There is one thing that should comfort you though.” I looked up at Bryan. “I’m not after you, Phoenix.” Bryan turned his gaze to Rei. “I’m after your Kitty.”

-x-x-x-

“Kai!” The second I entered the living room I was hugged violently by… Tyson?

“Get off of me, you idiot!” I hissed. In his ‘hug’ he had managed to smack me in the ribs. Yes, those broken ribs.

“Sorry, Kai’ Tyson released me. “But we were all so worried! I tried to come rescue from your grandfather’s evil clutches but that idiot Spencer was holding me back!”

“You mean that Spencer that is standing behind Rei?” Hilary asked and smirked at Tyson’s stupidity.

Tyson looked over to see that in fact Spencer was standing there with a slight smile on his face. Honestly, how dumb is Tyson really? And I certainly don’t like how he greeted me. I think I’ll make him do extra training tomorrow when the painkillers have worn off. I’m still feeling a bit loopy from those…

“What are they doing here?” Mariah asked and glared at the Demolition Boys. I’d say she still has gripes with Bryan.

“They’re going to be staying with us indefinitely.” Rei smiled at Mariah.

Oh, that was a smart one, Rei. I groaned and wanted to smack my head. Mariah looked about ready to explode.

WHAT? You’re letting him stay in the same house as you?” She gestured madly at Bryan. “He tried to kill you! Twice! And me! He’s a psychotic, sadistic, jerk! You can’t possibly think that it was a good idea for them to stay!”

Finally, somebody who shares my views, albeit for different reasons…

“But Mariah,” Rei tried frantically to reason with her. “They don’t have anywhere else to go! They don’t know anyone outside of the abbey besides us. And I forgive Bryan!”

“He’s going to kill you though, Rei!” Mariah shrieked back and flailed her arms.

Rei groaned at the overreaction of Mariah. I gently placed a hand on his shoulder for reassurance.

“I’ve agreed to it” I wanted to kick myself after the words had come out of my mouth. Smooth Kai, smooth but not slick. Now it sounds like I actually want them to stay.

See, I told you he had a heart.” Tala said from behind me.

Mariah just stared at me with a mixture of amazement and horror. Nice hole there, Kai. Just keep digging. Maybe you’ll reach the middle of the Atlantic soon.

“I still don’t like it.” Mariah grumbled and crossed her arms over her chest.

Great, now I have to deal with a pissed of Mariah. I think I’m going to need more of those pain killers… or alcohol.

-x- regular pov -x-

The raven-haired teen sighed heavily as he sat down heavily on the couch. “That was an insane week.”

His companion gave a slight grunt in recognition and sat down beside him.

Rei laid down with his head in Kai’s lap. “But we survived, and everybody but the Demolition Boys are gone.

“Hn.”

“And they’re a lot quieter than Mariah and Wyatt. And Mariah’s gone, so we don’t have to listen to her complain about Bryan staying.”

“Hn.”

“Can you do anything but grunt and say ‘hn’?”

The older boy smiled softly. “Hn.”

“You’re so aggravating.” Rei batted at Kai’s knee lazily.

“Hn.” Kai said again.

“Ok, this means war!” Rei sat up and began relentlessly beating Kai with a throw pillow.

For his own protection Kai grabbed another pillow and tried to block the onslaught of attacks that Rei was giving him.

“What are you, school girls?”

Both boys stopped and turned to see Bryan standing in the doorway, Tala trying to peer over his shoulder.

“I don’t see why you guys can’t find somewhere else to stay.” Kai spat and pulled Rei closer to himself.

Pushing past Bryan Tala moved into the room and sat on the armrest of the couch beside Kai. “Come on, you know you love having us here.”

Moving further away from the redhead Kai responded, “You’re delusional.”

“You keep saying that, but I’m not sure if you’re right.” He leaned in closer to Kai.

That’s when Rei noticed that Bryan was sitting on the couch beside him and was leaning in closer.

“Bryan… personal space?”

Ignoring the raven-haired boy he leaned in closer. “You like it, Kitty…”

Flash

Click

Everyone looked up to see Tyson with a digital camera. “BLACKMAIL!” And with that Tyson sprinted from the room.

The four boys glanced amongst each other confused for a moment. Then a look of knowing overcame the four.

Rei smiled then, knowing that it’d all work out. From that first day under the tree until now all the hardships could be ignored because it had worked out for the better. Sure Tala and Bryan could be galling, but they’d really gotten Kai to open up, which in the end made things a little more enjoyable in the Madhouse (as it had come to be called).

“Rei, you coming?” Rei looked up into Kai’s crimson eyes and smiled.

“Always.”