It all started after Takao took part in a TV show with other bladers, each from different country. At the end of filming, when they were to say their goodbyes, that one Italian girl kissed him on the lips. It was her way of farewell, but for the Japanese blader it became something to brag about.
“So yeah, I can officially say I kissed a girl!” he announced, huge grin on his face. The five boys were hanging out at the park. Hiromi wasn’t with them that time as she had been busy with some family duties. Max giggled in response, Kyoujyu turned slightly pink. Kai just rolled his eyes.
“Girls’ lips are so soft, aren’t they?” Max asked.
“Yeah. Wait, when did you kiss somebody?” Takao frowned surprised.
“Back in the States. We had a party with other bladers from PPB. It kind of happened one of the girls kissed me.”
Takao let out a long hum, his brain computing the new information. “How ‘bout you, Rei?”
The Chinese’s cheeks became shade redder and he turned his gaze away. “W-well, I kind of kissed Mao… Though it was more of an accident…”
Since the beginning of the conversation, Kai had been annoyed. But right now, his annoyance reached its new level as he felt what was coming next. And just as he thought about it, Takao’s face showed a mischievous expression.
“Then how about you, Kai?”
The crimson-eyed only grimaced, as if he smelled something extremely disgusting. “None of your damn business.”
Takao’s grin grew wider. “Come on, are you gonna tell me that with so many fangirls around the world you haven’t had any opportunity to get closer to any of them?” He tied his hands behind his head. “Guess not all of us can be this lucky… And experienced.”
Kai only snorted in response. “Whatever. I’m going home.” He turned and walked away, ignoring any other possible comments that any of his teammates had yet to say.
Truth to be said, it wasn’t that Kai didn’t want to kiss anybody. He just did not care. With his family problems, beyblade mess that kept happening every now and again, whenever someone decided to catch their bitbeasts or rule the world and completely casual stuff such as school work, Kai had never bothered himself thinking about girls or dating. This was far from the list of his priorities in life. He’d also never given any further thought to his teammates getting into a relationship. But at the very moment it seemed he could not ignore the matter any longer. Oh well. He was sure Takao would shut up in a few days and everything would go back to normal.
He had never cared about girls, or so he had though. And yet, with the whole conversation about kissing his mind unconsciously wandered to one person—a certain brunette and the smile that had finally appeared on her face once she’d became free from her demons (or at least as much as she could’ve become). The teen rapidly stopped. What. On. Earth. Was he thinking? He had never cared about girls. And yet he became strangely nervous as he thought about the Silver Wings team coming to visit Japan in two weeks time.
After the said two weeks had passed, both teams, the Bladebreakers and the Silver Wings were sitting in the Kinomiyas’ doujo. Snacks were all around the floor and people kept constantly changing places. Kai hadn’t even noticed when it had happened, but somehow he’d ended up sitting next to the three girls. And out of all of them, Ronnie was the one next to him.
Most likely, he would have not paid too much attention to it, wasn’t it for the fact Arleta started talking about some guys who tried to hit on them in Poland during some event.
“I mean, they were quite cute, but I wasn’t going to do much behind flirting. Anyways, that one blond even asked Ronnie out! Except she immediately declined.”
The brunette shrugged. “That was just so… unpleasant. Having this random guy suddenly asking me out.”
“But he was cute!” Arleta protested. The other girl sighed.
“I don’t think he was. I don’t know, it’s just… Like, he touched my hand and it felt actually… kinda disgusting. And I don’t really want to date somebody I have just met,”
“Makes sense, actually,” Hiromi agreed.
The girls then changed the subject. After a few minutes of trying really hard not to think about some random dude hitting on the brunette and instead to focus on the guys’ conversation, Kai gave up. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t focus on Sebastian’s explanation of new battle techniques – something Kai would usually note in his mind with all the details. Instead, he just stood up.
“Hey, Kai, you going somewhere?” Takao asked bringing everybody’s attention to the crimson-eyed.
“The convenience store.” He pretty much just wanted to get out for a moment and clear his mind. Going to the nearest shop seemed like a good enough excuse.
“Get some more snacks then! I’ll give you back the money. And maybe some more drinks?”
Hiwatari rolled his eyes. “You’re asking too much. I’m not your mother.”
“I can go with you.” Hearing the female voice, Kai’s heart jumped a bit, even though he tried really hard to convince himself it did not.
“You need something?” Arleta asked her teammate who already stood up.
“I don’t know. Just want to check out what’s there.”
“Oh, okay. Get me strawberry pocky, will you?”
From one request from Arleta it turned into a whole list of things to buy for everybody (the biggest amount of requests being from Takao – seriously, how much did this guy even eat?). Kai ended up writing it all on his phone app. He had been planning on going out to clear his mind and get away from certain brown-haired girl and now she was going with him. Well… maybe this could work out too.
“So, you have guys hitting on you often?” he asked as they left the house, immediately wanting to punch himself in the face for saying this out loud. With a very big rock, preferably.
“Oh my god, were you listening?” Ronnie’s eyes opened really wide, as always when she was surprised.
Kai shrugged, trying to play it cool. He was not going to make a big deal out of it. “Just overheard it accidentally.”
The girl sighed. “It happened just once, when Arleta dragged me to some local beyblade event. I emailed you about it, I think.”
After the Four Towers Tournament had ended, the two had been exchanging emails , first only occasionally, then more often. Kai wasn’t even sure how it all had started and now it was kind of their routine. They mailed each other about once a week or two.
“The one she want to show off at?” he asked recalling the line from one of the emails he’d received about two months ago. It hadn’t mentioned anything about that guy though.
“Ugh, yeah. This one guy really wanted to get me to dance with him, and then he asked me out.” The girl grimaced. “That was just so annoying.”
They did not continue the subject. Kai actually wanted to ask her some questions. Did she feel annoyed by all boys? Would’ve she ever wanted to date anybody? Was there anybody he liked?
What did she think about him?
But she most likely wasn’t ready for this kind of question. And, unsurprisingly, Kai wasn’t either.
Three day later, Kai found himself with the group again, this time heading towards the festival at a local shrine. Arleta had managed to convince Hiromi into lending her Mrs. Tachibana’s yukata so the two were all dressed up in traditional outfit. There was no third such clothing, but Ronnie had said it would’ve been okay and that she had preferred her normal clothes anyway. Even so, Kai couldn’t help but notice she worked on looking her best that evening, probably slightly jealous of the other girls after all.
The group spend their time trying out various festival food, shopping for souvenirs, talking and laughing. Takao would occasionally comment on how strange it was that Kai had allowed them to drag him to the festival without complaining too much. Or how he’d been acting surprisingly social recently. Each time Kai would tell him to shut up, or just give him a cold look. He had his own reasons for coming here. Kai could try all he wanted to ignore them, but nevertheless, they were still in his mind. One particular reason, especially. One very annoying, brown-haired reason.
Their group was pretty big, and although they did their best, eventually they got separated. At one point in time, Kai just realized he and Ronnie were left together in the crowd of people. He ignored the shadow of excitement that crawled deep inside his stomach.
“What the- Where did they go?” he asked, frowning.
Ronnie shrugged. “Wish I knew. I just turned and the next second everybody was gone.”
The boy groaned, mentally swearing at Takao, because, let’s face it, it was most likely his fault. “The crowd is getting bigger. Let’s get out of here and I’ll try to call them.”
“Sure.” Ronnie nodded. She followed Kai, but with the amount of people surrounding them it was hard for her to actually stay in Kai’s range. Luckily, he realized this almost immediately.
“Come on,” he said, grabbing her wrist and pulling Ronnie closer to him. He then put an arm around her shoulders and led her out of the main alleyway.
Kai didn’t look at her. He was positive if he did, the girl could’ve read the amount of emotions crossing his mind just by looking into his eyes. At the same time, Ronnie stared down onto her feet, hoping Kai wouldn’t see the blush that made its way onto her cheeks.
Finally, the two made it to the quiet place with just a couple people around. Kai cleared his throat, then shove both hands into the pants pockets.
“Sorry for that being uncomfortable,” he spoke. “I know you don’t like being touched.”
Ronnie’s eyes grew wide. “No, no, that’s okay. I mean, um, yeah, usually… I mean, I don’t mind if it’s you. Wait, no, I mean… Oh god, what am I saying.”
She shut her lips praying internally that Kai would ignore her failed attempt at communication. She kept staring onto her shoes and didn’t notice the curious look on Kai’s face.
“So you… Don’t mind if it is me touching you,” his voice lost part of its usual confidence. It was also quieter, as if Kai shyly wanted to reassure himself. And frankly saying – he did.
Ronnie’s body tensed. “Yes! I mean, no! I mean… Shit.” She tried taking a deep breath. It helped only a little. “I… Didn’t mind that just now. Not that I would in the future. Um, not that I- Um, not that you- Ugh.” She groaned, already fed up with herself. It was so embarrassing, and she could tell already she would be trying to forget this moment for the next six years, at least. But Kai snorted in response and it sounded almost like a laughter.
“I’ll try calling Rei,” he said pulling out his phone. There was this weird warmth spreading through his chest. This was the first time the girl had been this nervous around him since the tournament. And maybe… Just maybe… Maybe it actually meant something.
But none of their friends was picking up their phone. Kai swore silently under his nose. “No idea where they are,” he declared. He then noticed Ronnie shiver. “You’re cold?”
The girl bit her lips before answering. “Um, maybe a little. But I’ll be okay, don’t worry,” she reassured quickly. Kai didn’t say anything, just took off his jacket instead.
“Here,” he handed the article of clothing to the brunette. Now he could clearly tell she was blushing.
“Um… I… Thanks,” she accepted quietly, once again bringing her eyes down. “Looks like my choice of clothing wasn’t that good,” she joked hoping to lighten the atmosphere.
“You look cute.”
Congratulations Hiwatari, on being able to function without using your damn brain. Ronnie was now staring at him in shock. Kai felt his stomach travelling all the way up his throat, performing some complicated acrobatic tricks on the way. Well, shit.
“Wait, what.” The girl finally spoke after a moment of silence way too long, still staring at him. Kai’s first instinct was to turn and just run away somewhere. But he couldn’t leave her here, alone. No, that wouldn’t be good.
“Fuck,” the boy swore, bringing one hand to his forehead and closing his eyes for a brief second.
And then they just looked at each other. None of the two knew what to say. The atmosphere was heavy and they could feel very well there was a million unspoken words hanging in between them. Kai didn’t realize what he was doing until his hand was in Ronnie’s hair, putting them behind her ear. She squinted slightly, barely noticeably, but it was enough for Kai. She didn’t push him away, didn’t say anything. She just waited for his next actions, allowing him to do whatever.
Only now did Kai realize how close they had been standing. He gently put his arm around the girl’s waist pulling her towards. He acted completely on an impulse, ignoring reason and giving in to what he wanted. Right now, he wanted to kiss her. And so he did.
First their lips barely brushed each other. Kai then applied a little more pressure. He smirked internally as he felt Ronnie shyly kissing him back, her hands clenched on his shirt.
She smelled nice. Like some sort of flowers Kai didn’t quite recognize. Her figure suddenly felt so fragile in his arms, as if she was going to break, or disappear. So he continued kissing her. As if to reassure himself this was reality and the brunette wasn’t going anywhere.
Kai had never expected to have feelings for anybody. This was completely new to him, this want to be close to another person. He didn’t dare to name it. If he did, then he would have to face this feeling. He would have to do something about it. Currently, it was just something – something new developing deep inside of him. Something he did not quite know how to deal with. What he was sure of though, was that he didn’t want to kiss another girl. And that he may have wanted to kiss Ronnie again. Also… that he didn’t like the idea of her kissing anybody else. He wasn’t sure what this all meant – this whole situation. He only hoped they could start slowly from this point. Start whatever it was they had going on right now.
Ronnie hid her face and Kai just held her, fingers tangled in her hair. They were both too confused and too embarrassed to say or do anything besides that. There was just one more thing Kai wanted to do.
The peaceful scene was suddenly destroyed by Kai’s phone ringing in his pocket. The two stepped away from each other immediately, taken by surprise.
“Yeah?” Kai’s voice cracked a little as he picked up.
“Hey, where are you guys?” asked Rei on the other end of the line. “Wait, where? Okay, we are literally around the corner. Coming right now.”
It took less than a couple of minutes for everybody to be reunited. The group didn’t forget to notice that Ronnie war wearing Kai’s jacket, Takao, Arleta and Hiromi making various comments about it. Ronnie tried to make them shut up while Kai went back to his usual stoic persona. Nobody noticed his quick peeks towards Ronnie, or hers towards him for that matter, when they were going back home. But obviously just at that time Takao decided to mention The Subject.
“But obviously, not everybody is lucky to be this experienced… Don’t you agree, Kai?” he asked teasingly, turning back towards the Dranzer’s owner. Kai just tilted his head.
“You know, you keep bragging about that one girl who literally just put her lips on yours to say goodbye and then never talked to you again. Try actually having a girl respond to your kiss, give into it. Then we can talk about experience.”
Takao frowned. “Wait, it’s been two weeks, did you…” He didn’t finished as he noticed Ronnie covering her face with her hands.
Next, a few things happened. Hiromi and Arleta exchanged confused looks. Ronnie groaned “I want to murder you” towards Kai. And Takao walked onto a lamppost.