Season 1 : The Mirror

Summary: 'Lifting his eyes up to the mirror before him, he allowed himself to see what he had been avoiding in his reflection for the past few weeks. A child of the Abbey. A child of fear. A child Kai had forgotten existed. Until now.' In the weeks following the World Championships in Moscow and the return of his memory, Kai is left with the impossible task of sorting through what his memories are, and what are only nightmares. Who will help him piece his mind together? Disclaimer: Kai, Voltaire and any other Beyblade related themes belong to Takao Aoki, not me. Mori Towers and Chiyoda are real places and they belong to, well, Japan. I own nothing!

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1. The Discovery

 

Kai stared into the hard, lined face of the man before him. There was no mistaking it. Those hard, black eyes; that cruel furrow between the brows; the mean curve of the top lip – the result of a life-long sneer.

"It's that one, number four," he said softly. "That's him. My grandfather."

Kai felt the pressure of a hand on his shoulder. His crimson eyes flickered sharply over to the officer behind him, at which point the hand was quickly removed. Kai didn't enjoy his personal space being encroached upon at the best of times – and this moment, in this darkened room, was as far removed from his best time as it was possible to be.

Too narrow. Four dank, concrete walls. One door. A single, measly, low-wattage light-bulb. And a large one-way-mirror.

On the other side of the glass stood seven men all in a row, bearing a number from one through to seven. Each were tall and brooding. Each had their youth far behind them. Each looked capable of cruelty. But none of those faces held a candle to the one his eyes bore into now.

"There's no pressure," said the man behind him, in what Kai imagined were supposed to be reassuringly soothing tones. Kai felt his hands curl into fists inside his pockets. Pathetic. Pitiful. This is what that man thought of him. As though he was weak. As though he needed reassurance. As though he wouldn't recognize his own grandfather standing before him. "Take as long as you –"

"– No." Kai said curtly. "It's him." Then he turned on his heel, removed his hands from his pockets and let himself out of the suffocating little room without another word.

Three weeks and two days. That's how long his grandfather was on the run for until the police found and apprehended him. It wasn't an impressive amount of time by any means. For all the money and connections his grandfather had, he ought to have lasted much longer. But he didn't. And, for some reason, this disappointed Kai. It was… Kai paused in his tracks for a moment to unravel what exactly he thought it was.

Anti-climatic. Thats what it was. A mediocre end for a promising villain in a show which, admittedly, had potential. But this wasn't a show and Voltaire wasn't a villain. This was Kai's life, and his grandfather was just an old fool who mistook his wealth and ambition for invincibility. That was all.

Just three, short weeks.

The post-tournament celebrations were barely over with. The Bladebreakers had gone their separate ways: Rei back to China with his old team, the wounds from his battle with Bryan now fading some; Max back to America to spend a little more time with his mother; Tyson, Kenny and Kai returned home to Tokyo – they back to Bakuten to await the start of the school year, and he to one of his grandfather's apartment complexes in Chiyoda.

It was raining when Kai stepped out of police station and into the street. He was bombarded from all angles by microphones and camera flashes – desperate journalists buffeted their way past the police line beneath umbrellas, trying to get the latest scoop. Kai turned his head down against the rain and made straight for the car. He didn't relax until he felt the purr of the engine breathe life into the machine and the chauffeur pull out to begin the long drive home.

Hiwatari. If it wasn't a name that everyone knew before, then they certainly knew about it now. And he was the sole heir to it all. Heir to a legacy of riches dipped in blood.

The media must be having a field day. The great Voltaire Hiwatari, head of Hiwatari Enterprises, exposed as a criminal and a fraud – and his grandson, at the tender age of fifteen, was to inherit everything. Of course, at fifteen, he didn't have to worry about the business. The responsibility for the company would lie with the main share-holders, for now. He wouldn't have to take up the gauntlet and lead the company until he turned twenty. The majority of his wealth was locked into a trust-fund until that time, too. He was entitled, however, to a monthly living allowance that probably amounted to more than most ordinary people might earn in a lifetime.

Kai turned his eyes to the side and gazed past the rain-flecked window, watching the lights dance by in the steadily darkening streets of downtown Chiyoda. He stifled a yawn and ran tired fingers through his damp hair, shifting uncomfortably on the leather seats. The sleepless nights were beginning to weigh him down. For as long as he could remember, he had been a night owl. Now, he couldn't even say he was nocturnal. His periods of sleep had no pattern, they came and went as they pleased. For the past week, Kai would stay up late and try to relax himself with a novel, or else tire himself out on the treadmill, before taking a hot bath and dragging himself to bed. He'd drift off to sleep around 1 am.

But then the dreams would come and he'd wake up, smothered by the blankets, unable to control his sweats and shivers and sharp, ragged breathing. Disoriented, he'd spend the night tossing and turning, or else pacing agitatedly from room to room. He'd take out the trash and rearrange the furniture. He'd take Dranzer apart and put it back together again. He'd put the furniture back in its place and brew some coffee for the morning. Always, he would avoid looking at his reflection. Then daylight would rise and he, exhausted by the night's pacing from room to room, could be found passed out on the couch, or else slumped over the kitchen table, while the smell of burnt coffee lingered in the air and the morning sun danced roses over his feverish cheeks.

Slowly, the car lurched to a stop and Kai exited the vehicle, not bothering to wait for the chauffeur to arrive at his door with an umbrella. He kept his head turned down and when the rain fell beneath the collar of his shirt and raked icy fingernails down his back, Kai shivered, but not from the cold.

He stepped inside the foyer of Mori Towers and made his way towards the residential elevators. It was a newly developed complex and, of all the apartments his grandfather bought, was the most recently acquired. Voltaire probably hadn't even gotten around to using it yet, which is why Kai chose to live here above all the rest.

It was a long ride to the his penthouse apartment on the twenty-third floor. Inside the elevator, his mind flitted back to his grandfather and he wondered vaguely what he was doing now. Kai's acknowledgement of him back at the station had sealed his fate. BioVolt was, for all intents and purposes, a Russian organization. Voltaire's schemes to turn in into a world power would be counted as treason against Japan. There would be a court case over his many crimes, but there was no question. He was a dead man.

Kai stepped out of the elevator and into his apartment, shrugging off his damp leather jacket and throwing it to the side. Lethargically, he went through the motions of turning on the television and flicking through the channels, before getting up and rummaging through the kitchen for something to eat. During the months spent with Tyson and Max, despite all of his efforts to extract himself from their company untarnished, he'd unconsciously adopted their love of cereals. It was cereals his stomach craved now. Flicking his damp hair out of his eyes, he poured the small, wheaten treats into a bowl and went to grab the milk. Untwisting the cap and pouring it over the bowl, the bottle oozed out a repulsive mixture of some thin, watery, yellowish substance along with thick gloops of white cream. The sight and smell of it alone was enough to make Kai's stomach churn.

Dropping the offending bottle, it shattered on the floor he raced for the bathroom, bile burning its way up his chest. He made it just in time and gripped the edge of the sink as a strained heave racked its way through his body. He didn't lose much – just the bile he felt rising and what was left of the coffee he drank earlier. He hadn't been eating much lately. Still, even with an empty stomach he couldn't shake off the nausea, and spent the next minute or so heaving. He couldn't help but note the way his elbows shook a little.

Stress. That's what they'd say it was.

At just fifteen, he was the unofficial head of Hiwatari Enterprises, bearing its legacy on his shoulders, living completely alone. He had just lost the last of his family members to the law. Who wouldn't be stressed? He had five years to grow into a man worthy of bearing the Hiwatari name. Whether that was a person he thought he could be, or even wanted to be, was not the question. He would simply have to become that person. And anybody facing such a challenge to their identity is bound to feel considerable stress.

But that wasn't it.

Kai rinsed the sink out with cold water, before cupping some of it in his hands and bringing it up to his face. It freshened him a little, after the clamminess of nausea. Turning the tap off again, he saw his knuckles were white. He sighed.

Kai knew who he had to become, and that, frankly, wasn't the issue. That wasn't why he was stressed, and it wasn't why he was lost. He always knew he'd inherit the company someday, and was actually quite looking forward to taking the reigns and running things his way. The ability to lead was in his blood.

He was stressed because he just wasn't sure who he was now. He was lost because he wasn't sure who he was before.

Slowly, Kai gripped the edge of the bathroom counter and steeled himself. Lifting his eyes up to the mirror before him, he allowed himself to see what he had been avoiding in his reflection for the past few weeks.

A child, with slate bangs and a scruffy face. His eyes were crimson, and deadened with the shadows of horrors that no child his age should ever have seen. His pale skin was grazed and bruised from the strain of training beyond his years. A child of the Abbey. A child of fear. A child Kai had forgotten existed.

Until now.

Kai tore his eyes away from the glass and turned away, leaning his weight back against the counter. Each passing night brought new dreams, new nightmares. He couldn't distinguish which of them were memories, and which were simply dreams. Perhaps some of them were memories of dreams, and memories of nightmares. He didn't know. He didn't know anything besides his name.

Kai Hiwatari. Teenage billionaire. Heir to Hiwatari Enterprises. Beyblading World Champion. Captain of the Bladebreakers. Captain of the Bladesharks. A member of the Demolition Boys. A douche by nature. A douche because he felt like it. A douche because he was afraid. Because he was a victim of the Abbey. Because he was a child of tragedy. Because he forgot the tragedy.

Was that child in the mirror really him?

He just didn't know.

 

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