Memories of Me

BY : Resting-Madness
Category: Beyblade > General
Dragon prints: 578
Disclaimer: Disclaimers: I don't own beyblade in any way shape or form: characters, plots, ideas none of that. And I make no money with this work of fiction.

Zeo left the bathroom with a flushed face, and rapidly beating heart. He took severly deep breaths to calm his self down, but it seemed impossible at the moment. Pausing in the hall, he holds a hand up to his chest hoping that somehow that would steady the beating. Leaning his back against the wall, with his hand he fans his face a bit.

Am I too young to have a heart attack? He wonders. Closing his eyes he tries to think of calming, sweet things. I'm with my father. My mother is on her way. I'm safe, I'm home. I've got my favorite breakfast waiting for me in the dining room.

Zeo could feel his breaths becoming calmer by the minute, and when they were finally steady enough he began down the hall again. He passsed by his father's office, stopping when he hears the man's voice coming from the other side of the door. He'd thought for sure he would still be waiting for him at the table, but he must have had to take the call that came just before they began to eat.

"Yes, he made it home fine." He was saying to the person on the other end.

Could that be mom? He wonders walking closer to the door, pressing an ear against it he listens in for more.

"Thank you for taking care of my son, you'll be well compensated for it. I assure you."

Hmm? Hand reaching for the knob, Zeo jumps out of his skin when a hand comes down on his shoulder unexpectedly. Spinning around, he holds a hand up to his chest. Its that butler. "You scared me." Says the boy.

"My apologies, but I thought you might have gotten lost so I came searching for you."

"No. I was just on my way back into the dining room." He fixes his gaze upon the elderly man. "Who is..." He swallows uncomfortably, gaze lowering to the floor as he lost his nerve.

"Yes?"

"Who is my dad talking to? Do you know?"

"I believe a Mrs. Shiori, she said her name was."

Why would she call? Did Mr. Kaihou come looking for me, knocking on all the doors of houses in the area?

The two of them look at the office door when the phone sounds, from being hung up. Before his father could open the door, Zeo turned the knob to go inside.

"Hmm? I'll be back to eat with you once I'm done writing out this check, Zeo. You can go back to the dining room."

"Mm, I'm not really hungry but," stepping closer to his father, he sets his hands down on the desk feeling as short as his seven year old self when he came into the room and up to the large wooden desk. "What did Mrs. Shiori want?"

Looking at his son with a bit of concern over his eavesdropping, he waves a hand. "She called to see if you'd gotten home alright. She's been in Tokyo looking for you, but had to go home. Mrs. Toshida found my number in the phonebook, and called to see if you'd made it back to the house on your own."

"Oh." Looking down at the checkbook, he sees the woman's name written down. "You're giving her money?"

"She insisted that I don't have to give her the money, but I feel I need to." Looking his son in the eyes, he frowns. "Zeo, this woman took you off the street and brought you home, she deserves to be rewarded for it."

A single nod shows that he thinks the same. Walking over to the chair, he sets his arms around his father's neck, laying his head down on the side of his. "I love you." He said quietly.

Smiling, Zagart puts his arms around his son's back giving him a hug in return. "I love you too."

Smirking mischieviously, he asks. "Can we go out to the backyard and play catch?"

Laughing, Dr. Zagart releases his hold on the boy then stands. "Get the ball. I'll be right out."

"Awesome!" He cheered exiting the room.

Chuckling at the boys enthusiasm, Dr. Zagart signs the check then reaches across the desk for an envelope from the neat row, set between gold plated dividers. Writing out the address, he sets a stamp at the right corner then places it in the 'out' box at the left corner of his desk for William to take down to the post office later. Leaving the room after that he sets out for the backyard.

Zeo can't recall the last time he's had so much fun. Since starting blading, seriously, he hasn't had much time for fun. Tyson used to joke about Kai implanting a chip in his brain, forcing him to work on their old training schedule. But Zeo knew that that wasn't the case. To be the best you have to work at it and that's what he did; but today isn't about blading and it isn't about his troubles at home, today is about having nothing but complete fun with his friends... and he's sticking to that.

So far they've been on everything that flips, dips, and hurtles you unexpectedly through the air, minus Kenny who swore that he'd sooner break Dizzie than go on anything that so much as lifts him two inches off the ground, at which point Tyson hoisted the smaller male into the air. The small group laughed at their friend who was about to hyperventilate over his friend's actions, but he wasn't mad.

Zeo had three cottan candies with Tyson, competed for a prize at the 'strongest man' game- Rei won by a long shot, and he's had a place next to Kai on two rides so far. He and Max made promises to win gold fishes before they returned to Tyson's house at the end of the day. Ozuma was another story, where he was always at his side, Zeo couldn't really enjoy being around him knowing that he's keeping something from the shorter male- it hurt too much.

"You guys let's get a pizza for lunch, I'm starving." Says Max, shifting a large alligator in his grip. Kai and Max killed in the dart game with the wall full of balloons.

"Good idea." Says Tyson already two paces ahead of everyone now. "Let's do halfcies."

The gang moved on, but Zeo fell a little short when his boyfriend grabbed a hold of his hand. Looking over at him, Zeo licks his mouth and plasters on a nervous smile. Ozuma smiled back, the small act was reassuring to the fears the leopard weilder didn't even know he was having, and that meant more to Zeo than anything. Tightening his grip on his lover's hand, he looks down at him, head cocked when he noticed something about him.

Zeo wondered how he'd missed the fact that Ozuma has been growing and his boyfriend that was once 4'8 is now 4'10'' to his 5'4''. His father saw no point in making height adjustments to him when he said he was fine the way he is. Although his friends have gotten considerably taller, well into their six's and seven's Max being only slightly shorter of the four sacred beast avatars at 5'5''.

Zeo had to frown at that. He never even considered the future, having had too much fun in the present. What's gonna happen once his friends start getting older? They'll continue to grow and he'll always be the same. Sure he can always get a height change, even have adjustments made to his face but it won't be the same as his friends.

Dad once told me that I'm aging but at a different pace than everyone else. That the spirit flowing within me is ancient, but has its limits. And someday I will need a replacement, but for the time being I'll remain this way, while everyone around me changes. He looks on ahead to his friends that are arguing about what to get on the pizzas, since they only have enough cash to get two large ones.

Its almost like I'm cheating death, and now that I'm faced with it I'm running. This is everyone's fate no matter who you are, and yet I'm the technical loop hole of it all... and its cowardly of me. Maybe I should... just go home and accept my fate. ...Today will be my last, I'll tell the others everything so they won't have to hear it from anyone else but me.

"Are you two gonna lag behind all day? Come on." Calls Tyson, waving them over.

"We're coming!" Just as he was about to take off running, he was stopped by a force gripping his wrist. "Huh? What is it?"

"Zeo," Ozuma says looking him in the eye. "What ever it is that's bothering you. You can tell me."

Looking into those saddened beautiful eyes made Zeo wanna cry. Shaking his head, he laughs quietly. "I told you, me and my Dad had a fight, so I'm staying with the Grangers until it blows over." Closing his eyes, he adds. "There's really nothing more to it."

Scrunching his face, eyes sad yet angry, the shorter male shakes his head. "No you're lying. I know you, Zeo, and you're not being straight with me." He lets go of the secretive male's hand. "But if you honestly don't want to tell me what it is, than I have no choice but to drop it. Right?"

"No, you're wrong." Zeo says in a low voice that hardly sounds like it wants to stick by his own story. "I..." he stops his self. "I'm not lying, I'm just not ready to lose everything yet."

Shaking his head, confused by his boyfriend's words Ozuma asks. "What are you talking about? How are you gonna lose everything?"

"We already know something is bothering you Zeo," says Kai having come over to them, undetected and having somewhat eavesdropped.

He was very curious to know what was going on with the blue haired male. It isn't like Zeo to act so quiet and sad, even in times when everyone seemed a bit down... he was always right there trying to cheer them up. The only time Kai's seen him actually upset about something was that day he heard about who he really was, and he wanted to hide from everyone.

So it was to Kai's knowledge that, whatever was bothering Zeo, it was something of that nature because it held the same severe nature to the male as his former mentioned problem.

"Wouldn't it be better to just tell us than hide it. It only blows things up, and makes what could have been a small problem worse."

"Kai-.." Snapped Ozuma.

Though, he had to admit it was nice to have someone ask Zeo as boldly as he has, but he still should have used a nicer tone.

"No Ozuma, he's right." Lowering his head, he shrugs. "I really don't know how much longer I can keep quiet about it. Today has been so great I... forgot about my problem, up until now. But how many more days can I have like this before I finally crack from trying to keep it down."

The rest of his friends came over, curious as to how their sweet day out turned so serious on them all of a sudden. Zeo lowered his gaze, bangs shading his eyes as he speaks.

"The real reason that I'm staying at Tyson's is because my Dad told me to leave," he swallows nervously. He can feel something inside of him tugging, shaking, silencing his voice when he wants to speak.

Reaching out a hand taking his friend's shoulder, Max pulls him into a hug. "Its ok Zeo. If you're still nervous about telling us than you don't have to. No one is gonna be mad at you."

Holding Max as tightly as he can, Zeo says in a quiet voice. "He came back you guys."

Brow quirked, Kai asks. "Who came back?"

"Zeo Zagart. He came home a couple days ago, and my dad told me that I should go." A tear dropped from his eye sinking into the dirt. "I'm afraid to go home, because I know that now that he's back he's gonna get rid of me and... I don't wanna lose you guys." He sniffles, more tears run down his face.

Brushing a hand across the male's cheek, the only thing exposed that Max couldn't abduct within his hold, Kai says firmly. "Zeo, you will never lose us. If your father thinks that he can just take you away from us, he's gonna have a fight on his hands."

Suprised by that, Zeo eases his hold on Max to get one on Kai. "Kai... Thank you."

Smiling, the Russian hugged the male back. He was serious about what he's said. Dr. Zagart may have created Zeo but... that didn't give him the right to just take him away from people that love him.

"I was afraid that you guys would... I don't know, leave me maybe."

"Are you crazy. I'm with Kai, we'll fight for you dude." Says Tyson.

The others agree already planning action, but one person had yet to say anything.

"Ozuma?" Questions Tyson to the guy who's staring into space.

"Ozuma, you'll be here for me won't you." Asks Zeo walking over to the shorter male.

But when he got close enough, Ozuma turned on his heels and took off.

Confused, Tyson places a hand beside his mouth so his voice would carry to the escaping male. "Ozuma, where are you going!?"

Zeo shakes his head. "Just... let him go you guys."

"But why?" Asks Tyson still looking after the leopard blader. "Ozuma should be with you more than anybody."

Zeo takes a seat at the bench beside the table where their lunch order has been set. "He... Ozuma knew Zeo before the accident."

"He did?" Rei takes a seat, hand coming down over Zeo's to comfort the saddened boy.

Nodding, Zeo wipes a hand across his eyes. "They were good friends, but they lost touch. I... I kind of expected that he'd want to go and see him but..." His voice fades.

The others share concerned glances.

"I didn't think it would hurt this much, in the reality of it." He began to cry now.

Sitting down behind the weeping male, Tyson massages Zeo's shoulders laying the side of his head against the back of Zeo's. "Sssshhh, hey buddy it'll be all right. Ozuma just needs to visit with him, you said they left on bad terms, then that means once he's done visiting he'll come back."

"And in the mean time... we're all here for you, Zeo." Says Kai.

He knows all too well what its like being the person on the outside looking in, since his friends didn't exactly have the best ending after the world tournament when they were younger. Bryan was never quite the same after he was sent to the correctional facility, and Tala still has an odd hormonal balance due to the lab experiements done to him. He spent time in a correctional facility, same as Bryan, but his stay was far less severe.

Spencer got a few months in juvey and Ian, since he had done nothing, only had to spend a few hours in juvey with community service licking at his heels once he got out. But being on the outside was the only experience he has under his belt, his friends share a closeness in their pain that he could never understand his self.

If Zeo wants to know what this other guy is feeling, he'll eventually have to go home and face some music; but that doesn't mean he has to go alone, if he ever does wanna understand what happened to his human counter part.

"You guys..." He wept words unfinished. But they all knew what he wanted to say.

Ozuma never ran so hard in his life. It just couldn't be true. It can't be! He heard about the car accident, the fire. The police stating that his best friend was dead. It broke him inside, he wasn't their for him because of his own problems; and to just have him snatched away before they had a chance to check-in on each other was overwhelming. But Zeo, his Zeo's words kept running through his head.

Zeo Zagart. He came back a couple days ago.

Days ago! How could he not tell him, knowing how much their friendship meant to him. Turning a corner a little sharper than he would have liked, he nearly has the skin scraped from his short sleeve bare arm on the side of a building.

Zeo and I read his diary together, shed tears together for him... and he doesn't tell me that he's come back.

Even his mind is winded as it churns over thoughts. The house isn't that much farther away, he'll be there, he'll see for his self that it isn't true. Zeo can't be back, he just can't be. And where was he all that time? In France? What happened on that day really? He just had to know.

Zeo could hardly stop his laughter as he clung tightly to the side of the swimming pool. He and his father decided to take a swim, after working up a sweat in the backyard playing catch. Zeo insisted that they play bases rather than just toss the ball back and forth to each other. It was simple enough to do, but exhausting to carry out. Pitcher would throw the ball, catcher would of course catch it, then it would be thrown to first base in which the pitcher would then have to run over that way to catch the ball and so on. You see, exhausting.

Zagart knew that he was shirking on his work and would soon have to cease his breaks with his son, but its hard when he's smiling like this and enjoying himself; how can he not enjoy feeling back in a time that he was sure had been stolen away from him forever. How would anyone else react when someone they've lost has come back? Wiping a long stream of water trailing down his face, Harushige called to his son. "One more race, and then we have to go in for lunch."

Swimming little circles in the area of the pool he's at, the teen snaps out of his clouded thoughts then smiles. "Okay." He says after his father's words sank in. Heading over to him the two take their places at the edge of the pool, one hand on the tiled outlining insuring that no one cheats. "Just say go."

Harushige held out, laughing at his impatient son who kept swimming a bit away from the pools edge just to have to return because he didn't say 'go'.

"Daaad?"

"Go." He took off while the boy was finishing up his tantrum.

"That's cheating!" He called out before swimming out into the pool. He dove under the water heading over to his father's side, he then grabbed his leg to throw him off. "Now I'm winning!" He called out.

William opens the door to the backyard, distress on his old features making the wrinkles look more defined than usual. "Master Zeo." He calls out.

"What is it? Can't you see I'm in the middle of a race?" He looks bewildered when his father rushes by.

"Looks like I win." Says the man triumphantly.

"No fair, I was distracted." He claims finishing the race in second place.

Getting a helping hand out of the water by his father, and handed a towel from a woman named- Olina, he believed it was, he starts to tremble as he attempts drying off without padding himself down first.

"Sorry to disrupt you, but there is someone here to see you, Master Zeo."

Shocked by that, he wondered who could possibly know of his presence except for that Zeta boy. Maybe Mrs. Shiori flew back to Tokyo after checking in with her family. Toweling his self off so he wouldn't drip water on the carpeted floors, he wraps it around his shoulders then follows William into the living room. Expecting to see the chubby woman sitting on the couch or his stand-in his crystal blue eyes widen in suprise to see...

"Ozuma." He whispers.

Ozuma turned at the sound of his name from a voice that wasn't too familiar, but unmistakable when the voice rose a bit higher.

"It is you!" He hurried over to him, throwing his arms around him. "I can't believe you're here! I can't believe I get to see you again!" He couldn't hold back his tears. Neither could Ozuma.

Wondering how his son knew cyber Zeo's friend, he decided to leave the two alone. Judging by his son's reaction to Ozuma the two are very close and its best they have their privacy. Plus this will give him time to check up on things.

"Excuse me." He said for sake of his departure. "And Zeo, get changed. You wouldn't want to catch a cold."

He didn't think the boy had heard him until, hand and hand with the shorter male, the two quietly head up the stairs. Zagart felt something of a pang in his heart at the sight, but he knew it was good that Zeo have someone besides his self- and his soon to arrive mother, once he called the woman. The reunion would be something for the both of them and he needed to prepare his self.

"When Zeo told me that you were back, I didn't believe it. I had to come see for-.." He averted his gaze when his childhood friend just dropped his swim trunks without any shame in the world. "Myself. But its true, you're really back."

"So then you're friends with him?" Says Zeo quietly. Clutching his swim shorts as though they're an old blanket in which he used to protect his self from harmful things.

Ozuma didn't know what to say, he can hear the pain in his friend's voice. So he chooses silence.

The anger in his eyes turned somewhat softer as he nods with an understanding. "Its okay that you are, my father explained to me how much he missed me and it caused him to make the boy. You must have had the same grief, and it only makes sense that you would be my stand-in's friend."

The lower tone that his friend has than Zeo's was startling but not bad, just... different. "Its not like that. Zeo and I-.."

Cutting him off, he corrects. "ZetaB2."

"What?"

"His name is Zeta, not Zeo. I'm Zeo." He insisted.

"But he's Zeo too." Insists Ozuma without threat or insistance in his tone.

"No. He's not." Turning around, he walks over to his bed where Ozuma is sitting, shorts abandoned from his grip, he reaches out and holds the male to his bare body. "He's just a temporary replacement, now that I'm back we can be friends again. Ozuma, you don't need him."

"I don't?" He says absently trying to put the words together to make sense of it. Not need Zeo?

"Please stop it." He says softly. "I've missed you, and my family and" his voice perks up. "Now that I'm back, we can hang out like old times. It'll be great! We can have a sleep over- what d'ya say?"

Face blank for a moment, he felt his mind turn to mush seeing that familiar old smile return to his friends older sharper than his Zeo's features. He could almost see that six year old shining through.

Chuckling at the idea of it, he nods. "Yeah. Let's have a sleep over."

"Ahaha! Awesome. I'll tell my father to get us some things."

"You'd better get dressed first." Warns Ozuma.

Looking down, he spaces for a moment then snaps out of it nodding. "You're right." Sliding from the bed he disappears into the closet. "This is gonna be so fun."

0 0 0

"So Ozuma, what have you been up to since... you know?" Asks Zeo as if he were just on some ten year trip rather than being back from the dead.

The two of them are laying sprawled out on the thick red carpet of the theater room, watching a newly rented dvd that his father got them along with an array of snack foods that his son likes. Their conversation has been slim at the most just comments about the movie has been made, but Ozuma continually stole glances at his best friend with the question of his disappearance and return still weighing on his mind.

"I've been fine. I became a beyblader. My ancestors gave me the flash leopard blade."

"Really!? And did you get to carry out the mission that you told me about?"

Smiling, the mixed child shakes his head. "It turns out that I ended up being friends with them instead."

Looking hurt, head dropping as though someone has just smacked him causing it to tip forward a bit, he then smiles it off. "I'm glad that you weren't too lonely without me."

"How can you talk like this? Zeo... What happened between then and now?" Lowering his gaze, eyes shaded in the darkness of the room, Ozuma asks. "I thought that you had-..."

"Been killed in a car accident. That's what my father told me the police told him." His tone was low yet indifferent to what he was saying, almost like he were just passing on news from someone he'd heard it from. "I only wish it had happened like that."

Ozuma silently gasped that his friend would think so darkly, when he used to have so much light in him.

"My families driver, Mr. Kaihou... he stopped the car and pulled me from it." He lowers a piece of chewy candy that he was about to eat. "He took me someplace that I don't know of, but it was a long trip by car and it took days." With a smirk he laughs a bit. "You know he made me pee in a bottle the entire trip so no one would see me at a gas station bathroom or something." He stared blankly at the large movie screen. "He would hide me in a bag whenever we had no choice but to stop, but he never hurt me."

Reaching over to his friend Ozuma put a soothing hand down on the male's shoulder having it quickly slapped away, as if his touch would burn like acid. It looked as though Zeo were about to grab him by his throat but he stopped his self before his hand could reach, and he instead redirected it to Ozuma's shoulder, rubbing it lightly, caressingly.

Ozuma remained silent, and still watching his friend's transfixed gaze at his own actions.

"Does that feel nice?" He questioned absently.

Ozuma couldn't actually feel it, too numbed by the odd behavior his friend is displaying. "Zeo I..."

Blinking hard, he shakes his head then laughs. "This movie is pretty funny, isn't it?" He eats the piece of candy that was sticking between his warm fingers. "So you're a blader." He says as an after thought seeing that Ozuma was still staring at him so strangely. "I wanted to blade too, you know. Zeronix. Its french."

Seeing that Zeo clearly wanted to drop the matter- and had every right to- Ozuma blinks back to his senses. "Right."

"Maybe we can blade together sometime, if I can ever remember where I had the thing." He laughs. "Did you know I didn't even know where the kitchen was in my own house?" He laughs. "That one guy, William he told me I was walking into a wall then he showed me where the kitchen was. Talk about dense."

Ozuma laughed uneasily at that. Its strange. Something is wrong with him, but he doesn't wanna talk about it. There has to be a way to get his friend to open up so he can start healing from whatever it was that that man did to him. Ozuma's never been in a situation like this before, but he will do anything to help his friend return to his self after being lost for so long.

0 0 0

"I thought I'd catch you out here." Says Kai when the door to the main training room where they're all spending the night closed after the departing teen.

Startled, Zeo sees Kai sitting at the edge of the outdoor hall, long legs folded beneath him. Walking over to sit down beside the male since he's been caught, he didn't think it would be wrong of him to sit down.

"..." He stopped his self then started again. "I couldn't sleep."

"I know, thinking about Ozuma and what he's doing over there with the other Zeo."

"Hn." He hugs his legs to his chest, staring up at the moon. "I feel like its more the other way around, and I'm the other Zeo."

"Yeah but not to us. And I'm sure not to Ozuma either."

"I don't know about that... I found his diary not long ago and brought Ozuma over to read it with me when I saw that his name was mentioned." Taking a huff of a breath, he lets it out. "His tears were still just as fresh as the day Zeo was taken away from him, Kai. It made me sad for him but selfishly I was mad at myself for caring that they used to be friends."

"Mm."

"I cared so much for the boy I read about. He was funny and happy and kind. The boy I saw at home was nothing like that. There was no light in his eyes, and I felt sad for him because I could guess he's been through a lot."

"And now?" Kai turned his intense gray gaze at him.

Zeo shrugged. "I... I just want him to go away." He laughed uneasily. "Is that unfair of me, trying to hold onto a life that was never really mine to begin with."

Kai just listened intently.

"I thought it would be great if he came back, we'd be like brothers." He scoffed. "He ran into a wall when he saw me."

Kai grunted at the idea of it. "That's kind of understandable, I'd hit a wall if I saw another me walking around."

Laughing, Zeo lowered his head. "Me too. I thought I was insane then... I don't know I got hopeful about the things I originally thought, that is... until my Dad turned me away."

"So you're mostly mad at him."

"Yeah." Zeo admitted. "He... he had no right to tell me to leave just so he could be alone with him. We were having the best day, and it was suddenly brick walled by all this madness. And I know that... That once he remembers I'm out here, he'll tell me to come home and he'll shut me off like I never existed."

Hooking an arm around the solemn boy, Kai nods. "I used to feel that same way about my friends in Russia. When they were taken away from me, they returned and were different people around me but not each other. It was almost like they shared a bond that I would never understand... but then I threw myself out there, and saw that in truth nothing had changed- well, some things had changed, but that didn't mean they wanted me out of their lives just because I couldn't understand their pain." He recalls their words of encouragement to him. "Tala has a faint twitch at his left eye, Bryan will stare in a daze for minutes then act as though nothing happened, Spencer and Ian have been oddly attentive to each other since their short time in juvey, but apart from that the way they felt about me never wavered whether I could understand that part of their life or not."

"I see what you're saying. Unless my dad actually says it, I'm just running from 'what if's'."

"Basically." He shrugs. "Situations are different, but the sollution is always the same. Just go and find out." He gives Zeo's shoulder a squeeze. "The longer you wait the more wonder you'll leave at the other end. I'm not saying you should go rushing home right now. I'm just saying you should consider it, but you won't be alone when you do decide to head over there the only side we're on is yours."

Smiling, he rests his head on the male's shoulder. "Thanks Kai. I can see why Rei loves you so much." Zeo says slyly snickering when he sees a blush form on the stoic male's face. "Ahaha. I thought so."

"Hn. That, like other things, will come out in time." He releases his hold on the male. "I'm heading to the kitchen for something to drink. Can I bring you anything?"

"Mmno. I'm just gonna head back to bed."

With a single nod, the Russian starts off for the kitchen.

Kai is right. And once Ozuma has been given enough time to visit with Zeo... I'll go home.

 



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