Memories of Me

BY : Resting-Madness
Category: Beyblade > General
Dragon prints: 577
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.

Head bowed; Zeo walks along the empty streets with tears marking his path until they disappeared into the ground as though never having been there at all. His father's words are still fresh in his mind as he takes a corner a few paces up ahead.

"Dad? Was that really Him?" He questioned watching the stairs as if he expected the boy to come down them and catch him in the act- of doing what though? Talking to his own father?

"Zeo don't make this hard." Says the man with tightness in his voice. "...This is... this is the greatest thing that could ever happen right now and..." His gaze drops to the floor. "Please just go to your friend's house for a while. There are things that my son and I have to discuss, things he needs to know and..."

"You can't do it with me here. I understand." Lowering his eyes as well, he sighs. "I'll... go."

Sniffling, Zeo wiped a hand across his eyes. It isn't so much that he sent me away but how he sent me. He called me by my name, but he referred to him as son. How can I compete with that? How can I... Dropping to his knees he let the tears stain his face and hands. His sobs are so sudden- so violent it almost sounds like screaming. How can I go home?! How can I sleep soundly at night!?

"Yo little hommie." Says a familiar voice. "What'cha doin' out here all by your lonesome?"

Looking up a bit shocked that he'd find, well, be found by the elderly yet youthful male. Seeing the sobbing child look up at him, Grandpa Granger smiled with a chuckle before helping him up.

"There you go." He hands the boy a cup of fresh made almond tea.

Taking a seat on the couch, he watches the boy sip his drink, tears still in his eyes. He wondered what could make the child so upset as to have an outburst right there on the streets. Tyson actually came home pretty upset his self about something, he kept on saying the little dudes name with such snide; and seeing Zeo here crying like this the two must be having a fight.

Good thing he's out with the others at the arcade. Max successfully lured him away by suggesting it; even though Tyson agreed, he walked out of the house saying that he wasn't gonna let the matter rest. But knowing his grandson, playing a few games might help to calm him down.

"Wanna tell me what's this big fight going on between you and Tyson?" With a warm smile he goes on. "If its about love than might I suggest rethinking it, best friends ain't worth smashing for a little skin mashing." He broke into a fit of laughter.

Cocking a brow, Zeo wondered just what the heck the old guy is talking about, though, its nice that he's able to be so open with them seemingly about anything. Love wasn't something he was really sure he wanted to discuss with him. Heck he didn't even know what reason he could be bringing relationships up for.

"So come on what's this fight all about?" Casting a gleaming eye on him, he presses. "Or do I have to tickle it out of ya? Ah heh heh heh."

Thinking over everything the man is saying, he just can't seem to figure out what he's talking about. So instead of furthering his confusion he sticks with a simple. "Huh?"

"Tyson came home ranting something terrible about you. So come on, what'd you guys have a fight about?"

"Mr. Granger-..."

"Grandpa." The man corrects.

With a single nod, he corrects his self. "Grandpa, I have no idea what you're talking about. I've been with Ozuma and my Dad all morning."

"Really? So then why did the little dude keep shooting your name off like a pistol?" He wondered to himself aloud.

"...Oh." He says the situation making itself clear to him. "Tyson must have met Him and thought it was me."

"Whose He? And why would Tyson think it was You? Something's just not adding up here." He crosses his arms.

"Grandpa... You know about me right? About my being... well... different from everyone else."

"Sure! But even though you came into this great big world of ours a little differently doesn't make you different. You've just got a heart of steel in my book."

A faint smile on his cheeks he looks down into his cup of brown tea. "Thank you for that, it means a lot to me, especially now."

"Huh?"

"Hm." He intoned. "Never thought I'd be the one telling this story, but... Grandpa, the reason I was created... The reason my Dad didn't tell anyone... is because the boy you see right here before you, is a real person. His real son met with a terrible accident when he was seven and... he's been pronounced dead by the police. My father was devistated by this, greiving for a very long time until one day he went into the labs, and there he made me. He told me all of this his self."

"I see."

"But as it turns out, Zeo was not dead, he's very much alive! ...And he's in my house right now..."

"That is some serious weight you've had brought down on you. But why aren't you at home trying to get to know him?"

Get to know him? Zeo looked bewildered. I haven't even thought of where I'm gonna stay tonight while he and my Dad-... He bit back tears again.

Seeing this, the man's face softened. "Its been a long time since Tyson had anyone sleep over- come to think of it, it'd be kinda nice to have someone see to it that T-dawg brushes his teeth before bed. I swear that kid skips out on it every chance he gets."

Realizing what the man is saying, Zeo tears up again before lunging from the chair, cup thankfully landing on the coffee table before he throws his arms around the man. "Thank you, Grandpa! And I won't be a burden. I promise."

"Not at all. Let's go get you settled in."

9 9 9

With a loud thud of the sliding door into the dojo Tyson raised his head as if to make his voice carry a bit further as he shouted. "Grampa! I'm hoome!"

Sliding the door shut with just as much vigor as it had been opened, he takes in a deep wiff of something being fried.

"Oh boy!" Dashing down the hall towards the kitchen he's licking his lips already. "Grampa must already be starting lunch."

Running his hands together with eagerness, he opens the kitchen door, ready to announce his arrival once more, until he sees a certain blue haired friend of his standing by the stove stirring rice.

"Okay... just what are you doing here, you traitor!" Balling up his fist at his sides, he glares. "You'd better have come to apologize."

"Tyson!" His grandfather called out from beside him.

Not seeing the flying wooden sword coming, Tyson is whacked over the head; his hat acting as a well-enough helmet, taking away the amount of pain he would have gotten during training with out it. Grabbing his head in pain, he squints an eye open at his also glaring grandfather who is holding the wooden sword lax over his shoulder.

"What gives Grampa? Are you trying to put me in the hospital or something?"

"Stop being mean to your friends! This boy is going through something right now, and you're not making it any better on him." The old man bent over nearly shouting at his grandson.

Taken aback, Tyson continued to rub his head as he straightens up. "Alright, alright. No need to chew my head off." Walking over to the stove. "Look Zeo, even though you were acting like a creep, I'll let it slide since you were upset about something."

Remembering what Mr. Granger had said, Zeo simply nodded and let Tyson continue to believe he'd done whatever it was that fleshen Zeo has done to him. He wondered for a moment if he should tell any of them. Its not like he could hide it for too long anyway, because odds are his father will go public with it and want justice brought down on whomever had taken the boy- if anyone, he could have managed to get out of the car before that truck hit it. And since he was seven at the time, he was unsure of where he was and he could have just been lost. Its a possibility.

"Whoa! Hey Zeo, snap out of it dude!" Tyson takes the spoon and handle of the pot moving the rice to another stove top. "You're gonna burn the rice."

Snapping out of his thoughts, he looks over at Tyson then blinks away the confusion. "I'm... sorry."

Hearing a large gape of sadness in the male's voice, his eyes soften. "Hey listen, I'm not sure what's going on with you but, you know you can always talk to me or any of the guys."

Nodding, he tenses when Tyson touches him on the shoulder. I never thought about it until now. This might... this might be the last time that I see any of them. Max, Kai, Rei, Tyson... Ozuma... Looking at Tyson's hand, his face scrunched with the sign of tears. I haven't even gotten to say good bye to any of them- would he even have let me?

"Zeo?"

"Tyson I..." Wrapping his arms around his friend, he hugs him tightly. "I'm gonna miss you so much."

"Huh? Where are you going? Competition is still a ways away; and at first you're sad, but then you're having such a blast you don't even realize it."

Ha. There isn't gonna be any competition for me; once Zeo and my dad talk, he'll wait for me to come home and he'll shut me down- perminantly. After all, wasn't I just created to fill in his pain, be his son's replacement? A simple stand-in until the star gets over their stage fright or flu. Well I can't let that happen, I'm gonna stay away from my home forever. Then maybe he'll think twice about getting rid of me.

"Not that I mind the sentiment, but this is getting kind of awkward." Says the Dragoon wielder before pulling away.

"Zeo's gonna be staying over for a while." Says grandpa plating up lunch for the three of them. "I made him a bed in your room."

"Oh?" Seeing food his mind went from questions to a loud chant of 'hungry, hungry, hungry'.

Taking a seat, he sniffs in a good whiff of the food then grabs his chopsticks to dig in. Seeing Zeo still standing, blank look on his face, he swallows his bite then says.

"Come on Zeo, get it while its hot. Grandpa may not be all there, but he really knows when fish is ripe for the buying."

"What are you talking about- 'not all there', let's not forget who buys you all those midnight snacks you've been munching on."

"Alright, alright."

Do Zeo and my dad have this kind of relationship? Is he a needy child who'll never let me exist as long as he's around? Does he need this time to be alone with him, since he's missed so much of it? I've read his diary and he's always been so nice and understanding, at least... he was. What is Zeo like now? Walking over to the table, he pulls out his seat then sits down. Picking up his chopsticks, he grabs a bite of food but doesn't eat it, he instead lets it sit in the air before his mouth. Could he share? Could he like me? His reaction to me was about as well as mine was to him. I want to meet him, but now that the chance has come up... I'm not even sure I do anymore.

"Zeo?" Says Tyson. "Do you wanna talk?"

Looking at Tyson, he's unsure of his own movements as he nods to the question...

Earlier at the Zagart home.

"Father? Who is he?" Asks the teen, sad eyes almost fixated on the man.

"...All this time, it was Kaihou who had you." The man says to his self, though, hearing the boy's words as if he would never again miss another one of them.

But he can't get over the fact that his trusted driver, of many many years, would kidnap his son and never ask for ransom. What were his motives? And how does Mio Kay play in to this? He needs answers, and he had better get every single one of them answered.

Reaching out, he grabs the man's shoulder, squeezing it mostly for himself to be comforted by. He swore that if he woke up in that cabin tomorrow he would let his self die, there was no going back there after having such a vivid dream as coming home; touching his father, and talking to him. Hugging him, and being hugged in return for what felt like hours. He has yet to find out where his mother is.

"Father?"

"Nadaline, I have to call her."

"Is mom in France?"

"Yes, Zeo. Your mother moved away from here after the divorce."

Blinking in confusion, his face then turned into the look of fear. "Why did you get a divorce? Did she blame you for what happened to me?" He questioned. "Please tell her it wasn't your fault, tell her to please come home and see me." He looks down at his lap tear swollen eyes not ready to give anymore liquid for one day. "I miss her so much. I wanna have dinners together again as a family, I wanna go out to shops and laugh like we used to." Placing a hand on his father's, feeling and speaking as though he's seven all over again he smiles faintly as he says. "I wanna play for you guys, and listen to mom make up words while you laugh at how silly we are. Father? Don't you want that?"

Looking up at his son, tears in his blue eyes he says. "More than anything." Looking away, he swallows down a dry throat full of grief. "But there are things you must know, changes that have occured."

Nodding, he says. "Like that boy."

"Yes."

Glad they've gotten back to his question he again asks. "Who is he father? And why does he look like me, not just a little bit but a lot!"

"He's... He's you son."

"...I don't understand."

Chest heavy, he grabs the boy's hand giving it a squeeze. "I grieved over your death since I found out about it. I wanted to die right along with you, but I... I couldn't hurt your mother with more pain. The two of us cried every night to the point of constantly butting heads with one another."

Reaching over, he wiped his father's tears with his hand.

"You were our everything Zeo- everything! Without you... the both of us were torn people. I missed you so much that I went down into the lab and began to work, I worked and worked until my hands bled, and my eyes dried from never sleeping,,, and by the time I was done I looked at what I'd created. It was you Zeo, a hollow shell of your appearance. I needed it so much that I often found myself hugging the puppet, but I needed more. I brought it to life with my work, and he lives now."

Gasping from such a statement, he looked at his father uncertain of how to react to such a thing. His father's grief was so over whelming that he cloned him?! And this clone has been living his life as his stand-in? A cyborg? This just can't... be true. "Father-..."

"It took so many failed attempts to get it right, but I finally did it. Your mother was disgusted in me, and left me soon after... saying that I was sick and couldn't just let your memory be loved. That I sullied it with my need for experimenting, but it isn't true. My creating you was an extent of my love, it was never meant to insult you my son." Looking him in the eyes, he asks. "Please, do you understand how much I care for you?"

Slowly, he nods... but his body doesn't speak for his mind as he runs over what his father has said to him. This living puppet, has replaced me, stole my name and lived my life- took my love, and distroyed my family. How can I forgive someone like that- no not someone some thing.

"I'm so glad that you're home Zeo. So very happy... Please, anything that you want, anything that you need just tell me and its yours."

"...I want to meet him. This boy, I want to meet him."

0 0 0

"Don't forget to brush Tyson." Snickers Zeo fluffing the blanket for him to shimmy underneath.

"Say what?" He pulls the blanket down to peer over the side of the bed at Zeo who is on a spare futon beside him. "Now Grampa's got my friends doing his dirty work for him."

Still snickering as the male gets out of bed, he turns over onto his side snuggling in. "Try not to wake me when you come back in; I like to hit the hay the minute all my nightly chores are done."

"Yeah, I'll hit something." Mutters Tyson in mock anger. Going down the hall, he grabs his toothbrush and loads it up to start brushing.

Cracking his eyes open, Zeo looks sad once more. Its hard to keep a good mood when all he can see is his father hugging his real son. All he can hear is the man shouting at him to go to his room, until his son fainted.

Shaking his head, he tries to smile. I should be happy that he's back. I was so miserable not long ago thinking about how sad it was that Zeo died at such a young age, but now he isn't dead. He's home now and he'll be safe from whatever dangers took him. Hhhnnn- yeah right, Zeo. How can I be happy for someone whose about to steal my life? This is all too complicated to think about.

Turning his face into the pillow, he rubs it back and forth as if to wipe it all away in one good rub. Startled when the door pushed back open, he looked down to see Tyson climbing into bed with a sigh.

"Happy?" He continued to tease him.

"The air thanks you more than I do." He laughed.

The two of them sat in silence for a good while, until Tyson rolled over onto his back, hands behind his head, gazing up at the ceiling. "So that's it then? You're just gonna dismiss what you did earlier."

"Tyson... I'm sorry about that." He lied for a minute but then changed his mind. What's the point in lying to one of the only people he has in life now. "Tyson, the reason I was acting weird this morning is because it wasn't me."

"He sure looked like you- sounded like you too... well, a pitch lower maybe but he still sounded like you. And unless you've got some creepy secret twin then-... Huh?"

"I said that he's my Dad's real son. Zeo."

Confused, he sits up propping himself on a side angle with his elbow. "What real son?"

"That night I had changed so all of a sudden on you guys is because of what my Dad told me about myself, that I'm not like everyone else. He told me the reason I was born- created," he regretedly corrected his self. "Is because the real Zeo was killed in a car accident when he was younger, but it turns out that he wasn't and now he's home."

"Too freaky... That would explain why he didn't seem to know us. It must have really freaked him out that these guys he doesn't even know would chase him home."

"It must have." He says softly, though, not tired just sad.

After a second thought Tyson asks. "Is that why you're here? You're upset about this other kid being home?"

"Actually my Dad told me to come over," he mutters in continue. "So he can be all alone with his precious son." It actually startled him how much malice his voice had. "Sorry. This is my problem, I don't wanna bother you with it."

"But it isn't just your problem." He taps Zeo on the shoulder to get him to look at him. "You're sad and that makes me wanna cheer you up, no matter if I can help the problem itself or not."

"But I'm being unfair. Zeo has been lost for 10 years, and now he's finally back and he sees me," he looks down at his blanketed figure. "I can only imagine what he's going through right now. Asking about me. I'd be freaked out."

"I'd be beyond freaked out if I came home and saw two Grampa's or even another me. But... I don't know, if he were really important to Grampa then... I guess I'd wanna get to know him. We'd kinda be like twin brothers maybe."

Like twin brothers? Thinks the blue haired child. It would actually be kind of nice to have someone in that big house with me when Dad leaves for work and I'm alone, with no one to hang with but William but... Part of me... Part of me just doesn't wanna share him. Not my Dad... not this life... not anything.

Tyson watched as Zeo battled with himself mentally. He wondered which side was winning. "What are you thinking, dude?"

"Huh?"

He glanced at the Granger boy for a brief second but then turned his gaze away hiding his eyes within the dark parts of the room that shaded him from the moonlight coming in through the window.

"Truthfully, I'm at a fork in the road. On one hand my Dad might be really cool about me staying with him and Zeo, and I might eventually become brothers... But another part of me is saying that my Dad is happy with his son being back, and he's gonna..." It hurt to much to say out loud.

"Oh. I never thought about that." Hearing the shallow breaths coming from the sad boy he reached out to grab his shoulder for comfort. "Hey don't cry, you can stay here for as long as you need, but if your Dad does call and wants to talk to you, me and the guys will come with you and make sure he doesn't try anything suspicious. Okay Ze'?"

"Okay. Thanks Tyson."

Chuckling, he gives the guy's shoulder a squeeze before flopping down on his bed. "Let's get some sleep, then we can have all kinds of fun tomorrow- take your mind off of your troubles."

"Right." Pulling the blanket to his chin, he tucks himself into bed.

 



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