When You Need to Grind Steel

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Since it wasn't an upcoming match that had the world of beyblading as they knew it riding on the outcome, Tyson passed out like a dead thing around ten o' clock, despite his proclamations of staying up till two when they had to leave for the docks. Tyson had pulled out some old hiking back packs his father had left behind from old expeditions and packed them each with sleeping bags, nevermind the fact that Kai and Ayah wouldn't be able to wear them due to their tightly packed wings. Well, at least not comfortably.

Ayah, touched by her adoptive brother's thoughtfulness, was still messing with the straps and repacking the thing in attempts to make it work when said brother passed out in a storm of snoring. She threw a blanket on him then went back to tugging on the crunchy old straps with a wrinkled nose.

Kai sighed. "Give it up. We'll just have the mule bring whatever gear he thinks we need."

She looked at him in confusion until she realized the 'mule' in question was Tyson, then she frowned.

"It's the end of summer, fall is here. The sleeping bags would help us keep warm."

"We're going on a ship. The ocean keeps the temperature mild, and if it gets too cold we'll be in doors. Besides, it's getting wet we'll have to worry about."

"What about the food? Or all this..." she pulled out a box of matches and shook it, eyebrows knitting. "What is this?"

He couldn't help the smile. "You don't know what matches are? Did you're Daddy breathe fire or something?" After all, he could do it.

"These make fire? No, my father was an avatar of sound, like me." She dropped the matches back into the pack and brought out a flashlight, which she flicked one experimentally, and smiled when it lit up. "My mother, though, was light. Beautiful light. All her feathers were like...mirrors or crystals, and when she flew dozens of rainbows would be born with each flap of her wings, and they'd dance..." After a moment of thought she turned off the light. "I guess we wouldn't need all this if you can breathe fire, right?"

"You don't want me to do that for light. I nearly burned down the house just trying to light the oven. Max will be picking us up at the port anyways. I don't know where Tyson gets the idea we'll be roughing it."

But she kept playing with the backpack, a little dream-like smile on her face. He watched her until she gave up and yawned with a wide stretch of her arms and wings. Even having his own didn't stop him from feeling the bit of awe at the surrealness of her feather's movements.

For some reason, it made him think of Hillary. Apparently she had dropped by to help Ayah with more durable, travel worthy clothes, as well as to ask Tyson what the hell he was thinking leaving on such short notice. Kai happened to walk into her just as she was leaving for Kenny's to rant at him as well.

What he really wish he could do was sleep, but he didn't trust his phone's alarm with something as important as his possible survival.


He had his head tipped back and his eyes closed, so he just made his usual "Hn," to show he heard her.

"What...what happened with Hillary today? At the front door. I didn't mean to hear, but even Tyson...I mean, she sounded really upset and if there's anything I can do---"

"It's nothing" he said. Because, really, it wasn't. At least nothing he wanted to discuss, because what was there to say?

"She sounded really upset, though."

"Then how about you ask her? She knows more about it than me."

"Do you think she'd be awake?"

"I don't know people's sleeping schedules," he said, because, well, he didn't. And teenagers didn't really hold to society's standards of wellness, if anyone held to those.

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