Categories > Anime/Manga > Beyblade

A Whole New World

by Atarichan 1 review

Somewhat AU. After the first World Championships, Tala is left with nothing. Before he can submit to the darkness that so wants to claim him, though, he encounters an old friend who isn't about to ...

Category: Beyblade - Rating: R - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Other - Warnings: [?] [R] - Published: 2006-03-02 - Updated: 2006-03-02 - 5161 words

"I expected better from you, Tala. And you, Bryan. I'm very disappointed in both of you," Boris addressed the two teens from where he sat behind his desk, his hands clasped on top of it. Tala and Bryan met his gaze unfalteringly, although they knew that their harshest punishments to date were about to be handed out.

"As you know, Balcof Abbey does not tolerate failure. Therefore, we will be taking measures to ensure that the same thing never happens again," Boris watched the boys in front of him, waiting for their reactions. A seemingly lenient reprimand would not go unnoticed by either of them, but he was slightly surprised by Tala's response.

"If you're going to do it, then get it over with. I've wasted enough of my life here already," he stood with his arms folded, guarded against the assault he knew he was about to suffer, but glaring despite his fear. He was going to get kicked out and he knew it, so there was no point sucking up to Boris any more. They couldn't make him suffer any more than he already had.

Boris, recognising the behaviour he had seen in a few of his previous students, stood up, walked around his desk and calmly backhanded Tala across the face, knocking him to the floor. Tala, who had by this time had more than enough, simply continued to glare, even as Boris picked him up by the front of his shirt and slammed him into the wall, holding him a few inches off the floor.

"I always thought you were sharper than the rest, Tala, but you just proved me wrong. You should have kept your mouth shut," Boris growled, emphasising his last words by throwing Tala to the floor once more. He knelt beside the boy, who was a little dazed but otherwise unhurt- at least in comparison to some of his previous beatings, before placing his knee on Tala's chest and leaning his weight on it. Tala held back a yell, his expression contorted with pain, and Boris smiled.

"Oh come on, you know how I love to hear you scream," Boris leant harder, but provoked nothing more than a whimper from his plaything, "I think I'm going to miss you, Tala. You always were good in this sort of situation," unzipping Tala's jacket, Boris, unable to remove it completely with him pinned to the floor, simply pushed the two sides apart, before sliding cold hands under Tala's shirt. Shivering from the touch, Tala closed his eyes, trying to numb his body and disconnect his mind, but was brought sharply back to his senses as Boris pulled hard on a nipple, digging his nails in. Tala bit back another whimper.

"Keep your eyes open, I want you to remember this one," Boris started on the rest of Tala's clothes, working by touch so he didn't have to take his eyes off the boy's. Tala struggled without much hope and to no avail, while Boris, tired of his twisted foreplay, began to undo his own trousers.

Tala fought the urge to burst into tears. What had he ever done to deserve this? He'd never hurt anyone, never even kicked the cat that had insisted on shredding the maths homework he'd spent an hour on... it was surprising how the importance of things changed over time. Maths homework? Nowadays he was more worried about living through the day, avoiding Bryan when he was in a bad mood... avoiding Bryan all the time. The bastard was just standing there, watching like he was some kind of amusement. He could have helped; he would have been kicked out anyway, but he just stood there. Tala would have bet he was getting a kick out of it as well. Bryan had always hated him, ever since-

Tala's thoughts were interrupted as Boris, having positioned himself accordingly, pushed his entire length into the boy, hard and fast, finally drawing the scream he wanted.

"Ah yes, now we're getting somewhere..." Boris smiled once more, leaning on Tala's chest, his nails drawing blood from the pale skin as he continued his assault, his speed increasing with each thrust, and each thrust drawing more blood and a fresh scream from Tala as he just gave up, too tired to hide the pain he'd always told himself he'd get used to, and to hold back the tears he didn't want to cry.

"You're weak, Tala. That's why you lost, and that's why your parents left you here."

"No..." Tala shook his head, his tears beginning to fall as the years of pain and loneliness caught up with him, and Boris still kept going, the pain he had caused only enhancing the feeling as he came, spilling his seed into the sobbing teen beneath him. Pulling himself out, Boris stood up, calmly recollecting himself before throwing Tala's trousers in his face.

"Get out. You disgust me," he said, as he returned to his desk, "You too, Bryan. I have no use for weaklings."

"Sir, please, I'll do anything!" Bryan fell to his knees in front of the desk, his tough exterior shattered as the threat of expulsion finally hit home. Tala, suffering and exhausted though he was, laughed coldly as he stood up, brushing himself off.

"And you think I'm weak..." he zipped up his jacked, smiling sardonically, and walked out of the room, struggling to ignore the pain that redoubled with every step he took. Aware of the many cameras watching him, although he doubted Boris would be watching them, he walked swiftly along the winding corridors, through the building he had inhabited for almost 4 years and approached the gate. His plans of a quick and easy escape, however, were destroyed as he noticed two all too familiar figures waiting, presumably, for him and Bryan.

"What do you want?" he snapped, and although he no longer held any authority over them, Ian and Spencer both recognised the dangerous tone in his voice and hesitated for a moment. A moment, however, was not a long enough period of time for Tala to walk past them, climb over the gate, which he assumed had been ordered shut by his former team mates, and head off down the road. In fact, he'd hardly taken a step before Ian's beyblade hit him in the face, just above his eye, stinging as it drew blood.

"You lost us the World Championships, Valkov. Do you seriously think we're going to let you go without a beating?" Ian asked rhetorically as he caught his blade. Tala, with senses heightened by a mixture of drugs, various mechanical parts and training, sensed Spencer behind him even as Ian spoke, and moved as Spencer did, grabbing his arm and flooring him in one fluid movement. It left Tala open to any attack from Ian, but he'd planned for that. As Ian went for him, he rolled and kicked the smaller boy's legs out from under him before getting swiftly to his feet and running towards the gate, figuring that, with his lighter build and faster reflexes, he'd be able to vault it before they caught up with him. But, of course, Balcof Abbey was built to prevent escape, and the gate, though it was possible to climb, took Tala a while to manoeuvre his way to the top, by which time Spencer and Ian had recovered, and two other students had emerged from their dorms to see what the commotion was.

Tala recognised one of them as Kris, a slim blond boy who, although he wasn't particularly strong, had fighting training that matched his own. He also knew the key code for the gate.

"Fuck..." Tala muttered, risking the jump from the gate and having to roll to absorb the impact to his exhausted muscles. Trying to will an increase in the amount of painkiller the computer part of his mind was allowing him, he ran, but stumbled, and it didn't take long for the others to catch him.

Spencer hauled him to his feet, and Tala prepared himself as much as he could for the worst. He needn't have bothered, however, because the boys had been told not to leave any lasting damage, otherwise known as evidence, but the various verbal attacks and less concentrated physical ones were enough to weaken his already exhausted body. The four boys simply shoved him around for a while, resenting the dignity Tala had always displayed in the worst of situations and making an effort to humiliate rather than hurt him.

It was late, however, and the day had started even earlier than usual for the Balcof Abbey students, so the bell for dinner went just as Tala was ready to collapse. Giving him a last kick in the stomach for good measure, Ian stalked off, followed by the other three boys, who simply ignored Tala as he lay there in the foetal position and wondered what the hell the point of it all was.

As the pain in his stomach began to subside, most likely due to the overdose of painkillers being dealt out to him by the chip in his head, he realised that, whatever his chance of survival was, lying on the floor only feet from where his suffering had started would only hinder it. Dragging himself to his feet once more, he headed in the direction of the nearest light, hoping that there was someone out there who would take mercy on him.

He hadn't, however, reckoned on the enormous popularity of beyblading in Russia, and particularly Moscow, and thus the immense unpopularity of himself, as he had tried to kill the current champion. The first crowd he encountered hadn't been quite as kind- or under strict orders- as his previous companions, and the apparent alpha males of the group kicked him around for a bit before shoving him into the gutter, laughing as they continued on the path.

It was then that Tala realised just how hopeless his situation was. What the hell could he do when everybody in the entire city hated him? Now soaking wet as well as cold, hungry, tired, bruised and bleeding, the teenager who had felt so happy in high school crawled into a doorway, trying to shelter himself from the wind that felt like a million knives against his skin. He knew he should take off his wet clothes to stop hypothermia, but how was that supposed to help him from freezing anyway? He sat there, aware that if he fell asleep the chances of his waking up again were slim, and curled into a ball, trying to retain the little body heat he had left in a survival instinct that was just that- pure instinct. His brain felt cloudy, and it was hard to move without thinking about it for a while and having to force his muscles into moving against their will. Because of that, it also took him a while to realise that someone was standing in front of him. He looked up at them, but hardly had to move, because that someone was a girl who looked no older than eight.

"Why are you sitting out here?" she asked, a curious frown on her face.

"I've got nowhere else to go," Tala managed to reply, his voice hoarse and his throat hurting from the effort, but unable to resist the pure innocence in the girl's manner.

"Aren't your friends worried about you?"

Tala smiled, although the movement made him feel as though his lips were tearing, "I don't have any friends."

"Everybody has friends."

Tala looked at her for a moment, wondering vaguely why someone that young was out in the streets on her own, "Well, I guess I did once. But they're not here."

"Did they go on vacation?"

"Something like that," Tala told her, curling up tighter as he shivered.

"Why didn't you go with them?"

"Because..." Tala had to think about it for a minute, "I don't know," he said eventually, trying not to think about his old friends, his old life.

The girl looked at him for a moment, then knelt down beside him and touched the cut above his eye, "You're hurt."

"I deserve it," Tala told her, and actually believed it.


"Because I did something horrible."


"Because I'm a horrible person," Tala looked at her, thinking that if she asked why again he'd have to fight the urge to hit her. Wait, hit a child? What the hell was wrong with him? He'd never hit someone that guiltless in his life and he wasn't about to start now, no matter how hopeless his own situation was.

"Are you sorry?" the girl asked, as though it was the most natural thing in the world to be talking to a complete stranger in a doorway.

"Yeah," Tala didn't even have to think about that one; there was no question about it. If he could take it back, he would. He'd do anything to go back in time and stop himself from doing it, even kill himself if he had to. Anything, because it wasn't just his own suffering that came down to him. He'd hurt so many people, done so many terrible things...

"Then you're not a horrible person," the girl shook her head, curly hair bouncing with the movement, "You just made a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes."

Tala looked at her curiously for a moment, trying to force his brain into understanding, then smiled, "I guess you're right. I just wish everybody else felt the same way." He sighed and looked at the floor, failing to register the girl leaning in towards him until she'd kissed him on the cheek.

"You'll be okay," she said as she stood up, Tala watching her closely, "you'll get back to where you came from."

And with that, she smiled and walked away, leaving a rather confused Tala behind. He simply stared at where she had been standing for a minute, before-

Tala's POV:

"Hey! What do you think you're going? Get out of here, you filthy tramp!"

Only half conscious and slightly surprised I haven't frozen solid, I stumble out the way of the enraged shopkeeper who presumably owns the store I was sitting in the doorway of. I hear him mutter behind me; something that may or may not have been insulting my mother depending on whether or not my hearing is beginning to suffer from the cold. The cold wind tearing into me, I wrap my jacket closer around myself, my arms folded against the harsh weather Russia is well known for. It's getting dark, and the only sound I can hear aside from the wind is the yelling of the man I can't even find the energy to resent, because if I'm going to die of exposure, I might as well get it over with as soon as possible. I never thought I'd feel anything worse than the loneliness I remember from my first night at boarding school, but today is definitely the worst day of my life. I'll be lucky if it's not the last.

You'd never guess I was on the outskirts of one of the busiest cities in a very large country. There's no one around, no lights on, and nothing moves as I wander down the road, hoping to find someone sympathetic before I freeze to death. I can't help but think as I walk, wondering why today had to end the way it did. For the first time in the four years I spent training at Balcof Abbey, I lost a match. I'd faced Bryan before that and won without a problem, but for some reason a boy who can't even imagine half of what I've been through was able to defeat me in what was supposed to be my biggest accomplishment. For years I had worked and suffered for one target; the World Championship title, and it was all over in a matter of seconds.

Strangely enough, though, I don't feel any resentment, any anger or hatred for the guy that got the better of me. In fact, it's almost a relief. Why only almost? You try surviving for even a night in a Russian winter wearing only jeans, a T-shirt and a track jacket, all of which are soaked through.

On reflection, I guess things could have been worse. They could also have been a lot better, but I'm trying not to think about that too much. If I'd won that match, I would have been able to stay at the Abbey instead of being out here, but for what? Spending another four years or my life being abused and insulted by the bastards by parents left me with? Let's face it, if I hadn't lost I would have snapped eventually anyway. I felt terrible taking bit beasts from people I could have been friends with, had things been different, and although I wouldn't have risked crossing Boris then, I like to think that I would have realised just how cruel I was being without having to be kicked out. I was so brutal, and looking back, I don't know how or why I hurt so many people without even flinching. I feel so guilty.... But if I'm honest, there's one episode that haunts me more than any other. I once promised by best friend that I'd never hurt him, but I gave the orders for Kai to take from him the most important thing he had, and humiliate him in front of so many people. I could see the pain in his eyes as his team mates were picked off one by one, and although at the time any remorse I felt was lessened greatly by the threat of physical pain that had haunted me since the very beginning of my training, I feel terrible now.

The thing that bothers me most, though, is the fact that I could have stopped it all. I could have quit at any time, doing the noble thing by suffering for the sake of my friend and the rest of the world, but Boris has a way of manipulating people, controlling them and knowing exactly what they're thinking. That's what makes him so terrifying. I know why I was sent to Balcof; I heard my parents talking about it, and I know they thought I was weak. Sending me to train was their way of toughening me up, and I only kept going and kept winning no matter what because I didn't want to disappoint the two people in this world I loved the most. Boris knew that. I don't know how he knew, but he did, and he took full advantage of it. If I ever started to slow, stumble or hesitate, he was always there to remind me of the disappointment I was to my family.

I know now that my weakness was in fact my want to please, my dream to be accepted by the ones I admired so much. My parents may have started the ball rolling by sending me to that evil place, but any ball eventually slows and stops without any other forces acting on it.

Considering other forces at work here, though, Boris wasn't the only one who made my life hell. I've only met Voltaire a few times, but anyone who sponsors something as inhumane as Balcof Abbey cannot be a particularly pleasant person. Kai's stories reflect that too; he's lived with the man for years and not once has said or done anything positive. I guess as a person he didn't bother me too much simply because I had practically no communication with him. Bryan, on the other hand...

That guy was one scary bastard. When he first came to Balcof, he was actually quite shy. We generally ignored him, seeing him only at training, but after a while it became obvious why he was a favourite of Boris's. I'd just like to take this opportunity to mention that being favoured was by no means a good thing. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Kai suffered for being Voltaire's grandson, with more training and harsher punishments even than myself. Being a favourite meant you possessed skill, and skills were 'welcomed', or exploited, with great enthusiasm and improved in the fastest way possible, but speeding progress means increasing time spend on training. To most people, extra work is an intrusion on free time, but to us, it replaced much needed sleep. Even a month of that would turn the most resilient, amiable person in the world into a short-tempered wreck.

Now, Bryan wasn't the nicest guy to being with; I've heard he had some really screwed up childhood, but after a few weeks of 'special training' his mean streak began to show. He was cruel, and his beyblading reflected his personality; ruthless and brutal attacks tore bladers as well as their blades to shreds, and an almost impenetrable defence meant he soon became known as the blader to beat, as well as the blader to avoid at all costs. His ruthlessness, however, meant he was pretty much completely unaware that some people had retained at least a little of their humanity. I'd bonded with Wolborg from the moment I received him in training one day, and in a rather cliché fashion, we defeated Bryan and Falborg together, earning me my place as team captain. However, he was by no means going to submit to my superiority. He made me suffer for his loss, and although he listened in battle, he and his group of terrified followers made my life even more of a misery than it had been before. As I despised what I had become, I hated Bryan with a passion and although I never sunk to the level of hurting him physically with the help of others, I refused to let him beat me, hurting his pride in a way he never affected me.

I've always viewed myself as weak because of the way I responded to Boris's emotional blackmail, but now that I really think about it I was stronger than a lot of others there. In terms of physical strength, Kai and Bryan could beat me easily, but when it came down to the mental strength required on the battlefield and in coping with such a difficult routine, I was easily better than Bryan and Kai, although in Kai's case Black Dranzer, the seemingly invincible bit beast, would have helped to tip the results of any battle in his favour. Bryan, evicted at he same time as me, completely broke down, while I at least made an attempt to return to my old way of life, provided I survived the first and most difficult stretch. That could, of course, be somewhat due to the sudden withdrawal of the many drugs Bryan was on, but he was rendered completely incapable, unable to live in a different world to the one he'd become forcibly accustomed to. I wonder what his family will think... and if he had any friends before Balcof Abbey.


Imagine Bryan having a girlfriend. That's a pleasant thought to die with, because I know that if I stop walking, I'll never start again. It's snowing, I've just realised, and by the look of things it has been for a while. That was the first thing that struck me about Moscow, the snow. I'd lived in California, at a boarding school, for about eight years before I was send to Balcof, and although I'd lived in Russia until I was about six, it was further south than Moscow and we didn't get a lot of snow there.

I'm really cold now... I mean really, really cold. I don't think I can keep going for much longer. My eyes sting from the cold, my trainers and jeans are completely soaked in ice-cold water from the snow and I don't think there's a single part of my body that isn't completely numb.

I hardly notice as I fall to my knees by the side of the road, realising very late that it's actually my subconscious defending my body. There's a car... or something pulling up behind me. I curl up with my head in my arms as I prepare for abuse not dissimilar to what I've already suffered twice today... and right now all I want to do is die in a relatively dignified manner, cold and alone... much like the last few years of my life, now that I think about it. The vehicle- too big to be a car- stops. I can't help but start crying, shaking my head for a reason I can't quite determine.

There's a hiss as the doors open and the suspension- must be a minibus, since it's too small for a full-sized bus- changes, and expecting the worst I screw defending myself; since it's not like I can feel anything anyway, and collapse sideways into the snowy gravel, trying to blink back more tears as I realise they're freezing on my face.

Footsteps crunch in the snow a few feet from me, and I realise that while this person deals out their own punishment for something I didn't want to do, I'll be fully conscious because my body's not quite ready to give up yet.


The voice shifts something in the furthest reaches of my memory, but I can't place it. My eyesight's blurred with a mixture of cold and tears, and I can only tell his movements by the sound of the snow beneath his feet. I sense him kneel beside me, before he pulls me into a sitting position, and although I can't feel his arms around me or see his face, I recognise his cologne immediately. Upon attempting to talk, however, I find my throat completely dry- unlike the rest of my body. Coughing violently and nearly passing out because of it, I cling rather pathetically, navigating only by a feeling of warmth.

"Fuck, man, you're freezing!" he exclaims, holding me closer as I start sobbing again, praying that this is real and that I haven't just died. I must look completely pitiful, but when you've just nearly died after four years of constant pain, but have been saved at the last minute by the last person you expected to see, a thing like that matters very little.

"Tala," he says my name, but it takes a moment for it to really register in my mind, "Tala!" he repeats, a little louder, "I am not going to leave you here, you shithead, so if you could let go of me for just a second, I can get up before we both die from exposure."

With a lot of effort for such a small movement, I withdraw, suddenly feeling pain at his unintentionally harsh words despite how numb I am. Sitting limply on the ground, I try to stop the increasingly violent sobs that are making my whole body shake, slowing my breathing and noticing that I've stopped shivering. Great, I finally get saved and now I'm going to die of hypothermia. I'd bet anything that my lips are blue.

"Okay, let's get you inside," he says, as he picks me up easily. Funny, I don't remember him being able to do that...

"What did they feed you in that place?" he asks, his tone somewhere between sympathetic and astonished.

Oh yeah, I guess I don't weigh all that much now. Leaning against his chest, I wonder how his teammates are going to react.

"Michael, there is no way you are bringing him onto this bus!"

My brain recognises the vocal signature, and various information regarding the girl's beyblading skills flash in front of my eyes. I ignore it.

"I don't want to hurt you, Emily, but I will,"

Uh-oh, Michael sounds angry. It's not a good idea to make him angry, doesn't this girl know that?

"Michael..." Emily also sounds angry, but thankfully a crisis is averted.

"Emily, let Michael on the bus before we all freeze to death. Konna's expecting us back in twenty minutes and if we're late then dinner will get cold and she'll make us eat it anyway."

There's no information on the voiceprint, but the woman who spoke was older than the others. I'm so brain's not working at its usual speed and people have a tendency to terrify me even when I can see them. Probably something to do with the fact that every person I've spoken to in the last four years has been at the least verbally abusive, and at the most... well, I don't really want to think about that. Not now.

"Alright, but if you wake up in the morning and our bit beasts are gone, don't blame me."

Holding back a whimper, I hold tighter to Michael, who tells me to ignore her. Easy for him to say; he's not known worldwide as the most evil person since Hitler. Since Satan. Since-

"Fuck!" I can't help but exclaim as we get onto the bus, the transition from freezing night in Russia being pretty shocking. It may be an old bus, but it's an old bus transporting five Americans and the heating is turned up full. I haven't been this warm since... well, some very long time ago. Michael laughs, and, after wiping my eyes to try and clear my vision, I glare at him. He winks back, before setting me down in a seat opposite Emily, who gives me a rather unpleasant look. I don't even have to act worse than I feel, as I look at the floor, aware that, all things considered; I probably deserve horrible treatment.

Michael returns after a moment, with a blanket, which he wraps round my shoulders before pulling me onto his lap. I lean on him, grateful for both the warmth and the comfort as his arms encircle my waist. Still not looking up, I notice that my hands are a rather unhealthy shade of purple, and stare at them for a moment, my reactions not showing much sign of returning to normal, before Michael takes them in his, kissing the fingers of my left hand in a silent communication that neither of us find nearly as weird as the others do. I smile at him and settle into his arms, closing my eyes in an effort to make them stop stinging as it really sinks in that I'm not going to die just yet. I'll have a chance to redeem myself, and even if the majority of the population hates me that won't stop me from trying to make things right again.


Well... Tala went to high school with Michael from the Allstarz. Not too much to handle, huh? That is the AU aspect of this, and I'd appreciate it if you let me know what you think about the situation! It'll be cute, I swear! Cookie, anyone?
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