"Hey, um. Mind to stop -"
It's very rare of Shintaro to speak to other people but Gumi, Piko and his family. Right now, he also felt awkward to talk with Mikuo since he has been long gone. Besides, approaching people out of your circle is horribly courageous - well, for him, it is. He wasn't friendly at all but once you broke through his wall, he 'is' a good friend.
However, it seems like speaking now is also a hard. Extremely hard. Perhaps, this makes no-suspense because it is Miku who is seated on the grasses. Dressed with the same white dress she used to wear when they are young, 'though it's longer and studded with ruffles today. She is staring up at him, her hair - turquoise hair caught in the familiar twin tails. Her sea green eyes is filled with wonder as she studied his face; her hand raised to throw another pebble.
Brownish-black unruly hair, dark eyes, pale skin and - what? She was certain these features were familiar. Where did she see him before? Or, have she seen him before? Doubtful. But Mikuo's voice talked in her head.
"Miku, do you still remember him?"
"Don't kid me. Your sweetheart!"
Shintaro remained there, fixed. How can he possibly just run to her. Look. He's just clueless earlier, but now? Here she is. Both of them remained. The foresight of the so-called Dell spoke in his head, reminding him that Miku vaguely remembers her past. She has been asleep for six year and that time has done good on her. He silently admired her - she is more beautiful than she used to be.
"Shintaro?" Her sweet voice whispered. As if it's a reflex action, Shintaro knelt in front of her but she wasn't surprised, afraid or anything. It was as if she recognized him.
"Yes, yes. That's me. Do you... remember who am I?" He sounded like relieved rather than curious. Miku smiled a little and turned around to throw the pebble. The rustling wind appealed back to his senses and the river began singing. The tealette kept on throwing pebbles as if he wasn't there.
How are you? Are you okay? Can you still remember us?
Do you know how lonely the days were without you? That day, when you're lost, I don't want to see people again.
I'm afraid to lose you.
I'm not ready.
You don't know how happy I am to see you.
Hey, I just realized that the idea of transhumanism is crazy. No one could possibly replace you in my life. In fact, I almost forgot how to be myself when you left.
His thought clouded but none was voiced. Instead, he smiled while watching her. Miku saw that genuine smile as she tossed the last pebble in her grasp. Her arm slowly came back on her side, hand caressing the grasses.
"I'm sorry," came her soft apology. "I just remember. Just now," she stooped her head, fingers crumpled the grasses below. It was guilt. "I'm sorry," her voice shook as she embraced him. Tears rolled down on her cheeks she sobbed against his shoulder. He was one of her best friends, if she wasn't mistaken.
It wasn't like she remembered everything in spate - just his name, his face, his laughter and his role in her life before. Not exact memories 'though, just the feeling. His arms hugged her back comfortably.
"I guess what they said is true. You're asleep for years," he pulled away to examine her face. She's still a crybaby. "You never changed," he smiled and that made her cry harder. They both know it will be a day-long explanation.
After Rin and her cousins left the Hatsune's, Gumi and Piko remained and have had small talks with Mikuo and Dell. There it was explained why Mikuo and Miku came back to Friton village (aka 'that village of rich people?' quoted from Rin, haha). The older tealette wanted to remind Miku her past to reduce the depressive aura she contained. He knew how important Gumi, Piko and Shin to her since they were the only friend she had.
Piko was just quiet as Gumi did all the talking. He didn't need to speak when all of his questions were already asked. So here he was, sipping on his tea while watching the two talk animatedly.
It is like a scifi thing, Piko thought. After all, they have no idea that the HVP was successful after the disappearance of the Hatsune's. 'Come to think of it, grandfather won't like to hear this,' he mentally noted that he won't slip a tongue around his old man. Nevertheless, Senator Hatsune is undeniably a genius. But still, Miku as a specimen? Inhumane. Piko carefully put down his cup, the soft click of the glass to the glass table silenced the chatter. The other three had their eyes on him as Piko folded his arms against his chest. The skeptic look on his face told them he wasn't glad whatever's going on.
"Do you have any valid reason why Miku was the chosen beta?" Piko's cold voice wiped their beaming faces away.
"There's no 'selection' done in the first place. To answer your question, it was because the military forces are after their life." Dell said, obviously bitter. "So, Dr. Hoshine was left with no choice. He wanted to keep the Miku child alive,"
"Alright, I've heard this movie-like-thing." Piko rolled his eyes. He's just being parti pris. Again, his grandfather was the number one antagonist of HVP. There was the dead air again - it's getting a lot of appearance lately -for none of them spoke for about minutes? It seemed like eternity while waiting each second to pass by.
"Ah, Gumi! How's show business? You've grown too popular! I am surprised to see you still freely wandering 'round here, hn?" Speaking of a distraction, Mikuo was an expert in changing topics. Gumi grinned as she put down the melon bread on a saucer.
"Pretty fair, Mikuo. I have to take a break and focus on my university life,"
"So-so, you've chosen University of Latria?"
"It's one of the finest here in Clôture and it is more peaceful, less stressful there compared here in Ardio,"
"And there you met the blonde?" Piko inserted as he stood from his seat - referring to Rin. He stood before the picture frames and examined it. His instincts never failed him - those were childhood photos. A specific photo caught his attention, probably the oldest displayed. Ages might be around seven or eight, heights can be deceitful. He scooped it from where it was displayed then faced Gumi while the girl narrated how she met Rin.
"But it seemed like we met the twins before, Gumi." Piko's sarcastic voice broke the green head's trance. He killed her mood again. To avoid her rant about him who should not interrupt speakers, he showed the picture to her. It was taken on a river bank, the summer atmosphere was on. They were all seated on the grasses, big smiles plastered on their faces - Gumi, Piko, Shintaro, Miku and the twins.
"No!" Gumi chuckled as she examined the picture carefully, "how can we forget this?" then handed the photo to Mikuo, the teal head mumbled 'you met before, cool.'
"It's easy to forget, Gumi." Piko concluded.
"And yet regrettable, Piko." A familiar voice spoke. The four looked at the main door only to see Miku and Shintaro. Gumi instantly rose from her seat, surprised to see her, frozen on her spot. Grown up, beautiful, alive. Tears sprang on her eyes as she ran to the teal haired girl. Both of them cried in each other's arms. Piko watched it dramatically then shifted his stare to Shintaro - a smiling Shin, who Piko has not seen for almost forever. The white haired guy walked to him and punched the brunette's arm, saying, "I'm glad to see you again,"
Shintaro smiled again and nodded. "I thought I was lost too. Happened to be just misled,"
"What about a picnic tomorrow? At the riverside? The weather should be fine today," Mikuo suggested, walking towards them. Indeed, it's a good season and a good way to relive the lost memories of Miku Hatsune. They all said yes, but Gumi chirped another suggestion.
"Let's invite Rin with us!"
"Rin?" Miku repeated uncertainly. Albeit the name sound foreign, it seemed to roll out of her tongue naturally, and some part of her head told her it was, indeed, a familiar name.
"Just admit it, Rin! You like Kaito! Rin likes Kaito!"
"Rin - Rin is insane, isn't she?"
"Rin!? What did you do?"
Voices echoed in Miku's head - so nostalgic it hurts. She was not sure to whom she was talking to as her voice said that name. Her forehead furrowed as tried to get an answer, to understand what her own voice was saying.
"Yo! Sure! The more, the merrier - oh, Miku, before I forgot she wanted me to give to you." Mikuo gave the thick notebook to his sister, CV01's diary - that they didn't know, of course.
"Oh. Who is this 'she'?" Miku took the notebook with her.
"Sorry, who is she particularly?"
"She is a present friend of yours, Miku." Gumi answered Miku's question this time, patting her head. Miku looked puzzled. What does she mean by that? - that's clearly written all over Miku's face. As if on cue, Mikuo prated that this 'Rin' was CV01's best friend who knew that Miku Hoshine is a humanoid.
Miku instantly frowned, unsure if she should look at that the notebook.
Because Len wasn't alone.
Miku thinks that they are different individuals. That CV01 is a separate sapient, a separate person who lived her life when she was asleep. A different individual who stole her life six years ago.
"Ah, I'm going to rest a little. It was really a long ride from Latria. I really want to talk a lot more, Gumi. But as of now, that can't be managed. I'm really sorry." Miku said, half-guilty for turning down her friend because of a mood swing - a mood swing because she stressed out herself thinking about the humanoid.
Gumi smiled, comprehending the tealette's dilemma. She nodded and watched the girl walked out of vicinity.
"I'm sure you reminded her our names," Piko murmured when Miku was out of sight. Shintaro nodded weakly, saying that Miku's recollection is still processing. He told them how she recognized him - it's his name and face alone as she truthfully told him earlier, but once triggered it will be recollected easily.
"Yeah, I hope same goes with Rin. They seemed close," Gumi inserted, facing the two. Piko and Shintaro smiled in a pained way, but only the white haired parti pris spoke his opinion.
"I'm unsure if I'll share a friend with them. A friend of a friend isn't a fr - "
"Piko!" Gumi slapped his arm. He was always cold and straight forward ever since the dinosaurs existed but today, Gumi lost her patience with his one-sidedness. He was implying that Rin was an untrustworthy stranger - but Gumi knew Rin more than Piko and Shintaro.
"Fine. Then Shintaro can't share her to the other blo-"
"No, Piko. She still can't remember childhood promises. Moreover, we hadn't promised anything way back. She was unable to answer." Shintaro was upset about how their lives turned out to be but he didn't want to rush things. He couldn't be unfair. Who knew if she has a change of heart? After all, he has no idea what could have been her answer before.
Shunned, the white haired guy smiled slyly. It is as if he saw this coming. Piko turned back and walked out of the mansion.
"Leaving already?" The older Hatsune's voice tried to call back Piko. "Let's have lunch."
"We have plans, Mikuo." retorted Piko as he went straight out of the mansion.
The Spring season finally came. The skies were clear and the sun was bright - everything seemed lively. The season started fairly good for them. The news about having their long lost friend, Miku Hatsune, was celebration-worthy.
"We better get going, tell Miku that we're picking her up tomorrow. See you later." Gumi was still as friendly as she used to be and nothing will take that away. Mikuo waved a hand and watched the three leave while involved in a small talk about Shin and Miku.
Dell, speechless for that whole time, exhaled audibly when the triad left the living room. He was trying to predict where these loops of events will lead to, but a glimpse of hope keeps on burning in him and that is - that may these people actually help Miku with her recovery and not to confuse her more. Because the truth is, she and the humanoid aren't separate individuals.
"That might be some deep thought, Dell." Mikuo picked the saucers and cups left on the table and brought them to the sink.
"Exactly. Just can't stop thinking," Dell said.
" - Over thinking," corrected Mikuo. "Nobody does, anyway." he giggled. But his brief comment made Dell think that - that was wise of him. Weird.
"So does your sister. Her past and present might be pestering her by now." Dell helped Mikuo cleaning the place. He was more bothered about how Miku will handle everything. After all, he was the one who take care of her from the day she was brought out of isolated room where she was safely kept when he and his grandfather prepared her for her awakening, until the day she learned how to walk again.
"You can't be more bothered than her, can you?" Mikuo gently dropped the tray on the sink. The clattering ceramic pieces sounded like low-pitched chimes blown by the wind. He was actually being carefree about Miku - not that he didn't care about his little sister. He was confident that Miku can handle things on her own. He knew better than anyone else.
"Trust me, she can manage that. She's a strong girl. Just bitter about how CV01 lived but nonetheless, she cared for others and not herself. You should notice that," Mikuo continued.
What he said rang a bell in Dell's head. He definitely agreed with Mikuo for Miku wasn't selfish at all. When Miku asked his grandfather how the humanoid managed to shut down without people knowing that it wasn't a humanoid, Dell finally understood that she was concerned of how people accepted the loss of someone dear. Miku was too affected by the emotional feedback she received from the CV01 that when she met Oliver in Readele, Miku was always curious what kind of friends did CV01 has. Miku's selflessness was proven when she came back with Shintaro, greeting Gumi and Piko. At first, she looked perfectly fine but when Gumi cried, Miku startled - quite uncomfortable and guilty because she honestly... still couldn't recall how to treat the green haired fellow.
"Only if she will stop forcing herself to remember," the two men laughed at Miku's childish facade - why is she too kind to such extent she is afraid to offend people? And her fear of turning down people makes her a perfect beta of HVP.
Miku Hatsune laid tired against her thick notebook that Mikuo gave her was trapped in her arms. She was holding it dearly against her chest; her mind was still arguing whether she would open and read it or not. The pressure was on. Her forgotten past and blurred present collided amidst of her recovery. Maybe, she's contemplating too much. Both memories were still vague and she want to remember everything in a blink of an eye.
Shintaro, Piko and Gumi - yes, she remembered who they are. They are her friends during her childhood days. Short flashbacks entered her head, flashing like a movie trailer. Still, puzzled. Now, voices in her head reminded her of the things she fuzzily remembered. But the feeling is there, that hearing the voices in her head and seeing blurry images of a scene comforting and blissful. She was happy and contented in those vague images in her head. On the contrary, she was afraid that she may fail to meet the expectation of these 'present' friends.
She raised the diary to her face and decided to open it, only for a disc to drop on her face. Flustered, she sat from being laid and examined the thing - nothing odd. Galloping to her multimedia set, Miku played the disc through the player. Seated on the carpet, she watched the videos of (unconsciously) her and a short haired blonde doing things that if it was actually her (the real Miku herself), she would do the same thing as the CV01.
The inseparable truth is that, Miku Hatsune is the database of CV01's decision making.
A smile lit the worried face of hers, she is slowly coming to a conclusion.
Shintaro was quiet while the three of them walked out of the Hatsune's garden. They were supposed to have lunch in some restaurant in the city but Gumi asked if they could stroll for a moment, then due to some happenstance, met Gumi's face then Mikuo.
The brunette was always alone. When you're alone, being quiet is not a choice. It's the only option. Piko was busy in his sports club. Gumi was studying in Latria. So, he spent his schooldays in the university and home. Soon, the familiar solitude grew uncomfortable - eating him back to loneliness. He was now, sad. Six years without Miku was too long; he wondered if ever she regained her memories, will her feelings be recollected too? If so, which emotion should weigh? Past or present? He or as-what-Piko-said, Len?
Because the day she was lost, a promised was supposed to expose between them. He thought of it as a fetish promise of mutual affection. Sure, he won't be able to intertwine their little fingers and swear under the sun that they will grow up together - whatever that may mean to her. It's not a promise of marriage after all. It was just him, being him, falling for the girl. Even if it was that kind of promise, nothing stays the same - even the hearts. The shape of their hearts were like puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together. But his doubtful thoughts bugged him - what if the shape of her heart changed? Then it's time for him to let go. Sadly.
"You know, I got a feeling that Len got a thing for Miku." Piko suddenly said, breaking the silence that's suffocating the three of them as they walked around a mall. Gumi was just smiling as usual, Shintaro was down. The lonely Shintaro slowly sees the ending.
"STUPID. STUPID! STUPID!" Len yelled against his pillow. Since he left with an excuse that he will look for Miku, all he did was walk to his Aunt home and sulk in his room. Of course, doors locked. Hearing that annoying girl-looking-boy in the name of Piko what's-his-name said that Miku means a lot to 'that' Shintaro, of course, Len felt like he lost a game without clicking the start button. Petty. This petty feelings hurts - damn jealousy, he said to himself. Miku is alive. There's a ray of hope that she may remember what she said on the song.
He believes Rin,
That maybe, just maybe, she remember them - him.
A warm thing rolled down from his eyes, he never considered the possibility but he is crying. For a, 'friend' as what he said to Piko. Who is he kidding? A friend? Just friend. Good luck. Len knows that even the Greek gods are laughing now because he is a terrible liar. The commotion from the living room - Rin and his cousin's laughter - was finally recognizable and comfortable. He silently sobbed against his pillows while trying to find a way to fix his broken state. It was his fault: to be attached, to fall, to be broken. All his.
"Len?" Rin called as she knocked on his door. There was silence then click. Good thing, he locked it earlier. He wouldn't like her to see him...wailing.
"What?" came his hoarse voice.
"I received a message from Gumi, inviting us for a picnic tomorrow. You coming?"
"Miku's coming too."
"Hundred percent. Now, will you please leave me? I'm trying to sleep."
LIAR. His refusal trailed hesitantly but that's the best-est way to restart everything, to be himself again and to be the Len who cared for his twin, his mom, Kaito and Gakupo. The end. Whilst, a part of him screams that he should see her. But no is a no.
But sometimes, a no is an implied yes.
Leaning against the door, Rin, Meiko and Oliver was saddened to hear Len refuse when they all know how eager Len in seeing her despite he denies it a lot; that he has a thing for 'though he calls it friendship; that he cared when he said he did not. Surely, they knew none with the song or message he was talking about, yet love is love, be it juvenile or not. For the three knew, his love was true. If not, he wouldn't be like that?