The pages of the calendar flipped too fast. Today is one of the days amidst of Fall season. The shredding trees and cold winds around Azuria gave birth to scattered colors of brown, red and orange. The rain will come back arbitrarily to succumb humanity with the drowning downpour. Everything is sad and beautiful. But he can't careless. Because for him, there's a sole thing that is beautiful - the moment he met her; and sad - the moment she left, and came back...but has no idea who he is.
It has been months that had gone since the Spring break, since he had begun to resist the urge to see Miku, Miku Hatsune. Len let himself believe that Miku Hoshine and Miku Hatsune are different beings despite Rin's babbling about how Miku acts naturally. No, that's incorrect - how cool Miku is in remembering Rin. But for all those months, he hadn't heard his twin blurt out a single hint that Len entered the tealette's thoughts.
Today is one of the many days amid the fall season. The cold breeze numbed the blond's face as he stood silently at the center of the open university hallway. He is slowly counting down to the anniversary of meeting Miku. The thought of Miku alone made him sigh, eyes raked against open ground before him; a ground bathing with the colors of the season. The dim light from the gray skies welcomed him as soon as he stepped out of the sheltered hall; the commotion was acquainted to his ears.
The life he chose was this one. A life without her.
"Where are you now and what are you doing?
Are you somewhere beyond this endless sky?
When I lost everything that has been in my heart until now...
I realized for the first time..."
PLOP! - Len tripped down on the staircase that leads to College of Engineering's lobby. It was the exact place where he first met Miku. He realized now why she fell that way. He now knew how sulk could she be when she fell. The loneliness was pestering him like it owned his head since the beginning of time. Thus, he spaced out, made him take the wrong step and trip on the last stair.
Embarrassing, he thought. Lucky him, he is early today so few students are around. Len didn't bother to stand, mentally noting that what he is doing right now is for idiots and lovesick people alone. Some part of him tells him not to, for Rin once mentioned that Miku is studying in the same college with him. But never, never he had seen a Miku-soul wandering in the lobby, lecture halls, and library. He never had to chance to bump with her during cramming days. How bad he wanted to, anyway. His friends - Luka, Kaito and Gakupo, fairly got along with the new Len, the blond always staring in the far distance as if looking 'none' particular. Just staring, staring, deep inside wishing he'll get a glimpse of teal around the hallways.
"Hey, are you alright?"
Excitement and high hopes pumped through his veins, "Could it be?-" Len looked to the speaker. His thoughts paused instantly when he saw the blonde, Neru Akita staring down at him. She smiled painfully as she offered a hand. He sighed and stood, eventually brushing the dust off his black sweater.
Black. From the beginning of Spring, he wore black, and black alone.
"Hey, Neru." He acknowledged coldly.
"You're odd," she just sneered and left him shrugging. That blonde was always in their college building for what seems everyday. Just for that Vocaloidism project of theirs. They are already in second year but that particular I.T class where Akita belonged are forced to continue Vocaloidism because it received a lot of support from the Engineering department. Sometimes, Len hates why the sound engineering has to fall with their department. He doesn't want to see Akita.
So, to stop himself on pondering over the thing, he entered the world of books, theories, measurements and numbers.
"I realized, for the first time, how much you supported me;
How much you made me smile.
The pain of losing them was unbearable.
Even though I struggled desperately
To reach them out with my hands and take them back...
Like the wind, they slipped through."
Miku Hatsune almost collapsed as she stood, leaning against one of the doric columns of the university hall. She has been in a rush since she woke up today because after three months of nonsensical debate with thyself, she decided to read the CV01's diary. She remembered Rin naturally, the blonde was there to help her remember pressure-less. But Miku felt like something is missing - that there was another blurry image of a flaxen being in her head, definitely not Rin, but someone else. Someone else made her feel something different.
Miku remembered her recent past, the emotion and fuzzy memories. She remembered her past and present. Before she reached the train station earlier, she gave Rin a call, saying how much she loved her and how sorry she was for forgetting and being ridiculously stupid. But as of now, she's in search of someone she felt so...so...affectionate.
Dr. Honne told me that my database is alive. I'm glad to hear that. Why? That means I don't have to abandon the circles I formed, for if I'm not mistaken, it is your own choice too. This is my last diary entry. Mind if I ask you a favor? Don't forget the people I loved because they are the ones you love. You know what, if it wasn't because of you, I'm not capable of feeling something strange. If I have enough time, I'll run back and tell them how much I love them. But it is your time that I borrowed so please, use that time. Don't waste it. My life is a part of your life so search for this person I broke. He won't tell me but I know he has been troubled. He never knew me, that I'm a humanoid. Come back to him and wipe his tears. This is the source of anxiety I sent you. Nice to meet you, Miku.
- Miku Hoshine.
Miku panted like there's no tomorrow as she did her best to run towards the College of Engineering. Her black wig whipped her occasionally - how annoyed she was - and since it wasn't her real hair, it's itchy when it stuck on her face with her sweat as an alternative glue. She has to catch her first subject with the slightest hope that she will run to him. Clueless where he is, she relied her fate to the stars. If Fates permit, if the kismet will lead them, she wants to see him.
"Looking as though they would reach me, but they did not.
My chest is tightened by loneliness and despair.
My heart felt like it would break
But your smiling face remains in my memories.
Always encouraging me and making me smile;
Let's go back to those days again."
"Hey, Shintaro. Why are you smiling?" Piko shot Shintaro an inquiring look as the two of them walked towards the university. Shintaro's gaze was fixed on his phone, he can finally hear her thoughts, without forcing it from her.
"I'm sorry." Miku's text message made him happy. 'Though it was an apology, he was happy. He was happy because she wasn't confused anymore, she finally understood herself. Albeit a part of him was wailing in pain with that two-word sentence (three actually if not because of the contraction), he chose to be glad because the real Miku was back. The painfully stubborn and carefully straight forward Miku Hatsune.
"Just glad," replied Shintaro as he kept his phone in his pocket. He lost a battle where he never met the opponent, neither the judge had laid her eyes upon. Even without asking the same question asked six years ago, Shintaro knew the answer. But what if, he thought as he looked on the leaves on the ground. What if she didn't disappear? Will this answer be the same?
As usual, Len was the first person in the class. He occupied the seat next to the window and from there, he studied how the students ran along the open ground. He watched how the maple leaves danced in the air before finally touching the ground. The noise from the students never bothered him. He just wished that somehow, it can make his anxiety fade away.
"Where are you now and what are you doing? Are you somehow beyond this endless sky? Will you smile for me like always? That's all I keep wishing for..." Len froze hearing that cool voice singing some striking lyrics. He was not moved by the voice nevertheless it sounds good. It was the lyrics that nailed a place in his longing heart.
"My, my, Kaito. That's some cheesy song you are singing today," Gakupo said as he ran towards the seat before Len.
"Good morning!" The two greeted Len like inseparable twins. The blond scowled and murmured a disgusted, 'morning'. Gakupo seemed unpleased, it's Len being distant again. If there was someone who's uncomfortable with Len's change, it was him, Gakupo. He still liked the old, seriously outgoing Len.
None of Gakupo's protest was spoken. He remained silent. Nobody can force change unless compelled like some rule in a military school. Unlike Kaito who couldn't contain silence to himself, stubborn he was so he blurts out whatever he feels like needed to say - even if nobody cares.
"If it's about Miku, just go and see her."
Gakupo, Luka and Kaito knew who really Miku Hoshine is and Hatsune, since the start of classes. Rin explained everything since Len never spoke a thing about it. Len never wanted them to know because of one thing, they will encourage him to see her out.
To see her out? The idea was completely ridiculous. Len Kagamine, who never considered himself as Miku's friend, will see her? Ask her out? No man in sanity will do that aside from desperately in love people. He won't classify himself as one, but one thing is for sure - he loves her. Truly, deeply.
"As if I cared to see her," Len retorted, fixing his eyes on the ground. The season was initiating some sense of laziness in him. Fall was always his favorite. He loved the rain and its music - its soothing music that will make you forget.
"But we care for you, Len. You've grown strange lately. Tell me, are you abducted by an alien?" Kaito pulled out a notebook and a pencil then gave it to him. The blond looked confused and Kaito's frown didn't help to remind him what these things laid before him are for.
"Nooo-! What happened to him? Len, draw! Don't you draw when you're in mood? You draw when you're sad or glad, confused or whatnot. Have you forgotten? Do you have an amnesia? Kami, do something!" Kaito wailed as he demanded everything to Gakupo.
Len has forgotten himself, true. He has never drawn after her shut down. He never drew after she has gone. Yes, he drew a lot before - a lot of things, a lot of time. But nowadays, he has no peace of mind at all. She was the best thing he can do on a paper and yet, she remembered nothing about him. 'I am the only one attached.' Len thought.
The sound of the drum roll - scratch that, the sound of the sky's lament hosted a downpour. The marching raindrops began a perfect opening as music, and created a live demonstration of the Brownian movement as the students skipping on the open ground, dispersed. They dispersed like ants on a broken line as the rain poured harder every second. Len kept an eye on how the landscape before him got blurry. Everything seemed to be a playback, but he alone, could remember.
"Oh," Kaito broke the trance. "Reminds me a thing. Do you have an umbrella with you?"
Len and Gakupo quietly nodded then stared back at the window. Rainy days can be lonely. But this is the only thing that reminds Len that he is living. The disdain, the pain - everything will make sense soon enough. The blond will get through it, surely.
"I wonder what restrains us in doing something achievable. Things are with in our grasp yet we resist to get it. It's not like everyday that you'll be given a second chance to tell the words you fail to say, to correct the mistakes you made, to do something on things you pretended like you didn't care." Gakupo said amidst of the deafening rainfall.
"Exactly. I hope Professor Blanche will let me take the removal exam," Kaito mumbled as he stared at the same scene. Such an airhead he is, this blue haired guy didn't know that Gakupo is referring to Len and not their recent exam.
"It's not like everyone is so lucky to exist in the same place with their loved ones, to breathe the same air they breathe, to share the same sky with them. So, what holds you back?" Gakupo addressed Len. "Is that reason more rational than the fact that her presence lingers here?"
Gakupo's cool voice lectured him as they stared onto nothingness. The downpour is entertaining if you see it that way.
"Her past," came the dry answer from Len. "She...her past," he repeated as he looked down on his desk.
Gakupo and Kaito always wondered how long is he going to mourn, when Miku is alive. They personally think that the blond should look for her and tell her what he feels, since he already let that chance pass by him the past spring break. But Len thinks of that thing as a late-approach. She might be in a relationship with that Shintaro already, or worst case scenario, engaged with that Shintaro kid-of-her-childhood. Rich families do that, don't they?
"What's with the past, Len? People change. Nothing stays the same. If emotions are trapped in the past, that will change because she grew a place for her present. Look, she accepted Rin." Kaito wisely argued. He was fed up with the sudden swap of position because Len Kagamine is the last person he'll give advice.
"Same thing applies to you," Kaito continued. "You let your 'present' anxiety eat you. The whole you,"
Len couldn't get mad. He said the truth, they said the truth. For once in a while, Len worries about Miku not remembering him (who are we kidding, it's like always), so he glued himself to his theory that they are separate beings.
"Honestly, I'm disappointed how coward you are in fighting back your predator." Kaito mumbled as he shifted his attention from Len to their classmates who arrived. A new day will begin, a lot of lessons to learn so the blond won't bother contemplating over his personal issue. What is done, is done. Let it be.
Gakupo, Kaito and Len stood atv the lobby. The three had their eyes on their phones, quizzical looks on their faces. Gakupo received a text from Luka, begging him to wait for her. Class was over but the girl was caught in the faculty for some matter. Kaito had a message from his mother, saying that he needs to be home, ASAP. Meanwhile, Len received a notice from Rin, asking him to pick her at the College of Music and Arts (CMA) since she forgot her umbrella.
"So, this is the part where we have to say good-bye?" Kaito dramatically asked, receiving a punch from Gakupo and a snob from Len. They departed as each of them exchanged brief glares. Yes, glares.
Len made his way to CMA slowly. He is enjoying the rain shower. It will take about fifteen minutes to reach the said college so he'll take his time. Rin is such a kid. She's so giddy lately so she seemed to disremember a lot.
He walked quietly.
It's five in the afternoon and at any rate, the darkness will take the sky. Some cars and motorbikes passed by him as he paved his way to his destination. Students in the university can be surprisingly rich and spoiled - he knew few who have cars with them.
He thought of it now. Gakupo's words relived in his memory as he closed the distance between him and the said college. Len saw Gakupo and Kaito's words as wise, nonetheless. Cutting off his musing, the CMA seemed quiet and empty, few students were coming out of the lecture halls. He was about to call Rin when he received a message from her just in time he was about to press 'call'.
His face fell while reading the wonderful message.
"I'm sorry, Len! Gumi gave me a lift since it's taking you too long. Maybe, you're busy? Your sis."
Basically, one of the cars that passed by him - Rin was there, laughing with Gumi. He sighed, he couldn't protest. But before he could turn around, a faint sound of a familiar melody played on a piano reached his ears. The sudden urge to cry detest his eyes as he quickly ran along the corridors in desperation to find where it is coming from, and most importantly...the pianist.
The video Miku sent on email, the song she sang - he was positive that it was the one being played.
Every turn he takes, the sound grows faint so he turns back immediately.
'Why is this college full of corridors?!' he scolded as he took another hall, the sound dies out. He was getting agitated about his failure in finding the source of the melody. He was close to tears as he turned around the intersection of hallways and ran down the path that may lead him to the proper room.
He is close to tears because it is Miku's voice he is hearing as the piano keys are being pressed. Miku's poem is reborn in his head as he took another hall. It's in favor of him to remind her who he is. Who he is in her life. But all recollection made him feel forlorn as he slowly loses hope in finding where that piano is being played. He is on the second level, standing along one-of-the-uncommon empty hallways. He moved towards the balcony and watched how the rain sneak in between the parallel concourses.
CMA is just one of the gargantuan buildings in the university of Latria. Oddly designed like a rectangular box with a square hole in the middle (which is the open theater) that made it look like the old coliseum. That open space in the middle? It's just like him. Empty.
He wanted to cry.
The music died out.
No more chances finding it.
His phone suddenly vibrated. It was a call from an unregistered number. Sighing in defeat, he sniffed and answered the call coldly - as usual.
"Am I speaking to Len Kagamine?"
"You are. Who's this?"
"Are you...somewhere in the college of music and arts?"
"Are you a stalker?"
"I am also here. I want to see you,"
"On purpose?" Len rolled his eyes. Fan girls, maybe.
"I have something to tell you," that sweet voice somehow managed to soften the cold heart of Len Kagamine but nevertheless he wanted to cry because all sort of flashback about Miku has been killing him now.
"Spill." His voice shook when he urged the caller to say.
"I wanted to tell you personally,"
"I'm on second level,"
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"How will I be able to tell you?"
Silence. This is the chance, right? Len looked around for signs. "Find me. I'll look for you too. I'm a stranger in this place." Len blankly walked from one corridor to another. But the sound of the caller panting from the other line told him it was something urgent. The speaker was serious in meeting him. So he was. Her squeak made Len deduced that she tripped or something.
"Hey! Are you fine?" And the real Len was back, the one who cares.
The darkness of the night died the sky. The lights flickered, illuminating the hallways. Len was slowly walking because he found himself walking back at the same hallway. He looked around, watching the students came out of several lecture rooms. And it wasn't a good sign. The college will close soon.
"Hey, ah - I don't know your name. Where are you? The college will close soon. The upperclassmen are leaving," Len wavered which hallway should he take.
"I am not sure if I'll see you. These concourses are confusing."
"I know," Len agreed. "I know, can't you just say it now?"
"Well, this leaves me with no choice." That soft voice made Len shiver. He recognized the voice. His body responded to such voice as he turned back and ran again, this time looking for the directory of the said college building. His heart raised a beat as he ran breathlessly. It was like a call that he should run and look for the voice.
Don't stop. Don't stop. He muttered as raced towards an unknown hallway, whichever will lead him to the floor directory. There are tears threatening to fall as he held back his emotions that will overpower him soon. The sound of the unlocking gates - giving way to the homebound students - signalled that the building will close soon.
"Where are you?!" Len screamed against the phone, or the corridors. Desperation, anxiety, excitement, tears and sweat - all mixed at once as he spun around, hoping that the speaker was just behind him.
"Listen, listen." the voice trembled. That quivering voice made Len shudder, he knew it. He recognized that trembling voice. Because it was the voice who told him once...'It's nothing, Len. Just remember, when I wipe my tears, the next words are for you.'
"No! I need to see you!" Len cried. The lights flickered, pushing the darkness a little away.
Nevertheless, the voice on the other line continued. "I think honestly, it's too scary for me. You see, I want to stay safe here...with you."
Len turned around and dashed against the handrail. On the parallel hall, there stood small group of people looking at the directory.
"The directory." His heart skipped a beat when he heard the exact words Miku sang to him...the exact words Miku wanted to tell him. The words Miku left for him.
"Len," the voice began. "I -"
"No. Listen. I wanted to - hello? Hello?" Len glanced on his phone. His battery was empty. The blond's face fell.
It can't be happening.
He felt so weak, helpless, and...and... His knees dropped on the ground and the tears he tried to suppress, fall.
This can't be happening, he repeated to himself. The passersby looked at him as he curled on a side, but none of them cared to ask him what's going on. It's weird to see a guy crying helplessly.
Len watched them as they walk towards the same direction - the exit. A thought suddenly struck his clouded thinking. 'If I go there too, it means that I'm leaving her here, right?'
"Excuse me," a soft voice spoke. He looked up to see a girl standing by his side. She sat beside him and stared at him. Her sea green eyes were glistening. That emotion? He couldn't read.
"Why are you sitting here? The college will close soon. I think we should go." She said, trying to convince him that maybe, some things are meant to be left behind. Len stooped, fists clenching.
"I can't. I want to see her. I don't want to lose her for the second time." He answered, voice marked with determination even deep inside he is helpless. He wasted a lot of time, Len knew enough. It's just a week that he spent with Miku and yet, he failed.
"I failed to see her smile. I failed to be her friend. I failed to convey my feelings. Now that I'm given a chance, will I waste it again?" His tears fall endlessly.
"No." The girl firmly said. And when he looked up, the black hair fell before him and the one standing before him was Miku Hatsune. She was crying and smiling.
She looked like the Miku in his memory.
"It's not wasted." She wiped his tears. Len was gawking, can't believe that everything is so cliche. He can no longer feel his heart against his chest as his hands reached and settled on her cheek. She flinched with his touch but relaxed soon.
Warm, warm and alive.
"Do you remember me?" The words left his mouth hesitantly, while he remained staring at those eyes that reminded him of the sea. It was lively and real emotions were glistening at those orbs.
"... I do," and with her answer, she crashed into his arms, into the arms of the helpless crybaby blond. she smiled against his shoulder as she wrapped her arms around him too, running her hands against his back to shush him from sobbing.
"And I'm not going away anymore," she murmured and a relieved laughter escaped his lips - oh how she longed to hear that.
Miku, I think I love Len Kagamine. Validate my feelings for him. You are the one capable of loving.
CV01's post script made Miku cry happily as she walked out of the CMA with the person she saw in her dream before the day she woke. Len Kagamine, the voice that woke her up that day.
Miku and Len ran out of the CMA before the guard could lock them inside. Hand in hand, Len led the way out, glancing over his shoulder to check if Miku could still cope with his long strides. The cold air brushed against them, filling their lungs with something to breathe. Len came to a halt and faced Miku, while she, is on the first law of motion, crushed against him.
"Hahaha!" Len laughed, securing protective arms around her frame. "I never thought that you are taller than her, I mean...you know?" he looked down at her as she lifted her head to look at him.
"Yes," she smiled. "I'm under your nose." She pinched his nose as they shared a sweet smile. She clung her arms around his waist and rested her head on his shoulder. The warmth, his smell, his smile, his tears - everything is real. She remained quiet as she leaned against his shoulder, secretly listening to his beating heart.
His arms wrapped around her, afraid that someone or something may take her away once again. He leaned to where her head is as he swayed them in small circles. Hearing her soft chuckles and melodious sighs, he continued to move them until they are doing a mock dance.
"Hey, stop it - haha! Why are we dancing?" She looked up to him, stumbling on her own feet.
"Why? Don't you like it? I bet you missed your first dance in the prom, right?" He smirked as he tightened his hold around her - this time, lifting her from the ground as he twirled them around. She laughed more, removing her arms around from his waist and putting them around his neck. Len watched how her long teal hair danced in the air, and how her sea green eyes twinkled as she laughed. He instantly felt his stomach to churn; the butterflies were fluttering in an instant.
Len brought Miku down and distanced himself a little from her. His heart was pounding against his chest, so he wanted to move away from her. He couldn't possibly let her hear it. Miku stopped laughing at the moment the security guard called their attention. She smiled at Len and the guard as she waved a hand.
"Hi, officer!" She greeted.
The scowl on the guard's face showed an eternal disgust. Len mentally noted that everyone couldn't be charmed by Miku's angelic smile.
"Why are you still here? What are you doing here? Things like that aren't done in public, you know. Go home or else I'll bring you to jail." The guard said, focusing his flashlight on Len.
'Things like that?' Len repeated in his head. "What?!" The blond yelled.
"What do you mean?" Miku asked the officer.
"What - we are not doing anything, sir. We are actually, ahm... Best friends, we reunite today!" Len exclaimed, pulling Miku with him. "We shall leave. Goodbye,"
"Hey," the guard called again before Len could escape. "Do it somewhere private, little boy. Good catch! Girls as beautiful as she is, aren't made for best friends."
"You should know what you are saying first -"
Len just pulled Miku with him and ignored what the guard told them.
The night was dark as they walked out of the university hall. Maybe, Len would walk her home. It's dangerous if he'll leave her alone. Much to their surprise, Miku's phone rang and the two of them were forced to remove their interlocked fingers. As she answered the call, her joyous smile faded away.
"Miku! Get away from the university now! The military is searching for you! Soldiers will be there in less than half an hour! Are you with Len? Rin told me you're supposed to meet him, let me talk to him. Very quick!"
"Hello, Dell. This is Len, what is it?"
"Take Miku to your grandfather in Readele, he should know what to do once you get there. I informed your sister and family in Azuria that they have to evacuate to Ardio. The Ministry of Security and Defense finally learned that the HVP is successful and they are hunting down the Hatsune siblings. They thought that the siblings continued the project. After this call, throw this phone away, break the sim and don't call anyone around Azuria and Latria. The military will track you."
"Wait," Len held Miku's hand tightly. "How did they know about Miku?" The blond pulled Miku and dashed towards the station.
"Piko! His - grandpa, this way, hurry! - Piko's grandfather was the secretary of the said ministry. He forced Piko to tell what he is doing in the Hatsune's residence during Spring. He threatened Piko to tell or else he'll shoot Shintaro's family dead. We need to go now, Len. I hope to see you in Readele, if ever we won't make it, take care of Miku and remember how HVP works, they -"
"DELL!" Len pulled away to look at the phone. They military should have reached Latria. He turned to look at the confused Miku and he smiled worriedly. They stopped and got their tickets. While waiting for the train that will bring them to Readele, he fixed some teal strands that dangled out of her black wig.
"I'm expecting a war. Don't worry, I'll be your knight."
The two stared at each other as the wind slapped against them before the train stopped. She nodded, he smiled as they stepped inside the train.
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