Home and Family
"Oh, you didn't know?" Virus grinned. "He's your twin brother, Aoba."
"You didn't know about your older twin brother, Sei-san?" Trip asked in a semi-disbelieving (but calm always calm) voice.
Aoba stared at the two blondes, horrified. He had a brother? A twin brother.
"You and Sei-san were born in one of Toue Konzern's labs," Virus continued his 'not-twin's' line of thought in a very unconcerned fashion. Aoba really couldn't understand how they could be so nonchalant about this whole situation. They were his good friends that he just found out had betrayed him and were now discussing some life-altering facts like they meant nothing. What the hell!? "You're designer babies created by manipulating DNA to give you special powers. Or at least that's what you were originally supposed to be. Your Grandmother's research was noted as the official source for your creation but we were interested."
"We dug a little deeper," Trip continued, shoving his hands back into the pocket of his plaid pants. "Found something interesting."
"Your biological father is still alive," They chorused.
"And he's still within the tower. The DNA and basis for the powers actually came from him."
Virus shifted back onto his heels and used a finger to adjust his glasses on the bridge of his nose. "Apparently, Hari-san-"
"Your dad-" Trip cut in.
"Has these powers naturally."
"It blew our mind!" The taller blond smirked and shifted closer to Virus before continuing. "We could show you to him, you know."
"He's in this room."
"What?" Aoba croaked pitifully. It wasn't enough that he had a twin but now he had a father?
"Ah! But we're getting distracted, Aoba," Virus exclaimed.
"That's right we haven't told you the whole story, yet. Just hear us out until we're done, alright?"
What more could he do? So, Aoba sat and listened as he heard the tale of his still-birth and the connection of the nerves in their hair. How they cut the hair between the twins and Sei woke crying but Aoba, himself, did not. He listened as they told him of his Grams, Tae. And how she took his body so they could not experiment on him… but that he miraculously awoke and how his hair, eyes, and skin gained color in his otherwise pigmentless body.
He was forced to listen about Sei's suffering in the labs under the hands of Toue for the power of his eyes while Aoba was living with his adopted parents and Tae-san. Of how Sei was now at his limit and Toue was thinking of going straight back to the main source.
"Do you even know what Toue is trying to do?" Aoba gritted out, tugging on his restraints to the unmoving chair.
"Of course!" "We totally know," they chirped.
"Then why are you working with him?" Why did you betray me like this? I thought we were friends…
"Us?" Virus lifted a hand and gave a brief dismissive wave. "Well if we had to give a reason," they shared a furtive glance, "we like interesting things, and amazing things, and anything easy."
Aoba could feel his heart sink
"Yup," Trip agreed. "To be honest we have no interest in Toue's intentions. We're here because Sei-san is amazing-"
"And because if we stay by Toue, our lives are easy-"
"And that's it."
"You guys aren't acting normal. Maybe you're being controlled and you don't know it," Aoba threw out desperately. The twin smirks on the blondes faces disapproved that notion. How the hell had they figured out how to alter their eyes and ears against Scrap? Was that even possible?
"Now what should we do?" Virus questioned mockingly.
"Why don't we play a while," Trip suggested.
The shorter blonde grinned and stepped forward slamming his hand upon the back of the chair. Aoba shifted away from the suit clad arm.
"Why don't you play with us for a while?"
Vrius' grin was razor sharp and the bluenette could tell they weren't asking him but telling.
Aoba searched his mind desperately for something to turn their attention away. He did not like how close Virus was getting to his lips and how Trip stood there with a small victorious smirk.
"You said he's in this room," he blurted out quickly.
"Yea, we did," Trip said noncommittally.
"Show me?" His voice was so hesitant that Virus actually paused in leaning forward. The blonde gave Aoba a look over before turning his head up sideways to glance at Trip. The 'not-twin' shrugged.
So it was decided. With a whir, the chair shifted and began to move backwards. Aoba let out a startled gasp as Virus straightened and began to follow with Trip right behind. The Morphine gang members stayed standing there with their dead fish eyes staring at nothing.
It was only a minute before they reached their destination and the chair spun with a sickening speed. Taking a second to catch his bearings, Aoba glanced up at the only tank in the room with green liquid.
"Isn't he amazing," Aoba heard Trip ask. But it was as if the gang leader's voice was muffled by layers of blankets. This was… This could not be possible.
Other than coloring and hairstyle (Hari-san's being much messier, chin length, and with layers), Aoba and the man in the tank, Hari, looked exactly alike. Just like him and Sei (whom he had met earlier). The man was held aloft in the liquid his features tinted green but his hair was definitely black and his eyes were closed as if he was sleeping. Bubbles streamed constantly from his nose where a tube split off into two going into his nostrils, most likely supplying him oxygen. little wires ran up and down his body and his dignity was protected by small pair of black skintight shorts. There was also a long thick wire that ran up from behind him but Aoba couldn't see where it was attached to.
"It's strange isn't it?" A voice whispered in his ear. Aobi yelped. "You look so alike… Just like a clone, hm?"
"That's right," Trip grunted, shuffling forward to lean against the back of the chair while Virus leaned in closer to Aoba's ear.
"He is your father in a way. The DNA used by Toue was cloned except… there were some things they found impossible to copy. We assume that's why your coloring is different even if you were born without pigments."
"Perhaps that's why they were born without pigment."
"Hm. That may be," Virus mused and he stood straight again. "But we have a schedule to keep-"
Aoba was desperate. He did not want to go with the blondes. There was something in his gut that was telling him it would end badly for him. So, heedless of what the 'not-twins' had told him earlier, he tried to use his Voice.
This earned him a nice punch to the jaw.
"Ah. Ah. What did we tell you?" Virus frowned putting his arm back down. "We can tell when you're about to use your powers; they don't affect us. Now don't fight, we need to leave before Toue finds we have you."
Damn! His jaw ached as he glanced around for something to help him. But the only one there was Hari-san who was asleep within the tank.
Maybe… Scrap would work?
Before the blunette could open his mouth, Trip's hand wrapped around it cutting off the sound. The plaid sleeve rubbed roughly against his face as the taller male tightened his arm and leaned down, his lips brushing against the opposite cheek. With a bored voice he said, "It's no use. Hari-san hasn't woken up in several years. Not even Sei-san could wake him. Now be an obedient pet and stay quiet."
Pet!? He was not a pet! He didn't want to become a pet either! Hari-san… please…
There was a muffled yelp as the blunette tried to turn his head to search for the voice.
'Father! Don't leave me...'
And suddenly there was green eyes staring straight back into his. He had never seen a brighter green before; they even seemed to glow in the tank's water.
"Aoba… What did you do?" Virus queried as he stared at the fallen angel in the tank.
But he couldn't answer the question even if he wanted to because his consciousness was no longer within his own body.
What? What was this? Where was he? Why was it so dark?
"Get out here you freak!" There was a flood of bright light and a hand going right past Aoba into the darkness. With a yank, a small boy came tumbling out.
"I'm sorry, Uncle," he cried, trying to pry the meaty hand from his own small and bony arm.
"You will be sorry, freak," the larger man growled.
And oh man, was the guy larger. Now standing outside of what looked like a cupboard, the blunette had a full view of what looked like a walrus holding onto a tiny kid. A kid with messy black hair and bright green eyes. Just like Hari-san...
Was he in the man's mind?
'Wake up, Father.'
The facade of a hallway dropped away immediately, replacing it with a grimy and gloomy kitchen.
"I don't know what's happening, Remus!"
Aoba spun around, catching site of a much older Hari walking into the kitchen with a scarred and weary brunette.
"Have you ever heard of a Siren, Harry?"
"You mean the creatures that led sailors to their doom? I think I read something about the ministry wiping them out centuries ago," the teenager answered hesitantly.
He gingerly took a seat on one of the cleaner chairs around the creaky table while the other man sat down directly across from him. Remus, the older man, spoke up after a moment of staring at the younger boy.
"I'm sure they tried to. Siren's mostly live in the ocean and never leave it. There are very few left and last I heard they are still trying to get their population back up without inbreeding."
"Okaaayy… and what does that have to do with people doing what I say?"
Doing what he says? Like his own Voice?
"What do Siren's do?"
"Well… they… but! Remus, they control people through song. Mine isn't like that! It isn't even like the Veela allure where people drool over them. Mine is like an Imperious curse! They just do what I tell them and it's freaking me out!"
Rmus let out a shaky breath. "Harry, my poor cub…" He reached across the table to snag at the boys pale, thin hands. "You are more powerful than I thought if your powers are manifesting so strongly a year before your inheritance."
"Siren's use their eyes to put people into a trance. A more receptive state to suggestions. Then they use their voice to command. It isn't always this way, like in the case of singing, but that is how most work."
Eyes? Like Sei… Voice? Like himself… It made a lot more sense how they actually got these powers. But he had never heard of a siren before…
"Were you looking those people in the eye before telling them to do something?"
"Yes," Hari-san whispered roughly.
'I do not think I have the power to wake you myself. Please do not make me try. I do not know what will happen.'
The ground rumbled threateningly before it gave way and Aoba fell into darkness once again. He was falling for quite a while until he, quite suddenly, rammed into something hard… like concrete. Nothing was broken, but damn if it didn't hurt.
With a groan he pushed himself to his feet shaking off the pain as much as he could. Glancing around around the dimly lit alley he had landed in, he caught sight of Hari-san being backed against the wall by a pleasantly smiling Toue.
"I already told you, Toue-san, I threatened them with a knife. Nothing more, nothing less."
Aoba glared sharply. Toue looked much younger now but Hari looked the same way he had in the tank. Had he been experimented on so much that he hadn't aged? But that couldn't be true…
"Strange that there was no knife in sight then, hm?"
There was a 'pew' sound followed by Hari clutching his neck with a wince.
"What the bloody hell, you bastard!"
The brunette pulled a small dart from his skin and Aoba recognized it as an animal tranquilizer just before it went black again. How many times was this going to happen? It wasn't like this with any of his other friends so what was going on?
With a jolt and a curse, Aoba shielded his eyes against the blinding white light that appeared. After a moment it dimmed and he hesitantly lowered his hands and was surprised at the familiar room he was in. Yellow tubes were scattered geometrically about the room and Hari-san's tank was in the exact same spot before. But there was someone already there.
Long spiky white hair fell down to his ankles and he could see black markings circling the sides of his hips where the hair did not cover. Aoba had never thought someone could be so white… Like he had no… pigments…
"Who are you?" The bluenette asked hesitantly.
The stranger turned and Aoba was treated to the site of a completely white face with white irises and no pupils. It was actually kind of creepy. The only thing to signify he had something other than sclera in his eyes was a slightly gray circle that might have been the edge of his iris.
'I am Aoba.'
"W-what? I'm Aoba!"
"You are Aoba and I am Aoba. We are both Aoba… I am glad to finally meet you face to face.'
"Wait… You're the voice in my head that wants to destroy," Aoba yelped angrily.
'I am Desire. You are Reason.'
'We are both Aoba. But I am Desire; what you are constantly repressing with your medicine,' the man said with an annoyed expression.
"But if that's true then what…?"
The other Aoba turned away ignoring his unfinished question.
'Wake up, Father…'
"Why do you call him father?" Aoba questioned hesitantly as he took a few steps closer.
'Because he is the Father,' he replied. 'We are made from him. If not for him we would not exist...'
The teen gazed back up at the sleeping man in the tank and took another step closer so he was now within arms distance of his 'father'. He reached out a hand and laid it slowly upon the cool glass and almost gasped at the feelings he gained in return. He closed his eyes in bliss at the warmth and acceptance that surrounded him like a cocoon. Was this… Hari-san?
'I cannot wake him on my own… but perhaps together we may be strong enough.'
Aoba's eyes opened to see those eerie white eyes staring at him. Aoba cleared his throat uncomfortably and shifted, unknowingly, closer to the tank. The other watched this with unblinking eyes.
From his new vantage point the young adult was able to see black that gathered upon the other's wrist but faded into white around the forearm. There were two black lines on the sides of his ribs and a small medium sized circle in the middle of his stomach of the same color. His shoulders were also black but seemed to branch off into what looked like the top of a cloak. It was strange seeing as there was not a stitch of actual clothing upon the man and no genitals to be seen.
'Father has trapped himself in his hell as a barrier from the real world. With him we would be able to do so much more….'
"Like destroy," Aoba frowned. as he shook himself out of his daze at the other's appearance.
The white haired man's laugh was low and cold and almost hypnotizing in its intensity.
'Perhaps I would like to, yes, but Father would not allow that, I think. You did see his memories. You know he does not like chaos as I do.'
Yes… It didn't seem like Hari-san was the type of person to enjoy spreading chaos. He made a decision right then and there. Even if he had to work with this other version of himself, he could not leave the brunette here to suffer under Toue's hand anymore than he would leave any of his friends to suffer.
"How do I help?"
'We must convince him to wake. Break through his shell and make him listen. Separated we are not strong enough… but together...' A pale white hand caressed the glass lovingly. 'I would prefer Father over giving into Chaos. How strange it is to hear myself say that,' The man muttered softly.
"Does he truly mean that much to you?"
The other Aoba snorted and turned his eyes back onto the glass. With a frown on his lips, he growled, 'Perhaps if you did not ignore me as much as you have then you would be able to feel the pull.'
Indeed he did want to be closer to the brunette in the tank but… It wasn't very strong… he just wanted more of that warmth and affection. Unconsciously he had started to lean closer to the tank enough so that his cheek was pressed against it.
'Maybe you do feel it.'
And those eyes were staring at him again. The blunette shuddered. How could this person be apart of himself? They were so different. But maybe that was why… He had said that Aoba was Reason and he was Desire so it stands to reason that they would be different. Had he really been suppressing such a large part of himself for so long?
As if awakening from a deep slumber, Aoba noticed just how incomplete he felt. Ever since he had lost his memories in the accident it had been this way but he had been so used to it, he never noticed. It was a scary feeling.
He glance up and replied, "Aoba."
It was the first time he saw a smile form on those colorless lips. It made the pale face light up with actual emotion. Desire wasn't so scary or strange anymore… He was Aoba. They were both Aoba.
In unison they turned to the tank and spoke commandingly, "Wake up!"
A small crack appeared underneath the blunette's hand and he gasped. The power that he could feel leaking from such a small break was enormous. But it was safe. It was Home and Family.
Cracks appeared like spiderwebs across the glossy surface and a small bit of green liquid burst through the weak points. Both Aoba were uncaring of the fact that they were becoming soaked from the spray. Instead they gathered their Voice one last time and yelled, "WAKE UP, FATHER!"
The dream shattered.
"Ah, Aoba finally awake are you?"
It took a moment to process that his hands were still trapped to the uncomfortable chair in the lab room. It looked exactly the same as Hari-san's mind except for the fact that Virus and Trip were now blocking his view of his 'father'.
"Oh, good. We were starting to think you had failed at Scrap once Hari-san went back to sleep," Trip announced.
Asleep? No Hari-san wasn't asleep. Aoba could feel him.
'Father is gathering his power.'
That was the strongest he had ever heard the voice… Desire… before. Could it be because of what happened within Scrap?
"Koujaku," He shouted gleefully as the man came running from between the tanks like a demon. But he wasn't the only one. Noiz and Clear weren't too far behind, barreling through Morphine members that had gathered to protect their leaders. Mink was there too, ramming the but of his gun into the heads of several members.
"So these are Morphine members," The large man rumbled. "What a pain."
Noiz was quick to call up multiple screens on his coil, preventing any of the members from sending out a call for help on their own devices.
"I heard your voice, so here I am, Aoba-san," Clear said cheerfully while jumping off a gang member he had just trounced.
Aoba was so glad to see them all. "You guys," he grinned happily.
"Aww," Trip mumbled.
Virus shifted before calmly saying, "It seems we've been interrupted." Then the 'not-twins' turned and bolted towards the nearest door barely escaping before Noiz could close it
Koujaku was quick to come cut away his restraints with his sword.
"You left because you didn't want us getting involved, right?"
Aoba slumped a little. No, he hadn't wanted any of them getting involved…
His body jerked forward falling into Koujaku, knocking the man over, just in time to miss being showered by glass and water. It flooded the floor soaking them both and even catching the others around their shins before spreading too thin to do damage.
"What is this?" Mink muttered as he strode forward.
Aoba whipped around to stare at the hanging form of Hari-san. The needles had been ripped from his arms leaving rivulets of blood to run down them. If it wasn't for the large wire connected to the man's neck he would be lying at the bottom of the tank.
With a shaking pale hand the brunette reached up to rip the tubes out of his nose that had been supplying him with oxygen in the liquid. Blood followed from that as well and Aoba winced. It had to hurt.
Mink was now close enough that when Harry glanced up with his glowing green eyes, the foreigner was caught in his gaze just a step away from the tank.
"Un…do the… tube," Hari-san coughed. Mink jerked but obediently leaned forward and unlatched the large metal tube catching the body as he fell forward.
'Father,' Desire whispered reverently.
The head lifted to stare straight at Aoba and a small smile formed on his lips. Even with the blood he was hacking up, the man looked beautiful and Aoba sucked in a sharp breath.
"You know him?" Koujaku frowned as he sat up, pulling the blunette a little closer unintentionally. Even Noiz looked curious and Clear… was staring with a furrowed brow. Mink had still yet to move.
Hari turned back to the strong man holding him and gazed into his chocolate orbs almost as if having a conversation. Then the brunette shifted backwards into a sitting position and Mink stumbled back clutching his head and panting slightly. He glared with all his might (which turned into a very scary glare)at the pitifully small form sitting there. Hari seemed unaffected.
Instead he turned to Aoba again and opened his arms slightly as if giving an invitation for a hug. And oh, how he desired to go over there and give him one. Hari-san was his Father. Why should he not?
Everyone was too stunned to stop him as he quickly got up and jogged toward the small brunette.
"Father," Aoba whispered softly, his eyes glowing a molten gold, as he fell into the hug easily.
"Master, what are you….?"
"Oi, what do you think you're doing?"
"Don't worry… Aoba… I will not… let Toue… get away with... hurting my... Family," Hari whispered hoarsely as more blood dribbled down his chin. "I… need to… save your brother…"
And with a loud crack the two disappeared from the room to the outrage of Aoba's friends. It was a sickening sensation that had the blunette clutching tightly to his father. And as suddenly as it had come it was gone, and they were in another place entirely. A room filled with stuffed animals and scattered toys and a small golden throne like chair that held the one person he wanted to be reunited with.
"Sei," Aoba exclaimed sitting up straighter, releasing Hari, to get closer to his brother. He ignored the lingering nausea from the different transportation and crawled to the chair, hugging the prone man when he got there.
This was his brother! His twin! His twin who had suffered so much… It was unfair that Aoba had lived so nicely while his brother suffered in pain but he was here now. Aoba wouldn't let Sei go.
"Sei," Hari agreed softly as he slowly stood and stumbled forward. Within seconds he he was close enough to collapse on the side of therone. He raised a trembling hand to Sei's cheek, leaving a bloody smear. He smiled tremulously and then raised his second hand to Aoba's cheek.
"Sleep," he commanded softly. "Sleep."
And they did.
Harry struggled to stand after using his voice to put his sons to sleep. And wasn't that a novel word? Sons. He had children again. After what happened in his own world he had never thought he would have children again. The thought of everyone dying before him was too much of a deterrent to get close to anyone.
But… his children had suffered. Both in different ways and one more than the other but they had suffered and Toue was going to pay. Once he took down his silly lab experiment of a city the man would have nothing. And his boys would be okay without him. Aoba looked like he was never going to let Sei go and the blunette seemed to have good friends on his side.
Yes, they would be fine without him.
With that thought he stumbled his way to the door and opened it slowly.
And wasn't that an unwelcome voice that he never wanted to hear again?
"Toue," he growled, ignoring the way it made his throat itch something fierce.
"Hm, I wonder how you got all the way up here. Perhaps it has to do with those fascinatingly avoidant genes of yours?"
"Perhaps, but you'll… never find… out. You'll… die here today."
"In the state you are in? Dear Hari-san, you would barely be able to hurt a fly right now!"
"You… underestimated me once," he hacked and coughed ignoring the blood that came up. His lungs were adjusting to the new air quickly, he would be fine. "And I did the same… to you… Not. This. Time."
"Come now. It's time for you to return-"
The door behind Toue slammed open to reveal Aoba's friends again. Harry frowned. He hadn't wanted anyone to witness this but if he had to… well he wasn't going to stick around long enough for it to be a problem.
Before the tanned dreadlocked brunette could raise his gun, Harry had already shot forward, his creature inheritance coming to the fore. His canines elongated into fangs that latched onto the elderly manipulator's jugular and his nails became talons that dug through the tough suit and ripped into the man's skin. His ears became pointed and he was well able to hear the screaming gurgle that spilled from those reddened lips.
With a growl and a jerk, Toue's throat was ripped from the rest of his body that fell to the floor with a dull thump. There was moment of silence where the ragtag group at the door just stared before Harry spat out the chunk of flesh and blood onto the floor. He gave a threatening fanged grin to the group.
"Take care of both of my children or you will find that I am not so gone from this life as you think."
With that mysterious statement the green eyed brunette disappeared with a crack that resounded with a finality.
"Did that just happen?" Koujaku muttered in confusion.
"Ah! I'm coming, Master," Clear yelped as he leapt over the fallen body without a care and disappeared into the back room.
Mink just stared at the body on the floor until a small grunt of satisfaction left his throat and he turned and walked out of the room with only a parting, "Don't forget about the bombs."
Noiz, who had also been staring, gave a jolt as the forgotten Spitz allmate wriggled in his arms and hopped to the floor heading towards the back room as well. Ren made his way, quickly, to the room to catch sight of Clear trying to wake Aoba and the smaller boy that they had seen earlier. Sei, he thinks.
"Aoba is in a deep sleep," the dog announced before sitting in front of the robot's feet.
The man glanced down in surprise before voicing his acknowledgment and instead lifting them both and jogging out the door.
It was only a half hour later that everyone in the group, excluding the two sleeping men, watched the explosion of the tower with relief. It was finally over…
A year, Aoba thought wistfully. It had been a full year since the whole debacle with Toue. Sei was finally stepping away from his suicidal thoughts and had actually found a good friend with Mizuki who had woken up only two months ago. His relief at his good friends awakening was so strong he had actually cried and threw himself onto the hospital bed. Mizuki had forgiven him immediately. The redhead knew he hadn't known about his powers and hadn't meant to do it. And then he spotted Sei standing awkwardly in the corner and it was love at first sight.
Of course, Sei, having never had this experience before, had to take it real slow but Mizuki didn't seem to mind.
Koujaku went back to cutting women's hair and being an all around playboy but he seemed lighter than before. Like a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He also seemed to be spending more time around Aoba. The blunette swears the man was dropping hints but he just can't figure out what they meant. Desire, who he refused to suppress now, might have been able to help if he hadn't slipped into a depression as deep as Sei's had been before Mizuki came back.
Clear had disappeared for a while until he returned one day sitting on a roof singing his jellyfish song. Aoba had been ecstatic to see his friend. Clear had been equally excited to be reunited with his Master. The first thing he reported was that he had found no sign of Hari-san. Aoba had refused to let Desire's misery at that bring him down and instead had a nice chat about life with the white haired robot.
Noiz had disappeared three months ago. Nobody knew where he went except that maybe he had found a lead but the blunette doubted it. If the blonde had found something he would have at least left a cryptic message with Ren or something…
And that was another person that Aoba was happy about. The worm that had infected Ren had been solved quickly by Noiz and his allmate went back to being his normal self, if just a little more quiet and thoughtful.
'He's here...' Desire muttered softly.
"You say that all the time and he's never anywhere to be found," Aoba sighed.
'I can feel him. Father… please...'
Scrubbing a hand, gently, through his nerve ridden hair, Aoba looked around the sidewalk he was standing on. Waiting at the Stop sign he had time to search (fruitlessly he knew. This had happened often enough that he knew Hari-san wasn't around even if his other half said so) for the elusive brunette. Just like all the times before there was nothing there.
"What are you looking for, Aoba?" Ren queried as he twisted his head up to look at his human.
"I do not see him, but there has been a raven that has been following you for the past block and a half."
Aoba glanced up, shielding his eyes from the sun, to where his Spitz was looking. There was, indeed, a bird staring down at him from the side of the building. As soon as it saw him looking it let out a loud caw and lifted off. The strangest things was that he saw a flash of green before it whirled around and disappeared behind the building.
"Was that an allmate?"
The blunette let out a breath tilting his head back down to the sidewalk. "It's not very often we see actual birds in the middle of the city," he muttered. "Ah. That was weird."
'Father,' Desire all but whimpered, retreating deeper into their subconscious.
A few days later, Noiz had reappeared in the city in a suit. An actual suit! Who knew he could look that good? And no! He was not drooling. So what if all his friends were hot guys…?
"Did you find any leads?" Aoba questioned hesitantly after they had both settled down at his grandmas house.
Tae thought him foolish for trying to find Hari-san but she never stopped him and she never forced her medicine on him again, thankfully. He loved his Granny but he didn't think he would have been able to live with her if she did that.
"Nothing," Noiz said disgruntled. "No cameras, no money spent… nothing. It's like he he literally disappeared.
"I see… Thanks for trying," he grinned softly.
The rest of the night was spent talking about things that had happened while the blonde teen was away.
"Aoba, something doesn't feel right," Ren muttered as they took their normal shortcut through a back alley on the way to work.
"What do you mean?"
"Ha… So you're the one with the lovely voice. The one that intoxicated my friend with it."
Aoba glanced back up from his allmate to see three men blocking his exit. He frowned.
"I heard it was exquisite and the best way to get it is his moans," The pierced one in the back leered.
"And he ain't got a team either," the last on exclaimed as he leaned casually upon the wall.
"You're just ripe for the taking aren't you?" The leader said stepping forward.
Again? Seriously, don't these stupid idiots understand that he could kick their asses? And that even if he was unclaimed he was friends with several group leaders who would be very unhappy if he came to harm.
The blunette sighed and tried to turn back around only to find three more blocking the entry. Where the hell had they been hiding?
The first trio ducked as the black bird (Was that the same raven as before?) launched itself down at them. It pecked and scratched sending the idiots into a flurry of confusion. Aoba took his chance and ran straight past them. That was probably the strangest thing to happen to him in a while.
"Saved by a bird," he muttered incredulously.
"I am not sure if that bird is just a raven. They are intelligent, yes, but not enough so to stalk you for several days and then save you. It is not an allmate but it is not just a bird either."
"What else could it be then?" Aoba asked as a furrow formed between his brows.
"I'm not sure."
The next time the saw the bird was about two weeks later while he was walking with Sei in a park nearby Granny's house.
"How are you and Mizuki doing?"
Sei turned a bright red and gave a small glare. "It's not-"
He doubled over at the same time that Desire rocketed to the fore.
"Father," they gasped in unison.
Aoba shivered as he was pushed to the backburner. He could still see what was happening, as the twins both turned their heads to the sky, but he could feel it even more closely now that he was on the inside. Hari-san was most definitely nearby. It was the same warmth and acceptance that he had felt in the lab but now it was tinged with a string of distress.
There was a raven overhead dodging a pink cockatoo (wasn't that Mink's allmate? Another person that had disappeared…). The twins shouted a warning simultaneously and the bird dodged to the left dropping into a dive that almost made it seem as if it had died. The allmate was not far behind. With a shift of the wings the raven righted a few feet from the ground and barreled straight into Sei's chest. The brunette caught it with a surprised gasp and cradled the bird gently.
"Father," they whispered lovingly as Aoba shifted closer to lay a hand upon the trembling bird's back.
"My job is done," the cockatoo snorted as he lifted into the sky.
They paid him no attention though. They had their father back!
"Aoba," Ren muttered as he stuck his head out of his bag. "Is that the same Raven? It's him isn't it?"
Two pairs of molten gold eyes turned onto the tiny allmate and they gasped in unison. This person was not an allmate so how was he there?
"Restraint," Desire muttered in awe, briefly abandoning touching the bird to pull his small dog out into the open.
"How in the world did you get yourself into this body?"
"Aoba? Are you all right?"
"I do not think he remembers," Sei mutters. "Perhaps Father could help. You shouldn't hide. We know it's you."
The raven warbled and shifted in the man's arms enough to spread his wings. And suddenly there was no more bird but a man with messy black hair and glowing green eyes. Nothing had changed about him, except for the fact he was now wearing what seemed to be a robe.
"That's not possible," they both heard the allmate say but they ignored it. It was Father, anything was possible.
"I had hoped you would never see me again, but your friends are very persistent," he muttered annoyed. His voice was raspy (like a raven's) but not as bad as the first time they had talked.
Sei, who still had his arms around the man from behind, squeezed him tighter.
"You would just abandon us?"
Aoba clutched Ren closer in pain at that thought.
Hari hesitated in his reply and that cut the twins even deeper.
"I would not… abandon you. I just… did not want you to see me again. It will only result in pain."
Aoba jumped on the man, careful not to squish Ren who was silently watching the proceedings, and wrapped one arm around him tightly.
"And you don't think we didn't feel pain when you weren't here!?"
Hari sighed as Sei buried his face into the brunette's warm neck, seeking comfort.
"It was as much for me as it is for you. I will watch you die. And you will watch me never age. You are essentially me at the base. I do not know how you would think but I know how you will feel. Over time my pain will become yours and I did not want that. I had hoped that by separating myself from you, I would be sparing you most of that pain. Instead, it seems I have only added to what I know will come."
Shifting within the twins' hold he was able to maneuver enough to get an arm around each of them. It was safe and warm, Home and Family.
"Please, don't leave," they begged.
Hari sucked in a sharp breath before releasing it slowly. He let his head droop between the two boys and pulled them closer.
"This will only bring us pain…"
"We don't care," they cried.
"Very well." He released them, ignoring how their arms refused to let him go, and turned to Aoba. "You asked for my my help. Perhaps I may be able to. Let me see him."
Despite how close their bodies were, Aoba was able to wriggle Ren into Hari's arms.
"Ah. I see. You separated yourself to help him but you forgot yourself along the way. Hm. What I do does not mix well with technology but your yellow haired friend may be able to help with this."
"Yes, him. I can instruct him on what to do but I cannot use… Scrap… as you call it while he is within this body."
Many months down the road Aoba would look back and realize how lucky he was. His connection with his Father still worried his friends because of how clingy he became but it was hard to explain. There was a pull to be close to him. Even Ren (once he was gifted a body that Hari had somehow created in the space of a day), separated as he was from Aoba, felt the pull. Their bodies sang in unison when they were together and it felt right. It was Safe. There was no Danger that they could not overcome together.
Luckily it did not interfere in Sei's relationship… or Aoba's once Koujaku finally came out and and bluntly asked if he wanted to go on a romantic date. Hari had laughed and laughed after the hairdresser had asked him and Tae for their permission but he had given blessing as had Tae after some grumbling.
And the twins got to hear the fascinating and horrifying tale of Hari's real life. Of magic, of heartbreak, of adventures... He also explained his theory of why they were so close. The twins, born from his DNA and with some of his Siren powers, were connected to his magical core, in a way. They were a part of him just like Ren was apart of Aoba. It was an interesting thought and the one that made the most sense that they knew of. It was sad, though, to find out that Siren's lived centuries and ever since Hari had been exiled to this world by his people after they slaughtered his family he had found no magical creature that could live as long. Except the robots...like Clear. Clear, of course, (after all the close friends had been briefed about everything as well) was happy that he would have a companion that lived much longer than the normal human lifespan. The white haired man became rather attached to the brunette after that, much to the siren's mortification.
The worst part was Harry was unsure if they would live just as long as him or not since they were incomplete clones. But the twins shook off their misery at that and decided to enjoy the time they did have.
Life went on. They did not think of the future, instead taking life as it came and laughing at Clear's attempts to woo Hari. They were all happy with the way things were… even if Aoba, Sei, and his family had to constantly fend off unwanted suitors.
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