Open your eyes-
No, that hurts.
Okay, try again, slowly this time. Since when were colors so bright?
Colors, huh. It seems like I haven't seen them in a while...
Ah, I guess I probably sound melodramatic.
My head really hurts, though.
Now, to open my eyes again, properly, and-
That voice sounds kind of familiar...
"Kaito-nii-chan, can you hear me? It's me, Miku."
I know that person. I think. Maybe.
Oh God, my head really, really hurts. Like, so much I'm not even sure if I can make a correct judgement on just HOW much it hurts. But it does. Seriously.
There was a haze in Kaito's brain; a dark cloud that engulfed his memories. He knew his memories were all still there but they felt out of reach, as unattainable as the stars in the sky. Huh, now that did sound melodramatic. But it was true. There was really no other way of phrasing it- everything was so distant and hazy.
The voice- Miku. Or was this somebody else?- was calling him back. He knew he had to remember. It was very important he remembered, or... Or...?
It would hurt a lot of people if he couldn't.
He was sure.
But how could he make himself remember?
All these voices, this cacophony of noise that made his head buzz even more, tugged at his subconscious. He couldn't place names to all the people, but he could place emotions. Worry. Concern. It sounded like there were thousands upon thousands of people, but that might've been the result of a headache. It amplified all noise, until it was almost unbearable.
He had to wake up; come to his senses.
But everything hurt.
It felt like he'd just been hit by a thousand volts of electricity. He was some horrible dead creature which had been jerked back into life against his will. A crypt felt like a far more fitting place for him than in this place... Whatever this place was. He wasn't sure; all he'd seen was a flash of white, before the bright color had forced his eyelids shut again.
A word came to Kaito's head. It sounded strangely fitting.
Yes, he had been here before.
It was a place from his memories.
The word 'laboratory', like the white-washed walls and floors and ceiling of this unforgiving place, sounded cold. Unwelcoming. It was enough to make Kaito shudder.
He remembered being in this place before.
It was a few months ago- or was it? Time, time. It all seems to blur together. No matter. It happened some time ago (did it?) when my teeth hurt. That was it. And then he was with me (who?) and he brought me here (where?)
Ah. I know.
It's the Crypton Headquarters, right. And this is their lab. I know that. I remember the people in white coats (so much white) holding clipboards, looking busy, complicated machinery and half-build skeletons of robots that looked uncannily like real human remains, only with metal parts, hooked up to oil, zapped with electricity. And I remembered thinking 'are these half-assembled creatures future brothers or sisters? Other projects for other companies?' There was one tiny robot skeleton, half-assembled, missing half a face, but it had cat ears and misshapen hands. I remember that one the most, because it looked like a half-done animatronics puppet in those awful horror movies Rin likes so much.
I remember Rin, too. I remember her huge hair ribbon. And her laugh.
"Kaito? Earth to big bro Kaito, I, like, totally know you're in there! Tch." A sigh. It sounded like somebody was rolling their eyes- Kaito could easily picture the speaker's annoyance. Or maybe the irritation was masking something else. Worry? Vocaloids were wonderfully complex creations. "Even on the brink of death you're still an idiot, onii-chan."
Kaito knew that voice.
He could see the giant ribbon that went with it. It'd be bobbing as the person- she, definitely she- spoke.
Nothing was clear- it was all jumbled and mixed like the contents of a blender after one of Miku's 'leek surprise' meals (which was basically leek and anything the girl could get her hands on; chocolate, cheese, lettuce, peanuts, whatever).
But Rin's name was clear.
"Kaito, you... you..." Hic. "M-moron. Sosososoooo stupid... Worried sick... Urgh..."
"You look sick, Mei-chan."
"Do you need to sit down, Meiko-san?"
There was a rustle, sounded like someone moving, and then an exclamation. The surprised, strangled shout cut through Kaito's circuitry (circuitry, like that cut-open, half-done- quarter-done?- animatronics cat-girl nightmare). There was a crash- sounded like somebody had fallen over. Kaito would've opened his eyes, he wanted to see, but he couldn't- it hurt. And even if eyesight was an option, he doubted he'd have been able to make sense of the scene before him.
Concentrate on the voices.
Sound made sense.
"H-hey, get off, Meiko-san! Ow..." A sharp intake of breath. "You're really heavy."
"Shurrup, Gahhkupooo! You're my pillow, capiche? Heheh... Capiche..."
"Yes. You're meant to be an honourable samurai, Gakupo," said another female voice. This one was more mature sounding, slightly more sultry. More dangerous? It was a voice that could sing songs of love and betrayal and sound incredibly sophisticated whilst doing so.
Kaito knew these people.
Meiko. Gakupo. Luka.
And then there was Teto, Neru, Haku.
But who were they?
Kaito could barely even remember who he was. It felt like he'd just been lobotomised- had part of his brain been cut out? He was in laboratory, it seemed like the kind of heinous thing those white coats would do. And he could still remember that half-cat half-human robot thing with the hacked open head, spilling wires with empty eye sockets, staring blankly at the wall, slumped over.
A possible sibling?
What about his current siblings?
"K-kaito?" A soft, half-choked sound. It was pulsing with concern; so much so it would've made Kaito's heart fracture and break into thousands of pieces. Except it felt like it had done that already.
It still hurts.
Huh. Do I always sound this whiney?
Then again, it does feel like I'm missing half my skull.
Now I know how creepy animatronics half-built cat girl feels like. I wonder if she's still here. Or maybe they finished her already. Am I finished? Except, no. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't...
Again, Kaito heard that voice.
That petrified voice, soft from fear, barely a whisper.
"Kaito, you're okay, right? Please tell me you're okay! Open your eyes! Do you know what's wrong with him?" Frantic, panicked.
"The KAITO unit had no power for approximately seven minutes thirteen seconds," said another voice, more official-sounding. It wasn't familiar. Impersonal. "During the period of inactivity, there were no electrical impulses being sent to major organs and the brain. The hardwiring of the unit was affected, although we managed to repair most technical failures. Keep in mind the KAITO unit is a robot. Robots are easily reparable. They are not as delicate as human beings. They just need reprogramming."
"Kaito isn't a 'unit'," said Miku softly. She sounded tearful. Kaito could picture her- a blue (or was it green? Or somewhere in the middle?) haired girl with a pretty face, but her lips were pulled into a frown. Her smiles were beautiful, though.
"That's right," said Teto. "He's a human being! More or less. Ehehe. And I don't care what you say, Ms. I'm-an-amazing-super-awesome-chocolate-coated-scientist-who-sees-Vocaloids-as-ROBOTS lady, we were programmed with the need to eat, sleep, breathe, bathe (it'd be pretty gross if we didn't) and we feel EMOTIONS. We are basically HUMAN BEINGS, only a bit more super-powered and we don't age. Actually, we're more like vampires, but actually COOL with it. But whatever! We DO feel things, you know, so don't talk about Kaito-nii-chan like an OBJECT, because he's not! We love him! Can you hear me, Kaito? I love youuu!~"
Kaito knew, if he had control of his facial muscles- only they still felt numb, as though his face had been injected with a tonne of novacane- he'd have smiled.
Teto was just so insane, and yet so lovable with it.
"What about Kaito's memory?" asked the young male's voice. It sounded frantic. "Was it affected? Does he remember us? His personality? I-I heard valuable components like that can be 'reset' when Vocaloids are left without power for too long, I-"
"We have the KAITO uni- Sorry."
The scientist gave a cough.
Teto had most likely given her a death glare.
A small laugh. "I forget how close you guys are. It's disconcerting, for artificial human beings. The field of science really has advanced... Ah, but never mind. We have Kaito's personality files on back up; we reloaded them into his brain. He'll be the same big brother you remember."
"B-but his memories?"
"Ah... Now that I cannot say." A pause. "It should be only the most recent memories that are affected; although, nine minutes is a long time to go with no electrical stimulus in the brain..."
All of a sudden the boy's voice became more panicked.
"Do you remember me, Kaito? You know who I am? You do, right?"
Kaito didn't want to say he didn't, because he might just break this boy's heart.
And although Kaito didn't- he only had a vague idea, shrouded in fog- the voice kept going, kept pressing on, not content to leave Kaito in the dark, unknowing. Because it mattered to this person. Kaito mattered to them. Obviously.
That thought made Kaito feel rather warm, appreciated.
I remember what it's like to be loved... And really, I'm loved by so many people. Miku. Teto. Luka. Gakupo. Meiko and Rin, even if they have funny, abusive ways of showing it. And Neru goes to great lengths to convince everyone she has a charcoal-black, withered heart incapable of loving nothing but her cell phone, but I'm sure she loves me, too. And Haku does- she's so sweet, she's not capable of hating anything, I swear.
And the person who loves me more than anyone...
"Do you remember all those times we were together? How we used to eat ice-cream together, or how we'd play video games together and I'd always beat you? Heh. I always wondered if you just let me beat you because you were nice but, no... I know it's because you were just useless at it. And how sometimes we'd write song lyrics together, or sing, and it was always so much fun because you were with me?" A wistful sigh; and suddenly Kaito only wanted to comfort this person, he wanted to wake up for them, because they sounded so melancholy, so sad.
I really mean something to this person.
Being needed felt warm.
The laboratory, with it's dead, unfinished skeletons and cold, emotionless workers, was freezing, practically sub-zero. But this person's voice was able to thaw out the endless expanse of white.
This person really valued Kaito, and Kaito valued them.
Life wouldn't be the same without you.
I know that.
"And if you weren't with me, I wouldn't know what to do. I wouldn't... I... Even if you don't remember me, I... I..." A sigh. His voice dropped to little more than a whisper, but Kaito could hear. "I love you, Kaito."
"I love you, Kaito."
Now, why did those words sound familiar?
Somebody had told him that before. Somebody who really shouldn't have had those thoughts- he was too young, and Kaito was too old, but did age really matter between artificial humans? In reality Kaito was only about one year older than him, so appearances shouldn't have mattered, and in many ways he was more mature than Kaito.
And Kaito knew he loved him too.
His eyelids flickered open- it's still too bright, seriously! It's boring into my skull!- but he forced them open through sheer willpower to see who exactly was talking to him. It was important, he knew it, even more important than ice-cream (if such a miraculous thing existed).
Wincing, Kaito sat up. His head span, his stomach clenched- it was too early to move, way too early. He felt he needed to wait another year at least before he tried getting off his bed. Stretcher? Gurney? Whatever. It felt like he'd been hit by a freight truck, everything hurt, everything turned- but he managed to stay there, upright, of his own accord.
Are there wires in arms?
I can't tell, but...
I feel like the failed science experiment now.
His vision swam, the figures danced and blurred to smog before his eyes, but he focused, hard;
A teal-haired girl with twin tails; a twin-drilled chimera-girl; the over-sized hair ribbon; the girl with a cell phone trying to hide her smile, trying not to look overwhelmed because Akita Neru was moved by NOTHING; Meiko, sprawled across Gakupo on the floor; Luka, standing over them; Haku, eyes wide and, stood before him.
Spiky blond hair, messy like a bird's nest.
A relieved expression.
And then the shock on the blond's face split into a smile, and he reached forwards and threw his arms around Kaito, and Kaito knew his memories had not been false, this feeling was real, and it felt like his heart could burst out of his chest as Len said "thank God, thank God" and held him tighter.
Kaito's arms wrapped round the smaller boy, pulling him closer to his chest, burying his head in Len's hair, making the blond spikes even messier. Breathing felt easier. This felt...
Like how everything should be.
It felt like Kaito had almost lost this, this- whatever this was- through his own stupidity and Haku and the age difference and his worries and then being shut down (he'd nearly been shut down, he remembered)- but now he had this again he wasn't going to give it up he couldn't, because he knew-
"I love you too, Len."
Len's breath hitched in his chest. It sounded like he were the one with breathing difficulties now- he was the one who needed to be wired up in Kaito's place.
Kaito gave a small laugh. It felt good to laugh again- to be able to laugh.
"I'm sorry for making you worry." He mumbled it into Len's hair.
And then Len gave a small scoff, shook his head, and drew away slowly. He stared at Kaito intently, as though trying to memorise his every facial feature; storing it slowly in his memory banks.
Then he grinned.
"You make me worry all the time, you moron," he chided gently. "If I weren't here, I shudder to think what would happen to you. Idiot. Bakaito."
Now Kaito remembered that nickname well.
He opened his mouth, about to retort- to say something clever back (er... not that he could think of anything clever on the spot, but he was sure he would if given time) but he didn't have a chance. He was silence before words ever escaped his lips. By Len's mouth.
Kaito's eyes widened at Len's bold action (really? In front of all these people?) Kaito remembered he hadn't wanted anyone to know of his and Len's relationship; what would they say? Wasn't this wrong? He was too old...
It doesn't matter.
Len's right, you really are stupid.
Rin and Miku and Teto and Neru already know, anyway. And Haku. And Luka's pretty perceptive; she probably noticed it ages ago, and was silently berating me for idiocy regarding the matter the whole while. Meiko can be sharp about this stuff, too. I bet it's only Gakupo who had no clue.
Well then, I guess he's in for a shock.
Kaito couldn't help but grin softly against Len's lips at this thought, as he felt Len's fingers under his chin, tilting his head up. Somehow, Kaito felt he should be the more dominant one, but he was melting under Len's touches just like that cute song of Miku's about umbrellas and rain, and his brain was already fuzzy and this was probably not the best activity to engage in so soon after being reanimated but he didn't care because it felt so good, being with Len was just...
It made him forget he had ever been unhappy before.
Ha. Now that sounds kind of cheesy.
I bet if Neru heard me say that she'd hang me by my intestines. After blushing and shaking her head and going 'No, I DON'T find that in any way, shape or form romantic! You're all stupid!'
Kaito felt like his spine had turned to jelly. He nearly fell backwards, but Len's free hand snaked round his back, keeping him held upright as he continued to kiss Kaito and-
"Yeah, alright, Neru-chan!~ Keep taking pictures, I bet they'll, like, totally sell with all the new Kaito/Len fangirls!" Rin squealed.
"D-don't you feel slightly strange, watching your own brother...?" Gakupo began to ask wondrously, with a slight measure of shock and confusion to his voice, but Rin giggled and said "Nope!"
Well, she wouldn't.
Kaito gave a soft mewl he would've been quite embarrassed to admit he could ever make if he still had any masculine pride. Said pride had been destroyed long ago by living with a bunch of violent women like Meiko and Neru, who liked to force him to cross dress for no real reason.
"Awww, you two look so cute!~" Teto sang. "Just like in a Disney movie where the prince kisses the princess, you know?"
"Yeah, I know, I know!~" said Rin.
"And then they all live happily ever after?" asked Miku, with a small smile.
"I hope so, unless Baa~kaito manages to screw up again," said Rin, snorting. "Which he probably will. I mean, he's a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Seriously."
"That's fine, though," said Teto. "'They lived happily ever after' is so over-rated, anyway."
"What's interesting, Master?"
"The bonds you Vocaloids share really is quite admirable. It would appear, if anything is to split up their family, they will join together in an attempt to defeat it. Quite amazing, really. I had no idea robots were capable of feeling such advanced emotions, even if I did create their blueprints and personally oversee their creation."
"Were you ever intending to kill Kaito, Master?"
"Of course not. This was merely an... experiment. To see how they would react. To gather data. I would not be so heartless as to destroy something I made with my own two hands; especially not a being as advanced as Kaito. It would be like committing murder. He has emotions every bit as complex and real as- well, as mine. As any other human's. So, in the end, FL-chan was right. Even if that strange girl is not right about many things, she hit the nail on the head this time... Ha. She'll be most proud with her deductions if I tell her. So I most likely won't. Although, FL-chan is not entirely human herself."
"Ah... Forgive me if I sound harsh, Master, but I think playing around with their lives like that to test their emotional capacity was cruel and unnecessary. Could there not have been another way to gather data?"
"You tell me. What else would you suggest?"
"Well, I... I... I'm not a scientist!"
"No, you're not. And I suppose you're too young to understand. This was the most suitable manner of gathering data. An extreme test creates extreme results; and those true, raw emotions were those I was most interested in monitoring. Although I do feel guilty about it, of course. Ha. Well, there is time to repent when I die."
"You too are a very advanced robot to feel such emotions. You want to reprimand me? Hahaha. Go ahead. I probably deserve it. But keep in mind this research was carried out to help further our understanding of you robots. If we understand you better, we can create more family members- more and more, many more, to ensure you are never alone. The Vocaloids will not be abandoned when I die, I will ensure it. You should know, you will not be alone or friendless in this world. I want to ensure you will all be happy, even when I am gone. And it may be sooner than anyone believes. That is what I want. Now."
With those words, Master stood up, and motioned to the figure beside him to do also. He smiled, though not unkindly.
"Are you ready to meet your new family... Nekomura Iroha?"
a.n:-flail- OMG I finished it!
I think in the end there wasn't enough len/kaito goodness in this story, but I'm just incredibly glad I got it done ^_^ I was thinking I could have done another 'arc' of Kaito with amensia with Len trying to make him remember, but I would rather have this story done XD I could make that into another story. Maybe.
Also, Nekomura isn't even Crypton. But w/e XDD I still love her. So many new Vocaloids have been made since I started writing and since I've finished, it's odd.
I would like to thank my readers and reviewers and the people who favourited this, etc, etc! I love you all!
And I'm sorry if the ending was disappointing, I just really wanted to finish this and give it some closure XD
I will definitely write another Kaito/Len fic in the future!