A/N: Last chapter! I have to admit, this was the hardest one to write... I couldn't write it too fast because this literally can make or break the story. I hope I made it with this chapter. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 8: The Endless Song
As Rin descended the stairs, she could see the cast members bustling around, fumbling to get ready for the first rehearsal of "The Riddler Who Can't Solve Riddles." However, unlike the first time she walked down the stairs in her costume, not as many glances turned in her direction, and those who did look at her whispered with apprehensiveness in their eyes. Ever since the masquerade ball, Rin had been the talk of rumors. The most popular subject of gossip was the conflict between her, Kaito, and the Opera Ghost. Some expressed deep concern, and others were extremely suspicious of her. Four months ago, Rin would have fretted over this endlessly, but instead she found herself being rather indifferent to it all—in fact, it was a little amusing.
In the midst of the crowd, she could see Miku peeking out from a corner from backstage. Following her gaze, Rin saw that she was trying to catch a glimpse of Kaito, who was out on stage being more rough than usual to his attendants due to his stress. Rin looked toward Miku again and at that exact moment, their eyes met. Once their gazes crossed, Rin smiled to greet her, but Miku quickly turned away and shrouded herself in the crowd, keeping her head low. Rin grew slightly annoyed at this. She knew perfectly well of Miku's suspicions of her and Kaito, but they weren't true in the slightest. If they were friends, why did she not trust her? Furrowing her eyebrows, Rin stomped down the stairs and shoved her way through the crowd.
Rin hounded her way towards Miku, pushing people in her way aside. When she had approached Miku, Rin briskly grasped her shoulder and whirled her around so that they faced each other. Miku's expression expressed complete shock and outrage, and when she had seen that it was Rin that had turned her around, her eyes widened even more.
"Why do you act this way?" Rin's voice was sharp and loud. Some of the cast members that passed by glanced to take a look.
Miku was taken aback at first, nearly completely intimidated by Rin's sudden outburst. However her bottled up frustration and rage had surfaced and narrowing her eyes, Miku leaned her body forward trying to match Rin.
"You should know why!" Miku cried, "It makes me sick! The way you completely ignore my feelings! The way you completely distance yourself from me now—"
"I distance myself from you?" Rin was nearly laughing, "I beg to differ! It's you who have been avoiding my glance whenever we meet!"
"What happened to the promise we made back then, Rin?" Miku completely ignored Rin's last comment—hoping that by bringing up their past, she'd be willing to submit, "What happened to our vow as friends to support each other no matter what? To help each other to be the happiest we can be? You're taking away my happiness!"
Rin ground her teeth together, "If you'd open your eyes, you'd see that it's not the way that it appears!" And within her mind, Rin screamed, because I love Len—not Kaito!
With that, Miku let out a cry of complaint and stormed off out of the backstage area. Rin stared after her for a moment, thinking to herself if Miku was really that dull-witted to not believe her words. When Rin had realized that a handful of the other cast members were watching her, murmuring, she grudgingly turned and walked out onto the stage where the set was already set up. To distract her mind, she observed its every detail.
The first thing Rin had noticed was the black and white checkerboard floor, then trailing her eyes upward, she saw panels painted white to serve as walls. There were arched windows that accented the walls to match the floor with black curtains hanging behind them and on top of white shelves sat black books. Rin glanced down at her costume, a black dress, and realized how perfectly it matched. Not only was everything in perfect, beautiful harmony, but intricate detail. The tables were carved with beautiful, simple design and atop one was a single wine glass accompanied by a wine bottle. That, no doubt, was in reference to the song, Rin observed.
Seeing the set had calmed her down a bit, knowing that this was, in a way, Len's work. She could see his hand was somehow behind it—his mind, his heart—the very essence of his soul. Her train of thought was broken when Kaito had spoken up to her.
"Ah, Rin, there you are!"
Rin, already annoyed, looked at Kaito blankly. She curved the corner of her mouth upward, and then went back to observing the set around her. Kaito frowned, narrowing his eyes before snapping at one of his attendants again. Hearing Kaito's voice made Rin wonder about the casting for the role of the detective. Len had requested to play the lead part, but it was fairly obvious that the maestro and the opera house managers had not met that demand. She wondered why Len would allow someone as flawed as Kaito to take his place in rehearsals. But steadily, she remembered his words,
"You will sing with me on the night of the performance assuredly."
"Are we ready to begin?" The maestro interrupted.
With that, Rin stepped forward, preparing herself to sing.
"Attention, everyone!" One of the opera house managers had said to silence the gathered crowd, "From now on, in rehearsals and on the night of the performance, we shall be monitored by the police."
The police chief stepped forward—a man, to Rin's eyes, that seemed carry a deep and sinister aura. He held his hands behind his back and had a serious face that frowned, keeping his eyes narrow and surveying the shadows. Naturally, Rin was terrified of him. She could no longer hear what the opera house manager was saying, all she could focus on was the terrible countenance of the man that stood before them. When their two gazes met, a droplet of sweat rolled down her forehead. She wondered why everyone around her had the air of relief and confidence when this man obviously meant ill will.
And surely enough, day after day, Rin could see the police patrolling the opera house as she sung in rehearsal. It was somehow eerie, seeing shadows lurking in the back of the house and off-stage. As expected, the Opera Ghost had done nothing to disrupt rehearsals—Len knew that he was being pursued. Even so, Rin would be mindful of the shadows, and if she would see Len, she'd tell him to run far away—she felt it was the best option for him. Though the people around her were relieved in the safety that they thought they had, Rin felt as if she was in the hands of danger. She found herself wandering away to avoid those horrible pursuers during the breaks they had from rehearsal.
One day, as she walked in the dusty corridors behind the theater to get away from the policeman, she heard something that sounded like the wind at first.
Rin jerked her head to the sound of her name. Only one person said it so sweetly... Only one person, who could sound as one with the breeze. At first she stopped, terrified that if she looked any farther, she would meet the gaze of a policeman, but the voice came gently again.
"Come to the roof..." She whispered back. Rin had decided that she would take this chance to tell Len to get away from the opera house.
And with that she hurried off, her dress trailing behind her. She believed that no one could see her, that she was out of everyone's gaze. However, she was very wrong. Kaito had noticed Rin gazing off into the distance or looking up at the catwalk quite often the past few days. Several weeks ago, he would have thought nothing of it, but of course he knew better than that. He found himself glancing her way more often than before, or even following her as they took breaks from rehearsal, and of course this day was no exception. He quietly pursued her, climbing up flight after flight of stairs. He stopped for a moment when above him, Rin had opened the door to the highest level of the opera house—the roof.
The coldness that had touched Rin bit her warm skin. The snow of the late winter fell gently to the ground, and when she stepped out, into her hair as well. The sun had just fallen below the horizon, a color like blood staining the sky. It was as if a fire had set the air ablaze and the snow that fell was the ash from it. Rin shivered and glanced around herself. Suddenly a warmth covered her shoulders. She moved her fingers to what covered her now—a cloak black as night. Turning around, she saw a pair of blue eyes staring back at her. Len.
She moved toward him and gently set her head against his chest.
"What are you doing here?"
"I believe it was you who had told me to come to the roof." He chuckled.
"No, why are you still here when the police are after you?"
"It's because I still have something left to do." Len said, wrapping his arms around Rin and leaning his head against her.
"Can't you get away from the opera house?"
Len backed away for a moment, staring at Rin's face and moving his glance downward, following the nape of her neck down to the ring that sat on her chest. Moving his hands behind her head, he unhooked the chain that sat around her neck and brought the necklace in his hands. Slipping the ring into his palm, Len began to play with the metal band with his fingers until he had gripped it in between his finger and thumb. He had brought up Rin's left hand, her petite fingers resting in his palm, and slipped the ring onto her finger. Then holding it in between his hands and with a pounding heart, he brought his lips to her cheek.
"I cannot leave because you are here."
Kaito peered from behind a statue, his blood boiling within him in disbelief and rage. At that moment, everything he had suspected and feared had become reality to him. After seeing Rin in the Opera Ghost's arms, he leaned his head up against the stone that he hid behind and heaved a tense sigh. The more they spoke their sweet words to each other, the more his heart twisted with anger.
"I cannot build the perfect duet without you by my side." Len whispered.
"Will you be safe?"
"Don't worry... nothing will go wrong. Just keep singing."
Rin brought herself up towards Len, longing to warm the cold that was on her lips, longing to taste that fire that rested within his body. Bringing her hand up to the side of his head, she tangled her fingers in his hair, feeling both the strands of his golden locks and the ring around her finger.
Something pinched in the skin on Kaito's forehead. He clenched his fist and trembled as he saw Len move his lips against Rin's. Something that he so longed for was so easily obtained by this poor excuse for a man. Grinding his teeth together, he decided that if she would not come to him, he'd make it so that she was his.
The night of the performance had come. Like any other night before a show, Rin sat in her room preparing herself, brushing her hair and calming her nerves before getting on stage. She smiled at the flowers around her—this time being black roses and red carnations. Getting up to change from her robe to her costume, Rin heard a soft knock on her door. Could it be Miku? They had not talked to each other once since their argument. Cautiously turning the doorknob, she opened the door to find Kaito staring down at her, his hand leaning up against the door frame. She backed away slightly, pulling her robe tighter over her shoulders. Without a word, Kaito came forward. At first, he did not know what to speak, but when he broke the silence, he went straight to the point.
"How long have you been with him?" He said in a low voice.
"W-What do you mean?" Rin's heart slowly began to pound.
"You know very well what I mean," Kaito pushed Rin up against the mirror on the other side of the room, moving his lips close to her skin, "That Opera Ghost..."
The sweat on Rin's forehead ran cold.
"So that's his name?" Kaito began moving his hands towards Rin, "Are you in league with him?"
"N-No... we just..."
"...Are in love?" Kaito finished, his voice now shaking, "Do you realize what he is? He cannot compare to me—a corrupt soul to a pure one..."
He brushed his hand against her cheek. Rin moved it out of the way, furrowing her eyebrows, but she had found that her cheeks were gripped by both Kaito's hands now.
"I'm so much better for you..."
Kaito then moved his lips to Rin's neck. Rin began to struggle and when she had brought up her hands to strike back, she found her wrists restrained. Her frail body couldn't compare to Kaito's strength, and she found herself moving against her will toward her bed. The air against her lips had vanished when her head collided against her pillow. No matter how much she struggled and fought, she could not move. Kaito slipped his hands all over her body, kissing her coldly. Rin could feel her robe slipping off, exposing her bare shoulders, which Kaito had begun to kiss. Rin clenched her fists in Kaito's hair, trying to force him off.
Miku sat in the dressing room, staring at her reflection. She had counted the days since she had not spoken to Rin. She had regretted being apart from her for so long... but how could she face her? She was taking Kaito from her... The smiles Kaito had given Miku, the dances that he had graced her with... that all had meant something, right? Those weren't fake memories and lies—right?
But Rin was her childhood friend... surely she could see her feelings for Kaito. Maybe it was wrong of her to assume the things she did, but she couldn't help but feel suspicion. Miku had already spoken to her once, but maybe a second time would be best—after all... they were friends. Miku stood from her seat, and slowly made her way up to Rin's room.
"Len!" Rin had gasped in between kisses—her voice frantic.
When his name had spilled from her lips, she felt Kaito being torn away from her and a black cloak shrouded her vision.
Len had grabbed the back of Kaito's collar and whirled him around so that they now faced each other. With a fire burning in the blue sea of his eyes, Len pushed Kaito against the wall and restrained him. Kaito had opened his mouth to scream, but with a gloved hand, Len covered it.
And with that, Len had produced a knife from his cloak and immediately plunged it into Kaito's chest.
A choked gasp had escaped Kaito's lungs... and then another as Len stabbed him again and again. Blood pouring from all the open wounds in his body, Kaito fell toward the ground now mangled in crimson. Len dropped the knife at his side.
"He doesn't even deserve to be made into art." He turned toward a very relieved Rin, "Come, it is time for us to perform."
And with a smile, he slipped off his bloody gloves and took Rin's hand.
There was something strange in the air when Miku had reached the corridor where the chamber of the diva remained. Her steps became slower and slower, a horrible sense of foreboding overpowering her. She shook her head. Why was she so nervous? Rin was surely willing to talk to her. Yet she still trembled as she knocked on the door.
Once again, Miku knocked, but still received no answer. Slowly, her hand drifted toward the doorknob now. It had taken her a moment to turn it, but when she had pushed open the door, she had found no one inside. Miku stepped forward, confusion clouding her mind. She then surveyed the room. She stopped cold when she saw the edge of a puddle of blood and following its pathway, she found Kaito's lifeless body, eyes wide with terror.
Miku's knees began to tremble and she collapsed at the sight of crimson pouring from Kaito's mouth. All air seemed to escape from her lungs—she could not cry out, she was so overwhelmed by the sudden shock and terror. She then began to crawl towards Kaito, shaky moaning passing her lips. Then the tears came.
"Did Rin do this to you...?"
There was no other explanation... Kaito was here in her room... no one else was in here before the performance. Rin had become more distant... how did she know that she hadn't slowly been tainted? Miku traced her fingers over Kaito's cold cheek.
The unknowing audience eagerly awaited the performance to start. They were intrigued that the Vocaloid Opera House had taken up a production that had never been performed in music history, and they were eager to see its debut. The opera house managers were anxiously watching from their box with the police chief standing attentively next to them. In every corner, a policeman lay in wait. When the curtains rolled back, the audience immediately went into applause. The maestro down in the pit brought up his baton, made the prep beat, and brought forth the down beat.
When the orchestra had begun to play, so did the opera. The beginning had passed by normally at first, but then the moment came for the duet...
Len came onto the stage like a shadow on one side, and Rin stepped forward on the other, her grace enchanting. Any murmurs that were being uttered in the audience suddenly came to a complete silence. Len, dressed as the lead role, the detective, stepped forward toward Rin. Of course everyone noticed that Kaito was not the man on stage, but there was a spell about him that kept them still. And when he began to sing his part, it was as if a spider had caught a fly in its web. Rin had stepped forward and had begun to sing her part just as beautifully. Then, their hands entwining, they had begun to sing a duet that rang throughout the hall brilliantly—a perfect duet. The audience was caught in a different world, a world of beautiful music, a world of night. As the orchestra faded into silence, Len brought his lips close to Rin's ear.
"You are the same as me..."
Rin and Len's spell had been broken by the sudden scream. The audience had once again erupted into murmurs when Miku came stumbling out on stage, breathing heavily. She spotted Rin and next moved her eyes toward the man that stood next to her—the Opera Ghost... so that's how it was.
"Kaito is dead!" She held up the bloody shirt that she had torn from the corpse's body before tearing out of the room, "And our diva, Rin Kagamine is the culprit!"
The murmurs had escalated now. Miku breathed a few heavy breaths before continuing on.
"And that man beside her is the Opera Ghost! She's in league with him!"
Broken from the spell, the police began to stream out onto the stage, cries of outrage coming from the audience, half in disbelief and half already in disgust. Miku clutched the bloody shirt to her chest, glaring at Rin, who had moved closer to Len.
Seeing that they were completely surrounded, Len grabbed Rin's hand and quickly moved out of sight, disappearing as quickly as possible. Grinding her teeth together, Miku set after against them. Driven by rage, Miku had even outrun the police and had kept a close trail behind them to the point where she could see Rin and Len disappear into a hidden crevice. Following them in, Miku found herself in dark, unfamiliar passageways in the opera house. The only thing she could hear was her breathing and a heavy heart pounding underneath her chest. Down and down she descended, seemingly to hell, following after Rin and Len. The voices from above eventually faded into nothing and she eventually found herself walking into an enchanted world, painted with the blue light of darkness.
Miku's relentless pursuit had temporarily stopped when she found herself at the edge of a misty lake. She could hear a voice echoing just beyond it—Rin's voice. Miku stepped forward, plunging her legs into the water and pushing her way forward until she had found a beautiful, gothic haven. Climbing up onto the shore, she saw that on a bed with velvet sheets Rin was leaning against Len's chest, clutching his shoulder as he had his arms around her. With glazed eyes, Rin's singing voice pierced the air while a smile was spread across Len's lips.
Rin slowly raised herself from Len and looked at Miku. Miku had drawn the bloody knife that she had found near Kaito's mangled corpse and held it in front of her, her hands shaking.
"Why did you kill him, Rin?" Miku screamed, "Unforgivable!"
Rin stood up and slowly walked towards Miku, calm and collected.
"You stole him from me! Why?"
"It was I who killed him."
Both Miku and Rin turned to look at Len, who had also stood himself up and walked to Rin's side, "He had defiled the world of perfect music and tried to taint Rin's body."
Miku's eyes narrowed as she slowly began to step forward. Rin watched her, and what seconds seemed like an eternity—Miku, a woman now possessed by wrath, stalking towards her.
"Then, Opera Ghost, I shall kill you!"
The sound of Miku's voice when they were children echoed through her mind...
"We'll always be friends, won't we?" She had said.
"We'll always help each other find happiness and love?"
"And we'll stay by each others side?"
"Forever and always..."
When Miku had charged them, Rin had quickly moved her hand to the handle of the knife that Miku had held. The blade turned toward Miku's chest and pierced it. Stopping short, Miku looked into Rin's eyes for a long moment. Tears now streamed down her cheeks as blood began to pour from her mouth. Then, eyes rolling back, Miku fell forward still and silent. Rin stepped back, a wave of shock overpowering her.
"Father..." She thought.
But she found that hardly mattered anymore—her and her father's dream. The more she sung with Len, the more she came to realize what she truly wanted... she wanted to strive for the beautiful world of perfect music... a world of flawlessness... and Miku and Kaito simply didn't belong there, so they were erased—it was simple as that. This was a world for her and Len. Then gently, a warm embrace enveloped her. She smiled as Len spoke to her, stroking his hands against her body.
"You alone can make my song take flight..." Len began, "Let's make this world our own."
"You and I shall make the perfect duet..." Rin replied, turning around and entwining her hands with Len's, "And if anyone is to come into our world... we'll simply sing for them."
And since that day, no one had crossed their path without vanishing—and an endless song forever rang from their world of night.
A/N: So I want you guys to watch Rin and Len's Riddler series... and think why I decided to choose that as a reference in this story... make sure you watch both. :3 Also, a disclaimer... I actually really like Kaito as a Vocaloid-for the story's purposes, though, I had to make him a complete jerk. XD And I don't mind Miku that much. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you haven't left a review, please leave one so I can know what you guys think!