Author's Notes

And here's the second (and last) part. Enjoy.

And I've only played the piano once in my life, and never the guitar, so I don't know that much about them. What I do know of sheet music comes from an old friend from primary school. It came out better than I thought it would though...


Disrupted Melodies

The wires hummed beneath his fingers as his voice melded with the music. He gave his heart, his soul to fill the void he played for, but it was only when it was filled did the song become complete…

Kouji M & Kouichi K

Rating: T

Genre/s: Family/Hurt/Comfort


Part 2 of 2 – Reharmonised

'Who are you?' Bewulfmon yelled furiously, parrying yet another blow from Duskmon, tired of the half-riddles he received and desperate for an answer.

'I am...' he paused, and suddenly sounded more human than monster. 'Kimura Kouichi. I'm your twin brother Kouji!'

He gaped at him. 'What? My twin?' He paused, before lunging again. 'You're lying. You have to be!'

But if he was, why did a part of him feel so...happy?


He had never known he had a brother till then...

'Kouichi?'

...and looking at the second floor landing, the slight blood stain, and the blue cap which rested on the final step, he was afraid he had lost him forever: the other half of his own soul, the void which he had tried for nine years to so desperately fill.

'Ni-san?' His voice betrayed his fear. He couldn't, just couldn't lose his brother now, after everything: the Digital World, all that had been left incomplete in this one...and their chance to grow up together as they should have, he couldn't just lose it all! 'He-Where is he? Wheres Kouichi-ni?'

For his heart to finally be whole, he couldn't lose that.


The blank eyes gazed in nothingness, resembling the murky waters which resulted after a paint brush was washed in it too many times and no longer functions to its duty. It was the type of grey which absorbed light instead of reflecting it, and eerily mirrored the eyes that had stared back at him from beneath Duskmon's armour...but even those eyes had a spark of light in them. Not these eyes though.

He seized the other's shoulders and shook him, ignoring the murmurs and cries of the Doctors and nurses around him, or his friends behind. All that mattered was his brother in his grip, the blank eyes that denied all hope and the monotone beep that reinforced that.

'Kouichi? It's me. It's Kouji. I'm here now. It's okay. It's okay.' He repeated the words as if he was trying to convince them both, as if they could somehow call the soul back from its final resting place, as if they could somehow bring life back to those eyes.

'Please, Kouichi...'

A single tear fell from his eyes, landing square on the other's forehead. A familiar symbol shone between them momentarily, but before anyone could question what they had seen, a tiny spark shone in the blank irises.

'Kouichi?'

The other blinked slowly as the light continued to seep it. 'Kouji...'

Then they both smiled, for one, a smile that had been denied in their world for years too long.


'Are you sure this is a good idea?'

'You did promise me. Don't tell me you're getting cold feet.'

Kouichi grinned slightly at his brother's nervous expression, though he couldn't deny he was anxious as well. Mostly about his mother's reaction.

After all, how did one expect their mother to react after meeting her other son for the first time in nine years?

'Why here though?'

'It's easier than you coming to our apartment. And it's closer to 'kaa-san's work, so I can bring here on her lunch break.'

'True.'

They fell silent after that, Kouji standing stiffly under the shelter of the trees while Kouichi paced to and fro.

'What are we waiting for?'

'Midday. It's still five to.'

'Oh.'

They stood, or paced, in silence for another five minutes, before Kouji's wristwatch finally struck twelve and Kouichi set off.

And during the time it took for him to return with his mother in tow, the younger twin was trying to deal with the sudden flood of emotions.

And then she was in front of her, both his hands in hers, and she was gasping out how much she had missed him, how happy she was that he was okay...

Directing blame would come later. For now, the three could simply enjoy their reunion.


'And you were telling me I was getting cold feet?' Kouji asked, looking at the reluctant Kouichi while toeing off his sneakers.

'I didn't promise,' the other shot back, none too pleased that his own words were being tossed against him. 'Besides, how do you face the man you hated enough to kill him and his son for- '

He cut himself off as the door opened, hoping whoever was on the other side hadn't heard what he had just said.

'I thought I heard your voice Kouji?' It was their father. 'Did you bring a friend for dinner?'

'Umm...' Now Kouji was feeling slightly awkward. 'Sort of.'

'Well, it's certainly good to know you're making friends.' He opened the door the rest of the way, then stopped short. 'Kouichi?'

The said twin half backed behind his brother, while their father simply looked between them both, taking in the anxiety on the face in the twin he had raised, and the turmoil of emotions on the other's...though he noted, contraire to the statement, hatred was absent from it.

'Kouichi? I-' He looked up at him. 'Gomen, it's just-I-' For the moment, coherent words had failed him.

''tou-san,' Kouji interrupted. 'I met 'kaa-san.'

He nodded. 'I suppose you both want an explanation. Come in.'

They did so, and after the tale had been told, Kousei was surprised at the flood leaking from the eyes of his elder son.

'Kouichi? Did I say something wrong?'

He shook his head, but continued crying.

Bewildered, he looked to the younger twin for an explanation, who looked at his brother, and after receiving a watery nod, began their own tale: how they had met, the Digital World, and most importantly the creation of Duskmon which Kouichi had once recounted to his own brother upon the plains of Velgemon's final stand.

And once it was over, their father sighed.

'Kouichi,' he said firmly. 'That was a perfectly normal reaction.'

The other gaped at him, causing him to smile a bit painfully. 'Didn't Kouji tell you the times he had hated us both? Me for marrying Satomi and trying to give him a mother he didn't want, and Tomoko for leaving him?'

Kouichi shook his head, missing his brother's uncomfortable expression. Their father however, caught it, and so pressed on.

'No-one can blame you for hating me then. After all, as far as you knew, I had left you and your mother to fend for yourselves. And what you saw of our family didn't help matters there either.'

Kouichi didn't look entirely convinced, though his eyes were drying and a red tinge was starting to form on his cheeks.

'You both still have every right to be mad at the two of us,' he continued, only to be interrupted by two vehement shaking heads.

'No way,' Kouji said, voicing both their thoughts. 'Not when we can finally be a family again.' Then he paused. 'You're not going to separate us again, are you?'

He thought for a moment. 'My job's stable now, so we won't be moving any time soon. What did Tomoko say?'

The twins looked at each other, before Kouji turned back to his father. 'We...didn't ask her. I was just so...um...excited to meet her, that we just...' He broke of helplessly, as Kousei face-palmed his forehead.

'She got off easy,' he muttered. 'All right, I'll call her, and we'll work out something around the law.'

And then he almost fell of the couch as both twins cheered and leapt into his embrace, and he received them both warmly.


'Do you know the lullaby 'kaa-san and 'tou-san used to sing when we were kids?'

Kouichi stared incredulously at his twin. 'Why are you asking about lullabies right now?' he asked. Their parents, all three, were in the living room and talking to a family lawyer while the twins were upstairs in Kouji's bedroom, mainly to stay out of the adults' way. They were discussing living arrangements, mainly if there was a possibility for joint custody in the newer laws.

'Just answer the question.' Kouji absentmindedly drummed a few strings on his guitar.

'Yeah, I think so. The one that goes: Nen nen kororiyo okororiyo...'

'Yeah, that's the one.' He looked at the guitar he held. 'This used to be 'kaa-san's you know.'

'It was?' Somehow, he never imagined his mother playing it.

'Yeah...'tou-san said so. I used to play that lullaby on here, but for some reason it never sounded right. No matter how hard I tried.'

He drummed a few more random notes, and the sweet melody hung in the air before evaporating.

'Can you play?'

The elder twin shook his head. 'We just did the piano for few lessons at school, but we don't have an instrument at home, so I couldn't practice.'

That reminded the other of the piano in the basement which was collecting dust and cobwebs, dragged from one home to another when they moved but inexplicably never used. Until now.

'I've got an idea. Come on.' He suddenly grabbed his brother's wrist and dragged him downstairs...well, until the elder tripped on the top stair and gripped the banister to prevent himself from being dragged any further.

'Whoops?' the younger twin offered, grinning sheepishly at the death glare he suddenly found himself on the receiving end of.

'Enthusiastic much?' the other grumbled, though good naturedly as the death glare disappeared, making his own slow and careful way down.


'Are you sure you know what you're doing?' Kouichi asked, watching his brother disappear beneath the piano.

A muffled answer greeted him, followed by crashes and curses.

Sighing in amusement, he took a seat next to the piano, accidently pressing some keys in the process, causing a soft sound to ring out, followed by Kouji's head.

'It's on,' he said, rubbing his head.

'I realised. And why are we here anyway?'

'For you to play the piano.' And before Kouichi could stand in protest, his brother managed to weasel his way out completely, and shoved him back into the seat.

'Why?'

'Why not?'

Well...he couldn't exactly argue with that, so he began to play the only song he knew how.

'What was that?' Kouji asked, once the unrecognised tones faded.

'Mary Had a Little Lamb,' the other replied.

'A nursery rhyme?'

Kouichi shrugged. 'Sensei said it's good for beginners.'

He absentmindedly drummed the guitar he had brought with him again. 'Can you play the lullaby?'

The other shook his head. 'That was the only one I know how to play.'

'You know the tune.'

'I need the music sheet.'

'The music sheet?' He thought for a moment, wondering where he had put it, before going upstairs again, calling that he'll be back down in a minute.

He was, with the music sheet in hand, which he handed to his brother. 'Now you can play.' He said triumphantly,' but Kouichi shook his head when he saw the paper.

'I'm still a beginner Kouji,' he murmured. 'The notes are too complicated for me to play.'

Then he looked up into Kouji's shining eyes. 'I don't understand. Why is this so important to you?'

He should had known his brother would notice. 'I told you I used to play this, right?'

The other nodded.

'Every time I played, there was something missing. I'd play and play, but nothing ever changed that. I thought that maybe if I could just figure out what was missing, that hole in my heart would heal, but I never did, and it didn't either, until I met you, and 'kaa-san, and we've finally got a chance to be a full family. I gave everything I had to play it properly, but I couldn't, all because there was something missing.'

He paused for breath, then continued. ''tou-san used to play it on the piano, and 'kaa-san on the guitar. It just sounds wrong any other way. And I want to hear it, and play it, complete.'

'I get it,' Kouichi smiled, scanning over the sheet again. 'I don't recognise all the symbols on here, but I can try, right?'

He grinned up at his brother, who returned it.

'No telling Takuya though. I don't need him thinking I've gone sentimental.'

'Of course not.'

Kouichi traced the keys again, before tapping them in succession, trying to follow the sheet. At first, the stumbles were obvious, as they broke the melody, but as he began repeating the notes, they flowed in more conjunction, especially when joined with Kouji's guitar.

He stopped suddenly, looking at his brother, then the open door behind them, where their parents stood, watching, and listening.

Then they were playing again, and this time, singing the words as well, the lullaby that was always meant for more than just a single player.

'Nen nen kororiyo okororiyo,

Boyawa yoikoda nenneshina.'

Their voices blended better than their music did; after all, they both sung it to themselves, following the same tune, even if they never had together, while the stumbling and slightly uncertain fingers flying across the piano lacked practice and expertise, though they still flew with natural talent. That meant that the tone differed, but it was still passable, save the occasional stumble which still managed to hold the string.

'Boyano komoriwa dokoe it ta

Anoyama koete satoe it ta.'

The twins stopped suddenly, and Kouichi winced at the accidental high note that broke the otherwise acceptable tone.

'Gomen,' he mouthed.

Kouji just waved it away, working the strings again, and after a second, the elder twin joined into the final lines.

'Sato no miyage ni nani morata

Denden taikoni sho no fue

Sho no fue.'

And as their notes, their finale in perfect time, faded, they shared a smile.

With practice, it would echo as it had before, but it was at least now complete.

With two shared souls to play the piece, and another two to accept its gifts.

It was never meant to be played alone.


Translations

Gomen: I'm sorry