Warning: Inappropriate language that may not be suitable for (very, very young) minors.

.

.

Disclaimer: I don't own.

.

.


Ashes and Cinders

.

.

"Acrophobia"

In which Len discovers about Rin's greatest fear, and decides to exploit it to his advantage.

... Or not.


.

.

It wasn't as if Kagamine Len wanted to scare the daylights out of Sakine Rin, or purposely make her cower in fear; he wouldn't lay a single damn finger on her, not to mention make her feel uncomfortable with his presence, or to purposely plan to make her life miserable. No, that wasn't what Len had been intending to do when he had decided to probe around to see if anyone knew of Rin's weaknesses… it was his hormones, yes. His hormones were ravaging his mind and demanding to know if that girl, who had always put up a brave front in front of him, would actually possess a secret weakness.

See, Len wanted to exploit that weakness of hers to his advantage. It might have sounded like a cruel and merciless plan, but in actual fact, it was a brilliant idea that Len had somehow came up with.

It just wasn't fair. It wasn't the best feeling in the world to know that somebody you liked knew you inside out but you didn't know that person's inner secrets at all. Len was in that particular position right now, and it was not the best position to be in right now; Rin knew him well enough to predict each and every one of his movements before he was able to make them, but Len... well, he didn't even have a goddamn clue as to what her stupid weakness was. It was horrible, to say the least.

That feeling was stupid. It was getting the better of him. He didn't like losing. He was supposed to know everything. Yet, he didn't know what she was afraid of.

It irked him.

He did try once, while Rin was asleep. He did try to scare the crap out of poor innocent little Rin (to see if that had been her weakness) by placing a replica of the toy cockroach he had bought from that department store a few weeks ago, but it had failed because Rin had gripped the fake in a second and had laughed all the way through the night, all the while commenting on how 'idiotic someone must have been by thinking of such a lame prank'.

Hence Len came to the eventual conclusion that Rin was a very weird girl who had strange fascinations with peculiar things.

That would also explain why Kagamine Len was calmly situated amongst Sakine Meiko, Hatsune Miku and Shion Akaito right now.

He could not figure out what she was afraid of.

Even if he had been the first in class, he couldn't. That was pretty much... impossible.

But he really couldn't.

He. Couldn't.

The blond teen suppressed the urge to let loose his frustrations, and swallowed a rapidly rising growl. Len knew better than to ask them, but if there had been other solutions to his problem, then he wouldn't have resorted to this. He knew that complications and curious questions would arise when he'd opened that big mouth of his to probe, but he wouldn't expect himself to be bombarded with several accusations from these people at the same freaking time.

"Why would you want to know about that?" Akaito was the first one who had came up with that oh-so-brilliant question in which Len had zero answers to, and because of his apparent 'originality' and 'creativity', the other two also chimed in conveniently and joined in the questioning.

"Kid… are you actually serious? Rin's… weakness? Are you seriously asking me for that?"

"Len, what are you trying to do again?"

If Len didn't know any of them, their tone would have insinuated that they were actually suspicious of him and his intentions, but Len did know them well, and hence he also understood that these people were just interested in what he was trying to do once he had gotten hold of the information that he desired to obtain from them. Unfortunately, Len knew better than to tell them about what he himself had no answers to.

He drummed the surface of the table with his fingers. "I'm not trying to do anything. I just want to know if Rin has any weaknesses; why that shocked look, and why those questions?"

"Because you're being a douche bag if you want to know something as private and confidential as that." Meiko brought the glass of brandy to her lips, and swirled it a few times. "She doesn't have any, kid. Stop dreaming or thinking of hatching an evil plan to win her over to your side."

"Meiko's right." Akaito frowned. "We're not going to tell you anything―if there is even anything in the first place―unless you're giving us a good reason why you're going to find out about something like that."

"I already told you, I really mean no harm." Len impatiently clicked his tongue, and regarded the people around him with slight annoyance. "I just want to know… is that wrong?"

"What makes you think we do know something, Len?" Miku asked, her voice coated in sweet-honey. It sounded innocent, but Len knew that it wasn't as innocent as he thought it would be. She was just trying to test him.

"Meiko is family to Rin. She watched her grow up. Akaito is Rin's band senior. He's as close as I am with her. And you." Len gestured towards Miku. "You are her best life buddy. Surely you know a thing or two about her weaknesses?"

"That doesn't sound convincing enough," Akaito said briefly, leaning back in his chair to eye Len with an accusatory look. "Something is up. I'm not going to ask you again, Len. Why are you trying to find out about her weaknesses?"

"Hn. I just want to know. It's like the basic kind of information that I should get to know. You should know better than to ask me that, Akaito."

"I do know better, Len, but as you have said, that information is something basic that you should have asked Rin about. I don't know, I would tell you about it if I knew anything, but your intentions are kind of… masked."

"Masked? Really, Akaito?" Len chuckled. "Masked? You think I'm a bad person or something?"

"Mm." Akaito gave a brief nod. "You're not… I know you aren't those type of guys who'd go around groping girls, but I'm just… curious… as to what you plan to do with that kind of information."

"Save it, Akaito." Meiko took a swig of the alcohol in her hands. "You keep quiet, too, Len; we're not telling you anything and that's final. You can go do some research and find out about them yourself."

"Meiko." Len frowned. He was expecting something like that from her before he'd willed himself to ask her, so he wasn't really that surprised. He was just... disappointed.

"Whatever." Meiko shook her head with a look of disdain. "Good luck."

Meiko had stood up, pulling Akaito via his scarf along with her. She finished the whole glass of brandy in one swift, final gulp, and then placed the empty glass on the table before dragging Akaito away from said blond. Len could hear her muttering under her breath, something about flying, but he couldn't quite understand what she had just said. It sounded more like a bunch of jumbled-up random words picked up from the dictionary containing gibberish and nonsense in all its glory. Her voice became softer and softer as she moved further and further away, until Len was certain that the brunette and the ginger were both gone.

"Great." Len rolled his eyes. "Do I look like some terrorist to you? Really? Would I harm Rin? Do I look like the type of guy who'd do that, seriously?"

Hatsune Miku shrugged casually and sagged her shoulders with a look of deep thought. "I don't know. I guess you can't blame them, though―they tend to be overprotective of her at times… and it's normal. I guess you'd expect this kind of reaction from anyone, trust me."

"I wouldn't lay a single finger on her. Ever." Len gritted his teeth. "And if anyone else attempts to do so, I'll hack off their limbs and feed them to the lions in the zoo!"

"That… sounds terrifying. Wow, Len, I didn't know you were this protective of Rin, too… Looks like she has a personal bodyguard now, huh?" Miku giggled nervously. "I guess she's sort of fortunate."

"You don't have to be envious of her, Miku; you have Kaito."

"Mm, I guess you're right, actually." Miku glanced at the watch around her pale right wrist. "Er, I'm running out of time―I got to get going soon. Sorry, Len."

"It's fine… did you ask him out or did he take the initiative and decide to bring you to those fancy restaurants you see in the movies for dinner?"

"Aww, Len!" Miku's face flushed red. "Quit teasing me, would you? Anyway, I'll tell you after I get there, okay?"

"Right… I'll see you, then?"

Miku gave a short and curt nod. She stopped to think for a moment or two, and snapped her fingers enthusiastically as if an idea had somehow miraculously made its way into her mind.

"Wait. Before I go, I have something to tell you."

"What is it?"

"Well, you see… It isn't anything much, but…" Miku leaned in closer to Len. "… I once heard that Rin had this strange fear of heights. I don't know how true it is, but I heard it from Akita Neru, that girl who likes to gossip about every single person in school, also known as the girl who has an obsessive crush on you. I don't know if her words can be trusted though, but I figured I should let you know, since you want to know about it, anyway."

"Really?" Len barely managed to conceal the shock in his voice. "Alright… Thanks for letting me know."

"No problem. Sorry I couldn't help much." Miku stood up and bowed courteously. "If there is anything else you would need to know, just let me know. I cannot guarantee that I would be able to help you, but the least thing I could do for you is to try. I don't know what you're trying to do… but I trust you, Len. You wouldn't hurt Rin because you love her."

As she made her way away from him, the rich scent of expensive branded perfume lingered on the area that she had been sitting on just now. Len wrinkled his nose, finding the floral scent of the perfume too rich for his taste; he never really liked the smell of flowers. He was the kind of guy who'd actually prefer sweet cinnamon or the smell of herbs to those disgusting scents of the flowers in a field.

He stopped to contemplate on what Miku had said. Was Rin afraid of heights like what she'd heard from Akita Neru?

There was only one way to find out.


Kagamine Len wasn't sure what he was doing right now. He'd doubt that he was actually in the sanest state of mind right now, because he was actually standing in front of Sakine Rin with the two pair of entrance tickets to the infamous roller coaster ride in the amusement park.

The queue was long and exaggerated; he'd never thought that people would actually dare to try this thing. It looked monstrous, with the track bends and whatnot, and the speed of the… the thing was so fast, Len was starting to wonder how it was possible for people to even ride on it without tumbling down the seats like squashed tomatoes.

It looked fun.

To him, at least.

... Well, it was fun...

Right?

Rin was afraid of heights, right? If he had brought her up there… would she yell and scream and shiver? If so, he'd take that chance to act like the prince in shining armor and save her from the state of distress.

Rin blinked and tapped his shoulders. She could tell he was in a daze… well, he was. Who wouldn't be?

"Len? Len? You okay?"

"Uh, yeah… sorry. So, that's the roller coaster, huh?"

"Mm… But, Len… why are we going for it? I don't think it's a good idea…"

Bingo. Rin was afraid. The rumors were right after all. "I think it's a good idea, Rin; it's a good idea to sit down and relax after a few weeks of hard work in school. Wouldn't you agree?"

"But Len!" Rin wailed, flailing her arms in mid-air. "I don't think we should go for it… it looks so high and I might just―"

"―Come on, Rin," he said, pulling her closer to his body. "Let's go for it. Once will do... just this once. I want to try."

Of course, while Len sounded extremely convincing to himself, he wasn't sure if his tone was right. He was actually nervous because he thought he had given himself away; he was certain that his behavior would at least arise Rin's suspicion of him, and she'd start asking him tons of questions like how the trio had treated him just now.

But she didn't, and she had even bought his excuse.

"Okay, but it better be good..."

And that was how Len and Rin ended up amongst the hectic crowd, staring as more and more people boarded the ride and screamed their heads off as it took off with amazing, horrifying speed.

Len was actually kind of nervous and whatnot; he hadn't actually been in a roller coaster before, and as much as he'd liked to admit it... it didn't look the least bit... attractive... to him.

When their turns came (and it didn't take that long, actually), they were promptly offered the front rows. Len had shifted in his seat to glance sideways at Rin, who was seated beside him; she looked calm, but her eyes were glinting with something he couldn't quite place a finger on.

He turned to look ahead, letting his eyes wander on the various attractions around the theme park. The ride hadn't started, but... but his heartbeat was already rapidly escalating, and Len boldly convinced himself that he wasn't afraid at all and he was just feeling a tad excited for his first ride. He couldn't be scared. No way, he couldn't be scared. He couldn't be scared, he couldn't. He couldn't. He couldn't. He wasn't at all afraid, no way―

When the train started moving steadily, Len heaved a sigh of relief. It wasn't as fast as he thought it would be.

It was traveling rather smoothly, and moving normally―

―then Len's heart skipped a beat when the stupid fucking thing they called a roller coaster (he did wonder why it was named as such) accelerated and plunged down the peak of the track in an insanely fast pace that was too quick for his liking. It had no warnings beforehand; it just descended out of the blue and he didn't even have a single time to prepare for it's stupid jerky movements.

He could hear the crowd behind him squealing in excitement or whatever―he didn't want to know―but Rin was not screaming. Beside him, she was actually staring at the blank air in front of her as if she was hypnotized or attracted by something invisible. She was surprisingly calm; he did not expect her to have such a cool composure because he didn't feel as calm and collected as she was, and that wasn't boding well for him.

The train moved a little quicker than before, and the track had an inverse loop that cause the riders to be turned upside down. Thankfully, the ride seemed to have slowed down a little when it had flipped around.

But Len wasn't feeling all that well now.

He glanced around uncomfortably, resisting the urge to scream like a silly little boy. Rin was beside him. He could not scream like a pansy beside her! No, of course he wouldn't. He wouldn't―

The stupid ride got faster as it got back upright and the force of the strong wind mussed his honey blond hair and obscured his sight. The wind hit his face directly and he fought himself from trying to squeeze his eyes shut as the wind met his eyes painfully.

"Len? Are you okay?" That familiar sweet voice called out to him and he turned to her, forcing a warm smile at her.

She was beautiful. Rin's blonde locks were framing her face perfectly, making her features more pronounced and more prominent. Her tresses were like curtains, falling around her face and giving Len the impression that she was a lovely angel sent from the heavens. Her cheeks were slightly rosy and her plump lips a little swollen, but nonetheless, she did not show signs of apprehension or anything similar. She retained that calm composure and talked to him as if it had been a normal chat in any normal setting.

"O-of course!" Len assured her, but he was actually trying to reassure himself more than anything else.

"It's kind of high, actually..."

"Are you afraid, Rin?"

"Afraid?"

"It's high. Are you afraid?" In a sense, he was trying to ask if Rin was afraid of heights. It was a more indirect way of asking her that question.

"Why... why would I be afraid? I've always loved roller coasters!"

"What?" Len gaped. "You... You aren't afraid?"

"No! I'd never be afraid! Why would you think that?" Rin asked with ease.

Neru is a fraud. That liar. She's going to die, Len thought to himself.

"Are you really okay?"

"Huh? Oh, yes. I'm fine."

"You look... Umm, I don't know, you sure?"

"Yes... well, it's just the speed, h-haha. It's kind of fast. W-wow."

"Fast?" Rin beamed delightfully. "Yes, well... if you call that fast, I don't know what you're going to call the next one... oh look, it's going to be reaching its peak."

"―Wait, what peak? There's a next one?"

Rin quirked her brow. "Yes... well, there's always a peak to every roller coasters, see. Haven't you been on one before? It goes the fastest down from the peak."

"Oh." Len's face fell, feigning indifference.

He widened his eyes when the train descended upwards to the peak of the track, and gulped nervously.

Shit, shit, shit

It was going to go all the way down two hundred feet! Shit, shit, shit

SHIT.

Len was screwed.

He couldn't take this anymore. He was going to scream and cry out if it carried on. This was insane. Mad. Nobody should even think of liking this kind of ride in the first place. This was stupid. He was going to grill the sadistic genius who had came up with this ridiculous concept and idea.

He would very much prefer those rides on the ground. Like bumper cars or something.

Anything but this!

What was he going to do? He couldn't... He couldn't cry out―

―then a brilliant idea formed on his mind, and he smirked slightly when the ride climbed up to its peak.

He leaned in closer to Rin, taking her fingers and interlocking them with his larger ones. As expected, Rin turned to gaze at him with a curious look. With a whiff of the scent of her hair, he leaned in to capture Rin's lips passionately just as the train made its descend and plunged two hundred feet downwards like the madness it was.

Rin's irises widened considerably, but Len paid no heed to her lack of response. He let his tongue explore her deliciously smooth lips, letting the sweet taste of chocolates and cinnamon linger in his taste buds for a moment or two. When he elicited no response from her again, he decided to play with her palm, letting his fingers trace patterns on the delicate part of her skin.

She gasped and Len took that as an invitation; he kissed her deeper, prompting her tongue to engage in a fiery dance with his. He was aggressive and dominant in all his movements, but he didn't care...

... he just wanted to use this opportunity to distract himself away from that stupid long and agonizing ride!

True enough, it had worked to a certain extent. They had kissed for God-knows-how-long, and all he had felt were both of their ignited passion and that dumb sensation of fear that had managed to become duller and duller as he got more intense with the kiss.

He did not stop and did not falter; he continued with his perverse acts until he was sure that the train was slowing down.

When the ride finally ended, Len and Rin broke apart, gasping greedily and desperately for breath. Their faces were ablaze and their eyes were slightly hazed with what seemed like fueled desire.

As soon as they got down, Len dragged Rin away from the terrible thing, staring at her with an apologetic look.

He was going to come up with a reason for doing something as random as that. He couldn't just tell her that he'd kissed her because of that thing!

"Sorry. I couldn't help myself."

Rin blinked several times. "A-ah? O-oh! It was okay. I... I was shocked at first... but..."

"I know. I would be shocked too, if I were the one being kissed like that. Accept my apology, please?"

"You don't have to apologize... It's not really like you d-did anything wrong."

"Really? Regardless, I'll make it up to you; what would you like? Ice-cream?" Len winked at her playfully.

"No." Rin looked down on the ground with a guilty look.

"What?" He said incredulously, "You don't like ice-cream?"

"No! It's not that!" She stated with a blush. "If... if it's okay... let's go for another round!"

Len stared at that girl with a horrified look on his face.

What had she just requested? No... she couldn't actually be serious. Another... round? Of that thing?

Shit, shit, shit.

He had enough of it. He couldn't take another round! He would rather die than face that horrible human-eating train!

"Let's go, Len!" She cheered, dragging the poor boy back to that monstrous vehicle once more.

.

.

.

.

.

"MIKU!"

.

.

.


(the end)

Author's note: Here it is... a series of oneshot that I had decided to oh-so-brilliantly publish before I have even managed to complete my other fanfics! Well I did ask and I had been contemplating about it for a while now... my muses says yes to these kind of stuff. Oh, and... I did mention that I had a series of fairy tales I wanted to publish, did I? I would, here.

Obviously this oneshot didn't quite turn out the way I imagined it to be. I thought of it as a more... romantic kind of thing. I originally planned for Rin to be afraid of heights, but... but I decided against it and questioned myself; what if it was the other way around? What if there was a twist? Well, Len's characteristic isn't quite like the Len I always write. I like tsundere Len. I don't know why, don't ask me. I'm crazy.

And because I'm crazy, I have a declaration to make. Get ready for the impact guys... you wouldn't expect it!

.

.

I'm afraid of roller coasters.

.

.

What? I am serious. I know I'm whiny and stuff but it's the horrible truth! I went to, like, universal studios in Singapore here, and I sat on this horrible roller coaster because I heard of how awesome they were from my friends, but when I had to face the ride... argh. I screamed my bloody face off and closed my eyes. It was so freaking scary. I DON'T LIKE ROLLER COASTERS! HOW CAN ANYONE LIKE THEM! D:

So... Review, please? :) You know you want to (for the sake of roller coasters -sob-)!