Morning again. I lay motionless in my bed, blinking at the sunlight that peeks through the blinds. Sighing, I roll out of bed, stretching a bit before padding across the carpeted floor to the door. I pause a moment before opening it. I wonder if Len is awake yet. Pushing that thought of my mind, I open the door and hurry down the empty hallway, almost running straight into Miku, who too comes out of her room.
"Oh hey Len- oops, sorry I meant Rin!" Miku says, blushing.
"Don't worry about it Miku." I reply. Without my bow and wearing my baggy pajamas, I do look like Len. I glance back towards his door, opposite mine, yearningly.
"Is Len up yet?" Miku asks, seeing my glance.
"I-I don't know. I just got up too." I stammer. Why would she think I knew? We don't share a room anymore. Not since we were pre-teens…
"Oh ok!" Miku says cheerfully, without any notice of my stammer. "Let's go eat, I think Luka's cooking!" Grabbing my arm, she guides me down the hallway to the kitchen. The kitchen is bright and large, to accomadate all of us Vocaloids that live here. The sun streams through the windows, lighting up the marble counters and tiled floors. Our Huge table sits smack in the middle of a bunch of windows, so its always warm too. And Miku was right, Luka is cooking, thank god! The only other people who cook are Meiko, Gakupo, and Kaito, but Kaito always adds ice cream to whatever he's cooking, Meiko can't cook AT ALL, and Gakupo usually ends up making something strange. Although Gakupo's cooking is usually edible, none of us are really sure what's in it. I sit down while Miku investigates what Luka's cooking. Kaito wanders in sleepily, wearing fuzzy pajamas with leeks printed on it that Miku got him for Christmas. Miku bounds over to him.
"Hi Kaito! Good Morning!" She buries her face in his chest while hugging him tightly. Kaito smiles sleepily and wraps his arms around her too. I sigh at their embrace and pad over to the fridge to get some juice.
"Hey Rin, can you get me a glass too?" Gakupo says while walking up from the basement. He tries to snatch some bacon on his way to the table. Teto prances in after him from the hallway, singing out a "Good Morning" before sitting down.
"Hey, we have to wait for everyone!" Luka scolds gently. She's cooking bacon and eggs, but she must have woken up recently too, because she too is still in her pajamas, a cute pink nightgown. I smile at her. Thank goodness we have Luka as some type of mother figure, because Meiko sure isn't a good candidate!
"Hey whose turn is it to get Meiko?" Gakupo asks, leaning back in his chair and smiling gratefully at me as I set down his juice. Speak of the devil, I think, plunking myself in a chair, my back to the windows.
"Nose goes!" Teto squeals and we all put our fingers on top of our noses. Gakupo, who was drinking the glass of juice I brought him, loses.
He groans, gets up, and walks down to the master bedroom at the very end of the hall which Meiko claimed a long time ago, for some reason. We all here a crash and look up expectantly. Sure enough, Gakupo comes in, carrying a sleepy, hung-over Meiko, still wrapped in her red blankets. Her straight brown hair is all messed up, falling in her eyes. He carefully sets her in a chair and she slumps over the wood table.
"Sake…" she groans, and I hurriedly set down a can in front of her. Gakupo leans over, his long purple hair hitting poor Meiko in the head.
"Hey sleepy, time to wake up!" She swats him away while chugging her sake. I turn to the fridge for a second can, and then freeze.
"Good Morning!" Len says. I carefully regain composure and grab the can of sake from the fridge, a gust of cold air washing over me as i shut the door carefully. I set it down by Meiko while looking at the can the whole time, willing myself not to look up, and then sit down by Miku. Good, two chairs away from Len. I look up and tentatively glance over. Len is looking over here, so I look away; ignoring the butterflies I feel whenever I see him. Why was he looking over here? Was it at me?
Stop it! I scold myself and the butterflies. Although Len and I have been acting like this for almost a year now, it's always forced and tense, at least for me. But ever since THAT happened, it has to be this way, no matter what I feel…
Meiko, who has recently regained full consciousness and is sitting upright, starts giving us the rundown for today. I tune out when Miku starts arguing with Teto about practicing Triple Baka.
"Rin? Rin!" Meiko yells suddenly, practically in my ear.
"What? Don't yell!" I say, holding my ear. She leans closer, her large eyes staring intensely.
"Rin, you and Len need to practice the routine for Kokoro, then at three you two need to go and re-record Revolution, since SOMEONE spilled ice cream on the first run and ruined it!" She glares at Kaito, who glares right back.
"A whole cone of my favorite kind ruined." He says darkly. Miku pats him sympathetically on his back, and Kaito puts his head down, still mourning. Len snickers a bit, which earns him a glare from both Meiko and Kaito. I gaze at Len while Meiko continues giving directions to who else will be using our small recording studio behind our house and the empty rooms we use to practice our stage routines and singing. Our house is pretty big, due to our recent successes with our Concerts and CDs. Unfortunately, that success makes Meiko want even more, and since she the founder and head of our group, she is obsessed with making us a worldwide sensation. Which is why we make sure she is always a little tipsy, or else she would work us into our graves. When she's sober, she's a complete tyrant. When she's really drunk, she gets a little crazy. Which is why we try to keep her in the middle ground. We love her to death, but just can't deal with a sober Meiko all the time!
When I hear that me and Len will be spending the day together, I get nervous, because I can't remember the last time we were alone together. Usually when we practice, Meiko's supervising or someone is around, but it sounds like a tight schedule today. Yet as I go to my room to change and get ready, I realize I'm rushing because I'm actually excited. I make myself sit for a while on my bed, staring out the window, listening to the muffled sounds of everyone else getting ready. In the mirror, I examine my appearance. Im wearing a skirt with long tight shorts underneath, since we are practicing, and a tee shirt I've had forever. I like to be comfy, so i dress that way, but i still like to look cute! I'm only missing my bow and pins to keep my bangs out of my eyes. So after I tie my bow, I leave to meet Len outside.
It's beautiful outside, Autumn has just begun to creep up on us. The leaves here are slow to change color, so almost all of them have just turned from green to a golden yellow. The air is not cold or even brisk yet, the warmth of summer clings to it. The sky has no clouds today, and the sun shines through the leaves, creating a gold aura cast over our back yard, which has many trees, of all kinds. A small path snakes through them, more like a worn dirt trail, that leads to our small recording studio and practice house. It's small and comfortable, and I prefer to work there than anywhere else.
Len. There he is, standing underneath the maple tree by the porch. He looks outward, towards the path, and I admire him from the safety of the porch. His clothes are typical guy clothes, A t-shirt and long shorts. Shiny blond hair, crystal blue eyes, just like mine. When we were kids, we always used to always get angry whenever someone called us twins, because me and Len are sure that we aren't. We have a gut feeling, and we knowHowever there's not really anyway to prove it, since Miku found us back when we were seven. Len and I don't have any memories previous to that day, but the way Miku tells it, you'd think the way we joined the Vocaloids was totally normal.
Miku was walking home, back when she, Kaito and Meiko were the only Vocaloids and lived in the city, when she saw Len and I working outside a shop with our so called caretaker…
"You runts better hurry up!" yells the old man gruffly. Len and I say nothing. Its better not to. However, the man kicks Len anyways. Len cries out and fall to the ground, the box he was carrying falling to the side.
"Len!" I cry, rushing to his side.
"It's fine Rin, just keep working Ok?" Len says, smiling weakly at me. He knows my temper. I glare at the man.
"You hurt him!" I say angrily. The man leans down towards my face, the smoke from his cigarette burning my nose.
"Well he better get over it, because you two have work to do." He snarls. I bite my lip, trying to squash the words from coming out, but I'm so angry I could hit him.
"Stop!" I hear a yell from the end of the alley. A small, green-haired girl hurries towards us.
"Mind your business girlie." The man huffs.
"I am. I need to ask you something."
"What is that?"
"Are these your twins?"
"Twins? They insist they AREN'T twins. Stupid brats." He kicks my foot, and I hold back a cry. "But no. These are some runts I picked up a long time ago. They work for me, I feed them."
"Not much," I think. Len and I are very skinny.
"Can they sing?" The girl inquires. I stiffen, and so does Len. I love to sing, but the man always yells at me when I do. Len is a good singer too, but he's usually very shy. However, right now, he seems to have sensed an opportunity.
"Yes! Yes we can!" he pipes up, ignoring the man's snort. The girl leans down.
"Could you sing something for me? She says sweetly. Len blushes, shy again.
"Rin, sing something." He says. I cling to his shirt and shake my head. Now I'm the one who's shy.
"Rin, this woman might take us home if we sing well enough. We can leave here!" He whispers, sliding his hand into mine. I nod. The girl waits expectantly.
I open my mouth and sing a song Len made up for me to sing at night, when I was scared of the dark.
Don't be afraid, there's nothing wrong
The moon is up, the night is not long.
I'm right here, so do not worry
If we sing the sun will hurry
The girls eyes widen, and I stop, scared.
"That was great!" she exclaims. "Can you sing too?" She asks Len. He nods, and she turns to the man.
"What do you want for them?" she says, business like. Len squeezes my hand, and my heart races.
The man snorts and says the most beautiful words I've ever heard.
"You want 'em, you can have 'em."
We went home to the small apartment with Miku, and have lived with them ever since. Although Meiko was mad at first, insisting we were too young, she did love our voices, and decided that when we were old enough, we would be good additions to the group. She homeschooled us and taught both of us how to read music, play the piano, and dance, so that when we were thirteen, we officially joined the Vocaloids. By that time, Luka, Gakupo had joined, and Teto joined a year later. Len, who has always loved writing, writes almost all of the songs he and I sing. He also taught himself to the play the guitar. I mostly just sing.
I walk up to him now, a few leaves crunching under my feet, announcing my arrival. He turns, a thoughtful expression on his face.
"Hey Rinny," he says. "You're late."
"Sorry." I say, before he turns and starts down the dusty path. We walk awkwardly side by side. I feel the urge to hold hands with him, like we always used to. When we were younger, we were together almost constantly, and it felt natural to do stuff like hold hands and share a room. Hell, we probably would've kept bathing together if Meiko hadn't insisted we stop after we had lived with them for a month or so. But when we turned thirteen, Meiko told us we couldn't share a room and "Needed to start acting more platonically towards each other." Although all of the Vocaloids accepted that Len and I weren't twins as we insisted, Meiko decided that if we wanted to become more mainstream, we needed to pretend to be onstage. But as usual, we had our own plans…
The air is tense between us. I decide to try and break the ice, because i hate the stupid silence that surrounds us.
"Were you writing again last night Len?" I say. He looks at me, surprised.
"Yes, but just a story. Not a song or anything." he looks dow, a mournful expression on his face. I wonder why, and feel sad.
"I know, I didn't hear your keyboard last night, so…" I trail off, embarrassed at my own words. "Not like I was listening or anything! I couldn't really care less." I say hotly. I glance at Len. He has a guarded look on his face that turns haughty.
"Well of course we can't expect the Princess to care about anything but herself." He says, turning his face away.
I look away too, and clench my hands. Len knows I hate being called a princess. I hate it when he's like this. he used to protect me from being hurt, but now it seems like thats all we end up doing to each other. I blink back tears, wishing things were different.
Damn! Why did I say that? Stupid, Stupid! I wanted to try and talk to her today, but then I go and say something like that. We get too close and start shooting off our mouths. Now she's upset. Rin and I have always been able to tell what each other was feeling, like a sixth sense. The others always thought it was cool, like it was some parlor trick, but it was just natural for us. the trees part, revealing the outlines of the practice room, so there isn't much time. I grab her hand, halting both of our steps.
"Rin, I want to talk to you." I say nervously, gazing at her small figure.
She looks up, surprised, and then blushes when she realizes I am holding her hand. I drop her hand, embarrassed, and she looks away angrily.
"What is it Len?" She huffs. Although she's mad, I can't help but notice how beautiful she is. Rin is shorter than I am, and her hair is the same length as mine, and the same gold color like the leaves above us, but hers is always very soft and shiny looking. My hand twitches, like it wants to reach out to her, and I clench it angrily. My heart pounds wildly, almost as if it's saying "your fault, your fault, your fault." It's my fault that we can't even talk to each other. I shift my weight, listening to the leaves rustling. I try to muster up courage.
"Rin, I-I…" Just tell her! Tell her!
She looks up, her crystal blue eyes locking into mine, and I remember that day so clearly it hurts. I stumble back from her, almost falling to the dusty path.
"We need to start practicing." I mumble, walking ahead of her towards the small yellow house again.
"Whatever." She says, falling into step behind me.
I'm relieved when we reach the practice house, because that means we can start rehearsing. After IT happened, the only time Rin and I can let the tension go is when we are performing. After all, Rin and I have almost all of our songs together, so when we dance or whatever, it's not like we CAN"T touch each other and stuff. If we act like we usually do, we don't perform well.
I stop suddenly so I can ask Rin for the key, but she must've not been paying attention because she crashed right into me as I turned around. Now Rin isn't very heavy, but she can be just as forceful as a road roller. She pushes us both over, with me landing hard on the ground and her on top of me. I feel relived knowing that she didn't fall on the hard ground like I did. She screeches, surprised, as we go down, and then is stunned into silence when we hit the ground. Her beautiful face, inches from mine, reminds me of the last time we were this close. So I do exactly what I did then: I kiss her.