Lost and Found
TwT Guys... just... you guys...!
I got 12 reviews last chapter. That is my record so far! (Edit: Ironically enough, I am just finishing up this chapter, and my other story, The Girl in the Ward, has now reached 13 or 14 reviews for chapter 6. -.-" Oh well, I don't really mind...! XD) I don't think I've ever even gotten 12 reviews for a oneshot yet! I just... I'm speechless.
THIS is one of my greatest accomplishments in life, as sad as it may seem. But... I'm so floored. I was in tears when I saw all the reviews... I feel so blissful now! You guys are so absolutely fantastic, I just... wow.
I wish I could personally go up to every one of you that reviewed and thank you, hug you.
But since I can't do that, I'd like to thank some of you right now, on this computer screen.
Thank you, MaddyisAwesome, for being such an epic reviewer. You're really very kind, and loyal, and it always makes me happy to see you still reading my stories today. :) And you know what, Maddy? Your pen name is completely accurate, because you really ARE awesome! :D Stay that way, okay? Promise?
I'd also like to thank AliasStar, for you have also been really extremely loyal to me. I believe you've also been with me since the beginning, and I'm really glad you're still here supporting me today. ^-^ And don't you worry; Len'll realize his feelings sooner or later... *wink wink, nudge nudge*
To purple f, I just want you to know that you are my favorite anonymous reviewer~! Your reviews always make me smile, and I like it when you ramble about things. I want to thank you for bringing me happiness with every review you sent, because you always make my day~!
Dear Alyse, what makes you special is that I actually know you in real life. I'm not quite sure you'll still be reading this, but I'd like to let you know that I really appreciate the fact that you actually came here and read this whole thing, from chapter 1 all the way to chapter 14. I really appreciate the fact that you were so open-minded when reading this, and that you didn't accuse me of being a perv, or a lesbian, or something that you know any other person in our class would call me. I really hope you achieve your dream of being an actress, because I'm going to try the best I can to achieve my own dream of being an author.
Again, I'm not quite sure if you'll see this, but thanks so much to wipe-your-tears. I believe it was 20 months ago that I first met you... around March 2011, right? I was still writing for the Harvest Moon fandom, and I happened to read your story. Then, I left you a review. I think that may have been the best decision of my entire life. You are now one of my best friends, even if I've never actually met you in person. But hey, we're living proof that sometimes, long distance relationships really can work, eh, wifey? XD Note how I actually said 'eh' for once. Heh heh. I know this is going to be a REALLY long thank you, but we've been through a lot, haven't we? I mean... 20 months. That's close to 2 years! Anyway, I'm glad that, once I stopped writing for Harvest Moon, and switched to Vocaloid, even if you don't like it, or know anything about it, you started reading my new work, and you always faithfully leave a review. I hope you know how much I love you Faye~! XD I LUV YOUUUUU~!
Thank you, red258. I understand you had your doubts about being able to continue reading this story, because you have a die-hard Rin x Len obsession. XD Don't worry, so do I~! But in the end, after a little explaining on my part (LOL, you better not tell anyone those spoilers!), you decided to stick around after all, claiming you probably wouldn't have ditched in the end after all, because this is actually one of your favorite stories. Hence, why I'm thanking you. XD I'm really glad you decided to stick with me, and I hope you'll be able to bear the Rin x Mikuo fluff for a little longer. I'll promise you a very dramatic turn of events if you do~! ;)
Also, thank you Ellenthefox. You were my very first reviewer for the Vocaloid fandom, the very first reviewer to this story. I don't think you read this anymore, but I'd still like to thank you, because you were the first to think I had enough talent to spare some time sending a review. :D
Ooh... Thank yous make my head hurt. Or maybe it's the fact that my neck was at a real bad angle while trying to write those... XD Owww... so sore...
THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID! XD XD XD Trololol...~
Okay, enough, enough... I'll start writing...!
Disclaimer: I never have, nor will I ever put up a proper disclaimer. SO SCREW YOU, DISCLAIMER! If not, I'll have Mikuo do it for you... heh heh... ^o^
Mikuo: -_-" You're making me sound like a man-whore now...
Well, technically, you are. I mean, you could get arrested for screwing Rin, and if Len finds out in the story, then don't be surprised to find Big Al knocking on your door.
Mikuo: ... Heh... you're right. I really am a man-whore, aren't I?
Yep, Len could TOTALLY learn a thing or two from you... *bats eyes*
Anonymous Review Replies:
This is a review :D
If you think about it, she's leaning on him so it makes total sense why her hand is on his thigh. Unnecessary footnote is unnecessary footnote.
I meant Mikuo's hand, not Rin's, LOL! XD Unnecessary footnote is… … … SOMEWHAT necessary. … Sort of.
Well then, I welcome you to the wonderful world of ~! I hope you'll like it here as much as I do, and I'm really very glad you like my story~! I hope you'll keep liking it as it moves on, too~!
Hmm… Yeah, there is DEFINITELY a possibility of me going there… LOL~! I love my Len x Gumi… It depends if I'm feeling rather pervertish when I'm writing chapter 16… we'll see! ;) LOL! And yes, yes I am 13! Oh God, I could show you a lot worse things than that simple scene… Eheheh… XD And there is no such thing as a long review. There are only good reviews, and better reviews. ;)
I seem to have quite a bit of… 'colorful' reviewers! XD Orange, Purple f, red258… And I think I got a green one somewhere… Actually, now that I think of it, there's Orange Utaite too, so that makes TWO oranges! XD
Chapter 15 - Past, Present, and Future
Yuki's eyes fluttered open, and she squinted as the rays of sunshine shone into her dark-colored orbs.
"Mm..." she groaned, and turned over to her side, tangling up the bed sheets.
... Huh. Strange... It felt awfully warm today. And she didn't have any new sores. She didn't seem to have any gravel caught in her skin either, or twigs in her hair... And where on earth had she gotten those bed sheets?
... Wait a second. Bed sheets.
Yuki shot up, glancing around frantically. Where on earth was she? What had happened? What was going to happen to her in the future? What was going on?!
She seemed to be in a bedroom.
The bed was nice and cozy, but too big for her. The walls were white, but plenty of posters were taped up. There were pictures of boy bands, pictures of movie stars, pictures of manga characters... any famous person whoever lived here liked was up on some piece of the wall.
There wasn't all too much in the room. A small desk in one corner with some paper on it, a dresser beside it, and a garbage can beside that. Along with the bed, a shelf on the wall, and a small night table, those were the only pieces of furniture in the room.
Yuki glanced at a picture frame on the night table. The picture was of a young girl with pale-colored skin. She had messy blond hair that was pulled into a ponytail on the side of her head, and hung down to thee middle of her back. Her amber eyes glared at the camera, and she had her arms crossed in defiance, a small pout on her face.
Was this who really lived here? This stuck-up looking girl, who seemed around her age? Well then why was she sitting in this bed instead of her?
A sudden groan from the floor made the 9-year-old freeze. Slowly, not hearing anything else, Yuki cautiously leaned towards the foot of the bed, and glanced over.
On the floor, tangled in scratchy-looking blankets, lay the same blond girl from the picture.
She looked much older, though. If Yuki had to guess, she'd say this girl were around 16 or 17.
But why was she sleeping on the floor?
"God..." the girl mumbled. "I haven't slept this bad since I was out on the streets...!"
Yuki squeaked, as the blonde opened her eyes and stared right up at her. There was a lingering silence between them as Yuki tried to figure out why this girl seemed so familiar, and Neru waited to see how she'd react.
"N... Neru-san...?" Yuki tested out, wondering why this name struck her as right.
Neru smiled. "Morning, Yuki."
Now, she was more worried about how she'd known the blonde's name, and how this girl knew hers.
"Don't you remember anything?" Neru asked her, propping up her arm to support her head.
Yuki frowned, struggling with her thoughts.
An image suddenly flashed in her head.
Everything was dark, save for a few round circles that the streetlights illuminated. Yuki simply lay there, collapsed on an old cracked road, unable to move at all.
She just didn't have the strength anymore, and she felt so much more relaxed to just lay there. Her eyes drooped, and she knew she wasn't supposed to let them close, but she couldn't quite remember why...
Oh yes, that's why. She was always worried that, if she closed her eyes, and let herself fall asleep, she'd never be able to wake up ever again...
But she was so hungry, her stomach would constantly cramp up and growl. She'd gotten used to the feeling of hunger, but the thirst she felt was unbearable. She could barely speak, and sometimes, it hurt to breathe.
The worse, though, was when she coughed. When she coughed, it felt like her whole throat was being scraped off in the inside, and that she was bleeding. And she coughed a lot nowadays, in the cold nights of mid-September.
A few minutes wouldn't kill her... would they? Or... maybe they would. They'd probably steal her life from her for good. So it probably wouldn't be a good idea, would it...?
Yuki blinked again, and her vision blurred. Suddenly, she couldn't remember what exactly wasn't a good idea, but what she did know was that sleep seemed a very attractive idea at the moment.
She let her eyes close, and she was swallowed in darkness.
The next thing Yuki remembered was feeling something really warm against her. She nuzzled into this warmth, trying her best to take advantage of it.
She heard a panicked voice yelling to someone, but it seemed so distorted, so far away... the young girl's brain felt like mush.
Yuki tried to focus on her senses to figure out what was going on around her, but she felt so at peace right now, that seemed like just an unnecessary worry.
"Don't worry... I'll help you." She heard a voice echo through her head, and Yuki suddenly recognized the material she was holding in her clutched hands as fabric, cotton, to be exact.
She couldn't remember any further.
"You... helped save me?" Yuki suggested hesitantly.
The older blonde girl smiled sadly, and another memory suddenly flooded Yuki's mind. Or, rather, just one line.
'Eat your cereal.'
"I know who you are." The girl spoke up. "I remember you now..."
"Well, that's always nice to hear." Neru said sarcastically. "A lot of people don't glance twice at me, much less remember me."
"... An... orphanage."
Neru raised a brow. "Yeah, actually. You're a sharp one, aren't you? How did you realize that so quickly?"
After all, this nameless orphanage didn't have a sign or even a simple name! For Yuki to figure that out without even seeing the building's layout... hm. Perhaps this Yuki was a gifted child.
"You said that a lot of people don't glance twice at you. Is that... because you are no longer a child? Therefore... you do not... appeal as much?" Yuki squeaked, her face reddening.
Neru smiled to herself. How cute. "Go on."
"You've been here since you were little..." she nodded at the picture, "but Natsu-san doesn't look old enough to be your mother... I think. She could be your sister... but then you wouldn't be able to afford the rent of a place this big..." Yuki reddened even more. "I don't think you're the only one here... so I think this is an orphanage."
"It is an orphanage. Good guess."
Yuki only reddened more and more with the compliment.
Neru laughed. "What are you so embarrassed about?"
Yuki's face was now the equivalent of a tomato.
Neru ceased her laughing to a chuckle. "I've never had any self-esteem issues, so if you want any help or sympathy or something, go see Natsu, or something."
With that, she left the room, most likely going to find Natsu herself.
The young girl only watched after her, slightly gaping.
This Neru... wow. She was really really... cool. Perhaps it was just in weakness and that she was a little desperate for someone, anyone, but Yuki had, at that moment, made Neru Akita her newest hero.
Yuki closed her mouth. 'Someday... I'm going to be like her.' she vowed to herself silently, and hurried after the blonde.
Gumi cocked her head at him. Len was completely discouraged now, his head bowed onto the table, hands pulling onto his blond locks.
"It's not supposed to be easy, you know." she told him, turning her chair away from the computer. "If it were easy to find an unknown parent, there wouldn't be any unknown parents."
"... That's not making me feel any better, Gumi-chan..." Len said sulkily, still not lifting his head.
Gumi shrugged. "Sorry... Anything specific you want me to say?"
"Not really..." A pause. "I think we can take a break."
Gumi smiled. "Can we now?" she asked, a teasing, slightly sarcastic lit to her voice.
Len smiled to himself, but she didn't see it. "Please. I think I could pass out."
"Feel free to do so."
"You're making fun of me, aren't you?" he asked, finally shifting so he could see her.
She shrugged with a small giggle. "Perhaps."
"I wasn't joking. We really can take a break."
"I knew you were making fun of me!" Len laughed, sitting up.
"What can I say?" Gumi shrugged again. "You don't pay me enough."
Len rolled his eyes. "What is Tonio teaching you?" he asked in disbelief.
"What ever do you mean?" Gumi asked innocently.
Len rested his head on his hand, and glanced her over. "What happened to the shy little girl I met at the police station? She was so sweet and innocent... and look what she turned into."
He'd meant it as a joke, but she suddenly froze, her expression gone blank. She seemed unfocused, as if some portal in her mind had stolen her from reality.
"I'm... sorry?" Len said, questioning in his voice. Was she really that hurt by his words?
She blinked, and shook her head. "Hm? Oh, no, sorry, it wasn't you. I was just... thinking."
Len frowned. That late reaction obviously meant something. It would seem she'd chosen her words carefully. But what had he said?
'What happened to the shy little girl I met at the police station? She was so sweet and innocent... and look what she turned into.'
If it wasn't the actual insult that had sent her like that for those few seconds, then... 'What happened to the shy little girl I met at the police station?'
"Ah." Now he realized.
It was obvious to any person with decent social education (1) that she didn't want to be asked any questions. Already, she was flustered.
So he'd take a detour.
"You've never really told me anything about your life before you moved to Tonio's house." he glanced at her, inquiring she tell him.
And there was that same scared expression, as she thought back towards her past. "Oh... um... I haven't?" With the squeak in her voice, it was obvious she'd known she hadn't, and was only stalling a little.
But he'd play along. "No, no you haven't. Was it good at all?"
"It was... interesting, to say the least." she said with a nervous laugh.
That laugh was a little too long and a little too forced. Pair that with her flustered expression, and Len could tell she was uncomfortable. Which meant it was not a good past at all.
"Well... um... my parents... they died when I was 7 or 8, I think. A car crash. So... they put us in a foster home."
"Us?" As soon as Len had asked, he'd regretted it.
Gumi's eyes began watering, as her memories overcame her. He could tell she was closing herself off from him, so he quickly added, "Sorry, I interrupted. Go on."
She frowned, hesitating. Then, she took a few slow breaths.
'Is it really that hard to tell me?' Len asked. 'Or are you just exaggerating?'
"Our foster parents... they were okay, but... they just weren't our parents, you know?"
"Mm-hm." He nodded his agreement.
"I was fine with them, but she... she hated them."
Len had to stop himself from asking, 'Your sister?' "I see..." he said instead.
"She yelled at them a lot, and broke things on purpose, and stuff... if they told her not to do something, she'd do it anyway, and when things went wrong, she blamed it on other people." Gumi shifted uncomfortably.
"One day... I don't know what they were yelling about. I think it was because she'd gotten herself pregnant, and our foster parents forbid her from seeing the boy anymore. Then, she just stormed up to her room, like always."
"That night, though, she came into my room, and told me to pack my schoolbag." Gumi was completely avoiding his gaze, and was partially hiding her face too. "I was around 9 or 10. I didn't really know any better, so I did it, and I followed her, and we ran off..."
"You were living in the streets?" Len asked, his respect for the girl growing slightly knowing this. Although he'd already assumed that fact...
She nodded. "With her. She'd run off before, but never for long. It was enough to know how to survive, though. But..." she trailed off for a moment, and Len opened his mouth to say something, when she continued.
"She started going bad after. She chased after her boyfriend, and when he found out she was pregnant, he dumped her."
Len blinked. Yes, this was definitely her sister she was talking about. Len was completely sure of it now.
"She... she even went as far as to get rid of it. Right in front of me, too..."
Len winced, imagining what poor Gumi must have gone through.
A miscarriage done on purpose? That could not have been pretty. Or painless, either. How had Gumi felt watching her sister destroy herself from the inside, hearing her cries of pain, seeing the blood run, and knowing there was no way she could stop it?
"Her boyfriend still wouldn't take her back. After that, she kind of... changed."
Gumi looked absolutely miserable now, and in the shadows cast on her face, Len could see mixed emotions: Regret, hurt, hatred, and fear, so much fear.
He moved his chair closer to hers, and squeezed her hand in his. "It's okay..."
He probably shouldn't have asked her in the first place. She seemed so lost and upset now... But he was glad she'd told him.
"She stopped bringing me with her. She'd stay out late. I knew she brought back too much money for it to just have been stolen, but we needed all the money we could get, so..." Gumi bit her lip. "Eventually, she just stopped coming to our meeting spot. She just left me there..."
There was that regret again, that lingering sadness.
"After that, instead of actually seeing her, I'd get visits from some of the men she'd tricked..." she bit her lip once more. "That was who you saved me from."
"Someone who knew your sister, and who was looking for revenge?"
Gumi nodded, and a tear slipped onto her cheek.
Len cocked his head, and leaned closer. He placed his hand on her cheek, and wiped away the lone tear with his thumb. "I'm sorry you had to go through all that... I admire you for still being here after it all."
And suddenly, without warning, she let out a sob.
The library's computer lab was empty apart from the two, so thankfully, no one stared, as Len pulled the green-haired girl into his arms. "Shh..." he whispered soothingly, as he rubbed her head, fingers brushing through her soft hair.
She clutched onto his shirt, in a way that made him feel... something. He didn't quite know how to describe this new 'something'. But he knew it was a good something. He knew that by opening up to him, he'd learned to care more for this girl.
He'd had some sudden shocking thought, but he hadn't had time to grasp it, and the more he searched for it, the further this thought left him.
"It's okay to cry, you know." he cooed. "I'm right here."
She sniffed, and nuzzled up to his chest. "Thank you..." she whispered quietly.
"... It's okay."
Len had decided to call it a day after that. After all, Gumi was in no shape of mind to keep googling his problems, as she had her own to reflect on.
He was humming a tune as he walked back home. He was in a fair enough mood. Life had suddenly become extremely chaotic and stressful once Rin and Len had come to Tokyo. It was nice enough to have a seemingly normal day.
Of course he'd just jinxed himself then. The Fates enjoy messing around with the lives of those who allow them to. Poor Len was one of those poor people.
He paused at the door of Mikuo's apartment, stopping and realizing that, no, he no longer lived here. Whoops.
As he crossed the street again, he couldn't help but wonder if Rin was in there right now, with Mikuo. He wondered if she was happy with him. He wondered why being with Mikuo made her happier than being with him, when the idea of anyone ever getting between the two seemed impossible, so long ago now.
But things had changed since then. Since then, they'd found out they weren't twins. That was HUGE.
Len only sighed.
His parents had been both right and wrong to keep that issue a secret between them.
He would have wanted to know... but at the same time, he wished so much right now that he could still be there, back when he and Rin slept in the same bed together, and loved each other as much as siblings should, back when everyone was happy.
But he knew he couldn't.
He walked through the revolving door, and into an open elevator, without paying much attention to the hotel customers sitting in the lobby.
He hit the correct button, and the metal box began to bring him up.
He didn't have to wait long. Being only on the 3rd floor, it didn't take long for the elevator to ding.
Len walked out to the door with their room number, and took out the keys from his pocket.
If this had been a movie, it would have definitely been played out in slow motion.
The door would open slowly. Len would walk in, shrugging off his coat casually.
Rin would spin around on her seat on the couch, her hair whipping around.
Len would notice her there, smile, then take in her horrified expression. His own smile would then melt away into an expression of worry.
Slowly, very slowly, his gaze would travel down to the small white box-like item in her hand. And he'd only be able to gape at it, feeling suddenly sick to his stomach.
He glanced back up at the blond-haired girl's face, and his expression hardened.
She grew flustered.
"Do you know yet...?" Len asked, his voice sounding quiet, yet deadly.
"No." she said, her voice even less volumous. "I'll have to wait 10 minutes."
Rin knew that, no matter how hard she tried now, there was no way to make her once-brother un-see what he'd seen.
There was no way to hide the pregnancy test she held in her hands.
BUH BUH BUUUUUUH~!
This is going to be the best cliffhanger yet! *giggles hysterically* Isn't this fun?
Congratulations to for being the only one who even MENTIONNED a possibility of Rin getting pregnant. The rest of you didn't seem to think of that. XD
Question of the Chapter: Will the test come out positive, or negative?
Woohoo! So much fun~!
I hope the end makes up for a more filler-ish chapter. I wanted that to be the end of the chappie, so I kind of stalled a little. :)
But, you do know a little more about Gumi's past now~! ^w^ Interesting, isn't it?
Speaking of the past, my chapter title held a small amount of meaning. The Gumi scene represented the past, the Yuki - Neru scene represented present, and that lastscene with Rin and that pregnancy test represented the future. :3
Anywho... I may just change Tonio to Kiyoteru. I was going to use Kiyoteru later, but I changed my mind. And Tonio has been appearing more often. Whenever I mention Tonio, I end up picturing Kiyoteru instead, so... consider this a little warning. :)
No updates until I get at least 5 reviews! Although the 12 I got last chap were amazingly awesome, I'd be surprised if I got the same amount again. Therefore, the requirement shall stay at 5. However... please do not be shy, for there is no such thing as a bad review! *glances at ilovebronies* Remember that, 'kay?
(1) Ah, social skills. Apparently, I do not have any of those. According to my teacher, I am 'insensitive, uncaring, rude, disrespectful, etc.', and it is, AND I QUOTE, 'very hard to like you'. That's just what every 13-year-old girl wants to hear, isn't it? *laughs bitterly* I guess my, um... "sign language" didn't help earn any brownie points though, if you know what I mean... XD