AN: So I finally finished this. Finally. I can't promise a happy ending, seeing as I write tragedies as a strong point, but I'll see what I can do to accommodate vanilla lovers. Seeing as I am one myself. Anyways, I hope you guys are all satisfied and that I haven't disappointed you with the long wait. I would also love to say thank you to the one who beta'd this chapter Captain Mockingjay. She's amazing and a great writer at that. All that aside, please enjoy the chapter and I hope you review! Just press that blue button on the bottom and you'll be good to go. I promise I read (and stalk) all comments, even if I don't reply. Critique is begged for and flames are not wished for.
Disclaimer: I do not own any content recognizable in my writing. They all go to their rightful owners. Please don't sue me.
Why exactly was it that he was here again? Right, the money. The pay was the best thing in a fifty mile radius, and unless he wanted to work scrubbing floors or some equally appalling job, this was the only pay in a fifty mile radius. The blond growled, snuffing out his cigarette in the nearby ashtray. He had to be the lucky one in the family – the one born with the natural gene for gambling. Not that he really enjoyed the game – far from it. But what choice did he exactly have? He was out of money, and out of options. The human mind could only take so much abuse from its owner until it either upped and died, or forced that owner to take some action.
Somehow, his supply had been sucked dry – again. He had always learned to spend with limitation, and since his winnings were often high, he couldn't figure out how he had lost so much money in such little time. Either he was getting drunk more often than he thought and blowing the money that way, or it was someone else interfering. And he wasn't exactly the type to get smashed off cheap alcohol.
In short, Kagamine Len was not amused.
And he had yet to find the little perpetrator to this crime, although he had dozens of suspicions. Ah, well he couldn't do anything about it now. What's the use, now that the money was gone? He had never been one to put effort into his work, not once did he have to lift a finger and really try. Why should he start now? Living wasn't hard, as long as there was food in your stomach and air to breathe. And those two things were relatively easy to provide for. Giving that he had money, which he was at a drastic shortage of right now.
"Damn this." He didn't need this now. A game of roulette and he'd be able to pay for the week's groceries. But what he really couldn't tolerate in this crap casino was the people. They were all corrupt in some way-not that Len was saying he himself wasn't corrupt-but the level these people were at was unbelievable. And then there were those casino goers that looked like regular people, but they were really just puppets, their strings pulled by an invisible master somewhere in the background. He feared that if he stayed long enough, this underground casino would be able to wrap its hateful influential claws around him as well. And there was no way that was happening to him.
"Kamui-san, what do you want?" The purple-haired dealer was inching ever closer to the blond, no doubt trying to coerce him to play another round of craps. No going to happen today – he wasn't up for the game right now. Sure, he had better chances of winning money through craps, but with roulette, there was a higher payout. And he was hoping that his natural talent for this disgusting gambling skill would help him out today.
"Nothing. Just wondering if you would play another game with us today, Kagamine-san. But it doesn't look like you're too interested. I'll ask another person, then." Len sighed. Today was for the money. Tomorrow, perhaps, he would indulge a bit and have fun. Craps was fairly easy. And Gakupo could certainly use the company. Although the man was a bit of an annoyance, he could understand that he was only there for his family. He hated the casino as much as Len did, and the conversations they had consisted of how the man would gush over his wife and two kids. Another unfortunate case of how the casino ruined lives.
Even though he had originally intended to keep a low profile when moving to the area, it seemed to be impossible to do unless you lost often or planned to leave soon. If you won too much, like some, there were always whispers of controversy and how the casino favored some among others. Otherwise, if you did well, you were one of the golden boys. Kagamine Len was no exception. Being one of the best gamblers in the building, and a guaranteed person not to be caught up in scandal and greed as many gamblers did, he had quite a reputation. Surely, he should have kept low key; it would save him the trouble of being noticed and perhaps singled out. And the number of enemies he was sporting was climbing ever higher…
But it was much too late now. Len had never really been much of a thinker – or a planner. He had always left that to other people – people that he didn't know or remember anymore. So he was a rather impulsive individual, with no one to keep him in check and keep him from wandering about aimlessly, doing whatever he pleased, however he pleased. He lit another cigarette, nonchalantly looking for the emptiest roulette table. It was a rather popular game, and the eighteen year old would rather not deal with the idiocy of gamblers twice his age. Sure, he had to fudge his age a bit a few years back so he could gamble, but who didn't?
But there was one table, and looking at the one woman seated there, he could tell why. A complete menace, she was, despite her angelic looks and charming smile. Len had never played against her, but word got around about how she could squeeze money from just about anyone playing roulette. Well, he was bored today, so why not get a chance to entertain the young lady? She had a rather beautiful head of teal hair, and what harm could she be? He had luck on his side.
"Mind if I join your lovely game, Hatsune-sama?" Okay, he admitted it. He admired her. And it seemed to flatter her, for she blushed and motioned for him to sit. She was being a bit bashful for the menacing lady of roulette. Maybe those rumors weren't true, and those guys had just been an easy game for her. On the other hand, she could just be acting. She had a reputation for that too.
"Of course… Kagamine-san." Even though the two never met, both of them seemed well-versed on their opponent. Very well, that meant he didn't have to deal with the formalities. Few minutes past, and the table was virtually silent, no one daring to come to the table with two of the most skilled roulette players. "Shall we begin, then, if no one is to join?"
"Sure. Give me your worst." The dealer began to spin the wheel, the both of them taking bets. "How about we go easy on each other, Miku-san? A round of even or odd?" One of the easiest ways to win roulette was to take an outside bet, as opposed to taking an inside bet. The probabilities were higher, and that meant it was a lesser payout, but it was generally safer to gamble as such. Now, if he were feeling up for the risk, and had a bit more than the clothes on his back and the free cigarette in his mouth, he'd have wagered an inside bet. He only had a few chips left in his pocket as well, and if he lost this, he wouldn't be able to get any food. But then again…he was up against the great Hatsune Miku.
"It'll seem like you're backing out now, Len-kun." How disrespectful of her… only a select few he allowed to call him with such a pet name. Perhaps he would have to teach her a lesson a bit earlier than he thought.
"Why, would you like to up the ante? A straight-up bet, perhaps?" The devilish woman smirked, nodding her head slightly with agreement. So she likes it risky, does she? They placed their corresponding bets, Len taking the time to note how incredibly risky this was. Up against the greatest roulette player in the casino, and I know this isn't going to go well. He backtracked – what could have possibly driven him to do this? Yes, he had thought sheer luck would be on his side, but he had been betting on a better chance than this. No – why in the world had he suggested a straight-up bet in the first place? Maybe seeing that his pet name was being stained by those undeserving lips…
Only she's allowed to call me that, you bitch.
He had reacted rashly, and it was inevitable that he'd lose. With only a few chips in his pocket, there probably wouldn't be enough to wager to satisfy the tealette. But, no one had dared approach her but him. She must have been getting desperate – with her reputation and human nature in play. So any gamble is a good gamble for her, Len would assume. He placed the only chips he had on his bet, and she corresponded, smirking at his choice.
There was no doubt on his mind that something was fueling her confidence. She was as sweet as pie to him, if not a bit degrading with her language. And she looked so sure of herself. It was as though she knew the future and knew that she would take all his winnings and leave him as poor as dirt. However, he kept up his false confidence, as he couldn't let her think that he was faltering. His pride wouldn't let him, anyhow.
"No more bets."
This was his last chip. It was a high number of money, really. And it was all he had. Should he win, he'd get double that – and win his groceries for the week. Should he lose, well, he could say goodbye to gambling, since he's have no money to gamble. That would mean he would have to resort to ungodly things, like begging on the streets, or working in a low paying job, or worse. He couldn't – no, he wouldn't – be reduced to such things. The roulette wheel was still spinning at its high speed, showing no sign of stopping. Honestly, the anticipation was killing him. He was honestly doubting himself now. He hated this part of gambling, that tinge of nervous excitement that settled in his stomach as he waited for his impending verdict.
Maybe the blond Kagamine wasn't cut out for gambling. Usually with gamblers, they get addicted to the feeling, but then again, he wasn't actually here for the fun of it, now was he? He stared at the wheel, obviously nervous.
"Are you relying on D'Alembert's principle? Oh, don't you think that's a bit… boring?" All bets were off, there was no turning back. What use was there for her to keep up her façade? She was smirking, looking towards Len as though he were stupid for engaging in the game with her. And he had thought to keep the lonely woman company. Mentioning this – maybe the game was rigged. She certainly hadn't hesitated when she chose her number. And her sweet smiled held a secret in it, he was sure. Why hadn't he prepared for this? How stupid could he get?
The wheel was starting to slow down. Slower and slower… until it completely stopped. The ball rolled… onto the number thirty-six.
The number he picked.
For a moment, the tealette he was competing with held a stony glare at him, but only for a moment. The next, she was too busy congratulating him on his win.
"Congrats, Len-kun." That cursed nickname.
"Don't call me that, Hatsune-sama. And I'm pleased to have won. We should go another round." But the tealette backed away.
"No, I'm quite alright. Gambling's just a pastime, I don't need the money. Unlike some people." Len knew that it was a direct insult, but he shrugged it off, high on his win. He beat her. He beat her. That was a good enough feel to go off on for the time being. It was sort of like euphoria.
"You sure? Backing away so quickly?" Her gaze turned steely and he could have sworn she was snarling at him. Well, wasn't she an aggressive girl? He could work with that – if only she weren't such a deceiving woman.
He gathered his winnings and left, satisfied. He could buy food – hell, since he gambled that much and won that much, he could buy himself a round of drinks – if he were a drinker. He would make sure to make his winnings last this time. There was no need for a repeat performance today – he had enough stress without the casino. He just needed to live – although he wasn't sure how he was exactly beneficial to the world.
It wasn't until after, when he was about to fall asleep, that he revisited the casino and his risky gamble. It was then, that he noticed a blonde watching the correspondence. And when he did fall asleep, he dreamt of her, trying to catch a close glimpse…but she always disappeared before he was able to.