Disclaimer: I do not own the Vocaloids. They belong to the respective company/companies that made them. I only own the plotline.
Acknowledgements: The song lines, marked in underlined italics are from the three Vocaloid songs mentioned within the story. Thanks to animeyay, Kubiko, and ArcCosine for the lyrics, as well as to the person I couldn't name because I couldn't read their name.
The songs used were the trial songs for the Demo version of Hatsune Miku Project DIVA f
Numa Numa is the property of O-Zone. Coincidentally, Len sings the original version as opposed to the English translation.
Lyrics for the three Vocaloid songs are courtesy , lyrics for Joyful, Joyful from
Warning: This story contains family issues, drinking, smoking, taking off your clothes for money, and several other adult themes. If this isn't your forte, please back out now.
The Vocaloid's Problem
Lights flickered and flashed over the roaring crowd. The thumping rhythm and catchy tunes had them jumping and roaring with the songs as Vocaloid Pop star Hatsune Miku performed her most popular songs to the waiting masses. Her two blonde backup dancers danced out the rhythm with perfect harmony to the songs, both dressed in their lovely blue-floral dresses that accented Miku's outfit and made the pop idol stand out.
As the trio headed back to the dressing rooms, one of the blondes tapped the synthesizer on their arm and reverted to the 'basic costume', showing that the girl on stage was actually Kagamine Len. Looking over at his twin sister, Rin, he sighed and flopped into a chair to await their ride back to The Hub, their home base.
Why? Len thought. Why am I always stuck in girl's clothes and forced to perform alongside Rin? It's not like she's ever forced into performing when she doesn't want to. She loves the spotlight, and can sing on her own. I'm forced to always sing with her! And usually in a dress!
"Len, our ride's here." called Rin. Her chipper voice seemed even giddier tonight, which only served to make Len even more depressed about the dress he'd been in on stage. Why did he have to wear his sister's clothing mods?
The trip back to The Hub was uneventful, and Len headed to his personal terminal. Each Vocaloid had one to work on clothing mods for concerts, and Len's intention was no different. He was trying to create one that would be different from one of Rin's outfits, something that would still be nice but also be individual.
Kaito and Meiko looked up as Rin started to babble away to Megurine Luka about the concert. Despite the fact that the Vocaloids at The Hub had watched the concert on the network, they really didn't mind hearing it from one of their own as well. It made it feel a little less like their work-station and a bit more like home.
"One moment, Rin." said Luka. She walked over to Len and tapped him on the head. "Hey, Len. What are you up to?"
Len glanced out the corner of his eye at her. He really should answer, but he wasn't in the mood. Rin's cheery nature at having had him in a floral gown on stage in front of thousands of people had put him on edge, so he decided on a different answer. He focused through the speaker units on his legwarmers and let out a sound that was more of a quick run through of the Kanji alphabet in three seconds than anything else.
Almost instantly, Kaito had a hand on Len's forehead.
"What?" Len asked.
"You're not overheating." Kaito said, withdrawing his hand.
Len withdrew the memory chip he'd been using for his project, since he didn't want the others knowing quite yet what he was up to. Just then, a call came in on The Hub's main line.
"Hello, The Hub. Hatsune Miku speaking." The bubbly turquoise-haired diva said as she answered. She looked over at Kaito and Meiko. "A concert for Kaito and Meiko? That's great! - Huh? – You need two back-up dancers for them?"
"Len and I'll do it!" shrieked Rin.
Len smacked his head on the desk and spit the entire katakana alphabet out his legwarmer speakers in about 2 seconds, resulting in garbled gibberish. Why did Rin have to volunteer them to do this? Getting up, he stormed over to his sleep pod and USB cabled to the mini-computer there to continue working on his outfit design.
"Len?" Rin looked into the room. "What's his problem?" She looked back at the other Vocaloids.
Gakupo Kamui, a newer Vocaloid male model in a deep rich purple tone, looked up from his work on a beaded branch for a decorative planter kit. "To force one to do as they wish not to is the same as manipulating the strings of a puppet."
Kaito gave him a look as he brushed his blue hair out of his face. "You never do speak in plain language, do you?"
"To ask that which you already know the answer is redundant." Kamui replied as he returned to his work. He wasn't as popular as the other Vocaloids, but he kept The Hub running and ready should any of the others need something. It was Kamui that kept the clothing programs in order, especially when there were several that were identical but made for different models.
"Well, Kamui, we'll leave arranging the outfits for the concert up to you." said Meiko. "Just remember; our back up dancers have to look identical."
Kaito watched the rest of them walk away to rest in their pods. "Yes, mother." he said softly. Len wasn't going to like this.
"Lily?" Len asked, looking at the clothing program card he was handed.
Kamui rolled his eyes and shrugged. "Meiko said identical."
Len nodded. The card had the outfit and routine programs on it, so even though his heart wasn't into the dance the way Rin's was, the concert would go off without a hitch. He climbed into the van and sighed.
"You'll be going directly onto the stage, so set your clothing programs now." said Kaito. He was already in his outfit, which was his standard long white coat with pants and scarf that matched his hair. Beside him sat Meiko, who was wearing her red crop-top and shorts that were the exact same color as her hair.
Len sighed again and initiated the program, brushing his hair down so it was identical to Rin's style. He still almost choked at the bow that appeared in his hair as well.
"Mirror image setting? I'll have to commend Kamui for thinking this one through." Meiko said. The van stopped. "Alright, let's go."
Len sighed and took his place on the stage, synching his system to the music setup so he wouldn't miss a beat. Rin did the same, and then they took their places.
The lights came on, and Kaito and Meiko started their concert to the sound of screams and cheers. While everything went well, Len just wasn't into it. He couldn't tell if it was the fact that he'd performed only the night before or if it was the fact that, once again, he was in a dress in front of thousands of people, performing mirror image to his hyperactive sister, but he just wasn't feeling it with the music.
As the lights faded from the last song, Meiko turned towards Len. "Alright, what's wrong with you?"
"Hmm?" Len asked, switching his outfit back to his regular one.
"That half-assed dancing!" Kaito snapped. "You weren't going with the flow."
"I was dancing just fine." Len returned, walking down the stage steps.
"That was not fine!" Meiko snapped. "That was half-assed robotic dancing, like you were only following the program! We'll be lucky if this even makes the papers as anything but a laughing-stock because of you!"
Len could feel water forming in his eyes. Why were they being so hard on him? Why had he been stuck doing this, anyway? His eyes fell on his sister, who was glaring at him as well. With a sniffle, Len blasted a static burst at them through his legwarmers. As they covered their ears and cringed from the noise, he ran off into the darkness.
Miku looked up as the trio came into The Hub. "Welcome ba . . . Where's Len?"
Rin looked over. "He's not here?"
Luka shook her head. "He was with you guys, right? We saw the performance."
"He ran off afterwards." Kaito replied. "Didn't he come back here?"
Miku shook her head. "His performance wasn't the best, either." she added. "He looked a little . . ."
"Stiff." Luka supplied.
Kamui only looked at the control band for his synthesizer/outfit/messages and smiled softly. Len certainly knew which Vocaloid he could trust not to say a word. Looking up, he said, "The bird will return in due time, safe and sound."
"Kamui, what's that supposed to mean?" asked Meiko. "Do you know something?"
Kamui shrugged. "Maybe I do, maybe I don't." With that, he collected the costume chips and began to sort them away into their proper places in the wall pockets. Literally. The wall was covered in pockets, each one holding a costume chip designed for a specific model of Vocaloid. The collection was so vast that the others had no idea how to find anything beyond their standard setup of four suits without Kamui's help. As he did this, he began humming one of his songs.
"I swear, Kamui can be so cryptic." said Luka.
Miku shrugged. "Eh, I've gotten used to it."
The bar was dark and dingy, a thick haze of smoke and the smell of several kinds of tobacco wafted through the air, along with the shouts and cat-calls aimed at the strippers dancing on the stage. Bright strobe lights cut through the haze, filtering through and trying to make lively the drunken crowd.
Len glanced out the corner of his eye as a stripper began a routine to one of Miku's songs that had been written as more of a joke than anything else. He looked back at the barman and swiped his wristband over the pay pad. He needed the alcohol. Despite being a Vocaloid, and thus the only effect of the cheap beer would be to have to empty his liquid capacitor later, Len found some comfort in the brownish liquid that was placed before him.
There has to be something I can do to get out of this slump. Len thought. His large blue eyes turned towards the strippers that were up on the stage. The fluidity of their movements, the way they idly tossed their clothes off, showing their flesh for the crowds at their feet. It's almost mystifying. It would be something to be able to do that myself. He paused. Do that myself. The costume program!
Quickly downing the last of the beer, Len got up from the stool he was on and headed out. Feeling in a bit of a better mood, he started softly singing a song he often used as a warm-up before performing. It wasn't one by the Vocaloids, but rather a popular song called Numa Numa by O-Zone. It was his favorite, and the beat was something he could get moving to and it helped to lighten his spirits.
He slipped into The Hub close to midnight and immediately went to his terminal to work on the mod. The rapid clicking of keys roused a few of the other Vocaloids, two of which came out of their rooms to see what was up.
"Len! Where were you?" Rin demanded, putting her hands on her hips.
Len paid her no mind, continuing to work on the mod. However, he paused when Miku went and dialled the phone. He swallowed and saved his work, withdrawing the chip and slipping it in his headset piece. He was nervous, and had every right to be. Miku had called Programmer, the person that had made each of them.
Programmer came down from his office-home on the floor above them, putting his hands on his hip. "Len, come here." he said.
Len did the opposite. He turned and tried to run, only to scream and collapse to the floor.
Programmer shook his head and put the Universal Remote back in his pocket. He picked Len up and placed him on the table, where he proceeded to check Len's program and functions. He shook his head again when he came across the vast quantity of alcohol in the Vocaloid, but said nothing until he re-started Len.
"Why did you fail to answer Rin? Nothing seems wrong with you, bar the fluids you seem to have consumed."
Len sighed. "I was working."
"A clothing mod." He sat up, regretting the motion, as those fluids seemed to need escape relatively soon.
"Let me see it." Programmer said.
"It's not complete." Len replied. He looked uncomfortable as he got off the table.
"I will return in one week to see the clothing mod you are working on." Programmer said calmly. With that, he turned and began to walk away. Pausing, he looked back at Miku and Rin. "Until Len is finished with the mod he is not to perform. Am I clear, Rin?"
The blonde girl nodded and sighed. She would have to perform the opening song for Luka's concert by herself, then.
The keys clicked furiously, day and night, as Len worked at the mods. He figured he was going to need a 'cover mod' to hide what he was really up to, so he began to program clothing mods for the other Vocaloids during the day and worked on the removable clothing mod for himself at night while the others were resting.
Luka glanced at him out the corner of her eye as she collected her three clothing programs from Kamui. "You sure he's alright?" she asked.
"Programmer said that it was alright, so we'll just have to trust that Programmer knows what he's doing." said Kaito. "Though the fact that he keeps looking at us every so often is getting to me."
"Maybe it's more than one mod." said Kamui.
Miku nodded. "Makes sense then."
"Tomorrow is when he gets to show us the fruits of his labors." Kamui replied. He looked over at Len, hoping that whatever the youthful Vocaloid was up to wasn't going to cause trouble.
Len didn't seem to notice anything around him. He stared at the screen, which flickered various colors as he set the patterns to a clothing mod. The fact that he had a deadline was making him nervous, and the concert wasn't making things any easier. The removable clothing mod was complete, and he'd run a few tests with it while having to empty himself of unnecessary fluids, having taken up a human habit of drinking something while working.
Kaito was the first to retire to his room as soon as the concert was done airing. Meiko soon followed, and Miku soon after Luka and Rin returned. Even those two retired to their room soon enough, leaving only Len and Kamui.
"So?" Kamui asked.
Len stopped his work and withdrew the memory cards. "It's finished." he replied.
"I know." Kamui replied. "You've been done for three hours, now." He walked over and put a hand on Len's shoulder. "So, what were you working on?"
Len looked up at him. "Promise not to laugh?"
The purple Vocaloid nodded. "On my operating system, I promise."
Len smiled. "Well . . ."
Programmer came on the appointed date. "Well, Len. Let's see the program."
Len swallowed and looked at Kamui before handing each of the other Vocaloids a costume chip. He slid his own into the synthesizer and swallowed.
"There is no need to be nervous." said Programmer.
Len nodded. "Run program."
Miku suddenly shrieked. The outfit had appeared properly, a long gown with a slit up the side to allow for movement, but the color had come out wrong. It was the color of pea soup, instead of the indigo it was supposed to be.
"What the heck?" asked Luka. Her outfit was supposed to be a yellow and gold rendition of her original outfit, but the gold had turned silver.
"NOT FUNNY, LEN!" snapped Kaito, whose pink set of open jacket and pants was the most humorous of them all. This was added to by Meiko's baby-blue tank-top and mini-skirt.
"Oops." Len said, looking over at Kamui, who had been colored in lavender.
"WHAT?!" Rin shrieked. Her outfit was rather adorable, being a girl's sundress with cute ribbon and sandals, her legwarmers turning white to match.
"What is it?" asked Luka.
"It doesn't match!" Rin howled. She pointed at Len, who was dressed in an open black jacket over a gold vest and black pants.
Programmer looked at Len. "Why is there such difference in the program between you and Rin?"
"I'm tired of being stuffed in dresses!" Len shouted. "Why do I have to play a girl when she never has to be a boy?!" He turned and stormed out of The Hub, almost anticipating the Universal Remote halting his departure.
It never came. Kamui stood between Programmer and Len, shaking his head.
"Move, Kamui." said Programmer.
Kamui shook his head. "A puppet on strings dances to its master's tune, but a bird cannot be forced to sing when it doesn't wish to."
Programmer looked at Kamui. "When did you pick up this speech impediment, Gakupo Kamui? I didn't give it to you."
Kamui shrugged. "Stay here alone enough, one goes mad without books." He held up two memory cards, both on classical literature. "Besides, they make good ground work for songs."
Len stepped back into the bar, this time using the actual stripper program he'd designed. The black pants were slung low on his hips and made of a tight material that flared below the knees, still allotting for his legwarmers and the speaker system therein, though they were programed thinner. The vest was still a golden color and was undone at the top two buttons and one on the bottom, showing a good inch or so of 'skin' between it and the pants. Then there was the loose jacket that was over the vest, open front, and made of a leather-like material in black as well, tying the whole outfit together.
Sitting at the bar, Len ordered a vodka martini with lime, perking the interest of a few of the dancers.
"That's a fairly strong and exotic drink, boy." said one of the strippers. "You new to this or something?"
"Not really." Len replied. "I've been here before."
"You a stripper?" asked another dancer.
"Not yet." Len replied. He finished his drink and looked over at them. "Why are you asking?"
"I propose a dance challenge. Top-off only, to spare you any embarrassment." said the first with a smirk.
Len shrugged. "Alright. Can I pick the song?"
Len stood and moved his sleeve, synchronizing with the sound system. "I trust you have no problems with World's End Dancehall?" he asked.
"That's a fairly advanced song." said the stripper.
"Backing out?" Len asked.
The stripper shook his head. "Never." He took his place.
As the music started, Len strutted towards the other stripper and shed his jacket, which dissolved as it left his body. He knew the actual dance, since it was part of the song program, but to twist it into a strip-dance was going to take guts and timing.
Sanzan tsumazuita dansu o
sou saidan no ue de odoru no
Len drew himself up tall and took a few strutting steps right. Drawing his lithe body close to one of the female patrons, Len danced his way around her as though she were a prop, then slid his way effortlessly back towards the dance floor. The first chorus was about to start.
Hoppu-suteppu de odorous ka
Sekai no sumikko de wan-tsuu
Len kept up with the quick movements that were standard to Vocaloid music, and at the musical break slid his hand up his chest, undoing the snaps that held the vest closed. Now that it was open his shaped chest showed. It was nowhere near as toned as the stripper he was competing against, but it was enough to make several people scream and holler, tossing money at both dancers.
The second stanza began, and Len shed the vest, showing his bare torso.
Boukansha dake no kuukan
reesu o saishuu densha ni norikonde
The feeling was exhilarating as Len found another person standing in the crowd and danced close to him, just barely suggesting something with enough touch that the man creamed his shorts similar to the way the woman prior had. Dancing back for the end chorus, Len motioned for the stripper to follow his lead in order to wrap this up in the most effective way available.
Poppu ni sensu o utaou ka
sekai utsumuichau mae ni
Now working in sync, Len and the stripper worked the rest of the crowd, not only dancing but also fawning over each other in a way that made the crowd want either of them. Or both. There were those kinds of people around.
Len smiled at the stripper. "Thanks. I haven't felt this good about a performance in a while." He helped pick up the money and followed the stripper to the back of the building. "By the way, I need to confess something."
"If you're into dudes, I've already heard it from other people."
"No, actually, it was about myself." Len replied. "Do you have any idea who I am, before I make an idiot of myself?"
"Nope. I just know you're a damned good dancer."
"I'm Kagamine Len."
"That's bull-shit. No Vocaloid would be caught here." scoffed the stripper.
Len put his hand over the synthesizer and set to his base program. All of a sudden, a boy in a school uniform stood before the stripper.
"Oh, shit! Sorry, man. I didn't mean no disrespect. I just thought Vocaloids would avoid bars and strip joints like this."
"Normally, we do. I had a falling out with the others, and was trying to forget my problems the first time I was here." Len sat on a crate and looked at the stripper. "When I saw the way you danced and swayed to the rhythm, every movement dictated by whim instead of program, I wanted to do something similar."
"But your Kagamine Len, the coolest Vocaloid dude out there. What could you have gotten into a fight about?"
"How about my sister and the others forcing me to dress like a girl so I can perform opposite Rin all the time as a matched set." Len replied. "It took me a week to make a stripper program that would work, but it only goes so far. The clothes vanish once they leave my hands."
"It's totally cool, man. Hey, why don't you come back?"
"How's two days from now sound?"
"Sure." Len smiled. He looked at the clock. "I'd better get going."
"Take care, Len." called the stripper.
"Len, where were you?" demanded Rin.
"Out." Len replied.
"We're going to be performing in two days." Rin stated. "At night."
"I can't." Len said.
"Why not?" demanded Rin.
"Len, what is going on?" snapped Kaito. "You are expected to perform."
"I have something else." Len replied.
"Like what?" snapped Luka. "It's not like some skinny shrimp like you could have a girlfriend!"
Len covered his ears as the accusations and questions kept coming.
"Who is it?"
"So, what kind of bitch did you actually get to want you?"
"Your useless, Len."
Len fell over, his processors overloaded. It took a few minutes before anyone noticed that Kamui had lifted the young blonde and put him to bed.
"What happened?" Miku asked.
"He's overheated, and has shut down." Kamui replied. "All we can do is await his restart."
It didn't come, at least, not for what they wanted. The Vocaloids were forced to leave the unconscious Len at home while they had to go to perform the concert. Len restarted after they had left and headed out to the bar. Just before stepping in through the back entrance, he switched to the black and gold stripper clothes, using his gold butterfly mod for his headphones this time.
"Len!" called the stripper. "Hey, buddy. I was afraid you wouldn't make it."
"I had to fake being in sleep mode to get out of a concert, and another dress." Len replied. He smiled.
"So, what song should we use tonight? We'll only be removing the upper half again tonight, so I can use almost any song."
Len thought a moment. Tonight was supposed to be Rin's concert, so it would only suit to use one of her songs. "Tengaku." Ken replied.
"That's one of your sister's songs." said the stripper. "Something going on tonight that you'd pick that?"
"She's got a concert tonight, and this was the song I was supposed to dance alongside her to start." Len replied.
"By the way, the butterfly wings are a nice touch." said the stripper, running a finger along the metal wing. "We'll use Tengaku, then."
The pair stepped out onto the stage after Len had synchronized with the sound system again. He looked over at the stripper and nodded. Raising a hand over his head and gripping the dancing pole behind him, Len started the fast-paced song.
Tossing his head side to side with the beat, Len twisted around the pole as the beat slowed slightly and the words started.
Amayake no kasa wa boku wo hoori suteta
He let the jacket slide from his shoulders as the song progressed, strutting towards the stripper and letting it fall from his arms and dissolve as he took his place at the other pole as the chorus began.
Uchinarasu shoudou no ha ga
Seikai wo kudaku
Len let the rhythm and beat dictate his movements rather than the program that was trying to run alongside it. Sliding down the pole to a squatting position, Len seemed to evoke several emotions as he reached up and pulled himself up the pole one hand over the other above his head. Again, the chorus played, and he shed the vest as he danced viciously past the stripper. Deciding to play a bit with the lightling, Len created a flurry of cherry blossoms refracting the lights everywhere as the closing version of the chorus played.
The stripper looked over at Len as the song ended. The Vocaloid had done an amazing job again, netting the bar almost as much as he had two days ago when the pair had performed to World's End Dancehall.
Len helped gather the money again and followed the stripper to the back area. "So?"
"You are amazing at this, Len." said the stripper. "Hey, can you come back tomorrow night?"
"I don't see why not." Len replied. "Is something special going on tomorrow?"
"It's Girl's Night, so only male strippers are going to be dancing. The bar always does badly on those nights, but I was kinda hoping that with your dancing skills we might actually have some people to dance for instead of a nearly empty bar of drunk old men."
Len smiled at the image. "Sure, I'll come back. You've helped me enjoy performing again, so it's the least I can do." He looked up. "Oh, damn. The concert's over!"
"Take this and use it for tomorrow's performance." said the stripper. "You'd better hurry back, Len. See you tomorrow."
"Where have you been, Len?" asked Programmer as the young Vocaloid came in.
"I was out." Len replied. He sat in his usual seat near his terminal, only to look up when Programmer came closer.
"Doing what?" Rin asked.
"Performing." Len replied, crossing his arms. He was wearing his basic costume, so there was almost no hint to having been at the bar.
Programmer raised an eyebrow.
"That's impossible." said Kaito.
"Yeah. Len's only ever requested alongside Rin." added Miku.
Programmer only looked at Len and sniffed slightly. The smell of cheap tobacco and varied liquors was on the boy; something only a human would pick up on, since Vocaloids couldn't smell. "How were the drinks?" he asked.
"Cold." Len replied, turning towards his terminal. He looked down at the chip in his hand, remembering the stripper's face when he'd handed it to Len.
"Are to going to perform again?" Programmer asked.
"Tomorrow." Len replied. "I've been asked to wear a special mod for it."
"We will be accompanying you for this performance." said Programmer.
Len just shrugged and went into stand-by mode.
Kamui looked over at the sound of Len's head hitting the desk. "Again?" He walked over, picked the boy up, and put him to bed.
Len checked the clock. It was time to get going. Snapping his fingers, the leathers program activated, catching Kaito and Miku's attention.
"Time to leave?" asked Miku.
"You can stay if you want." Len replied. "I'm the one that was asked for." He caught the look Programmer gave him. "Yes, it's time we left."
The other Vocaloids followed, wondering where Len was going until he stepped into the bar.
"What?!" Rin squeaked. "A bar?"
Programmer looked at her and used the 'mute' feature on the Universal Remote. There were times when he really liked using that thing, and to quiet an annoyed Vocaloid with a penchant for complaining was one of those times.
The Vocaloids looked around as they entered. "Um, Programmer." said Miku.
"I don't see Len anywhere."
Just then, two figures appeared on the darkened stage. Lights began to flicker on to the rhythm of the music, which Miku immediately recognized as her current favorite song, Weekender Girl.
The two figures on the stage were dressed identical, wearing black low-rise pants, gold vests, and black sequined jackets. Both were wearing headphones, one decorated with butterfly wings and the other with pixie wings.
The two dancers hands touched as the song started in earnest.
Kirabiyaka na SUTOROBO ga
Tokimeku LED ga
The pair kept to the quick yet light step the song dictated, letting their jackets slide from their shoulders, then halfway down their arms as the song reached the bouncy chorus.
PURIZUMU no mukogawa
Kamui gasped, realizing that this was just a cloth-change of the stripper mod Len had told him he'd been building.
On the stage, Len let the jacket drop from his arms and ran a hand seductively up the stripper's shirt, just as the stripper did the same for him, opening the vest. The words stared again, and the two danced around each other, keeping to the lively song while making several girls in the bar squeal as they leaned over and brushed their fingers over the girls faces.
The vest vanished, quite literally, as the chorus started again. Len's appearance is one of pure enjoyment as he sets off the strobes in the hyperspace mode.
PURIZUMU no mukogawa
Len turned to the stripper and smiled as the song ended, again helping collect the money that had been showered over the stage. This time, he returned to the bar floor, dressed in the leathers again.
"Len, why do you enjoy dancing here, but not with the others?" Programmer asked.
"Because here my movements aren't dictated by program, and I'm not judged as Kagamine Len. Here I'm not Rin's shadow." Len replied. He stepped over to the bar and swiped his wrist band over the pay pad. The barkeep placed a beer in front of him and smiled.
Programmer sat at the bar beside Len. "You know, this isn't part of your original program."
Len nodded. "I know. It's a defect, or something like that."
"It's evolution, Len. Looking for your own star isn't a flaw. It's a good deviation from the base program."
Len finished his beer and smiled. "Thanks, Programmer."
Rin, however, was fuming. Len was supposed to stay in her shadow. He was supposed to only be known as Kagamine Rin's brother, not as an individual Vocaloid. He was getting what she figured was her praise.
"We should return to The Hub." said Kaito. He brushed a drunk off his arm. "The sooner, the better, too, if you ask me."
Len laughed and waved to the stripper that he was leaving. As they walked back, he looked at Programmer. "You mind if I try to fix those clothing programs I showed you earlier? The colors didn't exactly come out right on any of them."
"Once we return, Len." Programmer replied. He looked at the young Vocaloid as he switched to his regular clothes and began to play a rather distinct non-Vocaloid song through his speakers. "I see we've acquired a taste for other musics as well." he smiled as the familiar lyrics to Numa Numa began to flutter through the air.
Len seemed to be in good spirits as he practically jumped into his seat at his terminal and slid the outfit chips into the readers so he could start working at them. He didn't notice when Rin sat at her terminal beside him. Not until a sharp and powerful surge of electricity ran into him through the terminal. He fell back, collapsing to the floor in off-line status.
Programmer looked over from where he'd been talking with Miku and Luka. Picking Len up from the floor, he put the boy to bed and checked for any program errors. He shook his head and returned to the main room.
"Well?" asked Meiko.
"It'll take time." Programmer replied. "The surge has placed Len in sleep mode, and it'll take time for his system to finish its error check and reboot." He glared at Rin. "This could have severely damaged or even broken him, Rin."
Rin pouted. "I know." she said. "But . . ."
"Jealousy is an ugly thing, Rin." said Kamui. "If Len is broken, that means your career is also on the line."
Rin bit her lip. "I just . . ."
"Until he wakes, you are forbidden to perform, Rin." said Programmer. "Despite the fact that you are the more popular one, you and Len are both 'Kagamine'."
"Yes, sir." Rin said, looking down.
"It's been a month." said Miku. She looked over at the room where Len still lay on sleep mode. Rin was sitting with him at the moment; in fact, that was where the girl was most of the time.
"Len, I'm sorry." Rin said, her hand closing over her brother's. "I was just . . . I was angry. I'd always thought of you as my support piece, I never gave you a chance to be you. I never really got to know you."
The figure on the bed just lay there.
"At first, I thought it was cute when we would be dressed in similar clothes, like our original outfits. But, I guess I got too used to it, and began to expect it of you. I never took your feelings into consideration, since everyone else enjoyed it, too. I assumed you didn't mind it." Rin brushed the soft golden locks out of Len's face. "And then, I saw you dancing, so happy, at the bar. And it wasn't with me. I got jealous that there was something you liked to do without me, and . . . I'm so sorry about the power surge, Len."
Kaito looked back, then towards Miku. "You know, that's the twenty-eighth time she's gone over this."
Miku nodded. "Well, she has every right to be going over it. She is the one that sent to power surge through to Len's headpiece. The fact that she feels regret over it is actually a good thing, Kaito."
"Yeah, I know that. But Len's been out for four weeks, now." Meiko said. "I don't think he's going to wake."
Luka sighed. "It's not up to us to decide."
"Programmer will be back in two days, and he'll judge if Len is never going to function again then." Kamui reminded them. "Also, Rin can hear us."
Miku nodded. "I know."
"Hm-hm hm-hm hm-hm hm-hm." (the tune is `Joyful, Joyful`)
Kaito rolled over. "Kamui, it's early." he groaned.
"Hm-hm hm-hm hm hm-hm."
From the next room over, Luka called out, "Shut it, Kamui!"
"Hearts unfold like flowers before thee . . ."
Kaito looked over across his room. Kamui was still sleeping. Getting up quickly, he stepped into the main room. His eyes widened in surprise, and he hurried back to wake his roommate, and then the girls.
"What is it?" Rin asked as Meiko woke her.
Meiko held a finger to Rin's lips and pointed outside the room.
"All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays."
Rin peered out of her room.
"Stars and Angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise."
"Len!" Rin ran out of her room and wrapped her arms around the youth sitting at his terminal.
"Huh?' Len looked startled, and a bit awkward being hugged and pulled back slightly over the back of his chair. "Uh, Rin . . ."
"Sorry." She let him go. "So, um . . ."
"It's alright, Rin." Len smiled. "I'm partly to blame, too. I never spoke up about my disinterest in always looking similar to you, so it's not all your fault." He placed something in Rin's hand. "I fixed it, so it should turn out this time."
Rin looked down, then put the clothing mod into her synthesizer and activated it. Her clothes changed to a ruffle-sleeved shirt and layered skirt over slightly thinner legwarmers, all in light cream and pale yellow color. She looked down at the rather unique gold sequin writing and started crying when she looked over at Len. He was dressed in black clam-diggers and a cream shirt that also had gold sequin writing.
The sirts read "I love my sister" and "I love my brother" respectively.