He hadn’t ever been fond of Winter, really. Sure, Len had been deemed fit for sale in the depths of Winter, along with his sister, but the season itself wasn’t much for him to get excited for. What was there TO be excited for? With no true heating system and his metal frame chilled to the touch even on the warmest of days, he and every other Vocaloid spent the majority of the season huddled in record booths, bundled in layers of clothing until the most any of them could do was reach out and shake the hands of a passing producer. Not to mention the fact that by the time his own “birthday” came around, most of the employees were gone for the holidays, leaving the entire building too quiet for his liking. Len had grown used to whirs and clicks that made up Crypton’s headquarters and without them, his home seemed absent of life.
Yet here the Vocaloid was, curled up on the top of the building, nursing a hot cocoa that wouldn’t do much good for someone of his design. He occasionally shook his head to get the snowflakes drifting from the pale blue sky into his blonde locks out of said locks. Other than that, though, Len Kagamine remained entirely still, his gaze still focused at the very distant line of trees twisting around the boundaries of the city.
A shudder went up his metaphorical spine, leaving him with a sense of uneasiness where doubt already existed. He was always doubting himself, of course. It was one of many cons that came with being of artificial intelligence that just so happened to have too much of the intelligence portion.
Len took a sip of the drink and let the liquid run down his metallic fuel conversion system, tightening his mitten-grip around the sides of it. He took a sniff and frowned; the mixture was lacking in the satisfaction he was currently craving, both emotionally and physically. The mere idea drained him of any possible idea of going indoors, where he could warm himself up in average heating system the company could provide for such a massive building.
“Still out here, huh?”
He looked over his shoulder to find his counterpart, wrapped in a coat two times too large for her thin body, with a scarf wrapped around her head in a turban-like fashion. The signature bow still poked out from underneath the mass, and Len couldn’t help but smile slightly at the sight. “Mm-hm.”
Rin plopped beside him and shivered when a snowflake found its way onto her nose, melting upon contact. “It’s so cold this year. Kinda sucks. How are we supposed to get anythin’ done like this?!”
Len shrugged indifferently, gazing back down into his mug. “Dunno. Humans do it all the time.”
“But we’re not human! I don’t got any mushy stuff running through me to make up for that sorta stuff!”
Her brother gave a short snort. “And you’d have it different?”
“Wha-? No, of course not!” Rin folded her arms over each other, placing her chin into her knees. “Being a robot makes me far superior to those lame humans! “
A small period of silence followed where Len merely stared more into his drink while his sister hummed whatever tune came to mind, tracing her finger in the snow to sign her name in any possible writing style. Len caught himself humming along to the few notes where he would have normally been required to support them and clash with his own, but it didn’t give him the light feeling in his chest like it was supposed to. All Vocaloids were meant to feel some sort of euphoric reaction from singing, yet today…
She noticed, frowning at his darkened expression.”Eh? What’s the matter? You usually like that song.”
“...About that stuff...with humans…”
Rin tilted her head to the side. “What ‘bout them?”
Len took a sip of the cocoa, which was starting to turn into a chilled drink. “I...what if….would it be weird to say I wish I was one? Sometimes?”
She blinked, then shrugged. “Depends, I guess. Why the sudden interest?”
“We sing about them a lot...all those stories that people wrote about humans. They go on so many adventures and meet so many people...and they find true love and settle down and have kids and childhoods! All those cliche things!” Len bit his lip, smiling awkwardly. “Sorry. That sounds really stupid, doesn’t it?”
“How would I know?” Rin replied quietly. “We don’t all feel the same way you do about things.”
It was true. A sad truth, but a truth that all the Vocaloids had accepted ages ago. Len himself only understood parts of why he didn’t share the same sort of thought processes as his sister, or his family that shared the same wiring. His emotions weren’t calculated, nor were they in anyway within any force’s control. They came and went, trapped behind closed doors until something unlocked them and let everything flow out in a steady stream of unexplainable binary feelings.
Even now, he realized the dam threatened to burst. He gripped the mug even harder. “Yeah. You don’t.”
“...What’s it like?”
He looked over at her. “What’s what like?”
“Y’know...real feelings. Ones that aren’t set up by scientists and coded instructions?”
He paused, looking up into the sky as the flakes continued to drift down onto the rooftop. “It’s...weird. I dunno how to explain it. Sometimes it feels like you’re flying and on top of the world, and other times...’slike you’re...drowning?”
Rin perked up a bit, sitting up straighter besides Len. “What’s drowning?”
“Well, it’s...it’s how humans can die. I think. Meiko told me about it.” Len’s fingers shook, and the contents of the mug spilled over some, splashing onto the snow and melting it in an instant. “They go in water and...y’know, they need to breathe...but the water fills them up, and the kick and flail and scream and-!”
A hand rested on his shoulder. “You okay?”
He shook more, whimpering like a wounded puppy. “H-humans cry when they get upset, t-that’s how they get out all the sadness. B-but I...I-I can’t...i-it hurts a lot...it h-hurts…”
There was a pause, and then Rin tugged him into a hug, ignoring the splash of once-hot cocoa that splashed onto her pants and possibly Len’s coat. She rubbed his back as Len continued to shake in her hold, releasing sobs that couldn’t be followed by salty tears. And though she couldn’t hurt for him, a coded feeling swept over her--a fellow Vocaloid had to be assisted at all costs, especially the one that was intended to be her mirror image.
She nuzzled into his neck, not minded the coldness of it against the little warmth the scarf was conserving for her. He became silent after a while, fingers hanging loosely at his sides while his fan system winded down to a comfortable, steady hum. The snow continued to drift down around them, unconcerned by the fact that the two were preventing them from coating the entire rooftop in a white glaze. Still, Rin giggled when she glanced at Len’s hair, covered in the white flakes from heaven.
“Heh, Len, you look kinda like the abominable shota from here!”
She received no reply except for perhaps the nod of a head stuffed into her shoulder. “Erm...does...does this sort of thing help? Because if it doesn’t then we could--”
“It does…,” a muffled reply came from the boy. “D-don’t let go, okay?”
“Alrighty! If that’s what you want!” she exclaimed, and squeezed him tighter.
Rin grew bored of the same position after what seemed to be hours, but eventually found entertainment in singing to herself, staring up into the now cloudy, grey sky.
“Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the sky is so delightful!
And with simply no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
“It doesn’t show signs of stoppin’,
And I’ve brought some corn for poppin’,
The lights are turned way down low-!”
It was quiet, too muffled by the two coats Rin had covered herself with, but she swore she could hear a melancholic series of “Let it snow”s with her own. A grin broke out on her face as she continued on, with Len’s muddled notes joining in with her cheery ones.
“When we finally kiss goodnight,
How I’ll hate going out in that storm!
But if you really hold me tight,
All the way home I’ll be warm~!”
“The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we’re still good-bying.
But as long as you love me so-!”
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…”
Rin laughed, tugging her brother out of her arms and beaming at him. “Even when you’re sad, you’re good at singing!”
“Heh. Guess so.” He mumbled, but smiled softly beneath the gloom.
“You got lots and lots and LOTS of time to brood over those sort of things, Len. And even if I don’t get ‘em much...I’d say you’re human to me!”
He blinked. “Y-you think so?”
“Yepyep!” Rin pulled Len to his feed, kicking the mug aside. “One in a million of ‘em, if that’s what you wanna be. So long as you’ll still be my human mirror image and all.
“...’Course. Always.” He grinned slyly, and in one swift motion with his arm, shoved Rin into the snow piling up on the rooftop. She squeaked as she flailed about, trying to stand up again while Len fell over in a fit of laughter, failing to suppress his amusement over her reaction. When she did get up, she wiped the snow off her brow, smirking.
“Alright, tough guy, let’s see how YOU like it!”
“W-what?! WaaAAAAAIT RIN NO-!” He slammed into another snow drift, muttering curses as he spat out snow and Rin took her own turn at laughing at her sibling’s misery.
“Y-you shoulda seen your FACE!” she squealed, pounding her fist into the roof. “Y-you’re such a DORK!”
“Tch. Whatever.” Len grumbled, taking his soggy mittens off his hands and shoving them into his pockets. “You ruined my hot cocoa, so you better go make me another one.”
“Oh please, you don’t even LIKE hot cocoa! What good’s it gonna do for you, huh?”
“That’s not the point! You ruined my beverage!”
“Shouldn’t you be eating a banana milkshake or something?”
“That’s not in season and I don’t eat bananas ALL the time!”
“You own banana boxers!”
“So?! A man is allowed to choose his underwear as he pleases!”
“You’re not a man, you’re six!”
The echoes of age-old arguments flew across the rooftop of the skyscraper headquarters as the grey sky filled with three times the original amount of flurries. Both sources of the voices ran into the safety of the building before it tore through the sky like a rain of ice bullets, intending harm and hypothermia to anyone that entered its cruel path.
The place where they both sat was replaced with a white blanket, and the mug was covered in snow, forgotten, along with a boy’s internal turmoil, for the time being.