“Kusuo, you’ve used the love meter on mother and father, right?” Kusuke asks curiously one day, setting down the research papers that he had been reading a moment earlier.
Kusuo frowns. He was sitting across from his brother, a spoonful of coffee jelly halfway to his mouth, the treat being the only reason he had stayed instead of leaving immediately like he usually did.
Kusuke laughs. “I can tell you’re confused, Kusuo. I was just wondering… you’ve never tried it on me, right?” he says, pointing to himself.
Kusuo hasn’t tried it because he knows the answer already.
“I know what you’re thinking, Kusuo. You already know what it’ll say. But what if it turns out differently?”
Kusuo smoothly raises an eyebrow.
“Not everything in life can be known with your psychic abilities, you know.”
Kusuo’s eyebrow twitched. I know that already. You’re the one person I can never understand the thoughts and feelings of.
But Kusuo sighs and stands up, placing the half-empty cup securely onto the table before holding his hand out to bring out the love meter. He is too soft, after all.
The familiar crimson, heart-shaped meter materialises seemingly out of nowhere and floats up to position itself next to Kusuke. Kusuke moves to stand up as well. He cannot see it, but he knows that it’s there.
Kusuo watches the love meter closely. It was currently at 00000, the default value.
Kusuo guesses it will stay that way.
He is incredibly wrong.
As soon as he thinks that thought, the love meter’s numbers start to change rapidly. Sometimes the numbers went into the negatives. Sometimes the numbers exceeded 50,000.
The values constantly changed. They moved up and down, up and down, up and down.
It was as if the meter was malfunctioning.
His brother hates him and loves him at the same time. He despises him yet reveres him. Kusuo is the god whom he prays to at night but simultaneously is the ground that he crushes beneath his feet. Kusuke wants to slit his throat for the sole purpose of hearing him scream but simultaneously wants to push him to the ground and fuck him till tears were streaming down his face.
Kusuo comes to as he hears his brother step closer.
"Kusuo, what does the love meter say?"
Kusuke smiles brightly, his eyes crinkling.
Kusuo's eyes widen. Without realising it, he had taken a step back.
Kusuke’s smile morphs into a twisted smirk. His face looked almost gleeful, even.
Kusuo swallows - his throat feels dry.
“...it was....what I expected.”