Chapter 1: My Resolve
AN: Hi Everyone, this is my first FF so I appreciate all feedback. I apologize in advance for my grammatical errors. I've been sitting on this story awaiting Chpt 262 and decided to just run with it. I'm sure Sensei would prove me wrong but I'm frustrated by the progress of their love and taking matters into my own hands. ;) I've had this Mumford and Sons song "White Blank Page" stuck in my head and felt it was appropriate to use here.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Skip Beat, for if I did, there would be wedding bells already. I know she's only 17!
Ren laid on his massive bed, loneliness, creeping over him. He pushed the image Lory had shown him yesterday out of his mind. It was obvious that Fuwa took advantage of her vulnerability that night. It had bothered him so much that he let his guard down at the bar. Flashes of the day scrolled through his mind. Where did I go wrong? He had been so happy to see her. He missed her these past few weeks while he was on Guam finishing up Tragic Marker. Everything had seemed ok this morning when they picked her up from Darumaya. How did things take such a turn for the worse?
What was that look she gave him when he fixed her flower ring? Ren recalled the troubled expression that flashed across Kyoko's eyes at that time. Before he could ask her what was wrong, Yashiro pulled up with the car. Their manager always had impeccable timing. He spent the whole day trying to bring it up but she just kept deflecting. He couldn't even ask her if they could meet before they parted ways.
Ren had a lot of alone time during Tragic Marker. He finally found his resolve, on a whim, and decided to tell her everything. He laid in his bed reminiscing back to the time when he finally decided to man up and bare everything to the love of his life.
Ren was walking through the hotel lobby on Guam when he caught the sounds of music wafting through from the outside lounge. The hotel always had nightly entertainment for the tourists that frequented the island. "When was the last time I really listened to music?" Ren thought.
Breaking character, he found himself bypassing the elevators and walking towards the sound. Once outside, the warm salty sea air assaulted his senses. He headed towards the deserted beach. The music still carried clearly towards him.
The song ended and the singer spoke, "this next song is a cover called White Blank Page by Mumford and Sons." Listening, the guitar intro was captivating and gentle on his ears. He sat against a coconut tree and faced towards the band. The singer's voice rang out, "can you lie next to her and give her your heart, your heart, as well as your body." Ren was startled. He wondered how his feelings were being broadcasted through this song. It was like the singer was speaking to him directly.
He stared at this lone singer. It felt like fate was playing a trick on him. He listened as the song continued, "and can you lie next to her, and confess your love, your love, as well as your folly?"
He sat there with intense eyes trained on this singer until the rest of the band joined in. It was a powerful song, at least for him. Each lyric he sang pierced through his heart. "Tell me now, where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart."
Despite the warm temperature a cold shiver ran down his spine as the song ended. He knew not to take the lyrics literally. He could end up being that guy that missed his chance and she essentially found someone else. Someone worthy of her. He chuckled sarcastically to himself. He had yet to begin anything to end in a broken heart. The song resonated in his mind and felt like a premonition.
With the song replaying in his head, he decided to walk the beach to clear his mind. He kicked off his boots and removed his socks. After rolling up his jeans, he dropped Cain's jacket on to the sand. As he walked, he took in the natural surroundings. The full moon was high and the sky clear of clouds. Millions of stars dotted the black sky. The air was humid making the water lapping at his feet refreshing. For the most part, the beach was deserted save for a few couples here and there.
He wished she was with him. He imagined them hand in hand, silently stealing glances at each other, as they walked on the moonlit shore. "Why didn't I bring Setsu here for a nightly walk?" he pondered. It was still within their lovey dovey sibling roles to do so. He decided right then, that he would tell her everything and he will bring her here for vacation again. "If she will have me," he admonished aloud to the dark ocean.
He returned to where he discarded his stuff and headed to his room. On his way up he passed Murasame and a few of the cast and crew from Tragic Marker. He ignored their curious looks and kept walking. What they saw was a Cain Heel, carrying his boots and jacket, with bare sandy feet. The thought that went through all their minds was "he must be really missing her." After that night, he seemed a little more human to them but they still dared not approach him.
Thinking of that time on Guam, he reached over and plugged his phone in to the music player. The melancholy song filled his quiet room. He downloaded the mp3 back on Guam and played it every time his resolve waivered. The band on Guam did the song justice but the original band with all the accompanied instruments was amazing.
He was still grateful to whatever divine intervention took place on that island. The locals there did have a lot of superstitions. He didn't want to dwell on those stories but maybe he and Kyoko could pursue it if they went back together. He shut off the player when the song ended and took a deep breath to relieve the constriction that had formed in his chest.
He wanted to call her now and just hear her voice. Looking at his phone, the clock read 11:03pm. It's not too late, maybe I should just call.
He ended up sending a text first, Hello, are you still awake? His phone immediately buzzed alerting him to an incoming text. He smiled when he saw it was from her, I'm up, doing homework.
He cursed under his breath. Damn, I can't bother her if she's doing her homework. He responded with, don't work yourself too hard that you will be weary in the morning.
His phone buzzed again making Ren snort with laughter at her response. Her message read, Yes Dad! It was accompanied with an emoticon sticking out its tongue.
A warm smile crept over Ren's face. His earlier loneliness had vanished. This cheeky girl since when did she become so sarcastic. "Must be Setsu rubbing off on her," he mused aloud. Wanting to prolong this feeling, he decided to call her since she seemed to have so much free time.
Kyoko let out a whelp when her phone started vibrating. She groaned looking at the caller ID. The demon lord was calling her. She knew she was in for it now. He was probably going to scold her for the last text she sent. She smiled slyly, since it was her intention all along to get him to call when she sent, in her eyes, a risky message to her Senpai. It was just as Kanae told her, he was so predictable. She chastened herself for thinking like that. This was her Senpai! Since when did she become so cunning?
Kanae's theory claimed that Ren enjoyed her company as a friend and not just a colleague. She knew, no she was hoping, that her forwardness would prompt him to call her. She couldn't muster the courage to be the first to call, especially after the way she ignored him today. She didn't like the way she had felt all day. The ugly feelings of jealousy that she had been harboring lately made her feel disgusting. It didn't help that she was almost thrown from a balcony last night by the woman he loved, either.
She had vowed to the President, putting her pride as an actress on the line, that she would hide her feelings from Ren forever. What she didn't realize at the time was just how difficult it would be if he was always near. The President is punishing me on purpose by assigning Yashiro-san as my manager too. With Yashiro in charge of both of them, she would have no choice but to run into Ren almost every day.
With her heart thumping in excitement, she immediately answered the phone "Tsu- Tsu- Tsuruga-san, I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed.
Down the hall of the Darumaya, the Okami-san turned toward her husband lying on the futon beside her, "Ne honey, Kyoko-chan seems to be lively again." Taisho responded with his usual grunt. He was glad that whatever was bothering the girl was finally over.
Kyoko fell into a dogeza before her phone with tears pricking at her eyes. She acted as if Ren was right before her beaming his ultra-gentleman smile down on her.
"Ohhh?" came his deep teasing voice from out of her phone's speaker.
"Mogami-san, please do tell. What might you be apologizing for?" he inquired. She swore inwardly. He enjoyed teasing her.
Kyoko picked up the phone and said with a slight pout, "Tsuruga-san, you're so mean."
Ren chuckled softly into the phone. Kyoko returned back to her seated position. "Oh by the way, did you need something Tsuruga-san?" she asked.
"Yes, Mogami-san, I'm calling to find out if you are free tomorrow night? I would like to cook you dinner and pass something on to you," he asked hesitantly, his voice no longer teasing.
Normally, Kyoko would be reluctant at such an invitation but she found herself immediately agreeing excitement creeping into her voice. She responded as she flipped through her planner, "I'm free after 9pm, is that ok?"
Ren couldn't mask the delight in his voice, "Yes, can I pick you up?"
Kyoko hesitated. That was her TBM job as Bo. She didn't want to get caught. She thought quickly for a good excuse to refuse his offer. With a sigh of relief, she said "Eh, wouldn't Yashiro-san be driving us?"
Ren replied, "You're right! It's so new I already forgot he drives. Well then, see you in the morning. I'll look forward to tomorrow night."
"See you tomorrow Tsuraga-san, good night," she replied.
"Goodnight Mogami-san, sweet dreams," he said in his husky voice.
She hung up the phone and felt a shiver run down her spine recalling the sound of his sweet voice. She tried not to think of unnecessary things that would bring her down from this high as she continued her homework.
Alas, the events of the past few days started to flood her mind. Soon the familiar sharp pain in her chest returned. I need to get a check-up, maybe something is seriously wrong with my body. I might actually be dying. I know, can ask Moko-san tomorrow morning.
She finally finished her homework and laid down in bed replaying their conversation in her mind. She bolted up right as it finally dawned on her. It was something that she failed to pick up on during the call. Ren said he would be cooking.
She cringed at the thought, recalling the last time he cooked for them. That night, he was adamant about cooking. He refused any of her help except to garnish it with ketchup. His cooking style had been erratic with the end result tasting terrible. There was no way she wouldn't eat a meal prepared by her Senpai. She ate it all. Despite his lack of appetite, he ate it all as if he was trying to conquer some demon. She wondered if he was experiencing a similar hardship to that night during the Dark Moon filming. Did something happen while on Guam? She was glad she agreed to dinner. She wanted to support him in any way she could. A dark premonition settled over her body as she fell into a fitful sleep.
AN: I'm in the process of cleaning up my earlier chapters. Hopefully, my grammar has improved a bit. ;)