Kyoko just shut her locker in the Love Me-room and hoisted her bag up on her shoulder, ready to leave for filming, when there was a knock on the door followed by it being opened.

"Tsuruga-san", Kyoko bowed in greeting as he entered the room. "How are you?"

"I'm good, how about you?" Ren smiled.

"Everything's great", she smiled brightly. She looked behind him but couldn't spot his manager. "What brings you to LME today? Where's Yashiro-san?"

"Yashiro-san is picking up some papers to look over at my next job. But we actually came here so I could catch you before you leave for filming", she tilted her head and looked at him in confusion. "How's filming going?"

"It's running smoothly", Kyoko assured him but did not unfurrow her brows. "Why do you need to see me, is something wrong?"

Ren shook his head. "Not at all", he pulled out the present he had hid behind his back and handed it to her.

"What's this?" Kyoko asked curiously as she received the gift from him.

"I know it's a bit late, but I hope you still see this as an acceptable White Day-gif", at his words Kyoko let out a surprised cry which Ren ignored. "I'm sorry I haven't given you one earlier."

The gift was wrapped up beautifully and attached to it was a small charm, similar to the one Kyoko had seen hanging from Momose's phone but just a bit different - unlike Momose's, this one had a few more details, including a butterfly above the big, "pretty princess"-heart charm at the bottom.

"I cannot accept this!" Kyoko cried out. "Queen Rose wine jelly doesn't fall under the return gift-policy!"

Ren looked at her in confusion. "None the less, you gave me a gift for Valentine's Day – a gift I appreciated very much – so I give you a White Day-gift in return. That is the correct way to do it, don't you agree?" he smiled gently but Kyoko wasn't looking at him, instead staring at his shoes with burning cheeks.

"But you already gave me your thanks…" she mumbled, barely loud enough for him to hear, remembering Vain Day in vivid detail.

"Still, I wanted to do it properly", he said determined. "I will not take it back, Mogami-san."

Kyoko bowed low. "Thank you very much, Tsuruga-san! I am sorry to be such a burden. I will open it quickly so you won't be late to your next appointment!"

He shook his head. "I'm not in a rush, but I don't think you have time to open it right now; you were about to leave, right? I'm sorry for having kept you here so long."

Kyoko frantically shook her head. "Not at all, Tsuruga-san! Would you mind if I opened it now?"

Ren shook his head but continued; "Go ahead, but I can tell you right now that it's a fairy tale and I believe it to be better if you open it at home so you can read it straight away", he smiled, but his smile couldn't hide his nervousness. Kyoko saw it, but the words 'fairy tale' had her daydreaming of princesses and magic right away. She was smiling broadly back at him.

"A fairy tale? Which fairy tale?"

"It's called 'The Dark Prince' - I don't think you've heard of it before?"

Kyoko shook her head. "It doesn't sound like a very happy fairy tale", she said with a frown.

"It's about finding a way out of darkness, so it's not as sad as the title might suggest", Ren assured her with a smile.

A knock on the door alerted the duo of Yashiro's presence. After briefly exchanging pleasantries with Kyoko, he turned to Ren and informed him that they needed to leave. Ren turned to Kyoko.

"Can I offer you a ride?"

Kyoko shook her head. "I'm not going far and I still have plenty of time to bike there. Besides I enjoy the exercise. Thank you for your offer", she smiled brightly.

"Of course. Take care of yourself, Mogami-san", he smiled kindly and Kyoko repeated his words to both him and Yashiro, followed by a reminder to Ren that he shouldn't skip dinner just because he had had lunch. Ren left the Love Me-room and Kyoko soon followed, but not before removing the little charm attached to the present and putting it onto her own phone, like Momose had done. She couldn't help but to smile when she looked at the charm, and carefully tucked "The Dark Prince" away in her bag.

At the end of the day, after the Darumaya had closed and the Okami insisted that there wasn't anything else Kyoko could help with, she finally got to open her gift from Ren. She unwrapped it very carefully and was faced with the back of the book – it was a western styled book, which surprised her a little. The back of the book held no information about the inside, it was just completely black. She flipped the book over in her hands and stared at the front. The front was black as well, but not all of it. It was like darkness slowly dispersing from the edges, and in the middle was not only the title written (in English, giving away the language the book was written in) but a picture was drawn. A beautiful clearing and in the middle of it was a blonde boy, sitting on a rock. A pair of wings could be seen sprouting from his back, but as she tilted the book the wings disappeared – it was just visible in certain angles. The clearing looked a lot like the clearing in Kyoto where Kyoko had played with Corn as a child, but perhaps that was just because the boy was blonde.

I wonder if Tsuruga-san chose this book thinking the picture would remind me of Corn? She had told him what Corn looked like after all. Curios as to how the story would go, she opened the book and discovered to her delight that it was a picture book.

'Once upon a time, in the magical kingdom of Whylodool, the king and queen of the time gave birth to a little boy.'

The picture showed a beautiful woman with long, golden hair and piercing green eyes holding a little bundle to her chest. A man with blonde hair and eyes the color of hazelnuts was standing with his arm around the woman. Both of them gazed at the bundle, their son, with expressions filled with love.

'The boy grew up admiring his father as his hero, wanting to be just like him one day. But no matter how the prince struggled, he couldn't live up to the expectations put on him – not by his parents, but of all the people surrounding them and the expectations he put on himself. He couldn't escape his father's shadow, no matter how desperately he tried.'

The next picture showed the golden-haired boy sitting on the floor, crawled up to a ball – his father was not showing, but the shadow mentioned in the text covered the boy and all around him were eyes glowering, glaring at the boy.

'Because of the rejection the prince faced every day, he grew distant, cold and violent. At age fifteen, the only real friend he had died because of him.'

There was no picture drawn for that particular text and Kyoko was glad there wasn't. She had had a feeling that this was no ordinary fairy tale from the start, but now she started to think that this perhaps was Ren's own story.

'After the loss of his friend, the prince fell so deep into darkness that the king turned to his old friend for help. The friend, a duke from Panaj, came to visit the king and his son while the queen was away. The Duke offered the prince a new life in Panaj, learning to take on the role of his father at the place where his father had started. And the prince, the boy, agreed.'

The picture showed the boy following a long man with dark hair out of a big door, leaving his father behind stretching his hand out as if trying to stop him, but having his mouth closed, not daring to say anything.

"Is that the president? No, it couldn't be… right?" she stared at the duke, and then at the prince's father. Both seemed so familiar to her.

'The boy was reborn in Panaj under the guidance of the Duke. For five years, he struggled and managed to reach the top of Panaj without any hitch; and without any contact with his parents. He lived a lonely life, a pathetic excuse of a life – but still a life that was more than he deserved. And then he met a girl who made his life suddenly take an unexpected turn.'

And the next picture almost had Kyoko laugh out loud, both from embarrassment when remembering it and the close resemblance to when it had happened in real life. Ren and Sawara-san, throwing her out of LME. She was a bit surprised to see herself making an appearance.

"Panaj for Japan then", she flipped back to the beginning and looked at the name of the kingdom, Whylodool. She started rearranging the letters. "Hollywood. Tsuruga-san is American…?"

She picked up where she had left off, trying to ignore her embarrassment.

'Despite the fact that the boy didn't get along at all with the girl, she had him thinking about her on several occasions after their meeting,' Kyoko blushed a little when reading that, 'and he was very impressed with her determination and perseverance, even if he couldn't agree with her motives.'

This time there were a few smaller pictures which Kyoko understood was supposed to portray the time she had been a helper for Matsunai Ruriko; the boy carrying the girl because she was injured, him offering her a seat, her performing the teaceremony – all pale in the face – and lastly, the boy helping the girl up from the floor. She remembered what had happened in the last picture most clearly – it was when she had realized that everything she knew was because of Shotaro.

But thanks to Tsuruga-san, that changed. She couldn't help but to smile. Because of Ren being such a talented actor and leading her in the scene, she decided to learn acting so that it wouldn't happen again. And then she fell in love with the craft, not only because of her training, but because she got to see his passion for it.

'One day, as the boy was wandering down a corridor of the Duke's palace, a small treasure fell at his feet. As he picked it up, wondering how it had come back to him after so many years, he heard a name he hadn't heard in a very long time being called out. And that was the day he realized that the girl he knew as a child for a few days had come into his life once again.'

Kyoko stared at the last sentence and then looked at the picture. The boy was younger again, with golden hair and green eyes, holding a stone with a sad blue color which he was giving to a little girl with black hair in pig-tails to soothe her crying. She should have known.

Furious she slammed the book closed and was about to throw it across the room to never open it again, but she couldn't bring herself to do it and instead placed it on the floor, sliding it away from herself. Curling into a ball she tried to understand what was going on but her thoughts were a mess.

Tsuruga-san was Corn. When they met in Guam, he easily could have come clean to her but chose not to. Tsuruga-san actually came from Hollywood, he was the son of 'the king of Hollywood'. Kyoko could only think of one man who fit the bill – Hizuri Kuu. Tsuruga-san was Hizuri Kuon. Kuon, Corn. She formed the names with her mouth and realized what name he truly had given her eleven years ago.

Why hadn't he told her who he was? She had told him, and shown him, on so many occasions how important Corn had been to her – he was her first real friend. And for a whole year he had been by her side – and not told her?

Tears started streaming down her face and she wanted to leave and find comfort in the nature, like she always had done – but he had comforted her there. She didn't even have that anymore. Instead she laid on the floor, feeling more lost than ever before.


Almost a week had passed by since she had been given The Dark Prince and she hadn't seen him around in all that time. Not Yashiro either. She wanted to talk to him, confront him, ask him about what she had found, but at the same time she didn't know how to face him. She was disappointed in him and a bit angry, but she would forgive him the second he apologized – she knew she would. She didn't think she would forgive herself as quickly.

She couldn't help but blame herself for not figuring out who he was on her own. She remembered the time when the Beagle told her that a boy that sad at such a young age would surely be gone and Tsuruga Ren had told her that he was certain Corn was alright. She had been soothed so easily by his words, but he had no way of knowing. Did she believe him because she secretly knew? She wished that was the case, but if she had known, she wouldn't have felt so betrayed now, right? She remembered Tsuruga Ren telling her that she had nailed Kuon's feelings about his father - she remembered telling Kuu what he had said; and she remembered Kuu's reaction to the words. She should have known then; the only words that could matter that much to a father are the words said by his own son.

Kyoko sighed as she opened the door to her room. In the corner of her eye she spotted the book. It still lay where she left it after having stopped reading it last time. She hadn't touched it since then. If she were to continue, would she find out why he hadn't told her? A bit hesitantly, she picked up the book and sat down to continue reading from where she had stopped.

'Realizing she was the girl from his childhood, the boy wondered over why she had changed so much. But he soon realized that the gentle girl he had known was still there – in the end, he had changed most out of them both. And then one day, after having talked to a magical bird, he realized that he was starting to develop feelings for the girl.'

Tsuruga Ren talking to Bo.

'However the boy knew that he did not deserve happiness and thus he would never allow himself to be with her, even if he couldn't stop himself from loving her. Despite that he was selfish and tried to monopolize her, even if she said she would never love anyone ever again – he couldn't risk anyone coming close to her so that she might fall in love with them after all. He was a very despicable man; using the excuse of being her mentor to make sure no one would kiss the lips he wanted to kiss, and making sure she wouldn't accept just any gifts – since he wished to be the one to give her everything she could ever want.

By now Kyoko didn't even glance at the pictures, she just kept reading, her heart beating rapidly in her chest.

'In Maug, the girl met the boy looking as he done when they had met for the very first time. Being the coward he was, afraid of losing her and not yet ready to reveal his past, he tricked her into believing he was the little prince she had met, and not the man she now knew. He tricked her into kissing him, to lift his curse – and in a sense she did lift it. He could finally put his feelings for her into words, even if she wasn't ready to accept them. Because of the light she had brought into his life, he had started to crawl out of the darkness he had put himself in. After that kiss, he decided that he was allowed to live his life.

She continued to save him in more ways than he could count, as she had done for a long time. His love for her only grew with the time and hearing the same words she had heard from her mother, he hurried to her side to offer comfort – wishing he had been the prince so he could cheer her up like he had done when they were young. He knew he needed to tell her who he really was, but he didn't know how. She was the best thing in his life and he didn't know what he would do if he were to lose her. But the longer it would take him to tell her, the bigger the risk that she wouldn't forgive him grew. And when he learned that she perhaps was ready to love someone, he also realized that he was ready to let her know of his past.

But he wouldn't dare to tell her face to face, because if he had to face rejection, he'd rather not hear her say it; his heart would break if she rejected him, but he knew her to be so kind, that perhaps she would try to act as if she accepted him and that would be worse. Instead he decided to write his story down and give it to her.

After her accepting it, he would wait one week at his home for her to come find him if she wanted to see him again. Until then he would stay away from her. If she decided she didn't want to see him, he would return to Hollywood and try to get a part as Ren Tsuruga so she would have her space and not having to see him again for a long time if that was what she wished.'

The pages that followed were blank.


He would leave for the states the next day. His bags were packed and awaited him in his bedroom. His flight would leave midday, so he would not be in a rush in the morning.

He sat in his couch and couldn't stop a sigh. He really had hoped that Kyoko would come by. If she had come, then that would mean that he at least would have been given a chance to explain himself. Her not showing confirmed his fears – she wouldn't forgive him.

His doorbell rang. Immediately his hopes flared up, but he fought them back. It could be Yashiro who wanted to confirm something. Usually he would call, but Kuon had left his phone in his bedroom on silence. Or perhaps Yashiro had wrecked his own phone again. Opening the door, his heart leapt into his throat.

He stepped aside to let her in and she entered without a word, kicking off her shoes and stopping not far in. He closed the door and turned to face her back. She was holding the book in her hands. He could tell she was mad, and she deserved to be. The silence stretched out between them.

"How could you be so stupid?" before he was given a chance to answer, she spun around and glared at him, pointing at the book. Her hair was disheveled, her face red and a little sweaty. "Putting a deadline in the end like that? I almost missed seeing you because of it!"

Kuon opened his mouth to answer but found no words. Of everything he could have imagined her telling him, that had not been one. She awaited his answer in silence. "Is that what you're angry about?"

Kyoko wrapped her arms around herself. "At first I was angry at you for not telling me, but then I was just disappointed. I was angrier at myself for not having realized it. I was disappointed that you waited so long to tell me, and when I understood why you waited so long I was disappointed you didn't tell me in person. And then I got scared, thinking that I'd miss the chance to tell you that…" she paused, closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "that I… that I lo-love you too."

Kuon stared at her, shocked, trying to process her words. "… too? You love me back…?" he asked, uncertain – because how could this beautiful girl love a disgusting monster like him? A murderer?

Kyoko smiled gently, blushing. "I love you, Corn."

Kuon took two quick steps to cross the distance between them, laughing as he held her to his chest. At first she had stiffened at the sudden gesture, but she wrapped her arms around him in return. "I love you so much Kyoko", he whispered in her hair and could feel the temperature of her skin rising as she blushed more furiously. "I love you. I can't believe this. I've never been this happy before."

"I love you", she mumbled and he let go of her slightly so he could look at her. She shyly looked up at him.

"Can I kiss you?" she nodded and he wasted no time, gently holding her head. The height difference could have been a bit awkward if he hadn't scooped her up in his arms and gone to the sofa, putting her down as the kiss deepened.

She suddenly pulled back. "What about your flight? Are you leaving soon?"

Kuon laughed. "I'll cancel that", he looked at the beautiful young woman he held in his arms. "Or maybe I just won't show up…" he muttered as he leaned in to capture her lips again.

"But what about Hollywood?" she leaned away from him.

"It'll still be there", he smiled and this time she could not stop him from kissing her passionately.


*The "pretty princess"-charm of Momose's can be seen in chapter 241.

I wrote the first draft for this about a year ago and wasn't sure I would ever publish it… but since we still have no White Day-gift from Ren…!

By the way, not the way I wish for his confession to go; I would prefer if he told her everything in person… but when this idea struck me I decided to write it anyway.

Would love to know what you think – all comments are welcome; hit me with your best (or worst or something in between) shot!

Thank you for checking this out. Hugs!