Hi hi! This is in tribute to KyokoRen week (first time) so I hope I'm doing this right. The first prompt was fall which I decided to literally interpret as the season rather than the action...XD. I probably already failed. Either way, the prompts inspired me so I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 1: Fall: Come With Me?
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Skip Beat, for if I did, Super Manager Yashiro would know exactly what LoveMe job Kyoko had at TBM ;)
Kyoko and Yashiro walked down the hall of TBM after filming Yappa Kimagure Rock. She had confided in Yashiro, as her manager, with her role as Bo. She had Yashiro swear to all that was holy, in practically every religion, to keep her secret. She elicited a promise from him, with the help of her little grudges, for him to commit seppuku if he ever told Ren. Yashiro's inner fangirl screamed when he found out this new information. He wasted no time in trying to have Ren meet with Boh whenever his schedule allowed it. If only Ren knew that his chicken friend was indeed the woman he loved.
"So have you told Ren yet?" Yashiro asked. It was the same old conversation they had after every taping. Kyoko gave him the same dry look every time in response and nothing more.
"I'm sure if you apologize properly he will forgive you anything. He wouldn't want to lose you to something so minor," Yashiro persisted.
"It's not that simple. I'm literally too 'chicken' to tell him," Kyoko said putting her hand over the dull ache in her heart. She was getting used to Yashiro's cryptic remarks. He often implied that Ren cared for her as more than a kohai. Kyoko knew not to assume too much, even though, Ren had been more outspoken to Bo lately. She just wanted him to be happy. She had resigned herself to continue to love him in secret.
"I just think you would feel less stressed if you told him. Studies show that the longer you keep things a secret the harder it would be to come clean." He saw the results of Ren's not so accidental run-ins with Bo. Ren would walk away lighter while Kyoko, on the other hand, couldn't make up her mind whether she was happy or troubled by the exchange. Neither of his charges would divulge what they discussed with each other in that setting. "Ah, speak of the devil himself," Yashiro said waving to the tall actor approaching them.
Kyoko did her best to control her heart. She had roughly twenty Ren steps to get her act together before they confronted him. He looked good. She loved it when he dressed casually. He was wearing a white v-neck t-shirt with a pair of slim jeans and some black and white checkered slip-on sneakers. It wasn't her imagination but he was starting to dress more like his age and less like a night club host. He still donned the suit and professional attire depending on the job but she liked him best looking comfortable.
"Ren! Did your work finish early?" Yashiro greeted. He watched both his charges' expressions change to pure bliss as they greeted each other. He snickered to himself.
"Yes, I just finished up in studio C. Are you all done here as well?" Ren replied smoothly. Kyoko nodded. Ren had hoped to see his chicken friend to kill time until Kyoko finished work but thoughts of Bo were pushed to the wayside now that she was here.
"That's great, I just remembered something I have to do in the office before I leave for holiday so do you mind taking Kyoko-chan home," Yashiro asked eagerly.
"Sure, that won't be a problem," he replied without hesitation. He hoped his enthusiasm wasn't too obvious. It was his intention to run into her one last time before he departed the city.
"Thank you, enjoy your breaks. I'll see you both in a few days," Yashiro said making himself disappear. They were going in the same direction to the parking lot but it was obvious Yashiro was trying to give them privacy. He often did that and scolded Ren for not taking advantage of the opportunities he made for him.
"How was wor-", "Thank yo-", they both began in unison.
"You first Mogami-san," Ren said urging her to speak.
"I just wanted to thank you for the ride," she told him. She was getting better at accepting his kindness towards her and also better at not holding it against him if she read more into it.
On the drive to the Darumaya, a work van had run a red traffic light causing Ren to stop short to avoid it. He didn't freeze up like he did on the Dark Moon set but it had triggered something in him to act.
"Won't you come with me, Mogami-san?" Ren asked her in his soft alluring voice before she stepped out of his car.
Kyoko felt her heart lurch. Me? He wanted her to come with him on his trip. Her heart screamed Yes! but her mind felt like she was suffering from deja vu. The last time a guy she loved asked her, in particular, to come with him she was regulated to nothing more than a servant. She knew Ren didn't need any of those things from her so what exactly were Ren's motives for wanting her to come along? Why not ask the girl he loved? It was in his words and his actions that had her briefly entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, she could possibly be that girl. He never said anything straight forward and she never asked. She learned from her experience with Sho not to get ahead of herself.
Ren had no clue what compelled him to ask her. Okay, he knew exactly why he asked her. The near accident had him thinking about the past and how short life was. He didn't want to part from her. They were finally at a decent place in their "friendship" again after all their misunderstandings had been cleared up. There was no relationship between him, Kana or Kimiko, and she would never feel any romantic love for Shotaro again.
Since Kanae had been whisked off to America for months, Kyoko had been spending more time with Ren since they shared Yashiro as a manager. It wasn't uncommon now to see the Senpai and Kohai together. The public had already accepted them even if they were both tied to their work.
"Are you two dating?" had been a common question asked of them on any of their separate interviews or on set. A flat out "no" was never given. Ren couldn't say it. He wished with all his heart that he could just say yes! First, he had to work up the courage to tell her the truth. What they had right now was good. He didn't want to go messing up their relationship if he misread her feelings.
In her interviews, he had expected her to flat out tell the hosts "no," and follow it up with a self-esteem crusher. It pained him whenever she told Japan what a "god" he was and how a lowly mortal like herself couldn't possibly breathe the same air as him. Those answers had stopped once they were both "open" and "honest" as they could be with each other. They still kept their respective secrets.
Yashiro was over the moon with the progress of their non-relationship. In his mind, they were practically a couple. Kyoko often cooked Ren dinner at his place. They spent time running scripts together. If one or the other wasn't busy, they accompanied Yashiro to the other's projects to observe their work. Yes, to Yashiro they were dating, at a snail's pace, they just had yet to admit it for what it was.
Now, Ren saw the apprehension on her face. She bit her bottom lip unsure of how to respond. He didn't like that he made her feel uncomfortable. He was ready to play off his question offering her an easy way to let him down.
Kyoko looked up to see Ren's crestfallen face, the same face he showed Bo when things didn't go well with the woman he loved. Ba-bump. Her heart thumped as she realized it was her hesitation now that gave him that look. She didn't like that she had caused him pain. She had to remind herself that Ren was nothing like Shotaro and was a true gentleman. She ignored the fact that she often caught the Emperor of the Night staring at her when they were alone, chalking it up to her imagination.
It was as if something had taken over her body. Kyoko found the words tumbling out of her mouth. "I've heard Hokkaido is beautiful in the fall. If you're ok with someone like me tagging along, I'll be honored to join you."
Ren's face lit up like a kid on Christmas day, obliterating what little of her grudges remained. Never in a million years would he have thought she would agree to come with him. His mind raced through his itinerary full of hermit-like activities. They now included her right there beside him. The solo conversations he imagined having now had her responding to his questions. It was too good to be true.
"You'll really come with me?" He said in a giddy tone. Kyoko nodded shyly in reply. His excitement was contagious. She hoped she wasn't making a big mistake. She would try to act as "natural" with him as she did when playing Setsu with Cain. It was only for a few days, she could survive this trip.
"When do we leave?" She asked reaching for the door handle.
"Give me tonight to make the arrangements. I'll pick you up in the morning! Is that ok?" Ren asked. He was worried that by tomorrow she would have come to her senses and changed her mind.
Kyoko nodded, this would allow her to pack. "What should I pack? I don't know what you were planning."
"All you have to do is pack warm clothes for several days and some sturdy yet comfortable shoes. We're going fairy hunting!"
It was Kyoko's turn for her face to light up. She didn't care if he was making fun of her. This had to mean they would be outdoors, maybe hiking through the woods. She recalled the time they met in the woods in Karuizawa, for a second there, as the sun shone down on him, she thought she saw Corn.
"Anything else I should do to prepare?" She asked excitedly. He should have just started there and she would have been on board in an instant.
"I have it all covered," he told her with a soft chuckle. He was relieved by her excitement.
"But what about the cost? I need to give you some money!" She said tugging at her bag. He laid his hand over hers as she pulled out her wallet.
"Please don't insult me Mogami-san! I invited you; therefore, you owe me nothing." There it was, that warm smile that made her heartbeat just a little bit quicker.
"But I ca-" she began but Ren quieted her by pressing his index finger to her lips. The move was so intimate Kyoko froze her eyes crossing looking at his finger.
Realizing what he just did he pulled his hand away. "Sorry...Can you please just leave everything to me? I promise having you come along won't cost anything extra!" Kyoko nodded shyly. She trusted him.
"Now go inside and pack. I'll see you at six on the dot!"
AN: Until tomorrow, Ja ne! ^_^