Guess who's back! Me. Yes. Hi. I'm alive and am once again trash for this ship. And also in my last year of college. Wow, it's been a while. Enjoy this oneshot!
Kyoko rifled through the racks at the thrift store, wishing that Moko could have come with her today. Sure, Moko wasn't really a thrift store person, but shopping was so much more fun with her best friend! And she'd already seen at least six things that would have been perfect for Moko, all in great condition! She wished that she could wear stuff like Moko did and look so elegant, but that was a bit out of her range in her day-to-day life. Natsu might, sure, but... her hand stilled.
Speaking of things out of her daily range, she had just found a dress that Setsu would adore - and one that was in good condition, at that. And... oh my gosh, it had pockets! She checked the size, and was not sure whether to feel excited or disappointed that it was, indeed, her size. She bit her lip, considering for a moment, then tucked it under her arm with the other hangers. Surely it wouldn't hurt to try on, right?
Ren fished his phone out of his bag, surprised to find that a text from Kyoko awaited him. It was always a nice surprise to get a text from her during one of his breaks. His thumb hovered over the icon for a moment, wondering why he couldn't see a preview of the message; had she sent him a picture? It was probably something related to fairies, he thought fondly. Or maybe she had gotten a LoveME assignment to send him a picture. He really hoped it wasn't that. He unscrewed the cap of his water bottle with his other hand, then picked it up as he clicked to open the message.
Moments earlier, Kijima had come up behind him, wondering what was happening to make Ren so interested in his phone - he usually left checking messages until after he was done working for the day, at least that he'd seen. And this definitely wasn't buisness-related, if that stupid smile on his face was any indicator. It had to be something from Kyoko-chan.
Ren opened the picture. His eyes widened and he dropped his drink, spilling water everywhere. Behind him, Kijima's jaw dropped.
What the hell?
Kyoko was already berating herself for sending the picture. She shouldn't have! She really shouldn't have! They weren't in character right now - what would Tsuruga-san think? She'd just been so excited about the dress that Setsu had taken over without her thinking about it, and Setsu wanted her nii-san to praise her. Tell her how much he liked the dress, how much he liked it on her. Part of Setsu wanted him to forbid her from wearing it out and about, so he would be the only one to see her in it. Stupid! Stupid line of thought! Bad! Kyoko peeled off the dress and hung it back on the hanger - and was immediately distracted by another piece she'd found, one that just screamed "Fairyland."
Setsu giggled in the back of her mind. Nii-san was going to love the dress.
Ren stared in disbelief at his phone. Kyoko had just sent him a picture. Of herself. In a dress. A very short, black dress. With lots of netting. And not enough fabric. He vaguely heard someone - Yashiro? - asking him what was wrong. He blinked, twice, trying to understand what he was seeing. She was - somewhere. Trying on clothes, from the looks of it. He scrolled up, hoping to see a message that would explain what he was looking at, what he never wanted to stop looking at. His face blanched as he read the words.
What do you think, nii-san?
Kyoko walked out of the store, feeling very conflicted about the contents of the shopping bag looped over her arm. Nothing else had fit, and she did need more dresses. Plus, maybe this would stop nii-san from buying her stupidly expensive things. Probably not, but it was worth a shot. And it was only 400 yen (~$4)! For a dress with pockets! Sure, she would never wear this as herself - maybe with a lot of layers? - but a 400 yen dress that fit and had pockets was just too good of a deal to miss. She strode down the street back to the Darumaya. She'd put her dress in her hamper to wash, and then go see if okami-san needed help with the evening shift. She didn't have school today, after all, so she should see if she could help out. And so she went, forgetting (or maybe blocking out) the fact that she had just sent a picture to her senpai.
That explained it. A little too well, honestly. Ren pressed the button on the side of his phone, turning the screen black. He had no idea how to feel. Relieved? No. Disappointed? Probably. Confused? Yes.
"Was that Kyoko-chan?"
Ready to throttle Kijima? Also yes.
"Was what Kyoko-chan?" Yashiro asked, looking between his charge and Kijima. Sure, he'd figured such a strong reaction had to be related to Kyoko-chan, but he didn't like the tone. "What happened?"
Kijima sat down next to the drenched Ren, whose hand was still hovering in mid-air from when he dropped the water bottle. "Ren, you dog! I didn't realize you guys had gotten that far! That was quite the picture!"
What. Yashiro stared, dumbfounded, at Ren, suddenly quite glad that they were in a more quiet part of the set, a distance away from everyone else.
Ren finally put his hand down and turned on his sparkling gentleman's smile. "I'm afraid you're misunderstanding, Kijima-san. Mogami-san was merely asking my opinion on the clothing of a character she's constructing."
"Yeah, but that's still quite a dress! Didn't figure Kyoko-chan as being able to wear something like that. And besides," he grinned, waggling his eyebrows, "why send that to you, and not one of her female friends for an opinion?"
"I think that you'll find Mogami-san to be a consummate professional." Unlike some people. "I'm sure she sent to to her female friends as well, but wanted my professional opinion." Even if there was no way that Setsu had meant that for anyone's eyes but Cain.
Kijima snorted. "Suuuuuuuuure. Well, if that's the case, I'm sure you won't mind telling her that it has my - heh - professional stamp of approval."
Ren dropped his smile. "I believe that Mogami-san would be most distressed to find out that anyone had intruded on her character-making process. And I would appreciate," his smile reappeared, but with pure fury behind his eyes, "you not repeating this to anyone."
Kijima held up his hands and leaned back with a chuckle. "Consider it forgotten. Congrats on getting there first, man." He stood up and slapped Ren on the shoulder. "Might want to get dried off before heading back to set, though."
Ren looked down. His entire left leg was soaking wet. Right. His water bottle. He'd forgotten about it.
The early dinner rush was in full swing by the time Kyoko got back to the restaurant, so she dropped the bag next to her futon to deal with later. She was needed on the floor!
The ride home was unbearable. Yashiro had correctly guessed why Kyoko had sent the photo, but would not. Stop. Talking. About. It. Even if he had not seen it.
"Because, you know Ren, she's really not the type of girl to send pictures of herself all willy-nilly. And she definitely didn't send that to Kotonami-san."
"Please shut up."
"Aren't you the least bit happy about it? She was thinking of you while shopping, and wanted your opinion on a dress. That's big." Yashiro was giving him that stupid grin, he knew it. He would not look at his manager.
"Setsu wanted Cain's opinion."
"Still, she trusted you enough to send you that picture. Kyoko-chan is a very proper girl, and yet she still sent it. Isn't that enough to be at least a little happy?"
Ren let out a deep sigh. "I can pretty much guarantee she was Setsu when she sent it."
"Why? Did she follow it up with a string of apologetic texts?"
Ren did not answer.
"I never said that."
"Your phone hasn't buzzed at all since then."
"It's on silent."
Brzz-Brzz. An email. Yashiro's grin widened. "Liar."
"She's probably just terrified that I haven't responded."
"You." Yashiro blinked, all trace of a grin gone. "You haven't responded?"
"No." He didn't know how. And he couldn't exactly risk slipping into Cain in the middle of a workday as Tsuruga Ren. But he could not respond to that as her senpai.
"Why?" You idiot. Implied loudly enough for him to hear.
"It's been a busy day," he replied lightly. Busy trying to keep that picture out of his mind.
"Ren, you had better pull over and text her right now. I'm serious."
He raised an eyebrow. "Do you really want to be in a car with Cain Heel?"
"More than I want to keep Kyoko-chan fretting any longer. Poor girl's probably beating herself up over it."
"Fine." Ren pulled over, parked, and pulled out his phone. He opened the conversation - glancing past the email, which turned out to be spam - and froze. What the hell was he supposed to say? Even as Cain, he was a bit dumbstruck.
"Well?" Yashiro raised his own eyebrow. "What are you waiting for?"
"I'm… figuring it out." He clenched his jaw. "Trying to figure out how Cain would respond."
"My guess would be in less than an hour."
Yashiro was the best manager. He was the best manager. Ren could not handle his schedule without Yashiro. Do not go Cain on your manager. Do not. "I get it, okay?" No. Don't do that.
Yashiro's face was a bit shocked.
"I get it. I know that she's probably been freaking out over Setsu sending the photo. But I'm freaking out too, okay? I have not been able to focus since she sent me that picture. I don't know how Setsu got through to let her send it, especially out of the Heel situations. Especially considering -" he rubbed his neck. Crap.
"Considering what?" At his silence, Yashiro pressed, "Did something happen the last time you were the Heels? Did you do something to her?"
"Of course not!" Not that I didn't want to. "She was the one who -" No. No. Stop. Bad plan. Emotions in control. Stop. He gritted his teeth.
Yashiro's jaw was slack. "Kyoko-chan did something?"
"Setsu. Setsu did something. And I assure you she was far from Mogami-san in that moment." He leaned his head against the wheel, not hard enough to make it beep. His hand was slack; the phone faced upward, giving Yashiro an unintentional glimpse of the picture that had been tormenting his charge all day.
"Anyway," Yashiro said, clearing his throat and averting his eyes, "just - reply however Setsu would expect Cain to."
Ren took a deep breath, then pulled up Cain. Aw, Setsu had sent him a photo. His adorable little sister. It would be rude not to reply.
Kyoko padded into her room, eager to take a bath - it had been a busy night, and she was sweaty! That was when her eyes landed on the bag from the thrift store, still next to her futon - and her phone buzzed. She knew she had been forgetting something. Right. Maybe it was just a spam email or something. She - she should really wash her dress! It was hand-wash only (a dress with pockets had been too good to be true), so she could soak it in the sink while she took her bath! That was a great plan! She wasn't avoiding checking her phone at all! Nope, not at all.
Ren pulled back onto the road, his manager's eyes boring a hole in the side of his head. "Yes?"
Yashiro's lips were pressed into a thin line. "I don't know what you said, but -"
"What Cain said. And yes, I made it clear it was Cain."
"Clear enough for Kyoko-chan?"
God, he hoped so.
It would be rude to ignore his message. She knew this. She needed to look at his message. Either it was Cain, or it was him being mad at her for not being professional. At this point, she honestly didn't know which was worse.
My gorgeous girl as always, Setsu. Did you get the dress?
That was probably the better of the two options. Aww, nii-san, you didn't answer the question. I wanted to know if you liked the dress. I know you like me! She hit send. That was a Setsu thing to say. Cain loved his little sister. She wasn't being presumptuous by sending that to Tsuruga-san's phone.
Just Setsu. She just means it as Setsu. He knew that, really he did, but seeing the words "I know you like me!" coming from Kyoko's phone were… a lot. He leaned his head against the back of the couch, glad to be home. He didn't even want to know what kind of face he had made when he read that text. Well, he might as well not waste the opportunity.
You know I love you. And the dress is amazing, even if I don't want you wearing it around anyone else. You're mine.
Kyoko read the words, again and again. This was from Cain to Setsu. She knew that. Of course she knew that. It didn't stop her from typing.
I love you, too.
She swallowed hard, then added in another text, And what is my nii-san doing right now? Being desperately lonely without me? Yes. That was Setsu.
Ren - no, he was definitely Kuon right now - sat staring at the first of the two messages, wishing it was for him and not Cain.
I just got home. It's so empty without you. What are you doing now?
He was not Cain when he typed that.
Kyoko swallowed hard. Aww, nii-san. You know I'd be there if I could, she sent.
She should not send her answer to his question, but she did. I just got out of the bath. Wish you were here.
Was she still Setsu?
She had to still be Setsu, he told himself. He needed to end this. Seeing those messages pop up under Kyoko's name was killing him.
I miss you, too. You should get to bed, though. My best girl needs her sleep.
He was sure she was still Setsu when he read her reply.
She had not been Setsu when she replied, Okay. I love you. Have sweet dreams.
And she had definitely not been Setsu when she sent him another photo of her in her yukata, curled up on her futon. But they both forced themselves to believe that she had.
Are they OoC? Probably. Do I care? No. Because this is my fanfic and I get to make it how I want.
So! I'm back! No clue on next upload, I honestly wasn't expecting to write this. What'd you think? I know my writing style's changed a bit. Thoughts?