Okay, so this is my first time posting anything for Skip Beat, but I just couldn't get this idea out of my head...and then my little one-shot hit 43 pages and I decided I'd just make in a multi-chapter story. It's rated M, since my characters tend to curse.

This takes place after Chapter 273 and veers off from there (Cain and Setsu have been revealed at this point, for instance), because honestly...I'm not super sold on the manner of confession that is happening in recent chapters...it feels...anticlimactic, so, my frustration with that shall be resolved in like...chapter 3 or so.

Now, as far as timelines go, I'm not sure what time of year the Japan's Most Desired Bachelor's List came out WAY at the beginning of the story, but the idea behind this whole thing was, what if all of the top celebrities who know Kyoko were on the list, and had to do a photo shoot together...and what chaos would ensue. So, I went back to the original list, used Google Translate to translate the list of names as best as I could from canon, which is provided at the start with a list of either accurate or made-up occupations, and then I came up with the new list for 'this year", listing occupations and what their most recent projects are...since I feel like the list would include that. Anyway, for your enjoyment, I give you: my crack-filled fantasies!


Last Year's Boost Magazine Japan's Top 25 Most Desirable Bachelor List

1 Tsuruga Ren (actor)

2 Hiromune Koga (actor)

3 Shinkai Kozuru (actor)

4 Raiji Taryanagi (actor)

5 Masahiro Yoshizawa (model)

6 Asakura Ichimi (model)

7 Fuwa Sho (musician)

8 Tadashi Nakajima (musician, Kotonami's annoying co-star)

9 Akai Okawa (musician)

etc... (not shown in canon...)

This Year's List (or the ones you care about anyway)

1 Tsuruga Ren (actor, model, Dark Moon, Tragic Marker, R'Mandy)

2 Hiromune Koga (actor, Lotus in the Mire)

3 Fuwa Sho (musician, Prisoner)

4 Masahiro Yoshizawa (model, Issey Miyake, actor, Dear Sister)

5 Murasame Taira (actor, Tragic Marker)

6 Shinkai Kozuru (actor, Water Polo Yankees)

7 Kijima Hidehito (actor, Dark Moon)

8 Raiji Taryanagi (actor, Glory Days)

9 Akai Okawa (musician, Iz*Two, "Vampire")

10 Reino (musician, Vie Ghoul, "Birth")

13 Taichirou (talent/comedian, This Show Will Really Make You Feel Good)

23 Ishibashi Hikaru-(variety show host/musician, Yappa Kimagure Rock)

"And, next up on the agenda is the photo shoot for the Most Desirable Men in Japan poll. Congratulations, you're number one in Japan again!"

Ren fought the urge to groan in response to his manager's enthusiastic words and plastered on his most gentlemanly smile. "Well, now I know why you wouldn't tell me what my schedule was for the rest of the day."

"Hey! Don't give me that! The list is always good press! And you got number one again. What's not to like?" Yashiro argued, one-sidedly, in response to the antipathy he felt rolling off his client. "It's just a quick photo shoot and then you can go home for the day. And it's over lunchtime, so you've got a great excuse not to eat!"

Yashiro silently pleaded for Kyoko's forgiveness as his charge's brilliantly dark expression melted into a thoughtful one. Normally he wouldn't condone encouraging Ren's terrible eating habits, but desperate times called for throwing lunch under the bus. It wouldn't do for Japan's #1 Most Desirable Male to be the only one not in the group picture. More importantly, it would only serve to bring up more disturbing issues...like why he had refused. Yashiro looked back at the list in his hand and fought to keep from frowning. The showy Fuwa brat had jumped four places since the last year, putting him snugly in the top three, right behind Hiromune Koga and Ren himself.

The whole thing wouldn't be such a big deal, except that Boost, the magazine responsible for polling women and posting the results of the informal competition, had decided to 'spice things up' this year, with a photo shoot featuring the top 25 men in the poll.

Which meant Japan's top celebrities, all fighting tooth and nail to unseat the 'Never Late King'/last year's number one/Tsuruga Ren, had to be in a room together.

After discovering they had all, in fact, failed yet again to best him.

Yashiro's stomach turned just thinking about it and he swallowed the bile that had risen in his throat. Still, it wasn't like they really had a choice. If Ren wanted to maintain his reputation, and keep Boost's gossip-mongers from prying too far into his private life, he had to appear. Being able to skip lunch was just something to make the experience seem mildly less awful to his charge.

"True. At least it isn't a catered event. There are small blessings in this world after all," Ren agreed with a small, genuine smile, allowing Yashiro's excuse to cover up the true reason for his expression: that at least Kyoko wouldn't be there and virtually everyone who threatened his chance at a future relationship with her would be. Keeping an eye on them would be a handful, especially Fuwa and Murasame (who had become almost fanatical in his pursuit of the girl since Cain and Setsu were unmasked to the world), but he would rather have that particular group of wolves in with him. Kyoko would be like a lamb led to the slaughter in a gathering like that. "Alright. Well, let's get this over with then. Where is the pack of rabid dogs gathering?"

Yashiro lifted a brow at his analogy. Clearly he'd missed something that went on in Ren's head, but he had a decent guess it had something to do with Kyoko. Most of Ren's inner monologue usually did. He wondered if Ren considered himself one of said dogs...

"It's actually in the building. I guess the President offered to let them use the lesser atrium and pool area for the shoot. Since it's in his private area of the building that's not usually open to the public, they couldn't resist."

"The President suggested it?" Ren was suddenly feeling even more uneasy about the impending doom he could feel approaching. Then he registered the rest of his manager's statement. "Wait, the pool? Don't tell me…"

Yashiro cringed.

"Yeeeeah. Swimsuit photos. They're doing shots with all of you dressed too!" he added hurriedly. "But I guess there was such an overwhelming majority of poll voters that wrote in asking for swimsuit shots that they couldn't help but comply. And...as uncomfortable as it might be, it's not like it will damage your image in any way."

"Well, yeah," Ren agreed, still uneasy. "It's not my image I'm worried about. It's the fan mail. And deliveries. And the touching."

He shuddered just remembering the one and only time he'd modeled underwear for R'Mandy. At the time, he hadn't thought too much of it. It was normal for models all over the world to pose in even less than he had. But the response from his female fans had been...terrifying. Even Yashiro's famous crowd-clearing glare hadn't been effective enough to keep nearly every woman he encountered on the street from trying to rip his clothes off anytime he came within a meter of them. It had taken a British royal sex scandal, the release of a particularly juicy celebrity sex tape, and a full month of secret exits from his apartment in the dark of night before the nightmare had faded into the graveyard of forgotten gossip and tabloid infamy.

"Come on, it won't be that bad this time, right? I mean, it's not just you. There are going to be a ton of hot guys in their skimpies there to spread out the attention and downplay the novelty." Ren gave his manager another haunted look.

"And...I've already obtained a disguise and the promise of two extra bodyguards from the President to help deal with the fallout," Yashiro admitted sheepishly.

Ren sighed and checked his watch as they exited the acting section of LME and headed toward the elevators. "There's no helping it I guess. What time is the shoot? Do we have time to swing by the LoveMe room beforehand?"

Maybe if he explained the danger she was in, Kyoko would hide until it was over…

Except that would never work.

She had NO clue how desirable she actually was, especially since Setsu had been revealed. It was worse than Natsu's effect had been, with the added fans making up a much...darker section of the population. He tried to remember if the LoveMe room had a lock on the outside... Maybe he could just lock her in during the photo shoot.

Yashiro grinned sidelong at his charge, but shook his head. "Not if you want to keep your record. We've only got about five minutes to get there as it is. Granted, that's just for the green room call. The shoot itself won't start for another hour or so. If you want to arrive fashionably late this one time, it's up to you."

Ren gave him a look. As tempting as it was to take that hour hunting down and securing his talented little kouhai, Tsuruga Ren only had one choice. Work came first, second, and third. Always. And exactly on time.

"Then, let's get going," his manager replied to the look he knew well, pressing the elevator button.

"Thank you very much, Sawara-san! I'm honored that you believed I did such a good job! Please let me know if there is anything else I, as LoveMe Member #1, can do for you!" Kyoko said with a deep bow as she accepted her LoveMe stamp book back from the department head.

"No, thank you, Mogami-san. We would have been in a hell of jam without you today. However, I'm afraid your work for LoveMe isn't quite done yet. I received a call from the President while you were out on assignment. You're to report to his office as soon as possible." Sawara-san gave her an apologetic smile as he inclined his head to her in appreciation. The girl bowed again and disappeared, gone before he even noticed her moving. Where she got her energy, he would never understand.

There were some days he thought the President was really going too far with what he made those LoveMe members do. But, on the other hand, they were all gaining a significant (almost unbelievable) amount of traction and exposure over their short time with LME. Whatever the boss had been thinking when he formed the group, it couldn't be debated that it worked. In particular, with Mogami-san, he felt like he was watching a superstar developing right in front of him. He would never believe the bright, talented girl he helped manage was the same one who had stalked him for weeks to get an audition if he hadn't been there himself.

Although, sometimes, at certain moments, the aura of hatred and despair that leaked out of her made him recall those days of terror.

Speaking of which...he wondered if she knew Fuwa Sho was supposed to be in the building.

Well, he sure as hell wasn't going to be the one to tell her.

It was just as much of a nightmare as Ren had anticipated.

From the moment he'd walked through the door to the green room and encountered the poorly concealed malevolence of his fellow top male celebrities, it had been all he could do to shine his best Gentleman Smile (as Kyoko called it when she thought he couldn't hear her) and settle in a chair in the corner with his phone to occupy him. He hoped that up until the shoot began he could stay just like this, inconspicuously checking his email while the crowd of bros joked passively-aggressively with each other.

His hope was in vain.

Only ten minutes later, Kijima Hidehito, fashionably late as always, decided to strut his way smoothly into the room. Most of the men were already sitting around waiting, and about half of those had already been through hair and makeup.

"Well, isn't this just a room full of testosterone dressed up with nowhere to go!" he exclaimed, laughing heartily. A few of the guys in the room rolled their eyes at the teen-drama heartthrob playboy, but for the most part he was met with high-fives and handshakes. Kijima's eyes scanned the room taking in the room dynamics, particularly the two back corners of the room.

One was occupied by Mr. Anti-Social/Japan's #1 man, and the other by the rest of the top 10 of the country, none of whom were saying a word to each other, just using the time to check their email, watch videos on their phones, or catch a quick nap. Kijima's good spirits fell a bit. Having finally made it into the top 10 (#7 thanks to Dark Moon) for the first time, he had definitely been expecting more from the competition, especially Tsuruga-san. Granted, it wasn't like sitting like a loner isolated from everyone else was anything new his one time drinking buddy, but ever since the actor had warned him off Kyoko, Kijima had been seeing him open up bit-by-bit. It almost felt like he was his actual age instead of the 30-year-old professional vibe he had been giving off since his appearance in the business. At the current moment though, he could be mistaken for 40.


Kijima mentally and literally cracked his knuckles and approached the other corner of the room. Hiromune Koga (#2 for the second year in a row), Raiji Taryanagi (#8, down from #4 last year), and Masahiro Yoshizawa (#4, up from #5 last year due to his debut in acting from the modeling world) immediately looked up from their phones and gave him a nod.

Raiji even hopped up for a hand clasp and chest bump. They were the same age and had gotten their big breaks on the same teen drama, Raiji as the lead and Kijima as his best friend, so they were still pretty tight. At the moment Raiji was acting as a high school jock in a drama called Glory Days.

Murasame Taira (#5, up from #29 last year due mainly to the success of Tragic Marker's release right before the poll went live) didn't even notice him come in. His attention was focused entirely on his phone screen, his headphones in.

Akai Okawa (#9 for the second year in a row) continued to glare at the blond singer sleeping across four chairs with a hat over his face. Fuwa Sho (#3, up from #7 last year due to his recent streak of number ones in the charts) didn't seem to notice, to all appearances actually sleeping in a room full of men who wouldn't hesitate to throw him under a very large and heavy bus to surpass him. Kijima couldn't help but snort. The kid was annoying, but he sure had balls.

Doing a quick headcount, he noted the only two missing from the top ten were Shinkai Kozuru (#6, down from #3 last year) and Reino of Vie Ghoul(#10). Kijima had no idea what was keeping the ghastly wraith of a lead singer away until the last minute, but Shinkai's excuse was obvious. A few months prior, the press (if you could call them that) had discovered a rather risque sex scandal involving the actor, his ex-girlfriend, and (wait for it)...her mother. He was only just able to start showing his face again in public. It was truly a testament to his die-hard fans that he had managed to return even to #6 in the list after such a devastating blow to his reputation. Or perhaps it was due to their mothers…the cougar contingency was not to be underestimated. Or underrated. He'd had more than one incredible night with a woman over forty

Of the whole lot, the only one Kijima wasn't at least partly acquainted with was Murasame-san, so he sidled over and took the seat next to him, leaning obviously over his shoulder to see what he was watching so intently.

"Ooooooh, looks like we've got another big Box R fan over here," he said loud enough to startle the man next to him into pulling out an earbud. The man tensed, one hand instantly clenching into a fist at the disturbance, then relaxing when he realized he wasn't being baited into a fight. Old habits were harder to beat to death than expected. Especially after being recently resurrected by the terror of Cain Heel. Er, that is, Tsuruga Ren.

"Uh...yeah. Well, it's a good show, but it's not so much that I'm a fan of the show itself…" To anyone familiar with the friendly ex-gangster actor, the blush rising across his cheeks was almost equivalent to watching him dress in drag; never before seen in the light of day.

Kijima grinned knowingly. "Aaaah. I pick up what you're laying down, man. That Natsu is one devilish hottie isn't she?"

Out of the corner of his eye, Kijima finally registered movement from the opposite corner. Ren didn't do so much as glance up from the screen, but he had uncrossed his legs, leaning a little further forward. Kijima couldn't help but widen his grin. The bait is set and the target is engaged!

Unnoticed by Kijima, Fuwa Sho's eyes also popped open, glaring at the textured ceiling above him. Was it just him, or did the plaster actually spell 'love'? His glare narrowed as he squinted at it.

"You mean that Kyoko chick?" Raiji chimed in, begrudging admiration in his tone. "She makes one hell of a villain. If it wasn't for her, Box R wouldn't be stealing so many damn viewers from Glory Days. It fucking sucks being in the same time slot as that minx."

Kijima patted him comfortingly on the back. "Tough luck man, but even you have to admit she's a fox."

Yoshizawa shrugged from next to Raiji. "She's the one from the Curara CM right? I don't think she's all that great. I mean, I do hang out with some seriously beautiful foreign models all day, which skews my opinion a bit, but even my costars in my current job are as cute as that, if not more. I mean Mimori-san definitely has her beat in the figure department." He gestured generously over his chest. This gesture was met with generous nodding in the room. Mimori featured in a generous number of their spank banks.

Sho smirked a bit.

Kijima held up a finger as he rebutted the model. "You're not exactly wrong there...but there's something about Kyoko… I mean, I get it. When I first met her she was in character as Mio, so I was too afraid of her terrifying acting to look any deeper, but between her crazy sexy Natsu and the way she looked after I dressed her up for the Dark Moon party…" Kijima did an exaggerated version of the sign of the cross and put his hands together as though praying to the skies. "I'm definitely a convert!"

The guys laughed at his antics. Well, most of them. Koga only smirked. He could feel the killing aura that had bloomed around Ren Tsuruga steadily growing. The guy was ready to blow and Koga hadn't even needed to say a word. His eyebrows spiked as a thought occurred to him...maybe his cute little co-star's crush wasn't as one-sided as he had thought...

"Actually, I prefer Mio myself. She's the manifestation of Kyoko's beautiful hate," a lethargic voice commented from behind Kijima. He jumped in surprise. When had Reino even gotten there?! He had totally missed it.

"The power of her deadly aura is her true beauty. And her projections are pretty cute too," the lead singer of Vie Ghoul continued, playing with a string of beads hanging from his studded belt. "Natsu doesn't begin to bring out her inner darkness like Mio does. Granted, I prefer her in person to on screen. She's so easy to provoke." The singer smirked coolly to himself.

Kijima raised a brow. He hadn't even known Kyoko knew this guy. Before he could ask where they met, he was interrupted by harsh, bitter laughter.

"HA! Like you know the real Kyoko, you stalker beagle," Sho spat, sitting up and letting the cool charade of his nap fall to the floor. Even his cool image wasn't worth listening to that would-be rapist talking about Kyoko. "None of you know what you're talking about. Deep down she's just a plain, boring, common, little girl who is obsessed with fairy tales and love."

Reino tched at the other singer, but slunk back into his chair. He'd thought it was safe to show himself with the blond asleep. Luckily, there were enough witnesses here that both Fuwa and the corrupted maelstrom of hate in the corner had their hands tied. "For someone who sees her as plain and common, you sure cared an awful lot as to why she was giving me Valentine's Day chocolate."

"Tch. Yeah right. Like I care who that girl gives chocolate to. I couldn't care less who that soul-sucking demoness has her sights on next." Everyone noticed that his newest description didn't sound plain and boring at all, but no one bothered to say it.

"That's a lot coming from the guy who showed up on the Dark Moon set uninvited, on Valentine's Day, just to kiss her and give her a big-ass bedazzled bouquet of flowers," Kijima baited with a grin. Finally it was really getting good. The drama surrounding Kyoko had every eye in the room sent their way. All but two, that is. That guy wouldn't be able to stay out of this for long.

He could already see Ren had abandoned the pretense of looking at his phone and instead stared straight ahead of him at the air, immediately clearing the chairs across the room of occupants as they fled from his Cain Heel-like glare.

"Pssh. That was nothing. I grew up with her and she's been in love with me for years. She'd never given Valentine's Day chocolate to anyone but me before, and I heard that she was going out with that beagle, so I stopped by to congratulate her on her new, doomed-to-fail relationship with her stalker. Sadly for her, I'd heard wrong and she was just as alone and unwanted as normal, so I took pity on her and gave her her first kiss as consolation." Sho smirked. Let them try to top that story.

Ren's hands curled into tight fists at the word 'unwanted'. For someone who knew her history with her mother, that was a blow ten steps beyond low. He struggled not to blow up and make a scene. The last thing she needed was actors getting in fights over her for no fucking reason. That would only lead to worsening her reputation. He clung to that thought to keep his seat instead of tackling the blond menace on the other side of the room.

"That's not really true though, is it, Fuwa-san? I mean, even I got chocolate from Mogami-san last year," another, slightly hostile voice came from outside the top-ten corner. Hikaru Ishibashi (#23, in his first appearance in the top 25 due to the success of Yappa Kimagure Rock since Bo joined the cast) threw his metaphorical hat bravely into the ring. It was intimidating arguing with the most powerful faces of the industry, but Kyoko didn't deserve to have lies spread about her. No one was as sweet and innocent and just plain nice as she was. "She gave out truffles to everyone she was working with to thank them. And, I know for a fact, she did not see your kiss as a gift. Anyone who knows Kyoko knows how she really feels about Fuwa Shota-"

Sho cut him off in a panic as he almost said his full name. "What, you think you know her so well because she plays that ridiculous chic-"

"And don't even try to claim you didn't think she was beautiful as an angel in your PV!" Hikaru desperately cut him off this time in panic. "That goddess is the real Kyoko! And anyone who's seen that, saw the way you looked at her." He wasn't sure why, but he knew Kyoko didn't want her role as Bo getting out. So, as her friend, he would protect his (god he wished she was his) goddess in any way he could!

"Wait, that angel from Fuwa's PV is played by Kyoko-san too?" Murasame immediately searched for the PV on his phone. How had he not discovered that yet? He'd done more than one inappropriate thing in the privacy of his apartment watching that PV.

Kijima, Raiji, Yoshizawa, Okawa, and even Koga gathered around Murasame to watch as Sho threw himself into a chair and glared at Reino. It was all that asshole's fault things had gotten this far.

"Ok, I see it, Kijima. I'm a convert," Yoshizawa managed to say with his jaw on the floor as the video finished. "She's a fucking goddess...and Sho's totally under her spell." He goaded the singer who had somehow passed him in the rankings despite his acting debut.

"It's called acting you idiots. Just because you suck at it, doesn't mean I do," Sho grumbled breezily.

Every actor in the room glared at him, but it was Okawa, his fellow musician, who called his bluff with a snort.

"Yeah. Fucking. Right, Fuwa! I'll bet it took you all day to film that thing, and all the retakes were your fault. When we filmed that music festival CM together, you couldn't even stop looking at the camera, let alone remember your one line!" He laughed heartily as the top male singer in Japan turned away and ignored him. "An idiot could tell that girl was leading you around by a leash in that PV."

Koga decided it was time to chime in. "Well, I believe it. Kyoko-chan is my co-star in the project I'm working on now and her acting ability is really astounding. I have yet to see her get NG'd. She's got the potential to be one hell of an actress."

"Ooooo, has another co-star fallen to the mystifying charms of the beautiful 'Kyoko-chan'? Am I to have yet more competition for her heart?" Kijima teased.

Koga gave him a condescending smile. "Hardly. Although...I won't say my character doesn't have at least a small thing for her Momiji, despite what the script says. Not that it matters. That girl only has eyes for exactly one man."

As one, Koga, Fuwa, Murasame, Kijima, Hikaru and Reino all turned to look at Ren Tsuruga. They were met with a brilliant smile that almost blinded them as he held the phone to his ear and quietly continued the conversation with whomever was on the other end. Feeling sun-blinded and burned at the same time, they turned back to look at each other.

"But, let's be honest, what girl in the business isn't head over heels for that guy?" Koga commented with a gentlemanly smile of his own.

"Now, wait a minute there. Having eyes for someone and being head over heels are two very different things," Hikaru felt obligated to point out. "Kyoko is about as oblivious about dating as a grade schooler. I don't think she even thinks about that stuff. I mean, I've asked her out a bunch of times and she has yet to realize I like her."

"Same here. She is so blind to her own attractiveness, she doesn't believe anyone could be approaching her romantically," Reino said, in a brief snap of normality, before pulling out a handful of paper and capturing images with his telepathic photography of the dark nebula surrounding the smiling man across the room.

"No kidding," Kijima agreed. "I asked her out at the Dark Moon party, and she agreed, but later confessed she thought I was kidding! No joke! Then she told me she had vowed to keep her purity for all time and couldn't go out with me. I mean, we email occasionally..." He grinned good-naturedly at the group. "But there are lots of other hot girls out there ready and willing, with a lot less work."

"Not like her," Murasame rebutted. "You guys didn't see her as Setsu when she managed Tsuruga on Tragic Marker." That was the cover story for the public, released with the Heel siblings' identities. "Holy shit man. I don't think I've ever seen anyone that hot in my life. She basically oozed sex. No way that girl is as innocent as you say. Even acting has to have some personal basis or memory to make it feel so real."

"Oh man, that's right. I forgot you were on set with them during the whole Cain Heel thing. I saw that interview when they did the big reveal, and I'll admit, I still can't believe that was really Kyoko-chan. What were they like? I can't imagine that guy being anything less than distantly polite either," Kijima mused.

"Yeah, he was a pain in the ass. Crazy protective of his 'sister'. Wouldn't talk to anyone but her, and even pretended to not speak Japanese. I'm not proud to say we got into a couple of fistfights on set about it. I will say, that man is a fucking beast when it comes to fighting. I don't know where he learned to throw down, but I'm lucky to be alive." Murasame shivered involuntarily thinking about it. " And in terms of rudeness, she was just as bad. She actually tossed Manaka-chan on her ass one day because she got too close to Setsu's precious Niisan. That's what she called the prick, like it was fucking normal for siblings to be all over each other all the time. But his acting was so good, I couldn't say shit after a while. Now, it all makes a little more sense, but at the time we were all pretty grossed out by the way they were with each other. But, man, the little leather outfit she showed up in the first day... fuck. I would let her beat the shit out of me in that outfit…" Murasame stared dreamily into the air for a minute before someone cleared their throat and reminded him where he was. He blushed slightly. "Anyway, the point is, I don't think Kyoko-chan is as oblivious as you all think. Maybe she is just using it as an excuse to turn you down since you're not her type."

"What, and you are?" Sho couldn't help but snap. He really didn't like that this guy knew more about yet another side of Kyoko that he had failed to see. The demoness had evolved again. He wondered if she even still remembered the revenge she had sworn upon him. The thought made him pissed off...and a little sad.

"Maybe. But more likely, Koga-san's got the right idea and she's already a lost cause to her 'precious Niisan'." Murasame slumped at the thought, but quickly regained spirit. "However, with her level of acting skill, we could all be completely wrong. I know I'm not giving up the fight until I see proof that she's taken. After all, just because she might have a thing for him, doesn't mean he's gonna take two looks at her."

"True," Raiji agreed. "That guy hasn't been caught dating or kissing anyone outside of work since he debuted. Well, except for Kana-chan. But she's in a-whole-nother league. And I heard a rumor that she actually forced that on him."

"Yeah, I saw him at a shoot getting fawned over by half a dozen Russian supermodels and he didn't blink an eye," Yoshizawa added. He'd modeled with Ren before on a few jobs and greatly respected the man for his skills. He couldn't help but think that no matter how beautiful or talented this actress was, she was still a 17-year-old high school student. It just didn't fit with Ren's image at all.

"My point exactly," Murasame preened. "So, I'm determined not to give up. I'm totally gonna get her number the soonest chance I get. And then you're all going down!" He smirked with the confidence of his days as a top street fighter. His name was known all over Kinki. That was the kind of man he was. And up until Cain Heel, or rather Tsuruga Ren, he had never met a fighter who could best him.

Though, thinking about Cain Heel reminded him of the glares of warning he had received every time he had so much as looked at Setsu. They were seriously hostile. But, couldn't he mark those up to a senpai doing what he had to in order to protect his role and that of his kouhai from being discovered? Or even a flawlessly delivered role of an overprotective brother?

As if Kijima was reading his mind, he couldn't help but speak up. "Actually...I think you might be better giving up."

Everyone looked at him, asking with their eyes what he knew about the situation and/or their greatest competition. They were all interested in any tidbit that might help them kick him off his sky-high pedestal.

"Well, in the beginning, I may have made my pursuit of Kyoko, pretty obvious in front of Mr. No NGs. I had just gotten her email ID and was bragging out a colorful email I had received back from her only minutes after I sent mine. Tsuruga, with that terrifying smile of his, admitted that he didn't have her email, and that they didn't even message."

"So, that means he sees her as nothing special right? No pro-" Murasame started.

"Ah, but wait until the end of the story though. When I questioned him as to why he didn't message, when they seemed so obviously close, he responded that he didn't see the point of messaging when he could just call and talk to her in person. I swear I have never seen a woman so thoroughly claimed in my life. It was like he'd covered her head to toe in 'Do Not Cross' caution tape. At the time, I was absolutely positive he was into her. But, since then...I don't know. I think it actually might be the opposite of what we're thinking. I think he totally has a thing for her, but has hit Kyoko's oblivious virgin wall and can't make any further progress. She sees him as a senpai, and nothing more."

"Huh…" Murasame mused on that for a minute, but just couldn't reconcile that with the Cain siblings he'd seen on set.

"No, you're absolutely wrong," Koga interjected, quickly dropping his voice to a whisper and beckoning them closer. Then all leaned in. Even Sho couldn't resist learning what he had to say. The man had charisma. "When I said that girl is head over heels, I meant it. I am 100% sure Kyoko-chan is absolutely in love with Tsuruga Ren. You should have seen her at the audition for Momiji." Koga had totally forgotten his original intent to be aloof and superior. He had been wholeheartedly drawn into the Who Knows Kyoko-chan Best Pissing Contest they'd unintentionally started.

"Ok, what happened exactly?" Kijima asked, challenging Koga to back up his theory. He liked to think he knew Ren and Kyoko pretty well from working on Dark Moon with them for so long and didn't like the idea that anyone had a better handle on their relationship than he did.

"Well, this other actress was also auditioning, and the competition was narrowed down to between the two of them. Actually, I should go further back. It was one hell of an audition. Kyoko-chan had actually been kicked out of the audition for being a 'talent' instead of an 'actor' on her resume, and had brazenly fought her way back to ask for another chance," Koga began, a proud shine illuminating his eyes as his voice climbed back to a normal volume. "She held a bare blade to the producer's throat and wouldn't stop until I told her to, she was so in character. After that, they couldn't let her go, so they made up a practical test of her combat skills, which all the other candidates then got forced into doing in order to stay in the running. It was a crazy long routine where Momoji fought off pretty much every professional stuntman on the team, and the auditionees only got one chance to memorize it." Koga's natural acting abilities shone through as he went into story-telling mode without realizing it.

"Kyoko-chan went in and performed the first half flawlessly, like she'd been studying the routine for months, just waiting for her chance to perform it. Then, when she didn't remember anymore of the routine, she switched to the offense and really started showing off her moves, forcing all the combat crew to react to her instead. It was like watching a fucking ballet it was so beautiful. You'd think they'd rehearsed it together for weeks. She busted out back handsprings and caught her blades out of the air! By the time she had taken out the stunt team and sheathed her murderous blades, everyone except this other actress had dropped out of their own accord. The other actress pushed through the practical test too, but while she did a good job, it didn't have nearly the impact Kyoko-chan's run had. Still,they were both technically still in the running. While they setup the room for the acting test portion of the audition, I couldn't help having a chat with Kyoko-chan. I was curious if she knew Tsuruga-san, since they're from the same agency. And something about her acting was...almost too good. It reminded me a lot of him actually…" Koga rubbed his neck in irritation, remembering her instant transformation into character the minute action was called. Then he dropped his volume again into a clearly discernible stage whisper with a quick glance across the room and a boyish smirk.

"When I asked about Tsuruga-san, she got the most amazing expression on her face. It was like she was melting into goo just thinking about him. So I confronted her about it. She claimed at the time it was just a senpai-kouhai relationship, while at the same time making sure I didn't confuse her with his 'usual fans' who loved him only for his face. Something about her...worshiping his actor's spirit… Anyway, while she was protesting way too much to the idea of being in love with Tsuraga-san, the other actress came up and started talking about how much she loved Tsuraga-san and how they had acted on some drama together. And then, this girl holds up a designer ring on her finger and claims it was a gift from Tsuruga-san. At the time, I was mostly intrigued that Tsuruga would openly give such an expensive White Day gift to a minor, but looking back, Kyoko-chan's face was really the most amazing thing about that conversation. It just crumbled. She looked like she had just been told her entire family was killed while she was out for brunch." Koga smirked. "And she was solely responsible for the medical bills." Everyone who knew Kyoko personally chuckled at that. Her frugality was becoming legendary. Second only to her spontaneous dogezas.

Koga quickly took back control of the room though. "AND THEN, she was so distracted by the whole ring thing, she almost fucked up her audition. If her friend auditioning for Chidori hadn't been her partner for the scene, she would have been toast! So, yeah, I have absolutely no doubts. That face was of a woman in love. It would take love to distract Kyoko-chan from an audition she seriously worked for. She's just too dedicated to her acting."

"But," Kijima replied with confusion. "If that's true, and she does love him, then she must not know he likes her back. Otherwise, it wouldn't have bothered her."

"Or, he doesn't like her back, and his interaction with you was him just warning a playboy away from his kouhai," Koga argued back.

"Well, there's really no way to tell, is there? I guess we'll have to wait and see how it plays out," Hikaru joked faintly, trying to end this topic of conversation before the whole room was fighting over his favorite chicken mascot. He was getting more and more depressed just listening to this conversation.

"Or…" Kijima hinted with a smile. "We could just ask her. I mean, we're in her agency building, what are the chances that she might be available right now to come have a little chat?"

Koga grinned back, noticing Tsugura-san stand up in his corner. "Sure, why not?"

As one, Kijima, Hikaru, Koga, and Reino all pulled out their phones. Sho didn't bother. He had tried messaging her halfway through their ridiculous speculation and still hadn't heard back. She was probably ignoring his calls again.

"Ok guys, we can't all call her," Kijima argued, but not letting up as he furiously raced to get his message done before theirs.

"True," a deep, pleasant, familiar voice said from above him.

They all froze. Kijima slowly tilted his head upward, finding himself staring into the face of none other than Tsuruga Ren himself. The man of the hour, so to speak.

"Oh...hello there, Tsuruga-san…"

"Hello Kijima-kun." He leveled a brilliant smile at the rest of the group. "Gentlemen. Would you be so kind as to cease trying to contact Mogami-san with your nonsense? She is a busy actress and takes her job very seriously. She doesn't need it to be interrupted by something so juvenile."

Almost all of them cowered in the face of his powerful presence, feeling as though gravity was pressing down on them from above. All but one. Koga kept typing into his phone, unaffected by his aura.

"What, Tsuruga? Afraid to find out your little kouhai's true feelings? How unmanly of you." He finished the last word and hit send, finally looking up to meet Ren's eyes. "You know, I've really grown quite fond of her while filming Sacred Lotus. Maybe I'll help her pick up the pieces when you finally break her little heart. It wouldn't be the first time. You send that girl crying into my arms more often than you probably know. Especially right before that little incident with Kana-chan went public. You should have seen her. She was crying so hard she didn't even see me in the room at first. I mean, is that anyway to treat a hard-working kouhai, Tsuruga-san?" Koga grinned his face off. He didn't think he'd ever had so much fun in the same room as his archrival before. It was refreshing having the upper hand for once.

Under his slowly cracking mask, Ren was livid as he saw them all typing into their phones. How many fucking men did Kyoko just GIVE her fucking information to?! Seriously, did she have no sense of self-preservation? He was going to have to have a very long chat with her later. Preferably while driving her to his apartment after conning her into making him dinner. For Kyoko, he would brave even her angry version of dinner.

He swallowed, thinking of all that food stacked up haphazardly...anything for Kyoko's safety and happiness. However, before he could spend time thinking how to convince her to come with him later, he had to do damage control now.

"Sorry, I think you are misunderstanding something. I'm not telling you not to contact her because I don't want her to come here, or to avoid your questions. I'm just trying to save her the bother of dealing with your messages. She is polite to a fault and would insist on messaging you each back in turn. And, you see, I just spoke with her, and she's actually on her way here now," he paused, meeting Koga directly in the eye and smiling brilliantly. "So there's really no point to any of you contacting her. Granted, she doesn't really have enough free time to waste it getting grilled on her relationship with me, of all things, but, if it will stop you boys from gossiping about her, then it might be worth the time. I'll have to mention it to her when she arrives and see what she says."

Everyone but Koga's jaws dropped. And that was through sheer willpower alone. There was no arguing that Kijima was right about at least one thing, Tsuruga Ren was keeping a very close guard on Mogami Kyoko. Anyone who wanted to get to her would have to go through him.

Murasame was the first to recover. "So, is Kyoko-san like...a little sister to you then? And I don't mean a perverted one," he quickly added with a scowl.

Ren appeared to contemplate the question seriously while internally raging at how stupid this guy could be. How much more obvious did he need to be? Swiss cheese was too solid to accurately describe his brain.

"Well, I mean, she is very close with my family...and my father insists that she call him Dad, but I can't say I have ever had brotherly feelings towards Kyoko-chan," he said carefully.

"Even when you were Cain Heel? I mean, you were playing her brother…" Murasame pushed, feeling a little desperate. It was looking more and more like Kijima was right.

"That's true...though Cain's feelings towards Setsu aren't really what I would call brotherly either."

"So then, are you guys dating?"

Finally, someone asked what they were all wondering.

Ren put a stern expression on his face. "Don't be silly. Mogami-san is only 17. All it would take is one tabloid making one derogatory comment about our relationship and her reputation would take a huge hit. Particularly since she wants so badly to break into non-villainous roles. It wouldn't benefit Mogami-san's career if she were to date me. Not to mention the backlash from my fans."

Several of the men grimaced. It was true. It totally sucked that women in their business were held to such a double standard. If a young man started dating a hot older woman, it did nothing but good things for his career. And they all knew how vicious female fans could be. Several of them had ex-girlfriends who had left them as a direct result of just that.

"But...you didn't deny that you're dating," Kijima pointed out.

Ren just smiled brightly back at him. "I think I made it perfectly clear how stupid any mature male actor would have to be to do so." His words had more weight than they should have. The group of men felt like there was a tiger slowly circling in on them, ready to pounce at any moment should they show the inclination to move. The implied warning was nestled deep in their bones before they realized it.

No one had time to come up with a response to that before a loud female voice interrupted him.

"Tsuruga-san, you're up! Get your butt to hair and makeup so we can get this show on the road. Everyone else, get ready to get started. And if any of you have wrinkled your costumes, report to Asuka, she'll take care of any last minute primping for the last set." The head makeup artist snapped her fingers and whipped them behind her in the take-no-shit gesture of a woman who had been wrangling actors for decades. And rather enjoying it.

"Right away, Morimoto-san," Ren replied professionally, swiftly turning on his heel and striding through the door the woman held open for him. She rocked on her feet a little as he leveled a smile at her on his way out.

Because no matter how seasoned the professional, all fell before the glow of Tsuruga's smile.

"I hate him so much," Koga mused, his tone not at all matching with his words. "Do any of you guys want to just slap him across the face when he smiles like that?"

Before anyone could answer, the door they had all come into to get to the room was flung open and a bright pink blur skidded to a halt just short of crashing into the back of Taichirou (#13, up from last year's #22 due to his stunning chemistry with variety show co-star Chiori Amamiya), reaching out at the last minute to steady herself on his shoulder. He turned around in surprise. "Oh, hey Kyoko-chan, AKA LoveMe member #1! How's it going? Are you on the job, or rushing around for pleasure this time?" He gave her a wide smile. He knew from her time spent as Chiori's temporary manager that she had a great sense of humor and an admirable work ethic. Both of which immediately endeared her to him. He shot a glance at the corner that had been blatantly talking about her, before listening to her response.

"Taichirou-san I am deeply sorry for disturbing you and am eternally grateful for your assistance in helping me stop. It's a little of both today, I'm afraid. I've been sent by the President to help with the shoot, but I'm also running a personal errand of my own. Speaking of which, do you know where I might find Tsuruga-senpai? I was told he would be here."

Taichirou smiled wider in return. He could hardly contain his glee. "Actually, I'm afraid you just missed him. He's in makeup at the moment. But, I believe there are a whole host of your fans over there, who would be happy to entertain you until he returns."

He gently grabbed her shoulders and faced her body towards the herd of men now standing and staring at her like a pack of salivating dogs. Most of them seemed to be waiting for a head pat with wagging tails, while Sho wore the snarl of a jackal, and Koga looked like he'd raided the cupboards for treats and left a mess in his wake.

The comedian definitely had to agree with Chiori-chan, life was so much more entertaining with Kyoko-chan around.

"Ah, thank you, Taichirou-san! As a newbie in the business I should really go pay my respects to just a venerable group of actors. Chiori-san was very right. You are most kind and helpful. I will go do so immediately!" She smiled sweetly at him and his mind went blank for a second.

Then she was bouncing away, before he had the chance to question her further about whether his LoveMe member co-star had really said that about him.

That is, after he'd gotten his brain to restart again. Suddenly he understood why so many of his fellow celebrities were hung up on this girl.

"Hello Hikaru-kun, Kijima-kun, Koga-san, Murasame-san…" her smile slipped into a grimace as she reluctantly forced the last two greetings between her clenched teeth. "Sho, Emissary from Hell." She immediately turned away from them, regaining her sunny disposition. "It is quite the shock to see you all together like this. It feels as if my worlds are colliding a bit…" Kyoko trailed off into a nervous giggle as she traded a glance with Hikaru. Thank god Ren wasn't there. What if Bo came up somehow?! She definitely couldn't count on Sho keeping his mouth shut.

"Hey, Kyoko, stop ignoring my messages," Sho commanded pompously. Kyoko internally sighed, ceasing her futile sewing shut of Sho's mouth in her mind. Maybe she should just make a voodoo doll of him with no mouth next time. Maybe he'd come down with laryngitis or something...worth a shot.

"Hey, Sho, stop messaging me," she turned toward him and mimicked his tone and stance exactly before turning back and ignoring him. "Koga-san, it is good to see you again today. I didn't know you were done with filming Lotus for the afternoon. Is it your first time visiting LME?" She politely put her hands together in front of her and cocked her head to the side in the courteous interest of a perfect host. They all subconsciously stood taller as her posture snapped into a perfect line.

Kyoko desperately clung to her maid-spirit to keep from kicking Shotaro in the teeth. She could do this. She would NOT embarrass herself in front of some of the best performers in Japan.

"No, I've been here before for a couple of things, though this is my first time getting to see your famous President's private wing. I'll admit I'm anticipating a lot. I hope you LME folks don't disappoint." He smirked at her, using his teasing/flirting voice.

Which went completely over her head.

Like usual.

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that. Our President never disappoints on that front... right Hikaru-kun?" She turned and smiled at her Kimagure Rock co-star. While not part of LME, he had been exposed to Lory Takarada's presence on more than one occasion.

Hikaru shivered just remembering the times Lory had shown up on Kimagure Rock's set to speak to Mogami about some random detail or another. Or just to say hi...with a full marching band in tow. Yeah, that had really happened. "Oh yeah, he definitely lives up to the hype."

"So, how do you two know each other?" Murasame interjected. He could tell out of everyone int he group they seemed to have the closest relationship (if you didn't count the weird casual address and hostility with Fuwa Sho).. "Did you work together on a project? Or was Kyoko just featured on Kimagure Rock for an interview or something?"

Both Kyoko and Hikaru laughed nervously each reaching up to scratch their heads as they traded a look. Eventually it was Kyoko that answered, "Well, it's something like that…"

"She plays the dumb chicken mascot on their show," Sho interjected, to get her back for her comment about not calling her. He wasn't 100% sure he was right, but chances were in his favor. And her face turning that familiar shade of red had just confirmed it for him. He smirked.

"Wait, seriously? You play Bo too?" Raiji Taryanagi spoke up for the first time. "That's awesome! I love him!"

Kyoko smiled nervously as she scanned the room to make sure Ren was not back yet, and gave a little wave. "Uh, yeah, that's me! Thank you for your support...um…?"

"Oh, right, forgive me. My I'm Raiji Taryanagi. You can call me Raiji. I'm starring in a drama for TCM right now called Glory Days."

"Ah, thank you very much for your support, Raiji-san. I have a friend who is a very big fan of that show. Sadly, I haven't had time to watch television in some time, but I will add your drama to my list! Please forgive me!" she said with a bow, stunning her audience.

"But Kyoko-chan," Kijima mused. "Don't you at least watch your own dramas? Box R is really taking off now."

Kyoko fiddled with the fabric-covered box in her hands none of them had noticed as she replied, "Not really. I'm usually too busy. The owners of the restaurant where I live record it to watch later, but between school, acting school, Box R, Sacred Lotus, Tragic Marker publicity events, Kimagure Rock, LoveMe assignments, and working at the restaurant, I haven't really had a lot of free time. And I tend to spend that studying, developing my characters, or preparing food for Tsuruga-san." Her brilliant smile when she said his name was enough to make all their knees weak.

Koga recovered first this time around, a little immunity to her brilliance built up from his recent daily interactions with her on set. "Kyoko-chan, with how busy you are, why do you waste time preparing meals for that guy? Surely he can afford to eat out or hire a cook…" He trailed off as Kyoko's face went dark and an oppressive aura pushed down on all of them. Reino leaned back in his chair with a contented sigh and basked in it. He really loved this side of her best.

"Sure, he's absolutely capable of ordering food or hiring someone to make it for him, but will he?! NO! He would rather just not eat, or pick up onigiri at a convenience store! Can you imagine?! FOR EVERY MEAL?! AAAAARGH! He drives me crazy with frustration sometimes. I don't know how it's possible for someone so huge to consume so little and still perform so mind blowingly! IT'S FREAKING UNBELIEVABLE!"

Murasame did a spit take with the water he had just taken a sip of. Did she even realize how suggestive that sounded?!

Kyoko made a conscious effort to calm herself down and plaster on a smile. "No, the only way to make him eat is to present him with food and make him eat it. It's one of the reasons Setsu was required after all." She directed the last part of that to Murasame, who blinked rapidly, trying to consolidate the images he had of her (sexy Setsu, ballbuster Natsu, friendly kouhai, avenging angel, and demon caretaker of Tsuruga Ren). He failed. It just didn't seem possible that they were all the same person.

"Uh, yeah, that makes sense...I guess," he managed.

"Tch. Can't that stupid President hire someone else to babysit his pretty-boy face if you're that damn busy? What about his useless manager?" Sho barked.

The air went dark again as Kyoko lost her maid-spirit and released her grudges. The other men were suddenly very glad they weren't Sho Fuwa. Well, all except for Reino. The things he would do just to get her to look like that...

"Yashiro-san is not useless. He is best of all super-managers and I defy you, SHOTARO," she raised her voice and clearly used his full name just to piss him off. "To provide proof of otherwise! Especially since he's managing me as well now! You can behave like a little child and insult me, SHOTARO, but if you insult my manager again, I will make you regret it!"

Sho shook off the animosity she was shooting at him and glared back at her.

"First off, STOP CALLING ME THAT! Second, make me regret it? Give me a fucking break. You're not empowered to do anything to me. You're just a measly talent, not even valuable enough to LME to graduate that pathetic little LoveMe unit you're always groveling around for."

Kyoko seethed at him and opened her mouth to reply, but was beaten to the punch. Seemingly out of nowhere, Sebastian (as she liked to call the ninja-like man who worked for LME's crazy President, even though his name was actually Ruto...) had come to her rescue!

"Actually, as of this morning, Mogami-san has been re-assigned to the acting section. She is a very highly valued member of LME. Furthermore, the President is very fond of her. And, while she does not, personally, have the power to, as you say, 'do anything to you', President Takarada-san certainly does. Kyoko-san, would you like me to have Fuwa-san escorted from the building? We cannot allow upstarts from other agencies insulting and belittling our stars in our own agency. It sets a bad precedent after all…"

Kyoko closed her mouth, from where it was hanging open and quickly gathered herself, cloaking herself in the stature and fury of a noble lady of Japan. "No Sebastian, that will not be necessary. This upstart is not worth the time it would take you away from your more pressing duties."

The jaws of every man in the room dropped as they witnessed the change in her. Even wearing bright pink coveralls, they would have sworn right there and then that she was a descendent of the Emperors of old.

"Please," she continued, oblivious to the awe surrounding her. "Give my kind regards to Takarada-san and sincere thanks for his generous support."

Ruto bowed deeply to her, immediately adapting to her character as he did for each of Lory's with a smile tugging at his lips. "Very well, my lady. If you need anything else, I'm but a wave of your precious hand from assisting you." He kissed her hand and swiftly exited the room.

No one noticed as he exited through the makeup room. They were too busy staring at the woman presiding over them.

Ruto slipped into the room unseen and made his way to where Ren was losing his patience.

The infatuated woman assigned by Morimoto-san to do his makeup had been fussing over him with setting powder and tweaking his hair in the same three places for the last ten minutes, all the while clinging to every part of his body she could easily reach. Sometimes his face and body were really a curse.

Finally, he just couldn't wait anymore.

"Are we done here? I would hate for anyone to doubt your ability to do your job if the shoot should be held up due to my unruly hair." He leveled a 60 watt smile in her direction and quickly stood as she swooned away from him. Ruto obligingly caught her before she hit the floor, nodding politely at Ren.

"You're needed in the green room, Tsuruga-san. Mogami-hime has arrived." He slipped out, dragging the semi-conscious makeup artist with him.

Mogami-hime? Ren used the full length of his stride and practically teleported through to the other room right as every man in the room froze, trying to decide if it was appropriate or completely insane to kneel in the presence of the pink idol in the center of the room.

"Ah, Mogami-san. Forgive me. My makeup artist today was...especially thorough." He stood at full height, naturally matching his aura to her own. She immediately felt the challenge of his kingly aura and bowed her head slightly to greet him, as one royal to another. Then she upped the tension and looked down her nose at him...somehow.

From a good foot below him.

God, this girl is so fucking amazing.

"Ren-denka." He fought to keep his lips under control, managing barely, a small twitch upward squeaking through as she used his given name with the honorific for royalty. "I was wondering where you had escaped to. Yashiro-kun informs me that you have not eaten lunch yet. Since I was headed here to fulfill my duties, I brought you something that will suffice."

She seemed to have established herself as a princess. Familiar enough to use his given name, but still below him enough to use the royal honorific heika.

Ren couldn't help a real, warm smile from escaping onto his face as his majestic aura boosted his confidence and bravery. "Damn. And here I thought I had found the perfect way of escaping you, Kyoko-hidenka."

Her face exploded into a blush as his use of the honorific for a royal consort, facade immediately melting beneath the sweltering warmth of his smile, the latent grudges still jeering at Sho and Reino, disintegrating into dust. The remaining survivors zipped up their protective suits and huddled together for protection. Kyoko had to look away from her eyes, letting her noble persona melt off of her with all the tension of her day. When he smiled at her like that, she felt like she was being recognized for doing her best and it made her careless with her honorifics.

"Ren-kun, please take care of yourself better. I promise I haven't packed anything too strenuous to eat, so please take the time on your next break to consume, something. And, since I'll be assisting with the shoot, I'll certainly know if you don't!" She smiled her own version of the gentleman's smile and turned to leave the room, remembering, belatedly, that there were others she had been speaking to. "Ah, right. Everyone, congratulations on being voted in the top 25. Please do you best with the job in front of you!" She bowed at a perfect ninety degrees to the room.

As one, like they'd practiced it for hours, they all bowed to her and replied, "We are in your care!"

Ren rolled his eyes and sighed. Great, nothing like more rivals to keep our relationship interesting.

Well, there is it. Chapter one...because short chapters are not something I know how to write, apparently. XD