Hello and welcome back to selfish fanfic! Y'all can thank persie that this ever became more than a drabble. Enjoy!
Kuon had been trying to work up the courage to call his parents since he and Kyoko properly got together. He had really meant to wait until he could go home to talk to them again, but… he saw how happy she was whenever she got to talk to them. And how careful she was to never let on that she knew his secret. But he also saw the strain that this put on her, especially after she had told his parents about her own family situation. It wasn't fair to her to make her keep this secret any more than it was to them to stay away so long. But he was still afraid. In the end, it was Kyoko who got him to talk to them again. Rather, it was his father's oya-baka tendencies. Tendencies that had only gotten worse once he convinced Kyoko to tell him about the woman that gave birth to her (and he phrased it this way now, refusing to acknowledge that woman as a mother).
"Dad, no - I mean, of course I'm honored, but I-" Kyoko paced in Kuon's living room while he did the dinner dishes. He had shooed her away from drying when the phone rang, and now listened to Kyoko's half of the conversation while he scrubbed.
"No, it's not that! Of course I would love to be, but-"
Whatever this is, Dad sounds really insistent. He rinsed the frying pan and set it in the rack to dry. I wonder what it is.
"No, I just - Dad, hold on a minute, please." Kyoko stormed into the kitchen, blushing brilliantly, and thrust her phone at him. He dried his hands and took it, his hand over the speaker, alarmed.
"What's going on?"
"You get to explain to your parents why it would be very, very bad for them to legally adopt me."
"Oh." He removed his hand from the speaker and lifted the phone to his ear. "Uh, hi, Dad. Please don't adopt my girlfriend."
Kuu dropped his phone, then scrambled to pick it up. "Kuon?" He hadn't spoken to Kuon as himself since he left California.
"Yeah, hi, long time, no talk." He rubbed the back of his neck. "So, uh, yeah. Please don't adopt Kyoko. We're dating and that would make things kind of unbearable for us." No way in hell am I doing Setsu and Cain for real. "Oh, and please don't mention that fact to Boss. He doesn't know we're together yet."
"MY BOY!" Kuu yelled, tears already falling freely from his eyes.
Kuon jerked the phone away from his ear, but not fast enough to save his eardrum. Tentatively, he put it to his other ear, only to hear clunks and scrambling as his father ran through the house, calling for Julie. Kyoko squeaked, and he raised an eyebrow at her.
"I'm so sorry," she whispered. "I forgot that you hadn't gotten back in contact with them yet. I just - I just panicked."
He pulled her to him with his free arm and shook his head. "I've been trying to get up the nerve to do this."
She wrapped her arms around him and was saved the trouble of replying by Kuu and Julie's voices blasting through the phone again. Their voices crashed over each other, making their words incomprehensible. Kuon, used to this, picked out a few words along the lines of "my baby" and "coming home."
He laughed. "I can't understand you guys when you talk over each other." Kyoko gently pushed against his chest, and he let go of her. She shooed him out to the living room to talk to his parents while she finished up the dishes. He frowned, but let it go, deciding to make up for it next time. "One at a time, please. I missed you guys, too."
Kyoko pushed up her sleeves and sunk her arms into the soapy water. This is it. I'm no longer going to be their 'son.' Now I'm their real son's girlfriend, some interloper. And who could ever be good enough for him? She bit her lip and scrubbed a pan, willing herself not to cry. They're going to hate me. It's fine. I'm used to being hated by a parent. I'm used to this. It's fine. A tear rolled down her cheek and plopped into the soapy water, leaving a hole in the suds. Even if it's going to be worse, knowing what it feels like to have them love me. Another tear slipped out. No. He's going to hear me. I'm not going to interrupt like this.
"Yeah, I know," she heard him saying from the living room. "Don't worry, that's the plan. Maybe a year or two more."
Until what? She scrubbed harder. He already has some work planned abroad as Ren… is it a year or two until he reveals his real name to Japan? Or until he moves back home permanently? Am I keeping him here, away from his family, longer? Is that why it's a year or two? She shook her head. No, I'll just ask him later. I shouldn't worry about a fraction of an overheard conversation. She rinsed off the pan and moved on to the last of the dishes, trying to keep the nagging worries at bay with the aid of her angels and grudges. They, wielding fire flowers and pitchforks respectively, managed to beat the worries back into a corner of her mind.
"Yeah, one second," Kuon said, his voice closer now. "Kyoko, Mom and Dad want to do a video call with us."
"Okay," she replied, hating how weak her voice sounded and hoping he didn't notice.
He did. "Actually," he said into the phone, "can you give us a few minutes and then we'll call you back? We just finished dinner and were in the middle of cleaning up." A pair of voices protested, but he replied, "Thanks. Talk to you in a few minutes," and hung up.
"Why did you do that?" she asked, eyes still fixed on the suds.
He walked up beside her and leaned on the counter until he could see her face. "What's wrong?"
"You just hung up on your parents." Meaning that I interrupted the first time he's talked to them as himself in years.
"Kyoko…" He reached out and brushed a piece of hair behind her ear. "Please tell me what's wrong? You love talking to them."
No secrets. No lies. Those were the two most important boundaries they had set down at the beginning of their relationship. She hated them in this moment as she forced out, "As their 'son,' not as their son's girlfriend."
"And…?" He prompted, his hand sliding down to rest on the small of her back.
"And now I'm not their beloved child, I'm just the interloper coming in and dating their beloved child." She swallowed around the lump in her throat, willing herself not to cry. "And no one is good enough for their beloved child."
"Kyoko, they were literally trying to adopt you a few minutes ago. The fact that we're dating isn't going to change them seeing you as their child." His hand moved to around her waist and gently pulled her away from the sink. He grabbed a towel for her to dry her hands, and while she did so, he picked her up and set her on the counter.
"Can wait." He kissed her then, softly, and something inside her broke. She started crying in earnest and he pulled away, concern clear on his face. "Kyoko?"
"I don't want them to hate me," she sobbed. "I can't take it again. I can't. I don't - I don't -" She hid her face in her hands. Her next words came out so muffled and strangled that Kuon couldn't understand them.
"They're not going to hate you, princess," he said, tugging her hands away from his face. "What did you say last?"
She looked away. "I know I was just the surrogate 'Kuon,' but it still - it still hurts," she whispered. "Knowing that now that they have you back, they won't need me anymore. That now I'm just the girl taking their son away from them." She swallowed. "It… it was just so nice to have parents that loved me, even for a little while. Even if it wasn't really… real."
"Hey…" He tilted her head up, but she kept her eyes averted. "Look at me, please, Kyoko."
She did, even as more tears spilled down her cheeks. He wiped them away with his thumb, and she leaned into his touch.
"Even if you got to know Dad by playing me, they don't love you as a replacement for me. They really do love you for you, Kyoko. They wouldn't have tried to adopt you if they didn't." He brushed away another tear. "And as for taking their son away… I think it's more like you brought him back with you."
"Because I forced you to talk to them?" She gave him a watery smile, wanting to let herself hope.
"That, too," he chuckled softly. "But mostly that you've helped me through the darkness that made me leave in the first place."
"So they're okay with… us?" she whispered.
"Given that as soon as they calmed down, they asked when the wedding is, I would say yes." He stroked her cheek again, glad that her tears had stopped.
She turned pink, her skin hot under his hand. "What… what did you tell them?"
"To wait to ask again for another year or two. I want you to get to experience every step of a relationship, and as I have no intention of ever letting you go, that means we'll probably date for a couple more years before getting married - um, I mean, if you'll have me." It was his turn to blush, even if his was much lighter. Is it too soon to mention that?
"Oh," she breathed, relieved. So that was a year or two more. The grudges and angels returned to their normal positions, no longer having to beat off that particular worry. She looked up at him and was able to give him a real smile. "Okay."
"Okay?" he echoed, his hand sliding down to cup her jaw.
She leaned up and kissed him. "Thank you," she murmured as they parted.
"Of course, princess." He stepped back and lifted her down off of the counter. "Want to go wash your face while I finish up the dishes, and then we'll call Mom and Dad back?"
She nodded and padded off to do so.
On the other side of the ocean, Kuu and Julie sat, staring at Kuu's phone. It had been six minutes and twenty-three seconds since Kuon had hung up on them, saying that they needed to finish up the dishes. The early morning light trickled in through the window. It was a little after 6:30 there, meaning the kids had been having a very late dinner. Kuu had been talking to Kyoko while preparing breakfast (fortunately, nothing was on the stove yet, as he had abandoned all of it when he heard his son's voice) and Julie had just finished getting dressed when he had barreled up the stairs. Now the pair was sitting on their bed, willing the phone to ring.
Mercifully, the screen lit up with a video call from 'Tsuruga Ren.' Kuu answered and the couple quickly positioned themselves, smiles threatening to split their faces. "My boys!" Kuu boomed.
Kuon's and Kyoko's faces popped onto the screen a second later. "Hi, Dad, hi, Mom," Kuon said. "Thanks for the wait."
"It surprised me, seeing your stage name on the screen!" Julie laughed. "Hello, my babies!"
"Hi," Kyoko added, a bit shyly. "We're using Kuon's phone because his has a better camera. I hope that's okay, M- Julie-sama."
"Kyoko darling, we can't adopt you anymore but you're absolutely part of this family and if you ever call me anything other than some form of Mom again I will fly over there to scold you, contracts be damned!" Julie's beautiful face tried and failed to frown; she was just too happy to see her son again, and with her daughter by his side at that!
"Yes, Mom." Kyoko blushed as Kuon slipped his arm around her shoulders and whispered something that sounded suspiciously like told you so in her ear.
"So, how are my babies?" Julie asked as Kuu chuckled to himself.
"Pretty good. Work's been going smoothly, and we both got out a little early tonight, so Kyoko was able to come over for dinner." When had they ever seen their son look so happy? It was hard to see on such a small screen - they would have to use their laptop next time - but they hadn't seen him smile so openly in years, if ever. It was certainly the first time since childhood that his smile had reached his eyes. "So we get two dates this week."
"You have a set date night?" Kuu asked approvingly.
"Thursdays, usually," Kyoko said. "Sometimes we have to move it for special events or location shoots, though."
"Good! You never want to get too busy to see your loved ones." A shadow passed over Kuu's face. "As we well know. I'm so sorry, Kuon." Next to him, Julie nodded, unable to speak. Facing the truth of why he had left had been… horrific.
"I am, too. I'm sorry I never told you what was happening. And I'm sorry…" He paused, looking down, and they saw Kyoko lean into him. He looked back up at them. "I'm sorry it's taken me this long to get back in contact. Especially since it wasn't me who made that happen." He pressed a grateful kiss into Kyoko's hair, making her face turn a brilliant red.
"Kuon! Not in front of your parents!" she hissed, flapping her hands in embarrassment.
Kuu and Julie watched this play out on the tiny screen, tears in their eyes. "Well, then!" Julie exclaimed, forcing the words past the lump in her throat. "Kyoko-chan, when is Kuon coming home?"
"Eh?" Her flailing hands froze and she glanced at Kuon. "I - I don't know. Isn't that something to ask him?"
Kuon opened his mouth to speak, but Julie laughed. "No, honey, if we wait for him to decide it's going to be at least five years." She winked at Kuon through the phone, letting him know she was just teasing. "Let me rephrase that: When are you dragging him back to see us? I need to know so we can pay for your tickets!"
"That's really not necessary -"
"Nonsense!" Kuu interrupted. "We're your parents, so we'll pay for the tickets. Even if we have to wait until after Kuon tells the public who he is. You two just let us know."
"Thanks, both of you," Kuon said with an easy grin. "And please don't mention this to Boss yet."
"Not even the fact that our beloved son called us?" Kuu pouted.
"He'll know it had something to do with Kyoko, which will lead to him questioning why she was over late enough to call you two at a decent time, and he doesn't know that we're together yet," Kuon sighed. "We're not ready to deal with his reaction."
"No one knows except you two and Moko-san," Kyoko added. "Though I think that Yashiro-san is getting suspicious about our Thursday nights."
"That's your shared manager, right?" Julie asked. "You should tell him. He'll be invaluable help in keeping you two safe and in planning dates."
"He's technically only Kuon's manager," Kyoko protested.
"Except he drives you everywhere he can. And he keeps tabs on your schedule because he knows I function better when I get to see you regularly. Plus other things I'm sure neither of us are aware of him doing." He grinned down at her, a teasing grin his parents had never seen on his face before. "I'm pretty sure that when Boss deigns to give you a manager, it'll be Yashiro - or someone ready to work closely with him."
"Regardless!" Julie said, cutting off what was clearly a common debate for the pair. "You need to let him know, Kuon. Swear him to secrecy for a bit, so he can't tell the kidnapper. That man deserves to suffer a bit."
"I could find a binding charm. I think there's one in the book that Maria-chan lent me," Kyoko suggested.
Julie caught Kuu's eye and smiled. They had heard all about Maria-chan from Kyoko. The two were so cute, and it warmed their hearts that Kyoko still believed in magic. "That could work. But make sure you get a promise, too."
"We will." Kuon nodded.
The conversation switched over to general catching up after that (not that Kuu and Julie hadn't been following both of their children's professional lives with an almost religious fervor), with only a little teasing thrown in. After nearly an hour of talking, Kyoko was leaning against Kuon's chest, trying and failing to stay awake. They watched with amusement as she slowly drifted off to sleep.
"I guess it is late there," Julie sighed, a smile playing about her lips.
Kuon nodded. "I should probably wake her up enough to take her home. Kotonami-san is going to worry."
Kuu chuckled as his son tried to wake up Kyoko, calling her name and moving her gently with the arm that held her. When that failed, he tried shaking her and poking her cheek. However, all that came from it was a small noise of displeasure and her burrowing her face into his chest. His parents beamed at the light blush that graced his face when he glanced back at his phone. Kuu covertly took a screenshot of the precious moment.
"I don't think she's going to be waking up anytime soon, honey," Julie laughed. "Just tuck her in and let her friend know that she's safe."
"Right." Kuon reached offscreen and grabbed Kyoko's phone. He typed in the password and then typed out a quick message to Kotonami-san. "Okay, that's done. Hang on a sec, the screen's going to change."
"What?" Kuu asked, only to have the image change to being a close-up of Kyoko's ear shoulder. "Are you carrying us with her?"
"Yeah. Didn't want you guys to think I'm taking her anywhere other than the guest room." The sound of a door opening, and then, "Okay, I'm going to put you down for a minute."
The view changed to the white ceiling, presumably of his guest room. They heard the rustle of blankets being moved,the squeaking of a mattress, and then more blanket sounds. They missed the silent struggle that was getting Kyoko to relinquish her grip on his shirt, something for which Kuon was grateful. He was sure that he was going to get enough teasing from them as it was. His face came back into view on the screen for a moment before he tapped it to switch to the other camera. Kyoko was tucked into a fancy, princess-y bed and had curled herself around one of the pillows.
"Oh, she's just so sweet." Julie beamed at the screen. "Kuon, you had better marry her, quick, or I may have to adopt her for real."
The screen flipped back around to show her son's face. The background changed as he walked back out to the living room, closing the door behind him. "Mom, I told you, it'll be a couple more years. This is her first relationship. I don't want to rush and make her miss things."
She gave a dramatic sigh. "Oh, very well. But I expect that my beloved son will be calling us as often as our daughter now, right?"
He gave them a lopsided grin that she hadn't seen since he was in middle school. "I dunno, Mom. Don't you guys usually call her?"
"Great idea!" Kuu exclaimed. "So we'll call you at least once a week, maybe twice, maybe seven times, depending. We have so much to catch up on!"
"Once or twice I can handle. Every day might be impossible with our schedules." The scenery was still changing; he was in his bedroom now. "And I should probably go. It's pretty late here."
After a bit of sighing and many proclamations of love, they let him go to bed. Once they had hung up, Kuu and Julie threw their arms around one another, happiness overflowing. Their son had come back to them, led by their future daughter-in-law. And he was happy. He was finally allowing himself to be happy, to be in love - and he had agreed to talk to them at least twice a week! The euphoria from all of this would carry them through to the next time they talked to him… and if they were planning a trip to Japan with the excuse of seeing their daughter, who would blame them for wanting to meet her boyfriend? (Hey, a loophole is a loophole.)
Yashiro furrowed his brow, reading the text that Ren had sent him at a little after midnight last night. Ren had asked him to come up to his apartment an hour earlier than the time he had planned to pick him up. He sighed and tucked the phone and his gloves away as he stepped out of the elevator, wondering what the actor was planning. Had he gotten into some Kana-like trouble again on his night off? No, Yashiro would have seen that in the news. So why the earlier meeting time? He frowned as he rang Ren's doorbell.
"Good morning," Ren greeted as he opened the door. "Thanks for coming over early."
"No problem, but why -" He cut himself off, sniffing the air with a baffled expression on his face. "I smell food." His head snapped down and he found Kyoko's shoes tucked into their little corner of the entranceway.
Ren ushered him in, knowing exactly what conclusions his manager's mind was drawing. He didn't say anything more as he led the man back to the kitchen and poured him a mug of coffee.
"Good morning, Yashiro-san!" Kyoko said, stirring the eggs. "Do you like western-style breakfasts? I'm making scrambled eggs."
Yashiro gaped at the pair of them, looking so perfectly domestic. Kyoko even had an apron decorated with little blue flowers. "Are - are -"
"Yes, we're together, and under no circumstances are you to tell President Takarada," Ren said, getting plates out of the cupboard. "Eggs?"
The resulting squeal made Ren very glad that his apartment was soundproof, and led to a hilariously embarrassing hour… but that's another story entirely.
Yaaaay selfish fanfic! I hope you enjoyed. Drop me a comment below and let me know! Oh, and mimag, I'm working on the Bo one I mentioned to you. ;) No worries there.