And I'm back for round three! This time, featuring the second musical I'm obsessed with: Heathers. I own nothing!
Kuon sighed as he returned to his hotel room. Okinawa was nice this time of year, and the weather was cooperating for filming, but he missed Kyoko. He couldn't even call her, since she had a performance tonight. He knew from experience that she was going to be too tired afterwards to hold a coherent conversation, no matter how hard she tried. Thankfully, he would be home the day after tomorrow. He hoped that she was taking care of herself.
He sent her a message sending his love (and reporting what he'd had for dinner), then flopped onto his bed. I'm so bored. He'd used studying his script as an excuse to ignore his (very grabby) co-star, so he didn't really need to read it again tonight. He had no interest in going drinking some of his other co-stars, especially considering the establishment they'd chosen. Even if he had wanted to go, Yuki would have recommended against it. Granted, I went to worse places back in L.A…. He was three seconds from rooting through the hotel drawers for cards to play solitaire when he got a notification.
He clicked on it eagerly. It was from Kyoko's fansite, letting him know that someone had posted a video. Not as good as a phone call, but this will help me get my Kyoko fix.
The video seemed to be filmed from someone's personal cell phone. The lighting was rather bad, the background noise was cacophonous, and the person's hand shook from time to time. They were trying to zoom in on a table partway across the room of what looked like a karaoke bar. It was hard to tell, but the uploader had added text pointing to a group of four girls, identifying them: Matsunai Ruriko, Amamiya Chiori, Kotonami Kanae, and, of course, Kyouko.
Oh, Kuon thought. This must be from yesterday. Kyoko and Ruriko, who had grown to be good friends during Six (Ruriko played Anne Boleyn), were doing promo for the show, and had brought Kanae and Chiori along for fun and promotion. Kuon recognized Asu, Kyoko's bodyguard and Yashiro's assistant manager, also sitting at the table with them. He was glad that she was with them, especially since he and Yuki were so far away. Well, it's not like he could have gone with her anyway. Not yet, at least. Not without the press and their fans having a field day.
The person taking the video let out an audible gasp as Kyouko stood up, pulling Ruriko with her, and went over to talk to the person in charge of the karaoke machine. Whatever happened next was obscured by someone walking in front of the camera. The video then cut to Kyoko and Ruriko on the karaoke stage, lit up by a spotlight. The room was silent now, except for Ruriko's voice, "...So we thought we'd do a little beheaded cousins duet for you all and see where things go!"
"After all, the owner was so wonderful to give us the stage for a few songs. What do you all think?" Kyoko asked. The camera shook as the poster tried to get it to focus. They seemed to find a good way to prop their elbows, though, as it suddenly became a stable image. One off to the side of the stage and obviously zoomed in, but still a stable image. Kuon turned his volume up higher. Ruriko punched in the song and the pair started singing "Don't Lose Your Head." Kyoko provided the backup vocals to Ruriko's Anne, playing up her expressions for the entertainment of the crowd. Kuon was relieved that they weren't doing "All You Wanna Do." It was a bit too dark for most locales.
Granted, Ruriko's late-song crack about how Henry must've really liked her head wasn't exactly clean. But at least it was consistent, as he'd seen a couple of other Annes say that in the live performance recordings he'd watched with Kyoko.
When the song ended, Kyoko stepped forward. "Now, I think we all know that my queen's song is a bit… much. But what would you all think of taking a step outside the queendom? Maybe over to another musical?"
Kuon's eyebrows shot up. What other musical did Kyoko know well enough to perform?
When the crowd approved, Kyoko grinned. "Well, then, I think we need some backup. Kanae, Chiori, do you want to join us?"
The camera zoomed out a bit to capture the other two girls joining them onstage. Asu lingered nearby. The two actresses waved to the karaoke bar and accepted microphones from an assistant. Kyoko winked to the crowd as Ruriko stepped into place to her left, Kanae to her right, and Chiori stood a little ways away from the group. Kyoko turned back to the crowd. "How many of you have seen Heathers?"
Oh, God, thought Kuon.
The crowd cheered and Chiori hit 'play.'
"Are we gonna have a problem?" Kyoko demanded, a hand on her hip as she stared down Chiori. "You got a bone to pick? You've come so far, why now are you pulling on my -" She made a shh gesture, winking at the crowd. Between each line, a pulse of music sounded.
Chiori shrunk back, looking intimidated. Kanae and Ruriko just smiled, waiting for their cues.
"I'd normally slap your face off," Kyoko continued, "and everyone here could watch!" She gestured to the crowd. "But I'm feeling nice, so here's some advice. Listen up, biatch!"
The crowd let out a gasp - from the insult or from the resulting dance choreography, Kuon couldn't tell. He was just glad, as the song continued, that she was wearing pants. Especially when she did a high kick on "Kicking nerds in the nose!" That move got enough wolf whistles as it was. Kuon spared a moment to note that Kanae had a decent voice.
The trio chorused, singing aggressively at Chiori (the main character, Veronica, if Kuon's memory served), "Honey whatcha waiting for? Welcome to my candy store! Time for you to prove you're not a loser anymore - and step into my candy store!"
Well, guys already fall at her feet. Fortunately, she doesn't need to be a Heather to do that. Granted, I might have an easier time fighting guys off of her if they were as intimidated of her as people were of her Heather. Chiori played both Martha and Veronica for a moment, saying both of their lines, before Ruriko jumped in front of Kyoko to sing, "Honey whatcha waiting for-"
Only to have Kyoko push her out of the way with a, "Shut UP, Heather!" as the song required. Ruriko stumbled but fell back in line, backing up Kyoko's impressive vocals with Kanae. The three then began circling Chiori, singing, "It's my candy store, it's my candy. It's my candy store, it's my candy. It's my candy store, it's my candy stooooooooooooooooooooooooore!"
The four bowed to the applause (the camera jolted as if the arm holding it was being smacked), and Kyoko asked, "Are you okay, Ruriko-chan?"
"Pssh, of course!" Ruriko laughed it off. "Like we didn't do that a million times backstage." She turned to the crowd. "Let me tell you, that song is one heck of a vocal warm-up! But let's give some love to these non-Queens," she smirked, gesturing to Chiori and Kanae, "for getting dragged into this. What was it, something about a girls' night…?" She let her sentence trail off as the crowd applauded. Chiori and Kanae bowed again and retreated to their table. Neither of them were aiming for musicals, but publicity was publicity.
"Soooo, we have time for one more song! What do you think, Ruriko-chan?" Kyoko tilted her head adorably, her smile bright. Kuon wanted to hug her. She really loved live performances, even if they exhausted her. The crowd interaction she got during these additional performances was probably one of her favorite parts of being in Six - right up there with her fellow queens and playing royalty.
"I dunno," Ruriko replied with a devilish grin, "how about we let the crowd decide? Anything from Six or Heathers is up for grabs, as long as it's feasible with two people. Well, except for Kat's song. For obvious reasons."
Kyoko stuck out her tongue at her fellow queen, then turned to the audience. "Okay, let's see some hands! Who's got a song for us to sing?"
The camera jolted; text on screen explained that their hand had shot up. Kyoko scanned the crowd for a moment before pointing right at the camera with a grin. "Me?" Kuon heard the poster say (a girl, judging by the voice). Kyoko nodded encouragingly. The room went quiet enough for the poster to shout, "Um, "Dead Girl Walking," please? With you singing Veronica and Ruriko-sama as J.D., please, Kyouko-sama?"
After getting a subtle nod from Asu (or so Kuon assumed, judging by where her gaze went), Kyoko tilted her head at Ruriko. "Does that work for you?"
"Yeah, it's a duet, I've got the range for J.D. Just don't expect us to do much of a dance for this one!" she joked. The crowd laughed. Kyoko sauntered over to the karaoke machine to select the song. Then her posture changed; a new persona seemed to fall over her. And Kuon recognized it.
Setsu. She was building off of Setsu for this song. She was channeling Setsu for the sexiest song in the damn musical. And he had thought Candy Store would be rough. Why couldn't they have requested… literally anything else?
The camera zoomed in on Kyoko as she opened her mouth. Her voice came out deeper and throatier - the one she'd used for certain parts of Kat's song, and one he'd had the privilege to hear during this very song at home. Not that she had serenaded him with it - gods, he wished - she sang in the shower, and the walls between the bathroom and bedroom were thin. He had been very glad to have the second shower that night.
"The demon queen of high school has decreed it…" She sang about how she would be socially dead come Monday, debating her options. And then she turned, spotted Ruriko across the stage, and grinned wickedly. "Here's an option that I like: Spend these 30 hours getting frea-kaaaaaaaaaay!" The look on her face was one Kuon would like to see more often, in private. "I need it hard, I'm a dead girl walking!"
Kuon's mouth went dry, and the poster dropped her camera. She scrambled to pick it up as Kyoko stalked across the stage, 'breaking into' the room.
"Veronica? What are you doing in my room?" Ruriko asked, her voice impressively deep. She squinted suspiciously at Kyoko.
"Shhhh." She placed a finger over Ruriko's lips. "Sorry, but I really had to wake you." Her soft, apologetic expression changed to something else entirely as her hand moved to grip her singing partner's jaw. "See I've decided I must ride you 'til I break you."
Kuon heard the poster whimper and heartily agreed. He almost missed the next line, too lost in his fantasies.
"Shut your mouth," Kyoko pushed Ruriko's chin up, doing just that, "and lose those tighty-whitieeees!" She yanked Ruriko up against her by her skirt's belt loops, a roguish grin on her face. She winked at the whooping audience.
Kuon was trying to figure out how and why Asu had approved of this. He certainly didn't - at least, not unless he could be her partner, and their performance happened in their apartment. Maybe she would be up for it once Six wrapped and she had more time to sleep?
A few lines later, Kyoko's voice softened, "And you know, you know, you know, it's 'cause you're beautiful."
Ruriko played up the comedy of it to the crowd, fanning herself and batting her eyelashes. I know, she mouthed. The audience laughed, breaking some of the tension in the room. Kuon was just wishing she was singing those words to him.
"Let's make this beau-tiii-fuuuul!"
Ruriko joined in with a dramatic shrug. "That works for me! Oop -"
Instead of pulling her down into certain activities, Kyoko started leading Ruriko in a sort of mock tango as they sang. "Full steam ahead, take this dead girl walking!"
Ruriko, being pulled along, sang with a note a panic in her voice, "How'd you find my address?" She shot a wide-eyed look at the crowd, making them laugh harder.
Kyoko spun Ruriko into a dip. "Let's break the bed, rock this dead girl walking!"
She glanced at the floor, inches below her, and replied, "I think we tore my mattress!"
Kyoko fought back a giggle as she sang her next lines, leading Ruriko into a wilder and wilder mock-tango, spinning her out and away on the final "Yeahs" of the song, ending with a dramatic dip where she pretended Ruriko was an air guitar on the ending "Oh."
The crowd burst into applause and laughter. Kuon grinned at the video, where Kyoko and Ruriko were bowing and saying their goodbyes. She'd done a phenomenal job leading in both the dance and the song - even if her partner had gotten most of the laughs. It was a good approach, adding comedy to an otherwise very hot-and-heavy song. It would definitely help their images in the long run, and hopefully dispel any rumors. We want rumors, just about Kyoko and me. Maybe I should brush up on my singing, get it public-ready. Kuon was a decent singer, but nothing outstanding. At least he didn't jump octaves mid-word, like Dad.
Comedy aside… that was one hell of a performance. He had the feeling he would be watching it a few more times tonight. But first, he wanted to see what the comment section was saying. And this time, Kyoko wasn't here to stop him from posting if one of them dared badmouth her. Ah, it looks like CorvidLuver recorded the video.
CorvidLuver: OMG GUYS I'M DEAD *skull emoji* She talked to me! She picked me! I'm dead. In heaven. Don't wake me up, ever ever ever.
Kyouko-Sama's-Girl: Lucky! Thanks for the amazeballs vid! Her vocals have knocked me dead. I'm definitely looking up Heathers later.
MioSama: I'm trying to decide if she's a better Heather Chandler or Veronica Sawyer. Because "Candy Store" was WOW but "Dead Girl Walking" has me questioning my sexuality, ngl.
KitKatHoward: Pls we're all gay for Kyouko-san. Also, can we talk about how awesome that beheaded cousins' duet was? *heart eyes* Ruriko-san is one hell of an Anne! And Kyouko-san's voice meshed so well for the backups. And their expressions? So cheeky I'm dead xxx
AllUWannaDo: LOL yes! Rewatching now. I'm so jel you got to be there, corvid! You bless us with your sharing *heart emoji* Too bad they couldn't do a live "All You Wanna Do," but like, I get it. Kyouko-san has a point with the whole too-dark thing. Big yikes *eyes*
KyoukoMyQu33n: Can we talk "Candy Store"? I'm talking "Candy Store." Omg y'all. I was sooo confused when she called Kanae-san and Chiori-san up on stage, but it made so much sense the minute the song started playing. I could totally see the three of them as Heathers; Nacchan proves she can be a Queen Bitch. So
Kuon snorted. Kyoko had referred to Natsu by her nickname in an interview exactly once, and the fans had pounced on it. He leaned over and grabbed a bottle of water from the minifridge.
KyoukoMyQueen: (lol, hit enter too soon, too HYPED) So she would be an amazing Heather C. And oh my GOD her voice. That bit at the end? Did you hear her vocals? I'm dying. Amazing. Can I be Veronica? I wanna be Veronica in this and be intimidated/seduced. Please please please? *pleading eyes*
MioSama: Oookay, have some chill? Her vocals are as amazing as expected, though. Wish I could've been there! I wonder if she's going to branch out more into music after this?
KitKatHoward: Um, YES PLEASE. More Kyouko-san singing? I'm so down. I wonder if she'd write her own stuff or just do covers.
NarniaCat: Isn't she super into fairy tales? She could do like, Disney covers or something.
SaltyOnigiri: Ooh, that'd be so cool! I'd love to hear a ballad from her. Most of what we've heard her sing is so high-energy.
CorvidLuver: Um, how are we ignoring "Dead Girl Walking" here? Her incredible performance with Ruriko-san? Have they done this before or was this spontaneous? I need answers! Bc the implications of them doing this before is driving me wild here! And that CHEMISTRY OMG. Sorry Kanae-sama, I think you've got a rival for my Kyouko-sama OTP.
Kyouko-Sama's-Girl: Omg you traitor XD Kyounae is life! But it was super hot.
CorvidLuver: And we definitely know who tops *eyes* *eyes* *eyes*
Kuon choked on his water. How do I always forget how crude fans can get? He pushed down a hot wave of jealousy. He knew that the two were best friends, no romance involved. But seeing people ship them like this….
PrinceCorn: You're forgetting that this is a performance! They even played up the comedy of it to let us know that nothing's going on. And Kyouko-sama's made it super clear in interviews that she's all hyper around Kanae-san because she was her first female friend. Plus, isn't she with Tsuruga?
GooseQueen: I mean, all evidence points that way, but a girl can be bi. They could even be poly… but I don't know if they'd be able to hide something like that from the press.
SunlitKook: Yeah, I personally ship her with Ren-san, but I can see her being bi. I defy you to find a straight girl who is that excited (pun intended) to see someone who's just her "best friend." So I vote she's with Ren-san but has a small crush on Kanae-san. Tho she said she grew up pretty traditional, so she probably doesn't realize that's what it is.
Great. Another reason to be jealous of Kanae-san. Kuon let out a groan. Dammit, I can't wait until we can put all these rumors to rest.
SmordsNBirbs: Valid! Also, did y'all see this?
Kuon clicked on the link, opening it in another tab so he didn't lose his place. He grinned. It was a picture of him wearing one of the limited-edition Six t-shirts that the whole cast had signed. Good, I'd hoped that someone had seen that.
MainlyMaineCoons: Ugh, he's so hot!
SmordsNBirbs: Yes, totes drool-worthy. But also, he's wearing another Six tee!
TartanDoggo: I mean, didn't she say she was going to see if they could send him one during her Kat livestream?
ShogaInTogas: Getting something is a far cry from wearing it! Have you ever seen him wear merch from another thing he wasn't in? And how much do you think he's gotten since the first time he wore the Kat tee?
Answer: Way too much. He'd donated most of it, except for a few related to things Kyoko liked. And, of course, the Yappa Kimagure Rock shirt.
MioSama: He wore that variety show t-shirt.
SaltyOnigiri: Yeah, the one with Bo on it!
MioSama: Are you still on about that Kyouko-as-Bo theory?
Kuon did a spit-take and decided to give up on his water.
SaltyOnigiri: YES! Their mannerisms are WAY too similar. Plus, Kyouko-san is friends with them but has never been a guest on their show! What's up with that? Even Kanae-san and Chiori-san have been on it. But like, never Kyouko-san. UNLESS SHE'S BO. And has been Bo from the beginning! Except for like, that one episode where Bo was so subdued that everyone complained. Who else would become a chicken like that? It's gotta be her!
He rolled around on the bed, laughing hysterically, and barely managed to type out a response.
PrinceCorn: Bo's a rooster.
(In his defense, Kyoko had drilled that into him.)
SaltyOnigiri: UGH, whatever! It doesn't change the fact that I don't know who else would be able to make it look like Bo's alive and not just someone in a costume!
NarniaCat: Then why isn't she listed in the credits? Like, I get not doing so at first (your timeline would put this as like, her first role?), but now she's a big name. I can't see it being her anymore, if it ever was.
SaltyOnigiri: Are you saying she'd be that stuck-up to leave a good role cuz it's a mascot job?
NarniaCat: No no no of course not! *sweats* I'm just saying she's probably waaay too busy for a variety show spot. Especially since she's been Kat.
GooseQueen: It would explain why Ren-san always lists the show as one of his favorites…. *chicken emoji*
SaltyOnigiri: HAH! Goose agrees with me, I win.
CorvidLuver: Why are we fighting about Bo when we could be discussing Kyoko as Veronica vs Kyoko as Heather Chandler?
Kyouko-Sama's-Girl: Either can step on me *drool* (So can Kat, for that matter xD)
Kuon agreed, even if he didn't type it into the chat.
KyoukoMyQueen: Also can we talk about that high kick in Candy Store? It was like a vertical split! Like, we knew from Momiji that she was strong and fast, but she's so flexible! So that, combined with Dead Girl Walking… I am very happy xD
SaltyOnigiri: I wanna vote for Heather C, since I feel like Kyouko-san would get a kick out of being a "ghost" onstage *ghost emoji*
SunlitKook: Mmm, I feel like Heather C would be too much like Nacchan. Veronica would help her branch out more, ya know? And then we'd also get the Dead Girl Walking reprise *eyes*
Kuon scrolled through the chat a little longer, enjoying the comments. At least, he was enjoying them until he read:
Songstress325: Oooh, what if we got Fuwacchi to sing Dead Girl Walking with her? They already know each other, from the Prisoner PV, sooo do you think we could get him to do it?
PrinceCorn: What if we got Ren-san to do it instead? *eyes* It would be a good way to test our theories on whether or not they're dating!
Okay, so he definitely needed to get in contact with a vocal coach. But there was no way he would be able to stay sane if Fuwa got involved with that song. And he wanted to keep the rumors going in the right direction.
MainlyMaineCoons: OMG YES. We haven't heard Ren-sama sing, have we? I bet his voice is all smooth and deep and sexy.
NarniaCat: Uh, yes please. Even better, what if his voice is kinda raspy? Kinda like a smoker vibe?
Kuon touched his throat self-consciously. Maybe I should've thought this through a little more.
TartanDoggo: What if he can't sing at all? Lol
MrsTsurugaRen: Blasphemy! Ren-sama can do everything perfectly!
Disinterested now that the conversation was about him, Kuon scrolled back up to the video. I have enough time before bed to watch it a few more times. He hit play. A smile crept onto his face as he watched Kyoko (and friends) perform, his fingers ghosting over the shaky image of her on the screen. I can't wait to go home to her.
He noticed new things on his second watch: The way she swung her long, pink ponytail in the background of Anne's song. The cheeky little winks she would throw to the crowd while singing backup. The way her eyes danced under the stage lights. The little things she and Ruriko did to hype up the crowd. The precise way she spoke to the audience - inviting and open, but still formal enough to be Kyoko. The enticing way she walked as Heather Chandler, sexy and intimidating all at once. How her shades of Setsu in Veronica had made her even sultrier, made her demands even more irresistible. The look in her eyes, distant as they were in the video, that burned him. Maybe I shouldn't have suggested doing a duet on the forum. Maybe I'll want to keep that all to myself. Because if that's how sexy she looks performing with Ruriko-san… I wonder if I could pull something stronger out of her. Rather, I wonder if we'd be able to feed off of each other to make it stronger. As long as we don't forget we're meant to be singing.
Kuon sighed and replayed the video. One more day and I'll be back in her arms.
His phone buzzed just as he stepped out of the elevator onto their floor. He pulled out his phone, eager to see if it was an update from Kyoko. Instead, what he saw were screenshots - ones of his activity on that fan page last night. He had a sneaking suspicion that Yashiro was to blame. He just sent a heart back to her; he knew that she didn't mind him going on there as long as he didn't cuss out any of her haters. With his phone back in his pocket, he strode down the hall and unlocked the door to their apartment.
"I'm home!" he called out.
His heart leapt as she answered, "Welcome home!"
He shucked off his shoes and dumped his bag in the entryway, hurrying to where he'd heard her voice. Only to find Kyoko sitting on the back of the couch, clad in something that probably used to be Setsu's. She gave him a sultry little smirk and pressed a button on their stereo's remote. A familiar tune filled the air.
"I heard you wanted a dead girl walking?"
Yes, I'm leaving it right there. Yes, I'm evil.
Ignoring that, what did you think?