Chapter 1: You Won't Believe What I Found!
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
"NOOOOOOO!" Mimori cried out. "What is this? UGH! Kyoko's fans are as weird as she is! Ew!"
Kyoko, who was calmly eating her lunch at her desk, outwardly ignored Mimori's outburst although her curiosity was piqued both by the fact that she apparently had fans and that said fans had apparently had done something strange.
"What did they do?" one of Mimori's friends asked.
"Looook at thiiiiiiiis~!" Mimori wailed, shoving her cell phone into her friend's face. "I was looking for fan reactions to the Prisoner promo clip online and one of the search results was on a fanfiction site. I was excited for a fanfic about Angel Mimori and Devil Sho-chan, but when I clicked on the link it was this! THIS!" Too worked up to actually say what the thing was that she had found, the girl waved her phone under her friend's nose.
Kyoko didn't remember the name of Mimori's friend, but she watched the two of them out of the corner of her eye as the friend grabbed Mimori's wrist to make the overly-excited girl hold her arm still so the friend could read whatever was displayed on the phone's screen.
"No, are you serious? That's so creepy!" the girl squealed.
"I KNOW, RIGHT?" Mimori shouted, stamping her foot to punctuate her frustration with the whole situation.
By the time school ended, Kyoko was dying of curiosity over what the super creepy fanfic might contain. (And she sincerely hoped it was not her angel and Devil Sho being paired together... just the thought of it made her shudder.)
She had a bit of time before she had to be at the Dark Moon set, so she stopped at an internet cafe to look up the thing that Mimori had found earlier. There was only one search result for "Prisoner fanfiction", so that had to be it, right?
When Kyoko clicked on it, she saw that it was a crossover with Dark Moon in which Mio's guardian angel was the Demon Angel from Sho's promo clip. It was marked as being a "Mio/Demon Angel" pairing. Kyoko was almost afraid to read it. Curiosity won over caution, and once she'd read the story she wished she hadn't. At first it seemed like it might have an actual plot and some interesting character introspection for both the angel and Mio, but the first scene was just a setup for several pages worth of explicit sex between Mio and the Demon Angel, at the end of which they were somehow both miraculously "purified".
On the set of Dark Moon, Director Ogata approached Ren and said hesitantly, "I'm sorry to ask this of you, Ren, but can you please find out what is making Kyoko so distracted? I asked her myself already but she just brushed it off, saying it was nothing... I know you two are friends, though, and she would be more likely to talk to you..."
"Of course," Ren answered, smiling. He'd been wondering the same thing himself.
Beside Ren, Yashiro snickered. "I don't know how you're going to manage that. She's been purposely avoiding you all day."
Ren ignored his manager's taunt, and walked over to where Kyoko was sitting. Kyoko, lost in her own delusions, failed to notice him approaching until it was too late to make her escape without being rude.
Without premable, Ren asked her directly what was bothering her. Kyoko just stared at him in shock for a few moments and he could tell from the expression on her face that she had been avoiding him because there was something that she didn't want to have to tell him.
"Ummm," Kyoko began hesitantly. "Do you know what fanfiction is?"
Chapter 2: The Emperor's Sleepless Night
Originally posted separately as a oneshot sequel, now reposted as a chapter since I can't seem to let go of this idea and want to keep finding out what happens next...
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Director Ogata and Yashiro watched as Ren went over to where Kyoko was moping in a corner. Her horrified expression when he asked her what was wrong was certainly a sight to behold.
Ren continued to question the girl until she was blushing and stammering.
The director was starting to worry that Ren's interrogation would not prove fruitful, until he heard Yashiro chuckling quietly beside him.
"She's about to confess, I can tell," the bespectacled manager commented, half to himself. "Oh, those two are so cute together~♪" he sighed with a dreamy expression.
Ogata was a bit unnerved by Yashiro's blatant show of fanboy bliss over the way the "couple" were interacting, but the director was too shy to say anything to the other man about it. Realizing that he was embarrassing the director with his unprofessional behavior, Yashiro quickly pulled himself together and resumed quietly observing the two actors.
Apparently something about Kyoko's answer had confused Ren, because he now had his cell phone out and seemed to be looking something up on the internet.
From where they were standing, they heard clearly Kyoko's distressed cry of "NOOOOOOOOO, DON'T READ IT!"
"Why not?" Ren asked. When Kyoko's blush intensified, he continued with a teasing grin, "Do you think I'll be as distracted as you've been if I read it?"
"No, of course not! The great Tsuruga-san wouldn't allow himself to become distracted by such things!" Although she was quick to deny it, the look on her face confirmed his assumption. "I don't want you to look at it because I'd be embarrassed! And you would tease me about it forever because you're mean!"
"I promise I won't tease you about it," he said.
Kyoko glanced at him and saw that he'd put on a serious expression, but his eyes still sparkled with amusement.
"I don't believe you," she whined.
The conversation continued for a while longer, until somehow Ren got the girl calmed down to the point that she was able to concentrate and they were able to film the rest of the day's scenes without any further problems.
Once the filming was over with for the day and he was back at his own apartment, Ren pulled up the fanfiction site on his phone again and used the site's search function to relocate the story which Kyoko had stopped him from actually reading earlier.
Corrupted Guardian by The Blood-Rusty Scythe
Summary: Dark Moon/Prisoner crossover. Mio's guardian angel was, unfortunately, an angel who corrupted her own soul in order to save a friend from the devil... Mio/Demon Angel pairing. PWP. plz read & review. I suck at summaries.
The summary, while clearly intended to draw the interest of potential readers, didn't really do an accurate job of telling what the story was supposed to be about. Ren wondered what "PWP" stood for, but didn't want to navigate away from the fanfic site to find out.
"Ok, let's see what bothered her so much about this..." Ren murmured to himself as he began to read the fic.
The next day, Ren was the one messing up on set. After his third mistake, the director took him aside to ask him if he was having trouble with Katsuki's characterization again.
"No," Ren said, scrubbing a hand over his face. "I'm sorry, I'm just tired. I didn't sleep well last night."
"Oh... were you ill?" Ogata asked, immediately concerned. "Have you been to the doctor?"
"No, I'm fine. It's not anything like that. Just... strange dreams. I kept waking up in the middle of them and had a hard time going back to sleep."
He didn't go into detail, intentionally phrasing it in a way that would cause the director to assume he meant that he'd been plagued with nightmares. In truth his dreams had been quite the opposite. And thanks to the fanfic he'd read, those dreams had starred both of Kyoko's dark alter egos - sometimes with each other, sometimes one or the other with him. He'd been half-anticipating, half-dreading a threesome scene and didn't know whether to be disappointed or relieved that his subconscious mind had failed to present that particular scenario to him. The parts of the night that he'd spent awake had been filled with cold showers and much changing of clothes and bedsheets.
Now Ren just had to pull himself together and make sure Kyoko didn't figure out that Corrupted Guardian-induced fantasies were the source of his distraction...
Chapter 3: Sir, I Need You To Concentrate
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
"Oh, well..." Ogata said slowly, as he considered what the best solution would be in this case. "Maybe you could go take a nap while we film as many scenes without Katsuki as we can?"
Ren agreed only because protesting that he wouldn't be able to sleep now - after having just told the director that his mistakes were due entirely to tiredness - would lead to awkward questions that he was not prepared to answer.
Yashiro, recalling what he'd witnessed the last time Ren had taken a nap on the Dark Moon set, immediately went into sparkly-eyed fanboy mode. Ren pinned his manager with a dark glare, and Yashiro snapped out of it with an embarrassed cough. He really had to start being more careful. This was the second time today that he'd let his mask of professionalism slip in front of the director. Ogata didn't seem like the type to intentionally spread rumors, but there was still the possibility that he might let something slip to someone who would, and that just would not do. Ren's public image would suffer if it were made known that his manager was actually quite a goofball under the exterior of stern professionalism with which he generally comported himself.
Alone in his dressing room, Ren sat on the couch with his head in hands and let out a heavy sigh. He wasn't going to be able to sleep any more peacefully now than he had last night. Seeing Kyoko today had only made his torment more real, especially when she'd looked up at him with Mio's face but an expression that was purely Kyoko and asked him if he was alright. Not wanting her to connect his distraction with that fanfic, he'd made excuses to her about something he'd eaten disagreeing with him.
Too late, he realized that he'd given a different explanation to the director than he'd given to Kyoko and if the two of them somehow ended up discussing his condition with each other, then they were likely to conclude that he was more ill than he'd let on...
Kyoko would most likely be very upset with him if she found out he'd lied to her about what was wrong with him - or at least not told her the whole truth, since she probably would still think the lie he'd told her was also true.
Ren groaned and pressed his palms against his temples. He didn't want to think about what her reaction would be. Would she get angry and yell at him for being so negligent in caring for himself? Would she get teary-eyed and accuse him of not trusting her?
Stop, he told himself. Just stop. Don't think about it. Clear your mind. Don't think about anything. Take your nap so you can finish your scenes.
Of course, as soon as Ren laid down and tried to sleep, his brain decided to replay scenes from the previous night's dreams and repeat a few choice lines from Corrupted Guardian that he seemed to have committed to memory on accident.
'The feathers were soft beneath Mio's fingers, although they radiated a faint crackle of dark energy.'
'The Demon Angel leaned down and ran the tip of her tongue over each raised line of hardened flesh of Mio's scar.'
"No. Stop," Ren scolded himself aloud for his errant thoughts. "Stop remembering that. It wasn't even particularly well-written."
His brain had other ideas, as it proved when it decided now was a perfect time to show him an image of Mio in a certain blue dress, running through the woods of Karuizawa in a panic as she fled from-
A flash of anger chased the image from his mind as he thought of that guy. But in the dream, he - Ren - had been the one chasing her. And not as his Dark Moon character, either, but as himself.
Ren turned over so he was facing the back of the couch and tried once more to clear his mind of any deviant thoughts about Kyoko and any characters played by her, so that he could try to catch enough of a nap to restore his ability to concentrate. Unfortunately for him, as soon as he closed his eyes, his fantasies decided to manifest themselves once more.
Am I really this much of a pervert? he wondered. How are we ever going to finish filming Dark Moon if I can't look at Mio without having flashbacks to that stupid fanfiction?
Chapter 4: Get Down With The Sickness
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Ren managed to drift off into a fitful, restless sleep. He was still plagued by erotic dreams featuring Mio and the Demon Angel, mostly inspired by that ridiculous piece of fanfiction which he'd read, but also partially inspired by his own fantasies of things he'd like to do to his precious Kyoko...
He snapped awake suddenly, his mind still half-caught in the dream he'd been having. In that last scene, he'd tackled Mio to the ground and was tickling her with some of the angel's shed feathers, the scarred girl trying to stab him as he held her down and brushed the feathers against any areas of exposed skin he could reach.
It was kind of cute how she'd been trying to stab him.
No! he shouted internally. That's not cute. That's not cute at all. Not even if it was because "Kyoko" did it.
But it was kind of hot the way she'd struggled beneath him...
God, stop. Stop thinking such sick things, you stupid brain!
He pressed his face into his hands and groaned aloud.
"There aren't many more scenes we can do without Katsuki..." Director Ogata said worriedly.
It had already been over three hours since Ren had left the set to go take a nap, and the actor had yet to return.
The poor director was clearly distressed by Ren's continued absence, and he was beginning to worry that the actor's condition was worse than he'd let on, if Ren was allowing it to keep him away from the set for this long.
Kyoko was beginning to get rather worried about him herself. Being well aware of Ren's tendency to neglect his health for the sake of work, she was of course suspicious that his extended nap time meant that there was something more wrong than he'd let on, and whatever that happened to be, it was preventing him from being able to return to work.
"Um..." Kyoko piped up. "Since Mio isn't in the next scene anyway, I could go check on him...?" she offered hesitantly.
"Thank you!" the director replied, his grateful expression making Kyoko feel like she was a fairytale knight who was saving the princess-director from some unpleasant situation.
Off to confront the sleeping dragon, then!
Kyoko cautiously peeked into the dressing room and saw that Ren was laying on the couch, apparently sleeping peacefully. She couldn't see his expression because he was facing the back of the couch, but if he was actually sleeping... that was good, right?
She had almost fooled herself into believing it when she saw him clasp his head in his hands and let out a pained-sounding moan.
"Tsuruga-san! I knew it! You're more ill than you let on, aren't you?"
Ren turned to face her, his startled expression quickly melting into a look of misery. He couldn't let her know what he'd been thinking! Absolutely not! The easiest lie to tell was the one the other person was already expecting to hear, so the best way to keep her from finding out that his current condition was all because of that fanfiction would be to fake sick...
He sat up partway, propping himself up on one elbow and making the most pathetic face he could.
"I don't feel good," he whined, his voice almost childish.
What she did next, he would never have expected.
Normally she wouldn't have dared to do such a thing, but he just looked so miserable and in need of comfort... Without stopping to think about what she was doing, Kyoko went over and sat down on the couch next to Ren and wrapped him in a hug.
"Oh, you poor thing," she murmured, petting his hair.
At first Ren was too shocked to react, but after a moment he leaned into the embrace, draping one arm loosely around her waist and burying his face against the side of her neck.
Oh, great. Now I'm a lying creep AND a pervert, Ren admonished himself, as he breathed in the scent of his beloved's perfume. Although if lying about being sick got him cuddled like this, maybe he would have to be more honest about when he wasn't feeling well in the future...
Chapter 5: Ah, But There Was Worse Yet To Come
Don't get used to having updates two days in a row... it probably won't happen again.
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
When the scene finished filming, Ogata looked around for Kyoko, frowning when he saw no sign of her.
"Kyoko isn't back yet..." he murmured.
This wasn't good. They needed Mio for the next scene.
"Back from where?" Yashiro asked, startling the distracted director.
"She went to check on Tsuruga..."
"How long ago?"
"Before the last scene began."
"Hmm... It's been a while, then. I'll go see what's going on."
I wonder if something happened between Ren and Kyoko, Yashiro thought to himself as he made his way toward the dressing room area. Just thinking about it sent him straight into fanboy mode... it was a good thing there was no one around to see him sparkly-eyed and skipping down the corridor.
At least he had managed to keep his composure in front of the director this time. He'd embarrassed himself in front of that man enough already. He wondered how much Ogata's opinion of him had dropped since witnessing his dorky fanboy freakout - not once, but twice.
Yashiro was half-expecting to see Ren sleeping with his head in Kyoko's lap again, just like that one day... The actual scene he stumbled upon was even more shockingly cute than the lap-pillow incident.
Oh. My. GOD! Kyaaaaaaaa~ Ren and Kyoko are cuddling. My life is complete. I can die happy.
Inside the dressing room, Ren and Kyoko were too focused on each other to notice that Yashiro was melting into a puddle of rainbow glitter fanboy goo outside the door.
When Kyoko moved as if to let go of him, Ren whimpered and pressed his face more firmly against her neck. He might have thought twice about his actions if he could see her distressed expression, but he could see nothing from the position he was in. He knew that he was being selfish and what he was doing was unfair to the girl who he was manipulating, but he so desperately wanted to remain in his beloved's embrace that he had not fully thought through the consequences of the lies he'd told her.
Kyoko wanted to help Ren, but there was nothing she could do about his condition while he continued to cling to her like this.
"Tsuruga-san," she whispered. "If you're in this much pain, don't you think it would be better if we get someone to take you to the hospital?"
"No hospital," Ren whined, sounding every bit like a petulant child. He couldn't allow that because, of course, other than a bit of sleep deprivation caused by his incurable perverted imagination, there was not actually anything wrong with him. "I want you to keep taking care of me."
"But this isn't like when you had a cold," the girl protested. "If you're really sick, you should be checked by a doctor."
"I'm not that sick," Ren argued.
Kyoko made an annoyed sound, which he knew meant that she didn't believe him. Of course she couldn't believe him after the way he he'd been acting!
"I'll be better by the end of the day, I'm sure," he hastened to add. "It's just food poisoning."
Which was exactly the wrong thing to say, as evidenced by the horde of angry spirits that exploded from the girl.
"Food poisoning?" she repeated in a deadly tone. "You mean that this was caused by your deplorable eating habits? Instead of having a proper meal, you ingested some questionable substance that was trying to pass itself off as food? Is that what you're telling me?"
No! No! I lied and I'm not sick at all! I'm ready to work! I can do all my scenes in one take! Please don't kill me! Not allowing his internal monologue to slip from his lips, aloud Ren said only, "Um... yes."
"No more convenience store food for you. Ever!" Kyoko declared angrily. "I'm going to make all your meals from now on, if that's what it takes to make you eat properly!"
Chapter 6: Lost Little Lamb, Sadistic Shepard
YES. I. AM. EVIL.
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Sho was bored waiting to be called on stage for his interview on a daytime talk show, and was playing around on the internet on his phone while he waited. He decided to poke around some fansites and see if he could find any new praise for himself or his songs.
He had just stumbled across something interesting when he felt someone leaning over his shoulder and a familiar female voice squealed in his ear, "Sho-chan~! What are you doing?"
Going deaf, you damn harpy, he thought to himself as he cringed away from the girl. Out loud he said, "What are you doing here, Pochi?"
"The show I'm going to be on is filming on the soundstage next to this one, and I knew you were going to be here so I came over to say hi!"
"You should go back over there so you're not late for the filming," Sho said. Really, how careless and unprofessional of her...
"But I don't want to go back over there," Mimori whined. "Maybe I'll just skip out on the show altogether."
"Hey! No! You shouldn't do that," Sho protested. Really, was he going to have to deal with her clinging to him all day? "Your manager is going to raise hell at the studio if she finds out you skipped out on business obligations to hang out with me, you know." ... which probably wasn't true, since Mimori's manager was a rather timid woman, but Sho had never been above lying to get what he wanted.
"But I don't want to be on a show with Vie Ghoul anyway," Mimori complained, as she turned to leave. It looked like the singer's threat had worked, after all.
"Hey, wait! Did you just say you're going to be on the same show as Vie Ghoul?" Sho said, jumping up from where he'd been sitting.
"Yes?" Mimori replied, nonplussed.
As Sho stood in front of her, frozen, trying to think of how he might be able to use this situation to his advantage, Mimori just so happened to catch sight of what was displayed on the screen of his phone.
"That..." the girl cried out in horror. "Don't tell me you've read that!"
"Huh?" Sho didn't know what she was talking about at first. "Oh, that... No. I just found it but I haven't read it yet."
"DON'T!" Mimori shouted. "DON'T EVER READ IT! IT'S TERRIBLE! IT'S HORRIBLE! THE PERSON WHO WROTE THAT SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEIR SELF!"
"I wrote it," a new voice announced calmly. "And while I admit the writing quality leaves something to be desired, I'm not ashamed of myself over it."
Sho and Mimori both turned to see the lead singer of Vie Ghoul standing beside them. When had he managed to sneak up on them like that?
"What did you say?" Mimori asked, unable to believe what she'd just heard.
"I wrote it," Reino repeated. " 'The Blood-Rusty Scythe' is me."
"You... you sick pervert... How could you write something like that? You're disgusting! Stay away from me!" Mimori spat, and hid behind Sho.
Reino noticed that although he did not protest being used as a human shield, Fuwa seemed disinclined to actively protect the girl.
"They're looking for you, by the way," Reino added, gesturing vaguely toward the direction from which he'd come. "I volunteered to come and find the lost little lamb."
As Reino stepped toward them, Sho tensed and took a half-step backward, pressing closer to the girl who clung to him.
"I'm not going with you!" Mimori snapped. "I can walk by myself!"
"Can you?" Reino inquired, smirking. "Are you sure I don't need to hold your hand so you don't get lost on the way back, little girl?"
Sho was practically bristling with aggression now.
So, this girl is his, as well, Reino was pleased to note. And she seems rather devoted to him... it will be such fun to take her away from him.
"W-what...?" Mimori stammered out, not liking the way the violet-eyed singer was staring at her.
"You were the other angel in the 'Prisoner' video, right?" Reino said. "Don't worry, you can have a starring role in my next fanfic."
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
"I should go and tell the director that you're suffering from food poisoning and won't be able to film any scenes today," Kyoko said, once her anger had died down a bit.
"No!" Ren protested, keeping a firm hold on her waist so she couldn't get up from the couch.
Kyoko leveled a glare at him and Ren put his super-pathetic-puppy expression back on.
"Don't leave," he whined. "I need my nurse to take care of me." And at that moment his brain decided to add Naughty Nurse Kyoko to its growing repertoire of fantasies. "You can call Yashiro and have him inform the director of my condition."
At the sound of his name, the glittery puddle of rainbow fanboy goo coalesced back into a normal-looking human being and crept away from the dressing room as quickly and quietly as possible.
His cell phone was set to vibrate rather than ring since they were on set and filming was going on, but he still needed to be far enough away from the room that the two actors wouldn't be able to hear his voice from the hallway when he answered the impending call. It would not do to have them discover that he'd been spying on their little cuddle session.
"I don't have my phone on me," Kyoko said, frowning. "I left it in my bag."
"You can use mine," Ren said, fishing the device from his pocket with the hand that was not busy clutching Kyoko to him.
"Tsuruga-san... I know you don't feel well and for some reason that's making you act like a child, but please... could you let go of me while I make the call?" When it looked like he was about to protest, she added, "I promise I'm not going to run away! It just... would be... too awkward for me to try to talk on the phone while you're clinging to me."
Reluctantly, Ren loosened his grip on her waist, allowing Kyoko to slide away from him.
While Ren's phone seemed to be a somewhat similar model to hers, it was a different brand and the menu screens and navigation buttons were completely foreign to her.
It shouldn't be this hard to figure out! It's just a phone! Are you going to bother a sick person and make him dial the phone for you because you're too stupid to figure out which button is which?Kyoko mentally scolded herself, as she fiddled with the phone. Why do I not have Yashiro-san's number memorized? Then I could just dial the number in situations like these without worrying about trying to find the contact list in an unfamiliar phone... Ah, no! That was definitely the wrong button! What's it doing? No, no, I was trying to open the contact list, so how did I get to his internet search history? Arrrgh, this phone! Hey... wait. No. Why? This can't mean...
She quickly backed out of that screen and by some miracle managed to locate the contact list, from which she selected Yashiro's number and called him.
Ren was afraid that Kyoko was having trouble figuring out how to use his phone, since she appeared to be clicking a lot of buttons and her expression was cycling through various states of frustration and confusion as she clicked buttons seemingly at random. He had just opened his mouth to tell her what his manager's phone number was when suddenly she directed an intensely evil glare at the little screen.
She clicked a few more buttons and the black look disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as it had appeared. Kyoko held the phone up to her face and proceeded to swiftly and efficiently convey the situation (or Ren's lies, at least) to Yashiro, with minimal apologies. When she hung up, Ren held out his hand to take back his phone, but Kyoko did not immediately turn it over. Apparently she had other ideas...
Ren felt a cold knot of dread slithering inside his chest as he watched Kyoko's expression darken as she clicked buttons on his phone.
God, no. Don't tell me she found-
"Tsuruga-san..." Kyoko began in a falsely sweet tone, turning the phone's screen toward him. She'd pulled up his internet history, which showed two consecutive viewings of fanfiction/net/s/1123581321/Corrupted-Guardian. "You read this, didn't you?!"
The fanfiction.net "link" is not real. The story ID number is the Fibonacci Sequence.
Chapter 8: Some Boring Stuff Happened, and Now It's White Day
So, uh... chapter 1 took place sometime not long after the canon Valentine's Day arc, I guess?
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
After the "food poisoning" incident, Kyoko made good on her threat/promise to make sure that Ren was eating properly. Although this involved more bento boxes and secondhand nagging delivered through Yashiro and less actual meals together than Ren would have liked, he had to admit he did enjoy the extra attention he was receiving from his beloved. Of course, he was certain that eventually someone would make a comment to Kyoko about him being her boyfriend, which she would then deny, which would lead to the other person informing her that she was acting like a girlfriend... which would most likely lead to Kyoko spouting a panicked profusion of apologies and putting an end to her efforts in keeping him properly fed.
Ren definitely didn't want that. He'd been getting along with Kyoko so well lately, and he didn't want anything to mess that up. He'd thought she would have been more upset about finding out he'd read Corrupted Guardian after she had explicitly asked him not to, but after he had laughed off the story as being poorly written, they had dropped the subject and it was never brought up again.
Ren certainly hadn't admitted that the story had inspired him to have a string of erotic dreams. If Kyoko ever found out about that, she was likely to denounce him as a pervert and refuse to ever speak to him again.
Of course, as time went on, Ren's dreams gradually became both less vivid and less frequent. Three or four weeks after having first read the fanfic, he had nearly forgotten about it.
"Ren, did you get Kyoko something for White Day?" Yashiro asked curiously.
The actor almost denied it out of reflex, but he glanced at his manager and saw that Yashiro was staring at him with hopeful sparkly-fanboy eyes.
"Yes, I did," Ren admitted. "Now stop making that face, before someone sees you..."
Right, because we can't let rumors get around that Ren Tsuruga's manager is actually a huge dork. Yashiro adjusted his glasses and put his 'serious business' face on. "Now then... what did you get her?"
Just to irritate him, Ren said, "That's none of your business."
"Oh..." Yashiro said slowly. "So, it's something intimate then? Something you can't tell me about?"
Ren let out a heavy sigh. He should have realized that he would not win a verbal sparring match against his manager on this topic, since it seemed the older man was determined to take the conversation in this direction whenever they talked about Ren's 'relationship' with Kyoko.
Upon her arrival at the Love Me section on the morning of March 14th, Kyoko was handed a package by the talento division superviser.
"This came for you," Sawara said.
"Huh?" Kyoko said with a super spacey nonplussed expression. "But what is it and why was it delivered here for me?"
"Well, I assumed it's a White Day gift," Sawara replied with an air of disinterest. "Perhaps from a coworker you don't see often?"
"IT'S WHITE DAY?!" Kyoko screeched in horror, having been unaware of today's date until this moment. Fearfully, she tore the paper off the package she had been given. Inside was what appeared to be a CD. There was no card, but a note had been placed inside the CD's slipcover.
Happy White Day, Little Red
-From Your Wolf
Sawara hid under his desk while Kyoko's demons raged throughout the office.
Using the older man's own assumptions against him, Ren insisted that Yashiro not be with him when the actor was giving Kyoko her present. Unfortunately, upon finding her, he realized he would have to deal with the fallout of her other unwanted suitors' White Day gifts first...
Chapter 9: White Day White Knight
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Ren entered the maelstrom of grudge-demons to find Kyoko facing off against Sho Fuwa. He had no idea how the blond idiot had managed to get past security, but here he was all the same.
"NO!" Kyoko was shouting at Sho, shoving away the ridiculously ornate gift bag that the singer was trying to force her to accept. "You're not allowed to give me anything for White Day because I didn't give you anything for Valentine's Day!"
"Then by that logic, you're the one who should be giving me something for White Day," Sho replied, in what seemed to be a rather ham-handed attempt at using reverse psychology to get Kyoko to accept the gift.
"I don't owe you anything! I didn't accept your stupid chocolate!" Kyoko snapped. "And if you think that you stealing back the chocolate that you forced on me for Valentine's counts as me giving you chocolate, then you're not just wrong - you're stupid!"
It was at this point that the two of them noticed Ren in the doorway, and he took the momentary lapse in their argument as an opportunity to intervene.
"Fuwa," Ren said, directing a maximum-strength sparkly smile at the singer. "If you just put it down and leave, then she won't be able to argue with you about whether or not to accept it."
Sho, of course, didn't want to take advice from Ren Tsuruga. And while he would concede that the actor had a point, he couldn't help feeling like he was being tricked somehow.
Ren's plan was simply to get Sho away from Kyoko as quickly as possible. The gift could be dealt with afterward.
When the singer hesitated to leave, crystal flowers and butterflies began to bloom within the sparkle-cloud that surrounded Ren. His smile never wavered as he said, "Please don't make me call security."
That was creepy as fuck, Sho thought to himself as he made his way out of the building. He shuddered at the memory of the cheerful killing aura.
He didn't think anything would have come of the actor's threat to call security. The security in this place was a joke anyway. When they asked him what he was doing here, he'd said he was on a "White Day mission" and they'd acted like it was some secret code or something. They had even told him exactly where to find Kyoko when he'd asked.
Even if this was the biggest talent agency around, Sho was glad he'd joined Akatoki and not LME. LME was full of weirdos.
Once Sho was gone, Kyoko carefully lifted the gift bag he'd left behind by one stringy little handle and deposited it directly into the nearest trash can.
"Aren't you curious about what's in it?" Ren asked. He certainly was.
"No," Kyoko said. "I don't even want to know!" Her demons began to swirl again as she said, "And this can join it."
She picked up a CD case from a nearby desk and dropped that into the trash can as well.
"What was that?"
"Nothing! Just a piece a trash!" Kyoko snapped. "... if you must know, it's an advance copy of Beagle's upcoming album."
All lingering sparkles vanished as Ren's aura turned almost as dark as Kyoko's.
"Was... he... here?" he gritted out through clenched teeth.
"No, apparently he mailed it to the office."
Well, at least I don't need to kill that guy today, Dark Kuon thought before Ren managed to get a hold of himself.
Suddenly Kyoko snapped out of her unwanted-gift-hating trance and back to reality.
"Tsuruga-san, what did you come here for, anyway? If you were worried about your meals, I know you'll be fed properly at the Dark Moon set, which is why I didn't pack lunch or dinner for you today."
"I'm not worried about food," Ren replied, unsure whether to feel amused or exasperated at her reaction to his presence.
"That's the problem, you never are," Kyoko grumbled.
Ren continued as if he hadn't heard her, "Yashiro already explained that to me earlier. I came here because I-"
"Oh!" Kyoko exclaimed suddenly, interrupting him. "It's almost time for us to leave since we're supposed to be at the Dark Moon set early today! You came to get me, right?"
Giving up, Ren sighed and said, "Yes, let's go."
He still had the rest of the day to find a way to give Kyoko her White Day gift without her freaking out over it, like she had done over the Vie Ghoul CD and whatever Fuwa's gift had been. Speaking of which...
On their way out of the room, Ren stopped and pointed at the gift bag that was stuffed into the trash can.
"Are you sure you don't want to see what's in that?" he asked, with a playful smirk.
"Yes, I'm sure," Kyoko replied, sounding exasperated. "But if you're that curious, I guess you can open it if you want."
Chapter 10: White Day, 白い パンツ
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Ren plucked the gift bag from the trash can and peeked inside it. The top of the bag had been stuffed with a thin layer of tissue paper, and under that it was filled with what appeared to be white lacy cloth. He glanced over at Kyoko - who was determinedly not looking in his direction - before unpacking the contents of the gift bag.
I really REALLY hope Yashiro does not walk into this room right now, Ren thought as he stared disbelievingly at the fistful of frilly panties he was holding.
There was also a sheer silvery tutu skirt and a white leather corset to complete the "outfit".
What the hell did Fuwa think he was playing at? Even someone as dense as Kyoko had to realize that a man doesn't give a woman underwear without the intention of seeing her wearing it, but that idiot couldn't possibly think she would take a gift like this seriously when it came from the same boy who had told her multiple times and in no uncertain terms that she was entirely unattractive to him? If she had opened the gift herself, she most likely have assumed that her former childhood friend was mocking her with such items.
Dark Kuon's fantasy of beating the musician to a bloody pulp was interrupted by Pervert Ren's fantasy of his sweet Kyoko wearing nothing but the naughty little outfit that Sho had gotten for her. It didn't help that he knew how the fabric felt under his fingers, or that the real Kyoko was currently standing close enough to him that he could smell her perfume. The scent was something light and floral, although Ren could not have named which flower it belonged to if he tried.
His mind was so preoccupied that he almost missed the last item in the bottom of the bag. It was a small silver crown, studded with diamonds.
Her curiosity getting the better of her, Kyoko asked without turning around, "What is it?"
"It's a tiara," Ren replied, hastily stuffing the clothes back into the bag in case she decided to look. "The rest was just packing material."
No way in hell was he letting her know that the guy she used to be in love with had bought her expensive lingerie!
Kyoko hesitantly peeked back over shoulder to see the little crown that Ren was holding. He thought it might be something that was actually to her taste, what with her love of fairy tales and princesses, but she scowled immediately upon seeing it.
"That looks like a crown for an ice queen, not a fairy princess!" she said, apparently upset that her tastes had been misjudged by someone who supposedly knew her very well. "Put it back in the trash where it belongs!"
"Are you sure?" Ren asked. "These are real diamonds, you know."
Kyoko paused at this revelation, then her scowl deepened and she said, "That fool deserves to have wasted however much money he spent on it! Put it back in the trash and let's go! We don't want to be late."
"Yes, my fairy princess, whatever you say," Ren replied, grinning as he dropped the tiara and gift bag back into the trash can.
On the way to the car, Ren found out exactly what type of crown would be perfect for a fairy princess. He filed the information away for later use. If he wanted to get her to accept an expensive gift without complaining, he just had to make sure it was something that would be exactly to her taste, right? Unfortunately, he wouldn't be able to use that tactic for White Day today, since he doubted he would have time to sneak away from the set and visit a jewelry store to find a tiara that Kyoko would like.
As they walked, Kyoko babbled excitedly about the kind of things fairies would wear, and Ren listened with interest, occasionally asking questions when the girl's chatter wound down. But once they reached Ren's car - where Yashiro was waiting for them - an awkward silence descended between them.
Ren was surprised that his manager did not immediately pester them with questions about Ren's White Day gift to Kyoko... until he remembered that Yashiro was most likely still under the impression that the present was 'something intimate'.
And with that thought, Ren spent the rest of the drive internally screaming at his own brain to stop showing him images of Kyoko in nothing but the cute little panties she'd received from her ex.
Chapter 11: Of Trash and Treasures
Yes, we will eventually get to Ren giving Kyoko a White Day gift, but this chapter got away from me and it's not in this one. This is going to have so many more chapters than I had planned when I decided to continue it...
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
"NO! OH MY GOD! THAT CREEPY PERVERT ACTUALLY WROTE ANOTHER ONE! AND THIS ONE HAS ME IN IT! THIS HORRIBLE! MY LIFE IS OVER! MY FANS HAD BETTER NOT BE READING THIS! HOW CAN ANYONE SHIP ME WITH KYOKOOOooOoOoOoooo..."
Mimori's voice trailed off into an incoherent whine as she collapsed on her desk, sobbing in a very fake and melodramatic manner while her friends and other assorted classmates rushed to console her.
Fortunately, Kyoko was not at school today to witness Mimori's epic freak-out over the second Prisoner fanfic, due to the early morning filming of Dark Moon.
Trying to get his perverted mind to think of something other than Kyoko prancing around in the lingerie that Fuwa had picked out for her, Ren decided to look up funny cat videos on his phone once he was alone in his dressing room. He didn't want to be distracted during the filming like he had been that one day. He couldn't get away with faking food poisoning again, not when his previous few meals had all been food that Kyoko had prepared for him. (Special breakfast bentos were on the Keep Ren Properly Fed Meal Plan™.)
I don't even know what she actually looks like that scantily clad, you stupid brain.
In fact, most of what he was imagining about her almost-naked body was based on the descriptions of it that he'd read in that ridiculous piece of fan-written erotica...
Instead of cat videos, Ren found himself searching for that fanfiction site again. It couldn't hurt to take another look at Corrupted Guardian just this one time, right?
He went to the fanfiction site and clicked on the "Misc. Fandoms" link, which had oddball fandoms for things like short stories, commercials, and music videos. He was surprised to find there were now two stories listed in the "Prisoner" fandom.
Out of curiosity he decided to check out the new fic.
I Hate You For Saving Me by The Blood-Rusty Scythe
Summary: The ungrateful angel wants revenge on her friend who saved her from the devil. Angel/Demon Angel. Dub-con. PWP. I suck at summaries.
This one appeared to be unrelated to Corrupted Guardian, as there was no mention of any Dark Moon characters and the Demon Angel was still evil at the beginning of this new story.
After a brief battle, which the Demon Angel won due to the other angel having not fully recovered from her weakened state, the Demon Angel proceeded to force herself on the other angel. The younger angel resisted at first, but ended up giving in rather quickly. The smut was artlessly graphic, using vulgar phrases rather than trying to romanticize it with flowery euphemisms.
Corrupted Guardian had at least pretended to have some substance to it, some depth and emotional growth to the characters, but I Hate You For Saving Me had none of that and seemed almost intentionally offensive. This new story didn't leave any pretty pictures in Ren's mind, just a vague feeling of disgust.
While Ren was busy being a pervert, Kyoko was getting ready to have her scar makeup put on. The makeup artist was just about to start working on her when Kyoko's phone rang.
She knew by the customized ringtone she had set that it was Kanae calling, and since the other girl didn't call her without reason, Kyoko knew something serious must have happened.
"I'm sorry, but I really need to take this call," she apologized to the makeup artist. "It's my best friend and she wouldn't call me when she knows I'm at work unless something was really wrong!"
Without even waiting for Kyoko to greet her, Kanae spoke as soon as the other girl picked up.
"Did you throw away your White Day gifts?"
"Um... yes. But how did you know about that, Moko-san?"
"Because they were still sitting in the trash can, plain as day! You are going to be in so much trouble if that ridiculously love-obsessed president finds out about this!"
Kyoko hadn't thought about that when she'd thrown them away. She had just wanted to get rid of them.
"By the way," Kanae continued in a calmer tone when it seemed that her interlocutor was not going to respond. "This is an advance copy of Vie Ghoul's album, right? It has some tracks on it that aren't going to be released when the actual album comes out. You could probably sell this on eBay for a lot of money."
"Um... I don't know how to do that," Kyoko replied hesitantly.
"I could list it for you and we could split the take," Kanae offered.
"Ok, sure. That sounds like a plan," Kyoko replied. She wasn't sure the CD would sell for much, but if it would make her best friend happy, she would let her do whatever she wanted with it.
Kyoko heard a child's voice shouting in the background, "Let me talk to her!"
Sounding supremely annoyed, Kanae said, "The president's granddaughter wants to talk to you."
"Ok, put her on."
"Onee-chan!" Maria shouted excitedly into the phone. "I found a little crown! Is it yours? Can I have it?"
Kyoko laughed at the child's exuberance.
"Yes, you can have it."
"Yay! I'll put it on Natsuko!"
"Did you just hang up on her?" Kanae asked when the child handed her phone back to her.
"Um..." Maria replied hesitantly. "Were you not finished talking to her?"
Kanae let out a heavy sigh. She was not calling Kyoko back just to ask her about the bag of underwear.
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Ren had navigated away from the fanfiction site and was about to start looking up cat videos as he'd originally intended - because he needed some mind bleach after what he'd just read - when suddenly his phone began to ring. Startled, he answered it without thinking.
"Hey," came a cool female voice from the other end of the line. "It's Kotonami. What did you give Kyoko for White Day?"
So, LoveMe Member Number Two was worried about Ren's White Day gift? Did he give off a pervert-aura now?
"Well, I haven't actually given it to her yet," Ren began. "Now, don't laugh... but I got her some beads."
There was a pause so long that Ren was starting to worry the call had been disconnected.
"Yes. I bought two packets of beads in assorted flower shapes. One pack is white and the other is clear. There were more colors available, but I didn't want to go overboard."
"Huh... you picked something cheap so she wouldn't have a hard time accepting it, right? That's not a bad strategy, I guess." Ren was about to reply but Kanae continued, "Well, that was all I wanted and I'm sure you're busy." She hung up without saying goodbye.
What a rude girl. It's hard to believe that my sweet little Kyoko is friends with her.
Kanae wondered exactly how many non-boyfriends Kyoko had besides Fuwa, Tsuruga, and the Vie Ghoul creep.
Oh, well. Since this stuff definitely isn't from Tsuruga, I won't feel bad about returning it to the store and pocketing the cash.
Whatever idiot had been dumb enough to give Kyoko lingerie for White Day had also been dumb to enough leave all of the tags on it. It was ridiculously expensive, and if the corset had been in Kanae's size she might have been tempted to keep it for herself.
At the thought that she was stealing from her best friend - even though Kyoko clearly didn't want to claim ownership of the stuff anyway - she thought to herself guiltily, I'll get Kyoko something nice for White Day and claim it's a thank you gift for the chocolate-making lesson. She shouldn't find that strange... and it will definitely beat Tsuruga's dumb beads!
Kyoko was still having her scar makeup applied when Ren was called to the set to start filming his first scene of the day. He didn't get a chance to speak to her until several hours later during a break between scenes. It was only supposed to be a ten minute break, but he thought he could get away with whisking her away to a secluded hallway or dressing room so that he could give her the White Day present in private.
He was about to do just that when he saw that Kyoko was also being approached by the director. Ogata reached her several steps ahead of Ren, and the actor stopped in his tracks when he saw the director handing her a white ribbon.
"I... I can't accept this," the girl said nervously.
She tried to give the ribbon back to Ogata, but he clasped his hands behind his back to avoid having the item thrust into his unwilling grip.
"But I don't have a cute little sister to give things like this to, and it would just be thrown away otherwise," the director said with a gentle smile. The ribbon had come off a box of candy and he'd saved it because he thought it was too pretty to just throw it away.
"I'm an only child..." Kyoko murmured quietly. "Is this the kind of thing a big brother would normally do?" It seemed more like she was accidentally voicing her thoughts aloud than actually speaking to him.
"I don't know. I'm an only child, too," Ogata replied with a nervous chuckle. "Kyoko-chan... if you're worried about romantic intentions, you can rest assured that I definitely don't think of you in that way."
Kyoko missed the glance that the director sent across the room as he spoke of romantic intentions; Ren did not.
Ren closed the distance between himself and Kyoko in a few swift strides, and leaned down to whisper something in the girl's ear.
Ogata didn't hear what Ren told Kyoko, but he saw the girl light up before she scurried off to the other side of the room.
Yashiro was a bit worried when he saw the director giving Kyoko a ribbon for White Day. There weren't many people who were likely to be able to compete with Ren for Kyoko's affections, but Hiroaki Ogata was a person who suited the girl's tastes (albeit in an odd way) and if Ren wasn't careful, that guy could snatch Kyoko out from under his nose...
And why was Ren just standing there staring at them like an idiot when the director was being so... damn... cute?!
Oh, it looked like Ren was making a move after all...
Wait. Why is Kyoko-chan coming over here?
"Yashiro-san!" the girl chirped brightly. She made the universal gesture for lean-down-so-I-can-whisper-something-to-you and, curious, Yashiro obliged. She didn't speak immediately and he was confused when he felt a light tug on his hair. Then Kyoko took a step back and said, "There, done!" It wasn't until she added "That's from Hiroaki-niichan" that he realized she'd tied the ribbon in his hair.
Yashiro looked over to where Ren and Ogata were standing. The actor looked like he was fighting not to laugh. Having Kyoko put the ribbon on him had obviously been Ren's idea...
Upon noticing that Yashiro was looking his way, the director waved shyly, a delicate blush decorating his cheeks.
Please take a look at Fields of Heaven if you are interested in a Skip Beat/MonMusu crossover, or have a few minutes to spare to indulge Lamia's insanity.
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
While Yashiro and Ogata engaged in an awkward flirtation, Ren led Kyoko to a deserted dressing room and finally gave her the White Day gift that he'd picked out for her.
Kyoko just stared at the two packets of flower-shaped beads for a few long moments, before looking up at Ren and saying in a bland tone, "Thank you."
"You don't like them?" Ren asked, noting her lack of enthusiasm.
"Um... they're nice," Kyoko put forth hesitantly.
Ren's expression went from slightly disappointed to sad puppy in an instant.
"You're just saying that to be polite. You really don't like them," he whined. "And after I went to the trouble of trying to find something that specifically suited your tastes."
"I... no... I... r-really l-like them," Kyoko stammered.
Ren had no idea why she was suddenly so nervous. He wasn't being scary. He wasn't giving off so much a single killer sparkle!
"It's okay," he said, turning the sad-puppy look up another level. "You can tell me honestly that you hate my gift."
"I don't hate them!" Kyoko cried out. She suddenly lunged forward and threw her arms around Ren's waist, hugging him tightly. "I like the beads! I can make some cute bracelets out them! I was just having a hard time picturing you buying something so girly in a store and how the clerk must have looked at you while you were buying them, but I promise I really do like them so please stop looking at me like that!"
Once he got over the initial shock of having Kyoko embrace him of her own free will, Ren closed his arms around her.
He wondered what had caused her to hug him, though. She wasn't the type to boldly show affection to anyone... well, anyone other than the Kotonami girl. Maybe this meant Ren had finally graduated from the classification of 'person who is so far above me that I am an insignificant worm' to 'friend' in Kyoko's mind?
Allowing his mind to drift back to other time in recent memory that he'd been embraced by his beloved, he realized that the one thing that the two situations had in common was his own childish behavior. Both times he'd been whining and making puppy eyes at her. Now that he thought about it, she had yelled "please stop looking at me like that" when she hugged him this time.
That must be her weakness... the combination of cuteness and misery compels her to comfort the poor puppy/person.
So now he knew how to get hugs from his beloved anytime he wanted... although he should probably avoid over-using the tactic to ensure that she would not start to build up an immunity to it.
"I'd like to return these," a heavily-disguised Kanae Kotonami said to the cashier at Nights in White Satin*, the ridiculously expensive lingerie shop. "My boyfriend bought the wrong size."
She giggled and pretended to be embarrassed. The cashier processed the return with no fuss, even though Kanae didn't have a receipt for the purchase.
It really was a shockingly high amount of money and Kanae wondered how the idiot had managed to spend so much on just one outfit when it appeared that there were some much more reasonably priced items available in this store.
What, did he just pick the most expensive thing in here, trying to impress her with how much money he was willing to spend or something? No... no one could possibly be that stupid. That outfit was really cute, although it was much more suited to Kyoko's style than mine.
Kanae picked out a few cute things for herself at the lingerie shop, before moving on to a different store to look for Kyoko's gift.
Ren was wondering exactly how long he could get away with holding the hug for... but the break between scenes was only supposed to be ten minutes long and should be nearly over by now, which meant that someone was likely already looking for the two of them. And if they were caught in this position, Kyoko might be too embarrassed to ever hug him again, no matter how many puppy faces he made.
"I'm glad you like them," he said softly, his voice bringing Kyoko back to reality.
Realizing what she was doing, Kyoko immediately let go of Ren and backed away a few steps.
"I'm sorry, Tsuruga-san! I didn't mean to-"
"You don't have to apologize for hugging me," Ren said, cutting off what would have surely been a long and rambling apology. He could practically see the gears turning in her head as he watched her struggle to process the concept.
And, of course, it was while she was making such a strange face that Yashiro walked into the room.
*Not a real store. The name is taken from a song title.
Chapter 14: White Day White Demons
While this fic takes place after the canon Valentine's Day arc, it ignores pretty much all of canon after that. (Which you might have noticed from the fact that they're still in the middle of filming Dark Moon, when that was way over with by the time White Day came around in canon.)
Tragic Marker and the Heel siblings will not be appearing in this fic. Instead, there will be Hug Wars. And after Dark Moon ends, Ren and Kyoko will be asked to participate in Ogata's next project... and I think that's enough spoilers for you.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Even though she was still in disguise and knew she wouldn't be recognized, Kanae felt an acute sense of embarrassment just from walking into Tenshi-no-Sumika. Actually browsing the items on display in the shop made her feel horribly self-conscious.
This is for Kyoko, she reminded herself. No one here is judging you for buying this stuff! They're into this stuff, too, or they wouldn't be shopping here. There's no way anyone will recognize me in this disguise. No one will ever know that I'm the one who bought such items, except of course for Kyoko... and probably Tsuruga, cause she tells that damn guy everything...
"Hey, you two! I finally found you! The break is almost over and you'll be needed on set..." Yashiro trailed off as he caught sight of Kyoko's expression. "Did I interrupt something?"
"No, no," Ren hastened to assure his manager, before Kyoko could say anything. "I was just giving Mogami-san her White Day gift ." He smiled, emitting a moderate amount of sparkles.
"Oh? And did Kyoko-chan like her gift?" Yashiro asked.
Despite how the question was phrased, it seemed to be directed more toward the girl herself rather than Ren.
"Yes, I did like the gift," Kyoko answered, blushing lightly. She was about to offer to show her present to Yashiro, when she realized that both of her hands were currently empty. Where did the beads go? She must have dropped them, but when...? She glanced at the floor near Ren's feet and, yes, there were the two packets of beads laying on the ground behind him. She had dropped them without realizing it when she'd hugged him earlier.
"Is there anything I can help you find today?" a salesperson inquired politely.
"No," Kanae replied immediately. "I'm just trying to decide which ones to get."
"Well, if you require assistance at any point, just let me know."
"Sure," Kanae answered, knowing even as she said that she would never be able to bring herself to ask advice for which of these objects to purchase. She had done research online before setting out, but apparently what little she had learned barely scratched the surface... which left Kanae feeling like she would never understand this hobby in the slightest.
After several more minutes of browsing, with her frustration and embarrassment levels mounting higher and higher as each second ticked by, she decided: Screw it, I'll just get one of each variety of the small ones, and enough of this other shit to complete them... and there's still money left over if I've missed out on any of the necessary items.
She wondered briefly if she should just get one or two of the larger-sized ones instead of so many small ones, but she decided to go with the small after all, since she'd already picked out accessories for them and everything, and she really didn't want to spend any more time in this place than she had to.
Kanae took her huge armload of items up to the counter to pay for them. She somehow managed to resist the urge to tell the cashier that she wasn't buying them for herself, and was relieved when she finally exited the store.
Tenshi-no-Sumika is a real store. If you want to be spoiled for what Kanae bought, you can look it up. XD
Chapter 15: White Day Ends, Let the Hug Wars Commence!
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Ren noticed that Kyoko was making a strange expression again. It took him a moment to realize why she was making such a face, but once he'd figured it out, he quickly decided that the best solution would be for him to leave the room first so that she could have a moment alone to gather up the items she'd dropped, without them having to deal with awkward questions from Yashiro about how the items had ended up in that particular spot.
"The break is almost over, you said? We should get back to the set, then," Ren said. He smiled weakly, making an effort not to emit any sparkles, since Kyoko had taught Yashiro how to detect his Lying Sparkles™, and the actor didn't want his manager to know that he was trying to hide something from him.
He headed for the door, shooing Yashiro out into the hallway before him.
Kyoko breathed a sigh of relief as she knelt to gather up her treasures. Fairies of happiness began to dance around her as she scooped up the packets of beads and a giggle nearly escaped her, when Yashiro's voice drifted back from the hallway, making her freeze.
"Hey, shouldn't we wait for Kyoko-chan?"
"She's coming, don't worry," Ren replied. Then, to distract the other man from worrying about what Kyoko was doing, he said, "Hey, where's your ribbon? You took it out already?"
"Of course I took it out! I can't be walking around with a ribbon in my hair all day. What would people say? You know that as your manager, my image also reflects on you, Ren!"
Upon returning to the set, Ren found his concentration was once again compromised. He had to fight to get into character and keep himself from thinking of the way Kyoko's body had felt against his when she had hugged him. It was difficult for him to drive the memory of her sweet scent out of his mind when he could swear that a faint trace of her perfume clung to him still. And the way her hair had felt between his fingertips... God, he just wanted to hold her in his lap and bury his face against her neck and-
No! Stop thinking of things like that. Stop it, you stupid brain!
Somehow he managed to make it through the day without making so many mistakes that his grip on his character would be called into question, although he was forced to admit to a bit of distraction. Of course, no one could fault such a popular star for having rattled nerves on a day like White Day, so the rest of the cast didn't make a fuss over his occasional stumble or botched line.
Ren was afraid the meal breaks would be awkward, but during both lunch and dinner, Kyoko asked Yashiro to make sure Ren ate properly before moving to secluded corner. She spent the entirety of both meals alternately eating and fiddling with her cell phone. Later he would find out that she had been having a conversation with 'Moko-san' over text message, and had avoided his company under the assumption that he would find it rude and bothersome if she had done so while sharing a table with him.
"Should I drop you off at home?" Ren inquired as he started his car.
"Yes," Kyoko replied immediately, then corrected herself, "Wait, no. I need to go back to the agency."
"At this time of day? Is it something for a LoveMe assignment?" Yashiro asked curiously.
"No, Moko-san asked me to meet her at the agency after work. I almost forgot." Then she went spiraling into darkness at the thought that she'd almost forgotten to do the thing that had been requested of her, and the two men could not find a way to make her come back to the real world until they arrived at their destination.
I am not going to be a jealous asshole over the amount of time and affection she dedicates to her best friend, Ren told himself as he watched the woman he loved throw herself into Kanae Kotonami's arms.
Chapter 16: Consider the Gauntlet Thrown
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
"Moko-san!" Kyoko shrieked happily as she threw herself into her best friend's waiting arms.
Normally Kanae dodged Kyoko's flying-tackle-hugs, but today she braced herself to accept it, even going so far as to preemptively open her arms as Kyoko sprinted toward her. She staggered a half-step backward as the shorter girl slammed into her. Rather than visibly show displeasure or complain about nearly being knocked over, as she usually would have done, Kanae merely smiled at her best friend's antics and returned the hug.
I am not jealous, Ren told himself, as he watched the two girls embrace each other.
Seeing where the actor was staring, Yashiro teased quietly, "Jealous, Ren?"
"I am not jealous!" Ren snapped. "She hugged me earlier!"
"What? When?" Yashiro asked, looking up at Ren with sparkly eyes. He continued without waiting for an answer, "Wait, was it after you gave her the White Day gift? Ooh, is that why she had that strange look on her face when I came into the dressing room? Oh no! Don't tell me I interrupted your romantic moment!"
Ren sighed heavily and tuned his manager out as Yashiro continued to babble.
Damn it, I didn't meant to let that slip. Now I'm never going to hear the end of it from him.
Of course, he now had something to fight back with when his manager started bothering him about his love life (or lack thereof).
"Yashiro-san, please calm down," Ren said in deceptively cheerful tone, his sparkles out at half force. "You wouldn't want your boyfriend to hear about you making a fool of yourself in our agency's entryway, would you?"
At the mention of the word 'boyfriend', Yashiro snapped out of his fanboy haze. He had a look of almost comical panic on his face as he hurried to shush his client.
"Shh, Ren! Don't talk about things like that where anyone walking by could hear you! Do you know what kind of rumors will get started if people find out about that?"
The sparkles faded as Ren's expression morphed into a childish pout.
"You started it," the actor whined.
Kanae noticed that Tsuruga and his manager seemed to be having a rather intense conversation. She was mildly curious as to what they were talking about, especially once the manager dude - what was his name again? - started making strange faces, in a way that reminded her very much of Kyoko.
She wasn't particularly interested in doing anything to indulge her curiosity on the matter, though. For one thing, she wasn't interested enough in the subject of their conversation to bother with actually going over there to ask them about it... and for another, she didn't really know either of them well enough to interrupt them in a way that was only really acceptable among friends. (And, even then, going up to two people who are obviously having a conversation with each other and asking them what they're talking about could be considered rude even among friends.)
Hell, she wasn't sure she knew what the manager dude's name was. Although Kyoko had most likely mentioned it to her before, Kanae hadn't bothered to mentally file it away as something she needed to remember. And she definitely wasn't anywhere near being friends with Tsuruga himself. She'd had rather few interactions with the actor - most of them semi-hostile on her part, and met with a frosty politeness that was somehow different than the Lying Gentlemanly Smile™ he generally employed in such situations.
Having successfully subdued Yashiro's fanboy outburst, Ren turned his attention from his sulking manager to the two girls and was surprised to find that Kotonami was watching him.
Seeing that he saw her watching him, the girl shot him a smug smirk as she hugged Kyoko tighter.
'I win,' she mouthed soundlessly at him, as Kyoko giggled and snuggled closer to her - drunk on affection.
Chapter 17: It's So Meta Even This Acronym
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
"Eighty-seven?" Reino murmured to himself as he checked the throwaway email account that was attached to his fanfiction site profile.
A few of the emails were spam, but most of them were alerts from the fanfiction site of new reviews, faves, and follows on his fics.
He chuckled to himself as he opened a new tab to log into his fanfiction profile. It would be quicker to read the reviews from there than to view each email individually.
While Corrupted Guardian had mostly positive feedback, I Hate You For Saving Me had been met with more polarized reactions. Reino did appreciate the positive reviews, even the ones that just said "interesting" or "nice" or "That was so hot." But, more than that, he loved the flames and the long rants from angry fans who insisted on telling him exactly how he had misinterpreted the characters and seemed hell-bent on setting him straight. Those were so entertaining.
Among today's crop of reviews was one that read: Did you turn your account over to someone else and let them post something from it? Or have you been hacked or something? Because I know you can write much better than this. This can't possibly be written by the same Blood Rusty Scythe that wrote Corrupted Guardian. Corrupted Guardian is so beautiful and emotional, but this piece of garbage is pure filth and the narration style just doesn't even sound like you at all. If this is just your way of trying to get more reviews then I beg you: Please please delete this garbage and go back to your normal style of writing. And if you're a hacker, please stop being a douche and give Scythe her account back!
Did the person who left that review seriously think it was only possible for each writer in the world to write in a single style? Ridiculous! And unlike most places on the internet, it seemed that the fanfiction community automatically assumed everyone else on the site was female unless informed otherwise. And what the hell was up with them calling Corrupted Guardian "beautiful and emotional"? It was pointless smut all the same, even if the sex was less graphically described than it was in I Hate You For Saving Me. He'd taken the time to set the scene for both stories before leading into the sex part of the fic, and had given some insight into the characters' emotional states before, during, and after the acts, so it wasn't like the style varied that greatly between the two pieces... but this person - who was probably not of legal age to be looking at porn-y things anyway - was so quick to call one story wonderful and the other one crap.
Some people really were idiots, but at least they were entertaining idiots when they chose to air the idiocy out on the internet for the world to see.
Reino considered dashing off a quick reply of "nope, all me" but decided against it in the end. He didn't want to get in a stupid argument with some rabid fangirl on the internet.
He could write seriously if he wanted to, but he didn't really care to take the time to write novel-worthy prose just to post online for no profit. Being accused of the cyber-infraction of being a troll was hilariously entertaining, though. Especially since he knew that Fuwa was now fully aware of his fanfics and the fact that Reino was the one writing them. He was going to have so much fun with this!
Hmm... now what should I write next?
Chapter 18: Only Slightly, Only Slightly
I know, it's been a while. Unfortunately, my muse was hijacked by other fandoms.
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Kanae pulled back from the hug and took Kyoko's hands in hers.
"Kyoko," she said sweetly, making sure she was speaking loudly enough for Tsuruga to overhear. "I wanted to thank you for the chocolate-making lesson." Noticing that it looked like Kyoko was going to object to this, Kanae barreled on, "I have a surprise prepared for you, but it's at my apartment. It's... kind of a present, but it's more of an activity than a thing, so... uh... you should probably call your landlords and let them know you're spending the night at my place tonight."
She was still awkward with all this friendly affection stuff, but apparently her stammering half-explanation was good enough for Kyoko, who was looking at her as if she was the Supreme Fairy Queen of the Universe or whatever else made Kyoko go all melty and sparkly-eyed.
Kanae let go of her hands, and Kyoko fished her cell phone out of her purse and quickly made the call to Darumaya to let Taisho and Okami-san know she would be away from home for the night. Once her call was finished she turned back to Kanae.
"Moko-san, how are we getting to your place?" Kyoko asked.
"Your boyfriend's still hanging around over there," Kanae said, gesturing vaguely in Ren's direction.
"He's not my boyfriend," Kyoko whined. "We're just friends!"
I'm sure he would be happy to know he's been upgraded from 'not even friends' to 'just friends', Kanae thought to herself sarcastically. Not that I have any intention of making him aware of that status elevation, of course. To Kyoko, she said, "Why don't we ask him to give us a ride?"
"We can't inconvenience him that way when he's busy," Kyoko protested.
"Yeah, cause he looks real busy, standing around in the LME lobby chatting with his manager," Kanae snarked back. "And it's not like he doesn't give you rides home from work all the time anyway. What's he going to do, say 'no' just because there will be an extra passenger?"
She could practically see the wheels turning in Kyoko's head as the other girl tried to process the hypothetical situation that her interlocutor had presented to her.
"Well, if you're too shy to ask him, then I will," Kanae said. She ignored Kyoko's faint wail of protest as she turned and strode toward where Tsuruga and his manager were standing. The manager dude seemed to be quietly freaking out over something the actor had said to him, but Kanae chose to ignore that as she pasted on a fake sugary smile and she called out, "Tsuruga-san~! Kyoko and I were wondering if you would mind giving us a ride home, if that wouldn't be terribly inconvenient for you?"
Her sparkles were neither as glittery nor as deadly as Ren's, and Yashiro was slightly surprised to see that Kyoko had no problem approaching her best friend while the girl was emitting such vibes. Could it be that Kyoko was fooled by Kotonami's Lying Friendly Smile™?
"Moko-san, your aura is faintly venomous," Kyoko said as she caught up to the other girl. Her tone was a mix of worry and curiosity.
Kanae's face twisted into a sour expression.
"It's freaking creepy when you do that!" she snapped, glaring at Kyoko. "Stop using your weird psychic powers to look at my aura!"
Ren had no idea what the dark-haired young woman was plotting, but he decided to go along with it for Kyoko's sake. After all, if he wanted to actually become a couple with his beloved, he would need to be on sociable terms with her best friend.
"Of course I don't mind giving the two of you a ride home," he answered. "It would be my pleasure."
Chapter 19: Repayment for Services Rendered
~ Do You Know What Fanfiction Is? ~
Upon entering Kanae's apartment, Kyoko immediately noticed that the furniture was littered with many small packages. And all of those little packages were marked with a single distinctive brand-name: Volks.
"So, I figured we'd do a little art project tonight, since you're into this stuff..." Kanae said.
Truth be told, she was somewhat disturbed by Kyoko's lack of immediate reaction - which could be taken one of two ways. Either Kyoko was unfamiliar with the brand (which might be the case, even though it was one of the most prominent doll companies in Japan - this was Kyoko, the weird girl who knew a lot of weird things, and had a strange lack of knowledge about others), or... she was having a delayed reaction. And the more time passed before the reaction actually happened, the more extreme it was going to be.
She could have almost sworn that she heard a ticking sound effect in her head, counting down to the impending explosion of the happiness-bomb.
All of a sudden, Kyoko turned toward her with wide, sparkling eyes.
Yep, there it went. And there went Kanae's eardrums.
"I wonder what the mysterious 'activity' Kotonami-san planned is," Yashiro said to Ren, once the girls had been dropped off.
"I have no idea," Ren replied. "She seemed intent on keeping it a secret."
Of course, he was curious as well. But, with as little knowledge of the girl as he had (even with his extensive knowledge of Kyoko's particular tastes), he really didn't feel able to even try to guess what she had planned.
"She probably just didn't want to ruin the surprise for Kyoko. I'm sure you'll find out about it soon enough."
"You act like Kyoko tells me everything..."
"Because Kyoko does tell you everything."
"Not everything," Ren protested.
"Well, but... I mean, she does tell you most of the things."
Ren sighed. It was hard to argue with someone when the other person had a point...
After Kyoko finally managed to calm down somewhat (calm was always a relative term when dealing with Kyoko, anyway), the two girls waded into the sea of packages and began to sort through art supplies and accessories as they decided how they were going to customize the dolls.
After several hours of careful crafting (much of which included Kyoko correcting Kanae's mistakes), they had produced two dolls which resembled themselves with near-perfect accuracy. Once the faces were painted (and had dried), and the hair was cut and styled, they dug through the pile of company-made clothing until they found a pair of schoolgirl outfits, which they then dressed the dolls in.
"Look~! It's us from the Curara commercial~!" Kyoko said. Happiness radiated off of her, filling the room with a metaphysical cloud of of sparkles, rainbows, and fluttery-winged fairies.
Kanae thought she sounded entirely too amazed about it, given the fact that the result was exactly in line with what they had spent all this time trying to do. To avoid the sparkles (and because she was honestly lowkey impressed with how poseable the dolls were, not that she would ever admit to such a thing), Kanae moved the two finished dolls in a series of different poses while waiting for the other girl's sparkle-storm to die down. She had just finished putting them both in kneeling poses with their little hands held out in front of them as if they were waiting to be handed something, when the weird aura-cloud finally snapped out of existence.
Kanae glanced over at Kyoko to see what she was doing, only to find that she was... digging through her bag for something?
"I have the perfect thing to add to this!" Kyoko cried triumphantly as she returned to the where Kanae and the finished dolls were sitting.
As Kanae watched, Kyoko carefully placed tiny white plastic flowers into the two dolls' upturned hands. Then she scattered more of them around the dolls in a pattern that appeared artlessly artful.
Where did she get a bunch of little plastic flowers from anyway, and why was she carrying them around with her? Kanae wondered idly, while Kyoko was busy taking pictures of the scene with her cellphone. Upon closer inspection, it appeared the little flowers each had a hole through them. Wait... are these the beads that Tsuruga gave her for White Day?