Seido Talent Management Group (Seido for short) is currently Japan’s number one modeling agency and has been a household name for years with many big name models, television personalities and actors rising up through the ranks into society. Throughout the years, Inashiro Corp. has begun turning out models and actors that rival the skill and beauty of the Seido models. Narumiya Mei has been winning awards left and right and was even invited to participate in Tokyo’s fashion week, despite being a model for a little less than a year.
In an effort to spice up the company’s image and pull in some fresh, new talent, Chairman and CEO Kataoka Tesshin and Chief Operations Officer (COO)Takashima Rei decided to hold a casting call.
“Chairman, do you really think this will work?” Takigawa Anima (A.K.A Animal), senior BP asked with a bit of concern.
“We scout people normally. This is no different.” Kataoka said in disinterest as he looked over some paperwork.
“Tesshin has never been wrong, has he?” Rei asked, standing up from the plush chair. “This is the perfect time to get some new talent in. Chris is leaving to Germany tomorrow for a photoshoot and Kazuya is still in London. When the two get back, we can have the new talent shadow them. Plus, I’m pretty sure Furuya is tired of being the newest one here.” She chuckled. “Just let me take care of this. My intuition is never wrong either.”
“Rei-san…” Director of public affairs Kazuyoshi Oota muttered. “I sure hope so. Narumiya Mei just called out Miyuki in public for cursing at him. I don’t want us to get any bad press, especially if they start antagonizing us.”
“We need to direct the attention of the people elsewhere. Sigh, I’ll be back. I’m gonna get a coffee and meet with Maezono. He and Kanemaru’s team are the only ones not managing an active talent…And I might find something nice while I stroll in Tokyo.” She mused before heading out the door, leaving Kazuyoshi and Takigawa with puzzled expressions and Kataoka with a smirk on his face.
As Rei took her time out of the building, she waved to Kanemaru who was entering the building with two coffees.
“Out for a coffee run, Kanemaru-kun?”
“Huh? Oh, Rei-san! Good afternoon! Yeah, Zono-san was feeling a bit grumpy so I thought I’d grab him something.”
“Is he teaching you well? About managing talent?”
“Yes ma’am. Very much so. I almost feel comfortable starting on my own soon.”
“That’s good to hear…Where’d you get the coffee from?”
“E-Endou’s Coffee House. Opened last month, actually. They have very attractive staff. Err…I mean…”
Rei chuckled and patted the young man on the shoulder. “It’s okay…anyone with some potential? We’re planning on holding casting and open houses.”
“Uhm…. well, there was this attractive blond at the counter. He was tall and had a friendly disposition and a killer smile. He was heading towards the back and then another person came out…I couldn’t see their face but they had a nice, slender figure. Pink hair too. That was certainly interesting in of itself.”
“Well, it doesn’t hurt to see, right? Talk to you later.”
“Yes ma’am! Have a good day.” Kanemaru bowed and hurried back inside the building, Rei watching him carefully before heading back down the street.
“He’s a novice but he’s certainly not quick to call people cute…Endou’s coffee, was it?”
Upon first inspection of entering the shop, shiny floor, polished tables and lights were modern and sleek. A hint of greenery and big, wide windows for natural sunlight. Rei had to admit, she was certainly impressed. Speaking of being impressed, she looked up towards the counter and her eyes dilated in surprise. She was stunned to see the most beautiful boy working at the coffee shop, manning the registers and smiling at the customers brilliantly.
“What luck.” She thought. “A diamond in the rough already…No sign of the blond boy but this is just as…no, maybe even better.”
Heels clicking on the polished hardwood floor that ended when she reached the counter. The pink haired cashier had sharp, beautiful eyes, soft, silky hair, a small face and an almost androgynous appearance. He looks like he’s about to say something when she smirks and places her hand on the counter, making the boy jump a bit in surprise with the clanking sound.
“Before you take my order, I have something to ask.” She states, pushing her glasses so they hit the sun peering through the blinds.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’d make great model?”
“Family name: Kominato, Given name: Haruichi. Age 23. Height: 5’4, Weight: 50k. Occupation: Student at Y University for general studies. Works part-time at a local coffee shop. Enjoys baseball and video games. Despite his small frame, is physically fit. Is known to make bold moves, statements and actions despite being shy by nature.” Maezono Kenta started at the headshot above the application and Rei’s notes…how was she able to pinpoint people’s personalities so accurately?
“He does have a good look but isn’t he a bit on the short side?” He asked, smiling meekly at the busty chief officer, strumming his fingers through the rest of applications. “I’m surprised he let you take his photo. Looks kind of shy but he’s got amazing eyes.”
“Do you like him? When I convinced him to sign the application, he was really hesitant but this is something I think our agency could use. And I couldn’t think of anyone better to manage than you, Zono-san.” Rei stood from her seat and began heading towards the door.
“He’s coming in for an appointment at 3:30pm tomorrow. I told him you’d be the one meeting with him and making the final call. He works at the coffee shop down the street so you should pay him a visit before you head out for the evening. He’s cuter in person.” She chuckled, making Zono blush slightly.
“Rei-san, are you sure about this? I mean…I’m sure Shirasu would be a better manager for a newbie. I’m unsure If I’d be able to lead him…or rather, I think I may be more suited towards teaching since I’m having a lot of luck with Kanemaru.” He muttered, standing up to dust off his pants to which Rei opened the door and began to leave.
“This is your chance to manage some good talent. All of the ones you’ve managed before have been second string material at best. This could give you something great to put on your resume if you want to branch out someday. Besides, he still has to pass auditions anyway.”
“You’ve given me a good lead and it’s not often you take notice of someone and to give me this chance…thank you very much, Rei-san!”
“Have faith, Zono-san. Oh my, look at the time.” Rei blinked, looking up at the clock. “I have a meeting with Sawamura, so I’ll see you later.”
At the mention of his loud mouthed college, Zono twitched but smiled regardless. “He got SO lucky with Chris. He our best talent.”’
“This kid can be our best too. Work hard, manager.” She winked before taking off, leaving Zono to stare at the open door.
“…Ah well. This may be the start of something interesting.” He muttered, taking a sip off his coffee before staring at the clock. Only twenty-three hours, thirty minutes and fifty-two seconds to go.
“Wait, what? A modeling agency?” Ryousuke asked, sitting up when his baby brother finally mentioned something interesting about his day.
“Yeah, it was really weird and she was really persistent.” Haruichi frowned, looking down at his cup of beer. “I don’t get it though. I’ve never thought about modeling…I don’t even think I’d be good at it! I hate pictures!” He exclaimed, pushing hair away from his eyes. “Have you ever seen a camera shy model?!”
“Heh. Well no but…I have always told you that you are pretty. Mom and Dad always told you to be careful. How many men have I had to beat with a baseball bat that come chasing after you? How many times has Hideaki had to walk you home because of a stalker?”
“A-Aniki, please! I don’t know what to do. I have a meeting with her and a manager tomorrow…”
“I’m surprised you signed the application. There’s gotta be a part of you that’s at least mildly interested in checking it out, right? Just do it. I’ll go with you…in return, go buy me a hotdog. A big one.” Ryou smirked as Haruichi’s expression went from incredulous to touched to pouty.
“Seriously Aniki? You’re such a con artist. Don’t think taking me to this ballgame is going to make me forget about this.” Haruichi muttered, standing up and sidestepping in front of a couple to get into the aisle.
“Don’t sweat it. I got the tickets free from work. You can pay me back when you become a famous model.” Ryou smirked in amusement, to which Haruichi rolled his eyes and began heading to the concession stands.
Though he was born and raised in Yokohama, he’d gone to school in Tokyo since high school and now, college. His part time job was also in Tokyo. He’d never been to Yokohama stadium but he loved baseball and the Bay Stars so when his brother asked him out, he finished his homework while he was on the bus to work and managed to sneak out early. His best friend and co-worked, Hideaki even managed to cover for the rest of his shift.
“I’ll have to bring Hideaki-kun back a souvenir.” Haruichi thought before blinking in surprise. The walk to the stands wasn’t this long before…nor did he remember seeing the faintly illuminated exit door before either.
“I got lost…” He blinked in surprise before sighing and pulling out what he thought was his phone…which was instead his wallet. “Don’t tell me…. ugh, I left my phone with Aniki.” He face-palmed, running his fingers through his hair. Luckily, he had enough time before the game began. Best thing to do was to recount his steps and at least make it back to his bother…so that he could make fun of him for getting lost.
“Hey! What are you doing here?! This area is restricted!” An abrasive voice called out, making Haruichi flinch and slowly turn around.
“I-I’m sorry. I got lost and ended up…here…” He trailed off, staring at the slightly taller, spiky haired ball player in front of him. His eyes were small, intense and scrutinizing. He was toned and muscled; baseball pants were truly amazing. Speaking of baseball, the jersey he wore had a Giants logo splayed across his chest. The handsome man took another step forward but the bite seemed to leave his gaze.
“You got lost, huh? Well, follow me. I’ll lead you back. The game is starting soon, you know.” He smirked lightly. “Lemme guess. Bay Stars fan?”
“O-Oh! W-Well, Yokohama is my hometown so…” Haruichi blinked, finally coming to his senses and blushing lightly as he followed behind the baseball player. He vaguely recalled a press conference that the Giants had put on presenting the new rookies they’d recruited. He was pretty familiar with most of Japan’s national teams but this guy’s face didn’t seem familiar.
“W-What position do you play? I was a second baseman back in high school.” Haruichi asked awkwardly. It was rare he ran into a professional ball player and now he just felt stupid…because this player was stupidly attractive and somewhat cocky.
“Shortstop. Ever heard of Matsui Kazuo?”
“The switch hitter? He was a second baseman, wasn’t he?” Haruichi smiled. It had been awhile since he’d talked baseball (though sometimes he and Hideaki would wager on games).
“Yeah but he’s the reason I started playing. Admired him since I was 8. Ah, but I’m way cooler! Hya ha ha! Why’d you give up on baseball, by the way? I don’t think I would ever even consider that.”
“Well…I really don’t know what I want to do yet…and I got injured the last year on my team. Sprained knee. By then, entrance exams for Y University had started so I just…put it on the back burner.”
“No shame in that…not knowing what you want. Good opportunity to try everything. When you’re passionate about something, you end up tied to it, right?”
“I guess. Not that it’s a bad thing. Oh! We’re here!” Haruichi beamed, staring at the back of the hotdog stand.
“If you’re heading back, take stairwell B. You’ll get back faster.” The unknown ball player smiled before grabbing a portable map from the wall and a pen from the closed stand next to him and jotted something down before folding it. “It’s some directions if you get lost on your way back. Enjoy the game!”
“W-Wait! I…” Haruichi stopped for a moment, staring at the man, who looked a tad surprised himself. “W-What’s your name….?”
“Tell me yours first.”
“K-Kominato. Kominato Haruichi.” He muttered, feeling his heart quicken when the shortstop walked closer to him and tipped his chin.
“You owe me for helping you. And plus I’m late now.” He smirked lightly.
“P-Please come by Endou Coffee House. I’ll get you a coffee. On the house!”
“Hya ha ha! Just kidding. Bye Haruichi.” He winked, ruffling the pink hair boy’s hair. “Maybe I’ll see you around sometime.” And with that, the shortstop was out of sight, leaving Haruichi feeling breathless and giddy. As he waited to grab his brother’s food, he curiously looked at the paper the player had handed him and his eyes grew wide.
‘879-988-7655. Call me if you get lost again…and maybe if you want to grab dinner. -Kuramochi’
During the game, Haruichi found that he really didn’t pay much attention to the Bay Stars and kept his eyes on a particular shortstop player who was powering through the bases towards home. Giants scored 1-0 in the bottom of the second. Ryou noticed Haruichi was really eating much but seemed particularly interested in the plays of the other team.
“Haru, you in there? The other team just scored.” He said, poking his brother’s cheek, which had been slightly rosy since he got back.
“Aniki…I think…I’m gonna root for the Giants this time.” He smiled meekly.
Maybe a change wouldn’t be such a bad thing.