|An Unexpected Gift
Author: devadetta PM
Shooting for the first CM went smoothly until a mysterious girl showed up - could either Ren or Sho get to Kyouko in time?Rated: Fiction T - English - Kyoko M. & Ren - Chapters: 7 - Words: 16,597 - Reviews: 65 - Favs: 89 - Follows: 165 - Updated: 08-07-10 - Published: 10-01-09 - id: 5413459
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
An Unexpected Gift: Chapter 6
Skip Beat, its original storylines and characters are the creations of Yoshiki Nakamura.
All other characters and storylines associated with An Unexpected Gift are by yours truly.
February 16th, late morning Universal Japan's studio #6
"Cut!" Director Kurosaki firmly called out.
Letting out a sigh, he waved one hand in the air, "…and take 15, everyone. Mogami-kun, stay for a sec."
Speculative murmurs broke out among the staff. This was the 5th NG of the take, and Kurosaki actually called for a break. Sympathetic glances were tossed Kyouko's way as the staff cleared the studio. Instead of being comforted by the staff's empathy, Kyouko felt her nerves fray and her stomach tighten further as she walked toward the director.
"Kyouko-chan…" surprised by the Director's use of her name, Kyouko looked up into Kurosaki's eyes, "…have you ever been in love?"
Caught off guard by the sudden question, Kyouko felt her cheeks color. With Sho's image in her mind, Kyouko stuttered out, "...ye...yes Director Kurosaki, I have."
Director Kurosaki shook his head, "I don't think so," he replied emphatically.
Kyouko's eyes widened at the finality of his statement. Temporarily lost for words, she waited for him to continue.
Instead, Kurosaki asked, "Tell me again Kyouko-chan – what are we doing for this shoot – and this take in particular?"
Feeling strangely cornered, Kyouko replied haltingly, "We're shooting the 'anticipation' stage of a relationship…like the courtship stage…we are supposed to be on a date near Tokyo Tower at this moment…and I'm supposed to look at Kijima-san with…with love in my eyes as I realize my attraction to him, even though I sort of ignored him before when I met him in Shibuya and at the club."
"Right and wrong, Kyouko-chan," Kurosaki sighed again. "It's true we're technically shooting the 'courtship' stage of a relationship, and that we're 'near' Tokyo Tower, but that's not the point."
"The point is this young man, and this young woman, are falling in love. Going on this date, she doesn't yet realize just how attracted she is to him. As the date unfolds, she gradually discovers her true feelings for him bit by bit, until the truth hits her and she sees at last that she really is falling in love with him – along with the happiness that brings her. Is that clearer?" Kurosaki looked squarely into Kyouko's eyes, needing to make sure she fully comprehended what she's supposed to bring to the role.
"Ye...yes…Director Kurosaki." Kyouko could only answer in the affirmative. She knew what she was supposed to do…having the instructions even more clearly spelled out to her just made her stomach tighten up even more. She had no trouble understanding why Kurosaki called 5 NG's on this particular scene just now.
She's just not sure she can do what's asked…to look at any man…even one as handsome as Kijima-san…with love.
Director Kurosaki studied her carefully, "Take a break, Mogami-kun. I am not sure what you've experienced up until this point in life, but I can tell this is no easy assignment for you. I'd like you to take a breather and think about what I said – see if you can disassociate your immediate thoughts from what this character is going through – then let's try again. At the next take, I want you to look at Kijima with not just love but the beginnings of passion, not simply affection as if he's a good older brother like you have up until now."
Kyouko swallowed her protest at his assessment of her performance, helpless to do anything else but nod. She walked away from Director Kurosaki slowly but felt his gaze on her back every step of the way.
What should I do…should I call someone like Moko-san and ask for her advice? 5 NG's – holy crap am I going to hear it! Kyouko flustered and fussed. Pacing back and forth in the courtyard outside the studio the crew had painstakingly set up earlier that morning, she ignored the beautiful fountain in the middle of the courtyard and sat down on a park bench absentmindedly.
Why did Director Kurosaki not believe me when I told him I've been in love before…he was so 'certain'… Kyouko wondered. I DID love Sho…that's why I was so angry when he made fun…no, when he mocked me as his 'maid' and nothing more…right?
As Kyouko chewed over what Director Kurosaki said to her a few minutes ago, a tall figure came into her peripheral vision.
"May I sit with you, Mogami-san?" Kijima smiled gently at Kyouko.
"...Of course, Kijima-san." Kyouko looked up in surprise and scooted herself closer to the side of the bench to leave plenty of room for Kijima.
"Everything alright, Mogami-san?"
"Ye…yes Kijima-san. I'm just thinking about how I can improve in the next take."
"You know…I…" Kijima started to say something before he clamped his mouth shut.
Shaking his head, he tried again.
"Mogami-san, if you don't mind me asking, how did you fall in love the last time around?"
Kyouko looked up in surprise. It was difficult for her to think of Sho without feeling like the top of her head is about to blow off these days. Stuffing her mini-me demons back and forcing herself to concentrate on Kijima's question, Kyouko replied a bit guardedly, "I'm not sure how it happened…in terms of the exact time. In many ways, I guess we grew up together…and I've always cared for him…or taken care of him…it seemed."
"I see." Kijima said softly, forehead crinkling lightly in thought. He turned to study Kyouko carefully.
"Did you ever forget your 'duty' when you were with him?"
"Duty?" Kyouko turned to look at Kijima.
"Yeah…your 'duty' of caring for him. Were you ever so far gone that you were mindless of everything else and all you ate, drank, and thought of was him, without any care at all for any other responsibilities?"
"I…," Kyouko started to answer but found that somehow, she couldn't continue.
"I guess…I need to think about it." Wanting to turn his attention away from her, she asked him instead, "Have you, Kijima-san?"
Kijima looked at her and gave her a small smile. He reached over and gently chucked her under the chin. "Yes, I have, Mogami-san. Think about what I said, will ya? I'd like an answer by this evening." With a wink, he smoothly got up from the bench and turned towards the studio.
Kyouko stared at his retreating back, unable to move from her spot on the bench. Kijima's handsome face held a world of emotions with that single smile, his eyes sparkled and dimmed at a story untold.
What could he have experienced…and why did he ask me those questions…was he trying to imply what I felt for Sho was more…'duty'…and a…brotherly kind of love?
No way, Kyouko shook her head firmly. I did love Sho once…and not as a sister.
Unaware he was the center of a certain someone's thoughts, Sho snapped his studio mike back on the stand a little too hard and knocked it to the ground.
"Tch…" Instead of picking the stand back up, Sho sulked over to the plush couches nearby and sank down heavily onto the cushions.
"Sho…you alright?" Shoko shot him a worried glance. Sho's been in a foul mood all morning, the only reason Shoko could think of was Kyouko. Not only did he not get to see Kyouko last night, they literally faced down a panicked mob as she and Sho tried to enter the club. Later, they heard so many different accounts of what happened that made Sho so frustrated he left without a word. As usual, Shoko had to chase him down and take him home.
He had barely spoken three words since then.
What could have happened that could've caused so much panic…and that's GOT to be Kyouko leaving in the limo with Tsuruga Ren. What the hell was he doing there?
Never had he wished with all his being that he could've been at such a 'pedestrian' of a place as a night club earlier, though he couldn't explain why.
Damn it! Sho gritted his teeth. I can't stand this s**t anymore.
"Shoko-san, how well do you know Director Kurosaki?"
The girl with the orange hair woke with a start. Her fists tightened into balls, she lunged up from the bed ready for battle.
And was shoved back down onto the pillows with a hand that gripped painfully around her throat.
The pillows are soft…the sheets smell clean…were her thoughts when she again lost consciousness.
She thought she was already dead.
"Earth to Tsuruga Ren: are you there? Over."
Ren blinked, then turned to Yashiro with a smile, "Yes, Yashiro-san?"
Yashiro sighed with relief. At least Ren didn't shower him with one of those "sparkly" smiles.
"You alright, Ren? You've been zoning out for the past hour."
Ren gave Yashiro his best reassuring smile, which didn't fool Yashiro in the least. "I'm perfectly fine, Yashiro-san."
Giving him a "I highly doubt it" look, Yashiro asked instead, "What happened last night anyway?"
I'm not sure…remembering Kyouko's slim body against his, leaning on him as they stumbled their way through the club, her small hand holding onto his.
…and her scent…when he could no longer resist the desire to hold her close. It took every ounce of his will to place the gentle kiss on her forehead instead of a far more luscious target further south.
"Excuse me, Yashiro-san. I'm going to step out of the studio for a few minutes for some fresh air." Ren abruptly told Yashiro. Afraid to look at him and see his thoughts, Ren turned without another word and headed for the studio doors.
"Don't wonder too far off, Ren. There are several other shoots going on today in neighboring studios, wouldn't want to disturb…" Yashiro's voice trailed off as Ren quickly opened and closed the studio doors.
Mystified, Yashiro reached into his pocket with a gloved hand and dialed a familiar number.
Kurosaki looked around at his mesmerized crew and understood their fascination. He could not keep his own eyes off of the couple by the fountain himself.
Having decided to move the shoot outdoors in the hopes the late afternoon rays and fresh air would do his actors good, Kurosaki was pleased with his decision. He knew the chance of interruptions was higher with an open outdoor set, but so far the risk was worth it. The soft rays caressed the setting and the star couple, bathing them in a warm glow that danced across their skin and eyes, magnifying their every expression.
But what a change, Kyouko-chan. Director Kurosaki thought fondly, amazed at the transformation that became the young star.
At that moment, Kyouko was looking at Kijima with fire dancing behind her gaze. She reached toward Kijima with a slim hand, lightly tracing the outline of his strong jaw.
When Kijima's hands reached back toward Kyouko, she gave him a sly smile and gracefully twisted away.
Undeterred, Kijima stepped forward and caught Kyouko gently by the elbow. At that moment, the afternoon rays grazed the hair that fell around his shoulders, highlighting the strands with sparkles of warm brown and gold.
Kyouko's breath caught in her throat.
Kijima pulled Kyouko toward him. One arm curved around her waist as the other gently lifted her chin.
Kyouko felt her entire body soften and mold around Kijima's soft but firm embrace. She was no longer thinking of the shoot.
All she could see is a smiling face framed by dark locks that caressed his cheeks. He had looked at her many ways; in the beginning with mockery and censure…later on with seriousness only a sempai could give a kouhai…and lately, with an intensity she could not fathom, that seemed reserved only for her.
Now he looked at her in a way he and only he had ever shown her. It was the King of the Night…and this time she could not resist.
Kyouko parted her lips.
Kijima lowered his head.
End of Chapter 6
Author's Notes: Gentle reader, thank you for your patience. I accepted a new job earlier this year that has consumed every waking moment and ounce of energy I possess. I vowed to myself I would pick the pen back up, and I am glad I did. There's much more left of the story I wish to tell. THANK YOU for reading and for the encouragement. Yes, that means you, soprano-in-waiting, smilingspaz, firnlambe, Fantasy-Magician, alene-o, creamy creations, Lynnae Clark, LaughingAngelsGibberish, and every single one of you who reviewed or encouraged me to write more and not forget about this story. It means very much to me.
BGM: Christina Perri, Civil Twilight, Silversun Pickups, Muse, Sarah McLachlan, One Republic, Armin Van Buuren, and Gackt.