Soft light filters through his eyelids. He yawns and rolls over.
His pillow feels weird. Not exactly hard, but very firm.
He opens his eyes to see Fujimaru leaning over him. They're out in broad daylight, yet she still wears her hair in braids. He checks himself. Nope, he's not in disguise either.
"Fujimaru, what are you-?"
"Shhhhh," She puts a gentle finger to his lips as she strokes his hair, "You just came out of an acting trance. You were wonderful, by the way." Her cheeks blush fervently.
He frowns. Fujimaru is easily starstruck, but she never gets this red. What's going on?
He then realizes that his head is resting on her lap. His forehead, naturally, collides with hers as he bolts up into a sitting position. He apologizes profusely while cradling his head. She protests gently, holding her nose, claiming the fault as her own. Her face remains flushed as she avoids eye contact.
He cocks his head to the side, trying to catch her expression, but she shies away from him. He realizes that he is making her uncomfortable and backs off. She turns to him, looking hurt.
Hurt? Whatever for?
" -Won't you please call me Yukari-" She tilts her head and opens her eyes wide, "-tan?"
He stares at her. She pouts.
He shakes his head. "Listen, Fujimaru-"
"...Yukari-san, you should lie down. You're not feeling well, you look like you're burning up with fever-"
"Oh!" She interrupts again, her eyes glinting glossily, "Ryo-sama is worried about me!" Her blush deepens as she whispers to herself. "Whatever shall I do?"
He feels the hair on the back of his neck beginning to rise. Pulling out his cellphone, he stands and motions for her to remain sitting.
"You stay right there, Yukari-san. I'm calling Aya, so you can't go on with this '-sama' business when he gets here. I'm not calling you by your name again, either. Your condition seems rather unstable, so I think we should take you to see a doctor."
"Ayaori-chan too?" Her face becomes troubled, "Oh, Ryo-chin, you're so unfair!" She brings her fist to her mouth and mumbles into her palm, looking shyly up at him as she does so. "...swhgjhxbvhhsjhjj..."
He blinks at her. "Huh?"
She huffs. "I said that it's too cruel to face both of you! My heart," She presses her hand to her chest, wincing dramatically, "can't take the intensity of both of you at the same time! Oh, how it hurts me to think I may have to be without one of you someday!"
He raises an eyebrow. "What are you talking about?"
She looks mildly annoyed before she throws her head back, an exaggerated expression of pain twisting her features. "Oh, it is much to early to choose! Caught between two attractive roommates, how am I expected to sort this out without unknowingly making the wrong choice?"
"Fujimaru, it's housemates." He is getting worried about the state she's in, so he decides to play along until Aya can come and back him up. Until then, he will have to convince Fujimaru to stop speaking nonsense, otherwise her cover will be blown when Aya does come. And that will be it, bam, end of career time for both of them.
"Why not...choose whoever you have the most chemistry with?"
"You mean," she sniffs, "Whichever boy makes my heart beat the fastest, or stresses me out the most, or makes me feel the most important?" Her voice softens, "Or is the meanest to me? I've always read that boys who are cruel are just hurting. I should save them from their pain, right? Regardless of everyone else, a bad boy would clearly be the best choice, right?"
What kind of trashy stories have managed to convince her of that? Moreover, how had she even started reading those? Had she been forced at gun point? But no one could get that kind of leverage on Fujimaru, not even the other managers. Was it a classmate? Who on earth was poisoning her mind?
"Ryo-tan is an idiot!"
He snaps out of his suspecting speculations to find her fist crashing into his face. He tumbles a few feet before landing on his back. What is she thinking? He needs to be in top condition for work!
Fujimaru seems oblivious to her duty to protect Ryo as she continues to yell at him.
"All I wanted was a romantic picnic and you had to go and ruin it! What's wrong with you? Idiot! Selfish moron! Ryo, you jerk!"
She starts to run away, trips, and then runs back to him, eyes watering anew.
"Oh, Ryo, I'm mortally wounded! I may only have hours left to live, so we should do something crazy and passionately irresponsible so that I can at least die happy even if it haunts you for the rest of your life!"
He examines her and finds that her hands are slightly scraped. There are no other discernible injuries.
"What are you doing? Quick, you must kiss me before the sun sets, or else all is lost!"
He turns his head to find that the sun is indeed setting, but before he can reply to Fujimaru's delirious pleas, she is snatched away by a figure clad in black. Could it be...?
"Kneel before me and beg for mercy that I don't dispose of you at once before stealing away your woman! A puny penguin could never hope to defeat me, Animal Black!"
"Narazaki!" He charges the black-clad figure, knocking him down as Fujimaru sails off a few feet.
"Ryo, saaaaaave meeeeeee!"
But he can't, because Yuzuru Narazaki has got him in a choke hold. Desperate, he bites down on his captor's arm and whirls around to tear the ranger helmet from Narazaki's face-
Only, it isn't Narazaki. It's Aya, looking scruffy and dazed.
"Ryo! Cut it out!"
Ryo Katsuragi awoke to find himself tugging on the bangs of none-other than Yukari.
"I had a...a really bad dream."
Yukari rubbed her forehead and grinned at him. "Yeah? Me too. I got turned into a penguin. It was sort of fun, at first, but then all the other birds began to fly away, and I could only waddle." She gave a sheepish laugh, "I guess I'm still getting used to the whole President thing. What happened in yours?"
Ryo hummed as he pressed his forehead to hers. "You went totally nuts."
She laughed. "What? Really?"
"Yeah. And I kept calling you Fujimaru. I haven't called you that in years. You had some weird romance complex, and Narazaki, or maybe Aya, one of them was after you too. I think all the scenes I've been dubbing for 'Kissy Smoochy Kiss' have been getting to me." He smooshed his face in his hands. "Script writing can't get much worse than that."
"It's weird." She furrowed a brow, "You should have known it was a dream. Aya and Narazaki both thought I was a guy when I was still Fujimaru."
"Yeah, I should have known better. I thought it was real! Ha," He rolled onto his back. "What a relief."
"Was I that terrifying?"
He grinned at her, mischievously. "You asked me to call you 'Yukari-tan'."
Yukari shuddered. Ryo laughed.
(A/N; I named the story "Kawaii" because it means "cute" or "lovable". BUT, it sounds very similar to "Kowai" which translates as "creepy", "scary", or "frightening". *evil grin*
So, this week's prompt for the Twelve Shots of Summer was "Romance, Most Contrived". I was initially planning on writing a Vampire Knight fic to illustrate all the reasons why Kaname and Yuuki don't work together, but then I really wanted to write a contrived romance commentary with these two simply because, well, it's ironic. If you're familiar with this manga, you (probably) realize that Yukari and Ryo are one of the most natural, refreshing couples out there. The best thing about them is that they don't have to be in forced, or classic, situations to create a romantic feeling. I think that they're perfectly romantic even when they're doing ordinary things, like searching for acting jobs, or spying on Aya. The great thing about this couple is that they never even think about their relationship. It just ends up happening because they're the perfect team.
Anyway, this was really hard to write simply because it's painful to see smart, sensible Yukari acting so ridiculous. It was painful, but it would have been absolutely impossible to do it to Ryo, too.
Please check out the other stories under the Twelve Shots of Summer tag! Or check out the Forum Billboard, and maybe join in yourself!)