1. Worn out; wearied by work or overuse
2. Dulled by surfeit; sated
3. Cynically or pretentiously callous.
The Story is: Sho is wandering around TBM in desperate need of advice about what to do with Kyoko... and overhears a certain someone else receiving love advice about the same girl.
The Genre is: Humor/Romance or Humor/Friendship
The characters are: Sho, Bo, Ren, whoever else. ;)
MUST: NOT include a Sho and Ren faceoff, but somehow include a crow, a wishing star, a bat holding a screw, and a misunderstood phone call
Also, be warned, this fic is not very nice to Sho, but I find that very humorous, so hopefully you do too.
As he entered TBM with Shoko, bedecked in a feathery black cape, a mostly unbuttoned shirt, and flashy jeans with embedded gemstones, Sho felt a sudden wave of apprehension, and looked back outside the tv station. He felt as if this already horrible day would possibly get worse.
The crow he spotted squatting on a lamppost seemed to agree with his premonition, as it gave a squawking laugh. Sho shuddered. He briskly followed Shoko further into the station and to his waiting room, only to find out that the show had switched the order of promotions last minute, and they only had informed his manager of the change by a faulty email that only arrived on her phone as she was chatting with the AD in person, trying to figure out exactly what was going on.
The most humiliating part of it was when Sho was informed who, or rather what, would be taking his prime slot on the show instead.
It was an anime superhero, the kind made for little kids. The AD held up a poster of the character during his conversation with Shoko. Sho saw a cartoonish bat brandishing a screw like a rapier as it fought off legions of hammer wielding bad guys in bandit masks.
He, the up and coming runner up for the title of Coolest Guy in Showbiz, the undisputed number one musician on the scene, with all of his albums and singles holding his spot at number one on the charts, was beaten out of his spot on prime time by a bat holding a screw. No, actually, some no name talent in the bat suit.
Shoko easily approved his request to blow off the extra time by walking in one of the more isolated corridors, and he walked alone through the halls of TBM, hoping and praying that no one, especially Kyoko, would learn of this, his newest humiliation.
The thought of his childhood friend made his imagination conjure up scenario after scenario, where he had to admit to his humiliation in front of her.
He then couldn't decide which scene he hated his imagination more for creating: the image of her laughing hysterically at his misfortune, and declaring herself a winner for being the first to wear an animal suit out of the pair, or the image of her disgustedly rolling her eyes before haughtily ignoring him, while telling Tsuruga in a fake snobbish accent how childish he must be to be undermined by an anime hero. Wait, how did Tsuruga enter his imaginings?
Could this situation get any worse? Sho held back an audible groan. If only he could figure out what Kyoko wanted from him. He had started out for Tokyo with her, possessing more honorable motives than she would now believe, but ever since she started interacting with Tsuruga, it seemed like her alliegence had changed. He had somehow, unintentionally, made her into a jaded shrew of a woman. He could sense that she was finally tapping into that potential he'd always known she had, but now he wasn't a part of her life.
Admittedly, his methods of cutting her loose, first from the ryokan, and then from himself, hadn't been the best. He could admit that. He had acted primarily with his own self interest in mind, but a part of him was trying to live up to the expectation she always had of him. That of a prince. After all, wasn't a prince supposed to lead the princess on a grand adventure and then she becomes the loveliest in the land?
However, her pauper princess role utterly bored him. After living with her for several years, not only was she predictable, but quite ordinary. And so, he had set out, trying not just to live his own dream which was definitely his first priority, but to see if he could trigger her unlocked potential.
Leaving his parents' ryokan, he had tested her alongside of the tests he himself was going through, but her stupid love for him left her no desire to change from that boring girl she had become. And then, the one time she overheard his thoughts on the subject, perhaps said a little less tactfully than he would have said them had he known she was eavesdropping, she cut off all ties to him.
How was he ever supposed to express his thoughts honestly?
"It seems like every time we talk, she misunderstands something I say."
The words came echoing from down the unused and untraveled hall he had just passed, as if someone had been reading his thoughts. Sho froze, then turned on his heel to see who had read his heart.
The corridor was quite ill-lit, it was hard for Sho to see the two figures sitting on the side bench really clearly. Basically the only thing he noticed was the man on the closer end had long thin limbs, as his legs were stretched out in front of him. He had slouched enough to be resting his head on his hand and his elbow on his knee. The shadowy blob next to him was shaped very oddly indeed. The stomach was very plump and the legs seemed extremely short, especially compared to the man next to it. The head confused him the most. Did the person have a really sharp, protruding nose? And was that a Mohawk?
He glanced around himself surreptitiously before beginning to sneak and inch his way down the edge of the hallway, drawing ever nearer to the two figures, and listening to their conversation along the way. His goal was that set of vending machines.
"Hm," the voice came from the plump person. "Could you perhaps describe some of these misunderstandings in a little more detail?"
The tall man let out a giant sigh. "Where should I even begin? Well, um, so, I had called her last night, where she immediately brought up seeing a wishing star."
"Oh. I thought I had been the only one to notice when the wishing star came above the horizon."
"Un, you saw it as well?"
Sho tilted his head as he peered around the vending machine that had been conveniently located for this express purpose. The one thing that had gone right today. He would be able to spy on the pair, hopefully avoiding drawing their attention as he observed them. The plump dude must be in an animal suit. Because as he flusteredly waved his arms about, Sho saw feathers. Put together with the headpiece and Sho's instant thought was chicken.
He almost snorted and gave his hiding spot away. Quickly clapping a hand over his nose and mouth, he reminded himself that Kyoko had only been wearing the chicken suit that one night. This was almost two years later. He was sure she had been rejected and fired after dragging him into that unplanned badminton match. There was no possible way that Kyoko would still be in the bird suit. He listened again as the tall man took up the conversation again.
"Well, she's a lot like you, I guess. It's right up her alley to think of things like that. I find that part of her very... adorable, I suppose you could say."
Sho processed a huge shock. With his now closer vantage point, he realized that the tall, lanky man sitting next to the bird was actually Tsuruga Ren! And not only that, even through the gloom he saw the redness on the actor's cheeks glow. And with that display, Sho felt certain that even if the chicken wasn't Kyoko, which it really couldn't be, she certainly was present in the conversation.
The bird had stiffened its back uncomfortably. "I see." The tone of the person's voice was very noncommittal.
"But every time I try to compliment her on, well, anything really, she either cuts me off with a change in topic, or completely misses the point of what her strength is that I'm pleased with. Rooster guy, you're the one who told me to make that girl mine, what else can I do to properly show her my feelings without frightening her, overwhelming her or ignoring her best interest in the situation?"
Sho gaped silently after overhearing that particular confession. The Number One Coolest, Suavest Guy in Showbiz, plus numerous other titles Sho couldn't bear to let himself repeat, was asking love advice from a guy in a chicken suit! This was priceless! The best day ever! Or was, until he realized that the guy was still intent on making Kyoko his. Then Sho's mood dropped predictably.
"I did say that." The chicken acknowledged. "But you succeeded at Dark Moon. Katsuki was a hit. Do you really need to pursue this high school girl further? I thought you also said that you couldn't have anyone precious to you here."
Tsuruga glared at the bird. "Due to someone's advice, that statement changed. I never would have succeeded with that role or the one I took directly after without her."
"Oh." The bird looked away. Sho got the feeling that the person inside the bird was hurt by Tsuruga's reliance on the girl.
"You helped as well," the actor insisted, having also picked up on the unspoken hurt. "Your advice certainly helped. I never would have recognized that what I felt when I was around her was the beginnings of love without you."
There was a long pause. Sho raised an eyebrow. So he had the chicken to punish for awakening Tsuruga to an awareness of his Kyoko.
"Tsuruga-kun, I don't even know the girl. How could I advise you on what she wouldn't find threatening? And in any case, I've become a bit jaded towards love."
"A bit jaded towards love?" repeated Tsuruga. "That's even better. She's in the same situation. A bad guy hurt her a lot, and now she's closed off even the idea of love. Or at least romantic love. Love in her friendships, love for her work, and even love for the characters she acts seems to have survived. Tell me your opinion, please?"
Sho felt slightly shocked. Surely his Kyoko hadn't changed that much from the love-obsessed girl he knew. That's why he had worried about Tsuruga using her for finger food. Because Kyoko wouldn't be able to tell his interest in her until it was too late. And Tsuruga was going around telling random people in bird suits that he, Sho, was a bad guy? Was this his attack on Sho's popularity?
"Even if I take into account that you're a playboy, this girl is sounding more and more like me," the bird muttered. "This is not good."
Tsuruga looked surprised. "Playboy? Where are you getting that one from?"
"Your face. You'll make that puppy dog expression for just anyone?"
"No." Tsuruga sounded wounded by the accusation. "Just really close friends, and her. I'll make that expression for her no matter which character she is playing. Well, perhaps not Mio." Tsuruga tapped his chin thoughtfully, completely missing the reactions to his words in the chicken that Sho saw. "I wouldn't be able to predict what exactly Mio would do if I showed a vulnerability to her like that."
The chicken's headpiece had stared at Tsuruga, then looked away dejectedly, before snapping back to stare at him again when he mentioned the Dark Moon role. "Mi-Mio? You're in love with Mio?"
"No, certainly not! I'm not insane. More properly said, I'm in love with the actress who played Mio in Dark Moon. Mogami Kyoko."
"Really?" The chicken breathed, almost as if afraid to voice the question.
Sho's jaw had dropped by this point. Tsuruga was proclaiming his love for Kyoko to random people in chicken suits.
Tsuruga gave a perfunctory nod. There was silence between the two for a moment as the bird stared at the floor. "I've never told you her name before, have I?"
The chicken shook the headpiece, and Tsuruga smiled brightly. "I don't need to warn you to keep quiet about it to the media, right? I don't want to imagine how they would mess with her career if my feelings for her were discovered."
The chicken had flinched when Tsuruga first turned his smile on him. "No, no. Tentekomai, remember? I'll keep everything quiet," the bird muttered distractedly.
"...So what do you think?"
"I think she is mine," Sho couldn't stop himself from muttering to himself.
"I think our time is up. You need to get back to your set, Tsuruga-kun." The bird's admonition was punctuated by Tsuruga's cell phone ringing.
Tsuruga frowned, then answered the ringing phone. "Yes, thank you, Yashiro-san. I'll be there soon." He hung up, then turned back to the chicken. "Walk with me?" he suggested.
Sho started to panic. How was he supposed to leave while still being unseen? Surely the two were going to walk this way and someone was going to spot him. He cowered behind the vending machines, completely missing the bird's silent answer to Tsuruga. He stared at the wall opposite, until just the rooster came into his line of sight.
The person in the suit stopped short at the sight of Sho hiding like an eavesdropping kid behind the vending machine. Sho felt a strange scary vibe coming from that chicken suit for just a moment before the bird turned around. "Tsuruga-kun! Next time you run into that girl of yours, make sure she tells you what she really wished for on the wishing star."
"Oh, um, right, thanks!"
The bird nodded, even as a shiver shook the main part of the suit. Sho was close enough to hear the person inside mutter, "That heavenly smile... how many more times must I see it before I get used to it?" The chicken then looked Sho up and down before asking, "So, Shotaro, are you now avoiding Music H?"
"Don't call me that!" Sho automatically insisted, straightening, before realizing one crucial fact. The only person who knew and would feel comfortable taunting him to his face with his uncool name was Kyoko. Thus Kyoko was actually inside the chicken suit? This day just got a million times worse. There was absolutely no way that the person inside the chicken suit could have missed Tsuruga's intentions toward Kyoko.
The person he had now deduced to be Kyoko shrugged and took off her headpiece. "Why not? You're not being a respectable star right now. You're cowering behind a vending machine, where anyone could see you."
As if proving her point a group of boys stopped at the end of the hall and called out to her, "Kyoko-chan!"
"I'll be there in a moment Hikaru-san!" Kyoko called back. She turned to the musician and said, "So? How long have you been standing there?"
"Long enough," bit Sho, anger coursing through him, making his fists shake. When had he clenched his hands? "What happened to your declaration of revenge? What happened to your vow to me?"
Kyoko waved a feathered hand and then repeated what Kanae and Ren had drilled into her. "Revenge? That will come naturally as I use my talents and work hard. I was born to be an actress, and I'm aiming to become first-rate. I don't have to turn my revenge into something jaded by focusing on it overmuch."
"Then did your message when you called me last week not mean that you were ditching your vow to me?" Sho demanded in earnest.
"Oh. That." Kyoko tilted her head and pursed her lips. "How do I say this? Sho, I don't belong to you, but as you were my childhood friend and I know how you feel about him, I wanted to let you know that as soon as Tsuruga Ren asks me what I wished for on that wishing star, I'll tell him that I wished my feelings for him would be returned. I'm ready to accept those consequences now. Ja ne!"
Sho stood in place, staring blankly as she waddled the costume over to the group of guys, who then greeted her very friendly. She cast one last glance back at him as they obviously had inquired who she'd been talking to. Sho's phone started to ring; probably Shoko informing him of the show being ready for him finally. He answered it as he walked away, needing some time to process the incident in his mind.
Sho missed seeing Kyoko's bittersweet smile, her response to the Ishibashi boys, and her own mental freak out as it sunk in that she was indeed the high school girl.
Well, I got the required items in there-two misunderstandings over the phone, a bat holding a screw, a crow, and a wishing star. Successfully avoided the Ren/Sho confrontation in this particular fic as well. I also probably lost characterization on Ren, as I don't see him persistently seeking Bo's advice after one dodge, but the end wouldn't come any other way.
I'm down to the deadline on getting this posted, but hope you enjoyed reading it, as I have enjoyed writing it.
And if you enjoy the game, come check out the A to Z Story Game on the forums!