AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hello and welcome to "Transparent Wings". Transparent Wings takes place loosely after Ch. 211 though I'm probably taking a few too many liberties so it may not match up exactly with what's going on currently in the manga (I'm keeping up with that in scanlations and buying volumes as they're released here in the US). Later this story is going to feature some original characters of mine from a completely unrelated series but whose world meshes easily within the world of Skip Beat! (and anything that takes place in show business in modern Japan *laughs*), but I have worked very hard to make them more background characters because this is a story about Kyoko and Ren not them ^_^ I'll probably talk more about them later once they actually get introduced.
Skip Beat! doesn't belong to me, it is the property of Yoshiki Nakamura. This particular storyline, the stuff I make up to go with the story line, and the characters belong to me ^_^
The next update will be July 15, 2015.
Thank you for reading (and reviewing if you get a chance)!
~ Yuki Seki
PS If you're wondering what's going on with my Reborn Future Revised Fics, I'm still writing them-I just need to take a break from the mafia and meddle in show business for a little while *wry smile*
Chapter One: Break-In
"Where are you?"
Anger hummed under the words and Yashiro glanced up sharply at his client as Ren Tsuruga nodded sharply at whatever the person on the other end of the line said. "Stay there, Mogami-san. I'll come to get you. We're almost done here," he said.
The cell phone was snapped shut and Ren turned his back to the cast and crew for a full thirty seconds before he turned back around with his radiant gentleman's smile in place. Yashiro shuddered back at the brightness of it, whatever Kyoko-chan had to say on the other end of the line had Ren livid.
"Ren…" he began.
"I'll explain after the taping," Ren stated quietly and moved onto the set of the TV program he was being interviewed.
Yashiro paced a bit back and forth as a million possibilities cascaded through his mind. When it came to Kyoko-chan, there were only a few things that would set Ren off enough that he had to work that hard to put his gentleman's smile in place. The interview went smoothly though Yashiro could tell only by his long acquaintance with Ren that Japan's number one leading man was only paying partial attention to what the interviewers were asking. They'd been given the questions well in advance and worked out the answers so Ren had them memorized like lines in a drama.
As soon as his interview concluded, Ren was off the set and barely managed to thank everyone in his usual polite manner before his long legs were eating the distance between them and the exit. Yashiro nearly had to run to keep up with the dark-haired actor. They made it to Ren's car in record time and Ren had the car started and moving before Yashiro had his seatbelt clicked into place.
"Ren, what's going on?" Yashiro asked.
Ren's smiling mask had crumbled immediately once he was in the confines of the car and Yashiro had only seen Ren this furious a few times and he worried that Sho Fuwa had made another appearance and made Kyoko-chan lose her cool.
Ren didn't answer and Yashiro decided to take another track. "Where are we going?" he asked.
"TBM Studios," Ren answered.
Yashiro fell silent unable to ask any more questions as Ren glared out the front window and navigated the streets of Tokyo as quickly as he could, taking corners faster and blowing through a few lights like they didn't exist. Whatever was going on with Kyoko-chan was definitely bringing out the dark Ren that Yashiro had just started learning the depths of.
They arrived at the TV studio and Ren parked, leaving Yashiro to drop money into the parking meter as he headed for the doors. The security guards immediately let him in and Yashiro trailed after Ren, giving an apologetic look to the security guards who looked a bit shell-shocked as Ren blew by them.
"Kyoko-chan…" Hikaru said. "Are you all right?"
"I'm…I'm fine," Kyoko said.
She stood up abruptly and pasted on a brilliant smile—she was starting to pick up more than just a couple of Tsuruga-san's habits.
She turned her head suddenly as a tall form emerged into the hall and her expression shifted as she closed the distance between herself and her senpai. "T-Tsuruga-san…" she began.
"Was anyone hurt?" Ren asked, pausing in front of her.
She shook her head and Ren put an arm around her shoulders to guide her gently towards the door, dropping it almost immediately afterwards, conscious as always of others who would be looking on. Yashiro put himself between the two and the onlookers and watched his client and Kyoko.
"There was some damage to the back door of Darumaya and they said that my room is in shambles," Kyoko replied to Ren's question as they headed out the door.
"Anything taken?" Ren asked.
"I'm not sure yet, but they caused trouble for Taisho and Okamisan, how could I be so irresponsible?" Kyoko near wailed the smile fading as they stepped away from the others' eyes. "I should have found another place and…"
Ren patted her head gently and opened the car door for Kyoko, but Yashiro moved to get into the back seat instead of the chestnut-haired talent. "I'll take the back seat," Yashiro said. "Please take the front Kyoko-chan."
The seat was put back into proper position and Kyoko got in, scooting the seat up as far as possible to leave room for Yashiro's legs. "When did it happen?" Ren asked after getting into the driver's side of the car and shutting the door.
"During the busiest part of the dinner hour," Kyoko said. "Okamisan told me that Taisho had come out to serve some guests and they'd heard a lot of banging upstairs. They didn't worry about it because they thought maybe I'd forgotten something and come back for it. After all the guests were gone they went up to check on things because they hadn't seen me and that's when Taisho saw what happened and Okamisan called me. I was filming so I didn't get the message until afterwards."
"Someone broke into Kyoko-chan's room?" Yashiro gasped.
"I didn't think I had enough notice to have to worry about things and so I haven't really concealed where I live or anything like that," Kyoko said miserably. "Box 'R' doesn't start airing until next week…they're going to throw me out I know it and…"
"Don't worry about that right now, Mogami-san," Ren said quietly, taking his hand off the gear shift for just a moment to squeeze the clenched fist in Kyoko's lap. "Let's go to Darumaya and find out what's going on before you panic."
Kyoko clenched her hands together in her lap as they navigated through the night. Her antenna was starting to go off alerting her to the fact that Tsuruga-san was not as composed as he appeared, but she wasn't sure what exactly he was angry about.
They slipped through the quiet streets and finally Ren pulled up by the backdoor of the restaurant where the owners of Darumaya were waiting for them. Kyoko was out the door before he'd fully turned off the car and was being caught in the comforting embraces of the couple as the tears spilled out. He stepped out of the car and immediately moved out of the view of anyone who would happen to be watching the scene because he didn't want to draw any more attention than the police cars situated outside the restaurant already did.
One of the officers came out of the restaurant and immediately focused on the chestnut-haired girl being hugged by the owners and approached. "Please excuse me, but are you Mogami Kyoko-san?" he asked.
Kyoko took a moment to draw in a deep breath and pulled away reluctantly, scrubbing her tears away and pulling on her acting mask, showing composed features to the officer who'd spoken. "I am," she said.
"I am sorry that this happened to you, but I would ask a favor of you…" he said.
"Yes?" Kyoko said.
"Can you please come up to the rooms with us and tell us what if anything is missing so that we can figure out why your room was the only thing disturbed in the entire establishment," the officer said.
Kyoko nodded slowly and glanced over her shoulder at Ren who was staying just in her sight, but concealing himself in the shadows to keep word of his presence from spreading to the onlookers that were starting to gather. It wouldn't be a good idea for anyone to recognize Ren Tsuruga here at this particular site.
The Taisho and Okamisan seemed to suddenly realize who'd come with Kyoko and Taisho moved to block the view as Okamisan moved to Ren and Yashiro. "Please come inside," she said. "You will be away from prying eyes."
Ren summoned up one of his gentlemanly smiled and bowed thanking her quietly and the two followed her into the restaurant. One of the officers tried to protest, but he took one look at Ren and his eyes widened. "You're…"
"Yes," he agreed.
"Then that girl…?"
"Is my kouhai," Ren said, keeping his voice measured and calm. "I happened to be nearby when she was finishing her job and got the call from the owners, so I offered her a ride."
"An LME talent, yes," Yashiro said stepping in between the officer and the actor.
"Would it be possible that…" the officer started. "She's been in something that is well known?"
"She's been in a few roles that may have drawn some attention," Yashiro said, his manager's face was in full force even if he wasn't Kyoko-chan's manager—right now his main purpose was to keep more attention than necessary being put on Kyoko's status.
Kyoko's wail came down the stairs and before anyone could intercept him, Ren took the steps two at a time until he came up to the room where Kyoko was kneeling over what looked like a ruffled pink bed. "Mogami-san?" he said.
She turned tear-filled eyes on Ren. "They kidnapped Princess Rosa!"
She prostrated herself in front of him. "Please forgive your worthless kouhai, I left the precious gift you gave me unattended and she's been kidnapped and I—"
"Mogami-san," Ren began, drawing her to her feet and looking down at her. "It's not your fault."
"But—" Kyoko began.
"Shhh…" Ren murmured and pulled her against his chest without thinking, ignoring the startled looks of the police officers going through the room.
Ren's eyes ran over the rest of the room, what looked like two posters were completely shredded and scattered over the floor so that it was impossible to really tell what they once were, the futon was ripped, stuffing scattered over the floor, and make-up was smeared all over the walls. The drawers Kyoko had were opened, clothing pulled from them and tossed around the room, some of the items had a pair of scissors taken to them and were in pieces, but amidst all the destruction Kyoko was concerned about the bauble he'd given her. "Shh...Kyoko…" he whispered not realizing he'd dropped all honorifics, stroking her hair gently.
His gentleman's smile had dissolved as soon as he'd seen the room and the storm clouds gathering on his face had even the officers around them stepping lightly.
Kyoko didn't notice Tsuruga-san's familiar form of address just clung to him tightly as she tried to wrap her mind around everything. The disappearance of the Princess Rosa distressed her most, but the clothing, the cosmetics…there was no way she'd have the money to replace them. Even worse, she didn't have the money to replace the locks that were damaged on the back door of the restaurant or help take any other measures to keep this from happening to Taisho and Okamisan again.
"What or who exactly is 'Princess Rosa', do we have a missing person to report as well?" the officer asked coming up.
"Princess Rosa is a necklace with a pink diamond that she received for her last birthday," Ren explained. "The setting was handmade by Mogami-san."
The officer wrote the information down in his notebook and looked hesitantly up at the actor then at the girl he held against his chest. "I…we need Mogami-san to go through the room thoroughly and see if there is anything else missing beyond the jewelry," he said.
"Mogami-san?" Ren said quietly.
Kyoko squeezed her eyes shut and drew in a deep breath, inhaling Tsuruga-san's familiar scent and felt her mind settle out a little bit. She would have to figure out what to do next soon, but first she had to take care of the current turn of events. "I'm fine, Tsuruga-san, thank you," she finally said pulling back and giving him a smile that could have put one of his to shame.
She turned her attention to the officers and went around the room with them sorting through the destruction and figuring out what was there and what was gone.
Ren pulled back to the edge of the room while Kyoko roamed through the wreckage of what likely amounted to everything she owned. At first he'd thought that the break-in was a product of Kyoko's growing popularity due to her role as Mio, but the destruction was definitely more malicious than a rabid fan finding their idol's home.
He heard a step behind him and glanced back to see Yashiro pushing through the officer's to get to him with his cell phone in a gloved hand. "The President's calling, he said you weren't picking up your cell phone," Yashiro said.
Ren blinked and realized he'd left his cell phone in the car once they'd reached Darumaya and accepted the phone. "This is Tsuruga."
"Ren, what's going on? People at the studio said that Mogami-kun was upset and that you'd shown up to pick her up personally."
Lory Takarada's voice was unusually serious and Ren's hand clenched around the receiver for a moment while he composed his answer. "Someone broke into Mogami-san's room and destroyed almost everything she owned and stole Princess Rosa," he finally reported.
"A fan?" the president asked.
"I…I don't know," Ren replied. "With the destruction, I'm inclined to say no."
"Is Mogami-kun okay?" he asked.
Ren watched Kyoko move around the room for a long moment, he could see that the mask was starting to waver and he hoped that it would be done soon. "So far," he said. "The room won't be livable before the end of tonight though."
"We'll have to find somewhere for her to stay, perhaps Kotonami-san's…" Lory said thoughtfully.
"I'll take her to my apartment tonight," Ren stated. "She can stay in my guest room until we figure something else out."
"Very well," Lory said. "I will see what I can come up with here for a permanent solution."