A/n Sorry that this update was so long in coming. I've been working on other things, but I wanted to get to this as well. As I said before there is fluff ahead to counteract the emotional onslaught of the previous chapter. Enjoy! R and R. Thanks for the faves, follows, and reviews they make me really happy and proud that people are liking what I write.
Ren woke to the feeling of a pair of hands shaking him. He opened one eye about halfway to see if he deemed the person shaking him worthy to wake for. It was at the moment that he saw Kyoko that the memories of what had happened flooded his mind and he couldn't help the blush that came over his features. He knew that she wouldn't tease him about what had happened, but even being aware of that didn't stop him from feeling embarrassed about the actions that he had taken when they had arrived at his apartment.
It took him a second to realize that Kyoko was squirming, trying to escape her position under him, due to the fact that he was pinning her to the bed with his body. He attributed the slow realization of that to the fact that he had just woken up. That state of just having awakened was also at fault for him not realizing that the soft sounds that he was hearing was her speaking to him. He was sure that he had missed some words because, normally, Kyoko didn't start speaking with the middle of a sentence.
"...need to get up," was what he caught. Ren frowned and considered the words; trying to understand just why Kyoko needed to move from where she was. "I have to go!" she said frantically, pushing at him again. His heart nearly stopped before he realized she didn't mean that she needed to leave the apartment.
Quick as he could he moved over on the bed and once freed she dashed off to the bathroom. Ren stretched and got out of the bed recognizing his own rather pressing need of the toilet. The alarm clock on his beside showed that it was six in the evening, that more than explained the call of nature. He was relatively certain that when they had left the set it was still morning. He was preoccupied by his thoughts and fears at the time, but based on his memory of where the sun was when they we getting into the vehicle, he figured that it been late morning or early afternoon. So they had been asleep for at least five hours if not a full six.
When he heard the flush of the toilet, he made his way to the bathroom door. A few seconds later Kyoko emerged and Ren couldn't help taking a moment to stare. Somehow he had forgotten her state of undress. While he had not been in the mindset to appreciate it before, due to his emotional breakdown, he could now. Most of her upper body was on full display and the lacy black bra did little to conserve her modesty. Her legs were still covered with the pants and he idly wondered if her panties matched the bra.
Moments later his gaze snapped to her face and he blushed. They had discussed the future and eventually they would get to a place where she was comfortable with his admiring gazes and physical intimacy. Unfortunately, that time was not right now.
It took him a second to realize that she had not gotten flustered or ran away. She was blushing, but she looked like she was struggling against laughter. He found out why soon enough when his bladder reminded him that it needed emptying. While his mind had been distracted his bladder hadn't and he became aware that he had been shifting from foot to foot and clutching his pants in a rather immature rendition of the potty dance.
'Well here is something else that I will never live down,' he thought as he dashed into the bathroom. Well the one good thing that came from the situation was that the need to urinate was strong enough to prevent a rather noticeable sign of attraction. She hadn't vanished when he had checked her out, but he wasn't sure how she would have responded if she had seen him like that and it would have been infinitely more difficult to calm down enough to relieve himself.
When he finished and had washed his hands, he stared at the closed door wondering how to face Kyoko. In the space of about a forth of a day he had done quite a few things that deeply embarrassed him. With a soft thump his head connected with the door. Well he couldn't stay in the bathroom all day, that was a certainty. Also he was wasting time, they had the rest of the day together since neither of them had jobs since they were supposed to be the siblings for the day.
Ren opened the door and walked out with all the intensity of one expecting to face the guillotine. What he found instead was so opposite to his expectation that he was surprised that he didn't suffer whiplash. Kyoko was in the kitchen cooking, she had removed the Setsu wig and was dressed in a pair of modest shorts that were peeking from underneath a shirt that was his.
Ren simply stood there as she made the eggs and buttered the toast. When she turned around he saw her blush. "I'm sorry for taking one of your shirts without permission," she said quietly. "I didn't have a spare in my bag and I didn't want to put back on the Setsu outfit, but I-"
That was the moment that he cut her off. "No, Kyoko-chan, it's perfectly fine for you to use my things. Anything here that you want or need is yours including my wardrobe." His words were polite, but his eyes were committing her image to memory. The pure sight of her in his clothing was, in a way, more intimate and seductive than her Setsu attire. It also help that the shirt was a jersey that he had gotten as a gift from a photo shoot several years ago. He had never been happier for that specific article of clothing. He wondered if he would be able to convince her to use it as a night shirt when she stayed over.
Kyoko was happy that Ren was not mad at her for borrowing his shirt. In fac,t she would say that he was pleased to see her in it. She turned from him to set the table so that she could hide her smile. Ren needed something to be happy about and she thanked whatever deity had allowed a jersey to be the smallest top in Ren's closet. Kyoko was going to have to be sure to tell Kanae about what had happened since it was that very girl whose advice Kyoko had acted on.
"Oh one more thing," Kanae had said the day that she had cornered Kyoko in the LoveMe room. "If you want and or need to cheer Tsuruga up, try wearing one of his shirts. If possible a jersey of some sort. Don't ask though."
"But Moko-san, I can't inconvenience Ren-san like that," Kyoko said with a blush at the very notion. "It would be very rude and inconsiderate for me to do something like that!"
"It won't inconvenience him one bit, trust me." Kanae said with an almost scary smile and then the girl let out a rather sinister chuckle. After a jaunty wave she left a rather puzzled Kyoko behind in the LoveMe locker room.
After seeing how embarrassed Ren was about the things that had happened she had gone into his room to put on a shirt and had remembered Kanae's advice. Then she decided to make a light meal with the food available in Ren's kitchen. There was an appalling lack of food so she made do with some eggs and bread.
For a moment she feared that she had made a mistake following her friend's advice, but Ren's reaction had shown her that it was not a bad thing to do and doing it had given him something other than his embarrassment to concentrate on.
They had just finished their meal in companionable silence, on Kyoko's part, and suppressing new fantasies, on Ren's part, when the door bell rang. Ren got up to see who was at the door and found both Kuu and Julie there was several bags and suitcases.
"You're moving in?" he asked as he let them both inside.
Kuu shook his head. "The director of Tragic Marker had the hotel room packed up for you. Lory was going to send Sebastian, but we asked to be allowed to deliver the bags so that we could see that the two of you were alright."
Ren suddenly found himself unable to look at Kuu and Julie. "Things are better, but it's going to take some time until the fear starts to leave." Already he was dreading the start of a new day. Kyoko had her jobs and he had his. The whole time that they were apart he would be afraid that something would happen to her and that he was lose her. It was almost debilitating and the only thing that kept him from curling into a ball and becoming despondent was the fact that it would hurt and worry Kyoko and all the others that were close to him.
A stuttering sound behind him caused Ren to turn around. Kyoko was standing there blushing redder than he had ever seen and stuttering a word that sounded like father. Kuu practically teleported over to her and held her tightly. Kyoko looked surprised for a moment and Ren could see tears forming in her eyes, then she submitted and hugged Kuu back, looking smaller as she embraced the man.
"We were so worried," Julie whispered as she watched the hug. Ren could see that she was barely retraining herself from hugging him in the same way that Kuu was to Kyoko.
Ren embraced her and held her as she cried both because she was hugging her son for the first time in years and because her son and the woman that was so close to both her son and her husband were safe. When Julie pulled away she looked over and found herself watched by both Kyoko and Kuu. There was a slight scowl on Kyoko's face and she feared that she had done something to upset the girl. Was she not aware of her relationship to Ren?
Ren saw Kyoko's scowl as well and walked the few steps over to where she stood. "Kyoko-chan is something wrong?"
"It's not fair," she mumbled.
"What's not fair?" he asked reaching for her hand, although, he was still puzzled.
She pulled away from him and pointed at Kuu, then Julie, and finally at Ren. "None of you are human. I always though Corn was a fairy and now I'm sure that he is. That is the only way to explain how all three of you can cry and look so worried and still look picture perfect and ready to walk the runway. Normal people can't do that!" she concluded.
For a moment there was complete silence in the apartment. Then Ren, Julie, and Kuu looked around at one another and began to laugh. Julie walked over to Kyoko and ruffled her hair. "You are so adorable," the woman said as she hugged the girl.
"Stop hogging my daughter all to yourself," Kuu said with all the petulance of a child that has had a favorite toy taken by another child. "I know that she is so cute that she is irresistible, but she was mine first." he said with a pout.
Ren cleared his throat. "Dad, please stop acting like a child. You got your hug and now mom is getting hers. Anyway, when all is said and done I am the one she cares about the most. Right Kyoko-chan?" he said with the true smile that made Kyoko feel like she had swallowed a mouthful of warm honey. This of course only served to fluster her more and he was sure that she would have been running about the apartment bopping herself on the head if Julie had relinquished the hold that she still had on her.
"You're so mean Ren-san," Kyoko pouted when she had calmed down a little.
"Yeah you are really mean, my idiot son," Kuu agreed with a huge smile. Then he proceeded to give said son a noogie. This, of course, led to a bout of play wrestling. Kyoko giggled as she watched the spectacle of two grown men, father and son, wrestle like school children. Julie pulled Kyoko to her so that Kyoko's back was against her front. "They are idiots," the woman said fondly.
"Yes," Kyoko agreed softly.
"Thank you for bringing him back to us," Julie said.
Kyoko looked away from the men to gaze at her shoulder shoulder where Julie was resting her head.
"He communicated with us for the first time in years and he mentioned that you were part of the reason that he was able to do it. He loves you and Kuu does too. I'm sure that it won't be long until I am in the same boat with them. I meant what I said I am grateful that you brought him back to us and that you really are adorable." Julie seemed to pause for a moment before deciding to add to what she had said. "Also, I would very much enjoy it if you would call me 'mom' or some variation of it. Kuu told me about the glimpses that he had gotten into the life that you had with your mother and I would very much like to take on the honor that she threw away,"
"Really?" Kyoko asked so softly that it was quieter than a whisper.
Julie had to rein in the anger she felt that a mother would let her child get to a point that the child reacted with such disbelief to the idea that people could care. "Of course I meant it." she said softly holding the girl a little tighter.
Kyoko closed her eyes and ignored the tears that escaped the closed lids. She couldn't believe it. She had a family, these wonderful people and so many others cared about her and she was sure that he heart would burst from all the happiness. Somehow she didn't notice that Julie had, at some point, led her to the sofa and pulled her so that she was laying on the piece of furniture with her head in the lap of the other woman. "Sleep well," she heard and then she was asleep.
After he finished wrestling his old man Ren walked over to where his mother and Kyoko were on the couch. "Hey," he began in a normal volume of voice only to be shushed by his mother. That was when he saw that Kyoko was asleep. He frowned, she couldn't be tired, after all, they had gotten quite a bit of sleep a little while ago. Unless... "She wasn't asleep," he mumbled. When he had woken up, both in the hotel and in his bed, she was already awake. What if she hadn't slept at all and had instead spent the time watching over him? He was sure she had rested a bit at the hotel, but it couldn't have been restful since it was only a little while after the accident had occurred. Ren had no such assurances that she had rested when they had lain in his bed together,
"I don't deserve her," he sighed as he gently touched her face.
"Probably not, but the question is do you love her?" his mother said.
"More than I ever thought possible," he answered truthfully.
"Then I think the both of you will be just fine."
Ren smiled at his mother. It might be a few years before he could publicly announce to the world who his parents were, but the distance that he had put between himself and them would be erased. He missed his parents and he had a lot of apologizing to do for the grief that he had put them through. For now though, for this moment, he would treasure the feeling of the four of them in the same space. The past made a person, but a future, that was fought for, had the power to reshape a person. His past had made him into Tsuruga Ren and he had let it define him. Now, he had hope and love and he would use that to reshape himself as well as his future.