Hello and welcome to my entry for Kyoko/Ren Week 2020! Today's word is "chance." I own nothing!
Kyoko unlocked the door to the apartment and stepped inside, flipping through the mail. As usual, it was mostly junk - some for her, some for Kanae - but there was an envelope for both of them from their landlord. That was strange; they had just paid rent. Why would their landlord need to send them anything? She took off her shoes and put them away, then went to see if Kanae was back.
The two had been living together for a few months now. Kyoko couldn't stay in the Darumaya anymore - it just wasn't safe enough, and her weird working hours meant that she risked waking up taisho and okami-san whenever she got home. So she and Kanae had decided to get an apartment. It was cheaper than each having one of her own - and any place that could keep out the Kotonami horde could keep out the press. Besides, Kyoko hadn't been ready to move in with Kuon yet. Or deal with the paparazzi finding out that they were together. That was a mess she didn't want to handle yet. Eventually she would - but hopefully by then, she'd be a more established actress.
"MOKO!" Kyoko launched herself at Kanae, who was glaring back and forth between two scripts on the couch.
Kanae whipped out her hand, stopping Kyoko with a practiced ease. "Mo, can't you ever greet me normally?"
"But I missed you! I didn't get to see you this morning before I left for school!" she plopped down next to her on the couch. "Picking scripts?"
"Mmm-hmm. Dramas. They'd both be good, but the filming schedules mean I can only pick one." She dropped them on the couch with a sigh. "Anything good in the mail?"
"Just junk, but there's a note from the landlord." She held up the little envelope. "Do you think we got something wrong when we paid rent this month?"
"Doubt it. Just open it and see what she wants." Kanae leaned her head against the back of the sofa. Please don't let it be anything bad.
Kyoko ripped open the envelope and skimmed it. She gasped, "Fumigation?"
"What?" Kanae's head snapped up. She leaned against Kyoko and skimmed it. "Damn it, those weirdos on the fourth floor ordered a cockroach farm and then set them loose? And didn't tell anyone for weeks?"
"We have to be out of here tomorrow? And she's telling us now?" Kyoko stared indignantly at the piece of paper. "What are we supposed to do? Where are we going to go?"
Kanae groaned. "You'd think that she'd give us more notice."
"Where are we going to go?" Kyoko repeated, a note of panic in her voice. "The Darumaya isn't safe enough, and you're way more recognizable than I am!"
"And my extended family's in town this week. I don't know if there's still space for me there, let alone you." She sighed. "And Chiorin's abroad."
"Hotels are so expensive, too," Kyoko whimpered. "I don't think we could afford that."
Kanae took a deep breath. "Okay, before you start panicking - and don't look at me like that, we both know you were two sentences from a freak-out - let's make some calls. I'll call the brood and see if they have space. You call someone else, you have more friends. Maybe try Maria-chan."
"She's visiting her father," Kyoko said, twisting her fingers together. "And I don't know if there's anyone else who would be willing to let me or us stay. Sure, people are friendly, but the only other friend friend I have is Ren. And that wouldn't really be appropriate, all things considered."
"Fine, we'll take our chances with the brood. Go get changed, you're still in your uniform, and then start packing. We have to be out of here tomorrow either way." Kanae waved her away, then dug out her cell and dialed the home phone. It was picked up almost instantly. "Hey, it's Kanae. No, shut up a second and listen. So my apartment's…."
Kyoko scurried away to do as she was bid, mind spinning. What were they going to do? Where were they going to stay? Sure, Kuon probably wouldn't mind her staying - they had lived in a hotel room together, for crying out loud - but would he be okay with Moko, too? Well, probably, but…. Kyoko paused halfway through hanging up her uniform skirt. What if he was too okay with it? She trusted both of them - she knew that Kuon wouldn't cheat on her and that Moko would never betray her like that. She did. But she also knew firsthand how wonderful both of them were. It wouldn't take a genius to choose one of them over me. What if she was getting in the way of their possible happiness? And if they stayed with him, would that make them realize it? She didn't think she could survive losing both of them.
Kanae's voice broke through her swirling worries. "No luck with the brood, unless we want to sleep on the bare floor with the toddlers. Which, let me tell you from experience, we don't." She raised an eyebrow from her vantage point in the doorway to Kyoko's room. "Okay, what's wrong? I can tell you're spiralling."
Kyoko hesitated, then said in a rush, "Please-don't-fall-in-love-with-Ren!"
Kanae just blinked at her. "Why the hell would I fall in love with him?"
"Because - because!" Kyoko finished hanging up her skirt and turned to face her, hands flapping. "You're both so wonderful, and you would look so good together, and you'd make such a power couple in the acting world! And -"
"Stop." Kanae held up a hand. "I don't know where this came from, but just… no. First off, no matter who it was, I would never go after your boyfriend. You're my best friend. Second, I have no interest in dating anyone right now. Maybe ever. Third, the only conversations I have ever had with him have been about you or with you. Fourth, I don't think there's a woman on this entire planet that would make that man look at anyone but you. Fifth, and do not make me say this again-" she glared at Kyoko, whose eyes were now bright with tears, "-you are also wonderful. You two look amazing together, and you are going to be a power couple in the acting world."
"I'm sorry, Moko!" Kyoko wailed, throwing herself at her best friend. "I know you would never and he would never but I just…!"
Kanae caught her, letting Kyoko sob into her shoulder. "Yeah, yeah. I know. We have seriously got to work on that insecurity of yours. Now, as much as I hate to say it, you need to call him and see if you can stay. I'll deal with the brats, but there's literally no reason for both of us to have to wake up covered in snot."
When Kyoko had dried her eyes, she said, "I could ask him if we could both stay. The guest room has two beds."
Kanae, long used to Kyoko's quick recovery times, nodded. "I guess it would be better than bunking with the brats. But I'll be alright either way." I'm not sure if I want to deal with you two being all lovey-dovey… but I don't want to deal with toddlers, either.
Kyoko smiled as Kanae went to start packing. Okay, I don't need to worry. I knew that. I need to look at this differently - this is a chance to spend the week with my two favorite people! She fished her phone out of her bag and dialled.
Kuon had just gotten back to his dressing room when his phone rang. His face lit up when he saw Kyoko's name on the screen, and Yashiro made himself scarce. Kuon ignored his manager's gleeful chuckles and answered, "Hello, princess."
"Hi!" Her voice was nervous; that was never good. "How was your day?"
"Good, work's going smoothly and now I get to talk to you earlier than usual." He glanced at his watch; they usually didn't talk for another three hours. "I'm guessing your day hasn't been so calm."
The line was silent for a long moment, which worried him, before Kyoko blurted, "Moko's and my apartment is getting fumigated and we have to leave tomorrow, but we don't really know where to go so can we stay with you?"
"You know you're always welcome, Kyoko." He went to run a hand through his hair, but stopped himself. He didn't want the hairstylist scolding him.
"Is… is it okay if Moko stays, too? Because she's got family in from out of town so she would have to sleep with the little kids on the floor, and I'm sorry we're imposing so much but I promise I'll do all the cooking and -"
"Kyoko," he interrupted, "Kotonami-san is welcome as well. She's your best friend." Even if I'm going to have to compete with her for your attention.
"Thank you so much!" she gushed, relief evident in her voice. "I really appreciate this. I don't know what else we would have done."
A knock on the door signalled he would be needed in five. "Text me the details, okay? I need to get changed and get back to set."
"Of course! I'm sorry I interrupted you at work. Good luck!"
He smiled. Some things never change. "I was on break, so no worries."
She laughed. "Alright. Thank you again! I love you."
"I love you, too. Bye, princess."
Kanae had just finished packing her dufflebag when Kyoko knocked on her open door. She glanced up to see a brilliant smile. "Good news, I take it?"
"Ren said that we can both stay with him. I managed to catch him on a break, so we didn't get to talk long, but I just texted him the details." She bounced on the balls of her feet. "Wow, you pack fast!"
"That's awfully nice of him." Considering that I barely know him, this is absolutely just for Kyoko's sake. Good. "And you need to pack, too. Get what you'll need for the week and then start gathering up the plants. We can't leave them here during the fumigation. I'll go start packing up our food. It won't last a week, so we'll need to take it with us."
"Yes! He was really understanding about the situation." Kyoko tilted her head. "The old cooler from taisho and okami-san is in the coat closet. Do you think everything will fit?"
"I can make it fit." Kanae stood. "Go pack. Tomorrow's going to be a long day."
The next evening found a heavily disguised Ren knocking at their apartment door. He had already dropped a giddy Yashiro off at home, not wanting to deal with his teasing for a second longer. His manager's glee was only marginally dampened by the fact that Kyoko's overprotective, possessive best friend was also staying the week. In fact, he seemed to think that it was a good thing, since it would keep Ren in check. As if he hadn't had plenty of practice doing just that when they were playing the Heels. So no, Yashiro, I don't need another pair of hands. I can help the girls carry everything on my own, thank you. He knocked.
The door swung open and a frazzled Kotonami Kanae thrust a heavy rack of plants into his hands. "Hi, thank you, take the plants."
"Hello, Kotonami-san-" but she was already gone, leaving the door open. He went to step inside, but in moments Kanae and Kyoko were in front of him, each with a duffle over their shoulders and carrying a cooler between them. "Hello, princess."
Kanae hurried Kyoko through the door, then locked it behind them. Kyoko looked up at him apologetically. "Hi. The cockroaches came through the drains."
"Ah. Hence the speedy escape." He gestured to the cooler with the plant box. "Here, I can put the plants on the cooler."
Kyoko hesitated, but Kanae was more than happy to let Ren carry it. As far as she was concerned, this week was her chance to truly put to the test whether or not this man was worthy of her best friend. Or at least good enough, because really, could anyone really be worthy of Kyoko? (No, not that she would ever admit that.) Besides, they had unfinished business from the Happy Grateful Party.
Kuon, to his credit, was aware of all of this. For him, this week wasn't just a chance to have a taste of what it would be like to live with Kyoko - it was a chance to ingratiate himself to her best friend. Neither of them would ever willingly leave Kyoko's life, so they might as well tolerate each other, for her sake.
Kyoko, unaware of all of this, set down the cooler. "Thank you, Ren." I need to remember to call him by his stage name this week.
She was rewarded with his heavenly smile as he set the plants on top of the cooler and started carrying them back to his car. "Of course, princess!"
Kanae managed to not roll her eyes as she followed the pair to his car. Of course he calls her princess. Well, this week is my chance to make sure he knows he had better treat her like a damn queen.
What do you think so far? Let me know!