I've written a lot about insecure Kyoko lately. Have some insecure Kuon! I own nothing.

Kuon had a rare night off, but Kyoko did not. That left him alone in his apartment, trying to distract himself with a script. The characters on the page should have made sense to him. He should have been able to focus. Maybe if he had not gotten out his whiskey to help him relax, he could have passed the hours with his script. Kyoko was supposed to be here tonight. They were supposed to be having dinner together, and then cuddling up for a movie afterwards. She was supposed to doze off leaning up against him, and he was supposed to have to figure out if he should wake her up or just carry her to the guest room. None of that happened tonight, though, because she got called in for an emergency reshoot. Technical errors, or something like that. She had apologized profusely when she had told him, but they both knew that it was not her fault. And, after all, they were professionals. So he should have been taking advantage of this free time to study his scripts.

Except… he had never realized how large, how empty his apartment felt until Kyoko had started coming over for their weekly date nights. Now, sitting on his floor with a script in one hand and a tumbler of whiskey in the other, he could almost hear the echo of his own breathing. It didn't make sense; Kyoko was so small, and she did not really make that much noise (spontaneous dogezas aside). So why did his apartment feel like an empty cavern without her? Why could he hear the drip-drip-drip of the bathroom faucet he kept meaning to email the repair people about?

Why was it so cold?

He shook his head and sipped his drink. He was being ridiculous. His apartment was exactly the same as it had been when he had moved in years ago. The only difference was that now, Kyoko came over around once a week. They could not date in public yet, after all. That was the only difference… that Kyoko came, and brought sunlight with her. He stared into his glass and could swear he saw an image of her smiling up at him, wearing the apron he'd bought her as she tried to teach him the right way to cut an onion. She'd been so cute that he'd almost lost a fingertip, and she'd confiscated his knife. He lifted the glass to his lips, wanting to kiss her, but drank her image instead.

How long, he wondered as he poured himself another glass, would this be allowed to continue? How long would he be lucky enough to have her before she realized the truth? She'd stayed when he told her who he really was. How long until the novelty of having her fairy prince back wore off? How long until she realized she could do so much better?

His script was somehow on the floor, and he picked it up again, wanting to distract himself. But the characters danced in on the page, and he realized he was crying. Crap. How much had he had to drink? He didn't think it had been that much, but here he was, scrubbing at his eyes.

He tried to focus on his script again, but all he could think about was Kyoko. Kyoko, with her bright eyes and endless determination. Kyoko, who once had come to him late at night for acting help. Kyoko, who still somehow thought of him as some sort of acting god. What was going to happen when she came to him with a problem he couldn't help her solve? Would that shatter her image of him? Would she still look at him the same way when she realized that he wasn't an acting god, but a broken man? She put him on such a pedestal - even now, even knowing all about his past. Even knowing all his faults.

How long would it be until the pedestal crumbled beneath him, crushing her in the process?

He couldn't let that happen. He had to do better - be who she thought he was. He couldn't - he shouldn't be sitting here, crying on his apartment floor as it grew dark outside. Tsuruga Ren wouldn't do that, and that's who she'd fallen for, right? The Tsuruga Ren, he had heard her say more than once. That's who he had to be. Tsuruga Ren, not Hizuri Kuon. Maybe then he could be desired, not just admired. Maybe then he could start being worthy of her affection… maybe then, she might be willing to stay.

"Corn?" a soft voice asked, and he just about jumped out of his skin.

He looked around wildly and found Kyoko kneeling next to him, a look of concern on her face. He was glad that his glass was empty, because he'd knocked it over. "How - what -?" He hadn't even heard her come in. "How long have you been here?"

"I just got here. Are you… are you okay?" She reached out to him then, her hand ghosting over his cheek with such tenderness that he almost started crying again.

"I… yeah. Just - thinking." He needed to be better, do better. Kyoko had more than enough to deal with already. He didn't need to show her how damaged he was.

She didn't believe him; so much for being an actor. "About what?" Her hand came to rest on his cheek, cupping it. God, how long had it been since someone had touched him like this when he wasn't acting? It was all he could do to keep from leaning into her hand, from curling up and laying his head on her lap.

"Life. Us. Acting." His filter wasn't working very well. He could feel her freeze at his second word - great, he had scared her. That wasn't what he meant to do. "Nothing bad."

"Don't lie to me, Kuon," she whispered. "You promised you wouldn't lie to me ever again, when you told me your name."

That broke him. He really did collapse forward then, curling up so his head landed on her perfectly kneeling legs, and wept. Wept because he broke his promise. Because she would leave him. Because he couldn't be the man she deserved. Because he'd had too much to drink tonight, and this was what he thought about. Because he could feel time moving, could feel it taking away what could be his last moments with her.

"Oh, Kuon…." Her fingers came to tangle in his hair. "How much did you drink?"

He shook his head. He didn't think he'd had that much, not really. But it was enough to break his mask, the one he still wore, even around her. That was gone now, and he didn't think he'd be able to put it back on ever again. "I'm sorry," he choked out, "I'm so sorry."

She didn't say anything, just helped him unfold himself so he was lying on the floor with his head still in her lap. She produced a hankie from somewhere he couldn't see and handed it to him. All the while, one of her hands stayed on his head, stroking his hair. The steady movement calmed him, and eventually his breathing evened out.

"I'm sorry," he said again, his voice hoarse.

"What happened?" she asked softly. Not a demand for an answer, but an invitation.

"I think too much," he muttered.

"So do I."

"I just - I don't want to disappoint you," he forced himself to say. He needed to be honest with her, even if that was what drove her away. He had promised, after all, to never lie to her again. He risked a glance at her and saw the confusion in her eyes.

"I don't think you could. I mean, you're you."

"That's the thing - am I? Am I everything you think I am, everything you want me to be, or am I just a bunch of broken pieces shambling around pretending to be a person?"

There was far too much understanding in her eyes. "Corn…."

"No, really. I'm not - I'm not what you want me to be, Kyoko. I know I'm not. I'm not some acting god or whatever it is you say. I'm just… just some guy. Some guy who's in love with you."

Her cheeks flared up brightly enough that he could see them, even in the dim lighting.

"I just wish… I want to be desired, not admired, Kyoko." He knew then that there was no going back, that his mask was forever gone with her. That maybe the alcohol had loosened his tongue too much. "I'm just a person. And I love you."

"I love you, too," she whispered, not quite brave enough to speak those words aloud yet. "But I think you need to go to bed."

He shook his head, and became very aware of the fact that his head was still on her thighs. It took him back to that Dark Moon trailer nap when he had not slept a wink, when he had first been healed by her touch.

"You have work tomorrow, Kuon. You need to sleep."

He shook his head again.

"Why not?"

"Because you'll leave."

She smiled down at him, confused. "It's too late to get a cab. I was going to use your guest room." Her expression grew shy. "I know I shouldn't have come when filming wrapped so late, but… I wanted to see you." She ran her thumb over his cheek, brushing away a stray tear. "And I think you needed to see me, too."

He nodded and turned onto his stomach so he could reach up and wrap his arms around her waist. "Don't leave."

"I wasn't planning on it."

"Don't leave me," he said, this time in a whisper.

"I won't," she said, and ran her fingers through his hair again. "Just don't hide from me."

He nodded against her stomach.

"Okay," she said after a few minutes, "let's get you to bed."

She helped him stand and shuffle to his bedroom, then waited outside while he changed. He was more relieved than he should have been when he opened the door to find her still standing there. She helped him get settled, then stood to go to the guest room.

"Wait," he begged. "Stay with me. At least until I fall asleep."

So she had sat back down and held one of his hands in both of hers. He woke up a couple of hours later to find her slumped over next to him, fast asleep. He wrapped her in one of his blankets and laid her down next to him, making sure she was comfortable. When he laid back down, she reached out for him in her sleep. Who was he to deny her?

In the morning, they would talk about his fears, and she would share some of hers. There would be more tears - and some laughter over the fact that their fears were much the same. They would get into Yashiro's car a little tired, but closer than ever before.

And Kuon would know that around her, he could truly be himself.

I hope you enjoyed this! (For anyone who caught it, yes, that was a reference to "Nothing New" by Taylor Swift.)