But when you see her fight with that Fuwa so familiarly, it hurts, to the point where you are tempted to tell her you are Kuon. You feel like the outsider, the other man, who was never meant to be there. [RenxKyouko]
by street Kid
To you, she is illegal, forbidden to be touched, and yet, you wait just for her, hoping that one day –soon – she will awake from her obliviousness, and realise. That you like her.
You watch her a lot. And now, you know her every expression and remark, the way her hair falls in front of her face when she's depressed, and the sweet smile when she's embarrassed. You know her favourite insults to brand her childhood friend (ex-friend, you think) Fuwa Shou, you know the causes of her dangerous aura, and when she is fighting an inner battle. You can read her like (better than) a book.
You've watched her enough to see how much she has improved since she first arrived at the company. She has a whole new attitude to define herself. She no longer asks you for help, but rather, deals with her problems herself. And somehow, you feel rather sad that she does so. When she sees you watching her, she smiles, and then laughs, waving, before heading over to talk to you. You. Not Him.
But when you see her fight with that Fuwa so familiarly, it hurts, to the point where you are tempted to tell her you are Kuon. But you don't. It's your past now. You feel like the outsider, the other man, who was never meant to be there.
Fuwa smirks at you. He thinks he has beaten you already, but you're not going to give up. You had decided long ago, that even if fate had set the two of them up, you are ready to fight fate itself.
You think that it's unfair how she acts so formal around you, bowing her head and thanking you unnecessarily for so many times. You want her to change that. Because why the hell should Fuwa be called Shoutaro, and you be called 'Tsuruga-san'?
"Kyouko." Her name slips from your lips, and she turns to you in slight shock, before her face melts into that heart-gripping smile you have always been attracted to.
She is the epitome of innoncence.
"Tsuruga-san." You twitch. She said it again. You try to make it sound casual, and not embarrassing at the same time.
"Eh?" Her eyebrows scrunch up adorably (and you realise just how much you cannot stop watching her).
You cough into your hand, a small haze spreading across your cheeks. "Call me… Ren."
And she smiles again. Just for you.
You smile back. You could never get sick of her.
You know that one day, when she becomes a first-class actress (and you are sure this will happen, because after all, she has been in you and your father's care), that men will be after her in flocks. You have to get to her before anyone else does.
Yashiro wonders out loud if you have made any more moves on her yet. You refuse to comment, and his face lights up in pure, childish delight. You snort. But his face reminds you so much of her –that innocent look when she is lost in the world of fairies. And so you unconsciously let yourself smile gently.
She is just too adorable for you to handle. It's the reason why you never let Yashiro let you two be alone. Because you always have that (tempting) urge to gather her in your arms, and stay that way. But you steel yourself – because she might not like it, and that's what makes you so weak and hesitant. It's the reason why you just might lose to Fuwa Shoutaro.
And you think she's awfully stupid. Stupid enough to not realise your feelings for her. She still does not know, and you are getting impatient. The rose for her birthday, resting on her lap – you could not have been any more obvious. You can't wait for so long. There is a limit to patience. And your limit has come to its end.
She comes to your apartment again, looking depressed and down – and you know because you've seen that expressions so many times. You push a mug of coffee into her hand, and she thanks you a lot more half-heartedly than usual. You stay silent for a while, watching her a bit more, before you finally let out a short sigh.
The way she jumps at your voice makes you a little more unnerved.
"Kyouko?" She sets the mug down, and breathes in deeply.
You tilt your head a little to the right.
"Confused?" She looks up and nods.
Your heart beats a little louder than necessary, and you wonder if she has finally realised.
"Shou – Shoutaro told me… "and immediately, your heart deflates in size, "He told me –"
"He likes you."
Her head shoots up in astonishment. "You knew?"
You choose not to answer. And she plunges forward. "I didn't know what to say. Because… he used me and now…"
That's right, you think, that's right Kyouko. He's lost his chance. He had no right to use you for granted.
"And why are you confused?" She frowns prettily.
"Even I'm not sure."
You suddenly find yourself standing over her, and she looks at you with a soft look of confusion.
You want to sit back down and tell her it's nothing, that you were just going to get up to go to the toilet, or that you were going to fill up her cup. But you do neither of these, and instead, you step closer, pulling her up by her arms. You've waited too long.
You bend down, only just realising how short she is, and kiss her. All this time she is backing away, and then sags in your hold with unbalance and shock when you close your eyes. This is not acting. She responds slowly, completely unsure and uncertain, and you smirk slightly. Still inexperienced.
When she finally breaks away for breath, her head rests at your chest, and you comb a hand through her light hair, a little miffed you cannot see her face.
"Why?" It sounds softer than a whisper. "Why?" It becomes a distressed cry.
You have the urge to crack your head against the coffee table, and shout obscenities into the night. Her innocence is starting to annoy you. "Isn't it obvious enough?"
She murmurs her disagreement.
"I –," you raise your hand to rub your chin, unsure of how to break it. Perhaps being blunt will cut it right. "I like you."
You feel her stiffen in your grip, and you know she is overcome by surprise once again.
"No… you can't." Your forehead creases in anger and confusion, and you push her chin up with a finger.
"Why not?" you ask with the tiniest hint of outrage, words raising several tones, "Is it because I'm not good enough? Is it because Fuwa Shou is better than me?" Why is it that when you confess, things turn bad?
"No…" Tears leak through the edges of her eyes, and you immediately regret raising your voice at her, because you've never been the one to make her cry. "It's just – Tsuruga-san deserves more."
You stare at her, mouth slightly agape. How could she say this, you think.
"Tsuruga-san… you're a first-class actor. M-me? I'm hardly known. Tsu – mmf," You kiss her again, to stop the endless flow of self-deprecation, to stop her doubting anymore.
"It doesn't matter." Your words are drawn out in determination and stubbornness. "I don't care."
She leans against you once more, and you see the dark flush flooding her face. You have a feeling she is going to protest again.
But no more words are said.
You've won. You feel triumphant, and happy. Ecstatic even.
And only then, do you realise, you don't just like her. It's that abnormal feeling the President has said you have never felt with anyone before.
You love her.
You truly do.
A/N This is my first Skip Beat fic… So I'd like to know what you think. Reviews are appreciated.
LAST REVISED – 07.07.09 Thank you for all the compliments and criticism. The story has been edited a tiny bit, but not too much as to change the story line.