Ohmmmfgh! Look what I did! Another advent calendar for you all to enjoy!…or not…

After the brilliant success of last year's idea I've decided to be all Hollywood-ish and make a spin-off!

(Don't look at me like that! Some of them are good…-________-)

Anyway! Yeah, so…you know the drill from last year - each chapter is a day in the story, there's an update each day because it's an ADVENT CALENDER (clue's in the name) and everything (I hope) should get concluded by the 25th!

This year I'm also going to take into account the day that it's set in (which was one of my regrets from last years) so on weekdays Kyoko will be going to SCHOOL! (Oh noes!)


Advent '08

December 1st - 24 days to go


Yashiro sighed heavily and ran his hand through his hair. The pale blond bangs fell back into exactly the same position and he scrunched his nose in silent protest against the feathery strands.

The small battery run clock ticked steadily and soothingly in the almost silent room. Yashiro took a quick look up at it before he went back to his work. Seven thirty. That was good, it was early and he was already well into his work.

Reaching for the next sheet of paper from the pile balanced precariously on his desk he quickly scanned it over. His eyes reached the bottom of the page before the words actually registered. He paused and blinked twice before cocking his head to the side. Had he read that right? He started again and this time read slowly down the page, his eyes still catching on the same sentence.

His tongue darted out and wet him bottom lip while he thought quickly. Sitting up straight he groaned as his back popped back into place. Forgetting about the sheet of paper in his hand for a moment due to the relief, he stretched a little, trying to work out all the kinks before collapsing back into his chair, a small, smug smile of contentment plastered upon his face.

He snuggled down into the comfy leather and thought of nothing for a moment whilst his muscles relaxed, his eyes dropping to half-mast before he caught a glimpse of the paper, still in his hand, and stiffened, effectively undoing all his hard work by relaxing, so to speak.

What was he going to do about this?

He sighed from his position and reluctantly sat up again. Trying to relax and not think about what that innocuous piece of paper contained was like trying to sunbathe in a thunderstorm.

Not Possible.

Massaging the back of his neck he ran his eyes over the text again before just staring at it with narrowed eyes and clenched jaw.

What that piece of paper contained…well…when Yashiro thought about it, he could come up with nothing better than liking it to a bombshell.

And he had no idea what to do with it at all.

He pinched the bridge of his nose as he felt the first beatings of a headache start up their dancing rhythm behind both of his eyes.

His glasses were annoying him so he took them off and ran the back of his hand over his forehead before pressing his fingers against his lips in contemplation.

It was explosive, that much was a given.

But…

He sniffed and glanced off to the side.

But…if he planned it right…

If he planned it right then he might be able to move his own plans along in the process.

His lips quirked upwards in a smirk as he thought about the possibilities.

His own plans…

They had been stuck at the same stage for months now and, if he was going to be honest, he was getting just a little frustrated with it all.

He had had it all worked out. Every single little thing had been meticulously planned. Every contingency had been dreamt up and solved, yet…

Yet, still, Ren had managed to scupper his hard work by just being stubborn.

…the idiot.

Yashiro sighed wistfully. If only Ren had followed his plans…

True, he didn't know anything about them so he couldn't follow a script and do exactly what he said…

Yashiro paused for a second and wondered about the possibility of actually writing a script for Ren to follow, before shaking himself.

No. That was not the answer. If he gave Ren a script then he would just skip to the end and read what happens…

…And then Ren would refuse to do it because he was stubborn and thought he knew what was best and what he was doing was for the good of everyone when all he was actually doing was confusing the people around him and making everything around ten times more difficult then they ever had to be.

…the idiot.

Yashiro rolled his eyes at the thought of his charge. If he wasn't his manager and hadn't signed that stupid form he would just go up to Ren and slap him upside the head to try and knock some sort of sense into him.

But he couldn't.

Stupid form.

He placed the glasses back onto his nose and read through the sheet once more before he smirked again.

Oh, it would be brilliant!

The smirk grew into a full blown grin.

If he timed everything just right…and this time planned around Ren's pig-headedness…then he might be able to get what he wanted after all.

And none of them would ever know!

A chuckle trickled from his lips as he leant back in his chair and thought about the ending. His ending.

It would be so great!

…No…not great…brilliant was a better word.

It would be absolutely brilliant!

And it would be all thanks to him!

The chuckle evolved into a laugh and he threw his head back, letting his mirth run it's course. After a few minutes his laughter died away and he was left panting, unable to catch his breath, with flushed cheeks and glassy eyes. He leant forward and placed the piece of, slightly crumpled, paper down onto his desk. His eyes flicked over to the paper calendar that was propped up by his light. The first of December? Good. That meant that he had almost a month to work in. But he would have to plan fast, as soon as possible really, so that he could take full advantage of all the opportunities when they presented themselves to him.

This time though…this time he was going to take a different approach to how he was going to go about it all. Instead of strictly planning everything, he was going to leave a little wiggle room. To be honest, that was the only thing he could think of to get around Ren.

And the president…

And Kyoko…

Yashiro sighed once again before he rustled about in his top draw, searching for the one thing that he would need throughout this all.

He made a small noise of elation as his fingers brushed against the cool leather and he slowly pulled the thick planner out, making sure that every loose leaf of paper that was just tucked in between the pages didn't fall out and scatter around the room.

He tenderly stroked the cover before opening it and flicking through the pages.

His precious planner…it had been with him through it all and it would be again.

He smirked once again to himself before he picked up his pen and started jotting down ideas.

---/---

When Kyoko arrived at the L.M.E. building that morning at seven-thirty she was met with a message from Mine-san, President Takarada's secretary, to immediately make her way to his office as he had made some (and she could quote) 'life altering decisions' in regards to her.

The first thing that crossed her mind was that the President had decided that she couldn't work in the company anymore.

She smiled politely at the messenger and took the small piece of paper with the message written on it. Inside, though, she was panicking slightly, thoughts running through her head about what she would do and wondering about what was going through the mind of the President.

She couldn't deal with this.

It was all very well trying to second guess someone but this wasn't just anybody she was trying to second guess. President Lory Takarada was one of the most crazy, energetic and animated person she had ever met in her entire life; even more so than she was!

As such, there was no possible way that she or anybody else could ever guess what was going through his mind.

She needed help.

What she really needed was someone who had been in the business for a long time and who interacted with the President personally.

A few people sprung instantly to mind but she knew of only one that had all of that and there was still a one hundred percent chance that they would actually talk to her and not patronise her worries.

She needed to go and see Yashiro.

She checked her watch. Seven thirty five. Good, she could go and call in at Yashiro's office and spend five minutes there on the way to seeing the President.

Kyoko nodded once to herself at her decision and made her way through the lobby to the employees staircase. There was hardly anybody in the building at this time, only those that worked as cleaning staff and workaholics were there.

A sleepy looking receptionist sat behind the front desk. Kyoko waved a good morning at her when she passed and she raised a hand in reply. Kyoko grinned. She loved this time of the morning, it was fresh and the air was clean. Well…cleaner than what it would be later on in the day when commuters clogged up the roads with their cars.

It reminded her of home.

Of a time when she was younger, when she had fewer worries and problems compared to the problems she had now and she liked that. Yes she had some terrible memories of that place but it reminded her that she was not alone.

That she had roots.

And it was always an uplifting feeling to look back on memories and know that they were an intrinsic part of you. To know that, no matter what happened, you could look back and know that there was a place that you had come from. To know that things had happened to you, good and bad, but that all those experiences helped build who you were now and that future experiences would help you grow into the person you wanted to be.

It was just too bad that every time she looked back on her childhood all she could see was Sho's irritating smirk. Sometimes she just wanted to wipe that look from his face. What had she ever saw in him?

Kyoko grimaced and fisted her hands.

Damn Sho and damn these feelings that she had whenever she thought of him. She had been trying to have a happy moment there to distract herself from the reason she was going to see Yashiro.

But no, she had to think of Sho and then she had to go and remember the note that the President sent and the whole reason she was here in the first place.

Stupid Sho. It was all his fault.

She started on the stairs and quickly made her way to the correct floor. When she turned onto the corridor she found it deserted. Most of the other doors that led off were locked and the windows darkened. The fluorescent lights buzzed loudly in the almost silence and Kyoko glanced about, her smile still on her face.

Now all she had to do was to remember which one of these door led to Yashiro's office.

Ah!

Kyoko's eyes brightened as she spotted the one door whose small glass window was lit up with a yellow glow.

As she made he way over to it her good mood diminished slightly as she was reminded, once again, of why she had made the decision to come and speak with Yashiro. She raised her hand and was about to rap upon the wooden door when the sound of chuckling made her pause.

She flexed her fingers, inches away from the doors surface, wondering what to do. She had only decided to call upon Yashiro because she needed some advice, but he seemed to be having a moment…

Kyoko stood, undecided for a moment, before she gritted her teeth and made her decision. She went to knock again but the chuckling turned to laughter and she flinched away.

What on earth was Yashiro doing?! That laugh sounded positively evil!

She frowned and lowered her hand. Whatever Yashiro was doing she wasn't sure she wanted to know.

She half turned away and stared at the staircase. She was worried about what the President wanted with her but…

Glancing warily at Yashiro's office door, from which the disturbing laughter could still be heard, she suppressed a small shiver that tried to crawl its way up her spine.

There was no way that she could tell the person sitting in that office her worries at this time. Whoever it was in there was not Yashiro, as Yashiro was not an evil, manipulative man and, judging by the sounds issuing from that office, that was exactly the type of person it contained at the minute.

With a small backwards glance, purely for her own safety of course, she quickly made her way back to the stairs.

She would just have to see the President without consulting with Yashiro.

For some reason, she just couldn't get rid of the foreboding feeling she had.

---/---

When Kyoko finally reached the President's office, Mine-san greeted her with a smile. Kyoko tried to look past the smile to whatever meaning was hidden behind but found herself too nervous to do much of anything except smile weakly back.

"Kyoko-chan! If you just want to go right through? President Takarada is expecting you."

Kyoko nodded and made her way over to the door. Knocking twice, she peeked through the gap, half expecting glitter to be thrown in her face. What she saw had her reeling backwards in shock.

The President of L.M.E. was just sitting behind his desk, calmly sipping green tea, wearing a plain dark brown suit.

A little voice, deep inside Kyoko, told her to run whilst she still could.

Instead, Kyoko waited patiently by the door until Lory motioned for her to enter and take a seat in front of his desk. She did so, nervousness clawing at her insides.

Lory chuckled at her, easing a little of her worries. After all, would the President be smiling if he was about to throw her out of the company?

Well…maybe. This was the President of L.M.E. after all, and he was known to be exuberant at the most oddest of times.

He placed his cup of tea back down onto the saucer and steepled his fingers.

"Do not look so worried, Kyoko-chan."

His smile increased when he saw some of the tension drain from her shoulders.

"Now then. I trust you got my message?"

The tension came back full force and Kyoko stared at him with wide eyes. Was this the part where he told her that her services were no longer required?

"I have come to a decision." He said, cutting through her worry. "And I have already agreed it with your head teacher. For the rest of December your timetable is going to change somewhat."

Kyoko stared at him, nonplussed. If she was going to be honest with herself, she could safely say that she had absolutely no clue as to what the President was talking about, nor what was going on.

The President picked up the only piece of paper on his desk and held it out to her, for her to take. She did so with only the slightest hint of trepidation. What was on the sheet made her frown in confusion. Lory leant back in his chair.

"As you can see," he explained "this is going to be your new timetable. December is our busiest month and I have found that we need all the help we can get. Your head teacher, fortunately, understood and has agreed to share you with us.

"From today, until the end of term, you'll be spending all day Monday and Wednesday at school. Tuesdays and Thursdays, you will spend the morning at school and the afternoon here. Fridays, you will be working at L.M.E. all day.

"Do you understand?"

Kyoko nodded her head. This was…unexpected, to say the least. Instead of L.M.E. wanting to get rid of her, they were actually negotiating for her to come in and work more often.

A small bloom of happiness opened in her stomach and her lips tilted in a smile.

They actually wanted her!

The President cleared his throat.

"As today is Monday, your teachers are expecting you in, though I am aware that they have been informed that you might be a little late."

Kyoko jumped, then glanced at her watch. The President was right! It was going on eight o'clock now and her school started at eight thirty. There was no way she was going to be able to make the fifty minute journey on time in rush-hour traffic. She stood up.

"I better get going then. Thank you so much Sir!"

"That's quite all right. Now hurry up, you don't want to be even later than you already are."

She bowed gratefully at what the President had done for her and made her way out of his office.

Lory chuckled again at her antics when the door had clicked shut. It was never boring when Kyoko was around. Slowly though, the smile dropped from his face. Now that that was out of the way, he had an important meeting with a difficult business associate to make.

He could only hope that all his plans would come together in time.

---/---

It was lunchtime before Yashiro finished with all his paperwork.

Fortunately, Ren had had the morning off, so when he finally met up with Yashiro he was blissfully unaware of the fully concocted plan that Yashiro had developed in his absence. Though he did seem to blanch a little at the smile Yashiro was wearing when he caught sight of him.

"Yashiro-san?"

Yashiro just smiled wider and pulled out his planner from behind his back. No matter how many times Ren saw that happening, he could never work out where Yashiro stored it - it always just seemed to appear, bringing with it a sense of fear…

Ren shook his head. There was no logical reason why he should be scared of a planner. A small part of his consciousness disagreed, especially when it combined the planner with the smile.

"How was your morning off?"

"It was…fine."

Yashiro licked he bottom lip. This was it. This was where his plans really started to begin.

"Ren. I got an interesting message today."

Ren blinked at the tone of Yashiro's voice before his eyes narrowed slightly. He started to wonder just what his manager was trying to do. He knew what that tone meant…

Well, Yashiro would just have to find out that two could play at that game. He smoothed out his features.

"Really?" He asked innocently, and was rewarded as a shadow passed across Yashiro's features.

"Yes." Yashiro replied tersely "It said that the annual Christmas Award Ceremony was being brought back."

Ren was surprised. The Christmas Award Ceremony had been one of the biggest in the industry but had been shut down years back due to allegations of fixing. It was an interesting development that they were bringing it back after all this time. He hadn't even been in Japan at the time the last one was held.

"Are they bringing it all back?" He asked, a little interested.

"Yes. Even the ball afterwards. Apparently President Takarada is the one at the fore-front of it's return."

"Interesting…"

The grin returned to Yashiro's face.

"So. Do you plan on going?"

Ren glanced back at his manager, weighing everything up in his mind.

"No. I don't think I will."

Yashiro looked a little shocked.

"But what if you get nominated for something?"

Ren waved off the question.

"Then I'll get someone to collect it for me if I win. Just say I'm busy or something."

"But what about your fans? They're going to be disappointed."

Ren raised an eyebrow.

"If you say that I'm taking a break to make sure that I don't get ill then they won't mind."

Yashiro's mouth dropped open as he watched Ren turn around and walk off. Okay…this was definitely not a part of his plan. It was certainly a good thing that he had left some room for adjustments. He scowled at Ren's back as he hurried after him.

Why did Ren have to be so stubborn all of the time?

Ah well. He smirked again. It wasn't going to be fun if everything always went his way…

---/---

Kyoko had indeed arrived late to school that morning, but as the President had mentioned, her teachers all seemed to understand the situation and let her off without saying anything harsh towards her.

The rest of the day was as uneventful as a normal school day. She went to her classes, had lunch, went to some more classes and then went home.

At the present moment in time, she was sitting cross-legged on her bed staring at her new timetable with a huge smile on her face. She sighed happily and fell backwards against her pillows, her hands folded behind her head.

For once she felt that everything was going right.

She had a good feeling about this month.

A very good feeling.


Well…I was just writing but I seemed to have gone off on a tangent somewhat and a little bit of foreshadowing snuck it's way into this chapter.

Anyway! What I really wanted to ask was what you guys thought - of everything really…

I changed my style a little from last year and I seemed to have written more than I originally planned. Is the length ok? Too long? Too…short?

See you tomorrow! (hopefully) and please tell me what you think! :)

DS