- In Japan, February 14 (Valentine's Day) is a day where girls would buy/make chocolates and give them to male friends/family members/co-
workers (obligatory) and guys they like (honmei – which is generally a term used to expressed you love or something like that). Though, it's not unusual for girls to give other girls chocolates. In turn, boys will give something in return as a token of appreciation/an answer to the girl's feelings on March 14 (White Day). Traditionally, it has to be something white but other forms of gifts are the norm.
- This story was meant to be longer but I got stuck with it so I'm just posting this as a one-shot because it seems like such a waste of an afternoon if I just deleted it. But this is definitely not my best work.
It was zero hour. A day long-planned since February began.
Security was tighter and the only reason why Kyoko managed to get in was because Sawara-san told her to under no circumstance forget to bring her work ID.
She kind of understood why…
Girls in school uniforms, casual clothes and work outfits were camped outside the main entrance of LME being held back by security just for the opportunity to glimpse at their favorite male idols and hopefully, hand them their homemade chocolates.
It was Valentine's Day and all celebrities, idols, musicians and talents of the agency are banned from walking through the lobby where rabid fangirls would see them through the glass windows. Kyoko wryly wondered if she would actually make it inside LME the time she was looking for agencies to join when she decided to join show business if she went of a day like this. It was a good thing that she already has access to the secret entrance for the celebrities to pass through.
She sighed as she settled all her things on the table inside the Love Me Department office.
Getting inside was exhausting enough.
After a moment's rest, she stood up and went inside the locker room to change out of her school uniform into her Love Me uniform. She wouldn't have to leave the office and go to the office until three hours later so she had time to go around and give her own homemade chocolates to the people she worked with around in LME.
Nicely boxed ones to the men and smaller, foiled ones for the girl. Of course, all of them obligatory chocolates for everyone who have been taking care of her.
Sawara-san and Matsumisha-san from the Talent Department shyly smiled with embarrassment that a 17-year old girl would give them chocolates
The President who thankfully was dressed as a medieval king and not as what most people around LME betted on - cupid, who she met in the elevator almost cried.
Maria-chan smiled prettily and gave her chocolates back which she claims to be enchanted with good luck since she like onee-chan so much.
The Bridge Rock boys ate it right on the spot and praised her delicious chocolates. But they would always call anything delicious.
Moko-san grudgingly took it from her saying that it was a bother, but gave her a box of store-bought fancy truffles anyway.
Since they were nowhere in sight, she just left the ones that she made for Yashiro-san and Tsuruga-san on Yashiro-san's work desk.
After making the last of her deliveries, she happily headed back to the Love Me Department to prepare for a night shoot for Box-R. She overheard voices along the hallway and recognized one of them to be Tsuruga-san's!
He was there after all! Oh well, they're already on Yashiro-san's desk. And it's obligatory chocolates, not honmei so there's really no point on personally handing it to him.
"Got many chocolates, Tsuruga-kun?" a female voice asked, her voice laced with amusement. Ah… it was one of the veteran stars under LME.
"Not if the security outside can help it." Tsuruga-san chuckled.
"Eh…? I specifically came to you because I know you'll have the most to spare."
"Look, it's not me! It's the baby."
"Ah… how far along are you?"
"A couple of weeks, I'm really, really craving for chocolates – I even swiped some from the ones I made for my husband. I'd ask some from people in my own department but the only ones here are the Bridge boys and they keep eating everything once they receive it. The smell is driving me insane!"
"Take it easy," Tsuruga-san gave out a short laugh. "Stressing is not good for the baby."
"C'mon, Tsuruga-kun! I refuse to believe you didn't get any. Even obligatory ones. Think about the welfare of my baby!"
"Hahaha…" He replied, amused to bits. "I'm sorry. I turned down all the chocolates that were handed to me. The only one I accepted was from Maria-chan. Would you like it?"
"Wh-what? No! Maria-chan probably put in some weird black magic thing inside and my baby would be cursed!" She sighed. "You're no help!"
"I'm really sorry," he replied sheepishly.
"No big deal… I'll just look for someone to victimize. See you!"
Tsuruga-san declined all of them???
He'd undoubtedly decline hers too! She made a mad dash back to Yashiro-san's desk, grabbed the one she left for Tsuruga-san and slipped it back into the paperbag. What a waste! Well, it was better than what she visualized: "Eh… Valentine chocolates??? Thanks, but no thanks," he would probably say as he would toss them aside.
* * *
"What is that you're holding?" Ren looked curiously at the bright red package Yukihito-san was holding happily with a bright grin on his face.
"Valentine chocolates! From Kyoko-chan!"
"She left it on my desk with a short note saying that she was not sure if she was going to see you or me today so she just left it there. I didn't think I would get any this year."
"So where's mine?" Ren looked at him expectantly.
"What? She didn't give it to you?" His manager looked surprised. "It was the only one here on my desk. So I assumed that she handed in yours personally."
"So this means that we're going to be sharing?" Ren asked in a deadpan voice. He held one half of the box.
"What are you doing?"
"If we're sharing, I want my half." Ren started to yank it from Yukihito.
"No!" Yukihito yanked it out of Ren's grasp. "This is mine. You see this tag? It's right in the middle and it says, "For Yukihito-san."
"Then where's mine?"
"I don't know!" He opened his bag and placed it between several paperwork to keep it out of his reach. "Maybe you should head out to the Love Me office so you can ask her. Since the only thing you're after is my chocolates, I'll be going out drinking with some of the other managers who are here. I'll be at your place at 6AM tomorrow."
Go there??? That would be embarrassing and obvious.
Without a word, once Yukihito-san has turned the corner, he straightened up and turned around to head for the Love Me office. But there no one was there. The lights were closed.
Pouting, he headed to the parking lot to head home himself. He has an early call tomorrow and he has to work on getting into character for the film shooting. He pressed down for the elevator. When it pinged open, he came face to face with "Mogami-san?"
A wide smile greeted him as she said as she bent down for a bow."Tsuruga-san… Good evening." It was not her usual formal bow. She only bent down slightly and raised her head. She dressed in what she used to call a 'big sister' outfit, which accentuated her figure. The top was girly that highlighted her slender waist and the pants made her legs seem longer than they are. He doesn't mind seeing this kind of Kyoko once in a while.
"I passed by the Love Me office but no one was there."
"Yep… I was called back by Sawara-san just as I was about to head out for an on location shoot so, here I am!"
"Where's your shoot?" When she told him, he said, "That's near where I live, I'll drop you off."
"Huh? No… there's no need."
"What are you talking about? It's in the way. C'mon…" He pressed to the cancel the ground floor and pressed the one for the second basement parking lot. "Today's been a crazy day here in LME, huh?""Really," she smiled. "I almost didn't make it in time for meet with Moko-san because of it."
"But you spent some time running around giving out Valentine's chocolate, didn't you?" he said before realizing that the hint made him sound like an eager little boy. "I mean, Yukihito-san was really happy with the one that you left on his desk. He even mentioned about not knowing what to get you for White Day."
"No," Kyoko started walking alongside him as they made their way to his car. "Please tell him it's not necessary."
Ren put on his seatbelt and started the car. "Well, you can't help it right? People would like to show their appreciation. For chocolates," he emphasized.
"It kind of a silly tradition, isn't it?" she smiled.
This is not the direction he wanted to go, but he went along with it anyway. "I know," he said as he braked on a red light. "But I guess it's something different when a guy gets one from a girl whether it's friend, relative or kouhai."
"Tsuruga-san probably got a lot too," she mentioned in a casual tone.
"Actually, the only ones I accept are from people close to me."
"That's probably for the best. Tsuruga-san doesn't even like sweets that much."
"Now I have to think about things to get them for White Day. What do you think, Mogami-san?"
"Well, the fewer people who you accepted chocolates from, the less people you have to thank on White Day."
"Well," he shrugged. "It won't be such a hardship because they are people I get along with."
"Then that's good!" she smiled happily.
Ren finally gave up. There isn't any more point to pry the issue. It was glaringly obvious not that she has snubbed him for Valentine's Day. It kinda hurt. Haven't they been spending so much time together that she has come to think of her as something more than the man she hated when they first met even if it was as a senpai who she runs to when she needs help for anything? It wasn't even as much time that he wanted. They were both very busy people after all. It's not even that he even wanted the chocolates.
The rest of the drive was spent in comfortable silence. But Mogami-san was staring outside and his thoughts were somewhere else.
He thought back to the time that the President mentioned to him before that his past relationships were shallow because that he easily gives up when she tries to break it off. He wasn't really sure what he will do if something like that would happen with Mogami-san. He already knows that he was in love with her, but he couldn't quite budge off his senpai status with her. And even if he is able to break through, he didn't think he would ever give her the opportunity to even want to get away from him.
He knew that she was oblivious to all the things that makes her so attractive. After all, she likes being acknowledged for her more practical abilities. She can be pretty dense and thick-skulled and these are the things that he like her because of it? He's really an idiot. He looked at her by the corner of his eye. She was staring straight ahead with a cheery look on her face. Well, those are some of the things that he likes about her.
Should he give up already? He's not going to lie and say that he isn't getting increasing frustrated that she's not getting any of the subtle hints that he was giving her when she's rather excellent with building a character based on hints in scripts. But he didn't think that she would get it until he was he says it out. But she'd probably scare off her if he did.
But he wonders when all his patience and hard work will be rewarded.
He pulled over the place for her shoot and slowed to a stop.
"Well," she turned to him with a grateful smile. "Thank you very much for the ride."
"Not a problem," he smiled back. "As I said, it's near my place. Work hard tonight."
"Ah!" she exclaimed then started rummaging through her bag and produced a red box and held it out for him. "This is to properly thank you. I know that Tsuruga-san doesn't like sweets very much and I wasn't really planning you give it to you since you mentioned that you're not accepting any. But please accept them anyway as payment for the ride so you don't have to bother with a White Day present."
Even though she is dense and thick-skulled and oblivious and when he thinks that he is going to be giving up, she would show that side of her in the most unexpected times and boost his confidence to just keep going with her.
He reached out for the box and said, "Thank you."