Because modeling boosts your status...
Rosetta Rose had always been known for its vogue and vigor. It was the leading company of anything relating to fashion, with models dazzling and gracious enough to sell anything they wore. It also went by its creed to "virtuous and hard-working employees". But in Miku's case…
Well, she was trying her hardest.
An aluminum tray carrying the photos of countless models clattered to the studio floor.
Meiko, who'd already been accustomed to her ditzy secretary's actions, merely sighed and put an exhausted hand to her forehead.
"…Never mind. Just pick those up first."
"A-Ah, of course…"
The camera she'd been holding under her arm had slipped from its place and had fallen onto the ground.
Miku's boss tightened her red-glossed lips and clenched her fists to her sides. Though she tried, it was quite hard for the Divine Meiko to suppress her impending anger.
"Look, just give these to Mikuo," she commanded, flinging a dozen of leftover clothes over at her secretary. "He should be in one of the rooms of the Red Hallway. Oh, and tell him that he has a 30 minute break."
"Yes, Miss Meiko!" And with a push of her thick black-trimmed glasses, Miku was skittering off to deliver her boss's wishes. She was secretly thankful that she was sent away from her boss, since she always seemed to mess more things up in front of Meiko than anybody else.
The Rosetta Rose Studios – which consisted of 25 floors – had hallways that were categorized by various colors. Colors represented class, and class represented one's ego. The brighter the color, the higher the class, and the higher one's ego: that was the way Miku learned. And of course, the Red Hallway – which was where Meiko housed all the models she worked with – contained the best of the best models.
At first, Miku had been overly exuberated by the thought of working with the most famous fashion designer and photographer in the world; however, as days grew into weeks, she began to understand why nobody had undertaken this job: it was full of running around to the demands of both Meiko and the models' wishes. Perhaps that was why Kasane Teto – the previous secretary of Meiko – had burst into tears when she'd seen Miku arrive to replace her.
"Miku," the red-haired secretariat had warned her, "It's a monster house in there…!"
And now Miku finally understood what her crybaby-mentor was implying.
And as she scuttled into the large Red hallway with a bundle of clothes in her hands, she'd wondered if Teto would've cried over the fact of forgetting to ask what room Mikuo Inoue was in.
There must've been at most 30 rooms in the hallway, all of which looking exactly the same as the other. With painted room numbers plaque in gold, and names of the many models Meiko worked with, this was going to take awhile...
Sighing, Miku stopped to catch her breath and stare into the eyes of an old picture of Meiko.
Meiko had once been a model herself. Known as the 'Sexy Sultress', Meiko had been one of Rosetta Rose's best models. However, her excessive drinking had tainted her appearance, and had soon fallen into the pit of ravaging reviewers and savage outlashes from gossip channels. Because of this, she'd been removed from modeling and denoted to merely a worker. However, her career had continued, and she'd managed to excel to be famous once more, only this time for working with models. Miku had always looked up to her boss (minus the excessive drinking), and always found the pictures of her in the Red Hallway to be a remembrance of her past. Even Kaito had idolized her, too.
A girl of around 14 blinked up at her pig-tailed servant.
"O-Oh, Rin!" Miku exclaimed. "I'm sorry, I didn't notice that you were-!"
"Why are you carrying boys' clothes?" The blonde girl interrupted, staring at the large pile of shirts, pants, and ties. "Are they for Len?"
"Oh, no," Miku said, not even bothering to realize that a girl younger than her had just rudely cut her off. "These are for someone else."
"Ah. Well, I was just wondering where our clothes were, since we've got a shoot in 10 minutes."
"It's another one of those Lolita-based themes," Rin continued. "You know…"
"W-Well, I'll try and get them to you as quickly as I can! Do you think Yowane Haku could…?"
"Yowane Haku would never be able to help." Rin answered flatly with her serious-looking blue eyes. "She's already crying in the bathroom, if you're interested."
"…Ah," Miku said with a downcast expression. Her co-worker was always crying in any corner or bathroom she could find…
"We'll be waiting," Rin said emphatically. She briskly turned around and was already walking down the red carpeted floor with rushing photographers and workers.
The Kagamine twins were quite scary, despite the fact that they were both only fourteen. Meiko had managed to find them off the streets of Tokyo, both of them completely unaware that a world-famous modeler had found some talent in their pale, blonde selves. And Meiko had been right: they'd become world-class twins, modeling in contemporary wear for teenagers to estranged, gothic Lolita styles. But for some reason, their eyes seemed to tell a different story, one of a sad past…
As if out of luck, Miku had arrived right at the door that had the gold letters of "MIKUO INOUE" painted on the bright red wooden door.
Embarrassed, Miku hesitantly knocked on the door and put her ear to the door to make sure she'd hear his voice.
"Who is it?" Came a voice from inside.
"It's M-Miku," she stammered. "Miss Meiko sent me some clothes, and-!"
"Oh, come in."
Gulping, the nerdy-looking secretary re-positioned the clothes in her arms and turned the knob to go in…
"There's some shirts, pants, and ties that are-!"
Miku's glasses had nearly fallen off her nose as she jerked to a stop.
Hadn't he said that she could come in!?
He was standing with his bare back towards her, and he was in the middle of taking off the shirt he'd worn when he'd been draped across chair. Miku couldn't help but stare stupidly at his smooth-looking back, as well as his tight tush, too.
"U-U-U-U-Uh-!" Miku quickly covered her eyes by lifting the pile of clothes to her face.
"Something wrong?" he asked, and she could sense him turning around and walking over towards her.
"S-S-Sorry for intruding, b-but I could've sworn that y-y-you-!"
"Yeah, I did. But I didn't think that would scare you."
Miku could feel him pulling down the pile of clothes from her face so that he could look at her face-to-face.
…She hated staring into model's eyes (especially Kaito's)!
"You were saying?" He asked with a devious smirk as he stared down at her with intensifying blue-green eyes.
"M-Miss Meiko wanted to give you these. O-Oh, and she said that you had a break, and-!"
"Oh, great," he said with a smile. "Let's go out."
Miku blinked up at him, thunderstruck.
Was she going deaf…?
Had she heard correctly?
"Go out. You know, getting out of here?"
'He's joking,' Miku thought. 'He's definitely joking.'
"A-Are you…joking?" she whispered, swallowing nervously.
Instead of a laugh and a chuckle, she was given a serious stare.
"Why would I be joking?" he asked.
"B-But Rin said I had to get her clothes, and Miss Meiko-!"
"Ah, screw them," he said bluntly, which had almost made Miku faint.
Even though he was new model, and was working at the most famous modeling company, he didn't have the right to be this defiant (and rude)…right?
"I-I don't know…" Miku said, turning to look away from him. "I mean, what would Miss Meiko…?"
"Ugh, you're so dedicated," he said, taking the pile of clothes from her and throwing them onto the red couch of his room. "Fine, we'll just go down to the café. How's that?"
Models never came to the café.
The famous ones never went down, at least.
They'd either have someone else bring up their food to them, or they'd never eat at all. Usually, photographers and workers were the only ones that came down. But Mikuo…
…he was quite a strange character.
That was why Miku and Mikuo had gotten plenty of stares – especially from the fact that Mikuo was the one dragging her down towards the food aisle.
"Let's see, you've got sushi, veggie burgers, and…" He wrinkled his nose at the lame choice of food selections, and turned to look at Miku, his strong grasp still on her wrist. "Where the heck is the meat?!"
The sushi chef who'd been cleaning his knife almost dropped the blade on his foot as he heard Mikuo's complaint.
Miku, whose cheeks were already a bright red, apologized to the poor man.
As Mikuo continued down the aisle and dragging his ragdoll friend along with him, it wasn't before long until a familiar person that Miku knew saw her off-duty…
"Miku?" a girl asked, walking over towards them at the soba station.
"What are you doing down here? Aren't you supposed to be…?" The girl's yellow eyes bulged at the sight of who was standing beside her.
"Oh, so you're the new model!" she exclaimed.
"Hm?" Mikuo peered over Miku's head to see who it was that was calling for him. "Me?"
"I'm Akita Neru!" Neru immediately said, introducing herself by scooting past Miku. "I-It's a pleasure! It's just that we don't get one of Miss Meiko's models down here in the café, that-!"
"Uh, I'm Inoue Mikuo, but, are you serious? Nobody comes down here?"
"Why no," Neru confirmed with a confused look. "Why would they? They're much more important! Like you, I mean," she said with a giggle.
Neru's compliment went by unfazed, and he merely blinked at her indifferently.
"Do you come down here, Miku?" Mikuo asked, ignoring Neru and turning to look at her.
"Um, on occasions…" she replied as she looked down at the tiled café floor shamefully.
Mikuo picked up on her actions, realizing how Neru had secretly put her down.
"Well, I'm not like a lot of those models up there," Mikuo finally said to Neru. "In fact, I'll be coming down here a lot."
"W-Wow! That'd be awesome!" Neru cried. "Wouldn't that be, Miku?"
"Let's sit down!" Neru advised, acting like a 12-year old.
As the three found a modern-looking round table, Neru immediately started jabbering away, making Mikuo even more confused as to why this girl was so ecstatic.
"So, Miku, how do you know Inoue-san?" Neru finally asked after ten minutes of verbal diarrhea.
"Um, well, Miss Meiko called me in and Mikuo happened to be the one she was working with at the time…"
"Oh, how lucky! I'm so glad you did, because now we-!"
"Miku, how can you put up with this?" Mikuo suddenly asked with a hint of viciousness in his voice.
Neru flinched at Mikuo's unexpected interruption and immediately bit her tongue.
"What do you mean?" Miku asked innocently.
"Oh, perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough," Neru rephrased, giving a short, nervous laugh. "Miku's my younger sister."
Mikuo's eyes enlarged with surprise.
He hadn't expected that to come out of this talking piece of work.
"Our parents divorced, so that's why we have different surnames."
"I-I'm with my mother's side…" Miku murmured, as if this would help clear things up.
"O-Oh…" Mikuo said a bit dazed. "Didn't see that one coming…"
Neru laughed another fake chuckle, and looked over at her nerdy pigtailed sister.
"I know. Miku and I look nothing alike…"
A small glint in Mikuo's eyes reflected from the bright lights of the café. Suddenly, he scooted out of his seat, making an eerie screech across the tiled floor. He then made an abrupt grab for Miku's wrist. He was completely disgusted by her older sister's uppity attitude…
"Excuse me," he said, his tone implying a tint of annoyance.
Before Neru knew what was coming, Mikuo had already stormed out of the café, dragging her younger sister away like a lost (and confused) rag doll.
"A-Ah! Mikuo-!" Miku yelped from behind as she was being swept away. "W-What are you-?"
"Why the heck do you hang around these people?" he asked sternly.
"Well, Neru's my sister, so…"
"Yeah, and she's a pompous one, too."
END OF CHAPTER TWO
Shana's Notes: Yay, another chapter! I'm sorry if I made Neru a bit too pompous, but we needed someone to prove Mikuo right, right? Speaking of fan-made Vocaloids, I don't see many stories about them...I've only seen, like, three fics...Well, the fandom is certainly growing by the day! I'm so glad we're getting a variety of songs. (Though, most consist of LenxRin, but who doesn't like those loveable twins?) Reviews would be nice, as always, and maybe you can give me some feedback about Mikuo?