Author's Notes/Assumptions:

- Skip Beat! is owned by a mangaka named Nakamura Yoshiki. I am not a mangaka and my name is not Nakamura Yoshiki.

- Since this is a situational story and not a reflective narrative, I will try to keep everything in character as much as possible. If I skew a little, let's call it 'plot device'.

- Again, I'm really crap at giving out fictitious names for anything. Plus, I'm really bad at it considering my limited knowledge in Japanese so I'm not going to add on to anything that is outside the manga's canon.

- R&Rs are encouraged and more than welcomed.


Chapter 1: Katsuki


The lights are blinding and the fangirls are deafening, but Fuwa Sho is already used to it.

Combined with his good looks and genius for music, he knew all the hard work that he put into his career has placed him to the top. He knew all this showering of adulation from all his fans is something he deserved.

"So, Fuwa-kun," the host interrupted his thoughts. "You've been very busy with your latest album which is already in number one." He paused at the fans' screams at that statement. "Do you even have time for a love life?"

"Huh?" He gave out a look of feigned surprise. He stretched as he lazily, giving the standard answer to the love life question that image training has given him. "No, I've been so busy for the last few months that I don't even have time to meet girls." A part of the audience 'awww'-ed.

"But there must be someone you like…" the host baited. "Maybe someone you like or admire or think is cute in… the show business industry, for example…???"

Sho's mind quickly turned to Kyoko – not the simple, sweet girl he brought to Tokyo but the complicated, high-strung girl he encountered in Karuizawa – complex and oozing with a different kind of sexiness he never realized she had. At the time, he was never able to tell her how he really felt about her. And with her current opinion of him, he shouldn't tell her. Not until she is the one to come to him – either for another showdown or whatever. One day. When he is the number one guy and she is the number one girl…

"Ah…" the host smiled sneakily. "From the look on your face, you've thought of someone…"

Shoot! He let this thoughts fly away with him in front of an audience. "Erm…" he smiled shyly. "I did meet someone…" It has been a few months. This is to secure his place in her heart, he thought. No matter what emotion, he needs the security that she is constantly thinking about him. There will be time to fix it afterwards.

"There's this actress I see around once or twice…"

–Three times. –

"She's really cute and sweet."

–With a grudge against me–

"I even visited her once on set because I wanted to see her."

–And apologize for hitting her–

"Then I saw her again by coincidence while I was working on this album and she was filming in Karuizawa…"

–When she was being stalked–

"and we even ended up having breakfast together in the dining hall."

–where she cursed him a lot for all the trouble that he was causing her.

He dramatically shook his head. "I just thought how really cute she was." Then she leaned back against the chair. "Of course, we're both very busy people. We haven't seen each other since then. I guess… fate has stopped us from crossing paths."

The audience gushed and slowly erupted to screams.

For now, that was enough. It doesn't really matter if she or that 15-inch-platform-shoe-wearing no-talent Tsuruga Ren were not watching. Just marking his territory. He's been in this industry long enough to know that news like this will find its way to their ears. But he knew the longer she is away from him, the more that big-head-with-nothing-in-it Tsuruga Ren is more likely to be brainwashing her with the suave moves of a no-talent pretty boy like him, getting her to do corny things like making him lunch or calling him 'honey'. Then he envisioned the two of them happily eating lunch she prepared and remembered how good Kyoko's cooking actually is and got really pissed off.

* * *

"…According to our mole in the production staff, filming for Box 'R' has been full of drama both on- and off- camera…" He gave her a frank stare. "The unexpected popularity of the show among the 18-35 year old demographic, despite being a teen –"

"Not that part, the third paragraph."

"With only four episodes out, the series' main antagonist, Natsu played by actress Kyoko (LME), rose to infamy and has been voted by our readers to be 'the character they most want to die'…"

"It's not that funny, Tsuruga-san," Mogami-san pouted, looking up from a script that she was studying, as he tossed the magazine with a Box "R" special in it onto the table as he dissolved to mirth to the point where he was pounding the table.

"Yes it is," Ren's gasped, his face red with suppressed laughter. His mouth twitched again and succumbed once again to laughter. "But isn't it great? That your acting is resonating into people's minds."

She narrowed her eyes and said, "Don't say things to compliment people when you can't keep a straight face." She sighed and placed her elbows on the table and rested her chin on her palms. "First, they want me to be exorcised as Mio. And now they want me to die as Natsu. Nowadays, I'm starting to think that I would be thrown with something just by walking down the street."

Ren was just getting over his laughing fit until she said that. His mouth twitched again and he let out a hearty laugh.

They were sitting in a common area while waiting for their scenes. It's been a while since he's seen Mogami-san and wanted to spend time with her. They already have the reputation inside the Dark Moon set of having a close senpai-kouhai relationship, the two of them hanging out with just each other is no longer a big surprise to everyone.

He raised his face to look at her and saw her evil, intent-to-kill face. "That's Mio, not Natsu," he sternly reminded her.

"Of course it is," she said in a flat tone. "We are in the Dark Moon set. And besides, if it was Natsu, she would say…" Her voice lowered an octave and became kinda seductive as her eyelashes fluttered and her lips pursed into a sexy pout as she said, "'You're gonna have to work more to get to a high level by earning some more Stimuli Points just to know how bad I can be…'"

Ren stopped dead in his tracks, stunned. The bottled water that was halfway to his mouth, slipped off his hand and bounced on the table spilling water all over. "Oh, shoot!" he exclaimed, standing up.

Mogami-san quickly snapped back to her normal self at the sound of small thud on the table. Tsuruga-san scrambled to get all the things on his table while she fetched the paper towels on the side table.

He grabbed a tiny plastic bag and the content spilled out, revealing a small pack of tablets. "What's this?" He flipped the box and read, "Paracetamol?"

"Huh?" Mogami-san looked up at what he was holding and said, "Fever medicine. I'm feeling kinda under the weather and I think I'm coming up with one of those 24-hour bugs." She smiled as she threw the wet paper towels in the trash bin. "I already took another one and passed by the drug store before coming here to get that since I already drank the last one I had. In case I still feel lousy later."

"Oh?" He studied her face. She didn't really look like anything unusual. But then again, he is pretty lousy at telling if people are sick or not. To him, as long as the other person is still moving, that person is as normal as normal can be. "Does that actually work?"

"Of course!" she said. "It's a pre-emptive strike. Which reminds me I have to set to drink another one at midnight. Because unlike certain people, I know and can admit to when I am feeling badly and do something about it. Not when I'm about to fall over."

He gave her slight glare. "Are you making fun of me?"

"N-n-no!" she suddenly looked apologetic. "I'm sorry."

He meant it as a joke. A jibe. An icebreaker. He wonders if he's just that lousy with making jokes that Mogami-san constantly mistakes it for him being insulted. Before she could make a more elaborate apology that she would be doing a dogeza on the floor, he just told her, "You've just been working too hard. When you get home, you should have one of those soups you keep telling me that the okami makes you claim is so delicious."

She looked at him strangely. Seriously, what kind of image of him does she have floating in her head that she looks like she's going to be executed everytime they would joke around? "Actually, there's no one home."


"Well," she smiled proudly. "It's taisho and okami-san's wedding anniversary so I sent them off to a trip to a nice beach resort in Okinawa. I've been saving up for months."

"Eh, really? That's awfully nice of you," he said, setting down all the things he cradled in his arms back down on the table.

She sat down, shaking her head. "Well, it's the least I can do. I've been quite busy with work that I don't have time to help out parttime. And this with them letting me live there rent-free."


He and Mogami-san immediately reacted to her name being mentioned over the partition wall that divided the waiting area with the common make-up room. Ren knew that most of the girls in the cast spend a lot of their time gossiping. He never really pays much attention to it. But he couldn't believe that these girls were actually chatting about someone who is involved in the production and is probably loitering around.

"Why would you think it'd be her?"

And in such loud voices too.

"C'mon… how can you not think it was her? He came over that day here just to see her and in Karuizawa, they were seen having breakfast together by a lot of the staff. Heck, we were even there and saw it."

She had breakfast? With him? He turned his head to Mogami-san and saw her face flushed-red as she tightly balled her fists on the table. She was losing her temper. Who's him and why did Mogami-san have breakfast with him?

"I can't believe it… Fuwa Sho has a thing for Mio-the-evil-incarnate-sama???"

"Enough to announce it on television last night."

And then he lost his.

* * *

Yashiro Yukihito was leafing through some paperwork and standard contracts as he walked through the maze-like hallways of the Dark Moon set.

Everything today was going according to schedule. That morning, Ren was in a modeling shoot and had a meeting with Matsushima-san. They managed to eat something decent and the rest of the afternoon was dedicated to Dark Moon, leaving Ren with a nice evening off before another round of strenuous activity for the movie shoot the following day.

It's been a stressful week for Ren – and all more for him, the one who had to babysit the busy actor. Ren is one of the most in-demand celebrities in Japan. It's only natural that more than a steady stream of work is being offered for him.

Of course, the nice part of today is that Ren gets to spend a lot of time with Kyoko-chan. The young actress' infectious smile seems to be the dose of happy juice Ren needs. Even if it means that they generally do nothing but sit down, not talk and keep each other company. Somehow, that would pretty much make them the most boring couple in the world. But no matter! Ren was happy… Kyoko-chan likes being around Ren… and his job has just been–

"Eh? Really?" one of the actresses exclaimed from inside the common make-up room.

"Yes!" answered another. "Last night on channel 4. When he described her, it sounded awfully a lot like Kyoko-chan."

The name made Yukihito's ears perk up like a rabbit. He slowed the pace of his steps. It wasn't eavesdropping anyway since they were talking in such loud voices in a common area with the door open wide where a lot of people loiter around.

"Why would you think it'd be her?"

"Oh c'mon… how can you not think it was her? He came over that day here just to see her and in Karuizawa, they were seen having breakfast together by a lot of the staff. Heck, we were even there and saw it."

"I can't believe it… Fuwa Sho has a thing for Mio-the-evil-incarnate-sama???"

"Enough to announce it on television last night."

"Wha–? He actually said it was her?"

"Don't be stupid! Of course he didn't. Fuwa Sho's fanbase is generally female! He can't declare himself as good as unavailable and isolate them. But think about everything that he said and all the things we know, it all fits, right?"

"That's ture… That wouldn't help Kyoko-chan's image as well."

That Fuwa… Yukihito thought frantically. That idiot! Either he was very bored during that interview to answer with such honesty or Akatori Agency is the dumbest place in the world not giving him the proper image training! Whatever happened to the standard love life question answer??? The only smart thing he ever did was not to mention her name! Good thing too! Kyoko-chan is just starting her career!

When he got to the non-existent door of the waiting area where Ren and Kyoko-chan were hanging out, it was pretty obvious that they also overheard the conversation in the make-up room. Yukihito panicked.

"That miserable idiot!" Kyoko-chan banged her fists on the table. Her face was red with fury. "He's tormenting me! He's doing all this just to torment me! If I ever see that asshole again…"

"What?" Ren crossed his arms over his chest and glared at her. "You think that losing your temper will solve anything?"

"Of course! It makes me feel a whole lot better…" Kyoko-chan was about to continue her litany of curses for Fuwa Sho when the assistant director came from behind Yukihito and called out, "Tsuruga-kun, Kyoko-chan, we're ready for you two now!"

Yukihito watched helplessly as the two just stared at each other for a couple of seconds, before breaking the eye contact and started walking out of the waiting room onto their scene. As they went passed him, he wildly thought. These two can't just not talk about it! They're both clearly angry! This is not going to be good for the shoot!!!

* * *

Director Ogata leaned back against his chair and waited for the scene to start. It was a critical turning point in the story of Dark Moon – the scene where Katsuki chases after Mio and finally confronts her about all the trouble that she has been causing. Director Ogata is not really worried about it. Kyoko-chan and Tsuruga-kun has already proven themselves to be able to play the roles to perfection so he knew that the darkness of the two characters that were needed for the scene would be delivered. And so this is how the rest of the day went…

Six minutes later after the start of the scene, when Mio delivered the line that she hated Katsuki and wished he would just disappear from the world, something snapped and the murderous, hate-filled aura emitted from the two actors only increased.

One minute later, Director Ogata started having problems breathing and fainted.

Two minutes later, he was revived with the strong smell of a cotton ball soaked in ammonia.

Five minutes later, he admitted that he was overpowered by the intense darkness that Mio and Katsuki were emitting in the scene. He apologized for worrying everyone.

Fifteen minutes later, they resumed the scene for a second take, but Director Ogata already knew that he was only going to use the last fourth of this take and tie it up to the first three-fourths of the first one. That kind of hate-filled intensity is almost never replicated by anyone.

Two minutes later, Director Ogata realizes that those two are the scariest actors he has ever encountered. They were doing at even a better job at letting out the darkness of Mio and Katsuki.

One minute later, he started having problems breathing again. But he caught himself this time.

Twelve minutes later, the scene was good and Director Ogata had it printed.

Fifteen minutes later, on a scene with Momose-san, Tsuruga-kun was given an NG and was asked to take a break.

Sixteen minutes later, Kyoko-chan was given an NG for a scene with Iizuki-san and was asked to take a break.

Two and a half hours later, shooting for scenes that didn't require Mio or Katsuki are halfway complete. It took that long for Kyoko-chan and Tsuruga-kun to get the excess darkness inside them out. No one dared to come near either of them until then.


Chapter 1 Notes:

- This is probably the longest chapter. A force of habit always requires me to put out all things to be resolved on the first chapter.

- That was too much drama for where I wanted to go… Next chapter is more light-hearted. That'll be up tomorrow. I don't usually like posting it per chapter, but I'm kinda busy with life so... I may not be motivated to finish it if I don't anchor at least the first chapter. Anyway, I hope everyone likes it.