Authors Chat: This chapter unfolded very unlike I expected or intended, but I'm happy with it. This is the final chapter. There will be a spin off though, see the closing notes for more.

Finally, if you've read my whole story, I would greatly appreciate your comments and constructive criticism!

That being said, italics text are direct thoughts of characters, text is in quotes, noises are done with asterisks.

DISCLAIMER: Skip Beat! and it's characters are not my original creation, they are owned and created by Nakamura Yoshiki.

Story Timeline: This fanfic takes place on Valentine's day. All history taken place in the actual Manga is relevant to this fanfic up until Valentine's day (end of manga chapter 143).

Valentine's Disaster Afterward

Chapter 3

Afterward 3

It's strange how some things in life seem to slow down. Like this fist, going in slow motion before the crunch of impact, or like how the world seemed to slow down to a halt when Kyoko said I was responsible for the holes in her heart.

In reality, it was only a second before Shou's fist made contact with Reino's solar plexus and knocked him to the ground trying to breath.

Shou let Reino catch his breath as he rolled up his sleeves. He rolled up the first, but stopped before he finished rolling up the second. There was an unexpected noise that caught his attention.

What the Hell!? Is he a sadist!?

"Ha… Haha… Hahaha-ow … heh…" Reino's laughs came in short gasps as he fought to control his breathing.

"What's so funny?!"

Reino smirked at Shou. "Just that you rushed here to get the girl, but once again, Tsuruga Ren took her out from under your nose! … and what's worse, you just LET him! Haha.."

The anger was rising in Shou even more, more than thought possible. He hit Reino again, this time making contact with his ribs. Judging by the definitive CRACK, there would be broken ribs.

He got in a few more good hits and kicks before Shoko ran into the room. It was lucky her memory was as good as it was – being in her position as a manager, she had to have a good memory – or she would not have known the correct address to go to. Shou had ripped the card from her hand so fast, had she not remembered the address, it may have been the jail where she had to meet him instead.

"Shou!" she yelled.

Shou chose not to hear her, but was forced to stop when she ran up between Reino and him and grabbed his arm before he could throw a punch. His only option was to stop, or throw Shoko with his arm. As tempting as it was to follow through with the punch anyway, he stopped, still burning with fury.

"Shou! Stop! You'll kill him!"

"HE DESERVES TO DIE!" His eyes blazed with his anger.


Shoko's hand left a red welt where it struck Shou's cheek. He glared hard at her.

"What the Hell!?"

"No one deserves to die Fuwa Shou. You remember that. Now, is Mogami-san alright? Where is she?"

It took a very long few seconds for her question to register in Shou's mind.

"… I sent her away with Tsuruga Ren." In truth, it had been Ren who left Shou to deal with the aftermath, but no way would he give Ren the upper hand in this mess. This was about him after all. Shou was the one Reino was trying to…what? Punish? Enrage? Destroy?

"Then it's time for us to leave Shou. You've hurt him enough," she waved her hand in the general direction where Reino was slumped on the floor.

"That's right Shou - *cough* - throw me away. After all -*cough*- I'm not worthy of your aspirations. I won't look good on your arm either."

Shou knew it was a jab meant to insult him for what he had done to Kyoko. It enraged him and he ripped his arm out from Shoko's grasp and dove onto Reino.

Reino underneath him had no choice but to take his flurry of punches. Shoko was too weak to pull him off though she tried and in desperation, had to knock him out with the nearby folding chair. He collapsed heavily on Reino.

"Ugh. Thanks," Reino looked up at Shoko.

"Shut up. I didn't do that for you. I'm not about to have my charge hauled off to jail for assault."

"Who says I won't charge him anyway?" Reino's voice was weak.

"The brain in your head says you won't since you know we have plenty of evidence to book you with kidnapping."

"Mmm… you're right." He laid his head back down and wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth.

"Now listen to me. Your little game here? You're fucking with more than one life. I don't care who you're trying to ruin, but you need to think of the consequences to others as well as yourself, and grow up. You don't take personal issue in this line of business. If you can't get over that, you won't last."

"Is that a threat Miss Manager?"

"No, that's a bit of free advice. You would be wise to take it."

Reino tried to sit up, wound up coughing as his lungs could not take in enough air, and lay back down.

"…Why are you doing this anyway? What's your reason?"

"… A bit of fun that's all."

"What do you take me for? I'm not some idiotic child. I know there's more to it."

Reino looked hard at Shoko, silently judging her with the weight of his stare. "Yeah… yeah, there's more to it. …but I don't think I'll tell you." He smirked and closed his eyes, breathing slowly so his ribs hurt less from his chest expanding.

It was Shoko's turn to look at him hard. "Do you have a cell phone?"

"… not anywhere near."

She took a few steps to meet him and held out her cell phone for him to use. "Call someone to help you. Then I'll leave, and take him with me," she motioned to Shou.

Reino slowly reached up to accept her cell phone and allowed himself to touch her hand with his fingers as he grasped the phone.

He could see that she was much stronger and fiercer than she let most people know. She had been her own breed of hellion when she was younger, though she grew into a beautiful woman. Nothing that extraordinary, but something to be respected.

Reino called for Miroku and asked him to meet at the photography studio then handed the phone back to Shoko.

"…Thank you. … You know… I think you may have given up to soon. You could have done well as an actress."

"What? How did you know that?"

Reino only smiled and closed his eyes, breathing steadily.

When Shoko realized she wasn't going to get an answer, she called the van driver and had him meet her and help carry Shou out to the vehicle.

Shou would be furious when he woke up, but furious was better than incarcerated. It would take some time, but he would get over it.

Reino was left along to his thoughts while he agonized on the floor. It would be a half hour or more before Miroku could get there.

Reino laughed to himself.

I never imagined I would fall for her myself…damn. Tsuruga Ren took the memory card. This pain sucks… Seriously. I wish he would stop using his fists to fight back. It's worth it though. I won't relent. The more you get angry and lash out, the closer I am to my goal, Fuwa Shoutaro.

Fuwa Shin'ichi grinned at what it would mean to him if he could live up to his father's wishes and ruin Shoutaro in the eyes of the media. Shoutaro would be forced to crawl home with his tail between his legs and be heir to the family ryokan, and Shin'ichi would be acknowledged publicly as a Fuwa. It would be a scandal, but after 18 years of secrecy, the one it would affect the most was his younger brother. Shoutaro's mother already knew and kept the secret from her own son for all of his 17 years. The supposed First Son "Shoutaro" would hate him in truth then, and probably his own father for his infidelity. Some prices you just have to be willing to pay. Reino was.

He would finally be able to cast away the nickname of Reino, and be called by his own father as a true son.

"I WILL take everything from you Shoutaro. Just you wait."

************************************* FIN ************************************

Closing notes:

1) I chose the name Shin'ichi specifically because of the meaning. According to the website I chose it from, the name means True First (son).

2) There will be a spin-off from this fanfiction in order to continue the developing love story between Ren and Kyoko (in the Afterward Chapter 1 and 2). It will be a spin off instead of a continuation since the main focus of this story was not only Ren and Kyoko, but rather the events that happen on Valentine's Day and their significance.

3) Thank you very much to those who have left me comments. If you've enjoyed this fanfiction, please check out "Playing With Fire" and watch for the next Fanfiction from this story.