WoM- My first dive into the world of Skip Beat fanfiction! ^^ It was bound to happen sooner or later... in fact, I'm surprised it tookk this long. ^^; At any rate, Nakamura-san owns all these lovely characters, so all credit goes to her and NOT the poor, lowly college student responsible for this travesty.
Anticipation. Anxiousness. Excitement. Self-Consciousness. Watanabi Fumiko struggled to maintain her composure against these warring emotions as she swallowed against the lump in her throat, clutching the all-important envelope in her trembling, sweating hands while she glanced nervously at the clock on the wall opposite of her seat every few seconds. Had she really only been sitting there for ten minutes? It felt like she had been waiting for hours now.
Then again, I guess it's only natural for time to slow down when you're about to see someone you like again after such a long time. Fumiko thought to herself with a shy smile, a light blush dusting her freckled cheeks. She still couldn't believe that she was the lucky girl who got to give Fuwa-san his invitation. Surely the gods were on her side when she drew that lucky 'hit' lot from the box. Perhaps this was even meant as a sign that her love was reciprocated! Fumiko giggled girlishly to herself as she was bombarded by a daydream of her and Fuwa-san in a lover's embrace as he whispered soft words of love and adoration to her. How romantic!
"Miss…?" Startled out of her fantasy, Fumiko looked up at the receptionist, who was watching her impatiently with the mouthpiece of her phone covered up with a hand. "Fuwa-sama's taking a break with his recording now, so they're letting you in. Please go through the doors on your right and make your way to Studio 25, and try not to disturb any on-going sessions on your way there."
"Yes ma'am!" Fumiko said, bowing to the receptionist as she gathered her things. "Thank you very much!" And with that, the brown haired girl hurriedly made her way down the hall as the lady instructed, excitement coursing through her veins. She was going to see Fuwa-san again, before anybody else! A part of her still couldn't believe how easy it was to get this meeting. All she had to do was tell the receptionist that she was a childhood friend and classmate of Fuwa-san's from Kyoto and they let her right in, no questions asked. She figured that getting to see the most famous male singer in Japan would be much harder then that…
Maybe it's just another sign that the gods are on my side! Fumiko thought giddily. She could already picture the joy on Fuwa-san's face as she walked through the door. Perhaps he would come to her and gather her in his arms, muttering all the while about how much he'd missed her and how, despite all those groupies who'd throw themselves at his feet, she was the only woman he could think about for the past five years, ever since they last saw each other at the graduation ceremony. Then Fumiko would confess her love, and after that…
A wide grin spread across Fumiko's face as she hastened her steps, shoving some poor intern out of the way as Studio 25 came into view. She was almost there, almost to her precious idol.
Fuwa-san… Fuwa-san… Fuwa-san…
"FUWA-SAN!" Fumiko burst as she threw open the doors, ignoring the studio workers who were now giving her odd looks and the surprised busty brunette sitting next to her idol on the loveseat couch. "Fuwa-san, I missed you so much!"
"Eh?" Fuwa Shou said, his eyebrows knitting together as he frowned at the blushing girl in front of him. "Who're you?"
And, with those two words, Fumiko felt her world come crashing down around her. As the girl tearfully tried to cope with the crushing disappointment of Shou's cold greeting, the singer himself turned to scowl at the woman next to him, who seemed to be getting over her surprise at Fumiko's entrance.
"Oi Shouko, what gives? Who is this girl?"
"Sorry Shou, guess I made a mistake." Shouko said with an apologetic smile. "The receptionist told me that a girl claiming to be a childhood friend from Kyoto was here to see you, and I thought… well…" Shouko trailed off with a chuckle and a pointed look, prompting Shou to scowl darkly at her. Though Shouko didn't say who she thought the girl was, it didn't take much of a stretch of imagination to realize which of his 'childhood friends' his manager had mistaken this girl for, and the singer couldn't help but scoff at his manager's flawed logic.
"Do you really think she'd come and see me on a whim like that? Get real Shouko."
"Well, you never know." Shouko said sagely, a slight smile playing at her lips as she continued to tease the young idol. "Besides, I know it'd make you happy if she did decide to come see you, even if she didn't have a reason to be here."
Someone must've been playing around with the heat in the studios, Shou was sure of it. There was no other excuse for the traces of redness that suddenly graced his face.
"S-shut up! You're being annoying!" Shou snapped, turning away from the woman irritably as she giggled silently at his action. "Is the break over yet? I want to get back to recording already!"
"U-um… excuse me… Fuwa-san…?" Fumiko said timidly, her pride still hurting from being so harshly rejected by her idol and one true love. She flinched slightly when Shou turned his dark glare on her, instinctively drawing away from the singer.
"You're still here? Look, I don't have time to play nice right now, so take a hike before I call security." Fumiko's eyes widened in panic at that threat. She couldn't get kicked out! The other girls would kill her if she came back without confirming that Fuwa-san would definitely be coming to the reunion!
"W-wait! Fuwa-san! It's me! Watanabi Fumiko! We were in Class 3-A together in secondary school! I sat three seats away from you, remember?!" The blank look on Shou's face at this confession served as another blow to Fumiko's ego as she realized that he really didn't remember her at all. "A-at any rate, I came here to give you this!" Desperate, Fumiko thrust her hands forward, presenting her former classmate with the envelope she'd been holding the entire time. "This is an invitation to our secondary school reunion! Please accept this and join us at the Grand Kyoto Hotel on the 22nd!" As one, Shouko and Shou stared at the girl incredulously.
"Is that really all you came here for…?" Shouko asked politely, confusion clear on her face. "If it's just an invitation, couldn't you have mailed it to Shou?" Fumiko looked mortified at the suggestion.
"A-and risk it getting lost in the mail?! Absolutely not! There's no way we could take that kind of chance with something so important! B-besides, the other members of the reunion committee wanted me to make sure that Fuwa-san was coming before they began making the necessary preparations to make sure that he'd be as comfortable as possible! After all, this would be the first time Fuwa-san has been home since he left to become a star!"`
"You're joking, right?" Shou said, rolling his eyes before he began flipping through an entertainment magazine. He scowled as he landed on a two page spread featuring Tsuruga Ren, before grinning evilly and uncapping a felt tip pen that was lying innocently on the table next to him. "There's no way I could make a trip to Kyoto now, I'm way too busy."
"W-what?!" Fumiko squeaked, her eyes widening in horror as she could practically feel the anger of her fellow female committee members all the way back in Kyoto. If she returned without the guarantee that Fuwa-san would be coming, there was no doubt in the girl's mind that her former schoolmates would ruthlessly kill her. "B-but you have to come, Fuwa-san! Everyone's looking forward to seeing you again! Isn't there anything you miss about living in Kyoto? Anything at all?"
Me? Miss Kyoto? Get real. Shou thought scornfully as he examined his finished handiwork. The Tsuruga in the photo was now sporting a rather unflattering mustache, a black eye, several missing teeth and had the word 'Fool' written across his forehead. Satisfied with the makeover he'd given Japan's biggest star, Shou flipped through a few more pages of the magazine as he mulled over Fumiko's words. Did she really think there would be anything he wanted to see again back in Kyoto? He loved his life as a big star in Tokyo, and nothing could drag him back to his hometown.
He didn't have many fond memories of Kyoto anyways, and those that he did have were all centered on a certain girl-who-shall-not-be-named. It wasn't like she would be waiting for him if he went to this stupid reunion, so what was the point? Flipping past an advertisement, Shou found himself staring at the photo of the girl he was trying so hard not to think about, looking beautiful in a baby blue sundress while she stood barefoot in a field of flowers, a pair of strappy white high heeled sandals abandoned off to the side. She was laughing at the camera as she fought valiantly to keep the wind from blowing her hat away, oblivious to the way her skirt was billowing around her to give the viewer a tantalizing peek of her long, toned legs.
Irritation swelled up inside of Shou as he glanced at several other pictures that came with the article that followed, including some of Kyouko in the arms of the handsome co-star of her latest movie (who looked a little too happy over clinging to the slim girl for Shou's tastes). A wave of loneliness passed through him as he realized that the Kyouko in these photos was happy and carefree, and obviously not thinking of him as she cuddled up with some random pretty boy actor. Never mind that he fought day and night to keep his mind off of her…
It's like our situations have reversed. Shou thought in annoyance, ignoring the argument that Shouko and Fumiko were now having in the background as security was called in to remove the girl from the studio. Instead of her being consumed with thoughts of me, I'm the one who can't get over her. Jeeze, back when we went to school together- Shou froze as a thought struck him, his eyes widening as a brilliant plan formed in his mind.
"W-wait! You can't do this to me!" Fumiko wailed as a security guard threw the tearful girl over his shoulder. "I have to make sure that Fuwa-san comes to the reunion, I have to!" Shouko sighed as the girl was dragged away, rubbing her temples to combat a headache that was now forming. At times like these, she often wondered if managing Shou was more trouble then it was worth. Before she could continue this line of thought any further though, movement caught the corner of her eye as the singer stood up.
"Stop." All action froze at that one word from Shou, and Shouko watched curiously as he approached his former classmate and took the letter from her hand. What on earth…?
"The 22nd, right?" Shou said, twirling the invitation artistically between his fingers as he gave the girl his sexiest smirk, the one that made his fangirls melt on sight. "Alright, I'll be there."
"What?!" Shouko started, her eyes going wide. "Shou! Are you serious?!"
"Really?" Fumiko gasped, her eyes glittering with hope as the security guard hesitantly set her back down and backed out of the room to return to his post. "You're really coming, Fuwa-san? For real?"
"Sure." Shou replied casually with a grin. "On one condition."
"Anything!" Fumiko promised breathily as she beamed at the singer. "Anything you want, Fuwa-san, I swear we'll make sure you get it!"
"Mogami Kyoko." Once again, the entire room froze. A look of understanding dawned on the curvaceous manager's face as she realized just what Shou was up to, while Fumiko just stared at her idol in confusion.
"…What?" She said, not quite believing her ears.
"Mogami Kyoko. She went to school with us too, remember?" Of course Fumiko remembered. How could she forget that plain, dimwitted little witch who tried to steal Fuwa-san's attention away from everyone else? She'd taken great pleasure in getting back at the ugly, boring brat with the rest of her female classmates back when they went to school together. Kohana-chan had come up with most of the best ideas for making Mogami pay, but she was quite proud of herself for thinking of putting thumbtacks in Mogami's shoes that one time.
"What about her?" Fumiko asked cautiously, though a part of her felt that it was highly unfair that Fuwa-san remembered Mogami, but not her.
"If you can guarantee that she'll be there, then I'll come to the reunion." Shou promised with a smile. Fumiko blinked up at him uncertainly.
"B-but Fuwa-san, no one knows how to find Mogami-san." Not that they'd been looking that hard for her. When Mogami had disappeared at the same time as Fuwa-san, everyone had thought that she'd followed him to Tokyo. Some girls even cursed her luck and swore that if they ever saw her again, they'd skin her alive. But after five years had passed with no sign of Mogami with Fuwa-san as he became one of the greatest singers in Japan, everyone pretty much figured that she must've gone off on her own and the hatred for her died down to a quiet distain. Still, when the time came to send out invitations to the reunion, everyone had immediately written Mogami off as a lost cause and went on to concentrate on inviting others, like Fuwa-san.
"I could tell you where she is." Shou boasted, smirking at the brunette. "I can even make sure that you can get in to see her. Everything after that is gonna have to be up to you, though. Bringing my name into things will probably just get you thrown out."
"Eh?" Fumiko said, her eyebrows etching together in confusion. Why would Mogami throw her out if she mentioned that Fuwa-san had sent her? Did the two of them have a fight or something…? "I-I don't understand, Fuwa-san… I mean, all I'd have to do to see her is find her address and go to wherever she's staying, right?"
"Seeing Kyouko privately won't be that easy." Shou scoffed, passing the magazine he was holding to the girl in front of him. Confused, Fumiko accepted it, scanning over the article and advertisement for the movie Taste of a Sigh, starring Takahashi Ryuji and Kyouko-chan. "If her agency is anything like Akatoki, then they keep her address and contact numbers unlisted, and getting past the security at LME to see her at the office between jobs would be impossible for someone like you. Luckily, I know a guy who's gonna guest star on one of the dramas she's working on tomorrow, so I should be able to get you a visitor's pass." Fumiko's confusion only increased as she listened to what Shou was explaining to her, leaving her to try fruitlessly to connect his words to the possible locations of Mogami Kyoko.
"Mogami-san is working for LME? Does she make costumes or something for the actors?" The only way she could see Mogami in the show business world was as some kind of glorified seamstress, since in spite of her Plain-Jane appearance, Mogami had always proven to be surprisingly talented with needle and thread. It was for that reason that she was always put in charge of costumes for their plays during cultural festivals.
"Wha- No!" Shou protested, looking annoyed at Fumiko's inability to understand him. Scowling slightly, Shou leaned forward to smack the ad for Taste of a Sigh so hard, that the magazine was almost torn from Fumiko's hands. "This is Kyoko. She's been working as an actress for nearly four years now." Shock coursed through Fumiko as she gaped at the smiling girl in the ad before her, her eyes widening as she finally connected the stunning golden eyed girl in the photo to the classmate she had helped torment all those years ago. No way…
"Mogami Kyoko is Kyouko-chan?!"
Meanwhile, miles away in a small, charming garden, Mogami Kyouko herself paused in the process of applying her lip gloss, a foreign chill running down the twenty year old actress's slim, frame. What the…?
"Are you alright, Kyouko-san?" the twelve year old brunette sitting next to Kyouko asked worriedly when she noticed the girl freeze. "You look a little queasy… Do you want me to go find your manager or something?"
"Ah no, I'm fine!" Kyouko assured the younger actress hastily, smiling warmly at the girl to hide the panic she'd felt at her young co-star's suggestion. The last thing she needed was he manager hovering over her like an anxious mother and delaying the shoot for some imagined problem with her health… "Thank you, Mashino-san, but I just had a bad feeling. It's nothing that'll affect my health in any way, and I don't want to delay the shoot with such a silly problem."
"Well, if you're sure…" Mashino Kaoru frowned, reluctantly dropping the subject. "What kind of bad feeling was it, though? Did you forget something?"
"No, nothing like that." Kyouko said with a light laugh as she finished applying her make up, smiling at the girl's anxiousness. "It's probably just nerves or something."
"EH?!" Kaoru's jaw dropped at Kyouko's casual confession. "Nerves? YOU?! I mean, I know I'm nervous, but this is my first big role after two years of small time gigs! Kyouko-san has starred in lots of movies and dramas and all sorts of other things for the past four years! Why would you be nervous?" Kyouko giggled slightly at the awe coloring Kaoru's tone. The young actress had glommed onto the auburn-haired woman as soon as the two had met, gushing about how much she admired Kyouko and how she wanted to be just like her when she grew up. Kyouko found the whole experience very flattering, if a bit embarrassing.
"I always get nervous when I start a new role." Kyouko admitted to the young brunette with a wistful smile. "Nervous, and excited and determined all at once. Each new character is a challenge I can't wait to meet, it's one of the things I love best about being an actress. I bet Mashino-san feels the same way whenever she gets a new role, doesn't she?" Kaoru blushed at Kyouko's knowing smile, grinning sheepishly in confirmation. "Someone I respect very much once told me that those emotions are necessary to make someone a truly great actor."
"Really?" Kaoru pressed, brightening at Kyouko's advice.
"Mashino-san! Kyouko-san! We're ready to shoot Scene 28 are you two finished with make up?" Startled by the crewmember's sudden appearance, both girls hastily turned to face the man.
"Right." Kyouko said, slipping off of her stool and straightening up her outfit a bit. "We'll be there in a second." Giving the two a distracted nod in confirmation, the crewmember rushed off to talk to the cameraman. Shaking her head in bemusement, Kyouko turned and smiled brightly at her young costar. "Well Mashino-san, are you ready to do this?"
"Un!" Kaoru said brightly, nodding happily at the older woman before rushing ahead to get into position for their scene. Kyouko laughed to herself as she watched the girl listen intently to the director's instructions, all thoughts of her bad feeling from earlier forgotten as she slipped into the character of Emiko, the brilliant and defiant rookie female cop who was trying to protect young Yue (played by Kaoru) from being kidnapped by the yakuza gang that killed her parents. Whatever it was couldn't have been that important anyways, if she couldn't even figure out what it was about, and right now she had bigger things to concentrate on.
It was Showtime.
WoM- And THAT would be the first chapter. ^^ I'm trying to keep these a little on the shorter side, to preserve my sanity. No more twenty page chapters for me, that's for sure. XP Also, because I know some smartass is gonna comment on it, Kyouko's stage name is spelled differently in Japanese then her birth name is, even though they're both pronounced the same. That's important in this story, to differentiate how the other characters see Kyouko, so I've chosen 'Kyoko' as the spelling for Kyouko's birth name and 'Kyouko' as her stage name. Sorry if that gets confusing! ''laughs sheepishly' Now then I'm gonna shut up and be on my way. Won't want to keep you guys from reviewing now, would I? 'stares pointedly at readers'