Diamonds in Wine
Fanfiction Based Off Of: -man
Original Story: Katsura Hoshino
Chapter 1: Setting
Modern world. Twenty-first century.
Setting. London, England.
Squeals of delight and flashing cameras. A teenage male alighted a limousine as he waved at the massive crowd. Hundreds of female news reporters and fashion designers dangled their microphones in front of the celebrity, who simply smiled congenially. He had dashing red hair and bright green eyes, though one was covered by an obscure eye-patch. This little enigma seemed to intrigue the girls even more than if both eyes were visible. He gave a goofy grin, which sent the girls in its direction fainting, and walked deftly on the red carpet. Huge posters reading, "I LOVE YOU LAVI" and "BOOKMAN FOREVER" were waved frenetically amongst the crowd.
Lavi Bookman Jr. Voted Most Datable Man in Europe.
Setting. Madrid, Spain.
A group of girls huddled over a magazine in a home, giggling and pointing.
"It's Tyki Mikk!" one of them said, laughing. "Oh, God, he's so dreamy."
"Look at that body," her friend said, trailing her index finger over the picture. "So sexy. And he's so tan…"
The model in the magazine was the wild, handsome type, reeking confidence and swagger. Running his hand through his messy black hair, he stared directly at the camera with unyielding golden eyes and a devilish smirk. He was swarthy and muscular, his bare chest almost gleaming under the sunlight as he advertised a beach resort. The girls were obviously more interested in the model himself than what he was representing.
Tyki Mikk. Voted Most Desirable Man in Europe.
Setting. Tokyo, Japan.
"Look at that," a passing female said, giving a dramatic sigh as she looked up at a billboard through the floating snow. "It's Gucci's latest advertisement."
The billboard hosted a young man, in his late teens, looking away from the camera, thus emitting an aloof and distant vibe. He was dressed in a blazer with no undershirt, exposing his well-built chest; he had his hands in his pockets as he leaned against a blank white wall. His long black hair, of a condition that any girl would die for, draped naturally in a loose ponytail over his shoulder. His face was pale, though not unnaturally so, making his piercing dark blue eyes seem more noticeable than normal. He was extremely handsome. It was an indisputable fact.
"What about it?" her boyfriend asked.
"It's Kanda Yuu…" she said, almost swooning.
Her boyfriend grew irritated.
"What about him?" he snapped.
"What do you mean, what about him? He's beautiful! The hottest model in Japan! No, in Asia! Not only that, his adoptive father is the CEO of a huge international company, and he's already made it clear that Kanda's going to be his sole heir, which makes him obscenely rich! And, oh, goodness, he's so gorgeous. Any girl would die to be his."
"If our date is going to consist of you gawking at a guy other than me, I'm leaving," the boy said with a huff.
"What? You're just jealous that he's more handsome than you! It's no reason to be angry at him!"
"I'm not angry at him! I'm angry at you!"
The two of them began to argue furiously in the middle of the crowded street.
Kanda Yuu. Voted Most Beautiful Man in Asia. One major reason why girls break up with their boyfriends.
Setting. Tokyo, Japan. Black Order High School.
A white-haired boy popped his head in a classroom that was empty save for a teenage girl staring out the window at the falling snow. When she didn't reply, he strode over to her.
"Matsumomo Rei!" he hissed again, sitting down in the seat beside her.
Her attention snapped back and she finally turned to him, ruffling a hand through her long hair.
"Allen-kun," she greeted without much emotion.
"Did you finish the math homework?"
"Yeah, I did. And do you have the history homework?"
"Yeah, let's exchange."
The two students dove into their notebooks and handed each other a sheet of paper, simultaneously pulling out a blank sheaf and copying the other's work down hastily.
"Thank God you did it," Allen said, feverishly writing the numbers down. "I had no idea what this was about."
"Tell me about it," she agreed, frowning as she copied dates down. "I mean, who the hell cares who died in so and so year…"
"No, it's more like why the hell would I want to know what the probability is to roll two sixes when rolling two fair die. I mean, who cares? Besides, history is easy."
"No, math is easy. Goodness, Allen-kun, I think we'd both just fail if we didn't have each other…"
"Definitely," Allen said fervently. "Exactly how we're going to get through midterm exams, I have no idea…"
"I don't really care," Rei groaned. "One more year of this stressful high school life, and we're off to college."
"Except how we're going to pay for that, I have no idea."
"Exactly…" Rei said with a sigh.
They paused their conversation for a moment as the room began to fill up with students who had just retrieved their lunches from their lockers.
"Finished!" the white-haired teenager said happily. "Thanks, Rei!"
"Here, I'm done too." She handed the homework back to Allen.
"You seem kind of down, you know," Allen noted, stuffing the homework back in his folder taking a bento box out of his backpack. "What's up?"
Rei looked around her, checking to see if anyone was listening.
"I'm broke," she said quietly. "I haven't paid tuition for next semester yet, and Komui-sensei is starting to wonder why."
"Your dad really didn't leave you any money?" Allen inquired, eyes clouded with worry as he shoved rice in his mouth.
"No. All I had when he disappeared was the measly amount he had in the bank, but it barely covered this semester and I'm already in debt for the apartment…" Rei gave a sigh. "I might have to move out…but I've checked around already, and there aren't any cheaper prices in the school vicinity. Maybe I should drop out…"
"Don't do that!" Allen said frantically, a pickled plum falling out of his mouth. "What'll happen to me if you do? How about you move in with me?"
"That wouldn't work," answered Rei. "You're about as bad off as me…"
"Maybe you should tell Komui-sensei what happened."
"And get sent to some child shelter? No thanks. I'm fine living on my own. The only problem is money. Maybe I should get a job…"
"But the Black Order doesn't allow students to have part-time jobs…"
"Oh, is someone talking about a part-time job?" a snickering voice appeared above them.
Rei looked up to see Satsuma Aiko smirking down on them. She groaned inwardly. Aiko was one of the richest and snobbiest heiresses in the school. Her black school uniform was professionally tailored and stitched to perfection; two intercrossing C's were embedded on her cuffs, showing that it had been specially designed at Chanel.
"Something you need, Satsuma-san?" Rei asked coldly, her green eyes glittering as she tried not to roll them when she saw Aiko's cuffs.
"Oh, of course not!" Aiko laughed. "As if I would need anything from poor people like you two! I just happened to overhear a snippet of your conversation."
"Meaning you were eavesdropping like a sneak," Rei corrected. "But don't mind me. Carry on."
"Matsumomo, you might want to watch your mouth, you know. Because poor people like you who are only here on scholarship can be kicked out of this school as long as I want them to be. Isn't that right, girls?"
Aiko's band of girlfriends chimed "Yeah" together like a street choir.
"Anyway, Matsumomo, rich and prestigious schools like this one really don't need poor trash like you, I'm afraid. You and Walker will probably be kicked out before you know it!"
"If that's all you have to say," Rei said with a smile, "I'm afraid I didn't find your tirade to be particularly enlightening. If you have enough time to be lecturing others about their financial situation, you should probably go study and bring your grades up back to the top ten percent of the class, because as of now, the Satsuma Company's future seems a bit bleak. But then again, if you do go bankrupt, you'll just be a commoner like the rest of us! There's nothing wrong with that."
"How dare you!" Aiko shrieked. "You're just jealous!"
"Of your stupidity," Rei said dryly.
"I'll have you know that my beauty can make up for my grades! Because I'm so beautiful, I've been invited to a social party at Gucci's headquarters next week! And guess who's going to be there?"
"Your father," Allen replied thickly through his cream bun.
"Well, yes, he will, but that's not the point! Kanda Yuu is going to be there!"
Aiko's tagalong group burst out into excited shrieks.
"So why don't you just sit here and lament over money while I'm flirting with the hottest guy in Japan?" Aiko sneered. "Poor people, you disgust me."
She tossed her bleached hair over her shoulder and left the room, laughing in a terribly high-pitched voice all the while.
"I have no idea what girls see in that guy," Allen muttered.
"Oh. Well, he's good-looking, I'll give him that."
"He's a jerk, believe me."
Rei arched an eyebrow.
"You sound like you know him personally," she remarked.
"I-I mean, he sounds like he's a jerk. You know, on television."
"Well, I think he's just a pretty boy," she said, reaching over and taking Allen's last cream bun. "If I were to choose a model I really like…I'd have to say Tyki Mikk."
"The Portuguese one?"
"Yeah," she replied, nodding. "He's very handsome. Oh, and Lavi Bookman's all right, too."
"Both of them are major playboys."
She gave him an exasperated look.
"Do you hate all male models or something? Fine then, who do you like?"
Allen went pink as he hastily muttered something unintelligible.
"I said Lenalee Lee…" he said quietly, his cheeks growing redder.
"The model from China?" Rei questioned.
"Yeah, she's very cute," Rei said, thinking. "She's been quite popular in Japan lately…but doesn't rumor have it that she and Kanda are dating?"
"Though I have no idea why, seeing how he's an insufferable idiot."
"So they are dating?"
"How do you know?"
"I…I like to keep up with these things."
Rei gave him a strange look, sensing that Allen was deliberately hiding something from her. The bell rang, however, and as they shuffled out to their next class, the thought of interrogating Allen flew out of her mind as she began to obsess over the issue of money again.
Rei shuffled through the snow back to her apartment. Her landlady was nice despite the fact that she was behind on paying her dues and had hung a small microwavable dinner on her door. Attached to it was a note with instructions on how to make it, as well as an inquiry of whether Rei had heard from her father yet. The teenage girl gave a sigh and walked into the apartment, locking the door behind her. She kicked off her dilapidated loafers and set the bag of food on the counter, and, not bothering to turn on any lights, plopped down on the couch, exhausted.
Matsumomo Rei, seventeen years old, third year in high school. Recently abandoned by her father. Six months before, Rei had woken up to find the house completely deserted. With no sign of a skirmish, break-in, or note, Rei had been forced to conclude that her father had simply left her with nothing, not even a note explaining where he went or how long he was going to be gone. Cooking and cleaning were not issues; the biggest problem was money. The bank account had had a decent amount that had gone mainly to the school, for, even though Rei was there on scholarship, she was still required to pay a good amount. Unable to find another source of income, she had simply stopped eating lunch and only used electricity as needed to save money.
It wasn't like she didn't have an idea why her father disappeared, though. Matsumomo Eiji was retired body who had worked for many famous celebrities, so it wasn't like his job had been without any danger. Rei herself had been raised by her paranoid father to learn every bit of physical training since she was very young. Her father had encouraged her playing with guns (unloaded guns, of course, but it still wasn't very safe), swords, and daggers of all kinds, testing and sparring with her often. Only a week before her father disappeared, Eiji had told her that she was fully qualified to be a professional bodyguard. Like that was going to be helpful later on in life, Rei thought with a scowl. She had to admit that she enjoyed fighting though; it was a good stress reliever. Eiji always remarked how much Rei was like her mother, who had died in a car crash when she was young; though she was not Japanese, Eileen Raye Matsumomo had also been a martial artist, and an accomplished one at that.
The phone rang suddenly, causing Rei to jolt upright in the darkness. She leaned over to the desk and took the phone off its cradle.
"Is Matsumomo Eiji home?"
"He's not in," she replied mechanically, having already restated this message to telemarketers. "May I leave a message?"
"Tell him that this is Reever. I'm Kanda Yuu's manager."
"I'm afraid not, little missy," Reever chuckled. "Is your father really not in?"
"No, I'm sorry, he's not. Er, what do you need with him?"
"Kanda's got a shortage of bodyguards and your father is one of the best in the nation. We were going to ask him to come out of retirement and help us out. If you could just tell him to come to Kanda's temporary office sometime tonight, that'd be great."
Reever gave her the address, which Rei scribbled down quickly in the dark, and hung up, leaving her alone with the slip of paper. It suddenly became very clear to her what she had to do.
"He should be here sometime soon," Reever said nervously. "His daughter said that she'd pass the message along."
"She probably didn't," the teenager said coldly as he swirled the glass of ice water in his hand. "I told you it wasn't a good idea, Reever…getting an old guy out of retirement. And I don't need bodyguards. I'm quite capable of handling myself."
"Y-yeah, I know that, Kanda-san, but just in case…"
Kanda Yuu gave an irritated sigh and sat back in his leather seat behind his desk. His piercing blue eyes scanned the elegant office room with a look of distaste. Reever tried not to wince at the youth's scowl; Kanda's temper was erratic and scary. Though he was a famous supermodel and heir of a successful company, well-acclaimed by everyone, Kanda maintained a terribly aloof personality with the general public and paparazzi. He had no desire to be part of the gossip or daily news and was strictly dedicated to work.
There was an uncertain knock on the door. Reever looked up from his little part of the floor, relieved.
"Come in," he said eagerly.
Reever's eagerness disappeared as soon as he saw the visitor. She looked somewhere in her late teens, was of slim build and almost unhealthy pallor, and had long black hair that was in desperate need of cutting. Her winter jacket was slightly frayed and her shoes were in terrible condition. Reever saw Kanda's nose wrinkle in disgust at her appearance and winced again. Though she wasn't ugly, Kanda was constantly surrounded by women who were sublimely beautiful, and this girl was not quite up to par.
"Who the hell are you?" Kanda asked rudely.
"I'm Matsumomo Rei," she said with a small bow. "I'm really sorry about this, but—"
"Is your father not coming?" Reever said desperately.
She shook her head, causing Reever's heart to drop and Kanda's lips to curl in a snarl.
"I'm very sorry about this, Kanda-san…" Reever said apologetically.
"Wait, please listen," Rei interjected, a shadow of anger crossing over her face for being ignored. "My father is currently missing."
"I don't particularly care," Kanda said coolly.
Rei gave the model a nasty glare before continuing.
"I'm not asking you to," she said icily. "What I came today for was to see if I could take the job in his place."
"W-what?" Reever gasped.
"I've been trained by him," Rei said quickly, taking advantage of their attention. "I'm skilled in every type of fighting style: karate, judo, taekwondo, you name it…I can also assemble a gun in less than a minute, I can shoot…basically anything a typical bodyguard can do."
"I am not going to be protected by a girl," Kanda said blandly.
"Don't judge me based on that," she snapped. Surprise passed over Kanda's normally impassive face as he heard her tone; obviously the model prodigy was more accustomed to women swooning over him than snapping at him.
"I'm well-trained," she said, recovering herself. "I'd really appreciate if you at least gave me a chance."
"No," said Kanda firmly. "It's insulting to—"
The door suddenly burst open, ushering in two black-clad figures, both masked and armed. Reever stood instinctively in front of his employer as one of them raised his gun, pointing it in their direction.
Rei whipped around and kicked the gun out of the assailant's hand, and without a moment's pause, punched him deftly in the face. The other figure turned his attention to the girl, but before he could attack, she knocked the gun out of his hands while kneeing him between the leg, causing him to double over and fall. She swung out a leg, tripping the first attacker, and knocked him down by his accomplice. She pressed both of their heads to the ground, holding them at gunpoint.
There was a deathly silence; nothing could be heard except for the invaders' ragged breathing.
"What the hell just happened?" Kanda said.
The door opened again, and Rei, while pinning the two attackers down with her knees, immediately pointed the gun at the doorway. A foreign old man with a kindly looking face walked in, smiling. Reever immediately felt relieved. Froi Tiedoll, Kanda's adoptive father, had arrived.
"Oh-ho!" he grinned. "It looks like these two got beaten up quite badly! Good job, girl!"
Kanda stood up instantly.
"What the hell did you just do, old man?" he demanded angrily.
Upon hearing Kanda's exclamation, Rei dropped her arm to her side.
"Oh, I just heard that Reever had contacted my old friend, Matsumomo Eiji, to be your bodyguard, and I wanted to see if his skills had rusted any!" the foreigner explained. "He used to guard me, you know! But this seems to be his daughter! You can get off of them now, you know. They were just testing you."
Rei scrambled to her feet and gave a hasty bow, tossing the guns by their owners.
"You've learned well, child," he said. "You look much like your mother, you know. That must be where you get your eye color."
Rei didn't seem to know what to say, so she simply nodded.
"Don't. Call. Me. That."
"I suppose this girl will make a good addition to your team. How about it, dear? Ah, I'm sorry, I don't know your name."
"Rei. Matsumomo Rei."
"Well then, Rei-chan, please take care of my son."
"I am not your son!"
"Reever," Tiedoll said, ignoring his son's outburst, "be sure to treat Rei-chan nicely and give her a good salary. How's your father doing, by the way?"
"He's…er…missing," Rei said truthfully.
Tiedoll looked shocked.
"For how long?" he questioned.
"About half a year…"
"And you didn't report this?"
"Eh…I was going to…but I didn't want to end up in an orphanage, since I'm not of age yet…" Rei gave an awkward smile. "I know I should have, but I think he left for a reason, so I don't really want to bother him about it…"
"Do you want us to look into it?" Tiedoll offered. "We have a good team here, I'm sure we can find him."
"He might just be on some covert mission or something," Rei replied, obviously trying to downplay the issue. "Don't worry about it."
"As you wish…" Tiedoll did not seem convinced. "Yuu-chan, treat her delicately. Don't be mean and brash like you always are to women."
"Only to ugly ones."
Rei rolled her eyes as Tiedoll simply shook his head and left the room. Reever, happy that he had finished his objected mission, placed a contract on the desk in front of Kanda and Rei.
"It's just Rei," she interrupted, sliding in the seat across from Kanda. "Matsumomo-san is my father, so I'd rather you not call me that."
"Oh, well, all right, Rei-san, if you could just sign here…this states that you will protect Kanda Yuu to the best of your ability, and here's the salary…" he pointed to the figure. "Are there any requests?"
"Just spit it out," said Kanda.
"I'm a third year high school student," she said. "If possible, could I just work…at night? Because I have to attend school?"
"I don't care," Kanda said with a nonchalant shrug. "Don't think work will be less just because it's at night. Most of my shoots take place then."
"Well, if Kanda-san is okay with it, then I am too," Reever said, anxiously trying to convey an apology to the scowling girl for Kanda's behavior. "If you could just sign here…"
Rei signed quickly, her signature bold and smooth, and stood up.
"So when do I start?" she asked.
"Tomorrow," Kanda replied. "I have a shoot at D&G at six. Don't be late."
Rei nodded understandingly.
"I have conditions that if you don't meet, I'll fire you immediately," said the model.
Rei's eyes narrowed.
"You can not fall for me," Kanda said with a faint smirk. "I hate fangirls. They drive me crazy, so I definitely can't have one with me."
"You flatter yourself. Personally, I find you detestable, though I really shouldn't be saying that since you're my employer."
She gave him a cold glare and stood up, preparing to leave.
"And another thing, Matsumomo," Kanda called, causing the girl to stop at the door. "Do something about your appearance, would you? At least make yourself presentable."
She tried to smile but it seemed to fail miserably, for all Reever saw on her face was a definite snarl before the door slammed shut. Reever shook his head and collected the papers. Despite his good looks and natural modeling ability, the manager had to admit: Kanda Yuu was a jerk.