Mendol - Ikemen Idol!
author's note: Watch this series. It's pretty bad, but it's also so damn good. hahahah. This is my re-imagining of the series with extra scenes and shenanigans. And just want people to know that I'm gonna be using my creative license freely. You have been warned. Oh, and a big thank you to mysoju, tranquilsprings and subbers who decided to undertake the mendol project. :D Without the subs, I would not be writing this... so you can either regret subbing it or pat yourself on the back hahaha.
extra language note: I kept some Japanese in this fic cuz it doesn't translate so well into English...
shachou -- president
onee-chan -- older sister
yoroshiku onegaishimasu -- please take care of me
samui -- cold
denpa -- electro-magnetic wave
I want to be an idol!
That was the thought that was pulsating through all the minds of the girls in the room.
I want to be an idol!
However, that phrase rung with a certain desperation in one girl's head. Decked in her school uniform, Wakamatsu Asahi had auditioned more times than she could remember and had failed each and every time. While most people would have given up after the third time, Wakamatsu Asahi was absolutely determined to be an ido even after failing again and again.
This had been her dream, ever since she was young. She wanted to be in the spotlight, not because she wanted fame or money (though those were pretty good reasons too), but because she wanted to make people happy. All of this, this dream of being an idol, stemmed from an experience Asahi had had when she was just a little girl.
When she was young, her and her family had gone to Osaka to visit some relatives and she had gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of Osaka station. Being young and alone had been terrifying and Asahi had wandered around, sobbing and calling for her parents.
All of a sudden, THEY had appeared.
Just a group of musicians promoting their music near the train station, making use of some of the stairs nearby as a makeshift stage, singing their songs in acapella. One of the girls of the group had seen her, walked forward and plucked Asahi out of the crowd that was threatening to engulf her. Trying to cheer up tiny Asahi, this woman had given her a tambourine while one of the guys in this troupe lifted her up on to his shoulder, asking her what her name was.
Soon, the entire group was belting out her name in tune with the music and asking her parents to 'please come find their adorable Asahi-chan'. Her parents who had been half-crazed with worry at losing her, heard the song and had come rushing to find her giggling breathlessly at the funny faces the man who was carrying her was pulling. While her parents tearfully thanked the group over and over, the woman who had saved Asahi from the crowd had bent down to wink at the young child.
"Thank you, onee-san." Asahi had thanked the woman shyly.
"Not scared anymore?" The beautiful woman teased softly, her warm brown eyes sparkling with mischief.
"Noooo..." Asahi puffed up indignantly, not wanting her parents to know she had been crying.
"Well," The man who had been holding her knelt down so he was eye-level with Asahi. "Did you have fun?"
"Yup!" Asahi grinned and nodded enthusiastically.
"Good, good." He beamed at her and nodded, rubbing the top of Asahi's head. "That's our job as idols. To make sure you're happy when you're sad."
Wakamatsu Asahi had decided then and there, that she was going to be like these people, these idols. She was going to be an idol, to make people happy! And the effects of singers, actors, musicians--idols, all of them--had been a continual one. Whenever she was sad, whenever she was unhappy, it was the songs, the drama, the charisma of idols that put a smile on her face. But it was that little group that had made such a huge impact on her. Even though the faces of her saviours that day had faded away to nothing in her memory, she remembered the comfort and joy they provided her in that one moment of mind-numbing childish terror.
Asahi blinked, shocked out of her memory, her nerves overwhelming her again. But she could do this! She could! She just had to put her best foot forward and she was sure one of these producer-types would see her potential!
She just needed a chance.
"I'm number seven, Wakamatsu Asahi." She gave a brilliant, confident smile. "Yumeoka Public School, third year. In the future, I want to be an idol, just like Ray-san!"
Ray was at the top of the charts right now, one of the most charismatic songstresses of her time. Asahi always strived to be like the idols at the top, because that was where the most hard-working, the most dedicated, the most-talented idol of the time was and that was where Asahi wanted to be!
"Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!" Asahi gave another bright smile, her heart hammering in her chest. She'd done this SO many times before, this HAD to be the time when all the auditioning paid off and they at least gave her a chance to--
"Hm." The sleazy looking man in the sunglasses (why was he wearing sunglasses indoors? Who did he think he was?), sneered a little bit and turned to speak to one of the people sitting with him. "Reminds me of my kid back home."
All the hope she had, of this being the audition where they would finally SEE what she could offer to the world, dashed to the ground. Pouting slightly, she walked back to her seat. It was sad, but she was used to disappointment by now. The first time she had been rejected at an audition, she had held in her tears until she could leave the audition room, then walked as nonchalantly as she could to the washroom and cried her heart out. But that was in the past! She wouldn't let minor hurdles get in her way! She would persevere!
"Number eight, Kawachi Nami." The girl named Nami introduced herself casually, her whole body radiating nervous energy, as if she was more used to being in constant motion than standing still. Some of her brown hair was pulled up into a high ponytail and held in place with a yellow scrunchy. "I'm currently working part-time at a convenience store, but I wanna be a singer! I like to be noisy, seriously!"
Her voice was a pleasant alto, but coupled with the ridiculousness of her statement, Asahi feel embarassed for the girl.
"Baaaka." Asahi muttered under her breath as several other girls waiting in the room voiced the same thing. This girl was a bit of an idiot, but Asahi could see that Nami honestly wanted to impress the producers and hoped that this girl would at least get one favorable mention for her enthusiasm...
"Totally NOT sexy at all!" The sleazy man curled up his lip in disgust.
'Well, you're one to talk.' Asahi thought viciously at the sleazy producer, feeling sorry for the boisterous girl. Nami went back to her seat, looking slightly deflated and angry. The next girl, though, caught everybody's attention.
But not in a good way.
"I'm number nine, attending Shirobara Girls' Academy, third year, Otawa Hinata!" It wasn't her perky voice that caught people's attention, nor her big round eyes. It was just an aura of... something that came off the girl.
"My dream," Hinata pressed a finger to her chin thoughtfully. "Is to be an angel on Earth!"
"An angel on earth?" Asahi gaped.
"Samui!" Sitting next to each other, Asahi and Nami got a full case of the shivers, like the shivers one gets from nails screeching down a blackboard. Then, Otawa Hinata proceeded to do her tenshi dance.
"Ten-ten-tenshi, tenshi, yo!" It was like feedback from a microphone that was too close to the speaker. All the auditioners cringed, squeezed their eyes shut and covered their ears. So it went unnoticed to them as they were trying to block out the ten-ten-ing, that the sleazy producer was the only one who didn't seem affected by Hinata. In fact, he seemed disturbingly interested in her...
After everybody had auditioned, the producers had a small discussion amongst themselves. All the girls who had auditioned were on the edge of their seats, most notably Asahi, Nami and Hinata.
"Well then... I'm gonna announce the applicants who were successful today." The man announcing the results of the audition kept his eyes studiously on the clipboard he was holding. "Okay, today's successful applicants are..."
Everyone waited with bated breaths.
Asahi let out a huge, weary sigh, day planner in hand as she counted out how many times she had auditioned.
"Forty-nine applications, forty-nine unsuccessful, huh... the next application will be... the fiftieth one?!"
"Seriously?!" A hand spun her around and she was faced with the energetic Kawachi Nami and her gleeful expression. "During the audition, you didn't look THAT bad."
Asahi clutched her day planner to her chest not liking how Nami was looking so incredibly happy at the fact that Asahi had failed AGAIN.
"But this is great!" Nami clenched her hands into fists, raising them slightly in relief and triumph. "There's someone who's worse off than me! And this is only my 38th time!"
Asahi spun on the shorter woman, indignant. "That's nothing to be proud of, is it?"
"Hinata has over a hundred times!" A cheery voice exclaimed.
"SERIOUSLY?!" Nami and Asahi both turned to gape at the owner of the voice, then immediately pointed at the pink-clad woman, screaming their surprise. "AHHH! Denpa!"
"Denpa?" Hinata tilted her head to the side, confused.
Nami pulled a face. "You frequently release electric waves, don't you?"
Nami and Asahi looked at each other and as if on cue, they did Hinata's tenshi dance. "Ten-ten-tenshi, tenshi, yo!"
Hinata smiled, confused. Electric waves? What was wrong with her tenshi dance?
"The two of you are in grade twelve, right?" Nami directed their conversation back on track: their auditions. "Which means that you're 18 years old, right? That's kinda really late to debut, right?"
Even though Asahi was pretty sure that this short girl hadn't meant to make her feel bad, what she said sent a cold knife through her chest. Nami continued talking, not noticing the affect she had on Asahi.
"Recently, elementary school students, no, even kindergarten students are participating in idol competitions!" Nami was on a roll and it was hard for her to stop. It was like... an inevitable car crash. Nami was at the wheel and Asahi was the proverbial car's victim. However, Nami's morbid speel was interrupted by Hinata's peppy voice.
"Then the three of us are the 'long-overdue comrades'!" Hinata grinned, pulling at Asahi's arm and bringing the two of them closer to Nami. "We'll audition together until we're finally discovered!"
Her enthusiasm was pretty infectious. "Ten-ten-tenshi, tenshi, yo! Come on, do it with me!"
Nami and Asahi had been feeling pretty down at being rejected again, but seeing this girl who had failed her auditions more than a hundred times... they felt slightly embarassed at their own discouragement.
"Ten-ten-tenshi, tenshi, yo!" The three chanted together while trying to find their way out of the underground parking lot. The sudden chirping noise from Hinata's cellphone stopped their little group chant, though.
Moshi-moshi, this is Hinata... Really?... okay!" Hinata hung up on the caller then turned around to face her two companions with an apologetic look on her face. "Sorry! Hinata's not a comrade anymore!"
"Eh?" Nami and Asahi gaped at Hinata. No way!
"The producer called me just now," Hinata bubbled excitedly. "and told me he has something to tell me tonight! Seeya!"
And with that, the little pink tornado swept out of there, leaving as abruptly as she had arrived.
"Traitor!" Nami kicked out half-heartedly, though she felt kind of good for the girl. After a hundred auditions? Why, what kind of person would Nami be if she didn't feel at least a little bit happy for the denpa?
Asahi's little scream of delight caught Nami's attention. There was something on the ground and Asahi crouched down to pick it up.
"What is it?"
"It's a purupuru!" Asahi clutched at the toy and pressed it against her face. "It feels goooooood!"
'Is she an idiot?' Nami wondered. 'Who picks things off the ground and presses it against their face?'
Asahi, meanwhile, was just rejoicing. She had found it! This toy, a limited edition purupuru! At one of Ray-san's press conferences, this toy had been released to the press as a thank you for their continued support. Asahi had tried going online to buy the toy but either nobody was willing to part with it, or the toys' price had been knocked sky-high by people trying to outbid each other.
The two girls were suddenly blinded by the headlights of a car that stopped right in front of them. The sound of people filing out was all they heard as the two girls tried to blink the spots out of their eyes. The light went away when the three men who had been inside the car loomed in front of them, their suited bodies casting long shadows.
"Give that to me." The man in the grey suit and sunglasses, with hair slicked back and shiny patent leather shoes pointed at the purupuru in Asahi's hands. He seemed to be the leader this small group. Asahi immediately bristled at the tone. No way was she going to lose this purupuru to some otaku!
"Finder's keepers!" Asahi pouted, not wanting to give up her new-found toy. Wthout even a warning, the man pulled out a gun and pointed it at Asahi's head threateningly. "Eh?"
They stood like that, frozen for a few long seconds, Asahi staring down into the muzzle of the gun. Just when Asahi was going through her flight-or-fight choice, Nami's voice cut through the fear that was starting to take over Asahi. "Ah! I know! You're filming a scene, right?"
"Ah, you're right!" Asahi laughed, feeling the tension go out of her shoulders. Really, who in Japan owned a gun except the yakuza? And even though this man looked the part--he looked TOO in character. It *must* be a costume!
"If not, he wouldn't be staring at us like a snake, right?" Nami said cheerfully, eyes bright with excitement. "Where's the camera?"
Asahi started casting around desperately for a camera. Maybe they were on a reality show! Maybe they could get discovered that way! She had to make sure the camera was filming her more photogenic side!
"Is it here?" Nami poked her finger into the gun's muzzle cheerfully. She loved reality shows! There was always that one person who was an idiot and didn't figure out the joke was on them, but not Nami! The audience would love her for being so quick on her feet--
The snakeman jerked his arm back and fired the gun into the air. Both girls screamed in fear and jumped into each other's arms as an airduct started spraying out steam from the ceiling and creating a hot steam wall between them and the men.
"RUN AWAY!" Asahi grabbed hold of Nami's hand and ran back in the direction of the studio.
"What the hell was that?" Nami screamed as they raced back into the studio. The sound of pursuing footsteps and a quick glance behind them confirmed that they were being chased by the strange men, though thankfully, the gun had been put away so they would be less conspicuous inside the studio. But it was no less scary.
"AHHHH!" The girls screamed, Nami cast around desperately for a way out. Spotting a door leading to a stairwell, she pulled Asahi inside with her.
"GO GO GO GO GO!" Nami squealed as she pushed Asahi ahead of her. The loud bang of the stairwell door bursting open told them their pursuers were hot on their heels.
"Who are they? Why do they have guns?!" Asahi raced up the stairs, two at a time. Despite Nami's short legs, she too, scaled the stairs faster than expected.
"How do I know? They're not filming or anything!" Nami babbled, wheezing a little bit at the pace they were going. Bursting through the third floor door, they looked up and down the crowded halls frantically, then set off in a random direction, heedless of the people they were bumping in to.
"Scuze me! Sorry! Coming through!" Ducking aside into a slightly quieter hall, they yanked open a door and slipped into this dark storage room before closing the door as quietly as they could behind them. Not a second later, they heard two men cursing profusely as they raced past their door.
Trying hard to keep as quiet as they could while catching their breaths, the two girls froze at the sound of a woman's voice. Ducking down behind a bunch of chairs and tables stacked near the door, the girls peered over them curiously to see two women arguing with each other. There was one with black hair cut at some very sharp angles; she had a look on her face that was equal parts smug and unapologetic. The other woman with lighter, slightly wavy hair seemed furious and whom she was angry at was made very clear when her hand shot out and smacked the dark-haired woman across the face.
"Tell me, which woman were you with yesterday?" The hurt was apparent in her eyes though the wronged party held on to her anger tightly. Nami and Asahi both felt their jaws hit their chest as the dark-haired woman, instead of answering, darted forward to claim the other woman's mouth in a passionate kiss. Their tongues twisted and danced with one another's wetly, their loud and laboured breathing echoed in the empty storage room. When they at last parted, mouths bruised from the ferociousness of their make-out session, the anger seemed to have completely gone from the lighter-haired woman.
"Are you jealous?" the dark-haired woman cooed.
"Wha... whatever you say..." all the fight seemed to have gone out of the brown-haired woman.
"Oh? Well then... one more time?"
This time, the make-out session got a little bit heavy as the dark-haired woman pushed the other one back until their backwards motion was stopped by a desk. The light-haired woman was pushed on top of it, the blazer she was wearing slipping from her shoulders and a black-gloved hand moving down the light-haired woman's body slowly to palm and knead her thigh...
"Marilyn... so cute..." The dark-haired woman groaned, sucking on her partner's neck.
Asahi watched in a mixture of fascination and shock, unsure of what to do. Nami, however, was trying to fight down the violent disgust she felt at the sight of the two women kissing each other.
"Uwaaaahhh!" Nami backed away, groping backwards blindly. In doing so, she managed to knock down a whole stack of chairs and a desk. The two women, who had thought they were alone, immediately caught sight of the two girls.
"Uh..." Asahi gave a super polite bow, not really sure if what she was doing was the right reaction to circumstances like this. "Sorry for disturbing you two! Um, please continue!"
Nami also flashed a fake smile, nodding in agreement with Asahi's reaction, before the two fled the little storage room. Rushing into a room marked 'Changing Room 2', they found themselves amidst racks and racks of various clothes, costumes, footwear, headgear and accessories.
"That was a live action L show just now!" Nami exclaimed, disgust still etched in her face.
"What's 'L'?" Asahi blinked, confusion apparent on her face.
"Don't you know?" Nami gaped at the innocence her companion showed and took it upon herself to enlighten the other girl. "The world of L, females kissing... and making love to each other... it's just so sickening!"
Nami shivered and rubbed her arms furiously, feeling a full case of the heebie-jeebies.
"Lets not talk about that," Asahi sighed in frustration, annoyed that the other girl could get side-tracked by kissing women so easily. "We better concentrate on how to escape from those guys! How did we even get involved in this? I seriously don't understand!"
Those men were probably combing the building looking for them so they couldn't possibly leave this room and looking at her cellphone, she realized calling the police wasn't even an option since she had no reception! What could she do? Asahi leaned against a rack of costumes when it suddenly dawned on her. Throwing her bag to the ground, she kicked off her shoes and started taking off her school uniform. Turning, she could see Nami watching her, bug-eyed.
"You have to take off your clothes too!" Asahi reached for Nami's shirt to help the shell-shocked girl, but Nami pushed her away, horrified.
"What are you doing?! Don't tell me you wanna--"
"Stupid!" Asahi barked out. Seriously, this girl was so stuck on the L thing! "We're going to disguise ourselves!"
"Eh?" Nami blinked stupidly then took a look around. Realization dawned on her face. "OH!"
Without another word, the two stripped out of their clothing and picked matching outfits. Hiding their hair underneath a toque and donning baggy jeans, sunglasses that covered most of their face, boots, a loose tee, clunky silver accessories and a faux-leather jacket, they checked each other's appearances before opening the door to the changeroom and peeking out.
Seeing that the coast was clear, Asahi took the lead. "Let's go!"
Walking down the crowded hallways, pretending to look like they had business there, was nerve-wracking. There was a whole bunch of girls mingling around and it seemed like they were all staring at them.
"Shitshitshitshit!" Nami swore under her breath. "What are we gonna do?! Our disguises suck! They probably know we're girls dressed as guys!"
"Calm down!" Asahi whispered back frantically. "They don't know that! They don't!"
"Hey," A girl in a bunny suit called out to them. They stiffened and turned towards her, a smile frozen on their face. the bunny-girl's friends pushed their blushing representative forward, giggling. "Um, are you guys lost? Could we help you?"
"Uh, no..." Realization dawned on Asahi. She had seen girls act like this before. She knew because she had acted like this before in front of cute guys. Oh my god, they thought she, Wakamatsu Asahi, WAS the cute guy! Nami seemed to realize the same thing and was about to give a--probaby rude--retort when she caught sight of something over Asahi's shoulder and a look of panic crossed her face. Nami turned to face the bunny-girl, leaning against one of the walls to try and look cool.
"Yeaaahhh... we're a bit lost." Nami drawled, trying to deepen her voice without sounding ridiculous. "Ahem. Uh, we were just wondering if you girls could, uh, take us to the... uh..."
Asahi glanced behind her shoulder, wondering what had freaked Nami out. The sight of their pursuers sent her to the side of the one of the bunny-girl's friends, who was decked out as a cheerleader.
"Auditions! The men's auditions! Yeah, uh," Asahi coughed, deepening her voice too. Putting an arm awkwardly around the cheerleader's shoulders, she grimaced when she felt the girl swoon a little bit. This was so not how she pictured today going. "Could you? This studio is kinda big."
With two girls on their arms and the rest of bunny-girl's friends following them, they passed the men in dark suits--who gave only a cursory glance at the girls surrounding Asahi and Nami--then continued off.
"Safe!" Nami breathed out.
"Did you say something?" the bunny-girl smiled prettily at Nami and the girl-disguised-as-a-guy shuddered at the sight of bunny-girl batting her eyelashes at her.
Asahi quickly tried to cover for her comrade. "Uh, he meant, 'safe', cuz we won't be late for our audition cuz of you girls, right?"
"Yeah, yeah!" Nami nodded enthusiastically and gave Asahi a thumbs-up. "Good cover-up!"
"Cover up?" the girls looked at Nami curiously again.
"Look, here we are!" Nami pointed to a sign on a big set of double doors that said 'auditions - men', happy to distract the girls away from her 'cover up' slip. "Well, it was nice meeting you girls butwehavetogetgoingnowbye!"
"Bye!" The girls waved goodbye, looking seriously disappointed. "Come find us afterwards, ok?"
"Yeah, sure!" Nami gave them a big fake grin, her dimples coming in to play. The girls sighed or squealed in pleasure, startling Nami, who jumped behind Asahi to hide from their love-stricken stares.
"Uh, thanks girls." Asahi gave them a tiny wave and a small smile. The girls gave the same reaction to Asahi as they did to Nami and Asahi found herself so startled by their blatant admiration that she stumbled backwards right into Nami and through the doors to the men's auditions. Girls were damn scary! And Asahi was about to say that aloud when bright lights suddenly blinded them.
"We're starting! Please get in line!" A voice, made loud through a megaphone, crackled.
"What the--" A group of guys who were dressed quite similar to the two girls ran right into them, pushing them right into the area where the guys were lining up to begin dancing while cameras filmed them, probably for a screen test. Asahi and Nami were pushed right in front of the camera as the guys all danced an obviously pre-rehearsed dance.
"Woah." Nami and Asahi watched the guys going through the simple repetitive choreography, unconsciously memorizing the footwork and dance moves as they stood a little bit off to the side. Asahi looked around the room, feeling slightly embarassed that they had crashed an audition--but the embarassment turned to panic again when she saw the man who had pulled the gun on them, lurking behind the cameras and looking around for them.
"Dance!" Asahi pushed Nami towards the middle of the group of guys.
Nami looked bewildered. "Eh?"
"Those guys are here!" hissed Asahi. Nami caught sight of them and ran into the middle of the group, both of them hoping they would be indistinguishable from the dancing guys. It only took them half a beat to fall into step with the rest of the dancers and they put their all into it, desperately. Their efforts didn't go unnoticed as the producer in charge of the set and his guest noticed them right away.
"Ara ara," The producer smiled a bit, looking at the two in the back. "And here I thought they couldn't dance! They're pretty good!"
The woman in all black with her black hair cut at sharp angles had her eyes locked on the two figures, a small smile pulling up one corner of her lips. Their view of the dancers was momentarily ruined though, by three men in dark suits who walked across the set, ignoring the rolling cameras and the cries of dismay from the crew.
"Hey!" The producer left his guest's side, shouting at the intruders. "Who are you people and why are you on my set?!"
At the distraction, Asahi pulled Nami away and they ran off in the opposite direction of the men in suits. The producer, however, caught sight of the two running for it and immediately gave chase after the promising young 'men'.
"Hey, wait! Please, don't go, wait just a moment--" He went flying as the dark-haired woman pushed him away in her bid to chase down the two disguised girls. Asahi and Nami, meanwhile, had run off to an empty set, slowing when they saw that no-one was following them. Their relief was short-lived though, when a voice called to them from the shadows of the opposite end of the room.
"Excuse me." They froze and turned around, seeing the snake-guy walking towards them with his two lackeys right behind him. "Have you seen two high school girls?"
Struck speechless with fear, they could only keep their eyes on the floor and stay silent, sure that he would be able to tell they were girls as soon as he got a closer look at them or heard them speak.
"I've seen them." A voice rang out. Spinning around, Asahi and Nami immediately recognized the woman they had accidentally spied on in the storage room.
"L!" Nami exclaimed. Asahi immediately clamped her hand over Nami's mouth, hoping to god that this woman wouldn't give up their identities to these men. Although their disguise had fooled the girls from before, Asahi got the impression from this dark-haired woman that she was absolutely NOT fooled. The mischievous smile on her face while the 'L' woman pranced over filled Asahi with dread and anxiety.
"They went that way." The unexpected reply unleashed a flood of relief in the two disguised girls as the snake-guy offered a curt 'excuse me', and he and his men were gone without a second glance at Asahi or Nami.
"Ah, we're saved!" Nami let out an explosive sigh of relief as soon as the men had left.
Asahi was relieved and grateful at being delivered from the gun-wielding men and bowed politely to the black-haired woman. "Thank you very much!"
Instead of answering, the woman walked forward and took off both their toques and their sunglasses, allowing their long hair and feminine features to be seen.
"As I thought," The woman was talking to herself and seemed extremely excited, ignoring Asahi's expression of gratitude. "This is great!"
Before either of them could ask the strange woman what she meant, her eyes focused on the two girls in front of them and she clapped them on the shoulders soundly. "Do the two of you want to be idols?"
Asahi and Nami had been whisked away in a van with tinted windows, to a charming house that served as both an office and living quarters. They were seated on a beautiful white chaise where two pens and two contracts had immediately been placed on the coffee table in front of them.
"Here you go," The dark-haired woman outlined the dotted line on both contracts with her hand. "You have to sign here."
Everything was coming together for Asahi and Nami! The two girls who had gone to collectively eighty-seven auditions, were finally seeing the fruits of their labours. Their eagerness to achieve their dreams was no excuse, however, for them not reading the contract as they gave a happy affirmative and signed away.
"Here!" They both handed the contract back to the dark-haired woman, who gave them a pleased smile as the contracts were placed in her hands.
"Congratulations. From now on, the both of you are members of Kamonohatsu Entertainment Agency. I'm the agency's president, Kamonohatsu Saeko." The dark-haired woman finally had a name. Motioning to the bubbly woman beside her, Saeko continued speaking. "This is my secretary--"
"I'm Marilyn!" The light-haired woman waved, her sunny personality bubbling to the surface.
"Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!" Asahi and Nami both stood up and bowed super-politely, retreated into the prescribed formalities assigned to them by their society. They were just so excited! And Nami, hyperactive with happiness turned to Asahi and grasped the other girl's hand.
"Finally, we can be idols now!" Nami was jumping up and down in excitement and Asahi joined in with her, close to tears.
"Finally, our dreams have been fulfilled!"
While they were squealing excitedly, Marilyn had leaned in to look them over with fascination. "The both of you are exactly what the shachou is looking for to fit the Ikemen image!"
"Really?" Nami was ecstatic that they fit the mold the president was looking for! "Exactly like an ikemen--eh?"
Both Asahi and Nami's excitement was put on hold by their... confusion. Ikemen? Good-looking guy? Was there some mistake?
Kamonohatsu Saeko smirked and brandished the contracts that they had signed so the two girls could read the script that they had ignored before.
"Debuting as a..." Both girls read the line out lout. "male idol?"
"What is this?" Nami demanded. Saeko just threw back her head and laughed, a truly evil kind of laughter that made both girls shiver. Saeko passed the contracts to her secretary and rounded on the two newly made idols.
"This is me, Kamonohatsu Saeko's bet on a wild ambitious start!" Saeko raised her hand in the air, full of confidence.
"Shachou, you're wonderful!" Marilyn cooed at her beloved president with adoring eyes.
"My ambition is to introduce the most ikemen idols to the public, and thus, raise the entertainment world to a whole new level!" Saeko explained, going from slightly frenzied to drastically calm in the next sentence. "However, I haven't found any suitable males who matched my requirements for the past few years."
The level of excitement raised again as Saeko focused on Asahi and Nami. "When I first saw the two of you--" Saeko mimed being shot. "It was like being shot. If males are no good, then we'll use females, females disguised as males, to unify the entertainment industry!"
The same sentence was running through Nami and Asahi's head at this point. 'She's crazy.'
"Why do I have to become a guy?" Nami argued, still not quite believing that this was happening to her.
"That's right," Asahi frowned. "I want to be a normal idol!"
"Ordinary." The president of Kamonohatsu Entertainment Agency said in a bored voice.
"Ordinary?" Asahi and Nami gaped at the president.
"I dare and am quite positive to say that the two of you are absolutely ordinary." Saeko deadpanned. Marilyn gave a little giggle at that pronouncement. "People like the two of you have only one route in the entertainment industry..." Saeko paused while the girls leaned in, eager to learn what route this was. "..and that is to become men. If the two of you, who are VERY ordinary girls become men, then the two of you will become the very best!"
Saeko reached up and pulled a rope attached to the ceiling. Immediately, a white screen with two head-shaped holes unfurled from the ceiling right in front of the started Asahi and Nami. Well, white sheet from the girls' vantage points. As they poked their heads out of the holes, they realized it was a drawing of two men's bodies in suits, with the face part cut out so when Nami and Asahi looked through the holes, they looked like they had men's bodies!
"I can see it!" Saeko came forward, eyes agleam. "The light of the future! From now on, you will be Riku" Saeko pointed at Asahi then at Nami. "--and Kai! Your group name will be Persona! The meaning will literally mean that the sky's wearing a mask!"
"Persona?" Asahi frowned.
"Mask?" Nami joined Asahi in the frowning.
"Females disguising themselves in the masks of men!" Saeko continued, unperturbed by their lack of enthusiasm. She pranced over to a mannequin she had in the corner and removed the mask it had been wearing, placing it over her own face. "I'm such a genius!"
Asahi and Nami just stared at Saeko in disbelief as the president started hyperventilating from how excited she was getting.
"Shachou, don't get so worked up!" Marilyn fretted, immediately at her president's side with a paper bag. Nami took this opportunity to brush the giant screen away and confront the L's.
"You've gotta be joking!" Nami growled angrily. "Regarding this, we will definitely--"
"Do it!" Asahi was at Nami's side in a second and interrupted her.
"That's right! We'll definitely do it!" Nami said angrily. It took a second for what Asahi said to sink in. "Eh?"
"Please, you've got to let me do it!" Asahi continued, a little bit of desperation creeping in to her voice.
"Eh?!" Nami gaped at Asahi. What the hell was her 'long-overdue comrade' doing?!
Marilyn and the president exchanged a glance and Saeko murmurred to her secretary, "Surprisingly, this is going smoother than I expected."
Marilyn took everything in stride though. She knew her shachou could do it! Saeko was incredibly resourceful when she wanted to be, just one of the many things that Marilyn admired about the other woman! One of the MANY things.
"Well then, let me give you a tour of the house!" Marilyn bounced over to the office. "This is the office," Marilyn skipped back out. "We're in the living room right now..." The two girls followed her to a door next to the door to the office. "The kitchen, the closet, the washroom, the front foyer! Now lets go upstairs!"
Nami was swept up in the whirlwind known as Marilyn, unable to get a word in edge-wise. Soon, they were pushed into a relatively large room that seemed a little bit crowded because of the furniture in the room. It was comfortable though and brightly lit.
"This will be your room!" Marilyn flung her arms out proudly. She had decorated this room herself! Two mattresses and bedsets on the floor told the girls where they were expected to sleep. It was all a little too much for Nami. "Even though you two are women, no-one will know! From now on, the two of you will be living here!"
"Don't worry," Saeko said soothingly to the two girls. "I'll contact both of your parents. I'll say, for the sake of learning the arts, the both of you are studying abroad in Las Vegas!"
"Like our parents would believe that..." Nami groaned as Saeko swept out of the room.
"Unless they're very stupid parents." Asahi commented thinking of her own parents. Nami realized that her own parents would probably fit under that description too. Mama and Papa Kawachi also had a large brood of children, of which Nami was one of them, so it was hard to keep track of everyone. They would be happy that someone had taken their most energetic child, under their wing.
"The basic things you need have been prepared, feel free to use them!" Marilyn poked them in the middle of their foreheads, then bounced out of the room giddily, happy that they had people signed on at the agency.
"Geez, I hope that there aren't any problems with this agency." Nami spoke her fears aloud, never one to keep quiet when things bothered her, regardless of the fact that what said could offend people or make them unhappy. "That assistant's kinda odd. And now, it's like there's only the two of us." Nami shivered and raised her hands up in the air in anguish. "On top of that, the president's an 'L' and we have to debut disguised as men..."
The energetic girl fell bonelessly to one of the mattresses on the floor, sprawling face-down on the sheets, exhuasted by the day's events.
"Debuting disguised as men, huh?" Asahi rolled the idea around in her head. For some odd reason, she didn't have as much of a problem with it as Nami seemed to.
"Ah yes," Nami suddenly perked up, lifting her face from the comforter. "I almost forgot about it. We haven't called the police yet 'bout that snakeguy!"
The pursuit by the men in suits came back to Asahi. The long-haired girl took out the purupuru from her bag and wondered why grown men were willing to shoot at girls just to get a purupuru. The sound of Nami dialing the number for the police pulled Asahi out of her thoughts and she dived for Nami's phone, closing the flip-phone and ending the call.
"Don't call the police!" Asahi could hear Saeko's voice in her head, telling her and Nami that the only route the two of them could take to become idols was to disguise themselves as men.
"Why not?" Nami tried to grab her phone back. "We could be in danger!"
"In the future, we'll be performing in our disguises," Asahi explained. "So we shouldn't get involved in this."
"But those guys have guns!" Nami protested. Guns! And Nami had stuck her finger in the muzzle thinking it was a camera!
"Don't do it if you're just going to stir up trouble!" Asahi was close to snapping at the other girl. "I'm betting on this chance. I'm already eighteen years old, this could be my last shot at becoming an idol!"
Nami, for once, kept silent, waiting for Asahi to finish what she wanted to say.
"Besides that," Asahi suddenly looked troubled. "Haven't we suffered enough from continuously auditioning? Having perverted old men trying to do things with us, being thrown around like trash... plus, being told really... upsetting things."
The two of them had had all of these things happen to them and had suffered through it bravely, hoping that one day their sacrifices woud pay off. Today, for Asahi, it seemed that this was the pay-off, this was her chance to be an idol. Despite the pretending-to-be-a-man part, this was the opportunity she had been so desperately wishing for.
"I want to be Music 10's top idol and flaunt it in their faces." Asahi remembered all the disgust she felt when she was pawed by perverted producer-types. Remembered how each and every time, she had put her best foot forward and was shot down. Remembered the comments; too fat, too skinny, no boobs, no hips, ugly, stupid, not sexy... she didn't want to audition anymore. And she wanted to show all those people who made her feel like nothing that she was something. That she could make it and she would shine. "Becoming a guy... I don't care how difficult it is; I'm definitely not going to let them see me fail!"
Nami looked up at Asahi and gave the girl a wry smile, the expression on her face one of resignation and wary hope. Maybe with this girl, together they could go places.
Getting up off the floor, Nami tilted her head upwards lightly, nodding at Asahi. "I'm Nami. And you?"
Asahi smiled at Nami, her new partner-in-manhood. "I'm Asahi."
endnote: next chapter (if there IS a next chapter, anyways) might feature more 'scenes' that weren't included in the series. I always thought Mendol coulda been fleshed out some more and drawn out into a long ass series...