Disclaimer: The characters within this story all belong to Nakamura-san.
Warnings: Clean.
Summary: Ren thinks about the two main characters in the drama he and Kyoko have been drafted into.
Completed: February 7, 2010

Mixed Thoughts
by: Kagome-reincarnation

"Are you… intrigued by it?" he leaned over her, resting his hand against the table. She gasped before turning sharply, and, feeling too close, backed into the very table on which the silver pin she'd been looking at lay.

"I d-don't know what you mean!" she stuttered out, her eyes wide with fright. Ren had to give her credit. Mogami-san was growing just as nervous as Erika would have – he hadn't even begun to intimidate her yet. He wondered if she'd take it as a challenge in the same way he had during the tea ceremony test so long ago.

He had to repress an almost sadistic expression at the realization that even the scene they were currently working on was similar to the setting back them. But for the tea ceremony, the questioning demands were still there, as was the intimate setting that called upon the strongest traits of both characters.

Kazuya was a strong character, willful and determined. He adored Erika – loved her in a way that few could match and so deeply and passionately that he'd be willing to kill for her. And yet, he wasn't so gentle that he could set her free. Kazuya, Ren mused, was made of contradictions. He was a strong character but was easily torn to shreds when Erika was brought into play. Fortunately, the young lord was aware of it – and had every intention of binding the younger character to him. He was such a character that would allow her no leeway to flee him.

Erika, for her part, was the gentler, more timid, of the two. She was fearful – she'd been hurt viciously in her youth – and was always kind to all. It was what had caused the lord of the property on which she lived to fall for her, and, unfortunately for Kazuya, it was also what had caused her many suitors to love her as well. Fortunately, though, the girl was quite oblivious. She didn't understand that the men around her were attempting to woo her – rather, she thought them to be fulfilling duties they'd relegated to themselves or something of the sort.

Unlike the others, Ren was satisfied to find, Kazuya had made his intentions known to her early on. She'd been frightened – the concept of love frightened her after the brutality of her childhood – but she'd been forced to adjust. Kazuya had made it easy, acting out the simpler things involved with the typical image of romance. Gifts with each visit, long walks, frequent conversations – he'd done his best to be discreet with his movements and they'd paid off.

After some time – not even a full eight weeks – she'd adjusted, simply accepting them to be a typical addition to his visits to the land on which she lived. Many of her suitors had dropped off when the young lord had made his affections obvious, but some were persistent… Including two that the lord found to be rather irritating. One had forced Erika's hand in her teenage years and the other seemed to intimidate her on sight.

Fortunately, Ren was an effective deterrent for the second and a strong rival for the first. He was capable of taking care of Kyoko and was his only real worry was for Fuwa. He didn't want the other man to become more entrenched in the girl's heart.

It wasn't until after he'd finished the scene with Kyoko that he'd realized that his thoughts on the characters had switched over from Kazuya and Erika to himself and Kyoko.