Leaning up against the bathroom mirror, the raven haired beauty dipped the old paintbrush into her homemade green tea mud mask. Paying close attention to detail, she swept the concoction over the bare spots on her smooth skin. Once entirely olive coloured, the attractive model actress let the face mask set and rested the brush on top of her reused jar.

Curious at the time, Kanae peeked her head out to look at the hotel clock. The time glowed in the darkness of the room. The open window allowed the moon to shine in, but even then there wasn't much light. It made the flashing green 9:35 even more noticeable.

Well past nine, she looked worriedly around the shadowy space for her hotel roommate. Ever since they had gotten into that disagreement about her senpai, Kyoko had been staying away from her best friend's presence. The auburn haired actress had even skipped dinner, which was unlike her. Here she was, waiting to share her secret beauty mask with her overzealous, naive co-worker, to make up for earlier in the day, and the crazy girl was nowhere.

Kanae huffed indignantly at the thought of their argument. Kanae was an actress. She lived, ate, and breathed acting. When she wasn't acting, she observed other actors and actresses in the field. Tsuruga Ren was an amazing actor, even she admitted it. However, no man was that good. Even when no one was looking at him, the popular model still appeared protectively jealous of his kohai. The way he loomed over his competition when Kyoko had flirted with other men was just one stake in the coffin. The way he, "Tsuruga Ren – the forever gentleman," man-handled the arrogant jerk of a musician during the take, made it sinfully obvious that Tsuruga was not looking at his kohai in the way a senpai should. There was no way that was acting, but Kyoko wouldn't listen and kept insisting it was.

In a way, the whole situation made Kanae a bit happy. The only person she was aware that Kyoko trusted and adored was her. Kyoko's straight forward denial and oblivion made it clear that Tsuruga was just her senpai, and therefore she won. The title of friend was definitely above the station of senpai. It was good to have a best friend's undying lov…loyalty. Kyoko was a fellow pea in their love hating pod. Men tended to change everything. As frustrating as "Moko-san!" was, she wasn't ready to allow anyone just waltz into Kyoko's life, even Tsuruga Ren. If Kyoko were to be stolen away, the only person that ever focused on Kanae for unselfish means, would be far too busy to continue that link. She'd lose her best friend.

Ah mo! Not that I care or anything…

A polite knock shook her thoughts away. Kanae went to exit the washroom, then paused. If it was official business, they would call directly to the room phone. Kyoko had her room key and a cell phone too, so there would be no reason for her to knock. Other than those two parties, there was no need to be in contact the outside world. The mask had to set for at least thirty minutes, and if anyone found out that Kotonami Kanae used cheap homemade creams rather than the expensive department store brands she advertised, it might be bad publicity.

The sound of a card room key had her drawing back into the bathroom. It caught her off kilter. It'd be strange for anyone to knock, then enter with a card, unless if it was a hotel staff member.

Closing the bathroom light and door, she peeked through the crack into the room. A tall figure made his way into the room, and made his way to one of the beds in a strange manor.

I don't think that guy is wearing a hotel uniform…A pervert?

A swell of anger rose in her chest, and she leaned closer to the door to get a better view of the perpetrator. His face was opposite to her, and the only thing she could pick out was that he was well toned and shirtless. He was leaning over her bed now, no doubt to smell her pillow or whatever hentai pervert things he could think of.

I don't even have a way of getting out of here or calling for help. He looks like a big guy too…I doubt I can face him or run out fast enough…

The domineering figure shifted his body, illuminating part of him in the open window's moonlight. It wasn't him that took the hiding actress's breath away, it was the limp, doll-like creature in his arms he was setting down. Even at night, she could recognize that dark strawberry hairstyle anywhere.

Pushing the door open in a flurry, fist raised, she caught the man off-guard. Forced to drop the fainted girl on the bed, the man turned and caught the dainty wrists just in time. Holding them above her head, he tried to hold the spitting, hissing girl still, as she fought violently against him.

"Don't touch her you bastard!" Kanae yelled, thrashing and pulling from the man's grip in vain.

"Wait! Wait! Kotonami-san!" He pleaded, trying to get his kohai's best friend to calm down.

The lying girl whimpered incomprehensibly, stirring from the loud volume. The faint sound was enough to distract the defender, and sensing her opportunity, she drove her knee firmly between the man's legs.

Doing its job, the man fell down immediately, letting go of the girl and clutching his crotch. Kanae took the chance to circle around and shake the unconscious girl back to consciousness. "Kyoko, Kyoko, wake up! We have to get out of here!"

Once Kyoko awoke, she snapped up like a wide-eyed spring.

"EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! TSURUGA-SAN I'M SORRY!"

Kanae stopped shaking at once. "Huh? Tsuruga-san?"

Turning around and flicking the light switch on, she allowed the artificial light bathe over the room. Indeed, the hunched figure of the number one actor/model of Japan was there, recovering from her attack.

Kanae vaguely wondered if her LoveMe book could hold all those -10% stamps.


When Tsuruga gave her 100% for her "self-defense and fiercely protective friendship," Kotonami came to the hesitant conclusion she could share. Maybe. She wouldn't help him win her friend over, but she wouldn't hinder him either. If he did manage, she certainly wouldn't wear whatever terribly fluffy dress Kyoko picked for her maid-of-honor.


I work now. Still, missed writing though. Now I can sleep well. Hope you liked this attempt at humour and strange epilogue