Author's Note: This story was written purely for my own devious mind because I hadn't been feeling like writing for over a month now, so when inspiration struck, I had to run with it.
Just a few notes on it though. This story is written in the same style as The Kiss (one of my previous works), only I've chosen to use a little dialogue.
ff net is giving me issues with the dividers. Each break is now going to start with each person's first initial to tell you who is talking. (K and R). You will see there are only actually two characters presented, Ren and Kyoko, though they may refer to "he" or "she" of the same gender referring to their own characters. This SHOULD be evident, but I wanted to say so just in case.
Oh, and finally, for those of you following Playing With Fire, no, I have no abandoned it. I am working on the next chapter already., just took a pause to write this one.
Timeline: This story begins after chapter 158. [slight spoiler(s) from here on out] Cain and Setsu have returned to their hotel room after dealing with the ruffians.
DISCLAIMER: Skip Beat! and it's characters are not my original creation, they are owned and created by Nakamura Yoshiki.
R. I snapped at her. Tried to tell her I was fine, but she kept fussing. I didn't mean to speak so sharply to her, but my fuse was short. I was so angry at what that man had done, I couldn't calm down. I knew my mistake though, as soon as the first tear slid down her face, and the guilt came flooding my mind and stilled my anger.
K. I couldn't help it. I didn't intend to cry. SHE didn't cry from silly things like this. She was strong, and I was supposed to be her, damn it. Had he realized how scared I was for him? He was supposed to be my most important person… HER most important person, but at that moment, it was the man's life I feared for, not the character, and that threw her off of me like a used latex glove. I? I was vulnerable, and afraid, and being yelled at just for caring. No, I guess it wasn't just for caring… I felt guilty.
This was all because of me. He got hurt because of me.
R. I sighed. Could I do nothing right? I didn't want her to fuss, but damn it, I didn't want her to cry either. I couldn't hold her. I couldn't comfort her like I wanted to. She was supposed to be too precious to me to act that way. What could I do to make things right?
I sat down, a little lost, and looked up to her from the edge of the bed, and then I knew.
I called her name softly, and motioned for her to come over. I told her I'd be a good boy and sit still for her.
K. I wasn't sure I wanted to help him now. Did he think SHE was crying to get her way? Or did he know I was crying because I felt guilty and could do nothing?
Common sense won out.
I wouldn't like it if he misconstrued my tears, but I would hate it if he got an infection because I was too stupid to do what needed to be done.
I picked up the small kit from the chair at the desk and moved it to the edge of the bed beside him.
My cotton swab was dry, the alcohol had evaporated while we were arguing. That wasn't an issue though, there were two other pre-dipped cotton swabs in the box. I ripped open a new package and told him to hold still so we didn't waste another swab, then pushed his hair back from his forehead.
I warned him it would hurt, but he didn't move when I slid the swab over the cut. Not even a tiny flinch or gasp of pain.
R. It did sting, but I wasn't about to let her see that. She had cried just from me receiving a tiny scratch. If I commented about the pain, surely, she would feel bad even more. I just sat there in silence. That is, until she tried to stick a band-aid to my forehead.
K. He really was making too much of a fuss! I had to cover the wound to keep bacteria out! His hair hangs down in front of his eyes anyway, so no one would see. Even after filming started. Most of his scenes were supposed to be done in silhouette or just show parts of his body, like a hand reaching from the darkness. No one would see, and I wouldn't have to worry about his health.
R. I gave in too easily. I really should have said no, but I don't seem to be able to say no to her. This really could be a problem.
K. I stepped forward, his knees to either side of me. I needed to hold his hair back, but I needed two hands to unsheathe and stick the bandage. One wrist across his head to push the hair back, I bent my hand down to hold the edge of the bandage, then used the other hand to slide the backing from the second adhesive strip and pressed it gently against his skin.
I then attempted to step back, but found I was stuck.
R. If she got her way, then I would get my way too. I had wrapped my arms around her waist while she was focused on the band-aid. Se was trapped between my legs, in what amounted to a full body hug.
I looked up at her as she questioned my actions. I demanded to see her shoulder. I had seen how hard the ruffian had thrown her down, and I saw her grab her shoulder in pain. She would try to hide any pain or bruising from me, but now she couldn't argue, or she would have to stay in my arms.
… maybe I wanted her to argue then?
K. I tried to struggle and maneuver out of his arms, but he just tightened legs and arms around me. This was NOT fair, and hardly appropriate! My arguments fell on deaf ears though, and I had no choice but to show him.
Defeated, I hung my head then reached my hand across my body and slid the jacket down off of my left shoulder. I twisted in his still-encircling arms so he could see my shoulder straight on, then looked down at my shoulder myself to confirm my own thoughts before denying any injury.
R. She looked up at me though her face still pointed toward her shoulder. Seeing those amber eyes gazing at me through her long eyelashes was enough to make any man hard. The fact that she was seductive without trying to be seductive was such a turn on. My heart sped up a bit, and I had to fight for self control. This reminded me of when she first presented herself at the mansion. Such a fierce look in her eyes, god it was sexy.
I didn't look away, but locked her with my gaze as I slowly and finally removed one of my gloves. Those black leather gloves, which hold my character, now shed, and my anger and angst dissipated.
I reached up to her shoulder, and as my fingers made contact, a blush spread across her cheeks. Only then did I look to check for injuries. I caressed her shoulder gently as first, putting only slight pressure to test for bruising.
An anxious silence overtook the room, but while she wasn't protesting, I was going to finish the examination for injuries, and elate in the feel of her soft skin sliding under my palm.
K. I'm sure he was watching to see if I would wince in pain, but the look he gave me was more like the Emperor of the Night rather than himself. I wasn't going to look away, I had to prove to him there was no pain, so I couldn't react, but his gaze was piercing straight to the heart. It became difficult to look at him and meet his gaze, but then he finally turned his eyes to my shoulder and I broke free. Or so I thought.
He pushed and prodded gently, but the tingles started when he slowly ran his hand down my arm and picked my forearm up to rest on the crook of his neck.
He told me to keep it there while he prodded the next set of muscles and tendons that became more accessible from that pose.
It was just medical, but it felt intimate. Me, standing between his knees with my arm wrapped around his neck as he sat looking up at me just slightly, touching my bare skin.
I had to stop the thought.
R. Her breathing became a little heavier, and she swallowed hard. I noticed. It made me wonder what she was thinking. Usually, when people are about to kiss, they unconsciously swallow hard just like she did. Did she want me to kiss her? No, I had to focus. Her shoulder was fine. I was satisfied there were no injuries.
K. He grasped my hand and slid it from his shoulder. He decided there was no tissue damage nor bruising, but I would probably be sore for a few days and suggested I take it easy. I laughed. If today repeated itself, there would be no taking it easy. The memory and guilt came back to me then. I would have to be the one to be careful what I said, him being who he was, and I was supposed to be a charm for him, not a curse.
I lowered my eyes and softly apologized. I would have done a dogeza… I SHOULD have done a dogeza, but I was still trapped in his legs, and he still held my hand.
R. I was surprised by her apology. She really thought she was to blame. If anything, it was my fault by how I reacted. I had been in that type of situation before, I knew better than to slight them that way. I knew it would incite them. I couldn't tell her that though. If I did, she would question my past, and I wasn't ready to tell her about that yet.
Instead, I told her she did a good job. That confused her, which is what I wanted. I explained that she was doing so well with her role that she was actually living in the moment, that she truly acted like my sister. She, as my sister, was confident in her brother's abilities. She was right to trust me like that. I could take care of myself, as my role portrayed. I would not have allowed anything to happen to her, and I got the chance to prove myself to her.
K. I don't know what he felt he had to prove, and I told him so. I already respected him and knew what he was capable of. I had seen his bio. I knew he performed his own stunts and had a lot of training. It was still my fault that he was in that situation though, and that his job was possibly at risk if anyone figured out who he was or those men went to the authorities.
R. It wasn't about respect, and I told her that. It was about standing up as a man to protect the people important to him. I let her know I would never let anyone harm her, and I pulled her close, into a hug.
It was a little odd, she was an inch or two taller than me since she was standing and I was sitting, but it was… nice.
K. I wasn't sure what to do with him wrapped around me like that. When he had held me close before, there was no where for my hands to go, and he enveloped me completely. Now, my hands were loose, and I felt awkward. I wasn't about to hold my hands up and reject him though. He had told me something I would always treasure. He would never let me come to harm. I knew he meant that because as he was my most important person, and his sister, myself, was his most important person.
I wrapped my arms around his back and laid my cheek against his hair, accepting his embrace.
He was so warm.
R. She was so warm. I told her so… and that I loved her. I didn't intend to say that. It just sort of slipped out.
She didn't push me away though. Instead, she told me that she loved me as well. She loved her BROTHER too.
K. It was good he was in character. I wasn't sure for a while if he was acting or not. He's so talented!
R. I let her go, exasperated, and stood up. I mumbled something about needing some air, and stepped out onto the balcony, closing the door behind me. I hadn't craved a cigarette since I left the States, but I desperately needed one now. Luckily, with this role, I was allowed and always had a pack, or three, in the inner pockets of the trench coat.
K. I didn't see him until after he had lit up and taken a few drags. I wasn't sure if my character would mind him smoking or not, but decided she would hate it. I decided she would hate it because I refused to let him ruin his voice and lungs like that. She wouldn't want him to do anything to take him away from her any sooner than old age. Lung cancer included.
I was set in my decision, stalked to the sliding glass door and threw it open.
He looked at me, then blew smoke from the corner of his mouth and waited for me to speak.
I didn't say anything at first though. I walked to where he was at the far side of the balcony, reached up, plucked the cigarette from his mouth then dropped it and stomped on it.
R. She looked up at me like a petulant child. Had I not been so nettled, I would have laughed. As it was though, I was irritated, so I took out another cigarette, gave her a slight glare, then lit it up, daring her to take it from me again.
I should have known she would rise to the occasion. She reached for the cigarette, but I was quicker, and caught her arm on the rise.
I moved her between myself and the balcony wall and gently twisted her good arm behind her back, moving close and pinning her against the wall.
I leaned down over her, forcing her to lean back on the demi-wall. I moved so close to her that our noses almost touched. Her breathing came in short shallow breaths. She was scared, but it was exciting.
I moved even closer, so my lips hovered over hers by a distance almost negligible. I meant her to feel the full weight of my words when I spoke.
"What'll it be Setsu? This? Or That?" I asked her. I looked at the cigarette in my outstretched hand as it rested on the demi-wall beside her.
I THOUGHT I knew what she would choose.
K. I was so scared. The moment I saw the cigarette at his lips, I had forgotten he was in character, and that that character was meant to be scary and unapproachable.
Stupid. I always get myself into these situations by not thinking!
He had me against the partial wall, and all I could do was curse that stupid cigarette.
I don't think I would have been able to speak, so I had to do something to make my choice known.
R. She moved the millimeter distance closer and laid her lips chastely against my lips, then whimpered and asked to be let go. Then, in the same breath, she demanded my cigarette from me.
I was utterly shocked. She plucked the cigarette from my fingers, then stomped it out, and went back inside, shutting the door between us.
K. I wasn't about to let him ruin his health. A kiss, verses his health? The choice was obvious.
Sure, it was weird, but it was just acting, right? It didn't count as my first kiss. He had told me that himself.
R. I ran my hand through my hair now and realized I still had one glove on. Had I been acting as him and not realized it? Or was I my true self? It was hard to tell where the quickly blurring line was between the two.
She had kissed me, so why wasn't I happy about it?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized why. She hadn't kissed me at all. Her character had kissed her brother. That was why there was no real emotion in the kiss. No acceptance. No love. Yeah, it was filled with affection. Sibling affection. Not the criminal affection I meant for her to feel. That desire. The threat of an incestuous relation. The lust.
At that moment, I was trying to scare her, but I won't deny my wish she would have conceded to a kiss. A real lover's kiss. Not that family acknowledgement she gave.
K. I was so wound up inside. My cheeks were hot, and I knew they would be red with embarrassment. I needed my own space. I could feel him watching me through the thin plate glass. I had to get away. I went to the bathroom and locked the door.
What had just happened anyway? Was that how a brother or sister complex was supposed to work? I had to admit, I didn't think I could go through with this project. I would fail the assignment if I couldn't, and I didn't want to let HIM down. I looked at the bathroom door and wondered if he was still out on the balcony, or if he was waiting for me in our room. OUR room. There was no where to get away. We had to share living space. I felt the panic start to rise, constricting my throat and making it hard to breath. I couldn't just… STAY… in the bathroom all night, could I?
R. I had to smile a little to myself though. I knew how hard it must have been for her to give me that brush of the lips that she did. Even if it was in character, the girl underneath would not have easily been able to give such a response. She really didn't want me to smoke.
I hung my head, resigning to not smoke, then looked up to the night sky to finish calming down.
It took a few minutes, but when I was once again collected, I opened the door and stepped inside to find the room empty.
I called out to her, concerned of her disappearance. Her bag was still sitting beside her bed, and her shoes were still across the room at the entry. I rounded the short length of wall to the bathroom and found the door closed. She must be there. Relief washed over me.
For a moment there, I thought I had scared her too badly.
K. I heard him call me, but I wasn't ready to face him yet. I heard his footsteps come closer, and stop just outside the door. I could see his shadow just in front of the door, then he called me gently. Asked me to come on out.
I could be stubborn, right? I refused. Told him I would be staying in there, and sleeping in there unless he could learn to behave and promise to stop smoking.
R. Of course I promised! After all, I didn't actually smoke. Anymore. Though, he could get away with it whenever he wanted. After all, she didn't specify a time limit.
She still didn't come out of the bathroom though. I waited a good ten minutes before finally giving up and returned to the main area of the hotel room. I flopped down on the bed and turned the television on, praying I didn't have to use the toilet until she came out in the morning.
As I lie there flipping through channels, it struck me.
K. I heard some shuffling, then the door slammed closed. Did he just leave? I decided to check.
I opened the bathroom door just a crack an looked for his shoes across from me in the entry way. They were gone. He really had left. Shit. He left. He abandoned me. I had really screwed this one up. Was he refusing to work with me now? Shit.
I left the bathroom completely now, and went to the main room area and saw the television on, the bedside light, and only my own bag.
I really had screwed this one up. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, but I was alone, so I didn't need to act tough anymore, and I let them fall. I stood there feeling lost and ashamed at myself. I had let him down.
R. I really didn't think I was gone that long, but when I entered the room again, I found her crumpled down on the floor on her knees, crying to herself at the foot of her bed with the television on the same stupid infomercial channel it was on when I left.
She didn't seem to hear me enter, and I didn't remove my shoes as I entered. They were the least of my concern.
I set the bag I had been carrying on the small table at the foot of my bed, beside the television and bureau, then went over to her and picked her up in my arms.
She let out a sob, then threw her arms around my neck, clinging to me. I asked her what was wrong. I think she said she thought I had given up on her, but through the tears and her broken words, it wasn't easy to understand.
When would this girl learn? I would never give up on her. I told her as much, and let her cry until her tears had dried.
K. He sat me down in one of the chairs, handed me a tissue, then began emptying the bag of its contents. He said it was a peace offering.
He was treating me to dinner. There had been a diner down the road, and he had left to get us a meal.
I had been so upset, I hadn't even realized I was hungry. When he pulled out the Styrofoam box and opened it in front of me, my stomach growled. He had gotten me hamburger with egg. He remembered how much I liked them. That made me smile.
He sat down across from me at the table and opened a box with a hamburger in it for himself.
I was surprised he remembered to get food for himself, and he told me that he hadn't lied. I questioned him, not sure what he was referring to. He had said that he would eat when he was hungry. I had almost forgotten he had said that so much earlier in the day. I was also certain his 'food' would have been a bottle of bourbon and that pack of cigarettes.
I said I was sorry for doubting him, then ate my food quietly. The television was still on, but we couldn't see it from where we were sitting. I watched my food, he watched me.
R. I watched her in wonder. She really was an amazing woman. One moment, she was crying, the next, she was happily eating as if nothing had been wrong.
I finished my burger before her, cleared the garbage, then laid down on her bed. I told her I would be borrowing her bed to watch television since her bed was directly in front of it. She told me that was rude, and demanded I return to my own bed so she could use hers, but I refused.
I told her I would scoot over and we could sit together, or she could use my bed and be happy about it.
This was a perfect example of a brother taking liberties just because it was his sister he was taking from. I was trying to play the role again now that she had calmed down.
She came and sat down beside me on the bed, then turned toward me. …and shoved me off of the bed.
I was so surprised, I started laughing. I tried to keep it in, but my shoulders shook with the force of it, and soon I was laughing out loud and couldn't stop.
K. He sounded at first like he was crying. I thought perhaps he had hit his head on the night stand, but as I reached for him, his head flew back and he let out a loud laugh. He was fine, and he was laughing at me.
I frowned at him, and he laughed more, then climbed back onto the bed.
R. It was probably not very fair of me, and I shouldn't have done it, but I could not resist. I reached for her, threw her down and straddled her, holding her there. She looked at me slightly panicked, but as soon as my hands felt the bare skin of her sides, she began struggling.
I wasn't about to let her up though. She had earned this. I was her brother now, so I could let loose and have a little fun of my own now that we were out of harms way.
I don't know what it is about an individual being tickled that makes them so unable to function, but between the laughter and the whimpers and the squirming and begging for me to stop, she could do nothing but beg for me to release her.
I really didn't like the sound of that. It hurt. It wasn't meat to, I know, but I really didn't want her to reject me, and I shed my role in the blink of an eye.
It was just me now.
"Please…" I begged. "Please… don't push me away."
K. He said it so softly as he looked down at me. He looked so scared, just like a child afraid of rejection. After all, I would know what that felt like. My character may not, but I did.
All words caught in my mouth, save one.
I said, "Okay."
R. I quickly leaned down and hugged her to me though she was still trapped below me. The sense of joy was overwhelming my senses, and I hardly trusted myself to move.
K. He was lonely. That made sense. He didn't have many people to trust or rely on since he put off such a fierce aura. He has only me. I had to be here for him.
R. I moved my head to look at her face, then closed the distance to her lips and kissed her. She didn't fight, but didn't kiss back. I pulled back slightly, and she looked confused.
I told her to kiss me back, then met her lips and kissed her again. I released her lips just enough to tell her to open her mouth a little, then returned began again, this time she let me explore her mouth thoroughly, and eventually began to twine her tongue with mine.
I released her mouth to reposition myself, and tried to pull her to me.
K. "W-WAIT!" I shouted it. This wasn't right. I had to stop this. "I… I don't think this is how a brother and sister should act!" I covered my mouth to stop him from kissing me again.
R. I leaned over her and gently took her wrist and placed it on the bed above her. "I wouldn't know. I'm an only child." I leaned in again and kissed her, then withdrew to say, "and I am not your brother."
K. Hold on! Red flag! This wasn't Cain nii-san at ALL. Was this really Tsuruga-san? Then wait, why was he kissing me? This wasn't for practice for the role, it couldn't be. This wasn't what was actually expected, was it? What was I going to do? I had no clue, so I froze.
R. She froze. Something wasn't right. Was I really that out of practice? No… I had to kiss for lots of roles. Just because this was someone I cared about wouldn't make me any worse.
She must have changed her mind. Gotten scared.
My heart was beating so fast, and I was definitely hard, but I wasn't about to force her in my excitement. I sighed deeply and hung my head, then rolled off of her to sit on the edge of the bed, facing my own and the wall behind it.
K. "Tsuruga-san…" I called his name, letting him know I was out of character. This was ME talking, not Setsu.
R. "It's alright Mogami-san. I'm fine." I lied. "I'm sorry about that." Was I? I wasn't really sure.
I wasn't sure I could go through with this plan after all. I had never intended for her to stay with me through it anyway, that was the President's idea.
I told her we would could go back to the mansion and call the mission off. The President would understand. I couldn't portray this role, of a brother with a severe sister complex, when I couldn't see her as a sister.
She thought I was failing her again. I assured her that wasn't it. She had done a wonderful job, but my affections for her were purely criminal. She didn't understand what I meant, so I leaned over to her and kissed her again, just a short kiss, but I filled it with my love, then I said the words I had been dreading saying for months now. I was so sure she would run away, reject me, hate me, but I didn't have a choice to NOT tell her now.
K. It didn't register right away. He said he what? Surely I had heard him wrong.
R. "Mogami-san… I can't stay in this same room with you. I don't think I can control myself now that I've told you." It took all my courage to tell her that, but it was for her own good. We could end this charade now, before it went too far.
"N-No!" she yelled, startling me. "I can't let you down like that! I can do better! Please, just give me another chance! Let me stay."
Did she realize what she was asking?
"If you stay… I won't stop myself…" If she begged though, I would. I knew I would. She was too precious to me.
K. "I… I-I won't leave!" What was I saying? Was I saying it was … alright? I wasn't thinking properly.
R. "If you really feel that way… I won't stop you. But I won't stop either." I looked at her and met her eyes, letting my eyes give weight to my words. If she truly understood…
K. I did understand, and though I was scared, and excited, and too stubborn to know better, once more I refused to leave.
R. I got up from the bed and walked to the light switch on the wall. I looked back at her just before the light went out. I could see how nervous she was on her face. She had chosen this though. And I WASN'T going to stop.
I finally took the trench coat off and dropped the scarf with it to the floor. I was left in a t-shirt and leather pants, but the shirt was off before I reached her bed. I wanted to touch her, skin to skin. I wanted to feel her warmth against my chest and the let the scent of her hair fill my nostrils.
I could see her sitting on the bed in the moonlight. The curtains were still open, and I could see her form right where I had left her, sitting with her legs curled beside her. I went to the far side of the bed, closer to where she was, then I pulled her to her feet and traded places with her, so once again, she stood between my knees, only this time, as I encircled her in my arms, my hands were below her jacket and snaking up her sides.
I kissed her collarbone, then pushed the jacket from her shoulders. The thin straps of her halter top were now exposed, twisted with her bra straps. No matter though, I wanted them both off.
I could tell she didn't know what she was supposed to do, but I didn't care. I didn't want her to do anything other than feel what I was doing to her as I kissed my way down her chest to where the top was tied with a crisscrossing string between her breasts.
I pinched one of the string ends between my teeth and pulled my head back, loosening the top, then let my hands slide up below it to finish loosening the strings.
She raised her hands to her tummy, and started moving them up to cover her now exposed chest, but I stopped her with my hands, then kissed her and moved her arms to wrap around me instead of herself.
K. I really didn't know what I was doing. Was this really me? Giving in so quickly just for the sake of a approval from sempai and not loosing my job? I wasn't some floozy, and I wouldn't it be said of myself that I slept my way anywhere in this business, so what was I doing now!
He pulled me back onto the bed with him. I was running out of time to change my mind. Why was I doing this really? I knew I had to figure it out fast, or I would hate myself forever.
R. I pulled her down on top of me, but immediately rolled over on top of her so I was in control. I wanted to be there to look down at her in the moonlight and see her expressions. God, she was so beautiful. Even with the blond and pink hair.
I then slid my fingers down her skin to where her waist met her pants and unbuttoned the first button.
She grabbed my hands and told me to wait. "I won't" I told her, then moved my fingers to the next button and slowly began my work again.
K. This was really happening. I was scared.
R. I looked up to her face and saw it. She wasn't saying anything other than "wait" and she had heard my response, but why couldn't I go on? She paralyzed me with that look.
I removed my hands from the now fully open buttons on her pants, then crawled my hands back up her body to rest on either side of her face, then kissed her deeply.
I was out of breath when I released her, and flopped down beside her, with my arm across her chest and pulled her close to me.
"I love you Kyoko." I just held her there for a moment.
K. That was it. I hadn't realized it until now because I was so concerned with everything else, I didn't notice it creeping in, and now it was too late to deny it. I was afraid to say it, but even more afraid not to.
"I… love you too… Tsuruga-san." I whispered quietly, hoping he heard me. I couldn't say it again.
R. I smiled. I had heard her, and my feeling of guilt at putting her through this, just because I was greedy for her touch, disappeared.
I kissed her again, fiercely now, savoring her sweet lips and the warmth they held.
This time, she kissed me back, her inhibitions seeming to have vanished.
She still didn't know what to do, but I had all night to guide her.
K. We were called back to the mansion first thing in the morning, just as he guessed we would be. Even though he looked nothing like himself in his clothing, he still did not have much to do to get ready. We had talked a bit in the morning while I was getting ready and decided not to tell.
When we arrived at the mansion, he had me enter first, then he followed.
The president wanted to know how our first night had gone. We told him it went fine, but did not go into too many details. Tsuruga-san did yell at him though, for the initial room booking of only one bed, and explained that we had to exchange it for a double.
He looked a bit crestfallen at that. Had he only known.
He did comment, as we were leaving to attend the first day of the shoot, that it seemed we managed to find and capture the feeling of the Hill siblings perfectly. We could only smile.