A/N: Hi everyone! This three part sort of Kyouko and Ren is based off the song "Turned to Real Life" by Shiny Toy Guns. I heard it and it just screamed this pairing! The other 2 chapters will be coming before chapter 162 comes out, since this is based off of 161.
As always, I claim no ownership over Skip Beat! or the song. I just want to share fun stories while I wait for the next chapter.
Stars in the morning
This has been the toughest Love Me assignment yet. President Takarada did not short change the danger of being Tsuruga-san's "protective charm." I nearly suffocated several moments after meeting Cain Heel and that was only the very start of this job. I had experienced Tsuruga-san's demonic and cold looks before, but those paled to the darkness emanating from him in that first encounter. Even the first day as his sister was nerve-wracking. If I hadn't yelled out to him to stop, I'm sure he would have killed that man in the street.
Tsuruga-san became more difficult after the first day. In the first day, he seemed as if he were fine, as well as surprised, with the fact that I was to act as his guardian during his time as Cain Heel. I'm not sure exactly what triggered such a switch in behavior from him. Maybe it's been because he found my Setsuka was lacking... Or maybe it was when I interrupted his shower... How stupid of me! I still can't believe I did that to begin with, not to mention how I thought I should have looked afterwards. That has really been tearing me up since then. As filming started and got underway, I noticed how Tsuruga-san would clutch at where his watch when he got out of the character BJ and back into Cain Heel. The watch stuck at 2:13. I finally mustered the courage to bring up the watch at all. It took me some time to figure out how Setsu would bring it up. We had returned to the hotel for the day about halfway through all the movie shootings and he grabbed at his watch again, giving me an opportunity.
"Nii-san? I really don't understand why you still hang on to that broken old watch if it bothers you that much." I tried mixing some concern and exasperation. "You could use some of the money you buy on my clothes to replace it or at least get it repaired. What's the point of wearing a watch that doesn't tell time?" I rolled my eyes at his back even if he couldn't see. He turned around slowly and pulled to his full height. His eyes were dark, so much so that I couldn't be sure if he was Cain or BJ. I waited for his response. I hoped desperately I didn't cross a dangerous line.
"SETSU! How many times have I told you never to ask me about it again?" He punched the bed and shook in anger. I sighed mentally as he was still Cain and continued in character. I figured pouting would be more effective than shouting back.
"But Nii-san! I just don't like seeing you bothered by something so much. Why don't you tell me? You'll still get to buy me things no matter what it is." I looked up with hopeful eyes. He looked tempted, hesitated and turned to the side.
"No, this is something for me to bear." He looked so sad when he said that. I wasn't going to give up that easily.
"If you tell me, I promise that I won't complain about how much you spend on me the next time we go shopping."
He looked back with his puppy dog eyes. Oh they were so irresistible!
"Whenever we go shopping, not just next time." I smiled internally, he was compromising, meaning he would accept. I wasn't going to be Setsuka Heel for much longer, so quibbling over the number of times was rather moot.
"Only the next five times."
"Ten." More puppy dog eyes. This was unbearable. I broke.
"Fine." I crossed my arms. "Spill it, Nii-san."
"You didn't say when I'd tell you, only that I would."
"Nii-san! That's mean!" I whined. He sighed.
"I won't break my promise, Setsu." I huffed and glared up at him.
"Fine but you better eat all that I make for you tonight."
"Nii-san!" The night continued on like that and the matter of the watch hasn't been brought up since then.
Tomorrow is most likely the last day I would be acting as Setsuka Heel. There are only a few more scenes that BJ appears in. This assignment ending is a relief. Every time I watch Tsuruga-san act as BJ, it gives me chills. Setsu isn't bothered as much as I am, but it still worries her with how authentic his performance is.
It was already two in the morning and it should be time we both got to sleep. I took a shower and once I returned to the room, clothes where thrown at me.
"Get dressed, we're going for a walk." I saw that the clothes were some of my warmer ones for Setsu. I smiled a little smile, excited that Setsu would be going for a walk with her beloved brother. But the thought of getting sleep before the last day of shooting drifted to the surface.
"You should get some sleep before the last shoot."
"I'll be fine." He said it in a tone that claimed finality. "Get dressed."
I put on my clothes and my hand was grabbed by his as he pulled me out the door and into the hall. This felt like the first day as Setsu.
"Nii-san. Are we in a hurry? Do we really need to walk this fast?" He smiled.
"No." He slowed his pace. We stood in silence waiting for the elevator he let go of my hand when we entered the lobby. The silence continued as we exited and walked side by side, with me a half a step behind. The silence grew and started to vibrate after what seemed to be hours. We were walking into less affluent areas and finally making our way into a residential area with small street shops. He slowed to stop in an alleyway. I stopped as well. I looked to the alley and looked up to him. Was he Cain-nii-san or was he Tsuruga-san?
"It was someplace like this." He stood staring at the alley, eyes full of anger, remorse, self-hatred and sadness. I only knew cause I saw those in my reflection many times. I looked back to the alley and back down to my feet. The corner of my vision caught the fist at his side. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He opened then and turned around and started to walk away from the alley. I didn't really know how to respond to his emotions or that one sentence. I feared getting an NG, but this seemed much more serious than doing poorly in an act. I wondered vaguely if this was real.
We continued walking like we did before and made our way into a dark and deserted park. He sat down on one of the benches and I sat next to him.
"I shouldn't tell you this. I shouldn't tell anyone this. But I trust you and I can't bear pushing you away any longer, Mogami-san." I blinked at the use of my real name. Did this mean he was breaking character? Was he Tsuruga-san?
"If you don't want to tell me, you don't need to. I shouldn't have pried into anything like I did." That could be either Setsu or Kyoko responding. I wanted to play it safe when the atmosphere was heavy like this and my Kyoko-grudges were at attention.
"No, I want to tell you. I want you to know. Would you listen?" I nodded my head. He sighed and closed his eyes again. He slouched over with his heads on his hands and elbows supporting that weight on his knees. He felt the weight in the air, no, he caused it.
"I suppose I should start at the beginning…" I sat there watching him in the dim park lights.
"Tsuruga Ren is a stage name, as you know. I left my previous life to start over here in Japan. I chose to come here because it's the birthplace and childhood home of my father. You've actually met him already." Confusion built up in my mind, I met his dad? He continued before I could think further. "My father is Kuu Hizuri, making me Kuon Hizuri."
I felt my eyes widen as I took in a deep breath. He picked up his head from his hands to turn and look at me. I nodded slightly for him to continue, I didn't want to interrupt him. It was so shocking and difficult to wrap my head around, but I wanted to hear everything first.
"I was born in America. I loved my parents very much. I idolized my father; he was my hero, which is why I wanted to become an actor. I had a real hard time getting started in the Hollywood scene. Despite my father's influence, my failures were so great that it was stifling." The time he revealed all of his past failures to Bo flashed through my head. He sat up and turned more towards me. "When I was 10, my family returned to Kyoto, where father was born. As you know, Kuon loved the outdoors," It was strange how he referred to himself both in the third person and past tense. "Which is why he found a brook in the woods. There he found a little girl with black hair and golden eyes crying so sadly." I'm pretty sure my eyes widened more, if possible. Is he saying what I think he is? "He forgot about himself and his problems only because he wanted to help her and cheer her up. She had the silliest notion in her head," he smiled "she truly believed that he was a fairy prince and she still does to this day." He grinned. "She never could pronounce his name correctly and ended up calling him a vegetable." My mouth was open and the only thought whispered past my lips was:
"Hai... She cried so many tears, Kuon couldn't do anything about his own sadness but maybe he could do something about hers. So as a parting gift, he left her with a blue stone that he told her was magic, because everything good was magical in her mind." The words of that stupid beagle came to mind about the previous owner of the stone having such a troubled past. When I thought, just possibly, that Corn had left his earth at those harsh words and filled me with sadness, Tsuruga-san told me that Corn's wings had finally grown and he could fly higher than everyone. Tears started to fill my eyes, I had no idea. Looking back, it makes sense, but I didn't connect the dots.
"Things got worse once Kuon returned to America from that vacation. When he was 15, he did something unforgivable. I did something unforgivable… Remember the first day you were Setsu?" I nodded. He looked into his hands.
"I got into a fight. Initially it was about defending myself, but I didn't walk away like I should have. It got out of hand. I nearly beat him to death. Hit blood was all over me, his girlfriend cradled him also covered in his blood calling me a murderer. At that moment, it was a good assumption. That's when the President and my father helped me get started in Japan. I didn't think about my parents at all in my decision and I regret that. I wanted to be able to return to America with my own strength and influence as Tsuruga Ren.
"When I started over here, I saw my watch had stopped at 2:13, the time I fought with this man and nearly killed him. I decided I was no longer allowed to hurt anyone anymore and no longer allowed the comfort of happiness. I wore it as a reminder of my sins and the heavy chains of my guilt. How I'm not allowed something as wonderful as love…." He looked into my eyes, my breath stopped.
"But doing that also stunted me as an actor. That's why I received so many NGs when I was starting the more intimate scenes as Katsuki. That's why I asked for your help." I remembered how he seemed nearly terrified for his career during that time. I remembered that fall in his kitchen.
"I could identify with his character. I wanted to love, I was falling in love, but it was something forbidden to him, something that's forbidden for me and something I don't deserve… "His genuine smile beamed brightly in the darkness.
"I don't deserve someone as wonderful as you…" My heart stopped. Wait, what?
Did he mean…? Falling in love…? Wonderful as me…? I looked up into the sky. A few stars shone brightly in the early morning. Did that mean he loves me? Someone loves me? Tsuruga Ren loves me? It seems so impossible, something like a fantasy, that the top actor in Japan would fall for someone as plain as me. The magical glitter in his eyes proved his sincerity. Was this really Corn? Did my fairy prince return to me? Too many things swirled in my head after that to make sense.
"…Mogami-san?" He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Kyoko-chan?" I tore my gaze from the morning stars back to his face starting to grow with worry. "Say something." He pleaded softly.
"You love me? Why?" I still was in disbelief. He reached for my hand. His was soft and warm despite the morning chill.
"Why wouldn't I? Just the thought of you makes me smile even on the worst days." His smile continued. I searched his face.
"I thought… You liked someone else, that you hardly liked me, that you only put up with me because I'm your kohai…" His smile became a little sadder as he shook his head. He muttered to himself
"Why'd I fall for someone so dense? It was so obvious to others."
"I'm so sorry, this isn't making sense to me. I think I need some time to figure this out…" I glanced over to Tsuruga-san and he smiled sadly at me.
"Please forgive me, Kyoko-chan. Take as much time as you want. I don't even need a response, you can pretend like I never even said any of it. I just really wanted you to know the truth and to trust me like I trust you…" He got up slowly. "We should go back, it's getting late." I nodded.
We walked back in strained silence and I went straight to bed. By the time I woke up, Cain-nii-san/Tsuruga-san/Kuon/Corn (I'm not sure what to call him anymore) was already gone and at the last day of shooting. At least I knew what to call him when we were acting. I couldn't pay much attention to the acting on set, but the man that confessed so many things to me last night wouldn't leave my mind.
All of the times when he helped me really were above the duty of a sempai. Many of them were far above what a friend would do too. Well Moko-san would do… no, Tsuruga-san beats her there too. And I can't remember how many times I've had to remind myself that love is a foolish emotion and that I don't want to love anyone again and that I'm not worth loving. Yet here I have Japan's most desirable man telling me that he's in love with me and for once I'm sure it's not an act. How many times have I tried to convince myself that it wasn't love I felt for him?
So what's the problem? I love him and he loves me… Oh I remember, it hurts like hell when it's broken. But I joined LME and the Love Me Section to regain this emotion and here it is staring me in the face. Or maybe it's all some twisted fantasy I'm having. Maybe I'll test that out.
After the final shots were taken, we left the scene to get our things from the hotel and visit President Takarada and Muse. Muse worked her wonderful magic on me and returned Setsuka Heel back into Kyoko. Since I had another job soon, I couldn't stay and chat. Tsuruga-san offered to drive and I accepted since I would have the chance to test out my theory.
As we walked to the car, I spoke softly.
"Tsuruga-san?" I looked up shyly to him.
"Mmm?" He sported a lovely smile again. I motioned for him to lean closer so I could whisper something in his ear.
"I love you, too." I dared myself and kissed him lightly on the cheek. I drew away slightly to see his reaction. His face was very pink from his blush. I smiled with embarrassment too. I shouldn't have been so bold. I could barely blink after that thought before his arms were around my waist and his lips were upon my own.
He was deliciously warm. His kiss was both gentle and firm. My hands found his neck and his hair. Just as soft as I remember it that one time I was his pillow.
I have something so much better than Prince Charming. I have my very own Fairy Prince who can fly higher than anyone else.
Now this was real life, not something I could have ever dreamt up.