I don't own Skip Beat.
Pre-Warning Note: I thought I was going to put this fic up as an M, but the guidelines said I can post it as a T! :D No lemons. No limes. Just expect people being roughed up a bit at a later chapter.
Acknowledgments: Bloody_Rose23 for beta-ing.
Dedications: To alitablake, who was looking for a good KyoSho fic. This is neither a KyoSho fic nor is it a good one. Sorry.
As the elevator ascended up to their floor at the New Canary Hotel, Kyoko snuck a peek at Tsuruga-san through Setsuka Heel's thick hair.
Definitely not an ordinary fairy, most definitely not a lower ranked one. This was Tsuruga Ren. He would definitely be in the upper, upper ranks, like a prince.
No, no... she shook her thoughts away. No way! The prince of fairies was Corn! He said so himself! If Tsuruga-san was a fairy, he'd probably be that evil twin brother. A fairy gone bad... she thought firmly. Especially with the way he was dressed right now...
The door pinged open and he started to walk out. "Let's go, Setsu," he said.
"O-OK!" she snapped back to reality and she followed Cain-nii-san.
This was bad, she thought, as she stared at his back. Since she saw him at the Culture Park that afternoon, she'd been thinking non-stop about why Amamiya-san and the rest of the crowd that gathered would suddenly say that he was a fairy. Did Amamiya-san have some connections to the supernatural world that would lead her to believe that Tsuruga-san was one? And every time she would try to speculate his rank, it always came up as prince. When she tried to match him up side-by-side with Corn, she couldn't even see Corn's face anymore. It had already been taken over by Tsuruga-san!
Tsuruga-san was screwing up her precious memories!
"Setsu," he turned to her as he slipped the card key into the slot of the door.
Crap! Now, she'd forgotten to be in character again! She'd been spacing out and drifting back into Setsu at the Box "R" shoot so much, now that she actually needed to be Setsu, she couldn't get it right.
"What is it, nii-san?" she asked.
"Did you go shopping today?" he asked, nodding towards the paper bag in her hand.
"Yes, just a couple of things I need," she smiled dryly. "You went shopping too." She pointed at the paper bag he was holding.
"Yes," he nodded. "Did you put your purchases on my tab?"
"No," she shook her head. That was too ridiculous. Underwear was something a girl would buy for herself, not something one would ask from a guy, especially not from one's brother.
"Then is it a surprise for me?" he asked, as he opened the door.
Oh, it's definitely a surprise. She could just see the surprised look that would be on Tsuruga-san's face if she started parading around in her underwear. And how he'd laugh and point and tell her how stupid and uncute and unsexy she looked. "No," she said through uneasy laughter.
"Then you should have put it on my tab," he said, stepping into the room and turned the light switch on.
Could they just stop talking about her underwear? She thought, as she set the paper bag on the bed before making a beeline to the kitchen. She opened the fridge and poured juice into a tall glass.
Come to think of it, she thought, as she started putting in ice. Shouldn't her older brother be having a beer or something? She accepted the role because one of her initial fears was that Cain Heel wouldn't eat and do nothing but drink booze for dinner. A man who just came home from a long day at work would have a drink. She remembered all the salarymen regulars at the Daruma-ya who would come to the restaurant for that reason alone.
Besides, it wasn't like he wouldn't eat properly, she thought reasonably. Not if she could help it.
The hotel's fridge was freshly stocked with lots of food. It's not like Tsuruga-san was the type to go weird after one drink.
She looked up towards him and was surprised to find him staring at her.
"W-what is it?" she asked nervously. "Nii-san?"
It wasn't fair, he thought, as his eyes trailed after Mogami-san as she moved around the little kitchen. Why did he have to be the one to tell Mogami-san that he can't have her around?
When he saw her just after his Dark Moon shoot in the parking lot in Jelly's trailer, he couldn't work up the nerve to say it. She was definitely going to get hurt if he said it to her the regular way. Even with all the logic of how acting Setsu will bring her no benefit in acting or a paycheck. Knowing her, she was probably doing this and intending to see this through to the end simply because it was a Love Me Section task similar to the one she did when she was his temporary manager. He was simply doing it as Cain - a cowardly way out.
She looked up at him and looked flustered. "W-what is it, nii-san?"
It was now or never.
"Setsu," he said, putting on his Cain Heel character.
"I think," he continued hesitantly. There was little time. The President was waiting in the parking lot in the basement to take her back to the Takarada mansion where she was going to be given a debriefing. It's better this way... He decided, as he straightened up from where he sat and bravely said, "It's better if you go back home."
Kyoko froze where she stood and stared ahead at Cain-nii-san.
He was, she swallowed, sending her - no, Setsu - back?
That was probably the biggest NG she had ever gotten from him! she panicked. What's wrong? she was acting the role properly, wasn't she? Sure, she faltered a lot yesterday, but that was only the first day! It wasn't fair, she thought. He probably had a good month or two to create the character of Cain Heel and he was expecting her to accomplish it in one day. He was the greatest actor in Japan and she was a clueless newbie with less than a year's worth of experience!
She was about to ask Tusruga-san why when she realized that Tsuruga-san called her Setsu, meaning it was Cain-nii-san who was talking to her. So, she had to give a Setsu-appropriate response.
"D-did our parents have a say in this or was it just your decision?" she asked, referring to President Takarada and Ten-san. She was devastated that Tsuruga-san had been going behind her back and voicing out his complaints about her to him. Not only was that completely humiliating, the president of the most powerful agency in Japan would know about her not being a capable actress!
"No," he shook his head. "It was my decision."
It felt like an arrow to the gut.
"Was it because I caused you problems yesterday?" she asked quietly. He was trying to get rid of her because she did cause him problems. He was so out of it after the fight with seaweed head and his band of thugs - something he didn't need if he was going to be focusing on his role.
"It's not that," Cain-nii-san sighed. "I just think you could do much more productive things if you went back. You know that you're not going to be appearing in the movie, right?-"
"So who's going to make sure you eat properly?"
"I can take care of myself," he said, standing up from where he sat. "Besides, I never really intended to bring my little sister along for such a weird job."
That wasn't something a doting older brother would say! Everything he was saying was generally true - and she hadn't even known that she wasn't going to be acting with him in the movie, but.. But...
"No," Setsu flippantly said. "I'm not going home. I'm staying here with you."
Damn it, she thought. She didn't want to give up the role. This was only the second time she'd ever enjoyed a role and she wanted to continue acting it so badly. She wanted to see it out until the very end.
"I promised our parents I'd look after you until the end of your shoot here," she reasoned with a flat tone. "If you want me to leave, you're just going to have to do it by force."
"Setsu..." He looked at her with displeasure. Obviously, Cain-nii-san was not used to having his wishes disobeyed. He let out a breath of frustration before taking a step forward.
Her eyes widened and she jumped. He wasn't really going to force her out, was he?
Tsuruga-san really wanted to get rid of her. Why?
When Cain-nii-san was just at arm's reach, she threw herself on the ground and clung to his leg. "I don't want to go back!"
"Setsu," he yelped out in surprise.
"Please, nii-san!" She whined. "You promised to take me out sightseeing and that I can go shopping some more!" That's what nii-san would have told her when the Heel siblings came to Japan. "It's because I got you into trouble yesterday, wasn't it? I promise I'll behave. Just don't send me back!"
"Don't make this difficult, Setsu," Cain-nii-san sighed.
"I don't want to go back." She buried her face in his pant leg and held tight. "If it's only because you want to pick up girls and have drunken orgies and I'm in the way, I can always leave the room." He could do that when she was at her Kimagure Rock shoot and as long as they didn't do gross stuff on her bed.
"I mean, you're a guy, right?" She blushed as she loosened her grip on his leg. Where the hell was she carrying this conversation? Even if Cain Heel was a bigger playboy than Tsuruga Ren, that was none of her business. She looked up at Tsuruga-san and saw that his lips were quivering. He started laughing.
Kyoko stared up at his odd reaction and finally let go of his leg.
He really was laughing at her! He was even clutching his stomach. "I-Is that the reason you're thinking about?" he stammered. He laughed some more. He was laughing at her.
It wasn't even his usual throaty chuckle. It wasn't even his usual sarcasm. He was laughing at her as though she just said the most ridiculous thing in the world. No, he was laughing at her because she was ridiculous.
"I see..." She understood everything.
"Eh?" He broke out of his laughing fit.
"You could have just said it straight out, you know," she said quietly, looking at the floor. "I'm not a child. Just say that I'm not needed here."
"Wait..." he started.
She stood up and looked at him. He was obviously shocked, which was a strange reaction. "Fine," she said when he didn't say anything. "I'll go back." She turned around and started for the door. "Have fun with your job here." She grabbed the doorknob. She turned to him and cried out, "Don't come after me!" before slamming the door behind her.
What the hell! Kyoko agonizingly thought as she stared at the closed door. Cain-nii-san would have come after Setsu if she threw a temper tantrum. He would have come after her, consoled and cajoled her until she'd become convinced to go back into the room. He would have even resorted to material things if needed.
Kyoko sighed. She obviously thought up the wrong profile for Cain Heel. Just proof that she wasn't a strong observer or analytical enough to be suitable to act side-by-side with Tsuruga-san. Her Setsu was rejected and she was being banished from the project.
And she had acted so spoiled too! she thought, ashamed. When they saw each other for Dark Moon's final episode, she would apologize to him properly.
In defeat, she walked towards the elevators, and once on the ground floor, headed for the main door. She stepped out and looked around in confusion. The car that brought them back to the hotel wasn't there.
Of course! she slammed her fist on her palm. It was part of the instructions that if they were leaving their characters to go outside, they should head to the basement for their transformation.
"Miss..." A doorman came up to her.
"No, sorry," she answered. "I just remembered where the car is." without another word, she turned around and headed back inside towards the elevators. She stood impatiently, waiting for the elevator car to descend.
Finally, when the ping signaled the opening of the door, her eyes widened with shock as they met the eyes of the occupant.
Fuwa Sho gave her a once-over and smiled. "What's wrong, little lady? Are you lost?"
- This story is not really going to go anywhere. It's going to be short that'll be about five or six chapters. Please keep the expectation level to a low. I just couldn't get it out of my head since Chapter 161. This is going to be a short one and not at all humor like my previous fics.
- I know the characters seem to be OOC, but it doesn't seem OOC if from Cain or Setsu's point-of-view.
- Updates will come depending on the beta-reader. She said it'll be in a day or two.
- I'm not expecting reviews, but I'll appreciate them.