A/N: I hope that you enjoy this little tale of love and growing up since it is my first foray into fandom. I do want to make a point to thank phlogistics on deviantART for giving me permission to use her great Kyoko drawing for my story image. If you like the picture, please take the time to check her other art at phlo gistics. deviantart. co m. Now... on to the reading! -me

"Good afternoon, Mogami-san," Ren repeats for the forth time as he lightly touches his kohai's shoulder. Papers scatter across the table and onto the floor as the young actress jumps from her seat. She takes a deep breath after stifling her startled squeal.

"Good morn..." she stutters while bowing deeply. "Oh, I mean, good afternoon, Tsuruga-san, Yashiro-san.

She rises and smiles at the two men before asking, "Do you need help from the LoveMe section?"

"Actually, I was wondering if you would like a ride home since I finished my meeting early," Ren answers smoothly while reaching out to the table to pick up the scattered papers before kneeling to help Kyoko collect the ones from the floor.

"Oh, I can't leave right now. Sawara-san gave me four projects to review and said that I have to pick one before I leave today. The problem is that I am just not sure which one is the best choice." She sighs as she shifts her collected papers and folders onto three piles.

Ren's manager suggests that perhaps they can assist if she tells them about the jobs. He picks up a green folder from the pink LoveMe couch and hands it to Ren to review.

"Not that one!" shouts Kyoko as she grabs it from her senpai's hand. She tosses it into the trash. "That one is not worth considering."

Ren's eyes narrow as he watches Kyoko's jaw clench and she wipes her hand across the pants of her ridiculously bright jumpsuit as if trying to clean the filth from the contaminated file.

Schooling his face into a bland expression and settling onto the couch beside his manager, Ren prompts her to tell them about the other offers. The actress turns one of the wooden chairs from the table until it faces her visitors and sits gracefully.

She starts describing the first job, Against the Beat. It is a drama series about a band trying to break into the entertainment business. The director felt that she would fit the image of the drummer, a rich girl rebelling against her traditional upbringing, but he would require her to audition with the other prospects to see if the chemistry is right. He was enthralled by Kyoko's Natsu persona and felt that the image she presented outside of the bullying scenes would be perfect. Kyoko is excited by this project because it would give her the chance to develop a character who was classy and driven yet not a bully. It would also include a number of on location shoots and a chance to work with other actresses her age.

When the actress shifts to the second offer, tentatively called Bad Medicine, she misses the bright grin that appears on Yashiro's face. Ren shakes his head at his manager so that he does not interrupt Kyoko's description of a movie offer which is, in fact, the same movie that Ren accepted earlier today. Kyoko has been offered the part by Director Shingai who wants her to play the role of one of the victims of the stalker who is killing the children of the executives in a pharmaceutical firm. Throughout the movie, her character will be seen as an innocent and frightened victim but towards the end it will be revealed that she is actually the mastermind behind the deaths. Since it is her first offer for a movie, Kyoko is excited about the chance even if it is ultimately a villain role.

"The third offer is for another drama called Sepia Images. It's for the main character, Aya, a 17 year old girl who is struggling to escape an abusive father." Kyoko nervously rises from her chair and begins walking around the room while continuing her description.

"Aya meets a boy her own age who is confined to a wheelchair after an accident. They develop a relationship which helps them both deal with their troubles. The drama will have a lot of jumping around in time with flashbacks and future-based images that all converge into the story at the climax of the story line. I would need to play all the parts from age 14 to 24 for Aya. In the present, the seventeen year old Aya is broken but in the past she was happy so it will require a wide range of emotions and I would have to show her subtle resiliency as the drama unfolds." Kyoko pauses by the table and tenderly caresses the paperwork on the third offer with her fingertips. "Aya will have the chance to really grow not only as she ages but also as a person, from a child's innocence to an adult's maturity.

Ren smiles gently as she continues to extol the virtues of the role. He chuckles and comments, "It sounds to me like you want to play Aya so where is the dilemma in choosing?"

Kyoko glances at her mentor and clasps her hands nervously. "The problem is that they want to start shooting on Thursday, as in this week on Thursday. It seems that the original actress who was going to play the part had to back out due to health issues and I just don't know if I can prepare in such short notice. I mean, it's already Monday afternoon. I would have to find my character, memorize the lines, learn the blocking, and build some sort of rapport with the cast and director in two days. I don't think I can do it."

"It seems to me that you already have a firm grasp of the character, Mogami-san." He smiles as he thinks she won't have any problems with a character she already loves so much. "I think you just need to get started on the lines. You have a great memory so you should have no problems with your part if you spend the next two days preparing. Have Sawara-san get you the script today if possible so you can get started. I believe you will make a wonderful Aya."

"Truly? Oh, thank you, Tsuruga-san! I really think Aya is a wonderful character. Her resiliency is amazing. If you think I can prepare in time, it would be wonderful to play her."

Ren nods and smiles sincerely. "I have faith in you that you can prepare for the part. You are very dedicated, Mogami-san and being excited about the role will only make it easier to prepare."

"Alright, I will go tell Sawara-san right now," Kyoko gushes as she rushes from the room only to speed right back to bow and offer them a good-bye. She then turns and runs back out of the room.

Both men watch her second flight from their company before Yashiro turns to Ren with an exasperated expression.

"I can't believe you didn't encourage her to take the part in your movie, Ren. You always let these opportunities just slide away. Are you an idiot or what?"

Ignoring the jibe, the actor stands and goes over to the trash can. Pulling the green file from the refuse, he glances at the offer. Casually crumbling the papers into a ball, he tosses the information on Fuwa Sho's newest PV about a ghost haunting a young musician back into the trash and exits the room to find Kyoko and again offer her a ride home.