Spring Has Come For That Plain Girl With No Sex Appeal
Acknowledgments: Runadaemon for beta-reading
Dedications: Bloody_Rose021 I know you're busy and won't be reading this, but whatever. :D This story wouldn't have been possible without your encouragement and support for the last two fics.
I don't own Skip Beat!
T Minus 17 Days Before White Day (February 25)
Between 8:00 PM and 9:30 PM
"So, Kijima-kun," Ishibashi Hikaru cheerfully segued the Yappa Kimagure Rock guest to the reason he appeared on the show. "The last episode of Dark Moon will be airing tomorrow, won't it?"
"Yeah," Kijima Hidehito-san nodded. "The last episode is definitely going to be full of surprises for the fans of the show."
"Oh, come on," Ishibashi Yuusei-san interjected. "There has to be more to tell than just that."
He can't say it, Mogami Kyoko firmly thought as Bo walked towards the interview area of the stage with a cup of tea for Kijima-san.
Dark Moon, through its second half, slightly deviated from the original (Tsukigomori) in order to draw more emotion and drama into the series. The last episode was going to be the culmination of all that. Cast members who participated in the round of promotions for it were asked to keep answers as vague as possible when asked. Tsuruga-san and Momose-san did that when they appeared in a talk show in Fuji last night. She did it when she appeared in an afternoon talk show in ATV earlier. She was sure that Kijima-san would do the same thing.
And Kijima-san did. "Well, let me assure everyone that it's where everything will finally come undone," he said with an easy laugh. "You'll find out when you watch tomorrow."
"At least tell us if Oohara Airi-san will be appearing a lot more on the last episode," Ishibashi Shin'ichi-san said.
"Shin'ichi-kun's a big fan of hers," Ishibashi Yuusei-san interjected. "I'm more on the Momose Itsumi-san fan club."
"Oh?" Kijima-san's eyes lit up at the change of topic.
Typical, Kyoko wryly thought as Bo approached the foursome. Kijima-san did like girls. A lot. She remembered how he would flirt around with a lot of them. Co-stars, crew members and on-lookers alike.
"Then, what about you, Hikaru-san?" Kijima-san eagerly asked. "Whose fan club are you on?"
"Oh, he likes Kyoko-chan," Yuusei-san flippantly answered.
Bo stopped in his tracks just as he stood between Hikaru-san's chair and the couch where Kijima-san and turned to the Kimagure Rock host.
Hikaru-san what? she thought as she stared her little chicken head at him. She knew that Ishibashi onii-sans watched Dark Moon because of her, but there was no way in hell any of them would ever find anything appealing about that demon of an ojou-sama, Mio.
Hikaru-san's face looked flushed as he looked back at her and swallowed. He recovered quickly enough and cheerfully answered. "But all three of us are fans of Kyoko-chan!" Then he gestured towards Bo and added. "Even Bo is a fan, right?"
No way! Kyoko thought wildly. Even if she was proud of the Mio she created for the drama, she still liked Mizuki's character much better! She wanted to cross her forearms as a negative, but her hands were occupied holding the tea tray so her only option was to balance the tray with one hand and produced a thumbs-up sign with the other.
Shin'ichi-san let out a mutter about "a waste" of an "opening" for Hikaru-san.
"Isn't it weird, Kijima-san?" Yuusei-san let out a small laugh. "Thinking about being a fan of the evil one?"
Of course it was! Kyoko thought as Bo set the tea in front of Kijima-san then moved to the side of the stage to prepare for the next segment. Mio was not meant to be liked.
"No..." Kijima-san answered thoughtfully. "Hikaru-san may be on to something there..."
She stopped walking and turned to peer curiously at the actor. What did he mean by that?
"I never saw her at the Dark Moon set because she was already Mio by then," Kijima-san leaned over conspiratorially at the boys like it was a secret he was saying not in front of a live audience. "But have you seen her in the promo for her new drama? She's a real babe there. She's twice as mature and twice as beautiful there. Have you seen her like that, Hikaru-san?"
Hikaru-san paused for a second because gushing out, "Yeah...~"
"Really?" Yuusei-san asked. "You have?"
"When?" Shin'ichi-san seconded.
Yeah! Kyoko wanted to cry out. When?
"Psst..." A hiss from the side of the stage caught Kyoko's attention. "Oi, Bo." It was the props master and he was lifting the basket to inform her that the Information Egg segment was next.
Kyoko marched towards the stage's wings and took the eggs.
"Give it two more minutes," the stage manager instructed.
"...when you see her there," Kijima-san continued, "you really want to see her like that in the flesh."
What the hell? Kyoko thought in surprise. They were still talking about her?
"Can I bring the eggs over now?" she asked darkly. Why are they still talking about her?
"In a while, Bo," the prop master waved his hand. "We still want to hear about how you look twice as mature and twice as beautiful."
A little after 10:00 PM
"Just pick it up here same time next week," the nice lady in TBM Studio's laundry and storage department said as Kyoko took the pick-up form off the desk.
"Thank you very much," Kyoko bowed before heading back to the Kimagure Rock studio's dressing rooms to change and get her things.
What a waste, she thought in disgust as she discarded her shirt and sweat pants and put on a cute top and short floral skirt. She really liked the ensemble when she bought it. She'd barely worn it for the day and it's going to LME's laundry once she takes it off in the trailer for her transformation as Setsuka Heel.
It'd been a few days since she assumed the role of Cain Heel's little sister. The adjustment to the character was hard at first, but she and Tsuruga-san managed to build a decent rapport as Setsuka and Cain Heel. Apart from sudden weirdness from her brother, her adjustment has been OK. Considering how he hasn't NG-ed or thrown her out yet, she must be doing a pretty decent job at it.
She sighed. She just wished it would be easier on her schedule. Balancing three characters with Natsu and Mio was complicated enough, but she had a hell of a time making excuses to Tsuruga-san tonight without telling him that it was for Kimagure Rock. At least Dark Moon ended their shoot a few days ago.
Kyoko stepped out of the dressing room and looked at the wall clock. It was already a little past ten. Cain-nii-san was already waiting for her at the hotel. He ended his work at nine.
As she walked down the hall, she started thinking about what to prepare for a light dinner. When she turned the corner, she bumped into someone.
"I'm sorry," she frantically bowed and apologized. "I wasn't looking where I was going!"
Kyoko froze in her bowing position at the familiar voice. Slowly, she lifted her head. "Kiji...ma-san? Wh-what are you doing here?"
"I was a guest in Kimagure Rock," he explained. "Now, I'm just looking for my manager. What are you doing here?"
She straightened up and tried to think of an excuse. "I-I'm running an errand," she said. She never really got to know Kijima-san in Dark Moon, but there was still no way she was going to let him find out about Bo - things like that tend to go around. It was show business after all. And if he found out, it would only be a matter of time before Tsuruga-san or Shotaro found out. That was a big no-no.
Kijima-san looked at her from head to toe. "At ten in the evening? At the Kimagure Rock studio?" he asked dubiously.
"B-Bridge Rock and I come from the same section at the same agency," Kyoko stuttered. "They're my senpai." When Hikaru-san turned the corner from the end of the long hallway, she added, "Hikaru-san is my senpai."
"So you're here for Hikaru-san?" Kijima-san's eyes widened.
"Yup!" she nodded. "Ah! There he is right now!" She quickly moved towards her safe haven and called out, "Hikaru-san!"
Hikaru-san's face lit up and let out a smile. "Kyoko-chan," he said. "Let's go to the stage first. The producer's going to make an announcement about the super-secret anniversary episode."
"Alright," she nodded eagerly. Then she turned to Kijima-san and excused herself. "See you tomorrow at the Dark Moon viewing party, Kijima-san."
"OK," Kijima-san nodded. "See you."
Kyoko let out a breath of relief.
"You need to be careful of his type, Kyoko-chan," Hikaru-san said. "I mean, don't get me wrong. He's pretty nice and all, but I hear he's a real playboy."
In the months they've worked together in Dark Moon, she knew that he was, but "I think I'm OK," she laughed. "I don't think I'm his type."
"Oh, come on, don't put yourself down," Hikaru-san said. "You're really cute, you know. And I saw the Box 'R' promo too. Kijima-san was right. You are twice as mature and twice as beautiful."
"Really?" Her face lit up. "I'm so happy! That's exactly the kind of Natsu I wanted to bring out!"
"That's good then," Hikaru-san smiled. Then he averted his gaze a little bit. "So anyway, Kyoko-chan... The guys and I are going to have a late dinner after the announcement. Do you want to come with us?"
He always asked this every week after every live shoot. Out of all those time, Kyoko could count with her fingers the times she went along after considering her schedule for the next day. Now was no different.
"Sorry, not tonight," she apologetically smiled. Tsuruga-san was probably waiting for her already. "I have to meet with someone at home." The hotel was pretty much home. For the next two weeks.
"Oh, you have a relative who came over?"
"Yeah..." She smiled. Cain Heel was her character's brother. "Something like that. The stay's actually pretty long. About two weeks and some days." She was really saying too much, but she was always at ease talking to Hikaru-san about work.
"Then," Hikaru-san said. "If it's two weeks and a couple of days, would you be free by the 14th?"
"The 14th?" Kyoko thought. Cain Heel's last day on the set was on the 12th. Cain and Setsu were scheduled to check out of the hotel on the 13th.
"Well, I know it's early, but your schedule's getting busier and busier so we might as well schedule it ahead of time," Hikaru-san explained. "The guys and I want to take you out on White Day."
"Eh?" Kyoko was stunned. Then she was flustered. "No! That's OK. There's really no need to return the favor. I only gave the chocolates to you guys because-"
"Kyoko-chan," Hikaru-san firmly interrupted. "We weren't expecting to get chocolates from you on Valentine's Day, so we were really happy when we did. When you gave it to us, you said that you like giving them to people you're grateful to so we'd like to take you out to return the feeling." Then he smiled. "So if you're free, just say yes and we'll get Toyokawa-san to clear our schedule for the evening."
Kyoko was surprised. No one has every given her anything on White Day. Of course, back then she only gave honmei chocolates to Shotaro and seeing him was enough of a reward on White Day, even if he never thought about giving her anything, she thought in disgust. The Ishibashi onii-sans were happy with her giri chocolates, which were a mere token of appreciation from her, and they want to return the favor. She never thought anyone would be happy about getting them. She was absurdly happy; she really couldn't help but smile and say,
Some time between 11:30 PM and 12:00 AM
Ren impatiently tapped his fingers on his thighs as he sat in the car waiting for Mogami-san to get out of the trailer.
He was already dressed and on stand-by as Cain Heel and has been been since 10:00 in the evening. She arrived nearing 11:30, saying that she had something come up with work.
He knew he couldn't really complain. Apart from the fact that the delay was because of work, her involvement with Cain Heel was not something she was getting paid or recognition for. It'd been several days since Mogami-san was recruited by the President to act as his little sister, Setsu, as part of her Love Me Section duties.
Actually, he couldn't understand why he was so restless. It wasn't like he was sleepy or hungry or in dire need to go to the bathroom. He just wanted to be with his little sister, he justified.
His thought were interrupted when a knock came through the car window. He looked up and opened the door.
"I'm back, nii-san!" Setsu cheerfully greeted as he stepped out of the car.
"You're late," he pouted as he slammed the door shut.
"It's not like I deprived a hungry man of his dinner, you know," she sarcastically said. She especially emphasized the word 'hungry'.
Cain glared as her and pinched her cheek. Hard. "Are you trying to sass me again with that smart mouth?"
- The title has been tweaked out on the archives because I exceeded the word count for titles by three measly characters. Out there, it will known as "Spring Has Come For That Girl With No Sex Appeal." In here, it's going to be "Spring Has Come For That Plain Girl With No Sex Appeal."
- If the concept is White Day is foreign to you, in a nutshell, it's a day when people who received something from someone on Valentine's Day give something back. It's a tradition done in Japan.
- This is my first attempt to write a proper romance. That will probably not happen considering my Skip Beat! fanfiction writing history. As for the length, it'll be 15 chapters tops.
- The first few chapters are going to be short. They will start getting longer as more things happen as Ren/Cain, Hikaru, Sho, Reino and Kijima do more things. Also, if you would notice, there is a day stated at the start of each chapter. Yes, there will be time skips too. So please take note of the dates. Oi vey.
- Anyway, reviews are appreciated but not expected. Thanks.