Mistletoe Not Included
It was the day before Christmas Eve and LME was bustling with excitement. Normally everyone tried to stay out of the way of President Takarada when he came up with a crazy idea to spread love but this year people, women in particular, were clamoring for a chance to take part in his latest scheme. This year instead of the customary Christmas cards and gift exchanges, Lory offered a Kiss-O-Gram service to all of his employees at LME. When everyone started pouring in to work at 7 o'clock that morning they were greeted by huge banners that read: SPREAD A LITTLE LOVE ON CHRISTMAS DAY WITH A KISS-O-GRAM! SEND YOUR TRUE LOVE A KISS AND HAVE THEM RETURN IT TO YOU THIS CHRISTMAS. ANONYMOUS REQUESTS ALSO ACCEPTED.
By lunch time the Kiss-O-Gram hotline was in a frenzy trying to take all of the requests for kisses to be sent to the various celebrities and workers of LME. Not surprisingly, almost all of the requests were from women. Also not surprising was that most of the requests were meant for LME's top actor Tsuruga Ren.
The actor in question was currently in the process of trying to escape the nightmare the president created. He was in the Acting section's office at Yashiro's desk trying to keep a low profile while his manager was losing patience after being repeatedly put on hold.
"It's no use Ren. Every person I talk to at the Kiss-O-Gram hotline transfers me to someone else after making me wait for 20 minutes first. I'm sure I've spoken to at least one of them three times already."
Ren was also losing patience. "How hard can it be to pass the word around to not deliver any Kiss-O-Grams to me? They should be happy that their workloads won't be as full."
"Unfortunately we can't leave because you have four meetings today and they're all in the building. Maybe we'll get lucky and they won't find you in here."
Ren looked at his manager skeptically. "Yashiro, do you honestly believe that?"
"Well no, but it was worth a try. What's so bad about a Kiss-O-Gram anyway? You may even get one from Kyoko-chan." His inner fan girl was starting to show and Ren had to cut in before he started blushing and squealing.
"First, we both know that there's no way that the #1 LoveMe girl would send me a Kiss-O-Gram. Second, even if she did send me a Kiss-O-Gram it would be meaningless because the kiss wouldn't be coming directly from her. Thirdly, why would I want to kiss a stranger who is only showing me affection on behalf of someone else? It's ridiculous."
Yashiro sighed in defeat. "I guess you're right. I'll keep trying to get through to someone on the hotline then."
In the office of President Lory Takarada there was another argument in progress.
"But is this really appropriate for a LoveMe task? We don't even get points for it."
Lory, dressed as none other than Father Christmas complete with live reindeer and a sleigh looked at his favorite LoveMe member. "Of course this is appropriate! What better LoveMe task is there than spreading the feeling of love on Christmas? You don't need points for this because being able to share love with others is priceless. Don't you agree Mogami-Kun?"
His last question was said with a serious tone that made it very clear he would not approve of anything but an enthusiastic response. Kyoko looked at her fellow members for help but Chiori turned her head in the opposite direction pretending not to notice her and Kanae just shrugged.
"Don't look at me. As far as I'm concerned this is just another acting job."
Kyoko had to accept that she was fighting a losing battle. "Then can we at least change the outfits? What's wrong with wearing our normal LoveMe uniforms?"
Lory looked shocked. "Those don't spread the Christmas spirit! 'Tis the season Mogami-kun and everything must be perfect! Now I suggest you get started with your tasks before the amount of work really piles up."
Sensing that they had officially been dismissed, the three LoveMe girls headed to Sawara-san's office where the Kiss-O-Gram hotline was set up. He looked up at them and tried to hide his blush before he gave them their assignments.
"The President has separated you each into sections. Amamiya-san you will handle the requests for the employees of LME, Kotonami-san you will have the requests for the various talents of the agency, and Mogami-kun you unfortunately will have the most requests but luckily they are all in one place."
He handed them each a large, red drawstring bag very like the ones Santa Claus is always portrayed carrying. As he said, Kyoko's was by far the heaviest and she wondered how so many requests could all be in the same place. Looking through the names on the cards her face instantly turned a shade of red that rivaled the color of her bag.
Chiori looked over at her and said reassuringly, "Remember what Kotonami-san said earlier? Just treat this as an acting job and you'll be fine. Now get started, you don't want to be here all day."
Kyoko stood frozen in place as her friends left to start their assignments. Sawara-san cut into her shocked state by reminding her that the longer it took for her to get started the more requests would pile up on her at once. She walked out of the office still in a daze and headed down the hall.
Coming from the opposite direction Ren and Yashiro were headed to the Talent section to intercept the Kiss-O-Grams.
"Are you sure it's in here Yashiro?"
"Positive. The last person who put me on hold forgot to mute the phone and I heard someone in the background call out to Sawara-san. We should be able to have him stop the Kiss-O…Grams."
Both men stopped suddenly in the hallway dumbfounded by the sight in front of them. Ren's eyes seemed to be working backwards and in slow motion. They started at the feet first taking in red leather stiletto boots that seemed to go on forever. The boots finally stopped in the middle of smooth, creamy thighs that flowed into a tiny red dress with white fur trim around the edge. The bodice of the dress was form fitting with a brown belt circling a tiny waist and two puffy balls of the same fur down the center with the top one stopping in the middle of a chest. The dress was sleeveless and around the collar of the bodice was more of the fur which also decorated the edges of the thin straps of the dress. Elbow length red gloves covered delicate arms and a red and white Santa hat sat atop the head of a very embarrassed Kyoko who was unaware that the delicate blush on her cheeks was making it much harder for Ren to contain himself.
Remembering the advice of her friends Kyoko closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and prepared herself for this new "role" the president gave her. When she opened her eyes a huge smile graced her features and Ren's breath caught in his throat. This look was even more tempting than the innocent blush. He gathered all of the self-control he could muster and bowed his head to her calmly although his words still came out in a rush.
"Good afternoon Mogami-san, it's good to see you are in the Christmas spirit. Now if you'll excuse me I must see Sawara-san about something."
He tried to walk off quickly before he did something irreversible but two small hands reached out and grabbed him.
"Wait Tsuruga-san I have something to give you."
He turned reluctantly. "What is it you have to giv-"
His words were cut off by soft lips pressed firmly against his. As soon as he realized what was happening his arms wrapped around Kyoko's waist and he pulled her tightly to him deepening the kiss. When she pushed away from him the blush was back on her cheeks.
"That was a Kiss-O-Gram to you from Hanzo Akari-san with her love during this Christmas season." She recited looking at the card in her hand.
Her blush was getting deeper and Yashiro had officially gone into fan girl overdrive. There were huge heart shapes in his eyes, his mouth was open in a silent squeal, and if you looked close enough smoke was slowly streaming out of his ears. Ren was silent for awhile before a frightening thought entered his mind.
"Mogami-san you're a Kiss-O-Gram?"
She lowered her eyes embarrassed. "Yes. The president assigned it to all of us as a LoveMe task."
Ren was quickly becoming furious. "I'll have a word with the president immediately Mogami-san. He has no right to make you go around kissing anyone but- kissing random strangers."
Kyoko sensed the demon lord coming to the surface and spoke quietly. "Actually Tsuruga-san all of the requests the president assigned to me are addressed to you. I'm sorry, I know how uncomfortable it must be for you but the president wouldn't let me back out of it. Do you really think you could convince him?"
She looked up into Ren's face hopefully and was surprised that all of his anger had suddenly vanished.
"Well, if you say you've already tried and he refused then I'm not sure I would be able to convince him either. You know how the president gets about holidays celebrating love. I'm sorry Mogami-san but we'll just have to make the best of it. At least neither of us will have to kiss a stranger right?"
"I suppose you're right Tsuruga-san." Kyoko said, once again blindly trusting the words of her respected sempai.
Yashiro looked at Ren with a devious smirk on his face. "So there's no need to see Sawara-san then?" He asked sarcastically already knowing the answer.
Ignoring his manager's teasing Ren turned to Kyoko. "That looks like quite a few requests you have there Mogami-san. Perhaps we should take this somewhere private like the LoveMe room. We wouldn't want to block the hallway."
Kyoko blushed. "Okay Tsuruga-san." She said as she followed him to the LoveMe room, happy that at least no one else would see them being forced to kiss each other.
Yashiro watched the two of them leave, Kyoko jogging to keep up with Ren who was walking faster than usual. Pulling out his rubber gloves Yashiro dialed the Kiss-O-Gram hotline one last time and ordered 100 anonymous grams for Tsuruga Ren.
Author's Corner: I know I should be working on my other fic but when this popped into my head I couldn't resist. Hope you all loved it. Merry Christmas!