Title: THE FOURTH LOVE ME MEMBER
Disclaimer: I don't own SKIP BEAT!
Setting: After the filming for BJ's movie
Summary: The LoveMe Division welcomes a new member. But why is Kyoko so eager to help her new teammate to graduate? Will they both survive in the end, and possibly find love?
Chapter 1: Lory's Wrath
Lory Takarada, President of the prestigious talent agency LME, is a naturally jolly person. He likes to mastermind some ridiculous games for the sake of his mission to propagate love among his employees and to the world in general, but he always meant well in the end. He's not one given to anger and he does not voice out his disappointments in a way that may hurt the people around him. In short, he's a nice guy. Weird - yes, but nice. That's why one morning that everyone heard the eccentric president shouting at someone, they were completely dumbfounded, especially, when that 'someone' is none other than Tsuruga Ren, LME's number one star and the most desirable man in Japan and the most gentleman of all gentlemen.
"Out of my office!" Lory bellowed. His words befit his image today, as he is wearing his Grecian robes and holding a glowing toy in the shape of a lightning bolt. His white locks and resplendent white beard fit his image as the King of the gods.
Ren was already walking away and behind him, his ever present manager was running frantically, briefcase still half open.
Yashiro had never seen the President that angry. His face was practically livid. They were supposed to meet the President today for a special project that he, himself, chose for his number one actor. But not thirty minutes earlier, when Ren was handed the script and when the President started describing the story behind the romance drama with so much passion, the actor suddenly interrupted.
"I'm sorry, President Takarada, but I cannot accept this project" he said in his perfect gentleman manner.
The President scrutinized the young celebrity before answering. "So, you are familiar with the author Mizushima Kei? Because that is the only reason I can think of why you would not accept the role based on the man's life"
Ren remained silent.
"Hmpf. I knew it. It hits too close to home, does it not? You and him, you are alike in so many ways. That's why I only thought of you to portray the lead character" Lory huffed.
"With all due respect, Sir, I am not sure of what you are talking about. But I have just accepted another drama offer last week and filming for my secret role was just completed. I just want to make sure I'll be able to handle all my commitments. Accepting another drama will be too much for my schedule. It would be too unprofessional of me to say yes to something I cannot fully commit myself into. I am pretty sure you will find another actor who will be perfectly suited for this part" was the actor's reply.
All this while, Yashiro only watched the verbal sparring. No one has raised their voices but the tension inside the room was palpable. After working with his charge for more than 3 years, he's more or less attuned to Ren's moods and slight changes in expression. He can tell that there is more to the actor's rejection as well as the President's obvious disappointment. Even the butler, dressed as Mercury the messenger to the gods, has raised his eyebrows.
"Is this your final answer?" the President asked as he stood up from his magnificent throne and turned away to look outside his enormous office windows.
"Yes" Ren answered, calmly.
"Tch. I am sorely disappointed in you, my boy. I thought you have already learned something these past few months. I had high hopes. I hoped that you will finally be able to express love—"
"I'm sorry to disappoint you Mr. President. But I don't understand why it always had to be about – love – when I have just stated my rea—" Ren tried to continue.
But then Zeus turned around and stared at him with eyes full of wrath.
"Why? Why does it always have to be about love? Have you not learned anything under my tutelage boy?" he shouted with an impressively commanding voice.
Even the tall actor, who, to Yashiro's view has no fear for anything, was startled almost out of his seat. Yashiro trembled. He looked at Sebastian, but the butler only gazed at him and his charge with a look almost similar to pity.
"What I cannot accept aside from lack of respect to LOVE –" Lory added as he took a step towards the immobilized actor "is LYING" he said with gritted teeth.
"You!" he pointed at Yashiro "Don't accept any more offers for this man" obviously referring to Ren. "You both will get your instructions from me starting today. This will be your punishment until you have finally learned your lesson" he said, staring intently at the tall actor.
And with that, like a magnificent god that was his role of choice for the day, Lory turned around and dismissed them.
They left, stunned at the President's complete transformation. Well, at least, Yashiro was. His charge remained looking almost unaffected. He wished he took a rain check and just asked Kyoko-chan too act as Ren's temporary manager again. He could have avoided being part of this whole mess. This was a record of sorts, he thought as he looked at Ren. My friend, you have just royally pissed off the king of LME and you are doomed. No, I mean we, you and I are both doomed. Yashiro began to wonder what reason he would write in his resignation letter. Stress? Fatigue from heavy workload? Emotional breakdown? Maybe all of the above.
"Hello? Sawara speaking" the middle-aged mustachioed man answered his ringing phone. "Yes, .. er—who? Yes, of course I heard you, Sir but why-? No no, I don't have any complaints Sir! Yes, I will take care of it right away, I'll do what I can. Goodbye Mr President"
He sighed. Who would have thought? What is the President scheming about again?
He picked up his phone again and dialed the Costume Department: "Hello, Takekuji? Sawara here. Yes, yes I know, but this is urgent, instructions from the President himself. I need a new Pink LoveMe uniform. What? Yes! What else? We only have one LoveMe section here do we not? Just do it. The president said he needs it by tomorrow. Okay, here are the measurements" he answered as he recited the figures.
After he hung up, it was his turn to wonder. What am I going to do with this? Another LoveMe member. When will it ever end? Sawara sighed.
End of Chapter 1
Note: This was supposed to be part of my other SB story, but I realized it would be much better for me to write it as another / stand-alone fanfic. Also, this is actually a crossover story with another manga. But since there is no existing record / listing for that manga yet in , this will be just under Skip Beat! I'm still struggling with Chapter 11 of Reality Bites so please bear with me. In the meantime, please do read and review. Thanks! - zf