I do not own Skip Beat!
"Ah, Kyouko-chan, good afternoon," Yashiro greeted.
"Yashiro-san, good afternoon," she said. "Here for lunch…without Tsuruga-san?"
Yashiro chuckled. "No, he's joining me after he finishes up his shoot. I thought I'd get a table, you know, in the name of expediency."
Kyouko smiled. "Ever efficient, I see."
"Well, you know, with Ren's packed schedule…Would you like to join us? I'm sure Ren would be pleasantly surprised."
"Are you sure?" she asked.
"Of course. He'd be delighted," Yashiro said.
Kyouko blushed, "Then I'll accept your offer."
They were soon seated at a table for three and furnished with menus.
"Why don't you go ahead and order for Ren," Yashiro suggested. "He'll be here soon."
"Eh? I couldn't!" Kyouko said, blushing furiously.
Yashiro knew she would think it a terrible presumption, but Ren would end up agreeing to eat pickled lizard's tongue if Kyouko told him to, so he continued to try and persuade her.
"He'll try and get away with eating only a small appetizer," Yashiro warned.
"Still," Kyouko said. "wouldn't it be awfully presumptuous of me to order for him?"
Yashiro let out a small snort of laughter, but covered it by taking a sip of water.
"I would have ordered for him if you hadn't been here," Yashiro said. "Remember, all in the name of expediency. There's not much point in getting a table and then waiting for him to get here before we order. I'm sure he'll be fine with whatever you choose."
"If you're sure…" Kyouko relented.
"Of course," Yashiro said.
Soon, the waiter arrived to take their orders. Kyouko winced and she looked up from her menu.
"Something the matter?" Yashiro asked after the waiter had gone.
"I'm alright," she said, rubbing her neck, "I've just had this terrible kink in my neck all week."
"Sitting too close to the screen at that premiere, I see," Yashiro said.
"We weren't that close," she said, blushing.
Yashiro grinned. Kyouko had finally gone on a date with Ren, though she still refused to allow it to be called such.
Ren had had a movie premiere coming up and, to Yashiro's knowledge, no date.
"Looks like you'll be alone again," Yashiro had teased.
"Actually, Mogami-san has agreed to accompany me," Ren said, casually dropping the bomb on Yashiro and walking away.
Yashiro stood in stunned silence in the lobby of LME as Ren disappeared down one of the building's many winding halls. After he recovered from his shock and picked his jaw up off the floor, his dumbfounded expression was replaced by an almost impossibly wide smile.
He needed details which Ren would certainly keep secret. He was about to seek out Kyouko when she conveniently came walking through the lobby with Kotonami Kanae.
"Hello Kyouko-chan, Kotonami-san," he greeted, falling in step beside the two LoveMe members.
"Hello, Yashiro-san," Kyouko said.
Her friend nodded her greeting.
"I heard you're going to be Ren's date for his premiere this weekend," Yashiro said, barely containing squeals of delight.
"Please use the word 'companion'!" Kyouko nearly shouted.
Kanae rolled her eyes.
"I'm merely accompanying Tsuruga-san to his premiere," Kyouko explained defensively.
"Yes, as his date," Kanae said.
"No. We're simply two friends, who happen to be of the opposite sex, going to see a movie together," Kyouko protested.
"So, like a movie date," Kanae said bluntly.
Yashiro snorted. He was beginning to like Kanae more and more.
"No no no!" she said, now bright red. "It's not like he confessed to me or anything. He just needed a companion to go with him to his movie premiere. You understand, right, Yashiro-san? I can't be the first female friend Tsuruga-san has asked to something like this."
"Come to think of it, you are," Yashiro answered, attempting to keep his evil grin in check. "Ren usually goes to these things alone."
"Eh?" Kyouko said.
"Have fun on your date this weekend," Kanae said. "I've got get going, but be sure to tell me all about it on Monday."
"Mouko-san!" Kyouko cried desperately. "It's not a date!"
"Whatever you say," Kanae said.
After Kanae had left, Yashiro tried to pry the juicy details about how Ren had asked her and what their plans were from Kyouko, but predictably, Ren had managed to ask Kyouko in a non-threatening and thus, non-romantic, non-interesting sort of way. Still, in Yashiro's mind, it was a date.
Kyouko leaned her head forward and rubbed her neck again.
"Ah, here comes Ren," Yashiro said.
"Ouch," Kyouko said as she looked up to where Yashiro was pointing.
"Mogami-san," Ren said as he approached. "What a pleasant surprise. I didn't know you'd be joining us."
"Yes, sorry for imposing," she said. "I just ran into Yashiro-san as I was coming in."
"No, you're not imposing at all," he said, taking his seat.
"I had Kyouko-chan order for you," Yashiro said.
Kyouko blushed. "If you don't like what I chose, I can have them change it," she said, pointing to her selection on the menu.
"No, it sounds delicious," he said, rolling his shoulders as he glanced down.
"You too, huh?" Yashiro asked.
"What?" Ren asked.
"Your neck," Yashiro said. "Kyouko-chan said hers was sore too."
"Oh, yeah. I must have overextended it or something," he said, brushing it off.
Kyouko winced again when she looked up at the waiter who had come with their food. Ren tired to look down at his plate as sparingly as possible. Yashiro grinned.
"I guess you'll just have to give each other massages," he suggested.
Kyouko's face was instantly aflame.
"It's not that bad," she protested, waving her arms.
Ren glared at Yashiro and stabbed viciously at his salad.
After their lunch together, Yashiro and Ren parted ways with Kyouko, and while she escaped with the only mildly embarrassing comments Yashiro had made throughout the lunch, Ren continued to receive the brunt of them long after the meal was over and throughout the weekend and following week.
"You really should have gotten Kyouko-chan to give you a neck rub," Yashiro said. "Then you could have returned the favor."
Ren sighed. "Well, as my neck is fine now, I don't think that will be necessary any longer."
"Well, you do seem to be alright now," he said with a sigh. " but you sure do know how to waste opportunities."
Ren rolled his eyes.
"Speaking of opportunities," Yashiro said, spotting the object of his teasing comments. "Look who just walked in."
Ren followed Yashiro's gaze to the doors of LME where Kyouko had just entered.
"Kyouko-chan," Yashiro called, waving her over.
Kyouko smiled. "Good evening, Yashiro-san, Tsuruga-san."
"Good evening, Mogami-san," Ren said.
"You look pretty tonight, Kyouko-chan," Yashiro observed.
Kyouko blushed at the compliment.
"Kotonami-san and I went shopping," she said, glancing down at her apparel. She was dressed in a light and airy flower print summer dress, platform sandals and a short sleeved cardigan, completely different from her usual LoveMe attire.
"When I told her about my neck hurting, she said I needed new shoes," Kyouko explained. "I don't know what shoes have to do with a sore neck, but it doesn't hurt anymore, so there must be something in it."
Yashiro glanced at Kyouko's new, very tall shoes, then at Ren and back at Kyouko. His mind worked quickly recalling dates and calculating inches.
"OH MY GOD!" he squealed, eyes darting back and forth between them.
"Calm down, Yashiro-san," Ren pleaded.
"Eh? What is it?" Kyouko asked.
"YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN MAKING OUT FOR TWO WEEKS AND YOU DIDN'T TELL ME?" Yashiro shouted.
Ren pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Eh? How did you know?" Kyouko asked, looking like a very red deer caught in the headlights.
Yashiro ignored her question.
"I have to call the president…and the betting pool. Who had today's date? No, wait! It would be two Saturdays ago. It was on the night of the premiere, right? WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY ANYTHING?" Yashiro ranted, slipping on a glove and pulling out his cell phone.
The entire lobby of LME was buzzing. People were gawking and a few were even snapping cell phone pictures.
"I still don't get how he figured it out," Kyouko wondered in bewilderment.
"Well, so much for keeping our relationship private," Ren said. "Would you like me to show you how he figured it out?"
Ren leaned down until he was a hair's breadth from Kyouko's lips.
"Height difference," he whispered before closing the remaining distance.
"Oh," Kyouko said breathily.
Yashiro continued to squeal as women fainted and shutters clicked all around them. He would have a big mess to clean up tomorrow, but for now, he let it pass and enjoyed watching the results of his laborious matchmaking.
AN: Thanks for reading! This idea just popped into my head and I couldn't help but write it, even if it is poorly executed and devoid of substance... Leave me a review if you'd like to let me know what you think :)