Genre: AU, comedy, romance
Warnings: cross-dressing, Yuushi's dirty mouth
Pairings: eventual Atobe/Oshitari, mentions of others
Disclaimer: While this plot belongs to me, the characters do not. I have no money from writing fiction.
Summary: Oshitari Yuushi, 19, is an unlucky beginner in the film industry. Atobe Keigo, 19, is a famous playboy actor worshipped by many. One day, they accidentally meet and Yuushi's life changes drastically. How far is he willing to go to achieve his goals? What is the price of his dreams? Enter Oshitari Yuuko, his new alter-ego!
A/N: I don't really know how I decided to write this, but I am actually ashamed (the OOCness is killing me). I'm still posting it, and I can only hope nobody is going to eat me for the people who end up out of character. Well... enjoy?
Chapter One: Oshitari Yuuko? Boy to girl!
Talent had never been enough in the world of show business. Every branch had its own cruel rules, but each of them had one thing in common – life was considerably harder for those beginners who had no connections, or any other means with which said connections could be made. Girls, admittedly, had it a little easier – they could always sleep with executives in order to earn their moments of glory. It was not so possible for boys – the amount of openly gay producers was pretty low in comparison to the number of desperate male rising stars. Being a nineteen year old young man who'd never attended an acting school in his life, had no acting experience other than a high school theatre club, who didn't know any important people in the business and, to add to it all, had a strong Kansai accent... well, all of that basically amounted to no chance at starship whatsoever.
Oshitari Yuushi hated the film industry and its mechanics with a burning passion that surpassed everything except his own great love of acting. During the year he'd spent in Tokyo, he attended more castings than he cared to count, with the only result being a few nice words a pat on the back, empty promises and those pitying looks that always accompanied another refusal: So sorry, but we've already found the perfect candidate to play this part, maybe try your luck next time. Why the hell were they even holding castings, when most of the time, they weren't really interested in the young actors that showed up, since they'd already had somebody in mind? Yuushi never asked, though, no matter how much he wanted to; in this small, hermetic world, news travelled fast. Especially the news that meant trouble for the beginners. Had he tried to say something rude, like he wished to, his bright career would have been over even before it started at all.
Right now, Yuushi was waiting for his turn in yet another casting for a tiny and insubstantial role of a background character in a new drama series, so the crowd that gathered there for it was almost funny. Yuushi didn't laugh, though, for he was a part of this desperate group that simply dreamed of a chance. He didn't even aim that high anymore! He just wanted to be noticed at all. He knew for a fact that his talent was real; he was going to be great one day.
If only somebody let him try.
He got up to his feet with a sigh. All this waiting was getting on his nerves, plus it really made him thirsty. He decided to find a vending machine. He vaguely remembered there being one that sold hot beverages, right by the building's entrance. He could use some hot tea, actually; his throat was a bit sore as of late. He knew that sleeping by an open window was a rather bad habit for an actor... but well. He did it again. He just hoped the soreness was nothing a good tea or two wouldn't cure.
He found the vending machine in the exact spot he'd thought it was in. Searching through his pockets, he found a few coins, which he inserted into the slot. After a bit of pondering, he chose the cherry-flavoured tea and pushed the button.
What the hell, Yuushi thought, but said nothing, pushing the button again. And again. And once more, before finally giving up. Great. That was just what he'd needed. A stupid mechanism eating his change money. A bit of bad luck from the beginning. Not the best of omens, to sum it up.
His chain of rather gloomy thoughts was broken by the loud crashing noise as somebody punched the vending machine, right above the coin slot. Yuushi looked shocked and wide-eyed, at the man who stood right by his side. The man who had just, for no reason at all, hit a completely defenceless machine. Just like that. Because it was there. Or something.
'It gets stuck sometimes,' said the stranger with a smile that was supposed to be apologising, but to Yuushi, it looked arrogant. 'Just punch it and it's as good as new.'
True enough, the machine immediately spit out a paper cup and filled it with tea, like it should have from the beginning. Yuushi was grateful; he expressed it by a nod and a smile that could surely charm just about anyone. Funny; he was sure he'd seen the other man before. That face – and that mole just under his right eye... The stranger looked disturbingly familiar. It was going to plague Yuushi for hours.
'Atobe-sama, what are you doing? Please come along, the others are waiting!' Called a scowling woman who seemed to come out of nowhere. Well, at least now Yuushi knew who this familiar stranger was.
Atobe Keigo, the walking wet dream of every female (and some males), known for his incredibly good looks, great roles despite his young age, and an ego the size of China. The latest Number One in the film industry, without a doubt.
Blinking, Oshitari wondered if this unexpected meeting was a good thing or not.
'I'm on my way, Osakada-san,' Atobe nodded to the woman, but didn't move to follow her as she left with a frown. Instead, he smiled at Yuushi, who thought the smile was truly pleasant, if only a bit too cocky. 'Are you here for the casting?' He asked. His voice was deep and smooth. While Oshitari thought his own voice was much sexier, he could still appreciate something aurally pleasing.
He just nodded, because a reply was expected from him; appreciation put aside, he had to watch out. Ignoring or offending somebody as influential as Atobe would have been suicide. Even if he found himself disliking the narcissist at first sight. That didn't happen to him often.
'Wonderful!' Exclaimed the actor at Yuushi's confirmation. 'Then I will definitely be rooting for you. I enjoy working with pretty ladies,' he winked before walking away, leaving Oshitari Yuushi in a state of shock, which was unlikely to disperse in the near future.
What the flying fuck? He had just been mistaken for a woman. He, of all people in the world, really looked nothing like a girl. Nothing! The only thing about him that looked distinctly girlish was his long hair, but hell, there were hundreds of guys with even girlier hair in the film universe alone! Really, Yuushi could have maybe passed off for a woman in a room full of blind people, but only if he was lucky!
'I'm going to murder that guy when I see him,' said Yuushi to himself under his breath. He took his tea (he'd paid for it, after all) and went back to see if it was maybe his turn for the casting.
It wasn't. And it wasn't going to be, because a notice on the door said all the parts were now filled, thanks for coming, naïve losers, see you again.
Well, that's it, Yuushi thought, more heartbroken that he was willing to admit. It's enough. The end.
He supposed his parents may have been right. Maybe he should have studied more, entered a university or something. He could have become a lawyer or a doctor, following the wishes of either his attorney mother or his surgeon-turned-clinic owner father. With their money and connections, he had a chance to lead a very successful life as a member of the elite. They only problem was, he didn't care for that kind of success. He, the black sheep of the family, wanted to throw it all away and become an actor.
He had enough talent for that. If he wanted, he could even surpass that egocentric bastard Atobe!...
I enjoy working with pretty ladies, he remembered all of a sudden, and then, a plan – an undoubtedly foolish and suicidal one – formed inside of his deranged mind. Not to waste any more time, he drank his tea (it was really good) and ran to an another part of of the building, where he knew a different casting whatsoever was being held.
It was most probably the first open casting like that in years. Usually, beginners and outsiders had no chance to be cast as a star of any series; most of the time, there were always the same faces in every other production. This time, however, it seemed that Atobe Keigo – who played the male leading part – wanted some fresh blood; it was generally assumed that the playboy had grown bored with the women in the industry and he craved a new challenge. He director and producer, Sakaki Tarou, had decided, in his fondness of the actor, to follow his wishes – and thus, the casting came about.
Of course, Oshitari was aware of how dreadful his idea was, how stupid and daring... but he supposed he had nothing to lose anyway. Registration for the casting was free, so really, why not to try? The worst that could happen was, they'd all laugh at him – and this would provide him with a possibility to make a fool out of Atobe. A win-win situation, were he to be asked. He had no shame, after all, no pride to lose anymore. Tens and hundreds of castings had already rid him of these.
He approached the registration desk, pretending that he was much less confident than he really was. The woman at the desk smiled at him (but considering that women always did that, he didn't take it as an optimistic sign).
'Hello, dear, what can I do for you?' She asked warmly. 'Are you here for the casting, too?'
Ignoring the fact that the woman also assumed he was a girl just from looking at him, Oshitari nodded in confirmation. After this farce was over, he was chopping the damned mop of long, pretty, girly hair for good.
'Oh, good! They still haven't chosen anybody, I hear,' the nice lady said, sounding genuinely enthusiastic. Yuushi wondered how it was possible, since she had probably spent hours at that desk. 'Please give me your name and age, and I will assign you a number in the line.'
'Oshitari Yuu...' He paused, looked at the woman in horror, and then finished lamely, '...ko. Oshitari Yuuko. I'm nineteen.' He coughed into his hand.
Of course, thinking things over had never been his strongest point, at least his friends had told him so. But this was surely the peak of his stupidity; he'd just talked to this lady in his normal, manly voice. Great going, Oshitari Yuushi. At least he finished in a higher pitch? Still, that wasn't the most convincing performance in his life. It was, actually, utter fail.
'Alright, Yuuko-san!' Said the lady cheerfully. She didn't seem to notice anything off with Yuushi's introduction at all. Blind AND deaf? 'Your number is three hundred and twelve. There are still twenty three girls before you. You should be able to enter and present yourself in two to three hours.'
'Thank you,' said Yuushi, rather confused.
'Oh, and if I were you, I'd take something for the sore throat. Your voice is pretty hoarse. A cold?' The woman asked kindly. 'Take care of yourself, dear,' she advised seriously.
At that, Yuushi could only nod dumbly, perplexed.
He didn't stay until his turn, because he hated the nervous, hateful atmosphere in the hall, but also he had a lot of things to do. He didn't think he looked girly, but he knew how to remedy it a little.
Back in high school, he was a member of the theatre club. Each and every single time, he was chosen to play female roles; it wasn't that the club lacked girls or anything, but it still happened for each play they performed. The ladies loved him in drag, apparently. He couldn't understand it at the time, and even now, he didn't really get it, but at least that gave him the necessary experience to know how to transform.
That, and the fact that he used to be friends with the most tomboyish girl he'd ever had the pleasure of meeting – Chitose Miyuki. She was two years his junior, but he'd known her forever. She was the younger sister of his good friend Chitose Senri, a classmate since primary school. While Senri and him had grown apart when the other boy got really interested in tennis, Miyuki was still a huge part of Yuushi's life. She was arguably the best companion a teenage boy could have, for she acted like one herself while also being a girl, which enabled her to talk to – and acquire stuff from – other girls. In high school, Miyuki was also a member of the theatre club and, much to Oshitari's chagrin, she got cast as a male more often than not.
As long as it upset Yuushi, she was happy.
However, even she wanted to feel like a girl from time to time, no matter how boyish and flat-chested she was. The experience of going shopping with her was finally going to prove useful to Yuushi.
Let's start with the most important stuff, Oshitari decided, taking a tentative step into an underwear shop. He needed a bra, no matter how perverted it sounded even in his own head. He needed a bra and he needed it now.
At least he had no shame. He could walk around the shop, browsing the racks, without as much as a single blush.
'How can I help you, miss?' Asked a rather cute shop assistant, smiling in a friendly manner. Oshitari supposed he could date her, weren't she so easily convinced that he was a girl.
Seriously, though. Had all the people in Tokyo gone temporarily blind? Or maybe this was all a surreal dream? Nah. He didn't have dreams this crazy.
Whatever – the long hair was so going to go.
'Ah,' said Yuushi and coughed, before assuming a decidedly higher pitch of voice that actually sounded a tiny bit natural to him. 'I could use some help. I'm looking for a bra,' he explained and forced himself to blush. It was easy. He just had to remember the time Miyuki made him wear a girl's school uniform instead of his own for a week, as a result of a bet she'd won. The most humiliating thing in his life. His face still went red in embarrassment at the memory. 'But you see... I don't have much... you know.'
'I see,' said the assistant, nodding. 'You're looking for those new bras that make it seem like there's more,' she assumed and Oshitari nodded. Really now. Being a girl was easy. He just had to blush and nod, and everybody believed his act without fail. Even this shop assistant, who was almost a foot shorter than him.
He really wasn't sure if it was a good thing.
'I recommend this model, then,' the assistant showed him a cute white bra with a dot pattern. It had frills and ribbons. It looked like something a twelve-year old would wear. Yuushi wanted it removed from his sight. At the same time, he knew he was going to buy the monstrosity anyway, because it was exactly the type he was looking for: instead of making the breasts look bigger, it pretended to be the breasts itself. Instant win for all the transvestites in the world. Yay.
'It's perfect,' he said, forcing himself to sound happy despite his real feelings being far from that. Should he squeal some to seem more genuine? 'It's also my size,' he added after a quick check. 'How much is it?'
Learning it was roughly the price of a month's rent in his neighbourhood, Yuushi almost had a heart-attack. He hid it well, though; he really needed to buy the accursed thing.
Plus, if all of this failed (which it surely would), he was going to go back home anyway. To Osaka. His parents would be glad to send him to a university and pay all of his expenses. Well, he was ready to accept this fate. Really, he was.
He paid for the bra and packed it away in his bag. He didn't even look at the lacy panties the assistant wanted to show him; he had no intention of wearing female underwear. Shit, he wasn't pretending to be a girl for kicks, damn it all to hell!
His next step was the chemist's. He needed make-up tools. Fortunately for him, he had an older sister in addition to a girl best friend; he knew exactly what to look for. Foundation, powder, blush, eye liner, mascara and a ton of other useless stuff. Oh, and lip gloss. Even Miyuki-chan sometimes used lip gloss. It was, it seemed, absolutely essential.
He was so going to look ridiculous. Or like a pervert. Or both, which was even worse than each of the options separately. Why was he doing this, again?
Oh, yes – he wanted revenge on a pompous bastard.
He paid for his beauty products, smiled at the (male) cashier who called him pretty even without make-up and left the shop in a hurry.
He had everything he needed with him right now. His clothes were unisex enough (he liked to think that he dressed like a star; he did, by the way – it was not his fault that the male Korean pop-stars he based his image on weren't exactly the epitome of manliness). In a public toilette (a women's one, since it would look strange otherwise) he put on the new bra, bidding farewell to his masculinity. Then in front of the mirror, he applied some natural make-up. And lip-gloss. At least he knew how to do that well.
'Well, fuck me sideways,' he said to himself, rather impressed by what he could see in the mirror. 'I'm a hot babe.'
He was. Well, he actually was a bit tall for a girl... okay, too tall, but he didn't think it was much of a problem. He could always pretend to be half-European, it would explain the height. Apart from that, though, he looked good.
'I'd do myself,' he decided with a grin. 'Heh. Let's rock!' And with that, he headed back to the theatre where the casting awaited. He didn't have too much time left.
When he came back, only one girl was left before him in the line. To his surprise, he wasn't really nervous. Nobody had been picked yet, which had to be some kind of a record, but it didn't concern him too much. He pretended he didn't notice the despising look the other girl gave him – he was too busy being proud of himself. Really, he had to be doing something right; he'd never received as many appreciative glances as he did on his way there. All of those were from men, young and older alike. It meant he made quite an attractive girl. What would Atobe say if he saw him now? Just that thought alone was enough to put Yuushi in a good mood.
At last, it was his turn to go inside and show what he was made of. Based on his observations, he expected a jury of three to five people – the director, somebody from the production, and a member of the cast were sure to be there. Maybe a stylist or an assistant. Or more cast members. It didn't matter, really. It was almost always the director that had the most say in castings.
Walking into the lion's den, Yuushi felt a rare pang of nervousness. He thought maybe his little joke was out of place... after all, these were some influential people he was about to fuck with. But then, he remembered he was going home after this casting. The film industry would become meaningless to him once this little episode was over.
Stop thinking so much, it's not something you're good at outside of school, an inner voice told him. He ordered it to shut up, took a deep breath and walked confidently towards the centre of the stage.
The jury were sitting comfortably in the first row of seats. There were four of them and Yuushi knew all of them. Sakaki Tarou, the director and executive producer of this new series. Next to him was Ryuuzaki Sumire, a well-known acting teacher; she used to be an actress when she was young, and supposedly, she also used to be very beautiful. Now, she was an old hag, but people said even Atobe Keigo held her in high regard. To her left sat Yukimura Seiichi, a model and actor who played one of the three leads in this production; a few years ago, when he was a beginner in show business, there was a rumour he was actually a girl. It died naturally after the many naked and partially-naked photo-shoots and TV appearances Yukimura had gladly agreed to. He was a truly interesting man.
By his side, drinking coffee from a porcelain mug, sat Atobe Keigo himself. He was accompanied by his manager, Kabaji Munehiro (who also served as his bodyguard, gossipers said) and that scowling assistant from earlier. He'd looked positively bored out of his mind right until the moment he glanced up at Oshitari. Then, he grinned charmingly, like a playboy – which he was.
'Your name and age,' demanded Ryuuzaki in a tone that was rather sharp and unfriendly. It was easy to tell she was tired and probably thought this whole casting was a huge mistake. Yuushi wanted to prove her wrong, even though that was not what he'd come there to do, just to spite her. Was this a teaching method of hers or what? If so, it was mildly effective.
'Oshitari Yuuko, nineteen years old,' he replied. Not too loud, he reminded himself. They hate it if the candidates are loud. And for fuck's sake, Yuushi, try sounding like a girl! Be natural, fool! You know you can do this!
'Too old,' Sakaki muttered, loud enough for Oshitari to hear. It was probably the man's intention, too. Juries liked to stress out all the young casting participants to check how they would do in extreme circumstances. Well, tough luck. Yuushi had already been there and seen it all. Stressing him out would be a difficult task at this point. Cheap tricks didn't work.
'Why have you decided to come to this casting?' Asked Ryuuzaki, ignoring the director's comment. She was looking at Yuushi as if she'd found a prey. It was scary, to an extent. What a pity Oshitari was an expert at hiding his emotions when he wanted to. At school, people used to say his poker face was perfect – reading him was absolutely impossible. And so, even Ryuuzaki couldn't tell what he was thinking now. She didn't have any idea if they jury's techniques were working.
'I'm stubborn and I don't give up easily,' Yuushi said, amazed at how true the one meaningless slogan had become when it came to him. 'I'm also self-confident, which led me to this room in the first place. I honestly believe I'm talented enough to play any assigned part. While I lack the experience to back up my claim, I am more than prepared to show what I am capable of.'
As he was speaking, the members of the jury were writing something down in their handy little notebooks. Yuushi knew each word he said and every breath he took was up for a harsh judgement. He didn't care – he knew what he was saying and how he was saying it was just perfect. He'd practised and polished it for months. After all, he had a lot of casting experience. He wasn't even nervous, to be honest. If anything, he was rather sleepy.
'Good enough,' said Yukimura, smiling pleasantly at him. He nodded. 'Since you're prepared, you certainly won't mind if I ask you to show us a little bit of your acting?' He asked, as if it wasn't really all that certain. Most people treated going to castings as fun and did it spontaneously, which was a huge mistake, as most beginners learned in an instant.
Yuushi vaguely wondered if the jury had noticed how pale he suddenly went, despite his dark, sexy tan. Yeah, like fuck was he prepared. For a male part. He hadn't spared a second thought to think up anything for a female part. He was totally ready to show them some Romeo grieving for his Juliet angst, but not much more.
And frankly, he was going to have do just that.
'What I'm about to show you may seem unusual for a girl,' he said pleasantly, smiling lazily. It was a rather irresistible smile in his opinion. At least when he was himself. 'However, it is in unusual things that we're supposed to seek perfection.'
And with that, he played his part.
What was really unexpected was the fact that they didn't interrupt him even once. He could feel them staring at him but it did nothing to ruin his concentration. For now, his whole world was that of a pain-stricken lover, whose only wish remained to be by his love's side in death. Even then, though, he didn't forget that his role was, in fact, double; he was a Romeo as played by a young woman. Well, a young woman with a sore throat, for that matter.
When he finished, he even got applauded.
All four of them looked impressed. Atobe was visibly proud (which seemed stupid to Yuushi; the man did nothing so what was he so proud of?), Ryuuzaki discreetly dabbed at her teary eyes with a handkerchief, Yukimura was smiling and Sakaki looked very thoughtful.
'You actually are pretty good,' said Yukimura kindly. He had the face of an angel. Yuushi didn't trust him one bit. 'You're practically the best candidate we've had so far.'
'I will have to agree,' Ryuuzaki said with a nod of her head. 'I know true talent when I see one.'
'Plus, I find your boyish physique both appealing and fitting to the role,' added Sakaki. He wasn't smiling, but Yuushi could tell he was quite content. 'From my point of view, there is only one decision to make.'
'Atobe-kun?' Yukimura turned to the other actor, as if encouraging him to express his opinion. It was clear that Atobe's input would be the most important in the long run, just because he was the director-producer's favourite.
The young man glared at Yukimura briefly, before putting on a charming smile that could possibly melt every female heart. It was directed at Yuushi, who was suddenly very, very glad he was just a man in drag, therefore immune to the effects of that charm.
'Yuuko-san certainly does have the necessary qualities of one to be cast in a lead role. Her talent outshines even mine, if I am allowed to humbly judge that, and nothing can change my mind that we have witnessed a true genius at work. My lady, it will be an honour for me to play the role of the man who loves you,' said Atobe. His language was annoyingly flowery. Really, who talked like that? It was good for theatres and maybe poetry, but in real life?
Wait... what had that guy just said?
'Finally,' stated Ryuuzaki, grinning. 'I thought you'd never decide, Atobe-kun. You're so picky!'
'You will have to excuse me, Ryuuzaki-sensei, that I only desire to work with the absolute best,' replied Atobe politely, with only the slightest bit of a frown.
No, really, wait. What had just happened?
'My, my. Yuuko-san looks so stunned over there,' chuckled Yukimura. 'I believe we have reached a conclusion. Am I right, Sakaki-san?'
The director nodded and made his trademark gesture of pointing two fingers at Oshitari, then said the words that were about to change Yuushi's life forever: 'Itte yoshi!'
Yuushi wasn't really sure how he had got back home. The shock was only now subsiding and as he sat on his bed, staring blankly at the wall, he was beginning to realize the important truth. Somehow, without even trying all that hard, he had been chosen to star in a drama series. As the female lead.
It made no sense whatsoever, no matter how long he pondered it. He was a normal guy from Osaka. He had the manly bits, he was tall, his voice was a low purr at most times (which made his attempts at a girl's voice very laughable in his opinion) and he had a drawling Kansai accent. There was nothing effeminate about him, nothing he could possibly find. The jury was blind, deaf and stupid.
Oh, what the hell. He might as well play along a bit. He could always run away to Osaka later, right? And this whole ordeal could actually prove pretty amusing...
Having finally come to that conclusion, Oshitari Yuushi got up to his feet. He had to prepare himself. That night, an all-cast introductory party was being held – and Yuuko was invited as a guest of honour.
Of course, she was going to be there.