Too Good to Be True to Me Chapter 1
She heard the voice from across the large apartment, and went to greet her childhood friend and recent superstar, Fuwa Sho. "Hello, Sho. How have you been?"
"Come with me." He started walking away, assuming she would follow him. After slipping on her shoes she had trouble keeping up with his long strides, so she called out for him to wait. He stopped in front of the elevator and waited for her to get on before pressing the close door button.
"What are we doing?" She inquired curiously. Sho just looked bored, and looked down at her, his eyes saying be quiet. She rolled her eyes, put a hand on her hip, and said, "If there's no reason for me to be leaving, then I'll just go back to the apartment. It's late and I had work all day."
Sho was surprised at how frank, almost borderline rude, she had gotten with him in the last month or so. He briefly wondered what was up, but then dismissed it as the effects of Tokyo on her. Which, in a way, was true. He rolled his eyes back at her, and deigned to explain himself, "There's an empty spot in my new PV that the company can't fill now, because it's too late and we need to be finished by morning. It calls for someone your size in a kimono, so I told them I knew someone who would do it for free. Can you act?"
She looked at him, baffled by his audacity and incredible assumptions. She didn't think she would have a problem with acting, but the fact that he just commanded her to come and told the producers that she needn't be paid annoyed her. She had been with Sho for over a year in Tokyo. He had become widely popular, with a huge female fan base, and his ego had become incredible. She had run away with fairy tale dreams about them. After living in in Tokyo for nearly a year and a half, she'd realized something.
She didn't hate him; she just wasn't really in love with him anymore. She could see him for who he was. She still loved him as a friend, as a person she had always known, but sometimes she wished he would cool his arrogance.
They walked into the parking lot and towards the waiting car of his manager, a woman who introduced herself as Aki Shoko, and was, Kyoko observed, quite stunning.
He looked at her, and raised an eyebrow at her lack of response to his earlier question and explanation. "Well, are you gonna do it?" She sighed. "Why not?" It might be fun.
At the studio where the PV was being shot, the director questioned Kyoko about previous experience acting. Her answer was easy: none. The director groaned. "Well, can you at least walk like a proper young lady? That's what the character is." Kyoko smiled softly and gave a proper ladies' bow. "Yes sir, that shouldn't be a problem," she said, rising. The director looked at her thoughtfully, then sent her to wardrobe.
Kyoko was so used to wearing kimonos that she didn't need much help getting into it, leaving more time for her hair and makeup, which she was ecstatic about. The makeup artists were partially amused and partially freaked out by her sparkling enthusiasm and multitude of questions about everything they did.
When she came out, Sho was stunned, along with everyone else. The makeup was very natural looking, emphasizing the shape and golden color of her eyes. Still, Sho couldn't believe how good she looked. The makeup had given her confidence, and the soft smile on her face was enchanting. Sho shook his head at that thought. Ridiculous, I'm starting to think like her now.
Inside Kyoko was beside herself with excitement, but she remembered the Fuwa Okami-san's training. She remained, on the outside, calm and poised. The woman who had done her makeup brought her to the director, saying, "I just put on some light makeup. It should do. What do you think, director?"
Director Suzuki turned to see the replacement small part, and saw a girl more dignified and, in fact, more beautiful than the girl who would be playing the lead. He briefly wondered if it was the same girl, until she executed the same perfect bow, and asked for guidance. "Huh. Yeah, she's good." He pointed to his assistant director, and told him to explain to Kyoko the plot and her role in the PV.
"It's simple really. The setting is a ryokan, the main characters are Sho and the young lady over there who is playing his love interest. The song is called "Be My Escape*," and the story is basic: the young lady is entrapped in her duties to the inn and hoping for escape when Sho comes. They fall in love, he courts her, her family disagrees as she is to be married to some other rich guy she can't stand, so he whisks her away, and they live happily ever after."
Kyoko loved fairy tales, and although she knew that Sho stealing the girl wasn't solving the main problem of her duty to the inn, she accepted it, and went starry eyed. The assistant director became the third person, after the two makeup artists, to see Kyoko in LaLa land. He was appropriately weirded out, and shook her shoulders gently to regain her attention. When she came back down to earth she said, "That's a lovely story." The smile she flashed at him was astonishing, and the assistant director felt his heart beat faster.
"But what is my role?" Kyoko's question brought the man back to his senses, and he hurriedly answered the pretty teen. "You are playing the best friend who is the only one who supports the relationship."
Kyoko was relieved. She didn't think she could play the antagonist when she loved the story so much. The assistant director then explained the story in more detail, and described her scenes, and answered the many questions she had about the purpose of this or that on set, and what other people were doing. He continued talking to her, hoping to see that smile again, until he was called over by the director as filming was about to start. The first scene being filmed would be a few very short clips of Kyoko and the lead girl, whose name she discovered was Ayane, a singer from Akatoki, the same agency as Sho, chatting and being friends. These scenes were easy enough for both girls, just acting like close intimate friends. Although Kyoko had never really had a girl friend, she just tried to feel what she would want to feel with her friend, comfort, companionship, ease of mind, love, concern for each other. With that, she was able to act like the two had been close for years.
Ayane wasn't happy being a part of this at all. She was a singer, and although she wasn't as famous as Fuwa, since she didn't feature in the song, she didn't understand why she had to be in the PV. As a result, her emotions were rather flat. While this could be ignored in the friendship scenes where Kyoko shined, it couldn't be ignored when they were filming her wishing for escape. The director called for longing, desperation, and self-pity. Ayane just looked bored.
After about fifteen takes, Director Suzuki got mad. Suzuki was highly intolerant of people who don't even try in their roles, and this stuck-up idol was going to ruin the production. They were so late in doing this, they needed to send the films for editing within two and a half hours if they wanted to keep in contract, and this girl was ruining their tight schedule.
He called for a five minute break while he went to explain, once again, the emotions he wanted for the role.
For the first time since being pulled away for costume, Kyoko got a chance to go speak to Sho. Now that they were on break, she went over to where he sat, lounging off to the side. She sat next to him, and gave him the smile that had blown the assistant director away. It had a similar effect on Sho, although he didn't understand why. When did she become so pretty? No, no, she's not, it's the makeup. But the artist said that they kept it light . . . Still, she's still my boring, plain Kyoko, and no one knows her like I do.
"Sho, thank you so much for letting me do this. It's so much fun." She was still smiling, and his heart was still pounding because of it. He didn't know what to say, usually he just hit on girls he found attractive, and they were sure to respond. But this was Kyoko. She wasn't supposed to be pretty. She was supposed to be convenient, and obedient. A maid, like he had told Shoko a month previously. He was getting annoyed with his own confusion.
"Um, Sho," Kyoko began. She continued when he looked up at her concerned face, "Don't you think you should do something about that." She gestured towards where the director and Ayane were having a heated argument.
He shrugged, "It's the director's job to make the actors do their jobs."
She looked at him sternly. He's such a brat. "Sho, this is your PV. You should at least ask your co-star to cooperate. Otherwise, this may not get done and-"
Kyoko was cut off by an annoyed shriek. The two of them turned to see Ayane storming away from the director as he shouted, "You are still under contract!" She screamed back, "Then you might as well change the part to make it easier, I'm not an actress!"
Director Suzuki sighed and ran his hand through his hair. He looked around for Fuwa, and found him sitting next to the girl he had brought in as a replacement. Suddenly he had an idea. He grinned to himself. They would change the part, if that was what Ayane wanted.
a/n: This first chapter turned out way way way longer than I had planned it to be. The whole 'replacement in his PV' situation was meant to be a short introduction to the rest of the story, but it's growing and turning out differently as I write it. Actually, this might be better. I have a plan for this, so don't worry. Also, I read every review I receive, so please please let me know what you think! Cheers
PS, the name Ayane means colorful sound, which I thought was just such an appropriate stage-name for a stuck up singer.
*Be My Escape is a real song by Relient K. all ownership goes to them. and if you choose to listen to the song, i know that it's not really suited to the theme or story of the PV, i just happened to be listening to it while i wrote this, and i thought of a story similar to her acting test in ring doh to introduce her to show-biz. so the song doesn't fit the PV, but the PV fits my story so i'm sticking to it ;)