A/N: Looking back… I really hate the title of this story. It came from the Metro Station song that originally inspired the plot. I haven't listened to that song since I wrote chapter 1. Anyway, here is the conclusion of my first full-length story, and likely the conclusion of my work in Skip Beat! Fan fiction. Thanks a million times to everyone who reviewed, favorite, subscribed, or even read it.
Too Good to Be True to Me: Epilogue
Kyoko adjusted the small flower pot in her hands as she moved to ring the doorbell. Beside her, Ren chuckled, stopped her hand with his free one, and opened the front door with a key.
Stepping into the entrance hall and putting down a grocery bag on a table near the door, he called out, "Mom! Dad! We're here!"
The small woman beside him fidgeted uncomfortably, so he wrapped an arm around her waist. "Don't worry," he told her for the hundredth time, "They'll love you. They've been dying to meet you."
Ren was about to say more, but he got cut off by a scream and a tornado of blonde hair attacking him and his girlfriend. He rolled his eyes. Mom.
"Oh, Kuon, it's so good to finally have you home! And you must be Kyoko! Oh, you're even prettier than Kuon told us!" Kyoko could hardly keep up with the woman, but smiled politely nonetheless.
"Julie, dear, let them breathe," a male voice said. Kuu Hizuri walked straight up to his son and gave him a hug more enveloping than his wife had. "I've missed you, my beautiful boy," Kuu said, making his son groan, before he moved to introduce himself to the nervous girl beside him.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Kyoko. Call me Kuu. We," he pulled his wife to him, "have been looking forward to meet you."
Kyoko bowed politely and said, "Please take care of me," as she always did.
It was too much for Julie, who grabbed the girl- her daughter, she already thought- and hugged her again, telling her husband and son, "She is just too precious!"
Kuon agreed, "That's what I thought." Kyoko, mercifully, managed to not blush, and just smiled at him.
"Well, now that we're all introduced," Kuu declared, "who wants to help me put dinner together?" The question was directed at his wife and son, but Kyoko answered.
"I'd love to help, if you don't mind," she offered sweetly.
Julie protested, "You're a guest dear, you don't need to-"
"C'mon, Julie, she's family now!" Kuu half-shouted. With that, he held out an arm to Kyoko, who hesitantly took it, and let him lead her to their kitchen. She waved back at Kuon, who smiled before going to the living room with his mother to catch up and not risk burning down the kitchen, for both were completely inept at housework.
In the kitchen, Kuu asked Kyoko a lot of questions about herself, her childhood, her acting, what Kuon acted like in Japan. She felt a bit like he was testing her. She wasn't sure if she passed, until he tried some food she made.
Long story short, he loved it, and said, "Kyoko, if my son ever does anything stupid, you can come here and replace him. You'll be a new Kuon: one who can cook," he joked.
"If you don't mind my asking," she felt safe to ask him some questions now, "What was Ren, um, Kuon, like as a child?"
Kuu's eyes opened wide, and he clasped his hands in front of his heart. Kyoko had no idea the floodgates of adoration that she had just opened.
"He was the most gorgeous, wonderful, intelligent son I could ever ask for. He and Julie shined with beauty and made the world a more beauteous place! He was so talented at absolutely everything he did, from schoolwork, to sports, to acting, everything. He was so well mannered as a boy, everyone who met him thought he was just the most precious…"
Kyoko stopped listening in fear and began to slowly back away. Waiting for him to finish his tirade, ten minutes passed, and Kyoko finished the last odds and ends for their meal. Sticking her head into the living room, Kyoko called her boyfriend and his mother for dinner.
When they walked in, the two were exasperated, but not really surprised, to see Kuu ranting about the wonders of his son.
Julie walked up to him, put a hand on his shoulder, and gave him a peck on the cheek. His story about Kuon's triumphant goal in soccer at age five- the only goal he had ever made, actually- halted abruptly. He turned to his wife and returned her kiss playfully, hugging her waist. Kyoko watched the romantic couple happily, and leaned back into her lover a little. He put his hands on either side of her waist and kissed the top of her head.
"Alright," Kuu called eagerly and a bit louder than necessary, "time to eat!"
Dinner was a simple affair, comfortable and cheery. Kyoko could see how happy Kuon was to return to his parents finally. She knew how his past tortured him, and she wanted desperately to help him, but didn't know how. However, just having her beside him helped him move on more than he could ever explain. It would be a long process, but his reconciliation with his former self is a story for another time.
Kyoko found that the Hizuris were young souls. Matching their young appearances, their childlike joy in simple pleasures, such as family, food, and each other, exuded a happiness that anyone would envy. They laughed and smiled constantly, loved telling stories about the past, and thoroughly enjoyed the present. Their energy was refreshing.
After dinner the four sat in their TV room and a large couch. Kuu put a DVD in the player with a slightly mischievous smile, and as he pressed some buttons on a remote, Kyoko's face appeared on the screen. Her real face, meanwhile, paled before blushing profusely.
She started, "Kuu-san, what-"
"I told you to call me Tou-san, Kyoko!" he interrupted.
"And call me Kaa-san, too," Julie added, smiling brightly.
Kyoko blushed a bit at the liberty, but conceded, "Alright then, Tou-san, why are we watching this?"
"What are you talking about?" he asked. "Box 'R' is one of my favorite shows! The actress playing the antagonist is so talented; she's the highlight of the show."
Beside her, Kuon chuckled, and she shoved him. He gave her a sheepish look and kissed her cheek.
"I'd like to watch it as well," Kuon agreed, making Kyoko bristle in annoyance, "Since you never let me watch it at home."
"I love hearing commentary from the actors," Kuu told her, "So I was hoping you could tell us some good storied from the set."
The three Americans looked at her expectantly. She sighed. She never could say no to people when they asked for anything, especially when she loved them as much as she loved Kuon and was growing to love his parents. She nodded, and as soon as she did Kuu pressed play with a cheer on the pilot episode of her second drama.
The opening credits ran, and Kyoko said nothing. She looked around at the three kind, caring, loving people surrounding her. Julie glanced over at her when her name read across the screen, and smiled hugely, reaching to squeeze her hand. A warmth rushed through Kyoko, one that she hadn't truly felt since she was a baby. Vestiges of this she had felt over the years, during the good times with the Fuwas, and the Okami-san and Taisho of the Darumaya had tried to make her feel this way. But nothing as all-encompassing as this. She felt safe, loved, and cherished. She felt like she was a part of a family.
Kyoko's eyes misted over and she nearly cried with happiness, but she held the tears back. She enjoyed the feeling for a few minutes as the show opened and the main character was introduced.
When the cameras turned to Kyoko's group of friends, she started telling them a story about the fight she had had behind the scenes with the black-haired member of the group. It seemed only appropriate to finally tell this story, now that she thought she had an audience that cared. They gasped, protested, and cheered in all the right places. She had their attention more than the television did.
As Kyoko spun her tale about repressed anger, getting pushed down stairs, and her character's blackmail creating the best bully scene they had ever filmed, despite the mix of anger, guilt, and fear the story rose in her chest, she felt safe and encompassed by her family's love. For the first time in a long time, Kyoko felt totally and blissfully happy. And she could see a happy life in her future, with a successful career and a perfect partner beside her.
Kyoko had changed since she had come to Tokyo; she had gained more confidence, independence, and she knew much better now what it meant to love. And who did she have to thank for it? Sho, of all people.
As the first episode of Box 'R' reached it's climax, she switched pace, and she started telling a funny story about how her co-star, the girl playing her best friend, had been flirting with a stage hand, and somehow tripped over a camera track and fell head first into a garbage pale. They laughed until their stomachs hurt, Kyoko wrapped in Kuon's arms, Julie still holding her hand even though they were all shaking with laughter.
As soon as he could breathe again, Kuu wiped a tear out of his eye and told his son, "Kuon, you can't let this one get away. She's too perfect."
Kuon smiled at his father, and then at his girlfriend. "I know. I don't intend to," he promised. Suddenly the diamond ring in his pocket weighed a hundred pounds. Later, he thought. He intended to pop the question in the garden at midnight. He wondered if she would think that was fairy tale-ish enough.
A/N: Yeah, I know, it's corny as all hell. But with a story like this, with a huge build up and then the main event being her leaving her crap boyfriend for a better one, you need some hopeless romance to finish it all off. Hope you all enjoyed. Drop a final review? Cheers!