Sometimes a victory can be the worst thing that's ever happened to you...
He ignored the gossip magazines and online clips whenever they had something to do with his most hated rival. Nothing they had to say about that man was important, was his rational. The only time he wanted to see that name was when it was below his in the various popularity contests-which, admittedly, hadn't happened yet according to his manager, whose job it was to know such things. But then, Sho hadn't been in the entertainment business for as long. Once he was exposed to more people, he would win them over too, and everyone would see he was the best.
"Fuwa Sho Hottest New Musician..."
"Sho Rocks In Concert At..."
"Fans Mob Fuwa's Agency on Star's Birthday..."
Sho sighed happily, re-reading the old articles Shoko had neatly clipped out and arranged in a scrapbook, interspersed with fan letters and pictures of gifts he'd received. She'd given him the book for Christmas, just a few months after his first full year in the entertainment industry. It was a rare treasure, loved and cared for and touched by only him as per his demands. Even Mimori was not allowed to lay a finger on this precious book for fear of marring its perfection.
"Try to relax," Shoko had admonished him before she left his apartment to run errands after making sure he was settled in with everything he needed. "You have a very strenuous tour coming up, so take it easy."
"Eh," was his careless response, waving a dismissive hand at her.
"Feeding off the energy of the crowd is one thing, Sho, but it won't make up for a lack of sleep or a hangover," she warned, reaching out her hand to cup his chin and turn his face from the television towards her. "Don't go out boozing."
"Yeah, yeah," he'd grumbled. As she'd opened the door to leave, he'd called out, "Don't let Pochi come over; the fun isn't worth the rest of her behavior. I have to focus on that new song."
Shoko had sighed loudly and shook her head pointedly, shutting the door behind her with no promises. No matter; he knew she wasn't very fond of the whiny, demanding starlette either, and further disapproved of his relationship with her. "If you want to be accepted as a mature man, you need a mature relationship," she'd said one day with a cryptic tone, raising one brow at him as she lounged on his couch after listening to him fine-tune a song he was writing.
'Is she hinting...?' An unmanly panic rose in his throat as he put his guitar back on its stand. The thought of sleeping with Shoko was fine-taking on the burden of a relationship with such a serious woman...
Shoko was lovely, organized, and far too intense for him, having none of Mimori's easy-to-manipulate flighty nerves or the entertainment of Kyoko's emotional roller-coaster personality.
"I'm too young to worry about that," he'd answered smoothly, giving her a cocky smile before deftly changing the subject.
Sho relaxed into his cushion, flipping channels, when Kyoko's image caught his attention. It was the tail-end of one segment which immediately segued into a blurb on Tsuruga Ren. Sho's upper lip curled automatically in distaste but before he could hit the "up" button his ears tuned into the report.
"...That's right, ladies! Tsuruga Ren is no longer number one bachelor!" exclaimed one woman with fake surprise, joined by her chirpy co-host, who nodded.
"While his fans are surely crying their hearts out, the results are in and that title passes to realtive new-comer Fuwa Sho, who..."
He never heard the next words. His mind kept replaying "title passes...title passes...Fuwa Sho!" Frozen for several seconds in total surprise, his fingers twitched and dropped the remote. Then, "YESSSS!" he leapt up with his arms in the air, hands clenched as though the title was something he could physically grab and hold on to.
He didn't know when he'd get a chance to rub it in Kyoko's face that her pretty-boy senpai was no longer number one, but he'd point out that now they were in more direct competition for attention, both aiming to reach "number one" spots...well, she was still aiming, he had achieved.
He immediately dialed Shoko, barely hearing her "Hello?" as the words rushed out.
"...Finally knocked that jerk off his pedestal!" he gloated, one hand still in a fist of victory. "I can't wait to see Kyoko's face when she finds out!"
Instead of congratulations, there was silence on the other end of the line. He blinked, pulled the cell away from his ear and eyed it. "Hello?"
"Sho..." Shoko said hesitantly. "Ah, I was going to call you...um. Where did you hear this news?"
"On TV," he answered smugly. "Just in."
"Did they...happen to mention why you replaced him?"
He shrugged, though she couldn't see him. "Does it matter?" No, of course not. All that mattered was Sho was number-
"Sho, Ren is no longer number one bachelor because he is no longer a bachelor."
"Ah," he mused, rubbing his chin. "So that loser got a girlfriend...well, there's someone for everyone," he said with a contemptuous snort. 'Kyoko is free!' No more competition for her attention, it would be all his again.
"...When I said to focus on your music, I didn't think you'd put yourself in a media-black out for so long."
"I was writing new songs," he retorted, stung. "I don't want my creativity interfered with by accidentally hearing some inferior-"
"Sho," she interrupted forcefully, "I'm just going to have to say this: the reason Ren is no longer a bachelor is because he and Kyoko just announced their engagement last night."
"But," she added weakly, "congratulations on your victory."
A/N: Typed in one sitting, no beta, please forgive me. Inspired by a review left on Mystic Rain's fic My Gun and My Cigs. Reviewer was anonymous.
A/N: And no, Shoko wasn't hinting she wanted a relationship with Sho, she was hinting that his shallow relationship with Mimori was no good for him.