I do not own Skip Beat!
He liked the feel of the blood rushing back into his arm, the feel of needle pricks in his veins as her weight shifted from his arm to his chest. The slight discomfort reminded him that he wasn't dreaming, something he had to convince himself of anew every day.
So many times before, he had dreamed something like this, only to wake and find harsh reality in its place.
He felt the warmth of her against him in his sleep. Kyouko, his love, his wife was beside him. She moved away and he captured her in his arms and tucked her safely under his chin.
"Stay," he mumbled in his sleep.
She curled into him, soft and warm.
He was content, and then the harsh light of a camera flash cut into his dream and brought him, blinking, back into the real world.
He blearily opened his eyes to see a retreating form, and his manager crouched in the aisle of the bus with his camera phone pointed towards him.
"Oh, sorry," Yashiro said. "I didn't meant to wake you."
Ren looked confusedly around him, then, head clearing, he glanced down to find the girl he loved, laying against him, head resting over his heart, hand on his abdomen.
He caught his breath and his heart began to beat rapidly. He thought the sound would surely wake her, but she remained sleeping soundly.
"Got some good pictures," Yashiro said. "I'll send them to you."
"What?" Ren asked.
Yashiro's gloved hands began fiddling with his phone, and Ren's pocket buzzed, alerting him that he had messages.
He pulled the phone out if his pocket, using the hand that wasn't attached to the arm protectively draped around Kyouko.
He opened the image file he's been sent, and there they were. Kyouko was laying against his chest, much in the same position she was in now, and Ren had one arm around her shoulders, and his chin resting on her head.
They looked like lovers, not sempai and kohai, not friends.
"Delete it," he told Yashiro, before he was tempted to ask for the rest.
"What?" Yashiro asked. "But you're so cute together."
"Yashiro, do you honestly think anything good will come of this?" he asked. "She's not going to like this."
"She seems to like it well enough," Yashiro said with a grin.
"She's sleeping," Ren said.
"Then wake her up," he said, "but it would be a shame. She looks really comfortable in your arms."
"Yashiro," Ren growled.
"I'm just saying," Yashiro said, "maybe she just needs a little push to realize that it wouldn't be such an bad thing."
"Ok, ok, I'm going back to my seat," he said. "But you really shouldn't be so paranoid, Ren. If she wasn't comfortable around you, she wouldn't well, she wouldn't do that."
Yashiro put his hands up defensively and returned to his seat.
By the time they had arrived back at the studio though, that picture, or a variation of it had made its rounds throughout the bus.
Kyouko had woken up just before they arrived at the studio. She had pressed her face closer to Ren's chest, made a little whimper as she woke, and then pushed herself away from him so fast and so hard that she had nearly fallen into the aisle.
"Mogami-san?" Ren said, suddenly feeling cold air replace the warmth of Kyouko's body.
The girl was bright Ren, and tears were threatening to spill from her eyes.
"I—I'm so sorry!" she wailed. "I—I didn't mean to, um, fall asleep on you. I'm sorry for treating my respected sempai like a hot water bottle or a pillow. I shouldn't have fallen asleep! Why didn't you wake me up? I should never have—"
"Mogami-san, please calm down. It's fine," he said. "I fell asleep for a while too, so it looks like we both used each other as pillows."
"Yes, b—but as your kohai, I should never have been so impertinent as to fall asleep on you," she said, blushing even brighter.
"Mogami-san, it's really fine," he said. "Please don't worry about it anymore. It's not a big deal."
"You can just think of it as payback," he said with a smile.
Kyouko blushed again.
"But what if people think—" she began.
"Mogami-san, what could possibly come of a little incident like this?" he asked, giving her a reassuring smile.
"I—I guess you're right," Kyouko said.
Kuon was extremely pleased at just how wrong he had been. If it wasn't for the rumor that photo had caused, Kyouko might never have believed that it would be alright to date him, and he might still be pursuing his unrequited love, instead of holding his wife in his arms, as he was now.
He felt her begin to roll away from him, and he stopped her by curling his only partially awakened arm around her and puller her against him so that her back rested against his chest.
"Stay," he said, without opening his eyes.
He felt her move against him and her weight shift on the bed, and he cracked an eye open. She had rolled over to face him, and was propped on her elbows, hovering over his face.
"I have to get up and start cooking," she said. "Your parents are flying in today, remember?"
"Five more minutes?" he asked, giving her sleepy puppy dog eyes, something he had come to discover was even more effective than regular puppy dog eyes.
Kyouko buried her face in his chest so as not to come face to face with his pouting expression.
"But five minutes with you means at least another fifteen," she said, "and if I don't start cooking now, how am I possibly going to have enough food ready by the time Otousan arrives."
"He can cook for himself, you know," Kuon mumbled.
Kyouko giggled and popped up to look at him.
"Are you jealous?" she asked.
He closed his eyes and turned his head away.
Kyouko leaned down and placed a kiss on each of his closed eyelids, then his nose and finally his mouth.
"You know I love you the most," she said, "but I need to start cooking."
"Five more minutes," he said, upping the puppy dog level.
"You know, despite being one of the least lazy people I have ever met, you sure do love your bed a lot, don't you?" she said, leaning down to nuzzle him with her nose.
Kuon gave a throaty growl, threw his arms around her and pulled her down on top of him, pinning her so she couldn't escape.
She let out a surprised squeak.
"It's not the bed," he said, "It's the company."
"Ok, five more minutes," she said into his chest.
"Fifteen," he said.
"Eh? But you said—" she began.
"You're trapped now," he said with a grin. "You're at my mercy."
"You know I'll get you for this later," Kyouko said.
"How?" he asked, challenging her.
"How does a 24oz steak sound for dinner?" she asked.
"Worth it," he said.
He swept the blankets up over their heads and pulled her against him, tucking her under his chin.
"Totally worth it."
AN: And there you have it, the original idea behind this whole story, a numb arm :D I just cannot make myself care about weddings, so a little post married fluff was the best I could do. Now it's really really really the end. Hope you have enjoyed the story. Again, thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read, review subscribe, etc, and who has stuck with it for this long. I'm really grateful to all of you who have offered your input and support along the way. Thank you for making this a worthwhile experience! If you'd like to share any of your thoughts, feel free to leave me a review :D