Hello all! It's been so long since I wrote a one-shot (I've been so busy with my other story) that I thought it was high-time I wrote one. After the release of chapter 191, I suddenly had this urge to write out the tumultuous feelings of our favorite heroine. I hope you enjoy my take on the inner workings of her heart. Thanks and please read and review!
Disclaimer: I do not own Skip Beat or any of its characters.
Kyoko's eyes sprang open in shock as she suddenly stumbled back in alarm.
"NO! DON'T MOVE!" the director hollered up at her. "Stand still, Setsu-san!"
At his warning, Kyoko froze and allowed her eyes to scan her surroundings. She couldn't recall anything that had happened. She had no idea how she was standing up here, on this rickety unstable wooden platform fifty feet off the floor. When she finally found the courage to look down, Kyoko realized that she was on set. The whole entire crew was looking up at her with horrified expressions. The silent alarm in their eyes said more than enough. She was in trouble.
Slowly, awareness trickled through her veins. She was in the middle of a job. She was supposed to be working and now her inability to focus had dangerously handicapped her. Without thinking, Kyoko had wandered around on set and in desperation to find a place to think, she somehow climbed up here, as if getting to higher ground would act as an escape from reality. The set-up for the famous scene where BJ jumps off a building was now her dangerous haven.
Kyoko was paralyzed as she stared down at the tiny people below her. How could she be so careless?
Of course, it wasn't a surprise. For the last couple of days, Kyoko was nothing short of an emotional wreck. Her heartbeats were now a painful throb against her chest and it was getting harder and harder to breathe everyday.
Her need to forget was driving her against a wall.
But even though she was backed into a corner, Kyoko refused to give in. She wouldn't let herself fall for it again. No matter how much it hurt, Kyoko was not going to fall. Love will not win.
She had already decided. She would never love anyone again. Kyoko refused to allow someone inside, to make her feel so completely helpless. The control she now had over her life was the only thing that kept her standing. She was finally making all of her own decisions—what to do with her career, where she wanted to go in life, and what would make her happy.
But if Kyoko listened to her desperate heart, she would lose the fight within her. She would fall back into that same horrid trap, except this time it would be worse—especially if it was with him.
She would pour everything into this useless love and in due time find herself with nothing in the end. Her heart had been broken once and with the utmost care, she was finally able to piece it back together. But one more mistake, one more act of ignorance, was going to completely undo everything she worked for.
Yet she couldn't ignore the torment that rippled through her. Kyoko could feel her past emotions fighting their way through. Their desire to be expressed was getting stronger. The need to have someone was still so fresh as if it had never faded. And now that she found him, her heart was aching from her decision not to accept him. By turning her back, it was basically a declaration of being alone forever.
Is that what she wanted?
The war that so obviously raged inside of her clearly got in the way of her life. For the last few days, Kyoko would find herself drifting until she completely forgot where she was. The control she thought she possessed was quickly slipping away.
When it was time to go back to work, Kyoko couldn't find the will to face him. Even though he had chosen to ignore what happened at TBM, she couldn't. The obvious tension in his face whenever he looked at her was apparent, but he kept his emotions in check. He never once asked her anything. She knew he wanted an explanation, but at the same time understood that no matter what she said, it wouldn't be good. There was just no excuse.
Kyoko had chosen to get into that car with Shotaro. She willingly got in and found herself in the worst situation possible.
But to say that that was the only reason why she couldn't face him would be a lie. Although it may take some time, Kyoko knew that he would eventually forgive her mistake. He was just that kind of person. He would understand her situation and everything will return back to its original state.
At least for him.
Because he would never know what truly happened that day. He would never know the words that escaped her lips in that garage. The words she practically screamed in hope that the louder she spoke, the more real they sounded. But even now, she recalled how her heart had trembled so violently when she refused what it really wanted. For the first time, Kyoko finally noticed the disconnect within herself and she had never been more afraid.
Because even now, she had no idea which side of her would win.
But love will not win. Kyoko refused to fall.
"Setsu-san, don't take another step! We'll have the crew come up!" the director reassured, desperation coloring his voice.
"But sir, if any of us try to climb up, the wood may give away."
"Then let's get the cushion mat! She can jump off!"
"Is the board secured?"
"We were in the process of doing so, sir! We're sorry!"
The director dragged his hand through his hair and looked up at the girl whose eyes were glued to the concrete floor. She must be scared out of her mind. It was clear that she had no idea what was going on and he had to think fast before she got hurt. But just as he was about to call out for someone to prepare the net, the rumble of skittish murmurs from behind suddenly fell eerily silent.
Perplexed, he turned around and nearly had a heart attack when he realized that Cain Heel was standing right beside him. His dark gaze, however, was focused upward. Like a flicker of light, the director could have sworn he saw a flash of terror cross his stern face, but when he focused again he realized that the stoic man emanated his usual aura of intimidation and seriousness.
Cain didn't ask any questions as he stepped forward. His dark coat billowed around him like a cape and the barely audible thumps of his boots filled the tense and silent room.
Kyoko's eyes widen. She was so busy trying to think of a way down that she didn't even realize that he had come. Fearfully, she focused on his face and nearly felt her heart leap out of her chest in eagerness.
"What are you doing up there?" he asked in a low voice.
Kyoko didn't reply. At the moment, she didn't feel like Setsu at all and had no voice to answer him. All she could do was try to slow her rapid heartbeat that was making it so much harder to stand.
"Are you trying to scare me?" he asked.
She slowly shook her head.
Then with a hardened expression at her lack of answers, he suddenly took another step forward and smoothly held out his long arms. "Jump."
Kyoko blinked in blatant alarm as the director ran forward and exclaimed in earnest, "Heel-san! That's incredibly dangerous! The likelihood that you will catch her is too small to even try! You can't tell her to do such a thing!"
But he didn't listen. His eyes were intently locked on Kyoko who couldn't find the will to look away. Her hands were now balled into tight fists and her knees trembled violently.
"Do you think I'll let you fall?" he murmured, his voice trailing up towards her.
As soon as the words left his lips, fear seeped through her veins—the same fear that forced her up here in the first place. The idea of falling was too much, especially into his arms. The vehement denial rose up her throat as the words she so carefully rehearsed spilled out of her mouth like water. "I can't fall," she answered in a shaky yet stubborn voice. "I won't fall."
"I don't want to get hurt," she whispered unintentionally.
Kyoko squeezed her eyes shut. She didn't understand why she suddenly uttered those words out loud. It only expressed her obvious weakness. Gritting her teeth together in frustration, Kyoko tried to fill her body with the same vigor that had saved her once before, the one she relied on to protect her from heartbreak. She didn't need anyone's help. Kyoko would be just fine on her own.
Instinctively, she looked down at the familiar deep voice and saw him gazing up at her. His mouth tightened. "You won't get hurt," he began in a quiet voice.
He confidently stepped forward. "I won't let that happen."
Kyoko stared at him with frozen eyes. Her heart quaked with anticipation at his obvious sincerity. Of course, Kyoko wasn't stupid enough to trust those words. He was acting as her brother. His role was to look out for her, to make sure that she was safe from harm.
But did that diminish his character?
If he could protect her as an actor, would he do so as a man?
Would he really keep her safe?
"Setsu, it'll be okay," he murmured at her silence.
Kyoko let out a shaky breath and shook her head in defiance.
"I won't hurt you."
Then before she could even think of holding herself back, her feet suddenly stumbled forward. The movement had completely shocked her. Kyoko couldn't believe how easy it was for him to overtake her. Without any effort at all, he had her under his spell.
Adamant and frustrated at her vulnerability, Kyoko grounded her heel into the wood. It creaked dangerously, eliciting shocked gasps from the crowd below. She frantically looked down, waiting to feel the ground give away, but nothing happened.
"Setsu," he called again, seemingly unfazed by what happened as he held his arms out higher. "It's alright."
She stared down at him.
"I'm right here."
Her jaw tightened.
The words he spoke were as smooth as silk. It scared her incredibly, but at the same time, her heart took so much comfort from them. Kyoko didn't know what to think anymore. Everything was becoming more and more confusing.
It was so convenient that the man who sent her into such a frenzy was now the one beckoning her to put all her faith in him. But she didn't dare risk it. He already had so much over her; Kyoko couldn't bear to give him any more. At this rate, he was going to have her all, leaving her nothing to hold onto in the end.
Then, as if impatient with her reluctance, the wood creaked once more, making it clear that time was running out.
Frantic murmurs bubbled up again. She watched the crew bounce back and forth, trying to figure out what to do. But amidst all the anxiety, he remained completely calm. He continued to stare up at her, silently waiting for her compliance.
By now, Kyoko realized it was far too late.
Whether she wanted to or not, the wood would not hold her for long. She was going to fall either way. At least if she stepped off now, it would be on her own terms.
"I'm going to fall either way?" she thought weakly. "Is that how things are going to be?"
She looked down at him once more, as if expecting him to answer her. He still maintained the same amount of composure, refusing to tear his gaze away. Then with a heart that shook violently within her chest, Kyoko took another step forward and noticed his matching movement. And after securely locking eyes with him, she allowed her heart to take the forefront for once. With a smooth leap, the wood from underneath her feet disappeared.
"Because of you, I failed…"
"Because of you, I couldn't win…"
"Because of you, my heart aches…"
"If I fall…"
"…will you catch me?"
Then in one swoop, Kyoko suddenly felt two strong arms cradle her slender body, dipping just a bit before coming back up again. She swiftly opened her eyes at the impact and found herself gazing into two chocolate eyes. Her breath caught as she felt her heart stutter fiercely. The sweet smell of his cologne, the sturdiness of his frame, and the warmth of his skin were all unique to this man.
He was everywhere.
Then with a smile completely devoid of Cain Heel, he murmured in the gentlest voice:
"I will always catch you."