Chapter 6: My Best Friend's Boyfriend
Moka held a mild curiosity over the gift Hokuto brought for his kouhai. That nagging curiosity would evolve over the night into full blown wonder. The more sake the diva had the greater her curiosity became. The entirety of Tsukune's attention was on Hokuto that night. She supposed it was a given seeing as Hokuto had been away for weeks. Tsukune was happily talking with his senpai while she felt as if she was glowering, the sake putting a bit of a hole in her stoic defenses. Kokoa was easily able to join their conversation due to their closeness and time together in highschool. It was times like this that Moka regretted not staying in the country to complete her education, but she never wanted anyone in the business to know what she was, who she was. She wanted to mold herself a completely new identity and become a phantom to the world she was raised in.
She wanted to be a model because she hated being scary.
She never liked that others shied away from her. She had a natural air of authority around her and a booming presence that called far too much attention. Japanese were far too attentive to people that were different. In a country where unity was held above individuality it was hard for someone like Moka. Her personality was strongly independent and even as a child she had difficulty conforming to the standards of her household. She had many troubles growing up, but the greatest one she fought was her loneliness. Her mother was a figure feared and well known around the world. There was not a household, especially in the great island nation of Nippon that did not know the name of Bloodriver Akasha. It was hard to tell if her surname was truly so or merely a title granted to one of such grace and power, but it protected Moka who, to this day, carried the namesake of her mother's family: Akashiya.
The blood of an Akashiya was as feared as their name. Members of the Akashiya blood, always female, were renowned for their beauty and grace. They were considered the modern-day Venuses, but that also included the deadly jealousy and murderous drive to be the greatest. Even though Moka's father has two other women in his life, mistresses, the Lady Bloodriver is content knowing she is most important in her husband's life. It helps that the Bloodriver fortune, earned through generations of financial conquest, keeps them on top. The majority of the Shuzen businesses and finances are controlled by the Akashiya household. Many times have the two mistresses of Moka's father sought to take over the power and every yen that was attached to the Akashiya name, but nothing stands in the way of an Akashiya, which led to a troubling and scandalous conflict between the Akashiya and Shuzen house.
The four sisters were kept far from the conflicts, but that did not mean they were untouched by them. In fact, if anything, they were far more troubled by the airs of animosity that hung over their names. Moka was the only child of her father of Akashiya blood, so many believed the girls would soon be at each other's throats for the fortune in due time, but their parents never involved them and the four sisters grew up close, often questionable, in that regard.
The idea of keeping one's friend's close and enemies closer was often believed to be a key to their relationship.
Hokuto patted Tsukune on the back and pulled him against his chest in what was the sixth bear hug (more like headlock) of the night. Moka was counting! "Well Tsukune, as depressed as senpai is, being unable to join you in your romantic getaway..." He teased and motioned his head toward Moka, knowingly. Hokuto knew well about Akuha's plans, after all they were close and were fond of sharing information. Hokuto offered a bit of leeway and offered secrets on controlling Tsukune's behavior and, in turn, Akuha would take care of Hokuto's cute little kouhai.
Tsukune was a very resolute fellow. He was agreeable, this was no question, but he had a very strong sense of justice. Business did not suit the gentle-natured boy, but he was easily coerced, which troubled Hokuto. He did not want just anyone signing his kouhai's payslip. He wanted someone who would make full use of his kouhai's unique skills. Tsukune always finished what he started, but most of all he had this sixth sense of the nature of a person. He could always see their best attribute and draw it out. For a harrowing business like the modeling industry it was difficult to drive the models without sending them into the breaking point. Tsukune had the ability to draw out their true beauty and keep those around him happy with his calm aura.
The business was looking to change the view the world held over it. Akuha was determined to make it something her sister could enjoy. Moka always wanted to be a model ever since she was little. Akuha remembered how she always talked about becoming a beautiful princess the prince could whisk away, but the older sister would never let any old prince take her precious sister away. Akuha spent her life to make her sister's dream come true. She took over agence presse for the sole purpose of seeing Moka's dream come true. Tsukune was the only one that she interviewed that understood that. It was not the company's dream to make Moka number one, it was hers. A model did not work if they had no drive. They were not their best, if they lost their purpose.
Akuha had taken in a few drinks herself and swooned over how beautiful Moka had become. The elder sibling whined how Moka has become cold to her and no longer visited the higher offices anymore, but Moka assured that was because Akuha drained her of energy and she needed to work.
"Mou! Moka is so cruel," Akuha complained. "It turns onee-sama on!" She squelaed and pulled her younger sister into an embrace, thrusting the platinum-haired model into her smaller chest. "Ah Moka's warmness. The warmness of an imouto~" She cooed while stroking Moka's head as if she was a cat.
The diva groaned and looked over to Tsukune who was in a similar, inescapable, position. The young man looked to his ward and gave a pathetic smirk. He wished he could help her, but he had his own problems. "A-air senpai!" Tsukune choked out, patting Hokuto's arm.
Ruby sighed and pressed her hand to her red-dusted cheeks, the drinks warming her body and soothing her soul after work. "Such affection, it touches my heart." Ruby exhaled, only for Kokoa to raise a brow mid-drink.
The red-head motioned to the S&M mistress and snorted. "Or your corset is too tight." She noted. Ruby blinked and looked down to her chest before adjusting it slightly.
"Arigatou Kokoa-chan." Ruby offered, only for Kokoa to sigh.
Tsukune's kouhai looked to him and motioned her hand. "So when are you guys leaving for Hawaii?" Kokoa wished she could go, but Akuha-nee-san forbade it. She did not trust Tsukune to really man up to this new role, all considering. He had not really shown much, if any affection toward Moka since they left the show.
He still acted like her best friend rather than her boyfriend. If she was that astute toward it, the press would likely blow it out of proportion. Akuha understood Kokoa's worries, truly.
"Ah," Tsukune chuckled. "Friday morning." He said with a smile as he adjusted his collar. He loosened it, glad Hokuto finally released him from that death grip. There was no question Hokuto took martial arts growing up.
"You need to act more manly." Kokoa bluntly stated. Tsukune staggered a bit and gave a wince. So she thought that? As much as Akuha did not really like playing these sorts of games with the paparazzi, it was necessary. Normally she was straight forward with them or made them forget about their antics, this time it was for Moka's benefit. She needed to learn to be a good wife, so that Akuha could taste her cooking one day! That and Moka needed to learn that sometimes lies were necessary in a world of pain.
"She is right." Akuha agreed. Moka glared at her sister, well up as Akuha still held her and pet her hair. She was not as lucky as Tsukune. Akuha would never let Moka go so easily, she was a very strict onee-sama. "Moka needs a proper man and if you keep behaving so flippant toward this duty, perhaps I will ask Morioka-kun to assist."
"No!" Tsukune and Moka both blurted out. Akuha grinned darkly before smiling brightly.
"Ara?" Akuha giggled. "If that is how you feel, than behave like a proper boyfriend." Kokoa, Hokuto and Ruby nodded. "Hold her hand, kiss her." She smirked. Tsukune and Moka both blushed at her words. "After all Tsukune is -"
"Aneue!" Moka shouted, finally worming from her grip. Her sister was so cruel! Such a sadist! It was no wonder Ruby was her perfect toy. "Please do not embarrasses Tsukune or I any further or I will not speak to you for the rest of the night until we return!" Right into Akuha's dark heart.
"Ah..." She whined at the cold words from her sister. "Very well, but remember this is for your sakes as well as the company's." Akuha assured, even if that was not the case.
Tsukune bowed his head and smiled. "Do not worry Akuha-sama," he began. "I will be sure to look after Moka on the trip and that she relaxes." Moka blushed at his words, feeling flustered and a bit like a burden. She did not want to ruin Tsukune and Fong's vacation, but she had been invited as a friend. That made her very happy. His words made her very self-conscious though.
Tsukune knew her as Moka, not Akashiya Moka. She never wanted him to find out her secret if she could help it. She would be heartbroken were he ever to turn away from her.
The thought was pushed aside as, for the rest of the night, the group drank and warmly spoke of the passed week.
It was the next day that the packing began. Tsukune chuckled as he stood on the sidewalk on the property of his apartment complex and watched the limo dropped Moka off with her mountain of luggage. They were going to take the Fong family car to pick up Kurumu and head to the airport from there. Tsukune would be driving. He wore his sunglasses and a neatly pressed, white collared shirt. His pants were beige and held up with a simple, leather belt. His shirt was always half-tucked, a mix between a messy fix and a neat attempt. His left hand carried his PDA, the man never too far from his technological life-line. His right hand was snugged into his pocket as he looked between Moka and the luggage.
"Really Moka?" He scratched at his cheek nervously. They were not moving to Hawaii... but he could not really say that out loud. "Can you handle all of that luggage?" It was a better phrased question that did not stand as confrontational.
Moka nodded. "Easily. This should be enough for a weekend, right?" She worried that she did not pack enough. An outfit for every occasion was an understatement. It was as if the woman was planning to live in Hawaii or some sort of disaster.
"Wonderful!" Fong shouted as he threw his arms into the air and sprang from the back of the car, after packing his things carefully. "Your enthusiasm warms my heart greatly Moka-san!" Fong praised. Moka blushed and gave the sweetest smile she possibly could. The young woman still felt bad for getting in the way of Fong's plans...
"I'm still sorry Fong-kun..." Moka apologized, but was halted from further apology when Fong held up his left hand, his right still perched on his hip.
"Worry not Moka-san!" The young, Chinese male assured. "Vacations are meant to be enjoyed and loved! Friends or family!" He smiled brightly, spreading his arms to the air. "Love springs from such warm scenery and hearts grow under the tender touch of happiness!" Fong pulled open the passenger side of the car and pointed off to the road. "Let us be on our way!"
Tsukune chuckled at Fong's cheer. It was infectious, he had to admit. There really was no winning against him when he was in such a mood. Fong always enjoyed heading off to such places. He was really a romantic at heart. Tsukune was not as fond. It was not to say that he did not enjoy his time with Fong or their activities, but he was not given to such enthusiasm. One could say he was a proper Japanese man in such a respect. Tsukune wasted no time in packing Moka's things, but they did have to shave down on the number of luggage and sent a few back with her limousine.
"Ah, Tsukune!" Moka called out before her manager and, currently, b-boyfriend, could make it into the car. "I got you something..." She reached over the top of the car and slid a strange box toward him. She smiled and fidgeted a bit, trying to distract herself from the embarrassment. "I-I thought you would like it, I mean it was no big deal. Just -" She was losing her place. Sputtering all over the place like this Tsukune must think her such a dork.
Tsukune kept that warm smile he was so known for. He was always very calm and insistent that others had their way and were happy before him. He was one that gained joy through the happiness of others. So long as his nakama were at peace, so was he. Moka was always so cute and thoughtful, even if she felt herself inadequate. He hoped that he could one day cure Moka of her insecurities. He wanted to see her shine.
Moka cleared her throat, his patience with her stunted words was a send from kami himself. She had trouble expressing herself clearly sometimes. Her heart was there, but she was always afraid of being rejected. "Thank you." She finally spoke out, a smile brightening her features. "For always being there for me." She lowered her head and set her eyes to the ground. She did not want to see his response. She had a strong fear that her feelings would not be accepted.
"Thank you Moka." He said, which caused Moka to look up, her excitement folded up inside. "You are always so thoughtful, I am touched." He reached over and slid the boxed gift toward him, very touched by the fact his diva would grace him with anything. A fan's dream. This was a defining moment in his life and he prayed she would never find out his secret.
Back at the agence presse headquarters a distraught Otonashi Sun was strangling the head photographer. Gin was trying to pry those tiny, white fingers off his neck as his assistants tried to calm the mute, loli down. "S-sun-senpai..." Gin choked out, barely.
Sun had her mouth parted as if screaming, shaking her kouhai with rage and blame. Gin feverishly shook his head. "N-no senpai, I ain't take yer b-black book! I swear!" As if, Gin did not want to die! Not so young!
Otonashi Sun carried a small, black book about with her. She wrote all of her words in her book and much of the information for the agency needed for the day was collected there. She was a secretary of sorts, but was really the one that ran all of the detailed work necessary to keep the company running smoothly. She never allowed anyone to touch that book. Gin, being the one to always complain that it was a cliché black book was the first suspect when she lost it, but the older woman denied up and down that she would ever lose something so important!
Haiji managed to lift Sun off the ground and hold the flailing loli as Gin was helped to his feet. "Whoa! Senpai, calm down, please?" Haiji was one of Moka's two bodyguards and one of Tsukune's former highschool tormenters. He was a lolicon, and the very presence of his senpai sent him swooning. He did not want to hurt her in any way, but if he left her to her task Gin would really die! She flailed and moved her mouth as she non-verbally assaulted Haiji.
The resident lolicon felt his heart squeeze as he set Sun down and staggered back before collapsing onto his hands and knees. The others looked around in confusion as it seemed only Gin and Haiji were really able to communicate with the mute ayakashi. Sun was respected and feared in the agency because she was known to be a Siren, but her mute nature seemed to make her approachable as Siren are known to be able to kill others with their voices alone. Haiji behaved as he had been struck by this deadly voice, but not a word ever left Sun's mouth.
A dark look came over her face as she pushed her foot into the collapsed Haiji and ground her heel into his shoulder. Gin tried to rush to his aid, but a glare in his direction, from Sun, quickly sate his stupidity. Gin fell to his knees in a full kowtow as he shook his head.
"I swear we ain't teasin' you senpai!" Gin did not make eye contact with his senpai when she was in such a frightening mood. Sun raised her head slightly and cracked her knuckles. "We'll find it!" At Gin's fear-filled response his assistants took off running to do just that.
Tsukune calmly drove along as Fong talked about the things his parents did on their last visit there and the best spots to visit. Tsukune seemed bored but he listened intently and seemed to smirk. Moka watched as the scenery went by. It was not like a limo. Tsukune and Fong drove a Buick Excelle. It was a platinum blue and had no tinted windows, unlike the cars and limos Moka rode in. She was excited, if she were honest with herself. She had not gone on a vacation in a long time and this time she would be with her friends! She only hoped this Kurono woman Tsukune was so fond of was someone she could get along with.
The car came to a halt in front of a large, western-style mansion. Moka could see someone skipping out the front door, talking to another. She had good vision, but not that well. The woman looked quite far away. The diva looked over when the driver-side door was opened. Tsukune had stepped out. The silver-haired model watched as her manager walked around the car to the driveway, as they had just pulled up rather than enter the long, stone-covered path.
"Tsukune!" Moka could hear the girl squeal as she rushed into her manager. The smallish, blue-haired woman had thrown herself into Tsukune and hugged him fondly.
"Kurumu..." He seemed happy, even though he tried to not seem overly excited. He was very happy to see Kurumu but he was always uncomfortable when she pushed her developed body against his in such a manner. "I missed you." He chuckled when the tiny woman slid to the ground and jumped back.
"Long time no see, it's been way too long!" The blue-haired woman said with a bright smile. She leaned over a bit and looked over to Moka who was trying to spy from inside the car. The girl waved her hand. Tsukune looked back and chuckled. He reached behind him and pulled open the door. He stepped forward, but Kurumu did not step back quickly so was pushed up against Tsukune's chest, to his discomfort... He sighed. She was always like this and he knew Kurumu was doing it on purpose. She always said their skinship was important as friends. Tsukune glanced down and motioned his hand to Moka.
Moka climbed out of the car and bowed her head. The diva felt uncomfortable seeing the woman pressed up against Tsukune like that. He was so close with her. It made her feel out of place. "This is Akashiya Moka." Kurumu hopped away from Tsukune and threw herself against Moka, pulling the surprised woman into a hug.
"Oh she's adorable!" The woman squealed. Moka was taken aback by the response. Usually Tsukune blocked others from getting near her, knowing about her fears, more like worries, of human contact. She was afraid of being hurt.
Moka inclined her head in greeting. "T-thank you." Kurumu swooned over the adorable diva. Moka looked over the small girl. She had a full figure that rivaled her own. She did not want to be a dangerous sexy, but the diva could not help but feel jealous of Kurumu's natural curves. Tsukune chuckled nervously, realizing Moka's line of sight.
Kurumu adjusted her bra to lift her breasts and turn Moka's eyes back up. The model flustered and blushed. "Moka," Tsukune began. "Kurumu is a succubus." To explain her pleasing form to the model, so she did not feel inept. Moka nodded in understanding. Kurumu giggled into her hand.
"Ah, it's okay, I'm flattered that even the professionals can spot perfection." Kurumu teased with a wink. Kurumu pulled Tsukune's arm so it was trapped between her breasts. "Oh, Tsukune did I tell you Nare-chi is coming with us right?" Tsukune glanced away and pushed his sunglasses up. Kurumu pouted and rubbed her cheek against his forearm.
Tsukune flailed a bit and pulled his arm away before smoothing out his sleeve. Kurumu giggled had hopped back, folding her arms behind her back with a mischievous grin. Tsukune peered over his sunglasses. At the front of the mansion stood a short, young man with ginger-colored hair. His hair was cropped over his eyes in a bowl-cut. He was sweating in the summer heat and sighed as he seemed to be struggling pulling the suitcase for him and Kurumu to the car. Fong had gone over to help. Tsukune held his head high.
"If he touches me, or Moka... or you, in my presence..." He left the warning hanging. Kurumu threw herself into Tsukune once again and hugged him tight for the permission.
"Hai! Thank you Tsu!" Tsukune huffed and went back to the driver's side. Moka looked over to the succubus and back to the man who was now at the trunk, packing (more like stuffing) the trunk. "He's my boyfriend... Tsu doesn't really get along well with him." Kurumu almost sounded hurt by the thought. The succubus' mauve eyes turned to look at Moka. Moka could see a strange gentleness in the demon. "Tsu says I can do better than Nagare-chi." She chuckled.
Tsukune was tired of waiting for the knuckleheads to pack the back. Why did men have such a hard time packing the trunk to its maximum capacity?! Tsukune banged his forehead against the wheel, recalling his mother's words. Tsukune got out and went to the back. Fong and Nagare struggled to fit things, especially with Moka's present luggage. Suddenly Tsukune's shoe came down on the suitcase and slammed it into a perfect fit between his and Moka's items. The man stood with his hands in his pockets and his sunglasses over his eyes. He was trying to hide his annoyance but it radiated off of him. It mostly emanated from the fact Nagare was present.
The man was sweaty, unkempt and often smelled of rotten lettuce. Tsukune did not like the fact he was Kurumu's fancy. He was more content knowing Kurumu was trifling through a harem of men! "Get- in." Fong and Nagare hurried to their respective doors.
Tsukune got into the driver's seat and adjusted the mirror. Fong settled himself beside Tsukune. In the back Tsukune spied Kurumu sitting between Moka and Nagare: Moka at the right side window. Tsukune was sure to shoot a glare at Nagare so he noticed before the young man smiled brightly. "We're off everyone... to sun and fun." Kurumu and Fong cheered, the pair always so full of childish cheer.
They headed off to the airport.
(A/N: kowtow: a deep bow where the forehead touches the floor, respectful
Beta'd by GrrDraxin)