Skip Beat 50 First Dates

Thank you all first off for all the reviews! I'm glad you're enjoying it! for one of my reviewers, I didn't know her name was spelled Kanae, thanks for telling me

I don't own Skip Beat

I don't own Fifty First Dates

I own nothing but my computer

My story and my author name

Enjoy!

-Kate

-Date 1-

Chapter 2: Harsh Reality

The Okami was livid with fear. She had seen the smile that had adorned the actors face as Kyoko drug him off to her husband's eatery.

"we are in such big trouble."

She uttered. Pacing in Ren's room with a worried expression,

"maybe I'm over thinking this. She is pretty, but compared to people in Tokyo and actors and actresses, she's very plain. There's no way he'd be interested in her…"

Then she froze,

"wait…Ren Tsuruga…most popular actor…I've heard he's a little bit of a playboy…oh no!"

She fretted as a dark realization came to light. It was even worse considering Kyoko's condition.

"how am I going to stop this?! this won't be good!"

At the same time, Kyoko was sitting around the table speaking with Ren Tsuruga. Ren was trying to keep his heart from pounding as he watched the girl in front of him with extreme interest. In the ten years he hadn't seen her, she hadn't changed at all. She had ordered hamburger steak with egg, and the chef there was all too happy to give it to her. Ren watched her with amusement as the gravy sauce of the hamburger trickled down her chin. Kyoko picked up her napkin and dabbed away at the sauce but her bright smile still shined even through the white cloth. Ren stifled a chuckle and Kyoko caught it. her eyes cast down to the table in embarrassment and a blush lit up on her cheeks,

"I apologize Tsuruga-san. I have not had hamburger steak for so long…"

Ren shook his head as he pierced his own hamburger steak,

"no no. I wasn't making fun of you Kyoko-chan. You just look so happy when you're eating."

Kyoko brushed back a loose strand of hair and gave a sheepish smile,

"yeah, I've been told that. It's a little weird…some people don't like it."

Ren wanted nothing more at that point to grab her hand and tell her that he liked it and her…but it'd be too weird (and far too sappy) so he shrugged and gave a smile,

"listen. You should do what you like. If you wear a happy face when you eat, then wear a happy face; do what you like."

Kyoko smiled and took another bite,

"you know…you remind me of someone…"

Ren turned to her and his eyes bid her to continue. Kyoko, having finished her food, stood and collected her plate. As she turned to return it to the kitchen she said absent-mindedly,

"you remind me of my Fairy Prince friend Corn."

Ren froze, memories beginning to crop up in his mind.

A young boy leaped through the air, twisting and turning as he did. He looked like a bird flying through the sky. The little golden eyed girl was in awe and cheered with gusto as the boy gave a small bow,

"that was amazing fairy-san! You really flew!"

The little boy smiled back with excitement, his heart pounding faster as he wanted to impress the young girl. The little girl smiled at him and from way far off a call went out,

"KYOKO! GET BACK HERE!"

The boy noticed the girls crestfallen face as she responded quietly,

"that's my mommy…she wants me back now."

She turned to the boy who was trying to stifle his disappointment,

"I'm sorry fairy-san. I have to go."

The boy tried to hide his disappointment, but as the girl was beginning to run off he called out,

"will you come tomorrow to play again Kyoko-chan?"

Kyoko smiled and nodded,

"un, Fairy-san!"

The boy smiled and called out once more,

"it's ****"

The girl, misunderstanding his language called back,

"Corn?"

The boy shrugged his shoulders. It was close enough. He nodded and the girl ran through the bushes a smile lit up on her face.

Ren tried to keep from shaking as Kyoko sat back down, a small bowl of pudding in her hand,

"Tsuruga-san? Are you alright?"

Ren turned to her, and nodded, trying to reassure her,

"yea, I'm fine…um question Kyoko-chan…"

The girl nodded, though there was still wariness in her eyes,

"do you think you can tell me more about…uh…Corn?"

Kyoko's face lit up and she smiled widely,

"yeah! Most people don't think he really exists, but I know he does. I found him one day when I went to the spring in the back of the inn. He was upset…but he disregarded that and tried to help me, since I was upset too. We became friends but he had to leave after a while…I was sad, but then he gave me this. He told me if I ever felt sad again, to grab onto this and it would suck all my sadness away."

She reached into her yukata and from an inner pocket revealed a small purple stone. Ren stared at it, recognizing it at first glance. It was the stone he'd given to her. He stared at it, observing it carefully.

"you kept this? After all these years?"

Kyoko nodded,

"un. He gave it to me. It's my precious treasure."

Ren felt the happiness bubble inside him. How he wanted to tell her who he was and take her. But there were two problems. One, he looked nothing like 'Corn' did anymore…and two…

"Sho-chan!"

She already had a prince. Ren clenched his fists before watching the girl who lit up with admiration and infatuation run over to the teen. He had blonde dyed hair that was spiked up perfectly to hang over his colored contact blue eyes. Ren stifled a bitter chuckle, thinking to himself,

'that's me if I would take off my disguise…how ironic.'

He watched with displeasure as Kyoko grasped on to Shou's arm.

"Sho-chan, how did the audition go? Did you make it?"

Ren saw as a flash of angry dashed across his face before wrenching his arm from her grasp. He turned away from her and grumbled,

"yeah, Kyoko. I hope you're ready. We leave in a few days for Tokyo."

Kyoko broke out in a wide grin, disregarding the cold treatment,

'Sho-chan had a hard day. I'm sure the audition wore him out.'

She thought. She nodded,

"yeah! Don't worry Sho-chan, I'll help you realize your dream! You'll be the best singer in Tokyo for sure!"

Sho cringed, and Ren couldn't help but notice how he clenched his fists. The Okami appeared in the staircase and saw the atmosphere. She quickly called out,

"Kyoko-chan! Isn't it Taisho's birthday? Do you have a cake prepared?"

Kyoko looked up at Okami and her face lit up,

"that's right! Let me grab it!"

She gave a bow to Ren and smiled gently,

"I'm glad you've eaten Tsuruga-san. Stay healthy. Good night."

And with that, she disappeared. Ren watched her retreating figure with a smile. The Okami noticed it and turned to Sho with a hard glare,

"fix this."

She said coldly. Sho narrowed his blue eyes at her but nodded. Ren turned to him and felt a bad forboding feeling, like they weren't going to let him see her again. The hair at the back of his neck prickled and he was proven right as he started to follow Kyoko but was blocked by Sho's slightly smaller but still tall figure.

"where do you think you're going Tsuruga?"

Ren could feel the cold wind blowing through the small Ryoukan and he felt perturbed by the teens icy attitude. He was at least four years older than this brat!

"I'm a guest…what was your name? Sho? I'm a guest meaning I can go anywhere I want…and what I want…is to talk to Kyoko-chan."

He moved to follow the young woman once more but found Sho once again blocking his way,

"I'm sorry Tsuruga, but as the Okami's and Taisho's son, I can't let you do that."

Ren paled, Sho smirked and he crossed his arms as he glared at the actor,

"see, Kyoko is our best employee. We find it best not to infringe upon her work…since that's all she's good for now."

He grumbled. Ren felt his ire rise at the insult but Sho cut him off and continued,

"so do me a favor and back off huh? You're the most gorgeous man in all of Japan from what I hear, don't you have something better to do than to try and seduce a poor, plain, boring woman like Kyoko?"

Ren clenched his fists but said nothing. It was true. If Ren hadn't known that she was the girl from his childhood…would he have even spared a glance? His self-doubts betrayed in his eyes and Sho took advantage,

"yeah, I thought so…don't come near her again."

And with that, Sho disappeared up the stairs of the Ryoukan inn. Ren was shocked, but was not going to let that…brat have the last word on him. He charged up the stairs after Sho and finding him, blocked his entrance way into his bedroom. Sho gave a weak smirk,

"what's wrong Tsuruga, women aren't good enough for you anymore? I don't roll that way."

Ren grit his teeth and stared down the arrogant teen,

"shut up. What do you mean by 'don't come near her again'? "

Sho narrowed his eyes and tsked softly,

"can you not understand Japanese? It means exactly what I said. Don't you dare come near her again."

Ren growled and pulled the teen close, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt,

"don't play those games with me brat. Where do you get the right to tell me who I can and cannot see? Even as the Okami's and Taisho's son, you have no right to decide who and who cannot see Kyoko."

Sho growled and grit his teeth,

"call her name with an honorific! You idiot! Where do you get the right to call her by her name? What do you think that after this one night you've earned that right?"

Ren stared back at his blue eyes, his own dark eyes glowering, but didn't have any response. Sho smirked at the non-responsive actor and decided to dig it in just a little more,

"you actually think you mean something to her? Got news for you Tsuruga."

He released himself from his grip and walked past the actor, saying behind his back with a sneer,

"by tomorrow… she wont even know who you are."

He shut the door, leaving the actor in the dark of the night that had befallen the room. Ren clenched his fists and doubts began to cloud his heart like smoke as Sho's words beat around his soul.

'where do you get the right to call her by her name?'

'what's wrong Tsuruga, women aren't good enough for you anymore?'

'don't you have something better to do than seduce a plain, boring woman like Kyoko?'

'by tomorrow…she won't even know who you are.'

Round and round they punched the innards of the actors soul, leaving a new bruise each time. His confidence and happiness that he had felt only a little while ago was gone. Never to return. Just like back then. You can only live in a fairytale for so long before you're forced back to reality. He could feel the anger pulsing in him. The cursing, the tears he wanted to spill. But he couldn't. Ren Tsuruga had to be calm, cool, collected all the time. Nothing more, nothing less.

"Tsuruga-san? Are you alright?"

He swung his head around in the darkness to see a soft candle. The fire highlighted her golden eyes that peered with concern at him. He wasn't shocked, but pleasantly surprised to see Kyoko staring at him.

"I heard some noise from my room. It sounded like it was between you and Sho-chan…are you alright?"

Ren didn't know what shocked him more, the fact that Kyoko had heard their argument, but hadn't figured out it was about her, or the fact that she had come out here to find him…and make sure he was alright,

'she could've just been checking up on Sho you know,'

His doubt twisted in his mind, but Ren pushed that thought away as the girl took his hand gently,

"Tsuruga-san? Are you alright? You seem pale. You're an actor aren't you? That means you have to take better care of yourself! Your fans depend on it!"

Ren looked up at her, not realizing that in his doubts, he had fallen to his knees. He looked up at her golden eyes that bore down on him with fear and worry,

"I know you didn't get a chance to eat a lot…um…I've heard I'm a pretty good cook…I wouldn't actually know…but…"

She was rambling; Ren's doubts and insecurity faded as he stifled a laugh watching the young girl come to her knees in rambling about food.

'how can you still do this to me Kyoko?'

He thought before smiling at her gently and held out a hand to cease her rambles. Kyoko froze, her golden eyes wide as she bit her lower lip. Ren gulped as heat engulfed his body, looking at how cute this face Kyoko made was. He turned his face from her in order to regain control of himself before smiling at her,

"sure. I'd like that."

Kyoko's face broke out in a relieved smile and she stood up and took his arm leading him through the dark house and back into the kitchen. She lit a candle and quickly made some miso soup. Ren smiled as she set the soup on the table, a soft grin on her face even through the egg stain that could be seen on her cheek. He took a napkin and gave it to her, gesturing to her cheek. He wanted so much to wipe it away, but he didn't want to scare her. Kyoko smiled as she rubbed her face and she gave a soft bow with her head, crinkling her yukata that she wore,

"you said that you don't eat very much. This bowl of soup is very filling without having much proximity…food wise. Please enjoy it."

Ren chuckled and dipped his spoon into the soup. As he raised it to his lips, he felt the golden eyes following him with every move. He wanted to laugh but he took a sip, letting the warm taste of noodles and vegetables wash over his tastebuds. His eyes flew wide and he turned to Kyoko, who was still waiting, her golden eyes fixated on him.

"well?"

She asked, begging him for an answer. Ren had a half a mind to pretend he was disappointed so he could see what face she would make; but seeing her golden eyes beg for a good report, he couldn't help but give his honest opinion,

"this is really good Kyoko. You are an excellent cook."

With those words, her face lit up. She clasped his hand and bowed her head low, so low Ren was afraid it would slam on the table.

"thank you Tsuruga-san! For your kind words! I know it must be hard to give them to someone like me but thank you for liking it!"

Ren gave a confused smile and pat her head,

"I wouldn't have said it, if I didn't think it was true."

Kyoko looked up at him, her golden eyes shimmering with tears. Ren wiped away a tear that beginning to fall, feeling the electricity as he touched her. He could feel his lips trembling, wanting to pull her closer. Her soft pink lips beckoned him and he wanted so to pull her in. But he let her go to his own surprise and she smiled at him innocently; not even realizing the struggle he went through.

"Tsuruga-san…"

His eyes watched as she played with her yukata, her golden eyes cast downward in nervousness. His heart jumped into his throat and he watched her as she took a deep breath and exclaimed,

"will you be my friend?"

Ren let out a disappointed sigh.

'of course. Sho is her prince, so I can only be a friend.'

He thought bitterly. Then another thought appeared, a much more hopeful one,

'but friend is closer to her than guest.'

He nodded and her golden eyes lit up in joy,

"really? I'm sorry for being so presumptuous to ask you Tsuruga-san. You are Tsuruga-san of course, and I'm just a poor, plain girl but you decide to be kind enough to me and be my friend!"

'Rambling again'

Ren thought as he gently took her hand, deciding that he was going to make a move,

"so Kyoko-chan, we're friends right?"

Kyoko nodded, her face lighting up at that word. Ren stifled a laugh and continued,

"so…since we're friends, can I have dinner with you again tomorrow night?"

Kyoko stared at him like he had just asked if the sky was blue. She smiled and nodded,

"un."

That one notion. That one notion, carried him in bliss throughout the night. He walked with a spring in his step into the room that Kyoko had set up for him. Yashiro was already there, and he was confused as he noticed a genuine smile on his clients face.

"what's going on? Did you find another girl tonight? Am I going to have to sleep in another room in order to get enough sleep?"

Ren turned to look at him and he smiled,

"no. I found a girl, but I'm not bringing this one to bed tonight."

Yashiro's eyes widened and his jaw dropped,

"wait! Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…you found a girl? Like a real girl? One you're actually going to treasure? Who is she? Who's the one who has stopped the playboy?"

Ren growled,

"shut up. She's an old friend of mine."

Yashiro gaped and said with wonder,

"but you've never cared for women! I mean, obviously you've cared for them. You like to bed them…but you've never cared, like tied yourself down! The President and I were worried you'd never find a real relationship!"

Ren stopped, thinking as Yashiro continued to ramble on. He clamped a hand over his wrist, where a black watch hung like a handcuff around him. That's right. He's not allowed to be in a relationship. He had sworn that he would never be in one after he wouldn't be able to be in one. So why was he letting this girl get to him? She knew him when he was a child, big deal. That was no reason for him to let her get to him! What was wrong with him?

Yashiro went to bed but Ren was awake even in the darkness. His mind was reeling and spinning,

"why am I letting myself get so worked up over her? She's just a girl I knew back in childhood. She's nothing like the girls in Tokyo. So why her? She's pretty…but compared to most girls, she's plain. She still lives in childhood fantasies, what with fairies and magic and all that nonsense. In all common sense, a girl like her shouldn't be the one I lose myself over."

It frustrated him and finally he stood up, and said to himself,

"I'm not allowed to be in a relationship. I don't allow myself to be tied down."

He snatched his jacket and left the Ryoukan. He didn't know where he was going, but it was going to be far from there. After a few minutes of walking through the town of Kyoto, he came upon a small bar that seemed to still be open even this late at night. Shaking off his fatigue that he could feel beginning to creep up on him, he walked in.

"one whiskey, strong as you can make it."

He murmured. The bar tenders eyes shot wide as she observed the beautiful man in front of her. She gave a grin and nodded,

"yes sir."

She mixed the drink and handed to him, letting her long fingers dwindle on his. He didn't move. She furrowed her brow in frustration at his indifference. He placed a slender hand to her lips and having an idea she pulled a chair up with her legs and sat down, making sure to pull her chest together to give her a little more cleavage,

"hey baby, what's wrong? You look dreadful."

Ren glanced up from his drink. Everything he heard reminded him of her. He saw the woman and smiled inwardly,

'I can take this one to bed. She'll help me forget. Time for me to turn on my charm.'

He shot her a gentleman's smile, one that was beautiful but very cold. The woman melted in it's gaze,

"you think I look dreadful? I'm hurt. Such a beautiful young woman believing I look dreadful."

The girl was flustered as she tried to take back the statement,

"no, no, no, no, no, no. I was just saying that you look kind of sad."

Ren chuckled at her blush and gave another gentleman's smile,

"well then, you must be very smart. No one's ever seen through my mask."

A pang gripped his chest. This bartender girl was nothing. She had melted in his cold smile just like everyone else. It was so easy to lie to her.

'the only one who's ever seen through my mask is…'

A soft voice penetrated his mind, and he saw the soft gold eyes of Kyoko,

"Tsuruga-san? Are you alright?"

He smiled as he thought of their childhood once more,

"Corn! What are you doing?"

The little boy opened his eyes to see a soft cloth coming over his face. Concern danced in the small golden eyes that lay just above him,

"Kyoko-chan…"

He murmured as the little girl wet his head once more with the cloth and gave him a soft smile,

"if you ever are tired or hurting, come to me, I'll help you!"

She gave a determined smile.

"hey? Did you hear me? I said I wouldn't mind cheering you up for the night."

Ren was brought back to reality to see the bartender staring at him with lust driven eyes. Her chest was squeezed together in order to give her more cleavage. Ren smiled as she held out a hand, but he gently pushed it away,

"I'm sorry. But I have to go now."

Before she could say another word he picked up his jacket and walked out the door with a smile. Kyoko's golden eyes dancing with concern fixated in his head. He entered the Ryoukan and stopped by Kyoko's room. He gave a soft smile and clamped a hand around his wrist before quietly unlatching his watch,

"I'm sorry. But I can't just forget her. I want her. More than I want to punish myself for the rest of my life for my mistake."

He held it out in front of him and said quietly,

"I hope you understand Rick. I'm sorry."

He returned to his room and laid the watch on his dresser. He slipped beneath the blanket of the tatami room and closed his eyes. For the first time, he had no nightmares of that night. Rather, he saw himself standing in front of a handsome youth. He was the same age as Ren and he had dark red hair and brown eyes. His body was tinged with light and for once Ren wasn't shying away from it,

"Kuon. Nice to see you again."

Ren, or as he was known back then, Kuon stared at the figure,

"Rick? What are you?"

Rick gave a smile and held his hand up to silence his friend,

"you've finally grown up Kuon. You're not beating yourself up anymore."

Ren clasped his hand around his arm that used to hold his watch,

"are you upset Rick?"

Rick smiled,

"how could I be upset? I was upset when you started this whole thing."

Ren was confused. Rick sighed and placed his hands on his hips, lecturing Ren as though he was a child,

"look. Ever since the accident happened you've been beating yourself up over it. Even when the people who actually caused it were caught you blamed yourself."

Ren was about to interrupt when Rick held up his hand to silence him,

"I was never more angry with you then at that moment. Throwing your life away because I died? I was really upset with you..and Tina for telling you that it was your fault."

Then his face broke out in a proud smile, like the one Ren remembered seeing on his face the day Kuon had learned about girls and their magic power,

"but then. Kuon to see the way you lit up because of one girl. I was amazed. Then you decide that you're going to go after her rather than cling on to your sadness of me…I couldn't have been happier than I was then."

He let his head fall and a relieved sigh filled up the room, letting light come in and engulf the two men,

"I thought that when Tina had said those cruel things to you, that you were done. You always did take everything she said too seriously, even if she is your sister."

He said, another sigh giving another crack of light into the open space,

"but then, you meet this girl and decide that you're going to move past it? I was so relieved to see that you weren't a coward Kuon."

He smiled and crossed the space quickly, enveloping his old friend in a hug,

"now I can enter Heaven with a piece of mind. I know you're alright now."

Ren was shocked but relaxed in his friends embrace. Rick smiled and broke away, his body beginning to tine in bright light. He gave a smile and waved,

"take care of her Kuon!"

And at that point, Ren's alarm for the day woke him up. Throughout the entire day he could feel the missing weight of his watch. The world seemed just a little brighter. When scenes in Ring Doh involved actions that were close to his actual person "Kuon" he, for once wasn't afraid. In fact, he welcomed the challenge. The director said he hadn't seen such powerful acting from Ren in a long time.

Not that they got many scenes done with. Ruriko had complained that it was far too bright and early to get up and act today, so she'd taken a day off to sleep. Kanae, who was present at the shooting was vivid with anger as she pulsated in a dark aura. Ren laughed and gestured to his manager,

"maybe you should go calm your girl down, especially before Ruriko is thrown out here. You know what will happen to her if she doesn't get enough points here."

Yashiro nodded, his face going grim. Kanae had been trying to break into the business for a while now, but her downright pride, refusal to break from the script and her nature against love, was going to get her fired. President Takarada had already said, that if she didn't get a high enough score of 70 points, he'd let her go. Ruriko was looking for anything and everything that would get her fired. He had a feeling she was waiting to see if Kanae would go up against her and give her a "justified" reason for lowering her points.

He ran over to the angry young woman and began to talk to her, soothingly…

"YAHSHIRO! I SWEAR I'M GONNA KILL THAT GIRL!"

Okay…new strategy?

Yashiro, panicking as Kanae screamed wrapped his arms around her and buried her face in his chest,

"relax…"

He started, holding the shaking young woman who began to stutter incoherently of her anger,

"she-she has practically everything an actress could ask for! She-she's absolutely beautiful, but she won't use that (bleep) talent for anything except herself! That-that's not an actress! That-that's not fair! Why-why do I have to work my hardest and give my all to-to a girl who is that selfish and self-centered?!"

She beat on Yashiro's chest in frustration, but Yashiro couldn't help but notice how weak the punches were. She was tired. She was worn out. Yashiro could feel it as she shook, and he could hear it with every shallow breath she took. All he wanted to do was make the pain go away. He held her tighter and whispered in her ear,

"Kanae. You are strong. Very strong. You'll get past this. I know you will. You'll be a great actress one day. You'll be able to act all the time like you want to. It'll be amazing."

Kanae, unseen by Yashiro, smiled in his chest as visions of her dream came forth in her mind. She gave a gentle smile in his chest and shook her head,

"you stupid day-dreaming Glasses-kun."

Yashiro felt a small pang of sadness, before realizing that those words were her way of saying thank you. He smiled and pat her head before releasing her,

"you're welcome, Kanae-chan."

Ren watched the interaction between the two as various feelings crashed into him. He was jealous and envious, because Yashiro got to be with his girl while Ren had to wait an entire day before he could see his girl ( or want to be girl as it were), and happiness since Yashiro was finally making a move on her. Yashiro stared at Ren and gave a smirk,

"that's the way you treat a girl Ren."

Ren chuckled and shot him an amused smile,

"you think I don't know how to treat women? There's a reason I'm the 'co-star killer' you know."

Yashiro could find no rebuttal so he sulked quietly as the director went over Ren's individual scenes that did not involve Ruriko. As they were finishing, Ren smiled and ran back into the Ryoukan. He glanced around and spotted Kyoko. She wore a bright red kimono and bowed deeply as she just finished the tea ceremony. The customer gave a smile and Kyoko said in a gentle voice,

"have a great day."

Ren felt his heart leap as he wanted to do nothing more than grab onto the young girl and kiss her then and there,

'sheesh, never did I think I'd be like father when he is in love…'

He thought banefully. He controlled the childish urge and watched her from the corner. The sun was just beginning to go down and the rest of the crew were starting to head up to their bunks,

"oh hey Tsuruga-kun! Do you want to come out tonight with us? With you there, finding girls will be all too easy."

The director laughed as the camera man smiled. Ren returned the smile, albeit a little forcefully and bowed,

"I'm sorry I'm going to have to decline."

He gave one more furtive glance to the young woman and retreated up to his bedroom, waiting for Okami to call that she was off work.

Okami Fuwa smiled gently at her young ward as she dried off another dish.

"Kyoko-chan. You're shift is over now. Great work today."

Kyoko looked up at the Okami and smiled,

"un. Will Sho-chan be coming back tonight?"

The Okami withheld the sadness in her eyes as she responded quietly,

"yes. He will."

Kyoko nodded and skipped off merrily. She laughed,

"Sho-chan definitely did well in that audition today. We'll be going to Tokyo soon and all his dreams are going to come true. And I'll get to help him get there!"

She smiled before snapping her fingers,

"that's right! Taisho's birthday!"

She gave a giggle and returned to the kitchen, quietly singing to herself,

"Taisho's going to be so surprised with his cake this year!"

Meanwhile, outside the window of the kitchen, Sho grimaced,

"if dad eats anymore of your cakes Kyoko, the man will be obese."

He heard her coming to the window and quickly ran from it and dove into the bushes. Kyoko heard the rustling and she looked out the window, her golden eyes sparkling,

"Corn?"

She waited…and waited…but no one was there. Her head fell a little and she pulled out the small purple stone she always kept with her,

"it's alright Corn. I'm alright. I'm sure you're doing fine. Have you spread your wings yet? Are you flying?"

Ren, who decided to come down to the kitchen when he saw there was no one, heard the woman's wonderings. He smiled lovingly as he thought of her and had the urge to tell her the entire truth.

'no. She's not ready for that yet. Wait Kuon, wait until the right moment comes to tell her. For now, just enjoy time with her as Ren Tsuruga.'

He walked out and saw the young woman finishing up the touches on a beautiful large vanilla cake. It was in the shape of a bansai tree that was filled with strawberry flavored cherry blossoms. In white, like it was the wind whispering through the branches, 'Happy Birthday Taisho' was written in eloquent Kanji. Ren was amazed by the beautiful piece of artwork and smiled,

"I didn't know you were that good Kyoko-chan."

Kyoko leapt up at the sound of her name. Outside the window, where Sho had returned, he paled,

'oh no! no no no no no no no! What is that idiot still doing here?!'

Kyoko did not recognize the deep penetrating brown eyes that stared at her, but since she was taught to always be polite, she gave a smile,

"the Okami and Taisho taught me from when I was very young. Why are you here sir? The shop is closed for the day."

Ren was confused. Then he thought that because of the long day's work, it must've slipped her mind of her dinner plans.

"I'm here for dinner Kyoko-chan."

Kyoko gave a bow, being polite, though half of her wanted to smack the man in front of her,

"well sir, I apologize, but the kitchen has been closed since 8:00. That is when dinner is, so you just missed it."

Sho cringed, his heart twanged with sympathy for the poor man.

'walk away Ren Tsuruga…you don't want…'

Ren continued to smile, though his irritation towards the young woman's obliviousness was waxing,

"we were going to eat dinner together Kyoko-chan…remember? Last night?"

Sho's eyes flew open as Kyoko stared evenly at the man. She did not mean to, but the words she said next were frost with cold emotionlessness,

"sir. You must be mistaken. I can't have dinner…with someone I don't know."

Ren froze and he numbly replied, as his heart was slowly being crushed,

"what?"

Kyoko repeated as she left the kitchen,

"I don't know who you are sir."

Ren crumpled to the ground. Kyoko heard the thud and she cast down her eyes in sorrow before reentering the kitchen. She knelt down and took Ren's hand gently. He looked up, hoping that it was nothing but a bad dream, but she smiled softly and said with as much sympathy as she could offer,

"I'm sorry you missed dinner with that young woman. Help yourself to anything in the kitchen. Just shut off the light when you're done."

With that, she left. Sho leapt up from his hiding spot and ran to the doorway, trying to forget the heart-wrenching words Kyoko had obliviously uttered. He had a role to play.

Ren knelt in the kitchen, thinking of the slight moment when his hand had been grasping Kyoko's. The warmth in her hand told him it was her, but the ice in her words were nothing like the Kyoko he knew and loved. He looked toward the doorway and could feel his heart ache as he remembered Sho's ominous words the night before,

"by tomorrow…she won't even know who you are."

The clock that hung in the kitchen began to chime, and Ren looked up at it. 9:00. The same time that last night Kyoko had sat with him in the table not far from here, eating hamburger with egg. The same table where she promised to have dinner with him tonight…

"I don't know who you are sir."

Ren clenched his fists and glared angrily at the clock, as though it was to blame,

"what the hell is going on here?"

He questioned.

That's what I want to know. What's going on? Give me an answer through a review thanks!

-Kate