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Disclaimer: I love Skip Beat!, but that doesnt mean I own it. Pure fan love here.

Story: In another world, what if Kyoko met Kijima first? Right after Sho breaks her heart, she meets the playboy actor who ends up changing her life and affecting her views a little differently from canon. Set as an AU, what if? universe. Spoilers: Yeeeessss. Yes, yes, yes. Beware? Warnings: Hm, I need to think about this time. Pairings: Kijima/Kyoko, side-Kyoren, side-(very downplayed XD) Kyosho, one-sided Hikaru/Kyoko.and we cant ignore one-sidedness from strange Reino, eh? Jump Pulse! Chapter One: Cry When You Think of Letting Go Pathetic, she gritted her teeth. She, Mogami Kyoko, had been played for a fool. She slammed her hand against the concrete wall of the corridor shed been dumped in by the guards. She ignored the tears in her eyes, and the few that escaped and tracked down her face, as she was torn between anger and intense depression by the betrayal shed just suffered. She squatted down even more, sniffling as she leaned her forehead against the wall and angrily felt herself sobbing slightly. Heyare you alright? Startled, Kyoko turned in her half seated position to face the person, ending up tumbling onto her arse and becoming semi-sprawled on the ground. Ouchthat hurts, she muttered under her breath, blinking away tears before she looked up and saw a handsome man looking down at her worriedly. He held out his hand to her and smiled gently, and she hesitantly grabbed it and accepted the strangers help. Im Kijima Hidehito, he introduced himself, still smiling kindly. She thought he looked like he was waiting for some kind of recognition, but she just blinked at him with teary eyes. His smile became delighted for a moment before he tugged her closer and crooked his arm, offering it for her to grab a hold on. Slightly confused, but still more upset, she just went along with it and curled her arm around his, letting him guide the way out of the hallway. Wherewhere are we going? she mumbled. Andand Im Mogami Kyoko. Are you hungry? You look a little hungry and like you need someone to talk to, he turned to her with his kind smile. And talking is always best over food.

I dont want to talk, she growled angrily, moving to take her arm away. He tightened his hold on her and gave her a look. It helps, he said firmly. Youll see. And if you dont feel like its working, you can leave anytime during our talk. But you have to try first! She huffed but decided to do it. She had no other plans that night, other than the fact shed been thinking of crawling pathetically to home and crying the night away before she would gather herself up and focus on her revenge. This was much better than her original plans, considering she was lost and didnt know what to do with herself. Youre kind of pushy, you know, she narrowed her eyes at him. He laughed, using his other hand to scratch the back of his head in embarrassment. Yeah, I guess youre right. Im just not in the habit of leaving girls alone when theyre upset, especially after seeing them cry! Sorry~ She humphed, but rolled her eyes, actually feeling lighter by the second. Tch! Youre such a playboy, I bet, she accused, rolling her eyes again. Eh?! Really? Already! he gave her a small pout, and though she didnt understand what he was talking about she couldnt help her lips twitching upwards. Ahah! I made you smile. A small one, but still! Now we definitely have to go out for food to celebrate, Kijima enthusiastically said, pulling her along faster. They ended up at Moz Burgers, of all places, and she nervously sat in a booth with him, despite feeling weird about eating in the place she worked at and had just left not too long ago to deliver food to Sho. Some of the workers she worked with (even her boss) noticed her and kept glancing over to where she was seated with Kijima. Ah, Kijima-san. Is it really alright to eat here? she asked him quietly. He looked at her curiously. Its alright. I dont mind fast food. Do you? No, no. This place is okay, she muttered, picking at her fries. So he murmured softly, stealing a fry and eating it as he waited for her.

She fidgeted before hearing two girls walking passed them as they were walking out of the restaurant, talking avidly about Sho. She glared after their backs and Kijima noted it. She started fuming in her head, muttering violently under her breath and unmindful of everyone and everything around her. So she was startled when Kijimas hand gently touched hers, and her head jerked up to face him. His face revealed nothing, but for some reason it was enough to set her off and start talking, as hed wished. You know, theres nothing really good about Fuwa Sho. I dont know why those girls like him so much, she spat out, glaring at the table. Hes a stupid jerk and he pretends hes cool, but hes really an idiot. He tapped her hand lightly and she turned her attention back to him, her irritation fading a bit as she saw the gentle look on his face. From the beginning? he requested hesitantly. And though she didnt know it, her face molded into a hurt look that made him cringe and inwardly start panicking and feeling bad for pushing her. Before he could tell her never mind though, she started talking in a voice that was so soft and quiet he almost didnt hear her. Then he was hearing her talk about how she was Fuwa Shos childhood friend and up until the time hed found her hunched over in the hallway that had led out to the garage, where upon she had just been cruelly and terribly betrayed by the musician. While surprised this young girl actually had such a connection to the up and coming artist, he felt rather indignant and angry on her behalf by the treatment shed went through, especially after giving up her life to come after Fuwa and practically live as his maid without asking for anything in return. What are you going to do now? he asked her. She flinched. I dont know. I dont have the money to go back to Kyoto and I dont exactly have anywhere to go there. I cant really afford staying here in Tokyo, not in that apartment. Ill have to sell it and find somewhere cheaper to live. And I still have two jobs I need to deal with, one I wont need any more if Im selling the apartment. Then I need to work out how to get into showbiz and get my revenge on Shotaro, she growled at the end. Kijima bit his lip, thinking deeply. Its not the ideal motivation for wanting to be in showbiz, especially considering most people who want to be in it are really motivated to reach their dreams. But at the same time, the ways of the broken heart and betrayal are very treacherous and painful. Kyoko eyed him. You sound like you know personally. Course I do, he said cheerfully. My first girlfriend and the one I thought I would be with forever and love for all time cheated on me with my best friend. Ex-best friend now.

She gaped at him, both for the insane (and rather cruel, in her opinion) situation and for the cheerful way he had told her about it. Thatsthats just horrible. Kijima shrugged. Yeah. And for the longest time, I was very angry about it and shrugged off love and women. Then I realized I shouldnt just give up on love because of one woman. There was someone out there and I just had to keep looking and never give up. That and to stay angry and fearful of love would just mean that she still had a hold of me and I wasnt moving on. Oh, she stared at him, struggling over his reasoning because she didnt want to give up just yet on her revenge or trust in love so soon. He looked at her steadily before he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Dont give up on love, Kyoko-chan. She flinched away from him violently, staring wide-eyed. W-what? Love is I mean, I dont know what youre II she stuttered and tripped over her words, not knowing how to respond to him. Kijima shook his head. I can tell. I see it in your eyes. I looked the same way after it happened. Fuwa Sho is not the only man in the world. Focusing so much on him just means that he still has a hold on you. Dont give up on love. I didnt in fact, once I became determined to not let her get to me and to keep looking for that one person, I went out and started dating fervently and persistently going to any free woman around. Admittedly, that was part of how so many people look at me like some kind of playboy, he face palmed briefly. Well, that explained his reaction to her playboy comment. She smiled slightly, before turning solemn. I dont know Im not saying do it right now, he reassured her. Some people can become determined to put the other out of their mind and go straight to trying to move on, and sometimes others need a little time. Maybe you need to actually try going for your revenge like you want. Maybe after you start, revenge might start to mean less or you finally start to not care about it, and therefore him. And maybe even, what starts as revenge, you might even start to love whatever it is youre doing in showbiz. Point being, I think you should think about letting go; maybe not now, but at least somehow later on. The thought of trying to let go made her panic and involuntarily make her eyes water. Like I said, later, later, Kyoko-chan! Kijima held up his hands. He reached out with a hand and she flinched, but he just brushed away her tears softly. Go for your revenge, if you really want to. Ill even help. Just promise you wont stop believing in love. Or at least try to.

She pursed her lips, but then he pouted adorably and looked at her with puppy eyes. Fine, she muttered. Great! We should be Love Partners then! What are you so cheery about? Theres nothing cheery about love, she huffed, and he flicked her forehead. Yes, yes! I know! Im trying, Im trying, Kyoko grumbled. He nodded in satisfaction. Okay then. Lets finish things here and Ill take you home. How about tomorrow, Ill help you take care of your apartment and find a new place to live? After that, well figure something out to get you into showbiz, alright? Okay, thank you, she said gratefully, thankful for this stranger. Its really nice of you and I dont know why you are doing all of this, but II really appreciate it. No problem, he grinned at her. I just cant help myself or stay away from women. Playboy. He pouted intensely and she smiled happily, enjoying herself in a way she hadnt thought she would be able to, not so soon after Shos betrayal. Im not even all that pretty for you to get all excited about anyways, she rolled her eyes. Im justplain and boring, she started to glower at the table, remembering Shos words. Kijima noted, recalling what shed told him Fuwa had said to her. Hm, that may be sort of true. So blunt! Kyoko mentally face palmed. But that doesnt mean youre not pretty at all. Maybe, in terms of celebrities and the more extraordinary girls out there to be compared with, but youre still rather pretty. I would have been happy growing up next to you as the girl next door, the innocent and cheerful grin on his face somehow made her smile, even with his words. Or maybe even because of them. But he was such a playboy. But youre even prettier because of how lively you are and the way you just light up when expressing yourself, which makes you much more unique and memorable than all those other girls out there who are just another pretty face in the crowd, he complimented her. Her face was practically glowing red by then. So, are you done? he reached for her trash. She slapped his hand away and got all of their garbage together, ignoring her red face.

Ill do it, she mumbled. Ugh. You must be successful with women. Theres just no way you cant be. She whirled on her heel away from him, pretending not to see his smug face as she stalked over to the trash. And yet, there really couldnt be a way Kijima wasnt successful with women, especially how easily he could smooth talk people (specially women), know just how to talk to them and know what they want, and just how to get the exact reaction he wanted out of them. And she could just tell that he knew exactly how to approach a girl, and which tactics to use or switch to. But he was also one hell of a sincere and charming man, that was handsome and really knew how to treat a girl. Therefore, if he was so successful with the ladies, that he was single and not with one right now (except literally her), meant that he was still looking and hadnt given up finding someone. It kind of gave her a little hope aboutlove. She couldnt help the small smile playing across her lips. Dumping the trash, she decided she might as well resign from her job there. She wouldnt be able to handle two part-time jobs anymore, especially if she was going to start looking for a new place and had no time. It wasnt needed any way, considering she was going to look for a cheaper place to live and she was going to need time to try to break into showbiz also. It wasit was going to be a new day for her. A new lifea new her. Find her boss, she told him that she was quitting and strangely enough, he didnt seem surprised. He just nodded and smiled sadly, wishing her the best of luck. Her other co-workers she recognized found her straight after and expressed their well wishes, further confusing her but making her happy to know that they actually cared. She found Kijima straight after and he brought her over to his car, where he followed her directions to where she lived. Hopefully, a place not for long. Kijimas eyebrows flew up as he saw where she lived, whistling low. Huh, youre right. This is a rather expensive apartment complex, especially in Tokyo. Its nice, but not the best place if youre low on money and dont have a steady or well-paying job. Yeahstupid Shotaro wanted to live in luxury, she glared at his dashboard. But hes out of the picture, so who cares, right? he said immediately and it quickly made her smile and bring her spirits up.

She hmphed and playfully turned her glare on him. YouDamn you. Just met me and already you know just how to handle me or say just the right things. Im good like that, he said mock-haughtily, winking at her right after. But seriously, Im going to take you up. This startled her. What? No, you dont have to! I can go the rest of the way myself. He turned serious on her. Beyond that its the polite and gentlemanly thing to do, its late and a lot of things can happen between here and now. I would like to take you up, all the way to your apartment, please. Ill be fine, she said feebly, but he just kept staring at her determinedly. She sighed and gave in. Alright, alright. You are pushy, arent you? But a good pushy, he smirked, and then he was parking and getting out of his car, going over to her side and opening the door as he helped her out. Nervously, she led the way to the elevator, mindful of his curious eyes wandering all over the place while he walked casually with his hands in his pockets. Even in the elevator, though she tried not to be, she was nervous (even more so) being in the elevator with Kijima. She was pretty close to him and she was alone in the elevator with him. It was kind of nerve-wracking. But then he started humming out of nowhere and she ended up staring at him, surprised and caught off guard by the unexpected action. Then he gave her a side glance, winking as his lips twitched upwards, and she immediately felt herself unconsciously relax. She smiled reluctantly in resignation. When the elevator stopped on her floor, they got out and she led the way to her apartment, stopping right in front of the door. Sothis is me, she said awkwardly, hand swinging to gesture at the door before she abruptly changed her mind and her hand just hung uselessly by her side. I see. Ill guess I leave you to it, he said in amusement. Good night, he murmured after, leaning dangerously close to her and making her squeak as he kissed her cheek. His lips lingered for a long time, while she was frozen, before he moved back and was smirking. He nodded towards her before heading back to the elevator, sliding a hand into his pocket as he lazily waved backwards at her, head forward and therefore not letting her see the look on his face. She could guess that stupid playboy was still smirking. Knowing she was still pouting, she opened her apartment and slid inside, thinking about the events of the night.

Started 11/3/12 Completed 11/8/12

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