Skip-Beat: The Morning After

The Ultimate Test mini chapter

This mini chapter takes place the afternoon after the chapter before. In one of the past chapters, it was brought to Ren's attention that President Takarada wanted to see him and Kyoko, that is why this is happening.

President Takarada looked straight at him. He looked straight at an unusually cheerful Ren and at an intimidatingly quiet Kyoko.

His office was silent apart from a rickety white fan hidden in the corner, but the silence boosted his anxiety. He wondered what they would say…how they would react.

Suddenly, Ren smiled at him.

"So," Ren said, leaning forward and resting his head on the desk. " Why did you want to see us?"

President Takarada cleared his throat and reluctantly picked up a pen. He maneuvered it along his fingers.

"I honestly wished I could've seen you two separately-"

"I'll leave, then" Kyoko whispered, rising from her chair.

She just couldn't. Ever since she woke up that morning with Ren next to her, she couldn't be near him. True, nothing happened, but...

Her gaze slipped toward Ren.

He was watching her, and gave her a beautiful smile.

She pulled her eyes away with a wretched pain at the pit her stomach.

How can I keep calm with a smile like that…

"No, it is fine, since you are here already. Sit." said the President.

Hesitantly, she sank back into her chair. Ren continued to watch her with gentle eyes. She furrowed her brow and jerked her head slightly toward their boss.

With a frown, Ren looked back at him.

"It's… It actually involves you, Mogami."

Kyoko's eyes flickered back toward the President. She felt anxious, for some reason. The way he watched her with a mixture of caution and sadness troubled her. Sensing the tension, Ren leaned back in his seat.

"I can tell that you two have become close." He said. Putting the pen down, he stood and turned away.

"However, I'm afraid you will be separated for a while."

Silence hung in the air.

" Mogami, you will be going abroad for training and school."

Ren stood. " you're sending her abroad alone?"

"Of course not. Her manager will accompany her."

" You really think that kid can protect her?"

"I have trusted coleages that will look after her as well."

Kyoko stayed silent. One part of her was confused at the sudden decision. She wanted to ask all the obvious questions. On the other hand, however…she'd be going abroad. Away from home into something she had only seen as an impossible dream.

" Why.." She asked.

President Takarada turned to look at her.

"Training. And to finish school. With your schedules, you've fallen too behind…most of the trainees here have gone to America for a short time, so do not worry too much."

Ren could feel himself panic. He could hardly keep it together when they were separated as the Heel siblings….he didn't know if he'd be able to endure her being continents away.

" You'd be gone for 24 months."

Kyoko gasped. "Tw-two years?"

Ren stared at him. "You're taking her away for two years?" He slammed his hand down on the desk. Kyoko flinched.

"You can't do that, that's too long! No one goes for training so long!"

Takarada sighed. Ren needs this. As the ultimate test….as the final test. If they pass this, then my work here is done.

"Ren, please."

"Kyoko go outside." Ren ordered. She looked at him.

"Tsugu-"

"Out." He repeated. Kyoko kept his gaze on him. His stormy eyes pierced through her with something she hardly ever saw in .

She felt her breath shaken, and also began to feel it. The fear of being apart again. Last time that happened he dissapeared for years. He shut himself out.

Slowly, she walked in front of him and wrapped her arms around him.

Ren was surprised. He looked down at her. She was pressed tightly against him, her hands gripping his shirt.

"It's okay." She said. "Don't get mad."

President Takarada sat back down and looked at his lap. I'm sorry.

"Two years, kyoko. You're leaving me again. For two years."

"You leave the day after tommorow, Mogami-san. Please begin packing."


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