Skip-Beat: The Morning After

Conflicted Feelings Pt.I

When her mother had left her as a child, Kyoko remembered only the feelings she left behind. Those of abandonment, those of grief and confusion; She just couldn't justify why her own mother had rejected her as she did. Now, years later, those same feelings caressed her mind.

So, as Saena circled around her, examining her every detail, flaw and fault, Kyoko could only stand still, and restrain from asking any rash questions.

"Oh?" Saena stopped to face her. "You dyed your hair?"

Kyoko looked at the floor. "How-How did you find me?"

Saena smiled a little. "I saw you in 'Dark Moon'. Honestly, I wasn't sure it was you at first, but after looking at the credits…" She set her hand on Kyoko's trembling shoulder. "I knew it was you."

Kyoko looked to her right, where, to her surprise, Sho stood. He gently pushed Sanea's hand off of her shoulder.

"Well that's sweet that you would come to find her." He said defiantly.

Saena's gaze hardened. "That's a little disrespectful don't you think?" She eyed him. "Do I know you?"

Sho smiled, the kind of smiled you gave to an annoying child, or one with forced emotions. "I'm hurt. I thought you would have recognized-"

"Sho." Kyoko warned. "Stop."

"Sho?" Saena looked between them. "Sho Fuwa?" she smiled. "I see you made it big."

It made Kyoko uneasy to see her mother smile. As a child, she was lucky to see her not angry, so naturally, smiles and conversation where out of the question.

Ren knew leaving was the right thing to do. As much as he hated it, Sho had the upper hand in handling Saena. That, and if he hadn't had left, he might have regretted it later.

He stood at the top of the staircase, a perfect view of the lobby below. Ren worried for Kyoko. Even from the height he was at, he could see her trembling. His heart ached.

Kyoko, I am sorry.

" So what exactly is it that you want, Mrs. Mogami?" Sho leaned casually against Kyoko, making her cringe.

"We are busy people." He added with a grin.

Saena looked at Kyoko. "I came to talk to you."

Kyoko straightened up. "M-Me?"

Seana nodded and pointed a slim finger outside.

"In private."

It was unusually cloudy for Tokyo, something happening too often now-a-days. They stood outside of LME, facing each other. The scene reminded Kyoko of one of those old western gun battles, and she really feared Saena would indeed pull out a weapon.

" You grew up beautifully." She said.

Kyoko blinked. "Uh. Thank you?"

"I never knew you wanted to be an actress."

Kyoko forced a smile. "Well, due to an unfortunate series of events I ended up here. Not that I don't like it though! I just—"

Gosh, I'm mumbling.

"Don't be so nervous. I won't bite you." Her mother smiled.

Kyoko started to realize that her smiles gave her even more chills than any other expression.

"Let's cut to the chase." Saena's face turned completely serious. "You need to come back to Kyoto."

Ren had joined Sho in the lobby, now, they both attentively watched Saena and Kyoko's wary expressions. Saena seemed demanding, intimidating, while

Kyoko not only seemed startled, but extremely sad.

"What do you think she wants?" Sho asked, still looking beyond the closed crystal doors. Ren shrugged. "I honestly have no idea."

Kyoko almost didn't make it inside. After Saena left, she kind of just stood there, stunned and speechless.

I need you to come back to Kyoto... I need you to come back to Kyoto.

Her mother's words echoed through her mind, ricocheting and bouncing around her reasoning.

"No." Kyoko had responded. "I will not go back with you."

Kyoko sat down on one of the lobbies' couches, oblivious and uninterested on who was watching. She rested her head in her hands, and fought to suppress tears of anger from escaping.

" Mogami-san?"

Ren looked down at her.

She remained still, not having the strength or the will power to look up at her sempai.

"I am okay." she said simply.

"What did she tell you? He asked, sitting next to her.

She shook her head. "Nothing important."

Kyoko stood up, and after excusing herself, speed walked back out of LME. She could stay there. She was afraid her emotions would eventually take over, and she really would break down crying.

She spotted a lone park bench and she sat on it.

All her memories, all her experiences, all her fame…all that would be in vain if she did go back with her mother. The same mother that didn't hesitate while walking away from her, the same mother that just confessed her selfish reasons for being there.

"Kyoko, I have been very sick. The hospital fees, they are too much for me. Come home."

Kyoko felt a betraying tear slip down her cheek.

Even if she forgave her mother and went back home, she didn't think she would ever be able to smile again. She would have to leave her work, her friends… her memories.

Tears began spilling more and more, and before long, she found herself crying uncontrollably. This was the second time in her life she cried as she did. Once after Sho left her, and now.

Finding her wasn't too hard. All Ren had to do was step out of LME.

She sat on a bench next to the bus stop, head down with gloom.

As he approached her, he noticed she was crying. His heart suddenly ached.

It had been ages since he had seen her cry like that. Ren frowned.

Why is it you only cry like this for that woman?

He sat down next to her.

She turned away, wiping her tears.

Reluctantly, he grabbed her arm and pulled her into an embrace.

"She wants me to go back to Kyoto" she whimpered against him. "I—I"

He cradled her head. "Shhh."

No matter how much he really wanted to know, no matter how much he wanted to plead her not to go, he knew that that moment wasn't the time to speak about it. Instead, he held her, and waited for her to recover.

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