TITLE: Step By Step
SUMMARY: You were never perfect, but in her eyes, you're very close to it.
NOTES: First oneshot that I've ever written. <3 Enjoy!
There was something about her that always had you looking back for a second glance, and there was something about you that made her permanently fixated on you and you alone. The attraction had always been there - everyone but the two of you seemed to recognise that much. You'd see Kame smirk slightly after a stolen glance at her, and even the rest of the Nobuta team seemed to think that there was something going on. "No doubt it's just me." You'd tell yourself, while she, too, would think of something along the lines of the same thing.
(Still, both you and her had secretly wished for a development in Akira and Nobuko's relationship with each other. It didn't happen, even though she had, silly as it was, prayed at the temple for something to miraculously appear in the script. You, though slightly more practical, failed in your attempt to drop subtle hints to the writers, too.)
You left the set of Nobuta wo Produce feeling disappointed, but still, you pushed on and laughed your way through the talk shows - sometimes with Kame, and sometimes, if you're lucky, with Maki-chan. It was hard not to notice the hopeless looks that she'd throw your way, when she thought you weren't looking. As always, though, you managed. After all, that was who you were: Yamashita Tomohisa, the boy who worked hard in order to support his mother and his sister. You always managed, somehow. And although you didn't want to, you managed through this, too.
Ryo-chan was just about to give up on your sulky self when Johnny-san visited you in the NEWS room. Your initial thought had been to reject the request, but when he pointed a thick finger at you and said - "You, film the drama with Horikita Maki-san from Sweet Power." - your heart soared. There was no reason for you to be so happy about it all, and it made no sense that your mood immediately cleared. Still, there was this stupid little grin on your normally emotionless face. You were happy, and that was an easy truth to face.
Only, Ryo looked as though he preferred the sulky you.
Kurosagi's script was, again, a disappointment. There was nothing in it that suggested mutual love. It was all, get-away-from-me on your character's part. This drama, really, was supposed to be a double whammy. You get to be the leading character, and you get to act with Maki again. You were happy, honestly. But as you darted a furtive glance at her, you realised that she had been staring desperately at you, all along.
So the filming begun, with both you and her in slight disappointment with Kurosaki and Tsurara's relationship. Neither of you overlooked the fact that it seemed as though your roles had reversed - last time, Akira liked Nobuko, and this time, Tsurara likes Kurosaki. "Why couldn't it have been Akira and Tsurara?" You mumbled to yourself, unknowingly to an audience of one. She blinked, but said nothing. You didn't see her. But as you continued to walk away, she nodded slightly to herself. She agreed.
(There was a part in the script where she had to sit by you, to simply watch over you. Although it was nothing big, you wanted to practise that part with her. With shaking hands, you called her up and invited her over. Honestly, that girl was sprouting all sorts of emotions in you. You realised that as the doki, doki in your heart rung in your ears.)
"Ano... sumimasen. Horikita desu." It seemed like forever when her voice finally came over the intercom, even though it had only been an hour or so. Like an angel's voice, you thought, as you stumbled hastily to the door. If any of the NEWS member were to see you now, the teasing would never end. All of this was over a girl, too. Reaching the door, you smoothed out your shirt. You knew - even if you were to be teased forever and a day, it'd all be worth it. Because it was Horikita Maki and you've fallen madly in love with her.
She thought that she hadn't prepared enough to meet Yamashita Tomohisa, the big idol, but as you pulled open the door, you thought that she looked stunning. The timid smile that she gave you made your legs go weak. You were both quiet, simply staring at each other to take it all in.
The silence wasn't an awkward one. It was one that one would find by standing on top of Mt. Fuji - the wondrous, miraculous feeling that could never be replaced. You smiled back - a natural, genuine one that surprised her slightly - then invited her in. She, too, did not seem uncomfortable with entering a man's house alone. It was her first time doing so, but the fact that it smelled like you comforted her. She confessed that much to you, but there was the implied attraction behind her tone that you chose to silently squeal over.
Lying down as she marvelled at how well you had imitated the actual scene with the messiness of your normally clean room, you looked at her back. Her hair, at the time, was still pass her shoulder. Her shoulders were small - like a child's, but her developing curves easily told you otherwise about her age. As she finally turned to look at you, with her script placed aside, there was a small smile on your face.
(She looked a little confused to see you smiling at her back, so you cleared the smile in a second, and she decided to let it go. You couldn't help but feel like she busted you on something, and you didn't mind that feeling at all.)
Closing your eyes, you slowly slipped into the role of the injurred Kurosaki. She followed your cue, becoming Tsurara as she picked up the towel that you had prepared as a prop. Your - no, Kurosaki's - face felt hot as Tsurara delicately touched the imaginary bruises on your cheeks. She placed the towel on the other side of your face, taking care not to be forceful with her actions. It was as though there really was bruises on your cheeks, and somehow, you felt the pain through your role as Kurosaki. You winced slightly as Tsurara rubbed a thumb to rid Kurosaki's face of the dirt, accidentally touching the bruise.
Her cold hand was still on your face, though, so as you flinched from it, you opened your eyes - just as Kurosaki should. She looked sadly down at you, Tsurara herself in pain from having seen yoo being beaten up by an officer. You stared at her, a slight frown on your face. "What the hell are you doing in my apartment?" Your face said, but the expression easily dissolved as she looked straight into your eyes. There was a hint of moisture in her eyes.
You were shocked, but as a tear rolled down her cheek, you reached out automatically to wipe it off. She blinked. Once. Twice. Then finally, the moisture was gone, and you didn't feel the pain from the bruises anymore. You were both out of role, but your hand was still on her cheek. She placed her smaller hand over it, then reached over, placing her other hand on your cheek. The last thing you saw before you felt the softness of her lips was the satisfied smile on her face.