Story ~~ The Line Between Fiction and Reality
Done for the Bi-weekly NPC Slash Challenge. Pairing: Celebrity Date! (pick a pairing, any pairing, as long as it has at least one of the Celebrity Dare people in it)
I ended up doing Ren/Nick.
A light snowfall accentuated the rapidly falling temperature outside the All My Gaians studio. The cast had gathered for the initial reading of the next episode’s script. This one was special though, not only was it the show’s Christmas special, it also was the last episode they were shooting this year. The writer had said this one was going to be a doozy. As usual, they were all sitting in a circle of chairs waiting for the director to show up. He had told them not to start reading yet.
“Finally!” Ines shouted, script clutched triumphantly in her hand as she stood on one of the folding chairs.
“That poor chair is going to fall and you with it.” Lond said from the opposite side of the circle.
“Says the man tilting his chair at an almost 90 degree angle.” Ren retorted as he flipped idly through the pages, not really looking at them.
“Hmm…” Yuki hummed as she balanced a pencil on her top lip, “The writer was really excited about this one… Do you think…” Her eyes glinted and she turned to the other girls, “Do you think some of the rumors will be answered?”
As popular as the show was, it wasn’t surprising that many rumors flew around among the fans, and even among the cast themselves. In reality they knew just as little as the fans, and the writer wasn’t talking. One of the most prominent rumors concerned the character Ren and, more specifically, his sexuality. In past episodes the mysterious musician had shot down many love confessions from his lady fans and often times seemed immune to Adriana and Yuki’s manipulating advances. The fan base was split down the middle: half believed he was just too passionate about his music to care about relationships while the other believed his coldness towards women was because he was gay. It didn’t help that the female actresses were also curious about the matter.
Ren the actor didn’t really care. If the character was gay then he was, if he wasn’t then he wasn’t. Him and the character he played were very similar in that mentality. Sometimes though Ren wished the writer hadn’t used their real names for the characters, the line between show and reality would have been harder to blur then. It didn’t matter if he had had a number of girlfriends in the past, that didn’t stop some fans from applying the same rumors to real life.
The trio of actresses had gotten into a very heated discussion about which rumor might be solved when the director came in, the writer close behind.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting everyone,” he said with a smile, “I have a couple of announcements to make. One, it has been a pleasure working with you all; I look forward to many more episodes in the upcoming year. After today you’ll get yourselves a vacation until January 10, I hope you take the time to relax and spend time with loved ones. Second, our wonderful writer would like to say a few words.”
He gestured to the woman beside him, who smiled at the cast. “Well, you’ve all heard what I’ve said about my opinion of this particular script. I just wanted to say that all of us who have already gone over it believe that it will get a very big reaction once it airs. I know you’ll all do a wonderful job and I can’t wait to see the end results.”
This speech just seemed to get the girls even more excited. Looking over to Nick, Ren noticed the boy looked just as interested, though probably not for the same reasons. Lond shook his head in amusement and chuckled. “I think you had better let us read it through, I doubt the girls could handle much more anticipation.”
Laughing, the director and writer agreed and took their leave so the cast could begin their individual read through. There was a good ten minutes of near silence, just the sound of pages being turned and bodies shifting in their seats before a trio of squeals interrupted Ren’s reading. His eye twitched slightly before he looked up with a raised brow, nothing he had read so far should have caused such a reaction. A small surprised noise and a chuckle came from the other two actors, causing Ren’s eyes to drift to them. Nick’s eyes had gotten wider, a small blush growing on his cheeks. Ines let out an impatient grunt when she noticed Ren’s questioning gaze.
“Gods Ren, you’re such a slow reader! Hurry up!”
He gave her a look as he turned the page, “I don’t see what the–” He blinked, his eyes stuck on a few simple words on the page, “… oh.”
“Oh Rick dear,” Adriana batted her eyes at the taller man, “Would you help a lady out? I just can’t reach high enough~”
“If I didn’t know better,” Lond said smoothly, picking up the garland the redhead had dropped, “I would say you were trying to get out of doing your share of the work.”
Her painted lips turned up into a seductive smile, “Good thing you know better…”
In the kitchen Yuki let out an exasperated whine, “I am never volunteering to help make the cookies ever again. Those were my favorite barrettes.”
Ines sat on the counter eating more cookie dough than she was making, “Tch, you can buy new ones. If you can go to a private school, you have the money.”
The other girl scrunched up her face in an angry pout, “For me it’s not as easy as hitting the closest Tot Hopic.”
“Heeeey…” The punk rocker warned as Yuki ripped the dough-covered spoon from her hand.
“And stop eating it all.”
Just outside the kitchen doorway Ren shifted around through the box of garlands. “I’m still not sure how I got suckered into this, I have a gig tonight…”
Adriana’s bubbly laughter erupted from across the room where Lond was still securing the decorations that were her job. “Because not even you can stand the thought of,” She placed a manicured hand to her cheek and gave the musician a pathetic look, “Poor sweet Nick all alone on Christmas Eve while his parents are off taking care of his grandfather.”
Ren snorted and continued his excavation of the decorations box, “Whatever…”
Nearly hidden by the large box of ornaments he was carrying, Nick shakily made his way into the room. As he neared the door to the kitchen he began to cough, causing the box to rattle threateningly. It was about to fall when Ren suddenly got up and plucked the box out of the smaller one’s hands.
“Eh?” The boy blinked, his coughing finished, “Oh, thanks Ren.”
The musician rolled his eyes, “You were going to drop it… idiot… The box is too big for you to carry.”
Nick smiled sheepishly, “Heh… sorry. It was only one box, so I thought–” His statement was cut short by another coughing fit.
Ren’s frown deepened as he put the box down, “… You okay? You seem… paler than usual…” His eyes stayed focused on the boy as he knelt down.
Nick waved it away as the fit came to an end, “I-I’m okay. The basement’s just a little dusty…”
The boy was slightly taken aback when he noticed the genuine look of concern on Ren’s face. The older boy never cared about anything other than his music from what he could tell. He looked away, running a hand through his messy brown locks.
Ren grunted and stood up, “Either way, you’re gonna break something carrying this…”
Something that sounded like a mix between a snort and a laugh came from inside the kitchen. “Heads up boys!” Ines shouted, gesturing for them to look up.
They both obeyed simultaneously, blinking a good few times as the mistletoe attached to the doorframe above them began to register in their minds. Nick was the first to react, blushing furiously and giving Ines a frantic look.
“Y-y-you don’t m-mean that we actually h-ha-have t-to–”
His flustered words were silenced by a pair of lips against his. A surprised squeak was all the boy could muster as the kiss lingered longer than what would have been necessary to amuse the watching girl. His eyes began to slowly close with each passing moment. But before they managed to close fully Ren pulled away, lifting a land to place it upon the boy’s brow. His eyebrows knitted together in concern.
“You’re burning up… You should lie down.”
Nick only nodded slowly, his eyes heavy lidded, and Ren began to move him in the direction of the couch. Silence reigned in the household, every spectator at a loss of words from what just happened. Suddenly time began to slow down. Nick’s breath grew loud and labored, his heartbeat pounding in his ears. The scenery blurred in his vision and the boy fell, hitting the ground before anyone could react.
“Nick!” Things sped up again as Ren dove after the boy, turning him onto him back and slipping his arm underneath his shoulders to lift up his limp, but still barely breathing, body. His usually bored eyes were wide in panic as he looked about at the others who had come rushing in, “Someone call an ambulance, hurry!”
“And that’s a wrap,” The director clapped his hands, “That was wonderful everyone, see you all next year.”
A chorus of “Yes!”s and “All right!”s went through the cast as the broke character, stretching and meandering off the set. Ren grunted as he lifted Nick all the way onto his feet. He patted the shorter boy on the back. “I have to say, you are the master of passing out.”
The brunette laughed and rubbed the back of his head, “Hardly. I scraped my elbow this time.” He displayed his red and raw joint and stuck out his tongue in a silly manner.
Ren smirked as the started to follow the rest of the cast to the dressing rooms. “Looks like you hit your head too, you’ve got a pretty bad bump on your forehead.” He pointed at the wound.
Nick winced a little when he reached his hand up to touch it, “Ow… guess I did…”
It didn’t take long for them all to get out of their costumes and into their everyday attire. Soon they were all outside in the now heavy snowfall saying their goodbyes and well wishes for the end of the year. Nick and Ren happened to live in the same direction, so soon they were walking side by side down the snow-covered street. Ren chuckled to himself, watching the clouds formed by his breath before looking at his fellow actor. “You handled that kissing scene pretty well.”
The scarf Nick was wearing hid most of the blush that suddenly rushed to his face, “I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been nervous.”
“Really? I wouldn’t have guessed,” The darker-haired one smirked, “I wasn’t expecting to get it perfect in one take.”
“You almost sound disappointed.”
“Just surprised, that’s all.”
They continued walking in silence for a few minutes, Nick staring at the ground before speaking again. “It was pretty easy actually… you… you’re a good kisser…” That last part was almost mumbled.
Ren snorted, “Then you must not have many good examples to compare with.”
Nick blushed, “… yeah, so I haven’t kissed a lot of people, so what?”
“I didn’t mean it that way. I’m not a good kisser.”
“Says my ex-girlfriends.”
Nick paused for a moment, trying to think of something to counter that. When he failed he just huddled in his thick jackets and mumbled to himself, “Well… I liked it…”
Silence came down between them once again until they reached a certain four-way street. Nick sighed and turned his head to Ren, “Well… here’s my turn.”
The taller boy nodded and smiled, “See you next year.”
Nick nodded but didn’t move, his eyes focused on the snow a few feet away from Ren. His companion didn’t move either. For a few minutes they just stood there, the only movement coming from the steady downpour of fat snowflakes. A large cloud billowed from behind Nick’s scarf as he let out a large sigh. Without another moment’s hesitation the smaller boy walked up to Ren and pulled him down, capturing his lips in another kiss. The action caused Ren to freeze, his eyes wide in surprise. After a moment, though, his eyes slid shut and he gently returned the kiss, savoring the feel of the other boy’s lips against his. They broke away a minute later, Ren blinking in a half-dazed way and Nick licking his lips tentatively. The small one was the first to break the silence.
“Maybe… you could… call me sometime during the holiday… We could… hang out or something… if, you know, you’re not busy…” His face was red again.
It took a bit more blinking for Ren to come back to his senses, “Um… yeah… sure…” A smile spread across his lips, “I’ll do that.”
Nick grinned back, his confidence returning a bit, “Okay… I’ll talk to you then. Bye!” And with that the boy turned and ran off down his respective street.
“Bye,” Ren rubbed the back of his neck as he watched Nick disappear around a bend. He looked off to the side as he started to continue down the street that would eventually lead to his house.
Maybe blurring that line… wasn’t really that bad after all…