by C. M. Lacey
Friday, October 12th.
The front gate of the The Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel was swarming with media as Mei and Sun-Hee waited for Mei's car to be arrive. Camera flashes, television-cameras, microphones, and a hurricane of voices were screaming at them, everyone demanding answers. Sun-Hee couldn't say she didn't know this was going to happen, but found the whole thing overwhelming now that she was actually in it.
Hours before, her agents had told her not to say anything. Both Mei and Sun-Hee's labels were trying to come up with a satisfying story to give the press, but they were struggling. On Mei's end, the exposure was great. Mei was a new comer, and an edgy one at that, so something like this was perfect. They wanted to rocket the couple to the moon. But Sun-Hee's label wanted to maintain the image they had built for her in the 3 years they managed her. She always had a hint of lesbianism in her performances, but that's all it was. With a real girlfriend that changed things.
The car was taking to long, and Sun-Hee could tell that the reporters were getting to Mei. Any moment the girl would break and start telling them off. If she did that, there'd be no telling in what she'd say, and it might blow any chances both their companies had in store for them. So despite her better judgement, she stepped forward and held her hand up to silence them. As if by command, they all obeyed her.
"Sun-Hee, what are you doing?" Mei whispered to her.
Sun-Hee took Mei's hand and ignored her. If her career was over, it would be by her own doing. She had Mei and that's all that mattered now.
"Hello everyone. I realize all of you are filled with questions over the videos and pictures that leaked on the internet." Sun-Hee started, feeling her heart race. "I expect many of you think I'm going to say something like 'we were just playing around' or 'it's a publicity stunt"… something of that nature. But the truth is all that is a lie. What those people recorded yesterday was taken from both of our real and private lives. And as such, the scene you saw was very real."
There was a swarm of interruptions and questions after this, but Sun-Hee silenced them again.
"I'll tell you what you want to know, but if you interrupt me again I won't say a single thing more, and you can just get conflicting Press Releases from our labels. If you don't want weeks worth of gossip and heresy, then shut the hell up."
That did it. Mei smirked.
"The truth is… Meiko Koda and I used to be a couple. We reconnected yesterday and… well you know the rest. We're back together now. It might kill my career to come out like this, but I can't deny my love for her anymore. I broke up with her once to become an idol, I can't do it again. That's all, I guess."
There was a quiet buzz from that, but no one dared to question her further. One reporter did have the courage and the idea to switch tactics. Instead of pettering Sun-Hee, he switched to the other girl in question. "Koda-san, is this true? Did you really have a relationship with Kim-san in the past and are you a couple now."
"Yup." Mei said, not elaborating.
Someone else ventured a "How did you meet?" while another went "How long were you two lovers?" and still another asked "What are you plans for the future?"
Mei raised the hand that Sun-Hee was holding and allowed the camera bulbs to blind them. "I plan to be happy with the woman I love. As far as everything else goes… that's none of anyone's business."
The timing was perfect. Mei's car arrived, and they got in, while the questions started flying again. Mei made a show of it, but opening Sun-Hee's door, letting her in, then going across to the drivers side and entering herself. She started her sports car and after some maneuvering, they were out. Once alone the two of them let out a sigh of relief.
"We weren't supposed to say anything." Mei reminded Sun-Hee.
"We could get in trouble for it."
"Perhaps… but I don't want to pretend we're something we're not. Knowing my producers, they might try to paint you as some charming bad girl I got a crush on, that I was taken advantage off. We both know it's the other way around."
Mei snickered a bit. "You're the bad girl who took advantage of me?"
"Hasn't it always been that way?" Sun-Hee giggled slightly. "I mean, sure you look the part, but you were always the kinder one. If I remember, you took me in from the snow not even knowing who I was and let me stay with you. Meanwhile I tricked your ex into coming over to your birthday just so I could score a few kisses."
Mei shook her head with a smile on her face. "When you word it like that, maybe you are the bad one."
They were silent for a while, then Sun-Hee wondered something. "Where are we going?"
"Sasa-chan arranged another hotel we could go to. We can't go back to our places with all the press around."
Sun-Hee thought that was a good idea. "How is she? When I talked to her yesterday I mainly was more concerned about what you were up too. I sort of was rude and didn't ask about her."
"I'm a bit concerned for her, to be honest. For 3 years her life has been taking care of me. First with the break up, then with all the band business. I'm scared that she doesn't have anything a part from me."
Sun-Hee watched Mei's profile for a while, finding her extremely sexy. "Maybe since I'm back she'll be able to find some time for herself?"
"I hope so." Mei pouted a bit. "I love her, but she needs something more than taking care of me."
When they arrived at the new Hotel, they parked in the back and slipped in as suggested. The staff all knew about who was staying there, and had promised not to leak to the press about who was coming. When they were led to their rooms, to both Sun-Hee and Mei's sadness, the producers of both labels were inside, arguing loudly. Meanwhile the members of both Obsidian Heart and Girl's Love were mingling together. Sasa was talking to Ayane Ito, obviously star-struck. The whole scene looked surreal.
As soon as they entered the room, both producers were screaming at them. Sun-Hee squeaked and shrunk back, while Mei grabbed Sun-Hee's hand and stood her ground. Only the corporate people seemed to be mad at this. Their bandmates were all grinning and making faces at them from behind the producers backs.
"Just what were you thinking giving that statement." Someone was going off on Sun-Hee. "Everything we had planned is ruined!"
Finding her courage, Sun-Hee stepped from behind Mei. "Good. I want the truth to be known. I'm tired of hiding who I am."
"You're killing our career!" Rina, Sun-Hee's manager, reminded her.
"So what." Sun-Hee blushed. "I already had enough success. If the public hates me because I'm in love, I don't care."
"Well I think this whole thing could work. Let's market it as forbidden love." Someone from Mei's side of things suggested.
"Not with the innocent Sun-Hee Kim we created. If it were Ayane Ito, it'd be a different matter. She's supposed to be the rebel."
Ayane, from behind the producer rolled her eyes. "Isn't Sun-Hee hooking up with a rebel in real life? Meiko Koda is just the more extreme version of Aya-chan." The way she said her name was as if she was referring to a character. She was the bad-girl of the group, but only on stage. In real life she was rather sweet and bubbly like the others.
"Are you trying to say that it's in Sun-Hee's character to be attracted to bad girls?" Someone else suggested.
Sun-Hee sighed, dragged Mei to the bed, and sat down. While the managers and producers argued, the Girl's Love members joined them on the bed, congratulating them. While this was going on, Obsidian Heart pretended to look uninterested but were failing. The truth of the matter was this was a bit boost to their career. Sun-Hee Kim was now associated with them.
"Hey Sasa-chan." Sun-Hee waved at Sasa wearily, once she was close enough to talk too.
"Hi." Sasa beamed. "This is so exciting. Your friends let me have their autographs."
"Stop fan girling." Mei rolled her eyes at Sasa, but had a hint of a smile on her face.
"I wonder how long they're going to keep arguing." Sun-Hee watched their producer shout at each other. "Don't they know that we can't proceed until we get a good take on how the media spins it, and what the public's reaction will be?"
Mei shrugged, looking a bit shy for the first time. Sun-Hee looked at her. The metal girl's face was completely readable. It dawned on her just how much hell they were now in for. Everyone was talking about their sex life as if they weren't in the room. It was a bit humiliating hearing the gossip and scenarios the producers were inventing for the public reaction.
"Hey? Are you okay?" Sun-Hee asked.
Mei blinked a bit and nodded her head. "I just want to kiss you, but everyone is here."
"Aw." Sun-Hee couldn't help but find that completely adorable.
"Would it be so bad if I just went a head and did it? Would I embarrass you?"
Sun-Hee shook her head.
And so she did. Girl's Love made cooing sounds and clapped, while Obsidian Heart hoot and hollered like they were some wrestling show. On hearing the reaction from the two groups, Mei and Sun-Hee pulled away and laughed a bit. The producers had even stopped arguing to look at the commotion. After a round of applause the suits begrudgingly joined them.
"Shit, I guess we're just going to have to go with the Forbidden Love angle." Rina muttered, seeing that the two of them weren't just messing around, there was real love in their eyes.
"Why does there have to be an angle?" Sasa asked, with an angry expression. "Isn't the truth more interesting that some fiction?"
There seemed to be a round of agreement from the talent in the room but the producers were back to arguing again. Not being able to take it anymore Mei stood up. She walked over to the door and opened it. Everyone shut up immediately. "Either everyone leaves, or I take Sun-Hee somewhere on my own."
"Don't give us any more lip, Koda, we're trying salvage-"
Mei shook her head. "Wrong answer. C'mon Sun-Hee. We're going."
Sun-Hee stood up, but the producers were quick to back down. "We're going, we're going! Let's go, anywhere."
"Bye." Ayane waved at Sasa, then winked at Mei.
As everyone piled out, Sasa was the last to reach the door. She gave a satisfied smile to the both of them and gave them the peace sign. Laughing a bit at this, Mei shut the door and locked it. Finally it was just them again.
Walking over to her, Sun-Hee smiled her half smile, wrapping her arms around Mei. "Just where the hell were you going to take me?"
"I don't know, I was bluffing." Mei blushed a bit. "The truth is, I'm a totally scared. Can you tell?"
"Yeah." Sun-Hee giggled, but was happy Mei took charge of the situation. "So… we're alone."
"Are you already horny? We just did it a few hours ago."
"Yes, but I have 3 years to make up for." Sun-Hee pulled away from Mei so she could start undressing. "You did promise to take care of me."
"I did." Mei nodded, a smile forming on her lips. "The lengths I have to go through to keep my word…"
"Okay then." Sun-Hee slipped out of her dress. "How about I take care of you first, and you can take care of me next?"
Taking off her leather jacket, Mei went for her skirt next. "Fine. But you have to give Sasa-chan Ayane Ito's number."