Look, if they didn't look so damn cute together, this wouldn't have had to happen, people:

...Who am I kidding, it was always going to happen.

TITLE: Now I See, I'm Starting To Feel
FANDOM: Keizoku 2: SPEC RPF (Kase Ryo/Erika Toda)
RATING: NC-17/R for sexual situations.
DISCLAIMER: This didn't happen. OR DID IT

Now I See, I'm Starting To Feel
Keizoku 2: SPEC RPF, April 2012


NOTES: This was cobbled together from actual quotes and interview responses (like Kase Ryo's "Whoa!" in response to Toda Erika's entrance in her little black dress, which I posted here), and was inspired by the rumours of Toda being a hellcat who is hated by everyone. The 'cafe interview' where Kase Ryo has an interesting relationship with his chair is their one-on-one on 'Ashita Switch', which you can watch here.

The rest? I don't know! I just want them to kiss a lot, okay!? I apologise for the ~feelings~ because apparently I can't write any real-person lies without some flowery bullshit to go hand in hand with it. With thanks (again) to Bertie Blackman for helping to continue the tradition of naming all my bad RPF fics with lyrics from her 2009 album, 'Secrets & Lies'.


She hears the rumours. All of them - she's a bitch, she's hard to manage, she's a slut, she's "high maintenance". They hurt, because she's always wondered a little if they're true, or if the image she's worked so hard to create is actually as flimsy as she fears.

She's slept around, but she doesn't know why this is an issue - especially when all the Johnny's boys have probably run out of bedposts to run their notches into. She likes sex - she likes it a lot, because of all the good stuff that comes with it and the way it makes her feel. She likes the control, and she likes being in control. Hell, she'd even call herself a (god forbid) feminist - but she doesn't tell anyone, because it doesn't look good on the cover of Sweet and With or on the backlit pages of a tabloid website.

The cynicism that's settling into her brain is beginning gives her forehead lines, so she pulls her face into a mask of placidity before pushing open the door of a small office in downtown Tokyo. Another casting call, but this time for anything but another faceless drama. This wasn't what she was used to - it wasn't for a bitchy lead, bitchy second lead, wishy-washy dumb sweetheart, short skirts, sparkle makeup, the whole nine Toda Erika yards - and she almost walks away from Tsutsumi Yukihiko's office because she can't take the rejection of a role she's knows she can do better than any other actress in the world.

She knows the directors look at her as a little girl. Patronising her, telling her she's beautiful when all she wants them to tell her is that she can act. That it's okay that she needs to be alone before a scene, that it's okay to carry her character's emotions to her dressing room, because she's a good actor and that's what they do. She just wants some one to tell her she's making an impact, that her image can also carry the weight of a being a proper actor; not just drive sales for a nondescript woman's magazine or an ice cream company.

This neediness is something she despises, but this time? It's worth it. Because later, when Tsutsumi tells her she's Toma - the only one who could ever be Toma - with her arm in a sling, her clothes ill-fitting and her face practically bare, her heart shines.

And when Ryo says it to her? She feels like she's in the deep end of a swimming pool her pretty face can't possibly see the bottom of.


He's never been all that good with overtly sexy women. He'd never really seen the appeal of big assets and even bigger hair; long legs were nice, sure, but none of that mattered when you were sitting in front of the TV trying not to laugh at SMAP on a Saturday night. Or - and this is the point he knows he's getting old - when he imagines those awful, cheesy cliches of being surrounded by seven grandkids and having faces aged by laughter and bad decisions that, ultimately, led to good ones.

His friends would always laugh at him - "you're an actor, man! You should be drowning in it!" - but to be completely, guttingly honest? At 37, he still couldn't tell when a girl was coming on to him. He'd always just ended up falling into bed, into relationships when they were presented at their most obvious - naked, legs around his waist, that kind of smack-to-the-head, you'd-be-a-dipshit-not-to-get-it situations - and he knew his awkwardness at his age was both a blessing and a curse.

When push came to ultimate shove, though, he knows he's good in bed. Not in an arrogant, self-serving way, but almost as a form of self-preservation - giving, generous and aggressive when he needs to be, because it's the one place he feels he can really excel in a relationship. The one place that doesn't use mouths for words or gestures for hidden meanings; where hands are for touching and feeling and the vocabulary necessary is less about metaphors and more about the obvious.

But one after the other, it's the other stuff - the stuff that doesn't require a mindlessness mindfulness, a possessive and intelligent intuition - that he fails at so badly, that he's not sure he's completely "okay". That he's a little broken, and that he's destined to be Kase Ryo, Japan's youngest looking old man, alone in an apartment in Brooklyn because Tokyo had become too small for him to live in alone.

He's not vain. He doesn't think he's handsome, but the magazines do, so he poses for them. He doesn't think he's all that good with people, so he stays in relationships longer than he should and maintains his career at a snail's pace because he's not sure he deserves them and it to begin with.

He doesn't think he's anyone of great consequence, really, and he wears it so heavily in his face sometimes that his Dorian Gray appearance begins to show the cracks.

But when Erika tells him he's handsome, her legs longer than he can fathom and the smirk on her face translating perfectly (even to him), the grip in his chest can only be acknowledged as something he's never felt before - like danger and poison and bliss, so he pulls his eyes up to the ceiling and swallows everything down, for both their sakes.


There's an age gap. A significant one, even, and Erika watches him as he opens a can of coffee and accepts a pastry wrapped in plastic with a bow. He acts like a kid in his late teens - not sure of the world, not sure of his place or how he's meant to get there. But it's different, because she sees in their everyday interactions on the SPEC set that he is sure of himself, in the sense that he think's he's doing the right job, the right roles, the right interviews.

Right, right, right, she thinks, and hums out loud. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Her wrist is itchy from wearing Toma's cast, but she doesn't move to scratch it - actually, she doesn't move anything but her eyes as he manoeuvres himself around the lighting team to sit outside. He's gotten rid of the Sebumi tie, his starched shirt open by two and she swallows heavily at the suddenly, violent mental image of her mouth on his neck.

It's about here that Erika decides that she's going to seduce Kase Ryo, but it's not until later that she realises it was the same time her entire life set on a course she, for once, could not control.


They wrap the show, and they're handed flowers, applause ringing in their ears.

They wrap the show, after 2am and it's raining, and she tries to find him amongst the crowd.

"He's gone," says the assistant director, so she goes home and tries to think of anything else but a pair of eyes as deep as any metaphor, of long fingers and freckles and experience and words whispered against her ears amongst the dark space of a Tokyo morning.

She has the best orgasm of her life at her own hand and imagination, and it just makes her more determined than ever to press those hands into places he'd probably never dreamt of.


Funny thing is - he'd dreamt it (and how), and was getting pretty good at conducting a few scenarios of his own.


It should have been a surprise when the text message comes, two days before the press junket was to begin. They'd not been in the same room for well over a month, and Erika's teeth were starting to hurt from gritting them. She hates the curl of whatever-it-was that seemed to spring to life every time his name was mentioned, and she reads the text over and over until she's certain the words are reflecting into her eyes.

got your number from yukihiko. did you need a lift to tbs tomorrow?

"I've got a driver, idiot," she hisses, her fingers darting across the keyboard. "And we don't even live on the same side of Tokyo."

Still -

that would be great :) i'll come to yours?

This whole situation was making her feel like she was twelve years old and writing bad, flowery poetry surrounded by hearts - so it was best they fucked straight away, or she'd probably end up telling the whole Japanese media how pissed she was at wanting to bang a guy who seemed to barely know she was alive most of the time.

But more importantly - and this was the bit she hated the most - a guy who, when he did seem to acknowledge her existence, looked at her like he knew her entire heart, despite barely knowing her at all.


The rumours were true - Toda Erika always got her man, and Ryo can't help but laugh. Which was kind of hard with her mouth on his and her hands down his pants, and the glare she's giving him when she pulls back indignantly reminds him so much of Toma he can hardly believe it.

"What," she spits.

"What are you doing?"

"What do you think I'm doing? Fishing!?"

"Look." He moves her over to his couch, where she'd thrown her coat earlier before devouring his face, and makes her sit down. She's glowering at him like a small child, her tiny hands pressed to the tops of her knees and, to him right now, she's both parts beautiful and confusing as hell.

He doesn't know how, or why, but when they're alone, she seems to take away every aspect of his awkwardness. His "brokenness", the stuttering and the unsureness just fades away in face of her, and Ryo wants nothing more than to talk to her forever and ever, before taking her into his bedroom to show her how much of a damn she's worth. But -

"Not like this."

"Not like what." Her sentences are supposed to be questions, but they fall out as petulant statements. Erika's mouth is starting to pull into a pout, and he smiles, making the expression turn angry. "What is your problem?!"

It's here he probably should have turned, helped her into her coat and made them walk out the door, but - after all - he's the one who sent the text message in the first place, knowing full well how the game was playing out. It was selfish of him, he admits that now, but if there's one thing he hated more than anything in the whole world? It was being played with. Fucked around with, especially when he's not been given the chance to take part in the game to begin with.

The assistant director telling him she'd been looking for him, the costume assistant telling him in great detail about her beautiful skin, the copies of magazines containing her sexiest photo shoots - everything was orchestrated and controlled within an inch, and quite obviously by the woman who was now sitting on his couch glowering with so much anger he's sure it could have powered the whole of Tokyo.

And, holy moses. How much he wanted her, panting with her back arched in white sheets, the sweat beading on her forehead and her eyes closed. But - and he meant it - not. Like. This.

"I'll make you a deal."

"I don't make deals."

But he makes her listen, really listen, and they drive to TBS to face the press in perfect silence.


So much for the shy, wordless awkward guy. She didn't even know he could talk that much, Erika scowls, before lighting a cigarette and inhaling deeply.

"We get a movie, right? We get a movie, or a special, and afterwards, after we've done the press and all that stuff, I'll take you on a date. An actual date, not just a throw in the sheets. Where we talk, and we're honest, because I don't know if we've been that so far."

"You're gay."


"Then why."

"Because I'm not going to be the man that uses you up and throws you away, which I think that's all you want. Because you're worth more than that."

She hates him, because she's pretty sure she'll end up falling in love with him. But she agrees, and when she gets the word of the special and the movie, her phone lights up with a text message that she's probably been waiting a lifetime to receive.


The filming is awkward. So awkward, especially when the script calls for hand holding, life saving, collapsing against each other. And their faces so close, his face bandaged and them both in hospital scrubs, so he blows her hair out of her face in the practice to try and bring a smile to her face.

"Don't fuck up the scene," she mutters, and he feels the goosebumps rise on her wrist as he brushes his nose past hers and along her cheek.

"There's too much at stake, right?"

They're both aware of the director staring at them - but like any man worth his job, he lets the scene play out because it's too perfect not to.


"When," she hisses at him as they walk into the green room before the press conference. They've spent the day together - side by side, next to a gyoza van and in front of a crowd hustling to get a better picture of the two co-stars as they embark on their newest round of press. But to Erika, it seems like she's been standing next to a solid shadow, because he says about four words to her outside of questions about Toma and Sebumi and she's literally about to scream.

"Hair and makeup's here," he nods at the team who have gathered in the doorway, before picking up a magazine and quite obviously shutting her out as he flicks through the pages.

Erika wishes, fleetingly, that it was possible for her to have a SPEC where lasers shoot from her eyes to cut obtuse men dressed like hipster mechanics in two, before turning on her heel and working very hard to maintain a conversation with the hair and makeup girls that wasn't "fuck men".

(Or, actually, "fuck Kase Ryo". But she hadn't, and wasn't that the whole damn problem?)

Ten minutes before they're due on stage and she comes out of the dressing room, the stylist fussing with her dress, and she has to stop. He's standing with his back to her and he slowly turns, obviously uncomfortable in a smart suit that's cut to his perfect quirkiness, face freshly shaven - and he's so devastatingly handsome it actually, truly, takes her breath away.

And the moment their eyes meet, and she sees him looking at her in her black dress and neck exposed, she feels for the first time like she's the most beautiful woman on the planet. Not an object, or a toy - but a woman, and she stares at him with her heart beating so fast and so loud, she's sure he can hear it.


It's here she realises she can wait. Wait forever, if it has to be that way, and she takes his arm when he offers it to her.


He takes her to dinner. They sit next to each other, not across, as if the direct eye contact would be enough to shut the whole thing down. They're somewhere out of the way, with a story about them needing to "converse about their characters" filed away in the front of their brains in case they see someone - anyone, really; but they've both gotten so good at conducting lies about people they're with, they know it wouldn't do any good, anyway.

They've gotten half way through the second course when the conversation stalls, and Erika has never wanted to both punch and kiss someone as hard as she did right now over chicken mignon and a wine that tasted too expensive even for her tastes.

"You've forgotten how to talk again," she scowls, jabbing at her chicken with a ferocity that she hopes scares him, just a little. But instead, he smiles, and takes a sip from his beer ("I don't drink wine," and there was that urge for SPEC laser eyes again), then wonders aloud how they got to this point in the first place.

"Because you're being an idiot," and she says, with a close-eyed smile and a bite of her chicken that she knows she's gotten from Toma.


"A woman throws herself at you and you push the whole thing aside to be a" - she scrapes the air with her fingers to demonstrate inverted commas and her feelings about this particular term - "'gentleman'."

He nods. "Ah."

"'Ah'? That's it?"

"What more do you want?"

Erika throws down her napkin, and leans in close to him. She's mad, actually, really mad and she's opening her mouth to give him what-for when he presses his mouth on to hers - in front of the whole restaurant, the whole of Tokyo, and Erika can't hear anything but white noise as the restaurant seems to fade out to bring her entire attention to the warmth of his tongue, teeth, lips.

Suddenly, the pressure between them seems to reach something like a frenzy. A coloured frenzy, where every single inch of her is tingling and wanting, and she pulls the hand that's not cupping her cheek and she presses it (a little too urgently, she's loathe to realise) between her thighs because she can't think of anywhere else she'd rather it be.

She feels his fingers tense, slightly, and she wonders if she's pushed things too far - but when his fingers begin to knead against her flesh of her inner thighs, she almost breaks the skin on the back of his hand because she's gripping it so tightly.

"I'll get the bill," he pants against her cheek when they finally detangle, and it's a hell of a long drive back to his place.


Like all good sex scenes - because, they were actors after all - they barely make it into Ryo's apartment before her dress is nothing but a rag on the floor. She's thought in advance, he acknowledges out loud, and she stands in front of him in the kind of black underwear he's sure he's only ever seen on the pages of Weekly Playboy.

"I've been preparing for a long time," and she mutters her approval at his detangling of her bra, while kissing him with a velocity that sends them bashing into the kitchen counter. They both laugh as the mood seems to lighten, just a little - until the laughter fades away and they're left standing there in silence, with the dawning reality that there was far more at stake here than just a one-night stand between two co-stars.

"We can stop," he says, because he's suddenly so hyper-aware of this woman in his arms - tiny, smaller than he'd thought she'd be, but seemingly constructed to fit right against his bones. He doesn't want something like a one-night stand with her, this impossibly chaotic twenty-three year old who marched around like she owned the place and was, let's face it, the polar opposite of every single part of his being. "We can go get a beer or something," and the peel of laughter that escapes from her throat is neither condescending or mean, but a confirmation that she was feeling the exact same way.

"There's probably photographers out there," Erika smiles, her obvious nakedness almost making him lose focus on what she's saying, and how her quickly her hands are making his clothes disappear. "The movie promotions are over, they all think we hate each other. What excuse do we have?"

He can't help it, and begins running his fingertips over her skin, her shoulders - because they're there, points and lines deviating left and right and flowing into perfect curves. "It was left open," and he ducks his head to kiss her as she works on his belt, "for a sequel or a - "

It's about here he's realised that, typically, Erika's been distracted by other goals and is paying as much attention to his words as he is.


It's kind of a kick seeing Mr. Unflappable basically at his ends, so she does what's best for both of them and pulls herself off the floor and kisses him. Really kisses him, in that romantic way you saw in the movies, and he responds by curling his arms around her against the cold. She feels precious and wanted as they make their way towards his bedroom and, finally, to the bed. Both naked, just - kissing. Making out, even, like two teenagers; hands pressed against ribs, against cheeks and in each other's hair, and Erika cannot think of a time she'd ever felt this way.

You're going to fall in love with him, you know you are.

"I think I already have," she says aloud, and he fixes her with that look. That Ryo look, the one she feels like she's waited a million years to place into a context where it's not infuriating because she didn't understand what it meant until now.

"What have you already…?"

"Tell me about when you were a kid."

He laughs, incredulous. "What?! Didn't we do this on that talk show in the cafe?"

"I can't remember." She kisses his neck, his chest. "I was too distracted by you almost falling off that stupid chair."

"Ah," he smiles, but this 'ah' isn't infuriating. It's just…him, and she watches silently as he pulls the covers around her. He's not as built as the other guys she's been with, but he still works out and the wiry broadness of his shoulders give into a strength that she's more than happy to have curled around her.

"You're shaking," Ryo whispers, and she tangles her fingers in his hair.

"I like your hair this length."

"Do you now?"

"Kiss me."

"I thought you wanted to hear about my childhood?"

"And I thought you said we'd already done that, on that show."

"You're taking me at my word? Wow."


"Y'know, I think that's the first time I've heard you say my name outside of an interview."

"Ryo," and she makes it kick up at the end, like you'd say it in English. "Kiss me. I mean it."

"Okay, okay," her skin suddenly covered in goosebumps as he manoeuvres her legs around his waist, his eyes never breaking eye contact with hers, "Erika."

He uses her name as the punctuation mark as he pushes into her, and they both have a moment of perfect clarity as their late night fantasies pull forward into the present.


The place between her breast and her hips - the absolute side of her ribcage, that curve that poets and artist could describe better than him - is holding his hand perfectly as he holds her above him and on him. Her eyes aren't closed, as if in challenge, their breath coming in heavy gasps now as she puts her hands behind his neck, into his hair, along his shoulders.

He expected her to be more dominant, more forceful; like he was the mouse and she was the cat - but there's a mutual interest in keeping the other happy, and they seem to be working like the most productive team you've ever seen. No selfishness, no shows of bravado. Moving together, meeting in the middle.

Well. For the most part, and he has to close his eyes for a moment as she clenches around him in what he quickly realises is that cat he'd expected coming out to scare her mouse - just a little, and her claws dig into his shoulders as her mouth pulls into a very pleased smirk.

"Do you like that?" She does something else - whatever it is - and he has to bite her shoulder to stop a very unmanly cry from escaping, causing her back to arch and her to respond in the same way.

He flips her, pulling her leg up and around his waist and she laughs and pulls him down to kiss her. Pulling his lip with her teeth, his hand behind her back - and he feels a brief moment of triumph as her breath becomes faster and her eyes close, her mouth against his neck and he changes the speed and the pressure until she's almost undone.

The cat and mouse equal on the board, and he slips his hand between her legs, letting her guide his fingers to her clit until she spectacularly and magnificently comes, shaking, kissing him - until he follows her soon after and they both collapse in a tangle of limbs and sweat and white sheets.

There's a moment where he's not sure what to do in face of her, or how to deal with what's just occurred without pushing the whole thing into the Land of Flowery Cliches. That stuff they were able to deal with in a script, down the barrel of the camera - but he's scared of the woman beside him because not only is she something that could never be conceived by a scriptwriter, but she seems to fill every single hole in his soul with her laugh, her smile, her temper and her beauty.

Man up, Kase, he thinks, and he does the only thing he knows that could even come close to showing her how he feels. He pushes her hair out of her eyes, and smiles - genuinely, wholly - before kissing her with all the passion he has.

And, like any good romance film, it's like nothing else whole world exists except for the two of them in a dark bedroom in the middle of Tokyo, before it all fades to black.


There's no easy way to ask it, so she might as well do it now -

"How does this end?"


The bedside lamp somehow found its way on, and she watches the shadows on the roof as he plays with her hair. "Meaning…"

"Is this a Toma and Sebumi thing…"

"…Or an Erika and Ryo thing."

"Can it be both?"

He's placed the covers around her again, and she turns to face him. The freckles across his nose are only one of the reasons he doesn't look his age. They seem misplaced, almost, against this serious man's skin, and she leans in and kisses them gently.

"You're too old for me," and his face breaks out into the smile she knows the world doesn't see often enough.


"'Ah'. Always 'ah'."

"I'll text you if we get another movie, how about that?"

"How about I text you?"

There's that smile again, and Erika returns it before wrapping the blankets around them tightly and closing her eyes.




That's my new default gif for when I think about SPEC, because otherwise it ends in a great big heaving Dawson crying heap.
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