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Fake It till You Make It

Chapter Text

“Calli, can I ask you for a big favor?”

 

The rapper hummed and tilted her head towards her front door where none other than Takanashi Kiara, world acclaimed singer, just let herself into the apartment with no warning like she lived there. “That depends, what is it?”

 

“Okay, so,” Kiara started, walking over to sit on the arm of the couch Calli was settled on, “you know how people are going nuts thinking Ame is cheating on Gura with me?”

 

“Yeah, it’s dumb. Gura’s on fucking tour, of course Ame’s going to hang out with other people,” Calli answered, ignoring the singer’s hand idly playing with the strands of her hair.

 

“I know right? Well, anyway. It’s getting press regardless and my manager and Ame’s manager get together and tell us what was going on and neither of us really want to deal with the drama. Then Jenma and I talk privately and-“

 

Calli sighed, knowing that Kiara was rambling herself into a tangent again. “Kusotori, focus. What was the favor?”

 

The singer blinked, probably trying to reel in the rest of her train of thought before she completely forgot what she was here for. “Oh, right. Calli, I need you to date me.”

 

“No,” The answer was immediate, a reflex honed by years of the singer asking her to date her. Calli has forgotten how many times she’s had to deny Kiara’s teasing. With how often it’s brought up as a joke, saying “no” was automatic.

 

Kiara whined and made to stumbled off her seat, getting on her knees and leaning her arms on the rapper’s lap. “Wait, let me explain!”

 

“Kiara-“ Calli sighed.

 

“It’s either I get you to date me for a little bit or someone from upper management is going to pair me up with one of the members from that one boy band and you know exactly how just-not-into-them I am,” the singer pleaded, “I don’t want another assigned partner.”

 

The rapper sighed again, letting her head fall back against the top of the backrest to stare at her ceiling, trying to decide what the best course of action would be in this instance. She still remembers how much Kiara hated having to date a random celebrity someone thought would be a good idea for her to date. She always seemed so exhausted and irritated by the ordeal, but she just couldn’t get out of it no matter how much of a fuss she started. 

 

On a more selfish point of view, Calli didn’t like not being able to spend as much time as they could together. The rapper hardly even saw her for half the year Kiara was fake-dating someone and Calli wasn’t shy to admit she missed her. It would suck if that happened again so close to their vacation together in a few months.

 

She picked up her head up to look at Kiara. “Did you at least ask my manager about this?”

 

“I had Jenma do it because I didn’t have her number,” Kiara dropped her head down to Calli’s knees, “she says it’s okay if you agree with it.”

 

“And what made you think I’d agree?”

 

The singer tilted her head cutely, “Because you love me and I can’t fake-date Ina again?”

 

Calli snickered, remembering how that quickly turned into quite the spectacle. No one really believed they were actually dating, but everyone just rolled with it. The fan content that came out of it was surely interesting. She wasn’t even sure where the tentacles came from and how the fans made it wholesome (that wasn't to say there was a lack of the other kind).

 

“Alright, fine,” Kiara’s eyes lit up but just before she could cheer, Calli held up a hand to pause her for a moment, “only because we’re homies and you don’t want to fake-date another random celebrity.”

 

As soon as the hand went down, Kiara jumped up to pull Calli into a hug, the rapper’s face pressed snugly into her generous chest. “This is okay,” Calli thinks, waiting for the singer to calm down. “Thank you so much! I promise I’ll make it up to you one day!”

 

“You’re lucky I don’t have any big plans soon,” Calli says, muffled.

 

After a few more moments of cheering, Kiara pulled away just enough so she was still sat firmly on Calli’s lap. She pulled out her phone and started typing. “I’ll let Jenma know!”

 

The rapper watched her for a moment, both hands on the singer’s waist in case she fell over. Her chest felt warm and full, looking at her. It was a pleasant sensation that sang in her blood and made her melt inside. It felt like home.

 

Kiara flashed her another award winning smile before hopping off her lap and heading to the kitchen chanting “hydration check”. Calli chuckled to herself, enjoying the domesticity of watching the singer prance around and rummage through the cupboards. Something about her just lit up any room she walked into.

 

Okay, so maybe she lied. It wasn’t hard for her to imagine dating Kiara, Calli just hated it when the singer would bring it up as a joke. Her affections weren’t spectacles and she refused to let Kiara, or anyone else for that matter, commodify her feelings for her. Just for this instance though, she’ll let it slip. Besides, if things go well, whose to say it had to stay fake?

Chapter Text

Kiara sighed as the car door shut behind her. Today was a productive day. She managed to get her groceries fetched, sent her cats to the groomers, went through all the emails from her team, listened to a few new tracks for any that she could make a song for, and of course the day’s pièce de résistance: get Calli to agree to fake-date her.

 

She clicked her tongue and wondered if that last one really was a good idea.

 

On one hand, she was ecstatic to even pretend to date Calli. She’s dreamed for years about it, fantasies littering notebooks and diaries since their childhood. What wouldn’t her younger self give for even a single kiss. Even during their time apart after high school, despite the other relationships she had, she still dreamed of pink hair and red eyes.

 

On the other hand, nothing about this arrangement was real, and Kiara knew it. Every remotely romantic or affectionate act would just be for show. Her mind would never allow her a moment’s peace. “It isn’t real. You’re fooling yourself,” she’d always know it in the back of her head. It didn't seem like such a big deal, but she knew that it would gnaw away at her for however long this was going to be.

 

She looked out the window, watching the city go by. The only thing she could do was live through this and get out on the other side, try her best to enjoy their moments together (even if it is fake) and live out the fantasies of her younger self. And after the entire “Ame is cheating on Gura with Kiara” thing was over-

 

Another sigh. This was far too much to think through when she literally just started. She’ll cross those bridges when she gets to them. Suddenly, her phone pings and knocks her out of her thoughts.

 

It was Calli.

 

CalliDid you get home safe?

Kiara couldn’t help the smile on her face. The rapper could be so warm and courteous when she wanted to be.

KiaraI haven't gotten home yet!!!

Kiarathe traffic is so bad

Kiara:(((((

CalliMust suck

CalliI feel sorry for you

Kiarasing me a song while I suffer?

CalliI know for a fact you have my songs on your phone. Pull one up and play it.

CalliListen to my voice, it’s my disguise.

Kiarak delilah

There was a lull as, Kiara imagines, Calli laughs that she’s been caught slipping in a reference. She’s always so easy to laugh when Kiara catches them.

Callilmao

CalliI've been CAUGHT IN 4K

Kiarahey there Calli

Kiarawhat's it like in your apartment

KiaraI'm a few minutes away

Kiaraand girl today you looked so perfect

Kiarayou always do

Kiarastars can't shine as bright as you

KiaraI swear it's true~

CalliWow, ok that was actually pretty spot on

CalliBut CEASE

Kiaralol k

Kiaralove you Calli <3 xx

CalliCall me when you get home//

That was the end of that. Kiara knew the conversation was over for the meantime, and when she gets home she’d better call or the rapper would worry. The last time she forgot to do that, Calli dashed into her house and nearly scared Kiara and her cats half to death. It was sweet how she always asked if she got home safe. If only it meant what Kiara wanted the gesture to mean.

 

The rest of the ride home was a dull affair, probably another 20 minutes before she arrived to her apartment complex. Just as she was waiting for the elevator to get to her floor, her phone pinged again. This time, it was Jenma, her manager.

JenmaHow are you?

Good ol’ Jenma. Sometimes Kiara wonders if her manager was psychic. She always knew when something was up, even when they weren’t in the same building together, calling or texting whenever her senses tingled. Maybe Jenma had a complex series of mics and cameras watching Kiara every hour of every day. Or maybe she was just omnipotent.

Kiarafine
Kiarajust conflicted
JenmaYou can still back out. There's plenty of time to.
Kiaracan't
Kiaraalready asked
KiaraI am officially locked into the commitment!
JenmaAlright, if you say so. Just be careful with this, okay?
Kiarano promises
Kiarauwu
JenmaKIARA
Kiaragotta go!
Kiaratalk later! <3 xxxx

She set her phone back into her pocket and hopped into the elevator, knowing for certain that Jenma wouldn’t push it. Yet again, the manager’s psychic abilities at work.

 

Once she opened the door to her own apartment, she was immediately met with her two cats, Smoothy and Chonkers, meowing at her in their little cat tree by the entrance. Kiara stopped to pet them for a moment, cooing and appreciating how clean they were: so smooth, fluffy and cute. Once upon a time, she bathed them by herself but she’d gotten a lot busier recently and those groomers sure knew what they were doing! Nowadays brushing them off didn’t need half the work.

 

The two cats followed her as she moved to the kitchen for a glass of water. She should probably let Calli know she was safe, but she was thirsty. Drink in hand, she pulled her phone out of her pocket and sent a simple text to Calli, letting her know she was home. A minute later the rapper was calling.

 

“Calli!” Kiara greeted, “I’m home~”

 

“Put your cats on the phone.”

 

Kiara laughed but held out her phone to let the cats sniff and meow at it. Calli had an odd habit of asking her to put her pets on for whatever reason. It wasn’t like she was going to lie about something this trivial. Maybe the rapper just liked her cats?

 

“Is that good?” She asked, once she raised the phone back to her ear.

 

“Yeah, nice to know you’re home safe.”

 

“Actually, I think I died of boredom a few times on the way back.”

 

Calli gave her a sarcastic laugh as she giggled to herself. It wasn’t long before the rapper bid goodbye to continue on with her day. For a minute, Kiara took the chance to enjoy this little interaction. These small moments before they went public with their “relationship” might be the only relief she has before the cameras start flashing and her own mind waged war on her. For now, she didn’t have to question the sincerity of Calli’s gestures and Kiara was going to revel.

Chapter Text

The talks between their managers about how they were going to go about their made up relationship frankly took far too long if anyone bothered to ask Calli. Even she knew of the vast expanse of content and speculation that existed around her and Kiara, and trying to figure out the best way to relay the information to the public was dumb. The two of them could go out for a quick trip to the convenience store and they’d get plastered all over the place (Calli would know, that happened nearly every time).

 

She’d been sitting in a meeting room with Kiara, their 2 managers, and some older dude from public relations for 6 hours, and Calli realized that she should have downloaded more games on her phone and brought her Switch with her. Nearby, Kiara was fiddling with her own phone after waking up from a quick nap.

 

“Calli, look,” the singer whispered, moving her chair closer to show her phone screen. It was a picture of Kiara kissing her cheek while Calli just looked smugly into the camera. They’d taken it a week ago when they were hanging out at the rapper’s place for the night. Their hair was wet from a little swim in the pool and Calli’s cheeks were pink from the few glasses of wine she drank.

 

“We should have another sleepover soon,” Kiara suggested, smiling as she continued to swipe through the other pictures saved in her phone.

 

“Your place this time,” Calli replied, “I kind of miss the little fluff balls.”

 

The singer giggled and stopped at a picture of Calli laying down on her couch with one cat lounging on her stomach and the other sitting on the armrest by her head. “I’m sure Smoothy and Chonkers miss you too.”

 

“You should bring them when you sleep over next.”

 

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

 

Calli hummed and leaned over so she could rest her head on Kiara’s shoulder, one hand comfortably circling her waist to keep her in place. She watched the singer go through more pictures before she glanced over to her and made to take a selfie. The rapper didn’t stop her, too comfortable to protest. She didn’t find any issues in going along with any of Kiara’s harmless desires.

 

Kiara’s smile into the camera was as dazzling as ever, all sparkling eyes and blinding white teeth, and Calli tried to go for a nonchalant grin. The singer seemed to find it adorable because she took more than a few. “Is it alright to post it on Twitter?”

 

“Sure, go ahead. Tag me too, maybe I’ll retweet it.”

 

It didn’t even take long for the notifications to start flooding their phones, thank the heavens for silent mode. There were a lot more than there usually were, as always the case when either of them posted a picture of them together. No doubt Calli would have a field day going through the fan content tonight, Kiara would probably get a kick out of the comments and send the funny ones to her.

 

To keep herself from falling asleep, Calli pulled out her phone and started going through the comments. Memes, fancams and other remarks abounded but one reply caught her attention, a comment from one of Kiara’s fans that said, “clearly, a certain someone didn’t like the Ame-Kiara dating rumors lol”.

 

Suddenly, a stroke of rebellion hit her over the head. Calli had already suggested, at the start of the meeting, to just make a vague post about their “new” relationship status and let the fans and the media do the rest of the work but the PR dude quickly shot that down.

 

But you know what? Screw that guy. She’d been sitting here listening to him ramble on and on, trying to convince their managers into having her and Kiara stage a kiss in front of the media, or whatever dumb shit he’s been trying to sell, for however long he got that idea in his head. J-chad and Jenma deserve better than putting up with that. She was going to just throw a post out there into the world and get them all out of this stupid meeting room.

 

Calli looked through her own photo gallery for a recent picture of her and Kiara, many of which were sent to her by the singer at some point. There were ones on their vacation earlier that year, selfies that Kiara took of them wearing frog onesies while marathoning all the Shrek movies, and various other collections of sleepover shenanigans.

 

She ended up just using a picture she took herself that even Kiara didn’t have: the singer sleeping peacefully on Calli’s chest, head snuggled up against her neck. The rapper had taken it the last time she slept over at Kiara’s, having just woken up to see the pleasant light filtering in from the window and the adorable sight of the singer’s serene face. It was mostly just a whim of hers, seeing how pretty the singer was all cuddled up in her arms, she just had to take the picture.

 

Fuck you, PR guy,” Calli thinks before posting it with a little caption: “@/media no. mine.

 

Kiara only took a minute before she threw her a smirk and retweeted it with a simple heart for a comment. Together, they watched the notifications flood in, completely amused at the sight of everyone losing their collective mind. No doubt there would be an influx of art in the next few days. By the time the two managers and PR guy noticed, it was too late for them to stop it.

 

J-chad threw her a smirk and pulled down her sunglasses for a moment to wink before looking back at PR guy with a completely dead neutral look on her face. Jenma though was hiding nothing, sending her talent a wide grin and an overly excited thumbs up. And PR guy? Oh, PR guy looked positively pissed. Good riddance.

 

“Nice,” Kiara whispered, nudging the rapper lightly with her elbow, “thanks for catching on.”

 

Calli raised a brow, “What are you talking about?”

 

The singer raised her phone to show Calli the short series of messages from Jenma a mere few minutes ago, maybe around the time Kiara had woken up from her nap. The overwhelming undertone of frustration and hostility really did it for the rapper.

Jenma:This is going nowhere

Jenma:Vague post for the love of

Jenma:Coerce Calli into it

Jenma:Put the idea back in her head

Jenma:Make Ben surrender

They giggled between themselves for a moment before the rapper decided the meeting was officially concluded. “Right, now that’s sorted,” Calli stood up from her chair and looked to Kiara with a smirk on her face, “you want to go get ice cream? There’s a store down the street that has those popsicles we really liked in high school.”

 

The singer’s eyes widened, stars sparkling in her eyes as she excitedly shot out of her seat, “Really? I’ve been looking for those for ages!”

 

“Yeah, I noticed while I was wandering around last week,” Calli waited for her by the door, letting Kiara through before turning back for a moment to spite PR guy one last time before she left. She flashed him the sweetest, most sarcastic smile she had and said, “Great work today, everyone!”

 

Calli managed to get one last glimpse of PR guy’s infuriated face before the door totally closed. The absolute joy that expression brought her would probably last a while.

 

“Jenma says thank you by the way,” Kiara chirps, holding up her phone to show the manager’s recent message, “Apparently that saved us maybe another day and a call for upper management.”

 

The rapper rolled her eyes and started walking, putting a hand to the small of Kiara’s back to move her along. “Of course PR guy is the kind that would call for backup,” she remarks, leading them to the elevators and pushing the button to take them down, “I swear if he made us do weird shit I”-

 

“Hush, Calli!” The singer interrupted, lightly swatting Calli’s shoulder, “Bad. No threatening to tear out people’s eyeballs.”

 

“That was you,” Calli protested, “you’re the one that threatened to poke people’s eyes out with a fencing sword.”

 

Kiara raised a brow and held a finger up to Calli’s nose. “First off, I threatened to poke their eyes out with an épée which wasn’t going to ever happen because I only have sabers and various other broadswords.” She raised another finger. “Second, I stopped using that threat when I stopped fencing.” She raised another finger. “And lastly, you’re the one that’s been threatening to tear people’s eyeballs out lately.”

 

The rapper blinked down, getting crossed eyed at how close Kiara was getting. She had no idea what an épée was but she wasn’t about to question it, and maybe she was the one that recently started to use that old threat. “Uh, yeah. Okay.”

 

The elevator dinged and the doors opened, saving Calli from having to figure out what to say next. Kiara just flashed her a triumphant smile before walking in, tugging her along by her arm. “Come on, Calli~ it’s time for ice cream!”

 

“We still have to walk a bit, you know?” Calli replied, unable to fight the slight uptick of her lip.

 

By the time they got to the ground floor, there was already a steadily growing crowd of people around the front door. Cameras were flashing, people were screaming, and the building’s security detail had to bolt the doors shut so they wouldn’t get any ideas about busting through. Luckily, they weren’t even going to be anywhere near the main entrance. They’d been in this situation enough times in this building to know all the little back exits no one but the other talents used.

 

When they eventually got out into the street, they were pretty close to the store Calli was talking about, decently far away from the chaos of the media. Despite that, Kiara already sent a message to her driver to pick them up, knowing that they didn’t have much time before they were found. There weren’t people crowding them yet, but a few were already bringing their phones out to take pictures. It might only give them 5, maybe 10, minutes before they stirred up a frenzy. They would have to grab the popsicles and go.

 

“Come on, go. Go!” Calli laughed, running into the store holding Kiara’s hand as the people trailing them started to build. There was a spare 50 in her pocket, she would have to get only one scanned and toss the bill at the poor cashier that would have to deal with the onslaught, and hope that Kiara’s driver was right on time.

 

“Calli they have that orange flavor!” Kiara exclaimed, picking up a fistful of the frozen packets. Her eyes shone as she looked down at the surprisingly large selection of the brand. “And chocolate too!”

 

The rapper chuckled and started hurriedly picking out her own personal favorites. “Take as much as a 50 can buy.”

 

They sorted through the other popsicles, unfortunately making a mess of the ice cream cooler, feeling the time run out as the sound of shouting grew and the camera flashes started to seem less like phone cameras and more like paparazzi cameras. Kiara’s phone pinged loudly and they knew they had to go.

 

Calli dashed to the checkout and showed the surprised girl at the register the brand, dropping her 50 on the counter. “6 oranges, 10 chocolates, 2 watermelons, a grape, 2 cherries, 4 lemons and 2 strawberries,” the rapper rattled off, hoping she said it loud enough to pick up for the little security system watching them right now because there’s no way in hell this cashier would be able to follow along.

 

“Ricky’s waiting!” Kiara called, tugging Calli away and dropping an extra 50 on the counter, “Add an extra 6 berries to the list and keep the change! Sorry for the chaos!”

 

They left the poor girl sputtering and ran out, doing their best to push through the mass of people to stumble right into Kiara’s car, still giggling like school kids as Ricky sped them away.

 

“Pleasure to see you again ma’ams,” Ricky greeted, laughing as he tried to get them as far out as quickly as possible without breaking any traffic laws, “Where will it be?”

 

“My place, Ricky!” Kiara answered breathlessly, already picking up an orange popsicle and opening it up. She threw one more dazzling smile at the rapper, and Calli’s heart sang.

Chapter Text

Ricky was a fast driver, smart too. He managed to get the crazies off their tail before driving them back to Kiara’s. The singer sometimes wonders if he had been a getaway driver or a mafia member at some point with how well he always got her out of sticky situations, but he and Calli always laughed that thought off.

 

“Have a pleasant evening, ma’ams!” he bid as they got out of the car, speeding off once more as soon as the doors closed to wherever he wandered off to when he wasn’t needed.

 

Kiara giggled and followed Calli into the building, her purse holding most of their (hopefully still) frozen treats. “Do you think Ricky would win against me in a Mario Kart tournament?”

 

“Probably, but I think anyone can beat you in Mario Kart,” Calli smirked, getting into the elevator, chocolate popsicle in hand.

 

“OI,” the singer pouted, “I’m not that bad at the game, am I?”

 

The rapper kept quiet but still maintained the teasing look on her face, making Kiara lightly smack her arm. “Rude!”

 

On the ride up, Kiara checked on her phone to see a gigantic mass of notifications from her twitter, several messages from Jenma and multiple other emails from various people on her team. The singer’s mood immediately fell, and she wished Calli didn’t see the darkening look on her face.

 

Aside from her manager, everyone else was congratulating her on her relationship, well wishes and good tidings flooded in from fans and other acquaintances. Ame, Gura and Ina were all but demanding a sleepover in the group chat. Even her own mother was congratulating her and asking her when she could come home and tell her the story of how she and Calli got together without anyone else knowing.

 

Kiara rolled her jaw and licked the melting bits off her popsicle. Seeing all the supportive words tagged with pictures of her and Calli’s most recent escapade was mixing all kinds of emotions in her chest. It reminded her of the ride home the other day after she asked the rapper to date her, except this time she couldn’t figure out why she felt so bad. It was just a popsicle raid on an unfortunate little store, why did looking at the aftermath make her heart feel heavy?

 

 “We should get a story straight,” Kiara murmured, looking through her manager’s messages to distract herself, “Jenma’s getting emails for interviews and she thinks it’d be good if we go on at least one.”

 

“An interview, huh?” Calli muttered, biting the top off her popsicle, “I guess we should go, do we get to pick?”

 

Kiara glanced at her messages again, “Not sure, I’m going to have to get back to her on that, but she did say she’ll be sending over some questions to help us out.”

 

The rapper huffed, not looking too amused with the situation. “Great. Homework.”

 

As soon as they got into Kiara’s apartment, the singer went straight for the kitchen to throw the other popsicles into the freezer while Calli stayed by the entrance to say hello to the cats. “They just cleaned up yesterday, do NOT get anything on them!” Kiara said, just making sure she was more aware.

 

“I won’t,” Calli chuckled, picking Chonkers up in one arm and letting Smoothy crawl up on her shoulders, wandering into the kitchen with the two fluffy pets, “you worry too much, these little fur balls are safe with me.”

 

Kiara rolled her eyes but she smiled regardless, the two cats loved Calli the moment they met her, just as much as they loved Kiara. “I know you’ll keep them safe, clean is what I’m worried about. Your popsicle is melting.”

 

The rapper looked her straight in the eye and proceeded to shove the rest of the popsicle into her mouth in one go, as if that act of insanity would prove her dominance. Kiara just stared at her, a mix of surprise and disgust clear as day on her face as Calli chewed on the cold treat like a madman.

 

Once upon a time, Kiara believed that there was no wrong way to eat a popsicle, but having once seen Calli eat one from the side like a kebab and now having to witness her practically inhale one, she was sure that the rapper should never have access to one ever again. Biting on them was one thing, whatever it was she’s done was another.

 

“I’m breaking up with you,” the singer says in the most deadpan way she could, making Calli sputter, the cats fleeing from her at the sudden movement.

 

“Are you really going to break up with me for that?” the rapper asks through her laughter.

 

“I can’t be seen with an ice cream biter!” Kiara replies, though she was clearly amused, “Dear, everyone. I have decided to break up with The Reaper because she’s a madman that thinks biting and chewing popsicles and ice cream is an acceptable way of consuming them. I know this is deeply distressing news but it must be said. Please hide all the frozen treats from her at all cost.”

 

Calli didn’t seem like she would stop laughing soon, nearly dropping the popsicle stick on the floor as she staggered to the kitchen isle, “Damn you! This is slander!”

 

“It’s not slander if it’s true!” the singer returns, smirking, “What are you going to do, make a dis track about me?”

 

“Screw you, chicken ass looking motherfucker,”- Calli started, continuing on with a hilariously bad rap without rhyme or rhythm, sending the both of them into hysterics when the rapper couldn’t get the words out between breaths.

 

Eventually, the dissolve into nothing but giggles as they both drop down unto the seats on the kitchen isle, the apartment feeling more and more like their home.

 


 

The night went on smoothly, ordering takeout as they tended to do and ate some of the other popsicles they bought as a desert. They even tried to consume their treats how the other would, but Calli found it weird to just lick it until completion and Kiara found the cold sensation on her teeth and gums unpleasant. Then, they took their own baths and hung out in the living room like they always did.

 

“Dad just messaged me,” the rapper remarked, lounging on the couch with Kiara’s legs across her lap, “tells me to take a ride down back home with you to tell him and mom how we got together.”

 

Kiara could feel her heart freeze, but she couldn’t show that. Not right now. “Oh? He always did tease us about getting together one day.”

 

“What do we tell him?” Calli wonders aloud.

 

“Well, what do you want to tell him?”

 

For a minute, the rapper stays quiet, a faraway look in her eyes as she thinks. Meanwhile, Kiara wonders how she’ll face Calli’s parents, regardless of what they decide to tell them. She’s not sure how well she’d be able to lie to them if they decide to tell them that they were together, and she can just imagine how hearing the rapper tell her parents that they weren’t actually together might break her little heart.  Either way, it’d hurt.

 

And if ever Kiara’s mother asks her about it while they’re in town, Kiara just knows that she wouldn’t be able to lie. Her mother could tell from a mile away when she tried. The singer wouldn’t be able to stand the concerned look, nor the look of secondhand heartbreak when she tells the story.

 

“I think,” Calli begins, “I think we should tell them we’re dating.”

 

Kiara subtly takes a deep breath in and nods, forcing a smile, “Okay, we should get our story sorted out then. Jenma sent me a google doc of all the talking points we might need. And it’ll be a head start on the interviews we’ll inevitably have to do.”

 

“Let the homework begin, I guess,” the rapper groans, “Want me to go get your laptop?”

 

“And the charger for it, please?”

 

Calli lifts her legs off before getting up, and while she’s gone, Kiara lets her features darken with her mood.

 

She thought she was prepared for this. She knew she would have to be prepared to deal with Calli’s publicly increased acts of affection and the effects on her psyche thereof, but she’d forgotten to consider that she would have to lie to the people she was close with about it. If it were just an impersonal interviewer or two, it would be easy to make things up. But when it came to the people that knew them personally and have been rooting for their relationship from the start, it felt like her blood froze in her veins. The only thing she could really do was get used to it until everything boiled over. Maybe if she played all her cards right, she’ll even get Calli out of her system.

 

Like that will ever happen. How long have you been in love with her again?

 

“Yo, I got your laptop and whatever,” Calli announced as she wandered back into the living room, promptly leaving the device on Kiara’s abdomen as she sat down, replacing the singer’s legs on her lap, “Hit me with the questions, chief.”

 

Kiara giggled, flipped her mood as quickly as she could. She lifted the lid and turned it back on, “You’re going to have to wait a bit for it to boot,” she twisted to pick the charger up from the floor to plug it in, “I can just edit from my phone for the first ones, “When did you start dating?” Do you want to say it was just recently?”

 

Calli cracked her neck and mulled it over, “Yeah, recent. Maybe 5-ish months ago?”

 

“Weren’t you on tour?”

 

“Oh, right. Just after that then? We went on that extended spa trip, remember? Might as well tell ‘em that’s where we got together,” the rapper answered, tilting her head to look over at her, “Everyone thinks we fucked then anyway.”

 

The singer rolled her eyes, but a smile played at her lips still, “Now which one of us is perpetuating rumors?”

 

Calli shot her a deadpan look, “Just put it in the document, bird.”

 

“Alright, alright,” Kiara conceded, typing the answer in from her phone for the moment, “next question,” she peered over the top of the screen and smirked, “which one of you confessed.

 

“You’re the one constantly professing your love for me or whatever, so you obviously,” the rapper answers casually.

 

“Eh? But that’s not romantic at all, and everyone knows about that,” Kiara pouts, “you confess too.”

 

“Fine, whatever floats your boat.”

 

And on and on through the night. Question after question to build the picture perfect story of how they’d started dating. It was so perfect it actually seemed near unrealistic, but it was the story they were going to go with:

 

Calli returned after tour, then she and Kiara went on that trip together where the rapper confessed her feelings. They were dating in secret because they didn’t want their peaceful relationship out in the public. Their first official date was a simple dinner at Kiara’s. Yes, it was hard to hide their relationship from their friends and family. No, there were no wedding bells yet. Maybe that one song was about the other. Kiara’s favorite gift from Calli was a cat plush she won at an arcade, and Calli’s favorite gift was a painting that Kiara made.

 

It wasn’t much, and they hadn’t hammered out the finer details, but it should keep them afloat for a while. They even avoided naming any specific dates other than the spa one, just in case some overly enthusiastic people went digging through their post history. If anyone asked what their favorite thing about each other was, they’ll just answer individually like they’ve always done whenever someone asked.

 

By the time they finished discussing the questions and eating through more popsicles, it was well past either of their hypothetical bedtimes. Kiara yawned and put down the lid of her laptop, “Want to head to bed?”

 

Calli just grunted and got up, helping the singer to her feet, “Yeah. Let’s go before the fluff balls take all the space.”

 

They staggered to the singer’s bedroom together, having to push Chonkers aside to make room for the both of them. Calli slid into the right side of the bed and Kiara into the left, the cats mercifully waking for a moment to find better sleeping arrangements around the humans.

 

As they drifted off, Kiara stared at Calli’s outline in the dark, wondering what it would have felt like if she lived in that timeline they’d created together. She could only wish to dream it.

Chapter Text

Most of the time, Kiara woke up before her. Calli had a different sleep cycle and she usually got up pretty late in the day, but in some instances when the singer was tired, she tended to stay asleep longer.

 

This time, Calli woke up earlier. The blackout curtains had been drawn shut and kept the room dark, barely a sliver of daylight coming in through them. She could only tell what time it was from the luminescent clock on the wall; it was barely 8 in the morning.

 

She rolled over gently, careful not to wake the cat curled up between them, and watched the singer sleep for a moment. Kiara’s hair was tussled, her shirt was wrinkled, and the fold in her pillow will definitely telegraph unto her cheek when she woke up. Still, she looked utterly comfortable, outright cozy, while she snuggled into a spare pillow under the covers.

 

Calli smiled and resisted the urge to run her fingers through Kiara’s hair or caress her cheek. In moments like these, it was so easy to just imagine; just close her eyes, breathe in sync and pretend they were lovers. She couldn’t tell her about it yet though. This wasn’t where she wanted them to have this conversation. That will have to wait.

 

Before her eyes could shut and send her back to dreamland, Calli got up and quietly left the bed to start breakfast. A quick check around the kitchen later and she found all the ingredients she needed were stored exactly where she remembered them to be in. Now, if she could just get Kiara’s French Toast recipe just right, she’ll have a perfect surprise to start the day.

 

She was barely through the first batch when Kiara staggered in, yawning as she took a seat at the isle. The rapper smirked, there were indeed two lines on the skin of her cheek and she didn’t look like she bothered to run even a hand through her hair. What a dork.  “Kikkeriki,” she mumbled, “you’re up early.”

 

“Yeah, surprised me too,” Calli answered, keeping an eye on the pan as she prepared the next batch to cook, “I was going to wake you with food, but now that you’re here, how many do you want?”

 

“No idea, I’ll decide when I start eating.”

 

The rapper chuckled and returned her focus to the stove. At some point, Kiara started playing a few songs on her phone and kept it at a relatively low volume, coaxing Calli to hum along and sing the lyrics under her breath. Chonkers and Smoothy came in just a little later, meowing their little heads off, and the singer got up from her chair to feed them.

 

The peaceful, domestic moment would be ruined by a ping from Kaira’s phone, making her groan. “That better not be Jenma, it’s note even nine yet.”

 

“Maybe it’s your mom.”

 

“Mom has her own notification noise,” Kiara huffed, walking back to her phone to see who it was, “It’s Ame, she and Ina are coming here in an hour to demand a sleepover.”

 

Calli raised a brow, glancing over, “Have we decided what we’re going to tell them?”

 

“Considering that we’ve been hanging out with them all that time we were supposed to be dating,” the singer answers, “It wouldn’t be smart to lie about that.”

 

“I don’t know, if they’re demanding a sleepover, they’re wondering what might be going on,” the rapper reasons, “Maybe we can pretend a little bit and see how they react. If they call us out, we can laugh it off.”

 

Kiara mulled it over while she started setting the table, waiting for the last of the food to cook, “I guess we could do that. No harm in trying, right?”

 

If Calli were to be honest, she wanted to see what it’d be like to hang out with their friends as a couple. She assumed that it’d be largely the same, just that she’d allow Kiara to come a little bit closer when they sat together, or let her flirt more. Maybe she’ll even respond if she knew what to say, she just has to give it a try. For the meantime though, she would have a nice, domestic breakfast.

 

“What tea would you like?” Kiara asked, opening her cupboard, drawing Calli’s attention out of her own head.

 

“What do you have?”

 

The morning went about as peacefully as it usually did when they slept over. They sat around the kitchen table, blissfully drinking their tea and eating their French Toast. Kiara seemed to thoroughly enjoy the way they were cooked and Calli took that as a win. Anything about work and the attached new relationship status was ignored for the moment in favor of talking about what they’d been up to the entire week. Neither of them even noticed that an hour had passed until their guests arrived.

 

True to their statement, Ame and Ina were knocking on the front door an hour after their initial message. When the rapper got up to let them in, not only did they (Ame) demand a sleepover, but they (Ina) also wanted Kiara’s cereal reserves.

 

“You’re going to sit down and tell us how you two started dating,” Ame said, putting her hands down on the table like she did in those detective movies she starred in, “Why didn’t you tell us. And why did you decide it was a good idea to release that now.”

 

Kiara giggled nervously, unable to answer through the food still in her mouth, leaving Calli to try to placate the actress for the meantime before she really got into character, “Calm down, we’ll tell you later. Take a seat and have some breakfast, there’s still some left.”

 

“I don’t need breakfast, I need answers!”

 

“But I need breakfast though,” Ina hummed, casually picking out a fork from a drawer and swiping up one piece of toast from the pile, “sit down and eat, Calli said they’ll explain. No need to work yourself up about it.”

 

Ame grumbled, fingers drumming on the glass surface of the table before relenting with a sigh, “Fine, I guess you’re right. Can I have some tea too, if you still have water left?”

 

“Sure, pick out what kind you’d like!” Kiara got up to go over the cupboard with the actress, “Ina, would you like anything?”

 

“Do you have any milk? Warm please, thank you.”

 

While the other two heated up the milk and prepared tea, Ina took a seat at the table, curiously tilting her head at Calli with a small smile on her face. “So how did you two get together?”

 

The rapper groaned slightly. Even with all her confidence earlier when she said they would try to act like they were dating in front of their friends, now that she had to do it, she was getting a small case of pre-performance jitters. “I thought we were going to talk about it later.”

 

“We were, but”- the director’s smile widened – “we don’t really have much else to talk about, you see, and I am very curious.”

 

Calli could hear Ame’s subtle snickering from behind her. Damn Watson. The rapper turned in her seat and sent a pleading look to Kiara, “Will you start?”

 

“I would, but I want to hear how you’ll tell the story,” Kiara returned, walking over to sit back down and give Ina her drink, “Come on, Calli, you can do it!”

 

Amelia joined them at the table as well, tea in hand, “Yeah, Calli, we all know Kiara’s been asking you out for forever, you tell the story this time.”

 

The rapper sighed, taking one more sip of her drink to steady herself. She still remembered the story they made up last night, but they never discussed specifics which meant she had to make it up as she went along and hope she could still recall all the details later. “Fine, I confessed while we were on that spa vacation. Happy?”

 

“Oh please, you can do better than that!” Ame pressed, leaning forward with that smug look on her face, “Why’d you ask her out?”

 

What’s the most conventional answer to that question? Calli gestured over to Kiara and said, “Have you seen her?”

 

The singer promptly starts laughing her ass off, Ame rolling her eyes at the answer. “Yes, yes, we get it. Kiara very attractive. Surprise, the girl with a stage name that literally translates to Phoenix is hot. Now, why did you ask her out?”

 

Calli grumbled, feeling a nervous flush starting to overtake her face as she tried her best to find a point in the vacation where she could insert a made up confession into, “I’m serious though, I was thinking about it for a while. We were talking in the pool one night, and it just clicked. I can’t explain it well, but she looked really pretty in the pool lights. Even if everything kind of smelled like chlorine, even if her hair was frizzing from the water, it just felt like she was so much prettier than I’ve ever seen her before. Maybe it was the smile while she was telling her story or”- she cut herself off abruptly when she looked up and saw the faces of her friends.

 

Kiara’s face was totally red and there was an odd look in her eye that the rapper couldn’t understand. Ina seemed to be totally stunned, slack jawed but clearly amused. And Ame, that little gremlin, wasn’t even hiding that deviously teasing look on her face.

 

“Don’t stop at our expense,” the actress said, twisting her hand in a go on motion, “keep going.”

 

“Nope. Never mind. Not happening. I’m done telling the story now,” Calli declared, shoving the rest of her breakfast in her mouth so she wouldn’t be able to talk more.

 

Ame didn’t seem satisfied with that so she turned to Kiara, “How about you, miss Takanashi Kiara? Take us through it, will you? What was it like on your end? What’s Calli leaving out?”

 

The singer chuckled, snapping back to attention, “Well, for one, Calli didn’t do a normal confession, you know her. I was telling her a story and she just blurts out “wow, I love you. Kiara, kiss me~” and”-

 

Calli made a noise of protest, immediately regretting the voluntary inability to talk. They should have talked about all of this in detail more because that was not how she wanted to tell that story. She had a persona to uphold!

 

“Ok fine, she didn’t say that,” Kiara relented with a giggle, “I noticed she wasn’t really paying attention so I ask her what’s up and we started talking about stuff until she goes and says “I do like you, you know. Romantically.” And I was shocked, shocked I tell you! And I was just going “eh? EH?” because how do you react to that?! And then she goes all tsun again”-

 

The rapper makes another noise of protest, standing up for a glass of water to hopefully wash down her food. Kiara follows her movement, falling into a small fit of laughter, their guests seemed to be enjoying the scene as well.

 

“You were being tsun again, admit it!” the singer insists, but reels in the rest of her dramatized retelling of the night, “But no, we had a really nice conversation after that. I was over the moon, but I did agree that rushing into it would be a bit too much for either of us. We decided we’d take it slow and see if it’d work out. So far it has!”

 

This time, there was a satisfied air around Ame as she sat back and sipped at her tea. “Now that was an answer. Good for you!”

 

“It was,” Ina chirped, “I’m glad it’s working out for you two.”

 

Kiara cooed, “Thank you guys!”

 

When Calli finally got the food down, she heaved a breath and followed suit. “Yeah, danky shun or whatever,” the slight giggle and the spark of amusement in the singer’s eyes from the scuffed German made Calli smile.

 

The rest of breakfast was enjoyed in relative peace. Calli and Kiara were basically coerced into sitting next to each other on one side of the table while their guests took up the other side. At one point, they attempted to have a video call with Gura but the connection wouldn’t go through. Ame had to check up on the dates and times, deducing that she was probably in the middle of a concert. Their little singer had to wait to hear the story of TakaMori.

 

“Are you actually staying for a sleepover, or was that just a threat?” Calli asked as she and Kiara started clearing the table after deciding that they’d lazed and talked over empty plates long enough.

 

Ame hummed and looked towards Ina, “I was seriously going to sleep over. I didn’t have anything else to do today, but I don’t know what you’re up to.”

 

“Ah, I have something to work on this afternoon,” the director answers, getting up from the table, “I actually have to get going, there are things I have to get in order before then. But, I will be back later for the sleepover.”

 

“Nice!” the actress cheered, getting up from the table herself, “I’ll walk you out, my driver’s going to bring me over something in a bit. Want me to have him drive you home?”

 

“That would be great, thank you.”

 

The two’s voices faded over as they exited the apartment, leaving just Calli and Kiara cleaning up the kitchen. Somehow, it felt like Ame had either wanted to give time for the couple to be together, or she just didn’t want to be third wheeling them. The rapper wouldn’t be surprised if it were both, the actress could be devious when she wanted to be.

 

“Do you want to stop cleaning and share a popsicle before Ame gets back?” Kiara asked, putting down the kitchen rag she was using to wipe down. They were both sure that the actress would definitely raid their stash if she knew it existed.

 

Calli raised a brow, “And how do you propose we share a popsicle?”

 

“Simple! You bite off half the top like the madman that you are,” the singer answers, already pulling out a chocolate flavored variant of the frozen treat from the freezer, “and I’ll finish it off like I usually do before Ame comes back.”

 

The rapper just sends her a deadpan look but accepts the popsicle when offered to her, biting off the top as requested and handing the rest back. “You’re lucky I like you,” she says, muffled.

 

“I know,” Kiara replies smugly.

 

Never has Calli seriously considered kissing off that smile on her face more than she has right now.

Chapter Text

The popsicle was already consumed and the evidence of it disposed when Amelia came back. By that time, the dishes were finished, the kitchen was clean, and Calli and Kiara were lounging on the living room couch, the singer strumming a ukulele in a mindless pattern, her legs once more settled across the rapper’s lap.

 

“Alright, I’m back, you better not third wheel me too hard” Ame chirped, hoping into her favorite armchair, “What do you guys want to do for the rest of the day?”

 

Kiara set aside the instrument and checked her phone, “Well, we could go and have a day out, maybe visit that arcade you and Calli really like. Or we can just stay here and watch Netflix or play games or whatever.”

 

“I don’t feel like going anywhere else right now,” the actress muttered, “you have anything to watch in mind?”

 

“Not really, but that’s what the recommendations are for, right?” the singer replied before turning to Calli, “How about you?”

 

The rapper grunted, “I don’t know, I’m down for anything really.”

 

So the rest of their morning went, spent in the living room watching whatever popped up on screen. Kiara could almost say it was like any other hang out they’d ever had over the years they’d known each other. 

 

Ame was curled up comfortably in her armchair, throwing out snarky remarks every now and again when she saw another actor she knew. The singer was cuddled up with Calli on the couch, laughing along with the actress, the rapper’s arm draped over her shoulders. Her being so close was new, but it was nice, enough that it quieted the sadder corners of Kiara’s mind.

 

Maybe she could ignore the small voice in her head telling her it wasn’t real.

 

After the second movie though, the rapper got up, phone in hand. “You guys pick the next movie, I have to call J-chad before she busts down your door,” she said.

 

“Oh, were you supposed to be busy today?” Kiara asked, picking up the remote to start sorting through the movies, “You can just come back later if you are.”

 

Calli shook her head and started tapping on something, “Nah, it’s all good. It’s just a quick check up, shouldn’t even take 5 minutes, be right back,” she said before walking into a different room, leaving the other two alone for a moment.

 

When they heard a door shut, Ame shifted in her chair to sit properly and leaned forward, “So I may have to apologize,” she said somewhat awkwardly, fiddling with her fingers.

 

“Apologize? For what?”

 

“You know, the, uhm”- the actress fumbled for a moment, looking for the right words to say, “the rumor? You and Calli had to come out with your relationship because of the thing between you and me earlier this week. You two had your reasons for not having that be public.”

 

Kiara smiled softly and reached over, doing her best to comfort her friend despite her heart starting to race and the swirling guilt in her chest. She didn’t like this conversation at all, but it would seem odd that she’d dodge it. “It’s okay, it was bound to get out at some point. At least this way, we get to release it on our own terms. Don’t worry about it.”

 

You lied as naturally as you breathed, maybe you should be a part time actress?

 

“Still, neither of you were planning it. Besides, none of that would have started if the media and the fans didn’t go wild with the speculations when we started hanging out more,” Ame sighed, “Other than that though, I’m happy for you. You finally got her to go out with you.”

 

The singer nearly flinched at how close the actress was getting to the truth. “Got her to go out with you” wasn’t exactly the best way to put it, and Kiara hoped she was just being thoughtless with her word choice. Perhaps Ame did pick something up from acting like a detective for so long, learned a thing or two from her role. She couldn’t tell if the actress knew for sure, but Kiara knew she had to sell the act as best as she could. “Thanks, Ame. It means a lot,” she said, before being unable to stop herself from asking a question, “By the way, can I ask why you’re telling me this now?”

 

“Well, I didn’t really want to do it with Ina around,” Ame started, then gestured between the couch and hallway, “Then you two looked like you were enjoying yourselves, all sweet and cuddled up like that, I didn’t want to disturb you. And Calli’s in the middle of something, you’re the only one that I can talk to right now.”

 

Kiara chuckled, the small, anxious part of her settling down for the meantime, “I see. Did you want to talk to Calli yourself too? I can just pass it along if you’d like.”

 

“Pass what along?”

 

The two occupants of the living room turned to look at Calli, who had just emerged from whatever business she had with her manager. “You guys wanna tell me something?”

 

They all shared a look before Ame cleared her throat, “Yeah, I was going to say: I would like to apologize for kind of being the reason why you two had to go public with your relationship. That is, on behalf of the media and the rabid fans.”

 

The rapper just blinked silently for a moment before shooting the actress a smile and walking back over to Kiara, “All good my dog, no real fault of your own. We all know how that goes,” she dropped back down on the couch, “Don’t even worry about it.”

 

“Heh, thanks, Kiara said the same thing,” Ame chortled, leaning back into a comfier position in her seat, “I’m glad the both of you aren’t too upset.”

 

“Not at all,” the singer said, experimentally leaning back against Calli to see if the rapper would allow it, “If anything, I should apologize to you for having people question how loyal you are in your relationship.”

 

The actress just shook her head, “Like Calli said, no real fault of your own. I wasn’t even bothered by that specifically, neither was Gura. Though, now that I think about it,” her eyes shifted to Calli, “How did you react when you heard about that? I saw your post, but that couldn’t have been your initial reaction.”

 

Her nervousness flared and Kiara tried her best not to let it show. Ame was close. Too close. And she was asking far too many questions. It didn’t even matter that it was something they were prepared for, anything that touched on the subject of the “relationship” made her heart race. Calli must have noticed her tense because she wrapped her arm around her and started kneading her arm gently in an attempt to calm her down.

 

“I was just confused at first,” Calli answered, rather quickly to the singer’s surprise, “then I just thought it was dumb so I didn’t really care. Called Kiara and she cleared it all up for me real quick.”

 

“That sounds about right,” Ame chuckled, “Well, that’s all from me, unless you guys have something else you’d like to talk about?”

 

Kiara shook her head, and she could feel Calli do the same which seemed to amuse the actress. “You two are weirdly in sync a lot, I should have seen it earlier,” she said before snatching the remote and turning back to the TV, “So, what did you guys want to watch?”

 

As Calli and Ame went through the movie selection, Kiara held her breath for a moment before letting go and relaxing. She was completely thankful to get out of the topic despite being confident in her ability to make things go smoothly on the fly. Even with Calli’s subtle reassurance and comfort, it still made her nervous. The secret was safe for now, but Kiara was already dreading the interrogation their parents would inevitably have for them when they went to visit. No doubt Kiara’s mother had plenty of questions. There was no use in dwelling in that however, as the movie had been chosen and they all settled in to watch it through. She tried not to think about it too much. Cross that bridge when you get to it.

 


 

Around lunch, while deciding what to order out, Ame left for a moment and excitedly came back with a sketchy looking box. It was about the size of a mini fridge and it didn’t seem too heavy, but what made it look suspicious was how it was wrapped to hell and back with brown packing tape and all the labels and documentation seemed to be slapped on haphazardly.

 

Calli raised a brow, “Watson, that better not be anything illegal.”

 

“What do you think it is?” the actress teased smugly, like she didn’t know she was carrying such a suspicious package.

 

“Ame~,” Kiara cooed, “You better not have brought drugs into my house.”

 

“What?!” Ame asked exaggeratedly, placing the box down by her seat in the living room with a flourish, “I could never do such a thing! I’m a perfectly good law abiding citizen.”

 

The rapper scoffed, “Except for when you manage to get your hands on unauthorized script drafts.”

 

That was unethical, not illegal, or at least I think it wasn’t,” the actress defended, then giggled, “But this, I assure you, is nothing illegal. In fact, I think you’ll really like this one.”

 

Kiara raised a brow, wondering what it could be. Something about the box seemed really familiar. She’s seen boxes like that before, but where? It looked like it would make a good prop in one of Calli’s music videos, but the rapper didn’t really like being associated with illicit substances other than alcohol. Then again, it might be a prop Ame took from any one of the movie sets that she’s been on, but she wasn’t acting currently and it was strange that someone would send it to her.

 

When her eyes wandered over to the odd looking labels, the familiar feeling became much more pronounced and she realized that those were documents for imported goods. And who else was going to be sending Ame a package from out of the country right now and have the actress be so excited about finally getting it? “Is that from Gura?!”

 

“Well, well, don’t we have a detective?” Ame answered, her smile widening, “Yeah, she got us gifts! I don’t know what they are though, it was a surprise. She just told me the other day that she had it sent and she needed me to take it.”

 

Kiara hummed in surprise, “I’m surprised it didn’t get stuck in customs. I’ve always had some trouble with them when my brother sent something over.”

 

“Where’d Gura send it from?” Calli asked, looking over, “I’m surprised she even found the time to pick out souvenirs.”

 

The actress looked back at the box and shrugged, “No idea. I wasn’t really paying attention to that detail. She did say to open it when all four of us are together though, so we’ll have to wait for Ina to get here.”

 

Calli and Kiara shared a look. There was probably a trap in there, wasn’t there? Hopefully it wasn't glitter.