|Character/s in the cover||N/A (Yukihito Yashiro)|
|Arc||Dark Moon arc|
Unbalanced Lock is the 66th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
The deal Yashiro offered Kyoko was to have dinner with him and listen to his problems in exchange for Ren's schedule. Kyoko agrees to dinner but points out that she would be crossing a social line by asking for his confidence. Yashiro tries to hint that Ren would be comforted by her presence and feel released from the stress of work but as Kyoko's sense of love is so warped she thinks this means that he will release his stress by bullying her. Yashiro is shocked wondering if what he said gave this impression and struggles to correct himself. Kyoko doesn't understand what he means bit since she is worried about Ren she simply accepts the bargain. Yashiro is pleased to picture Ren happily surprised by Kyoko showing up for dinner... then realizes he can't actually picture Ren being happily surprised. He recalls Ren's blank face and stoic reply to Kyoko's confession that she didn't want to lose his trust. Yashiro fears that idiot Ren is probably in love but will treat Kyoko as normally as possible and not even show he is happy.
Meanwhile at Ren's apartment, Kyoko is confused. Long-since having accurately concluded that Ren smiling at her means he's angry, Kyoko wonders, frustrated, about what she's done to upset him. Ren thinks it's absurd that he'd be angered by a girl showing up to cook him dinner. Kyoko thinks it's strange, for he was normal when they met a few moments ago. She recalls their meeting, when Ren shot a divine and genuine smile at her which was so blinding she had to look away. Her grudges fled in panic. With her eyes closed she asked Ren if he would let her cook dinner for him; Yashiro asked her too. However when she opened her eyes again she was greeted by the fake smile. Kyoko thinks hard about it but can't seem to figure out why he may be angry. Did she say something she wasn't supposed to? Or is this him working off his stress?
Kyoko is grateful for the TV that serves as background noise and a distraction for she would not know what to say to this now gloomy Ren. As they eat a couple is featured on the television with a 19-year age gap, and they met while he taught her in high school. Asking his opinion, Kyoko is taken aback that Ren doesn't have a problem with the age difference, despite telling Bo that a high school girl was too young for him. Kyoko wishes she could confront Ren about his double standards, for the age gap between him and the unknown girl he likes is only 4 years which is totally acceptable in society compared to the TV couple, however only Bo knows this information. Ren becomes quiet and retrospective after the teacher states he couldn't admit to his feelings until after she graduated.
Ren avoids eye contact with Kyoko the entire drive to drop her off back home. When he accidentally does so after she apologizes for taking up his time, he panics and retreats back into his car. Kyoko calls out to Ren before he can drive away and there's an awkward moment before she figures out what to say. She's worried about his change in mood and simply states with sincerity that she'll be waiting (Ren easily sees a double meaning here he knows she didn't intend) to see his Katsuki even more than Mizuki. Without emotion, Ren promises to do his best and leaves. Kyoko frets that she might have irritated him. She remembers Ren telling Bo he has no intention to fall in love, and Kyoko determines she must do her best to get Ren into a falling-in-love state of mind. She comes up with a plan that should work if what's stopping Ren is that the girl he's focused on is in high school.
In his car Ren is stopped at a traffic light as he realizes that he tends to act unmoved when he's been touched by a person's words or actions. Remembering Kyoko's words, he sighs deeply. He is so involved in his own thoughts he doesn't realize that the traffic lights have changed to green.
Characters in Order of Appearance