|The Game Heats Up|
|Character/s in the cover||Ren Tsuruga and Kyoko Mogami|
|Arc||Dark Moon arc|
The Game Heats Up is the 69th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Kyoko and Ren act out the parts of Dark Moon's Mizuki and Katsuki in an attempt to help Ren find the role. Kyoko is completely unaware of Ren's reason for asking her to pretend to be the love he can't acknowledge.
The roleplaying scenario: Kyoko, as Mizuki, is dropping in on Ren, as Katsuki, because he's taken a few days off from school due to a cold. Ren takes a long time to answer the door, takes one look at Kyoko and calls for a retake. Kyoko demands an explanation and Ren explains that she's reacting to his own private apartment, not Katsuki's highly public row house.
Separating before Take 2: Ren reminds himself & Katsuki that he can't let anybody pick up on his feelings for that girl. Kyoko regrets she caused a second take but is strangely excited by being treated as an acting equal. She works up her nerve to be as good as him, and slides into character and setting.
Take 2: On the other side of the door, Ren still doesn't answer right away and smiles when he feels Kyoko/Mizuki's impatience before slipping into Katsuki's character. Outside the apartment Mizuki is puzzled, wondering if Katsuki is in a room where he can't hear the bell. People on their way home from work pass by the house, alarming Mizuki. If she is recognized there will be hell to pay; Misao has a temper. When Katsuki opens the door Mizuki is hiding in the bushes to avoid being seen, but jumps when she hears the door being unlocked. Katsuki looks around confused, for there is no-one at the door. Mizuki stands up from her hiding place and calls out to him, causing Katsuki to see her and when he does, he blinks in shock. Kastuki smiles at her, and then hoarsely asks Mizuki why she's there. Internally Kyoko is impressed that Ren can make his voice sound exactly as if he has a cold. Mizuki nervously explains that she's checking up on him. Katsuki thanks Mizuki for checking up on him and apologizes for inconveniencing the classroom. He glances out toward the street, and Kyoko realizes he's worried that someone might see them. She totally forgot even though they are still out in the open.
Katsuki shoos her away and Kyoko panics trying to figure a way to be let inside. She blocks the door with her foot at the last moment and gets injured, all the while expressing concern as Mizuki that Katsuki hasn't been eating well while sick. The pain is so bad she almost faints, forcing Katsuki to run outside to grab her. She makes it inside, limping (Kyoko thinks it's a "lucky break"). Ren knew Kyoko wasn't someone who would just give up but was surprised by her extreme methods to accomplish Mizuki's objective of exploring Katsuki's place. He decides to enjoy playing this game with her.
Mizuki asks to see the rest of the apartment and Katsuki declines. She'll have to leave after he treats her ankle. He tells her next time to bring the whole class for tour so that he's not caught giving special treatment to a student. Mizuki refuses treatment unless Katsuki lets her cook for him. Katsuki calls her bluff and shoves her toward the door. Mizuki begs to be treated because her ankle hurts. Katsuki wickedly teases her for not responding when he says she has to go home afterward. Mizuki claims she understands, for he is a male teacher living alone and she is a female student so it may cause improper rumors. She tells him to think of her as family, not a student, and allow her to take care of him in her cousin's place.
Something about this makes Ren's heart thump.
Characters in Order of Appearance