Author: Everlasting Wonders PM
My existence is a lie. But my feelings are true. If I reveal everything, will you hate me for it? As the walls shatter, throwing the secret out in the open, trust is tested, emotions are battled. "Who are you?"Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Yamato I./Matt & Sora T. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,357 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 06-01-12 - Published: 03-24-10 - id: 5841469
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: 'Alter Ego' is a fan fiction based on characters from the anime 'Digimon'. All the characters used in this fan fiction are not owned by me.
Note: This fan fiction includes a couple of pairings, in which you will find out in the later parts of the chapters. This fan fiction also disregards the plotline from the 'Digimon' anime. (Including the Digimons)
UPDATE: Prologue (Hello Stranger) and Chapter 1 (Inspiration) are re-written as of 1 June 2012.
Chapter 1 – Inspiration
If she had to choose a favourite place in the school grounds other than the roof, it would have to be the cafeteria or the library and currently, she was in the latter. Sitting in a far corner, Sora covered her mouth and stifled a yawn. She had spent hours at the same spot with only a few rough sketches completed. Shutting her sketchpad with a huff, she slid down her chair and rested her head on the backrest, closing her eyes against the glare of the lights.
I'm not going to make it on time…
Frustration was building up within her. Inspiration was out to avoid her this time, she was sure of it. Lifting her hand to brush the table blindly, Sora slapped her hand on a magazine for a few times before grabbing it by the spine. With a groan, she sat upright again. Sliding her pencil behind her ear, the auburn haired teen flipped through the pages slowly. She pursed her lips. There was nothing new or captivating in this issue either.
"Guess I have no choice but to wave the white flag," she mumbled to herself. Pulling her laptop from her messenger bag, Sora brushed her fringe away absent-mindedly before switching it on. As soon as she signed in to her email, a wave of messages flooded her inbox. Scrolling down the list, her cinnamon eyes narrowed in search of one name.
Clicking on the mail, Sora avoided reading the contents entirely and hurriedly entered a reply – "I can't finish it". Eyeing her sent mail for a few seconds, she took a deep breath.
"She's definitely going to blow." Despite her failure to hand in her sketches on time, Sora could not help the amused smirk that appeared on her face. As predicted, the vibration in her pocket began. With a sigh, Sora flipped her cell open and pressed it against her ear.
"Sora Takenouchi!" A voice screamed from the other end. "What do you mean 'I can't finish it'? You always finish your projects! What's wrong with this one?"
"Listen," a chuckle escaped the cherry pink lips of the teenager. However, quickly realising that it might not be a good idea to infuriate her employer when she failed to submit her work, Sora cleared her throat and put on a serious front. "Yuko-san, I really tried and-"
"No, Sora," Yuko interrupted her, "Come on, I know you can do it. What's the problem?"
"My brain's dead."
"Sora," her boss growled.
"Alright, alright," Sora sighed. "I have some rough sketches here but I really don't like them enough to put it out there. This is not me. I don't want it under my line."
"Are they good enough?"
"This is not about whether they're good enough or not," Sora refrained from snapping at her employer. Rubbing her temples, the auburn haired girl suppressed a sigh as a frown marred her features. Standing up from her seat, she balanced her cell between her ear and shoulder as she neatened up the table. "You know my dreams for this line. And we agreed that it has to produce top notch designs; the best we could come up with. The sketches I have now are not what I would call my best. I don't want to throw just about anything into it."
"But you knew about the dateline Sora," Yuko nearly raised her voice again before she sighed. "Sorry, it's just…I have a lot of work lined up over here."
Sora kept quiet. She knew that it was unfair of her to add on to her boss' workload and stress but she had to be honest. Two years ago, it was a chance meeting, or should she say, a disastrous meeting that led her into the company. Sora had been working part-time at a small corner coffee shop when she had accidentally spilled a hot drink over Yuko's file. To her horror, most of Yuko's sketches were stained as a result. Yet, the young entrepreneur had smiled at her.
"I guess this is fate." The black haired Yuko had said with a sigh. "This project was heading off track after all."
In the midst of her desperate attempts to apologise and recover the stained art pieces, Sora had browsed through Yuko's works and had ended up with a few slips of the mouth that boldly offered 'constructive and innovative criticisms' (as Yuko had put it). Sora had then been promptly invited to work alongside in the company. Yuko Minami was a young heiress who was determined to pave her way into the industry with her own strength, that is, with the company that she started up herself – Masayume. Needless to say, the auburn haired Takenouchi had been dumbfounded when she was given the offer. Fashion design had always been her dream…
"Sora, are you even listening to me?"
Pulling herself out of her trip down memory lane, Sora nodded out of habit even though Yuko could not see it. "Yeah, I am."
"I know we agreed that Aozora will not be fixed with an intense schedule since you have school. But I left that line to your charge, Sora. You have to produce something. This is after all, a business we're working on. I need you to understand that." Yuko's voice softened as she explained slowly.
Aozora…it was a name that Yuko and Sora had come up with together – to look up at the blue sky and see countless dreams in this vast world. Of course, Sora's name had a part in being the source of inspiration for the name. Though Sora had started off as a mere beginner in her company, Yuko had been greatly patient with her and taught her everything she had to know about the fashion industry.
"You have a lot of potential." Yuko always loved to say.
Yuko Minami was both a boss and a friend, and Sora counted herself fortunate to have achieved her dream with such a wonderful person guiding her along and offering her so much opportunities. Aozora was something precious to her and she would never deal with it half-heartedly.
"Yuko-san," Sora began but paused to think for a moment. "I'll try my best to meet the dateline."
"That's good to-"
"But not with these sketches." She blurted out hurriedly.
When Yuko said nothing, the cinnamon eyed girl took it as an indication to carry on. "I'll come up with something better. I promise."
For just a second, Sora thought she heard a chuckle from the other side of the line. "I'm looking forward to it Sora. I've got to go for a meeting now. See you later dear."
And the line went dead. Flipping her cell close, Sora casually dropped it onto the table, ignoring the loud clank even though she was in the library. Running her fingers through her auburn tresses, she rubbed the back of her head furiously, messing up the locks.
"Now what am I going to do?" She muttered.
"Some fresh air always clears my mind," a voice whispered from behind.
Spinning around in surprise, Sora nearly lost her balance and grabbed onto a nearby chair. Grinding against the floor, the chair produced an inevitable screech that made both of them cringe and shudder.
"Ishida!" Sora gasped, quickly reaching up to tidy her hair that she had messed up in her frustration.
"It's nice to see you again." Yamato held in the laughter that was threatening to burst out. "Horrible day?"
Sora raised her hand in mid-wave, an embarrassed smile on her face. "Just…some stuff. Sorry for that horrible noise."
"No problem." Yamato replied. Giving her an encouraging smile, he pointed his thumb at a nearby window. "Say, how about I get you a drink, and you accompany me for a while outside?"
For a moment, she stared at him. Then, she uttered one word that widened the smile on his face.
"I am not late." The blue eyed blond said as he stepped into the practice studio.
"That wasn't what I was going to say, but good job on being on time!" Yutaka rolled his eyes. "What I want to know is your source of inspiration for this song."
Lifting the scores, Yutaka waved the papers to emphasise his point. "This," he stressed, "is really good. And you said you composed this in a day?"
"A few hours actually," Yamato smirked after he gulped down some water. When Yamato had distributed the scores to his newly composed song to his band members yesterday, they had tried out the piece after their recording. The reaction from his fellow members had, to say the least, caused him to swell with pride.
"Whatever," Yutaka's voice went strangely high-pitched. "This is just…just…"
"Brilliant?" The blond bassist offered.
Eyeing the scores for a second, Yamato smirked and proceeded to place his bag onto a nearby couch. Picking up his guitar, he strummed several chords and opted to avoid answering Yutaka's question.
"Alright, let's start."
"Hey!" Yutaka frowned in indignation, swiping his brown hair away from his eyes.
"I said it yesterday – I'm not going to tell."
Yamato was highly amused. It has been quite some time since he had declared hiatus from writing new songs. Despite their usual popularity with their fans, the blond had felt that his compositions had gone strangely mundane. In his search for new sources of inspiration, Yamato had decided to give himself a break from creating new pieces. However, now, as Yamato looked through his newly composed song, he knew his touch was returning. This song was going to be a hit, he could feel it.
Patting Yutaka on the back, Takashi simply grinned. "Come on, we'll never get it out of him."
Grumbling under his breath, Yutaka stepped up onto his position and got ready. Despite his complains, Yamato knew it was all good natured fun. Staring hard at his own copy of the score, Yamato tapped his feet. The song was light but it carried a deep and powerful message. It was a style The Wolves have never ventured into before and he could not wait to find out how their fans would react to the song.
Hours later, the boys had satisfied grins on their faces as they looked at each other. The song had come out wonderfully after several tweaks here and there. It was ready to be recorded.
"You have no idea how excited I am about this." Akira laughed as he sat on the floor against the wall. Chugging down a bottle of cold water, he sighed in content. "When can we record this?"
"I suppose it can be recorded sometime this week? Our album track list is supposed to be confirmed soon anyway." Takashi looked towards the others for their opinion.
"But…it's a pity for this song to be an album track, don't you think?' Yutaka tapped his pencil against the scores. "I think this song has potential to be a hit."
Akira barked out a laugh. "Even if we were to put that fact aside, if our fans knew that their awaited song from Yamato has finally arrived, the sales would automatically go up!"
As the four members chuckled amongst themselves, Yutaka turned to face Yamato. "Alright Yamato, I think it's time you tell us. We know you well enough you have something in mind, especially for a song like this."
Yamato gave his friends a grateful smile. It had been difficult for him to speak up while knowing that his band was working hard on the album. It just did not seem fair if he were to suddenly tear part of the attention away from the album his members put so much effort into simply because he wrote a new song. Clearing his throat, the blond gathered his courage and stood.
"I know this is sounds risky and everything," Yamato wet his lips before he took in a deep breath and continued. "But I want to release this song at the same time as our album."
Silence befell upon the boys as they sat deep in thought. Here starts the debate, Yamato readied himself. That was how The Wolves worked among themselves since the very beginning; since their debut. If anyone had something significant to suggest, the rest of the members would stand on the opposing side in order to point out any possible dangers they could think of. It was their way of ensuring that the band would continue on the right path together and to avoid jumping at things blindly simply because they were too excited about certain benefits that lay before them. So far, this method has not failed them, and The Wolves were tightly controlling their own image as they rose fast into popularity.
As his members considered his words, Yamato too thought over the possibilities. The recording for their album was near completion and The Wolves were waiting to film their promotional video for their lead track – Venture. To announce the release of a single alongside their album would mean compressed schedules and possible delays. They only have slightly less than two months left before the release of their album.
"Yamato," Takashi frowned slightly. "I understand you want to release this song as soon as possible. I want to do it too. But do you think we can complete it in time to go along with our album release? Our album is not completed yet and the release date is less than two months away."
"I think we can," the blond replied after careful consideration.
"We will have our album cover shoot tomorrow and Venture's PV shooting is scheduled for Friday this week. The recording for our final track is on Thursday. To announce the release of a new single would mean we have to start production now." Akira reasoned. Turning his green eyes to look at all the members, he breathed in deeply. "If we want to do it, we need to discuss this with the team now."
Yamato glanced at each of his members slowly. They were considering his proposition seriously and he was thankful for that. Anyone could clearly see the love his members have for the band and their music, and he never stopped reminding himself to work hard in order to show his love and appreciation as well.
"This song will definitely make it for us." Yamato explained calmly. He knew his request was difficult to accept. "If you're all willing, I really want to push for this. I was considering asking Suzuki-san to work on both our album and single."
Another minute of silence filled the practice studio. The band could feel it from the song as well – it would definitely be well received by their fans and non-fans alike. Yamato had not been composing for quite a while, but they could tell that this song was going to be a powerful comeback, not only for him, but The Wolves as a whole.
"We will need a B-side for the single," Yutaka spoke up suddenly.
"You're serious," Akira looked towards the brunet with wide eyes. "Are you serious?"
"Yamato?" Yutaka looked towards the blond who blinked dumbly back at him.
"You approve? You're alright with it?" Yamato's mouth dropped open. Yutaka, who was usually strict about minimizing risks and keeping to schedules, was the first to approve.
Shrugging with a tilt of his head, Yutaka grinned. "Why not?"
"Well!" Takashi clapped his hands together. "If the strict Yutaka is fine with it, then I'm fine with it too."
Yamato then turned to their last member. "Akira?"
"I was only waiting for Yutaka to give the 'yes'." Akira replied as he shifted his beanie over his jet black hair.
With a nod, Yamato let out a sigh of relief. "I'll contact Suzuki-san right away. Thanks, you guys."
As they watched the blue eyed bassist head out, Takashi raised his arms and stretched his sore muscles. "Get ready to sweep both the single and album charts!"
Akira took another glance at the scores. "That must have been one great source of inspiration."
"Good afternoon!" Sora rushed into the office with a brilliant smile on her face. Running to her table, the auburn haired teenager hurriedly shrugged off her blazer. Pulling her muffler and gloves off, she threw everything onto her workspace before heading for her boss' quarters.
Knocking on the wooden door, she could barely contain her excitement as she jumped at her spot, awaiting the call to enter. Upon receiving it, she burst into the room, nearly crashing into the door before it could open entirely.
"Sora," the young head of Masayume removed her spectacles and placed it neatly on her table. Files and papers were scattered everywhere and while it may look messy to others, never argue with Yuko about it. She knows where her things are and if you tidied it up, she'd be furious. "Alright, I'm ready. Run it through."
"I know you'll like this," the cinnamon eyed girl beamed. Pacing around the room, she began to deliver her idea while Yuko sat calmly at her seat, watching the high schooler's every move. She knew the girl well enough to know she must never stop her in the midst of her explanation. Every idea Sora delivered was never 'completed' but a 'work in-progress', and her ideas were constantly evolving into something greater than before. Since their first project together, Yuko figured Sora was the type who would dream wild dreams when inspiration struck her. And these dreams often became reality in Aozora.
"So, what do you think?" Sora pressed her palms against the table in anticipation, awaiting the 'clear to go'.
Slowly, Yuko turned her chair around to look out the glass panels. As she tapped her pen against her chin, a smile began to form on her face. Meanwhile, Sora waited with baited breath.
"You're right." The black haired entrepreneur turned back to look at her young talent. "I like it."
"Thank you!" Clapping her hands together, Sora heaved a sigh of relief.
"When can I expect it?"
Lifting up 3 fingers, Sora replied, "three days. Give me three days and I'll hand you the draft to look it through. If you're alright with it, I'll send it to Nishiuchi-san"
Giving her a firm nod, Yuko opened her planner and circled the due date. "You have it." If the girl said three days, then three days it will be.
"Thank you!" Wasting no time, Sora left the office and headed for her table. Her colleagues watched her with amused expressions. Though she was young, Sora was talented and had great passion for her work. Dumping her bag and other unnecessary materials beneath her table, the auburn haired Takenouchi rushed off to the archives section. She disappeared behind the towering shelves for five minutes before reappearing with a heavy stack of magazines in her arms. Placing them on her table with a groan, she rubbed her arms before rolling up her sleeves and settled down for work.
"Sora," a fellow colleague called out to her within minutes into her work. "What is the theme for your sketches this time?"
Looking up from her sketches, Sora tucked loose strands of her auburn hair behind her ears. With an excitement comparable to a child's first trip to an amusement park, she replied with a twinkle in her eye, "kimono."
From behind the curtains of her office, Yuko sipped her coffee as she watched the high schooler. Sora's inspiration had come later than usual this time, but Yuko had confidence in her that she would deliver, just as she did for all her projects in the past.
"Inspiration from kimonos," Yuko whispered to herself with a satisfied grin, "where did that girl get her ideas from?"
"Cold," Sora mumbled softly to herself as she strolled across the grassy patch. She reached up to pull her muffler higher and proceeded to wrap both hands around her steaming cup of mocha. Taking a cautious sip, she licked her lips in appreciation.
Meanwhile, by her side, Yamato watched her antics and released a chuckle. Reaching into his pockets, he pulled out a pair of leather gloves and extended them to her. "Here."
For a second, Sora blinked at him, pleasantly surprised. Then, she shook her head with a smile. "Ishida-kun, it's alright."
"I insist," Yamato said and pulled the cup of mocha from her hands before handing her his gloves. "Put it on. You'll feel warmer."
While seemingly a little embarrassed, the cinnamon eyed Takenouchi did as told. Yamato, on the other hand, felt the corners of his lips quirk upwards when he saw hers do the same. Taking in a breath, he continued, "and please, call me Kota."
Sora peered up at him as she sipped her drink. He was looking at her rather intently from behind his glasses and she could not help but look away. Immediately, she felt her body tense and she let out a nervous laugh.
"That…" she cleared her throat, "that would be rather bold of me to do that. I mean, we barely know-"
"I won't lie," the blond interrupted her swiftly. Halting his steps, he turned to face her directly. "I want us to be friends."
Yamato watched as she stared up at him with wide eyes. As he awaited her reply, he noticed her unique eye colour. Cinnamon, he thought to himself. His encounter at the school roof with her was pleasant, to say the least. She did not give him a pressure to hide, unlike most girls he met outside of the entertainment industry. She did not pry either, and had an interesting sense of humor and wit. If he had the opportunity to know her better, Yamato was rather sure that she would accept him as his real self, and they could possibly be great friends.
"Well, that's…" Sora swallowed. "That's very nice of you…"
She wanted to smack herself in the face. Was that the best she could come up with? 'That's very nice of you'? Sighing, she looked up at him again.
"Then…Kota-kun," she tried saying his name out loud. To her surprise, he laughed and shook his head.
"No," he grinned, "just Kota."
"Ah!" Sora waved her hand furiously. "I can't. I really can't. I mean, Kota-kun is already…"
Despite her protests, the blond was still staring at her expectantly. However, Sora was just as stubborn. Shaking her head again, she repeated, "I really can't."
To her relief, Yamato nodded. "Alright, I'll wait until you're comfortable enough."
While Sora doubted she would ever be close enough with him to call his name without any honorifics, she nodded awkwardly.
"But can I call you Sora?"
"What?" She could not believe her ears. This guy was so…so…forward! How could he just call her as if they were close friends? They had only met briefly yesterday!
Before she could approve (or disapprove), Yamato turned away from her and continued his stroll, leaving her to catch up with him.
'This person is just-' Sora broke away from her thoughts and frowned at the blond's back. 'How could there be anyone like him!' Still, she went after him with hurried footsteps.
For a while, the two walked side by side in silence as they enjoyed their coffee. A chilly breeze blew against their slim frames occasionally but they were kept warm under all the layers of clothing they had donned.
"You looked like you were troubled about something earlier," Yamato decided to start a proper conversation with her. "Would you like to share?"
"It's just a project I'm working on," Sora replied softly.
Noticing her hesitance in her reply, Yamato could not help but grin. He knew he was being rather forward with her. Perhaps it was a personality he picked up from being in the entertainment industry for a long time. One had to be open to express himself in order to be noticed, and when one was noticed, the jobs would start pouring in. Still, to see the petite girl display such conservativeness brought him a refreshing feeling.
Tilting his head up towards the sky, Yamato took in a very deep breath. Then, he let out his breath with a sigh before he nudged her slightly on the arm.
"Whenever I have a lot to think about, I like to come out and enjoy the cold weather." He said. "It helps me relax and clear my mind."
She watched him quietly, taking in everything he was saying.
"Sometimes, things seem complicated. But inspiration can come from the simplest things. Sometimes," he paused for a second before smiling, "ideas come to you when you don't consciously think for one."
A curious look appeared in her eyes as she pouted slightly. "And how would you know if I had trouble thinking of ideas?"
Offering her a knowing look, he opted to avoid answering her question. However, he said, "It's alright if you don't want to share the details, but perhaps I can help by giving you a general idea."
He has great charisma, Sora thought immediately to herself. She admired people like him. These people attracted many others to them and they were capable of moving emotions and opinions in crowds.
"Well," she frowned deeply. "I suppose."
Taking a few more steps, she spun towards him suddenly. "The theme is summer. What do you think of when I say summer?"
Yamato looked slightly surprised but he pondered carefully. "Warmth, fireworks, beach, swimsuits…"
As the blond continued listing down various ideas, Sora sipped her mocha thoughtfully. He mentioned a few options that she had considered before.
"Field trips, flowers, summer festival-"
"What did you say?" All of a sudden, Sora grabbed his arm excitedly. Yamato was shocked at her unexpected gesture, but he chuckled at the aura of innocence flowing from within her.
"Summer festival," he replied, knowing that he had given her a suggestion she liked. A sense of pride built up within him as he saw her nod happily.
"Summer festival," she repeated his words in a soft whisper. "That's brilliant! Thank you!"
"You're welcome," he said. Tapping her forehead lightly, Yamato grinned. "If you frown, I want to be there to bring a smile to your face."
Eyeing him strangely, Sora took a step backwards to put a suitable distance between them. Still, a blush graced her features. Shaking her head, she let out a laugh, "what are you saying?"
Yamato did not reply, but simply gave her a mysterious smile.
End of Chapter 1