TK was nervous. What if she didn't like it? He had spent all day making it, but if she didn't even want it, then his work was useless, wasn't it?

Tomorrow was Kari's ninth birthday and along with that came her birthday party. Matt and TK had gotten the invitation from Kari herself a couple of weeks ago, and they had accepted immediately which pleased the young girl immensely. Her joy brought TK joy, but then the panic set in. What to get her?

Searching had been fruitless. Nothing was good enough for her. TK's stress levels went through the roof and unless he found something soon, his brain would implode. Everyone started worrying about him and frequently asked if everything was alright. He shrugged them off by telling them that it was nothing important. What a lie.

Finally his mother managed to get through to him after he confessed his problem by simply saying, "Why don't you just make her something?"

Her brilliant insight led TK to the arts and crafts store where he purchased all the items necessary to create the perfect gift for his best friend. A diary. All girls loved diaries, according to TK's sources. He had heard the loud girls in his class screech about how they loved and couldn't live without their diaries. He knew Kari didn't have one, and he hoped she wouldn't call him a loser for giving her one.

TK slept restlessly that night, anxious and petrified. A thought passed through his mind, telling him that he was being irrational. Kari would never stop being his friend over something as silly as a present. Or would she? She was so unpredictable. The insecurities doubled in his mind and he was consumed by them for a while longer, until his weary body shut down.

He awoke to the tempting smell of breakfast which made his growing body growl and grumble until it was satisfied. He took his time getting ready, trying to look perfect. Matt finally arrived to pick him up. They walked together to the destination of the party.

Meanwhile, Kari was the most annoyed birthday girl on the planet. Here she was, all set and ready to go for her party, and what was she doing? She was sitting in her room because apparently, she wasn't allowed out. Her foot tapped against the floor in a staccato beat, while she sighed in impatience. When was everyone going to get here? More importantly, when was Tai ever going to let her out of this stuffy room?

TK's nervousness walked alongside him like a shadow, and fear pounded through his veins. Matt noticed his hands shaking.

"What's up TK? You feeling alright?" he asked, concerned.

TK took a deep breath. "Yeah, I'm okay. I just hope Kari likes my present. What if she doesn't Matt? What if she doesn't want to be my friend anymore?"

Matt chuckled and said, "TK, buddy, you're overreacting way too much. Kari'll love your present and even if she doesn't, she'll be your friend no matter what. Even if you didn't have a present to give her, she'd still want to hang out with you. Don't sweat it."

Matt's wise words calmed TK's nerves somewhat. He felt foolish now. Of course Kari would want to be his friend. What was he thinking?

The doorbell rang and Kari jumped up from the chair and began to pace. What was taking so long? Her impatience grew when the doorbell rang again. She paced some more. Back and forth, back and forth. At last, Tai opened the bedroom door and released Kari from her confinements. When she stepped out, a loud chorus of "Happy Birthday!" greeted her now cheerful face. She laughed and commanded, "Let's get this party started!"

Everyone was there. It was like back when they had been together in the digital world, minus their Digimon. That feeling made Kari happy and somewhat exuberant. She was a ball of energy and she leaped around the room. Tai thought it was the cake. Eventually, it was time for presents and Kari bounced while she waited for her gifts to be presented to her.

Now's the moment of truth TK. Just grin and bear it. TK's thoughts were all aflutter. Everyone seemed to have bought Kari a present, and he was the only one who had made his. What if she thought he was cheap or something? His self-doubting thoughts came rushing back as he handed Kari her present. She smiled at him and began unwrapping. He was sitting right beside her, and they had gone around the circle already, so he was last. She took off the last of the wrapping paper and stared at the handmade book held between her hands. It was a light pink colour, nothing too fancy, but in the centre of the cover page, TK had pasted shiny pink jewels to form the symbol on her Crest of Light.

Kari's fingers danced gently over the jewels and she whispered, "It's so pretty. I love it TK. Thank you!"

TK let out a breath he had been holding in. He had been fully prepared to hold it in until he went unconscious if she had hated it. Now he felt silly for thinking all those things. But at least the horrid nightmare was over.

Kari just couldn't believe that he had made this for her. She felt special. She said thank you again and leaned over to give TK a kiss on the cheek. However, as her lips drew nearer to the side of his boyish face, he turned towards her and their lips met in an unexpected first kiss. Their eyes grew wide and they stared at each other, frosty sapphire meeting fiery crimson as their lips continued to touch.

TK was astonished. What was she doing? What was he doing? What was he supposed to do? Should he pull away? Would that make her mad? Why did she have to do this anyway? Didn't she have girl cooties?

At that thought, TK ripped his mouth from hers and his eyes got even wider as he screamed, "Girl cooties! Gross!"

He ran into the bathroom where he actually put the soap in his mouth and washed away all the germs he imagined were attacking him. How could this have happened? If any of the boys at school found out about this, they'd never want to play with him again. Maybe if he washed all the girl cooties away, they'd never find out. TK shivered. He felt tainted; he'd never be the same again.

Kari stayed in her sitting position, stricken by TK's reaction. What was it that he had said? Girl cooties? What on Earth was he talking about? Kari looked over at Tai, confused, only to find him and Matt rolling around on the floor, choking with laughter.

"Did you see his face?!" Tai had tears running pouring from his eyes and Matt was no better.

"Girl cooties… Haha!"

The two friends eventually concluded their laughing session and Tai added, wiping off his tears, "Thank God we got a picture!"

On the next day of school, TK was cautious, thinking that everyone was aware that his lips were no longer his; that they now belonged to a girl. Somehow, no one even guessed, and things returned to their normal state.

At least until two weeks later, when Matt showed up and gave TK a copy of the wretched picture. TK didn't talk to him for a week after he had another one of his fits of laughter.

Kari told TK that Tai had given her one too and that she had glared at him and put it in her new diary.

"So, you actually like it?" TK asked. He nervously toyed with the edge of his shirt.

"I loved it silly." Kari giggled and hugged him. "It was perfect."


So, I'm thinking of doing a follow-up story for this...

Tell me what you think please. Reviews are appreciated.

Disclaimer on profile.