Welcome to my story page! This is a Kouzumi fic and the first one I'll be posting up on fanfiction. I find AU works for a lot of Digimon fanfics, so I wanted to try creating one. This was originally just going to be a romance, but I decided to throw some comedy in as well.

I don't own Digimon in any way.

Please R & R!

x x x

It wasn't supposed to happen this way.

"I……I love you, Takuya."

I stood completely still, eyes locked on Takuya Kanbara – my crush since the start of high school. A bead of sweat formed on my brow, but it was cooled by the crisp autumn breeze. My hands twisted nervously in my pockets while I waited for him to respond.

Takuya sighed and ran a hand through his messy, brown hair. "I was wondering why you had called me out to the park so suddenly. I never expected it would be because of…well, this."

My stomach tightened, but I let him continue.

"Look, Izumi, I think you're cool and all—"

At this point, I knew what his answer would be. He seemed uncomfortable as he averted my gaze. My instincts were screaming at me from inside. Leave now, they echoed, you don't want to hear this.

"—But I can't return your feelings. Sorry."

"At least tell me," I started, feeling a little angry, "Tell me why you're saying no."

Takuya scratched the back of his head stupidly. "Aw come on, Izumi. Don't make me say it."

I glared. He owed me that much, and he knew it, too.

"I guess," Takuya shrugged his shoulders, "I'm not attracted to tomboys. I'd like to date someone a little more feminine than you."

See, Izumi? He's just not attracted to—wait. Tomboy?

"So, uh, no hard feelings, right?" He punched my shoulder like two football buddies would do before a big game. Was that supposed to be funny? He just stood there, grinning stupidly, so I guess he found some humor in it.

My fists clenched. He was lucky there were people around and a shortage of sharp objects to throw.

"None at all," I gritted through my teeth. "Now go. I can tell you want to leave."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. I need to be alone right now."

"Okay. See you at school, then." Takuya waved and left the scene, a little too fast, and I watched him like I always seemed to.

You idiot, my mind yelled at his retreating back, you were supposed to say yes.

By My Side
.::Chapter 1::.

Izumi Orimoto – blonde hair, blue eyes, perfect figure, personality of……a boy?

I sat behind the huge fountain in the center of the park to clear my thoughts. Takuya's rejection was bugging me, to say the least. He had called me a tomboy like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I guess I did act a little tougher than most girls I knew, but what was wrong with that? Some guys like a girl who can stick up for herself.

My head found a cozy spot between my knees as I held them to my chest tightly. The best plan of action now would be to forget Takuya Kanbara and move on. But even as the idea passed through my thoughts, I laughed under my breath. After two years of admiring him, forgetting his presence would not be easy.

My thoughts were interrupted as a tune from my cell phone rang through the air. I glanced down at the cover to see who it was. The screen flashed the text: MOM. I groaned quietly and flipped open the phone.

"Hi, Mom," I answered unenthusiastically.

"Izumi?" My mother's high-pitched tone sounded through the speaker. "Are you alright, dear? You haven't come home yet, so I was starting to get worried."

"I'm fine, Mom." I usually headed straight home after school everyday, so I could understand her concern. "I'm actually at the park. Is it okay if I stay a little longer?"

"As long as you're back in time for dinner, I see no problem with that."

"Thanks. I'll see you later," I said.

"Bye, sweetie."

I flipped my phone shut and leaned back against the cool marble of the fountain. The soft breeze picked up once again, and it chilled my skin despite the fact that I was wearing a sweater. My blonde hair swayed idly in the wind while I played with the cover of my phone. A sudden flash from the bushes caught my attention, but it was gone as soon as it came. A red maple leaf floated along an air current and landed on the ground beside my hand.

I stared at it. Red. Takuya's favorite color.

I mentally slapped the thought away. Don't think about those things, I told myself, you need to forget about Takuya. But that was pretty hard when everything reminded me of him! I groaned, standing up on my feet. I needed a quick distraction. On the other side of the park, a white truck was parked with a huge sign that said 'Ice Cream'. Perfect. I dashed over and the man inside the truck leaned over the edge of the window with a smile.

"Good afternoon, miss. What can I get you?" He asked.

"I'll take a chocolate soft serve."

"Coming right up." He went inside the back for a minute, then came out with a perfectly made ice cream cone. When he handed it to me, I took it and gave him the three dollars I was supposed to use for lunch.

"Thanks, miss!" The man passed me my change and I had to balance the cone in my right hand so I could grab it. I dropped the coins in my pocket, and when I went to take a bite out of my ice cream, I noticed a huge crater gone from the top of it.

My mouth dropped. "What the—"

"Chocolate. Nice choice."

I jumped at the sudden entrance of a voice to my left. I glanced in that direction to see a boy, who seemed to be my age, licking a spot of chocolate off of his chin. He had dark eyes and even darker hair, which was pulled into a thin ponytail and covered by a blue bandana on his head. He was wearing a blue sweatshirt with a yellow undershirt and dark grey pants with white sneakers. I must have been staring, because he locked eyes with me and smirked.

"Something the matter?" He asked casually.

"Yeah!" I glared and pointed to my mangled ice cream mountain. "You just put your tongue all over my ice cream!"

He shrugged. "It was only one lick. I wanted to try it."

"Well I can't eat it now!" I huffed. Who did this boy think he was? I had half a mind to shove the rest of the cone in his face.

"Don't worry, I'll make it up to you somehow." He reached behind his back and pulled up a camera, which was attached to a gray strap around his shoulder. It looked really high tech. "You take nice pictures, by the way."

"I...what?" A chunk of ice cream melted right off the cone and onto my hand. I slammed the stupid cone into the trash cane and wiped my hands on a nearby tree. The boy rubbed the lens on his camera before turning it to me.

"Look on the screen," he told me.

I took it from him, and my eyes widened. It was a picture of me, from when I was sitting behind the fountain. The sun made the blonde strands in my hair appear golden as I leaned against the marble with a longing expression on my face. I blushed. When did he…? I suddenly recalled the flash from the bushes earlier.

"You took a picture of me?" It sounded like more of an accusation than a question coming from my mouth.

"Well, yeah. It came out great." He pulled the camera back and stared at the picture himself. "Have you ever considered modeling?"

I snorted. "Me? Are you serious?"

He nodded. "Why not? I can tell you have potential, uh—"

"Izumi," I offered.

"I'm Kouji," He extended his hand to me, and I shook it. "You should stop by this studio tomorrow. They're having auditions for WING's new model." He handed me a business card, but I swatted it away.

"Isn't WING that fashion line for teens? They wouldn't want someone like me modeling their clothes."

Takuya's words surfaced at the back of my mind. I'm not attracted to tomboys.

Kouji reached over and stuck the business card in my jeans pocket. "At least think about it? I'll buy you an ice cream if you audition." I crossed my arms. His cell phone started beeping suddenly. "I have to go. See you later, Izumi."

I was at a loss for words. Kouji was gone and the feeling of the business card was warm in my pocket.

x x x

I had thought about it all night, and came to the conclusion that it wouldn't be so bad just to audition. Besides, if I became a famous model for WING, Takuya would surely recognize that I was just as feminine as the next girl. And that he made a big mistake by turning me down.

Right now I was standing in front of the Minamoto Agency – the place where the business card said the auditions would be held. It was Saturday, so I had told my parents that I was going to the park again to get out of the house. I clutched the card and stared up at the gigantic building; it must have been at least 20 floors high with a personal office around every corner.

"The Minamoto's must be super rich," I said out loud, suddenly feeling a little intimidated, "I wonder if I'll get to meet a few top executives."

The huge glass doors to the building opened in front of me and a skinny red-haired girl came running out to greet me. She was wearing a white dress, a headset, and a pair of black rimmed glasses. Her red curls bounced as she scrambled over to me.

"Hi! You must be here for the audition! Please come inside," Before I could respond, she looped her arm through mine and dragged me inside the glass doors. I gaped. The main lobby had a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a large fountain in the center of the room. There were expensive looking antiques and furniture all over the place. The girl giggled at my expression. "My name's Arisa Inoue. I'm the receptionist here and a designer for WING."

"I'm Izumi Orimoto. Nice to meet you."

Arisa beamed. "It's nice to meet you, too! Now if you'll please follow me, I'll take you to the prep room."

I laughed awkwardly. Do I really have a choice? You're dragging me along like a kid in a candy store, lady.

We rode the elevator to the tenth floor and then Arisa led me to a small office. She fiddled with her keys and unlocked it for me, pushing me inside. Even this little office was extravagant. It had hardwood floors, a designer couch and a polished oak desk. Arisa was used to this living style, and seemed uninterested as she flipped open her clipboard.

"Alright, Izumi, you have five minutes to prepare yourself in this room. There's a mirror and a brush over there on the desk if you need it." She tapped her pen against the corner of her mouth. "You're audition number is 508. They'll call you on the loud speaker when it's your turn."

My hands started trembling. "U-Um, Ms. Inoue?"

"Please, call me Arisa. I'm not that much older than you, anyway."

"Arisa," I corrected myself, "What kinds of things will I have to do for the audition?"

She just stared at me like I had four heads. "Shouldn't you know?"

I knew this would happen. She was used to dealing with professional models, not first timers like me. I decided to keep the fact that this was my first audition a secret. "Could you…refresh my memory?"

"Well," Arisa tapped her clipboard. "You'll obviously have to pose, take a few pictures, do a little runway walking…the basics."

Enter freak out mode. I wasn't sure I could do any of those things.

"Are you ok?" Arisa asked me with a cute tilt of her head. "You seem kind of pale."

"I'm fine." Liar.

"Well, I have to get down to the lobby. Good luck with your audition!" She smiled and shut the door behind her.

As she left me to my thoughts, with only three minutes left of my preparation time, I decided to weigh the positives against the negatives. Positive: Getting back at Takuya for calling me a tomboy. Negative: Embarrassing myself in front of a panel of top designers. And while I did care about showing Takuya up, the negatives had a stronger argument. I had to leave. The door creaked open as I slid through it and checked to make sure no one was coming. I reached the elevator when a familiar voice stopped me in my tracks.

"Hey, Izumi."

I spun around to meet my dark-eyed acquaintance.


"I'm glad you decided to show up," he smiled, and my heart thumped in my chest. He looked pleased to see me here. His smile faded, though, and his eyes lowered when he noticed the elevator. "Were you, by any chance, thinking of bailing out on the audition?"

Damn he was sharp. I panicked. "D-Don't be silly! I didn't come here to audition, I just came to check out the studio!" It was partially true, at least.

He grabbed my sleeve and leaned over me like a killer. "You're lying."

"No! I'm really telling the—" And for the second time that day, I was being dragged away like a rag doll against my will. "Kouji, where the heck are you taking me?"

He didn't turn around. "You're going to audition!"

My mouth fell open. "What? No way! Let me go!"

"Hell no!"

"Yes! Let go right now!" I kicked my legs, hoping to make it harder for him to hold on.

"No," Kouji repeated, his grip tightening.

"Kouji, I'll ask you one more time to release me!"

"And I'll deny you one more time. No."

"I want a lawyer!" I screamed. "Somebody get me a lawyer!"

"You can't afford a lawyer here!"

We reached the end of the hallway, and Kouji pushed a tall door open, slamming it behind us. The room was comprised of a lengthy table covered with a white cloth that read 'WING Label Audition' on the front, metal chairs, and a plain backdrop next to a camera. It was the audition room. Kouji sunk down into a metal chair to catch his breath, and I stayed standing in the corner with my arms crossed.

"The other judges will be here any minute," he noticed my attitude and sighed, "You'll thank me for this later."

"Oh really?" I responded bitterly. "I'll thank you for letting me embarrass myself in front of a bunch of strangers?"

"Not all strangers," he leaned forward in his chair to look at my face, "I'll be here."

I raised an eyebrow. "Why? Are you part of the clean-up crew?"

Kouji seemed very confused at my question. "Izumi, didn't I tell you?"

"Tell me what?"

"My last name," he replied, "It's Minamoto."

Hold on. 'Minamoto' as in……Minamoto-on-the-business-card-owns-this-place, Minamoto?

Holy crap.

"No way," I choked out.

There was a sharp banging on the door as people started crowding into the room. They were all conversing loudly with each other, pulling off their designer sunglasses and hanging up their expensive leather and fur coats before getting settled in the chairs. Kouji made his way over to my side through all the commotion.

"These people are some of the designers and executives from WING. They'll be judging you alongside me," He whispered. I noticed how Arisa slipped through the door and moved to the corner. "Arisa's also here to monitor the audition."

He was explaining the ropes to me, but I couldn't hear him over the turmoil in my own head. I was way too nervous right now to concentrate. I reached out blindly and grabbed hold of his sleeve. He shut up instantly.

"Are you ok, Izumi?" He sounded concerned.

"Kouji, please," I swallowed hard before continuing, "I can't do this. I'm not a professional. I'll just look stupid."

A beefy man stood up in his white suit and read off a piece of paper. "Number 508, please come up to the panel."

Kouji glanced at the designers, then back at me. "You'll do fine. I promise." He lifted my shaky hand and squeezed it tightly with his own. I let go reluctantly so he could take his place at the panel. The judges were waiting for me, so I took a deep breath and marched over.

"State your number and name," the beefy man said, lazily.

"I'm n-number 508. Izumi Orimoto." I tried to hold a smile for them, but it came across as more of a murderous grin than anything. Damn nerves.

The room fell silent.

"I want her," Kouji pointed to me.

Arisa stumbled and had to push her glasses back up. "S-Sir, are you certain you want her? We haven't even started her audition or any others—"

Kouji leaned back in his chair with his arms crossed behind his head. "The President put me in charge of choosing the new model for WING, right? And I'm telling you I want this girl for the job. Inform the President for me, please."

"Right away, sir." Arisa bowed then left the room.

The judges stared at each other for the longest time, then over at me, who still had a murderous grin on my face because it seemed to be frozen that way. They raised an eyebrow at Kouji, who was rocking in his chair with a smile. Then they looked at each other again, shrugged, and pulled out their cell phones to make the arrangements. Talk about blind trust.

Kouji sauntered over to my side and placed his hand on my shoulder. "Way to go, Izumi. You got the job." Then he laughed. "I planned on picking you the whole time, but I thought it would be good to let you sweat it out a little."

I was going to kill him...as soon as the feeling came back to my arms. But I was relieved the whole ordeal was over and that I actually landed the job. I never wanted to be that nervous again in my entire life.

"Kouji?" I asked, cheeks flushed.

He put his hands in his pockets. "Yeah?"

"You owe me an ice cream."

x x x

Next time: Izumi's first job as a model.

Read and Review. It will make me happy.