Disclaimer: I don't own Vampire Knight or any places, things, characters, or ideas therein. The aforementioned belong to Matsuri Hino and Viz Media. I am making no profit from this story in any way, shape, or form. It was written for entertainment purposes only.

Summary: Eight year old Touya Rima, coerced into modeling by her mother, makes an unshakeable friend on her very first day. Though their meeting was entirely incidental, the results of their ever-enduring friendship are not. :Shiki x Rima:

Rating: K+

Warnings: Fluff and cuteness

Pairing: Shiki/Rima

Part: 1/1

Author's Note: I've only seen Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight: Guilty, and read one chapter of the manga, but I am completely in love with Shiki/Rima. From episode one, I knew they would be my favorite pairing. They fascinate me. Please forgive me for any mistakes in characterization, timeline, etc., but as far as I know, there's no set place or way Shiki and Rima met, so I wanted to do a little piece about it for my first VK fic. I really, really hope you enjoy reading it, and thank you so much for giving my little piece a chance!


*~Model Perfect~*

.:fyd818:.


Eight-year-old Rima Touya shut the door behind herself, letting out a long breath in relief as she relished her freedom. Granted, only but a flimsy piece of wood stood between her and her mother's fawning attentions, but she welcomed the reprieve nonetheless.

According to her mother, this was Rima's "time to shine." Eight was, apparently, the perfect age for her to start modeling: still young enough to retain her adorable childlike innocence while being right on the cusp of young womanhood. Those things came together to create the perfect model, and Mrs. Touya was happy (too happy, in her daughter's opinion) her daughter had been chosen as the girl with all those qualities.

Tossing her head of honey-colored hair, Rima headed across the room to settle herself at the miniature dressing table she'd only glimpsed earlier, one impossibly even fancier than the one in her room at home. She marveled at its beauty even as she ignored her reflection in the mirror. She wasn't ready to become someone else yet, she was still perfectly happy being herself. Her reflection would change soon enough; no point in staring at herself now as herself. She'd only regret her transformation later.

Thunk.

Startled, Rima spun from the mirror to look behind her. At first she thought the sound had come from the door. But it didn't open, and the sound didn't repeat itself.

"Hello?" Perhaps she had been mistaken and wandered into someone else's dressing room. But even as the thought crossed her young mind, she rejected it. The director of the photo shoot had shown Rima and her mother the room earlier, and she distinctly remembered seeing her name on the sign under the room number. "Is someone else in here?"

A soft, quickly indrawn breath answered her question. This time she was able to pinpoint the sound: it came from behind the mostly-closed closet doors across the room.

Sliding off her seat, Rima crept across the room. With the barest of thoughts, the tips of her fingers charged with electricity, ready to defend herself if necessary. She knew she needed to be careful with her power, so she didn't hurt anyone and so no humans would see her, but if the person in her closet harbored ill intent to her person, she wasn't going to hold back.

Securing the handle of the closet door with the hand not ready to defend, Rima yanked it open, ready to attack, ready to scream, ready to do just about anything.

Among the soft velvets, watery silks, and glittering sequins making up the rainbow contents of the closet, blood red hair and ice blue eyes immediately arrested her gaze, playing hide-and-seek with the clothes awaiting her attention.

"Huh?" She'd been expecting - something else. Whether human or vampire, she had yanked the door open anticipating an attacker of some sort, not a boy with hair the color of the blood her kind craved and eyes the color of ice. "Who are you? And what are you doing in my closet?"

Rubbing his eyes, whether to free them from sleep or tears Rima wasn't sure, the boy slowly climbed to his feet and lowered his hands to stare at her. "I'm sorry," he said in a small voice. "I didn't mean to intrude in your space. This was just the first room I came to, and there was no one in here, so I came in. I'm sorry," he repeated.

Rima lowered her hand, letting the electricity charging her hand fizz away into nothing. "Are you a model here?" she asked.

The boy silently shook his head. His eyes momentarily darted past her to the door, then returned to her face.

She sighed. "My name's Rima," she volunteered, hoping to get some sort of verbal response from him.

He hesitated, soundlessly mouthing her name to himself. Then he finally replied, "I'm Senri."

Senri. It was a nice name, anyway. She found herself kind of liking it. "Well, if you're not a model, what are you doing here?"

Again, Senri's eyes drifted toward the door. "I'm here with my mother." His tone implied he was here, in her dressing room, hiding from his mother.

"Your mom overbearing, too?" Rima asked.

Something deep in Senri's eyes flashed, offering the first hint of life she'd seen since she first encountered him only a few minutes ago. "No." He offered no other answer, making him one of the least forthcoming people Rima had ever had the pleasure of meeting in her life.

"Don't you think she'll be looking for you?" she prompted. She didn't want him to get in trouble, and she didn't want to get in trouble for hiding him, either.

"I doubt it." Senri finally stepped out of her closet, and she noticed his outfit. His clothes looked expensive, like those she had on, but he wore them sloppily. The button-up shirt under his sweater was untucked, the knees of his pants were dirty, and his shoes scuffed. "What about you?"

"Oh, my mom knows where I am."

Senri shot her a strange look. "No. I mean, are you a model here?"

"Oh." Rima tucked a loose strand of honey hair behind her ear, feeling suddenly awkward - not an accustomed feeling for her. "Yes. This is my first shoot, though." She laughed nervously, tapping the toe of her shoe against the ground behind her. "I'm kind of nervous."

"Don't be," Senri replied immediately. "You're pretty. You'll do fine."

Rima blinked. "Thank you?" He'd said the words as if stating the sky was blue or water was wet. It left her wondering if he was sincere in his compliment or not.

Behind her, the door opened. Rima spun around, fixing a wide smile on her face. Her mother looked harried as she opened her mouth, undoubtedly to scold her daughter, until she saw Senri. Her expression quickly smoothed into her "I'm the consummate lady" face she liked to wear when they had company. She said, "I didn't realize you had found a friend, Rima." Disapproval underlay the silky sweetness of her tone.

"This is Senri." Without waiting for her mother's response - which would undoubtedly be disparaging - she turned to her closet and pulled out the first dress her hand touched. She didn't know if it was the right one for the shoot or not, and frankly, she didn't care. "He's going to be in the shoot with me." She stated it with all the innocent frankness of a child, in a way that made it clear she believed what she said.

A few minutes later, after the makeup crew had come and gone from her room and Rima had been made to change into the "correct" dress behind the beautiful screen in the corner of the room, she, Senri, and her mother arrived on the set of the shoot.

"Ah!" said the director, a man whose name Rima had forgotten as soon as he'd given it. "I did not know you were bringing a friend to the set, Miss Touya. I was not informed. If I was, perhaps we would have been able to-"

"He's going to be in the shoot with me," Rima stated matter-of-factly. She did not let go of Senri's hand, which she had been clinging to since they left her dressing room.

The director's eyebrows shot up. "Well, Miss Touya," he began, "this shoot is-"

Rima felt Senri's grip loosen around hers. He took a step back, tugging to try to pull his hand free, but she clung tighter to him. "No," she said, stomping her little foot. She'd never pulled a temper tantrum before - her parents would have never fallen for it, so she never saw a point in trying - but she was not going to give up until Senri was allowed to stand in front of the camera with her. She didn't want to let go of him, let him out of her sight. There was something about him, something that drew her to him and made her want to protect him. She couldn't do that if she left his side.

For a moment it looked like the director was going to refuse. He drew in a deep breath, making him swell up like the toad he resembled, and his face went bright red. But then he finally let out his breath, sagging with the motion, and turned toward Senri. "What's your name, boy?" he asked.

"Senri." He mumbled his name, his eyes fixed on the floor. He still stood a step away from Rima, his hand rigid in her grip.

A few moments passed, as if the director expected more, but finally he cleared his throat. "Very well." He eyed Senri once from the top of his head to the tips of his shoes. "I suppose we can make this work - Senri. Thankfully, it looks like you're wearing clothes of the same brand as Miss Touya. If we could just polish up your shoes, get that dirt off your pants, and tuck in your shirt..." He nodded, then wandered off shouting for wardrobe and makeup.

As the hordes descended on Senri, he clung to Rima as they moved about him. She kept up a stream of inane chatter, distracting him and evening managing to draw out a smile or two while the makeup and wardrobe people made him look as polished as Rima.

Several hours later, at the end of the shoot, the director spoke quietly to Rima's mother as the two children sat side by side, talking like old friends. "I've never seen two children so young click so well on set," he said. "Are you certain they've never met each other before today?"

Mrs. Touya shook her head, unable to tear her gaze from Rima and Senri. "Yes," she murmured. "I'm quite certain. I never knew my daughter could make friends so quickly." She had never before witnessed her daughter get along so easily with anyone, not even another child her own age.

"Well, it's definitely special what they've got," the director remarked. He shook his head once, obviously marveling over what he'd just seen. "Those two are natural partners on camera. They're going to go far in the modeling business, you mark my words."

He was right. Though years later, aftering entering Cross Academy, neither Rima or Senri could remember the name of the director of their first shoot or the brand of clothing they'd modeled, they both remembered being determined to model together. That same determination carried them both to fame for being the best modeling duo in the business, the pair all the agencies wanted to book for their shoots.

And through it all, they remained the best of friends. As time wore on, they grew even closer, marrying on the twelfth-year anniversary of the day they first met; closing out the first era of their lives as they began the next, even more exciting one.

*~The End~*

Author's Ending Notes: Again, apologies for any mistakes in characterizations and timelines and things. I've only seen the VK and VKG anime, plus read one chapter of the manga. But I'm so in love with Shiki/Rima that I had to do a little piece. I hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for giving it a chance!