Rated T for panty references ;)
"How did you make such a thing, Nonoko-chan?"
Mikan sidled into the classroom, keeping a low profile so as not to be scolded. It wasn't her fault she'd slept in, only waking up when her alarm clock - naturally one of Hotaru's inventions - had started hitting her over the head with her shoe. Reflecting, she touched her cheek and winced. The thing had been strong.
She shut the door quietly and turned around, bracing herself for Jin-Jin's inevitable wrath and imagining the terrible punishment he'd devise just for her. Last time he'd made vague threats about cow pats and fertilizer, but nothing had come of it. Maybe he was just waiting for the right time, ready to strike. She wouldn't let him get to her! She clenched her fist and felt her face set into determined lines. If he wanted to belittle her, he could definitely try, but she'd do her best and refuse to let things affect her, she'd --
"When are you going to show us how it works?"
"Yes, Nonoko, I want to go on my honeymoon with Natsume-kun!"
The last voice was Permy and Mikan blinked, dropping her fist and taking a good look at classroom for the first time. The poor substitute teacher was writing biology terms on the blackboard, chalk moving extremely slowly as he tried to work though his tears. Most of the students had left their desks and were gathered around Nonoko, jostling eagerly and trying to get a glimpse of something she was holding in one hand.
"Honeymoon?" Mikan echoed, the unfamiliar term conjuring images of honeycomb stars dotting the sky.
"Sakura!" Ruka swivelled in his chair and gave her a soft smile, Usagin regarding her unblinkingly from its perch on his shoulder.
"Ruka-pyon," she greeted him, crossing the classroom to his desk. Beside him, Natsume reclined on the bench, his feet on the desktop and a shounen manga draped over his face. "What's everyone doing?"
"Sakura-san!" Iinchou disentangled himself from the crush at the front and jogged up beside them, his cheerful face flushed.
"Iinchou," she said as he reached them, glancing past him to the group. "What's happening?"
"Ah," he replied, "that is, um. Well. Nonoko-san has been experimenting with things for Valentine's Day, which is coming up soon..."
"And?" she prompted, when he seemed at a loss to continue. She knew about Valentine's Day. It was when the girls made cards for all the boys in the class. Well, she'd always made one for everyone. Some girls only made one card, for one boy, but that was a bit rude, wasn't it?
"And she's mixed some things to make this potion that measures the compatibility of everyone it touches. Then it indicates who among them should get married."
Iinchou's face had gone very red during the course of this explanation, but Mikan hardly noticed, still pondering the strange term.
"But why is it called a 'honeymoon'? Could it be..." her eyes flashed and she felt suddenly in awe of Nonoko, "she's used honey and moonrocks to--"
"No," said everyone.
Mikan deflated. "Then, what's a--"
"Don't bother." Natsume's voice came from underneath his manga, the pages muffling his words. "No one will ever want to marry you, Ugly, so you don't even have to think about it."
She scowled. "Natsume!"
"'It's not true.'" Kokoroyomi came to stand between Ruka and Natsume, smiling enigmatically at the group. Unsure exactly who he was speaking for, Mikan chose to ignore all the confusion and looked around for Nonoko instead, hoping she could explain her concoction and what it did.
She let her eyes travel the classroom. Levitation boy, Anna, Hotaru, Permy--
Her head snapped back as if magnetised. "Hotaru!" she cried, flinging herself across the room to greet her best friend. They hadn't spoken since last night, had missed each other this morning since Mikan had slept in, and to be parted so long was agony, was pain, and now that they were together--
The burst of air caught her by surprise and she took the Baka-bullet full on, ricocheting back through the classroom and smacking into the wall. "BAKAN! BAKAN! BAKAN!"
"Wah!" she wailed, after the barrage ended. She peeled herself away from the wall and rejoined the group, going to stand meekly beside Hotaru.
Her friend gave her a level look. "Be less enthusiastic in your hellos."
Mikan sniffed. "I couldn't help it! I saw my beloved Hotaru and my heart overtook my body, causing me to run at you and envelop you in my --" she broke off as Hotaru raised the Baka Gun and caressed its barrel.
"Maybe Hotaru and Mikan will be picked by the Honeymoon Tonic," said Anna, walking over with Nonoko.
"'But what is the Honeymoon Tonic?'" asked Kokoroyomi, and this time Mikan knew exactly whose thoughts he had quoted. She turned to Nonoko expectantly and the other girl held up a glass bottle, a strange, purple liquid fizzing away inside.
"The Honeymoon Tonic," Nonoko started, "is a new mix to an old Like Potion I made last year for Valentine's Day." Behind her, the boy who made drawings come to life scribbled quickly on the teacher's desk. A stick-figure Nonoko appeared in the air with a heart above her head.
"The Like Potion didn't work quite as I expected," she continued, and the heart split in two, causing stick-figure Nonoko's face to grow sad, "as instead of allowing people to have someone like them for the day, it caused people who already liked each other to stay close the entire day."
Next to the stick-figure Nonoko appeared another stick-figure, this one with suspiciously curly hair. The new drawing had about ten bottles of the potion and threw them at Nonoko's feet before running off and crying at the edge of the blackboard.
The substitute teacher squealed and jumped back as Permy cracked her knuckles. The curly-haired drawing disappeared.
"It's important to note," Iinchou interrupted, raising a finger and assuming a lecture-like tone, "that these potions only last half a day. It's forbidden for students to to create anything that lasts longer than twenty-four hours."
Mikan nodded. "Okay. So what's the Honeymoon Tonic?"
"Well," said Nonoko, "I had also made a teleportation mixture, something that, when drunk, could move you to anywhere on the school grounds."
Stick-figure Nonoko threw back her head and gulped down a beaker of bubbling liquid before blurring and reappearing on the other side of the classroom.
Everyone turned to watch stick-figure Nonoko run back to her original place near the blackboard.
Nonoko eyed her crayon counterpart before lifting the bottle she'd been holding the whole time. "Late one night, when I was in my laboratory, I was mixing things and accidentally put the two of these in a beaker. Instead of opposing each other, the potions mixed perfectly and now it's an interesting concoction, just in time for Valentine's Day."
Stick-figure Nonoko threw some colourful liquids together and then raised her beaker in a gesture of triumph.
"Do you drink it?" Ruka asked after a moment, apparently intrigued by the story. Natsume's hand rose and slid the book from his face, before he sat up and gave his friend a dark look. "Not that I care," Ruka continued defensively, reddening.
"No, you don't need to," Nonoko answered cheerfully, giving the bottle a little shake. "You just have to dab a bit on your skin and the skin of the person you--"
The liquid started bubbling furiously, large pops of air streaming to the top. The bottle emitted a strange fizzing noise and the stopper wobbled dangerously. Nonoko stared at it in confusion as the rest of the class stepped back, crowding around Natsume and Ruka's desk.
"Oi," said Natsume, pushing Mikan back from where she'd clambered onto the bench beside him.
"What's happening, Hotaru?" she wailed, ignoring Natsume's shoving.
"It's reacting," Hotaru replied, watching the bottle with interest.
It continued to fizz and sputter for a moment, Nonoko holding it away from her body in amazement. "It shouldn't be doing this," she said, just as the stopper popped free and tonic splashed all over the room, fizzing through the air and splattering everyone in the class.
Mikan raised her arms reflexively to ward off the attack, but droplets rained down on her hair and chest regardless before dribbling down her arms. She caught her breath and wondered if the boy she was going to marry was in the class, if the tonic actually worked.
She lowered her arms.
Everyone was present and accounted for, and looking exactly the same, if a little worse for wear. Hotaru reached over and plucked Ruka's handkerchief from his pocket, calmly wiping the liquid off her face before blowing her nose and handing it back. He accepted it with wet fingers, looking a trifle shaken.
Kokoroyomi grinned at everyone. "'What happened?'" he asked, and it was pretty much the overwhelming thought of the moment.
Nonoko wiped some tonic off her shoulder and gave a slightly sad smile. "That's strange," she said, glancing down at the bottle, "I guess it didn't work, after all."
The voices around Mikan grew faint and the light became indistinct as her view of the classroom swirled and distorted, bleeding into darkness. A great spiralling void opened up beneath her and she was sucked in and away, the empty bottle of tonic the last thing she saw before everything faded to black.
Natsume landed awkwardly.
What had just happened?
One second he was sitting in the classroom, having just been doused with whatever stupid potion that girl had put together, and the next second it was like a hook behind his bellybutton had jerked him up and away, out of his seat and off into darkness.
And it was still dark. He blinked and tried to get his bearings. His lower body was sprawled across gravel or stones, but his upper body was resting on something quite soft and warm. He raised his head and gave it a prod. Soft. He poked it higher. Softer. He poked it again.
The wall hit him quite unexpectedly and winded him for a moment, and he blinked again, wondering what the hell that thing had been, having the power to fling him away like that. He wished he could see –
He scowled at his own ineptitude and concentrated, drawing on his Alice to create a small flame above his head. He made it just a little one, small enough to illuminate but not so big as to drain his power, and when the flames leapt into existence he was finally able to see the creature that he'd landed on.
She looked terrible. One of her annoyingly jaunty ponytails was no longer jaunty and instead hung sadly beside her chin, and it looked like she'd scraped her cheek on the gravel when they'd landed. No wonder, really, since it looked like she'd taken most of the impact. She'd protected him, however unwittingly, and the knowledge made him angry.
He said nothing.
She had a horrified look on her face, and one hand pressed against her chest. "You pervert!" she cried, and he suddenly realised exactly what that softness had been. "You took me away and then did perverted things to me! Surely that can't be the honeymoon-thing Nonoko was talking about?"
He blinked. That's right; the chemist-girl had mentioned something about a teleportation potion, hadn't she? But she'd mixed it with something…and he hadn't really been listening…
"What did she say?" he asked, trying to piece it together. A teleportation potion was all well and good, but why had it just been them? And why had they ended up in a…
…cave? He looked around for the first time and finally registered their surroundings. They seemed to be in a small cavern of sorts, a few metres wide with little space to stand up in – he guessed he wouldn't be able to straighten, should he stand – and no obvious sign of an exit. Despite himself, he was slightly impressed. One of his classmates had enough power to snatch them from a certain location and plonk them down in another. It was almost dangerous.
She might have to watch out. Power was not always a good thing in this place.
A wailing sound drew him back to the current situation and he scowled at his companion, who had gotten to her knees and was now scrabbling frantically at the wall opposite him. Her skirt had flipped up and he tilted his head, considering. Floral today, huh?
"We can't get out, Natsume!" she cried, continuing to scratch at the dirt. "We're trapped here forever on the honeymoon! It's like a nightmare!"
A vein throbbed at his temple. "Your voice is too loud, Floral Panties. If you keep it up, the roof will fall in and we'll be crushed."
She whipped around, a horrified look on her suddenly bloodless face. "Crushed?" Realisation dawned a second later and the horror turned to fury. "Natsumeeee…"
She launched herself at him but he was expecting it and dodged neatly, rolling to the side and letting her crash into the wall. The impact disorientated her for a second but he'd forgotten how she was basically immune to harm, and she was up again almost instantly, pinning him to the gravel before he knew what was happening.
"Natsume," she managed, through gritted teeth, "you are a terrible pervert."
He couldn't really say anything to that, so he tried to unnerve her by looking calm. It was a pretty good technique that unsettled most people.
She wasn't most people.
"And," she continued, raising a fist, a demonic look of glee upon her face, "I think it's time I make you pay."
The loose ponytail had come out entirely at some point in their scuffle, and strands of her hair were tickling his nose. He tried to ignore the gentle brushing across his skin, but the more he tried not to think about it, the more he thought about it, of course. Her hair…smelled nice. Something sweet and fruity, citrus, maybe? Orange? Whatever it was, it suited her.
Why was he thinking about her hair!
He concentrated and let his Alice ripple out somewhat. She was angry, but she wasn't thinking, and her Alice was only really effective when she was trying to make it so. He could feel the nullification humming beneath her skin, but it wasn't working against him, not yet.
He had time.
"Heh," he scoffed, trying to look bored. "I'd like to see you try it, Floral Panties."
Her mouth dropped open in a silent expression of rage and then she was cocking her fist, her arm coming down at him with extreme speed –
- and then flames crackled around her and started licking at her sleeve, a fiery path tracking up her arm.
"Wah!" she screamed, jumping back and beating at her shirt. "I'm burning!"
He rolled his eyes. "Idiot. You have to roll around in the dirt to put a fire out."
She looked at up him, her eyes wide. "Really? Ow!"
He sighed and looked away. "Yes, really."
"Wah, okay!" She flopped onto the ground like a – did she look like a sea otter? – strange animal of some description, and did a few rotations, rolling around the small cavern until he couldn't watch any longer.
"You only have to do it until the flames go out, Idiot."
She stopped and glanced up at him, her eyes spinning. "Ugh…okay…"
He let his face harden. "So what did that girl say about the stupid tonic?" Why were they here again? While it was probably the most entertainment he'd be having all year, it was rather inconvenient.
She sat up, instantly focused, and he blinked. Her ability to change like that was…a little scary.
"Nonoko-chan said it was a Honeymoon Tonic," she said, bringing a finger to her chin and tapping it thoughtfully. He watched it land near her lips and found himself staring, before shaking himself and glancing away. "She mixed a Like potion and a teleportation one, and the couple who were most compatible in marriage would get whisked away to spend time with…each…other…" she trailed off, the horrified look back on her face. "But if that's the case, why am I here with you?"
Something tingled in his tummy and he ignored it, trying to cancel it out with that look on her face. She didn't want to be here with him, that much was obvious. He needed to return the sentiment in kind. Besides, it wasn't like he wanted to be here either.
"Like I'd know," he said instead, injecting as much scorn into his voice as he could. "The stupid girl must have gotten it wrong."
She still looked shocked. "But Nonoko-chan is so good at mixing things! She always gets them right!"
"Then maybe she was right," he replied. "Maybe we're going to get married."
She shut her mouth with an audible snap and the noise echoed in the little cave. He wasn't sure where to look so he let his eyes drift over the walls for a bit, then stared at the ground for a while, before finally looking up to see her reaction.
She looked…stunned. She wasn't moving and while her face had regained a little colour it was still quite pale. Her eyes were looking past him at something and every so often her forehead creased before smoothing out again. She looked deep in thought and he had the sudden wild thought that she was imagining them married.
The something in his tummy tingled again and he coughed, trying to get her to snap out of it. "Oi, Floral Panties."
She said nothing.
She didn't even blink.
He swallowed. She was being a little freaky. Desperate times called for desperate measures, right?
Her head snapped round and she blinked, taking a deep breath. "Huh? What did you say?"
"Nothing," he said, avoiding eye contact. "Just wondering how we were going to get out of –"
His words were cut short as the wall behind him rumbled, giving him just enough warning to get out of the way before it exploded, great chunks of dirt and rock flying everywhere. He braced himself and let the shockwaves fade before stepping back and turning to see what had happened.
Light spilled into the cave and its re-emergence burned his eyes. He raised a hand to shield himself from the glare and felt her do the same. Footsteps crunched over gravel and someone stooped, entering the cave and giving a low laugh.
"I've found you," came a voice, and he was suddenly chilled at what this unknown appearance could mean. "I've finally found you."
In the aftermath of the small explosion, the dirt seemed to take forever to clear. Mikan crouched and held her breath as the dust finally dissipated, slowly revealing a shadowy figure standing in an opening, etched from behind by the afternoon sunlight. She kept her hand up to shield her eyes, afraid to close them lest they be taken unawares again.
Dust got into her mouth despite her best efforts and she coughed, glancing around for Natsume. He'd fallen in shock after the man had spoken, which had been surprising in itself. The blowing up of the cave wall hadn't seemed to unnerve him in the slightest, but when the intruder had spoken, said he'd found them…
There – his hand. She crawled over and grabbed it, pulling his strangely compliant arm over her head and hoisting him to his feet. He seemed dazed and his eyes were a bit unfocused, the pupils small as pinpricks in the circles of crimson iris.
"Natsume?" she whispered, her head whipping between the shadowy figure and her classmate. It was hard to tell which was the more dangerous. "Are you okay?"
The reply wasn't that promising but he blinked a couple of times before straightening and thrusting her supporting shoulder from him with a tight scowl.
She clenched her fist at his rudeness and would have smacked him one, but then she remembered their situation and turned back to the cave entrance. She moved forward slightly, putting herself between the unknown man and Natsume, who hissed at the action.
She hardly noticed. Who had found them? How did they know they were here? And why had they used such a…violent method to enter the cave?
"Geez, couldn't you have been a little more gentle?"
Wait a minute, she knew that voice. She blinked groggily and lowered her hand. Her eyes adjusted to the light and she could finally see the outline of their intruder. Tall frame, spiky hair…wah, it was!
"Tsubasa-sempai!" she found herself wailing, pushing off the ground and running towards him. He opened his arms and caught her as she catapulted into him and she clung to his frame, sobbing into his shoulder.
She glanced up through her tearing eyes and found Misaki smiling at her from ten places. "Ah, Misaki-sempai, did you break the wall down?"
The older girl gave her a victory sign and her doppelgangers leapt into a cheerleading pyramid, balancing carefully in a four-three-two formation. "With a bit of help!" Streamers burst from nowhere and they all clapped politely before Mikan remembered her embarrassing situation.
"Wah!" she cried, throwing her arms around Tsubasa's neck. "It was terrible! I was in class and then I was in a dark cave and the only person with me was Natsume and he saw my –" She stopped.
Tsubasa hoisted her onto his shoulder and slung an arm around her legs, glancing up with an interested look. "And he saw your...?"
She glared at her classmate, who was still standing at the edge of the cave. "N-Nothing."
Now that they were out she could tell where they'd ended up, and it looked like they were on the edge of the Northern Forest. From her perch on Tsubasa's shoulder she could see one of the school buildings over the trees and when Misaki dismissed her clones she saw something else that proved their position.
It sensed her regard and its head swivelled instantly, bead eyes flashing and fixing her in a chilling, pinning glare. She whimpered and clung to Tsubasa's head. "Tsubasa-sempaiiiii…"
Natsume's voice jolted her and she thankfully broke eye contact with the demon-toy, turning to see what he wanted. He wasn't looking at her and she was suddenly glad, because his face was pinched and angry and she didn't want to be on the receiving end of such a look.
"You're always clinging," he gritted out, and she blinked, wondering what he was getting at. She'd just been through a very scary situation, what did he expect? And sure, he'd been there too, but it was Natsume after all, and he wasn't scared of anything, and he –
She broke off that train of thought and recalled his pale face and overbright eyes. He had been scared back there; he'd been terrified of something, and she'd just ignored his fear and concentrated on her own. She'd been selfish again and now she felt terrible. Moving Tsubasa's arm aside, she pushed off from his shoulder and dropped lightly to the ground.
Natsume still wasn't looking at her so she crossed over to him, stepping deliberately into his field of vision. "Um," she said, at a bit of a loss. What to say, and how to say it? "It wasn't that bad."
He glanced up, the careless mask back on his face. "What wasn't, Floral Panties?"
Her fist was cocked and skimming through the air before she knew it, and it took all of her self-control to halt its destructive path before she broke Natsume's nose. While it would probably be satisfying for a moment, he'd make her pay, and she knew it wouldn't be pretty.
"I was trying to say," she replied as calmly as she could, dropping her arm and holding her fist to keep it in check, "that there are worse things than waking up in a dark cave next to you."
He blinked. "Like what?"
Wah, he had her now! Like what, indeed? She'd been trying to reassure him, it wasn't like she'd put thought into it!
"Um," she replied, running frantically through things she didn't like, "like…detention with Jin-Jin!"
Natsume looked skeptical.
"Isn't that flattering, Natsume-chan?" Tsubasa came over and smiled down at them, clapping a hand on their shoulders. "You're more exciting than detention!"
Mikan recognised the glint in Natsume's eye and reached out before he could do anything, reacting unthinkingly to the possibility of danger. He glanced down in surprise just as she looked up to shout at him and their noses bumped…
…just as their entire class rounded the corner and stopped, stunned by their proximity.
Once again Mikan bemoaned her terrible fate.
She was caught in a compromising position with Natsume, and this time, everyone had seen it.
He'd been surprised when her arms came around his chest, gripping him tight. It brought back that tingle to his tummy and he was so shocked by being on the receiving end of her annoying need to hug that he was unable to react for a moment.
And a moment was all it took.
He looked down as she looked up and angles and geometry and other stuff he knew but couldn't remember made the bridges of their noses hit, and before he could pull back in irritation…
…all their classmates appeared. And paused. And gasped.
He was debating whether to pull back slowly and scowl at everyone, or to push her away and scowl at everyone, when she made the decision for him and leapt away from him, tackling her cool-eyed friend.
"Hotaruuuuuu!" she cried, only to be rudely rebuffed by way of a horse-deer combo. She landed heavily and skidded across the dirt before getting up and rubbing her head. The other girl put away her Idiot Gloves and gave them an icy look.
"Where have you two been all this time?"
He shoved his hands in his pockets and sauntered over, scowling at everyone. "Shouldn't she know?" He jerked his head at the stupid chemist-girl, who looked flushed and a bit distressed.
"The potion wasn't exact," said Tsubasa, coming over and resting his hands on Mikan's head. He felt his eyes narrow and scowled at the older boy, who returned the look with a smile. "Nonoko-chan wasn't sure where you'd gotten to, so Iinchou came and recruited us to help out with the search party."
Tsubasa's weird classmate grinned and did a victory sign, and he was strangely relieved to see there was only one of her now. "We were happy to be of service. It got us out of study hall, and we're always looking for interruptions to studying."
"The potion!" Beside him, Mikan jerked up and did that mood-swing thing she was so good at. He contented himself with merely blinking at her ridiculous pace and then gave her an impassive stare. She looked horrified again. "We got the potion on us and then we woke up in a cave and then Natsume saw my—" She stopped again and he wondered if she'd ever learn to think before she spoke.
Her cool-eyed friend turned and gave him a strangely approving look, talking past him to Mikan. "Is that so?"
She sniffed. "Er, well, it was okay, but we were in a cave. And it was just the two of us! Why were we the only ones who got taken away?"
"I'm sorry!" The chemist-girl ran forward from the group of students and stopped, wringing her hands and looking sad. "I didn't mean for the potion to get everywhere and –"
"It turns out it was only a teleportation potion." The inventor-girl spoke and everyone turned to look at her. "Isn't that right, Ruka?"
His friend looked surprised. "Uh…er…that is…sure?"
Mikan gasped. "It wasn't a Like Potion as well? We're not getting married?"
He repressed the annoyance that surged at her almost-relieved tone. "Like we would anyway, Floral Panties."
"No," the other girl continued smoothly, and he remembered that she was quite the accomplished liar, "Nonoko had it wrong. It was just the plain teleportation potion and you got picked up by mistake."
It was a pretty poor excuse and the rest of the class looked a bit surprised at how flimsy it was, but Mikan had always been simple and was easily convinced.
"Ah!" she exclaimed, looking pleased, "well, that explains a lot."
Behind him, Kokoroyomi slapped a hand to his forehead, and Natsume could only agree with the sentiment.
They made their way back to the classroom, most of the students recovering quickly from the out-and-out falsehood. Natsume made eye contact with Mikan's friend and the inventor-girl had given him a cool nod. He was slightly impressed with how well she'd diffused the situation.
He was unimpressed, however, by Tsubasa and his closeness.
The middle-schooler had picked up Mikan as they started trekking back, and Natsume spent the entire walk back boring holes in his back. Figuratively, of course. As much as he disliked the boy he still had that grudging respect for him, and it wouldn't do to burn his jacket. Although, it was tempting…
His desire to flame things faded when they got back inside and the two older students left for their own classes. They shuffled back into the classroom and the substitute teacher picked himself up from the sad puddle he'd made on the floor before welcoming them back, running over to cling to Mikan and sob into her shoulder.
"It's all right, Sensei," she said, patting him awkwardly. "We just went on a honeymoon that wasn't a honeymoon and everyone had to find us." She glanced up. "Wah, that reminds me, no one ever told me what a honeymoon is!"
The class rep patted her arm. "Well, Mikan-chan, it's—"
Natsume interrupted, strangely unwilling to let her know. "Don't worry, Floral Panties," he said, leaning back into his chair and plopping a manga over his face. "You won't ever be going on one."
He heard Mikan's control snap and then there was a sound of scuffling, and he assumed the class rep was holding her back. That was okay. Like he was any threat.
Kokoroyomi slid onto the bench beside him. "Should I say what you're really thinking, Natsume-san?"
He moved the manga down slightly so the other boy could see his eyes. "Are you feeling lucky?"
Kokoroyomi only smiled. "I was just offering. You know, to clear the air."
"Don't bother," he replied. "I'll do it myself."
And then the conversation was cut short by Mikan breaking free of restraint and jumping on him, knocking him to the ground and proceeding to (well, trying to) beat him up. He defended himself minimally and thought with almost amusement that he didn't need any stupid Honeymoon Tonics to get closer than this.
"Oi," he said, as she paused between hits, "you're always molesting me. Do you have some sort of ulterior motive, Floral Panties?"
She flushed. "Who would have any sort of motive for you!"
"I just thought you might, Floral Panties."
"Stop calling me that, you horrible pervert!"
"Who would want to look at you in that way, Ugly?"
"Argh, I'm going to kill you, Natsume!"
"Kill me by squashing me. You're not light, you know."
Around them, the class settled back into their seats, returning to routine. It had been an interesting morning, but everything was back to normal.
Who knew what the afternoon would bring?
...and that's it! Just a quick note - I deliberately made it so that Mikan was the only girl Natsume thinks about by name. I'm not trying to be extra descriptive by calling Nonoko "stupid chemist-girl" or whatever - it's just that Ruka makes a point that Mikan is the only one Natsume has ever called by name.
Thanks to DarkenedSakura for being my betarooni, Nushi for enjoying the young love, and everyone at the Gakuen Alice livejournal community. Hope you enjoyed it!