Dreams and Reality by Koharu Mitsuki

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Standard disclaimers apply.

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He always thought that the girl he'd end up with would be a shy, timid, sweet girl—the type who's as fragile as glass, the one who'll need his protection. He never really thought about it before, but he expected as much. She would rely on him, and he'd be more than willing to protect her. When you think about it, the mere thought of the whole matter is chivalrous—definitely not like him. In addition to that, the irony of their personality is far too paradoxical. Her sweet, caring, gentle nature would clash horribly with his rough, calloused personality. Yes, and to even think that a girl like that could ever fall for him. Yet at certain times, it feels so weird just by thinking about it. Sometimes, it was as if that type of girl isn't really for him.

"Hey, Natsume-kun?"

Certain times like this. Oh, why does she have to have good timing? Really, it's not fair. Albeit he somewhat learned to enjoy her company, there are just some times that he wished to be alone. It felt uncomfortable thinking about her when Mikan was there. Ever since she arrived, his dream girl began to just…blur. When he was in trouble, instead of his dream girl encouraging him, telling him that he can get out of this situation…he saw Mikan's smiling face; when he's depressed, instead of her cheering him up, it's Mikan telling some random joke, that by some strange reason… lightens up his mood. When he's happy, it's Mikan who seems to share it with him, no matter how oblivious she is to it. So, as time passed, as he spends more time with Mikan, that seemingly perfect vision of his ideal partner began to disappear.

"Natsume-kun?"

It didn't take a while before Mikan completely filled his thoughts. She was hard to ignore. Still—he avoided her. He didn't want to be near her, yet at the same time he wanted to. He was afraid. Yeah, that's right; Afraid. He was afraid of how much she can do. Afraid, of how she can influence his life. It was confusing, really. The way she'd just barge into his life and make her feel all new sorts of things he never knew he was capable of feeling.

He experienced things he forgot he knew how. Smile, laugh… make friends, take things seriously…think positively…it was all because of her. Slowly, Mikan made a big impact in his life. Slowly, things seemed to be brighter. Slowly, he began to let go. Slowly, he freed himself. Slowly, he opened up. Slowly, he began to feel again. Slowly, he began to fall in love. Slowly, he learned to let his dream girl go. Slowly, his feelings grew.

And now he knows.

He never really had any dream girl. She was just a figment of imagination to soothe his lonely soul. He never really had any so-called 'standards' in choosing a girl. But Mikan was there. She is real. She may not be perfect, but she has qualities that are rarely found in anyone. She's Mikan. Just Mikan. Yet, he somehow managed to fall for her. It was hard to admit, as his pride refused to do so, but when he did, it was a big relief. It felt refreshing, to admit the truth to himself. More so when he admitted it to her.

"…Natsume…?"

It turns out, she was in love with him too.

"Hey, Mikan…"

"Yeah…?"

"Would you prefer dreams over reality?"

She sent him a questioning look.

She smiled before answering, "No. I'd pick reality, of course."

"Why?"

Her eyes shined with love, and she proclaimed, "Because in reality, you're here!"

He smiled at that.

Of course, he'd also choose reality.

Yet he admits, even in his dreams, Mikan still finds a way to him.

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Fin

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A/N: Hey, everyone! Gah, it's been so long since I wrote something! (Laughs) Well… this fic is one of my, "Summer Standstill Fics." What I mean is, I started it during the summer, but never got the chance to finish it. Until now. Haha. Hmm… since I haven't been so active… I feel that I didn't do great with this fic… So please, as much as possible, give some comments and feedbacks! I would really appreciate it!

Oh, Mikan and Natsume are… ah… at the range of 16-18 years old. Kay? That's the reason for its OOC-ness.

I still have some Summer standstill fics here in my document… I hope I can finish them!

Dedicated to: Janine 07! Thanks a lot! And of course to everyone else there! You know who you are! (Smiles)

Love lots,

Koharu