I am fully aware that I should be doing my homework right now, but I feel guilty about not updating for so long…so here you go. The second half of my Valentine's Day fan fiction, Love is in the Air. I hope you enjoy.
Valentine's Day spells roses, confessions and tying of knots. Is that true? Well, we shall find out...now.
Mikan's batch: 13 years old.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice.
.;"Love is in the Air";.
Mikan was having a hard time accessing the situation she was in. What had happened? Her mind was fuzzy, like it had been smothered by a blanket or something.
The girl frowned, but did not open her eyes. What was the last thing she did before dozing off? Oh yes, she had paid Hotaru a visit to know more about Valentine's Day. Then….
Moaning a little, her eyelids fluttered open and she looked around blearily. Judging by the serene blue sky with streaks of white, she was not in her room.
It was then that she realized the presence of a slight pressure on her left shoulder blade. She revelled in the warmth it provided for a short while and decided to investigate its source lest it was something unpleasant.
Unpleasant, indeed. To her utmost horror, she found that it belonged to Hyuuga Natsume, whose body she had been using as a pillow.
And need I mention that it was comfy? A voice snickered in her head.
"Shut up," Mikan snapped without thinking. Grumbling something about having a cheeky conscience, she planted a palm on the ground to support her weight as she tried to stand up.
Mikan froze, but relaxed almost immediately. It was nothing, she reassured herself. It was just the ground –
Wait, the ground?
Horrified, Mikan looked down. She was met by a pair of deep crimson coloured eyes. Furious ones.
Natsume glared at her. The latter appeared to be petrified to the point where she couldn't move.
"N-Natsume?" Mikan said faintly.
His angry eyes flashed a split second before his hand flew towards her. The brunette shut her eyes and braced herself for the harsh impact that was sure to fall upon her.
What she didn't expect was for the appendage to land on her shoulder, causing her to fall onto Natsume's body. If the small grunt that had escaped him was any indication, she had knocked the breath out of him.
A moment later, Natsume had rolled over so that he was straddling Mikan, breathing rather heavily.
"You're heavy, baka."
Mikan stared into his eyes, trying to comprehend the situation. She neither noticed the careless way he handled her petite body, nor the amusement that flickered in his crimson eyes.
Her thoughts crawled at a snail's pace in her mind. Natsume seemed to be looming above her, casting a shadow on her pale complexion. So that would mean….
Her arms were suddenly infused with inhumane strength as her mind accepted - no, rejected the humiliating fact. With a bloodcurdling scream, her palms connected with Natsume's chest and he was shoved off her to land heavily on his back.
"What…were you doing…to me!" she panted, struggling to regain momentum. Natsume was on the ground several feet away from her, unfazed. Calmly, he got to his feet and dusted himself.
The boy stared at her for a long while and Mikan glared back, determined not to lose the unspoken challenge. Nevertheless, she was forced to admit that she was intimidated by him. Growling softly under her breath, she increased the intensity of her glare, only to have Natsume return it, triple-fold.
It could have gone on forever, if not for the interference of a certain inventor.
Hotaru had taken one glance, retrieved her baka gun from her bag, and fired. Precisely three bullets hit Natsume's back, causing him to fall forwards and into the arms of an unsuspecting Mikan.
"Oof!" The brunette gasped as she was thrown back by the force of the blow. Her head connected with a protruding root, knocking her out cold.
Natsume whirled around to hurl a death glare at Hotaru, who shrugged and inclined her head in his direction.
"The idiot will be under your care until she recovers," she murmured before leaving on her duck scooter.
Natsume blinked. His gaze fell on the unmoving brunette under him. One of her pigtails had come loose of its restraints, allowing stray locks of hair to partly obscure her face.
Crouching down beside her, he proceeded to shake her shoulders gently.
"Hey, polka dots, wake up."
Sighing, he slipped an arm under her prone body and carried her, bridal style, to his room. Anyone who stared at the unbelievable sight – for Natsume was not known for his compassion towards others – was met with a glare that would melt an iceberg.
Of course, their curiosity evaporated the instant they received it and they scurried away like frightened mice.
Natsume snorted and continued on his way with Mikan in his arms.
Hotaru had not gone very far before she was confronted by a girl whom she did not know. She appeared anxious and somewhat nervous.
"Um, Imai-san," she began, chewing on her bottom lip. Absently, she twirled a lock of her pink hair around her index finger as she searched for the appropriate words.
"I don't have all the time in the world," Hotaru said, uninterested.
"Oh! Um…I just want to know where Nogi-kun I s-so that I can give him some c-chocolate," she said at last, bowing her head to hide a blush. "A-And I was hoping you know w-where he is, since…"
The girl looked up to meet Hotaru's gaze, but all she met was a concrete pillar.
"…he's close to you," she finished in surprise. "Imai-san?"
Why hadn't she realized that Hotaru had mysteriously disappeared?
The wind tugged at Imai Hotaru's hair as her duck scooter raced against the direction of the wind, whistling gleefully in her ear. Now that Mikan's safety was ensured, she had nothing to be afraid of. The after-effects of the cookies were quite powerful, after all. The proof lay in the girls she had used as her test subjects (they never knew they were doing it).
Undoubtedly, many confessions had been made this year. Apparently, she was the only one among the Three Geeky Sisters who did not have a boyfriend.
It did not faze her in the least. Boys were the last things on her mind. Making money was the first priority.
Come to think of it, Ruka was still locked up in her laboratory….
Ah well. He could stay there. He had the corpse for company, anyway.
Her stomach growled, reminding her of the lunch she missed. Time to get some of her favourite crab roe. She knew she had stashed them away somewhere in her lab….
Ruka was facing the most miserable day of his life.
Here he was, stuck in a dim laboratory cluttered with items of all kinds, ranging from a stack of papers to a rare meteorite he found hidden amid the mess.
Why she needed one was beyond him. Then again, he should know better than to underestimate Imai Hotaru.
Over the course of two years, he had come to label her as 'dangerous' and 'approach with caution'. She had, after all, bested him ever since she took that picture of him with Piyo when they were ten. All she had to do was to wave the picture in front of his eyes and he would be forced to bend to her will.
Sometimes, he wondered why he still stuck with her. Then again, miracles do happen…. A very unfortunate miracle, he thought dryly.
That girl had turned his peaceful life upside down with her entering Gakuen Alice, disrupting his and Natsume's regime. True, she was not much of a talker, but she was the source of Ruka and Natsume merchandise that their classmates would die to own.
And on top of that, her best friend just had to come barging in with her loud voice and clumsy ways. Not that he minded. Natsume didn't mind either…in his dreams, that is.
His puppy love had evaporated over the years to be replaced by a new, much fresher one. The fact that this new affection he nurtured was for one of the most distant girls available didn't help at all.
Sighing, he plopped into a nearby chair to think up an escape plan. He was getting tired of seeing the same things over and over again. The drab walls that kept him inside made him feel down. How could Imai invent things in here?
Absentmindedly, he fiddled with the bracelet she had placed on his wrist before she left. Sure, it was a beautiful one, made out of a grayish-silver metal and studded with a few stones that flashed whenever it caught a beam of light.
Still, Imai should know better than to make him wear such a girlish accessory! No boy would be caught alive wearing it, that was for sure.
His fingers pressed one of the stones idly, prodding it to discover its use.
Ruka's eyes widened when the bracelet fell apart and clattered to the floor. Black smoke started to seep out of the stone he had touched, smothering him in mere seconds.
He didn't have any time to yell before the darkness consumed him completely.
He couldn't even see his hands in front of his face, he realized as he stood up rather unsteadily. The entire area was pitch black.
Slowly but surely, fear gripped his heart as he stumbled about blindly, searching for something that would provide him some means of light and comfort.
His fingers met nothing but air.
Truly panicking now, he stretched out both arms in an attempt to turn on the lights. He was in Hotaru's laboratory, right? Yes, yes, of course he was. He didn't even step out of it.
But he did press the stone on the bracelet….
What would become of him now? God, he was too young to die! He still wanted to marry and have a child, and…and…!
Wait, was that a light source?
Ruka stared as more and more light sources appeared around him. They weren't particularly bright, nor were they dim.
Gradually, they started to grow, a slow process that made his heart race. After what seemed like an eternity, all of them reached stopped growing. They were of his height by then.
Ruka had to squint to get a better look at them. They looked almost…surreal. He felt as though he could put his hand through their bodies.
Of course, he did nothing of the sort. It was lucky he didn't try, for all of them were projections of Imai Hotaru. The apparitions hovered for a moment before allowing their feet to touch the floor.
The boy was confused. Why were there so many Hotaru all of a sudden? He looked around almost tentatively. A few dozen pairs of eyes stared back at him emotionlessly, causing him to take a step back.
"Why…" he croaked. Shaking his head, he wet his lips before parting them again. "Is it really you, Imai?"
All of them laid their eyes on him. It was very unsettling.
"Um…I'll b-be going now," he announced to no one in particular. With that, he turned in a random direction and walked away, hoping to find an exit.
The apparitions of Hotaru definitely weren't intangible, he realized when he walked into one of them. Gracefully, they proceeded to surround him, blocking every means of escape.
Ruka was despairing. He could neither move forward, nor backward, or in any other direction for that matter.
He was hopelessly surrounded and cornered. One Hotaru was intimidating enough; he didn't really need dozens of them.
"Care to show me the way out?" he asked. Rather pointless question, since they probably can't answer….
One of the Hotaru detached herself from her companions, regarding him with her deep purple eyes that always seemed distant to him. He tried to stop himself from trembling life a leaf in the wind. Hey, it was only one girl.
Even so, he couldn't stop himself from eyeing her warily as she approached him. Her eyes bore into him more effectively than a drill. Their proximity didn't help matters.
Ruka shut his eyes, unsure of her actions. Then---
She kissed him.
It was but a chaste one, a light brushing of her lips against his, but it was a kiss nevertheless.
Then the darkness dissolved into nothing like it had never existed. Everything – both the darkness and the rest of the apparitions – melted away with that single kiss.
Ruka came to a moment later, feeling the cold marble against his skin very strongly indeed. Groaning, he sat up and pressed a hand to his temple.
"And what have you been doing?" A frosty voice said above him.
He froze. Slowly, he averted his gaze from the surprisingly interesting crack on the floor to the owner of the voice.
Hotaru loomed over him with her arms crossed, her features devoid of emotion. Almost instinctively, he quailed under her stare.
Still, the feel of her lips hadn't completely left his memory – or his lips, for that matter. Rather doubtfully, he raised a finger to trace his lips, as though touching it would bring back the memory of the kiss.
Thinking back, it was almost unreal. Hotaru would never kiss him. She was not like other girls, and that made her…special, in a way.
"Well?" Hotaru's icy voice jerked him out of his reverie quite harshly.
"Um, nothing! I'll be going now!" he stuttered and ran out of the laboratory as fast as he could.
He ran so fast, he never managed to glimpse the small smile that had somehow found its way to Hotaru's usually stoic face.
"Idiot," she whispered. She touched her lips lightly, where the feel of his lips still lingered. "You can't tell between a dream and reality, can you?"
Somewhere far away, a brunette woke up to find herself staring into a pair of crimson eyes. Her eyes widened to the size of dinner plates as she took in the expensive-looking items in the room, and most importantly, the boy who was above her with his hands planted on each side of her body.
"What are you DOING?!" she shrieked, trying to shove him off. Her flailing arms managed to hit one of Natsume's, causing him to lose his balance and fall forwards – right into Mikan's face.
For the second time that day, Mikan screamed Hotaru's name in her mind very, very angrily.
The only reason she did not scream out loud was because Natsume's cheek happened to be resting on her mouth.
And after all this trouble, I STILL don't know the WHY we have Valentine's Day! She wailed inwardly.
"Ugh! Natsume you PERVERT!!!! Get off me this INSTANT!"
Natsume looked at her with amusement evident in his eyes.
"I see you've some chocolate for me, too, polka dots. On your underwear, that is."
The exasperated scream that followed his bland statement could be heard for miles around.
Okay, I hope you enjoyed it! Must get back to my pile of homework now…goodbye!
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