yamishun: Oh gosh this is a miracle! I updated after 23 days!! I had a relatively nice day yesterday so I was in the mood to finish the chapter. It didn't go as planned but I think it's still pretty good~! Woohoo! Approximately 1,354 words people! It's already quite long... considering the shortness of my recent writings. Anyway, some readers might be itching to read the chapter now so the rest of the authoress's note shall be at the end of the chapter.

WARNING: some fluff? and then extreme angst at the end? XD


A Little Too Late

Chapter 12: Feelings out of control

-

Ruka sat on the edge of his bed, watching the painfully slow movement of the clouds. The particles of ice covered the moon, dulling the reflected light even for a little. His shirt was buttoned half-way, ribbon dully hanging beneath the open collar. "Aren't you going?" asked a voice from the shadows. Ruka closed his eyes for a second and answered, "I don't know,"

"Are you giving up already?" A figure stepped out into the dim light.

Ruka frowned at the question. "No."

"Then what are you waiting for?"

The blonde's fist clenched the sheet under his palms. "I don't know!" his voice was unsure, frustrated, and confused. He turned to the direction of the figure but it was already gone.

"Go. She's running right now. Hurt and in pain." Ruka could almost hear the sadistic smile on the voice. He didn't trust that man, even when he said he would help. He frowned deeper if it were still possible but started to fix his clothing. That man doesn't lie as far as he knows, especially if it involves the pain and suffering of other people.

.

She ran for quite some time. She aimlessly ran until her inner turmoil died down into something she could handle. It could almost pass as routine for her to run aimlessly these days.

'All for that stupid pervert Natsume.' She thought helplessly, angrily wiping the tears from her eyes with her arm.

Tired; she sat down on the nearest bench and sighed. She had no idea where she was but she was sure it was still inside the academy. Mikan frowned and tried to analyze the situation.

'I like Natsume…'

'But why?'

'He always insults me, teases me, burns my hair…'

'He's everything I should hate!'

'Then why did I… Why—am I hurting so much?'

Her hands were on her lap, clutching the fabric of her skirt. She was every bit of frustrated at herself. Luna is Natsume's fiancée. It's only natural that they would do things like kissing.

She almost drove herself to insanity if it had not been for Ruka. "Mikan?" he called to her, unsure with how he should approach her.

"Ruka—pyon…?!" Mikan gasped at the sight in front of her. Ruka was covered in dirt, clothes slightly torn, and there were scratches on his skin. He was breathless and appeared to be worried. His body shook before his knees gave in to the fatigue. Mikan ran to him, unsure of what to do once she was near enough.

"Ruka-pyon… I—you… what—"

"Thank goodness you're alright, Mikan." He stroked her hair and smiled. Mikan's stammers ceased at the words. She knew that Ruka was worried about her, that's why he looked so ragged.

She cried.

"I'm so sorry!"

Ruka laughed at her current expression. He ruffled her hair before retracting his hand. He was leaning backwards, palms supporting the weight of his upper torso. Mikan was pouting like a child. It made him want to tease her a bit. "No way." He said. She looked at him confused and he repeated his last statement. "Apology not accepted." Her face fell, "Why?"

Ruka laughed again. "You have to kiss me first."

Mikan turned red at the request. It wasn't like Ruka to ask for such requests. He was still smiling at her, looking very amused at her discomfort. "You're bullying me!" she accused, pointing a finger at him to emphasize her point.

"I jest." He said it in a comical manner that Mikan's robust laughter echoed after she understood what he meant. He brought his hand to the side of her face, fingers ghosting on her skin. She froze. "A smile fits you more than any other. Please keep smiling, Mikan." Blood rose to her cheeks. She gazed at Ruka, taking in his gentle expression and the softness of his eyes. It was different from Natsume's penetrating red orbs. In Ruka's eyes, she felt as if she were swimming in an ocean, deep blue and calm.

She didn't know. It may be because they were too caught up in the moment—too occupied with staring at each other's eyes that neither noticed how the distance closed. It was brief, sweet, an innocent meeting of lips. They stayed, as if entranced by the other's gaze. Ruka was the first to notice. He broke the kiss and turned away in embarrassment. A kiss, on the lips… it was more than what he could ask for.

"Mikan, I—uh… you—we…" he struggled for words, fidgeting uncomfortably while looking at anywhere, except her.

.

"BOO!"

"Yo—Youichi!" The eight-yr-old stood coolly, hands inside his pockets, as he purposely disturbed the scene he found when he chased Mikan. He stood his ground, against the piercing glare from a certain girl he wanted to chase out with his alice. His eyes were disinterested, half-lidded, and seemed as if he'd fall asleep any time soon. "Brat" he heard her mutter after he had long established the fact that he won't be leaving in the next few minutes, or even hours if that's how long it would take for her to get a clue.

"Nii-chan, I want Howalons." Luna frowned at the boy's sugar sweet tone. She knew all too well what he had in mind. She never really did like the boy. He was too much like Natsume. And like the fire alice user, he pays special attention to the Mikan-girl. The brunette was an eyesore, a thorn on her side. She reminded her of an old acquaintance. It made her want to destroy the girl even more. Luna donned her mask and chuckled with feigned innocent. "Natsume darling, I must leave you now. Go feed your…" she paused and looked down on the small boy, she was still taller, "pet."

Youichi made a face at her back and resumed his attention to the older boy who still sat at the foot of a tree. "What were you thinking Nii-chan? You weren't seriously going to kiss that… that old fish right?"

"Who knows?"

"Stop acting cool Nii-chan. You love Nee-chan too much for you to even think about kissing anyone else. I could see it in your eyes."

"Then why ask?"

Youichi was starting to get irritated with Natsume's indifference. The boy didn't understand why he older boy was so stubborn. He could see how the person he respected the most continuously hurt himself. It was infuriating as it was pitiful. Natsume needed Mikan, he knew only that much.

"Are you really okay with this? At this rate, Mikan-nee will be snatched away by Ruka-nii!"

Natsume clenched his teeth. He had been holding everything inside, hoping that Youichi would just stop and leave so he could vent out the raging emotions. He was near breaking just before the young boy asked him the last question.

"Nii-chan you idiot!" Youichi cried and started to run back to the party hall.

Natsume snapped.

"Do you think I wanted things to be this way?! Do you think I really wanted to give her to Ruka?! Have you ever thought of how hard it is for me to see her with another man and act as if it meant nothing to me when in truth I want to annihilate whoever he is, even if he's Ruka??"

Youichi stopped running and turned to face Natsume, eyes wide and mouth agape. He's never seen him that vulnerable, with his hands trembling from all the self-restraint, and his expression on the brink of tears.

"Fuck, I love her so much that I'd burn anything that gets in my way!!! I love her to the point that I think I'm going crazy just by not seeing her!!"

"Then why—"

"But it's not that simple! If I love her, I'll hurt her even more! And I can't… I won't be able to bear it. I can't see her cry because of me."

-

xx end of chapter xx


yamishun: It's almost 3 am here. I have class later but I really had fun on the latter part of yesterday hence the update. For days I've been contemplating whether or not I would join that fanfic contest where Natsume should have a mental disorder. I've researched a bit and found that I would really want to participate but I'm doubting my writing speed. I don't want things to go to waste. Anyway, I think Youichi is so cute~ :3 don't you agree? haha

I think this might be one of my most favorite chapters... despite it being a Rukan one -tears- I think it's a bit balanced. There's a slight mystery (Who is that guy Ruka was talking to?), fluff (the Rukan moment), idk it might just be me but Youichi's and Luna's verbal disputes are kind of funny (if you and I have the same type of humor perhaps), and the angst-y part, courtesy of Natsume~ haha

thank you/reply corner for my lovely readers who commented (I also thank the readers who didn't comment. I'm just happy people are actually reading this):

Wing - xD I actually liked my previous author's note at the bottom too! I feel so thankful to have you as a reader/fan~! Well this chapter is undeniably one of the longest I've written recently, aside from killer school papers. -sweatdrop- But yeah~ hope you liked this chapter. I even added the extra lines for Natsume. haha It's kind of lame but it fits the mood? -grin-

kiers - I agree! I never really liked Luna. Especially after I read the flashback chapters. It was frustrating! Ahaha I agree to that as well. -sweatdrop- sorry it's frustrating. It's quite confusing at some points because of the irregularity of my writing days. Mikan is still confused with her feelings, Natsume's angsty and stubborn, Luna's annoying as hell, but Ruka! Hmm~~ there's something about him that's slowly being revealed. And with that said, I shall leave this reply as that. hehe, before you might strangle me, thanks for the review!

WRP-chan - first thing's first, awesome penname! ahaha cliffhangers are an author's best friend. -wink wink- XD well they didn't end up dancing since I don't know how I'll write that at this hour, but I originally planned it like that. WoOt~! you're psychic! Thank you for loving this~~~ -hearts-

Dalayb - wow! Thank you very much! I remember the days when I also read stories that made me feel the same way. I'm glad I'm now able to do the same to others. WoOt~! Howaloooonnnnn -feeds it to cute cute Youichi-