Life and Death

Natsume felt a shiver down his spine as he watched Persona slowly walk out of the shadows. He knew what was going to happen now. Either Persona or he will perish in the battle but not a single follicle on Mikan's hair can be hurt. He must be able to protect her no matter what happens because it's also his fault that she got involved in this mess. "Natsume, who is he? What has he come here for?" Mikan asked in a whisper, her grip on Natsume's sleeve tightening as she did.

"Hush Mikan, now is not the time for questions. On my signal, I need you to run away from here as fast as you can." Natsume told her in a low but stern voice. His ruby eyes were aflame with anger and fixed on Persona, watching his every move.

"But I.." she tried to protest but was quickly silenced when Natsume pushed her away as he shouted; "GO NOW!!" before he proceeded to make his first offense on the man before him. She hesitantly ran away from the scene but she didn't go that far as he first instructed her to do so. She only stayed a few yards away and hid amongst the shady trees instead to watch out in case Natsume might need her help.

"Why make her leave? It's far too boring if it'll be just the two of us." Persona said as he effortlessly dodged the fireball Natsume aimed at him. "And besides, you haven't introduced your little girlfriend to me yet. It makes me so sad." he added, making a mock sad face at the same time.

"Shut the hell up you bastard!" Natsume yelled as he threw numerous fire balls towards Persona. All missed except for one which slightly singed the sleeve of Persona's cloak.

"Tsk. Tsk. This was my favorite and you've ruined it." Persona muttered as he fingered the charred part of his sleeve. "Is this the right way to treat your teachers? Or haven't your parents taught you any good manners?"

"I SAID SHUT UP!!" finally snapping, he attacked Persona simultaneously.

"Is that all you've got?" he asked as he watched Natsume pant and gasp for air. He knew perfectly well that Natsume was at his limits and if he dares to use his Alice any further, he'll die.

Natsume placed his hand against a tree trunk to support himself up. He was already coughing out blood due to the excessive use of his Alice. If I could blow this place up then he wouldn't be able to go after her or my family. He thought. Damn it. I wish I could've told her that I loved her even for one last time.

"Let's see now…you're probably thinking of blowing this area up so you'll be able to finish me off and to protect her and your friends but remember that you'll also kill yourself in the process and if that happens, what about your little girlfriend?" he ended his sentence with a bitter laugh that echoed throughout the quiet and peaceful evening air.

To protect me and everyone else…Natsume intends to use all of his Alice? I won't allow that to happen! He doesn't have to die! Her eyes were filled with tears at the fear of losing the one she loved the most. She quickly ran back to where Natsume and Persona was and arrived just as Persona was about to use his Alice on Natsume who had now collapsed to the ground out of extreme exhaustion and is barely conscious to witness the events happening before him. "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!" Mikan cried and threw herself in between them, and therefore receiving the finishing blow that was meant for her beloved Natsume.

Blinding bright lights surrounded them and both Mikan and Persona were thrown violently back to the ground. Natsume hurried over to where Mikan lay and he took her into his arms. "Mikan! Mikan!" he called out her name repeatedly but she wouldn't regain her consciousness.

A few minutes later, some guards patrolling the grounds saw them and immediately called for help. Mikan and Natsume were brought to the Academy's hospital while Persona was brought into the custody of the Principals.

It's been almost two weeks since the Natsume's and Persona's fight. Thankfully, Natsume recovered quickly from his injuries but Mikan's s, on the other hand, has not yet regained consciousness even after Hotaru's brother, Subaru,had healed her injuries.

"How is she doing?" Ruka asked him as he and Hotaru came by to visit and bring some fruits.

Natsume shook his head. "She still hasn't woken up yet. It's my entire stupid fault, damn it! If only I followed his orders and kept my feelings at bay then this never would have happened! I'd still be able to see her smile and hear her laugh!" he said, pounding his balled fist on the wall. "She'd be alright!"

"Don't blame yourself Natsume. You did nothing wrong. And after all, you did your best to protect her, we know you did. So please, be strong for Mikan's sake. I'm sure she'll be alright." Ruka replied with a meek but encouraging smile.

"Ruka's right Natsume, you have to remain strong. This is the time when Mikan needs you the most." Hotaru added.

"Thank you." Natsume said simply as he took Mikan's hand in his. Suddenly, he felt her fingers twitch a little, "Mikan?" he asked, his eyes brightening with the hope that she'll be waking up soon.

Rubbing her eyes on the sleeve of her hospital robe, Mikan slowly sat up and looked around her surroundings. "Wh-where am I?"

"I'm glad you're finally awake, I really am." Natsume breathed as wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into an embrace.

"Wha--? Aah…who are you?" Mikan inquired half-scared, and quick to push him away. "Hotaru, who is this man?"

"C'mon, stop joking around Mikan, it's not funny." Natsume croaked, looking as if he was about to cry.

"Don't you recognize him Mikan?" Hotaru asked and sat down on the bed beside Mikan. "He's our classmate, friend and until recently, your beloved boyfriend."

"I'm sorry but I really don't know him." came her reply.

"Oh dear, how could this be? She remembers me, and Ruka I think." Hotaru gasped. "Do you remember him Mikan?" she asked, jabbing a finger at Ruka who was currently sitting comfortably by the small sofa in the room.

"Why of course I remember Ruka-pyon! I don't think there's any reason why I'd forget about him." Mikan replied quickly.

"Oh dear, hold on. I'm getting confused here." Hotaru said, raising her right hand to her temples. "Ruka love, could you kindly fetch my brother? I need to ask him a few questions regarding Mikan's current condition."

"Sure." Ruka stood up and asked Hotaru to hold his rabbit for him before he left the room.

"And you Natsume, uhh..leave us be for a while, if you don't mind." Hotaru turned to Natsume who simply nodded curtly then exited the room.

"Hey Hotaru, what's happening? I really don't remember anything. The last thing I remember doing was getting dolled up and ready for some sort of event but I don't know which and whom I was going with."

"Well, it's a long story and it would be best if you don't hear of it as of the moment. So for now, just have a rest. I'll just talk to my brother for a bit, be back soon." Hotaru said and helped Mikan lie properly on the bed before she went out of the room.

"Brother, can you please explain to me what Mikan's current condition is? How come she can't recall Natsume and the recent events prior to her losing consciousness after Persona's attack?" Hotaru asked Subaru as soon as he arrived with Ruka.

"Sit and calm down while I explain the results of the tests and observations we've conducted." Subaru told his younger sister, and assisted her to the nearest couch. "Well you see, it appears that Mikan has Repressed Memory Amnesia, though she hasn't really forgotten about Natsume, the trauma she received from the encounter with Persona must have triggered the impairment of the access to her long term memory. With therapy, and of course help from her loved ones, she might gradually recover her full memory but we must not rush this for this might affect her emotional stability and her other memories."

"Natsume's not gonna like this." Hotaru shook her head in disappointment and pity for her friend.

"No one ever expected nor wanted this, he has no choice but to bear with it and be patient if he truly loves her that much." Subaru told her.

"You're right, I do hope he'll understand though...he has to."

Yuki's Notes:

Hey guys! It's been awhile! Sorry if I wasn't able to update for a loooong time, I was busy and still is busy with university entrance exams cause I'm on my last year of high school now. sigh, time flies so fast.

Anyway, regarding the story, I decided to revise chapters 14. I hope you guys don't mind. But with the said revisions, it is for the good and improvement of Midnight Confessions and Kisses. And about chapter 15, I'm working on it! lmao

Reviews are my source of energy so keep 'em coming! Cheers!