JC: Good day everyone! I have become an addict fan of Gakuen Alice, both the anime and the manga. I am eternally grateful to Higuchi Tachibana-sama for creating such a wonderful series. As a tribute to Gakuen Alice, I came up with this story. I truly support all pairings of this series, especially the love triangle of Natsume/Mikan/Ruka. This is my first Gakuen Alice story in chapters, but it's not my first time to write here.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice, only this story. All other rights belong to Higuchi Tachibana-sama.
Chapter One: Rain and Sorrow
The sun was nowhere to be seen on the cold month of March in Alice Academy, a prestigious school for gifted children, as clouds filled the sky with an ominous aura. School was drawing to a close for Spring Break, graduation was about to fall into the senior's hands, and the celebration was only days away.
Sakura Mikan was now a 12-year old student of Class B. She was cute, energetic, and very open-minded. She liked making new friends and being with them. She possessed two rare Alice, the Nullification Alice and the Stealing Alice. She has been under keen observation by the Academy because of her Alice. Despite that fact, Mikan still enjoys her life in school together with her friends. She was also promoted to the Double Star Rank. Her best friend was Imai Hotaru, a cold and rational girl who seemed to care about money a lot. But Hotaru was a very intelligent girl and she has the Invention Alice. She was a Triple Star student. She may seem to dislike Mikan, but in reality, she cared for the adorable twin-tailed girl a lot.
In the room of Class B, everyone was talking about the graduation and the Spring Break. Most of the students here were going to graduate and move on to Middle School. The graduating students namely were Sakura Mikan, Imai Hotaru, Hyuuga Natsume, Nogi Ruka, Tobita Yuu, and Shouda Sumire. These students passed their final examinations with flying colors. Of course, Hotaru and Natsume got the highest grades. On the other hand, Mikan managed to pass because of everyone's help.
Ogasawara Nonoko, a girl with the Chemical Alice, noticed that Mikan has not yet arrive and it was almost time for Class. Well, it wasn't an official class. It was more of a meeting or gathering wherein the teachers will discussed on what to do during the graduation ceremony. "Is Mikan-chan going to be late again?" the young girl asked.
"Knowing Mikan, she'll probably come in when the teacher is here," Hotaru replied in a very cold tone.
"That means she'll still in the dormitory," Yuu, formally known as 'Iinchou' (Class Representative), said, as he looked out the window. "The weather is no good today. I hope Mikan-chan comes soon before it rains."
"A little rain won't hurt her," Hotaru said, as she sat down and fiddled with her invention. She was currently making a new type of mobile phone in a shape of a clam.
Just then, Umenomiya Anna, an adorable pink-haired girl with the Cooking Alice, entered the classroom and approached Nonoko and Hotaru. She greeted them with a smile. "Good Morning, Nonoko-chan, Hotaru-chan!" She then glanced around the classroom in search for a certain someone. "Eh? Where's Mikan-chan?"
"Back in the dormitory, I guess," Hotaru answered, twitching some wires and screws on her invention.
"That's strange." Anna pulled a concerned face. "I saw Mikan-chan left early this morning. She seemed to be in a hurry."
This caught the attention of two hottest boys in class, Natsume and Ruka. Natsume was a genius boy and a Special-Star student. His Alice was Fire, a quite vicious one in fact. Natsume was cold, ruthless, and moody. On the other hand, Ruka was the opposite. The blonde boy was caring and considerate, and has traits which balanced Natsume's personality. He has the Animal Pheromone Alice and he was a Triple student like Hotaru and Iinchou. These two have deep feelings for Mikan. For the past two years, they have protected Mikan from harm, but they have yet to confess their love for her. The both of them were the best of friends but also rivals in love.
"Me too!" Kokoroyomi, an odd boy with the Mind-Reading Alice, spoke out suddenly. "Actually, she bumped into me while I was walking to school."
Sumire, the self-proclaimed president of the Natsume-Ruka Fan Club, came up to the mind-reader with her hands on her hips. "What is this about now?" she asked in her stern voice.
"Did she say anything?" Anna asked.
Kokoroyomi held his chin and thought about his encounter with Mikan a while ago. "She didn't say anything. I tried to read her mind but I wasn't able to. It seems like her Nullifying Alice is getting stronger." He chuckled as he scratched his head. "But she had this blank expression on her face. It was like she wasn't herself."
Hotaru stopped messing with her invention and looked up at Kokoroyomi. She stood up and went in front of the mind-reading boy.
He read Hotaru's mind and nodded his head immediately. "I'll do it. Where's this invention of yours?"
In instant, Hotaru fished out her Anglerfish Projector, an invention which projects pictures from a person's mind. She placed it on Kokoroyomi's head and made him faced the chalkboard in order to get a clear view of what's going through his mind. After that, she switched on the projector and the image was flashed on the board.
Kokoroyomi was walking peacefully towards the school. He looked up at the sky and noticed that it was going to rain. By the time he looked forward, he got bumped by none other than Mikan. Kokoroyomi was able to regain his balance, but Mikan fell butt first on the ground. He quickly extended his hand to help Mikan up. "You okay?"
Mikan ignored Kokoroyomi's help and stood up on her own. Her loose long hair flowed elegantly on her shoulders to her back as her bangs covered her eyes. She passed by him like he wasn't even there in the first place.
"Um… Wait a sec!" The mind-reader spun on his heels and grabbed hold of Mikan's wrists. "Are you angry? Sorry about that, okay?"
But Mikan gave no reply. She was quiet, awfully quiet, which was really strange. Mikan wasn't the quiet type. She was usually cheery and outspoken. What was wrong with her?
Mikan pulled her hand away from Kokoroyomiand proceeded without saying anything.
The mind-reader took off the projector from his head and sighed deeply. "I don't know what was going on with her. If only I could've read her mind…" He handed the projector back to Hotaru and read her mind. "So, you're worried now, huh?"
Hotaru narrowed her gaze at him, sending chills to his spine. "No one gave you the permission to read my mind," she said coldly, pointing her Baka Gun at him.
Kokoroyomi chuckled as he backed away. "Ha-ha… Sorry…" He sweat dropped.
The students in the class all watched the scene with Mikan and they were wondering why Mikan was like that. In addition, tension was building up with Hotaru, Natsume, and Ruka.
At this point, their ever-loving –cheery teacher, who was dressed in girly fashion yet again, merrily skipped into the classroom. He had gorgeous blonde hair and the face of a super model. Despite that fact, his students thought of him as a very weird teacher, except for Mikan. "Good morning, class! To start of—" He was going to say something exciting about the graduation ceremony, but Hotaru cut him off.
"Narumi-sensei, Mikan is missing," she said.
"Eh? Mikan-chan? What do you mean?" Narumi-sensei asked, a hint of concern showing in his face.
"She left the dormitory early this morning but she hasn't arrived for class yet," Nonoko added, clasping her hands.
"I bumped into her this morning. She was acting a bit strange, sensei," Kokoroyomi said.
"Is that so?" Narumi put on a serious face. "Classes will be postponed for now. Let's all go look for Mikan-chan. I'll also report this to the faculty." With that, he rushed out of the classroom.
Everyone was starting to talk about Mikan, wondering what could have happened to her.
"Natsume, we better go look for her," Ruka said, his face clouded with uneasiness. He had a bad feeling that Mikan might be in danger.
Of course, Natsume was feeling the same way as Ruka did. He was worried for Mikan's safety and he will not be able to forgive himself if anything happens to Mikan. After all, Mikan was the light of his dark world. Natsume stood up, with hands in his pocket, and walked towards Hotaru. "Hey, do you have a clue on her whereabouts?" he questioned.
"Unfortunately, no…" she said flatly, as she stood. "But we are going to find her. Of course, you and Ruka-kun are going to help."
Ruka nodded his head, feeling determined.
"We're going to help too," Nonoko and Anna said simultaneously.
"Me too," Yuu added.
Before they knew it, the whole class pitched in because they wanted to help out. Mikan was, after all, an important friend and member of their class.
And the search went on. All of the students were trying hard to find the loving twin-tailed girl. Respectively, some were using their Alice in the search. To no avail, they were not able to find her. Hotaru, Natsume, and Ruka were getting more worried than usual. Even though Narumi-sensei sought help from the teachers, they too have failed to locate her.
"Found her yet?" Narumi asked his fellow teacher, Yamada Serina who possessed the Alice of Sight.
The blonde woman gazed upon her crystal ball, trying to see where Mikan was. But all the crystal ball was showing her were gray clouds. She sadly shook her head and faced Narumi. "With her Nullifying Alice, it's impossible to find her. Her Alice has been improving a lot."
Narumi held his temple and leaned against the wall. He was thinking of all sorts of things that might have happened to his idol's daughter. If something happens to her, Yuka-senpai is not going to forgive me.
The weather wasn't looking fine. Rain started pouring heavily, disrupting the search even further. Some students have given up and went back to the classroom. Some still strived on, not caring about the rain or getting wet, just to look for Mikan. It was becoming endless and tiring. An hour has passed and there was still no sign of her.
Hotaru met up with Natsume and Ruka in front of the Middle School building. As she could clearly see, the two boys were panting and sweating despite the temperature. She handed them two umbrellas and said, "Keep looking for her."
"You don't have to tell us that, idiot." Natsume shrugged and grabbed the umbrella. He opened it up and ran off.
"Natsume…" Ruka sighed and turned to Hotaru. "He's really worried about her."
"He's not the only one," Hotaru said, staring at Ruka keenly.
"I know…" Ruka took the umbrella from Hotaru. "Thanks, Imai…" He then rushed off into the rain as well.
Hotaru was good at keeping her emotions. She was looking strong on the outside but she was actually afraid on the inside. She was afraid for her best friend, her most cherished one. "That idiot… She certainly knows how to make people worried."
In the Northern Woods, the Alice Security Group was spread out in teams as they searched every area carefully. The Academy Head had ordered them to find Mikan no matter what, as he said that the school can't afford to lose a valuable student like her. It was so uncommon for a student to possess two Alice and a unique combination of Alice indeed. The Head felt that Mikan was kidnapped by the Anti-Alice Organization. If that was the case, he wondered how they got into the Academy. Furthermore, those people with the Alice of Senses should be able to sense the presence of an intruder. It was really weird.
Natsume was already in the Northern Words. He clenched the handle of his umbrella tight as he ran and ran through the muddy path of the woods. Mud was being splattered everywhere on his uniform, but he didn't care. All he wanted was to find Mikan. He wanted to be at her side so badly. His heart was telling him that she was in trouble and she needed his protection. He hoped he could just make it in time for her.
"NATSUME!!" someone shouted his name from afar, startling him a bit. That voice, he knew it so well, it belonged to her.
Adrenaline pumping, he ran towards that voice and came across a small area with no trees. He scanned the grounds for any sign of her but he found nothing but rain and mud. However, for some reason, he felt like there was someone there. He was about to leave until a strange light appeared in the middle of the area. The light, it was blue and cold, he thought. He prepared himself for something to happen but he didn't expect a person appearing from the light. Getting a close look the person, he gasped as he saw that it was Mikan.
Mikan was on her knees, staring aimlessly at the ground. She was soaking wet and her flowing hair covered a part of her face. She was somewhat lifeless, even though she was breathing normally.
Natsume couldn't believe his eyes. It was really her. Controlling the urge to hug her, he went closer to her and shielded her from the rain with his umbrella. "Where have you been all this time? Didn't you know that you made a lot of people worry?" His voice was cold as ever, but he was seriously happy to see her again. He just didn't know what to say at her at the moment.
The young brunette raised her head and looked up at Natsume. Surprisingly, her eyes were full of tears and sorrow. Her eyes that were once filled with overwhelming happiness were now clouded with negative feelings.
"Hey, Polka-dots, what's wrong?" Natsume asked a little softly this time.
"Natsume!" Mikan rose up and pushed herself upon him, causing him to drop his umbrella. She buried her face in his chest and continued sobbing.
"You're getting me wet," he said. Honestly, he could've said something comforting to her. Well, this was Hyuuga Natsume we're talking about. He acts cool and unsympathetic in front of others and rarely shows his caring side.
"Natsume," Mikan spoke softly, as she gazed upon him with her teary eyes. "I'm glad that you're here." She smiled at him quite faintly.
Something wasn't right anymore, he thought. Mikan's smile wasn't the usual one he sees everyday. "Mind telling me what's going on with you?"
"I don't have much time left," she said, giving Natsume more questions to think of than before. "Natsume, please grant me one last favor."
He felt like she was going away, as in very far away. With her display of actions and words, he didn't know if he should comply with her or not. But he couldn't bear to see her sad face any longer. If it would make her happy, then he would grant her favor. "What is it?" He asked.
"Can you say my name?" she replied, clutching on his uniform tightly. "Can you say my name one more time?"
How come it sounded like a death wish for him? That request she made him feel uncomfortable. But since Mikan asked for it, she was going to get it.
"All right," he said, wearing a smile on his face, as he held her shoulders. "After this, we're going back to the Academy right away, understand?"
Mikan gave him a simple nod as she still held that sad smile. Tears were flowing out of her eyes endlessly.
"Mikan…" he finally said her name, bringing relief to the young girl's heart.
"Thank you, Natsume," she said, leaning her head on his chest.
He couldn't control his urge any longer. He snaked his arms around her and hugged her so securely. "Mikan…" he said it again.
She was so happy to hear her name coming from him. She would only hear it on rare occasions, since Natsume always teased her with nicknames. She was so grateful to him for granting her last favor. She looked up at him, giving him a wider smile. "Natsume, thanks again, and…" she hesitated a bit. "Goodbye…" With those last words, she fell unconscious in his arms.
"Eh? What?" Natsume's crimson eyes grew wide in shock. He clutched the brunette tightly, preventing her from falling towards the wet ground. He shook her viciously to wake her up, but it seemed she was knocked out cold. "Mikan! Hey! Mikan! MIKAN!"
To be continued…
JC: That's all for now. I can't shed some light of the first chapter you know. I'll have you know that Mikan-chan did not die. She just fell unconscious. You will know the reason in the next chapter. But before I update, I must have some reviews and comments. Please do review. I hate flames, so don't bother.