Ch.6

Friends

Mikan followed Ruka down an empty hallway and outside. There were dozens of flowers surrounding them, and she stopped to pluck a pink carnation from the ground. Smiling, she quickened her steps a little to catch up with the boy.

"Ne, Ruka-pyon, don't you think this is pretty?" she asked, proudly handing the flower to him.

"It's okay..." He turned away, refusing to take the flower, and keeping a Natsume-like look on his face.

Sighing, Mikan continued with him until they reached another building. After what seemed like an hour of wandering aimlessly throughout the hallways, she turned to Ruka. "Do you know where you're going...?"

"...Well, you see...I uh..." With a heavy sigh, he slowly shook his head. "It's room 18, but I can't seem to find it..."

Mikan pointed behind him. "Isn't that it?" Did he really not notice that?

"Eh?" Ruka turned around in shock to see a door with a large '18' on it. His bangs covered his embarrassment as he unlocked the door and led Mikan in.

"Wow!!" she exclaimed, looking around the room in awe. "Amazing!" It was much larger than her room had been, and had a desk, carpet, a balcony, huge windows, a big bed... Huh? ... One bed...? Turning to Ruka, she stared at him with her usual ' I'm stupid what's going on? ' look.

"It will be about a week until another bed gets here, so until then..." He refused to look at her; his face was a darker shade of red than it had ever been in his life. "Anyway, we should go to the dining room for dinner..." Ruka quickly walked towards the door.

Mikan smiled and followed him, glad to finally be at Alice. Honestly, she couldn't see the problem with sharing a bed, since every now and then, she would sleep with her grandpa. When they finally reached the dining area, Mikan once again looked around with an amazed and suprised look on her face.

"I.. suppose that," Ruka coughed, "since we're partners... we should sit next to each other."

Mikan nodded happily, and followed him to a table. Ruka sat next to a raven haired boy with crimson eyes, and Mikan sat next to him.

"Ne, Natsume? Where's that other girl?" he asked, pointing to the empty spot next to Natsume.

"Tch. Like I care."

"But she's your partner!!" cried Mikan in suprise.

Karin slowly walked in. Instead of sitting next to Natsume, she chose the seat by Mikan. "Hello, Mikan..."

Mikan took this as a sign that she could also call Karin by her first name. "Hi Karin!" She smiled brightly. Karin's mouth twitched again.

Mikan stared at the food they put down. Salads, steak, carrots, cake, potatoes, brownies, fish, strawberries, rice, soushi, ramen... And lots of other choices. Ruka looked at her, almost smiling.

"You're drooling..." Mikan looked at him with wide eyes, and, embarrassed, rubbed away the saliva that had dripped from her mouth.

Ruka had rice, fish, and a fruit tart.

Natsume chose steak, fish, chicken, and rice.

Mikan grabbed pretty much everything.

Karin had rice and strawberries.

Mikan was amazed at Karin's choice and asked her about it.

"He ruined my appetite," she replied, glaring directly at Nastume. He glared back, and it seemed like darts of lighting went between them. Ruka and Mikan sweat-dropped.

"Attention, attention. Dinner time is over. Report to your rooms immediantly..." called a mechanic voice after everyone had eaten.

Ruka and Mikan left. The other two walked out more slowly.