"I love you."
Strong arms wrapped around the petite waist of Mikan Sakura. Her cheeks were tinted pink as she stared down at her new engagement ring with a shy smile on her face. Her new fiancé continued to cuddle her as they both stared down at her new accessory.
"I-I love you too, Natsume."
"Koko… stop reading my mind!" Yuu Tobita shouted at his friend, who was smirking openly at the blonde's obvious annoyance.
"Why should it matter if I'm reading your mind or not?" Koko questioned innocently as he walked along side their class representative. "We all knew that you'd end up being the headmaster for this school eventually. But.. why the rush?"
Yuu stopped walking so that he could stare at the mind reader dumbly. "What do you mean "why the rush?" It's our last year at the academy Koko. We should all be thinking about our futures…" Yuu continued to stare at his friend in amazement when the mind reader simply shrugged his shoulders, indicating his indifference on the matter.
"Hey Koko! Inchou!"
"Mikan-chan!" Yuu exclaimed waving as the girl ran toward them. Well, you couldn't really call her a girl anymore. Now at seventeen years of age, Mikan had acquired the curves of a fully matured woman and stood at five feet and four inches. Her silky brown hair was now waist length and her eyes were still large and filled with a childlike gleam.
"Guess what! You'll never guess!" she grinned widely at her two close friends. They simply smiled back at her.
"I might be able to guess if you wouldn't nullify my Alice," Koko informed her, sticking out his tongue playfully.
Mikan giggled before sticking out her own tongue at him teasingly. "That's exactly why I'm nullifying your Alice, Koko. Now guess!"
Yuu noted the girl's sparkling eyes and slightly pink cheeks and wide smile, before guessing. "I'm guessing it has something to do with you and Natsume?" He and Koko both chuckled when the girl's cheeks darkened.
Mikan ducked her head in embarrassment. "I'm that obvious aren't I?" she murmured before giggling happily and lifting her head to smile at her two friends. "I can't help it though! I'm so excited! I feel like there's this little bundle of joy inside me that keeps moving around!" She smiled gleefully.
Koko's eyes widened. He glanced at Yuu, who looked equally shocked at what Mikan had just said.
L-little bundle of joy?! Mikan was… pregnant?
It was Yuu who recovered first. "M-Mikan-chan.. you can't mean…" he trailed off, not knowing what else to say. How could Natsume and Mikan be this foolish?! They weren't even out of the Academy yet, for goodness sakes! To Yuu's dismay, Mikan just continued to grin happily, completely unaware that the two boys had gotten the wrong idea.
"Yup! I'm so excited! I mean.. I already knew that Natsume loved me, but I can't help but feel as if this'll bring us even closer together, you know?"
"B-but.. you two aren't even out of the Academy yet…" Koko sputtered once he had finally recovered.
Mikan shrugged. "It won't happen until after we graduate silly! We were thinking probably about a month after we graduate."
"It is about nine months until graduation…" Koko said to Yuu, as his chocolate brown eyes grew wide.
Yuu stared at Mikan in confusion, a blush making its way to his cheeks. He swallowed a lump in his throat before stuttering, "M-Mikan-chan.. exactly.. how far along are you?"
Completely unaware of what Yuu meant by that, Mikan said simply, "It's been a few days… but Natsume had been planning on it for about a month now."
Koko stood there, not knowing whether to yank out his hair or laugh. He decided on the latter and began to chuckle nervously at Mikan's statement.
"What's going on?" Ruka questioned casually as he made his way over to the three teens. He looked at Koko strangely, who was still laughing insanely, before focusing his attention on Mikan.
At seeing her best guy friend in the entire world, Mikan broke into a large smile. "Ruka-pyon! Guess what!"
Ruka smiled gently at her. "What is it?"
Smiling widely with tinted cheeks, Mikan began to answer cheerfully, "Natsume and I are-"
Ruka was roughly shoved aside as Koko and Yuu dove at Mikan, knocking the poor girl to the ground. It was quite a site to behold. Mikan now lay flat on her back with Yuu and Koko right on top of her. The two boys struggled while trying to cover her mouth with their hands. Confused and obviously frightened, Mikan struggled against them. Ruka could do nothing at first besides stare in bewilderment. When the animal pheromone finally snapped back to his senses, he immediately rushed over to help his childhood crush.
"Hey! Quit it you guys!" Ruka yelled at them. He grabbed Yuu roughly by the shirt and pulled him back, causing the class representative to stumble back. Ruka was completely unprepared and ended up breaking Yuu's fall as they both went crashing to the ground.
"Ruka-pyon! Help me-!" Mikan screeched.
Koko was still struggling to keep the nullifier still. He had somehow managed to keep Mikan on her back and now had both her hands trapped in one of his above her head, while his other hand covered her mouth. He spoke to her in a low and frantic voice. "Mikan-chan… you have to keep this… uhh.. situation between you and Natsume a secret. Don't you see? This could ruin everything that the two of you had planned in the future if the higher ups were to find out…"
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Koko froze before cursing quietly. `
"Of course he'd choose to show up now.." Ruke mumbled as he gently shoved Yuu off him.
Yuu scrambled to his feet just as Ruka had. He carefully adjusted his glasses. Once he realized who it was who was standing just a few feet away from Mikan and Koko, he visibly paled.
Ruka sweatdropped as he eyed his best friend warily. He could practically feel the rage rolling off of the black cat in waves. His piercing crimson eyes darkened as they practically bore holes into the mind reader who was on top of his girlfriend.
"He's a goner…" Yuu whimpered to Ruka. "Shouldn't we do something?"
Ruka just stared at the scene dumbly. "What is Koko doing?!" he whispered to Yuu in disbelief. "Why is he still on top of Mikan? Is he crazy?! Aww… crud… he's gonna get burned.."
"Shouldn't we do something?!" Yuu asked again with a more panicking edge to his trembling voice.
Poor Koko was frozen with fear and was trying to force his body to move, but Natsume's unwavering glare kept him in place. The most he could do was widen his eyes even further.
Mikan was somehow able to free her hands and once she did, she grasped Koko's hand that was still covering her mouth before speaking. "Koko… it's okay. Natsume won't hurt you."
Despite her reassurance, Koko still couldn't will his body to move.
Natsume redirected his glare to the nullifier. "Like hell I won't hurt him," he growled. He took a menacing step toward them and narrowed his eyes at Koko once more. Natsume's hands were clenched into tight fists and it was taking all of his control to keep them from shaking with anger. Instead, he directed his anger into the words that he practically growled next. He spoke them clearly and threateningly. "Now get off of my fiance before I burn you with flames that put hell to shame."
"Now get off of my fiance before I burn you…"
Fiance. Natsume had called Mikan his fiancé!
Yuu's eyes grew wide.
A huge smile broke out on Ruka's face.
It was then that Koko's body regained its mobility and just in time too. Natsume didn't seem as if he would be holding his temper for much longer. Koko was off of his fiance in less than a second and quickly darted backwards several feet. He watched with wide eyes as Mikan stood up, dusted her self off and made her way over to Natsume so that she could scold him for being mean to the mind reader. Natsume simply rolled his eyes in response.
"That wasn't very nice.." she was saying. "You should say sorry.."
"Yeah, right Polka-dots."
"Natsume.." At the sound of his name, the black cat turned to face his best friend. Ruka's smile couldn't be more defined. "Congratulations."
Natsume's ambiguous expression faltered the slightest bit. The smile became evident in his eyes. "Thanks, Ruka."
"Mikan-chan," Yuu exclaimed, his eyes bright and happy. He stepped forward and hugged Mikan lightly. "I'm so happy for you. Congratulations," he whispered in her ear. He pulled away from her immediately, however, when he felt Natsume's glare on his back. The class representative chuckled nervously.
"Thank you, Inchou," Mikan said, before placing a friendly kiss on the blonde's cheek. She looked up in confusion as Natsume grabbed her hand wordlessly before pulling her toward him protectively.
Ruka chuckled as he gazed at the two fondly.
"Yeah! Congratulations you two!" Koko exclaimed, back to his cheerful self. "So when's the wedding?" he added lightly as he chuckled.
"We were thinking about the December after we graduate," Mikan answered cheerfully. Suddenly, she frowned in confusion. "Wait.. Koko.. I thought that you said that I shouldn't talk about it. Wouldn't something bad happen if someone were to hear us?" She began to glance around nervously. She unconsciously squeezed Natsume's hand.
The flame caster squeezed her hand back, his eyebrows furrowing with worry at his fiance's obvious distress.
"What? No.. I wasn't talking about that, Mikan. I was talking about the fact that your…" Realization dawned. "Ohh…" He shared a look with Yuu, who had formed a small 'o' with his mouth before he began to rub the back of his head sheepishly.
"What?" Natsume demanded, looking back and forth between his two classmates, slightly irritated that he, for once, had no idea what was going on.
"Nothing!" the two exclaimed, a little too quickly, causing Natsume's eyes to narrow in suspicion.
"Natsume-kun, you are so paranoid," Koko spoke, before chuckling nervously. "Anyway! You two are getting married! We should be making plans! I call best man!" Koko added, before he began to follow Mikan and Natsume, who were already making their way toward the cafeteria for supper.
"I'm Natsume's best friend," Ruka reminded him. "I'm best man."
Natsume chuckled, before pressing a kiss to Mikan's temple. He smirked. "Kokoroyomi can be the flower girl," he suggested with a good natured smirk.
Koko smirked before saying, "No… I think Ruka would make a much better flower girl than me."
Ruka froze mid-step before turning to glare at Koko wordlessly. Then the animal pheromone smirked. "How about this; last one to the cafeteria.. has to wear a dress to Natsume and Mikan's wedding."
"Okay," Koko agreed, grinning mischievously.
The two glowered at each other for a moment, before taking off at full speed toward the cafeteria.
Yuu laughed openly before taking off after them.
Mikan giggled. "We better hurry so that we can make sure that they don't hurt themselves." She started to walk faster, but Natsume tightened his hold on her hand before tugging her back toward him. She turned, confused. "Natsume?"
He grinned at her boyishly before circling his arms around her shoulders in a gentle embrace.
Mikan sighed in content before returning the hug. She wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing herself even closer to his body. Her head was tucked underneath the boy's chin. Her eyes were shut as she listened to the gentle sound of his heart.
"Natsume?" she murmured, her voice barely above a whisper.
"Hn?" he answered, his voice filled with love and desire. His arms tightened automatically around her shoulders.
"I love you."
In answer, Natsume pulled back the slightest bit so that he could tilt the girl's chin up with his index finger. He lowered his head so that their noses were practically touching.
Mikan closed her eyes and waited until she felt Natsume's warm lips against her own.
Both reacted strongly to the kiss. It was sweet and gentle, like Mikan, but at the same time, firm and daring, like Natsume. Mikan hadn't even realized that her fingers had gotten lost in her fiance's dark locks while his strong arms held onto her protectively.
After what was really about 4-5 minutes in reality, but seemed like so much shorter than that to the two lovers, Natsume pulled away so that he could stare in his future wife's bright chocolate brown orbs.
"By the way," he began calmly, making Mikan wonder how he could sound so calm while she was here, panting at the intensity of their kiss. "Imai is wearing a tux to our wedding."
"H-huh? Why would Hotaru wear a tux to our wedding?" Mikan asked dumbly. Her mind may have been clouded by the kiss, but she was still able to realize that Hotaru wearing a tux to their wedding didn't seem natural at all.
Natsume smirked. "Because… Ruka's wearing a dress."
A.N- *sighs* Now To Be Admired is officially over. It kinda makes me sad, but I'm so happy about how it all turned out. After all I've been through while writing this. It makes me really happy to look back on it all. How the story developed.. and what inspired certain ideas and all that. I'm most thankful to all my wonderful readers and reviewers and of course my best friend froggy coffee bean, who has supported me all the way. Thank you so much everyone! Happy Holidays!