JC: This is it! This is the one everyone's waiting for—the final chapter. I've spent a lot of thinking on this one. Generally, endings in stories tend to get boring, unsatisfying, or too cliché. I don't know if mine would be good, but I did my best on this one. I'm not the most perfect writer out there, but I appreciate my talent in writing. To all the reviewers who are supporting this story, I hope you'll enjoy the last chapter of Obsession.

Warning: This is a long chapter. This actually reached 24 pages in Microsoft Word. I didn't know what came over me. I kept on writing and writing and I didn't realized it was this long. Oh well...

Disclaimer: Gakuen Alice characters belong to Higuchi-sensei. Sugita Aya is a cross-over character from Kodocha. My own characters in this fic are Kawashima Kyo, Kawashima Asuka, and Hibiki Ryou.


Chapter 50: Obsession Lasts Forever

Alone. She was alone on the bed, alone in the room. Totally alone. She lay there breathing hard, trying to come back to herself, knowing there was no use calling out to the guy who had just given her so much damage—and then left her. She fought the tears gathering in the backs of her eyes. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to make the pain go away. She desperately wanted to understand him. Why he had to hurt her in a fit of jealousy?

She pulled up the covers and burrowed down into the warmth created by her own body. She actually slept for two hours, then rose, to start the day. She did her morning rituals and got dressed in her middle school uniform. She was just putting on her tie when the door burst open. She almost jumped out of her skin, until she found herself facing a cold-looking Hotaru.

The inventor's amethyst eyes narrowed as she approached Mikan. "I knew something was wrong the minute I woke up from a nightmare. Your eyes tell me that you just cried."

Mikan could not possibly tell Hotaru about what Natsume did to her or else she'll flip. "Um… I had a nightmare. When I woke up, I was already crying." She laughed to ease her nervousness.

"You're a very bad liar, Mikan," Hotaru said. "Tell me what's wrong. Does it have something to do with that stupid Black Cat?"

The brunette swallowed hard. Her best friend was as sharp as a tack. How would she explain it to Hotaru? After all, the issue with guys and sex were a mouthful for her. "N-Natsume didn't do anything…" She was badly stuttering. At times like this she wished she could make a good lie. "There's nothing wrong. You don't have to worry about me, Hotaru." But the moment she turned her head to the side, the mark on her neck became visible to Hotaru.

Hotaru's eyes widened at the sight of the love bite on Mikan's neck. At that moment, Hotaru realized what was wrong with her. "It does have something to do with Natsume-kun after all," she said, clenching her fists. "I'm going to make him pay."

Mikan threw her a confused look. "And what do you mean by that? I told you Natsume didn't do anything."

"Oh, really now?" Hotaru reached out for Mikan's neck. "Don't try to defend that guy, Mikan. I understand everything now. Despite my warnings, he still did it with you. I'm sure you were forced."

The cat was out of the bag now. Mikan could no longer deny it. "Yesterday, he did force me… And I was so frightened." She began to tremble. "It was the first time he became so rough with me. He was usually gentle with me and he always cared about my feelings. He became so different because he was jealous. He was jealous of Ruka-pyon, Tsubasa-senpai, and everyone in my fan club. But he shouldn't be. He shouldn't. Natsume is the guy I love the most. My feelings for him would never change. He should have faith in me." Hot tears streamed down her cheeks as she dropped to her knees.

It was the first time he became so rough with her…? So that means they did it more than once already… Still, what he did to her is unforgivable. Hotaru had come up with certain ways to deal with Natsume later. "Well, we can't hide the fact that you're extremely attractive to a lot of boys, so Natsume-kun has the right to get jealous. However, his possessiveness has gotten out of hand. We have to teach him a lesson. Of course, I need your help and you're not entitled to refuse."

Mikan looked up at her best friend. "W-What do you have in mind, H-Hotaru?" she said between her sniffs.

"I'll tell you all about it right after you stop crying," Hotaru said seriously, pointing her Baka Gun at Mikan. "I really hate your crying face. A smile suits you better, so you better wipe those tears away or else."

"I-I'm sorry…" Mikan thought of what Natsume did and shut her eyes tight. "I can't stop myself from crying, Hotaru. Instead of rejoicing for our safe return from the organization, Natsume did something cruel to me."

"That's why I want to make him pay," Hotaru said, kneeling down to her level. Putting her invention away, she placed a hand on Mikan's shoulder. "Although I want to physically torture him, it's much better if we play a trick on him."

"Count us in," a voice spoke all of a sudden. The two girls immediately turned their heads towards the door and saw Tsubasa and Misaki in the flesh. "We heard everything," he said.

"And we can't just let him get away with that," Misaki said, rubbing her hard knuckles.

Mikan lowered her gaze to the floor and sighed. "Even Tsubasa-senpai and Misaki-senpai…" She figured that it won't do any harm if she played along. As she wiped her tears away, she stood up and said, "All right… Let's do it…"

"There's no turning back now," Hotaru said, pulling out her cell phone from her pocket. "My plan is simple yet drastic and I want everyone's cooperation on this. I'm going to give my brother a call. We need him to make things a lot more realistic and interesting."

Misaki crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Are you going to tell him about the thing between Natsume-kun and Mikan?" She had a very serious demeanor on.

Hotaru calmly shook her head. "As you know, my brother is quite fond of Mikan. To tell him about their sexual relationship could mean the end for that moron Natsume-kun." She flipped her phone open and dialed her brother's number. "My brother is known to be merciless."

"Putting your brother aside, don't you think it's more dangerous if the high school principal found out about it?" Tsubasa said, and Mikan gasped in surprise. "I'm sure he'll have Natsume imprisoned for life." He let out a laugh.

Grumbling, Misaki shot her boyfriend a glare. "That's no funny matter, Tsubasa," she said. "Anyway, I think I know what Hotaru-chan is planning." Call it a woman's intuition.

Mikan and Tsubasa blinked in confusion. "And what is that?" the both of them asked in unison.

The red-haired girl giggled and winked a playful eye at them. "You'll see," she said. "We're going to have fun fooling Natsume-kun."

Umenomiya Anna brought her best friend to the park at Central Town after breakfast the next morning. "Nonoko-chan, cheer up. It's not yet the end of the world." Nonoko had been sulking ever since she saw Kyo hugging Mikan and confessing his feelings to her at the hospital. She wasn't angry at Kyo or Mikan, knowing that Kyo admired Mikan for so long, but she felt a little disappointed in him. "Why don't we go shopping for new clothes? It's been a while since we last hit the mall. Come on, Nonoko-chan, it'll be fun."

But Nonoko was hardly listening; she was thinking about Kyo. "He told me to wait for him before I left the organization," she muttered. "So, I waited for him anxiously. But Kyo still has feelings for Mikan-chan." Tears stung her eyes in a second. It was too hard for her to bear inside.

Anna stroked Nonoko's hair. "You can't blame Kawashima-kun for his feelings," she said. "When he came to this academy, Mikan-chan was the first to be true to him."

"Yeah…and I can never compete against Mikan-chan," Nonoko said, burying her hands in her palms. "Still, I love Kyo so much—even if he loves Mikan-chan."

"You're wrong, Nonoko," a familiar voice called out.

Slowly the two girls looked up and saw Kawashima Kyo standing a few inches away from them.

"I only like Mikan-sama as a fan," he told her, and Nonoko turned her head away. "The one I really love is none other than you, Nonoko."

Closing her eyes in despair, Nonoko clasped her hands together against her chest. "You're lying," she muttered. "You love Mikan-chan. I heard you confessing your love to her at the hospital. You were even hugging her."

Kyo realized that Nonoko was hurt and he had to do something to make it up to her. "Nonoko, the time at the hospital...It's not what you think…"

Nonoko faintly smiled as she stood up. "You don't have to make excuses, Kyo," she said. "I'm not mad at you. I guess I just got my hopes up for nothing. Please excuse me." With that, she ran away.

"Ah, Nonoko-chan!" Anna called out, but her best friend didn't stop.

"Don't worry… Leave everything to me, Umenomiya-san," Kyo said, and went after Nonoko in a hurry.

The streets were not crowded and easy to run along it. Before she knew it, Nonoko had aimlessly run into an alley where there was a dead end. Because of that, Kyo managed to catch up. Taking a deep breath, she took a step backward and managed to step on a can. Nonoko tripped and almost hit the wall if it weren't for Kyo's fast reaction.

Kyo held her in his arms and asked, "Are you all right, Nonoko?" He sounded very concerned.

"Yes, I'm fine thanks to you, Kyo." Even though his rescue was complete, Kyo still hadn't let her go. Her heart started pounding hard. "Um…Kyo, you can let go of me now." Suddenly Kyo's embrace tightened. "Kyo?"

"I'm not going to make any excuses," Kyo whispered softly. "But I will tell you the truth. Mikan-sama lent me her shoulder to cry on. Ryou's death was something I couldn't bear, and Mikan-sama was there to relieve me of my pain. The moment I hugged her, I imagined that it was you in my arms—not Mikan-sama. In a spur of moment, I said 'I love you' while thinking about you, Nonoko."

His heterochromatic eyes were pure and honest, and just by looking at them, Nonoko knew he was for real. "Kyo, so that means you—"

"Nonoko," he murmured against her hair, so tenderly. "You are very special to me."

Her face turned redder. "Kyo, I-I think you're special too," she said. "And I really, really love you." It took all her courage to say that and she felt a little embarrassed about it.

"I'm happy, Nonoko," Kyo said. "I really am, because I'm in love with you." He eased away to face her pretty face and smiled at the sight of her red cheeks.

She closed her eyes as his lips met hers. She melted against the strength of his body, clinging to him as if she could make the moment last forever. But almost as soon as her knees were getting weak, Kyo gently set her free. "Kyo…" she muttered, her face flushed red.

"Well," he said, and there was no mistaking the tenderness in his voice, "this is turning out to be a pretty wonderful day."

"It sure is." She sighed. Once there had been so much she wanted to say to him, but no longer. Words weren't really important anymore. What counted was touching, understanding, and caring.

Mikan avoided Natsume for three weeks, and the news spread around the academy like wildfire. At that time, a lot of students have returned to the academy and everything was back to normal. Well, almost everything because Mikan and Natsume's relationship was kind of strained. Mikan had also temporarily moved to Narumi-sensei's room by simply telling the teacher that she had a fight with Natsume. Narumi was more than happy to have his precious daughter under the same roof as him. The fan boys were happy to hear about the sudden distance between the couple, knowing that they still have a chance with Mikan. Obviously, Natsume wasn't too keen on hearing that. And for the past three weeks, he had been isolating himself from everyone, including Ruka.

The Black Cat of the academy kept himself busy one day by reading a manga under a Cherry Blossom Tree in the Northern Woods. What he did to Mikan kept nagging him. He had truly regretted what he did and he wanted to apologize to her. It was only a little past lunch time when he finished two volumes, but he still kept thinking about his mistake.

After gathering his comic books, he walked around the forest. He had told himself he just needed a good walk and a breath of fresh air. He crossed the flower area, and then stepped out to a vacant field. His hands were as a cold as the weather, though he had the Fire Alice. He dropped the books on the ground and went up the tree. There he stood quietly on the branch, waiting for his heart to settle.

When he heard something from below, he carefully knelt down and shifted his gaze on the moving bushes. A man, a dark-haired young man clad in a high school uniform, came out of the bushes and greeted the flame-caster with a casual smile.

"What the hell are you doing here, you annoying shadow?" Natsume said in an icy voice. He has the habit of speaking rudely to Tsubasa, despite being younger than him.

Tsubasa leaned his back against the tree. "Looking for you, what else?" he said, and sensed Natsume's gaze getting sharper. "So, what's it like having the girl you love ignore you? Is it painful?"

Natsume shrugged. "It's none of your business."

"It's still my business, Natsume, because Mikan is my junior." There was a hint of protectiveness in his voice. "Look, Mikan told me and Hotaru about what you did. I, myself, couldn't believe it at first, but Hotaru got angry immediately."

"I noticed that a long time ago," Natsume said through gritted teeth. "That witch never gave me the chance to approach Mikan."

"Well, it's your damn fault. Why did you have to go and hurt Mikan? Why do you have to get jealous over the simplest of things? You do know that Mikan only has eyes for you, right?"

Yes, he was aware of that. He was confident that Mikan's feelings for him will never change. Nevertheless, he can't stand seeing Mikan getting all friendly with other guys—especially those who were romantically interested in her. Still, it doesn't give him the right to hurt her. He felt so pathetic at the moment that he couldn't say anything.

Tsubasa heaved a deep sigh. "What's the matter? Cat cut your tongue?" He ran his fingers through his hair. "Anyway, I have something important to tell you. It's about Mikan, so listen up."

Natsume jumped down and landed perfectly on the ground. "I'm listening."

The senior's expression turned from calm to grim. "Last week Mikan had been experiencing morning sickness. Sometimes she would feel nausea the entire day. The other night, when she was attending a meeting with the student council, she suddenly felt dizzy and fainted." He looked at Natsume and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Natsume, do you know what it means?"

Pulse racing, Natsume turned his head away. He could only think of one possible reason for her symptoms. "No way… She's pregnant…?" he muttered under his breath, and he felt Tsubasa gripping his shoulder tightly. "Tell me... Is it mine?"

Tsubasa withdrew his hand and spun around on his heels. "I'm sorry to tell you this, but Mikan is carrying Ruka-pyon's child," he said sadly. He peered over his shoulders and saw the dismayed expression on Natsume's face. He bit his lip, feeling guilty for telling him such lies, but he knew he had to keep up the act for Mikan's sake. "We had her checked and it's guaranteed. Remember, when they were still at the organization, Mikan was drugged and she had sex with him. The high school principal found out about Mikan's predicament and he decided to dismiss you as her bodyguard and boyfriend. Ruka-pyon will be taking your place whether you like it or not."

There was a long silence. It was all too hard to swallow for Natsume. The girl he loved was bearing another man's child. He didn't know whether to get angry or not. His emotions were all mixed up. "What about Mikan? What did she say? Did she accept the principal's decision?" It was amazing that he managed to regain his stoic expression.

"She cried so hard when the principal told her that she could no longer be with you," Tsubasa replied. "Ruka-pyon didn't want this either. But the two of them didn't have much of a choice. In order not to bring any shame, the two of them must wed in the future and raise their child together."

"But she belongs to me," Natsume declared. There was fire burning in his eyes. "I won't allow it."

Tsubasa turned around to face Natsume again and stepped on his shadow. "You're willing to go against the high school principal, huh?" He activated his Alice and pinned Natsume to the ground by controlling the shadow. "Don't be an idiot, Natsume. Besides, you can't change the fact that Ruka-pyon's the father of Mikan's child. I know you felt you had been betrayed, but you need to realize that you can't be that child's father no matter how much you want to be with Mikan."

Natsume did not speak and after a moment Tsubasa said more quietly, "I know it hurts so much…"

"I won't let it end like this," Natsume said, clenching his hands. He had eyes filled with determination. "You said that Mikan only has eyes for me and I know that she only sees Ruka as a friend. Regardless of her pregnancy, I can't and I won't let her marry Ruka. I'll make sure that I'll be the one who will walk Mikan down the aisle."

Tsubasa scratched the back of his head. "You still have the guts to say that? Have you forgotten about what you did to her? You've hurt her because of your jealousy issues. At least, Ruka-pyon will make a decent husband for her because he's nice."

There was a pause before Natsume spoke. "I've been so stupid and pathetic. It's just that it's so hard not to get jealous. Mikan is too irresistible for me not to do anything about it. If she's wasn't so attractive to the other guys, I wouldn't have any problems." He slowly got back to his feet, maintaining a calm appearance. "But I really am sorry for what I did to her. These past three weeks have been hard for me. I want to hold her again in my arms and to never let her go." Strange. He found it so easy to let his feelings out to Tsubasa. No matter how much he acted like he hated the guy, Tsubasa was still the senior he secretly respected. Tsubasa had helped him a lot before.

Tsubasa looked at him with compassion in his eyes. He knew when a man spoke from the heart without reserve. "Your obsession for Mikan is strong," he said. "But don't let it overwhelm you, Natsume, or you might end up hurting her again."

Natsume rolled his eyes away. "I know the error of my ways and I swore to myself that I would never do it again," he said.

"I see… Then you go to Mikan right now. She's in the infirmary with Imai-sensei."

Natsume went away as if he was suddenly in a great hurry and the Shadow Prince stared after him reflectively. Then his eyes twinkled and there was a smile on his lips. "It's all according to plan," he said. He pulled out his cell phone and called Hotaru. "He's on his way there. Be ready."

"How are you feeling?" Dr. Imai asked the brunette, who was lying on the bed in the infirmary.

"I wonder if this will continue," Mikan pondered.

"It's quite normal for a pregnant woman to feel nausea," he said. His amethyst eyes were usually cold and callous, but they become different whenever he's with Mikan. "I still find it hard to believe that you're pregnant at such a young age." He sounded nonchalant, yet there was a hint of concern.

Mikan held her tummy. "It's kinda sad, though…" she muttered. "That this unborn child does not belong to Natsume…" She leaned down and wrapped her arms around herself. Putting up such an act was hard work, but if she doesn't do it Hotaru will skin her alive. To the very least, she was happy to know that Subaru had no idea that she did it with two boys already. Hotaru was very good at explaining things, although she had some disagreements with her brother.

"And the principal wants you to marry Nogi," he said, adjusting his glasses. "I don't approve of this, but I can't go against the principal's decision."

"Uncle and Okaa-san were so upset by this…" She looked up at the doctor with tearful eyes. "Even so, I don't feel ashamed, because this is Ruka-pyon's child."

Subaru sighed. "It's really a good thing that Nogi is your friend. It makes things a lot easier for everyone to accept the situation you're in." Seriously, if Mikan was pregnant for real, he would have done something dire by now.

The door opened and Mikan gave a little cry. "N-Natsume?!" The said boy came into the room. "I-It's been a while…" She can't stop herself from being nervous.

The doctor blocked Natsume's view from Mikan and glared at him. He knew he had been eavesdropping on their conversation. "You are not allowed to set a foot near her," he stated in a strict voice. "You are no longer her bodyguard or her boyfriend. She belongs to Nogi now."

Natsume's eyebrows twitched in irritation upon hearing that. "First of all, I don't remember her breaking up with me," he said, narrowing his gaze. "Secondly, even though I'm no longer her bodyguard, I still have the right to talk to her as a person." There was no falter in his voice.

"Imai-sensei, I want to have a talk with Natsume too," Mikan said sadly, then added in a different tone, "After all, I avoided him for three weeks because he did something unforgivable to me."

Her words stabbed his heart like a dagger, but he stayed completely composed. As soon as Subaru left the infirmary, Mikan turned her head to the window and he walked over to her side. "I guess I deserve all of this, huh? You getting kidnapped by the organization, having them take advantage of you by using Ruka and getting pregnant with his child, and having you ignore me for the past weeks…" The frustration building inside of him was getting greater by the minute. "I don't think I can handle anymore punishments…" Lowering his head, his raven locks hid his crimson eyes full of guilt.

"Natsume, do you love me?" she asked.

What a funny thing to ask, he mused in his head. "Yes," he answered.

"Well, I do too." Mikan clutched the sheets tightly. "But you really don't have faith in me," she said without much hope in her voice.

His cool façade was slipping. "I know..."

Mikan took his hand and brought it to her tummy. "Natsume, will you continue to love me and accept this child inside of me?"

He was expecting that kind of question from the start and he thought he was ready to answer it. However, he found it difficult to utter a single word. The truth still hurt him. Nevertheless, whether if it was his child or not, he will continue to love Mikan from the depths of his heart. In addition to that, he will not allow her to marry his own best friend. "My answer is yes," he said, embracing her. "I love you, Mikan, and I'll accept everything about you." He eased his head away and devoured her lips passionately.

Mikan's heart skipped a beat as she felt his tongue entering her mouth. She responded obediently to his kiss. She had waited so long to have him kiss her again. The three weeks were hard and painful for her.

"Get away from her," a coldhearted voice spoke, catching the lovers' attention. The voice belonged to none other than Hotaru, who was standing by the door together with her brother and Harada Misaki. "Mikan is no longer yours, so why don't you just give up?"

Natsume held Mikan against his chest. "She is still mine," he said possessively, "and I don't care if she's carrying Ruka's child or going against the principal."

"You may not care, but I do," Hotaru said, challenging Natsume's eyes. "You're not fit to be her boyfriend. You're an eyesore, so you better get out of my sight before I do something extreme."

Mikan felt that Hotaru wasn't acting anymore. Her best friend was being serious. "H-Hotaru…I think this is more than eno—"

"This is not the time to be forgiving, dummy," Hotaru icily said. "I know how much you love him, but think about what he did to you. It's not something to be taken lightly."


Misaki stepped forward, focusing her sharp eyes on Natsume. "I'm sorry to do this, Natsume-kun," she said. She activated her Alice and created two copies of herself. "But I can't forgive you for making Mikan cry." Her doubles charged towards Natsume.

Thinking fast, Natsume created a line of fire to prevent the doppelgangers from approaching the bed. Mikan was obviously surprised at what he did. "I know it was wrong for me to make her cry," he said, shifting his gaze down on the beautiful brunette in his arms. "But I only did that because I love her so much." Jealousy was an ugly thing, but it was also proof of his love.

Heat rose up on Mikan's cheeks. "Natsume…" She was so touched by his words that she was almost neared to tears again.

"You're making things a lot harder for us, Natsume-kun," Hotaru said, revealing a Nullification stone, which was personally made by Mikan, in her hand. She activated its power and vanquished Natsume's flame in a second. "Even though you say 'I love you' to her so many times, it won't change the fact that she's carrying Ruka-kun's child. It's only fair if she marries Ruka-kun in the future. So, starting today, she must forget all about you and learn to fall in love with Ruka-kun."

Natsume was about to say something when Misaki's doubles grabbed him and tore him away from Mikan. They locked his arms and made him face the Imai siblings. "I don't understand this," he said. "Why the hell are you doing this? Don't you care about what Mikan feels? Forcing her to do something she doesn't want is just too cruel."

"Because I know she'll be happier with Ruka-kun," Hotaru said, crossing her arms. "Hmm… If you're not satisfied with Ruka-kun, I could always ask the principal to let her be engaged to Sakurano-senpai or Kawashima Kyo instead."

"You damn witch," Natsume grumbled.

Subaru poked a finger on Natsume's forehead, activating his Alice at the same time. He transferred pain into him which was enough to give him one major migraine. "Stop being stubborn and accept your loss, Hyuuga Natsume," he said nonchalantly.

Natsume was wincing in pain when he said, "I won't give her up." He looked up at him furiously. "In the past, I've done so many things just to win her affections. It would be absurd to let my efforts be wasted. So, no matter what, I will never give her up. I love Mikan."

"But you can't have her," Hotaru replied.

Mikan couldn't take it anymore. The acting has gone overboard and Natsume was suffering too much. "That's enough!" she uttered. She hopped off the bed and ran over to Natsume. Using Nullification, she made the doppelgangers disappear. "There's no need to continue this charade. Natsume had showed us how wrong he was for hurting me, and I was so touched by his words. He said that he loves me so much that he won't give me up."

Hotaru sighed deeply. "And here I thought we could make things for real," she said. "Natsume-kun, I hope this serves as a lesson to you."

"I can't take anymore of this. I only agreed to play along because of Mikan-san. Since it's over, I can finally go." Subaru spun around on his heels and opened the door. "Oh, before I forget… Here's a fair warning to you, Hyuuga Natsume. If you hurt Mikan-san again, you'll get more than just a migraine. Please remember that. And Hotaru, as usual you're annoying, so please don't ask me to do something like this ever again." After saying all that, he made his exit.

"He's still the same as ever," Hotaru commented.

"I guess it's time for me to go too," Misaki said, patting her own shoulder. "I had fun. See you guys later." She walked across the room to the open window and jumped down.

Natsume raised a brow. "Wait a minute, what did your brother mean? And what's with the charade?"

Mikan let out a nervous chuckle as she scratched the back of her head. "Well, you see, it was all an act, Natsume," she explained. "Hotaru planned it all to punish you. She was really pissed with you."

"Who wouldn't be pissed?" Hotaru shot a glare at Natsume. "Because of him, Mikan had to show me a crying face, which I loathed the most."

"I'm not pregnant at all. I'm sorry for deceiving you, Natsume. I'm also sorry for ignoring you for three weeks. Hotaru told me to do it." Mikan bowed her head.

Natsume popped a vein. "Everything was an act? You freaky inventor, how dare you play a trick on me?" His fists were trembling in anger.

Hotaru unleashed her Baka Gun and pointed it at Natsume. "How dare you hurt Mikan…?" She paused for a moment before she put away her invention. "If you allow your obsession to take over you again, I don't think I can accept you as Mikan's boyfriend anymore. It's okay to be jealous, but there's a limit to it. If you're frustrated, you shouldn't take it out on Mikan."

Natsume shrugged. "You are one sadistic girl," he said. He won't admit it but Hotaru was right. "You had your fun, so why don't you just let me be now."

"Hmph… You can still talk so arrogantly," Hotaru said. "Well, your speeches a while ago were enough to satisfy my standards. Besides, I don't want to witness anymore drama from you." She glanced at Mikan, giving out one of her rare smiles, and spun around on her heels to take her leave.

Mikan sat down on the bed and wondered what Natsume would say to her at that very moment. One thing for sure he was annoyed with the whole acting gig. But she wished to hear his warm and lovable words again. The way he said 'I love you' was so remarkable that she wished to record it. She had suffered these past weeks since she had to ignore him. Every night she would sleep late. Every night in the darkness she could see his face, his crimson eyes looking into hers, and feel his lips take possession of her. Sometimes she felt that the pain of being apart from him was so intense.

She heard his footsteps approaching. She looked up to find him staring at her with cold eyes.

"Mikan." His voice was low and deep and yet there was an irrepressible lilt in it. "You don't know how relieved I am to know that you're not pregnant with Ruka's child. To go as far as to play a trick on me, that freaky friend of yours sure came up with a twisted plan to make me suffer."

Mikan smiled faintly. "I know… I'm sorry for that, Natsume," she said.

"You don't have to apologize," he said in a low voice. "I deserved the punishment more than anyone else. I'm really ashamed of myself. I have no excuse—no real excuse—for behaving like a stubborn fool. But let me tell you again how much you mean to me, Mikan."

Mikan drew in her breath. There was a note in the Black Cat's voice which she had adored before. It had a depth of feeling which made her vibrate as if to some strange and magical music.

"I love you, Mikan." He knelt down like a prince and held her hand. "And in the future, I would like you to marry me." He kissed the back of her hand softly before returning his gaze on her.

Still Mikan could not move as her eyes looked into his. Then she said in a voice he could hardly hear, "Are you certain that you want me as a wife in the future?"

The flame-caster made a little sound that was half a laugh and half a groan, then he put his arms gently around her and pulled her close to him. "Are you really that dense, polka-dots? It's already quite obvious." He heard her pout, and he found her face more attractive than ever. Very slowly he bent his head and his lips found Mikan's. He kissed her, as a man might kiss a flower, then with her lips soft beneath his as he felt a little quiver go through her, his kiss became more demanding, more insistent.

Now she felt as if he gave her himself. There was something spiritual and holy in their closeness, something which she knew in her heart was divine. There were tears of sheer happiness in her amber eyes and Natsume kissed them away. Then he kissed her cheeks and again her lips and all the time there was something that was different in his touch. It was so wonderful that Mikan clung to him as if he might vanish.

"I want to be with you forever, Natsume…" Mikan said, her voice so hot and low.

Natsume held her so tightly that it was painful. "And I want you in my arms all the time." He kissed her until Mikan could not breathe. After that, he looked down into her shining eyes. His girl was so beautiful and she had an unearthly radiance which made her so irresistible.

Once again he sought her lips with a demanding passion. She felt a thrill run through her because he was so masterful.

As soon as Misaki came into her room, Tsubasa sat up on her bed, yawning sleepily. He wasn't wearing his black cardigan anymore and his white shirt had a few buttons undone, exposing a good amount of his well-toned chest. Misaki felt a little heat rush up to her head, but she pretended to look calm. "How did it go?" the shadow manipulator asked.

"Oh, Natsume-kun and Mikan are now in a lovey-dovey mode," Misaki replied, taking a seat beside him on the bed. "It was amusing and sweet at the same time. Natsume-kun is always willing to do anything for Mikan."

He nodded, smiling. "Yeah… That guy loves Mikan to bits."

"That's for sure." Stretching out her arms, Misaki heaved a sigh of relief. "So, what do you want to do today, Tsubasa?"

Discarding his hat, Tsubasa took her in his arms. His touch was tender and gentle, his eyes full of the love he felt for her. "Misaki, I have something for you," he told her.

She could feel the hair on her arms standing up. Tsubasa always had this strange effect on her whenever he touches her. "What it is?" She did her best not to falter.

He retrieved a small box from his pocket and handed it to her. "This is for you, Misaki. I hope you'll like it."

Misaki pulled off the gift wrap and opened the box. Inside there was a finely silver ring decorated with shimmering stones. "It's beautiful…"

"I know we're too young for this, but I want to make sure you'll still be mine after graduation," Tsubasa explained, wrapping his arms around her neck. "Misaki, will you marry me?"

"I…I…" She found herself stuttering—something that she rarely does. Her strict demeanor had also crumbled and her heart was pounding like a drum. The proposal was all too sudden for her, but she felt it in her heart that it was something she yearned for all this time. "Tsubasa, you…I… I don't know what to say…" She clamped her mouth as she continued to stare at the ring.

Tsubasa giggled. "A simple yes or no would do," he said. "But I think a 'no' would break my heart."

Misaki shot him a glare. "It's not as simple as you think, moron!" She was about to hit him with her fist when Tsubasa blocked her attack easily with one hand. "Proposing me at this time… What the hell are you thinking? Can't you just wait until we've graduated? Didn't I tell you that I don't like to rush things?"

Without a second thought, Tsubasa pinned her down on the bed. In spite of her brutal strength, his power as a guy was greater. "I kind of understand how Natsume feels when he sees his girlfriend hanging out with other boys," he said in a serious tone. "There's the feeling of wanting to keep her all to yourself. You may not notice it, but I can get extremely jealous too."

"And I thought you didn't care if boys flirted with me," Misaki said, clasping the box firmer. "You'd usually act so cool like it's nothing."

"Well, I didn't want to cause any trouble." He gave her his trademark carefree smile.

"That is so like you." She removed the ring on from the box and slipped it on her finger. "I don't want to waste a ring like this and I'm sure it didn't come cheap. Your proposal is not bad either, so my answer is yes. Make sure you'll make me the happiest bride during our wedding day, Tsubasa." She took his head in her hands and pulled him down to kiss her.

His tongue darted into her mouth, to be met by her own. They drank their fill of one another's sweetness, and then moved on.

Narumi-sensei, having finished breakfast the next day, had settled down with a newspaper in his hand when Misaki-sensei came into the room.

"Naru, you have a guest." The dark-haired teacher always sported a stoic expression on his face.

He glanced at the clock with a surprised expression in his eyes. It was six in the morning. "A visitor, huh? May I know who it is?" He beamed a smile at his best friend and fellow co-teacher. "Wait, don't tell me… Is it Yuka-senpai?"

Misaki rolled his eyes away as he sighed. "She left the academy yesterday for work, remember? Look, your guest is waiting for you outside and he wants to see you."

"Very well. Show my guest in."

A few seconds later a familiar spiky auburn-haired man appeared, casually and coolly dressed in a black sleeveless shirt, black jeans with silver chains around his waist, and he wore wristbands and accessories. "It's been a long time, Naru-senpai," he said.

Amethyst eyes shot wide open in a second. "R-Reo?" Narumi stood up from his chair. "Is that really you?" He took a step forward, hesitating to approach him.

"I've come back, senpai," Reo said after a moment of silence. "There are no more strings attached to me. The Anti-Alice Organization is gone now, and I wish to be part of this academy again."

A handsome smile appeared on Narumi's face as he walked towards the singer. "I've waited a long time for you to say that, Reo," he said, giving Reo a warm embrace. "It's good to have you back in the academy." He patted Reo's back before easing away to face him. His junior had tears in his eyes already.

Reo wiped the tears away with his arm and lowered his gaze on the floor. "You were right all along, Naru… I should've listened to you…" There was no doubt he regretted doing all those awful things to his senior in the past. "That's why if there's anything I can do to make it up to you, just tell me…"

"You've already done enough. Mikan-chan and the others told me the whole story. When I was brought to the organization, you took good care of me. You've also helped my daughter. For that I thank you."

The singer said nothing and looked up at Narumi.

"Let's put the past aside now. You're finally back and I want to try being a good senior for you again." Narumi ruffled Reo's hair as he chuckled. "I really missed doing this." He did a headlock on Reo and ruffled his hair more. He was enjoying fooling around with his junior again.

"You guys did what?!" Ruka uttered in surprise after listening to Hotaru's story of how they tricked Natsume into thinking Mikan was pregnant with Ruka's child. He was in her lab, currently doing the cleaning. Truth to be known, he was blackmailed again to be her personal servant. Well, Ruka didn't mind it. He kind of missed her blackmails.

"We did a pretty good job in acting," Hotaru said, tinkering with a small machine. "Of course, I planned everything."

Ruka stepped back without speaking. The inventor was emitting a dark aura that he found intimidating. Again, without speaking, he started picking up the tools and screws scattered on the floor.

Hotaru placed her machine down on the table and turned toward him. She asked, masking her emotions as usual, "What would you do if Mikan was really pregnant with your child?"

It was a difficult question to answer. What would he really do? He would have a responsibility towards his unborn child. However, Natsume will be lonely all throughout his life. He didn't want that. And surely Mikan wouldn't be pleased with it. Silence was all he could give to Hotaru as a reply and he hoped that she won't hit him for that.

Stepping up to the huge computer, she checked the systems. "You're lucky that you didn't make her pregnant." After fidgeting with the program, she turned to Ruka once again. "You must've been gentle with her, huh?"

Remembering his passionate moment with Mikan, Ruka blushed ten shades of red. "Why don't we talk of something else?"

"Yes," Hotaru agreed solemnly, hands folded together at her waist, watching him. "By the way, I heard you kissed Mikan after giving her a gift. You're a sly one, Ruka-kun."

"Imai, stop teasing me already!" Ruka uttered, feeling very embarrassed. "Anyway, how about you? You're a No-Star now. What's up with that? Why didn't you get your old rank back? After all, you were only demoted because you were manipulated by Aya-san."

Hotaru shrugged. "Manipulated or not, I still murdered those students with my own hands," she said coolly as she looked at her open palms. "A No-Star rank is suitable for me now. Besides, it was also my decision to stay as a No-Star. A lot of people don't trust me anymore, so I must win them back."

"I see… Well, if that's what you want to do, don't let me stop you," he said, resuming his work.

Hotaru debated for a moment but decided to ask him the question that was bothering her mind. "Will you ever open your heart to another girl or will you forever be in love with Mikan?" She made no eye contact with him, but she knew he was looking at her weirdly. "Don't you think it's better if you forget about your feelings and move on? Remember, it's agonizing to see the one you love in the arms of another guy. If you continue to harbor such feelings of love, then you're only making yourself lonely." As cold as she sounded, her expression had a hint of concern.

"You really think I'm making myself lonely?" Ruka asked.

"I'm sure of it," Hotaru replied firmly. "I expect at this moment your heart is crying because you know Mikan will never be yours."

"I understand what you're saying, Imai, and I appreciate the concern," he said, raking his blonde locks with one hand. "But I'm not making myself lonely. And the feelings I have for Sakura will probably remain forever. After all, Sakura is not any girl. She's unique, a very beautiful and cheerful girl, capable of shining her light towards others." There was a smile on the blonde boy's lips and a glint in his eye that had not been there before.

"You are an impossible case."

"Maybe I am…"

"You may not realize this, but you and Natsume-kun are so alike," Hotaru said, folding her arms in front of her chest. "You two are complete idiots."

Ruka chuckled. "I'll take that as a compliment, Imai."

"There's no need for you to work for me any longer," Hotaru said nonchalantly, grabbing a set of tools on top of her computer.

Ruka was surprised at what he said. "Are you sure about that, Imai? I mean, your lab is still a mess and you could use some help."

Hotaru pressed a button on her computer and an embarrassing picture of Ruka in a sailor uniform was flashed on the screen. "I'll make sure to sell copies of this picture tomorrow if you don't get out of here quickly," she said, sounding serious as ever.

The Blackmailing Queen would never joke about matters like that, Ruka thought nervously. "Imai, how the hell did you take that photo of me?" He gulped as he saw her eyes narrowed. "You know, sometimes you're worse than a stalker." He darted towards the entrance and left immediately.

With him gone, Hotaru heaved the sigh of relief and sat down on a chair. "Worse than a stalker, huh?" She set her eyes on the photographs she laid down earlier, photographs of Mikan. "I guess I'm an idiot too for having this kind of feeling."

Meanwhile, Ruka was making his way towards the middle school dorm. "I hope Imai doesn't show that picture to anyone else," he said. "But this is Imai I'm talking about." As soon as the building was in sight, a strange figure dashed past him. Before he knew it, someone wrapped his/her arms around him.

"Don't panic, Ruka." It was a familiar voice of a girl.

"Wait a minute… Don't tell me you're…" The girl clung to his arm and rubbed her face against his, making Ruka blush like crazy. "Sugita?! W-What are you doing here in the academy? And why are you sticking to me like glue?"

The dark-haired Aya winked a playful eye at him and set him free. She was wearing the middle school uniform for girls. "I came here to visit you and Mikan-chan," she replied cheerfully. "Hey, can you take me to where Mikan-chan is?"

"Sugita, how did you get into the academy?"

Aya flipped her hair as she showed off a cunning smile. "With my Alice, I can easily break into this academy any time I want," she said. Having the Copy Alice was beneficial for her. She may not possess the Alice of Manipulation anymore, but she can still be deadly. "Moreover, I'm no longer an enemy of this school."

"Since you're here, I figure that Reo-san's here too, correct?"

"He's with Narumi-sensei right now."

"Reo-san is still pursuing his career as a singer. Why don't you try becoming a celebrity like him? I think you have what it takes to make it big."

"Ani-sama also told me that, and I've been thinking about it ever since," Aya said, tapping her cheek with a finger. "I'm sure it'll be fun to join Ani-sama in the spotlight." And before she could fantasize herself as a big star on stage, her senses picked up Mikan from afar. Quick and nimble like a cat, she grabbed Ruka and flew up into the air to get a better view of the surroundings. She spotted Mikan walking hand-in-hand with Natsume near the middle school division front yard and got excited.

The shimmer in her scarlet eyes, as Ruka noticed, was unparalleled. Aya would only give that bright expression whenever she sees Mikan. It goes to show how much she treasures Mikan.

The brunette was animatedly talking to Natsume about his upcoming birthday next week. As usual, despite being mildly excited for his birthday, the Black Cat stayed quiet and pretended to be uninterested. And when Mikan asked him about what kind of present does he want this year, Natsume took her in his arms and kissed her slowly.

"Wah…What was that for?" Mikan asked, looking surprised.

"I don't need gifts," he said, slipping his hand under her skirt. Nobody was around to stop him from getting a little perverted. "All I need is you."

She flushed madly and shook her head vigorously. "Natsume, stop being a pervert!" she shouted. "Your birthday's coming up and you have yet to tell me what you desire." She let out a slight moan as Natsume squeezed her thigh gently.

Natsume smirked arrogantly. "You just don't get it do you," he said. "All I want as a present is you. I want your body all to myself on my birthday." There was a sense of pressure in his voice.

"Get away from my Mikan-chan, you stupid Black Cat!!!" Aya swooped down and kicked Natsume out of the way. "Mikan-chan, are you all right? If you can't take it anymore, I suggest that you break up with him as soon as possible." Of course, she was half-joking when she said that.

Mikan was so flabbergasted to see Aya there. "I don't believe this. It's really Aya-chan!" She lunged towards the ex-Ace of the AAO and hugged her tightly. "I've missed you so much, Aya-chan."

Smiling, Aya hugged Mikan back. "I've missed you too, Mikan-chan. I kept thinking about you ever since we got separated." She backed away and held Mikan's hands. Then she shot a glare at Natsume, who had just recovered from her attack. "As expected, you're still a pervert, Hyuuga Natsume. I can't entrust my Mikan-chan to you."

"You're still annoying, bitch," Natsume said, lighting up a flame in his palm. "If you don't step away from her, I swear I'll let you experience hell at this very moment."

Aya grinned proudly as she placed her hands on her waist. "I'd like to see you try, Hyuuga," she said.

Ruka placed a hand on Aya's shoulder and said, "Sugita, don't provoke him any longer."

At the same time, Mikan snaked one arm around Natsume's and pinched his cheek. "Natsume, behave yourself. Don't cause any trouble for Aya-chan. Remember, she's an important friend of mine."

Scarlet and Crimson eyes met, challenging one another. After a while, Aya and Natsume rolled their eyes away and muttered, "Whatever…" Natsume and Aya were still not in good terms, but the two no longer treated each other as mortal enemies.

The knocking on Mikan's door was steady and insistent. Reluctantly she pulled herself out of Natsume's arms and stood up. They had dressed in preparation for the birthday party. Mikan's sugar pink short dress was extremely sexy, showing off the right curves and a fair amount of skin. Diagonal pleats overlay the strapless bodice with a beaded empire band. The corset-seamed midriff meets the flirty, shirred skirt. Natsume was speechless when he saw her stepping into the room clad in the dress, and Mikan said that it was her first birthday present to him.

They had intended to head for the grand hall after dressing up, but her living room was so cozy that they had snuggled up in each other's warmth. But somebody had to knock on the door to disturb their privacy.

"Natsume-kun is finally fifteen years old," the unexpected visitor, who turned out to be Narumi-sensei, announced ever-so-cheerfully. The eccentric teacher was clad in a princely type costume with a white cape and a long thin sword. "This is an exciting day for him."

"It's supposed to be exciting," Mikan said, turning towards her boyfriend. Natsume was wearing a formal black suit with a corsage. She crinkled her nose. "But he doesn't look excited at all."

Natsume sighed in frustration. "Whose idea was it to throw a party for me? I didn't even ask for it."

Narumi walked up to the lad, laughing. "Stop acting so cool, Natsume-kun. It's your birthday, so lighten up." He patted his back. "Everyone worked so hard to throw you a party. You don't want to dampen their mood now, right?"

"Touch me again and I'll burn you," Natsume warned.

"Natsume-kun, you're so mean," Narumi said playfully.

The raven-haired boy shrugged and went to Mikan. "Hurry and get your coat," he told her. "We have a party to get to, and I don't want to spend another minute in the same room as Naru."

Narumi-sensei sweat-dropped anime style as he chuckled. "He's angry at me again…Hehe…"

The party started off with a blast, and those who were more or less friends and in good terms with Natsume were there celebrating his day of birth with him. Girls were wearing short dresses while the boys were wearing suits. The food was served in a buffet style and the table was filled with delicious food and pastries made by the talented Umenomiya Anna herself. The drinks were compliments of the brilliant chemist, Ogasawara Nonoko, while the decorations were all thanks to Narumi-sensei, Kawashima Asuka, and Mikan.

Several of the guests were talking or laughing, or dancing. Shouda Sumire, nicknamed Permy by Mikan, was chasing Kokoroyomi, the mind reader, around because the guy teased her again. The two of them were partners, but they have an odd relationship. Tobita Yuu, the class representative, was trying to calm Sumire down, while Kitsuneme, the boy with the ability to fly, helped Kokoroyomi with the teasing. Hotaru was busy eating some seafood at the table. And on the other side of the big room, Mochiage and a group of boys were drinking punch.

Some of the senior students were there as well. Tsubasa told the group about his engagement to Misaki. Tonouichi Akira was there and he congratulated Tsubasa for taking the next step. Imai Subaru and Ibaragi Nobara were silent during their talk, but they listened to them well.

Narumi-sensei hugged Mikan, then spun her into another man's waiting arms. He had his fun dancing with Mikan, so it was time to give Sakurano Shuuichi a chance. Sakurano whirled her through the crowd of dancing people, a handsome smile present on his face.

He then motioned over to Azumi Yuka, who was standing beside the buffet table, and snaked an arm around her waist. "Are you enjoying the party, Yuka-senpai?"

The brunette mother, who always looked young and gorgeous, grimaced at the teacher. She was wearing a light green short dress with a sequined strapless bodice with draped satin at the empire onto the sassy, layered tulle skirt. "Naru, do you really have to dress up as a prince at this kind of party?" she asked, cynicism present in her voice, and the teacher laughed. "Seriously… I find your taste in clothing rather bizarre."

"But I know you like it," Narumi teased, and Yuka heaved a deep sigh. "Anyway, did I ever tell you that you look great in that dress?" There was a big smile on his face.

"Yes…about five times already…" Yuka then pinched his hand and removed his arm around her waist. "I don't remember giving you permission to touch me so freely." During her student days, Narumi had shown his fondness of her by being so attached. Yuka considered it annoying up until now, but it was also nice to have him around. Plus, his cheerful disposition reminded her so much of her favorite sensei.

"Senpai, you're so cold," Narumi said, chuckling.

Yuka rolled her eyes away from him and saw Natsume standing in one corner. "The birthday celebrant is all alone." She noticed that he was watching Mikan dance with Sakurano. "And I think he's getting jealous again. That's so cute."

"He already danced with Mikan-chan a while ago," Narumi said. "But he doesn't want to dance with anybody else."

"Well, that's Natsume-kun for you."

The music changed into a livelier one and Narumi-sensei wanted to dance. "Yuka-senpai, let's dance," he said, taking hold of her hand.

Yuka gave him a stunning smile. "All right… Just promise me you won't step on my foot," she said, and the blonde nodded happily.

As the two of them went to the dance floor, Mikan had already switched partners. This time she was dancing with the seven year old Hijiri Youichi. But Youichi didn't look like a child. He was currently in his 17-year old body and he looked fine dressed in a silver suit.

Kawashima Kyo crossed the room and approached Nonoko. The chemist girl was clad in a navy blue short dress with a pleated, crumb-catcher strapless neckline and a shirred, bubble skirt. He held out his hand and bowed like a gentleman. "May I have this dance?" he asked, showing her a well-toothed smile. Nonoko can never resist him, so shyly she took his hand. Kyo then led her to the dance floor and together they danced to the romantic music.

When Kokoroyomi and Kitsuneme shouted that they were a good couple, Kyo kissed her. Afterward, she looked up, terribly embarrassed that he had kissed her in public.

"Let's see," Aya said thoughtfully, staring at the martini glasses filled with different fruit juices. Aya looked exceptionally radiant in her black dress with a sweetheart strapless bodice and shirred, flowing skirt and ribbon tie sash. "Should I take orange, strawberry or grape?"

"Orange is good." Reo took the glass with the orange drink and handed it to Aya. He was looking good in his black suit, but he didn't wear a tie. The two buttons of his white shirt were left open. "I should warn you. This has alcohol in it."

Aya sipped the drink and looked up at Reo. "Ani-sama, have you forgotten?" she said in a teasing manner. "I don't get drunk. I have high tolerance in alcohol." Honestly, she and Reo were enjoying the party as much as everyone else, although her relationship with Natsume was not that good.

The gifted designer, Kawashima Asuka, pranced towards Aya with a costume in her hand. "Aya-chan, I have another costume I want you to try on. I gave Mikan-chan hers and she's in the dressing right now getting ready." She flashed the costume and giggled. "You and Mikan-chan will surely look adorable. What do you say, Aya-chan?" They were enemies before and then they've become good friends. With Mikan's help, Asuka found the heart to forgive Aya. Asuka also knew that it was better to forgive than to hold a grudge for the rest of your life. In addition to that, she can never stay angry at Mikan's friend.

During her stay at the academy, Aya had become one of Asuka's dress-up dolls. Asuka considered Aya to be a unique type of beauty with a split personality—one of her favorite types in an anime and manga. In addition to that, she had also stated that Aya's character and appearance complimented Mikan's bubbly nature and overwhelming cuteness factor. An Otaku like her would never grow tired of making costumes for them.

"Kawashima-san, I would love to try it on," Aya said. "Kindly direct me to where Mikan-chan is and I'll put it on."

"Sure, sure!" Asuka replied energetically. Grabbing Aya's hand, she hauled her over to the girl's comfort room. "I bet Mikan-chan is already done dressing up. I can't wait to see her in an Ashford Academy Uniform from 'Code Geass'."

"Code Geass?" Aya wasn't into anime and otaku stuff, so she had no idea what Asuka was talking about. However, she was quite excited to see Mikan in the uniform.

"Mikan-chan, we're here!" Asuka yelled, pushing the door open only to be greeted by silence. There was no one in the room. "Mikan-chan? Oh, she's not here."

A cold breeze came from an open window. "Who opened the window?" Aya asked, walking towards it.

"No idea… But that's usually closed."

Aya found a strand of brown hair on the window pane and realized where Mikan has gone off to. "Kawashima-san, if you don't mind, I'd like to go back to the party," she said. "I want to check on something."

Asuka hugged her costume. "Eh? You're not going to dress up?" she asked.

"Don't worry… I just want to check up on something and be back here to change," Aya explained.

And so, the two girls went back to the party. Aya scanned the room in search for a certain raven-haired flame-caster. As expected, that Hyuuga is not here anymore… she thought, cupping her chin with one hand. I would love to mess things up for him, but since it's his birthday I'll give him a chance. There was a small yet crafty smile on her face.

Natsume had deliberately taken Mikan away from the party. He was the one who opened the window in the girl's comfort room and told Mikan to come with him. Of course, Mikan had changed into the Ashford Academy Uniform (High School Version). The yellow coat, the black skirt and the white thigh-high stockings suited her perfectly, but he only admitted it in his head. He was never the one to give out compliments easily.

The music was loud, so they could still hear it in spite of the distance.

Natsume held her close to him as they danced, and it was almost midnight. He could feel her warmth next to him, and she felt so delicate in his arms. There were no words for what he felt for her. "Your second gift was the party," he said, and she looked up at him with merry eyes and nodded. "What's my third and final gift? I'm still waiting for that, polka-dots."

"Again with the nickname," Mikan said with a shrug. "Geez, I'm not wearing that pattern today and don't you dare tell me—"

He kissed her to shut her up before he gets irritated. "I'm not letting you sleep tonight," he said, as they danced slowly under the pale moonlight. "I hope you're prepared."

"Oh." She shook her head seriously, and he kissed her again. "Natsume, wait… Before you do anything else, let me give you your present." She pulled an object from her pocket and placed it around Natsume's neck.

Her present was a bejeweled crucifix with a silver link chain. It was magnificent that it would make a wonderful addition to any outfit. The jewels on the cross were dark blue in color, and he knew there weren't ordinary. They were Alice stones. "No wonder they say you're one of the best when it comes to making Alice stones," he said. You could only make stones as small as a shard four years ago. Now you can change the colors of the stones without any trouble. But you're still a blunder in most things."

A vein popped up on her head. "I'll just pretend I didn't hear that last line," Mikan said.

"Hmph… And I didn't know you had good taste in accessories," he said, sarcasm edged in his hard voice.

"Somehow, I feel like I was insulted."

"I assume that these are Nullification Alice stones…"

Mikan nodded her head. "The Stealing-Alice is quite dangerous. Besides, you can benefit more from my Nullification Alice."

"Don't be so full of yourself, polka-dots."

Grumbling, she uttered, "Don't call me polka-dots, pervert!"

Natsume rolled his eyes away. "Whatever, polka-dots…" He sensed that Mikan was about to blow a fuse, so he immediately butted in. "I'm not used to saying this, so listen up. For the present you gave me…thanks…"

Mikan giggled and kissed his cheek. "Natsume thanked me!" she said out loud. "I'm so happy!" She jumped up and down like a little child, not knowing that she was exposing her white cotton panties.

"You are such a klutz," he muttered, placing a hand over his temple. Well, she was his klutz and he was proud of it. "Come here, you annoying girl." He put his arms around her, smoothed the back of her neck and kissed her hair.

She would love to scold him for calling her names again but decided not to. How could she scold him if he was acting sweet at the moment? "I bet it's already midnight. Did you enjoy your birthday?"

He looked down at her a long moment. When he finally spoke, his tone was a little cold yet gentle. "Do I really have to answer that?" he asked, and the brunette giggled. "It's already obvious."

Her eyes softened, and her mouth curved into a beatific smile. "Of course…" she muttered.

Later, after the party, Mikan was ready to hit the hay when Natsume came into her room. At this point, she was simply clad in a silky white nightgown. "I told you… I'm not letting you sleep," he said.

Shakily Mikan smiled, and put her hand to his cheek. "Can't we do this some other time?" she asked. "I'm kinda tired."

He caught her hand and kissed it, then laid it against his chest. "Do you think I'm satisfied with material gifts?" he said. "I'm thankful for the party and the accessory, but I want something more. I want you."

Mikan's other hand moved up, and she linked both them behind his neck. "Natsume, I think you just need some sleep," she said innocently.

His arms came round her waist and pulled her tightly against his body. "No… What I need is you…" His voice was low and husky.

"Mmm," Mikan murmured. Her heart was racing. "You're being persistent."

"So?" he replied nonchalantly. His hands moving on her, his lips exploring her neck, he said softly, "I know you enjoy it whenever I do this…"

On a breathless little laugh, she said, "I can't argue with that…"

His hands were verifying it as he smiled his rare smile into her eyes, and he said, "Are you wearing something under this silk thing?" The girl shook her head, and his sexual urges increased more. "Then let's go to bed now or are you going to say no?"

There was no denying the fact he was obsessed with her. Only she, as others have stated, can make him truly happy and fulfilled. Somehow, his obsession was sort of exciting for her and it made her feel more special to him. In any case, she hoped that he would keep his obsession under control. She smiled back at him, her eyes languorous with love, and gave him the answer that he wanted.


JC: I'm shocked. Twenty-three chapters all in all! Wah! I never realized it was already that long. This is probably the influence of a particular novel where one chapter consisted of how many pages. I'm not going to state what novel it is and who the author is. Okay, going back to the story, I have to say that Obsession has been a huge success. The plot was interesting and very challenging. While I was writing this story, I felt like I was making my own Manga Series already. Of course, in a story, you can't avoid having characters going out of character once in a while. It depends upon the situation and the person their talking to. A lot of things can influence a character to make them change their personality and usual mood.

Motivation: Before I wrote this story, I researched about Obsessive Love and Love Addiction around the net. I've even read stories based on said themes. And somehow, I've managed to relate Natsume's character to the guys in the stories I've read. Guys who show this kind of obsessive behavior are interesting to see and add more spice to the romantic story. Girls have to learn to handle them no matter how hard it is. Originally, I wanted this story to end with 30 chapters only. But since I was inspired and due to the demands of my friends, I ended up writing it to chapter 50.

Note: To the reviewers, thank you so much for the wonderful feedbacks. The constructive criticisms were very helpful too. Without the reviewers, this story wouldn't have been a success. I know there were some things you didn't like about this story, but you still continued to support me till the end. I'm also grateful to those people who complimented this story and read my previous works too. By the way, I have new story for Gakuen Alice coming up. Just check my profile for the summary which will be posted later. I hope to see you there as well.

Before you hit the feedback button, let me ask you this: Can you list the names of the characters who displayed strong signs of Obsession? There are a lot of them. Okay, please review. No flaming.