Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice. Good thing too, because who knows how much damage I might cause if I did.
This is my first Gakuen Alice fanfic, so please be gentle! It is based on manga chapter 86. I cried while reading that chapter and became inspired to write a fanfic on what could've happened.
Warning: Contains spoilers for manga chapter 86.
Summary: Based on Chapter 86. What if after his cold words towards Mikan, Natsume hadn't chased after her? Revised.
Mikan stood dumbstruck as she attempted to register the words in her head. She stared at Natsume, hoping that she had only misheard his words. She desperately craved for something to relieve her of her fears.
"I won't concern myself with Sakura Mikan anymore. Neither will I with her story."
But the startled expressions on the faces of Sumire, Ruka and Nonoko confirmed her fears. She had heard him correctly. She wasn't delusional, she wasn't dreaming; it was reality.
"If there are any of you who oppose me in this, then get out of my sight this instant."
Why? Did he…did he believe the rumors? Why was he doing this? What was he going to gain from this? Why…
"She is not worth your protection."
She staggered back, feeling as though he had struck her across the face. Not worth their protection? But hadn't he himself protected her before? Or…was it all a lie?
She searched through his eyes, hoping to find some shred of sympathy or regret, no matter how small it may be. There had to be something that showed that he didn't really mean it. Something that would ease the dark foreboding feeling that rose up inside.
She found nothing.
Everything from before…it was all a lie. She had been foolish to think that he actually cared about her even a little.
She wanted to run away, far away from his harsh words, but she couldn't. Her feet were glued to the ground, immobilizing her. It was almost as if Tsubasa was using his shadow manipulation Alice to keep her there, preventing the movement of her legs.
"Natsume," Ruka started, "what are you saying…?" Natsume cut him off, directing his words towards Mikan.
"You heard me. Get lost. You are an eyesore."
His words cut through her like a knife cutting through soft, melted butter. She stood with her mouth slightly open in disbelief, oblivious to the gloating smirk spreading across Luna's face. Sumire turned to stare at her in bewilderment. Mikan continued to gaze in horror as Natsume's words bit at her, stunning her until the tears began to well up. Ruka turned towards her as well. "Sakura!"
She whipped around, refusing to let others see the tears that threatened to pour. She wouldn't allow him the satisfaction of seeing her cry. She wouldn't let him see the way he had broken her.
She heard Nonoko call after her, but she ignored her. She wouldn't be able to handle facing someone just yet. Sumire called after Natsume, who had turned to leave the scene as well, in a shrill voice that held her disbelief. "Natsume-kun?!"
Mikan ran along the path, not daring to look back behind her. 'I'm going to cry…this kind of thing is the worst…' She stumbled a little, but regained her balance quickly and continued to sprint down the trail. 'I don't understand why…'
'Damn it, Natsume! Why, why, why him?!' The tears were streaming freely down her face now. She ran into the grove of trees, not caring if she got lost or not. She ran for a surprisingly long period of time before she crashed into a tree, due to the tears that blinded her vision.
Instead of scrambling back onto her feet to run again, she collapsed at the base of the tree, curled up into a ball, and began to sob. Her frail body wracked with trembles as she cried out in pain.
'My chest…it hurts so much. It's like Natsume is using his fire Alice on me and my nullification Alice isn't working to protect me. I've never felt like this before. Is this…is this what it feels like to have your heart broken?'
The burning pain seared through her chest again. She gasped for air and clutched her legs closer to her, as if they would act as a shield.
He had humiliated her, peeked at her underwear, burned her hair, and snapped insults at her before, but nothing could compare to this. Why was she so hurt this time especially? Why did she feel so hurt this time, as if inside, she was being ripped apart?
'Natsume has become one of the most important people in my life,' she realized. Even though he hadn't always been the nicest person to her, he was still important to her. Because she knew that underneath the cold uncaring exterior was a self-sacrificing boy who had taken up harsh missions to protect his sister and his friends. Inside, he was only boy who was forced to grow up too quickly, so that those who were important to him would be safe.
Her mind became clouded over with dark thoughts again. Yes, maybe he was important to her, but it was obvious to her that the feeling was not mutual. How could a clumsy, stupid, plain girl like her ever have any influence on his life?
"I hate everything about you."
He hated her. It was as clear as day now. She just got in the way. Just like with Hotaru. Natsume didn't want anything to do with her. Was it the same with Hotaru? Did she not want anything to do with her either? Would it be best for her to exit their lives before she damaged them any further?
Maybe she was just a burden. Maybe she was an unnecessary addition to their lives. Recalling all the times Hotaru or Natsume had to help her get out of trouble, Mikan resolved to stay out of their lives as much as possible, without purposefully hurting them. She would maintain her cheerful façade, but she decided that it would be best for her to gradually back out of their lives so they could live happier. She was willing to sacrifice her happiness in return for theirs. She didn't want to ruin the rest of their lives. But she had already entered them, so in order to reduce the negative impact of her on them, she would have to restrain herself. It was the only thing she could do now. She couldn't afford to hurt them any longer.
Time seemed to pass slowly. She had no idea how long she had been missing for, but at the moment, she didn't care. She knew she was acting selfish and that her team needed her for the final event of the sports festival. Right now, however, she just wanted to shrink and hide in a tiny hole where no one would ever be able to find her. A place where she could wallow in her sorrow.
His hurtful words echoed in her head, repeating over and over again like a mantra, a curse.
"She is not worth your protection."
"You are an eyesore."
Mikan shook her head desperately, but his voice wouldn't go away. 'No…why?! Why is he doing this?!'
"No…stop…Na-Natsume, stop…" her pleaded whimpers softly broke out, but they were quickly swept away by the wind. She curled into an even tighter ball, if that was even possible. She imagined his face when he muttered the fateful words that tore her world apart: his cold, uncaring, crimson eyes, his raven-black hair, and the absence of his smirk. He had not been joking around; on the contrary, he had been as serious as he was on his missions.
The voice – his voice – in her head grew louder as if to stifle her protests. Her anguished sobs resonated through the trees, where only one other human being would hear them.
Natsume leaned back against a tree, only a few yards away from Mikan. Her trembling form flashed again before his eyes. He squeezed them shut to block out the vision, only to find that her broken cries still crashed down upon his ears. He knew then that nothing he ever did would help her. Nothing he said would ever be able to comfort her. The world was void of anything that could fix this. He had ruined any chance of moving further in their relationship.
'Mikan…I'm sorry, Mikan.'