After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul…

Jorge Luis Borges

You Can
Chapter 22

Everything was going according to plan.

Luna grinned menacingly as she sat comfortably on the back of a slick black BMW while watching a very miserable Mikan enter Natsume's condo tower.

She was right about the ugly bitch.

After what transpired between her and Natsume, the bitch still had the decency to return to his loft like she was supposed to be there.

Like she belonged there.

If she thought Natsume loved her, the bitch definitely sees things in the wrong light. Not only was their marriage a scam based on a convenience of sort, if this information leaks to the public, Natsume's reputation would definitely go down the drain!

Does the ugly bitch think she could get away with this shameful contract? She bets it was the bitch that lured Natsume into doing this. Selling yourself to gain financial security and power in such a degrading way makes her want to puke and do all the mean things she can do to Mikan.

Her smile widened with the thought. How to slowly ruin Mikan... so slowly she wouldn't even realize how excruciatingly painful it is to mess with a Luna Koizumi.


"You stupid girl." Mikan bawled out as tears rushed through her face as she went through her things, reaching out for everything her tiny hands could reach.

Why did she have to be so affected? Why did she have to love Natsume so much when she knew that the only one who will end up getting hurt was her?

After all this time, Natsume was having an affair and playing with her heart. She knew he never loved her; he made it quite clear when she finally had the courage to confess. But cheating on her was something she never thought he could do. His touches, the way he made her feel and all the little things he did for her was all just false pretences to make sure she was going to be the perfect wife.

Well then, she had enough of this. She had enough...

She fell to the floor.

But what happens now?

She couldn't simply go back to her grandfather like this? Like her life was crumbling to pieces. She felt ashamed of what she had done. After all, she still was in debt for all Natsume's financial support. She couldn't just leave after all he'd done.

It wasn't fair for him and though it wasn't fair for her, she had to get her mind set to understanding that there will never be a future for a Natsume Hyuuga and a commoner like her. She slowly slid all her things back to their places and wiped her tears.

Just a few more months.

Just a few more and she could leave this place. But right now, she had to pretend like everything was alright, that everything was alright between her and Natsume. That Natsume was only going to be part of this present.

But why did it have to be painful? Why can't she understand that Natsume didn't love her the way she loved him? Why had he rejected her?

Mikan lay on the side of their bed and unconsciously reached for his side. She clutched the cover, closed her eyes and breathed in the scent around her.

The bed smelled so much like him.

She pitied herself for feeling so vulnerable. Why did she agree on this circumstance in the first place? All she wanted was to make her grandfather feel better; she never thought her feelings would get affected so much. She clutched her growing stomach and tucked it around her in a fetus position.

She thought she could do this.

She thought she was strong enough.

She said she would be strong for the both of them but what now?

What happens next? What happens when the baby-their baby-growing inside of her finally enters this world? How could she give up the only thing that's a part of Natsume? How could she give up the only thing that reminds her that at some point in her and Natsume's relationship, Natsume had loved her?

How would she able to let go of that?

How would she be able to leave?


Natsume was about to really wring Hotaru's neck if she didn't stop screaming and continue clutching his arms like a madwoman. He couldn't think straight, couldn't concentrate enough on the road, and he most especially was not in the right mind to entertain reporters that just had to have the fucking right timing to stalk him and know that Hotaru was on labor.

The frustration and the need for him to see Mikan was so overwhelming that he didn't know half of what he was doing. All he knew was that he got Hotaru safely inside the hospital and he saw Ruka coming through and they were on their way towards the Emergency Room.

The room was spinning and the sounds were definitely hitting a nerve on his brain. He felt like closing his eyes, to feel that he was still breathing, that everything was going to be alright, that Mikan would be—

"I'll take it from here." He heard a whisper and he snapped his head to the side. He saw Ruka smiling as he gently pushed Natsume away from Hotaru's emergency bed. That's when he realized he was gripping the metal handle of the bed quite hard that his knuckles already turned white.

He slowly let go and watched as the chaotic world of people rushing around wildly left him.



Mikan stiffened from the sound of the doorbell.

Had Natsume forgotten his keys? Her whole body shook in terror and pain; she realized she wasn't ready to face him. Her mind was still in a whirlwind of unsolved puzzle pieces and she needed time to be alone.

The doorbell rang again.

She sat up from the bed and wiped her tears away. No use covering up her swollen eyes. She just had to face this even though her heart was slowly breaking into pieces.

She made her way to the front door and gave out a final breath. Mikan opened the door and found her staring at the most beautiful pair of eyes.

"Good morning, Mikan."

"Luna..." Mikan froze.

What was she doing here?


Natsume was going crazy. He paced around the front of the Emergency room and raked his fingers on his already dishevelled hair.

He had a very bad feeling on the pit of his stomach.

Had Mikan left him? Had she gone to someone else? Had she gone home to her grandfather? Is she with Tsubasa?

He imagined everything so vividly that he wanted to crack his skull against the nearest wall. His body swayed and he almost fell to the floor.

Mikan couldn't leave him. She had no right to leave him. Not when everything was a mistake and she was everything he needed.

She couldn't leave him.


"Glad you still remember me!"

"Uhm... y-yeah. Do you need anything? Natsume's not here at the moment..."

Luna smiled and let out a small sardonic laugh. "I don't have anything to say to Natsume. I came here for you actually."


Luna nodded and smiled. "I know it's late but why don't we head out and have some coffee. I need to tell you something."

"T-tell me something?"

"Well, aren't you a daft one." Luna criticized as she watched Mikan and her ugly, swollen face. "Fine, let's just get this over then before I barf from seeing your face."

Mikan could feel the difference in Luna's attitude as soon as she forced herself to enter Natsume's loft.

"Mikan. Let's finish this shall we?" Luna turned and glared at her. "I know your secret, bitch. And if you don't do what I tell you to do, your little contract will be leaked through the public."

Mikan gasped. "H-how did you know about that?"

"The contract? Well, how should I say it? The one Natsume actually loves is me. And he trusts me enough to tell me about the contract. You bitch. You just had to tie in Natsume all to yourself!"

"I-I didn't—"

"Yes you did! You lying bitch! You have no right to be with Natsume! You poor, ugly nobody!"

"P-please. Don't leak the contract to the public. Natsume's reputation-"

"So now you think of Natsume's position?"

"Y-yes. P-please... just don't harm Natsume."

Luna smiled and crossed her arms over her chest. "I won't."

"Y-you won't?"

"Of course not. I love him and he loves me. I won't do anything to ruin him... on the other hand... you. I want to ruin."

"You wouldn't..."

"I would." Luna grinned and tipped Mikan's chin towards her. "Look at me, Mikan. This should be a fair warning for you. I want you to stay away from Natsume. In fact, I want you to leave him and don't ever come back."

"I- I c-can't do that..."

"You selfish woman!" Then she slapped Mikan across the face making her topple to the ground.

Mikan held a hand on her face and glared at Luna with glazed eyes. "I don't care what you say, Luna. If you want Natsume all to yourself, I don't care. You can have him but I have an obligation to finish this contract with him. I love him and even though he doesn't love me, I'll do anything for him. You wouldn't do anything to ruin him because you love him. Ruin me for all I care but just remember if you do, his name would tie with mine. Natsume's a great man and I still believe that he will do whatever to protect the mother of his child. And you don't want Natsume mad at you right?"

"Shut up! Shut up!" Luna screamed. "Natsume just had sex with me! He loves me!"

Mikan forced a smile. "Good for you, then."

"Ugh! This isn't through Mikan. We're not through with this!" Luna screamed and stomped out of the unit.

Mikan clutched her knees. It hurts hearing Luna say those facts. But she needed to be strong. She needs to be. Not just for her and their child. But for Natsume too.


Natsume didn't know how many hours he paced the corridor and sat uncomfortably on the chair. He never quite remember how he took a nap and trudged the corridor some more. All he remembered was Mikan's face and where the hell she could be right now. He could see the sunlight passing through the windows of the hospital and mutter a silent curse. He was itching to get out of this place but he couldn't just leave his friends like this. Not when they were still in the ER for almost twelve hours.

What's got him more agitated was that he couldn't call Mikan at this moment since she left her phone at Hotaru's the night before. "Damn." He cursed and punched the nearest wall he could hit on.


He detached himself off the wall and saw Ruka walking out of the ER with a smile on his face.

"The ordeal's finally over?" Natsume forced a smile and walked over to his best friend.

Ruka nodded as he wiped his sweat on the forehead.

"How was the operation? Is Hotaru alright? How's the baby?"

Ruka smiled and they sat on the seats provided. "The doctor wants them to stay for a month before leaving the hospital but they're both in perfect condition. Haru looks just like Hotaru... Thanks for being with her."

"Of course even if she was such trouble, I wouldn't have left her."

"What happened anyway? You look just as troubled."

Natsume shook his head, "It's nothing. Just a little misunderstanding between Mikan and I."


Natsume sighed but nodded. "Remember Luna?"

"Luna? A&K? The merge?"

"Yes. She happens to be crazy and we got into a little circumstance when Mikan called. I swore I didn't know she was on the line, Luna must have done something... and she knows about the con..." Natsume almost slipped and kicked himself mentally.

"Hey, Natsume? What does she know?" Ruka inquired. "Natsume?"

Natsume just stared blankly, trying to piece the missing puzzle.

"Earth to Natsume! Damn, I think you better get home. I'll take it from here. You're mind's not working anymore." Ruka slapped him on the back.

Natsume nodded mechanically and stood up. "Y-yeah. I've been doing all-nighters for the past few days. I'll go home now."

"Be careful on your way home." Ruka called out before he went towards the ER again.

Natsume trudged towards the parking lot. His friends didn't even know about the contract, how the hell was Luna able to get that kind of information?


Mikan woke up the next morning feeling drained rather than at peace. Natsume didn't go home last night and all sort of images of Natsume kissing Luna and making love to her like he does to her, made her heart ache even more.

She should have known that in real life, fairytales don't usually happen. And in the end, it's always the mean and more aggressive women that reels in the man. She realized she really wasn't meant for this kind of story. She just wanted an ordinary life. She never wanted this kind of chaos. If this was how it feels to love a rich businessman, she'd rather love someone else.

Too bad, she was already in love. Nowhere to return to the start.


Mikan looked up from the couch and saw a very rugged-looking Natsume staring intensely at her.

"M-mikan?" Natsume's voice shook with intense emotions as he looked at Mikan who looked so pale in contrast to the walls of their home. He stopped himself from coming a little closer to her, scared that it was his imagination playing with him.

Mikan forced a smile and stood up from the couch. She groaned from the heaviness of her stomach. She walked towards Natsume. She won't make a big deal out of what happened. Though, he loved someone else, it doesn't mean she couldn't secretly keep loving him. If this is how she had to live by from these few months, she will do so. "Welcome home, Natsume. Have you-"

Natsume couldn't take it anymore. He stalked towards her, pulled her arms towards her and wrapped her in his arms. "Fuck." He muttered as he forced her whole body to flush against him. Though it wasn't an easy task since Mikan was pregnant, he made it happen. He had to feel her everything.

Mikan's eyes widened as Natsume engulfed her in his warm embrace. "Natsume..." She said in a whispered gasped.

"I thought..." Natsume breathed in against her neck. He thought she'd left but she was here. She was here with him. "I thought..." you'd left me.

Mikan raised her arms and wrapped it around his neck and rested her face against his neck. The emotions were all going back to her and she couldn't stop the tears from falling from her eyes. She wanted to show Natsume that she wasn't bothered but just a touch from him sent her crying and feeling all the vulnerable things she's trying to condition herself to hide. She took one last breath and lowered her head and pushed Natsume softly. "I'm... I'm hungry. Do you want something? I'll—Natsume..."

She pushed him away but he quickly pulled her back again. "Don't."

It was hard to be close to him. "Natsume... I need to..."

"Please don't... please don't leave... not yet. Please don't." Natsume choked. Please don't ever leave me. Please...

Mikan's tears continuously fell and she started sniffling. "I... I'm sorry. I've been emotional since last night and it shouldn't be this way..."

"You heard what happen on the phone, Mikan. I can explain—"

Mikan shook her head. "Please. You don't have to explain anything to me."

"Mikan, listen you have to know that nothing—"

"Please..." Mikan forced again as she fisted her hands on his chest. "Let's not talk about it anymore. I completely understand."

"No... I should have told you this every since I've first met you... I shouldn't have waited for things to end up like this. I... Mikan... I love—"

But Mikan didn't want to hear anymore. She didn't want to hear his confession of loving someone else so she did the next big thing to shut him. She tiptoed and kissed him full in the mouth.

The kiss was soft, fired up with all the feelings Mikan should stop feeling. When she felt Natsume about to respond, she pulled away and stepped a foot away.

She started unbuttoning the button of her maternity dress. "I... I know... I'm not attractive to look at. I'm not attractive as those you've had in the past..."

Natsume watched her, dumbfounded as he lustily gazed at how sensual she was unbuttoning her dress. She was beautiful. And every little inch of skin revealed, only made her more beautiful to him.

Mikan finally unsnapped the last button and pushed the dress of her shoulder. She then, rid herself of her bra and panties, standing naked as the day she was born in front of Natsume. She pushed away all the uneasiness and stared intensely back at Natsume.

"Can I ask you a favor, Natsume?"

"What is it?" Natsume took a step towards her, his voice so husky with passion Mikan almost didn't hear him respond.

"This is going to be my last request... for once... c-could you..."

"What?" Natsume tipped her chin, his lips centimeter's away from her. "I'll do anything you ask for."

Mikan raised herself in tiptoe. She rubbed her nose against his and closed her eyes. Then she whispered, "Please make love to me the way you would do if you loved me..."

Natsume's gazed unfocused even more. He was lost. He was lost to the feeling of Mikan's overpowering scent and soft, angelic whisper.

"Please... Natsume. Just once-I need to feel-"

Natsume didn't let her finish. His conscious mind left him and his animalistic, untamed side made its appearance. The side that wanted Mikan all to himself. The side that never wanted to let her go.

He grabbed her waist and roughly pulled her towards his body again.

Mikan moaned, feeling his clothes abrade her already swollen nipples. Her skin heated up just as his mouth descended towards hers and captured it in a kiss that was so different and so intense. "You don't... know... how much... I... need... you..." Natsume muttered in between kisses. He wove his fingers on Mikan's soft locks and tilted her head to be able to kiss her deeper.

Mikan gave just as much fervour as he did. She grabbed his shirt to keep herself from falling. Her legs were getting weak with his heated kisses. Kisses he had never given her before. Kisses that felt like he did love her.

Natsume wasted no time, showing her how much he loved her. All his composure went down the drain and he didn't know half of what he was doing. He just knew he wanted her, he needed her like nobody else, he loved her and no one would be able to stop his feelings.

He lifted her up and forced her legs to wrap against her waist, positioning Mikan on his throbbing erection. Mikan moaned and stiffened. She was crazed with lust, with passion.

He raised her in his arms and carried her towards the nearest counter. Mikan gasped as the cold surface made contact with her thighs but the heat of Natsume warmed her again.

Natsume couldn't stop himself. He couldn't contain his feeling anymore. Without detaching his mouth from Mikan's skin he unbuttoned his trousers just as Mikan quickly unbuttoned his shirt. Immediately their bodies were flushed against each other, nothing was hindering.

Natsume slowly made his way down to Mikan's neck, her shoulders. He bit and nuzzled, eliciting a moan from Mikan. He loved how she moaned, it turned him even more and it made him want to please her so much. He traced his fingers in her breast and rubbed the pebbled tip. Mikan arched her body and the movement gave way for Natsume's mouth to latch itself quickly to her other breast.

Mikan moaned even more and she was breathing more heavily. "Nnggggh... Na-natsume..."

Natsume sucked and pinched, loving how she was responding. He traced his free hand below her growing stomach and rubbed slowly, feeling the wetness pooling on her panties. "Damn, you're wet.."

Mikan grabbed his head and kissed him with all her might. She traced her mouth towards his ears which sent shivers to his body. "I can't wait anymore... I need you."

Natsume was half-blind in pleasure. With all his might he carried Mikan's body and ran towards their bedroom. Placing Mikan delicately at the edge of the bed, he knelt in between her knees and kissed the inside of her knees slowly.


"I want to love you more before I start."

Mikan closed her eyes and before she could react, his mouth had licked the bud in between her legs. "Natsume..."

"I'll never let you forget this Mikan. You are mine."

Another long lick. Mikan shivered.

"Did you hear me?"

He sucked slowly, loving the taste. Mikan arched in response.


"Never... I'll never forget you."


They had spent the whole day in bed.

Mikan had wanted to get away from Natsume as soon as he was spent from making love to her but he grabbed her waist and never let go.

She was awake through the whole day Natsume was snuggled to her. She realized he was dead tired but his grip around her never loosened.

Making love today had been different. Natsume was a little bit needy, a little more loving and it bothered her even more. How could she leave him when he was playing mind tricks with her? Instead of detaching her feelings for him, she was feeling more in love.

"You're mine, Mikan. Forever."

Mikan's shivered and looked behind where Natsume was tightly snuggled to her. This was the first time he had sleep-talked. She rolled so that she was face-to-face with Natsume and traced her fingers at his cheeks.

She really did love him. She really loved this man who had a nightmare of a childhood, who had undergone a lot of painful experiences; This man who has a hard time learning how to love. She realized he meant everything to her. And this made her heart ache and it made her cry. He loved the boy inside this man but they were never meant to be.

They were never meant to love each other in the first place.


Can you tell us whether it's a girl or a boy that Mikan is carrying in her womb?

I'll be spoiling everyone if I answer that. But I do remember, I indirectly answered that question from some chapter before... ;)

I HATE Luna soooo [this] chapter made me feel so mad and could Natsume even look at another woman's body and he got hard when Luna was such a home wrecking slut?

In what I've observed so far in real life, men have a tendency to go hard at whatever visual thing they find sexy. I know Natsume felt awful about that but he's just a man. :)

Omg! Are they gonna be separated?


Why is Natsume so stubborn? As in, he won't tell Mikan anything?

As seen from this chapter, he had tried. He had tried but he didn't exactly know how and the fact that Mikan is having a hard time understanding because she is hurting.

If Mikan's phone is still on, does it mean that Hotaru heard EVERYTHING? Did Hotaru hear Natsume's confession? Hotaru's a powerful woman, right? Then she must've done something like... record the conversation... If not, there's always a CCTV camera...

Hehe. Secret. :D

Is Persona gonna find Mikan and kidnap her and use her to get to Nastume? If so...did Luna do this?

Not quite. But I still believe Persona has a lot more wrecking to do before this story ends.

Is Natsume going to cause big trouble for Luna and her company?

He said yes to me. So most probably I follow the boss' orders and do some killin'

You're studying French also?

No. I just like to use French numbers. :)

Eeep, if I understood correctly, this story has only around 3-4 chapters left? Isn't that like a bit short-sighted? I mean I feel like there are still a number of unanswered questions that cannot be answered in a matter of 3-4 chapters? But anyway, it's up to you since you have control over the story and whatnot. And the 3-4 chapters is just a rough estimate soooo, don't mind my babble.

I know! I've been so short-sighted lately I feel like this story will be done when I reach Chapter 50! Haha. I hope not but yeah, it's just a rough estimate.

Will you be writing a sequel? Or another NatsuMikan fanfic? Could you also write a SasuHina fanfic please?

I don't think the story needs a sequel because I promise I'll finish it in this story once and for all. As for anything new, not quite have any idea because I've been so busy lately and frankly, I don't use the computer just as much as I did before.

Will you keep writing until Mikan's baby is born? How far along is Mikan's pregnancy? And I Hotaru was pregnant when Mikan and her first met, does that mean that it's still ages until Mikan's baby is due?

Hotaru's on labor the last chapter. Mikan is roughly on her fifth month, I think. Haha!


No. Hehe.

Is this story just ending here? Like this? T_T

No, it isn't. T_T

Half of the questions here, I couldn't seem to answer directly. I'm sorry :( My apologies for the delay on updates. I'm really not sure when I'll be able to update the next one. I've been busy quite lately with school, work, hobbies and personal life that I haven't been writing since Feb. So for those of you who are enjoying this fic, I'm sorry but the updates will come a little slower. I mean, a lot, lot slower. But I won't give up this fic! That's a fact. Thank you.

Take care everyone especially the people residing in the Philippines. Habagat is doing it again and Maring doesn't want to leave the country! Masyado atang natuwa sa Pilipinas eh. Stay safe, everybody!

Aki Lee