DISCLAIMER: I do not own Gakuen Alice or the characters.
J: This is the second and the last chapter. I hope you'll enjoy it. This is dedicated to SHAIRA MY LOVES! I miss you! :)
"Soon when I get you I won't let you go
Oooh if I let you
You can take away all that I thought was wrong
And if you hear me there's not much to say
There's gotta be a better way"
Back to me- The All- American Rejects
Natsume called his best friend Ruka and invited him to come over. Since it is rare for him to call Ruka to come over, Ruka went to his place as fast as he could. Before he could even knock on the door, Natsume opened it already.
"Hey Ruka… what's up?" he casually asked his best friend as Ruka entered his house.
"Don't ask me what's up. That's what I'm going to ask you." He uttered as he noticed his best friend's eyes and deemed that it was because of crying. "Were you crying?" he asked as he sat down along with Natsume.
"Yeah, I guess so." – was Natsume's reply which astounded his best friend. "Because of Mikan again, I suppose? What happened?"
"Ruka, I didn't call you here to talk about my problems, I just want a companion… that's all." He replied with an expressionless face.
"C'mon Natsume, I know you better than that. Now, spill it." He said as he switched the TV on.
"I saw her with Andou. Seems like they're already together… good for her." He said as he lazily stood up from the couch and went to the kitchen for some drinks.
"Being too distant really made you no good, Natsume. Tsubasa is already married to Misaki since last year and they are expecting a baby soon. Quit jumping into conclusions Natsume. So was that the reason why you cried?" he asked as Natsume tossed him a can of beer.
"No, not really… I really don't know why I cried. I think I might be weak already. But hey, what would you do if Imai and you broke up and you see her with someone else?"
"Of course I'd feel pain. I love her. So that really is the reason. But Natsume, you have been torturing yourself for far too long. Don't you think it's about time you let go of the past and start a new life? Maybe ask for her forgiveness?"
"I don't know, Ruka. I honestly don't know." He replied as he drank beer from his can.
"Let me help you, Natsume. I mean, let me and Hotaru help you."
"What? You and your freaky girlfriend will help me? Ruka, I can accept your help but her? No way would I accept her help. Besides, she asks way too many things in exchange for the help she'll give."
"Trust me, Natsume. She'd be more than willing to help. Mikan's her best friend you know. Of course, she would love to see her best friend happy again." Ruka said rather convincingly.
"She was unhappy?"- was his only response.
"Dude, I should be going now. I promised Hotaru that I'd bring her some crab roes for dinner. Yes, she is unhappy… So we'll help you okay? See you… and I'll just call you about the plan, okay?" Ruka said as he left his best friend's house.
"What the hell… I just hope I'm not too late." Natsume whispered to himself as he drank the remaining beer on his can.
Mikan suddenly woke up because of her nightmare. It was 9:30 pm when she glanced at the clock.
"Oh yeah, I haven't eaten dinner yet." She said to herself as she went to her kitchen and opened the refrigerator only to find nothing.
"Maybe eating outside is a good idea." She walked up to the bathroom, washed her face and fixed her hair into a messy bun.
She left her house and took a good walk on the way to her favorite noodle house. That noodle house had been her favorite since Natsume brought her there. It wasn't very far but most people in Mikan's area ride vehicles to get to that noodle house. Apparently, it was kind of famous.
As she continued walking, she heard a honk of a car from behind her. She turned around and found Ruka's car on the road. She stopped on her tracks as the car halted at the side of the road. The car's window went open and Ruka invited her for a ride which she gladly accepted.
"So, where are you heading to?" Ruka asked as the car started moving again.
"I'm going to eat dinner… you know the place." Mikan replied while looking outside the car window.
"Oh… the noodle house he introduced to you. It's still your favorite, huh? Why don't you join Hotaru and me for late dinner tonight? I'm off to her place after buying crab roe." He offered.
"Hmm… well I guess I could use some company. I'm a little lonely today. Thanks Ruka."
"May I know why?" He politely asked her. Even though they were good friends, he doesn't like meddling with her life so when he's curious about something, he asks her first if he's allowed to ask that kind of question. He's really a gentleman for that matter.
"I saw him earlier today but he…" she hasn't even finished the sentence when tears started falling from her eyes.
"Are you sure you really want to tell me? I really don't like seeing women cry." Ruka tried to comfort her as he parked the car on the side of the road. They have just reached Hotaru's favorite noodle house. It wasn't the same noodle house that Mikan likes but it was quite near to her house.
"I'm okay. I'm just too emotional. I saw him earlier today and our eyes met but well… he just ran away." She said in between sobs.
Ruka just tapped her shoulder as she cried. He wasn't really good in handling these things.
"It's okay, Mikan… maybe he's just afraid or something? I don't know. But I bet he has a good reason for it."
"I don't know, Ruka. All I know is, after all these years, my love for him has never disappeared and this love will go on up until God-knows-when." She almost whispered as she tried to stop herself from crying.
"It'll be okay… I know it will be. Uh, Mikan? You wouldn't mind waiting here for a few minutes, right? I'll just buy crab roe for Hotaru. What would you like to eat? I'll just buy it for you… it's my treat." He asked her as he flashed her a small smile.
"Thank you, Ruka. Uhm, I would like Ramen. That's all." With that, Ruka went out of the car and entered a small noodle house. It's might not be Mikan's favorite noodle house, but she had tasted their food before since Hotaru loves eating there because of their delicious crab roes.
"Hotaru, this is Ruka… I got a huge favor to ask you…"
"I know it's you, dummy. What is it?"
"I'm back, Mikan. Please hold these while I drive. Thanks." Ruka said as he started the engine.
"What's up with the cheerful tone?" She looked at him with curious eyes.
"Nothing special…" – was his only reply as he grinned.
The whole ride on the way to Hotaru's place was quiet. Nobody dared to utter a single word. Each was busy with his/her own thoughts. It only took them 10 minutes to arrive at Hotaru's place.
As they entered the house, they were welcomed by a delicious smell coming from the kitchen.
"Hotaru cooks?" Mikan asked to herself loudly as she and Ruka entered the kitchen.
"And you call yourself my best friend? What a shame…" Hotaru uttered plainly as she set the table.
"Wait, Hotaru… There are four plates and there are only three of us here. Who's the extra plate's for?"
"Well that was fast." Hotaru said as she went to the door and opened it. Ruka and Mikan stayed in the kitchen/dining area and comfortably seated themselves.
"Hey." - Uttered a masculine voice which was very familiar to Mikan. She didn't look behind her thinking that she was just hallucinating by hearing Natsume's voice.
Mikan slapped her face three times hoping that she would wake up from her hallucination. But no, she wasn't hallucinating.
She hoped to find only Hotaru when she looked behind her but what she saw were Hotaru and a tall handsome man with raven hair and crimson orbs.
"Wait… tall, handsome, raven hair, a pair of crimson orbs…" Mikan whispered to herself but still audible to her three companions.
"Let's seat, then." Hotaru offered ignoring her best friend's thoughts. She sat beside Mikan in front of Ruka while Natsume sat beside Ruka in front of Mikan.
"Still slow as ever huh?" Natsume said while looking intently at Mikan.
"Hotaru… That's Natsume, right?" Mikan whispered to her best friend ignoring Natsume's statement.
"Of course, baka." She nonchalantly replied.
"Wait… what about my Ramen? I thought that it's what I would eat…"
"Will you just eat my food? Ramen can wait." She impatiently said.
The four of them ate in silence… No one dared to utter any word even Ruka who can also sense the tension between Mikan and Natsume. Of course, Hotaru being herself won't even bother to utter any word at all.
Surprisingly, all of them finished eating at the same time which is not really normal because Mikan normally eats too much. But now, she barely even touched her food. They left their dishes on the sink and went to the living room. Mikan was the first to go there and switched on the TV.
The rest followed her in silence… Natsume sat beside her and the tension has started to build up again.
"So… do you want to watch a movie? We have tons of DVDs here." Ruka asked trying to ease the tension between their two companions.
"No… I think I need to go home now. I still have something to do… Goodbye Hotaru, Ruka… Natsume." She said as she stood up from the couch. Hotaru didn't stop her from leaving since her best friend's aura is different and she wants to just let her be.
She went to the door and shut it quite loudly as she ran away from Hotaru's house. Her eyes were clouded with tears that she has been restraining since she heard his voice. How the hell did she do that? Nobody knows… She was running to wherever her feet may bring her and she stopped when she felt tired of running. She sat to the ground looking like a girl who's crying because she was lost.
"So, are you just going to sit here and do nothing?" Hotaru asked Natsume angrily. With those words, Natsume too, ran to the first place he thought where Mikan might be.
"Damn it… This is your last chance, Natsume." He said as he ran off to the bay. Obviously, luck wasn't on their side since it started raining heavily.
There, he saw Mikan sitting on the ground not caring whether it's cold.
"Mikan…" Natsume softly said as he neared her also not caring if he's already soaked. He held Mikan's hand and helped her stood up. She didn't protest or anything but she was kind of reluctant in facing him.
"Why are you here?" She coldly asked.
"I don't know either…" He replied as tears also fell from his eyes seeing the one he loves looking like that. Of course, Mikan being dumb didn't notice it since it's raining heavily.
"Go home… I'll do the same. Farewell, Natsume." She said as she started walking away from him only to be stopped by a pair of strong arms around her frail figure that caused her to sob more.
"Mikan… I'm sorry for what I did to you. I really am…" He said with guild evident in his voice as he let go of Mikan. He made her face him in such a way that he can look in her eyes. She was speechless. She only wants to hear his side so she remained silent.
"The past three years was hell for me. I lied to you, Mikan. I never had any other girlfriends after you. That time when I didn't come to our meeting place was because I was a coward. I thought that if I didn't show up for a long time, you would just forget about me and find another who can make you happy. I was angry at myself for… hurting you when we were still together. I didn't know why I did those awful things to you. Maybe I was afraid to let you see my soft side… Afraid that if you see it, you'd regret dating me since the Natsume you knew wasn't like that. But these three years made me realize that… I can never be able to forget you. I want you back but I don't know if you still love me… Even if you don't accept me back, I want to ask for your forgiveness… Mikan, I love you… I really do." He said with full of emotions as Mikan cried.
She hugged him tight as she laughed softly. "Natsume… You know, I wasn't angry at you. I can never be. But I admit it, I doubted you. Even so, I still love you, Natsume. I want you back too. But is it the best for the both of us?" she asked as she let go of him and looked at his beautiful crimson orbs.
"I don't know either… But I would want to court you, again. This time, I'd let you see every aspect of my personality. No secrets or whatsoever. Even if it takes a lifetime, I will court you." He said confidently as he held her hand tightly.
"Sure… I would love that. It wouldn't hurt to at least give it another try, right?" Mikan said while looking at his eyes with a smile plastered on her face.
They stared at each other's eyes with a smile on their face as they both knew that this time; they won't let go of each other no matter what obstacle they might face.
Well, that's after Mikan gives Natsume her precious 'yes' after letting him court her.
If you truly love one another, no matter how many years had passed, you can never be able to forget one another. And your heart will always find its way back to who it truly beats for.
J: So... That's the ending folks. Thanks for reading this story.