Like a Fan Girl
Author's Note: This would be one of my quickest fanfic runs. Here's the final chapter, still pushing OOC to a tolerable level. Thank you for reading and reviewing. Ü
Chapter 3: Dorm Room
Mikan rapped on Natsume's bedroom door. When there was no answer, she instinctively pulled out her key to unlock it.
"Stupid boy," she muttered.
Why did he have to turn everything into a game? She didn't want to throw in the proverbial towel but the gang had taken a vote and it was decided that this argument was taking too long in fixing itself. After much deliberation, she was sent to the dorm rooms so that she could try mending things. Why it fell upon her to fix things when it was the Black Cat that was being difficult was beyond her. But you don't question decisions by gang consensus. Not unless you're Natsume Hyuuga. That was one more reason to hate him.
"You might regret it," Natsume had said with a smug smile.
"I don't think so," Mikan laughed. "I meant what I said. We grew up as friends. It's not like I'm one of your fan girls."
Surprisingly, instead of answering, Natsume leaned back and called down the table. "Sumire, do you think I'm hot?"
More than one person choked on his breakfast. But Sumire just smiled serenely, "Every waking day of your life, sweetheart."
"Thanks." He turned back to Mikan. "We grew up as friends too."
"That's different," she sniffed. "She used to be the president of your fan club."
"You know, you shouldn't diss my fan club so much," Natsume said casually. "They happen to have excellent taste in men."
She rolled her eyes. "Are we done? I have to go find more volunteers."
"I'll bet you this month's allowance that I'll have you swooning like a fan girl by the end of the week."
Mikan went still at his declaration. By now most of the people at their table had stopped to listen. Natsume's cheeky challenge was making them gawk.
Hotaru looked wildly entertained. "Interesting. If Mikan wins, she gets three hundred rabbits, easy. But if Natsume wins, his winnings would just be a third of her potential future earnings. Very interesting…"
Natsume seemed to approve of her deductions. "So, how about it?"
"Don't do it Mikan!" Wakako called out.
"It's a sucker bet!"
"You guys have no faith in me at all," Mikan said when the others spoke in unison. She glared at Natsume. "You're on."
Behind her she could hear rustling as money was passed and Koko began taking down odds. Natsume leaned back on his chair and grinned. "You should've listened to your friends, kid. You should've listened."
The boy may have become more cheerful in the last few years but he was definitely as unspeakable as ever.
Anyway, Natsume had retired to his room and so here she was. She wasn't going to admit defeat. She was going to reason with him and maybe find a way to get him to call off their wager. It could happen. After all, she hasn't swooned yet.
Mustering all her nerve, Mikan pushed the door open. At the same time the bathroom door released steam as the person using it finished and stepped out. Mikan gaped as Natsume came into full view looking freshly showered and scented. For a moment they stared at each other in equal shock.
She could have passed out. Then decided to shriek instead, "Why are you in a towel?!"
"Why are you in my room?" Natsume shot back.
She slammed the door.
"You know, normally a girl would slam the door with her on the other side of it," Natsume drawled out. "But then, I don't really mind if you want to watch me get dressed."
"That's not why I'm here."
"But you're welcome to stay."
"Would you shut up for a minute?" Mikan growled. The she turned her back to him while wishing that the ground would just open up and swallow her.
She took a breath but that wasn't enough to get that last image out of her head: Natsume Hyuuga, with his hair still slick from the bath, covered only at the waist that didn't really leave much to the imagination. Most boys would feel even a little modest if someone had walked in on them like that. But not Natsume. He looked comfortable enough, confident enough, conceited enough to just stand there and let her look her fill. And why shouldn't he? He was drop-dead gorgeous.
She was driven to distraction and that was before she got a whiff of him.
"Mikan?" Natsume stepped towards his girlfriend. She looked so distraught that he momentarily forgot their wager. But she raised a hand to stop him from moving further.
Oh sweet mother of— what kind of shampoo did the boy use?
He smelled heavenly, a wonderful mixture of everything pleasant and masculine in the world. There was a warm, musky scent in the air that could either be from cologne or aftershave. It pervaded her olfactory sense, making it purr in approval. Why in the world would Natsume douse himself in that substance when he was intoxicating enough without it?
Her blood was rising to her cheeks as rapidly as wayward thoughts attacked her typically innocent sense of awareness. It was too much. Really, he was too much. She could no longer endure the sensual onslaught her own boyfriend had unleashed on her. And he didn't even do it on purpose this last time.
"You win," she said suddenly then began pulling out bills and change from her pocket. "You are a Greek god. A modern day Adonis. A freaking supermodel that walked right off the cover of a magazine—"
"Would you turn around?"
"No! My eyeballs might fall out of their sockets." She placed one hundred rabbits on his bureau along with her key. "I don't want to play anymore. You win."
She violently tugged the door open then threw a cursory glance over her shoulder for one last look at her boyfriend. Her gaze travelled from head to toe and she gave a soft hum.
Natsume shifted the towel at his waist, "It couldn't have been that bad."
Mikan quelled him with a look then channelled Hotaru. "If you drop that towel, I will shoot you." When she left, Natsume was still laughing.
"Is it over?" Ruka asked when Natsume finally joined them at dinner. He nodded. "So, who won?" Natsume snorted, as though it was an absurd question. He leaned back, looking highly gratified. At that, money immediately began to pass hands. Ruka handed Hotaru a fifty.
Natsume looked sardonic. "You bet against me?"
Ruka shrugged. "I bet against Hotaru. There's a difference."
Natsume snickered then sat down. He scanned the table then the dining hall. The obvious absence made him frown. "Where is she?" They exchanged glances.
"She's sulking," Hotaru answered bluntly. "Go do something about it."
"Maybe you should give her some time," Anna said anxiously. "She looked pretty mad when we last saw her."
"Humiliated, more like," Wakako snickered. "You should go woo her."
"Woo?" Natsume repeated with distaste.
"You should go apologize," Yuu quickly amended. "You know where she'll be."
"The Sakura tree," more than one person answered.
Natsume snickered. Sometimes it could be so annoying to be a "celebrity" couple. He thought about it for a moment then surprised everyone when his chair scraped against the floor as he pushed it back. "I'll handle it."
"How will you get her to talk to you?" Nonoko wondered out loud.
"I'll think of something."
"Bring her flowers," Mochu called after him.
"And chocolates," Koko threw in.
"You guys have such template answers," Sumire said haughtily. "Natsume can do better than that!" He glanced over his shoulder and she gave a little wave. "Still a fan. Good luck."
Mikan stiffened when Natsume approached. She knew she couldn't avoid him forever but it would've been nice to be left alone a little longer. She buried her head in her arms, determined not to look at him. The most handsome student in the Alice Academy was her boyfriend and she was perfectly miserable about it. That was twisted fate.
Natsume stopped next to her and was obnoxious at once. "You paid me in loose change."
"Go away, Natsume."
"Go eat. You know how cross you get when you're hungry."
"I'm not hungry," she muttered.
"I'm nursing my pride, all right?" Mikan said in annoyance. She raised her head but looked straight ahead. "It's nothing compared to yours but I do have some pride, you know."
"Would you look at me?"
"No. Every time I do, you seem to be wearing less and less clothes."
"I thought you'd say something like that." Natsume said dryly. He crouched down. She was surprised to find a long-sleeved arm next to her. She turned fully.
He had donned their winter uniform. In this sweltering heat, that was a very sweet thing to do. Even more surprising was that he was wearing it properly. No loose tie or unbuttoned cuffs. Evidently, he was making an effort. A bead of sweat had formed at the top of his lip and he consciously wiped it away with the back of his hand. The uniform worked its purpose. She could feel herself soften.
"Ready to talk?"
Every time she found her voice, Natsume would give her cause to lose it all over again. She nodded mutely and Natsume came to his feet and pulled off his coat. She gasped.
"What are you doing?"
He frowned. "I'm taking off my coat. You said you're ready to talk and I'm damn hot."
"Yeah, you are," Mikan grumbled, her irritation restored. He laughed then propped his uniform against a low branch. His hands moved to his tie. "Are you taking it all off?"
"If you want me to," he replied a little too quickly. Seeing her look of disenchantment, he stopped at loosening his tie and rolling up his sleeves. "That's it, okay?"
Natsume sat next to her with a heavy sigh. He was still so new to this making up thing. Still, Ruka said what came after was pretty good and he was going to make sure of that. But first he'd have to get there.
"We'd be incredibly boring if you didn't think I was attractive," he said at last when Mikan didn't speak.
"And ironic," Natsume said dryly. "God forbid that I'd end up with a girl that wasn't attracted to me."
"I didn't say I wasn't attracted to you," Mikan said irritably. "All I said was that I was already too used to you—"
"Really?" Natsume said, suddenly interested. Without warning, he leaned forward and Mikan reared back in surprise. Her body's reaction was instantaneous. Her eyes closed automatically. Her breath slowed while her pulse raced. She could feel Natsume hovering. But the kiss never came.
She opened her eyes. His lips were a mere inch from hers and it was curved in a mocking smile. Heat rose to her cheeks, a common reaction as of late, and she shoved him away angrily. "You jerk! You did that on purpose!"
"Of course I did," he said unrepentantly. He moved back to give her some air but that infuriating grin lingered on his lips. "You're too easy."
"I hate you," Mikan muttered. She hugged her knees then rested her chin upon them.
"Do you really?"
"Right now I do."
He chuckled, "I could try changing your mind…"
"Don't, or I'll hit you Natsume. I swear I will."
"You left this in my room," Natsume said at length and he held out her duplicate key. She stared at it as though it was forbidden fruit, Adam tempting Eve.
"I don't want it."
"You're being stupid. I gave this to you for a reason."
"To set me up," she said morosely.
He looked irritated. "No, it's because we're going out." She glanced at him and he went on impatiently, "My girlfriend should be able to check on me."
"I'm not looking for another fan girl, all right?" Natsume said, amused by her very passable 'Hn'. "But while I'm glad that you like me for the right reasons… I think it would be good if you liked me for the shallow ones too."
She blinked, taking in what he said. "So this bet… was because I bruised your ego for liking you for who you are?"
"It sounds bad if you say it that way."
Mikan began to laugh. "Ruka was right."
"You are insecure."
Natsume exhaled. "Ruka is going to pay for that."
"Don't be hard on him," she chided. "He was just trying to help me understand you."
"Who's going to help me understand you?" he asked wryly. "Talking to your best friend is like talking to a brick wall."
She laughed again and he smiled. For a moment, they were perfect. The look on his face reminded Mikan of who they were and why they were together despite their many arguments. Simply put, they just matched.
Natsume had done his part. It was time to call a truce. They were getting pretty good at that. Mikan took a breath, "You know, I meant what I said. You really are the best looking guy on campus. And that's not just my opinion."
"But yours is the one that matters," he interjected smoothly, noting as well that the fight was over. For this week at least. "So we're okay?"
Mikan took back her key. "Aren't we always? No, don't answer that. We just made up and I don't want to start fighting again until tomorrow."
Natsume checked his watch. "Do you want to get something to eat at Central Town?"
"Are you paying?"
"Sure," he snickered, "After all, I recently came to some money—"
"One hundred rabbits to be exact—"
"Shut up, Natsume."
"See, I won a bet against this fan girl of mine—"
"You really are a jerk!" She raised a hand to hit him on the arm but he caught her wrist. He directed the full blast of his dazzling smile at Mikan.
"But you love me anyway."
His gaze shook her to the bone, and this time in a good way. She flushed then turned away. "Only as much as you love me."
"Well, that's saying something," Natsume said meaningfully. They were getting good at that too, saying the words without actually saying them to each other. That part at least had never been a game. Natsume stood up and brushed the grass off his pants. He grabbed his coat. "Come on no-star, I'm hungry."
Mikan took the hand he held out to her and stood up. She answered automatically, "I'm not—"
She gasped when Natsume suddenly pulled her to him, making her lose her footing. His mouth descended on hers for one swift, thorough kiss. There was no warning, no build-up. It was fierce and possessive at once. His arm snaked around her waist, bringing her body in full contact with his, but the hand that cradled her cheek remained gentle as he guided her through the ten-second heart-stopping moment.
That was the thing about dating Natsume, he was so unpredictable. He could be sweet, hot, thoughtful, impatient, teasing or controlling without notice. Mikan was stunned. Then she just about melted.
Exactly like a fan girl.
When he was satisfied, Natsume drew back but kept a strong arm at her waist. He tipped his head as though musing. "You know, it wouldn't have hurt if you had jumped me one of those times."
"Really, I wouldn't have minded," he teased. "Anyone else would've taken advantage of my 'vulnerability'." That was not a word she would use on him. Ever.
Mikan laughed then they started walking to the bus stop. She kept a hand on his arm to keep herself steady. "Yeah, I'm sure a fan girl would have. But I'm not your fan, I'm your girlfriend."
Natsume grinned wickedly. "One hundred rabbits in my pocket, says you're both."