Dedicated to Arvee-chan.
A pair of crimson eyes was staring at the teacher in a bored manner. He didn't like the topic or the teacher who was a blond-haired man with no taste of fashion. Nonetheless, everyone feared him for his Pheromone Alice, not that he was afraid of him; he just didn't want to be one of his victims. Being controlled by his Alice was not a nice experience, so he would avoid that as much as possible.
He took out his cell phone before typing, "Morning, love. What class you're having right now?"
After closing his cell phone, he stared at it as he waited. No longer than a minute, a new message was reported.
"Good morning, love. I'm having Jinno-sensei's class. What about you?"
He smiled inwardly. "Naru. It's so boring that I think I could sleep. I wish I could meet you."
He gave a mental sigh before pondering about this virtual lover. Yes, his virtual lover. Hell would break loose if everyone found out that he, the most popular guy Natsume Hyuuga, had a virtual lover. He had never wanted a girlfriend to begin with because he felt it was too troublesome. That was until he met her. Well, not exactly met her face to face. He met her from the wrong number. It was just like in the TV drama where they accidentally became friends from that. At first he felt the need to distance himself from her, but after knowing her for almost a month, he finally felt something for her. He liked her. He didn't know why he felt that way, but he knew that they had a lot in common which made him comfortable to say whatever he had in mind. It was fun. He had never imagined that he would bluntly say that he wanted to be her boyfriend.
Was he not afraid that she might be one of the girls from his fan club? He was but only a little bit.
Was he not afraid that she might be ugly? Not really because she did tell him about one guy who was chasing after her.
Was he not afraid that she might reject him? That was the most important question. Of course, he was afraid of rejection. Who wouldn't be?
All fears were swept away by her answer. She told him that she liked him, too, and wanted to be his girlfriend, but she didn't have the confidence to meet him yet. Thus, he came to a conclusion: virtual lover. To be honest, it was difficult to maintain this kind of relationship, but they were doing fine until now. They've been going out for almost three months now.
Mikan stared at her cell phone sadly. She knew it was unfair, but she couldn't bring herself to take the risk, the risk of losing him. Even though he was just her virtual lover, she liked him. No, scratch that. She loved him. She didn't know when the feeling started growing. She just knew that she was in love with him as long as she can remember. She peered at her teacher Jinno-sensei, and received a hard glare from him.
She sighed silently. "I'm sorry, love. I'm not ready yet. Get you later. Jinno-sensei's glaring at me now. Love you…"
Before putting away her cell phone, she let out a sad smile. She hoped against faith that he would patiently wait for her.
Natsume frowned. No matter how many times he asked, he would get the same answer. To tell the truth, he almost lost his mind. He wished to meet her, but she kept refusing by saying that she wasn't ready. He always pondered about her problem. So many questions flooded into his mind, and it was only she who could answer them all. He really wanted to meet her so that he could hold her and tell her how much he loved her. He sighed. Why won't you let me look at you?
Before pocketing his cell phone, he ended their chat, "OK. I'll wait for you. Love you, too…"
Pondering about something that gave him no answer only gave him a headache. He just wished she would say she was ready soon. Even though he didn't mind waiting, he had his own limits.
The library was filled with silence as usual, but the sound of flipping pages could be heard occasionally. A librarian was carrying a pile of books to one of the corner-most tables where a spectacled girl was seated.
"Mikan-chan, will you help me place these books at where they belong?" the librarian asked quietly as she put the books in front of Mikan's "usual" desk.
Mikan looked up from her book, and she gave a small smile to the librarian. "Sure."
"Thank you so much. I'm really grateful that you are here, Mikan-chan."
Mikan shook her head. "Don't worry. I don't mind helping you."
With that the librarian returned to the counter again.
Mikan closed her own book before sorting the books in order. The library was the only place where she would spend her time. Not many people would come here to read or study. Well, the students in Gakuen Alice always thought that they wouldn't be able to get the Best Student Award that allowed them to go home for a week anyways. She sighed inwardly. Truth to be told, she didn't need that award to go home since this Gakuen Alice is her home. Her grandpa who adopted her had passed away two years ago. Her mother Yuka Azumi was nowhere to be found. The only one who took care of her was her uncle Kazu Yukihira, the high school principal. It was a bit awkward at first, but now, they were just like a normal family. He was like the father she never had.
Walking without looking was a big mistake when you were carrying a pile of books. She bumped into an unexpected person: Natsume Hyuuga. Books were scattered on the floor, and she started apologizing. She tried her best to gather the scattered books, but unfortunately, she couldn't do that because she had dropped something.
Natsume stared at Mikan without blinking. After the collision the girl just sat on the floor and looked like she was searching for something.
He raised an eyebrow. "What are you looking for?"
"I'm sorry; I have a bad sight." Mikan smiled uncomfortably but kept looking for her glasses.
He frowned and looked around, too. He finally found her glasses, but it had a crack on it. He handed it to her. "I don't think you can use it anymore."
She took the glasses and still put it on. She blinked her eyes after seeing him.
They stared at each other.
He raised an eyebrow again; then she blushed. "I'm sorry."
"I'm really sorry for bumping into you," she apologized again.
He sighed mentally. "You don't have to say sorry so many times."
She quickly gathered the scattered books, and he helped her, too.
"I'm so sorry; and thanks for helping me," she said gratefully and left hastily.
She left him speechless. This was the first time he met a girl who was not gawking at him. Well, she did stare at him, but she was not gawking at him like his fan girls. Deep down in his heart, he hoped his virtual girlfriend would be someone like her. It wouldn't do him any good if his virtual girlfriend was one of his fan girls. It would be a nightmare for him.
Natsume closed his eyes as he lay down on his bed. Suddenly, Mikan's face flashed in his mind. He immediately snapped his eyes open in shock. What he was thinking? He was thinking about another girl beside his girlfriend, or his virtual girlfriend to be exact. He sighed before pulling out his cell phone.
He typed, "What are you doing, love?"
"I'm helping my uncle right now. How about you, love?"
He furrowed his eyebrows. "I didn't know you have an uncle in this academy."
"I guess I forgot to tell you then. My uncle is working in this academy."
He stared at his cell phone. "I guess you won't tell me who your uncle is. Am I right?"
"You are right. I'm sorry, I can't tell you. You would know who I am if I told you."
He refrained himself to sigh. "Still not ready to meet me? Why won't you let me see you?"
He wouldn't admit it out loud. He was losing his hope at the moment. He didn't know why he suddenly felt like this. Maybe it was because he was tired of waiting and waiting without certainty. He started wondering if their relationship would actually work out or not.
Mikan was clueless about what to do. She couldn't tell him that she wasn't a beauty. Well, she did tell him once, but he told her that he didn't care about that. She knew she was being silly to fear something like that. He had assured her countless time, but she couldn't bring herself to believe it. But then, she knew people had their own limits. She had to decide now before it was too late.
After making up her mind, she typed, "Just… just you give me a week; then we will try the idea."
"I guess that will do. One week."
She sighed in relief. "We will see each other in one week. Thank you for being patient with me, love."
She closed her cell phone before lying down on her bed. As she closed her eyes, Natsume's face flashed in her mind. She snapped her eyes open and shook her head to dismiss the thought. Of course, she knew who the person she had bumped into was this afternoon. She heard about him a lot since he was the most popular guy in the academy. She was sure that her boyfriend was not someone as popular as him.
He was somewhat in disbelief after he learned her name. She was actually the high school principal's niece. He didn't mean to look for her, but it happened. He tried not to look for her, but he failed. It was a vain attempt as he couldn't help himself but be curious about her. He secretly went back to the library after the homeroom. He stayed as far away as he could but still within earshot. At the end of the day, he learned her name. He finally noticed how she was asked to place back a pile of books to the right shelves. Looking at how she carried the books, he came to realise that yesterday was a pure accident due to her clumsiness.
He took out his cell phone again. "Love, how are you doing today?"
"I'm good. What about you?"
He smiled to himself. "I'm good, too. I've been meaning to ask you; what are you doing after the homeroom?"
He paused. "I can't find a good reason why you always telling me not to message you in the afternoon."
He knew he was impatient, but he couldn't hold his desire anymore. At least, he wanted to have a vague idea about her, about how she looks like and everything about her if possible.
Mikan stared at her phone momentarily. She would be a fool if she didn't know what his purpose behind that question was. She knew he was trying to find her before the scheduled time. She was nervous. She was anxious about what would happen if he, indeed, found her before the week was over.
After a moment she typed her reply, "I'm sorry. I just switch it off."
"Why is that?"
She chewed her lower lip. "I just wanted it that way. Why?"
"I just wonder about that."
She glanced at the clock before replying, "It's late. Have a good night, love."
She heaved a long sigh before taking off her glasses. To be honest, she trusted him to accept her for who she was. She wondered what his reaction would be if he knew she was the high school principal's niece. Everyone who knew who she was would immediately stay away from her. They always thought she was a spy who would report those who didn't behave according to the school rules to her uncle. It was an absurd idea, but she let it slide. It was not like she had a lot of friends to begin with.
He did it on purpose. He didn't know why he did it, but he just wanted her to notice him. Watching her from afar for three days was not enough for him. The books scattered around the floor, and she started apologizing. She didn't need to look for her glasses like the first time though. She didn't lift her head to look at him as she gathered the books. He helped her, of course, as it was partially his fault. She apologized to him again.
He almost sighed audibly. "You don't need to say sorry so many times."
She tensed before slowly looking up at him. Her eyes widened considerably as she gaped at him.
He smiled inwardly. "I see that you remember me."
After composing herself, she thanked him. She tried to leave him, but she wasn't quick enough, considering the amount of books she was carrying.
She didn't know what he was thinking. She almost thought he was losing his mind. She couldn't believe that the most popular guy who she had bumped into two times was helping her by taking half of the books she was carrying.
She started stuttering before she knew it, "T-t-thank you."
He gave a low chuckle. "I guess your favourite words are 'sorry' and 'thank you,' huh?"
Flushing red, she didn't know why she felt like a happy high school girl even though she was one. She just didn't know why she suddenly acted like this.
"What is your name?" he asked quietly as they walked along the high shelves. He didn't know why he needed to ask her name when he already knew it. It was probably because he didn't want to be caught red-handed for watching her secretly.
"I just wanted to apologize about your glasses," he said, noticing her hesitation.
"No, it was not your fault," she interjected.
"Still, I want to know your name."
"Mikan. My name is Mikan."
"Yukihira as in Principal Yukihira?"
"I will take that as a 'yes'."
"My name is Natsume Hyuuga. You probably know this." He didn't know why he became a talkative person.
They remained silent as they put back all the books. As the last book was stored back to the shelves, they stood beside each other while facing the many rows of books.
He turned to her in response.
She felt herself turn red as she felt the intensity of his gaze. She quietly murmured, "Thank you."
"Hn," he grunted. Then out of the blue, he noticed something important. She was the high school principal's niece which meant the high school principal was her uncle. Uncle… didn't his virtual girlfriend tell him that her uncle was working in the academy? How many students that have relatives like an uncle or an aunt were in the academy? There was almost none, and that would mean she was his… Taking a silent deep breath, he breathed out, "Do you usually help your uncle, too?"
She was confused. "Huh?"
"I mean you seem to help the librarian often."
She blinked before smiling.
He liked her smile, he decided.
"Yeah, I often help my uncle with his paperwork…"
He kept that answer in mind before making his leave. He promised to meet her again if she wouldn't mind. Of course, she wouldn't mind to have him as accompany. So, it was a promise to see each other again. He was determined to find out about his virtual girlfriend's identity by the end of this night even though he had a hunch that it was her.
Mikan was having an internal fight with herself as she felt like betraying her boyfriend. Even though he was not her real boyfriend, he was still her boyfriend. She felt guilty for not telling him anything about what happened to her and Natsume. But then, if she told him, he would be able to find out where she was after the homeroom was over. She wanted to tell him desperately about Natsume, but she couldn't bring herself to say it.
Unknown to her, her boyfriend was having the same line of thought.
Shaking his head to clear his mind, he typed, "Love, how's your day?"
"It was good. What about you?"
"Same here. I wish to ask you something."
"What is it?"
"You said you have an uncle in this academy."
"Yes… what about it?"
"How often do you help your uncle? I mean helping him with paperwork for example."
He gulped nervously. He hoped she wouldn't notice how similar his question was with the one he asked Mikan. If she gave him the same answer, he would confront her sooner than expected. Watching her for three days, he had to admit that she was what he was looking for in a girlfriend. She was smart even though she dressed like a nerd. She was not someone in his fan club, too.
She felt weird. She felt someone had asked her the same question. She then remembered Natsume's question. Her eyes widened in realization. She shook her head while telling herself that it was not possible. Natsume couldn't be her virtual boyfriend. It was just a coincidence. That was what she thought before giving the same answer.
No more waiting. That was what he thought as he made his way to the library. But, what he saw in the library made him stop cold. She was sitting with someone he didn't know. No, he knew who it was as he stepped closer without being noticed. It was Yuu Tobita, his class representative. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. He then tried to eavesdrop on their conversation.
"Can't you give me a chance, Mikan?" Yuu said, looking desperate.
Mikan felt like groaning. "Yuu… I… I told you… I can't. I don't want to give you false hope."
"Try me. Just one chance, please…"
She closed her eyes. "I'm sorry, Yuu. I really can't do it."
"Why?" His eyes were filled with sadness.
"I love you so much… why won't you give me a chance to prove it?"
She gave up. "I have a boyfriend, Yuu."
His eyes widened before answering, "You're lying, aren't you?
"Why you have to lie to me?"
She looked up at him. "I really have a boyfriend, Yuu. We've been going out for almost three months now."
Natsume almost screamed in joy as his suspicious was proved. As much as he wanted to claim her as his, he needed to make sure that it was really her.
"Prove it then," Yuu challenged.
She looked at him in disbelief. "What?"
"Prove it. I want you to call your boyfriend here if you really do have one."
Didn't know what to do, she bit her lower lip. She could call her virtual boyfriend here, but she wouldn't be able to recognize him as she had never met him before. She was in dilemma.
Yuu gazed at her gently. "Please, Mikan. You don't have to lie to me like this. I just wanted to have one chance, that's all."
Before he could take her hand, she stood up from her seat. "Alright, I'll prove it."
She rummaged her school bag then and hoped Yuu wouldn't find out about her virtual relationship.
Natsume stepped out from his hiding place and approached them without giving any indication that he would stop behind her.
She took out her cell phone before calling her virtual boyfriend.
Natsume smirked with victory as his cell phone vibrated. He answered the call nonetheless.
"Love, can you come to library now?" she asked anxiously. She was nervous as she didn't know if it would work out.
Natsume couldn't help but smile as his cell phone produced the same question. He knew it was really her now. He walked up to stand behind her. Yuu's eyes widened in shock as he finally noticed him. If he was smart, he would stay away from him and what was his.
"I'm right behind you, love," he replied her question.
Mikan's eyes widened before she turned around to face him. She was speechless.
Natsume snapped his cell phone shut before hugging Mikan, successfully hiding her shocked face. He turned to Yuu. "Do you have any business with my girlfriend, Iinchou?"
Yuu staggered back a few steps before shaking his head. "No."
"Good. I heard that someone has been bothering her. I hope it was not you."
Yuu fled from the library without another word as he knew no one messed with Natsume Hyuuga.
Natsume snorted and released Mikan before looking down at her. "Are you alright?"
She tried to say something, but not a single syllable was uttered.
He chuckled before leaning to her ear. "Do I have to kiss you, so you would believe that it was me?"
She blushed crimson. She couldn't believe that her virtual boyfriend was actually the famous Natsume Hyuuga. After all this time, she was his virtual girlfriend.
He loved her blushing face more than her smiling face, he concluded. He would try his best to make her blush a lot more. He pulled her into his arms before proclaiming his love to her.
Mikan clutched Natsume's hand tightly as she was afraid he would leave her alone. She wasn't a cry baby, but her disability to see clearly would lead her nowhere. It was her stupid boyfriend's idea that she should take off her glasses and changed to contact lens. Of course, she refused because contact lens always made her eyes itchy. He then proposed this ridiculous idea: he would be her eyes. She wouldn't mind if it was under a normal circumstance, but it was not. It was for the prom for crying out loud! Moreover, she was asked to wear a gown that she couldn't see clearly what it looked like even though she could feel the material against her skin.
Natsume glanced at his beautiful girlfriend. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever met. The moment she took off her glasses, he knew she was a beauty. He would proudly say to the world that she was his and his alone. Nobody would touch her but him. Nobody would have her but him. He carefully led her to grand hall to have their first prom together. The two guards who were guarding the door bowed at him or more like at his girlfriend before helping him push the door open.
The grand hall turned silent as everyone turned their eyes to the unlikely couple. Right after they stopped their eyes on Mikan, they realized that they had made a huge mistake. When they found out about their relationship, no one dared to object considering Mikan's position at the academy, but tonight, everything would change. They finally saw that Mikan Yukihira would be the only one who could stand beside Natsume Hyuuga, the heart-throb of the academy. The organizer of the prom promptly commanded to start the music for waltz then.
Natsume immediately led Mikan to the dance floor as the music started playing.
As he pulled her closer, she asked, "What are we doing?"
He arched a perfect eyebrow. "What else?"
"You know I can't dance, Natsume."
"I will step on your feet."
"I will avoid it."
She chuckled before clasping her hand in his.
He held her waist as he waited for a while before moving along with the music.
She let him take the lead and danced along with him. When she found out that he was the famous Natsume Hyuuga, she had planned to back out after a second thought. He didn't let her have a second thought though. He had told her that he accepted her for who she was. How they kept their meeting a secret from each other did not matter to them afterwards as the most important to them was how they loved each other.
His hold tightened around her waist. He would never let go of the girl before him. Even though he was upset that she kept her meeting with him a secret, he couldn't let himself be angry at her for a long time as he did the same thing. He saw the hesitation in her eyes when she finally realized who he was. He had hoped that she would accept him for who he was, too. He was glad that she did. After giving her a chaste kiss that day, they were no longer virtual lovers but a pair of absolute lovers.
Thanks for reading.