by: Esa MaRie
Dedicated to my valentine, SilverMist
Belated Happy Valentine's Day!
Your request was for a sad or funny story, but I thought to combine both
So hopefully, you'll like this… ^^
A piece of advice from Luna Koizumi, "A woman's worth is measured by her choice of men." So for a girl like Mikan Sakura, whose atrocious taste had defined the lazy & completely messed up School President Natsume Hyuuga as 'simply delectable,' should her value be equivalent to zero?
"A woman's worth is measured by her choice of men."
The declaration was made by the golden haired beauty perched on her desk, her short skirt revealed long, shapely legs. She kept herself in an elegant pose, inwardly pleased at the boys' gawking and the girls' envious stares at her feminine assets. She was surrounded by her group of friends as they discussed her earlier rejection of a love confession from a 'moderately' handsome senior.
"Well, that's Luna Koizumi for you," her best friend, Rika praised, though she was brimming inside with jealousy.
"Of course," Luna said proudly as she tossed her blonde curls with a flick of her wrist. "Besides, there's only one guy who deserves me." A mysterious smile crossed her face as she pulled out a magazine from her bag and spread the centerfold to her audience's view.
Loud screams and squeals suddenly erupted, and the other girls who only took a peek for curiosity sake, immediately joined in the squealing. And to the boys' annoyance, within seconds, majority of the girls had crowded over to oogle at the gorgeous physique of the raven-haired guy with mesmerizing pool of crimson blood eyes, his shirt open to reveal toned and well sculptured abs.
"Oh my God!"
Luna was certainly pleased with the reactions. It was more than she had expected, and all her efforts to pressure her father to work it out so that she could obtain a pre-release copy of the magazine had paid off. The Teen Mag will release its special issue next week with the cover story on the hottest teen model Natsu Igarashi, along with a dozen hot shots including a centerfold. And having the first copy of the issue in the whole school would definitely boost her up among her peers. Looking at the gushes, screams, and love-strucked eyes of her classmates, she just had to anticipate on how the rest of the female population would react.
"He's so handsome!"
Turning slightly to face the girl who said that, Luna masked on a superior air as she moved one finger to the girl's nose. "Handsome, dear, is a boring word to describe such masculinity." Feeling an explicit superiority among these commoners, her lips quirked on one side, she let out a concealed reprimand. "We're in high school now, we should be more careful with our words. A wide vocabulary can make anyone look smart," she haughtily said. "Sophistication is a virtue."
"Ohhh..." Many of the girls took it to heart. Of course, high school is a step closer towards maturity and adulthood. And many had entered their first year of high school with high hopes of romance. Who else should they look up to, other than this sophisticated beauty who had enraptured the hearts of the male population during their high school debut six months ago.
"Ah, I get it," one of her girls whispered as she rapidly scanned through a small dictionary looking for more appropriate words. "Gorgeous, exquisite..."
"Ravishing," another girl supplied, also peeking through the little book of words.
"Oh, some of those words fit women rather than men," Luna interrupted knowingly. 'Like me.' She raised her delicate brows at them. "A man should be described not just by his looks, but his overall physique - his sex appeal."
"Oh," one of the girls thought out loud. "Like he's so yummy?"
A smirk crossed Luna's lips. "I think delectable is the more appropriate word." Her slender fingers traced the outline of his body on the magazine, licking her lips. "Natsu Igarashi is just divinely delectable."
A choke and stifled laughter was heard, and they turned to see a girl with auburn hair tied into pigtails, with her face down on her table, her shoulders shaking with mirth. Sensing the glares towards her, Mikan Sakura lifted her head and wiped the little moisture of laughter from her bright hazel eyes. "Oh sorry, I thought you were talking about food that I suddenly thought of howalons."
"Delectable, huh?" another voice interrupted, this one lacked a hint of emotion. Hotaru Imai sat beside her best friend, cleaning what looked like a bazooka toy, like a warning against anyone who would dare contradict her words. "Delectable means crabs. Idiotic men don't look like crabs."
A look of annoyance crossed Luna's face, clearly displeased at the interruption. She didn't like being made a fool of, but Hotaru Imai was someone she could not mess with. She was dangerous by any standards, but she had to get even no matter what, and Mikan Sakura looked more an easy target than her best friend.
"Oh really," Luna purred as she got down from her desk after she had noticed a figure entering the school gates caught her attention, and walked towards the auburn-haired girl. She smirked and pointed outside. "Hmm… is that Hyuuga-senpai?"
As expected, Mikan's head snapped to her left, her face almost pressed to the glass windows as she searched for a certain figure outside. She rolled her eyes at the other girl's besotted look. Everyone in the classroom knew about Mikan Sakura's weird obsession with the geeky Natsume Hyuuga. The guy is a senior and the current Student Council President, but everyone knew that it was the vice-president, Ruka Nogi, who was doing all the work. He was supposedly tall though he tends to slouch like he was going to fall asleep anytime, his raven hair messed up like he never bother to comb it after waking up, his uniform always wrinkled, and his thick glasses covered almost half of his face. He had a genius IQ and maintained his top rank among the seniors despite the fact that he always slept in class. Not only that, he had a bad reputation of being rude and sarcastic, that he gained the mistrust and hatred of many students.
That person was now staggering towards the school building when a guy suddenly lifted his leg on the way, making the president fall on the ground face down. Loud laughter erupted from the surrounding students at the pathetic scene.
"Those jerks!" Mikan cried as she pressed her face on the window. "How dare they do that to Natsume-kun!"
Hotaru had to roll her eyes. Though she didn't want to admit it especially in front the snob Luna, Mikan had absolutely zero taste buds when it comes to men. And that was coming from a friend who knew about her obsession since two years ago.
"Talk about bad taste," one of the girls said, and the others joined in the laughter.
Perfectly satisfied with the outcome, Luna smirked as she walked closer towards Mikan, but addressed her comment to her followers. "Girls, even when giving comments like that, do it with finesse."
"Awful, horrible, dreadful..." one of her minions suggested, flipping the pages of her thesaurus.
"Atrocious," Luna supplied helpfully with sneering confidence. "What a dreadful and atrocious taste." Her mocking caused laughter to fill the room, just in time the bell rang for the start of the homeroom period. The girls went back to their seats, still snickering at the brunette, save for Mikan's friends Anna, Nonoko, and Sumire who shot glares at the Luna and her minions.
Mikan just sat there at her seat, looking dazed at what happened. She blinked and turned to her best friend.
"Hotaru, what's an atrocious?"
Truthfully, he was completely misunderstood. It wasn't that he was hiding from fangirls, or that he wanted to be a nerd that he dressed that way. He always had a bad eyesight since childhood, and wearing contacts makes his eyes itch so he preferred the thick pair of glasses which for him was more convenient. It wasn't his fault that hair had always been messy like a bird's nest no matter how much he brushed it down, so rather than wasting time on trying to tame his wild hair down, he just left it that way. As for being rude, he was just a man of few words, and he didn't like useless talks, much more talking to pretentious people. He had no patience for idiocy that he'd rather not talk to people, and had always been blunt in telling them what he had in mind.
As for being always sleepy, being a model and actor was a tough work especially for someone as popular as him. It wasn't like he wanted to be the center of attention, in fact, he hated it but he had no choice.
"You fell asleep in class again," Ruka told him when he finally found his friend under the Sakura tree.
"Can't help it. I almost had no sleep last night," Natsume muttered, rubbing his forehead as he leaned against the trunk.
The blond haired boy let out an exasperated sigh as he settled down beside his friend. "Please Natsume, stop punishing yourself," Ruka pleaded. "You're always welcome to stay at our house. Mom is worried about you. Stop forcing yourself to do all these projects when you know your body can't carry it all."
"It's okay Ruka," he said stubbornly. "I don't want to trouble you and your mom anymore. You have already done enough and I can now handle Aoi's medical expenses. I just don't want to lose my last family member."
Around two years ago, Natsume's family got into a car accident, killing his mother on the spot and left his father and sister were in critical condition. They were on their way to pick him up from school to celebrate his birthday when their car collided with a truck driven by a drunk driver. A month after, his father's body finally gave up and he died while his sister remained in coma. His mother's best friend Madoka Nogi took him under her care, and arranged to pay the huge amount of debt in the hospital.
He was in his last year of middle school then and had always been an introvert. But even at that age, he knew he shouldn't give up on his sister, at the same time, he could not leave everything to his guardian. He suddenly approached Ruka's mom and asked her to take him to be a model since their family owned a Talent Agency. Looking at the young boy's appearance, there was nothing noteworthy about him but Madoka already knew that he had the potential since Natsume's mom Kaoru Hyuuga was a beautiful woman, and her son had taken his features from her. Just taking away his glasses and using a thick glob of gel to tame his wild hair had completely changed him revealing his inborn handsomeness that had always been mislooked. For his sister's survival, he was willing to do anything, even do those 'disgusting poses' as he had termed them. And with Madoka's coaching, he was an instant hit, and since he valued his privacy, they agreed to let him use a pseudonym and he became known as 'Natsu Igarashi.'
It was just a job, a job he completely hated. He had been into some minor roles in films, though those short appearances were enough to garner large profits due to his overwhelming popularity and the patronage of women, mostly teenage population. He had received many offers for main roles, all he had declined, especially since all of them were for romance films which his fans had been demanding. He could tolerate the minor roles given to him, oftentimes, him being the antagonist, the bad guy. Those were easy for him, but he would never make a fool of himself acting like a besotted loser over some idiotic girl.
The last two years had been tough on him, trying to move on from the loss of his family, doing the job he hated for the sake of money, frustration at his sister who had not woken up from coma. But in a way he managed to survive. And he had to thank Aoi's friend, who like him, had never given up on her. He had never met her as she would always visit whenever he wasn't around, but she always left a bouquet of sunflowers which his sister loved so much. The nurse told him that she visits weekly, though there was no specific day. It was like she came to replace the flowers, but the nurse said the girl would often stay and talk to Aoi. The doctor often told him that he should do that too, talk to the patient as even though they are unconscious, they could still hear and sometimes it would help in their recovery. Aoi had always been sickly even before and though a happy child, was not given enough chance to bond with her classmates, so only a few would come and visit her. And he was too busy and too closed mouthed to make a long conversation with an unconscious girl. He tried though, but he was useless with mindless babbling, so he was eternally grateful for that girl, but to his annoyance, the nurse would just smile and not divulge any information about her.
But her existence was soothing enough and gave him hope despite the darkness he felt. And he was just hoping that someday, he would finally meet her and be able to thank her properly.
"Divinely delectable, huh?" Mikan wondered as she watched her crush of almost two years a few feet away, his back against the huge Sakura tree, probably asleep. How could anyone think of a man or a boy, for that matter, as food? She giggled, imagining how Natsume-kun would look like as a howalon.
She tiptoed towards him, making sure not to wake him up, and crouched down as she quietly observed her beloved's face in slumber. 'Wow, he's so cute!' she sighed dreamily, noticing how his slightly tanned skin looked so soft, his hair looked so shiny despite the unusual nest-like mess, his reddish lips… She felt a shiver as she felt something had had never experience before, like she wanted to gobble him up. 'Oh my god!" her mind screamed in shock. Was this what Luna was talking about? Was this what men being delectable meant? She was so absorbed with her admiration and her thoughts that she wasn't aware of what she was doing until she heard his voice.
"What the heck are you doing?"
'Eh?' Her eyes widened as she stared down and noticed that she held his arm, her mouth open and ready to take a bite of his soft flesh.
"Ahhh!" she jumped back as she let go of his arms and ran before leaving the lamest excuse she could think of. "Sorry! I thought you were a chicken!"
Natsume was left with a confused expression on his face, his eyes following the girl's figure as she disappeared. Then his brows furrowed, "What the heck? Is this another method of bullying?"
The said girl immediately straightened her arm, her palm against Mikan's forehead, effectively stopping her from hugging her to death. "Don't spread your snot on me, baka."
"Hotaru, you're so mean!"
Her other friends shook their head in amusement. Anna immediately scooped her in her arms, noticing the depressed look on her friend's face. "There, there, Mikan-chan," she cooed, rubbing the girl's back. "What's wrong?"
"Anna-chan," Mikan cried as she looked up to the pink-haired girl. "I finally understand Luna-chan! I'm going to be a cannibal!"
Anna blinked, and the rest of their friends stared at her in confusion. "Ehh?"
"I want to eat up Natsume-kun!" Mikan wailed.
Anna, Nonoko, and Sumire almost fell down, while Hotaru just shook her head, a tick of irritation showing on her forehead. "Idiot!"
"Mikan-chan, that's just called desire," Nonoko laughed. "I think a kiss from Hyuuga-senpai will cure that want."
"Maybe you should just confess to him," Sumire added, rolling her eyes.
"I agree," Anna smiled at her. "You've been in love with him for two long years, I guess it's time."
"Yeah, maybe a taste of him will finally open your eyes, baka," Hotaru just scoffed at her.
Mikan sighed as she walked with her friends towards the cafeteria, remembering their conversation just a while ago. Maybe they were right. Maybe she should start gathering her courage so that she could finally confess her long kept feelings for her beloved senior. She had kept her feelings for so long already that it was making her crazy.
"Hey pres, what happened to your uniform?"
Her heart stopped at the word 'pres,' knowing fully that there was only one person being addressed as that. She immediately turned to see her Natsume-kun with his uniform drenched with juice, laughter and snickers surrounded him. 'It's those bullies again,' she wanted to scream. Her mind went red and before her friends could stop her, she marched towards the center of the commotion.
"Natsume Hyuuga," she called loudly. All the students paused from their laughter and turned their attention to the pretty brunette, thinking she was going to do something against the hated president. "From this day on, I will protect you from these bullies. So please go out with me!"
Silence engulfed the whole cafeteria, then pieces of utensils were heard clattered on the floor as most of the students had their jaws dropped in shock and disbelief.
"Oh God, she did it," Sumire slapped her palm against her face, feeling embarrassed for her friend.
Mikan, on the other hand, was oblivious to everything that was happening around her as her focused on how to stop the bullying on her beloved Natsume-kun. She snapped her head towards the five taller boys who had started the bullying. "In case you're not aware you jerks, my uncle is the principal of Gakuen Alice. You touch a hair of my Natsume-kun and I'll have you all kicked out of this school!"
Now they all remembered of the news off a girl who practically jumped on the principal after the opening ceremony. Only a few witnessed it, but it became wide-spread after it was confirmed that the strict Principal Kazu Yukihara has a beloved niece studying in school. Most have not seen the girl and since Mikan was not the type to use his uncle's influence, except for arranging to have all her friends in one class, many had assumed it was just a rumor.
But the guys wouldn't dare test it as being kicked out of the prestigious Gakuen Alice would make them totally unacceptable in any good school. They just shot her a glare and turned away. "Bitch!" one of the guys silently murmured as they left.
Now that the bullies had gone away, Mikan turned a bright smile to the apple of her eye. "So Natsume-kun, what do you say?"
Natsume was already so tired, that he was just grateful that they left him alone. "Whatever," he muttered impatiently. He didn't know that his answer would cause him more trouble.
Mikan's face visibly lightened up, taking that response as a yes, and without further ado, she jumped on him, pressing her lips clumsily on his. She had a wide grin when she stepped back, blushing wildly. "See you later, boyfriend." She gave a victory sign to her friends and happily skipped away, leaving the dumbfounded Student President, with his first kiss stolen away.
"Natsume-kun!" the auburn-haired girl waved cheerfully as she waited for him under his Sakura tree.
The boy wanted to pound his head on the trunk. He thought he was just dreaming yesterday about the weird girl who suddenly confessed to him in front of the whole school, then sucked up his lips. He wasn't even sure he had given her a positive response, but here she was suddenly acting up like a girlfriend. And heck, he didn't even know her name. Irritated at his lack of privacy, he walked towards her, intending to clear out this misunderstanding, when his nose picked up the smell of food.
"I prepared your lunch," she blushed shyly.
Damn, the smell made him even hungrier. He was already very hungry and the cafeteria was packed with students. He had originally intended to wait for a while until the line had cleared up before going back to buy food, but his stomach was grumbling in protest at the sight of large bentou in front of him. He sighed as he sat down beside her, maybe he could give in just for today.
Before he noticed it, he was giving in to the girl every single day, but he tried to reason to himself that it was for his own benefit. Besides, she seemed to really know his taste, which unknown to him had been the result of two years of stalking on the girl's part. He had to give her that, though he will never speak of it. Most of the time, she talked, he ate. But he would raise his hood and plug his earphones in order not to hear her annoying voice.
He didn't like the fact that his privacy had been invaded but having her around him seemed to have its benefits. For one, the bullying had stopped. The teachers also seemed to leave him alone even he slept on class. He got to eat enough food for snacks and lunch as the girl seemed to be on a mission to fatten him up. So he left it all that way. After all, a little idiotic girl was easy to handle compared to what he had to endure before.
"Mikan-chan, can you deliver this to the AA Studios?" the manager asked her.
She has been working part-time in the restaurant for some months already despite the initial opposition of her parents. She wanted to be more independent and earn money for herself. Despite her childish attitude, that incident almost two years ago had opened her eyes to be more responsible. She also wanted to prove to Natsume-kun that she was not useless and that she could work just like him. Though it quite depressed her despite dating more a month already, they had never shared a kiss aside from the one which she had initiated in the cafeteria. She had been itching to taste his delectable lips again (she finally learned to use Luna's term) but her Natsume-kun seemed to be contented with just her being by his side so she just tried her fullest to be the best girlfriend she could be.
Before she could say yes, she was pushed aside as all of her female co-workers began to crowd on the manager.
"Manager-san, please let me do!"
"No, I'll go!"
"Huh?" Mikan looked confused at the desperate pleadings of her co-workers.
There was tick on the manager's forehead as he pointed them back to their works. "All of you go back to work!" He sighed as he saw their pouts and mumbles, and turned to give the orders to Mikan.
The girl absolutely looked clueless as she accepted the bag. "Manager-san, why do they all want to do the deliveries?"
The manager just patted her head and smiled. 'This is why I had chosen you.'
"It seemed like having a girlfriend has done you good," Ruka told him with a smile. "Sakura-san has been treating you well."
"Tch," he just muttered as they walked towards the gym class.
Ruka laughed at his reaction. "Really Natsume. Why don't you try treating her like a real girlfriend? I can see that girl really loves you."
"I don't like idiots," he answered back coldly as Ruka just shook his head and walked towards their other classmates, while he sat on the sides and read his manga. Being in the showbiz had its benefits, and he easily got a medical certificate that allowed him to be excused from gym class. While reading his manga, the face of his idiotic girlfriend suddenly came to mind that he literally blanched. How could he like that stupid girl? That was just completely impossible.
"Thanks Tsubasa-senpai and enjoy the food!"
Just hell! The girl was really getting on his nerves that even at his workplace, he was hearing her annoying voice. He gritted his teeth as he thought of her. He hated her clingy ways, and the irritating way she would call him 'Natsume-kun.' She was the absolute definition of a fangirl, except that she was obsessed with his dorky look. He was still deep in thought that he didn't see the blur of pink coming his way, and he collided with another person, her shrieks were heard all over the place as she fell down.
"Watch where you're going, polkadots!" he growled, then his crimson eyes widened when he recognized the auburn hair in pigtails of Mikan Sakura, his girlfriend. Yeah, he finally knew her name after three weeks, because Ruka continued to remind him so.
The girl winced in pain but her brows furrowed as she heard his words, only to notice that her skirt had lifted up, exposing her red polkadotted panties in full view. "Kyaaa!" she screamed, pushing her skirt back into place. Her hazel eyes lit up in a glare as she stood up to face the raven-haired guy with blood-shot eyes in front of her. "You pervert!" she shouted and landed a hard smack on his face. "You were the one who bumped into me, so don't put the blame on me, jackass!"
Natsume resisted to blink as he stared at the girl in confusion. 'Is this the idiot?' he wondered, this girl's attitude was completely different from his pea-brained girlfriend. But the tag on her chest read 'Mikan Sakura' so there was supposed to be no doubt as to her identity. Interestingly, this fiery side of her fascinated him, her defiantly look and stance, and the challenge and fury on her eyes had placed a mark on him.
'Hmm..' It would be interesting to have this little girl fall for his cool side, maybe with that, she would start leaving him alone in school. Frankly, he preferred this version rather than her irritating, smitten self. It made her more tolerable. He smirked as he thought of her finally losing interest at his other self. If he succeeded, he couild always ban her from the studio as to avoid seeing her again. He let out a smile which had proven lethal to the hearts of millions of girls who had adored him, and grasped her chin to him. "I kind of like you, polkadots."
But the girl responded with a dark glare and smacked his had away. "Well, I don't like you at all," she spat with venom. "And besides, I already have a boyfriend, pervert. And for your information, that name is only reserved for my Natsume-kun!"
He wanted to roll his eyes at that declaration, still couldn't believe she would choose the nerdy him compared to his current self. "Oh really?" he couldn't help with the sarcastic tone.
Furious, she pulled out her phone and almost slapped to his face the screen which showed his dorky self deep in sleep with his mouth partly open. She squealed slightly, a light blush flushing on her face, before composing herself and glared at him again. "Therefore you leave me alone, because you will never compare to my adorable boyfriend!"
'Damnation! Are you blind?' Natsume wanted to shout at her, wanting to grab the phone and throw it away. Even he, was embarrassed at that humiliating shot of him.
A loud laugh was heard as they both turned to see Tsubasa Andou, another idol, along with some of the other staff who had witnessed their exchange. The handsome boy with the signature star under his left eye grinned as he stared at Mikan.
"I really wonder how you would describe him?" Tsubasa pointed his thumb to Natsume.
Remembering Luna's advice on sophistication, Mikan lifted her chin and stared at Natsume with a disgusted look. "Atrocious," she replied smugly, earning another rounds of laughter from Tsubasa.
Lifting a brow, Natsume smirked, trying to hide his annoyance. "Do you even know what that means, little girl?"
Before Mikan could reply, Tsubasa smacked Natsume's shoulder in his laughter. "You're atrocious and her boyfriend is adorable?"
Her Natsume-kun's face immediately flashed in her mind, his red and plump lips when she got to kissed him. Mikan flushed as she unknowingly licked her lips. "He's not just adorable. He's simply delectable."
It had definitely gotten worst. The more Natsume tried to divert Mikan's attention to Natsu Igarashi, the more the little idiot had gotten clingier to his dorky side. He would often order deliveries from the restaurant she was working with, asking specifically for her. But no matter what he did, and to that bastard Tsubasa's amusement, nothing seemed to work at her. Not once had she shown any indication that she might be falling for him. Hell, he even thought he was getting desperate that as Natsu Igarashi, he felt he was actually jealous at his other self. But when he was at school dressed up normally, he couldn't stand her infatuation. Was he becoming a masochist or what? It was amusing as well as damn irritating that one girl could make him feel so much mixed emotions.
The routine had gone from days to weeks and nothing changed. He was seriously getting a headache where that girl was concerned. He was getting interested in her while he was Natsu Igarashi but she completely annoyed him when he was Natsume Hyuuga, and it seemed like she had the same opposite reactions to his two personalities. It didn't help that knowing her other personality had somehow started to weaken his original impression of her.
Trying to calm himself, he went to the hospital to visit Aoi. He normally visited near the closing hours since he tend to be busy right after school. But today, he took an off so he rest a bit. Being with Aoi can be equally frustrasting as well as calming as he would be able to see the bouquet of sunflowers at her bedside which seemed to symbolize his hope that Aoi would recover.
As he neared the room, his ears perched up as he heard a voice inside the room. 'Aoi's friend?' he thought, feeling a bit of excitement at finally seeing the only person aside from Ruka's family who had shared his suffering all for the past two years.
He opened the door quietly and peeked inside, only to see a familiar head of long auburn hair tied into pigtails cascading through her back. She was holding Aoi's hand, gently massaging them.
"Ne, Aoi-chan. Sometimes I really feel embarrassed saying these things to you, him being your brother and all. But you already know my feelings, right? You already know all of my secrets, besides, I've been updating you about this for the past two years," he heard the girl say.
Mikan smiled as she lifted Aoi's raven her from her face, her hair had grown longer for the past two years.
No, it had not been Natsume's intelligence or that she had a bad taste that made her fall for him. Everything had started in this hospital, the same hospital where they had met almost two years ago.
She was in her second year of middle school when her grandfather died, after being bedridden for a long while. Since she had been so close to the old man, Mikan was depressed. She cried so much that the nurse had requested her to leave the room as to calm herself although she was more concerned about the noise that the girl was making.
Even though her parents were still alive, she was much closer to her grandfather as he was the one who took care of her while her parents travelled abroad. The loss was overwhelming and she still couldn't accept it. She was still crying when she bumped into a raven-haired guy wearing large, thick glasses and ended up crying her heart out to the reluctant stranger.
Maybe she was expecting comforting words, and receiving the opposite had burned a lasting impression of the stranger in her.
"Are you an idiot?" the guy told her, full of annoyance. "Your grandfather was suffering for a long time. You should be happy that he finally got to rest. But with all your bawling here, your grandfather would probably turn up from his deathbed because some stupid idiot like you is making so damn much noise!" His voice became bitter. "Some people die unexpectedly leaving their loved ones without so much a notice. So be happy that you managed to take care of him before he died, idiot!"
Her eyes began to get blurry again as her tear ducts was spilling out. The boy gave a loud sigh and ruffled her auburn hair, and placed a towel on her front. "Stop looking back at the past and move on, Polkadots."
'Polkadots?' She looked down and gasped as finally realized that her shirt was wet, and her red polkadotted bra was showing. She turned bright red as she clutched the hand towel which had the initials NH to her chest. In all her thirteen years, Mikan finally felt her heart beat for a boy.
"He did not mean to be rude."
She looked behind and saw a nurse, holding a chart against her chest. "That boy had suffered a lot, but he still managed to be strong."
Her tears had finally stopped. "What happened to him?"
The kind nurse told her about his story. And upon hearing it, she couldn't help but feel guilty about her selfishness so she decided to visit Aoi, his sister who was in coma, bringing a bouquet of sunflowers which suited Aoi's name. The doctor saw her chatting randomly to the unconcious patient and he eagerly encouraged her. With that, she began to regularly visit Aoi and chat to her, oftentimes about her admiration for her brother. She already realized that the uniform he was wearing was that of the prestigious Gakuen Alice where her uncle, the half-brother of her father was the principal. She didn't plan to go to that high school since the academic level was really high, but because of that boy, she really studied hard, whined her best friend to death until she finally helped her out in her school works.
The opening ceremony was a grand one, but Mikan never noticed as her attention was focused on looking for the boy she had fallen in love with.
"Finally, for his welcoming statement, we have this year's Student Council President Natsume Hyuuga."
"That's the president?"
"He's a dork."
The students laughed as Ruka Nogi, the Vice President had to nudge the president to wake up. He looked absolutely disoriented as he staggered towards the microphone. "You're dismissed," he growled, then went back to his seat. Ruka rushed up front to save the school from embarrassment, properly ending the ceremony.
While everyone murmured in dislike at the president, Mikan just stood there with a smitten look on her face. It turned out the presidency of the Student Council was decided through the academic records of the students. And since Natsume Hyuuga was the top student, he was automatically designated the position. The other positions were decided through votes, so while many loved the vice-president Ruka Nogi, the president was much hated. But after everything that she knew had happened to Natsume, nothing could possibly taint him in her eyes. 'So cool!' she could only gush.
Mikan giggled remembering the past. She didn't know how many times she had told that story to Aoi, but although she would talk to her about what happened in school, her brother was the only bond that connected them.
"You really should stop worrying your brother like this, Aoi-chan," she continued, rubbing the patient's palm. "So please wake up soon because he has been waiting for you. You should be worried at what kind of random jobs he must be doing right now. He always looks so tired, you know."
Gently placing back Aoi's arm to her side, she stood up and walked towards the vase, replacing the sunflowers. She then sensed someone else in the room, so she turned with a bright smile. "Oh sorry, nurse, I'll..." Her eyes widened as she stifled a gasp when she saw the person behind her.
They just stood there, silence enveloping the room, until Natsume took a step forward.
"So it was you," he said quietly, his expression unreadable behind his thick glasses. "It has always been you."
"Uhm, I..." Mikan flushed at being caught red-handed. She knew it wasn't right to intrude to his personal problems and that she been stalker-like... 'Oh God, please don't let him hate me!' But before she could say anything more, she found herself being pulled into his arms, crushed into a tight embrace.
"Thank you," he whispered, his voice full of sincerity.
Mikan was in shock, but when she finally realized their position, her heart began to beat so wildly that she felt she was hypervilating. 'Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!'
Natsume felt her go limp in his arms, so he gently pushed her from him to look at her face. The sight of her made him blink in surprise and a chuckle escaped from his lips as he guided her towards the sofa. The idiot girl had fainted with a grin on her face.
Maybe that was when things had gotten better and his attitude towards her started to change. He had come to see her in a new light that his feelings towards her started to remain constant at either roles. And Mikan was absolutely in heaven when he started to accept her hugs occasionally. Natsume no longer hide from her in school so it was quite common to see them together than Hotaru's brows practically rose a notch when at one time Natsume dropped Mikan to their classroom.
Mikan, on the other hand, ignored the sly and disgusted looks given to her by the other girls. She was happy and nothing could change that, not even the bickers and the insults of the perverted Natsu Igarashi could mar her happiness. Though their constant dates normally were visits to Aoi-chan, or that Natsume was always busy, she remained patient, after all she had waited two years for him. Besides, she knew she couldn't be selfish as she knew that Natsume was working hard in order to sustain his sister's medication.
As for Natsume, Mikan's silent support became important to him as he faced each day. Once he asked her why she was doing all these for him, she just smiled at him and said. "Your words before had helped me get over my grandfather's death and move on. I guess this is my way for me return that favor."
Ruka and his mom were more than relieved at the change in him as he learned to lighten up a bit. She spent her Christmas with him and Aoi, telling him her parents won't mind as they were always busy with each other. Encased by the white walls of the hospital room, Natsume draped his arm by her waist as she leaned her head on his chest. He was feeling content and if only Aoi would finally wake up, his happiness would be complete.
Noticing her silence, he looked down and found that she had fallen asleep. He chuckled as he decided to let her rest a bit and wake her up later so that he could drop her home. Leaning down, he planted a kiss on her forehead, smirking as he thought of her reaction if she was awake. He leaned back against the wall and sighed. It seemed he had eaten his own words. He had declared before that it was impossible for him to like idiotic girls, but the worse had happened... he had fallen in love with the worst of them.
The first month of the year had just ended, and Natsume was getting even busier as new projects were coming up. Adding the fact that Aoi's condition had not shown improvement had made him upset and stressed out. The rain was heavily pouring when he got out of the cab that he staggered towards his apartment and saw a figure seated on his front of his door, her head on bent on her arms.
Mikan lifted her head at the sound of his voice and immediately stood up. "I'm sorry Natsume-kun but you were absent for two days and I was worried," she said, nervously fidgeting. "I checked your records so I got this address."
He was too tired to answer that she looked up and rushed to him. "Are you okay?" she asked as she grabbed his arm worriedly. "You look feverish!"
"No, just tired," he simply answered, ignoring her help and proceeded to unlock his apartment. Seemingly unsure at first, she followed him inside his apartment after he threw his duffel bag on the floor and rested himself on the sofa.
"I've brought some food in case you haven't eaten yet," Mikan said when she noticed him slowly massaging his forehead. He looked slightly different now that his hair was wet due to the rain. She placed the food on the table and walked towards the couch, kneeling beside him. "Let me take your glasses so you can rest."
Exhaustion was consuming him that it took longer for him to register what his girlfriend had said. Before he could stop her, Mikan had already pulled his glasses of. 'Hey-!" He managed to catch her hand, but it was too late as he heard her gasp.
'Oh shit!' he cursed as he knew she had recognized his face, and immediately tried to explain things. "Polka..."
"Y-you... you tricked me!"
He could only see her silhouette, but he felt her jerking her hand from his. But knowing his disadvantage as he was almost blind without his glasses, he held to her hand. Damn, he knew he should have told her somehow, but he couldn't get past her prejudice every time they meet with him as Natsu Igarashi. "Polka, I can explain..."
"You jerk! What have you done to my Natsume-kun?!"
'I-" He blinked when he had finally digested her words. "What?!"
Mikan was at full rage when she approached him and started to throw her other hand fist against his chest. "You bastard! You kidnapped my poor Natsume-kun and took his place. You think your act can fool me?"
Natsume couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Are you blind?! I am Natsume Hyuuga!"
"How can a pervert like you be my Natsume-kun?!"
Frustrated beyond words, he grabbed his glasses from her hand and put it on, then messed up his hair.
Mikan's eyes widened as her beloved's face had returned. "Kya! Natsume-kun, you're back!" she hugged him happily, but that reaction did not last as everything finally dawned on her. She stepped back and scrutinized his face. "Y-you... you w-were also that pervert?" her voice trembled a bit, her lovely faced masked with confusion. "W-what's going on? Y-you've been playing with me all along?"
"Yes, no, I mean..." He pushed his hand to his hair in a desperate attempt to calm himself. "Goddammit!" he let out a curse. He hated confrontations like this and seeing her with that hurt and teary face didn't help at all in recovering his composure. "You were so annoying that I wanted to distract you. I thought I could make you fall for Natsu, then may be you'll leave me alone. But everything has-"
Tears now began to fall freely on her face as she interrupted him, unable to hear more of his hurtful words. "Y-you could have just told me if you hated me," she whispered, then turned to walk away, but his hand caught her arm.
"I understand," she said quietly, snatching her arm from him. "I won't bother you anymore." Before she broke down in front of him, she pulled the door open and ran out of the apartment, into the pouring rain.
"Mikan!" Natsume shouted as he chased after her. But as if fate was against him as a cab had stopped in front of her and she immediately got inside, leaving him alone, hating himself for failing to explain everything clearly to her. He didn't want things to end this way. He needed her, he understand that now.
The next days were hell for him as Mikan managed to thoroughly avoid him in school. Not to mention that her best friends were always there blocking his path, so it was impossible to get to her, especially with Hotaru Imai standing there loaded with a baka gun in her arms. She still did her deliveries though but she wouldn't even look at him despite the fact he had cornered her several times. He tried to explain and let her know of his feelings, but she ignored him and turned away. Out of desperation, he tried to kiss her, not caring if there might be other people who would witness it, only to receive a punch on his face as the girl gave him a glare and walked out. Since then, she stopped making deliveries and he learned she resigned from her job.
It was Valentine's Day and Natsume had enough. It had been two weeks since that incident and he was so frustrated that it was already affecting his grades and his career. He had originally planned to take her out on a real date today and maybe get the nerve to finally respond to her feelings in words, but due to what happened, he couldn't even get close to her.
He finally found her at the back of the school, as usual with her friends on guard. But he had made up his mind. He will talk to her and not even Imai's infamous baka gun could stop him. He marched towards them, and as soon as they spotted him, Imai and her group rest blocked his path.
"Don't stop me, Imai," he growled and when the amethyst eyed girl didn't show any sign of backing down, he pulled something from his pocket and dangled it in front of her.
"What the heck, Hotaru!"
The three girls immediately shut up as the infamous blackmailer shot them a look, effectively silencing them. A smirk crossed her face as she snatched the generous bunch of bills offered, and lowered her gun. "This is only good for Valentines," she told him with a blank stare, then proceeded to count the money. He was about to take another step past her when Hotaru spoke again. "If you're taking her out, you'll owe me another 5,000 yen."
"Fine," he snapped and walked ahead.
The three other girls just shook their heads as they watched him approaching their friend.
"Really, you're going to exchange your best friend for money?" Sumire asked.
"No. I'm just taking this chance to earn money," Hotaru shrugged. "Besides, everything will still depend on that baka's decision."
"Do you think it's a good idea to let him talk to Mikan?" Nonoko wondered, holding onto her cousin. "He still gives me the creeps, you know."
"I think it's okay," Anna smiled at Nonoko. "Mikan had been miserably the past weeks too. I think it's time they finally sorted this out."
He saw her stiffen, so he knew she heard him but she remained her gaze on the ground. It would be hard trying to convince her but he had to at least try. He was finally here talking to her so he couldn't mess this up. He sat beside her on the bench and sighed. "What I told you before was the truth. You were irritating and you annoy the hell out of me." He caught her hand when she was about to stand, forcing her to sit down again. "Please listen, will you?"
"You just appeared all of a sudden, taking a claim as my girlfriend, and invaded my privacy. And I hated it." He closed his eyes knowing that he was hurting her more with his confession but he had to tell her the truth. He wanted to be honest with her and let her know his side of the situation. "So when I met you as Natsu Igarashi, I thought that if I could divert your attention, you would lose your interest on your Natsume-kun. But everything backfired and before I knew it, I..." He groaned, feeling uncomfortable at this.
"Just say it, will you?" she said quietly, still not looking at him.
"Alright, I'll say it!" he exploded, thoroughly embarrassed. "I love you, okay?! And I'll do anything to get you back. I know I've been stupid but- why the heck are you laughing?!"
Gone were the hurt and sad look, instead her hazel eyes were bright with happiness. And before he could stop her, she jumped onto him, and crashed her lips into his. He was slowly recovering from his surprise, and when she was about to pull from him, he caught the back of her nape and pulled her back to him, this time taking control of the kiss. He encircled his arms around her small waist, crushing her into his embrace, and savored her lips, venting out all those frustrations she had caused him the past weeks.
When they finally pulled back from each other to catch their breaths, Mikan was blushing hard, her lips swollen, and she was grinning a lot. She was practically sitting on his lap as she wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned her head on his chest. "As I thought, my Natsume-kun is really the best."
A small smile escaped his lips as he tightened his hold on her. But something about the situation bothered him. "Wait a minute!" Natsume was torn between joy and confusion. "I thought you were angry at me?"
"Well, I was," Mikan replied, snuggling against him, then she giggled. "But I just can't resist my Natsume-kun any longer. You were just so delectable especially when you confessed."
A tick appeared on his forehead. "You... you mean you would forgive me only if I am in this get-up?"
"Well, I was still angry at that time, you know," Mikan said, frowning a bit. "Besides, it's easy to stay angry at you when you were acting as that pervert."
He seriously wanted to wring her neck despite the fact that he loved her. 'Of all the girls, why the heck did I fall on this one?!' He saw Mikan reached something from her bag and gave it to him.
"It's chocolates, silly," she laughed. "Of course my boyfriend should be receiving one. Happy Valentine's Day!"
So, she had been planning on reconciling with him all along. She just wanted to see him suffer a bit after what he had done to her. A sigh escaped him as he shook his head. Yeah, maybe he deserved it. "Come on then," he stood up and pulled her hand.
"We're going on a date, you idiot."
She gave out a happy squeak as she linked her arms to Natsume's, sneaking a thumbs-up to her friends, as they walked towards the school gates, passing by the side of the school building. But just as they were near the front of the building, Natsume suddenly pushed Mikan forward, and a bucketful of water splashed through him, drenching him from head to toe.
"Natsume-kun!" Mikan quickly got up and rushed to his side, pulling her handkerchief and tried to wipe his face.
"Oh sorry," a girl from the second floor called out, then a series of giggles followed.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" Luna Koizumi suddenly emerged with her minions, smirking as she said out loud. "Such a lovely couple, don't you think?"
The other students passing by stopped to watch the entertaining spectacle.
Mikan glared at her, and without breaking the contact, she hugged Natsume's arm, despite his wet sleeves. "Of course."
Luna frowned at her response. The girl was supposed to feel insulted, but here she was proudly clinging on her disgusting boyfriend. "Just as I thought, someone with atrocious taste doesn't really have any value. Just look at what type of guy you landed to - an ugly and obnoxious neanderthal." She shrugged her head and snickered. "Well, I guess you two deserved each other. Enjoy your valentines!"
Mikan stuck out her tongue. "Talk about yourself. You don't even have a date."
Luna smirked. "Of course I don't have a date. After all, I choose my men properly but I'm expecting something for White Day. Natsu Igarashi won't be able to resist me after I've sent him my homemade chocolates and picture."
A blank look crossed Mikan's face, and slowly turned her head to glance at her boyfriend. "Oh..."
Keeping his arm on Mikan's waist, Natsume finally spoke. "Natsu Igarashi, huh?" A smirk formed on his lips. "I guess you won't have to wait for White Day."
Luna narrowed her eyes on him. "What?" Obviously, the dork was trying to make a fool of her.
"I'll give you his answer right now." He raised his glasses, revealing those famous crimson orbs, his lips lifted into a sinister smile. He lifted his middle finger at her. "Fuck off, bitch."
He then pulled Mikan through the frozen crowd, not bothering to look at Luna who had fainted dead away or the surprised gasps from the other female population. He was graduating in a few days anyway, so it won't matter if they finally knew his identity.
"Can you put your glasses on?" Mikan asked, trying to make him stop.
"Look here woman," he growled, angry that even at this time, Mikan was still only concerned at how he looked. "This is my face, so start accepting it already!" He was so irritated that he was thinking that he would get rid of his stupid glasses and have laser surgery to make it permanent, that way, his stupid girlfriend could get rid of her idiotic obsession over his 'Natsume-kun' looks. His manager, Narumi Anjo would surely have a field day if he knew what Natsume was thinking. That other idiot had been pushing him to make a permanent change on his image but just the thought of some fangirls or fangays manhandling his hair was something he wouldn't allow even if they paid him, and he wouldn't ever give Narumi that satisfaction. He couldn't believe he was actually thinking about it for the sake of this girl.
But the said auburn haired girl looked confused as she looked at him. "Uh…I just meant that we are heading the wrong way..."
It was their second valentine's day as a couple and though Natsume was already in university, he still took the time to travel back and be with his girlfriend for that special day. He took her to an expensive restaurant for their date, then opted to return to his apartment to watch a movie. It was already near midnight, and they were both cuddled up in the living room, watching some sappy love flick. He found it boring, but he refrained from saying it, rather, he spent most of his time watching the different expressions on Mikan's face. It was more amusing compared to watching the loser on the screen making a fool out of himself.
Oh, he forgot, he was that loser.
Somehow, Narumi had managed to push him into starring in a romance film, of course through Mikan's persuasion. The two had clicked off real well that Narumi was really taking advantage of it. The movie had been a success despite his lackluster acting, making him realize how stupid women can be spending their money on a worthless film just to see him kiss some what's-her-name actress. The filming process had of course been a disaster with him refusing to say some sick sappy lines that Narumi had to double Mikan with the actress so that he could get his acting right. But using the idiot was even worse as she would hysterically laugh just when he finally gotten serious. It took a lot of cuts and edits before they could manage to finish everything, but after he had seen it, he swore he would never film another romance crap again.
But as for his relationship with Mikan, everything had been good between them. She had been greatly disappointed when he finally had his eyes fixed and his hair tamed, pouting at the loss of her Natsume-kun. At least she had gotten over her obsession, and they would have their normal share of love and hate moments. And as if giving her blessings, Aoi finally woke up just a month before. They were just waiting for her to regain back her strength so they could get her out of the hospital. She got along well with Mikan and had agreed to stay with her, while he was away for university.
Now that Aoi was okay, he was planning to quit the entertainment industry to just focus on his studies. He had already saved enough for him and Aoi. It was not like he would miss it anyway, in fact, he was more than glad to finally have a reason to quit.
He was lost in his own thoughts and when he finally glanced down, Mikan was looking at him with a longing expression on her face. He bent down to kiss her when his eyes suddenly gotten blurry as the girl pushed his old glasses to his face.
A wide grin crossed her face as she wrapped her arms on his waist, and snuggled to his chest. "Just as I thought, my Natsume-kun is still the best."
In response, he locked his arm on her neck on a headlock, ignoring her yelp. Yeah, this was what their relationship had been like for the past year. A relationship filled with ups and downs, and love and hate.
After all, they started with a weird foundation on their relationship.
Both have atrocious taste.
Love is simply delectable.
۞ E N D ۞
Honestly I don't know if this one is good or not. The plot was ripped off from one of my planned fics 'My Type of Guy' which I will not longer continue. The story seemed rushed since I consolidated everything in just one long chapter. Was it even funny? :P
Anyway, belated Happy Valentines to everyone. Please read & review! :D
To SilverMist, I tried to make this sad and funny, but I'm not sure if I managed to do it right. -sigh- Anyway, I'm really sorry again for posting this late but I hope you'll like it. :D
Oh yeah... I can't remember the name of manga that inspired Natsume's character here but going through the reviews, I finally found its name. It's Penguin Revolution. :)