Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice or any of its Characters. [:
OK, so first of all, I'd like to dedicate this to Irrevocable Truth and EzMouse who requested this oneshot. :P And also to Blue Favorite Girl who not only has helped me in a way, but also for growing to be a good friend of mine for these past few days. :D
Paint My Love
The sun was getting ready to set as Tsubasa walked to the bus stop in Central Town. It was quiet and all he could hear were the birds chirping and random people's footsteps, then a voice that called out 'Tsubasa-senpai!'
'Huh?' He looked to his right and saw his fourteen-year-old kouhai running towards him. 'Hey, Mikan.' He smiled and waved to the brunette. After all these years, she still hasn't gotten rid of those pigtails.
'What's up?' He asked with one hand holding the items he'd just purchased from an art store, and his other hand patting her head while she panted heavily.
'I just ate a whole box of howalons.' She grinned.
'And you ran here, why?' He chuckled at her amusing act.
'Eh? No particular reason.' She blushed. Looking away, she thought of how much her feelings for him have developed as she matured from the ingenuous little girl she used to be. She ran there wanting to wait for the bus with him, she ran because she was afraid that if she didn't, he'd leave ahead of her.
Her face turned redder and the silence grew, making her feel even more awkward. 'Huh? Tsubasa-senpai, what are those for?' She instantly calmed down after seeing what filled one of his hands: paintbrushes, paint, and a canvas.
'They're for the final art project Narumi-sensei asked us to make.' Tsubasa swung the bag around lightly, careful enough not to hit anything. 'It's one of his requirements before we graduate.'
'Oh, I almost forgot you guys are graduating already.' Mikan looked down to the ground, not knowing what to say.
'Hey,' He gave her a light pat on the back, 'don't worry, I won't be gone forever.' He winked.
The bus arrived just in time before dark. They rode together and even with their casual conversations, Mikan couldn't get rid of the funny feeling she had in her. She was confused and her head was starting to feel all messed up. She had no idea why, but for all these years, she'd seen Tsubasa as a big brother. And with no doubt, she was also a little sister to him. But as days and months passed, she started to feel different; her feelings for him changed.
Now, she knew she couldn't possibly tell him. He was her senpai, it wouldn't feel right.
After having her breakfast with Hotaru and all their friends, Mikan walked to the Sakura tree. 'Weird, Natsume's not here, he's probably out on a mission again.'
It was a warm Saturday, and she felt too lazy to do anything despite her boredom. So she lay on the cold, moist grass and closed her eyes, waiting for something to happen.
Minutes later, she started listening to the feet that noisily walked by, the sound started to feel like music to her ears due to the excessive boredom. So far, she'd been going on for five minutes, the tapping of shoes, the clacking of heels, each passed by, until moments later, she felt a pair stop right in front of her.
She opened her eyes to take a peek and saw the familiar face. 'Tsubasa-senpai, what are you doing here?'
'This is where I'm going to be working on my painting.' He grinned and started to set up his easel and canvas.
'Oh, great, that means I can watch you.' Mikan stood up and skipped towards him.
'Huh? No! No watching!' Tsubasa nervously said, making the brunette stop dead in her tracks.
'Why not?' She whined and folded her arms in front of her chest.
'Well, I'm not very comfortable with people watching me work on something I'm not actually good at,' he lied, 'it sort of pulls my confidence level down.'
'Fine, but you have to promise you'll show it to me, OK?' She giggled and sat back down under the tree. 'So what do you have to paint?'
'Well, Narumi-sensei told us to paint something we love or something that inspires us.' He started placing the paint on his improvised paper palette and put the light background colors on his canvas. 'But I decided to paint something that applies to both.'
Mikan took a bite of her cracker and laughed at her senpai. 'So what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be asking Misaki-senpai to pose for you?' She teased.
'Nah.' Tsubasa shrugged it off. 'I would, but she's way too busy working on her own project.'
Those weren't exactly the words she wanted to hear, and with this, Mikan was hurt, but she pushed it away and asked, 'What are you painting then?'
'The beautiful thing in front of me.' He smiled sheepishly.
'Oh… I see.' Mikan smiled, 'This Sakura tree really never fails to calm one down. I can imagine why you chose to paint this.'
'Yeah? Well, it's not just that, it's also the feeling it gives me.' Tsubasa started to voice out his feelings to the clueless girl. 'Sometimes it makes me feel confused, but in a good way. I just began to feel my love for it grow every time I look at it.'
Mikan was speechless, she had no idea Tsubasa had such feelings. 'How does it feel?' Mikan stared at him, 'I mean, you guys are graduating in four days. And if I'm not mistaken, you've been here since you were three. How does that make you feel?'
'Well, happy and sad.' Tsubasa stopped painting for a second to think about what to say next, 'I guess it feels nice to know we'll be able to go home again, but it's sort of depressing because this academy started to feel like home to most of us. I get so nostalgic every time I try to think about it, it makes me want to go back and relive the memories,' he looked at Mikan's innocent face, 'like memories with my best friends, memories of my years here—funny moments, scary ones, and our adventures together—and I'm surely going to miss the people I spent my time with here, like Misaki, Kaname, the teachers, my lower classmen.'
'Wow, you make it sound like you'll be more upset than happy.'
'Guess so.' He smiled, and then lightly brushed a light shade of brown on to his canvas right when a strike of aptitude dashed into his head.
After a few moments, the dark-haired artist got tired of the silence and decided to start another conversation, 'So do you have anything you have to do today, Mikan?' He asked casually, continuing his painting. Not receiving a reply, he took a quick look behind his canvas and realized that the delicate middle school girl had fallen asleep, 'I guess not.' He smiled.
He went on with his work and silently admired the sight in front of him. Suddenly, a girl of his age came running to him, 'Tsubasa, I need help.'
'Hey, Misaki, what's the matter?' Tsubasa put his materials down and faced the pink-haired beauty that held a picture to his face.
'I need you to help me paint this for Narumi's project.' Tsubasa grabbed the photograph from her hand and studied it briefly; it was a picture of Misaki. Two of her, actually—one playing a violin, and the other sniffing a rose.
'You're going to paint yourself?' Tsubasa chuckled.
'No!' She swiped the picture from his hand and started to set up her canvas as well. 'He said to paint something we loved, so I thought the best way to visualize my Alice was to show duplicates of myself,' She continued, 'but I don't want to seem vain, so I included the two things that inspired me, music and nature.'
'You're weird.' Tsubasa laughed.
Hearing his laughter, the pigtailed teen awoke from her nap and noticed her senpais lightly arguing with each other.
'Shut up! What are you painting anyway?' Misaki turned to look at Tsubasa's work and noticed the painting beautifully fixed on to his canvas. 'Wow.' She was speechless; she was completely overwhelmed by how beautiful it was despite its simplicity.
'It's not yet finished, and no one was supposed to look at it before it was done.' Tsubasa seemed to be really annoyed by Misaki's actions.
'You know what? You guys would make a really cute couple. I'm surprised you two never dated.' Mikan giggled. 'If I didn't know any better, I'd think you two really were together.' There was jealousy in there, Misaki could tell, but Mikan hid it, she tried not to let it get to her.
'I'll go get help from someone else.' Misaki smiled and gathered her things up, trying her best not to seem rude. 'That's really sweet, Tsubasa. It's beautiful, and you should finish it.' She gave Tsubasa a sweet grin and started to walk to the hospital where Kaname was. 'Bye, Mikan.'
'Bye, Misaki-senpai.' Mikan waved and wished her the best of luck for her project.
'So how come you two never dated?' Mikan teased.
'Misaki and I?' Tsubasa laughed. 'You know what? I would have considered that, but she doesn't seem to show much interest in me in that kind of way.'
'What about you?' She got off the grass and dusted her skirt.
'Well, I did… before.' He concentrated on his painting, purposely not giving any attention to the look on his kouhai's face. 'But that was the past. Now? I'm not so sure.'
'Well, I better go now, Hotaru's probably waiting for me, we're having lunch together.' Mikan quickly made her way to Hotaru's lab without waiting for a response from her senpai.
Tsubasa had no idea what to feel. He didn't like talking to her about other girls, but neither did he like lying to her. He disregarded the feeling for now and concentrated more on finishing his painting.
Within the next few days, Mikan tried to spend as much time with Tsubasa as possible. She ate meals with him, they took walks in Central Town together, she ate howalons with him, but somehow, it didn't satisfy her, he was also busy with other things like exams and final projects; and being Mikan, she didn't want to be the reason for him not to graduate, so she had to give him his own time.
She wanted more time, she wanted him to stick around a little longer—but sadly, she knew it wasn't possible.
On the day of their graduation, Mikan congratulated her senpais and specially greeted Tsubasa personally. She walked up to him and gave him one of her killer hugs. 'Congratulations, Tsubasa-senpai.' She tried to smile as tears escaped her beautiful brown eyes.
'Thanks, Mikan.' He smiled and gave her a hug back, 'Are you crying?'
'No, I'm just really happy for you guys.' She looked at him, dreading the fact that this would be the last time she'd see his face, 'Best of luck out there.'
'Well, I guess I'm going to need all the luck I can get. Thank you.' He gave her a pat on the head for the last time, 'Do your best here and hang on a little longer, alright?'
'I will.' She came to tears once again and buried her face in his blazer.
'Now, don't cry.' He smiled, wiping her tears away with his thumb.
She looked at him, her eyes puffy from the crying and realized, 'Hey, I never got to see your painting.'
'Wow, I totally forgot about that. Sad to say, I've already put it away with all my other stuff,' he scratched his head in embarrassment, 'they're all by the gate now waiting to be picked up. Maybe next time, okay?'
'Oh.' The disappointed look on her face gave him a guilty feeling, 'It's fine, don't worry about it.' She smiled.
'I'm sorry.' He grinned. 'Well, I have to go, they've come to take me away.' He laughed.
'Can't you stay a little longer? Misaki-senpai's staying for another week.' Mikan got her hopes up, hoping she'd convinced him.
'I'd love to, you know that, but I have to go.' He gave her another smile. 'Feel free to call me anytime, OK?'
'Sure.' She gave him a smile, as he got ready to leave.
'Bye, Mikan. I'm gonna miss all of you.' He grinned at her for the last time and waved goodbye.
Mikan walked to her favorite spot, tears slowly falling from her eyes. He was gone and she couldn't tell him how she felt. All the times they spent together, all the memories with him, those moments flashing through her mind. She couldn't accept that he'd just left.
Upon reaching her destination, Mikan was about to take a seat when she realized that a something had stolen her spot. It was only a mere seventeen inches tall and its back facing her. 'Is this…?' She grabbed it and attempted to turn it around, 'It can't be.' She made the object face her and her eyes widened at the beautiful painting she couldn't stop gawking at.
She quickly grabbed her cell phone from her pocket and called the first person on speed dial. It rang a few times to several times, and a voice answered, sadly not the voice she wanted to hear. Her call couldn't get through, so she tried calling a couple times more; but the same voice again and again. No hope.
She gave up and took a seat under the tree where the painting used to be. She lay the painting down on her lap and just wouldn't stop staring at it.
'Huh?' Mikan looked at her phone quickly—maybe he called back.
Ring, ring… Ring, ring…
It was Kaname's number. It choked her, disappointed and upset, but she answered it anyway. 'Hello?'
'Hey.' That voice… It wasn't Kaname's.
Mikan was speechless; he'd called her back. She'd been trying to reach him for the past minutes, and now that she had her chance, she didn't know what to say.
She decided. She'd made her decision. She was definitely going to tell him. 'Tsubasa-senpai, I—'
'Thank you.' She smiled, still staring at the portrait.
'You're welcome.' She could sense him smiling. 'You know, you can't always be my kouhai, moreover, my little sister. Feelings change.'
That moment, Mikan felt relieved, she felt like the happiest person on earth. She may not have been able to tell him how she felt, or give him something in return. But the painting she held at that moment wasn't just any ordinary painting; it was made from true feelings, and the beautiful thing that sat in front of the artist while he was at work. Now she was pretty sure, that it wasn't the Sakura tree.
Author's Notes: WAAAAAAAAA!! It sucked, admit it. Hahahah! Well, I did this upon request and I hope I didn't stay below your expectations. :))
[Inspired by the song Paint My Love by Michael Learns to Rock. 3 Loved them since I was a kid. ^^] -- Hahah! Yes, a lot of my stories are inspired by songs. :)
Well, I wasn't really a big fan of TsubasaMikan, but writing this oneshot made me fall in love with the couple. ^^ Hahah!