Hi everyone! Thanks for all the reviews for the last chapter. I love writing fluff and I was happy with all the responses I got. So here is part 6 and also the very last chapter. I thought it would be nice to wrap it up here. Haha, thanks again for all the support! Please Review!
Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice or any of its characters.
Mikan had her arm draped over her eyes as she lay in her bed. She was wide awake, hearing the chirping birds from her window and the wind gently rustling the leaves. Mikan was desperate for any amount of sleep, but it seemed to evade her the more she tried to rest.
Groaning in defeat, she easily opened up her eyes and looked at the clock beside her. It read 6:54. Class was going to start pretty soon and it seemed that breakfast had just begun. But Mikan wasn't hungry. Her stomach was already full with butterflies at the prospect of who she was going to see in class today.
"He promised," she reassured herself as she put on her uniform. "He'll be there."
And feeling the familiar rapid beating of her heart whenever she thought of him, Mikan gave a quick shake of her head to snap herself out of it. At this rate, she wouldn't even make it down the stairs without collapsing from nervousness. Once she looked in the mirror to fix her messy hair, Mikan went downstairs to grab a quick piece of toast.
Knowing that waiting around wasn't going to do her any good, she decided to go to class extra early today. Most likely not a lot of people would be there so it will be the perfect time to come to her senses. But when Mikan pictured her homeroom, she suddenly remembered what had happened on Saturday and had to stop dead in her tracks as she leaned against a tree and placed a hand over her flushed cheeks.
Mikan was losing it. Ever since that incident, she noticed that she wasn't herself anymore. She was more jumpy than usual and daydreamed about him more often than necessary. But what made it really obvious was the feeling of joy within her that refused to fade. Often times, Mikan would find herself smiling at random moments and not realize why.
She sighed and looked up at the bright sun. "I need to get a grip."
Mikan jumped at least ten feet into the air until she realized it was Hotaru. She smiled widely as she stared into the familiar, blank face of her best friend and walked over to her. "Good morning!"
Hotaru didn't reply except raise an eyebrow, silently telling Mikan to answer her question.
Laughing uneasily, Mikan scratched her head and said, "Nothing really. I'm just feeling…different these last couple of days."
"What kind of different?"
"Like I-have-a-lot-going-on different," Mikan replied. "But you don't need to worry. I'm fine."
Hotaru didn't look convinced but she dropped it all the same. "Come on, let's walk to class."
Mikan nodded and walked beside her friend, trying her best to act as normal as possible. Unfortunately, it seemed that Hotaru wasn't buying it since she kept giving her these suspicious looks out of the corner of her eye. However, she knew from experience that Mikan would tell her what was going on whenever the time was right so Hotaru decided to be patient and wait it out. Of course, her patience was already running thin.
By the time they reached the classroom about half of the students were already there, sitting on tables and chatting away with the others. Mikan walked in and greeted the normal people she saw as if nothing new had happened. But when her eyes made it to the back of the room, her heart came to a dead stop.
Looking at him with wide eyes, Mikan could feel her throat close up as she met his burning gaze. He was sitting in his seat with his legs propped up on the table as always. Luca was beside him, stroking the white rabbit in his arms absent-mindedly, but when he saw Mikan, he broke into a smile and greeted her.
"Hi," she answered breathlessly as she walked towards the two. Natsume was still staring intently at her face.
Feeling the heat rush straight to her cheeks, she stopped a few feet away and said in a shaky voice, "Good morning, Natsume."
At first he didn't reply. He stared at her with the same calculating gaze and for one fleeting second, Mikan thought that he had completely disregarded what happened between the two of them. But then, in one fluid movement, he suddenly brought his feet down from the table and stood up. He walked over to her with his hands in his pockets and without breaking eye contact, replied, "You kept me waiting."
Mikan smiled and felt her heart throb. All words escaped her as she stared into his amused eyes. Hotaru and Luca were confused as ever as they watched their two friends behave so oddly with one another. It was almost as if they were in a totally different world that they couldn't reach.
But before Mikan could force anything out of her mouth, the classroom door creaked open. She turned around and stared directly into the eyes of Riku. He didn't seem to notice anyone else as he kept his eyes locked on Mikan. Some of the students were just about to speak to him when they realized the tension in the classroom had suddenly increased tenfold.
Natsume's eyes slightly narrowed as he stepped closer to Mikan. Riku still had the bright smile on his face as he approached, but his eyes were strained. He knew, just as well as everyone else, that something was going to happen and it wasn't going to be good.
"Good morning, Mikan," he said politely, although his eyes seemed to have frosted over. "How was your weekend?"
Mikan forced a smile back and nodded. "It was good. Yours?"
"I think it would have been better if I saw you," he replied smoothly as he took a step closer. "But I understand why."
Feeling as if the world had come to a stop, Mikan helplessly looked back at Riku as he stared into her eyes. She could see the question burning within him, waiting for an answer. And Mikan knew that Riku deserved more than just an answer. He deserved to know the whole story and understand why she made the choice she did. She felt incredibly miserable for knowing how much she'll hurt him, but it was better than lying to him. Her heart was already taken and it was time for her and Riku to accept that.
Swallowing the heavy lump in her throat, Mikan opened her mouth to tell him her answer, when suddenly Natsume stepped forward and placed himself between Riku and her.
The whole class fell silent, believing that a fight was going to break out, but each of them kept their arms at their sides. Even though they were both tense, Natsume and Riku maintained their civility and stared at the other with a gaze that could cut through like a knife.
"You were right," Natsume began in a smooth voice. "About everything."
Riku raised an eyebrow.
"I'm the one at fault here. Not you and definitely not Mikan. I was the one that gave up right from the start."
Natsume twisted his head around and looked into Mikan's shocked face. "But not anymore. I won't give up now. I can't even if I tried to."
He returned his attention back to Riku and looked back with an intensity that seemed to burn like flames.
"No matter who gets in the way."
Riku's face slowly changed. There was obviously something dark within his eyes, but when he opened his mouth to speak, the icy, cool voice remained. "You decided that just now?"
Natsume shook his head. "I decided that a while ago."
"I see," Riku said with a slight nod of his head.
Suddenly, he turned his head to Mikan and kept his eyes locked on her face. But oddly enough, he was still addressing Natsume as he replied, "It's good that you're willing to fight for her now. But the better question is do you even have a chance."
Mikan's eyes widened as Natsume asked in a cold voice, "What do you mean?"
Riku turned back with fiery, blue eyes. "Can you even win?"
But before Natsume could utter a single sound, Mikan had stepped forward and replied in a strong voice, "Yes."
Everyone turned to look at her. Riku froze up in an instant while Natsume looked at her with an expression that he never showed anyone before but Mikan . She smiled back reassuringly at Natsume and murmured, "He can."
Then very slowly, she turned her attention back to Riku and could see the apprehension in his face as he forced himself to ask, "Do I?"
Mikan silently walked towards him and laced her warm fingers through his. Riku squeezed them back, but his eyes were filled with an anticipation that made her realize all the more how much he cared. But even while she felt her heart throb for Riku, Mikan realized that staring into Riku's eyes was nothing like looking into Natsume's.
She could stand and breathe like normal. She could feel her heart beat and hear the rustling around her. But with Natsume, it was almost as if she was pulled out of her body and placed into a world that she never wanted to leave.
Mikan will always admit that Riku was a wonderful friend and that she was incredibly happy to have met him. But if she had to choose between him and Natsume, how could there by any competition? Riku didn't have that kind of effect on her. He just didn't.
So with a sad smile and a tender gaze, Mikan slowly shook her head and whispered, "No."
Riku closed his eyes and held her hand tightly. It was almost as if the pain he felt was transferred to her through their hands because Mikan suddenly felt an overwhelming sadness consume her. But very slowly, he released his grasp and opened his eyes. The flames seemed to have slightly died, but with a pained smile, he nodded his acceptance and stepped away.
"I understand," Riku whispered as Natsume took his place beside Mikan.
And without another word, he walked out, leaving the class stunned into silence.
I want to apologize beforehand for not giving you a proper good-bye, but I felt that it would be better if we didn't see each other so soon after what happened between us. By the time you get this letter, I would probably be half-way towards England and you would most likely be reading this under your favorite cherry blossom tree. I'm sorry for choosing to go home rather than stay with you, but I have to admit that remaining in Japan would do more bad than good.
I want you to know though, Mikan, that I truly do accept your decision. I do not want any resentment to exist between us whatsoever because you really are a wonderful friend that I cherish and love. My feelings for you remain intact and will always be there if you ever choose to come and look for them.
I hope that you will always remember me as I will always remember you. You mean everything to me Mikan and as long as you are happy, I am. Please keep in touch as will I.
Best wishes and much love,
In a flash, the note was snatched from Mikan's hand before she could read the last word. Shocked and angered, she quickly raised her head and found herself staring into Natsume's hard face. He gripped the letter tightly in his hand and frowned.
"He never lets up, does he?"
Mikan stood up and glared as she exclaimed, "Natsume! Give it back to me!"
"Why do you need it?" he asked coldly. "It's not like you're ever going to see him again."
"That's exactly why! I want to remember him," Mikan replied with a slight pout as she stepped closer to Natsume.
"You have his address," he said begrudgingly. "And it's not like you won't be able to contact him anyway. So you don't need this.
Frowning, Mikan shook her head and extended a hand. "Give it."
He fluidly moved away and said defiantly, "No."
Growling, Mikan threw herself at Natsume and reached out for the letter, but in a flash, the note burst into bright flames and fell into a pile of ashes on the grassy floor. At first, Mikan was so surprised that she completely froze up, staring at the black pieces of paper on the floor.
Then feeling the anger build in the pit of her stomach, she shrieked and cried, "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?"
Natsume, who acted completely unfazed, shrugged his shoulders and said, "Instinct."
Mikan spluttered an incompressible answer as she reached down, but suddenly, he tightly gripped her wrist and pulled her face up to his chest, holding her to his body. Although she usually loved being held within his warm arms, unfortunately for Natsume, today wasn't one of those times. Mikan angrily raised her head and glared at him.
Sighing heavily, Natsume placed his forehead against hers and asked softly, "Does it help if I say I'm sorry?"
Mikan didn't reply.
"How about the fact that I'm jealous whenever you have anything to do with him?"
Her mouth twitched.
"And that I love you?"
She couldn't take it anymore. Sighing, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her face into his shoulder. "That was highly unnecessary. You didn't need to burn it."
Mikan looked up and realized he had a small smile upon his face. Pretending to be annoyed, she stepped back and placed her hands on her hips. "You don't seem too upset about it."
And just like any other time when he chuckled, Mikan could feel her heart beat faster as she watched him laugh so easily around her. "Fine, fine," he replied in an amused voice as he reached for her slender hand. "I'll rewrite the letter. It's the sentiment that counts right?"
Mikan shook her head as she allowed him to pull her body back to his. "It's okay. I have it memorized."
Natsume's jaw tightened.
Giggling, Mikan wrapped her arms around his torso and whispered, "There's nothing for you to worry about, Natsume. You're the one I love."
And just as Natsume was leaning in, they both suddenly heard a familiar voice calling to them. Turning their attention to the sound, they realized it was Luca and Hotaru beckoning them over.
"Come on you guys!" Luca called excitedly. "Let's go to Central Town! They just opened up a new store!"
"Okay!" Mikan exclaimed as she laced her fingers through Natsume's.
She looked up at him and smiled. "Ready to go?"
He placed a small kiss on her forehead as she blushed profusely under his gentle touch.
"As long as you're there," he murmured tenderly.
And together, they walked towards their friends, hand in hand.
A fluffy ending to it all. Hehe, I hope you guys enjoyed this story! THANKS A BUNCH FOR READING, REVIEWING, FAVORITING, AND ALL THE ABOVE!