The Moments Between Us

Summary: A collection of one-shot/drabble moments shared between Natsume Hyūga and Ruka Nogi as strangers, enemies, best friends, and lovers. Based on a list of 100 personal challenge prompts on LJ.

Rating: K – M (but will be mostly classified as T)

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Gakuen Alice.

Memory 1Leaving the World Behind

Pairing(s): friendship(?)Natsume x Ruka; Mentions of Natsume x Mikan

Warning(s): None for the chapter ;)

Rating: K+

Summary: Natsume ditches Mikan for Ruka.

Based on: Prompt 036 –Smell

When he went out with Mikan, all Natsume smelled around her was sweets and flowery flowers. They were eighteen now and he figured that it wasn't her fault, she had to grow up from the runt she was as a child to a woman who smelt like it. But honestly, did she really have to spray all those sprays in his face? It was starting to make him sick.

Instead of doing what he wanted to do (which consisted of taking all her spray and perfumes and just chucking them into the nearest trash bin), Natsume held down the fort by holding in his complaints like any good boyfriend. He said nothing of his feelings of wanting to throw up every time Mikan came by reeking of sakura flowers, and he kept his mouth shut when she was reeking of cotton candy—so sweet that it almost gave him cavities. And he wasn't even eating any!

It was getting ridiculous, he figured. So one day, instead of hanging out with Mikan and watching her giggle or whatever else she did with her girl friends, he went out to find Ruka.

The blonde was where Natsume always remembered him to always be; sitting in the middle of the Eastern Forest. It was serene and calm there and Natsume grudgingly admitted that he liked it as he sat down next to the blonde. Over the years, just like everyone else, Ruka had grown. He had changed in terms of size and face but he still stayed his pretty-European-almost petite self in the end. And unlike Mikan, Ruka did nothing to change his scent.

To Natsume, the blonde had always smelled good. Ruka smelled like sunlight and a gentle breeze; some things that shouldn't have a smell—but was clear when you stepped close to the pretty blonde. Since the beginning of their friendship, Natsume had done everything he possibly could to smell it too. Leaning close, burying his face into Ruka's shoulder or hair—whatever let him get a whiff of all of that. It was a habit only known between the two of them, and Natsume was hell-bound on just keeping it between the two of them.

Since Ruka had grown, it seemed as if everyone wanted him. Girls, boys, animals, it all made no difference. He was pretty, smart, and kind—whoever didn't see the attraction in the eighteen-year-old was possibly either dumb, stupid, or both. But everyone did and Natsume wasn't going to risk telling everyone that Ruka also smelt amazing on top of that—it'd just be a mess of crazy ass fangirls/guys/animals, and he really didn't want to be the one beating them all back with a stick, thank you very much.

"Didn't you have a date with Sakura today?" Ruka said softly when he felt Natsume rest his head on his shoulder. The raven said nothing for a while, just letting the scent of his best friend flow through him to dispel that nasty scent that Mikan had been parading around. He didn't know that 'Violet Rose' could smell so nasty.

"I did." He answered after a while, lifting his head so that he could just move in a sitting position. A weight lifted off of his shoulders and it felt amazing, he didn't know scents could do this for him. "I ditched her for you."

The blonde smiled at his choice of words, sky blue eyes holding an understanding that Natsume could never see in anyone else's eyes nowadays. Not even Mikan. She was too busy finding new scents and trying out all these nasty tasting lip glosses and weird looking make-up to have a long sit down with her boyfriend. Ruka would always understand though, Natsume affirmed in his head. Ruka was always there.

Plus, it seemed as if Ruka shared his dislike for Mikan's new sprays. These past couple of months he had turned down Mikan whenever she asked him out to do something and it seemed as if that list had expanded; starting from Mikan to include practically everyone but the animals in the forest and his trusty bunny. Natsume said nothing about that though, if his friend wanted solitude, he would get it. Just not today.

"I'm glad, then." Ruka said after humming a small song underneath his breath, eyes never leaving the book in his lap. Natsume just stared at him. Humming was a quirk that Natsume had noticed and figured out a long time ago. When Ruka started to hum underneath his breath it meant that he was trying to concentrate and get back to whatever he was doing. It meant that he was distracted.

He frowned then. He didn't want to get in the way of his friend's plans—even if Natsume had planned the whole day around basically hanging off of and sniffing Ruka, he didn't want the other to stop what he had planned to do for himself. He wasn't that inconsiderate when it came to the people, especially not Ruka.

"…Do you want me to leave?" Natsume asked quietly after a couple of seconds. The blonde was humming the same random song under his breath and it was starting to quickly piss Natsume off. Was he that distracting? He wasn't even doing anything!

Ruka looked up at his question though, sky blue eyes wide with innocent confusion. "Why would I possibly want you to leave, Natsume?" He asked in his soft, almost lilting voice. His brows were furrowed as if he was trying to remember if he did something to make his best friend throw the question out there but Natsume knew that he wouldn't find the answer to that. Ruka's humming was something that Natsume only knew about; Ruka himself didn't even know that it was a habit of his. The blonde always seemed to block everything out in his effort to focus—his humming was never heard by his own ears and Natsume never took the time to explain.

Something, somewhere deep within him didn't like the idea of anyone else knowing Ruka's quirks. He always held deep to the satisfaction of knowing how the blonde worked inside and out, and he wasn't going to start telling him now.

"I'm just wondering if I'm becoming a distraction to you…" Natsume started slowly, "you're reading a book and everything. I don't want to ruin whatever is—ya know—"he gestured with his hands, "whatever's keeping you interested…" He probably sounded like a freak, but Natsume never cared about what the world thought. As soon as he saw the confused look on Ruka's face turn into a small smile, he knew it was alright.

"No," he shook his head, "stay."

Natsume studied him for a little bit longer and, just as predicted, Ruka's face took on a small blush that indicated that he was embarrassed and probably starting to feel self-conscious. The raven prided himself for knowing his best friend after all, the things that Ruka did—if they stayed the same, Natsume was determined to see and understand them all. "Alright then," he affirmed his answer, nodding almost happily.

He took Ruka's book from his lap and shifted till it was his head placed on the soft thighs. This was another thing that Natsume never wanted the world to know about; this was the most important. A habit that had come to them when they were small, during their times alone and together, Natsume would just place his head on Ruka's lap. Especially on days where he was upset, when they were younger Natsume would just drag Ruka away so that he could do this.

The blonde moved a little bit underneath him, the book soon closed and set aside moments later. It was something that Natsume wanted to protest about, but couldn't find it in himself to care anymore when smooth fingers ran themselves through the mess he called his hair. Ruka's scent was everywhere around him and Natsume deeply inhaled his friend's scent, letting a small smile grace his lips when he started to feel drowsy from the calm atmosphere and the comforting presence of Ruka himself.

While he was here with the blonde, Natsume could just easily leave the world behind; thoughts of nasty sprays and annoyance quickly getting drowned out by the smell of sunlight and a spring breeze.

A/N: So I thought I'd just put this out :) considering I have like, 5 of these done haha

Thanks for reading!