Was it about the fact that she woke up with him? Or the pact that they made when they were eighteen?

Of Used Dental Floss And Pink Ropes

Hair messy. Head aching. Warm blanket. Cold feet. Sunny day. Closed curtains. It was a nice day—a day dear Mikan Sakura thought she was sure to enjoy.

She rubbed her eyes hoping her sight would sharpen and seize doubling everything she took sight of. She ran a hand through her brown hair and kicked her sheets away, sending them down to the foot of her pine oak king-size bed.

Confused and hungry, she heard her stomach growl and rubbed it comfortingly—it was bare; her hand had fallen straight to her skin. Surprised she hadn't felt the soft fabric of a shirt, she rubbed her eyes, looked down at the bed and saw her legs, no pajamas, no shorts… just her legs.

She sat up to take in some air so she could think better, her movement made the bed bounce a little, which, not long after, had moved something heavy on her right side which gave off a soft grunting sound.

"Oh my God!" She gasped as the body beside her shifted positions and turned to look at her.

He was shirtless, his dark hair was messy and his eyes held a look just as confused as hers.

"Natsume, what are you doing here?" She shouted, jumped off the bed, grabbed the sheets she had previously kicked off the bed, and covered her half naked self.

"I…" He ruffled his hair, looking just as confused as she did. "What did we do?"

Mikan ignored his question as he did hers.

"Did anything happen?" She asked worriedly.

"Well, I see empty cans of beer in your living room, you have lipstick all over your face—" with that said, Mikan rubbed the back of her hand to her mouth, hoping to get every hint of lipstick off. Natsume chuckled lightly, "—our clothes are on the floor, your bedroom is trashed, and, well, we're half naked."

Silence fell. Nervous, Mikan ran a hand through her hair once more, looking as if she had come home to a burnt apartment.

"Well, something obviously happened last night," Natsume said as calmly as he could, "but—"

"Did we…?" Mikan's voice faded, afraid of finishing her sentence, fearing what the answer might have been. Fearing how she'd feel about it.

"Well, we still have some clothes on—" Natsume motioned to his boxer shorts and Mikan's undergarments he was sure were still on her even if covered by a blanket.

"Thank goodness."

"—and…" he walked to the bathroom, seconds later, he stood by the door holding a small box in one hand, "this is unopened."

He shook the small box in his hand; "By the way, I still find it strange how you can keep something like this in your bathroom." He smirked, "Normally, when you have—"

"Don't say it." Mikan's face twisted up a little.

"—sex…" Natsume paused and sniggered at the look on Mikan's face before continuing, "…the guy takes care of the… uhm… stuff needed." He laughed.

"Oh, you'll never know." Mikan assured him, "Anyway, at least we know we didn't have… that."

"Have what?" Natsume smirked.

"That." Her face heated up.

"Sex?" He chortled.

"Yes, but don't say it again!" She punched him lightly on the shoulder. "Now put on a shirt, will you?"

"This isn't the first time this happened, you know." Natsume bent down to the floor and grabbed the dark blue button down shirt lying on the floor and put it on.

"Yes, I know. But last time this happened, we were dating." She took a shirt from a drawer beside her door and pulled it over her head. "It wasn't weird like now," she said, rolling her eyes.

"Why aren't you freaking out?" Natsume suddenly found himself fascinated.

"I don't know, why aren't you?" Her eyebrows curled.

"Well…" He found himself speechless, "I mean, it's happened before, and… I… Well…"

"Then I don't know either." She said irritated.

"What happened last night anyway? All I remember is going to the bar downstairs at… what, eleven o'clock?" He looked up, trying to remember as much as he could, "You called me up, then we met up and you were upset that you and Ruka—"

He caught the look on her face while she tied the strings on her sweatpants.

"Right." Natsume pulled the zipper up his jeans and followed Mikan out of her room.

"Do you want breakfast?" She said softly.

"No, it's alright, I'm not that hungry." He sat on a couch in the living room, facing the kitchen, not knowing what to say.

"Neither am I." Mikan grabbed one of the tall stools and sat by the counter, her face buried in her hands.

Silence fell as Mikan started remembering what happened the night before.

"Sorry," Natsume broke the silence.

"For what?" Mikan wiped a tear away from her face, hoping he hadn't noticed her silent sobbing.

"For last night," he said quickly.

"I blame all that beer," she laughed softly, gesturing to the dozen of cans lying on the floor and on the tables.

"I'm serious."

Mikan sat up straight on the stool and sighed, "Natsume, you're my best friend," she started, "you always have been, and we always drink like this, or have you forgotten? Has the alcohol finally gotten to you?" She sniggered, "Whatever happened last night wasn't a big deal, alright? Let's just be glad it happened after Ruka and I broke up."

"Yeah, two hours after," Natsume said with a hint of irritation in his voice. "That shouldn't have happened."

"Don't be sorry then," Mikan's voice turned more serious. "This was my fault as much as it was yours."

He was speechless. He didn't want to make her feel miserable.

"Do you remember what happened at all?" Mikan looked at him.

"A little, yeah." He leaned back on the couch and fiddled with the loose thread on his shirt.

"I called you up, didn't I?" Mikan started. "I was crying. We met at the pub downstairs, I remember, then—"

"I bought you a whiskey." Natsume said guiltily.

"Natsume…" Mikan was crying through the phone, "I need you right now."

"What's wrong? Where are you?" Natsume turned the TV off.

"I'm at the pub. The one on the first floor of my building."

"Alright, I'll be there in a while." He heard her hang up as he put on a jacket and headed out of his apartment.

Moments later, he walked into a room drowning in the sound of laughter and screams and the smell of heavy liquor.

He found Mikan sitting at the bar with an empty glass in her hand, staring blankly with puffy eyes.

"Hey, are you alright?"

"No…" She cried, "I broke up with Ruka."

"You broke up? Why?"

She didn't answer, "I need a drink."

"Excuse me," Natsume called for the bartender's attention, "two whiskeys please."

"He was cheating on me." She clenched her fists and tried to fight back the tears.

Natsume didn't know what to do. Was he supposed to lie and tell her everything was going to be all right?

He put his arm around her shoulders and gave her a light squeeze, hoping he'd shown the least bit of concern. "How'd you find out?"

"I've known for a while. Hotaru told me." She wiped her eyes dry and looked up. "I didn't want to believe it so I let it go. But then yesterday, I heard him on the phone with another girl. The way he talked to her sounded like how he'd talked to me on the phone." Mikan took a sip of her drink, "Then I heard him say that he loved her. I walked into the room a few seconds later and he told me he was just talking to himself."

"When did this happen?" Natsume asked curiously. They'd seen each other just a few hours ago and she seemed fine then.

"After we watched a movie, about an hour ago. We went to his house. I went to the bathroom and then I heard him talking. We fought a little and then I broke up with him." Mikan didn't look at Natsume, she held her glass, but simply stared at it. "I came here after that, then called you up."

"I never liked him anyway." Natsume said, and emptied his glass halfway.

Mikan gave off a soft, airy laugh, shook her head and looked at Natsume who simply shrugged.

They both finished their drinks within the couple minutes of silence.

"Can I get a beer please?" Mikan waved to the bartender.

"Are you going to drink your problem away?" Natsume laughed.

"What else better to do?" She grinned.

"How much have you drunk?" Natsume turned to look at her.

"I had a couple of shots when I got here." Mikan giggled, "And the whiskey you got me was the third one I had."

"You are out of your mind," Natsume said angrily but amused.

"Thank you," Mikan said and grinned at the bartender who handed her an overflowing mug of beer.

"I'll have one, too, thanks." Natsume smirked, not taking his eyes off Mikan, but obviously talking to the man behind the counter.

A heavy glass mug was placed in front of Natsume. They glared at each other, Mikan broke the tension with "Loser buys a whole crate of beer and sleeps on the couch tonight."

"Deal." Natsume said quickly. And with that, they swigged their drinks down in heavy, loud gulps.

Soon after, Natsume slammed his glass down to the counter, "I'm going to enjoy sleeping on that king-size bed." He smirked.

"That's not fair." Mikan frowned.

"What's not fair?" He laughed.

"You winning." She laughed, "Can we split the beer? I don't have much cash."

"Fine, but you're sleeping on the couch." Natsume took his wallet out, took Mikan's and faced the bartender again, "We'll have a dozen of your best beer, please."

Moments later they found themselves sitting on the huge couch in Mikan's apartment, reminiscing on their childhood.

"I hated Hotaru for months after that," Mikan took a sip from her can of beer after telling Natsume about the time Hotaru set a loud chicken alarm clock in her bag when they were in the fifth grade.

"I remember," Natsume chuckled, "Jinno kept you in cleaning duty everyday for three months because of that."

"Alone! That's exactly the reason why I didn't speak to Hotaru for so long," said Mikan. "Oh, remember when we were eleven?"

"A lot of things happened when we were eleven," said Natsume, "what exactly do you want me to remember?"

"The time we got married in that cubicle in the girls' bathroom," said Mikan between laughs.

"I do remember that," Natsume forced himself not to laugh too hard. "We didn't have rings, though. We had to use the..."

"...used floss from the trash can." They said in unison, and both of them cracked up.

After a few minutes, the laughter died out and silence filled Mikan's living room.

"So if you think about it, we're married," Mikan's face looked half disgusted and half amused.

"No, we're not," Natsume said. "Remember that short play for English class where I had to pretend to be married to Shouda?"

Mikan nodded.

"You divorced me after that," he chuckled.

"Did I?" Mikan laughed at herself.

"Yeah," Natsume watched her in amusement, "you didn't speak to me for weeks."

"Oh, God," Mikan looked at him, "I'm so sorry." She tried her best to make her apology as sincere as possible, but couldn't help laughing at what she'd done over a decade ago.

"But remember senior year in high school? We had some sort of Valentine's Ball and Imai blackmailed us to get married in the marriage booth that the sophomores put up," Natsume said before taking a sip of his drink again.

"Yeah, I almost forgot about that!" Mikan laughed, "We were "bound together" on the wrists by a pink rope."

"And the girls claimed that we weren't meant for each other because the rope accidentally burned when it touched the Bunsen burner Ogasawara was using for her so-called love potions," said Natsume. "It was supposed to be bad omen or something."

"I remember… your jealous fan girls," Mikan shook her head. "We were dating then, weren't we?"

"And lasted for more than a year after the rope broke," Natsume looked at Mikan.

"What are you trying to say?" Mikan raised an eyebrow.

"Nothing," said Natsume.

"Whatever," Mikan took another sip, "it still broke."

"Speaking of which, didn't we make a pact after our second marriage?" Mikan asked, interrupting their flashbacks of the night before.

"Oh yeah, I forgot about that," Natsume said, tossing the empty cans from the living room to the trash bin beside the counter. "We made a promise that we would never get married again."

"But that if we did, we'd never get divorced," Mikan continued.

"But we'd have to have been dating for at least five years..." Natsume said.

"...if not, any sort of marriage proposal would be invalid..." Mikan laughed.

"...whether with floss for a ring..." Natsume smirked.

"...or if we were bound together by a string." They finished at the same time, and laughed at their younger selves' ignorance.

"Wow, I can't believe I still remember that," said Mikan after she'd calmed herself down.

"Enough with that though," Natsume sat up again, "Where were we?"

"What?" Mikan wiped a tear from her eye, still laughing a little.

"We talked about our weddings, then I turned the TV on. I believe you told me you didn't understand football."

"Oh, right, " Mikan wore a straight face again.

Awkward silence filled Mikan's apartment. Hoping to ease the tension, Natsume turned the TV on and watched some American football.

"I still don't understand how this game works. I mean is all they do just tackle each other and run to the end of the field for a touchdown?" Mikan asked loudly, throwing another empty can of beer to the floor and pulling the tab off another full can she'd pulled out from the crate.

"You're weak against alcohol." Natsume gave a completely unrelated answer, not looking too sober himself. He'd just finished his fifth can and tossed it to the floor, hitting Mikan's previously disposed one.

"SCORE!" Natsume roared when he saw Mikan's empty—and now dented—can feet away from the couch.

"That was lucky!" Mikan nudged him on the arm and laughed, "I bet anything that you're seeing two of it right now."

"Yeah, well you know what else I can see two of?" Natsume joked.

"What?" She giggled.

"Your eyes." He'd meant to make it sound like a joke, but failed. He'd said it with feelings. Drunk he may have been, but those words meant something, and they both knew it.

They were best friends; they'd once tried being more than that, but failed miserably. They couldn't possibly be doing this again.

Mikan simply laughed, but when the words had finally processed in her head, her smile faded and she looked at him. Their eyes had met and locked onto each other.

They both came to their sober senses for a split second and realized that this wasn't a very smart thing to do.

Though with the alcohol taking over, it may not have been smart, but it also wasn't exactly the wrong thing to do.

Before any of them had felt their minds work, Natsume had kissed Mikan full on the mouth. His hands traveled down around her waist as hers dashed from a half empty can of beer that she'd dropped on the floor, to his tousled hair.

"Alright, so I think we both know what happens from there." Natsume paused.

"You think?" Mikan snapped, her face flushed, "Let's skip that part, I hope you don't mind." She scrunched her face up, hoping it would drive away the horrible memory of last night more than if she kept a more interested face.

"Not at all." Natsume rubbed his forehead, feeling uncomfortable.

"So while we were at it, I remember telling you off or something," She tried to remember.

"That's all a blur to me now, I hardly recall any thing," Natsume looked up at the ceiling.

"I told you we couldn't do whatever we were about to do, thank goodness," Mikan continued.

Mikan lay under Natsume on the soft bed; their lips still inseparable. They'd succeeded in taking half of each other's clothes off without harming a single thread or button.

"Natsume, I—" Mikan said between kisses, "—can't…"

Natsume seemed to have played deaf, determined to finish what they'd started.

"Natsume, no!" Mikan pushed Natsume hard on the chest, sending him several inches away from her, earning herself a concerned look from his tempting ruby eyes.

She sat up, ran a hand through her hair and embraced herself, "It's not that…" Her voice drifted away, failing to find the right words. It's not that she didn't like it. She couldn't say for sure.

"I can't do this." She disregarded her unfinished statement and rubbed her arm, hoping the warmth would bring along a little comfort, "I mean…" She didn't know what the right thing to say was, though, just in time, Natsume had continued for her—

"…you just ended things with Ruka." He stood up, giving Mikan a clearer view of his bear torso, "I know. I'm sorry."

Silence fell once again. They looked deep into each other's eyes just as they did moments ago; though this time, with less longing for the taste of the other's lips. Their eyes exchanged the same look—concerned and apologetic, yet somehow comforting.

"You're sleeping on the couch, don't forget." Natsume sniggered.

"That's not fair. I'm the depressed one." Mikan settled herself in her bed in an instant. "I deserve my bed."

"No, no." Natsume pulled the blanket away from Mikan, "We had a deal, and I'm taking the bed." He grabbed a pillow, tossed it just below the headboard, and jumped back flat on the bed.

"Get out of my room!" Mikan pleaded, "You're sleeping on the couch."

"That's funny, 'cause I remember finishing my glass before you did." He cozied himself under the sheets, turned his back to Mikan, and pretended to sleep.

"If that's how you want it… fine." She got up and walked to the living room.

"Thanks for the bed!" Natsume shouted, taking a peek at the door to see if she really had left. At that moment, Mikan came back with another blanket and settled herself on the other side of the bed without looking at the half naked, dark haired Natsume.

"Wha—?" Natsume gaped at her.

Mikan giggled—all the beer finally taking over again. She gave off a light hiccup after a loud, "This is my side of the bed. That's yours." As if Natsume had been standing fifty feet away.

"Whatever." Natsume turned his back to her once more.

"And then we woke up—"

"No, you woke up." Natsume cut Mikan off, "And then woke me up with your loud "Oh my God!""

She glared at him, both for him cutting her off, and for attempting such a lame imitation of her. "Oh, shut up." Mikan forced to wear an angry face; but this was Natsume, her best friend, angry was a pretty difficult emotion around him, so a light laugh escaped her lips, which forced her cheeks to redden in embarrassment.

"Well, at least we know we didn't have—"

Mikan was about to stop Natsume from saying the personally acclaimed forbidden word, but a knock on the door beat her to it.

Mikan's eyebrows curled, "Who is it?" She shouted.

"It's me." A young, raspy voice came from behind the door, "I think we need to talk."

"Ugh," Mikan rolled her eyes, "the typical 'we need to talk' post-breakup statement."

"And I get to watch." Natsume rested his elbows on his knees, showing interest. "This should be fun."

"No!" Mikan's head swiftly turned to face Natsume, to see his amused, anxious face.

"You realize you haven't said yes to any of my closed ended questions the past twenty-four hours?" Natsume said, amused.

"You have to leave." Mikan, who was obviously serious about getting Natsume out, paid no attention to his previous statement.

"Why?" Natsume sat up. "He's seen me here a lot; I don't see why my presence is bad."

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you this, but you sort of came up in our conversation last night." She said nervously.

"But we've gone over this with him a million times before, and he knows we're just friends." Natsume didn't move a muscle.

"Yes, Natsume. Two people who wake up on the same bed, who look like they're both suffering from a really bad hangover, who have lipstick all over their faces—yes, you do, too—and who are found in the same apartment at least two mornings a week are just friends." Mikan rambled on, though even with a dash of sarcasm and a pinch of attempted humor, Natsume hadn't found this mix of words the least bit convincing—or otherwise, like intended.

"Natsume…" Mikan pleaded, "Please."

"Fine." Natsume climbed out of the window, trying to keep his expressionless face as it was, "I'll see you later then."

Mikan walked to the door, but before she could twist the doorknob, Natsume spoke from behind, one more time.

"Just make sure that's what you really want though." And with that, he climbed down the fire escape.

Disregarding what her best friend had said, Mikan pulled the door open to find a fair-haired man of her age standing on a welcome mat that hid a spare key underneath.

"Hey," he said softly, obviously at a loss for words.

"Hi," Mikan gestured for him to enter.

"I heard voices, is someone else here?" He looked around before taking a seat on the couch.

"Oh, no, don't worry," Mikan closed the door and looked down at him on the couch, "I was just talking on the phone with someone I cheated on you with." Partially true, though not entirely, she glared at Ruka, irritated.

"Very funny," he said calmly, yet wore a rather annoyed look.

"Why are you here?" Mikan crossed her arms.

"I wanted to fix things," Ruka looked down.

"Then leave," she said flatly and opened the door that she'd just closed.

Ruka didn't move a muscle. He lifted his eyes from the floor to Mikan and just stood there, not saying a word.

"What are you doing?" Mikan asked, annoyed, "I told you to leave. You can't fix things, Ruka. It's over."

"Just hear me out, please?" He looked calm, but his voice said otherwise.

"Fine," said Mikan, keeping the door open, "I'll give you five minutes, but that's it."

"That's more than enough," Ruka walked closer to Mikan and embraced her tightly, "I love you, Mikan."

"That's bullshit," she said, barely being able to breathe, let alone speak, with her face against his shirt. "Let go of me."

"No, I won't," Ruka held her even tighter.

"You have no right to be here. If you love me, Ruka, why did you say the same to someone else? And why didn't you come after me last night?" Her words were unclear as she spoke under his embrace, but the tone in her voice made it clear that she wasn't interested in patching things up with Ruka.

He released her from his embrace, but held her by the shoulders, "I was wrong to do that, Mikan, and I'm sorry."

"Sure, " Mikan slapped his hands away and walked to her living room, "now I dare you to look me in the eye and tell me that like you mean it."

"I do mean it," Ruka turned around and followed her.

"Do you, Ruka?" She asked, angry that he had the guts to cheat on her and lie to her about his feelings.

"Mikan, you have no idea how sorry I am, I would—" he stopped dead in his tracks as soon as his words got cut off by what he saw by the window, "What's that?"

"What's what?" Mikan looked more confused than he did.

"That on the windowsill, by your fire escape," said Ruka, not taking his eyes off the tiny box. "Did you spend the night with a guy here last night?"

"So what if I did?" Mikan—who was more concerned about getting this man out of her apartment than the thing he saw by her window—crossed her arms, "I think that makes us even now, huh?"

"I thought you were different," Ruka glared at her, "I thought you would've been the least bit upset, and wouldn't go around drinking so much," he motioned to her trash bin filled with empty cans of beer, "or sleeping with random guys you find in bars."

"What are you even talking about?" Mikan dropped her arms to her sides, now even more confused than she was half a minute ago. Finally, she looked behind her and saw the thing Ruka seemed to be angry about.

"This?" Mikan walked to the window and grabbed the box of condoms. She held it up and looked at it, wondering how it could've made her ex-boyfriend suspicious about anything.

"You're worried about this? You see me as a slut because of this? God, Ruka! It's not even opened!" She sneered.

"The plastic seal is gone and it looks half empty, how are you going to get away by saying it's not even open?" Ruka shook his head.

"It's not! It's—" Mikan looked at the box she was holding up and was left dumbfounded. "Oh..." was all she could say.

"I could've sworn this was sealed shut about an hour ago," she said quietly. She lifted the flaps and took a look at what happened to its contents.

"I'm not saying you're a slut, Mikan," Ruka started.

"Oh, my God..." Mikan whispered to herself.

"I'm just upset that the same night you broke up with me, you're bringing guys back to your apartment, and—" once again, Ruka found himself cut off. But this time, not by an inanimate object sitting on the windowsill.

"Oh, my God!" Mikan said, louder this time. "You have to leave, Ruka."

"What?" He looked at her angrily.

"Your five minutes is over," Mikan dashed to the door and opened it. "Leave. Now."

"Mikan, please give me more time," he didn't move a muscle.

"You know what?" Mikan shut the door. "You can stay. Stay all you want, but I need to be some place else right now. Just don't turn the place over, and lock the door when you leave."

"What's going on?" His eyes followed her to the fire escape, still confused about her immediate need to leave.

"Could you lock this window for me, too, please? Thanks." And with that, Mikan ran down the fire escape, not even knowing where she was supposed to be going.

"His apartment would probably be the best place to check first," she said to herself.

She was running. She wasn't sure why, but she was running. And to her surprise, she found him sooner than she thought she would.

He was sitting at a table outside the Starbucks café three blocks from her apartment. He was reading a newspaper, with a half full cup of coffee in front of him.

"Natsume," Mikan said, still panting from her run. She stood approximately ten feet away from him.

Natsume looked at her, confused at first, but he smirked the second he saw what she had in her hand. The thought of not knowing what words to expect to come out of Mikan's mouth made him chuckle.

Mikan gave off a small laugh.

Natsume walked towards her with one hand in his pocket.

"Your proposal is invalid," said Mikan between breaths.

"Yeah? Well, maybe this'll make it valid," he said, taking his hand out of his pocket. He got down on one knee and opened a tiny velvet box that revealed a beautiful ring.

"Oh, my God!" Mikan stopped laughing, her hands immediately flew to her mouth.

"Mikan Sakura, you've been my best friend forever, and I love you," Natsume smiled, "will you marry me?"

People started to gather close to them and couldn't help but be amused by the scene happening on the sidewalk so early in the morning.

"But we'd be breaking the pact," Mikan frowned, "we promised that if we ever got married again, we'd have to be dating for five years. We've been nothing but friends the past five years."

"Oh sure, because we're two people who woke up on the same bed this morning, we looked like we both suffered from a really bad hangover, we had lipstick all over our faces, and for the past three years, we were found in the same apartment at least two mornings a week," Natsume smirked. "Yeah, we were just friends."

Mikan sighed with a huge smile.

"Marry me?" Natsume was still on his knee, his hands still holding the ring up, and his eyes still fixed on Mikan.

"Of course, I will!" Mikan wiped a tear off her eye.

Natsume put the ring on her finger and got up. Just when he was about to bend down to kiss her, Mikan jumped up and kissed him like she did the night before—but this time, with less alcohol taking over, and less cheering from the TV because of a touchdown; this time, with more realization of her true feelings, and more cheering from the crowd around them.

"We just broke the pact," Natsume said after they broke apart.

"Just part of it," Mikan said without a worry, "unless you were serious about proposing with these." She laughed as she held up the box of condoms, with its contents emptied and replaced with a couple of used dental floss, and a pink rope burned at the edges.


Author's Notes: Wow, I'm so glad I finally finished this. This oneshot lay in my files, half finished, since the end of summer five months ago.

I know it's really long and it's a little bit dragging, but that's because it didn't end the way I originally planned for it to end, so I had to add a lot of stuff to it, like their memories of getting married in the past and all. (I originally planned to let them remain as "best friends with benefits". Couldn't do it, though.)

It didn't even have "the pact" in it last time, and the title was supposed to be "Bad Night Out". (Lolwhat?)

Blah~

Reviews? [:

Oh, and I do not own Gakuen Alice. :D

Oh, and I almost forgot, (gosh, I always have long author's notes.. ) this goes out to Jam (Mei Vir D. Ripper)