Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice or its characters. I do not own Call of Duty, 'A Christmas Carol' nor one of its character, Scrooge, and Madonna owns herself.
By: Winter Killer
Natsume Hyuuga never liked Christmas. He spends Christmas like any other day. Do you want to know why?
Well, there are many reasons why he hates that particular season; it's so many he can't count it on his fingers.
Every since he bought a house in a private and secluded place in the Philippines to expand his business, he didn't know that children carolers exists.
"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…" And this is one of the reasons he hates Christmas.
Their high—pitched don't fail to annoy Natsume, their loud tambourines that could make his ears bleed, their persistent attitude that if you don't give them money, they would repeat the whole song again until you give them. Can't they take the hint that he doesn't want to give them money? It wasn't even worth it! Well, they're just kids. What does he expect? A world—class performance like that of Madonna's?
No, he doesn't listen to Madonna's songs.
And he just realized that half of the list of why he hated Christmas is because of carolers.
So, when the calendar hits December 1st, even if it's still early, he would close the windows and curtains. Every night, he'll turn off the lights leaving no trace of a person occupying the house. He'll use a flashlight to roam around the house in case he needs something or when cooking dinner, it's quite hard, but he managed. It's quite silly, but that just shows how great he detested the season. Besides, it's just during Christmas. After the 25th, the caroling will stop and they will become busy for the New Year's Eve.
"Santa Clause is coming to town…" Those high—pitched voices and the loud banging of tambourines…
Is it just his imagination or does he hears off tuned children singing Christmas songs very close to him?
He closed the novel he's been reading for quite a few hours and put it at his side. He rose from his bed and slightly pushed aside the black curtains at the side of his bed to peek outside. His eyes widened slightly. Why does he see carolers in front of his house? This shouldn't happen! He made sure that the lights at the first floor and second floor are all off. He grabbed the flashlight lying on his bedside drawer and got down from the second floor.
The lights are all out. Maybe the children saw through his trick and decided to annoy him to pay off the missing Christmases they didn't spend caroling at his house. Those sneaky bastards.
Natsume turned on the lights at the kitchen, which was nearer to where he was standing, put the flashlight somewhere and went to the refrigerator to grab two pieces of meat before going to the wide yard at the back of his house, where his dog, a Springer Spaniel, resides.
The dog's head shot up and barked at its owner. Natsume threw the meat in mid—air, which the dog jumped and caught it expertly and devoured it wholeheartedly. He went near the dog and patted his head, while the dog barked enthusiastically begging for more food.
"Not enough, Koko? I'll give you more, and I'm sure you'll be full, very full." He said with a hint of malice at the end. He picked up the dog, who is named Koko, and unfastened the tie from its place keeping Koko from moving freely at the yard, he doesn't want to tie the dog, but Koko destroyed his well─kept garden, much like what the idiot of a friend of his did who he named after his dog.
Natsume went inside his house, still carrying Koko, the faint sound of the children's caroling echoing the house, and opened the front door. Next, he opened the seven-footed gate. The children's faces lit up then blushed and looked away after seeing the man's well—built chest. They're kids after all. Natsume grinned, not forgetting to hold the leash and put the dog in his arms down. Koko wildly barked at the caroling children, and chased after them. Good thing the leash he bought is long. The children cried and ran for their lives. Natsume chuckled darkly seeing the crying and pained expression on their faces, and before the dog could bite one of the children, Natsume tugged the leash and called Koko.
Koko ran at him and stopped when he's near at his owner. Natsume patted his head. "Good boy." He tossed the last meat he grabbed from the kitchen refrigerator at Koko, while Koko ate it contentedly. He picked up Koko and went inside his house.
He didn't know that a certain boy with Silver hair and Evergreen eyes are watching him from afar, his fists clenched.
Youichi needed to get back at that guy! How dare he scare he and his companions in caroling? Then he came up with an intelligent plan, even though it'll risk his pride. He smirked; he quickly changed his expression and started crying crocodile tears. He ran at his babysitter who was sitting at the side of the road listening to her I—pod. He hiccupped to make his act more believable.
"Ha—Mikan-nee." Youichi called while crying.
The said person looked at him surprisingly and worriedly then removed her earphones. Youichi knew that she didn't see him cry even once, he doesn't even call her by her name, instead, he calls her ugly. Therefore, he wasn't surprised when he saw the stunned look etched on her ugly (In Youichi's opinion) face.
"What happened to you, Youichi?" She asked.
Youichi pointed a shaky finger at a two—storey brick house. "The man living at that house," He hiccupped. "Is so," Another hiccup. "Mean!"
"We were just caroling! And—and his do—dog chased after us! Don't you think he's so cruel?"
Mikan put a hand on his shoulder. Youichi tried not to cringe and shake it off or the plan will fail. "Don't you worry, Youichi, I'll handle this." She stood up and went to the house Youichi pointed at. When she's a good meters away, Youichi put his hands on the pocket of his jeans and smirked.
Mikan stomped her way in going to the house where the so—called mean person resides. Suddenly, a picture of the infamous Scrooge from 'A Christmas Carol' crossed her mind. What if Scrooge came to life? Have the four spirits haven't visite—
She shook her head, what is she thinking? A character from a book coming to life? That is completely impossible. Still, there is a possibility that a grandpa with an attitude like that of Scrooge's can be living at that house.
Putting her thoughts aside, she rapidly knocked on the gate and scowled. Maybe it was her lunch or her guts but she swears she smells something fishy from Youichi earlier. She just can't pinpoint it.
On the second time, she knocked on the gate loudly. The owner's taking too long to open the freaking gate. She folded her arms and waited patiently, she hates waiting.
A moment later, the gate was powerfully opened by a man. Neither a grandpa nor a kid. A lad.
A very sexy, attractive young lad.
Mikan's breath hitched, completely forgetting her purpose on going here. She forgot that she should complain to him on how bad he treats kids. Heck, she even forgot how to breathe.
His messy raven hair fringed at the sides of his face made his face look more stunning. His thin slanted short eyebrows perfectly fit his crimson eyes staring intently at her hazel orbs. She doesn't know if he uses contact lenses or it was truly the color of his eyes, nevertheless, it made him more handsome. His small pointed nose that urges her to pinch it. And oh gawd, that perfectly kissable pink lips. She wonders how it would feel against her lips. Her eyes travelled down from his face. She just noticed that the man in front of her was only clad in a pajama, and shirtless. She hates it when it's hot in December here in the Philippines, now, she is thankful enough that it doesn't snow here, or else she'll not see his perfectly refined six—packed abs, what would it feel if she run her fingers in it?
"Stop staring, will you?" He glowered.
A Japanese man. Thank God, she doesn't have to struggle to speak Filipino. She doesn't speak Filipino that well like her best friends, Hotaru and Hayate.
Mikan felt her cheeks heat up. Her mouth opened, but no words came out, making her look like she's gaping.
The man in front of her crossed his arms and glared at her. "I understand that you find me strikingly alluring, but you're wasting my precious time by just ogling at me."
Sure, he's attractive like hell, but his attitude's rotten. "I—I just came here to say to you that unleashing your dog to scare kids away isn't a good idea. What if they got bitten and have that nasty virus from dogs?" She stammered.
"First of all, my dog's vaccinated. Second, those brats that you called kids are annoying the hell out of me. Their voices are too pitched; they almost sound like they're shrilling more than singing, do you expect me to give them money? Honestly, I would more likely listen to my dog barking."
"But—but Christmas is all about giving! At least they did their best!"
The man snorted. "Giving, my ass. Now, leave before I personally drag you out of here."
Mikan's mouth opened to retort, the man made it a sign of a never—ending argument and slammed the gate, right at her face.
"Rude, conceited jerk!" Mikan yelled before walking out of the vicinity of the house.
Mikan was busy browsing through her newly bought magazine, taking her mind off at the handsome rude man he met last night, she wonders, what is he doing right now?
She shrugged off at that thought. Why would she care anyways? That man is grouchy and rude. He could rot in hell for all she cares.
Shit, this isn't effective. She's still thinking about that stranger. She needs a distraction.
As if the gods heard her, a knock was heard at the door.
Mikan opened the door and found her best friend's boyfriend standing in front of her.
"Hayate, what brings you here?"
Hayate showed a small white box at her face and Mikan instantly knew what that is. "I bought you your favorite food." He grinned.
Mikan smiled widely. "Come in!" She went aside for Hayate to enter. Hayate gave the food to Mikan and sat at one of the couch at the living room as if he owns the house. It was okay for he is Mikan's close Japanese friends here in the Philippines.
Mikan sat across him and opened the box; she took one piece of it and put it in her mouth. She sighed contentedly. "Yummy! Fluff puffs are the best thing in the world!" Hayate smirked; he stood up from his seat, went behind Mikan's back and massaged her shoulders.
"I know, right? So, Mikan, are you available today and the day after the Christmas party here in the village?"
She munched on a piece of fluff puffs, completely unaware of Hayate's suspicious actions. "Yeah. Why?"
"Well, how about babysitting my dear brother?" Hayate said in a sweet voice.
"Su─" She put the box on the table and glared at him.
"I knew it. I knew it! There's something off when you visited me here!"
"Please, Mikan! Our parents are out buying presents and Christmas decorations, I have a date with Hotaru and no one wants to babysit Youichi!"
Mikan shrugged. "Figures, that little devil of a brother of yours would always scare them."
Hayate stood up from the couch, knelt in front of Mikan and linked his fingers together. "Oh please! You are the only one who he can tolerate him! I promised Hotaru this date, and it will cost my life if I cancelled it, literally!"
"Once is enough. I had suffered like hell with him last night! I'm not going to do that again."
"Please, please, please Mikan! Do you want to lose a friend because he was killed by his girlfriend and because he cancelled their date for the reason to stay with his brother? I want to see my kids grow up and see my grandchildren running around with me and my wife's own house!"
Mikan hesitated. Well, she doesn't have anything to do today and tomorrow, besides slouching on the couch and watching chick flicks, and furthermore she'll be paid. "Fine, but you owe me two pairs of Gucci stiletto heels that I've been eyeing since last week."
Hayate instantly beamed and hugged her tight. "That'll cost me five months of my salary, but it's worth it! Thank you very much!"
Mikan pushed him away. "Slow down there, bud. Hotaru might walk in and think of something and break up with you that could result you in waterworks, and I don't want to comfort a crying guy, really." Hayate sheepishly smiled but didn't move from his spot. He looked at the clock hanging from the wall.
He stood up, pulled something from his pockets and threw it at Mikan, who clumsily caught it. "That's the key, in case you locked yourself out of your house like you did last Monday. My parents would kill me if that happens in their precious house. You know the way there, right? Or I have to give you directions?"
Mikan's eyebrows met. Does this person take her as dumb? "I've been there numerous times, Hayate."
Hayate scratched the back of his head. "Well, just in case you got lost." He looked again at the wall clock. "I've got to go. Gotta prepare for the date."
"Good Luck!" Mikan yelled before Hayate closed the door.
Hayate faced her and said, "Say that to my wallet." Mikan chuckled to herself. With that, he left.
Ruka Nogi literally dragged him out of his safe and secured house. First, his so─called best friend woke him up from his sleep. Second, he told him to dress up nicely. And third, he dragged him to the village's Christmas party.
Fact: Natsume Hyuuga never likes attending parties, especially with the ones with loud music.
Natsume kept on sending glares on his best friend across the table while the lad just kept on sipping his juice, beads of sweat trickled at his forehead. The best friends completely ignored the stares they are receiving from the girls ranging from children, single and married ladies, and to old women. They just can't help but to ogle at the two handsome lads sitting at the farthest table of the gymnasium, whether they're married or not. Some even tried to went near them and ask for their number, but one meaningful glare from Natsume would change their minds and cower back in fear.
Ruka put his glass of juice in its respective coaster and looked at Natsume. "I told you, it's for your best. You lock yourself up at that gigantic house of yours and you have 0% social life. Loosen up, Natsume. Mingle and have fun. Look around, who knows, maybe one of them could be your wife."
Natsume's eyes narrowed at him. "I do what I want with my life, Ruka. Moreover, I don't need a woman, they get on my nerves. Didn't you remember our high school life in Japan, Ruka? They're practically throwing their selves at us. We almost didn't survive high school." He hissed.
Ruka looked stunned. "Whoa, I didn't know you could speak more than a syllable, Natsume." Natsume looked fiercely at him.
Ruka sighed and ignored his glare. "For Pete's sake, Natsume, you don't have a girlfriend for twenty-three years of living here in this planet! Don't you want to have someone you'll spend for the rest of your life? Or do you want to die alone and unloved?"
"You say that because you just got yourself a girlfriend."
Ruka rolled his eyes and looked intently at Natsume. "Take it as an advice from a friend. I'm not always there for you to have a shoulder to cry on and to tell you what you are supposed to do. But there's this person, who will love you and make you happy, even through thick and thin, trials along the way, she'll love you more than you love yourself."
Honestly, he sounded more of a girl rather than his best friend.
"Since when did you become a sap, Ruka?" Ruka playfully hit him on the shoulder and chuckled.
Suddenly, the tall double doors of the village's air-conditioned gymnasium opened. Everybody's head turned to look at the door, some even gasped.
Unmistakably, a head-turner.
Ruka and Natsume looked at what the commotion is all about. Natsume's eyes slightly widened that didn't go unnoticed by Ruka.
Natsume was looking at the woman who caught his eyes effortlessly. The woman's hair was in a high ponytail tied with a white big bow, the tip of her hair curled. She was clad in a sleeveless white turtleneck dress that ended before her knees. The skirt is ruffled with a white belt that has a bow on the right side of it. A pearl necklace around her neck, and white three-inch heels that has a strap above it completed her outfit.
In other words, she's breathtakingly beautiful.
Ruka just knowingly smirked at his dazed best friend.
Mikan kept on pulling her skirt down, because, in her opinion, it's too short.
Hotaru slapped her hands away. "Quit doing that, you idiot."
"But Hotaru, I've never worn skirts this short before."
"Well, get used to it or I'll tie you up in the chair you're sitting in." Mikan just pouted and crossed her arms on her chest.
Moments later, Hotaru got kidnapped by Hayate and went somewhere private, leaving Mikan all alone in the table. Mikan noticed that she hadn't eaten anything yet since Hotaru took hours in arranging her hair and make-up and deciding on what to make her wear. She was about to head for the buffet table when something, rather someone hit her.
"Ouch." She muttered and rubbed her butt who was hit by the impact of the fall. She was about to stand up when she didn't noticed that the one who bumped into her was also standing. Their heads collided, and this time she wasn't just the one who cried out in pain.
"Watch out, Polka dots!" A male voice yelled.
Polka dots? Did he?
"Pervert!" She screamed. Then, when her sight is somewhat steady, she focused on the stranger who bumped into her.
Mikan pointed her index finger at him. "You!" It was the hot but rude guy who made his dog run after a bunch of innocent little kids.
He shoved his hands on his jeans' pockets and smirked at her. "Never knew you had a bad taste in underwear patterns." He said which earned him a kick in the shin from Mikan.
She left him there standing and went to get food to pour her frustrations out. She then went to her table and started eating with a frown etched on her beautiful face.
Mikan felt someone sit across her. She looked up from her plate and looked at whoever sat at her table.
"You eat like a pig. Gross."
Mikan became irritated more. "Oh gosh, did the devil personally send you here to annoy me? Because you're succeeding at doing it."
"Glad that I annoy you, Polka."
"Pervert, don't call me that."
The man shrugged. "Okay then, Mikan." When she heard his name, her heart started beating triple times and felt her cheeks reddened.
"A—are you a stalker? How did you know my name?"
"I overheard you talking to a little brat before you knocked on my gate a few days ago, if you still remembered." He replied.
"But, I'm sure my voice was barely a whisper at that time."
He snorted. "Barely a whisper? It could even pass by a yell." Mikan blushed from embarrassment. So, all this time, her voice was that loud?
"Oh, so you're Japanese if you understood what we were talking about."
Mikan just can't accept the fact that she is having a decent conversation with the man who slammed his door gate at her face.
"So, what's your name? It's unfair if you just knew mine."
He smirked. "Natsume."
"Well, nice meeting you, Natsume."
"You like her." That was the first statement that came out of his best friend's mouth when he came back at their table.
"Yes, you do, and I could state a few reasons why you like her."
Natsume raised his arms in defeat and looked at his best friend's Azure eyes. "Impress me."
"First," Ruka raised his index finger. "You looked at her longer than what you did with other girls. Usually you would turn away if you see one, but your gaze at her never left her," Second," He then raised his middle finger, not putting down the index finger. "You 'intentionally' bumped on her on her way on the buffet table, and don't dare lie to me, Natsume, because I've known you since when we're just eight. I saw you looking at her intently, you could have stepped aside when you say her coming at your way, but you didn't," lastly, he raised his ring finger. "You don't talk to girls, moreover, have a decent conversation with them, but yet, you talked to her and told her your name. You don't just give a girl your name, unless for business purposes, that is." Ruka put down his hands, put his hands on both on Natsume's shoulders and shook him. "Heck, you just don't like her, you love her!"
"What nonsense are you sprouting, Ruka? You, of all people, should know that falling in love with a girl within a day isn't possible." Natsume removed Ruka's hands on his shoulders.
Ruka shook his head. "Whatever you say, Natsume. But I'm positively telling the truth." Natsume just huffed.
It was nine at the evening when the children, along with their parents decided to go home. The adults were left at the gymnasium. Soon, beers, martinis, cocktails and wines were spread at the big round table at the gymnasium. The owner of the village decided that they sit together at the round table, in that way, they'll know each other and besides, a few people were just left.
"Good evening to all of you, I'm Narumi Anjou who owns the entire village." He gestured at the man beside him. "And this is my best friend and co-owner of the village, Misaki. Now, let's start with the introductions." He looked at his left where a man with a star tattoo just above his left eye in his mid-twenties was seated.
"Yo! I'm Tsubasa Andou who owns the house not far from here. You could visit me anytime if you want to." He winked at some of the girls. His gaze then went to the woman beside her.
"Luna Koizumi, nice to meet you all." The woman in her mid-thirties said.
The introductions go on and on until they all introduced themselves.
The man, named Narumi, opened a beer and said, "Let's start the party!"
He filled shot glasses and passed it to his right. Then he noticed a certain brunette, who he later found out a Japanese, not drinking it. "Chug it up, Mikan!"
Mikan shook her head vigorously. "I don't drink beer."
"Aw~ don't be such a killjoy, Mikan. Look, everybody's drinking it!" The woman named Luna purred, obviously drunk.
"Shot! Shot! Shot!" Everyone chanted, even Natsume did.
Mikan sighed dejectedly. "Okay, here goes." She chugged it down in one gulp, feeling the bitter taste of beer. They cheered.
Narumi filled it again. "Again, again!"
And so, they chatted, drank beer, and got to know each other better. Almost everyone was drunk when midnight came.
"Misaki-chan~ One mwoooree pleeeasee!" Narumi slurred, talking to the man carrying him.
"No way, Narumi. You had too much."
Some even can't get to their homes, due to them constantly tripping along the way. The one who wasn't drunk yet, voluntarily helped their fellow neighbors to their respective houses.
And Mikan was one of them, who was voluntarily helped by Natsume, her new found friend, Natsume bade his goodbye with a smirking Ruka and carried her, giving her a piggy back ride.
"Londooon Bridge is falling doownn, falling doownn. Looondoo—"
"Shut up, Polka. You're adding more pain in my headache."
Mikan looked at him drowsily. "Ooohh. Hi there, Natsumee~"
"You know you're the handsomest guy I've ever seen walk on this planet."
Natsume smirked. Drunken people never lie.
"It's too bad you're rude. But that will dooo~" Then she kissed him, on the lips. He swore he felt electric bolts run throughout his body. Natsume's eyes widened slightly, with no intention of pushing the girl kissing her. It was a mere peck on the lips, but why does his heart started pounding in his chest so fast? Does Ruka said earlier was true?
Mikan pulled apart and looked at him. Then she smiled. "You know, I think I like you." Her eyes dropped and she passed out.
For the first time in Natsume Hyuuga's life, he blushed.