Natsume didn't have friends.

It was like an unspoken law around here. Nobody stepped out of line, nobody ever escaped, and nobody had ever succeeded in actually becoming friends with Natsume (that is, unless you counted Ruka. But he was more like a vegetarian animal-lover tag along than anything else. The only exception, in this instance). The boy didn't try to act cocky or make an effort to blow off the teachers… because he never really made an effort at anything when it came to the Alice Institute, unless he was trying to escape the Academy or… well; there was the darker side that he was obligated to work toward. The one thing he trained for.

Natsume was a murderer.

Everyone knew – or at least thought they knew – it well. Every story in the past had told of Natsume Hyuuga and how he'd allegedly burned down his only home, the only place that had ever been known to accept him. Because of this he was often shunned by some students and teachers and loved by others for his rebellious acts. Stupid. It was all so stupid. How could someone admire him for things like that?

He hated the Alice Academy, and in turn the Alice Academy hated him as well.

Natsume didn't love anyone.

How could he? Bad things happened when he gave affection to someone, unless it was to a person inside his own Dangerous Abilities class – and even then, people got hurt! Yes, people got hurt. No matter how sullen and rebellious Natsume would act, he still didn't want to hurt anyone, but always ended up doing so anyway.

He was going to hurt her one of these days too. She was his partner and his frien-… no. He didn't have friends. So maybe she was just his partner and that was it. It was all she was, right? Then why did he always feel like stepping in to protect her?

Natsume was a liar.

Yes. Yes he was.

Chapter 1

"An emotional breakdown? That's… not possible… this is Natsume Hyuuga we're talking about…"

"I'm a professional, so I suggest you put your foot where your mouth is on this one."

"And you're a very pretty professional-"

Narumi had to stop short because of a chemistry book colliding with his face. He grunted, rubbing the sore spot on his forehead and grimacing several times. The school nurse, Hayune Matsibuki, was exceptionally irritated today and not just because of Narumi's unashamed advances either. "Natsume Hyuuga is exactly the person I'm talking about. His blood pressure was out the roof, his heart rate was going wild, and everything about him was off. He wouldn't answer my questions or any of the other staff when they tried to bring him out of it – he wouldn't even respond to hypnotism! I don't know. I just… don't know about this. Something doesn't seem right, but I can't figure out what it is."

"Hmm…" Narumi rubbed the back of his neck and leaned against the chair more, tapping his fingers against the armrest agitatedly. "That's not like him at all."

"Indeed."

"When and where exactly did this happen, Matsibuki-san?"

Hayune ran her fingers through her brownish yellow hair and sighed. "He was on his way to dinner, and he… collapsed. At least that's what Mikan-chan said."

"Mikan-chan?" This was a new turn of events. Confusion settled over Narumi's features. "Mikan-chan was there?"

"Apparently so. I don't know why, and I didn't think to ask her, but… that's what happened, according to her eyewitness report. She said that they were just talking and walking together-"

"Talking? Walking? That… is highly improbable."

The two had never seemed very chummy to Narume, at least… not before. Both were eleven years old (though, Natsume seemed older at times due to his intellect), so they weren't exactly adults and the apparent 'wielder of fire' wasn't one to understand relationships all that well. In fact, he only seemed to tolerate the girl whenever he saw her. Lately the sensei was noticing that the two were growing farther apart – and this was largely due to Natsume. He was worried about something; the man could see it on the poor boys' face every single moment of the day. Maybe that was the reason he hadn't been very social…

"Oi, old-sama-sensei-san…" Hayune's voice sharply broke through his present thoughts.

"That wasn't very nice-"

"Are you listening to me?"

"Huh? Oh, no I wasn't," Narumi admitted, flinching at the thought of another object flying toward any exposed part of his body because of his small attention span. "What were you saying?"

"I was saying that Mikan-chan looked sincere. I don't believe she was lying about his supposed 'collapse' and when I found him he was mumbling incoherent sentences. The four most prominent words I heard were 'friends, murderer, love, and liar'. Do you have any idea what those could fit into? I'm just baffled…"

"Where is he now?" Narumi asked, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Hayune looked moderately surprised at this question, but shrugged none-the-less.

"He's in the infirmary. At the moment he's been sedated, but if you want to wake him later then I suggest you proceed with extreme caution. More often than not, mental breakdowns can occur multiple times and very close together at that. If he sees you or hears something relating to his current state then it might trigger an unnecessarily stressful reaction."

"Oh my… that would be… very bad."

"Yes. It would."

'Kay so, I hope I did alright with this! More chapters are coming soon. 3 Are there spoilers? Eh… maybe a few, but not many. Please remember that this never happened in the anime or manga, though past events have indeed occurred beforehand. Unless you haven't already figured it out, the very first part was basically describing the four things that Natsume was feeling before supposedly 'collapsing'. That's why he was mumbling about them. Oh, and Hayune was an OC I created because I couldn't remember if there were any prominent school nurses/doctors in the manga or anime. Just so everyone knows (in case I get something totally wrong) I've only read around fifty or so chapters of the manga so far. I also don't pretend to know much about breakdowns and stuff. Please feel free to slap me repeatedly if I accidentally write something crazily stupid on the subject. :/

I only own the fanfic! _

Please review!