Chapter 23

Mikan was walking back to the SA's attraction when she realized that tears were running down her face. She couldn't believe that Koko liked her, too. But she selfishly turned him down because she was afraid.

Sakurano saw her and he immediately approached. He was worried when he saw the tears.

"Mikan-chan? What happened?" Sakurano asked worriedly.

Mikan couldn't take it anymore. She threw herself at Sakurano and pressed her face on his chest and she cried.

People were starting to look at them and whispering things like, "How could a guy like him make her cry?" or "I can't believe he made her cry!" and "How could he break her heart like that?"

Sakurano just smiled awkwardly at them before he teleported Mikan and himself to her room. He asked her to sit down and he made some tea.

"Now, tell me what happened."

"Are you sure about this?" Kazumi asked.

"Yes. They were cocky. They never would have thought that I would be saved by the academy, considering that all of you thought that I was dead. They told me their plans, hoping that I would be lured to join their side," Kaoru answered.

"He's getting desperate. Nobody wants to join him. Not after his secrets were revealed on national television. Since he knows that he won't be able to persuade or manipulate Mikan into using her alices for him, he would just kill her," Hii-sama said.

"Mikan is now publicly known as a Yukihira. Yukihiras are known for having rare alices. Kuonji wants to know what Yukihiras possess that they get the rarest alices," Shiki said.

Kazumi sighed. He had an idea on how his niece could remain safe but he knew that Mikan would be against it.

"I don't want to do this but, Mikan is not allowed to go out of this academy. She is to have a companion at all times. And she should always activate her Nullifying alice," Kazumi decided.

"I'm sure Koko would readily agree to be with her at all times. He is her bodyguard," Serina said.

"So, you turned him down?" Sakurano asked.

"Yeah. Was it wrong?" Mikan asked, hoping for an answer that would relieve some guilt.

Sakurano sighed. He didn't know how to answer that. He never had a girlfriend before. He knew that there were girls who liked him when he entered middle school, some even go as far as asking him out on a date, but he turned them all down. No one had caught his interest.

Until he met her.

He first saw her during the preparations for the Christmas ball 4 years ago.

She was standing in a corner of the ballroom, staring at a group of friends which included Mikan. He could see it in her eyes. She wanted to have friends, too.

He had heard the rumors about the Yuki Onna. Rumors like whomever she touches would turn into Ice.

Isn't that a bit stupid? She'll only turn them into Ice if she activates her alice. Or if she couldn't control her alice.

He knew that that was impossible. She was a member of the Dangerous Abilities Class. She surely went on missions. And for that, she was trained to control her alice.

Basically, the things that he heard about her were the same as the things about Natsume.

But seeing her, standing there with longing in her eyes, he knew that those rumors were 100% false.

Well, maybe, except the one about her being Persona's favorite.

That one he was sure was true.

Nobara was on her way to the hospital. She just finished visiting Persona.

Persona was a patient in the Psychiatric ward of the Gakuen Alice hospital. She was hoping that it wouldn't be permanent.

Persona suffered greatly when he was under Kuonji. Kuonji controlled him like a puppet. Using his emotions, he was able to manipulate Persona into killing Izumi Yukihira.

He never really overcame his guilt regarding that incident.

Persona was always lucid. But there were times when his emotions and guilt get the best of him and he suddenly sees all the people he killed.

But he changed. He tried and did his best to help Mikan escape the Academy. And for that he was rewarded with a pardon. He didn't go to jail like Kuonji.

But with his deadly alice and unstable mind, a reminder of Kuonji's reign, he volunteered to stay at the hospital until he was sure that he can no longer hurt anyone anymore.

He was doing his best to get better, to be able to protect the students of the Academy and the memory of his precious teacher.

Nobara sighed. She wondered if she could tell Persona about Kaoru. It might help assuage his guilt, even for a little bit.

"Maybe I could ask Kaoru-san if she could visit him. I'm sure he'll like that," Nobara thought with a smile.

"Senpai?" Mikan asked, noticing that Sakurano was thinking deeply.

"Sorry. Look, I don't know what answer to give you. I don't have any experience regarding that topic. Maybe you should ask someone with more experience. How about Misaki-chan? She's dating Tsubasa-kun, right?"

"Yeah. But I'm afraid of her reaction. She'll either tease me or get really angry. She's like a big sister, you know? She'll say, 'why didn't you give him a chance!'" Mikan said, mimicking Misaki's voice.

"Hahahahaha. Don't let her hear you say that," Sakurano laughed.

"Achoo!" Misaki sneezed.

"Hmmm? Are you catching a cold, Misaki?" Tsubasa asked, placing his hand on Misaki's forehead.

Misaki swatted his hand away, "Of course not. I immediately changed clothes after I got wet."

"Maybe someone is thinking about you," Tsubasa teased.

"BAKA!" Misaki hit Tsubasa on the head.

"Tsubasa! You're up!"

"Coming!" Tsubasa replied, "I'll see you later."

He kissed Misaki on the forehead before he went on stage.

"Ugh! He infuriates me! He doesn't even know how to act like a normal boyfriend. Not getting jealous when someone is thinking about your girlfriend," Misaki mumbled but there was a blush on her cheeks.

End of chapter.

A/N: I put the author's note at the bottom this time! Hehehehhehe!

You may have noticed that the chapter doesn't have a title. I really couldn't think of anything that would fit this. The other titles that I've come up with are for the other chapters.

I'm sure that a lot of you are disappointed because there isn't a lot of Koko here. I've realized that I was also building the relationship between Nobara and Sakurano but I was never really clear on that. So, I will dedicate a chapter for them. This is something like a teaser. Please don't be mad!

And we also got to see Persona! Woohoo! And some Misaki/Tsubasa!

I also realized that I made Natsume kind of pathetic! I'm ashamed! I AM SORRY!

Also, for the readers of my other story, I am sorry to say that I won't be updating that for a while. I'm planning on editing it. Compared to this story, "Finding Happiness" is so… so… I can't even come up with a word to describe it. I've realized this after a reader reviewed it and said that the characters' personalities are stereotypical. I kind of agree on that. So yeah, I'll be editing it.

I won't delete it yet. I'll delete it after I've finished editing it which will happen after I finish this story. Then after my GA stories, I'm planning on writing Charming Junkie! Woo! :D