Disclaimer: Tra la la la la. Gakuen Alice and characters aren't mine.
This chapter would probably be one of my favorites. I hope that it would be the same for you guys! I'm glad I was able to upload and I would be uploading more often since I'm on break already! Thank God! Maybe I'll have Chapter 8-10 up before school starts again? Maybe.
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"About what?" I wasn't trying to play dumb. I just wanted to prolong the conversation and take time in processing and arranging all of the thoughts in my head.
She sat beside me and hugged her knees as her eyes traversed the view before us. She removed her glasses and set it aside as she readied herself to talk. "Well," she buried her face between her legs and her chest and her words muffled as she spoke, "what happened yesterday. Last night. In the car, you know. And yeah. Uhm…"
She was flustered. She was as nervous and as uncertain as I was. But she was courageous enough to step up and make the both of us realize the need to talk this out now and not wait any longer. "I know this is unladylike of me but uhm…"
"Ladylike? You? Since when?" I joked as an attempt to ease her mood.
She slapped my shoulder and folded her arms. "You're mean, you know that?"
I couldn't help but have the corners of my lips rise. Her eyes widened as if it was the first time she saw me genuinely smiling. She giggled then she returned the smile. "Anyway," her cheeks flushed a thousand reds as she prepped herself with what she was about to say, "like I said, this is going to sound unladylike and this goes against everything my mom taught me about boys and confrontation… Oh you know! When I was young, my mom took me to the playground near our house. And I met a boy about my age there and you know what she said? She was so funny! She told me that—"
"Mikan." I interrupted her before she started to hyperventilate and go into another attack. I was not ready to be another reason and witness of her heart malfunction. "Calm down. You don't have to be in a rush. I'm not."
She looked at me, inconsistently breathing. "Okay…" She leaned on my shoulder and inhaled and exhaled deeply. She was in the middle of composing herself when her body jolted from my sudden actions. "Uh… Natsume?"
I just leaned my head on hers and I pulled her closer. I let my arm linger around her waist and sighed. "Are you calm? Are you ready?"
I felt her nod and breathed normally. "I don't know when and I don't know why, but I like you. And the reason I got ticked off that time was because I felt like you did too, but sometimes it seemed like you didn't. It was like you were inconsistent."
"You don't know why you like me? Really?" I teased.
She buried her face in her hands as an attempt to lessen its redness. "Wait, would you!"
I laughed and nodded my head as a sign for her to continue on. She lifted her face away from her hands and breathed heavily. "I'm not supposed to be feeling these things but like I said, you can't stop it once it's there. I figured you never had a relationship before and I haven't either! I guess that explains a lot of things about our encounters lately. And Hotaru told me of how you turn down all those who have confessed to you, so I was nervous for that. But I'm okay now. You can turn me down now. I just wanted you to know. I mean, my feelings aren't that serious. I like you, but it's not like I'm dying to have you. You know what I'm saying? And I heard from Hotaru how you turned down Wakako! That was hilarious! And—"
"You seriously think I'm going to turn your feelings down? And your feelings aren't that serious?" I lifted my head and looked at her.
"W-w-well, you've never accepted feelings of girls before. So… Yeah. And it's not that I'm not serious… It's just. I don't know."
"You don't know?"
"Well, I'm serious."
She lifted her head and looked at me with questioning eyes. "What are you trying to say?"
"Do I have to say it?"
"Well, I was hoping you would say something, anything really."
"You're quite airheaded and loud, you wear the weirdest underwear, and you read books for fun. Honestly, there's nothing too special about that."
"Are you insulting me?" She nudged my side with her elbow.
"Would you let me finish?"
She lowered her head in embarrassment and nodded. "Sorry."
"With all that being said," I reached for her chin and turned her to face me, "I still like you. And, I'm serious about my feelings."
Her chocolate-brown eyes widened as if she expected the opposite. Her lips trembled and no words could escape them. It seemed that my words resulted to her mind going blank and her inability to move.
"Look, little girl," she snapped back from her trance and she cocked her eyebrow as I called her by that nickname that she didn't necessarily like, "I like you that's true, and you like me too. But I won't rush you into anything. We don't have to be together, dating, whatever you call it. We don't need to rush this because these are important things that have to be taken seriously."
Our eyes met and she gave me the most angelic smile. "You know, it's a surprise how much you have talked today. You're not normally like this."
"So you're back to your 'Hn' again?" She pushed me with her body weight.
"Hey! Come on!"
"Whatever, Natsume! I hate you." She folded her arms and looked away.
I wrapped my arms around her waist and her body jumped to the sudden contact. "Do you?"
"Yes!" She pouted and tried to avert her gaze from me.
I neared my face to hers and I whispered in her ear, "Do you really?"
She squirmed in my arms and giggled. "Fine, I don't."
"So let me ask you then, what do you want to happen now?"
She sighed and leaned on my chest. "I-I-I think we should take it slow, like you said. I m-m-mean, I don't know anything about relationships and such. I don't even know you that well! I mean, how would we know, how would I know that this is going to work? Are we old enough to do this, to be in a relationship?"
"You're such an old maid."
"An old maid?" She looked up to meet my eyes and I could see the exasperation in her eyes.
"The way you're so conservative, the questions you ask, and whatnot shows like you came from five generations back."
"Whatever! As if you're experienced! And there's nothing wrong with being old-fashioned when it comes to relationships. It's better to be cautious than to get into something that you're unsure of. And besides, you like this old maid anyway." She blushed at her own statement and looked away.
I didn't respond to that because we both already knew it was true. I buried my face into her hair and I relished the smell of tangerines and strawberries that emitted from her. Her small frame was caged in my arms and I loved the fact that she stayed still. I knew she was making most of the moment just as I was.
The sun hid behind the clouds and the shadows of the branches grew. The shade was cooler and darker. I closed my eyes and tightened my hold on her. I felt her smile at the gesture as she cuddled closer. I could feel my heartbeat going stronger and as she leaned on me, her heartbeat synched with mine. The 'tugs' and the 'dugs' that are hearts made were so strong that I can still hear it in my head up to today. I loved that moment and I know that she did too.
But Mikan was best at ruining moments; she jolted inside my arms when an idea popped in her head. "Let's go on a date!"
I cocked an eyebrow at her as she continued to fidget and smile at the flowing ideas and images in her head. "Hn."
"Oh, come on! I mean, it's going to be fun. I want to make the most of my life, and dating is part of that! Come on, you're not going to turn me down are you?" She pouted and her eyes watered as she pleaded to me.
"You really are unladylike, you know that?"
"Why?" Her pout lingered and her head bowed in discouragement.
"Because the guy is the one who's supposed to ask you and not the other way around."
"But if I wait for you, you'll never ask me!"
"Well, you don't know that. Maybe I was already thinking of asking you."
"Were you?" She raised her eyebrow at me as a sign of disbelief.
"You are so unpredictable!"
She groaned loudly and sunk in my arms as a sign of defeat. But her head quickly turned to face me when she heard what I said.
"I'll choose where to go."
Her eyes sparkled in excitement and she literally jumped and wrapped her arms around my neck. "I can't wait!"
I smirked and hugged her by the waist. "Come on. The school bell is about to ring. We should get going."
"Okay!" We both stood up and she ran off. I guessed that she couldn't contain all of the excitement that was building up in her, so she completely forgot to wait for me. But that was okay. Her happiness and excessive smiles is what makes her who she was. And that's what I like about her, which I would never admit in public, mind you.
My phone vibrated in my pocket as it received a text message. I fished it out only to discover that it was from my dear, sweet cousin.
I cocked my eyebrow at her message because I wasn't quite sure what it meant. As I was about to reply, my phone rang and the call register flashed my best friend's name.
"Look up, Nat."
As I did, I spotted my best friend and her girlfriend at the window, smirking and giggling. "That's why. You guys saw the whole thing?"
"Hotaru didn't want to miss anything and…"
"And what?" I was getting annoyed already and it seemed that I was about to get more.
"She said look closer."
I saw a picture of Mikan hugging me stuck on the glass window. And as I continued to stare at it, Hotaru let it slide and started to walk away. "Hey! What do you think you're doing? Where do you think you're doing?"
"Sorry, Nat. Gotta go." Ruka put the phone down and I groaned as to how my best friend and my cousin tortured me at this very moment.
I literally ran inside the building and I panted and breathed as I made it to the window. I saw the picture stuck on the edge of the window pane and I pulled it out. It was difficult at first because I was trying not to rip the picture in any way. But I successfully pulled the picture out without and rip, although there were creases here and there. I couldn't help but smile at the Polaroid shot of Mikan and I. It was a summary of everything that happened that moment, and it truly made me smile. I shoved the picture in my back pocket as the school bell rung and I made my way back before I became late for Trigonometry class.
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