She Chose Me

Summary: "Hey, have you seen that cute nurse Aihara- san? I hear she has a boyfriend. He must be such a sweet, caring guy to be with a kind hearted girl like her."

Kotoko decided to switch to nursing long before Naoki decided to become a doctor, and instead of asking to marry her after she rejected Kinnosuke's proposal, instead he asked her to be his girlfriend. Entering medical school, Naoki suddenly finds himself with competition for Kotoko's heart.

Characters may be a bit OOC. This fic is kind of based on the scene in the anime where Kotoko is trying not to let her classmates know that she is Naoki's wife, instead putting Naoki in a similar situation. Hope you enjoy it!

Finally he was here after months of studying, the first time he'd studied so intensely for something. Naoki, as he stood looking up at the university medical department building, smiled as he thought of his girlfriend Kotoko, a second year nursing student, who had been the inspiration for him to become a doctor.

As he made his way to his classroom, Naoki mused over the events that had led up to the two of them dating. Out of a sense of duty to his father Naoki had almost married Chris, until he had heard the news that Kinnosuke had planned to propose to Kotoko. In that instant Naoki had realised he loved Kotoko and wanted her by his side. Cue uncharacteristic actions on his part where had waited for nearly an hour in the rain outside the train station that he knew (hoped) that Kotoko would come from.

Naoki had confessed his feelings; his confident voice hadn't betrayed the nervousness he had felt. He had asked Kotoko to be his girlfriend and, astonished, shocked and delighted, she agreed. He'd held Kotoko's hand firmly in his as he'd marched them home where he announced to everyone that the two of them were dating.

His family and Shigeo had been surprised yet pleased with this unexpected development. Naoki had studiously ignored the smug grin Yuki shot his way after processing the news.

After her initial sense of euphoria that came with her son finally admitting his feelings for the sweet, adorable Kotoko, Noriko demanded to know why they didn't just get married instead. Noriko said that Kotoko wasn't safe just as his girlfriend and that some other guy was bound to try and snatch her away. She seemed to think that her son would change his mind if Kotoko didn't tie the knot with him as soon as possible.

Naoki, and surprisingly Kotoko as well, had been against that. Kotoko because she wanted to get used to the situation, liking Naoki was different from dating him after all. That and at that time she had only just transferred to the nursing department.

Kotoko had only been at college a month before deciding that Japanese Literature wasn't for her and instead found a passion for nursing. She'd worked hard to pass the tests to get into the department and once she had gotten in, passing the tests with full marks, Kotoko had to work extra hard to catch up with the lessons she'd missed so far. Because of this she'd had such a busy workload that she barely had time to go on dates with him.

Naoki too thought it was too soon to get married, they were too young and he, like Kotoko, wanted to wait until they had graduated. A part of him had been surprised that Kotoko had been so sensible about it, thinking that if his mother had suddenly arranged for them to marry at once; she would've gone for it.

Then again Kotoko was serious about nursing and wanted to do as well as she could, Naoki encouraged her, happy that she had finally found something that she wanted to work for (now that she no longer had to pursue him).

So the two dated, somehow juggling classes, studying, busybody relatives and friends. Naoki got permission from his father to pursue his dreams of becoming a doctor. Of course, since he had started college doing an economics degree there was a lot of material to cover, covering biology and chemistry subjects.

By the time he had taken and aced his tests, the first year of college was over and Naoki found himself starting his first year of medical school as Kotoko started her second year of nursing college.

Kotoko would finish college long before Naoki would finish his degree but he wasn't worried about this because after she graduated she had a two year placement at the same hospital where he would do his medical placement.

Naoki found that he was quite content with his current situation and glad that he hadn't gone through with the marriage to Chris.

Chris, it turned out, had been quite happy with the disintegration of the engagement and dedicated herself instead to pursuing Kinnosuke (Naoki didn't know what she saw in him and didn't want to know). Kinnosuke had been reluctant at first but Chris (acting in a scarily Kotoko- like way) prevailed relentlessly and now the two were finally dating. Good for them.

Now Naoki sat at his seat ignoring the flirtatious looks and giggling coming from some of his female classmates. Some of them were talking about him in awe, discussing his good looks and how he had achieved the highest marks to get into these classes, and how he was bound to become a rich, successful doctor.

Naoki didn't care for such talk and briefly though about Kotoko, his girlfriend, who loved him for being him rather than for materialistic reasons.

His thoughts were interrupted when a figure sat next to him. He looked up to see a guy and girl seat onto the seats at his table. The guy greeted him with a smile.

"Hey, nice to meet you, I'm Rei," the guy said. He was just a bit shorter than Naoki with dark blonde hair and hazel eyes. The girl sitting next to him leaned forward to greet him too. She was pretty, with curly red hair and blue eyes but Naoki wasn't at all touched by her looks. She introduced herself as Mika. Both of them started when he introduced himself, and mentioned that they had heard of him via his impressive test results.

"It's going to be a lot of fun here!" Rei stated enthusiastically.

"With the amount of work we're expected to get, I sincerely doubt it," Mika replied.

"It will be intense but when you're doing something you enjoy it's not too bad," Naoki pointed out.

Mika sighed. "Whatever, I only want to get rich and this was my way of achieving that." Rei spluttered indignantly.

"How could you say that? Being a doctor is a sacred duty! You should take things more seriously!"

The girl looked at him in annoyance. "At least I know it's going to be hard work. You seem to think it'll all be fun and games!" Naoki decided to ignore the two as it looked like they were going to have an argument and instead started looking through one of his books he had brought with him.

"That's not what I meant!" Rei insisted. "I know it's going to be hard work. I just meant it'll be fun working in the hospital along with all the cute nurses."

Someone sat down at the seat on the other side of Naoki. They looked up to see a handsome guy with pale skin and dark hair. "I completely agree," the guy said enthusiastically. "I'm Hikaru," he said as a way of greeting. "Hey, have you seen that cute nurse Aihara- san yet?"

Naoki suddenly went very still, not that the others noticed as he hadn't been moving much anyway. It was mostly his mind that came screeching to a halt.

"Oh you mean that pretty second year student nurse everyone says is very kind hearted and sweet! I hear that though she's was from class F, she's very hard working and determined to be a great nurse so she can help people, so much so that she managed to achieve top marks to get in! I want to meet her!" Rei said excitedly.

"Don't go getting any ideas," Mika warned. "I've heard she has a boyfriend."

Rei wasn't deterred. "Ah, but it is a boyfriend, not husband. She might get sick of him and dump him." Naoki's hand twitched and he was about to cut in when Hikaru spoke up again.

"He must be such a sweet caring guy to be going out with a kind hearted girl like her," Hikaru mused. "He must cherish her greatly and treat her like a princess, always showing his love for her."

Mika and Rei nodded in agreement. "I wonder what he looks like," Mika pondered. "He must be handsome, that's for sure. Cheerful too, surely someone with a pure heart like Aihara- san would go for a sweet, charming, spirited guy who makes her laugh and smile."

Naoki snorted inwardly. Although he loved Kotoko, he was definitely not Prince Charming. Nevertheless she had fallen for him and he was about to say so to the other three when the lecturer chose that moment to enter the classroom. The lecturer told the class to quieten down as he began his lesson. Naoki sighed inwardly, oh well; he would just tell them later. It wasn't like it was a big deal or anything.

Two hours later the lecture had ended and Naoki had managed to concentrate on his work even with the constant note and excited whispering passing between Rei, Mika and Hikaru. He gathered his stuff into his satchel and was about to go when Mika dragged him towards her.

His eyebrows twitched in annoyance as she dragged him along with her, Rei and Hikaru. "What are you doing?"

Hikaru laughed. "We're going to take a tour of the medical department. We want to see if Aihara- san is like everyone says she is. Maybe we can find out who her boyfriend is."

Irie went with them, feeling a little exasperated but he couldn't deny feeling somewhat curious to see how popular Kotoko was. To him Kotoko was beautiful but he knew that a lot of guys preferred the type of beauty that Matsumoto Reiko had.

After realising they had no idea where they were going, his abductors stood around for a bit, flummoxed, until Naoki casually mentioned the lab that he knew Kotoko would be in right now. They didn't question how he knew that and he didn't mention how he'd memorised Kotoko's timetable so he always knew when she was free to meet up.

They peeked through the glass window of the double doors of the lab where they were greeted with the sight of a mass of students dressed in pale pinks and blues. Naoki spotted Kotoko quickly, standing next to a fellow nursing student and looking rather fetching in her cute student nurse dress.

"I wonder if that cute guy she's with is her boyfriend." Mika murmured.

Wait, what?

Naoki pulled his attention away from his girlfriend's body and looked properly at what she was doing.

To his annoyance, her hands were currently wrapping a bandage around the arm of a guy standing a little too close to Kotoko for his liking.

The guy was tall with dark skin and long, black hair. He wore a scowl on his face but Naoki could make out the faint blush on his cheeks. He said something and Kotoko looked up at him, laughing heartily as her fingers manipulated the bandage over his arm. Naoki felt a little jealous that she was smiling like that at another guy.

"Soooo cute!" Rei and Hikaru exclaimed in unison, sighing in contentment.

Naoki felt his eyebrow twitch in annoyance and opened his mouth to berate them for ogling his girlfriend.

"Hey! What are you students doing loitering outside the lab?" a teacher rounded the corner, forcing Naoki to swallow his reprimand.

The teacher, clearly a man who liked to exert his authority not matter how trivial the matter, made them clean out some medical equipment, making them miss out on lunch and thus his chance to see Kotoko.

This caused Naoki to be in such a bad mood that he was sure he was exuding a dark aura, at least he seemed to be judging by the fact that Rei, Hikaru and Mika stood in a huddle away from him, shooting him nervous looks occasionally.

"Do you think that cute guy was her boyfriend?" Mika whispered loudly to the others, breaking the awkward silence. "There aren't many male nursing students, maybe he joined just to be with her."

"No it's me, I'm her boyfriend," Naoki stated bluntly.

There was a long pause as the others abruptly stopped what they were doing to gape at him. Then all at once they started laughing hysterically.

"Haha, who knew Irie-san could be such a joker!" Hikaru managed to choke out between laughs. "I never imagined someone as uptight as you could make jokes like that!"

Rei was clutching his sides as he reigned in his laughter. "Yeah right, you two? You would be such a mismatched couple."

"Hehe, yeah, you're so cold and Aihara is so bubbly," Mika giggled. She paused, thinking about it. "Then again, opposites do attract..."

"As if Irie and Aihara-san would be together!" Rei scoffed. "Even if Aihara is a nice person, she's from class F remember? Class F students rarely get on well with Class A. That kind of thing only happens in dramas."

Mika argued back. "Pft, what are you saying? That was high school! Are you saying that the class a person was in during high school dictates who they like?"

Hikaru watched the two arguing again. "In any case that was a funny joke Irie-san. I wonder who her boyfriend really is..." he mused.

Naoki felt his eyebrow twitch and wondered if these people were really qualified to be studying medicine. Joke...what joke? He had been stating the truth!

But it didn't stop there. Before his next class he encountered a guy who had also gone to his high school, a guy called Funetsu. This guy considered Naoki to be his rival as he was constantly coming second place to him.

Funetsu had marched right up to him in the classroom, interrupting Naoki as he tapped out a text message to Kotoko. After spouting some nonsense about his aim to beat Naoki, Funetsu moved onto a topic that Naoki actually cared about.

"So I hear you're somewhat acquainted with Aihara-san," Funetsu grumbled, his words drawing the attention of others to the rather one- sided conversation. "Just you wait, I'll get her attention and she'll be my girlfriend, you won't stand a chance in winning her attention!"

"Why do all these guys seem to forget that Aihara-san already has a boyfriend?" Mika grumbled mostly to herself.

"She already is my girlfriend," Naoki stated bluntly for the second time that day. Really, who did Funetsu think he was? Him, steal away Kotoko? He didn't stand a chance!

Funetsu laughed. "Ha, a likely story! Come on, she calls you Irie-kun! What kind of girlfriend calls her boyfriend by their family name?"

Hm, he did have a point there. Naoki wondered why Kotoko did call him that instead of something like Naoki-kun or maybe even Nao-kun.

Funetsu continued, breaking through Naoki's musings. "Besides I know how she confessed to you in high school and how you rejected her!"

There was a round of gasps as his classmates took in this startling new information. Irie had rejected the lovely Aihara-san? No way!

"Even if she did have to move in with your family due to unfortunate circumstances and is still living with you today, why would she go out with you after you rejected her so cruelly?" Funetsu finished, adding more fuel to their classmates' excited whispers.

"Eh?" Someone cried out. "Irie rejected Aihara-san?"

"They live together? So jealous!"

"How could you reject Aihara-san! You're so cruel Irie!"

Naoki felt that eyebrow twitch developing again at full force. Seriously, these guys still didn't believe him? Gah, it was all that idiot Funetsu's fault! What was that guy doing spouting off about things that had happened in the past?

Only Mika really seemed to realise that if Naoki, a guy who was of a serious demeanour, claimed that Aihara-san was his girlfriend then maybe he was telling the truth after all.

But this suggestion fell on deaf ears to her classmates who insisted that Irie was jealous of Kotoko's real boyfriend after realising that she was a great girl and that he had lost his chance.

A few of them even acted a bit coldly towards him and Naoki had to repress a deep sigh. He was never one to care about rumours but this was ridiculous.

"Eh what's that, Irie lives with Aihara-san?" a new voice asked. The class quietened down as a man in a white lab coat entered the room.

He was a few years older than the students present and could be considered somewhat handsome with his dark hair, tan skin and the intelligent appearance that his glasses granted him.

"Hello class, I am Dr Nishigaki Touma; I am a physician in the Tonan University General Hospital Surgical Department. I will be your Sensei for this class. I'm expecting you all to work hard." He paused and then came to stop by Naoki.

"So Irie, you lived with Aihara-san huh? His sensei asked.

"Yes, that's right," Naoki replied in suspicion, not liking where this conversation was going.

Dr Nishigaki chuckled. "Ah, what a stroke of luck! Maybe you could tell me more about her! I've been trying to get her to break up with her boyfriend for ages and date me instead but Aihara-san is very stubborn!" he laughed obnoxiously.

Naoki wanted to both punch the teacher and bang his head against the table in disbelief. Really, even the teacher? What kind of establishment was this anyway? He shot a death glare at Dr Nishigaki who just laughed in response, returning to the front of the classroom to begin the class.

It was the end of an extremely long day and Naoki was glad it was over. Now finally he could go and see Kotoko and establish to everyone that he was her boyfriend before another idiot guy got the idea to try and hit on her.

The door of the classroom slid open and the class paused in gathering up their belongings as they looked up as one to see Kotoko standing in the doorway. She smiled brightly upon seeing Naoki and a few guys sighed happily at her smile.

"Hi Irie-kun, I've come to get you! I haven't seen you all day, so let's walk home together, okay?" Kotoko chirped enthusiastically.

Everyone immediately swivelled their heads to gape at Naoki in shock.

"What? You actually want to walk home with him?" Rei exclaimed in disbelief.

Kotoko furrowed her brown, looking a bit confused at the force of his exclamation. "Of course, it's normal for couples to walk home together isn't it?"

"Huhhhhh?" The class cried out in surprise. Sweet nurse Kotoko-chan was actually going out with the cold Irie? It couldn't be true! Naoki just gathered up his things with a smug smirk on his face before sauntering over to his girlfriend.

Usually Naoki wasn't one to display his feelings publicly but today he held her hand as they walked home, much to her delight. Kotoko knew he wasn't a touchy- feely person and so appreciated it when he made an exception. Her exuberant smile got him many jealous looks from several male students.

He had assured her that his day had gone fine and no, his classmates weren't bullying him or anything like that, they'd just had a misunderstanding. All the while Naoki was thinking of ways to broach the subject of getting engaged. Scarily his mother had been right when she had said it was too dangerous for him to just be Kotoko's boyfriend.

Naoki plucked up the courage to talk about it with her later that day (away from the prying ears of his mother of course).

Kotoko clasped his hands tightly and looked up at him with her beautiful eyes full of determination, love and promise.

"Naoki, you don't have to get engaged to me just to keep me. You never have to worry about me being interested in someone else. You're the only once for me and always will be (really, why do you think I've spent the last five years chasing you?)." Kotoko then finished her statement by kissing him heartily, much to his pleasure.

Naoki knew that this was true; his Kotoko would never love anyone else other than him. However that didn't stop him a few weeks later from presenting Kotoko with a beautiful engagement ring.

Kotoko had been stunned and delighted and happily showed off her ring to her friends that her dear Naoki-kun had given her. (He had insisted that she call him that, it had been weird since she had called him Irie-kun for years but seeing how happy he was when she called him Naoki-kun, Kotoko happily complied).

And when Kotoko's status as his fianc├ęs still didn't deter a few foolhardy rivals and nothing Naoki did seemed to get rid of them well, let it just be said that Noriko Irie was not a woman to be underestimated.

When Noriko got wind of the fact that there were men still trying to snatch away her beloved future daughter- in- law, in less than a month she had prepared an extravagant wedding ceremony and Kotoko finally became his bride.

For once Naoki was thankful for his mother's crazy actions and, as Naoki kissed Kotoko after exchanging his vows, he was very thankful that his crazy Kotoko, out of all the possible people she could have picked, had chosen to love him.