Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice nor its characters but the story is entirely mine.
She couldn't stay still. They were all rushed into the infirmary and it was confusing. And all she knew was Natsume had been injured.
"Do you think it was an accident?" the panicked Mikan asked Hotaru who was calmly reading her normal book. "Do you think it was the piano? Or maybe he-"
"Probably not. It was the same arm he had injured last month," Hotaru answered her without hesitation. She wouldn't lie about what she thought – especially to her best friend. A pang of guilt hit Mikan's heart. He had pressurized the injured arm. And she was partly responsible…
"But it shouldn't be anything serious right?"
Hotaru shrugged and continued reading. Ruka was shocked too. He was his best friend but he had no idea that he was sick and that the injury was getting worse. "Sorry Mikan-chan. You told me to watch him and I just left him alone…" Ruka started.
"No, it wasn't your fault Ruka-pyon. I was the one who injured him… So it was my fault and no one else," Mikan smiled weakly at Ruka.
"You are all friends of Natsume Hyuuga?" asked the nurse who came out from behind the curtain.
They all stood up and Ruka nodded, "How is he?"
"No worries. He's fine right now, nothing's in danger but…"
"But?" Ruka urged, agitated.
"He'll need to be operated on. His arm has been shattered basically. The bone is just… unrepairable. We'll have to operate it to fix it properly," the nurse explained as she looked at her clipboard with the results.
"Oh no…" gasped Mikan. "How could this happen?"
"I'll go and inform the teachers," Hotaru excused herself and left them to watch Natsume.
"And when can this operation take place?" asked Ruka desperately.
The nurse smiled softly, "We could do it right now but we'll need some consent first. Right now, we'll have to wait for him to wake up and tell him what's going on. You can go in now."
"Alright. Thank you very much," Mikan bowed to her and followed Ruka through the curtain.
The first thing he saw was Ruka looking at him. "Oi, Ruka," he greeted him and tried to sit himself up but the pain was intense all over so he resumed lying down.
"Why didn't you tell me that your arm…?" Ruka sighed, "It doesn't matter anymore. You'll need to get an operation done on your arm Natsume. Everything's planned out but we just need –"
"I don't want it done," he growled at his best friend. He turned away from the aqua eyes to be met with hazel eyes. He was confused. Out of all the people he knew – including Persona – he would've never expected her to be here.
"Natsume, don't be so stubborn!" Mikan yelled at him.
"Why do you care?" Natsume pulled on his façade and turned away from him but Mikan wouldn't have it.
"If you don't then… you might never be able to play again!"
"No one will be able to listen to your music! You're… You're being so selfish!" she yelled at is face. "Just take the operation!"
"No way, Polka. Leave me alone, you're annoying."
"Too bad. Ruka-pyon and I will both do the paperwork for it. You won't have a choice!" she stuck out her tongue at him. "I'm leaving first. I'll see you later Ruka-pyon." She exited the room and went to the nurse to ask for more information about the entire operation.
Ruka sighed at his persistent best friend, "You should listen to her you know."
"I don't care. Go away, I wanna sleep," he groaned and pulled the covers over his head with his good arm.
Happily, Ruka left him alone. He was at least listening a little bit more. "You should prepare for tomorrow. Goodnight Natsume."
"I told you! Everything is fine. They're talking right?" Koko laughed. He was sitting at his desk with his drums sticks beating rhythmically against it.
"That doesn't really mean anything unless they get back together normally," Nonoko added in.
"You've been really pessimistic since she's been gone," Mochu moaned and got up, "Let's go visit him. His operation is starting at 2pm right? We've got around two hours. Come on."
"We should. Let's bring some presents too," Anna said. They all went to the infirmary after they got some flowers. When they got there, Youichi, Nobara, Sumire and Ruka were already there.
"How are you feeling?" asked Koko as he gave Natsume a pat on his head.
"Fine until you came along," Natsume looked at him grumpily and brushed off his hand.
"He's still pissed about not being able to sit up. Thanks for coming though," Ruka smiled at the group. He came back after he learnt that the operation had been confirmed.
"Good luck Natsume! I'm sure you'll be fine," Anna comforted and placed the boutique of exquisite flowers on the bedside table. She took a seat beside Ruka and Nonoko did the same.
"You have one more hour right?" asked Mochu as he shut the door behind him.
She was dashing towards the operating room at the end of the school grounds. It already a little pass 2 because she was so busy helping out with icing the cake that she forgot the time.
"Is… he in… yet?" she panted, getting her breath back quickly. Luckily she managed to sprint quickly.
"Yep, he's just getting ready there," Ruka pointed at one of the other rooms. "Don't worry. The doctors are top class. He'll be perfectly fine…" Truth was, he was unsure himself. It was going to be fine but what happens afterwards would determine how it would heal. There was still a big chance of Natsume never being able to play ever again.
"You shouldn't be talking about people behind their backs," Natsume announced himself. The nurse had pushed him out and he was completely ready for it.
"Natsume…" Mikan gulped, "Good luck." She wanted to say more but she didn't know what.
"Alright, I'll be taking him in now. Are you ready Hyuuga-san?" asked the nurse who was pushing the bed. Natsume nodded in response and they wheeled him in with the gang cheering him on.
While she sat twiddling her thumbs, Sumire came up to her.
"Oh! Hey Permy, you're here too. How are -?"
"Don't start that with me Sakura-san." She glared, "What I'm trying to say is… You… Just give me a reason why you left the class!"
"Um… Well, I felt I just didn't fit in… And I never did win that bet did I? You were right… I was cheating," she laughed at herself. "I guess that was why."
"Then why'd... I'm only asking because of Natsume-kun!" she blurted out with her blushing face. "After you left it was just too easy for me! At this point you'll lose to me."
Mikan smiled, "Thanks. You're a good friend. But he'll keep pushing me away and –"
"Mikan-chan, you're not even trying, how do you know he's pushing you away?" yelled Nonoko, interrupting their conversation.
"She's right! You know Natsume-san's attitude. He's really stubborn, but you were able to penetrate through that but now you're not trying. Only you can be close to him," Anna argued as well.
"You should try Mikan-chan," Yuu tried convincing her.
Baka, baka, baka!
"You're being an idiot. You said before you think you're doing all the work but now you're not doing anything. Isn't it the other way round?" Hotaru placed her gun back into her pocket.
"Hotaru… Are you guys all sure?" she asked uncertainly at them all.
"Isn't this all your fault? So fix Onii-san before you do anything else. Nobara, can you tell me if he wakes up? I've got something about the Dance to confirm with Narumi." Youichi departed.
"Well I better go and practice. If you aren't there to challenge me I'll kill you," growled Sumire and grabbed her violet case. Everyone made an excuse to leave – Ruka said he needed to feed some animals, Mochu and Koko needed to get some food, Nonoko and Anna wanted to tell Tsubasa and Misaki about what was going on, Hotaru and Yuu needed to be at a meeting for the Dance he was in and Nobara said she a little sick. It left Mikan alone when the nurse came out.
"Huh? I thought there were a lot of you… Anyway, he's fine now. You can go in and see him but he's still sleeping right now," the nurse showed her the room he had been wheeled to. "You can call me if you need to and the doctors are still in the O.R but feel free to come by when they are out."
"Thank you very much," Mikan bowed again to her and then they left to clean up. When Mikan went in, Natsume was still fast asleep. His arm was now bandaged and they gave him another sling. She took the chair beside him and waited patiently. There was nothing to do but just watch him.
She looked at him carefully for the first time in a month. He still had the messy dark hair which looked like it hadn't been washed for days and his face was paler than before. however it was very relaxed and peaceful. Her hand automatically went to touch his cheek; it was cold.
If she hadn't known better, she might've thought Natsume was dead. He looked unhealthy and Mikan was sure that was what he was aiming for. Natsume was definitely pushing himself to the edge. Practicing, practicing and more practicing…
Mikan got up and decided to get a bottle of water. She left the room but she didn't know that inside Natsume was starting to waking up.
End of Chapter 17
JigokuTenshi834! Thank you for reviewing more than once and they always supporting me. Please review! I think this chapter is a little boring. Hopefully the next one will contain more excitement.