All That Matters

Synopsis:

All her life, Sakura Mikan has always been the campus sweetheart. Beautiful, kind, and smart. She's the perfect girl with the perfect angelic voice living a perfect life. Who would have thought that at the young age of 26, she'd be a single mother, juggling multiple jobs, and fighting off the strong urge to fall back in love.

Author's Note: This story is a figment of my imagination. Any similarities to others' situations/predicaments are completely coincidental.

Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice, Higuchi Tachibana does. All the song lyrics I'll be using here are owned by their corresponding artist and I will definitely give them credit for it as the story goes.

Chapter 1: Munchkins Make It Worth It

She gently strummed the first few notes of the song that's been playing in her head before writing it down on her notebook.

'Hmmmm… sounds good to me.'

"Momma?" she heard a sleepy voice call out from the baby monitor.

Mikan quickly got up and ran upstairs toward one of the bedrooms.

One of the two boys is sitting on the queen-sized bed rubbing his eyes.

She can see the other one peeking at her from under the covers.

"Hello munchkins" she jumped on the bed and hugged the twins before kissing them on the foreheads. "Did you guys sleep well?"

"Yes momma, I did!" They answered in unison

"That's good. Now how about you tell momma what you'd like to eat so I can prepare it?"

"Chocolate pancakes and milk!"

"Same as breakfast? Hmmm okay babies. We have some leftover batter from this morning so it'll just take a few minutes. Why don't you come downstairs with me now?" She got up from the bed and reached out to carry one of the 4-year old in her arms. The other one is already waiting for them patiently by the door.

'Riiiiiiiinggggggg'

She shifted the boy to her hip before picking up the receiver after three rings.

"Hello." she walked back to the kitchen and sat the little boy on a kitchen bar stool, near the stove, right beside where his brother was sitting. Her boys always insist on watching her cook whenever she's at home.

"Is this Miss Mikan Sakura?" an unfamiliar voice asked.

"Yes, this is she. May I know who's on the other line?:

"This is Hanazono Ryota of the the local bar Strings. I just finished listening to your sample tape and I am very impressed. Would you like to perform 2 sets for us this Friday and Saturday? You have to be here by 7pm but your set will start at exactly 9pm. If you agree to this, you can come to my office tomorrow so we can settle on a contract."

"Oh that will be wonderful! Thank you, Hanazono-san!" Mikan is trying hard to keep from squealing right then and there..

"It is my pleasure to have you work for us, Miss Sakura. You are very talented. I will see you tomorrow at the Strings. Is 1 in the afternoon okay?"

"It's perfect. I'll see you then. Goodbye Hanazono-san." she placed the phone back to its cradle and hugged the boys. "Momma has another job, You-chan, Ruu-chan!" she gave them a big kiss, before flipping the pancakes.

"Momma, do you have to go to work today?" the younger of the twins asked her softly as he played with her hair.

They've finished their afternoon snack and were watching some cartoons at their living room. Ruichi is sitting on her lap while Youichi has settled beside her.

"It's Sunday, Ruu. Momma doesn't have work."

She smiled at the two and asked, "Do you want to go to the park? Then we can have dinner anywhere you want. Ruu-chan, Momma will go to work tomorrow."

"Hooray! We get to spend the whole day with momma! Let's have dinner at Chick 'n Cheese please! Can we go to the park now?" The boys jumped off to the floor and pulled on their mother so she'll stand up too.

"Alright. Now let me give you boys a bath then we'll go to Penguin Park."

Mikan is sitting on a park bench scribbling on her notebook, looking over at the play area every now and then to check if the boys are alright. She is preparing her set list for her gig at the Strings. Two hours with a few set breaks means probably around twelve songs. She also need to consider random song requests from the audience. She smiled at herself. She's lucky she landed this job. Any kind of job is a blessing to her and her kids.

Currently, she works on weekdays as Finance Manager at the Hyuugai Inc. Her work demands a lot from her, it being a Monday to Friday job from 8AM to 6PM. She has made it clear to her department that she cannot stay later than 6PM so there were many instances when she had to come in on Saturdays too. But at least the pay is high and this is the one job that she cannot dare to lose.

Her second job is as a radio DJ in one of the popular stations located in Shinjuku on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She had worked it with her boss to have a fixed time slot of 10PM to 1AM. She explained to him that her kids needed to at least spend some time with her before their bedtime.

And now, she hoped that she'll also be a regular performer at the Strings.

'I just have to convince Hanazono-san to let me keep the 9PM-11PM Friday and Saturday slot' she thought as she chewed on one end of her pen. That will match her present job schedules now.

She heard someone walking over her and she looked up.

"Is that you, Mikan?"