At the Beginning with You

Author: winglessfairy25 - Erinn

Anime: Gakuen Alice

Rating: K

Status: In Progress

Spoilers: None, I guess.

Pairings: Natsumikan (Natsume Hyuuga and Mikan Sakura); hints of Rukaru (Ruka Nogi and Hotaru Imai) and Tsubasa and Misaki

Author's Notes: Hi guys! I'm back.. So, yeah.. This is another chapter for this fan fiction and I'm glad with all the reviews that I have received and will receive.. XD Here goes nothing! I long that you like this chapter though I think it might turn out to be boring. Some flashbacks would be included in this chapter. And watch out for the twist! I just want to clarify things, okay?

Tsubasa's batch – 2nd Year College

Mikan's batch – 4th Year High School, Graduating, Incoming College

Youichi's batch – 5th Grade in Elementary

Disclaimer: I simply do not own Gakuen Alice and the other characters. They are the great work of our dear Higuchi Tachibana-sensei. If I do own it, I wouldn't be here writing err… typing fan fiction now, would I.?

"Text here" – Conversations

'Text here' – Thoughts

(Text here) – Me Talking

At the Beginning with You

Fortification

Today is Friday, the final day of graduation practice for the students in the Alice Academy. This is the last day that Mikan and her other batch mates would see the High School Division of the said school. After all, they would be enrolled in college for the next school year. Mikan sighed. She was actually bored this time. Yuu, Nonoko, Anna and Koko were all in the canteen, eating their lunches. Ruka's still running after Hotaru all around the campus. And she was there in that particular Sakura Tree in the Elementary Division, just sulking and reminiscing the good times. It was their supposed break time from practice since the other students would start decorating the auditorium for the Baccalaureate Rites they were having tomorrow. A sigh escaped her lips again, almost inaudible. The others asked her if she wanted to have lunch with them but she just refused, saying that she was still full but her friends know it was just a lie. After all, Mikan would never miss a chance to eat. After that day under the same Sakura Tree, she just can't bring herself to eat. Even Tsubasa and Nancy scolded her for it. Memories of him would just flood into her mind, all of a sudden making her want to cry. Mikan gazed into the far sky above her. It was a fine day but the fog hasn't cleared for her.

"Mikan-nee-san…"

"Mikan-nee-san."

"Mikan-nee-san!"

Mikan snapped out of her reverie. She looked up; it was just Youichi, her friend from the Elementary Division. He was just in the 5th Grade.

"Hi You-chan!" Mikan said, flashing a fake smile.

"Mikan-nee-san, is something bothering you?" asked Youichi, sitting beside her on the grass.

"It's nothing, Youichi. What brings you here?"

"I was looking for you and Ruka-nii-san said that you were probably here at the Sakura Tree so I came here." Youichi politely answered.

"Oh. Why were you looking for me?" Mikan asked again, curious of the young boy's intentions.

"Well, Mikan-nee-san, since you're graduating and you're now going into college, I made something for you…" Youichi paused, handing Mikan a neatly wrapped box. "…Open it." He continued.

Mikan slowly unwrapped the box and she found a small teddy bear in it. She was sure Youichi made it. It had loose strings on the sides. But she just ignored that. It was given to her by Youichi. Mikan gave Youichi a friendly hug and whispered in his ear. "Arigato, You-chan." Mikan pulled away, brushing the tears from her eyes. Youichi said his goodbyes and ran along, leaving Mikan alone again with a teddy bear for company.

'How did I exactly meet You-chan? Oh, yeah. It was two years ago in this Sakura Tree. This tree sure does have a lot of memories connected to it, both good and bad memories.' A frown found its way in Mikan's expression, remembering the bad memories.


'Oh crap. That history test Narumi-sensei made us take was really hard' Mikan thought to herself. 'Then again, if I did study for that test, I would pass but I only skimmed the book and I didn't even take notes on those Asian Civilizations. It's hard being a 2nd year student!' she added as an after thought.

'If Natsume were here, I'm sure he would help me out, even if he does it with cruelty.' Mikan winced at the thought. 'He was really cold to me. He and Tsubasa always got into fights and simple arguments. I dunno why but Tsuabsa said that I shouldn't wait for him to come back. He said that Natsume won't come back but I believe that Natsume won't break his promise. A promise is a promise and I know it. But it's been three years.' at the thought of Natsume leaving, tears started to flow from her eyes, slowly rolling down her cheeks.

"Nee-chan, here." A young lad came up to her, offering his own handkerchief for her to take.

"Iie, arigato." She answered, wiping her tears away with the back of her hand.

"Take it nee-chan." The boy said, insisting. She took the handkerchief and wiped her tears away with it.

"Here. Thank you." She said, folding the handkerchief and giving it back.

"It's yours, you can keep it, nee-chan." The young boy said, sitting down. Mikan was silent for a while. She looked up at the lovely sky and sighed. The boy, noticing this, asked her.

"Nee-chan, daijobou ka?" (Nee-chan, are you ok?)

"Hai! Never felt better!" she replied, flashing a smile. "Ne, onamae wa?" (Ne, what's you name?) She asked.

"Gomenasai. Watashiwa Youchi-desu. Hajimemashite. I'm just new and I'm in the 3rd grade." (Sorry. I'm Youichi. It's a pleasure to meet you.)

"Watashiwa Mikan-desu." (I'm Mikan.) she said, offering a hand to Youichi. Youichi shook her hand and a small smile crept upon his features.

"Kawaii!" Mikan squealed. (Cute) There was a long moment of silence before Youichi spoke.

"Ne, Mikan-nee-chan, why were you crying?"

"I just remembered something, You-chan. You're in 3rd grade, right? Well, I'm a sophomore here. I have to go now. My brother might be looking for me. Thanks for the help, You-chan. Ja-ne!" With that she ran off while waving at Youichi.

'This tree sure has a lot of memories. Oh, yeah. Break time is almost over. If I'm late at the auditorium, Jinno-sensei would just yell at me like he always does.' She ran back to the auditorium, passing through the High School Division and into the back of the school. All of her classmates were now gathered outside, preparing for their practice.


'Where is Tsubasa? He said that he'd be at the classroom but he's not there. Practice is now over. Oh wait. Maybe he's at the auditorium.' Mikan thought as she was looking for Tsubasa.

"There you are, onii-san!"

"Oi, Mikan-chan. I can't drive you home today. I'll stay here to finish the decorations for the Baccalaureate Rites tomorrow. You go ahead and call for Nancy to pick you up." Tsubasa stated.

"I'll just go home by myself. I'm old enough, Tsubasa. You're always babying me." Mikan said as she pouted. (kawaii.!)

"Come on, Mikan. Mom will surely kill me if she found out that you went home by yourself." Tsubasa retaliated.

"Come on, Andou. You're being over protective of Mikan. She's about to enter college, you know. You shouldn't baby Mikan. Right, Mikan-chan?" Misaki said, looking at Mikan with a wink while Mikan just nodded. (Andou is Tsubasa's second name. I just made it that way.)

"They're conspiring against me." Tsuabsa mumbled under his breath.

"What was that, Andou?" Misaki asked.

"Nothing. You run along now, Mikan. Don't make any side trips, okay?"

"Hai." Mikan answered and left the building.

Mikan was now taking a stroll at the local park, taking a 'short cut' on her way home. She just wanted to see the sunset. They say it was seen best at the park. It was not a side trip. After all, it was on her way home.

'Okay. Yosh! I'll just sit here so I can see the setting sun.' Mikan thought while sitting down on a park bench.

Just as she was to look up, she noticed a shadow was blocking her view of the sun. She couldn't see much of the boy standing just across her. All she could see was an image of a shadow. After all, he was standing so Mikan couldn't see his face.

"May I sit down here?" the boy said, pointing to an empty seat beside Mikan. He was a tall boy, roughly around Mikan's age. He was wearing a black shirt and a pair of jeans. And to accompany his look, he was wearing sun glasses. He also had the same watch as Mikan, though our young girl didn't notice this. She was too busy looking at the setting sun right before her. She didn't even bother to glance his way. She just simply nodded her head and continued to gaze at the lovely sun, painting the sky from clear blue to shades of pink, red, yellow and orange. It reminded her of the flames on her watch. Mikan lost track of time. Slowly, the shades of red turned to a dark blue sky, almost violet. She was about to stand up when she heard an all too familiar voice.

"It was nice to see you again, Mikan. Now you know that I won't break a promise. Goodbye."

Mikan froze. That was Natsume's voice. But where is he? She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn't even notice the boy sitting next to her leave. Then it hit her. The boy sitting right next to her is Natsume. She isn't mistaken this time. She abruptly stood, then looked at the direction of the boy.

"Natsume-kun!" This is now or never, Mikan.

"Natsume-kun!" You have to speak to him now, Mikan. She was running after the boy.

"Natsume, matte kudasai!" (Please wait) she yelled after the boy. The boy stopped in his tracks and looked at her, flashing his trademark smirk. With that, she froze, dead in her tracks. Tears were now cascading down her cheeks. Little by little, Natsume approached her and wiped the tears off her face. She just closed her eyes, inhaling his scent. Gripping his arm, she just pulled him to a tight embrace, leaning her head on his chest. 'I wish this would last forever.' 'Gomenasai, Mikan. Sorry to have kept you waiting.' Natsume gradually pulled away and walked ahead, leaving a stunned Mikan. She looked at the boy's retreating form and she saw the sign. Natsume just raised is his right arm, signaling his departure.

'I'm so glad I made this side trip. We'll meet again, Natsume-kun. We'll definitely meet again. Now, partially, the fog has cleared.'


Author's Notes: So, how was that? I did this in two parts. LOL. The title is 'Fortification', meaning protection.. You know, how Tusbasa's an over protective brother.. This actually turned out differently from what I had anticipated. The over protective thing came from my Three, yeah, 3 older brothers. They're really overprotective of me since I'm the only girl. Lol. Well, Natsume made it to the big picture now and so did Youichi.!

Thank you to my reviewers: Sakura-chan0610, lysabelle, cupidsangel, HeArTsAnDLeMoNs, KaTLeYa KaSSaNdRA KaReN LiN, ayaxrei fan143, sherea, may520, SnowCharms, WhytePhoenix23, russianpopprincess, aiko, glenda23.

Special Thanks to my dear brothers, xXmizukazeXx and russianpopprincess.. Thanks for the inspiration!

Erinn