At the Beginning with You

Author: winglessfairy25 - Erinn

Anime: Gakuen Alice

Rating: K +(Rating's changed just to be safe. I apologize for the choice of some words in this chapter.)

Status: In Progress

Spoilers: None, I guess.

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

Author's Notes: Hi guys. Life's been a drag lately. When I got back from my well-deserved vacation in the province, it was my brother's oath taking. Then I had to enroll at school. Around noon a few days later, I received the news that my childhood friend in the US died of a car accident. Matt was like a brother to me. Then, I could not think right because of that incident. The next day, I went to the pool to relax and because of the stress, I ended up having a fever in the middle of summer. I couldn't write and do anything properly at that time. Then I was in a state of depression. I attended some formal occasions and was forced to wear something like a skirt, which I didn't like. Then a few days ago, we had a family gathering. And I had a writer's block. Life's been a drag. Please bear with me. Thank you.

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? I also do not own some random songs that might pop out somewhere.

"Text here" – Conversations

'Text here' – Thoughts

(Text here) – Me Talking

This chapter is dedicated to my dear childhood friend, Matt. I'll really miss you, kuya.

At the Beginning with You

Mata Kimi ni Aitai

"Tsubasa Andou Sakura! You come down here right this instant!"

"Wait a sec mother!" Tsubasa yelled from his room. 'Geez, someone's cranky tonight.'

"Tsubasa! Come down here right NOW!" Tsubasa came down after that. Their mother never used that tone on him, well, never used it until she was angry at him. Big trouble's brewing…

"What is it mother?"

"Where is your sister, Andou?" 'Gah. She never uses my second name unless…'

"She's in her room, mom. I think…"

"You think, Andou? Well, your sister is not in her room or in any other part of the house. We have looked everywhere besides your room."

Tsubasa just stood there, somewhat shocked. She told Mikan to go directly home and not to take any side trips, didn't he? Where is Mikan now? Oh boy, he's indeed in big trouble this time.

"Tsubasa, where is your sister?" his mom reminded him again.

"I don't know, mom. I told her to go home or let Nancy pick her up."

"Your father's going to be mad when he finds out, Tsubasa. Just go out and find her, okay?" his mom said, sitting down on the couch, rubbing her temples. Tsubasa went to the door. When he was about to turn the door knob, the door swung open and there stood an all-smiling and jovial Mikan. Mrs. Sakura stood abruptly and pulled Mikan in a loving embrace.

"Where have you been, young lady? You had us worried!"

"Gomen, oka-san. I'll be going to my room now. Ja!" (Sorry, mother; Later!) Mikan replied, running, more like skipping to her room humming some happy tune they didn't know of.

"Tsubasa, what did your sister have for lunch? She seems extremely happy and very high on sugar."

"I don't know, mom. I don't know." Tsubasa replied, catching up to Mikan on the stairs.

..0.0.

"Mikan, open up. It's me." Tsubasa said, standing in front of Mikan's room.

"Oh why hello, dear brother of mine." Mikan replied, letting her brother in.

"You took a side trip, didn't you?" our lad asked his sister, eyes narrowing on her while taking a seat on the couch in the brunette's room.

"No I didn't, oh dear brother of mine. I took a short cut." Mikan answered, sitting on her bed.

"A short cut? A short cut through the park?" Tsubasa retaliated, quirking an eye brow on our young lass.

"Man, nii-san. You can read me like an open book."

"Of course. You are my sister, aren't you? Unless the real Mikan got abducted by aliens and used her on their experiments. That would be cool." Mikan just rolled her eyes, trying to stifle laughter on the banality of her brother's 'joke'.

"Okay, okay. Fine. I'm corny and I get it. So, what happened?" he inquired, gazing at his sister who was busying herself in brushing her hair.

"Nothing much. The sunset was great. I wish it would last forever." Mikan answered quite bluntly.

"Oh. Are you sure? You use your 'dear brother of mine' statement when you're absolutely happy." He said, mimicking Mikan's tone of voice.

"You're erratic, you know?"

"Yeah. And I'm familiar with it. So, why are you so happy?" he replied, going back to the topic of their discussion.

"Oh nothing. Purely my business. It has nothing to do with you, nii-san." She replied, waving off the subject while continuing to brush her hair in front of the mirror. There was some kind of tension in the air as there was awkward silence which most of the time occurs when the topic is about…

"It's about him, isn't it?" Tsubasa said, breaking the deafening silence in the room.

"Huh? What are you talking about, nii-san?" said Mikan, tearing her gaze from the mirror to her brother.

"Don't play innocent on me, Mikan. I know it's about Natsume." He replied candidly, still seated, clenching his fists. Mikan was taken aback by his brother's statement. It was so unlike Tsubasa to act like this. She was squirming under her brother's gaze. Mikan sighed in defeat.

"Okay, fine. It's about Natsume, alright. I saw Natsume in the park. He came back, nii-san! Well, technically he broke the promise but still… He still came back! I hope it's for good now. I want to be with him again. I really missed him, nii-san… Nii-san? Earth-to-Tsubasa! You still there? Oi!" Mikan replied, waving her hand in front of Tsubasa's face. He really is fickle. His next move caught Mikan off-guard. He got a hold of Mikan's wrist and he stood up. Eyeing Mikan, he hissed "Stay away from that boy. He's bound to hurt you again, Mikan. Just trust me." With that, he walked over to the door, leaving a very stunned Mikan. He slammed the door.

'Ouch. What was that for? His grip still hurts. What's gotten into him? Must be stress. Or maybe he got rejected by Misaki-senpai.' The brunette thought to herself while preparing to go to bed. Tomorrow's going to be a long day.


Mikan's POV

"Madame, wake up now. It's time to prepare for the Rites." I heard a sweet feminine voice waking me up. I didn't set my alarm clock last night.

"Five more minutes, Nancy. Geez, it's a Saturday, 'ya know?" I heard myself mumble in my sleep.

"But Madame today is the day for the Baccalaureate Rites at your school. You have to get up." Nancy stated, trying to wake me up.

"The Bacca-what-so-ever rites? Oh yeah. Those kind of rites. Whatever those are. Okay… I'm up."

"Okay Madame. I'll just leave your uniform here. Your breakfast is ready, Madame. Your parents are waiting."

"Fine. I'll just take a bath. I'll come down in 15. Please tell my mother to start without me." I said as I got up, entering my bathroom.

"Okay, Madame. I'll inform your mother." Nancy said, leaving my room and closing the door behind her. As soon as I got to the bathroom, I brushed my teeth and got into the tub. I like taking hot baths in the morning. It really calms me. As soon as I was finished, I went out and put on my uniform. It was pristine and crisp. I brushed some imaginary dust off the skirt and took a seat in front of my dresser. I brushed my hair and styled it in pigtails. Then I remembered something. 'You look like a kindergarten student with pig tails, baka.' Oh yeah. Natsume said that I look like a kindergarten student. So, I just combed my hair and I let it down which was kind of new for me. But still… Anyways, I got up and put on my shoes and my watch. I went down to the dining room to see that my mother; father and brother were there, eating silently.

"Ohayo gozaimasu, mother, father, nii-san." I stated, bowing my head a little. I then went to my chair which was right across my mom's seat. There was a gauche silence during breakfast. It kind of seemed awkward for me. When we finished breakfast, I got to the car with my brother and I waved at my mom and dad, bidding them goodbye.

The car ride was very silent, almost tranquil. It was just me and Tsubasa; after all, Graduation would be tomorrow and not today. It was really silent during the car ride. Tsubasa and I haven't said a word to each other ever since last night's incident. I was so absorbed in my thoughts of Natsume that I didn't notice that we entered the academy gates. "We're here." I heard Tsubasa say as he pulled off. I got out the car and mumbled a soft "Ja-ne."

I reached the auditorium and was looking for Hotaru and the others. I was early this time. As I was looking around for them, I didn't notice that I was going to collide with someone. BUMP! Ouch. That really hurt. I landed butt first on the floor. I stood up and was about to offer my hand when I saw whom I had bumped with. Sumire Shouda – Class Slut. It was as if she had a cardboard plastered to her forehead that said 'I'm Sumire and would you like to go on a date with me?'

"Oh look who it is. It's Mikan Sakura. The girl left behind by her best friend. Just watch where you're going, Sakura. Oh, wait. It's almost graduation. Where's your oh-so-dear best friend Natsume Hyuuga? Oh my. He's not here yet. He left you for some other girl, as I've heard. And he's not coming back… especially for you." Shouda said with her ever-so-sluttish and bitchy tone which I definitely loathe. I just rolled my eyes and answered "Thank you very much for reminding me, Shouda. I must be on my way now. It's nice to see someone like you is about to graduate. Omedeto. Just one thing, Shouda. Check your sources first before saying something. We can never tell who's telling a lie and who's being honest now, wont' we? " And I flashed a fake smile. It's not hard at all to be plastic once you've been classmates with that Shouda girl. (Congratulations; Sorry for the words and content of this paragraph. You'll now the reason in my last A/N.)

At the end of the hall, I found Hotaru and the gang, sitting and chatting. I went near them and greeted them. We would all be in college next school year. It's a good thing we'll be studying at the Academy's College Division.

"Ohayo, minna-san!" I said to them. They just greeted me back and they were kind of quiet. I saw Anna and Nonoko giving me sympathetic looks. I don't know why but they seem so sad and quiet when I arrived. I wonder what's wrong with them. I saw Hotaru whisper something to Ruka. I don't know what it is but when she did, Ruka started to ask something.

"Mikan, do you know that…" Ruka started to ask me but was cut off when Jinno-sensei told us to prepare. I told them that we should go. I got up and hurried to my line. I don't want that Jin-Jin to scold me again. He's fond of it.

"What would be her reaction when she finds out?" I kind of heard Yuu say.

"I don't know." Koko blurted out, scratching the back of his head.

"Well, it's best if we let her find out for herself. After all, she is the very person concerned in this." I heard Hotaru say to all of them. Just what are they talking about?! I'm really baffled.

I got to my line and after 10 dreary minutes, I heard Narumi-sensei inside of the auditorium doors greeting everyone a 'pleasant' morning. Just then, the doors opened and they let us march in. I glanced at the stage. There were bold and colorful letters clashing with the dull and white paint of the stage. It said 'Alice Academy Baccalaureate Rites – High School Division'

End of Mikan's POV


Normal POV

Mikan and her other batch mates were now seated inside the auditorium.

"The Principal, Administrators, fellow Professors, dear Students and honored guests, a pleasant morning to all..." Narumi said over the microphone. He was the batch's Curriculum Chairperson so he was the one to give the speeches and such.

"… We are gathered here today to have the Baccalaureate Rites for our dear graduating high school students. These students have excelled in the academic field and also in other activities. We have watched them grow from petite seeds to blossoming and dainty flowers, the academy being their second home and the teachers being their second parents. These students have been through a lot; from passing the school entrance exams to enduring tough quizzes and tests and some terror-teachers…" some giggles and laughter began to emerge from this statement, some students looking directly at Jinno-sensei. "… Now, we see these students here, right before us, all ready to accept the responsibilities of being college students. Let us all give them a round of applause…" Applause erupted from the audience, mainly from the students themselves. "… My dear students, it's been an honor for me and the faculty members to teach all of you. We are very proud of you. We wish you the best in your college crossing. Good day to all." With that, Narumi got off the stage. Some other Rites and speeches were given. It was a drag for all the students. After that, they had their Baccalaureate Lunch in the Academy grounds. Mikan never got the chance to talk to Hotaru and the others again since she was practically dragged by Tsubasa to their car right after the lunch.

Inside the car, Mikan was sitting on the passenger seat leaning her head on the window frame of the car. Tsubasa was driving. Again, some awkward silence was felt in the car. None of them dared to speak. They were stuck in a traffic jam. To ease the mounting tension in the car, Tsubasa just inserted some random CD in his player. The LCD of the player reads 'Track 001 Song: Angels Artist: Within Temptation'

Sparkling angel I believed
You are my savior in my time of need.
Blinded by faith I couldn't hear
All the whispers, the warnings so clear.
I see the angels,
I'll lead them to your door.
There's no escape now,
No mercy no more.
No remorse cause I still remember

The smile when you tore me apart.
You took my heart,
Deceived me right from the start.
You showed me dreams,
I wished they turn into real.
You broke a promise and made me realize.
It was all just a lie.

Mikan fidgeted in her seat. When she heard the chorus of the song, it reminded her of Natsume and the promise.

Sparkling angel, I couldn't see
Your dark intentions, your feelings for me.
Fallen angel, tell me why?
What is the reason, the thorn in your eye?
I see the angels,
I'll lead them to your door
There's no escape now
No mercy no more
No remorse cause I still remember

The smile when you tore me apart
You took my heart,
Deceived me right from the start.
You showed me dreams,
I wished they turn into real.
You broke the promise and made me realize.
It was all just a lie.
Could have been forever.
Now we have reached the end.

It was as if Tsubasa was making her realize something in this song. She just shrugged off the thought, preoccupying herself by playing a game on her cell phone.

This world may have failed you,
It doesn't give you a reason why.
You could have chosen a different path in life.

The smile when you tore me apart.
You took my heart,
Deceived me right from the start.
You showed me dreams,
I wished they turn into real.
You broke the promise and made me realize.
It was all just a lie.
Could have been forever.
Now we have reached the end.

Man, was Tsubasa trying to make her realize something through the song? She couldn't concentrate on her game! 'Dammit. What the hell is this song trying to tell to me? Ughhh. I couldn't focus on this game because of that blasted song.' She thought to herself. She couldn't stand it anymore. She turned the player off.

"What was that for?" Tsubasa asked, hands on the steering wheel, turning to Mikan.

"It was bothersome and disturbing. I'm not into those kinds of songs." Mikan answered, a bit aggravated, avoiding his brother's stare. She just busied herself with her game. Tsubasa didn't avert his gaze from Mikan. He just sat there in the driver's seat, watching Mikan's every action. With Mikan, she felt like Tsubasa was burning a hole through her skin. She can't stand the feeling of someone gawking at her. She let out a groan.

"What are you looking at, Tsubasa? You should be driving, you know." Mikan snapped at him, annoyed.

"Sorry sis, but I can't. Don't want to get my car and the other cars damaged. Look in front of you. Traffic jam. Tra-ffic-jam." He replied, with a hint of amusement in his voice. He got Mikan there. She just let out an exasperated sigh and sidetracked herself by looking out the window, only to see other cars passing by in the opposite direction. This was turning out to be one long and arduous day.


They got home and were greeted by Nancy since their parents were still out. Mikan headed to her room, not bothering to greet the other people in the house. She was in a very bad mood today. First, she got herself in a fight with her brother, and then she met Shouda along the way. Not only that but she was still confused of how her friends have been acting toward her. And now she heard a song that's stuck to her mind. This day is clearly not Mikan's. As she got to her room, she took off her shoes and changed into some nice clothes. She jumped on her bed and just lied down, savoring the soft feeling of her bed. 'You broke the promise and made me realize. It was all just a lie.' The lines of the song just won't leave her!

"Urggghhhhhh! I can't take it anymore. Dammit! Why won't that stupid line just stop ringing in my head?" she screamed with a pillow covering her whole face. That was the last straw. She's pissed off. And she doesn't even have the appetite to eat her dinner tonight. She just needs some shut eye.

..0.0.

Mikan woke up to the ringing of her alarm clock. It was Graduation Day. The last day for her at the high school division, and boy was she glad to know that. She got up, did her daily routines and put on her uniform. She looked at herself in the mirror. She looks nice. She brushed her hair and she tied half of her hair in a pony tail, leaving the other half hanging loose on her shoulders. She put on some light powder and got her watch from her bedside table. She went out of her room and downstairs to the dining area where she found her parents and brother in their seats, having some small talk while eating.

"Good morning, mother, father and to you too, Tsubasa." She said while taking her seat.

"Eat now, Mikan or we'll be late." Her father reminded her. She just nodded and started eating. After breakfast was over, she got inside her parents' car with her dad driving. Tsubasa went to school using his car. It was finally graduation day.

Mikan got to her line in the auditorium. There she saw Hotaru, Ruka, Anna, Nonoko, Yuu and Koko already in their respective lines. They would finally be graduating and it was for real, not just any dream she had. As soon as the auditorium doors were opened, they marched inside to the graduation marching song. After that, there stood their principal, giving a speech which Mikan didn't really listen to. She was distracted, with her thoughts lingering on a certain raven-haired boy. She had that faraway look in her eyes while scanning the whole auditorium with her chocolate orbs. She was out of her trance when applause came from the audience, marking the end of the speech.

Time passed by as if just the wink of an eye. One moment, Mikan was just sitting in her seat, listening to the boring speeches, the next she was in the stage, receiving her diploma. It was fast for our brunette, too fast.

'I wish this would not end in a matter of minutes or seconds.' Thought our lass as she was flashing a somewhat fake smile to the photographer.

'This is all happening really fast. It's finally graduation day.' Letting out an incensed sigh.

'And he has not shown himself yet. And where is he going anyways?' She sighed as she walked back to her seat, not bothering to look at her parents.

'I really don't understand him at all. I never did understand him and I guess I will never be able to.'

'Why did he have to leave me alone, anyways? He was always like that, keeping secrets. And I guess he is, up until now.' She hung her head low, her auburn bags, covering her eyes, trying to prevent the tears that were threatening to flow down.

'Maybe if I just died, I wouldn't be enduring this pain of losing someone like him.' Mikan thought, turning a bit pessimistic.

Her train of thoughts was cut off when…

"Baka. Baka. Mikan, are you alright?" Hotaru asked with her ever-so-emotionless face and voice, trying to be soft and gentle on the girl.

"Huh? Oh hi, Hotaru. Yes, I'm fine." Mikan answered giving her best friend a faint smile.

"You don't look well, baka." Hotaru said, affixing her look on the stage. 'What's wrong with this girl? One time she's all cheerful, then the next, she has that dazed look in her eyes. I guess it's about the Natsume issue. Does she know yet that-'

"May we know call on Miss Hotaru Imai to give her Valedictory Speech." Hotaru stood up and while doing so, gave Mikan a pat on the shoulder. She gave her a faint smile.

..0.0.

"Master Natsume, we should be heading home now. Your fi-"

"Yes, I know, Mark. But I'd like to stay for a while to see that little girl and to hear what that Imai is going to say." He replied quite bluntly. They were sitting at the back row of the balcony inside the auditorium where guests can stay. He and Mark, his driver was just there, looking forward to what Imai has to say. Many wouldn't recognize him now. He had a well-built body and to top it all, he was just tall and handsome. Maybe people would identify him if he speaks, but does our dear Natsume like speaking? No. He likes grunting. His physical appearance has changed a lot over the course of years.

"A good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to tell you how much I owe this academy. This academy has given me great friends and good academic skills. I can never forget the teachers who really helped a lot in this school and my circle of friends. Thank you all very much. I would also like to tell my parents my sincerest thanks for..."

"Master Natsume, we should really be going now. You know how your mother acts when you come home late." Mark said, reminding Natsume.

"Hn." Was what he got as a reply.

"…I wish all of you a wonderful college life and a good day to all." Applause was heard after Hotaru Imai's speech. She went back to her seat which was right beside Mikan's.

"That was very inspiring, Hotaru. I really like it." Mikan whispered to her while they resumed the program. Hotaru just nodded and glanced her way, giving her a very soft smile.

"Now, our graduates are going to sing their Graduation Song." Said Narumi over the microphone. The piano starts to play and they start to sing.

"At the Beginning with You"

We were strangers
Starting out on a journey
Never dreaming
What we'd have to go through
Now here we are
And I'm suddenly standing
At the beginning with you

No one told me
I was going to find you
Unexpected
What you did to my heart
When I lost hope
You were there to remind me
This is the start

Life is a road
And I want to keep going
Love is a river
I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there
When the world stops turning
I'll be there
When the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

'Yes, Natsume, I want to be standing with you here right now. But that is impossible. I wish that it could be, though.' 'Baka! What are you thinking?'

We were strangers
On a crazy adventure
Never dreaming
How our dreams would come true
Now here we stand
Unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you

Life is a road
And I want to keep going
Love is a river
I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there
When the world stops turning
I'll be there
When the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

'Yes, Natsume. I really wish you were here so our circle of friends would be complete. I really miss you, idiot. Where are you, anyways? I don't even know where you are and now, I'm standing here, dreaming that you would share this moment with me. I'm really ditzy and unbelievable.'

I knew there was somebody somewhere
Like me alone in the dark
Now I know my dream will live on
I've been waiting so long
Nothing's gonna tear us apart

Life is a road
And I want to keep going
Love is a river
I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there
When the world stops turning
I'll be there
When the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep going on...
Starting out on a journey
Life is a road and I wanna going
Love is river I wanna keep flowing
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you.

Mikan just clutched Hotaru's hands with hers. They looked at each other and Mikan beamed a smile at her best friend. For the first time in years, Hotaru returned her smile with one that is genuine and true.


It was sunny outside the auditorium. But our young brunette didn't notice this. She was so absorbed in her thoughts about a crimson-eyed boy. She didn't even notice that her friends were calling her for a photograph.

"Mikan, hurry up! We don't want to miss this moment that our dear valedictorian is smiling, now would we?" Koko yelled at her.

"Definitely." She replied, running towards them.

Pictures were taken here and there and Mikan was exhausted from all that smiling. 'Maybe I'll go to the Sakura Tree after all of this. But I don't want my parents to go with me there. Hmmm… I'll just tell them I need to do something. That's it!'

Sakura Tree

"Young master, we should be going now. It's awfully late and-" Mark started but was abruptly cut off by Natsume's raised hand, signaling that he needs to quiet down.

"I know, Mark. I know." 'I'm quite amazed that this tree is still here. It brings a lot of memories; memories of my friends back then and my memories of her.' There was a very serene silence that enveloped the both of them. A gust of wind blew and the raven-haired boy spoke again. "Let's go, Mark."

..0.0.

Mikan reached the Sakura Tree, panting slightly. She assured her parents that she was just going somewhere for a while. They didn't seem to look convinced but they let her go, seeing as she has memorized the whole school. Though she did feel like someone was following her, she just shrugged the thought away, resting her head against the bark of the tree and leaning her small and petite frame on it. Mikan heaved a sigh. 'So long to this tree. It would be summer again. I won't be able to see you until school will start again. By then, I would be in college. You have been the witness to my life, you know. You saw me here being happy with my friends, crying my heart out and all of that stuff. What am I thinking?' Again, she sighed gazing up to the heavens, silently pleading that this would last. 'Mata kimi ni aitai, Natsume-kun.'

"You know, Tsubasa, maybe you should tell Mikan all there is to know about the past five years. Maybe she'll understand the situation better." Misaki told her best friend. They were perched up on the balcony of one of the elementary buildings where one can see the Sakura Tree.

"I wish I could, Misaki. I just wish I could. But it would hurt her even more."

..0.0.

End of Chapter


A/N: Man, that was kind of longer than I expected. Thoughts just popped in my head while sitting in the computer chair writing this while some random song was playing. 'Mata kimi ni aitai' means 'I want to see you again' I hope you guys liked this chapter and thank for all the reviews. Also, I would want to say that this story is kind of based in real life. I wrote this story to soothe my longing of writing something. I would just want to write what really happened but that won't make it exciting and you won't even read it so I basically changed the whole plot. Also, I apologize for the choice of words since the scene where Mikan bumped into Sumire kind of happened in real life. But it was a bit different than that under some circumstances. And also, I would want to include more Japanese in this but I just can speak Japanese and not actually write. Gomen. I hope this chapter compensates for my really crazy updating schedule (if I have one). I just write when I feel the urge to.

BTW: For Mikan, Natsume broke the promise since he just showed up and it didn't actually turn out like what she wanted them to be - The best of friends again. And also, I accept flames.!

Review Responses:

sherea: Thanks for the review!

Iysabelle: Thanks for dropping by. I'm sure the next chapters will tell you why he left again.

may520: Thanks for leaving a review. As I've said, just watch out in the next chapters. I actually don't know myself where he is going. I have to figure that out. lol

'orange-ideas': Thanks for the review. I'm glad you like it. Hope you liked this chapter too!

j531823: And thank you for the review and the encouraging words.

Aiko: I'm pretty sure you are familiar with the auditorium since I based the whole graduation thing in the auditorium of Conco. My present school's 'auditorium' is too small to be even called an auditorium. Hehe.. Thanks for the review!

cupidsangel: Thank you for the review and I'm glad that you like my story. I hope you like this chapter.

glenda23: The upcoming chapters will clear everything up. (I hope) I'm not sure myself where Natsume is going. But I guess I have the next 2 chapters working in my head.

desolator05: I too love happy endings. Rest assured that this fic is going to have a happy ending. (or maybe not. Depending on my mood. lol) Thanks for the review.

KaTLeYa KaSSaNdRA KaReN LiN: Thanks for the review. Yes, that is how I pictured Youichi without Natsume's influence. XD

Special Thanks to my senpai – russianpopprincess and my kouhais – 'orange-ideas'; xXmizukazeXx and my dear best friends, Jason, James and Josephine (thanks for putting up with me all these years). 'Till the next chapter!

Erinn