Time After Time
Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice and the song 'Your Love' by Alamid. This is a continuation of Chapter 29: My Glimpse of You. All the classical pieces mentioned are most definitely not mine. I am just one classical music freak. This music conservatory is a work of fiction. Meaning all buildings, places and everything that goes with it do not exist. Or if they do, I don't own them. The classes do exist yet I don't know what they're supposed to be doing there. The famous musicians mentioned here like Beethoven and co. are real people. The classical pieces mentioned here are also real.
And yes, I got the idea for this mini-series from the anime La Corda d'Oro. But this is a completely different story from that anime. Enjoy!
Please read Chapters 28 and 29 to understand this. Thank you.
For my high school friends. Thank you for sharing the trials and tribulations of the past four years with me. I never would have made it without you guys. Batch 2009, ganbatte-ne!
Your love is like the sun
That lights up my whole world
I feel the warmth inside
Your love is like the river
That flows down through my veins
I feel the chill inside
"Ah.. Mikan-chan. How are you this afternoon?"
"I am doing well, thank you."
Mikan was bored. She was tired of listening to Sumire practice her voice and prattle on about this apparently cute and hot duo on campus. Honestly! If she didn't know any better, she'd think that that roommate of hers is a stalker of some sorts. How can you get so much info about two guys you haven't talked with, let alone introduced to? She sighed for the umpteenth time. What to do? What should I do? I can't wallow and think about that. Okaa-san… No, I can't! I'll just go to Mr. Narumi's!
So, that is what she is doing at the music shop, helping Mr. Narumi sort out the newly arrived collection of CDs and music books. Ahhhh.. Classical and Opera. Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Grieg, Handel, Haydn, Kuschnerova, Liszt, Mozart, Pachelbel, Purcell, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Rubinstein, Strauss, Schoenberg, Schubert, Schumann, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Vivaldi, Ysaye. Geez! This is not sorted out. Only alphabetical, not in period, style, instrument or even if composer or just performer! More work, then. Anything to forget…
For Piano and Violin
Well, this is an interesting piece, Mikan thought, slowly browsing through the book. She traced the notes on the page, imagining the sound it would create. She got up and went to the piano, placing the book on the stand. She sat and let the music flow.
'What a beautiful piece. So sad yet lovely. Graceful, subtle, dramatic. Poignant. Nostalgic…'
"It would sound better with a violin."
"Oh! Mr. Narumi! I didn't know… I'm sorry. I'll get back to—"
"There is no need to worry, Mikan-chan. I am really grateful. You aren't being paid yet you help around here. Now, let me get my violin and we'll play it together, ne?"
Together, they created a heartbreaking yet heartwarming melody. Together, the violin and piano spoke of longing and need. Of love and life. And for the first time in days, Mikan smiled.
"Ne, Mr. Narumi, what instruments do you play?"
"Hmmm.. Let's see. Piano, violin, flute, guitar, mandolin, drums. A little bit of trumpet too. But I specialize in piano and violin."
"Sugoi desu-ne! For someone so young, you really are amazing…" 'Someone so young?,' Narumi thought.
"…I've never met someone who could play the mandolin! You're the first person I know! And to actually own this music shop. Mr. Narumi, you're really great for someone so young!"
"Mikan-chan… How old do you think I am?"
"Around 25 or 27..." Narumi was shocked. He only looked 25? The gods be blessed! And then he roared with laughter. Mikan was startled. Why was Mr. Narumi laughing so hard?
"Ahh.. I am so sorry, Mikan-chan." He took a deep breath and chuckled. "Dear, I am not 25. Not even close. I am already close to forty."
"Ehhhh?! EHHHHH!? Geez! You look so young!"
"Everybody tells me that. Well then, let's get back to work, shall we? We need to clean everything up before classes open. This shop will be jam packed with students searching for one thing or another."
"Hai, Mr. Narumi!"
'Yuka, you raised a beautiful and talented daughter.'
"Good-bye, Mr. Narumi! And thank you for this." Mikan said, raising the music book he gave her.
"There is no need for that. You've helped a lot these past few days. It's the least I could do. Take care, Mikan-chan."
Mikan slowly walked down the road, browsing the book Mr. Narumi gave her. It was a music history book. It contained the history of music and how it developed. It also contained a brief look into the lives of the greatest composers and their greatest works. This will help her in her studies and learning! That Mr. Narumi sure is full of surprises.
'Hmmmm.. Eto.. George Frideric Handel is famous for his astounding and popular work 'The Messiah'. This is where the 'Hallelujah' chorus was first heard. 'The Messiah' was the last piece he conducted. After playing this for the last time, he passed out and died three days later… … … … He was…'
"KYAAAAAA! Itai!" Mikan slowly opened her eyes to see who she bumped into. And yet again, chocolate orbs met crimson. 'Could he be…?'
"Baka! Watch where you're going!" said an irate and annoyed boy/guy/man? in front of her.
"You almost ruined my guitar, baka! And I'm already late for my appointment!"
"Gomen! I am so sorry! I hope I didn't ruin your guitar!"
"Do you not know how important this is to me? Baka! You almost… Nevermind. I'm already late. Next time, watch where you're going, little girl instead of burying your head inside your book while walking on the street!"
"I already said I'm sorry! And stop calling me baka!"
"Hmph. Nevermind. I don't have any time to spare for little idiot girls like you."
And he walked past her, just like that.
Mikan turned around and said, "I am not an idiot, you jerk! I already said I'm sorry!"
And the raven-haired, crimson-eyed boy just walked briskly, paying no attention to the little girl he ran into.
(I was planning to leave it like this since it seems like a nice ending but you guys deserve more so, read on. :D)
"Hey, sorry I'm late. Some stupid little girl ran into me. And the girl almost ruined my guitar." He said, getting his guitar out of its case.
"It's alright, Natsume. Are you sure you're alright? And your guitar?" his best friend asked, playing a few chords on his own guitar.
"I'm okay, Ruka. And I think my guitar is fine. I have to double check but I don't see anything wrong with it."
"Well then, let's get this show on the road, Natsume."
Wednesday morning dawned bright and early for Mikan. She got herself ready, dressing in a pair of jeans and a nice shirt for the scheduled tour of the campus. Her roommate was nowhere to be seen. It's just as good though. That Permy was really bothering her with that voice. She made her way to the Admin Building, also known as Building Do. She walked towards a group of students inside the building.
"Ano, eto.. Is this the group for campus tour?" she asked a pink-haired girl.
"Hai, hai! Welcome! I'm Misaki Harada and this," she said as she pulled a midnight blue-haired boy by the ear, "is Tsubasa Ando. We're 3rd year students and we're a part of the group that holds the campus tour. Your guide will depend on your course/courses so you'll know what to do. And they'll also give you advice so it'll be easier for you to adjust to this place, isn't that right, Tsubasa?"
"Hai, Misaki. Your guide will also point out the different places you can go to and those you cannot. He/she will also teach you the ropes to this school. What paths to take, and etc. In your first day of classes, you will also be assigned a partner from a different course. This is their way of letting you explore your capabilities. A pianist may be paired with a trumpeter and so on. At the end of the semester, you and your partner will be asked to perform something you both have worked on. Your teacher will explain more of this to you but this is the gist of it."
"Alright. Arigato, senpais! I'm Mikan Sakura; it's very nice to meet you!"
"Mikan Sakura…? You're the daughter of Yuka Sakura, the famous violinist?" asked Misaki.
"Ha-hai.", was all that Mikan could answer.
"Oh! I am so sorry. I didn't mean to bring up such painful memories. It's just that she has been my idol ever since I started playing."
"I am very sure okaa-san would love to have heard that." Mikan said, offering a smile to Misaki.
"Oi, Misaki. We're needed at the head table. We have to organize them in groups." Tsubasa said, pulling Misaki. "Ja-ne, Mikan! I'll see you later!"
Mikan stood among the other students, waiting for her name to be called. 'I wish Hotaru was here. I really miss her. E-mails are really not enough. I wonder how she is doing.'
"Mikan Sakura?" a blonde guy asked. Mikan headed to the table where the blonde guy stood, holding a clipboard and a pen.
"You're the only pianist in the group today. Most of the other pianists have already taken the tour. And those pianists didn't even send a representative today. Geez! I can't really expect much from those guys…" he trailed off, looking for someone to accompany Mikan on the tour. "Ah! Tsubasa!" he called, spotting the said person. "You also major in the piano, right? Well then, can you show Miss Sakura around? I really have a lot to organize right now. Those other pianists didn't even bother to send a rep. And I'm having problems with one of the violin groups… So can you please show her around?"
"Hai, hai, Kaname. Just take it easy for now. And let Misaki lead the group you're having problems with. She can handle 'em." He said, winking at Kaname.
Kaname breathed a sigh of relief. "You are one evil person, Tsubasa. You really want to sic Misaki on those poor freshmen?"
"Hey, it's the consequence for giving you problems. Just let her handle them."
With that, he dragged Mikan out of the building.
"I haven't properly introduced myself, have I? I'm Tsubasa Ando. I'm a 3rd year student. I major in both piano and guitar. I know some say it's a weird combination but it's really easy to blend. You can even play the classical pieces on the guitar. Oh, and you can call me Tsubasa-senpai. I don't really mind. And I know we'll be seeing each other around."
"Hai, Tsubasa-senpai. I'm Mikan Sakura and I major in piano and composition with a minor in music education. My jii-chan says I'm trying to kill myself by having so many units in my courses but I really want to improve my playing for okaa-san."
"Nee, Mikan-chan… Let's start the tour, a'right? So, we're at the front of Building Do, or the Admin Bldg. This is where we enroll and such. This is the main building of the campus. This is where the Headmaster's office is located. Basically, this is Admin work."
They walked through the campus, Tsubasa pointing out the buildings and places where she can go and places she can't.
"Most of your classes will be in Building Re. This is the building for piano and violin. Composition is also here."
"Building Mi houses the classes for other instruments such as guitar, flute, harp, and lyre. Composition is also held here."
"This building is Fa. This houses music education and voice."
"Building So holds the practice rooms. They are sound-proof rooms fully-equipped with the equipment and instruments you need. If you require other instruments or equipment that is not in the room, you can go to the property custodian and ask for the things you need."
"Building La is the library. Music theory is here. Basically, this is all full of books. There are also computer rooms where you can research."
"Building Ti is one of the places where you can't go unless you are given a pass by one of your teachers. This is one big faculty room, or should I say faculty building. They also have rooms where the teachers can practice."
"Middle C Building is where the regular classes are held. By regular classes, that means science, math, English and those other subjects. The school also wants the students to learn practical things to help them after they graduate."
"This building, Mozart, houses the orchestra. This is also where a teacher can arrange for a recital to be held. The other one over there is Beethoven. It's where the recitals and performances are held for the public."
"This is Haydn Park. You see those fountains? They dance to the music being played on the speakers. They are really fun to watch, especially at night. Basically, you can lounge here and do whatever you want to."
"And here are the dormitories. Harmony and Melody. Harmony is the boys' dorm while Melody is the girls'. The school is very open and airy, something unusual in this city. Nature is one inspiration for music. The school tries to keep that in mind so there are benches, ponds, fountains and other what-not everywhere."
"And this is Chopin Center. This is where you can get some supplies like strings, tuning forks, music sheets. There are also some books but the stock is limited so most students go out to buy. You can also buy food and other necessities here although the dorms do offer food."
"The places you can't go have sharps (#) on them. That means that only authorized personnel can go there or if you have a key card or pass given to you by a teacher."
"So, Mikan-chan, you alright with everything?" Tsubasa asked his young charge after the tour. They were back in front of Bldg. Do.
"Hai. I think I can manage."
"Yosh! You can now get your class schedule from the office. I'm sure those are ready by now. I gotta go find Misaki and see if she killed anyone. Ja-ne, Mikan-chan!"
"Ja, Tsubasa-senpai! See you around!"
Mikan was walking back to her room after getting her class schedule. She already had her lunch before getting her schedule. She spotted a bench and sat down, staring at the paper she was holding.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8-9: Music Theory
3-4: Science I
4-5: English I
Tuesday and Thursday
1-3: Music Education
She only had Saturdays and Sundays free for practices and recitals. This was going to be one long year.
Ruka Nogi was casually strolling through the grounds of the school, looking for his best friend when he saw a pretty girl sitting in one of the benches alone. He decided to see what was wrong, seeing a frown mar her pretty cute face.
"Hello, may I sit here?" The girl absent-mindedly nodded. He took a seat and took out his pencil and music notebook, trying to get an idea for a song. He got his guitar, strumming a few chords. He took a look at the girl beside him. She was pretty. Not one of those really beautiful celebrities and models. She exuded an aura of happiness and childish youth. Maybe that's what makes her pretty…
Mikan saw the boy(?) staring at her. She smiled at him, one of those childish smiles you'd think one would lose after hitting the teenage years. He smiled in return and introduced himself.
"Hello, I am Ruka Nogi."
"Mikan Sakura and it's nice to meet you."
They talked – talked of their lives, their dreams, their goals and their music. Her face would light up like a child's when she's happy. And her eyebrows would scrunch up when she's musing about something. She was like a child – childishly pretty. No, childishly beautiful.
And that afternoon was the start of a wonderful friendship between the pianist and guitarist.
To be continued…
Okay. Senior life was crazy and all. But there is no worthy excuse for not updating during the summer. All I can say is that I wanted to get my life on track before I wrote anything. All summer, I built up everything I lost and almost lost this Senior year. Friendships, being the first one. And I healed a bruised heart this summer. It took me some time, but I did it. It took me a while to write this chapter. Most of the time, it just takes me a while to write but I spent more than 4 hours on this chapter. This is the first piece I wrote after graduating from high school. I had to get my crazy life in order first before writing anything.
So, to clear things up, this is a continuation of Chapter 29. This is a NATSUMIKAN fic. I have big plans for this mini-series. I will focus more on Time After Time than At the Beginning. I'm having a serious case of writer's block for that fic. So all my attention will be devoted to the continuation of Time After Time.
Thank you guys, for sticking with me through all this time. Rest assured that I will never abandon any of my fics, especially this one. Review and help me on how to improve more. I'd like to hear from you guys after a long hiatus from writing!