Disclaimer

I originally posted this in FictionPress, this story. But I have a friend who wanted me to post it here, too. So there you go, Parisa. I don't own Gakuen Alice.


With a Hint of Blush
Chapter I

zagogay

Day of publication: April 18, 2010
(New Zealand time)


"Five years from now," he said, not batting an eyelash. "if we're both still single, let's marry each other."

She giggled. "Sure."

They laughed, but both knew he wasn't joking.


And now they were face to face – the promise of tomorrow hanging in the air.

It was exactly five years ago that they made that silly agreement. Though as silly as it is, both stuck to it.

Unknown to him, Sakura Mikan purposely kept herself single, hanging onto the hope that five years later, her childhood best friend, Hyuuga Natsume, did the same. But that was not meant to be.

Natsume had numerous of girlfriends. One so many, that he couldn't keep count anymore. Although, no-one would dare call him a playboy, because really, he technically wasn't. Playboys dump their girlfriends after the first kiss or after the first date. But Natsume would go as far as to take them to a fifth or sixth date, much to the girls' delight.

But Mikan knew nothing of these. Of course she'd be oblivious; they were oceans apart for five whole years, with no one contacting each other. Meaning, until today, both were oblivious of each other's activities… or so she thought.

Natsume had been keeping track of her. With his family's fortune, it really wasn't all that hard. Once a month, he would receive an email full of documents after documents of what Sakura Mikan did in the duration of the whole month. Then he would take half a day looking through them, making sure his beloved childhood friend stayed safe and out of danger. It came as a surprise to him, however, when not a single 'Sakura Mikan was spotted getting out of a shop with a boy' was seen. He'd thought she would date at least half of the amount he'ddated. But he guessed his assumptions were dead wrong. His childhood friend stayed free and single, much to his chagrin.

"So," Mikan said, rocking back and forth on her heels, hands clasped tightly behind her. "How was Australia?"

"Good." was his simple reply. He looked around him, trying to look for a good place to rest. In the middle of a shopping mall, it wasn't all that hard to spot a shop. "Want to grab a coffee?"

She beamed. "Sure!"


They found comfort in Sierrá Café, a shop that, obviously, specializes in teas and coffees. They were sitting on either side of a round table, in the middle of the café, people of different races surrounding them all over the shop.

Mikan tapped her nails on the table, unconsciously getting into a catchy rhythm. She held her coffee steady with her other hand. "So Australia was nice?"

Natsume nodded, bringing his coffee up to his mouth to get a nonchalant sip.

"So," she said, biting her lower lip. "Remember that agreement we had? Five years ago?"

He hesitated, but nodded nonetheless, his gut suddenly telling him that he should have said the opposite.

"Well," she paused, her tapping on the table increasing in speed. "I'm still single."

It was now Natsume's turn to bite his lower lip. "I'm not."

The tapping stopped as Mikan took an intake of breath, her grip on the coffee cup tightening.

"I should've known," she whispered, her eyes cast somewhere in the distance, looking glazed.

"Polka," he said, moving his hand to cover hers. However, she quickly withdrew and stood up.

"I shouldn't have waited…" her voice trailed. She grabbed her bag and hastily walked away, knowing that Natsume wouldn't be that far behind.

"Mikan!" he called after her. He grabbed her arms but she flung it away.

"What number is she?" she hissed, ignoring the tears falling freely down her cheeks. "What number is she?"

Natsume looked away. "An estimation?"

That only made her cry harder.

"Twenty third."

Mikan gaped. "I should've listened to them," she sobbed. "They keep on saying you have girlfriends here and there. But you know what? I ignored them. Yeah, I did. I kept telling myself, 'You're his best friend, you know him better than anyone'. But I guess I don't." she roughly wiped her wet cheeks with the back of her hand, turning around to walk away. But Natsume once again grabbed her arms and hauled her back.

"You know what?" Mikan hissed, jabbing her index finger on his chest. "I bet you're not even a virgin anymore."

"Oh come on!" Natsume said, rolling his eyes. "I lost my damn virginity to my hands."

Mikan gaped. "You've got the nerve to joke about this?"

"I'm not joking about it. I'm just telling the truth."

"Go away, Natsume." she glared, wrapping her arms around herself. She sniffed and walked away, not even giving Hyuuga Natsume, her once cherished best friend, one last glance.


Mikan groaned, slightly banging her head on the table. Without looking, she grabbed the glass filled with milk that was once at the middle of the table and drank it without pausing. She had to do something to get her mind off of that jerk.

She exhaled and banged the cup on the table, bringing her hand up to wipe her milk mustache with the back of her hand. She placed her elbows on the table and buried her face on her palms. A groan escaped her lips once again.

She knew she over-reacted. She knew it and she loathed the fact. Thinking back, she had no reason at all to blame him for having a girlfriend. It wasn't like she told him to never get a girlfriend because she'd wait for him to come back from Australia when he returns to New Zealand. No, it was nothing like that. So you can understand how red her cheeks are right now.

She over-reacted, and she knew she had to say sorry. But her ego was too high.


"Luna," he sighed, slowly getting annoyed. "No, I'm not –"

"She's pretty, isn't she?"

He paused, trying to get his head around the question.

"Oh God she is!" she screamed. Natsume held the phone away from his ear, afraid his ear drums would blow.

"No – I mean, she is, but you have nothing to worry about!" he assured her, all the while massaging his temples. "She's just my best friend. Chill, babe."

"Justyour best friend? Do you have any idea how many movies are based on best friends falling in love?" she screeched.

Natsume cringed.

Once upon a time, he was head over heels with Mikan, thus bringing him to offer that silly agreement they made five years ago. But when he was in Australia, it slowly faded away. He had many girlfriends, which helped his efforts to get rid of his feelings for her.

He thought it was for the best. He was planning to live in Australia for the rest of his life, with visits to New Zealand and other parts of the world once in a while. Thinking of Mikan as a girlfriend material was no good. He was never a fan of long distance relationships in the first place. It always ends up with someone cheating. He hated that. So the only solution he could find was forgetting she loved her. And it worked.

"Are you even listening to me?" she screamed.

Natsume snapped out of his thoughts. "Of course I am, babe."

"What's the last thing I said, then?"

Natsume opened his mouth, but no words came out. He racked through his brain, trying to see if it's intelligent enough to remember what she was saying before he dozed off to lalaLand.

"Ugh, Natsume!" she whined.

"Sorry, sorry," he chuckled. "I was in Dreamworld." He could just imagine her rolling her eyes.

"So as I was saying, you better not cheat on me, bastard! Or I'll personally go there and rip your head off."

He grimaced. "No need to do that, Luna. I'll stay loyal, promise."

"Ugh, mom's calling me. Gotta go. Love you, bye."

He pressed the 'end call' button and heaved a sigh.

Koizumi Luna was the jealous type. She would get jealous at every girl Natsume interacts with. It sometimes irritates him, but given that he loves her, he's willing to stand it.

He snapped his head towards the door, hearing a knock coming from the other side. He stood up and answered it, only to be met by deep brown eyes, staring up to him like a lost puppy that needs petting.

"Polka," he breathed, taking in her appearance. Her dark brown hair was dripping wet; her singlet clinging onto her body as it was soaking wet as well; her short denim short was drenched, and she had her arms around herself, her teeth chattering.

"It w-was raining." she sniffed, stating the obvious.

Natsume stepped aside, giving way for Mikan to enter his hotel room. "Let me get you a towel," he said as he disappeared into the bathroom.

Mikan sneezed as she sat down on a chair next to the coffee table. As much as she loves the rain, it shows up at the worst times.

"Here," Natsume called out, approaching her with a towel in hand. He opened it and wrapped it around her, sitting himself at the chair opposite Mikan's.

"You idiot!" he said. "You went in the rain without an umbrella?"

"Well it wasn't like I knew it was gonna rain." she retorted, glaring at him.

He sighed, scratching his forehead out of frustration. "You might get sick!"

"No shit, Sherlock." she rolled her eyes.

"I'm gonna get you some clothes." he sighed. "They might be too big for you, but I don't want you to get sick so you have to suck it up."

She raised her eyebrows. "Well you're nice."

"Don't I know it." he winked, standing up and disappearing to his room.

Mikan looked around the place, her eyes roaming from the kitchen, to the television, to the couch, the coffee table, the three doors – one leading to the bathroom, another leading to the outside world, and the last one leading to his bedroom –, and to the pictures hanging on the wall.

"You like it?" he asked, wiggling his eyebrow.

She laughed. "It's decent enough."

"Here," he said, holding out his arms to give the pair of clothes he picked out for her.

She smiled. "Thanks Natsume."


"Umm.." Mikan's mouth twisted into an upside down smile. She looked down to the clothes she was wearing. It was all too big. The blue t-shirt reached down to her mid-thighs. The short was at least two inches below the knee, and the sleeves reached to her elbows. It was way too big.

Natsume's lips curled to a guilty smile. "That's the smallest I could find. Sorry Polka."

"No it's okay," she sighed. "It just feels like I'm drowning on them." she walked over to her previous seat and sat. She placed an elbow on the table and rested her chin on her palm. "So I guess I'm sorry about my outburst earlier."

"You guess?" he inquired, raising an eyebrow.

"No, I mean, I'm sorry." she bit her lips. "I had no place at all saying those things."

He smiled. "Chill, Polka. It's okay. I understand."

She lazily brought her eyes up to gaze at him. "You do?"

"… No."

She hit his arm. "Then why'd you say so?"

"To make you less sad." he laughed.

Mikan smiled. Now this is why she's fallen in love with him. His traits were un-matched. He was one-of-a-kind. And with killer looks to top it. He has raven hair, his eyes were a dark shade of crimson, and his lips were full.

"So, no boyfriends, huh?" he smirked.

"Well," she paused. "I didn't feel like dating."

"You were waiting for me," he grinned. "Oh come on, don't lie." he teased. "You said it outside the café yourself."

She blushed, lowering her head. "It was all in vain, wasn't it?"

He was silent. He looked away and refused to look her in the eye.

"What's her name?" Mikan asked, dropping her arms to rest her hands on her lap.

"Koizumi Luna."

She smiled. "That's a nice name."

"Yeah," he pursed his lips together. "It is."

"What does she look like?"

"Pretty." he immediately replied.

She rolled her eyes. "No kidding."

Natsume sighed. "Well, for starters, she's blonde. And she has green eyes."

Mikan sat silently, waiting for him to continue. When it became obvious that he wasn't going to, she guffawed. "That's it?" she asked, incredulous. "She's blonde and has green eyes. That's it?"

"What else do you want?" he asked.

"Her personality."

"You asked what she looked like!"

"It includes personality!" she retorted.

"Well it's not like you can see 'personality'."

She glared. "Just tell me what's she like."

"Fine!" he surrendered. "She's… she's nice."

"The look on your face doesn't agree." she deadpanned.

"But she is nice." he said, biting his cheek. "… sometimes."

Mikan laughed. She didn't know whether she was laughing because of Natsume's poor description of his girlfriend, or whether she was laughing out of the satisfaction that she was guaranteed to be nicer than the girl.

"So how long have you guys been together?"

"Four months."

Her eyes widened. "Wow, Natsume! Four months! That's surprising, since you've had over twenty girlfriends and all."

He rolled his eyes. "Some of them only lasted for a day."

She laughed. "You're weird."

"Hold on," he said as he felt for his pocket. "Someone's calling me." He pulled out his phone, stood up, and walked away, far enough for Mikan not to hear his conversation.

Mikan stared at him, straining her head forward, trying to eavesdrop without being too obvious.

"No, Luna. Listen. You don't have to worry! She's just my –" he paused. Mikan assumed that he was listening for his girlfriend's reply. "What?" he paused. "No! Wait, Luna! Don't… well yes but… Luna!" he looked aghast. He slowly brought the phone down and walked over to Mikan and slumped down on his chair.

"What?" Mikan asked curiously.

Natsume started massaging his temples. "Luna's coming."

Her eyes widened. "Please don't tell me what you're saying is that I think you're saying."

"Yeah," he sighed. "She's on the plane right now. From Australia to New Zealand, it takes three hours." he looked at the clock. "So she'll arrive at seven o'clock."

Mikan cringed. "Luna's coming…" she whispered.

"Please," Natsume glared at her. "Please give her a good impression. She's a vicious girl if you get on her bad side."

Mikan pushed a smile on her face. "Sure."


Time seemed to be going oh-so-very-slow.

Hyuuga Natsume and Sakura Mikan sat on the blue chairs in the Airport, among many who were also waiting for their loved ones. Three hours has passed, but still, no sign of Koizumi Luna. Natsume said she would arrive in three hours, and yet, where is she? Mikan was slightly disappointed at his psychic skills. It totally sucked.

"Where is she?" Natsume grunted, nervously bobbing his knee up and down.

"Tic toc," Mikan whispered. "Where are thou fair maiden?"

Natsume snapped his head to look at her. "I'm serious. Be nice to her."

"Who said I wasn't going to be?" Mikan asked, trying to look hurt.

He shook his head, bringing his hand up to ruffle his hair out of frustration.

"Nattie?"

Mikan slowly looked up, upon hearing the screeching voice of none other than Natsume's girlfriend, Koizumi Luna. She stared at her, as Luna dramatically dropped all her bags, then proceeded to run to Natsume, as if it was all in slow motion, like in those romantic movies where there should be hearts flying everywhere by now. Natsume quickly stood up and jogged to her, bringing her up in a tight hug. Luna buried her face on her boyfriend's neck as she said something quite muffled.

Mikan looked away, knowing that if she kept on looking, her stomach might give up and decorate the place with the leftovers of what she ate this lunch.

"Oh thank God,"

Mikan looked at Luna, sensing that it was meant to be said to her. Luna had her hands on her chest, and had a relieved expression on her face, while looking at Mikan up and down.

"Thank God you're not that pretty." she sighed. "I thought I had a competition there for a second."

Mikan cringed, not knowing whether this girl was joking or not. She was betting on the latter.

"Excuse me?"

"Oh you know," Luna shrugged. "I thought my baby was attracted to you and all. I thought you might steal him away from me, so I went over here," she looked around the Airport disgustingly. "To New Zealand," she spat. "But I guess it was just a waste of time coming to this stupid, filthy place. I should be rest assured that my baby will stay by my –"

A sound of flesh against flesh echoed in the Airport. Some bystanders stopped to observe what was going on.

The brunette girl just slapped the blonde, they all gasped.

"How dare you," Mikan hissed. "I was fine with you saying bad things about me and all that shit, but then you go as far as dissing my country?"

"Polka," Natsume stepped towards her, but she shoved him away.

"No, Natsume. I have to knock some sense into this girl's thick head," she said, turning around to face Luna's shocked face. "First of all, you're not all too pretty yourself. So stop saying as if you're prettier than everyone else in this Airport. And second of all, I've never understood this whole competition between New Zealand and Australia, so I had nothing against your stupid country. But if there are millions of girls like you there, goodness, I guess I just found that one thing I will forever hold against Australia."

Luna's face scrunched up. "You!" she spat. "How dare you!"

"Goodbye, Luna," Mikan said mockingly as she turned around and walked away, shaking her butt in the air as bystanders, who had watched in curiousness, cheered her on.

So much for a good first impression.


zagogay's notes

As you have noticed, I used Australia and New Zealand, instead of -insert country's name here- and Japan. Well, as I said earlier on, I originally wrote this story for FictionPress, and the countries I chose, were Australia and New Zealand, since there's this 'war' thing going on between those two countries (something I've never understood, much like Mikan). So basically, I'm just going to make Luna represent Australia, and Mikan represent New Zealand. And Natsume? He'll represent both.

Natsume's so OOC in this. Because, empathize that they were original characters in FictionPress. I just changed the names, so... sorry!

One more thing: do you think there's a hint of humor here? :)

-J