Disclaimer: Most of the characters used are from Gakuen Alice and Higuchi Tachibana is the sole owner. Story plot is mine; any kind of similarities from others are purely coincidence. ;)
Author's Message: Hello everyone! Another chapter for the week! I hope everyone will like this. Enjoy!
"Explain," Jinno said without looking at the two lads who just entered his premises and was now standing in front of him.
Tsubasa scratched the back of his head. "They are newlyweds, Jin…"
Natsume hit Tsubasa's head and glared at him, his eyes almost shouting that his manager didn't help at all. Then he looked at Jinno and said, "No—I mean, we just started going out a couple of days ago."
"And why did it become a headline without me knowing?" Jinno tapped his index finger on his table as he looked up and intently stared at Natsume's eyes. "For God's sake, Hyuuga Natsume! The group is preparing for an album. A new set of images for The Outsiders!"
"You mean that dance thing? I was clear to you, oldie. I told you that I didn't want that project, yet you insisted meeting those bitchy back-street teachers! And besides, going out with Mikan won't destroy anything!" Natsume retorted.
"H-Hey, calm down…" Tsubasa held Natsume's shoulder but Natsume shook it off.
"Your group was supposed to destroy The Strangers, not become Mikan Sakura's lover. And yes, you told me to stop the project, but I continued it. You don't want it to pursue because of your ridiculous memories in the past! You can't continue running away from it, Natsume." Jinno stood up and put his hand over Natsume's head. "You have to face them."
Natsume slapped Jinno's hand away from him and shook his head. "You're not my father to tell me what to do, oldie. Find other guys out there for you to dictate."
Natsume walked out of the office, leaving Tsubasa behind. As Tsubasa turned his head to Jinno, his face went pale.
"Tell me what happened to Mikan Sakura and Natsume," Jinno demanded, still crushing the already broken pencil in his hands.
Tsubasa gulped. I'll tell whatever story comes in my head…
"You're telling me that they are truly in a relationship," Narumi coughed out a laugh and shook his head. "And you are asking me to believe that, Misaki Harada?"
Misaki nodded with a smile. "Oh yes, of course." She held her thumbs up and winked.
Narumi faked a smile then he smacked Misaki's head. "Don't give me that silly cutesy act of yours, Misaki. It won't work for now."
Misaki pouted: Narumi's right. Now's not the time for her to twist his mind with her silly acts. But then she's not to be blamed! Narumi, despite his girly personality, is very weak to cute acting of girls. If she were to weaken Narumi and set off his mind on Mikan's issues then she might not get into trouble of explaining him lies.
"But it's true, Naru!" Misaki cried out. "Mikan and Natsume are deeeeeeply in love with each other."
Narumi squinted his eyes. "There's no way I'll believe that. Even a single mention of Natsume Hyuuga's name quickly irritates her."
"Actually, Mikan doesn't want their relationship to be known in public. And she especially didn't want you to know about it, Narumi. I don't know why, but she clearly told us not to tell you. That's why I'm here. I thought I could stop you from watching the news-I was too late though." Misaki bit her inner cheek. Everything she said was a lie, and it depends on Mikan if she could say something to support it. For now, this was the best she could think of.
Narumi sighed. There was this lone reason that he could think of why Mikan would keep her relationship with Natsume to him as a secret. But that reason was solely his opinion. He still needed to hear what Mikan has to say. He nodded his head and said to Misaki, "Please call Mikan. I need to talk to her right away."
Aoi had her hands before her opened mouth while Youichi, who stood beside her, had his eyes widely open like that of an owl's. Both were looking at the big LED monitor attached at the middle part of the tallest building at the center of Tokyo, which flashed the interview of famous Natsume Hyuuga.
"Is he serious? Why did he—"
"Freaking OMG, You-chan! I didn't know that my brother's madly in love with Mikan-nee!" Aoi shook Youichi and squealed, catching people's attention.
"S-Stop t-that!" Youichi said, stuttering due to Aoi's continuous shaking and slapping on his shoulder.
Youichi sighed. His sister is clearly in trouble and it seems that this fake relationship with Natsume Hyuuga would be something she would regret. There are two things that could happen in this announcement from his senpai. First, fans would either like or hate it, and second, if the fans would like it, producers and directors would do all they could for them to have a music video, a movie or even a commercial together or even a commercial together and if the fans would hate it, they would never accept them and that would be the end of both of the band's careers.
"Hey! That's Aoi-chan and Youichi!"
"Let's take a picture!"
"They look so good together! OMG, don't tell me they're dating!"
Youichi turned his head sharply to the crowd that was starting to block their way. His sweat comically dropped. He couldn't afford to have a scandal with her sister,who was already in trouble. Without further ado, he grabbed Aoi's hand and ran away from the fans who started taking pictures of them.
"You-chan…?" Aoi looked at their entwined hands and blushed. "Our ha—"
"Shut up and run fast!" Youichi put his cap on Aoi's head. Good thing he had his sunglasses on. "Keep that cap safe, it's my fave."
"Okay…" Aoi muttered and held the cap tightly with her free hand.
"You know what? I don't see any reason why Jinno's so eager for the downfall of The Strangers." Natsume frowned and gulped his grape juice.
"Right. I can accept it if it's us. I mean, it is natural for us to like it whenever The Stranger's in trouble because they're our rivals." Mochu raised his shoulders as he ate his pan bread.
"That's not it, Mochu. We're actually doing this rival thing because Jin-Jin ordered us. Isn't it, Natsume? I also don't get Jin-Jin," Ruka laughed. He grabbed some cookies and sighed.
"Do you think there's another issue between Notes and Metier?" Yuu said, and everyone turned their attention to him.
"How can you say that, Yuu?" Koko said, half-laughing.
"Everyone saw it, right? The way Mikan acted when Metier got insulted? She said that we don't really know Notes, or something between the lines." Yuu shrugged and scratched his head. "I've been thinking about what she said. Haha. Maybe she knows something that we don't know?"
Natsume touched his lips with his thumb and looked sideways. "Maybe…"
"Oh well, for now we should start practicing the dance for our single, Purple Line," Ruka said as he pointed his thumb at the back where Back-Street stood. "They waited for the media to come out and I think they deserve our attention now. So Natsume, you can do this dance right?"
Natsume rolled his eyes and stood up. "I have no choice."
Mikan took a seat on the couch while Misaki went out of the office. Narumi stood up, sat beside Mikan and held her hands, gently rubbing it. Mikan blinked in wonder and smiled.
Narumi sighed. "Why did you…keep your relationship with Natsume as a secret to me, Mikan?"
Mikan's eyes went big.
"I," was the only word that went out from her mouth. "How did you know…?"
"From Natsume's interview," Narumi answered. "Did you keep it from me because of the issue between me and Jinno?"
She frowned. This was too sudden to happen. She wasn't ready for this! She should tell Narumi that it was just a fake relationship and it's Ruka that she's dating. No, wait. it would make things more complicated! Ahh, whatever. She would say anything in her mind.
"I was afraid that it could affect your plans, Narumi." Mikan gulped. She didn't expect that to come out from her own mouth! "I know. My parents know what Jinno's father did to your father, and how you and Jinno became enemies. We know the things that you did just to have this company. I don't want to waste all of that now."
Narumi's eyes became tender as he hugged Mikan. "Mikan, Natsume is just a part of Notes. He doesn't know anything about that issue so I don't think it's wrong for the two of you to love each other." He broke the hug and beamed at Mikan.
"I was just thinking of what you might feel, Narumi," Mikan said.
Narumi nodded. "I know that. I'm just upset that you didn't tell me about this beforehand." He patted Mikan's head. "But don't worry. This will not ruin your and Natsume's career. I will help you two get projects."
Narumi put his hands on Mikan's cheeks as he squished it like a stuff toy. "You two have to be the best and the perfect couple in this industry."
Mikan became sweaty all of a sudden. Now I think that is a problem.
"Mikan-nee! Did you watch it?"
Mikan and Narumi turned their heads to the lad who opened the door and was now catching his breath. "You-chan?" She uttered. Then she looked at the girl beside her brother. Her brow went up. "A-Aoi?"
Tsubasa closed the door behind him. He leaned his back against the door and heaved a sigh. Good thing Jinno didn't ask for more information and just listened to his lies. If he told him that it was just a fake relationship and Ruka was the real lover of Mikan, Jinno would have erupted. His thoughts were cut when his phone rang.
"Hello?" Tsubasa asked on the line.
"Ah, Tsubasa-kun? This is Ruka's mother. I want to talk to him but his phone is off."
"I'm very sorry Ma'am, but I'm currently not with Ruka. But if you're willing to wait for…" Tsubasa ran towards the elevator, "...three minutes or so, you'd be able to get in touch with him."
"Sure, sure! No problem. I'm sorry for the disturbance. I just need to talk to him, for family reasons."
"I perfectly understand." Tsubasa went off the elevator and hurriedly went in the dressing room. He saw Ruka dancing with the Back-Street so he held his hand up as a gesture of calling Ruka. Ruka obliged and walked towards Tsubasa.
Tsubasa covered his phone and whispered to Ruka, "It's your mother."
Ruka cringed, wondering why his mom would call. He took Tsubasa's phone and answered, "Mom?"
"Ruka! I've been trying to contact you! Why is your phone off?"
"I'm sorry, I was rehearsing something for our—"
"Nevermind. Anyway, I want you to go straight to my favorite restaurant."
Ruka raised his eyebrow, "Why? I still have work here. I don't think I'll be out of work early."
"This is important. You're going to meet your soon-to-be lover."
His eyes went wide as he choked on his own saliva. "Wha-? Mom! I told you, I don't need one!"
"We talked about this before, Ruka. The agreement was that you have to introduce a decent girlfriend to us first before you could turn down our offer."
Ruka went quiet. He bit his lower lip and looked at his best friend, wondering what Natsume would have done if he was in his situation. Suddenly, Mikan's face popped in his mind—the very thought of introducing her to his mother worried him, and it made him shake his head. It wasn't right to bring Mikan any more danger than what she has now. But then, he actually did this fake relationship with her so that he could introduce her to his parents and-"
"Ruka Nogi! Come to your senses and show yourself in this restaurant right away!"
Ruka hit his forehead. "But I—"
Ruka rolled his eyes—this wasn't the time to think twice! "But Mom, I—"
"Nooo buts! Ruka, don't make me angry—"
"Mom, listen!" Ruka shouted. He paused for a while as the others snapped their attention to him. Natsume walked towards Ruka and was about to ask what was wrong, but Ruka held his hand up and continued, "I have a girlfriend!"
Natsume's eyes widened. "I have a girlfriend and she's very decent, and I think you'll like her. I'll introduce her to you, but now is not the right time." Before his mother could talk more, Ruka dropped the phone call then looked in his best friend's eyes as he sighed.
"So Aunt didn't know that Mikan's has been your girl for two months?" Natsume asked.
"One month, Nat. Yeah, I didn't tell her about Mikan." Ruka answered.
Ruka shrugged, "I was afraid they'd reject her. I'll go first. Just tell Koizumi-san that I have an emergency to attend to." He tapped Natsume's shoulder and walked, but he stopped midway to look back at Natsume. "I really love Mikan, you know. I don't want her to get hurt."
Ruka turned around and shook his head as he thought, Seriously, Ruka. You're getting better at lying to your best bud. He ran his hand on his face. I'm sorry, Natsume.
Credits to: Imagination: Unleashed Beta Nook