Disclaimer: I don't own Gauken Alice. If I did, the next chapter would be out by now. ;)
Author's Note: I know I didn't start writing this on time but I felt it was due anyway. Better late than never right? Note that it is a totally separate drabble.
Silvermist did one too so you can go check that out. So here it is and its part two of the When the Clock Strikes Twelve series! Enjoy!
Dedication: Happy New Year! 2012 let's rock 'n roll! Thanks to Silvermist for being an awesome friend and helping me fix the many grammar mistakes here. (Ugh she's gonna be better at grammar than me pretty soon with all that SAT prep)
When the Clock Strikes Twelve
~You have been cordially invited!
Event: Winter Wonderland Celebration
Location: The Grand Ballroom
Date: December 31, 2011
Please feel free to bring a guest and RSVP in advance!
"What crap is this?" Sumire asked to no one in particular from her lounging position on the couch. "We're not twelve anymore! We should get to go to real parties!"
"Relax Shouda. You're only sixteen, you're still a minor and nowhere near 21." Hotaru said calmly from her desk browsing on her laptop.
"Yeah like that matters around here," She scoffed, sitting upright and picking up her cell phone. "If you've got an invite, a fake ID and some cash, you're golden babe."
"Well you talk the talk, let's see if you can walk the walk," Hotaru challenged swiveling around in her black leather revolving chair. "If I hook you up with a senior party, are you in?"
"You bet! I'm surprised you felt the need to ask," Sumire laughed. Then she narrowed her eyes. "Wait a minute… what's in it for you?"
Hotaru gave a small smile, ignoring her phone that started vibrating silently. Just then the door opened to reveal Mikan who walked in with two shopping bags at her sides. "I found my outfit!"
"Yeah about that," Sumire started. "You're talking about the Winter Ball right?"
Mikan nodded excited. "Can you believe its only two days away?"
"Hotaru's getting me an invite to another party so I can't come." She said super fast.
Mikan understood it the squeel. "Why would you want to go somewhere else?"
"I think I'm a little too old for that stuff Mikan. It's alright you'll still have Hotaru."
"Actually I won't be available that night. Something came up and I'm heading out to London tomorrow to deal with it. I'll be back in time for our trip."
Mikan's jaw dropped. "So you'll be spending New Years all by yourself? That's so sad."
Hotaru raised an eyebrow and noted that the vibrations had stopped. "I'll be with my parents at the London High Society party silly."
"So we're all going to different parties huh?" Mikan sighed, sitting down on a recliner.
"Well you could come with me." Sumire offered.
"I think I can find an extra seat on the jet if you want." Hotaru also put forward.
Mikan thought deeply for a minute and then smiled. "It's alright. We don't have to do everything together."
"Yay!" Sumire yelped, hugging her. "Now let's go raid my closet to see what I can wear."
As the others left the living room, Hotaru checked her voicemail. "Miss Hotaru Imai I regret to inform you that..."
"You're taking an awfully long time getting ready." Sumire stated as she watched Mikan check her makeup in the mirror. Wearing a hot pink knee length silk dress and a black Venetian mask, she did look ready except that she kept messing with her hair.
Sumire on the other hand was wearing a smoking hot black dress that went mid-thigh, the most awesome part being her blown-back highlighted streaked hair. Now the different in styles was contrasting.
"I know I want to put my hair up but a plain old bun just makes me look like I'm being a slouch or a sweeper lady." Mikan pouted.
"Oh come here," Sumire said, expertly using her hands to style Mikan's hair into a French twist. "It's sophisticated, easy to undo and serves the purpose of a hair bun."
"Thank you!" Mikan exclaimed, brightening at the finished hairdo.
"So if you get bored at your Masquerade, you know where to find me. I doubt the party's gonna end before dawn." Sumire offered as they grabbed their stuff and made their way to the door.
Mikan chuckled light-heartedly. "Sure thing. Don't hold your breath on it though, it's not my favorite kind of crowd."
"Well you're not going to know anyone at the Ball either. Last I checked none of our friends are going." Sumire replied, locking the door.
"It's a masquerade, where's the fun if you know who's behind the mask?" Mikan asked perkily. "I'll text you with updates."
"Ditto. Don't forget about my offer!" Sumire replied, leaving to catch her ride.
Mikan was standing by the punch bowl, drinking in the lights and energy around her. Even though she was alone, she was having a good time. The food was good and there were many kind strangers to dance with. If she was being honest with herself though, she did wonder in what direction the night could go if she took up Sumire's offer. The unknown was intriguing.
Someone brushed by her. It was a boy donned in a tuxedo, on his face he wore a black mask which had a faint whisker design embarked on it. He turned to look at her.
"My apologies miss. Care to dance?" He held out his hand.
She took it with a forgiving smile and let him lead her onto the dance floor.
His movements were fluid and swift. If he wasn't guiding her she doubted whether she'd be able to keep up. Something felt off though, it looked like he was fighting to keep a grin off of his face.
"Something funny?" She asked politely.
"I feel like I know you." He replied, his voice sounding familiar.
Three seconds. That's how long it took for Mikan to put two and two together. It also happened to be when the song ended and she was dipped backward.
"I can't believe it's you!" She exclaimed, more surprised than anything.
He led her out onto a balcony. "Why not?"
"Because you're acting like a gentleman." She replied mockingly, letting go of his arm and leaning on the railing.
"Don't judge." He reminded her.
"What are you doing here anyway? This doesn't seem like your kind of scene."
He was about to say something but a frown crossed his face abruptly and went away as fast as it came. He took off his mask and smirked at her, "You're right. It's not. How about we go to one that is?" He held out his hand again.
Mikan didn't know why but she felt a spark ignite within her. At least she wouldn't be bored when they entered the new year.
"This is your kind of party? Being lonely?" Mikan asked him looking around as they walked out onto the roof of the ballroom.
"More like private," He muttered. "What'd you expect?"
"Oh I've learned not to expect when it comes to you," She answered. "You end up proving me wrong sometimes."
"Sounds about right."
She scoffed at his arrogance and asked a little timidly. "So what're we going to do here?"
"Scared?" He mocked.
"Why would I be scared?" She asked smiling.
"Because you're all alone here with me and nobody knows." He reasoned.
"Yeah what are you gonna do? Kill me?"
"Not funny Hyuuga." She said, backing away from him.
He paused at that. Maybe something was wrong.
"I wouldn't let anything happen to you," He said, giving her a look. "Ruka would be devastated."
"We're just friends, you make it sound like we're in love or something!" She replied.
Natsume ignored her protest and checked his watch, so Mikan checked the time on hers too.
"3 minutes to midnight and we're standing on a roof?" Mikan asked rubbing her arms while bracing against the gentle breeze.
"Patience is a virtue." Natsume said with his hand in his pocket.
"Yeah when you know why you're waiting out in the freezing cold!" She returned. She felt warmer as he took off his jacket and wrapped it around her.
She didn't get a chance to reply. Right then the fireworks went off and she could hear a clock bell toll in the distance.
"Happy New Year Mikan." He said, looking her in the eye for once.
She didn't know why she did it. There was no thinking about why and she didn't remember wanting to do it. Her body just moved on its own.
"Happy New Year Natsume."
The rest of the night didn't matter much. At the stroke of midnight, she had her peek at the year ahead of her and man was it looking good!
And as the fireworks went off in the background, they kissed for the first time. And afterwards Mikan hoped it wouldn't be their last.
Yeah it's supposed to be a bit vague. Review please!
~Alexxis T. Swan