Tainted
Posted 6/12/08
Chapter 1 – Natsume being a nuisance
“You’re just trying to stop me from getting engaged, aren’t you?” Mikan groaned in frustration, wiping her skirt feverishly with the wet towel, trying to get rid of the coffee stain on it. She wrung her hands desperately, glaring at Natsume, who was standing before her with an indifferent expression on his face, even though he had never felt more irritated in his whole life.
“I wasn’t. Who would want to stop you from getting married, little girl?”
“Then?” She spat back at him, venom dripping from every word, “Then? What good would you get, Natsume? From peeking at my underwear ever since we were ten years old, calling me names, and now, even though we’re both already fifteen, getting up to childish acts such as destroying every date I have?” She slapped a hand onto her forehead, leaving a stinging red mark there. Natsume raised an eyebrow at the intensity of her actions. Was she seriously going to kill herself over a spoilt date?
“Was it really that important to you?” He managed to mumble, despite the increasing dryness in his throat.
“Yes, it was, for your information. I have never met a guy as nice as Sato-kun, in fact I can say that he’s a few hundred percents better than you, you perverted jerk.”
“I am not a perverted jerk.”
“Yes you are! And you’re a perverted jerk that destroys dates just because you can’t get one yourself! Why don’t you just put down your damned pride for once, Natsume, and just get a nice, sweet date with one of the poor girls in love with you?” Mikan didn’t even bother to look at Natsume, as she stared wistfully at the door where her date, Sato Michi, had left a while ago. To her, he was probably the best suitor she had ever had. He was calm and withdrawn. And the most important thing was that he didn’t have a mountain load of pride, which was probably the part that Hyuuga Natsume was richest in. Naturally, she failed to notice the rare, stung and hurt look in Natsume’s claret eyes.
“…What do you mean I can’t get a date?”
“Well, can you?” Mikan looked up, and Natsume’s expression immediately iced over. “I don’t see why you can, Natsume. Who would want to go out with you? Knowing you, you’d probably let the girl wait alone for hours, or if not, you’d probably just bring her to a rundown coffee shop and say, ‘I don’t have much time. Just hurry up and eat what you want, so we can go back.’ Which is so not romantic, by the way.”
“…”
Mikan noticed that he wasn’t saying anything, and raised her arms triumphantly. She shot him a look that said, “Nothing more to say? Hah. I knew it.”
Natsume continued to stare at her weird and childish antics, and sighed heavily. “Can’t you ever accept that I’m doing something good for you? For a change?”
Mikan snorted, one hand pressing on her waist as peals of laughter escaped from her lips. “Something good for me? Oh please, I’ll never believe that in a million years—“
“—That’s because you’re biased. You just think I can never do anything. Not even a kind gesture.”
Natsume expected her to protest, like she would have five years ago. To protest and tell him that he was wrong, surely he could do something nice. And that he was really nice, at least in the inside.
“Exactly. At least you have some sense of shame. I never thought I’d live to see this day, Natsume,” She looked up at him, amusement dancing in her eyes. This time, she caught the fleeting hurt look on his face. “Natsume? Did I say some—“
“Forget it.” He waved a hand briefly to dismiss the matter. “I’m going back.”
She regretted it immediately. She hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings, it was all a joke—Okay, and maybe it wasn’t. It just seemed so impossible for Natsume to ever do something good without a motive. Just like three years ago, on Mikan’s twelveth birthday. Natsume had sweetly turned up with a present at her birthday party. She was elated. Only to find that it was a whoopee cushion after he put it on her chair, embarrassing her in front of everybody. Not only that, he had left with a smirk on his face, with no sign of remorse at all. She could never bring herself to trust him totally after that. Whenever he did something nice, she would suspect, and you couldn’t blame her for it.
He could never do any good thing for her.
Right…so I shouldn’t be feeling guilty for this, should I?
--
Natsume stuffed a hand roughly into his pocket, ignoring the obsessed screams from the women on the streets. He headed in the direction of the boys’ dormitory,
“I guess I shouldn’t have…even though the guy’s reputation…” He mumbled to himself silently as he bit his lip hard, drawing blood.
She was just one of those girls that never took a liking to him. Special. With that annoying way she stuck to him like a leech, trying to make him do stupid things, always asking if he couldn’t just smile for her once.
But those were in the past. Now, she had grown, tremendously, and had stopped trying to be near him. She would go for dates almost everyday with one of her many suitors, most of which were playboys, who only intended to play with her before dumping her. Those, whom were quite acceptable, were those whose personalities did not match with hers. Which was why he would always try to destroy the unacceptable dates. All for her own good. Even though he felt reluctant at letting her go. She had always been special, one of the few people allowed to come close to him, one of the few people that truly knew him, cared for him.
Yet it didn’t seem so anymore.
The insults that he thought would never come from her had started coming since the past year, and were increasing rapidly. She couldn’t stand him anymore. The friendship was gone, and the hidden love he had felt for her the past five years was never going to be accepted.
It would be suffice to say that she probably hated him to the core. For peeking at her underwear, calling her names, and destroying her dates, even after they had known each other for such a long time. She didn’t understand why he did those kinds of things. Those things that she deemed horrible, things that only an erotic person would do. It was the only way he could protect her, get close to her, and not get neglected as she went for her dates. It was his only way of keeping her, even though it may have seemed selfish.
Natsume noticed a slight drip of blood on his wrist, and ran his tongue over the wound on his bottom lip, wincing slightly. It wasn’t really the wound that was hurting, though.
--
Chapter 2 – The Alice Stone
Mikan pulled out the fifth drawer in her room, searching frantically for the object that was precious to her. She had only realized that it had gone missing after she had come back. It had not been at its original position, in that cushioned red box that she had bought especially to keep it in, for fear that her carelessness would cause it to break.
“Where the hell did it go? No one would want to steal that kind of thing! Plus, no one has any kind of feud with me…” Tears welled up in her eyes and Mikan scrambled around on the floor, searching for her treasure. It had been a very special present, one that she had treasured over the past four years, and a present she had received slightly after her eleventh birthday.
Mikan accidentally pulled out a photograph from inside an album, and as she looked at the smiling faces with a background of a luxurious room, a slight smile lighted up her worried face. Her eyes focused on a certain boy with red eyes, looking as stoic as ever, bored compared to the happy people around him.
“Natsume…”
--
Natsume laid back on his bed, rubbing the red Alice stone with his thumb, his eyes taking note of how it had not suffered even a small scratch over the years. “The idiot even bought a box to keep it in,” He smirked, “It took me such a long time to find it, even though it was right there on the table. At least she treasures this…” The corners of his lips tilted slightly. Mikan probably never knew that he was the one who made it, then gave it to her.
“The idiot.”
A soft knock on the door awoke him from his daydream, and he got up lazily. Slowly, taking as much time as he wanted, he moved towards the door, half tempted to burn it so he would not have to go through the immense trouble of opening it. He turned the doorknob, and pulled the door open roughly, only to find a warm, petite body falling into his arms, followed by a shocked squeal. A mass of soft brown hair spread over his chest as the impact of the fall caused them both to fall backwards. Acting on reflex, Natsume held out a hand, pressing on the wall to steady himself, the other hand winding around the girl’s waist, keeping her standing as well.
Mikan gasped, clinging onto him. Her brown eyes looking indignantly at Natsume, she chided, “What did you think you were doing? Opening the door so suddenly, I was leaning on it, you know!”
“If you really were so free to come and lean on my door, you never should have knocked.”
“Well, you were the one taking such a long time to open the door! I thought no one was in, so—“
“—So decided to look stupid by waiting outside so you can pounce on me when I get back?”
“…” A dark blush had appeared on her cheeks, and she wasn’t looking at him anymore. She was looking at the floor, her brown eyes scanning the marble floor, desperate not to look at him. Natsume observed her, smirking. So she hadn’t really changed that much after all.
“So you really are that much in love with me? You’re still such a little girl.”
Mikan suddenly hit him on his head, and reached for the object he was holding in his hand.
“You stole it! You…you thief! And here I was trying to look for it so hard, and you—“
“—You don’t need it. Not anymore,” Was the quiet reply he gave. Mikan jerked her head up indignantly, tears starting to well up in her eyes.
“What do you mean I don’t need it anymore? I do need it. It’s important! Oh well, a person like you would never understand—“
“Don’t I even have the right?” Natsume looked at her intently, “Don’t I have the right to take back something I gave myself?”
“What—you? You? You were the one—You made this?”
“How else do you expect it to appear out of nowhere?” He asked irritably, an eyebrow rose. “Oh, yeah, I forgot. I never do anything good. I’m just a perverted jerk who destroys dates, how could I possibly make an Alice stone?”
Mikan pouted, her nose wrinkled. “That’s because you always destroy my dates? I don’t mean it and you know it.”
“I don’t. I don’t because I’m stupid. Happy?”
“Fine. I’m sorry.” Mikan muttered reluctantly.
“Don’t apologize if you’ll die doing it.” He turned his head away from her, apparently wanting to end the bickering that never seemed to end. Mikan simply frowned at him, and followed him as he sat down on the bed. He rolled his eyes, watching her as she kept a close eye on him. She was this persistent?
“Natsume. Are you hurt?”
He glared at her, failing miserably in intimidating her. “No, I’m not. I just had my feelings ripped out, thrown on the floor, then trampled on by a thousand kilograms heavy fatty, that’s all. How could I possibly be hurt? God, I’m a robot. I don’t have feelings. I’m an insensitive jerk and everyone knows—“
He was cut off by a warm hug. “I don’t mean what I say. You can be nice, sometimes.”
“And the sun rises from the west.”
“Quit the smart remarks. You just seem so, far away.”
“Of course. I have my head in space most of the time, what do you think?”
“Natsume!”
“If you quit bothering me maybe I’ll get better.”
He saw her hesitate. It wasn’t that he really wanted her to leave—he enjoyed her company. It was just, a last desperate attempt to find out how she felt for him. Is the concern was for real, if the relationship had not crumbled. “You’re mean,” Mikan mumbled lightly, her arms still wound around him waist, “And here I am trying to make up for what I’ve said.”
“You just want a clear conscience so you can continue cursing me in you sleep.”
“I’ll tell you something. Then you’ll forgive me, okay?” She pleaded with puppy eyes, plopping onto his lap, and then resting her head on his shoulder.
“…”
“There’s a boy, that I really like.” Natsume’s body stiffened considerably, turning to glare at the brunette. The nerve of her to actually fall in love! “And…” Mikan continued, a dreamy look on her face, “He’s really sweet. Even though he does make me mad. The problem is, I don’t think he likes me. Maybe at the most, he would treat me as a friend, but he probably wouldn’t have me anyway.”
He raised an eyebrow at her, watching, hurting, that her face showed a pained expression.
“So I never try to tell him that I love him. I wouldn’t want to destroy the last bit of friendship we have. I always watch him. I try to go on a lot of dates to, maybe, make him jealous? Get him to notice me? But he just seems indifferent. Even though he’s such a party crasher.”
Natsume narrowed his eyes, and wrapped his arms protectively around the brunette. If I find out who you are, you’re toast…
“He has lots of fans, so many hundreds, thousands of people like him. Sometimes, I think I’m not good enough, to even feel this for him. Plus the hurting truth that he would like me in a million years. He keeps his true feelings inside, you know, you can even say that he never smiles. Just once, when I told him to, he shooed me away. But it’s fine. ‘Cause I swear I saw a flicker of a smile then.”
She was smiling now. It eased the pain in his heart a little, but the awful feelings of jealousy and hurt would not go away. It simply grew stronger. She had found whom she loved.
“He’s just, so warm. Even though he acts cold and all that, he’s really warm. He protects us all.”
Mikan was snuggling further into his arms now, her breath tickling his neck. He heard her take a sharp breath.
“Natsume?”
“…What?”
“What do you think of me?” It was such an innocent, prying question that threatened the stability of his life.
“What does it matter?”
“Can I…have that back?”
Mikan pointed lightly at the Alice stone. Natsume frowned, then silently handed it to her. Elated, she squealed a thank you as she squeezed him.
“Why do you even want it that much anyway?” He found himself blurting out. “It’s worth nothing. It’s not even of any use. It’s just, a stupid stone.”
“It isn’t just a stone. It’s important because you gave it to me.”
“I thought you didn’t know.”
“I didn’t,” She replied lightly, a smiled lighting up her face. “I just suspected. Because it was red.”
“…”
“Do you know?” Mikan asked softly, placing her face in the crook of his neck, “Why I never told you? Who I loved.”
“There wasn’t a need.” Natsume found himself unconsciously crushing his fists into a ball.
“No, it wasn’t because of that.” Mikan pouted, annoyed. “And here I was thinking that you were a genius. Do I really have to say it so clearly?”
“No, you don’t have to. I know you hate me.”
“I don’t! Seriously, Natsume, when have you become so pessimistic?” Mikan probed, both annoyed and amused.
“Because it concerns you,” Was the flat reply.
Yet it contained such a deep meaning.
It earned a blush from her. “And why?”
“I’m always soft when something concerns you,” Natsume blurted everything out as fast as he could, wanting to end the ordeal as soon as possible.”
“And why are you?”
“Stop asking.”
“But you have to tell me!” she whined pathetically.
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do! You have to say it! It’s important!”
“…It’s better if you don’t know.”
“No it isn’t—mmph!”
Natsume tightened his hold on Mikan’s waist as his tongue poked her bottom lip lightly, wetting her soft lips. Afraid of hurting her, he bit as lightly as he could on her lip, earning a squeal from her. It quickly progressed to a situation that his tongue was in her mouth, running across her teeth and lapping her own tongue. Her hands slowly wrapped themselves around his neck, pressing her body against his.
Air.
They broke apart, Mikan breathing heavily, a deep, dark blush tainting her cheeks as she continued staring at the floor.
“Which is why I told you it would be better if you didn’t know.” Natsume cut the silence with an indifferent tone.
“Which is why I said it was important!” Mikan protested.
He could only managed to look at her, a baffled expression appearing on the perfect, flawless face.
“I—uh I…”
“You what? Don’t stammer.”
“I…you know the boy I was talking about?”
“…Must be a conceited bastard…”
Mikan stared at him, eyes wide. Soon after she started laughing uncontrollably, her hands on her sides.
“I never thought, you would ever insult yourself, Natsume!”
“Myself? What my—“
“—I love you.” Mikan cut in lightly, still laughing.
“You...what?”
“I love you. I was so upset when you crashed my date. Because for the one hundred and tenth time, you weren’t showing any signs of jealousy.” She winced lightly, reaching over to hug him.
“…”
“You haven’t said anything yet. Are you comatose, Natsume?”
“…”
She smiled at him lightly.
“I never knew, that you were that much of a conceited bastard, Natsume!”
“Shut up. I know what you want.”
“Then why don’t you give it to me?”
“I don’t feel like giving gifts now.”
“It’s not counted as a gift!”
“It is, for you.”
“Please?”
“No.”
“Pretty please with a cherry on top?”
“I said no.”
“Please?? Please please please, Natsume.”
“Whatever. I love you. Fine?”
Her face was lighted up with the brightest of smiles he had seen in the past five years. Natsume smirked, and pulled her towards him.
“Who gets happy over that sort of thing, Pandas?”
“NATSUME YOU PERVERTED JERK! PARTY CRASHER! CONCEITED BASTARD!”
THE END

Posted 6/17/08
i love this story. really touching. haha. good job sakura-imoto-san.
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Posted 6/17/08
haha funny! i love it!!!
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Posted 6/18/08
funny!!!!!
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24 / F / on Earth XD
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Posted 6/20/08
wah so cool! nice one!
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Posted 6/24/08
at first i thought mikan was acting like a stupid brat demo i really like this story
Posted 7/14/08
nice ending:)) that must mean she was wearing underwear with panda's on them :)) you're really good as a writer you know...hope you'll continue making these amazing stories..
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Posted 1/3/09
Cute...Hahaha!!! XD
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Posted 1/10/09
that was so cute!!! so sweet!!
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