Cold Facade

Disclaimer:I don't own Gakuen Alice.

Chapter One:Accident

The clear view of the sky from the glass windows of the cozy Italian Restaurant caught the unperturbed attention of a certain girl. From the corner of her eyes, she watched the roll of clouds in a crispy blanket of blue and white scattered messily unto the horizon, creating random shapes that could be mistaken as symbolic images of some sort. It was oddly fascinating. But when a flock of birds suddenly came into view flying southwards merrily in anticipation, the perfect view of the horizon was fleetingly distorted with the clumsy, laid-back motions.

It absolutely ridiculed her—the view. How could the birds fly merrily when she was here hardly ever being happy in dotting the invisible threads of logic and trying to understand this man who's in current attempt of trying to prolong her agony by being indirect. She muttered a silent curse under her breath before bringing her attention back to him. Though flying sounds harder than dotting an invisible line, what's there to be happy about in this very ordinary day?

Yeah, yeah. She's such a killjoy sometimes.

"So you're trying to tell me you want a girlfriend?" her sarcastic feminine voice echoed casually, trying to hide a scornful laugh.

The man's face looks stricken as he stared at her in disbelief. By the precious look of it, she suddenly wished she had brought her camera and snapped the picture of the prominent man. She would have been able to sell millions to the paparazzi if it's so.

She heaved a disappointed sigh as the man couldn't help but blink at her odd reaction, looking at her with what seems to be curious amusement. But then after awhile, he straightened his suit formally and entwined his hands together on the decorated glass table before sending her a stern look. And alongside the firm glare directed to her was a silent signal echoing that it wasn't an ordinary silly joke to be laughed at, moreover; inside an expensive Italian Restaurant like where they are checked in at the moment.

"That's not funny." the man said pointedly, eyes bore sharp daggers, "My loyalty is still high as Mount Everest, you know. Do not underestimate me and question my fidelity towards my wife." He spat viciously.

But the lady he was talking to was unfazed and gave a snort instead. "Then why did you call? You know how busy I am, Uncle Kota." Her voice was cold despite the strong accent of a soft feminine Japanese voice in it.

He smirked at her confusion. "You don't understand do you?" he asked slyly.

He saw her grimaced. "Not a speck." She answered boldly.

"You are still the same.." the man smiled softly but then also added, "..yet not so much."

That moment after he said such, it was noticeable how the lady's butterscotch almond-shaped eyes twitched irritably. The man's lips formed a small smile as she glared at him tauntingly. She was impatient — as she has always been.

She was supposed to attend her Biology class today and she's been already 15 minutes late now if her calculations were correct. She was a busy person, a worked-up student and here she was lazing inside an Italian restaurant as if she has no care in the world. She still has to prepare for a Math quiz by tomorrow afternoon, finish up a Physics project, complete her essay for Literature class, and a lot more things to do.

It's a good thing that Uncle Kota, the man she was talking to, noticed it. "I know, I know, you're being impatient again, busy with all that academic shits." She flinched at his choice of words making the latter smirk wider, "But I want you to take this matter very seriously also." he said in a voice that meant business while looking at her in way where she couldn't help but silence her big fat mouth from cursing him.

So instead of spurting curses, she gaped at him. And when she has the strength to finally speak, she does it with such bold power that would earn raised eyebrows from someone older than her.

"Do you seriously think I'm not serious?" she asked him disbelievingly. "I'm always serious with business, Uncle. Why don't you just tell me what you want and then get over it?" she proposed exasperatedly while tossing her long wavy lavender hair back.

Uncle Kota huffed merrily. "Now, chill my dear child. You won't be able to understand my proposal if you're so impatient like that. I don't want you to act impulsively, that's why we're taking it slow.." He said smoothly, trapping her irritation away and calming her.

The lady, instead of declaring war mumbled something instead which goes along the words busy, unbelievable, and stupid old man. She idly wondered if the matter that he will discuss is really of great importance that they are taking this conversation with a lot of intro.

"Spill it, Uncle Kota." she muttered under her breath rolling her eyes in the process.

She took a glimpse again outside and saw the clear sky darkening, the sun smoothly rolling away from the mob's view and hiding itself beneath the mountains. It was a day, which you can almost call a night. It was getting dark and in their two hours of being together, nothing's really been settled and done.

"Are you ready?" he echoed smoothly, as if he's talking to a 5-year old kid. She nodded impassively but beneath the table she was clenching her fist already. If not for her respect for this man, she would've sworn despicable curses already.

Silence soon stretched lazily; he was waiting for her audible answer, not just a mere nod while she was being stubborn on giving him what he wanted by staring at him quietly with her gauging brown eyes.

"Won't you say yes, hmm?" Uncle Kota hummed softly. And it somewhat irritated the hell out of her.

"Are you sure you can still drive up a car?" the man seated at the backseat conversed worriedly, staring at the drunken driver with absolute wariness. "You know I can drive for you if —"

From the rear-view mirror, the man responsible for the wheels glanced at his friend furtively. His eyes strayed to focus on the road as he blinked rapidly, trying to ease the drunkenness out of his system. He was getting the hang of it, so for another short moment, he risked glancing on the rearview mirror to assure his friend that he can manage — and on that instant, blank crimson eyes met soft cerulean ones.

There was a sudden jolt of understanding that passed behind the two individuals—an assurance, a benefit for the doubt.

"Oh, look at the road!" the guy admonished in worry after glancing on the road and seeing how they barely miss the curve that leads to a dangerous cliff.

"You n-nyow, I can m-manyage." His words slurred as he stubbornly raised his both of his hands from his firm grip on the steering wheel. "Ish-top b-being a woo-rrywarth, Ruka. I´m f-fine. Trusth me." he growled.

"But you're so stubborn!" Ruka retorted exasperatedly, not wanting all his hard work to stir him back in track be futile, "I trust you, Natsume. But are you sure you can keep up with your vulnerable self? Having low tolerance in alcohol and drinking until you can't even differentiate white and black?" he lectured. It wasn't his first time, and Natsume's definitely used to him.

"C'mon Ruka. He's just one stupid guy to begin with." He maneuvered a sharp turn to the left towards the main highway.

"Yeah." Ruka threw back his hands in frustration, "And he was on top of—" but he wasn't able to continue because Natsume had cut him off.

"Enough with the bastard." He growled and sped up on the highway.

It was quick. And neither of them had the chance to react as all of a sudden, a deafening screech of tires slammed their ears, the same time blinding yellow lights enveloped their whole surroundings. Sobering up, Natsume saw how the four-wheelers truck smashed against the front fender of his car with such great impact that slammed his and Ruka's body towards the windshield.

It was a scene just like in the movies because what happened next was completely out of his expectations. The glass window on Ruka's side shattered so when they slammed forward they were like pingpong balls who bounced from the windshield and were thrown carelessly outside the wrecked vehicle through the shattered window. It was all too fast that Natsume couldn't even form a proper reaction from what happened.

Loud clanking sounds of two metals crashing broke the tensed atmosphere and Natsume fought for his vision and consciousness. He felt sickeningly nauseous and he couldn't even move his body to soothe the nausea. He felt numb all of a sudden as he tried his best to squint on his surroundings. He squirmed after seeing everything was blurry and dim on his vision.

Just then he felt his arm getting lifted and saw Ruka draping an arm over his and pulling him away the wrecked car. Ruka looked completely in pain, but something in his cerulean eyes flickered and Natsume felt the intensity of Ruka's worry over him.

"Let's get out of here.." Ruka rasped and pulled him using all the strength he has. "The car m-might explode and—"

Natsume needn't be told twice as he helped himself along with Ruka's aid out of the place. It was hard given that he couldn't seem to move his body, but Ruka was so persistent to get them out here that Natsume could only try his best as well.

He was already numb and he couldn't even lift his arms without any help, but his bestfriend was holding him tightly and helping him throughout. Natsume thinks that it's alright to die and has no problems regarding it, though he seems to think otherwise for Ruka. Ruka is stubborn in his own way and won't surely leave him even if how many times he tried to push him away. But if he tried to save himself, he's also saving Ruka. And that's just exactly what he needs to do.

They'd been few yards away when a massive headache found its way through Natsume's head. Then he heard a loud and blinding explosion along with the pungent odor of burning gasoline seeping through his nose. Natsume shut his eyes tight as he heard Ruka rasped a labored breath. He felt his world spin as he snapped his eyes open again and brought them towards the enormous dancing fire; witnessing how his car was slowly getting licked into ashes.

He felt weary, extremely weary as he felt his eyes getting heavy. Natsume fought for it, wanting to keep his consciousness until the paramedics came. He can't fall asleep yet. He needs to be conscious. He needs to know what's happening. But his lids were getting heavier and tiredness is starting to consume him. In panic, Natsume moved his gaze towards his friend.

He wasn't able to take a close look on Ruka but right now, Natsume felt as if he'd been kicked in his guts. The latter was covered in a pool of blood that his face appeared almost unrecognizable due to cuts and severe bruises. He was still breathing, but Natsume noticed how Ruka was breathing laboriously in short, rapid succession.

His eyes widened as he tried to fight the drowsiness slowly sinking through his senses. But it was too strong for him to fight. Adrenaline has slowly left him, and he felt limp. Ruka has gone unconscious and Natsume was slowly beginning to surrender himself to sleep as well. Yeah, maybe the beer has helped in the attempt of draining all of his energy to resist. Natsume didn't want to fight anymore. For once, he was willing to give up. He was already tired, too tired.

But before everything turned black, he was able to yell "Heeelp!" in a faint, dizzy voice.

"I'm waiting..." he reminded her patiently, throwing a knowing smile in her direction.


She was almost sure she saw his lips twitching. A nerve popped but she didn't speak.


He was now tapping his fingers on the table. It has seemed that his patience has worn-out already. His eyes bore holes in her head making her cringe at his impatience. She was still weighing her benefits on attending to his favor. And she really doesn't care if he gets impatient or not.

She's not doing this without a catch.

"You'll get benefits, you know…" Uncle Kota seemed persistent with the little favor.

She rolled her eyes dismissively but then thought of money, money and money. Yeah, perhaps she could get something out of this.

"Yes." She said finally. "Now spill." she shot him a look.

"I want you to accompany my son and bridge him to Hotaru Imai when he came here from Los Angeles tomorrow, Mikan." he grinned sheepishly making her gasp in horror.

(RainbowPrincess326)Crumpled Thoughts

Update on 08/12/12 – I completed editing the chapter. The rest chapters will be under revision. :)