All_Unwritten, prompt 399: in the glare of headlights. Lyrics in italics from "Come 'Round Soon," by Sara Barreilles.


The Angel said I'd smile today. Who needs angels, anyway?


Every once in a while, Kotarou found himself alone in his room, sitting at his desk. Alone, and studying. The only sounds are people wandering around the apartment complex, talking to one another, maybe a few cars passing by outside, the wind. No Misha-san to distract him from his work.

Shia-san wasn't around at those times, either. She was probably cooking, or cleaning, or some other household chore. And she was the one person he wouldn't mind being around all the time.

Shia-san was so motherly. But, then again, Misha-san was, too. In her own sweetly eccentric way.

Kotarou ran his hand through his dark-violet hair. Sighed. Tonight was one of those nights. Studying had seemed especially hard these past few hours; he partly wished he was smarter so that the work would be easier - no, make more sense, because he was smarter. He partly wished Misha-san wasn't away for whatever she did when she was gone (which was hardly ever), and he partly wished he just wasn't here. Sighed again. Stared at the study-guide. A few words were sprawled across the top in kanji: 日本史。

Japanese history.

(I don't feel like doing this right now.) 

He stood up, feeling rather abstract and began heading for the door. Turned 'round before reaching the exit, retracing steps back to his desk, pushing the chair in. Groped around the dim kitchen for his jacket and scarf - it was too cold to go out in just a winter uniform at night. (The night is always cooler than the day, or at least it gives that impression.) So he walked out, stumbled out, tripped through the door frame.

(I wish Misha-san and Shia-san were here.)

It was chilly. The wind he could hear through the window was stronger than it seemed to be; it pricked every millimeter of exposed skin numb. Kotarou wound the loose bits of his jacket around himself closer, having the scarf coil 'round his neck a little tighter and pulled his hands inside the sleeves. Normally the cold would have woken him up. It didn't. (That reverie anesthetized the harsh gust coming from the north. It felt like lying in bed by himself that night, silent and still.)

Kotarou halted. It was similar to waking up from a recurring nightmare of his mother dying; the headlights were glaring and-

(But his mother wasn't there this time. She wasn't going to save him and the only thing he could do was stand there and wait for it to hit him and the anticipation was terrible and nerve-racking and-)

He squeezed his eyes shut, tried to scream, but his vocal cords were icy. He knew it wouldn't do anything in the end besides reduce the brightness of the semi-truck's headlights, though. If he died on impact, it wouldn't hurt. Maybe he'd get to see his mum in Heaven.

(Just have to wait a few more milliseconds. Something had to happen.)

Nothing happened.

But the wind wasn't gnawing at him anymore. And slowly, when the shock and fear had worn off, and when he could feel the dainty fingers pressing into his arms in a constricting embrace did he open his eyes and realize that Misha-san was there.

Kotarou felt dazed. He wasn't sure if he was dead or alive. Misha-san was there, so it must have meant he was alive. She was rejoicing that he was safe now and that she was so, so, so, so happy he was alright. He opened his mouth to speak; the words came out as a muffled, "Misha-san...?"

Misha paused. She beamed, pressing her cheek into his hair.

"Ya didn't think I'd leave ya, didja, Kotarou-kun?"

(Of course she would never leave him. He'd never let the thought cross his mind. God made her his guardian angel, and she happily obliged.)