Okay last chapter was more of a prologue but here's the real story! :3
OOC. You have been warned. Now READ!
Disclaimer: I still don't own Kaichou wa Maid-Sama! if that makes you feel any better :'
White Lies, White Christmas
Chapter 2: White Christmas
The following morning, Christmas morning, was gray and unwelcoming, at least to Misaki anyway.
She plastered on another fake smile to display before her mother and sister as they opened presents. The two girls had chipped in to buy their mother a new mattress, which they had been zealously thanked for. But though the family-like atmosphere was enjoyable and happy, Misaki wanted to get herself out of the house before she broke down into discouragement and brought down the mood; the very last thing she wanted to do was make them worry about her on Christmas Day.
And so, making up the lame excuse that she needed some air, Misaki slid into the new, purple jacket she had just received from her mother and slipped out of the house, grabbing her scarf on the way out. She only realized that she had neglected to grab her gloves or hat when she was already too far away to want to turn back. She just continued walking, not even fully aware of where she was headed or when she would be returning home.
She eventually gave her tired feet a rest by taking a seat on a bench beside a vacant park. She leaned back and gazed up at the sky, white as though the clouds had swallowed up every last trace of blue. A breeze that floated by caused her to shiver and she reached up to tighten her scarf.
But when her skin made contact with the material, she realized it was not the velvety feeling of her lavender scarf, but rather the smooth, silky feeling of Usui's golden one. Her eyes widened as she realized how obsessed with giving it to him she had been, so much so that she would take it with her subconsciously just for the sake of thinking of him.
Slowly, she slid it off her neck and folded it in her lap, and within moments her chest was hurting her again. Tears began dripping down her cheeks and her head began to spin from lack of sleep the night before; she had stayed up all night worrying, and waiting for him, wishing that he would somehow show up outside her window.
Her vision blurred and she fell sideways onto the bench, her head colliding with the seat limply as her arms curled into her body. Usui's scarf uncurled from her lap and dangled off her knees into the snow on the ground.
Misaki fought the unconsciousness for as long as she could mange, but her body suddenly just did not feel like moving at all.
And so for the last time she could remember, Misaki fell asleep with the handsome blonde boy on her mind.
Everything was cold.
Misaki was sure that she was shivering but she could not bring herself to open her eyes just yet.
She did not even know if she was numb, or just so cold that she was warm.
She could feel the frosty wooden bench beneath her head and remembered how she had fallen asleep there and the snow underneath was freezing on her cheek.
Shock overcame her when she realized she could not feel her hands nor curl her fingers; she could only slightly feel the soft material of the scarf hanging from her lap. How long was I asleep? She wondered wearily. On the inside she was alarmed but from the outside she just felt mellow and numbed. Oh well. I guess it would be kinda nice to just sleep a little longer… She thought to herself. Besides, she felt a lot warmer when she was asleep and unaware of her surroundings.
But just before she slipped back into slumber, she heard the crunching of snow from afar. It was slow at first, but then seemed to be approaching rapidly. She thought she heard her name being called, but could not be certain that her hearing had not been misleading her.
But when she heard it again, this time she recognized the voice and nearly leapt out of her skin, and probably would have if she had been able to move properly.
She cracked her eyes open through great effort and gazed up as best she could to see the familiar figure of Usui standing above her.
"Ayuzawa?" his tone was panicked and shocked, even more so than it had been the first two times he had called her. She tried her very best to open her mouth but no sound emitted from her throat. However, she did manage to get her lips to form the tiniest of smiles. "Ayuzawa, can you hear me?" Usui asked in a tensed voice.
Misaki desperately attempted to speak again.
"U…su…i…" she rasped in a tone more thin than air.
"Ayuzawa. Thank god." Quickly sitting down beside her, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her up into a sitting position.
"Usui…" the girl choked. "Why…why are you here?"
"Shh. Don't talk. That doesn't matter right now." He murmured firmly. "How cold are you?"
"I don't know." She mumbled in reply.
"Are you numb?"
"Ayuzawa…" he hissed through gritted teeth. "What were you thinking? It's below freezing out here. You could be really sick right now…or if I hadn't found you, even worse…I don't even want to think about it…" he cut off, pulling her closer.
He wrapped one arm across her collarbones and the other around her waist and pressed against her as closely as possible. Her breath puffed white into the bone-chilling air and Usui then shifted to turn her towards him fully. He rubbed his hands up and down her arms and back to get her blood flowing again.
"Mm…so warm…" she breathed, her eyes closing. "Can I go back to sleep?" she asked drearily.
Usui did not respond right away though. He took her bare, cold hands in his own and waited until they had warmed up to a usual temperature and he held her for several moments until her shivers had subsided. He could feel her weak pulse begin to speed up again and her breathing deepened. At last, he deemed that she was alright now.
"Okay, Ayuzawa. You can sleep, but not for too long now." He whispered into her ear.
But she was already long gone, breathing softly in his arms, a smile still on her face and a single tear trailing down her cheek.
He smiled as well, before burying his face in her cool, soft hair, keeping his embrace on her as tight and as warm as possible.
He let her sleep for a while, until the white sky began to turn gray, then he gently shook her shoulders. "Oy, Ayuzawa, time to wake up now." He gingerly traced the back of his hand over the trail the teardrop had left on her face, and then kissed her there. As if on cue then, Misaki's eyes fluttered open like tattered butterfly's wings.
"Mm…ah Baka Usui…" she whined. "Why didn't you let me sleep a little longer? I was having a nice dream."
"That's the Ayuzawa I know." He chuckled. "And if I'd let you sleep any longer, I would have had to call you Sleeping Beauty and possibly wake you in the same manner."
"What are you talking about, Baka Usui?" she mumbled. He realized she was in one of her…ditzy moods, like after Kanou had hypnotized her. Therefore, she obviously did not understand his reference or the implications to his words.
"Never mind. What were you dreaming about?" he wondered, hoping he could catch her slipping up in order to find out a little more about her. But her answer was certainly not what he was expecting.
"What do you care, anyways?" she asked with a pout, pushing against his chest and breaking away from him. Reluctantly, he let his arms fall from around her.
"What do you mean? Why wouldn't I care?" he asked.
"Because you…you…" at that moment, her eyes cleared up and she seemed to return to her usual self. "You broke your promise." She finished, her voice hard and defensive.
"Ayuzawa…" his voice was pained now and Misaki blinked in surprise when she heard it. "I have a reason for that. I'm so sorry."
A moment of silence passed before Misaki replied.
"I…I was waiting for you all last night, you know." She informed him. "I…I waited so long. And I didn't get any sleep because I was worried about you since you never showed up…" she did not even realize the tears streaming down her face now.
She hated it.
She hated being so vulnerable in front of him like this; he was the only one who had ever seen her in such a state and no matter how hard she tried to resist and fight against this weakness, it was always impossible around him. It was as though he had some calming, suave atmosphere that always made her lower her guard around him.
"Ayuzawa…" he reached forward to wipe her tears away but she pulled back, glaring at him. Her cheeks were red and her hair was frazzled, but she had on one of the many expressions that Usui could never resist. "You're being far too cute right now to be angry." He chuckled.
Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into another hug, and this time she did not resist.
"I'm sorry." He murmured softly and she buried her face into his chest, hating again how she was broken down into tears now before him. She felt extremely self-conscious but could not care less right now; she simply wanted to cry and get these damned tears out of her body. She trembled and hiccupped as Usui rubbed her back, taking in the cold, plum-like scent of her hair. "I'm sorry, Ayuzawa." He repeated.
At last, her sobbing died away, but for some reason she did not move away from him. She did not know why she was rewarding him with getting to hold her like this after what he had done to her, but she was a completely different person for some reason, it seemed.
"So, what were you doing last night that was so much more important than keeping your promise?" she wondered.
"Ah. I'm glad you reminded me." He loosened his grip on her and she finally pulled away from him. She watched curiously as he reached into his pocket, but before he withdrew his hand he locked his gaze with hers, making her heart jolt. "Close your eyes." He told her.
"You're so difficult." She sighed, yet she was too exhausted to argue and did as he asked.
She gasped as she felt his hands slide over hers and then heard him chuckle. She bit back a tart comment as she then felt his fingers turn her palms up before sliding something slightly chilly and small into her upturned hand.
"Okay. Open them." He murmured.
Misaki slowly did as he said and stared down into her palm.
There sat a silver chain piled atop a small necklace in the shape of a red heart.
It was nothing amazingly fabulous, but somehow she was left breathless for a moment; it was still the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Even the necklace he had presented her at the festival was incomparable to something this special.
After the moment had passed and she had gotten her senses back, Misaki stuttered.
"W…Wow. Usui this…it's…wow…" she could not stop staring at the trinket.
"I'm glad you like it." He grinned.
"Gah-b-b-but don't get me wrong! I still haven't forgiven you, Baka Usui!" she huffed, crossing her arms over her chest and turning away from him slightly. "This doesn't change the fact that you lied to me."
"Ayuzawa, I already apologized." He sighed in dismay. But then he came up with a better idea. "But you can punish me in any way you'd like, if you want. I'll do anything you ask…"
"Shut the hell up, perverted outer-space alien!" she screeched in disgust, earning a chuckle from him. She snorted before reaching behind her neck and trying to hook the necklace.
"Here, let me help you put it on." He offered.
"I-I can do it-"
"You're hands are still frozen." He insisted. "Let go." Reluctantly, Misaki obeyed and let her hands fall into her lap. She could feel Usui's warm fingers just barely brush against her neck, making her shiver. Her shoulders tensed and her heart beat faster, but before it could explode from her chest as it often tried to do around him, his hands were already gone. "Done." He announced.
"T-Thanks." She mumbled, turning back to him. She looked down at the purple heart dangling at her chest, outlined in silver. "Wait, why is it purple now?" she blinked several times down at the piece of jewelry to make sure she was not mistaken.
"You didn't realize it?" Usui teased.
"Realize what?" she crossed her arms over her chest, beginning to lose patience with him. He always plays around with me…
"It's a mood necklace." He informed her.
"Mood necklace?" she echoed. "So you mean it changes colors along with how I'm feeling?" she checked. Misaki had heard of these trinkets but up until now had never owned one herself.
"That's right." He confirmed.
"So then…what does purple mean?" she wondered.
"You really want to know?" he taunted.
"Duh! Otherwise I wouldn't be asking you, Baka Usui!" she snapped
"Okay, okay. You're so impatient." He chuckled. "Purple is embarrassment."
Misaki opened her mouth to make some sort of comment but she immediately forgot what it was she wanted to say when she heard his words. She floundered for something to say for a moment before she was finally able to speak a comprehensive language.
"B-B-But that…Gah! That's so stupid!" she fumed, turning her face away from him, cheeks flaming. Her ears grew hot as she heard his snickering from behind. "S-Shut up!" she complained, though her voice was already losing its defensive edge.
Slowly, she turned back to him, her golden eyes partially hidden behind the dark screen of her bangs as she glanced cutely up at him. "Don't…taunt me like that." She mumbled.
Usui froze and nearly lost his ability to speak after laying his eyes on her adorable expression.
"You're doing it again, Ayuzawa," he sighed. "Making that face..."
"Ah!" Misaki seemed to just realize what exactly was happening between them right now. She straightened up and scooted the smallest millimeter away from him, fumbling for words in her mind to try and change the subject. "S-So…" she improvised. "W-What do the other colors mean?" she asked.
Usui too seemed grateful for the change of topic, though he would not have minded seeing her puppy-dog face for a little longer.
"Let's see," he pondered for a moment, trying to remember the guidebook that had come with the necklace that he had neglected to bring. "Gold is warm and blue is cold, and I believe green meant unhappy and red was content."
"Really? I would have thought red would be unhappiness..." She mumbled under her breath.
Just then, she remembered she had forgotten to give him his gift. Misaki gasped at the realization and quickly searched her lap and the bench beside her. Usui jumped at her sudden change in behavior and curious concern crossed his face.
"Ayuzawa, what's wrong?"
"N-N-N-Nothing! I-I think I just dropped something important-" she cut off when she spotted the pale scarf lying in the snow at her feet and quickly scooped it up. Shielding it from his view with her body, she quickly brushed the cold flakes off with her hand. "No, no, no!" she hissed. "Now it's all wet."
"Ayuzawa?" Usui peered over her shoulder to try and get a glimpse of what she was obsessing over. "Are you okay? Did you find it?"
"Ah…y-yeah. It's just a little messed up. I should probably go home and fix it up a bit." She folded the scarf as small as she could and pressed it against her coat so that he would not see it and got to her feet. I can't believe this. I'll have to give it to him some other time now. And I worked so hard…
"Sorry. I-I need to go now." She took a step back, trying to avoid his disappointed eyes. "But, thank you for the necklace, Usui. I mean it. Have a nice Christmas." And with that she turned and began walking away quickly, her head bowed as she stared at the snow underfoot.
She knew what this kind of situation would become; she knew that if she did not get away fast enough that he would grab her wrist and hold her back, but she was determined to slip away before he could try to stop her.
But he did not reach out to stop her, yet she stopped anyway.
Something inside her would not allow her to go so much as one step farther.
What am I doing? I've been dying to see him all this week we've been off from school and now I'm walking away because of something so trivial? What kind of idiot am I?
Misaki turned back and gradually lifted her head, expecting to see him still sitting on the bench, watching her go. But instead, she raised her head to find herself staring directly up into dazzling emerald eyes that sparkled with compassion.
"Ayuzawa-" But he cut off what he was about to say when a tear slipped down Misaki's cheek.
"Sorry." She mumbled, more annoyed with herself and her cowardice than anything else. "I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I just…want to stay here for a little while longer." She confessed. Suddenly she felt two strong arms wrap around her shoulders and she gasped. "U-Usui?"
"Your necklace was blue." He told her gently; Misaki smiled.
Silently, they remained that way for a moment or so before he took her hand and led her back to the bench where they sat down once more.
"So what was it you dropped?" he asked curiously.
"W…Well I guess there's no point in hiding it anymore…" she shuffled her feet and the necklace shifted from blue to purple as she revealed the contents of her hidden hand, presenting the scarf to him. "I-It's not very good since it was my first try at something like this but-"
"I love it." He stated.
"Y-You shouldn't!" she argued. "I mean I messed it up so many times and it took me 3 tries to get it right! It's so unprofessional. And plus I dropped it in the snow so now it's all cold and-"
She cut off as Usui pressed a finger against her lips and his captivating emerald eyes bore spellbindingly into her gold ones, leaving her breathless and lightheaded.
"You must not have heard me. I. Love. It." He repeated. Misaki blushed madly, nodding in comprehension, trying to get him to move back and give her her breathing space again. Usui understood her silent wishes and drew back obediently before wrapping the material around his neck.
"Ah, don't! It's still wet. You'll catch a cold-"
"Ayuzawa." His voice made her stop again. "Are you unhappy?" he asked. Misaki stole a glance at her necklace to see that it was green. She blinked in slight confusion; in fact, she was rather thrilled that Usui actually liked her gift and was wearing it. But apparently her flustered babbling implied otherwise.
"Ah no, I'm-" but for the umpteenth time, she cut off before she could finish speaking. Usui suddenly pulled her in with a light chuckle.
"I'm just kidding." He told her, stroking her hair with one hand as he pulled her in by the shoulders with the other. "I'm glad you're happy." He murmured.
Misaki felt numbed, but in a good way this time. She merely let herself succumb to his touch and let his warmth spread over her body. She let herself be a girl for just a moment and her tense shoulders relaxed as she leaned up against him, finally deciding to give up on resisting him.
A moment passed before she spoke up once more.
"So how did you know?" she asked. "That I was actually happy?" she clarified.
"Before when I told you what those colors meant. I lied. Green means you're happy." He confessed with a sheepish grin. Misaki glared up at him but before she could retort he continued. "But you know I don't need some silly necklace to be able to know how you're feeling. I can read you like a book, Misa-chan." He ruffled her hair. "Besides, it was just a little white lie. No harm no foul, right?"
"It's not 'silly'." She pouted defensively. "And that's easy for you to say. If only it had been 'just a little white lie' when you'd told me you would meet me last night." Her voice was laced with hurt and Usui nearly winced, being able to feel it wafting off of her.
"I'm sorry. I never got the chance to explain myself." He lowered his gaze dejectedly.
Misaki sighed, disappointed at herself that she had made him feel so guilty.
"Well let's hear it." She demanded. Yet the playful tone was evident in her voice and Usui knew what she was trying to do for him.
He looked back at her with a small, grateful smile.
"I know it's not something I should have stood you up for…" he leaned closer to her then. "But I was picking out this." He finished, sliding his fingers around the small silver-lined necklace that was now melting from green into purple. Usui smirked as he moved even closer and Misaki tried to slide away but was restrained by where he held her in place by the piece of jewelry. Usui leaned in even closer and his eyes sparked with amusement when he physically felt her heart skip. He quickly kissed the heart-shaped necklace at her throat before drawing back again.
"Sorry I got so temperamental." She apologized, avoiding his gaze yet again as the blood rushed to her cheeks.
"That's nothing to apologize for considering it was because of me," he told her, reaching out, running his fingers under her chin and turning her face back to look into his eyes. "But I couldn't possibly apologize enough for putting you through so much pain. I'm sorry I hurt you." As he spoke, he pulled her in again by the shoulders. She did not see the point in being distant anymore considering all that had happened within the past hour with him, so she just decided to swallow her pride and pressed up against him, leaning her head on his shoulder as he ran his hand from her shoulders, and down her arm to rest at her waist.
"What is it?" she asked softly, looking up to him.
But instead of a spoken response, Usui answered her by sealing her lips with his own.
Misaki's eyes widened for a second before she willingly let them close altogether. The warmth that spread throughout her entire body made her tremble and Usui pulled her closer still until they were so close it was as though they would freeze together that way if they waited any longer. They broke apart only after the elixir of oxygen had tempted them too much, but as soon as they had taken in their fill of air, this time, Misaki was the one to press her lips against his. She was greeted with the same sensation of warmth, not nearly as amazing as the very first, but enticingly more different and wondrous in some other way that had her panting for more.
At last, the couple broke apart and silently returned to their prior positions. Misaki leaned on his shoulder once more and let her eyelids fall shut. The smirk on Usui's face melted into more of a loving smile as he watched her doze off for a while, her breathing slow and deep as white puffs filled the air periodically. He decided to let her sleep for a while and he wrapped the extra length of his new scarf around her shoulders while slowly rubbing his hand up and down her arm to keep her warm.
He glanced up as he felt a biting cold on his nose for an instant and realized that it had begun to flurry.
Gently, he shifted and ran his fingers through Misaki's hair and kissed the top of her head.
"Ayuzawa, look." He whispered into her ear. The girl stirred as her eyes fluttered open again.
A small smile crossed her lips as her vision adjusted.
"It's a white Christmas." She breathed sleepily.
"That it is." He agreed. "Merry Christmas, Misa-chan."
"Yeah." Their eyes locked. "Merry Christmas." She replied. "And thank you, Usui."
Then she strained to kiss him on the cheek one last time before slumping into his chest.
Usui caught her in his arms and shook his head with a helpless grin. What am I going to do with you? He wondered.
Lifting her up in his arms, he began to walk.
He leaned down to kiss her cheek in return for hers, and in doing so noticed that the heart-shaped necklace at her collarbones was shimmering the one color he had conveniently neglected to mention; pink.
Usui smiled to himself and murmured to the sleeping girl in his arms, "Love you too, Misa-chan."
A/N: And there you have it! I apologize for the immense amounts of OOC-ness but sometimes 'tis necessary for such fluffy fics. No flames for the holidays pleeease :3
I really hope you enjoyed it.