Author's Note: This story takes places immediately following chapter 51. There is no Cedric, at least, not yet (cue dramatic music). Hopefully none of the characters are too OOC, but I'm sticking them into situations they've never even been close to being in before, so I have no manga references I can look at to see if I'm getting their reactions right. I have to go by what I already know about them and hope it's at least in the neighborhood of canon.
This first chapter is short; the rest will be a little longer, as you can see with chapter two. I'm posting these together in order to give a better representation of how this story will be, so don't get excited by the double post, it's a one time thing (probably). Constructive criticism is welcome, or, you know, just compliments; who doesn't love those? I will try and keep updates fairly regular, I'm thinking weekly to every other week right now if I can manage it, but reviews might speed me up…. Please, enjoy :)
1. What It Is To Be Infallible
Misaki didn't see the car. Although in her defense, Usui didn't see it either. Not until it was too late.
He was teasing her, as usual. She was flustered, as usual. They were crossing the street—the only two.
She heard the squeal of tires behind her, but from a distance, not something she would have reacted to if Usui hadn't glanced up and froze with terror in his eyes. That's the only reason Misaki knew it was coming, and instinct had her turning to look instead of running. A fatal mistake if Usui hadn't been there. Hadn't already seen, absorbed, reacted.
He grabbed her around the waist, fingers digging into her hips. In his haste, he forgot to control his strength. Or perhaps he meant to throw her that far—as far from the danger as he possibly could. She flew eight feet before slamming into a mailbox on the curb. Pain exploded across her back, crippling Misaki in its intensity, and she could only lie there, gasping, with a tortuously perfect view of the street, and Usui, just as the car smashed into him.
It wasn't bravery that kept her from closing her eyes. On the contrary, if she could have willed herself blind at that moment to spare her heart the sight of Usui tumbling over the hood of that runaway vehicle, she would have done it. But horror kept her lids open, and horror kept her gaze locked on his body as it hit the street with a bone-crunching thud, and rolled to a stop a few feet away under the still-red traffic light.
Despite seeing it, hearing it, Misaki couldn't believe it. Usui was unstoppable. Her perverted, outer space alien, capable of amazing feats no human could ever hope to accomplish, much less with the same effortless flair. He had jumped off the top of the school building and survived with nothing more than a few scratches, for heaven's sake! He had played the violin for twenty minutes with two sprained wrists and never so much as groaned in pain. He could kick the ass of even the most dedicated athlete in any sport without breaking a sweat, and if pushed, could solve hardest math problem you could dish up at the same time. A car accident? This was nothing to him. Nothing.
People were recovering from their shock and beginning to crowd close. A few of them circled Misaki; more went to Usui. There were cries of, "Don't touch him!" and, "Call an ambulance!" Someone asked Misaki if she was okay, but she couldn't answer. Usui was still playing possum, and she was getting angrier by the second. How dare he tease these people so mercilessly? How dare he save her and then act hurt just for her attentions? Had he no shame at all?
Misaki smacked away the hands that tried to hold her still and staggered to her feet, ignoring the bolts of pain that shot up her back with every step. She pushed through the mob surrounding Usui, more pissed than ever when tears hit his face and she realized they were hers.
"Damn you, wake up. Open your eyes right now."
But he stayed unmoving. Not so much as an eyelash flickered. Already his skin was turning a nasty purple-black color, and what wasn't bruising was bleeding. Profusely.
"This is why I hate you, you idiot!" she yelled, dropping to her knees beside him. "You always go too far! I can't stand it when you act this way. Wake up! Wake up this second, Usui!"
Sirens in the distance, growing louder. The people around them were backing up, preparing to make room for the EMT's. Misaki pressed her forehead to Usui's chest, telling herself the rattling she heard as he breathed wasn't real, just another trick.
"Do you want me to admit I like you?" she whispered, clutching at his shirt and then releasing it when she saw that it was sopped with blood. "Is that why you're doing this? Because I do. I like you. I would have admitted it to you yesterday if you had let me. So there, you know now. You got it out of me. Now open your eyes, idiot Usui. Open your eyes, damn it, and look at me!"
The sirens were deafening now. Someone touched her shoulder, and when she didn't move they pulled at her, trying to get her away. She twisted and pain burst from her back, engulfing her, and for a minute Misaki lost her breath, lost all thought besides that she was in agony.
"…Hit a mailbox," she heard someone say. "…possible spinal injury. Shouldn't have moved…"
And then there were other voices, deeper, more authoritative voices, and men in white, breaking up the colors of the harried pedestrians trailing in their wake. She felt someone tug up the sleeve of her shirt and then a sting. The colors streaked.
"You're going to be fine," someone said who was close by her ear, and Misaki imagined that it was Usui speaking to her. Not the smirking, arrogant Usui, but the kind one, the gentle one she'd always pushed away with the most force.
What about you? she wanted to ask. Who's going to save you?
She blinked hard. A man in an EMT uniform was leaning over her, his outline fuzzy. There was an empty syringe in his hand.
"You're going to be fine," he said again.
Her eyelids fell. She felt them wrap a brace around her neck, felt straps pulled tight across her chest and legs, and then she was lifted. It felt like floating. It was nice, but she was going away from Usui. She wanted to struggle but the fuzziness was intensifying, and the more she tried to fight it the more it built, until it sucked her under and she knew no more.