By sheer luck, or perhaps cosmic intervention, Makota had arrived just in time to avert a disaster. He was known for his quick reflexes as catcher for the high school baseball team, and it showed. Usui was dragged to a couch, and a moment later an observant chaperone began the work of reviving him, rubbing his wrists with a firm pressure while Misa, Erika, and Makota looked on worriedly.
"Lucky you were there to save him," a drawling voice said, and all turned to see Igarashi, who, unbeknownst to the others, had been watching silently with a self-satisfied smirk. "Real graceful, that one. Fainting just because a girl likes him! Or, maybe I wouldn't know what that's like. All the girls like me."
The chaperone had finished her ministrations, and Usui was beginning to come to.
"Just keep an eye on him," she said to Misa. To Igarashi, "watch that smart mouth of yours or you'll be reported for disturbance."
Igarashi went as red as a tomato and stalked off, but not before Erika and Makoto told him off for a worried Misa.
When Usui sat up, Misa sighed in relief.
"Thank goodness you're okay! Why don't you just sit and rest?" she babbled.
"I'd…rather talk to you, Misa. Alone," Usui said.
"Oh. Um, okay…"
Misa knew what the conversation would be about. Well, better to get it over now than later. As she and Usui left, she glared in Erika's direction. Erika merely grinned tauntingly.
An awkward silence fell between them as Misa and Usui made their way to the garden, where they knew they wouldn't be interrupted, and remained for a few moments as they sat down on benches opposite each other. And then Usui finally spoke.
"I want you to answer, yes or no," he said a little more harshly than he intended. "Do you like me—that much?"
Misa understood the significance of his question, and looked away, humiliated. To spill her secret, and in public at that! But she dared not lie. She always sought to be honest, for she didn't want to be like her lying, traitorous father…
"Yes," Misa said quietly, looking down at her feet.
"Will you be my girlfriend?"
Misa scuffed at the grass as she absorbed the forthright question. A wave of guilt suddenly overcame her.
"Even after I dismissed your confession? And told you to stop teasing me? I completely pushed you away!"
Usui smiled in the silvery light of the moon.
"After finding out that you like me back, do you think I'm going to run away?" he said.
"Well…" Misa fumbled.
Usui walked to where Misa was sitting. "You really don't know much about love, do you?"
"But it's okay. I'll teach you."
He took Misa's hand and gently pulled her toward him until she was standing—and then wordlessly coaxed her into his arms. A slow, sweet kiss followed, and Misa gave into it completely.
It was true that she didn't know much about love.
But this was a wonderful start.
A/N: A big thank you to my lovely readers for their encouragement and reviews!