XXXHolic Fan Fiction ❯ Taint ❯ chapter 1 ( Chapter 1 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Z/N: all characters herein belong to CLAMP.

A boy ran through the rain, shielding his head as best he could with his book bag. Several pieces of his black hair were already wet, and a chill ran through his soaked clothing. "Yuko-San's going to kill me.." He muttered as he ran down the block. He slowed, seeing a familiar outline. Yuko was standing in front of the house with an umbrella. He couldn't see her expression through his fogged glasses, but he knew she must be mad.

"Yuko-san, I'm sorry I'm so late, I had to stay and clean up and then Himawari-Chan-"

"Watanuki.." Yuko began, and then stopped as a chill ran over her. Watanuki continued explaining his delay, but she wasn't listening. He wiped his sleeve over his forehead to catch the rain before it fell into his eyes. Just a second later, truck lights blared into view."
"Watanuki!" Yuko called. He wouldn't be able to see it through the rain, and the truck driver couldn't stop in time.

"So then she said-Huh?" Surprise flickered across Watanuki's face at Yuko's urgent tone. He couldn't hear what she was yelling, but she sounded fearful.

Yuko abandoned the umbrella and began to run as she saw the boy wasn't registering her warning.

The truck was coming on fast.

She dived as it hit him, panic fueling her speed. The truck swerved, barely missing them both. Yuko landed hard, slicing her cheek. She opened her eyes. Watanuki's arm was at an unnatural angle, but he was still breathing, and that was what counted. She turned her head in the direction of the truck, driver slamming the door and running over to them, panicked.

"Call..the hospital.." She managed, her vision swimming. Her head fell.

"...extremely lucky..."
"If she hadn't been there..."


Watanuki blinked, white in his view. He squinted, blinking several times before realizing is glasses were gone. He turned his head painfully, finding them on a nightstand near him. Slipping them on, everything was still white, but it was at leas clear now that he was in a hospital. The voices from a few moments ago were beginning to register in his head. He had been in an accident, something had hit him...

The door slid open. A familiar face looked in.

"Himawari-Chan!" Watanuki greeted her happily. She walked in smiling. "Thank goodness you're not hurt, Watanuki-kun! It was a terrible accident." She pulled up a chair and sat by his bed.

"Himawari-Chan, you came to see me all by your-"
"Sorry I'm late." Domeki slid open the door, a cup of water in his hand. "I stopped to get a drink."

Watanuki's sentence died. He shot a glare at Domeki, who responded by rolling his eyes.

"We came as soon as we heard!" Himawari chimed in during the awkward silence.

"What happened anyway?" Watanuki ventured.

Himawari's eyes widened and she shot him a pitying look. "You were hit by a truck!"
Something about the way Himawari had said it made Watanuki try to sit up and inspect exactly what was broken. He fell back down. "Ouch.."

"Oh, Watanuki-kun, are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine.."

"Sorry to have to cut this short, but Himawari-san and I have to work on a school project." Domeki stated, giving Watanuki n apologetic look. It only served to remind Watanuki how bad his situation was.

"Oh, he's right! We'll come see you again as soon as we can, Watanuki-san." Himawari chirped, standing up. "Bye!"
"...bye.." Watanuki sighed. He laid his head back down. The potential rest was interrupted by the sound of someone once again opening the door. He kept his eyes resolutely closed. Maybe if they thought he was asleep, they would go away.

"I know you're awake Watanuki."

Or not.

"Hi Yuko-san." He mumbled, opening his eyes.

All previous hesitation was forgotten as he saw her.

She tilted her head to the side, eyes down as though that would keep him from noticing the bandages covering her arms, gauze pad on her cheek and ragged hair.

"What-What happened to you?" He managed, still gazing in horrific interest. He had never seen Yuko look so...human before. He had stupidly assumed she couldn't be wounded.

"Same thing that happened to you." She tried to grin. It came out as more of a wince.

"How did you get hit-" He began, then remembered the nurse's words as he was waking up. " saved me.."

Yuko met his eyes. "Of course. I couldn't just watch you die."
"But- Hitsuzen.." For some reason the theory nagged at his mind.

"I bent it." She said, looking down again.

"That means-someone's going to get hurt.."

"It means you'd better hurry up and get rested so you can come back, my cooking gets extremely boring after a few weeks." Yuko teased.

Watanuki was strangely relieved to find his old irritation surfacing.
"I just broke my arm and you want me to hurry and heal so I can cook for you?"


"That is the most selfish-"

Yuko stood up, smiling. He had already forgotten about her sacrifice to save him. Her work, for the moment, was done. "Get well soon Watanuki." She called as she exited, tuning out his rambling.

The smile left her face halfway down the street. She had bent Hitsuzen for him, and that would mean a different casualty was going to be needed. And she would pay the price.