The one thing that separated Kyon from regular human beings was his ability to withstand being around Haruhi Suzumiya. The other children at North High could barely stand being around her. Her eccentric personality, conniving schemes, and general oddness made people avoid her. Somehow, she accrued a group of friends, though Kyon stood out among them as the most normal. Itsuki almost never frowned and seemed to get along with everyone. Mikuru said she had a reason for their friendship but never told it to anyone. And most people didn't even know Yuki existed. Kyon, on the other hand, was just your average joe who somehow got caught up in this group of weirdos. And for whatever reason, he stayed. Even he admitted that Haruhi was fairly irritating.
But today, she wasn't annoying. She was actually being pensive. For whatever reason, she was tapping her pen against her lips. In front of her was a notepad, and surrounding it was crumpled up pieces of paper. Every couple seconds Haruhi scribbled something down, tapped her lips, and then tossed the paper away. Mikuru was unfolding them and making little origami figures. Kyon was mindlessly browsing on the computer. All was silent except the sound of Haruhi's pen and Kyon's keyboard.
"I GOT IT!" Haruhi stood, holding the paper up in the air. "The perfect plan!"
"Perfect plan?" Kyon blinked. "What's on your mind this time?"
Haruhi smiled pridefully. "I know what we're going to do with the S.O.S. Brigade now!"
Mikuru and Kyon looked at each other with confusion. "But aren't we supposed to be searching for espers, time travelers, and aliens? Are you tired of those or something?"
"Hmph. Clueless as ever, Kyon. We're still going to be searching for those. In fact, I think we're getting closer to finding them! But this idea is gonna let us search for them AND complete other things at the same time!"
"And what is this idea?" Kyon was puzzled. Haruhi was always excited, but not always this excited.
"We're gonna use the S.O.S. Brigade to help people around the school!!"
Kyon was absolutely stunned. He stared at Haruhi like she had two heads. Mikuru, meanwhile, clapped at the idea. "That's very sweet of you, Haruhi-san!"
"Yep! Not only are we gonna help the other students, but we're gonna search for supernatural beings, do charitable work, get the club some popularity, and make some money, too!"
"I see…" Kyon sighed. "You intend to charge…"
Mikuru clapped dejectedly. "Y-yaay…."
"I think that's an amazing idea!" Itsuki walked into the Brigade room, smiling as usual. He took a seat next to Mikuru and made some paper cranes. "If we better our reputation, the student council may even let us become an official club."
"Now you're talking, Itsuki!" Haruhi chuckled and lightly bonked Kyon on the head. "He's using his noggin." Kyon sighed.
"How are we going to help the other students…" Yuki asked from her corner.
"I'm glad you asked, Yuki! By the way, say 'hello' next time you walk in." She laughed as she swiped the book from Yuki's hand. It was Sherlock Holmes. "See this? Sherlock Holmes went around solving mysteries. And got paid for it! He helped tons of people through his actions and made a pretty penny too! Those fancy pipes and trenchcoats aren't cheap!"
"Neither is cocaine." Kyon rolled his eyes.
"Right! My plan is to start charging to solve mysteries, save up the money, and then take a crazy summer vacation!" Everyone else felt their stomachs drop. They clearly were apprehensive about Haruhi throwing a summer vacation party. Yuki seemed to have left as soon as she said that. "Sounds fun, right?"
"Yep! Now, I've been hearing some rumors lately, and I think we already have our first case! And it's super fitting for us, too!"
"I-I'd rather stay out of rumors and, uh, drama…" Itsuki nervously got up and left.
"Huh...How weird...What about you two? Kyon? Mikuru?"
"I-I want to help people!"
"I guess I have no choice…"
"Bingo! Now then, what I heard is…
"I'm telling you, it's Hanako-san!" Kunikida yelled, almost dropping his carton of milk. Kyon just picked at his food as Taniguchi groaned.
"That's ridiculous. Hanako-san is just a myth used to scare kids. There's no way she's actually real."
"I'm telling you! I saw her! She was in the bathroom!"
"Kunikida, doesn't Hanako-san only show up in third-floor women's bathrooms?" Kyon asked.
"She didn't for me! And how do you know so much about Hanako?"
"I'm friends with Haruhi Suzumiya. I've been to a fair share of Hanako summonings."
"R-really? What's it like?" Taniguchi seemed curious.
"It's pretty embarrassing. Especially when she makes me do it alone. I'm glad she's given up on that."
"So, does that mean you've been in a girl's bathroom?"
"Wow...I've never been in a girl's bathroom before…" Kunikida blushed. Kyon went back to focusing on his food. Taniguchi, meanwhile, began to tremble.
"It'd be pretty creepy if she was actually real...Yeesh…"
After lunch, Kyon went to the S.O.S. Brigade room, only to find it empty. Even Yuki was nowhere to be found. A woman's uniform was laying on the floor next to the clothing rack, which could only mean one thing: Haruhi was up to something. And she had Mikuru with her. This actually made Kyon pretty relieved. Maybe she would be doing this with just Mikuru and not involve him. It'd be nice to sit back and finally not have to deal with Haruhi's bull.
But as he walked, he heard the sound of someone yelling through a megaphone. Sure enough, Haruhi was standing in the middle of the hallway. Next to her was Mikuru, wearing a rather scanty maid outfit. Both of them were armed with megaphones. They were yelling about the S.O.S. Club's new goal of solving all the mysteries the students had. Kyon did his best to sneak away, only to bump into Kunikida again.
"Kyon! You're a member of that S.O.S. thing, right?"
"You should get them to investigate the Hanako case!"
Kyon sighed. "Listen, not to be rude but I really think you're just overreacting."
"KYON GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE!" Haruhi yelled through her megaphone. Kyon sighed and walked back, Kunikida following. "So I've been hearing rumors about a certain bathroom ghost, hmm?" She smirked.
Kyon sighed once more. "Kunikida said he thinks he saw Hanako-san in the bathroom. I've tried to explain to him that she doesn't exist but he just won't listen. We proved it when we failed all those summoning attempts, remember?"
"I don't remember the meaning of the word 'failed!' Kunikida, we'll take your case on! And since you're our first customer, we'll even do it for free!" While Kyon still hated this idea, he was glad Haruhi was at least being generous about it.
"Thank you so much, Haruhi!! I hope you can find out why that happened!" Kunikida bowed and left. Haruhi decided to get started right away and ran off to who-knows-where. Kyon went up to Mikuru, sighing.
"Let's get you into some proper clothes…Have you seen Yuki and Itsuki anywhere?" She simply shook her head. "Alright… Say, if you're from the future, do you remember what happened involving this case?"
"Yes, of course…"
"So you know why this Hanako thing is happening?"
"I know who the 'ghost' really is…"
"Well, who is it?!"
"That's classified information…"
Kyon sighed. "I guess I'll just have to wait…"