Yellow ribbons. A trademark of Haruhi's, even before, when her hair was ruled by the calendar. It's odd how a person who can't sit still, who couldn't even keep the same hairstyle from day to day, is so content to wear the same thing day in and day out. Not that it's a bad thing, by any means. The style is cute, if a bit childish. Then again, when isn't Haruhi a child, an obnoxious brat constantly throwing temper tantrums? Which makes me nothing more than the father that spoils her (a horrifying concept), but what else can I do? She doesn't toss toys or bang her fists against the floor. She tends to throw things more like planets, to smack things more like the very fabric of time and space itself.

Yellow ribbons and short hair. The short hair is what's odder still. She hates it, I can tell. She reaches at her hair at odd times during class, almost surprised to realize that her fingers come to an early stop. She fiddles with Asahina's hair nonstop, braiding it, putting it into buns and pigtails and ponytails and all the various designs and mazes the follicles of females go into for the simple fact that the result is breathtaking. Asahina hates every moment of this and I hate to see her cringe, but what else can I do? The regretful glint in Haruhi's eyes, her calculating and stoic face, the stiff and tall positioning of her shoulders, they grab at me, tear at me, and like paper I fall useless in pieces. It's my fault anyway.

Multicolored ribbons and long, flowing hair. She had it, enjoyed it, teased and played with it, and I ruined it for her. I couldn't know, I didn't know, I still don't know how exactly. But by picking up on it, I ruined it for her. By realizing her pattern, by noting the detail, by paying attention to her. Like an underground band that makes it big and gets called a sell-out, or an Indie film maker who goes into the mainstream. The joy was in being the only one, I can only think. But what else can I do?

A ponytail in hair too short for it. Barely a wisp sticking out of her head thanks to that short hair she so hates, but my heart swells within me, and I'm reminded of the first day I began to notice the pattern. She was always beautiful, but the ponytail was too much, letting all the right strands fall in all the right places, exposing the delicate skin of her neck, the curves of that little bit of collarbone can be seen if you lean just the right way.

I shouldn't say anything at all. I can't say anything at all, am going to say it all at some point when the others aren't around because dammit, she deserves to know it all. About everything, about everyone, and most importantly about herself. But I can't. I could destory the world. For all I know, I could even destroy her, as she struggled to comprehend an ability beyond human understanding.

But as I look at her, so dejected and tired. . .what else can I do?

"Hey, Haruhi," I say to her, and she doesn't move, doesn't flinch, but shoots out a disinterested "What?" in reply. Casually, I continue, planting the tiniest seed just in case I lose my courage later. Something she can take with her, and maybe find out for herself:

"Looks good on you."

Many thanks to my beta, Audley, who both rocks and rolls.

Anyone else think we need a Haruhi category? Let know.