AN: A feeble attempt at writing something that even holds a moot point, inspired by the depression following the reading of some pointless bean curd called "Haruhi Suzumiya Goes to Canada", which sounds something like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", but reads worse than "Freddy Got Fingered". Academics have kept me from reading Volumes 5-8, so particular points of interest include the fact that I'm unaware of quite a few things. Correct me if I'm wrong. Also, several concepts in further chapters are of my personal input, presumably inspired by the depression of reading something like HSGtC.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved to Tanigawa-san et al. I'm just one of those guys who wish they were as big a genius he is.

The Trouble with Timelines

By Fizzy 13

Prologue: Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody, Take 738

Okay, she's snoring. I took another glance at Asahina-san as she rested on my shoulder, fast asleep. If ever humanity were to be graced with seeing an angel at rest, this would probably be the closest thing to such a moment.

The sudden rustling of the bushes interrupted my brief moment of Elysium. My head snapped over to face the shaken greenery. Who could it be? A peeping tom? One of the patrolmen? If somebody found us like this, I suppose I could just say she was my sister. And then there was still the issue of verifying whether or not I really did travel to three years ago.

"Right on the money!"

I knew that voice. It was one of those I kept in mind wherever I went, if only to serve as an early warning system that wasn't really worth much as the owner always stayed a step ahead.

Out from the bushes emerged none other than Haruhi Suzumiya. And she didn't look three years younger, either. Could Asahina-san have lied?

"She's not lying, Kyon," Haruhi seemed rather gloomy in comparison to her usual excited self.

And if she's not lying, then why aren't you in middle school? "Wait, how did you even know about that?"

"Everything's come full circle," was the only reply. "Now I understand."

You understand? Understand what? I don't even understand what I'm doing here! Asahina-san just invited me to travel back to three years ago, but now I see you, who don't match what your appearance would be three years ago, here, but you say it is three years ago. I found myself even more confused than ever.

"I knew you looked familiar. And now it makes sense. You were time traveling back then, weren't you? Or should I say now?" Haruhi closed her eyes and smirked as though she'd fallen for some sort of prank. Another peculiarity. "Perhaps I should start calling you John, then."

John? Why in the hell would you call me that? Could you do me a favor and please start explaining what this whole thing is about? I started sweating. Or maybe I only noticed my sweat now. Either way, the heat of the summer night wasn't making things any better. Haruhi looked straight into my eyes. There was something about her that seemed very off, as though her brain had been replaced with somebody else's. Another one of Nagato's doings? "Look, I really have no idea of what you're talking abou-"

"Of course you don't, baka!" she yelled. "You haven't done it yet!"

"Done what yet?"

"Being John Smith!"

Again with this John nonsense. Suffice to say, I was somewhat relieved that this whole racket hadn't awakened Asahina-san from her slumber. Knowing that sweet, clumsy girl, she would probably just pass out again if she saw Haruhi here, three years ago, and telling me that I was somebody I hadn't even met. Maybe this was some kind of prank the two were playing on me? Still, that didn't explain that nauseating nap I had awhile earlier.

"How did you get here, anyway?"

"Isn't it obvious? I time traveled!"

Now that I think about it, if Haruhi is telling the truth about this being three years ago, then she probably forced Asahina-san to bring her along. But apparently, Asahina-san is completely unaware of our crazy Brigade Commander's presence. That would mean that the only way for her to get here without Asahina-san's assistance would be… My heart leapt up into my mouth. That can't be right! When did she find out?

"Oh, just recently."

Don't sound so casual about it! That's like being indifferent to the fact that you hold the fate of the world in the palm of your hand! Wait… that's exactly what it is! This is just great. Haruhi, do you have any idea how bothersome you were when you didn't know that the world revolved around you? And now you're telling me you know about that fact? Just what exactly do you have planned now that you know you're God or something?

She continued to stare at me. "What, is there something in my eye?"

"No." That girl, the cause of all the trouble I've been experiencing for the past what - three months? – became even gloomier. "I'm sorry it has to happen this way, John."

So now you're apologizing for even more things and inconsistencies that I can't even begin to comprehend in the slightest. What am I doing here, supposedly three years ago, with you, who are now fully aware of your world-shattering power? Hell, you know what? I've gotten everything down pat to a single, ultimate question. Why me?

"Even I don't know that yet."

Of course you don't know! You didn't know anything until… whenever it was that you found out you were special! And you still haven't told me what you're so apologetic before. This completely out-of-character incident has got me more messed up than any of your absurd antics.

Haruhi hung her head, looking down at the pathway as if embarrassed in the middle of a confession of love. What was missing, of course, was the slight hint of red. Or maybe I just didn't see it in the general darkness. Knowing her, it could probably be any reason at all, other than love. And could somebody please explain this whole John Smith thing to me?

"Some things… some things have to be given up… for the sake of others."

Oh great, now she's being Confucius. Something was telling me that this mystery was only going to get deeper. Something was also consistently yelling at me, saying Haruhi's unusual composure was going to lead to something very wrong in the near future… or recent past… or… never mind.

Haruhi stretched out her arm in an eerily familiar way, palm facing forward, fingers splayed as far as they can go. The only other person I've seen to do that would be… Nagato? There was no chanting of any reversed SQL encoding, no flash of blinding light. Haruhi only stood there, arm still outstretched towards me… was that a tear in her eye?

"Oi, Haruhi! What do you think you're doing?"

"I'm sorry, John," she shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut for a moment. Drops of what suspiciously resembled tears began to flow down her cheeks. "Really, I am. But I have no other choice."

And that was when I noticed the effects of her magical mystery pose. I began to feel weightlessness. Just what exactly was she doing to me? I almost screamed as I checked my hands. They were starting to fade out! And not just them, my entire body was slowly beginning to vanish! What the HELL is the meaning of this, you crazy bitch!?

"Maybe someday, if you're born again… you'll understand."

Born again, eh? If I'm born again after this, I hope to that pompous bastard who lives upstairs that I don't run into you. You know what? I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore. Maybe it's because my brain's almost gone or something. I checked up on my arms, which I could barely feel anymore. That's what I thought. No more solid than a plume of smoke.

Haruhi approached me at this point, swallowing a lump in her throat, salty drops slowly running down the sides of her face. Coupled with my current situation, I would probably say that that is the most terrifying image I will ever see.

She whispered something into my assumedly disappearing ear. Maybe it was because I couldn't hear it anymore since my eardrum was already gone by now, or maybe because my brain was almost completely wiped out of existence. Whichever it was, whatever she said didn't register at all. Based on what Haruhi had been saying and how she had been acting for the past minutes, it could have been anything.

The last thing I saw before everything went black was Haruhi, her face one of pain or regret or some other negative emotion, turning away and disappearing into the darkness.

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TBC…

AN: Some serious OOC-ness on Haruhi's part, and somehow, Mikuru was completely dropped from the scene somewhere in the middle of the conversation. Far from perfect, I know, but yes, that was intentional. Should I continue this sometime soon, you'll see just what the crap is going on.