Flipswitch (Mark Two) by MrCJ (aka Guessmyname)
Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu is owned by Nagaru Tanigawa. He is not me, thus I do not own any of his characters or anything like that.
Please don't sue.
It began on Monday. God only knows why, and I'm hesitant to ask her, so there goes that line of inquiry.
After all, just how do you walk up to someone who you've known for years and ask them why they've (unknowingly) turned you into a girl?
I screamed and tried to back away from the mirror so fast that I failed miserably and fell over backwards instead. You'd've thought the whole 'I'm shorter now' thing would have given it away sooner, though the link between sleepiness and cognitive capacity can probably be blamed for that oversight.
In any case, I lay there, propped up in a sitting position against the bathroom wall and staring at a face in the mirror that wasn't mine. Same brown-coloured hair (now down to my armpits, more or less), same hazel eyes. Softer, rounder, female face and proportions. I also looked paler, though that was probably shock.
Speaking of shock, I looked like a madwoman; the sort you see in asylums on tv with mussed up hair that scrabble at walls and never seem to blink. The white nightgown I seemed to be wearing certainly didn't help the image.
I tugged slightly at the gown. It was a good fit, which ruled out it being sister's: I may be shorter, but not that shorter. It couldn't be my mother's either, because, well, I was shorter.
All in all, what that pointed to was not good.
I scampered back to my room, thanking whatever gods were out there (except for the one responsible) that it was still waaaaay too early for the rest of my family to be awake. Thank the heavens for insomnia and it's captivating thrall that made me wake up before everyone else.
Oh, wait. I screamed, didn't I?
I'd better move fast. I needed to check something. I needed to check a lot of things.
I nipped into my room and closed the door. It didn't have lock so I did the next best thing and jammed my chair under the doorknob. I'd rather not have to explain this to my family, especially when I don't know enough to explain it to myself. I practically lunged at my wardrobe, flinging the door open.
A North High school uniform female edition skirt and sailor top stared back, hanging neatly on a clothes hanger like it was supposed to be there.
There was a word looping through my mind at that point, and that word was 'Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit…'
Quickly followed by 'My God Haruhi, what have you DONE?!'
Right. Crap. I'm a girl. Damned if I know why, but I'm a girl. Think. Think. How do I fix this? Asides from gender-corrective surgery.
For those wondering about the 'why' and the 'how', don't worry, I'll get to that. After hanging around with Haruhi Suzumiya for a good year or two, you stop asking such futile questions. You'll never get a straight answer out of anyone anyway so it's better to just try to fix it and move on before the next weirdness can tip your world even further upside down. Such is my life as lady luck's personal bitch.
Right. Stop whining. See the facts. Apart from having been spontaneously shot over the gender barrier by a cannon, my abilities beyond the normal and the mundane are nil. You'd have better luck with a potato. There's no way I can fix this on my own.
Thus, find someone who can.
In my short, improbable, logic-defying life there is only one person in this world capable of putting (and willing to put-) reality through a blender when asked. Well, two people really. Three if you're willing to count knife-crazy nut-cases that thankfully got deleted from existence. Actually, there's probably even more than that, I just don't know about them yet so I've kindof lost the point here somewhere…
Ah, yeah. If something this insane happens, there's only one person you can really turn to. A certain Miss Nagato Yuki. A little, reality-rewriting bubble of impenetrable calm in a crazy world of unknowing gods, alien data-deities and Bond-esque Esper unions with too much money.
No matter what happens, Nagato can fix it. I know this because she has before. Twice, that I know of (even if it was once her fault…).
I went for the door in a mad scramble, but managed to stop myself just short of removing the chair. Think, Kyon! Use that brain of yours!
I can't just waltz out the front-door without my family noticing. I can't have that, so I guess I'll have to pull a fairytale cliché and go with a bed-sheet ladder out of a window. I also can't do it in a nightie. Not without getting arrested at any rate, and that's the last thing I need…
A cursory sweep of the rest of my wardrobe proved that the all of my other clothes had switched genders alongside me too, so I just went with the school uniform. It's a school-day anyway, so this is about the only way I'm getting into North Junior High at any rate. Thankfully, the fact that I didn't know how to put on a bra was not an issue. The 'perks' of femininity were, for me at least, quite small.
That done, I went to gather my bedding.
Wait, there's still a flaw here. Damn it, I really shouldn't try to plan major repairs to reality at 5 in the morning whilst on an adrenaline high…
Simply put, the flaw runs like this: even if this is fixed in a day, when I come back my parents are going to have some awkward questions waiting for my return when they see a bed-sheet ladder dangling out my window. And before even that, the moment they see what's happened, they'll contact the police, assuming I've run away from home. All in all, it'll make coming back even harder.
On the other hand, I can't let them see me like this, as that'd cough up even more questions.
Well, it is freakishly early, and I don't appear to have woken anyone up with my screaming theatrics in front of a mirror yet (maybe they didn't recognise the voice?). Perhaps I can slip out. Yeah, that could work. If I leave a note, explaining that I've gone to school early…
Oh, wait. On a technical note, I won't be, will I? The student ever known as 'Kyon', who is male and in the class of one Sensei Okabe is not going to arrive to school today. Instead, some random girl no-one's ever seen and isn't in any official records is. There's no way around it; at some point, someone is going to notice that 'I' don't seem to exist: both my old male self and this new person I appear to be stuck in.
Ah screw it, I'll leave cover-up to Itsuki. It's his department anyway.
I left a hastily scribbled note taped to the fridge, saying that I was going to school early, I'd explain later and not to worry etc etc blah-blah-blah, snatched up my bag (it would look weird if I left it behind), slipped into my shoes and left the dark, empty house behind.
God it's cold. How on earth can anyone put up with these skirts? I'm freezing!
Hmm. Given how early it is (sunrise couldn't have been too long ago), would Nagato even be at school yet? It's not like I don't know where she lives; I've visited it about a dozen times by now.
It's also not up a ridiculously steep 'hill'.
I headed for Nagato's.
It's not that long a bike ride to get there, and as exercise it keeps the legs warm, if somewhat stiff afterwards. As I said, it's bloody cold this early in the morning.
I arrived without fanfare, simply chaining my bike to a convenient post nearby and walking up to the vaguely monolithic apartment block Nagato calls home. Or lives in; I'm not sure if she understands the concept of 'home'. I walked up the door and hoped they'd accept visitors this early in the morning.
I sincerely hope Nagato will recognise me. Like, some kind of data burst from Haruhi or something must have given my impromptu sex-change away. I'm vaguely surprised she hasn't contacted me already. At least my hair and eye colour appear to be exactly the same. She should spot that, at least; if I try to explain what happened, she should believe me.
I buzzed the intercom, hoping Nagato was even awake (does she actually sleep? Does she need to? She probably fakes it for appearances, but she actually need it?)
Wait… if my hair and eye colour hasn't changed, would that mean my actual body has changed gender? As opposed to, I dunno, it being swapped with that of some hapless girl somewhere?
Meh, does it matter? It would only matter a little if it had been an actual body swap, because that would imply that said hapless girl would presumably be stuck in my actual, male body – though you'd think I wouldn't've woken up in my own bed if that was the case. Which it isn't. Probably.
Ah screw it, I haven't a clue what's going on.
I buzzed the intercom for Nagato's room again.
Hopefully she can fix it. Hopefully. No, I know she can: she once rewrote reality entire to prevent Haruhi from coming to our school and stop the SOS Brigade ever being formed. Heck, I think she even wiped out the Integrated Data Thought Entity doing that. Flipping my gender flag back to male should be well within her power.
Assuming Haruhi hasn't done something to make it irreversible save for a few set conditions her subconscious wants completing. Which she probably has. Petulant git.
Ah, I can't be mad. Sure, I can be angry, irritated and highly confused (stress and shock also deserve a mention) but not mad. It's not like she does it on purpose. Unless she's playing us all for silly buggers and is very aware of what's going on, though I somehow doubt that. She's too blunt.
I buzzed Nagato a third time, holding the buzzer down. Wake up already!
Still though, what on earth could she want from me? I can't remember doing anything wrong, so I doubt this is some sort of punishment. Some external factor perhaps? And… and why turn me into a girl? It's just a physical change: I'm still me. What does stealing my Y chromosome achieve? That just doesn't make any sense!
Oh for heaven's sake Nagato, WAKE UP!
My watch beeped 06:00 AM exactly. There was a click, a sudden burst of static and then –
The voice was warped a bit by the intercom, but it was unmistakably Nagato. Who else would answer the phone with a statement? And in that monotone?
"Gods Nagato, do you only ever wake up at 6AM?" I asked in frustration. "Look, it's me Kyon. I know I sound like a girl, but it is me. I need to talk to you, can you let me in or something?"
I know she's there, I can hear her breathing: it's making the intercom crackle in rhythm.
"Nagato! Is something wrong? It's me, Kyon!"
. . .
I stared at the white intercom box in disbelief.
I think she just hung up on me.
This can't be good.
I peered up from my leaning pose against the wall to look at Nagato's window again for the nth time.
Damn it! Did something happen? Is she in trouble? I know where her room is – it's room 708, 7th floor but how do I get in? You need a pass to get through these doors.
Hmph. Well, they are glass, and it's not like it's my real body or anything. If I have to, I can break in.
No, wait. That's a stupid idea. I'd attract a load of attention doing it and not-my-body or no, it's still going to hurt like a bitch if I get lacerations from broken glass. And probably be quite rehabilitating and generally unpleasant too boot. And if Nagato really is in trouble, what can I do? The best I could ever hope to achieve is to provide a quick distraction. A crappy, easily deformed distraction at that.
Still, waiting sucks.
I checked my watch. Nearly quarter-past seven. She's going to need to leave now if she's going to get to school on time.
Damnit, I've been standing in the cold for over an hour here! In this damn skirt too! Where the hell are you, Nagato?
The glass doors hissed open and some North High guy walked out. People had been leaving at fairly regular intervals all morning, so it was nothing new. Still, the profile was too tall to be Nagato and it was a man anyway - he was wearing the blazer and everything – so I didn't spare him a second glance.
At least not for a few seconds, anyway.
My head snapped back up as something horrifying clicked into place in my brain.
Same hair colour…
I broke into a run, trying not to stumble as my legs were suddenly forced to start moving again.
If it's not Nagato, I can pretend to be someone else. This isn't my real appearance after all.
The boy didn't respond, just kept on walking. That didn't reassure me in the slightest.
"Wait, wait! Hey, you! Yes, YOU, with the purple-y hair!"
The boy paused and turned slowly to look at me with cold, indifferent yellow-gold eyes framed by metal rimmed glasses that caught the sun for a moment as he turned around. His purple hair fell thickly around his head, slightly longer at the front to frame his alabaster-white face.
It's Yuki. As a he. This is not good.
It's… it's like looking at cosplay or something. Kinda both right and wrong at the same time. I mean, it's obviously Nagato, but… he looks so… off? Like a bad replica.
His eyes bored into mine patiently, as though inspecting mud on a shoe.
Crap, what do I say now?
"Girl from the intercom." Nagato said, instantly breaking the illusion. He had a deep, rich baritone voice, like roast black coffee. Nothing like the real Nagato's barely audible whisper. Still got the emotion range of a brick though.
I was about to reply when I realised what Nagato'd said was a statement, rather than a question.
"You… you're a boy…?" I said instead, saying the only other thing running through my head at that moment.
"Yes." Nagato replied simply, before turning on his heel and continuing on his way.
I rushed forwards to catch up and kept pace beside him. Nagato didn't respond.
"Do you know what happened?"
"Why have we switched genders?"
Nagato's eyes swilled around to meet mine again, but he still made no response. Not this 'silent treatment' again! You're not Abraham Maslow damn it!
"Look, did Haruhi do something?"
That got his attention. Or at least made him stop walking anyway. I took an extra half-step before I noticed and pulled back alongside him. He stared at my eyes, I stared back. The sooner I get answers, the sooner I can resolve this mess.
"Was there any… I dunno, Data Outburst or something? Did the Integrated Data Thought Entity spot anything? Please, Nagato, you have to know something."
Nagato just continued to stare with that emotionless mask that both familiar and strange at the same time.
A sudden thought struck me. I hoped it was wrong.
"…Nagato, are being forced to withhold information?"
The only movement Nagato made was to blink after about ten seconds. Just when I was about to ask another question, he finally spoke up.
"You know of the Integrated Data Thought Entity."
Another statement. "Um… yes?"
"You know of Haruhiko Suzumiya."
"Yes I – wait, w-"
"You know of the Living Humanoid Interfaces and their purpose."
Cue pause. Nagato seemed to shift his posture slightly.
It was as though he was expecting an attack.
"How?" He asked simply, his first question of the entire day.
'How'? What'd'you mean 'how'? I'm Kyon! Of course I know! I'm a member of the SOS Brigade, remem…
I have a bad feeling about this.
Nagato continued to watch me, as though ready and waiting for any sudden movements, though in truth he didn't actually look that different from his default state. Still, when reading Nagato, it's all in the little details.
Little details that, in hindsight, will have been completely screwed over by the gender swap. I can't read him. I have no idea what he's thinking.
That scares me a little.
Nagato blinked, the slight movement knocking me out of my reverie.
No, that's definitely a defensive posture. It doesn't look any different from a standard walking pose, but you can just see it in the placement of his feet and the set of his shoulders. All in all though, the biggest give away is his gaze. His eyes are piercing me properly now: unlike his earlier, almost laconic watch that simply served to show what he was paying attention to at the time, this is a harder stare. It's like he's looking for answers or clues.
He wants to know what I'm going to do next. Oh well, I guess that means we're on equal footing then. Well, knowledge-wise, anyway.
"Nagato," I began, a sneaking suspicion making my heart sink, "do you know who I am?"
Nagato looked at me right in the face. "No."
Nagato suddenly started walking again. I had to run to catch up.
"So you don't know me?"
"Do you know a male student with my hair and eye colour?"
Well that rules out him just not recognising me: he really doesn't know who I am. This is bad.
"It is unanswered."
…damn, where do I start?
"I… er…" I struggled for words. "Basically, I woke up this morning as a girl."
"Your gender is incorrect?"
"Yes, it is! Then I go to find you and find out what on earth's going on, only you've changed too, and you don't a clue who I am?"
"I am supposed to know you?"
"We've spent a year together in the SOS Brigade, of course you're supposed to know me!"
"You are affiliated with the SOS Brigade?"
The way Nagato said it, I got the horrible feeling he didn't know what that was either.
"Of course I am, I was the first person recruited!"
"By Haruhi Suzumiya! Who else?"
"One year ago?"
Nagato seemed to pause, as if considering carefully what to say next. Finally…
"Haruhiko Suzumiya has not formed any brigades or other similar military chains of command at any point in his life span. You are mistaken."
And with that, he walked through the school gates without so much as a backwards glance.
This is very, very bad.