First off, I'd like to apologize for the delay of the publishing of this chapter. The truth of the matter is that my laptop (the one that I used to write all my previous chapters) was hit with a really nasty virus that completely disabled it. As a result, I lost a bunch of what I wrote for this chapter and had to start over. This did not sit well with me when it happened, especially since it made it so that I could do nothing when it came to writing for more than two weeks.

But then my father came to my rescue and bought me a new computer as a gift for graduating college. I've been very happy to receive the gift (it's an awesome computer), but by the time I did receive it, I found it difficult to actually begin to write again. It was only now that I finally kicked myself in the ass hard enough to go and finally finish this chapter.

On another note, I forgot to mention last chapter that the whole Kyon having a crush on his cousin thing is actually canon. Kyon mentions her a total of three times in novels 1, 4 and 8. I didn't make that part up, although I did make up the details of the event since Kyon only mentions her in passing.

In any case, I think we can all agree that this chapter is long overdue. It's time to finish this fic.

I hope all of you enjoy it.

Chapter 30

To say that I am a perfect individual would without a doubt be complete nonsense. I've done plenty of things in my life to which I am not proud of. I not sure if I'm really convinced about the idea of karma, but if it does exist, perhaps what was happening at this moment was pay back for the sins of my past, whether that be my current life, or any past lives I may have had. There was one thing I did know, though. I didn't want to leave, and for some reason I knew that my reason for not wanting to was far more than just missing my friends or home.

The walk into the train station was a surreal moment. I was even tempted to pinch myself, but resisted doing so to avoid looking strange. Oruki didn't bother to follow me into the train station, which was actually preferable. It would've been awkward if he had been standing next to me while I waited for my train.

Having entered the train station with my bag slung over my shoulder, I quickly noticed that the station was fairly crowded. Despite this, I couldn't help but feel especially lonely. I knew that in less than a day that I'd returning to my family and living in an unfamiliar part of Japan. It was hard to believe that my life here was over. To be honest, I think I would've been happier to be Prometheus while getting my liver eaten by that vulture.

It was as I approached the area where my train was waiting for me that I was given a surprise. Standing there together were the three remaining members of the Brigade, Nagato, Asahina-san and Koizumi. I was pleased to see their faces, and I was certain that all three of them were less then happy to see me leave.

"I guess this is it," said Koizumi, his annoying grin still present on his face. "I must say that I sincerely wish that things didn't have to end this way so soon.

I bet you do, Koizumi. I bet you do.

Asahina-san walked up to me nervously, looking as if she was unable to come up with what to say. "I...I just wanted to let you know that...that I'm glad I was given the chance to meet you. I don't think I could have been able to make it without your help."

I smiled warmly at her before patting her on her head. Oh Asahina-san, did you have to look so incredibly cute as you said good bye. You're only making this harder on me. "You'll be fine, Asahina-san. You're stronger than you think."

She gave me the most cheerful expression she could and nodded lightly. I could tell that she was reluctant to say or do something, but I was unable to figure out what it was.

I turned to Nagato next. Her expression appeared as stoic as ever, but I was able to pick up a subtle amount of sadness on her face. Of the three of them, I figured that she was probably going to miss me the most, and to be honest, I was probably going to miss her nearly as much. I mean, I was probably the only person that ever tried to relate to her, and the fact that she tried to alter the universe in thanks for that was proof of her appreciation. What can I say? She's a pretty generous person. Before I could say anything to her, she lifted her arm and showed me a piece of folded up paper. I blinked for a second before taking it from her.

Just before I could unfold the paper and begin reading it, I saw her lift her hand up. "Wait. Please read it later."

After staring at her and the piece of paper for a few seconds, I decided to comply. Perhaps she was feeling a bit shy about what was written on it. I couldn't help but admire how much she's changed since I first met her. Still, she was never one to be very good with words. I decided to read the note when I entered the train.

I looked at each one once more. "You sure you guys are going to be alright without me?"

"I'll admit that things will be most difficult without your assistance," said Koizumi. "However, with any hope, Suzumiya-san's emotional state will stabilize with a little more time.

I turned Asahina-san, despite already knowing the answer to my next question. "Mind telling us what's in store for us in the future?"

She smiled politely, looking somewhat apologetic. "Sorry...classified information."

"Come on. Just this once. You can't break the rule even once?"

"I'm so sorry, but I can't. Don't worry, I sure things will be okay."

I had difficulty figuring out whether her cheerfulness was sincere or faked. Perhaps she knew something I didn't. After all, if something bad did happen, she might not even exist.

It was then that there was an awkward silence between the four of us. I think we all wanted to say more, yet knew that there wasn't really anything else left to say. After about a minute of this, I smiled again, picked my bag and gave a quick wave.

"I'll see you guys during summer vacation, okay?"

The three of them responded by nodding as they waved back. I then turned around and began to make my way towards the train. After showing the staff my ticket, I entered the train and took my seat. I laid back as far as I could (which wasn't very far) and took the deepest breath I could. I looked around the train at the other people around me. Most of them appeared excited and happy about their trip. I was likely one of the few people on the train that was miserable having to leave. It made me feel all the more lonelier.

It was then that I remembered the note that Nagato handed me outside. I quickly pulled it from my pocket, unfolded it, and began reading:

Open your briefcase.

I was left a bit dumbfounded by the message. I had been expecting something more heartwarming and emotional. I certainly didn't expect such a strange command such as this. Following the orders of the piece of paper, I went and opened my briefcase in the hopes that I would discover why I'd been told to do so. To my surprise, I immediately discovered something that I was sure I didn't pack into the briefcase. It was a book. Not just any book, but the very same book of haikus that I'd received during that party over a month ago. Did Nagato sneak this into my bag while I was talking with the others? It didn't matter. I knew immediately what to do next.

I opened to book and began scanning through it in the hope of finding something unusual. It didn't take long before I discovered another note inside of it. This note was in the shape of a large bookmark with the following message:

I apologize for not being more direct with you, but this was the best way I knew I could speak with you privately under the current situation. While I have been unable to find the opportunity to undo the effects of your memory loss, I was able to discover a method that should allow you to regain those memories on your own. All you need to do is read this passage in the book once more.

P.S. There is more we must discuss in the future, but it will have to wait until the appropriate time.

Was this for real? Did Nagato really find a way to get my memories back without the need for her powers? And when she said we had more to discuss in the future, how far in the future did she mean? And what did she want to discuss? Never mind that. I need to read that passage again. Where was it...there!

When confronting her.

He held on the stage's edge.

He then let it go.

I've read this passage so many times that it should be burned deeply into my psyche. I waited a few moments to let the words sink in, but I didn't remember anything. What the hell?! Was Nagato wrong? I read it again, hoping it would help, but it failed to do any good. Why was this not working? Was there some kind of hidden meaning to the passage that I was not getting? For some reason, I couldn't help but feel like there was something familiar to it.

Wait, I need to think about what the message means. If I remember correctly, the message wasn't metaphorical but literal. And "the stage" in the message was the stage at the Kiyomizu-dera. I'm sure of that much. And "her" must be Haruhi. And when it says that I held onto the stage's edge...

It was then that felt the synapse in my brain reconnecting as if they had found a long lost relative. The moment that happened, an image in my brain popped up of me hanging from the edge of the stage. I then remembered Haruhi holding onto my other arm. Yes...YES!! It's coming back!! Everything!! I remember. I REMEMBER!! The next memory that hit my brain was of the two of us falling through the air and...


I immediately began to look around in my seat. The train hadn't left yet. Good! I needed to get out of here! Now! I grabbed my bag and immediately bolted for the exit of the train. Just as I got there, I noticed that the doors were about to close. By a miracle, I managed to slip by the door before either my bag or myself were trapped inside. Without thinking, I shot for the exit of the train station as fast as my legs could possible carry me.

Minutes later, I literally burst from the door and out onto the sidewalk. It was when I got there that a nasty realization hit me. How in the hell was I going to get back? My ride there was long gone and I didn't have any money for a taxi. Beginning to feel a bit panicked, I began to frantically try to think of a solution.

It was then that I heard a sharp whistling sound to my right. I turned towards it to find a surprising and relieving sight. Standing there were the three remaining members of the Brigade, waving at me as if they were expecting me. Damn it you guys! Always one step ahead of me!

"Need a lift," said Koizumi with his trademark smile. This would probably be one of the few times in history that I'd be happy to see it. He then lifted his hand into the air. Within seconds, a familiar black vehicle drove up next to us containing a familiar driver.

Koizumi opened the door to let me in. "I think you know what you need to do."

"Good luck, Kyon-kun!" cheered Asahina-san.

"You're not coming with?" I asked in confusion.

"I believe it's best if you go alone," responded Koizumi. "Don't worry, we'll catch up later."

I then turned to Nagato and bowed thankfully. "Thank you, Nagato!"

Nagato responded by nodding her head ever so slightly. "Asahina-san shares the responsibility for aiding you."

"It was her that informed us that this would happen and what we needed to do," added Koizumi.

Asahina-san stared at the ground bashfully. "I...I was merely following orders..."

Oh Asahina-san, your cuteness never ceases to amaze me. "Thank you, Asahina-san. Thank you everyone." I then made my way into the vehicle and waved the three of them goodbye. "I'll see you in the clubroom this Monday!"

They all waved as the car pulled away. Before long, I was back on the road, heading the opposite way I came. This time, however, I was sure that I wasn't going anywhere. I didn't care what it took, I wasn't leaving Haruhi again. That was a promise.

As the car eventually made its way onto the street that she lived on, I felt my heart pound out of my chest. I had no idea what I was going to do or say when I got back. My biggest concern was what I was going to do about Oruki. No doubt that seeing me come back was going to do more than annoy him. No, it doesn't matter. Whatever he does when I get back, I was ready for it. I wasn't going to let him push me around. I knew that if I was ever going to gain his respect that I would have to stand up to him. Now was that time.

The moment the car pulled up to the house, I exploded out of the car, forgetting to thank Arakawa-san for the ride. I ran up to the middle of the yard and filled my lungs with air. Using all the strength in my diaphragm, I screamed out her name.


I stared at the house, looking for any sign of movement. It was then that I saw a window upstairs open up, reveal the woman that I finally realized I loved so much.




She then bolted away from the window. Within second, she burst out of the door and ran up to me. She appeared completely dumbfounded, as if she wasn't sure if it was really me. "W...what are you doing h..."

I didn't give her the opportunity to finish her question. The moment she got to me, I grabbed her by her shoulders and instantly pressed my lips onto hers. Within moments, she responded by kissing me back with equal fervor. The warm softness of her lips combined with the sweetness of her scent, intoxicating me in a way I knew I'd never want to end. We were embraced this way for a good minute before I finally let go, looking longingly into her gorgeous amber eyes.

"I told you that I'd never run from you again. That's a promise I intend to keep."

Her eyes widened upon hearing those words, and a smile slowly crept onto her face. "You...remember?"

I nodded before stroking her soft hair. "I love you...Haruhi Suzumiya."

I saw her swallow hard and wipe her eyes, obviously fighting back tears. "I love you, too."

We then kissed again, more tenderly this time. After a few more seconds, I released myself from her lips, only to notice something behind her. Standing near the door were both of her parents, looking utterly stupefied.

Naru-san's stare was constant for a good five seconds before her mouth slowly shifted into a grin. Soon after she began to have a giggling fit, followed by her covering her mouth with her hands. She look positively delighted.

Oruki did not respond in the same way. If anything, his response was quite the opposite. His expression slowly contorted into a terrible ire, a vein popping out of his forehead. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Clearly sensing her father's impending wrath, Haruhi turned to me with a look of concern. "Let me handle this."

"No," I responded, giving her a reassuring squeeze on her arm. "This is something I need to take care of myself." I then moved past her and approached my antagonist. "I'm not leaving!"

"Is that so?" asked Oruki as he began to march up to me. "I'm going to have to disagree. The agreement was one month! You've more than overstayed your welcome!"

"I know that," I retorted harshly. "And I could care less! I'll sleep on the streets if I have to! I'm staying here!"

By now, Oruki had marched right up to my face, staring down at me in the same intimidating matter as the last time he did it. "And you expect me to just be okay with that?! I'm supposed to just accept that you want to be with my daughter now?! To hell with that! I should have known I couldn't trust you!"

"Oruki-kun..." said Naru-san weakly. Unfortunately, her words fell on deaf ears.

Oruki then grabbed me by my collar, nearly choking me with his impossible strength. "You have three seconds to get the hell out of here before things get really messy."

"I'm not afraid of you." That of course was a lie. Despite what I thought to myself earlier, I was actually quite terrified, but I knew that I was willing to do whatever it took to ensure that I was by Haruhi's side from now on. I only hoped that he didn't actually kill me this time.

"Dad! Stop it!" yelled Haruhi in the hopes that he'd desist.

We both ignored her cries and stared each other down. After a few more seconds, Oruki's eyes narrowed sharply. "Have it your way." He then turned around and began to drag me towards the car.

"Kyon!" yelled Haruhi, clearly worrying about my safety.

"Don't worry. I'll be fine," I said as reassuringly as I could while being dragged away. Before long, I was practically thrown into the passenger side of the car before Oruki stormed around the car and entered it on the other side. Seconds later, we were once again on the road. I had no idea what he was planning on doing, but I had a pretty good idea on where we were going.

It's funny how only a mere hour ago we were riding in this car on such good terms.

The ride was eerily silent as I made occasional glances at Oruki's face. His was a face of complete and total seriousness, almost as if it completely lacked any emotion. He wasn't really planning anything drastic, was he? He does know that murdering me would likely doom the universe, right? Please tell me that he's actually thinking straight enough to know this. Before long, we were once again in the wooded area that he liked to visit so much. If he was truly planning on ending my life, this was the place to do it. No, I can't think like that. There has to be a more sane and rational reason for why we're here. I mean, between the three of them, I was sure that Oruki had the best head on his shoulders. Even if he is a Suzumiya, he couldn't be THAT crazy...right?

It was then that we arrived at the clearing. The instant the car came to a halt, Oruki unbuckled his seat belt and exited the vehicle. He marched up to the railing and stared out into the forest around him, completely silent. After about a minute, I felt inclined to get out of the car myself. If he was going to kill me, he'd have done it by now.

As I slowly approached him, he turned slightly and pressed his hand to his face. "I...I need you to clear something up with me."

"What's that?" I asked, a bit confused.

"Nearly two weeks ago, I asked you how you felt about my daughter. Remember that?" I found myself unable to give a response before he continued. "You told me then that you only liked her as a friend. I then tell you that since you only felt that way about her, you couldn't stay because I knew you'd break her heart."

"Look, a lot happened since then and..."

I was interrupted as Oruki turned completely around to face me. "Then, on the day that you were finally supposed to leave, all of a sudden out of nowhere you come back saying that you're apparently in love with her! Can you see where I'm going with this?"

"I do love her," I said, hoping to reassure him.

"Really? So you're telling me that in the two weeks since I asked you how you felt about her, you suddenly and magically fell in love with her. Am I right?"

"It's...complicated..." I answered, rubbing the back of my head nervously.

"Really? Well maybe I can help simplify it a little for you!" He then begins to walk towards me. "The way I see it, there are two other possibilities that are going on! Either you lied to me two weeks about how you felt about her, or you're lying to me now! Which of those is it? Because I'm having a really hard time believing that you changed your mind so damn fast!"

I was silent for nearly a minute before I finally answered. "I...lied to you two weeks ago..."

"So you admit that you once again have lied to me!" yelled Oruki, clearly getting even more worked up.

"I was more like I was lying to myself."

His expression changed to a mix of confusion and frustration upon hearing that. "So what? You're telling me that you're so much of a coward that you can't even tell yourself the truth!"

"It's a long story...I...I had some issues with girls in the past."

"And that's supposed to make me feel better about this situation?" He then moves even closer to me, staring me down intensely. "Do you want to know what I think? I think that maybe you're not good enough for her."

To be honest, hearing those words from him really pissed me off. Who was he to decide who was good enough for Haruhi? I could care less if he was her father. I had every intention to being with her, even if he didn't approve. "I don't care."

He appeared almost surprised by my remark before looking at me smugly. "You don't care. You don't care, huh? Well look at you. Someone thinks he's pretty tough, huh? Mr. 'I fight monsters and aliens and all that other crap' thinks he's tough enough to stand up to me. Let me tell you something. I've met plenty of tough guys in my life. Sure, maybe none of them have had the kinds of experiences you've had, but nearly all of them were the same. The moment they met someone that they couldn't beat, that 'tough guy' attitude disappeared in an instant. Are you going to tell me that you're different?"

I didn't respond directly. All I could think to do was stare his down, my teeth and fists clenched tightly. I noticed the he spotted my reaction to his words. It was also as if he enjoyed seeing me that way.

"Getting mad? Good! I want you mad. I want to know what you're really made of." He turned around and walked away for a bit, putting some distance between the two of us. He then turned around again. "I'll tell you want. I'll make a deal with you." He then raised his fists in front of him in a fighting stance. "Let's you and me fight."

"...What?" was my response upon hearing his words.

"The rules are simple. All you need to do is get one solid blow on me. That's it. Do whatever it takes to do it. If you can do that, I'll let you stay a bit longer and..." He then looked away from me. " daughter..."

I stared at him completely dumbfounded. Did he just challenge me to a fight? Him...verses me? What chance could I possibly have against him? What kind of caveman challenges the guys who want their daughters to fist fights. In all the sparring sessions I've ever had with him, never once was I ever able to land a blow. And to make things worse, I was still recovering from a broken rip, a concussion and a sprained wrist.

"Quit your bitching!" yelled the male Suzumiya. "You're going to tell me that those little boo-boos hurt too much for you to prove yourself? If you really love my daughter, then fight me!"

Am I the only one who's able to see the craziness in all of this? So in order to prove my love, I have to punch you. Do I have to illustrate how incredibly stupid that is? You know what? I was wrong. You're every bit as crazy as your wife and daughter. And if want to fight me so damn bad, well it's a fight you're going to get! I don't care if you rip me apart! I will kick your ass, so help me God!

I stared down at my fist and clenched it as tightly as I could. I summoned up all of my anger and hatred and directed it at my opponent. Breathing heavily, I ready myself for a second before charging at him fast as I could, fist raised. I inwardly knew that this all out attack was likely a foolish move on my part, but I didn't care. I refused to let anything get between me and Haruhi, and I would do anything to win this fight.

As I moved closer, I saw his eyes suddenly widen, as if caught off guard by the suddenly ferocity of my attack. Within seconds, I was upon him, and I swung my fist at his face with all of my might. To my amazement, it connected perfectly with his nose, rocking his entire head back. Wait a minute...I did it! I hit him! I can't believe it!

Oruki stumbled back a few steps and winced a bit. After a second, he grinned at me before a small drop of blood rolled down from his nose. "Not bad..."

I blinked a few times before it registered inside my head as to what happened. Wait a minute...He didn't even try to dodge or block it. Did he...he let me hit him, didn't he? That bastard! What the hell? What was he thinking?

After wiping the blood from his face, Oruki sighed deeply before crossing his arms. "I guess you win. A deal's a deal."

I stared at the man a bit longer before finally responding. "Why'd you let me hit you?"

"I just wanted to find out if you had what it took to stand up to me. Anyone who want's to date my daughter is going to have to show me that they're not a coward. I could care less if you could beat up someone twice your size, or anything like that. All that matters to me is that you're man enough here." He said that last line while pounding his fist on his chest. "Besides, I figured after what I did to you a few weeks ago that you'd love the opportunity to hit me back."

Well, if that's the case, can I hit you a few more times? I don't think the tally is even yet.

"Pfft! If you want to hit me again, you'll have to earn it. No more freebees."

"So...this whole thing...was just some test? You weren't actually mad at me?"

"Well, I'm not exactly thrilled about the idea that my daughter is with a guy, and it would have been nice if you had been honest from the start..." He then hit me with a bit of a bombshell. "Not that I needed you to tell me. I knew from the moment I laid eyes on you that you were in love with her."

Wait...what?! You knew? How?

Oruki narrowed his eyes at me and frowned. "Are you kidding me? Everyone knew. Me, my wife, those friends of yours in that club. Everyone except you and my daughter. Moron..."

Once again, I was left admiring that bastard's keen perception. However, I was also left feeling more confused than ever. "If you knew, why did you tell me that I had to leave?"

"I'll explain on the way back," he said as he began to walk back to the car.

As the two of us rode off out of the woods, Oruki began to explain what had happened. "Like I said, I was pretty sure that you had feelings for her already when I asked you two weeks ago, but when you said that you only liked her as a friend, I figured that you were either lying or confused. Either way, I figured that if I told you that you had to leave, it would give you the motivation to finally get your head on straight and admit the truth. I figured that once you finally got to being honest, I'd tell you that it was okay for you to stay after all."

"Wait, you mean you never intended to kick me out?"

"What, did you really think that I wanted you to go? The one guy capable of preventing my daughter from ripping the universe apart? You didn't actually think I wanted that responsibility, did you? Screw that!"

"So why didn't you stop me at the train station and tell me the truth?"

"Well," said Oruki, looking a bit embarrassed. "When nearly two weeks had passed, and I found out that you still hadn't said anything, I started to wonder if I was wrong. I figured that if I really was wrong about you that maybe it was best if you left. I wasn't really sure on what else to do."

So let me get this straight. You thought that by making me think that I had to leave that it would make it so that I'd admit my true feelings? Do you realize what nearly happened because of your idea? By making me and everyone else think that I had to leave, YOU NEARLY CAUSED THE DESTRUCTION OF THE UNIVERSE!

"L...look, I'll admit that it was a bad idea. By now you should know that thinking things through is not my strong point. The point is that it did work, right?"

I placed a hand on my face upon hearing his words. To think that all this time he never intended to actually kick me out. That bastard! I hate him so much! And now that I think about it, I bet Naru-san knew all about this, too. How could she betray me like that? Are the only secrets she can keep are the ones her husbands tells her?

"It all worked out in the end anyway, so we should just move on. Having you around was actually pretty handy, and now that you're mostly healed, I can start putting you to work again." He almost sounded too happy when saying that last line. However, the smile disappeared when he suddenly started looking around nervously. "Tell you what. I'll make it up to you by telling you some things that I wasn't supposed to tell you."

I raised an eyebrow at him. "Like what?"

He waited a few seconds before answering. "The truth is that Naru-chan and I had a couple visitors come by the house while you and your friends were on your trip."

A couple visitors? Who?!

"The first one came by shortly after you guys had left. Some girl with wavy, green hair. Said her name was...Kimidori, I think."

Kimidori-san...another human interface like Nagato. I suspected that she's one of Nagato's superiors as well. "What was she doing there?"

"I guess since my wife and I were now in the loop about the whole 'my daughter is God' thing, her people felt that they needed to explain their side of the story and what they believed about what was going on. To tell you the truth, I didn't understand a word she told me. I mostly just nodded my head until she left. She did warn me about some possible danger in the future, and when she that, I remembered what you told me about that really bad future event. When she finally left, I got nervous and decided it was best to call you guys to find out what was going on."

Oh yeah...I remember now. That phone call he made to Haruhi and I while we were drunk...heh...

"Anyway, the next day, this gorgeous redhead comes to our door, and I'm thinking that maybe she was lost or something. But when I looked at her, I noticed that she looked familiar. That's when she told us who she was."

It was Asahina-san (Big) wasn't it?

"Yeah. It was that time-traveling girl that's in your club,!" He then notices me staring at him sharply before trying to continue. "Hey, I'm married, not blind. And I'd never cheat on my wife in a million years. I just couldn't help but admire her...uh...anyway, she came over to explain all the stuff regarding her faction or whatever. Again, I wasn't really paying attention."

I bet you weren't...

"After she was finally done telling us everything, she then suddenly went and gave us a piece of paper. Upon opening it, we found out it was a list of instructions that we had to follow...or more specifically, Naru-chan had to follow." He then looked at me for a second to see the expression on my face as I heard this. "The instructions said that my wife was to call our daughter at a specific time and say what was on the paper. In other words, my wife was ordered to tell our daughter about you moving away."

You've got to be kidding me. Once again, I find myself incredibly miffed over the rather deceitful methods of Asahina-san's future self. Behind my back, she once again pulled the strings, making sure history happens exactly as it's supposed to happen. I know that it's probably necessary for her to do such things for the sake of preserving her time period, but to operate with such deception. She warns me of some impending doom, and then goes and sees to it that it actually happens. How could I not be upset? I'm am once again reminded that I can never trust her.

"So...that's about everything. My wife's been upset that she couldn't tell you, but I insisted that she absolutely had to keep quiet about it."

"So why did you tell me?"

"Frankly, I'm sick and tired of feeling like I have to play by their rules. You know, it was kinda nice when I still thought I had control over my life. Now that I know of all this stuff happening around me, I...I just wanted a chance to tell them to go screw themselves." He then looks at me bit nervously. "You don't think that by telling you this stuff that I'm in any danger, right? I mean, they're not going to scramble my brains or make me disappear, are they?"

I did what I could to relieve his fears. "Truthfully, I highly doubt it. The truth of the matter is that you're the father of Haruhi Suzumiya. As a result, there's only so much that they can do to you. If anything, I'd say your position give you a relatively large amount of wiggle room when it comes to dealing with their rules, just as long as you don't go too far."

Oruki appeared relieved upon hearing what I had to say. "Good. You know, I never thought of it that way. They can't really touch me, can they?"

"For the most part," I said, neglecting to mention the fact that if they wanted, the human interfaces could probably erase his or Naru-san's memories instantly.

"You think they'll know that I said anything to you?"

"Knowing them, they probably already knew you'd tell me."

Oruki took a deep breath. "Ah, screw them. I'm not afraid of them. What's the worst they can do?"

It was after that that the conversation died down, and I was left with the sudden realization that I was on my way back to Haruhi was on my way home. This time I knew I wasn't going anywhere, and I felt a strong sense of euphoria hitting me. It's good to be coming back.

Before long, the two of us finally returned. I notice as we approached the house that Haruhi was sitting on the steps up front, obviously worried about what was going to happen to me. The moment she saw that we had returned and that I was safe, she immediately bolted towards the car. As I opened the door, she grabbed me by my arm with a look of concern. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," I said with a smile.

She then noticed the redness and swelling on her father's face and look at me in confusion. "What happened?"

"We talked things out," I said smugly.

As soon as I said that, I saw Naru-san exit the house and jog up to where we were. "Is everything alright?"

"It's fine," said Oruki as he got out of the car. "Kyon-kun and I chatted for a bit, and we decided that it was best if he were to stay a while longer...and...I guess it's okay with me if...if you two sorta...started going out."

Upon hearing that, Haruhi turned to me and smiled her trademark million-watt smile. She hugged me tightly, almost to the point of strangling me. After that, she ran around the car and hugged her father as well.

"Thank you, daddy!" she said, about as sweetly as I ever heard her say anything.

"You're welcome," he said softly, patting his daughter on the head.

Naru-san of course cheered as well and hugged her husband. "Thank you for being so sweet, dear."

After a few seconds of hugs, Oruki cleared his throat, obviously about to say something important. "However...seeing as how things have now become more serious between you two, there are going to have to be some changes around here. Don't think for a second that I'm going to just let you two do whatever you want with each other around here. It's bad enough that letting the guy you want to be with stay in my house. I'll be damned if I'm going to let him get his filthy hands all over you."

...You're not serious...

Haruhi was obviously thinking the same thing as she began to pout. "Hey, no fair!"

"Hey, if you don't like my rules, you can leave anytime you want. Rule number one! No kissing, touching, feeling or any of that other stuff in my house EVER!"

You can't be serious!

"Rule number two! You two are not allowed to be alone with each other without supervision at any point in which you in the house!"

"Oruki-kun," said Naru-san sweetly. "Isn't that a bit harsh?"

Her comment was left ignored. "Rule number three! From here on out, Kyon-kun here is to be chained up in the basement every night before we go to bed!"

Now I know you're not serious...right? Please tell me he's not serious! Someone? Anyone?!

"Don't worry," said Oruki as he began to head into the house. "I'm pretty sure I can think of some more rules. Just give me some time."

...Oh no...he really is serious...what was I thinking coming back here? Is it too late to live out in the streets instead?

Haruhi grabbed me by my arm and began to pull me into the house. "Don't worry, Kyon. We'll find a way! Besides, he only mentioned 'in the house.'" She then turned towards me and winked. It doesn't take long for me to realize what she meant. She then cheerfully raised her fist in the air as we entered the house. "Let's get the others together and have a celebration for Kyon's return!"

Her father turned towards us and raised an eyebrow. "Another one? All you guys ever seem to do is party. What ever happened to you guys..." It was then that he stopped himself, as if appearing to remember something. "Speaking of which, there was something that bothered me about a week ago. I was going to let it go, seeing as to what had happened afterwords. But now that everything is settled down, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you two something."

I looked at Haruhi, hoping she might know what he was talking about. She appeared as stumped as I was.

"Just out of curiosity, when I called you two the night you guys went on your trip..."

Oh no...nonononononononono...

"Were you two drinking?"

And there we have it! All that's left is the epilogue! I truly hope that guys enjoyed this chapter and story. It's been a blast to write, and you guys are the greatest fans ever. I promise that it won't take long before I have the epilogue up! Man, I can't believe it's almost over.

In any case, see you next chapter!