This fanfic was inspired by many things, including Neil Gaiman's re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood in The Sandman, and all the Snow White versions I read in Children's Literature class several years ago.

Beta by Adam because he's a sweetheart that way. Any additional typos are wholly my fault, and I'd be happy if you point any of them out for correction.

time line: Chronologically, it switches between episodes 14 and 4 of the anime.

spoilers? I have read all the light novels available, but I tried really hard not to spoil anything for anime-only fans.

disclaimers: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya belongs to Nagaru Tanigawa and Noizi Ito.


Stealing Bases

By Laurie Bunter


"You are the key to Haruhi, you know."

Koizumi's smile said it all. The bastard didn't need to pry but he knew more than he should. Perhaps I was paranoid, does he even talk to Nagato when I'm not present? If they did, then I did not get that memo.

"Are you sure you don't want to end this closed space the same way as before?" His insolent smirk was in my face.

I studied Haruhi yelling at the umpire and when that vision was too much to endure, I turned my attention to everyone else on the field. Asahina-san was half-heartedly cheering our next batter. Kunikida glared at the sweaty opposing team who were also devouring the sight of Asahina-san bouncing up and down.

A closed space, right here? Koizumi was just imagining things, like I was just imagining the cumulonimbus clouds amassing over the field.

My grip on my baseball mitt tightened. Not again.


I had kissed her. Isn't that what was required of me? Snow White. Sleeping Beauty. I did not need Koizumi to reappear before me as an insolent red ball of energy just to say "Beauty and the Beast." I got the hint. Someone wanted a happy ending.

The blue stomping energy monsters – the Celestials – were closing in as I tried to argue with Haruhi for the world I wanted to live in. It isn't much of a world, after all, if I have to exist in a place where there are no friendly conspiracies between aliens, time travelers and espers. Why should I live in a world where Asahina-san does not brew exotic tea leaves? Haruhi would probably fit into the maid costume if I supplied her with a padded bra but… what am I thinking? Of course she would not fit into Asahina-san's maid costume. Besides, the bunny outfit suited Haruhi best.

As this world stands, Haruhi would fit into anything once we're squished and sticking to the bottom of some Celestial's foot.

I swear my mind had blanked out when I reached out for her. I'm just a normal guy, after all. Why can't I be terrified of dying like everyone else? I've heard that people do extraordinary things during life-and-death situations. Adrenaline has a way of making absurd ideas feasible.

After Haruhi stopped squirming around like an idiot and I started swallowing my own saliva like I'm supposed to, Haruhi's lips implacably settled into mine. I was surprised that she didn't try to escape when I put my hands on her shoulder. She leaned at such an awkward angle away from me I could only conclude that I was making her self-conscious.

I wish I could say that a gigantic earthquake greeted this strange moment, but I was too preoccupied to notice any catastrophic shaking. Her lips were enough to make me feel like this was a very good idea. Not that it was because they were her lips, per se, it is easy to admit I would not mind sharing the same first experience with either Nagato or Asahina-chan (big). There is something about a girl's lips that are so much softer and tastier than a guy's. Not that I've kissed another guy before, I haven't kissed anyone else in fact, but you know what I mean. Is it in the formula in the lip balm we use? Perhaps I should thank God for this natural difference, but if I was to believe Koizumi then I should be thanking Haruhi for her luscious, soft lips.

The irony of that situation is not one I'm willing to face.

"Stop mumbling, you're dribbling everywhere," Haruhi scolded as she pulled me closer to her.

Why can't you be like other girls in the movies who pull in their man closer with their hands, instead of trying to rip off the lapels of my jacket?

"You're taller than me, Kyon. How else am I going to reach you if I don't pull you down?" she said.

With her tongue pressed against mine, though, it came out more like a series of monosyllables that made no sense. I wanted to laugh but instead I held on to her, my hands grazing the hem of her skirt. Without thinking about it, my fingers brushed against the back of her thighs.

"Stop it, stupid!" Haruhi abruptly pushed me away. "Do you think you can do that without my permission?!"

She stalked back to the school, fuming, her yellow ribbons flying in the air.

I was nonplussed. It was only then I noticed something of extreme import had just happened. The Celestial that was about to clobber us had disappeared. Was she so pissed as not to notice this? Their rampaging delighted her a few moments before I kissed her.

I was left standing in the middle of the courtyard, my neck aching, my school shoes covered in dust, my hands empty.

A gray haze still covered the area. There were still Celestials in the sky, but at this distance they might as well be pretty blue lights.

Wasn't there something else that should have happened right now?


I am not sure if I should be surprised that the club room was still standing. If I'm not mistaken, it should have been pulverized to cement chunks and wood chips, but as Koizumi said, this was an entirely new type of closed space.

So did Haruhi destroy the old world and create a new one while I kissed her? We did not seem to move an inch from where we stood, and yet that particular Celestial disappeared. Did it shrink? Did it become invisible?

It upset me to think that another one was going to attack any minute now, and there was nothing else I could do.

The dread in the pit of my stomach was enough to sink the Spanish Armada. And just like that ill-fated fleet, I hadn't the technology to deal with the enemy.

Haruhi was inside the club room. She was facing the newly restored window, her legs tucked comfortably beneath her as she sat on her desk. She was watching what she thought was a light show.

For once she was not wearing any armband at all, and I wondered if this was a good or a bad sign. With her back to me I don't know why I knew she was pouting, but that expression of exasperation was so typical of her after I had denied her something – whether it would be further harassment of Asahina-san or some hare-brained idea during class – so I knew it would be the right one.

"I'm angry with you, you deserve some penalty. You can start with making me some tea."

Not wanting to aggravate her further, I obliged. Her voice was less shrill than usual, so perhaps she wasn't keen on being left totally alone. I thought it was only the British who would drink tea while London was being bombed around their ears.

As I opened the tea canister, I found it strange that Haruhi could make up a new world with only me for company, and not neglect to consider things like electricity for the water heater and gas for the stove. If only her god-like powers had remembered to stock the mini-refrigerator…

Why couldn't she envision another universe with all of the SOS Brigade members in it? Could that be so difficult?

"Your tea is bitter," Haruhi announced, as she drank it down in one scalding gulp. "Ouch! That… was too hot."

Serves you right. Why can't you drink tea like a normal person? I waited a few moments for my own tea to cool before sipping. I removed my jacket and thought about what do to next.

I had acted on the only clues left to me by Nagato and Asahina-san (big). I had hoped the kiss would miraculously bring Haruhi and myself to the old world, but I was mistaken. Perhaps the three were wrong after all, and I am not special enough to bend Haruhi to my will.

My first kiss was an utter failure. It depressed me to think that my lack of kissing skills have just doomed the old universe to extinction.

But who could I have practiced kissing before this frustrating situation? If only the other girls had been more clear about the possible drastic outcomes, I would have braved any volunteer of the female persuasion in order to do my duty right. I was offended that neither Nagato or Asahina-san (big) had volunteered to train me, this was their problem as much as it was mine! I would have even practiced kissing a stray cat, if that would have helped revert the world back to normal.

Haruhi abruptly jumped off her desk. "Those monsters will be back on campus grounds, I'm sure of it! We have to be prepared. I'll look for something we can use to subdue them so we can talk to them properly."

There will be a flood in the Sahara before those Celestials become creatures you can subdue easily, Haruhi. Anything hit with a tennis racket will not become friendly towards you afterwards, whether alien or human! Besides, the Celestials are the essence of your anxiety and frustration… shouldn't you already know how they feel? Perhaps instead of looking for makeshift weapons, why don't you concentrate on believing that they don't really exist for now?

"Stupid, of course they exist, we both saw them," Haruhi retorted. "I'm watching them right now. How can I pretend they don't exist?!"

The inescapable logic of her reasoning sent shivers down my spine. This is the end, Kyon. This conversation was giving me a headache.

Haruhi cocked her face to the side. Her usually impish smile gave way to an expression more hesitant. "Do you have something else to say? I'll go back to the gym. You stay here." And she was off.


I paced around the club room, waiting for Haruhi to return. There wasn't much for me to do, except pace and watch the blue lights running amok in the distance. I tried turning on the computer, but now it had totally conked out. It was a useless piece of trash. I wanted to slam my head into the monitor, but I sighed instead.

This was beyond screwed.

Nagato may have foreseen a situation like this, right? A situation in which the most sophisticated human technology would be useless, and one needed to revert to older human inventions. Without fossil fuels, mankind would have to abandon cars for bicycles and horse-drawn carts. Likewise, without the Internet, people would have to abandon their laptops for… newspapers and books?

Books.

If there was something the club room had in abundance, it was books.

In desperation, I started shaking out the books on the shelf, seeing if any clue had been hidden inside any of them. Perhaps Nagato put in another one of her bookmarks which would trigger some sort of positive calm in both me and Haruhi… really, I don't know how Nagato's incantations work, I just want things to be normal.

I continued to paw through the stacks like a madman, throwing down the useless volumes as soon as I was through with them. So far, though, there was only a growing pile at my feet, and nothing but blank slips of paper and gaming cards used as markers to show for my efforts.

As I reached the edge of the shelf, the oldest, shabbiest book in the collection came into view. It was too fragile to shake.

It fell open as I held it. And as I hoped, a bookmark with familiar writing greeted my eyes. At last, a message from Nagato! Oh, I knew you would pull through for me…

"Read this."

Ugh. That isn't much help. I glanced over my shoulder and checked the status of the Celestials. Still far off. I began to read, my mind stumbling over some of the unfamiliar English words. But I knew this story already. It was just another version of Sleeping Beauty.

Wait, it's slightly different from how I remembered it as a cartoon. This was more passionate, more – how should I put this? – detailed.

As I continued to read, an unmanly blush began to heat my face.

Enough! I slammed the book shut. I groaned inwardly. Who could have thought such an old work could be so dirty?

So that's why we're still in this closed space. Sleeping Beauty…

Just as there are dozens of cartoon versions of Snow White, there must be just as many written variations of Sleeping Beauty. And in this version, the princess must be woken up, not with a kiss, but with a kiss.

I wanted to rub the stupid blush off my face. How can I do something like that to Haruhi? It was something definitely more intense than kissing. If she already freaked out earlier, what would happen if I did that?!

My brow started sweating. I never thought of all the ways in which I didn't want to die. Knowing what I had to do made things worst. The thought of the world ending if I failed to score with Haruhi seemed like a cruel twist of fate.

It was just my luck that at that moment, the door slammed open and Haruhi was there.

"What do you have there?"

Nothing.

"Liar," she hissed, and made a grab for the book.

Stop that!

I held it over my head in defiance, but I didn't figure on her tackling me. She jumped on my back and pounded. I took a stumble backwards and I hit my head on the shelf behind me. Then I slipped on the pile of books that lay on the floor.

"Ouch! Get off me, you jerk. You're heavy."

My fall had been broken by Haruhi, who was now more pissed than ever.

I looked over my shoulder. Please tell me that the pretty blue lights at the window weren't getting any brighter.

While I was distracted, Haruhi finally freed the old book from my grasp. Ignoring that a few of my limbs were still in contact with hers, she flipped the book open and frowned.

"What are you doing reading fairy tales?!" she yelled at me, as I pushed myself into a sitting position on the floor. I winced as I rubbed the bump on my head. "This isn't a time to read." Her eyes fell upon the book marker, and then her face darkened. "Oh, it's another one of those books that Nagato lent you. I see."

I was irritated by her tone and what her frown insinuated. It's bad enough that you want me to exist in this lonely world with you, but must you get jealous of any personal attention I get? Nagato meant to help, unlike you who just knocked me backwards and…

"What are you babbling about?" Haruhi snapped. "I just think it's weird you're reading while we're in the middle of this exciting mystery. Don't make it seem like I'm jealous, because I'm not."

Of course you're jealous. You're a jealous god! You're an all-consuming fire who does not tolerate her rivals! You think of me as your devout SOS Brigade follower so any independent thought just unnerves you. Maybe you do all these crazy things just to hold my attention, have you thought of that?

"I am not jealous!" she yelled hotly. The flames in her eyes glimmered, and for a moment I thought I was going to be liquidated on the spot. "You're acting really weird. Come on, I think we should leave now." Her strident tone changed mid-sentence, but I was still so livid my thoughts just kept racing, and I pretended not to notice that the lights were suddenly cut off, and the Celestials were providing a menacing glow that bathed the club room in light.

No, I'm staying right here, thank you very much. I'm through with you. We were already in the open field when the Celestials disppeared, and then you got mad at me, so now we're both back where we started. No, I'm not moving from this floor.

"Don't be so childish," she was petulant, as she tried to drag me to the door. "Did you just get a concussion?! Let's go outside! That's an order!"

That's the probably the last thing she should have said to me at this moment.

You know what, Haruhi? I'm sick of your orders. To clean up this mess of yours, you will have to cooperate with your own seduction. If you can't figure out how to solve this on your own, then I guess we're going to die here…

"You idiot, I don't want to die in the clubroom! We're not going to die. I just want to be far from that breaking glass! Look at the aliens... I want to talk to them, where they can see me. Stop being unreasonable and stupid, and stop saying silly things. Are you listening to me?"

You're the one not listening to me, Haruhi. I really don't want to say this, but here it is. I don't see why you should be jealous, you've got me where you want me and you still won't do anything about it. Why am I still here? You want something from me, right?

Haruhi's face went entirely scarlet. "I don't know what you're talking about."

I felt stupid, needing to say certain things under duress. But I still did, knowing that if I ever wanted to say them for real I'd have to insure the safety of the universe first. "I never wanted to tell you, but here it is. It should be impossible to remain attracted to you, you're hard-headed and moody, you never listen to me, and yet you expect me to make everything go your way. Some days I find it impossible not to want to grab you by the arms and shake some sense into you. But if I do that, I might change my mind and just shut your noisy lips with a kiss so hot that your knees are going to shake and you'll collapse against me in a passion, just like a girl in a dating sim, and…"

And that's when I grabbed Haruhi by the ankles and she crashed into my lap. I could tell that she was fuming, and she was scared – she's never seen me truly pissed -- but really, Haruhi wasn't as furious or frantic as I was at this moment.

This situation was forcing me to be proactive, and damn it, if that's what she secretly wanted, I will be proactive.

"Stop it!" She slapped me, and only my response was to kiss her again. Because that's what I'm supposed to do.

You want to know the truth, Haruhi? I'm a bad liar like you. My words rarely match my actions. I've wanted to do this since I met you. I always wanted to sit on the floor of this stupid club room and crumple you in my arms and feel your moist tongue fighting mine. Whenever you challenge me, every time I shake your shoulders, all I really want to do is to shut you up with my mouth. There are other things I want to do to you, too. Damn it, if you want to play god, so be it. I'll play your devoted follower if that's what it takes to set things right. Do you want me to worship you?

"Now's not the right time for that, stupid!"

It was a rather pointless denial, though. Of course it was the right time to kiss Haruhi, because it was the end of the world and there wasn't anything left for me to try. And kissing her mouth was not the only thing I'm supposed to do, as it's been painfully been pointed out to me.

Ignoring the glaring Celestials outside, ignoring my own wretched, conflicted emotions on the matter, my lips began to move in an interesting direction, like her nape. Have I ever said that I adored the curve of her nape? The best thing about her old ponytail was that it gave me a glimpse of her funny little ears and her beautiful neck. If I was a vampire I would sink my incisors into it, but since I'm just human all I can do is nibble gently, sample the sweet taste of her sweat, and mumble pointless words into her ear.

"Kyon… stop it," my nickname came out in a breathless whimper. It seemed like she wanted to fight me off, solely on principle, but Haruhi wasn't very convincing because her fingers clutched my shirt for dear life and somehow her legs wound around my hips, and I'm not sure exactly how they got there.

I suddenly regretted scattering all the books on the floor, because it was now difficult for me to settle Haruhi down on a flat surface. I maneuvered her slowly, all the while kissing and fumbling with her clothes and dreading death if she changed her mind. In the corner of my eye I knew all the Celestials in the area were finally gathered and breathing down heavily on the building. The glass rattled with their every breath, and the walls swayed lightly with the practice swings of their arms. I ignored all of this as I rubbed my fingers against the length of her legs. How could someone so petite have such long legs? It's another one of those mysteries…

Haruhi pulled away for a brief second, and closed her eyes as if ashamed the physical responses of her body to mine. "What are you doing, and why am I letting you?"

God, what a good question at a time like this. Maybe it would have been easier if she just strangled me with my tie… but I finally had a clever response.

"You said you woke up in this place, right?"

Haruhi nodded, as I unhooked her skirt. "I better be dreaming, Kyon, because I won't let you do this for real!" Her voice wavered.

"Don't worry, you're dreaming," I lied. Sort of. "And I'm here to wake you up."

I hooked my thumbs around her underwear slowly peeled them off.

"But why would I want to wake up?" she persisted stubbornly. "If there are really aliens, why should I…"

"You want to wake up in the old world," I coaxed her, "Because you want to know how everything feels for real. Your imagination is no substitute for reality." Mentally I added, or maybe you'll wake up if this experience is too much for you to handle.

And with those words and thoughts in my head, I knelt between her divine legs and kissed her secret moist lips.

Haruhi yelped in surprise, and the building – no surprise here – began to shake. Strangely, though, the glass of the windows didn't shatter all over us, the roof didn't collapse, and there were no more books to topple over.

I sighed and applied myself to the task, my hands bringing her hips closer to me. Haruhi was locked up tight, all right. But as my lips continued to nuzzle her, the wetness of my tongue excited her, and she began to loosen and come free.

Suddenly she was like a tabernacle door that was ready to be thrown open to the world.

Thank you, God, if you even exist, for not giving me a dry throat tonight. I am happy to quench my thirst with this beautiful chalice.

As I continued to kiss and tongue her – not exactly knowing if I was doing it right or wrong, I mean, they don't exactly teach this in phys ed – I felt myself getting unhinged. I was gulping and feeding on Haruhi as if my life depended on it – which it did, but that was besides the point. I was actually enjoying myself. I never thought I'd want to do this to a girl – fish is not my favorite flavor – but Haruhi tasted neither of brine nor the sea, but of the an inexplicable mix of fruit and cream.

Nagato would probably explain this was instantaneous data manipulation on Haruhi's part, that she's willingly make herself taste good for my sake, and hell, suddenly I'm all for it. If I have to lick her like there's no tomorrow, I'd rather have her tasting like chocolate and rainbows.

And I was licking Haruhi like there was no tomorrow, because there wasn't any if I had to exist in this world without any food other than Haruhi.

As I devoured her, her hips started to buckle against my grazing teeth, her soft spot pushing mindlessly into my face. My hands couldn't reach up to her breasts, but her buttocks was supple and tender, and they were lovely to knead. Her flesh was warm and sensitive, as if all the nerve endings were attuned to my touch.

Haruhi, don't do that with your toes. I'm getting hard enough as it is. Please don't. Oh my… Haruhi.

"Mumbling, always mumbling," she said, but she was sounding unintelligible right now herself. Besides, she was getting creamier by the second, and I couldn't really stop right now.

Strong shivers slowly took over her body. "Kyon! KYON!"

She was yelling so loud I thought Haruhi would bring down the building herself.

I finally rested my mouth against her quivering muscles, and let her tremendous shaking subside.

It seemed like a long time before her orgasm finally waned. Haruhi lay there like a puppet whose strings were cut, as if she didn't know what had hit her. But I did. And boy, did I feel incredibly smug. And incredibly turned on, too, by her pose of equanimity and quiet.

I crawled over her and kissed her mouth again, letting her taste herself. I rested my weight on my elbows – Haruhi would probably kick me in the groin if I didn't – and grinned rather foolishly.

Haruhi wore nothing but her fantastic smile right now. A hush had fallen between us, and I couldn't even hear our breathing. There was nothing but incredibly blinding light coming from the windows.

Dimly I realized that this was only the calm before the storm. Before I could say anything, while I hesitated and hovered over her, ready for my own moment of pleasure, the inevitable just had to happen.

"I want to wake up now, Kyon," she whispered. "You promised me I could wake up. I'm ready."

A frenzied panic overcame me. Fuck, no! Not yet, damn it… no!

The closed space around us crashed.


I woke up in my own bed with the worst case of blue balls in my entire life.

Now that, my dear reader, is not an interesting experience at all.


"Stop daydreaming, you people! Get with the program!" Haruhi's voice was still determined, as she tried to rouse us for the next inning.

My mind was pulled back to the present, as I was being dragged from the dugout.

"I must talk with her, then," Koizumi looked at Nagato, standing at the sidelines. "The continuation of this world is also in her best interest."

I watched my two fellow SOS Brigade members conspire, and thought about what Nagato had said. You and Suzumiya-san were missing for two and a half hours, she informed me. Surely it was much longer than that.

Just in case, I requested Nagato to keep all additional data to herself. To my surprise, there was a slight blush on her cheeks when she said yes.

I groaned, thinking of what I had to do that night. It was embarrassing enough to remember it, but the huge possibility that Nagato already knew and casually analyzed the data generated by Haruhi immediately after those moments… ugh.

There's no such thing as privacy when you get involved with aliens, time travelers and espers!

But that's not why I don't want to kiss Haruhi again. I could have told the esper the truth but I'm keeping it to myself: because another kiss like last time will end with me doing that again. Next time around, I know things probably won't stop just there, because there's only so much self-sacrifice a guy can take on behalf of the universe. Have you ever thought of the idea of impregnating a goddess before? I have now. I break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it, whether from excitement or anxiety I don't know.

I'm sure it crosses the horizons of Haruhi's thoughts too. Whenever she gets hot and bothered, I bet she's thinking about it. Whenever there's a stray closed space you can't account for, Koizumi, you can bet that she's thinking about it. She probably can't decide if she wants to dismiss it as a silly dream or if she wants it to be real, as real as it was for me.

Personally, I don't want things to get out of hand yet. My first encounter with Haruhi almost ended with disaster, and I don't want to know what will happen if losing our virginity together will destroy old worlds or create new ones. It's too stressful to think about that, and it's too big a responsibility for a mere human like me.

Maybe in time some random John Smith can take that job off my shoulders.

Right now, I'll just play the field.


- finis -


Totally useless footnote:

Kyon paraphrases Deuteronomy 4:24 and 6:15 while ranting about jealous gods.

Uhm. This is my first fic for this particular fandom, so reviews are appreciated. XD