The Striking of Haruhi Suzumiya

A Suzumiya Haruhi fanfic.

Disclaimer: Suzumiya Haruhi and all related characters have been created by Haruhi without her knowledge. Tanigawa Nagaru wrote it all down.

Summary: What would happen if Kyon would strike Haruhi when they were filming?

Author's notes:

I'm using events from both the books (I've so far read 1-4) and the anime, and if you've not gotten to the school festival, it might not make sense, since I'm leaving unchanged scenes out. I'll try to make the missing scenes not matter more than background chatter.

As I'm currently reading the books, I've not yet read any fanfics, so I have no idea what clich├ęs are in place, and I might be off with some terms. Please let me know if there are any story conflicts I've overlooked, although in the spirit of Haruhi, why let the minor details bog you down?

/ Another Duck

A A C D E F F I I I I L M N N O O R S S T

"Stop it, you idiot!"

I suppose I should tell you what's going on. We're in the middle of filming something I have no idea what it really is, but saying it's one of Haruhi's projects should be enough. For some reason, Asahina-san had to have contact lenses for her role, and now the self-proclaimed Ultra Director were trying to teach her how to remove the lenses with force. By smacking the back of her head repeatedly. That's where I decided to cut in.

She had to be prevented from hitting the sweet Asahina-san, so I took a firm grip around the wrist of the out of control maniac. She glared at me for daring to prevent her, but I didn't let that stop me.

I don't recall exactly what was said, or more accurately, yelled, but it ended with Haruhi declaring Asahina-san to be her toy. Out of all the stupid things she's done, this was by far the worst. Without really thinking about it, I decided to let her feel what her treatment felt to her lead actress.

Smack!

I could almost see Haruhi's eyes swirl around for a few moments, but they were quickly replaced by a shocked glare as she blinked and focused. I couldn't tell what emotion was running through her, but there were a lot of them, and they were intense. Yet, while I logically thought it was reasonable, at least after my anger left me, I couldn't feel as if I had overreacted. She needed some sense forced into that thick skull of hers, whether she liked it or not.

Having let out a lot of my frustrations physically, I calmed down considerably, so the red haze covering my eyes dissipated. Before I could do anything else, the object of my frustrations quietly walked out of the building.

After making sure Asahina-san would be taken care of by Tsuruya-san, Koizumi dragged me out of there as well.

"Do you realise what you've done?"

I realised exactly what I'd done. From what you've told me, she's likely to recreate the world. It's just as well, and I sincerely hope she'll take better care of that one.

"You've got to talk with her, and fix this. She's unstable, but there's still time. She hasn't done anything about it yet. I think she's still confused. You have to."

I couldn't do that now anyway. She was gone, and I needed to clear my head.

A taxi pulled up, and as soon as we had entered, it drove off.

A A C D E F F I I I I L M N N O O R S S T

I woke up in a familiar, but not very pleasant place. It was dark and grey, and nothing could be heard. Actually, that last bit wasn't entirely true. But it was definitely a closed reality. I was lying in the middle of a sports field, looking up at what was supposed to be the sky.

Oh, the sound I heard? Footsteps. It wasn't hard to guess who it was. Only one person could bring me here like this.

"I thought I was alone this time."

Her voice wasn't confident. That was unusual, but all things considered, not unexpected.

"Are you angry?"

I hit you. I left my anger there. Unlike some people, I know when enough is enough.

Besides, it was harder to be mad at her when she was like this anyway. It was almost like she was a normal, human being.

That's when giants appeared. It meant that sooner or later, preferably the former, we'd have to get out of here. Although if there was any truth to Koizumi's words, she'd have to come to terms with reality. And most likely, I had to help her. Why did I always end up in situations like these? This crazy girl would never cease causing me trouble. This for once silent girl.

That wasn't true either, if I had to be honest with myself. She didn't speak that much. Most of the time when she did, it was to give orders, or something similar. Something that ended up causing me trouble. Though right now, she seemed tired of the silence, and started to voice her thoughts.

"Why am I having this dream again? It feels so real. I feel awake."

"You're running away from reality."

I was still gazing up at the ceiling of this world, not really wanting to meet her eyes. As far as I understood it, that was why she was here. Why she brought me here. When the world became too tough for her to handle, she had to run away from it. And unlike any other girl, she had the power to make that happen quite literally.

"You're running to a world I don't want to end up in. You know that. Please leave me where I am."

It stopped. The giant. It was still there, but it didn't destroy any more buildings.

"I don't want you to leave m- the SOS Brigade."

I hadn't planned on it. As long as you're in it, I'm not leaving. Who else is going to protect the innocent Asahina-san? Nagato? Koizumi? Hardly. That was my task, whether I wanted it or not.

There was so much silence I thought I'd gone deaf. I had to rise up to see if there was still a world around me. Haruhi stood beside me, a little bit away, watching the distance. It felt comforting that she was thinking about something. She didn't do enough of that. Behind her stood two giants. They were completely motionless.

"I need..."

It was actually nice to hear her voice. The silence hadn't been as comfortable as I thought it would be.

"I need you to..."

Her voice trembled. She was... embarrassed? Suzumiya Haruhi did not get embarrassed.

"I need you to bring us back," she finally said.

I looked at her. That's when I noticed she sported a ponytail, even if it looked hastily pulled together. She did indeed look cute like that. I suppose I had to sacrifice something to get out of there. It wasn't as if I hadn't been through worse.

I went over to her and placed my index finger under her chin. This time, she didn't look as surprised and clueless as she did last time. She looked determined, but uncertainty still flickered in her eyes. It made sense. Even if this was her world, I knew more about what it really was.

I kissed her.

A A C D E F F I I I I L M N N O O R S S T

I correctly assumed it was the day after when I woke up. It was sometimes hard to tell what time it was after all the things I went through, but somehow, I felt as if I was getting used to it. Used to the strange events happening all around me, and most of all, to me.

Throughout all the lessons before lunch, Haruhi found the clouds to be particularly interesting. I wonder what was going through her head. That suited me just fine, as I hadn't planned on chatting with her anyway.

My other friends were rather annoying that day. They complained about Haruhi; like I needed to hear someone other than myself do that. It bothered me. Well, Kunikida didn't really complain that much. He seemed to prefer us not complaining about anything. However, I still blame them for giving me the idea of doing what I did then.

Oh, I should perhaps mention that Koizumi, the smiling idiot, met up with me before the morning's classes. He told me it would be a good idea to apologise to Haruhi. She was the one who should've apologised to Asahina-san. If she did that, she would perhaps get one from me as well, but not before.

This is how I ended up at our clubroom. When I entered, I seemed to surprise Haruhi, who was the only one there. She was definitely trying to do something with her hair, but ended up trying to hide it from me. It was almost as if she missed having the long hair I first saw her with. And honestly, I kind of missed that too, even if all my memories of her back then only involved her looking pissed at the world.

She was also working on the film. I could tell from the way the video camera was hooked up to the computer in front of her. I think it would be best for all of us if our production became a success. It would certainly calm Haruhi down, or at least, that's what Koizumi thought.

"So you're not leaving."

Why would I leave? Didn't I... Oh, wait, she wouldn't know that. I decided to try to get a little more out of her. I had few enough advantages over her as it was. She was a difficult person to read, but if she was still uncertain, she might reveal a little more about what she thinks than what she usually would.

"Why? Did you think I would?"

"You're almost always calm, and you're always in control of your emotions."

I was right. She was uncertain. Her voice wavered a little, unlike her normal, commanding tone. On the other hand, this was just not her, and it bothered me somehow, so I had to do something about it. Once I was done with this, that is.

"I thought you wanted to leave after that. The way you lost your temper like that, it had to be bad."

"Are you mad because I hit you?" I had to ask. That elephant in the room would trample us sooner or later otherwise.

"Hmph."

She wasn't; I could tell. However, she didn't want to admit that to me. If anything, she seemed angry that she wasn't angry. Her arms were crossed, and her eyes were sharp, but they weren't glaring. Most likely, she thought she deserved it, and I wasn't going to argue with that. At the very least, it meant she knew she was in the wrong.

"Keep working on the film," I told her. "We'll make a success out of it."

I turned and walked out. There was little point in me remaining there now, and I didn't really feel up to spending time near her just yet.

"Of course we will."

Haruhi was back. I heard a smile in her voice, despite her trying to sound as if I was belittling her.

A A C D E F F I I I I L M N N O O R S S T

I woke up on a hard surface. It didn't take me long to figure out I was in one of Haruhi's worlds again. What was up this time? We'd been filming for a few days, and except for some minor reality-altering mishaps, nothing spectacular had happened, and certainly nothing that would cause Haruhi to want to recreate the world.

She had continued with our project with her usual amount of enthusiasm. She may have been more thoughtful than usual, and she didn't bother Asahina-san quite as much as she used to, but she was still her reckless self. If I hadn't known her as well as I did, I would never have noticed any change. So why would she open up one of these enclosed spaces now?

I found her sitting on the edge of the building I was on. We were on the roof of what seemed to be a very tall building. That didn't seem to deter Haruhi from dangling her legs over the edge, though. But she probably still thought it was just a dream. Might as well be best, unless she was planning something foolish. Which, granted, was rather likely.

Still, she didn't seem to be as bothered by the surroundings as she had been before, nor as confused. It was as if she wanted to be here. I also noticed the lack of giants tearing the city down. Maybe they would come later. But as it was the third time, that didn't really bother me either. For better or worse, I've come to trust her here. What I did know was that she had to have a reason to be here.

"Are you trying to run away from the world again?"

"No. Nice to see you're awake."

She was being civil? No mocking, no undertones of hidden agendas. Just a friendly, "nice to see you" greeting.

I walked up to her. The wall surrounding the edge of the roof was high enough to give her head almost the same height as mine.

"So why are you here?"

"I don't know."

The silence wasn't as oppressive now as it had been before. It gave me time to notice a few things about her. One, she was wearing a ponytail. For some reason, her hair reached as far down as it would normally, without one. Was her hair growing really fast, or was this just how she appeared here?

Two, she seemed to be wearing make-up. Or at the very least, a subtle lipstick. Oh, Haruhi, you're not here because of why I think you are?

"I seem to end up here when I'm confused about something. And you're always here with me, to help me figure things out. You're reliable like that. How come you're so good at that?"

I have to. I know things about you you don't even know yourself, but I can't tell you. That's up to you to figure out. I've been told I'm here to guide you. Besides, you're the one who chose me, so it's not like I have much choice.

She sighed, not having expected any answer. "I'm sorry for bringing you here."

Wait, what was that? An apology? Will wonders never cease? Though, to tell you the truth, I wasn't that surprised. She was much calmer here. Less pushy. Much more like a normal person. Much more like I wanted her to be.

Did I? Sometimes, yes, but this wasn't the person she was meant to be. That energizer bunny has caused a lot of trouble, but I couldn't deny that the time with her has been interesting.

"You can leave if you want."

No, I can't. Remember?

A soft blush crept up her cheeks, and she bit her lower lip. She looked almost as innocent as Asahina-san then, believe it or not. I would have laughed if anyone told me that if I hadn't seen it myself.

"Is that why you brought me here?"

She held her tongue. It seemed as she was struggling with what to say. Even I understood it would be hard for her to admit, as she had problems with that on occasion.

"I would like an answer to that."

I crossed my arms to show her I was serious about wanting her to tell me. She had to find the words for it within herself. Was this why I was here?

"Maybe."

I suppose that was as close as she would come to answer it. Her blush deepened, in any case, which to me was a rather clear indicator of what was going on behind her unfocused eyes.

"No."

That's when I understood what she was truly doing here. She wasn't running away as she did before. She was merely hiding from reality, with the full intention to come back once she awoke. This was her world, quite literally; her sanctuary.

"You're a strong individual. You should have the guts to not have to run away here whenever you can't deal with reality."

"But... How will we get back?"

You can do that on your own. And strangely, I didn't mean that as she should do it on her own, and leave me out of it, but rather, that she had the capability to do it without my help, even if I would help her if she needed me to.

"Do you really believe I can do it?"

I had to smile at that. Sometimes, she was just adorable.

"No. I know you can."

It was easier talking like that here, where she didn't know it was the real me. Maybe I'm a hypocrite like that, telling her not to hide.

Her lips twisted upwards for a second, then down into a more resolute expression. She nodded and closed her eyes.

A A C D E F F I I I I L M N N O O R S S T

The rest of the filming went on with little trouble. Haruhi, and mostly I, worked on editing it as well. For some reason, she said she wanted to help me with the task of handling post production, but once we started on it, it didn't take long until she sat down at the table. And then she fell asleep. Though to be fair, I did that as well, but only after I did some work on the film. That night, she slept peacefully, so I didn't have to join her in her dream world, as she believed it to be. I also got at least a little decent sleep. However, seeing as I ended up using the keyboard as my pillow, I didn't feel too spry when I woke up in the morning.

Naturally, the same didn't apply to the perpetually perky paragon of the paranormal. She woke me up as soon as the light started shining into the windows.

"Morning! How'd it go?"

Considering I fell asleep before I could do enough, it probably didn't reach up to your expectations. Then again, to do enough I'd have to have several weeks, if not months more to even make it presentable. Of course, her standards weren't exactly even. Or sane. If she had done it, it had to be good, right? Right.

That's when a delighted sound escaped her lips, so I had to see what had happened to the sloppy mishmash of scenes that apparently passed for a cinematic production. Surprisingly, my dropped jaw told me, it wasn't that bad.

There were some impressive CG effects I had no idea how they ended up there. It wasn't exactly stellar, but it was certainly not as bad as I thought it would be. We watched it to the end, and while it was still rather random, it was sort of watchable.

During the ending credits, we could hear the disclaimer she agreed to add in. She hadn't been too happy about it, but it was a technicality I had insisted was necessary. Once her voice fell silent, and the last words were reaching the top of the screen, the black background changed into one last scene.

I laughed out loud, while Haruhi hit me lightly on my head. I was watching Haruhi fast asleep on the table, snoring lightly. The words, "Thanks for watching," faded into the air above her head in cursive letters.

Now, I remember thinking about pulling out the video camera and taking a few clips of her sleeping there last night, but I don't recall actually doing so. And I know she doesn't snore. Or at least, she didn't when I saw her.

"Why did you put that there!? It's embarrassing!"

It isn't any worse than what you put Asahina-san through. Besides, the greatest artists suffer for their art.

"Remove it at once!"

I really had no idea who put it there, but I wasn't about to follow her order. I was too busy teasing her about it.

"But you look so adorable, Haruhi. How could anyone not like the film after seeing you sleeping so cutely after all the hard work you've done?"

She folded her arms and grumbled. I couldn't quite hear her, but she did walk over to the window and looked away from me. Surprisingly, she was going to let it remain there. Actually, when I thought about it, it made sense. She was often rather mean to people, but if people were mean to her, she didn't really hold it against them as much as you'd think. She wouldn't like it, but she'd get over it rather quickly. She actually did believe the world worked like that.

A A C D E F F I I I I L M N N O O R S S T

The festival came and went. I'd say nothing special happened, but that wouldn't be true. Of course, if something special happened, Haruhi had something to do with it. That's pretty much guaranteed, and this time was no exception.

Everyone knew she was multi-talented. She was like a real-life Kim Possible. If she tried her hands on something, she could do it. Okay, the film wasn't great, but she managed it. Somehow. But what happened here was a little more above what could be expected from even her.

There was this band here, called ENOZ. They were about to have a concert, but something happened to two of their members, so Haruhi offered to cover for them, along with Nagato. It was easily understandable how the latter of them could learn how to play a guitar in seconds, but the former only had an hour to learn two songs, both vocals and some simplified chords.

I knew Haruhi could sing, as she'd been humming and singing odd songs all the time during our adventures around town, but what I heard during the concert was probably the most memorable event for anyone there. I certainly would never forget it. Even if she was wearing her bunny suit, I doubted many people managed to focus on that. It was, to put it simply, enjoyable to listen to her. For once.

During the lunch break that day, I was just wandering around the school. I didn't really feel like remaining where I was, so I went for a walk, not really aiming to go anywhere in particular. I blame the quick way I ate my lunch.

All alone under one of the trees, I found the girl I've been thinking way too much about lately. She was lying in the soft grass, gazing up at the skies. So I walked up to her.

"Hey."

She wasn't talking much, so I raised my head to see what she was looking at. It was one of those days with plenty of sunshine, but still with several cumulus clouds to cover it once in a while. Those occasionally had shapes you could imagine being something else entirely, but I doubt that what was Haruhi was thinking. Something else was on her mind, and had been since her performance.

That's when she told me they had to simplify the chords for the songs. I hadn't noticed that when I heard it. She did great up there on the stage, and from what I heard, the band had increased in popularity quite a bit.

But why do you seem so downcast, Haruhi?

"I could have done better, if I had more time to prepare. I can't get it out of my mind, and I don't know why."

I probably looked like Koizumi at that time. Smiling with closed eyes as if I was hiding something. Which, incidentally, wasn't untrue. I knew why she was bothered about it. She wasn't used to being appreciated this way.

Apparently, she thought I looked like Koizumi as well. Annoying, hiding things. She sat up and gave me a glare. My spirits were too high to feel anything negative about it.

"What? Why do you smile like that? Do you have something to say? Spit it out! It's not good for you to keep things to yourself all the time."

I'm smiling because it's nice to see you grow up. That wasn't what I said, though. I knelt down, so I could speak with her face to face.

"Nothing, really."

Now that fired her up. She huffed cutely, and grabbed a handful of grass. She fully intended to throw that in my face, but forgot about the saying, "Don't spit into the wind."

As soon as her hand opened, a gust of wind came and blew all of the green straws straight into her face, causing her to open her mouth in surprise. With grass in her eyes and mouth, she tried her best to clear it out while complaining. She looked adorable.

I could only laugh at the irony. She only ever annoyed me when she wasn't trying to, and when she did try to, it all backfired.

"Well, to say something, it took guts of you to jump up on that stage without the preparation you wanted."

Removing the last of the straws from her nose, she glared at me for a second, but then her eyes sparkled in that way I've come to feel trepidation from every single time. She was up to something.

A moment later, she launched at me and grabbed my tie. With a predatory glare, she met my eyes, inches away, just to give me time to wonder what she was planning. Then, she leaned forward and gave me a quick kiss on the lips.

Before I had time to recover, she was already on her way towards the school building, and all I could think of was, "Wow."

A A C D E F F I I I I L M N N O O R S S T

Author's notes:

Thus ends this short story.

First I have to say, that last scene is probably my favourite scene in the entire series, especially when her aggressions backfire. I didn't really have this planned out, since I'm just writing to relax, but I think it went well enough. Unlike Haruhi, I can let something be good enough without preparation. I respond to all constructive reviews I have time with, positive or negative.

/ Another Duck