Disclaimer: I do not own The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, all rights and respect goes to Nagaru Tanigawa.

Written for a challenge. Let me know what you think! There's Haruhi/Kyon in this if you squint.

Dignity Lost

July 22, 2009

We sat in the club room in a silent stare-off. I wondered how I got to this point, but I sure as hell wasn't backing out now. I'm sure the battleships would be firing their cannons any time now.

Haruhi didn't bother accepting defeat, either, as she leaned back in her chair, not breaking eye contact. Before speaking, she gave me the once-over. "I'm bored. Entertain me, subordinate."

Who was she calling...? Oh, whatever.

"And what do you expect me to do about that?" I asked, switching my stare to a glare she must've been used to by now or just thought that's how my face actually looked and paid no attention otherwise.

"Are you stupid? Entertain me. I didn't give you a hard task, did I?" she responded with her ever-present attitude that drove me insane.

It would be easier to cure cancer and cease world hunger, I was almost positive. Keeping her content and satisfied had to rival intensive sports.

My eyes darted around the room, in hopes to find something to pacify her boredom. "Want to play a board game or something?"

"Board games are bored games. Come on, can't you come up with anything better?"

"We're in the club room, it's not like we can go skiing or mountain climbing." Why the hell did I just give those options? She'll make it happen, she'll make it happen... shit.

"Oh, shut up," she huffed, glancing around the room.

Phew. Crisis averted.

Why were we even here together? Couldn't she have just left? I know I'd love to leave right about now.

Life was just unkind to me.

"Well, what do you propose, then?" I asked, loosening my tie slowly as I watched her. It was getting hot in the club room. Again, I wonder where the hell everybody is. Most importantly, I wonder where Asahina is; if she were here, I'd at least have her in that maid costume or nurse's outfit. Ah, those lovely outfits... and at least something to drink!

"Earth to moron, come in," sliced through my thoughts. "Wipe that stupid look off your face. I said, and you really should listen to every word I say as law–"

Yeah fucking right.

"–we should just play cards or something."

Out of everything, including world domination, she landed on cards? Should I really be surprised? "A board game was out of the question but cards appease you? How?"

She shrugged. "We can bet on cards."

Of course she'd be out to get my money. When wasn't she? She'd better not change her mind and want to go get something to eat...

"I don't have my wallet on me," I lied, hoping to save whatever money I had left. I planned on going to college someday, you know.

Appearing to be deep in thought, her hand cradling her chin, she attempted to come to a better solution. Buying my lie, my wallet felt even heavier in my front pocket–was it guilt, or was it that I felt like I was most likely going to be sentenced to death and condemned to Hell for lying to God's face? Maybe more of the latter, but I pushed that thought to the back of my mind.

"Fine. For every hand lost, we lose an article of clothing. Strip, all or nothing. No money necessary, no dignity lost."

No dignity lost?

Of course today is the day I wear the most embarrassing boxers known to man.

Wait, who said I was going to lose that much to get all the way down to my boxers? I had socks, I had shoes. Those could keep me going.

Doing the math in my head, figuring who had more clothes on, I figured that my eight articles of clothing to her ten (she would probably count ribbons as separate pieces, on the font of her uniform as well as in her hair–wait, had she ever taken it off? Would she now?) would have me up shit's creek in no time.

"What, chicken?" she asked, squaring me up. "Or do you just not know how to play?"

I knew how to play... some games.

"Then what?"

"Nevermind, let's just do this to kill time," I griped, leaning back in my chair to reach over to the bookcase that held all of the various objects that had kept us entertained over the years. Finally grabbing the deck of cards I had been seeking, the front legs of the wooden chair I tilted back hit the ground with a thud when I propelled myself forward.

"What game, then?"

"Go fish?"

Apparently she was too sophisticated for that game. Either way... "Come on, make it more interesting than that child's play."

I tried to pick an easy enough game that wouldn't kill me with its rules. After a long day of classes, the last thing I wanted to do was heavy mathematics.

"Do you know how to play Gin?"

"I guess. Let's go, then," she nodded, gesturing with her chin for me to start moving with dealing already.

Of course I had to be the dealer.

"It's not like I asked you to be a martyr," she huffed, blowing her bangs away from her face. When she pouted like that, it was hard not to find her pretty. Not as mind-numbingly gorgeous as Asahina-san, but... regardless... she wasn't that far behind.

An hour, nine hands (Haruhi won six, I won three), and me almost down to my boxers, I was close to calling it quits for the sake of my pride.

Why the hell did I agree to this?

Why didn't I just go home?

I swear, I am a masochist.

Was I hoping at getting a glance of Haruhi's breasts or something? She took off her shoes and a sock. What the hell was I getting out of this? Didn't I have homework or something productive to do with my time? No, I was thinking about... Haruhi's... breasts...


Her eyes looked dangerous as she regarded me. "Man up if you want to keep those on." The manner in which her eyes darted lower left me to assume she meant my pants.

Please don't look at my pants when I'm thinking about your breasts.

And... why did I have the impression that she wanted anything but for me to keep my pants on? I don't know how I felt about that.

Wait, why was I complaining again? Where would this lead? Would it lead anywhere? Did I want it to?

I looked down at my cards, realizing I was getting nowhere fast. With a crappy hand, there was no hope in sight for me. This was going to be very embarrassing very quickly.

"Gin!" she grinned triumphantly as she put her last card, ironically one I would've needed, face down on the discard pile.

Haruhi, ever the victor, took the spoils... which included my pants.

"Why are there monkeys on your boxers?" Haruhi squeaked out after a good three minutes of laughing (I timed it) and pointing. I could tell that she was two seconds away from falling off of her chair, and I would laugh if and when that time came. Her eyes lingered on the monkeys, along with their bananas, dancing on this awful pair of boxers... and all I could do was sit here and take it like a bitch.

"Good thing you lost," she said with a laugh, now putting her sock and shoes back on. "It's laundry week this week, and I'm struggling for clothes." After she had finished righting her clothing (which hadn't really been wronged) she stood. Of course, leaving the mess of cards for me to clean up.

What the hell was that supposed to mean?


Oh, come on.