Disclaimer: The author of the fanfiction (babbler) does not, in any way, profit from the story and that all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator.


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Chapter 12: The Love Potion of Haruhi Suzumiya

I opened my eyes to almost total darkness. There was a thump downstairs so I pulled myself out of bed and reached for my cell phone. If it was a robber I wanted to be able to call the police...maybe I should take my baseball bat too.

The hallway was bright so I could see all the way down the stairs to the door leading to the kitchen. I was trembling so hard as I could barely hold onto the things I was holding. I stopped at the bottom step, unable to move forward. There was someone rustling just on the other side of the door.

I couldn't make myself move forward. There could be a psychotic killer on the other side and all I have is this bat, though, he doesn't sound that psychotic. You'd figure he be banging like a demon if he were having mental troubles, so it's probably just a robber. The robber would be surprised when I barged through the door since it doesn't seem like he heard me, and this is Japan, he probably doesn't have a gun. This bat should be more than enough to scare him. I took a deep breath and stepped forward...there was a warm puddle under my foot. We were quite a ways from the water so algae blooms shouldn't be causing any craziness, but Asakura never needed algae to stab someone.

"Thank you brain for such a comforting thought."

The door creaked open and my eyes were immediately drawn to the steel shining in the moonlight as it moved through the door. I don't want to be here...

"Oni-chan?" My heart was pounding so hard in my ears that I could hardly hear her say it. "How come you have a bat?"

I must have imagined the knife in my sister's hand because she was holding a frying pan.

"I tried making some warm milk but I wasted it all over the floor."

"You used a frying pan?"

"Yeah? Can you help me clean up? I don't want to wake mom."

"Sure." Wait did she call me Oni-chan? "Go to bed I'll clean this up." She walked off to the stairs yawning and rubbing her eyes. I placed the bat by the counter and dropped the cell phone into my pocket.

Imuto-chan hadn't wasted that much milk so it was easy to clean up, but I had to make sure everything wouldn't smell sour in the morning so it still took a while. It was only 1:00 am even though it felt much later.

I went to rinse the cleaning cloth I was using and couldn't help but notice the full moon out and the perfectly clear night. I wish I could see the stars but I would have to go way out in the country see them. I could hear traffic a few streets over but it was completely quiet on this street; not even a drunken salary man heading home. There was, however, a shining blue head of hair sitting on the front steps.

"What the heck are you doing here?' I said opening the door.

Asakura jumped, "I...I was thinking of coming in for a cuddle but I somehow ended up just sitting here." She didn't look very happy.

"What's wrong?" I put my arm around her and instantly regretted letting those words escape my lips.

"Hahahaha! I can't believe you just asked me that. You're joking right?"

"What? I kissed her. That was it!"

"But how can I believe you when you're sneaking around with Asahina-sempai, Tsuruya-san, and Nagato? Well...not Tsuruya so much, but I did find you KISSING Kana!"

"I'm sorry. I don't know what else to say other than it won't happen again. If I could tell you what's going on I know you'd forgive me."

"Maybe I know more than you think," she mumbled. "We're even anyway, though Nagato might never speak to me again." She started walking away, arms tightly crossed as she tried to shield herself from the cold...or maybe the pain I was causing her.

She walked off in the opposite direction of her apartment. Maybe she was taking the long way home to think. The conversation actually went well considering I expected her to whip out a knife at any moment. The key to success in these types of situations is having the lowest possible expectations.

I could clearly see the lunar mares making the man in the moon. The street light near our house was out so there was no glare. It's hard to believe that moon's right eye is a crater 1123 km's across.

I realized when my fingers had begun going numb that I was sitting there staring at the moon for twenty minutes. I should have at the very least walked Asakura home.

"Asakura's scary so she'll be okay." I can't believe I said that. I have to stop thinking out loud.

Slap. Slap. Slap. Slap.

There was a sound like bare feet on pavement steadily coming closer. I hope it's not some weirdo or strung out drug fiend, but before I could finish the thought, Kana came into view. She was running as fast as she could and tightly holding her stomach like a runner with a stitch.

"Kyon?" She slowed down momentarily and then grabbed my hand and began dragging me after her.

"What's going on?" I could barely keep pace with her even though my legs were much longer.

She pulled me into an alley between a couple of houses and then collapsed against the wall. I peeked out around the corner, ready for someone or something, to jump out at me...but there was nothing. I tried listening intently but I could only hear far off traffic and the low murmur of a television.

Kana was laying face up on the ground and breathing hard. The alleyway was dark but I could tell she was barefoot and only wearing a thin t-shirt and black shorts. Whatever it was, she had left her apartment in a hurry. She pulled herself off the ground, and with a wobble, peeked around the corner at the other end of the alley.

"What's wrong? I have a phone if you're in..." Her face was illuminated briefly and I noticed her nose was at an angle and blood was gushing down her lips and dripping on the ground. "What happened to your nose? Did you just hit it?" I was positive I hadn't seen it when she ran past. So much blood!

"Do you know where we are? Can you call the police? I called at my apartment but that's not much good now."

"Okay." There was a dark shadow on the front of her t-shirt. "Kana, what's wrong with your stomach?"

"Nothing," she said flatly, though I noticed her jump.

"Oh no you don't! Show me!"

Like a little child afraid to get in trouble, she turned toward me and moved her arm a little. I noticed her t-shirt was drenched in blood and it was dripping down her legs. It was hard to bring myself to look at where she was wounded...she was holding her intestines in. Pink wet innards, that should never be visible, clearly were.

Did she run all the way from her apartment holding that wound like that? What kind of stones did this girl have? I would have gotten sick after seeing my own insides and never had made it past the front porch!

"Crap! We need a wet towel. Kana sit down, you've lost a lot of blood."

I nearly threw my phone down the street as I pulled it out of my pocket. My hands were shaking and I kept pushing the wrong buttons.

Clunk!

My legs came out from under me and I barely saved my face from hitting the ground. I couldn't breath.

"If this moron wasn't so loud I wouldn't have found you." I couldn't put my finger on the voice, heck, there were at least three of him swirling around.

Kana tried to run but she couldn't pick herself up. Her pursuer was carrying a bat with nails or something driven into it and was slowly, taking his time, walking toward her. Dragging out Kana's agony.

I pushed myself up and gingerly got to my wobbly legs. He was saying something but I wasn't listening. It was too difficult trying to not make noise when your legs were barely staying underneath you.

I couldn't take my eyes off Kana. Her face seemed white and her steady breathing was the only movement she was making, then she closed her eyes. He reared back for the final swing.

As I rushed forward, everything seemed to slow down, and my body started shaking vigorously. It was like looking through a telescope, all I could see was him as I drove my shoulder, with all my weight behind it, into his back.

We both fell to the ground hard and the bat went rolling into the darkness. He started to move immediately trying to squirm out of my hold and reach for his weapon. He was strong, perhaps adrenaline was gripping him as hard as it was myself. He managed to get his hand on the bat.

He smelt familiar. As a heterosexual male, that didn't come out quite right. I had smelt his aftershave recently...when we were at supper earlier. This was John. My doppelganger was trying to kill Kana! Had tried to kill me!

John swung the bat awkwardly behind him and it bounced off my shoulder without hurting. I dove onto him again and wrapped my arm around his neck and trapped him in a chokehold; I think I learned it from Haruhi. I guess she was useful for once.

"Let me go! Do you have any idea what that girl has done."

"Well you shut up!"

"I had a girlfriend before her that disappeared off the face of the Earth? It's like she never existed...I only remembered her lately. I was a great batter and now I'm crap. My grades went to sh*t after she showed up!"

I tried squeezing harder but he kept on talking. "We were at the park once and she said she love to see some cherry blossoms and suddenly the park is full of them! I think I had two younger brothers and now I can hardly remember them...no one else remembers them! She..." I could feel hot tears splashing on my hands. He was sobbing so hard he couldn't talk anymore.

"Kana! Go use my phone while I hold him here." I turned to look back at her. She was whiter than before and her head was drooping. The life was draining out of her "Kana!"

His foot connected between my legs and pain swept through my body. John squirmed out of my grasp, kicking me in the face as he climbed to his feet.

Kana's eyes were closing but they suddenly went wide and her mouth opened but no words came out. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the blur of the bat coming closer....

_-^-_

The sun roused me from my sleep. I was hoping something would be different but only the same old ceiling stared back at me that had stared back at me for as long as I could remember. There was nothing I could see different in my room, but then again, I had a years worth of memories since Haruhi changed reality, so how the heck would I know what my room was like back then.

If things didn't change back, I may not have to worry about figuring out how... it suddenly hit me all at once and I remembered our late night fight and Kana bleeding to death. I felt fine. Did the fight happen and someone brought me back to my room? No, that was impossible. I wasn't sore at all. John had kicked me in a sensitive place and he had landed on my arm when I tackled him but there was no evidence of injury.

The world had changed back!

I barged out the door, nearly hitting imouto-chan and ran down the stairs. The little cutie was yawning and rubbing her eyes so I grabbed her and held her up in the air as I twirled.

"Mom! Kyon's too happy. Make him stop!"

I hurriedly dressed, ate breakfast, and bounded up the hill to school. I had to see if things were really back to normal and couldn't bother with the small details.

Itsuki and Mikuru were sitting in the clubroom, perhaps waiting for my report of the night before. This should be the day after Haruhi had been kicked in the ribs during her fight with Ume.

"So we're still here," Itsuki began, "I surmise that your little rendezvous with Haruhi was successful." That stupid enraging smile, though I think I'm glad to see it again.

Mikuru jumped at hearing this, "Itsuki? You don't remember anything that happened at all? I only remember bits and pieces myself..."

Itsuki looked disheartened, "Then tell me all about it. We have plenty of time before the bell rings and I am most interested in Kyon's story."

It took nearly fifteen minutes to finish the tale, especially with all of Itsuki's questions, but I managed to finish with Mikuru's help.

"I'm saddened by this tale," he said still smiling brightly, "Why didn't you try to find me?"

"Umm...well...with Haruhi missing and Asakura..."

"How come Suzumiya-san was not like herself?" Mikuru came to my rescue.

"It's difficult to say, but I think she was extremely hurt by what happened that night, last night to me, and simply wanted to be someone else." Itsuki paused for a second in deep thought. "I think it shows maturity on her part, that even when she was retreating, stepping on broken glass and moving through thorns, that she chose to make her beloved happy."

"Why Asakura?" I spluttered.

"I think it's quite easy to figure out why. She picked the least threatening person to herself to be your girlfriend."

She tried to kill me twice! How was she the least threatening?

"Suzumiya-san doesn't know that. She picked someone she thought was a good choice for you and Asakura was a good choice in that reality was she not?"

I couldn't deny this logic...wait did I say the last part out loud?

"Suzumiya-san doesn't like Aiko and the girls, Mikuru and Nagato are out for obvious reasons, so nice class representative was chosen. Don't you think you could have lived your happy ever after with Asakura?"

Yet she picked someone for herself that hurt her.

"You hurt her and she keeps wagging her happily following you." Itsuki put his hand upon my own and gazed into my eyes. I quickly moved my chair further away from him.

Itsuki was silent for a moment and for the first time since I known him, lost the smile from his face, if just for a second. "John Smith didn't seem to be part of her original scenario. She overwrote somebody to become him. Maybe it was because her power was diminished in Kana's form so she couldn't create someone. Maybe Nagato could confirm my suspicions."

"So instead she changed someone kicking and screaming into something that he wasn't?"

"I wouldn't go quite that far. His memories probably began to return as Suzumiya-san became dissatisfied."

The thought of being trapped inside a body that was no longer my own was chilling. It emphasized all the more the reason why we need to keep Haruhi from becoming bored.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

I walked back to the classroom on that somber note.

I opened the classroom door to find Haruhi staring at me with a beautiful smile. Despite what I had just said, it was oddly comforting to see her sitting there.

"How are your ribs?" I asked sitting in my seat.

"They're sore but I'll manage. I got a great idea for after school!" She grabbed the collar of my shirt.

"Does it involve running around aimlessly downtown for hours?"

She loosened her grip for a second and then pulled me closer. "Yours is to do or die not to question why! Lord Alfred Tennyson is not a man to trifle with!"

What?

"You'll find out after school." She became quiet for a second and looked out the window. "I had the weirdest dream last night."

Who says I want to hear about it? Do I look like Freud?

"Shut-up! I was this meek little plain girl...Ugh! I can't imagine being like that!"

Hmm, must have been awful.

"Didn't I tell you to shut-up! I don't need a running commentary! Anyway...he tried to beat the crap out of me with a baseball bat and then this...hot guy...I mean a police man saved me."

Doesn't seem to line up with the events I remember. "Why the hell was he trying to beat you with a bat?"

"I was flirting with another guy...and I kinda kissed him."

Considering someone changed reality and erased who knows how many lives because Mikuru and I were flirting, I wouldn't be too hard on someone who reacts that way when their girlfriend actually cheats on them.

Before I knew it the day was over and Haruhi was dragging me out of the classroom.

"I need to get a few things. Go tell the others they're dismissed for the day but they need to show up tomorrow with these things." She handed me a list...it was long.

I couldn't help but read through the list as I walked along corridor to the clubroom. What the heck is a jigger?

I tripped over a box and fell flat on my face. Next to one of the student council rooms was a small box with discarded odds and ends: a broken trophy, a picture frame, some dusty fabric, etc. Lining one of the walls that I could see through the open doorway were pictures of all the class representatives. Some of the pictures were from last year. Maybe if they had one of Asakura I could borrow it.

I didn't see one of her but as I picked up the list Haruhi gave me I noticed a familiar blue-headed girl peaking out from the box. Under the rubble was a picture of Asakura smiling away.

If you had tied an anchor to my heart it wouldn't have dropped so fast as it did when I saw her peaking out of the rubbish.

"They threw her away." Tears were already rolling down my cheeks.

She was only a class representative for a short time so that's probably why they threw her picture out. How many people knew her? How many still remember her now? Haruhi, Nagato, myself...there might be a few more. Now she's gone and no one remembers her. She was no longer needed...cast out from the spotlight

I would never see Asakura again...never see that perfect smile and all because we have to keep this selfish girl satisfied. How many lives had I sacrificed with that kiss (technically, it was nearly getting my head bashed in)? How many different realities that she gone through before she came to this one?

"Maybe John had the right solution in mind. Get rid of the problem once and for all."

"Kyon! Are you crying?" Haruhi screamed running down the hall. I slipped the picture into my pocket. It would look nice on my desk...too bad I didn't have one with both of us in it.

"I just got some dust in my eyes when I tripped over this box."

"Don't bother with that garbage! We need to get going."

I'll remember you Asakura.


This story certainly didn't end up where I had intended it to go when I planned it, but I tried to take a realistic approach to what would happen to a girl with this kind of power. It also seems the story lost much of the humor toward the end. I think I'm a bit rusty since my sentences don't seem to flow as well as they used to.

If you're wondering why these last few chapters have taken so long to write, then the answer is Demon's Souls. I have poured numerous hours, that I should have spent doing something else, into that game...but now I'm sick of it and thus you have two new chapters after a couple of months of waiting.

Thanks for all the reviews I've received so far.