DISCLAIMER: I don't own The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but I do own the original characters introduced in this story and my other stories (except where stated otherwise here or elsewhere by me). The exceptions are Oruki and Naru, Haruhi's parents, who JonBob0008 has given permission for use of.
A/N: Cheers again go to Crazyeight for beta-reading.
Haruhi was still mad at me when we got back to lesson.
How could I tell?
'Kyon' didn't turn around once.
Sorry for ruining your fun Haruhi, but this is crossing a line. You switched our bodies! Can't you see how disturbing that is? Even if you don't realise you did it, surely you still find it at least a little off-putting?
Even when angry, 'he' still finished the trigonometry faster than I did. Damn it. Our teacher was joking with us, right? The explanations he had given were more basic than Nagato's usually were. Just how did 'Kyon' interpret them?
The sound of my own snoring from the desk in front didn't help either. This couldn't be helping my reputation with the teacher, even if finishing the questions straight away got 'me' out of class early.
I had to struggle through the remainder of the questions without having a clue what I was writing. When I asked for help, all I got was a hurried explanation about how it was something I'd done well the week before. That wasn't me, damn it.
When the bell rang, I sighed to my feet. Even the usual sight of Haruhi running out was gone. Instead, 'Kyon' had leapt at the opportunity to storm out in a huff. Why is she still mad at me?
Making my way to the clubroom, I got an uneasy feeling at the pit of my stomach. Maybe I was just afraid of Haruhi still being mad at me? But, to be honest, it was all thanks to just one thing.
I could already be too late.
THE CURIOSITY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA IV
By Blazing Chaos
When I got there, the squirming and screaming I heard from inside didn't help my stomach pain. What was going on? It sounded like Asahina. I normally don't go in when she's crying like that – it's usually just Haruhi forcibly changing her. But…I'm 'Haruhi'…so…
I opened the door, hoping to save Asahina from whatever was being done to her. Sure, it wouldn't count on my record, but if I explained things then…
There was 'me', clinging onto Mikuru's uniform and dragging it up and off her as she grabbed it back, trying to avoid the horror. She already looked half-naked. Normally, I'd have run out the room by now, but, you see, there was something so horrifying to this scene.
As 'I' did it, 'I' grinned like a maniac. "Stop fighting it!"
"But…Kyon…ah…why…are…you?!" At least, I think that's what she said. It was hard to work out with all the crying and screaming.
"If you're already changed into the frog outfit when Haruhi gets here, I'll get loads of points!"
Great. Is this Haruhi's impression of me? Does she really think my sole ambition in life is to attain those worthless points?
Damn. How does she know that?
"Get this bra off!"
"Huh?" Mikuru looked confused. I didn't blame her. This was the exact opposite of what normally happened. Now, I wouldn't say Mikuru is stupid, but…she's not the shiniest apple in the store either. The poor girl must be so scared.
Her saviour becomes her molest…oh, who am I kidding? I've never managed to save her from anything Haruhi does.
"Hey, Haruhi, join in! We can make this a threesome!"
I'd never say that out loud. Damn you Haruhi. Quit ruining my reputation.
Hold on…does she still think she's just unchanging Mikuru? What the hell goes through her mind? I am her, and I still don't know. And why does she think I'm perverted?
I don't think my pause helped my case. "…absolutely not!"
"Fine." 'Kyon' continued to molest Asahina. What happened to her bad mood? Was this how she normally got rid of it?
As I went over and tried to prise 'Kyon' off, I noticed Nagato reading in the corner silently. She's like a blind fly on the wall. I wish she'd help once in a while though – neither she nor Koizumi ever think of helping me out with things like this.
This was more difficult than usual too. I think I underestimated how strong I normally am compared to Haruhi. Either that or she just knows how to use my own body better. Damn. She's better at being 'me' than…me.
Finally. Got her by the tie. I mean 'him'.
"Let go! You're pulling on my neck!"
"Leave 'Mikuru' alone."
"No, it's fun! You should try sometime!"
"I'm your Brigade Chief and what I say is final."
That did it.
'Kyon' started glaring at me. "You what?"
I couldn't have sounded as confident the second time round. "I said I'm your Brigade Chief."
'He' opened his mouth to object, but when 'he' saw Yuki and Mikuru he stopped. Looks like Haruhi doesn't want either of them finding out. But then again, she did just waltz in and start attacking Mikuru as normal. Does she understand the idea of not letting others know?
She's going to get me expelled, I can tell. Good grief…this is not going to end well.
"Fine…" Finally! I was so worried she would start arguing with me over it. My Haruhi impression isn't good enough to maintain this for too long. I need to talk to Mikuru and Koizumi, quick.
I'm pretty sure Nagato already knows. Maybe Asahina's superiors already told her? I would ask, but I'm pretty sure the answer would be "classified information", and with 'Kyon' here god knows how I would get her aside.
At least we were safe with me here too. She wouldn't say anything with 'Haruhi' around. Am I going to have to follow 'me' around all the time now?
"Are you alright?" Mikuru looked at me like I'd just said I'm secretly a penguin. Or like I said that Haruhi found out about herself. I'm not sure which she'd be more surprised by.
She's so cute when she stutters. I placed my hand on her shoulder to help calm her down.
One moment, I had a hand plastered across my face, and the next moment she was out the door in tears.
Poor girl. She must be so confused by all this. She probably thinks I'm going to take up 'Kyon's' suggestion. Looks like her superiors didn't tell her. Damn…how do I even begin to explain this?
"Well done Haruhi!"
Your impression of me is impeccable. I want to go out and help her…but…she just sees me as Haruhi. Damn it, I can't do anything to help. For once, I'm hoping Koizumi finds her. Speaking of which, where is he anyhow?
"Don't glare at me like that. You can't just walk in here and keep attacking her like that!"
"I was just changing her clothes. Geez, lighten up a little."
Haruhi stormed back to her usual seat by the computer, even with her new body. She was the one telling me about being subtle, right? You might want to check – I doubt it a lot now. She pulled off another of her bizarre poses as she clicked around on the PC, only this time it was 'me' doing them. God this is confusing.
"The website's still crummy."
Whose fault is that? Ah, yeah, it's yours 'Kyon'.
Ah well. It's not like I can't have a little fun from adding insult to injury.
"Yeah – Kyon, fix it up and make it interesting. Stay here until it's done."
Turns out there's no power without enforcement. Haruhi just glared at me. "No…way. You get it done."
"It's your job as a brigade grunt to do anything the Chief wants, got that?"
I'm pushing it even more now. This is all going to collapse in a moment, I just know it.
"Fine…I'll make it brilliant then!"
I was half-expecting Nagato to pipe up at any moment, not that she ever would. For all her amazing strengths otherwise, Haruhi was a bad actor, at least when she wanted to do something out of character for her role. I could only imagine what it'd have been like if she were in the movie.
Well, apart from all those 'pan ups' that just happened to catch her in the frame. They don't count. For some reason only Haruhi understands.
I sat down in my normal seat. Nagato wouldn't ask, anyhow. I had nothing to be worried about. At least, until…
Koizumi turned up, waving in his normal way, albeit with an odd frown on his face that just spoke of trouble to whoever saw it. Did he already know? "Hey. Sorry about my lateness."
"Yo." 'Kyon' was so engrossed in the computer that he didn't even look up.
"Hey." I faked my optimism. This was Koizumi, and he was frowning. What was up?
He looked surprised too once he saw the pair of us in the exact opposite positions to normal. God only knew what he was thinking.
Shrugging, he smiled and stepped forward, going to the seat opposite 'Haruhi'. And, by 'Haruhi', of course, I mean me, resting on my palm with my elbow on the desk. This was so boring, and awful, and worrying. Was Mikuru okay? I imagined her, bawling her eyes out. Poor girl.
"Can't remember the last time you sat here."
"I know. It hurts my spine."
"What's Kyon doing on the computer?"
"I'm working on the website." 'Kyon' didn't sound all that convincing. Wouldn't 'he' be clicking a lot more and paying a lot more attention if 'he' were? I spent an age going through the manuals when I made it, and they're really badly written.
Actually, why has she got earphones on? I only just noticed. Damn it Haruhi, can't you ever stay focused on something?
I resisted the urge to face palm. I didn't want to blow my cover in front of Haruhi. I'd wait until I could get Koizumi alone, then explain how screwed up everything is.
Koizumi stood up, wandering over to the computer desk in his usual perfectionist manner.
At least he's rubbish at whispering. I could hear everything he said. If these are Haruhi's ears, does she hear us? Maybe that's why she wanted to find out what we talk about.
"I noticed Miss Asahina crying out in the hallway. What happened?"
"Just her being a miserable cry-baby who's too obsessed with her looks." 'Kyon' still didn't look up as she spoke, and she sounded like she'd had had a boring exam all day.
Koizumi looked confused. Good. I like when he's confused. It's great when he doesn't know all the answers. "I see."
He glanced across to me, and then to Nagato. What did he want? What did he think was going on? For once, I was hoping he'd work it out on his own, but I doubted he'd stop doing everything Haruhi says long enough to try and figure out what's going on.
"Kyon, would you like to go grab a coffee?"
'Kyon' looked like 'he'd' been asked on a date. In fact, it sounded like it too. Damn you Koizumi. Don't say it like that.
Okay, a little too optimistic, don't you think? Why'd Haruhi so…oh no…
"Huh?" 'Kyon' gave a deadpan gaze.
"Uh…" Come on Kyon, think of an excuse. Something that sounds Haruhi-like. Uh…uh…uh…that's it! "I'm not letting anyone else just run out like that. If you all keep taking breaks, we'll never get anything done. Kyon, keep working on that website. We'll lose if we don't finish it by tomorrow.
"But who are we losing to?"
"Don't ask stupid questions, just do as I say." Finally, she gets a taste of her own medicine.
"Oh yeah? And what if I don't want to?"
Oh crap. She's arguing back. I can't lose this one! If 'he' goes with Koizumi, he'll tell 'him' everything.
"You have to. My word is final!"
"I'm afraid that means I can't go." Had Koizumi gotten the message? Or was he just complying as normal? Either way, 'Kyon' glared at him, before sending all that anger my way.
"Fine! I'm leaving – I won't be treated like this." Haruhi grabbed my jacket from the seat and rushed away from the desk to the door. "Itsuki, come on, we have to talk!"
There it was. She was expecting a talk, even though he never mentioned it. It was all so much clearer now. We'd given her a low-hanging fruit – all she has to do was climb up and pluck it, and she'll find out about everything. I know that no one really knows for sure what would happen, but I'm sure as hell not risking it.
"Koizumi, stay here."
The look of confusion on his face was priceless, as he glanced back and forth between me and 'Kyon', who held the door wide open. Come on, you normally do everything Haruhi says, do this one too. Please!
He put on that god-awful smile of his again. "My apologies 'Kyon', but I don't feel up to being a rebel and leaving the club. Perhaps we could talk some other time?"
The door slammed. Hard.
'He' was gone, and 'he' was angry.
I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding. Good grief.
"That was unusual." At least Koizumi was noticing. I was worrying he thought this was just a normal day. He didn't yet give me any reason to believe otherwise. "Do you know if something is bothering Kyon? He's acting rather oddly."
"Of course it is." Hadn't he worked it out yet? Then again, this isn't exactly the first thing that would come to mind as the reason. Even for someone so used to supernatural phenomena like Koizumi.
"Do you know what?"
"Of course I do."
"Of course, because I am Kyon."
Koizumi looked at me like I'd just announced I was a penguin…no…wait…already used that one. I give up. You try inventing similes for everything.
The first words Nagato had said that day (probably) were just as bewildering as normal. "Sentience exchange?"
She nodded, now looking up from her book. "The entity called Haruhi Suzumiya has been placed in your body, and the entity called…"
"Basically, we switched bodies." I decided to interrupt before Nagato could write an essay.
"You and Miss Suzumiya?"
Koizumi, for all his calm words, looked more surprised and confused than I had ever seen him before. He seemed to have trouble looking me in the eye. Perhaps he was uncomfortable about telling Haruhi about anything, even if it wasn't really her. I found it hard not to laugh at Koizumi's misfortune.
"This is highly unusual."
Isn't everything we do 'highly unusual'? This is coming from an Esper, after all. "You're telling me. Nagato, is there anything at all you can do about this?"
"It is not possible for me to affect changes in the direct impacts of Haruhi Suzumiya's data manipulation."
"Are you not allowed to, or not able to?"
"Oh." Damn. That seemed like a way out too. Why is there always a catch? "Why's that?"
"Her data manipulation abilities are greater than mine, even though she is unaware of it." Now, I'm not certain, but I think I heard a hint of jealousy in Yuki's voice. "I am here only to observe."
"Did you expect an easy way out?" Koizumi sounded rather amused. Great, now he's laughing at me.
"Well, it'd make a change."
There's that chuckle again.
"I have to admit that I would too, but this is the situation we're in. Miss Suzumiya has acted out her will."
"Yeah, but why do I have to be the one who has to suffer for it?"
"You're the chosen one."
Ugh. I am so sick of hearing that. "What does that even mean?"
"It would be disadvantageous for you to know that." Bastard. He does know. And he's chuckling again! "But I will tell you this: everything Miss Suzumiya does has…"
"A logical meaning, yeah, yeah, I know."
"Exactly. If we work out what that meaning is, perhaps we can reverse all this."
There was an annoying glint in his eye and an even more annoying smile on his face. I've wondered it before, but I think Koizumi enjoys this way too much. He always acts and waves around like he's in some drama. No-one does that in real life: Esper or not.
"I think I know why she's doing this."
That surprised him. Little victories like this keep me going. "Oh?"
Then came the words I had wanted to say for so long. "It's your fault too." God it feels good to say that.
"What did I do then?" Dammit. Show at least a bit of annoyance about being blamed. And stop smiling!
"You and your stupid endless talks made her curious. I think she swapped bodies with me to find out."
Once again, he pulled off that irritating closed eyes smile. "My sincerest apologies then. It seems we created a lure for her. I'm afraid my organisation did not foresee this."
"There was a 65.394% chance of this event occurring." That was Nagato's take on all this. I'm surprised she doesn't gamble; she could make a fortune. Not that she'd have anything to spend it on. Or even that she'd need to – with her abilities, she can make money from old rope. Literally.
"It appears you helped us evade a hairy situation then. I was very close to telling Miss Suzumiya everything."
Damn. That would've been so good have the end of the world be not entirely my fault for once.
"I'd still call this a hairy situation. I can't even act like Haruhi all that well. If people suspect something, what'll happen?"
"I doubt that anyone would come to this conclusion."
"That's not what I meant. If people start asking questions, Haruhi might end up nearly ending the universe again."
"I will prevent that occurring to the extent that my abilities allow."
If it weren't for Ryoko vanishing without a trace, I wouldn't have believed Nagato. Her control over what people remember and whether they exist at all is quite worrying actually – I hope she never has to use it on me. She's not as powerful as Haruhi, but I'd bet she comes close.
"Plus, now that she knows the supernatural is possible, who knows what she'll believe can happen? We got off lightly the last time: I don't know how I'd explain Shimasen talking to my folks."
"Hmm…we have reached an interesting situation then."
Don't say it in such a pompous manner.
"And yet, I have yet to detect the presence of any closed spaces."
"I'm sorry?" He's lost me there. What has that got to do with anything?
"As you know, every time Miss Suzumiya becomes discontented, she creates a closed space."
"Yeah, I'm well aware of that by now."
"In the body of Kyon just now, she stormed out because you would not let her go with me to talk. Plus, I noticed she wasn't in the happiest mood when I entered. Normally, I would have felt a closed space form, which means we can only assume one thing."
"Haruhi doesn't have her powers."
I crossed my arms. Did he think this was surprising me? "I already figured that would be possible."
"It's curious that for all the emphasis we have placed on Haruhi's mind, it was really her body that contained her remarkable powers."
"So I'm God."
"Or one of the various theories of the organisations surrounding Miss Suzumiya, yes."
"Let's just keep this simple."
"If you wish."
"So, basically, I have all of Haruhi's powers, and anything I really believe in will become reality, right?"
"That would appear to be the case."
"So why the hell can't I be myself again? I want that more than anything else – I believe it to be the way it should be. I've been begging for that all day. If it's so easy for Haruhi, then why can't I do it?"
"Haruhi Suzumiya's previous influence has locked the data from editing." There's Nagato, going right over my head again. I should be thankful to be given a clear answer for once.
"Like a file someone else has set as read only."
Why did Koizumi think I was an expert with computers? I used the manual to make the website, and even that was a pain to do. "So…Haruhi has stopped me from changing things?"
"That would appear to be the case, even if Miss Suzumiya herself is unaware."
"Ugh…that seems to be normal with things like this."
"Our only option appears to be to wait for Miss Suzumiya to grow bored of the current situation."
"That'll take months! She's so happy about this, I doubt she'll ever calm down about it. Couldn't I just wish for her to want to change?"
"Suzumiya's powers are never to do with wishing. In her sense of the world, she actually believes such things are possible, and so, they are." Koizumi always seems to have an explanation for everything. It drives me nuts.
Although Nagato is strangely quiet. What happened to her tales of someone not telling the truth? Or how the time travellers and the organisation differ in their opinions? I could really use a more optimistic viewpoint right now.
"Ugh…" I don't think I could believe something so strongly as Haruhi does. I'm too used to reality, even with aliens, time travellers and Espers thrown on top. "Who said I needed to use powers? Heck, I'll just go and make her want this body back."
"Haruhi does not listen to your opinions." Nagato can put things so bluntly at times. But she's right. Even on those rare occasions where she does listen, she normally goes against what I say.
"Who says she has to listen? If she thinks I'm abusing this body, she'll want it back in a snap." I clicked.
"I'm afraid it's not that simple."
Yes it is Koizumi. Yes it is. I genuinely believe that. So come on Haruhi powers…believe…believe!
"If Miss Suzumiya is genuinely discontent and switches back, then she would know of the possibility of body-switching. Imagine the whole world having such problems: it would be a disaster."
I have to say, I'm getting tired of having the world on my back with everything involving Haruhi. And only she would lack logic enough to think that this switch was possible in the first place.
Okay, so maybe it is. But I wouldn't say it's natural.
"It is essential that Miss Suzumiya is not allowed to switch back to her own body until we find a solution for our current problem."
You're kidding me, right?
"We must avoid her becoming discontented."
"Okay, okay, I understand what you guys are talking about, but what about me?"
"I'm God now! Bow down to me!" Part of me can't believe I actually said that. Still, the idea of Koizumi being a personal slave is a promising one. In fact, the number of people who would worship me…I would have such power.
Koizumi chuckled. Damn it. What's so funny?
"I'm afraid that you're somewhat misguided."
"How can I be misguided? You said I had the power of a God." Bow down already.
"Yes, but you also have common sense enough not to use it to destroy everything. The far greater risk here is Haruhi, should you two switch back."
"So the tiny chance of Haruhi becoming Haruhi again and making everyone swap bodies is worse than me, right here, right now, being God and being able to destroy you all and your organisation by just believing they don't exist?"
Even when I'm God, they still won't stop bowing down to Haruhi. Could things possibly get any worse?
Don't answer that.
A/N: So, Itsuki and Nagato are now in the loop that Kyon is now God, and it makes absolutely no difference to who they bow down to. Maybe 'Haruhi' will have more luck with Mikuru? Somehow I doubt it.
Oh, and apologies for long waits both now and in the future – I expect to be very busy until at least mid-October due to so many commitments like universities, school and other such things. I'll try and post new chapters of my various fanfics when possible, but don't expect the usual rate by any means.
Until next time…