Disclaimer: I do not own Haruhi Suzumiya (or the the Hollow Men for that matter). Legal action not required.
If I were to have an existential breakdown in my life, I would expect it to be during the time I had spent with Haruhi and the SOS Brigade. The closest thing to a breakdown was back in December when Nagato flipped the world upside-down, and even then I wasn't too worried. Just disoriented.
Enter Sasaki, Suou Kuyoh, Fujiwara, and Tachibana Kyouko. Even with these new foes, I'm not worried. Because I still have Haruhi under my sleeve.
Still, I have a feeling that this breakdown is inevitable. Existential breakdowns are known to happen during stressful events. Haruhi has been the source of my latest stress for well over a year now… it's only a matter of time.
That is, if the world doesn't end before then...
Nagato hadn't arrived at the clubroom at all today. Strange as it was, I wasn't too worried. The book-loving alien has the ability to take care of herself. My memory also had a factor in my nonchalancy. I recalled hearing something about "maintenance" the previous week.
Is that it? The Data Integrated Thought Entity is revising her programming one way or another?
I shouldn't worry too much. Nagato has displayed signs of sickness before – not just of her own accord, but of external tampering. Perhaps she's getting an upgrade to prevent that from happening?
"Hmm? Yuki isn't here?"
Haruhi's confusion was the highlight of the day.
"I hope she's alright…"
Nagato is still out. Asahina-san had requested for me to stay in the clubroom after everyone else had left.
Everyone else has left.
"Ah… Kyon-kun? Sorry, um…"
Is this something that I should be concerned about?
"No, it's just that I, erm… will be out for the remainder of the week."
Oh? For what reason?
Hm. Is that so?
"Um… I've already told Tsuruya-san and Koizumi-san…"
And now me?
So now that just leaves Haruhi, huh?
She nodded. "I'm sorry… it's just that classified information is requesting that I accomplish my task in a classified information."
That again? Okay… don't sweat it. I'll just tell Haruhi tomorrow.
"Th-thank you… erm, I'm really sorry…"
At the lunch bell, I had caught Haruhi's attention before she was about to run off to who knows where.
"Whaat?! Mikuru-chan won't be here either?"
"I'm afraid so. She said that she had family matters out of the country, and said she wouldn't be returning."
"That sounds to be too coincidental. Are you lying to me Kyon? Such an action is against SOS Brigade code! You'll be fined!"
"I'm not lying… ask Tsuruya-san if you must."
And with that, Haruhi took off. The remainder of my lunch break was spent in silence. Ah, damn… forgot my bento.
Lunch break ended quietly. Haruhi returned, a feeling of defeat on her eyes. The look remained on her eyes for the remainder of the day.
Upon reaching the clubroom, she sighed.
"I guess you were right…"
I told you I wasn't lying.
Koizumi was already waiting inside. Nagato still hadn't come in.
Upgrades must be tasking, huh?
"This is so boring!"
Haruhi's words echoed within the walls of the Literature clubroom-turned SOS Brigade clubroom. It was unusually quiet with just myself, Haruhi, and Koizumi inside. Nagato still hadn't returned.
After Haruhi's outburst, the clubroom returned to silence. A rhythmic clicking of the mouse – from Haruhi – and sounds of cards being flipped and shuffled – card game going between myself and Koizumi – were the only sounds.
It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.
Haruhi, without any prior notice, jumped out of her seat and stomped out of the room.
Guess that means today's meeting is over huh?
"This is most aggravating."
Those words came from Koizumi. The smile was immediately wiped from his face. While I wasn't accustomed to seeing his frown, it certain was less annoying.
"My colleagues have been fighting Celestials nonstop for the last twelve hours. And they haven't all been defeated. If this continues, I'll have to spend the next 24 hours fighting with them."
Should I tell Haruhi?
"Don't bother… it'll just confuse her."
"What about Nagato-san? Have you heard from her?"
No… can't say that I have. Didn't she say something about maintenance?
"I don't recall hearing something. Ah, well… best leave it at that. If she's told you, then it shouldn't be a problem."
Hmm… so tomorrow will be quite boring then, huh?
"It seems so. I do hope that you'll be able to manage Haruhi's aggression. My colleagues and I are having difficulty with that as of now."
He got up from the table, and picked up his bag.
"If I don't see you tomorrow, you know what's going on."
Haruhi herself was absent today. Everyone in the SOS Brigade, save for myself, was absent from school.
Surely this isn't a bad thing?
Having finished the walk from school, I entered my house.
A few hours passed before my sister came running into my room with phone in hand.
"Sasaki? How'd you get my numb-… nevermind."
"I have something to discuss with you. Can you please meet me at the station in ten minutes? The one where you and your friends normally meet?"
With that, I hung up, grabbed my bike, and pedaled to the station. Sasaki was patiently waiting (alone, I might add), a small smile on her face.
"Yo, what's up?"
"It's rather complicated, but I felt I had no other choice to tell you."
She paused and started walking away. I locked my bike to a bicycle rack and ran after her.
She stood outside an animal store when I caught up to her.
"… this is really quite a problem for you."
"Have your friends recently been absent from your daily meetings?"
As a matter of fact, yes they have.
She turned and looked at me directly.
"I know about everything… and-"
She took a deep breath before continuing.
"Your friends have been removed from the equation."
"Suou, Fujiwara, and Kyouko have spoken to me yesterday concerning this."
"Nagato Yuki-san has been targeted first. The Canopy Dominion has had Suou Kuyoh send out a false message disguised as a maintenance subroutine. Her memory banks are currently being copied, and her link will eventually be removed so she no longer remains."
"Asahina Mikuru-san was the next target. She has received orders from none other than Fujiwara, once again disguised as a way to move. Her TPDD was also tampered with. She will not return for the greater part of the next two months."
"Koizumi Itsuki-san is currently being distracted by Haruhi's "Celestials". He is devoid of any knowledge of the current situation. Kyouko has the belief that with Haruhi's sudden flare of Closed Space, Koizumi will be spending the next four months working towards defeating them. In that time, Kyouko will attempt to infiltrate the Organization."
Okay, enough with the non-syllabic responses from me.
"What are they planning to accomplish by removing the members of the SOS Brigade?"
My yelling has not caused any reaction towards Sasaki. She didn't even blink while I screamed at her face. I should have expected as much.
"Answer me, dammit!"
"This is an elaborate scheme to get Haruhi's power transplanted to me, something which I do not approve of. They have disregarded all of my comments regarding towards the matter, and continued on."
What? Why in hell would that do that? Don't they know that I would never agree towards this procedure?
"They have also provided me with this, and have told me to deliver it to you."
She handed me an envelope.
Your cooperation is not being requested, but being demanded. You have twenty-four hours to comply.
"… if I cooperate, will the SOS Brigade be restored?"
"… I don't know."
Dammit. All this for Haruhi's and Sasaki's sake? What will they accomplish? Transplanting Haruhi's powers to Sasaki would just mean that they would become the ultimate factions in keeping the universe in order. It makes no logical sense!
"Kyon, I don't want-"
"Fine, I'll do it."
"I'll bring Haruhi to the station at 2 PM tomorrow. I expect you guys to be there as well."
"Kyon, you can't possibly-"
"What other choice do I have? Who's stopping them from hurting my sister, or the people at my school? I have no other choice, Sasaki, and… quite frankly, there's no alternative."
"… there is one alternative."
"… no. I'm not going to risk it on that…"
"Kyon, you've obviously been holding onto that as your trump card. If the universe as you know it is going to end… why not try for the gamble?"
"Sasaki… if you were in my situation, you'd know how much is at stake. I can't do it… I just can't."
"I'm not asking you to do it. I'm merely telling you that your one option may lead to both of our desires being fulfilled."
"I will no-"
"Kyon, what good is going to happen from me becoming a god?"
"None. That's the good that will come out of it."
"I'll tell them that you will meet us at the station tomorrow. I leave the rest to you… make a good decision so that you can live up to your name."
"What the hell are we doing here Kyon?"
"… how dare you speak like that to your Brigade leader? You will be fin-"
"You have no clue what's going on right now, and it is best that it stays that way."
Sasaki and her "friends" have arrived.
I nodded towards them. Pulling Haruhi by her arm (which surprisingly, she let me drag her along), I pushed her towards Kyouko's general direction.
"What the hell is going on here?"
Ignoring Haruhi's yelling, Kyouko smiled.
"You've made the right choice Kyon."
"What choice was there to begin with?"
"You could have chosen not to…"
"Don't mess with me. There are no other alternatives but to listen to you. You win. Happy?"
"Not quite… but I'm enjoying this feeling of victory."
"You should have done this from the beginning."
"I chose not to. Just because I knew that was the right thing to do."
"We wouldn't have had to go to extremes."
"Yeah? Well… let's just say that your efforts are for nil."
Her face suddenly grew confused. And as much as I'd like to see discontent on her face, I still had one more task.
"Hey Haruhi? Have you ever heard of "The Hollow Men"?"
Haruhi, who had been quiet for the last minute suddenly looked at me. She shook her head.
"It's a poem. 'This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.'"
"Haruhi, I know you're confused, but can I ask you one more thing?"
Sasaki smiled as the others behind her loosened their grip on Haruhi. They were unusually silent as well.
"Four years ago. Tanabata."
"What about it."
"You drew lines across the ground. A message to Orihime ane Hikoboshi that meant roughly meant, 'I am here'."
"Uhh…" she stopped for a second. "So what? Everyone knows about that…"
"You also met a person that night, carrying his sister in the darkness."
"Yeah. You met me."
I smiled. I just didn't care anymore.
"I am John Smith."
So basically this was a representation of how I thought the series would end. A sad ending, but obviously not without suspense and struggle - key components of the series itself.
And yes, I'm fully aware that there are similar fanfics up that resemble (not word-for-word, but close to it) the story itself. I've done my best not to plagiarize by NOT reading them prior to writing the fic (which took roughly 2 hours to type up).
Read and review.
o(^.^)O Metal Kirby