Chapter 1: Desperate for Sanity
Something in my gut told me it was coming, yet I knew it would have been useless to step aside, that would have been about as helpful as me interacting with Kyonko in the first place. We should have done a better job avoiding them; we should have done our job quickly and efficiently, instead of dilly dallying about as we had. Together our SOS brigades were a force to be reckoned with, however, it also meant we were a lager target, much easier to hit. My mind processed the mistakes we had made, what we should have done but didn't, what we did do that we shouldn't have.
And I saw Ryoko smirk at me and wave her hand.
There was a glint of satisfaction in Ryou's eyes.
There was a pressure in my gut that I had never felt before. It wasn't painful so much as strange.
I hit the ground and my world went blank.
The last thing I heard was my girlfriend's scream.
So this was it, huh?
This was death?
Tch, not much to be afraid of I guess.
I had officially lost my mind. Before it was debatable, but as I stood here, waiting at the crosswalk to Haruhi's favorite café, I knew I was a few cans short of a six pack. I fidgeted, looking down at my watch and then back up, eyeing the crowds crossing the streets for any sign of her. I was nervous, as well as I should have been, I was about to tell Haruhi everything. After all we had been through…
The establishment of the club, saving the world with a kiss, solving a fake murder, fighting a giant cricket, the time I almost hit Haruhi, the endless summer, and the time she disappeared and I missed her more than I logically should have.
That million watt smile of hers.
Something clicked in my brain. Wait a minute, I was about to tell Haruhi that she was a powerful person, that she had an esper, a time traveler, and an alien at her every beck and call.
What the hell was I thinking?!
Then I saw her push through the crowd across the street to my right. When she saw me her features were contorted with a death glare that sent a shiver down my spine. She was pissed that I got here before her; clearly her plan had been to arrive an hour early, as she had, and stick me with the check, but for once I was one step ahead of her. Then I smirked, and the joy of catching her off guard perished any thoughts or feelings of utter primal fear. She approached me quickly, attitude and defiance in every step.
I would enjoy this.
"You're late," I said, a slight undertone of smugness in my voice.
"Yeah I noticed that!" she snapped.
"I guess you're paying," I said, shrugging.
I tried to hide the smirk on my face as we made our way to the café. When we sat down our waitress came to greet us. She seemed to be timid and rather cute, I noted. "How can I help you?" she asked quietly.
"I'll just have some miso ramen please."
"Double banana split!"
I should have known better than to expect manners from my brigade chief. When the waitress walked away Haruhi fixed me another death glare, "What now?" I asked.
"You thought she was cute didn't you?!"
I changed the subject, cutting straight to the core. I had just got back into my life with this crazy woman, I didn't need to risk anymore fake worlds. "I'd rather talk about what's going on with you," I said simply.
She laughed, "Is this supposed to be a joke? I knew you'd fall for me eventually!"
Her ego did not make it past my radar, and my radar wasn't that big apparently, since I was always out of the loop. It was fun to be able to be the one holding information for once. "It's not a confession."
She grew interested and said nothing in response.
Koizumi's words came back to me, his warning that telling her would be risky, that it shouldn't be done. I realized that I was throwing that caution to the wind on faith that Haruhi would be able to handle it. Under that entire bossy attitude and the layers of superiority complexes, there was a person that could handle this. "I do have something important to tell you though, and I thought it would be best if the rest of the brigade weren't here." The waitress arrived with our food and set it down, neither of us started eating, and I simply stirred the noodles in my bowl with the chopsticks. How do you tell a person that she has the power to change the world?
I sighed heavily, "Haruhi, I honestly don't know how to tell you this, but… the world isn't as normal and boring as you think it is."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Telling her directly would do no good. "Remember that day a while back, when you started wearing your hair in a pony tail every once in a while?"
"What about it?" she got a bit snappy, and her cheeks turned slightly red.
"The day before… you were wearing cherry lip gloss… right?"
The entire café seemed to go quiet.
This was new, Haruhi seemed to be stricken speechless, "Well," I said, taking a deep breath, "What would you say if I told you that dream you had… wasn't just a dream? And that's not the only thing either. Koizumi, Asahina-san, and Nagato-san, they're not all that they appear to be."
There was another moment of silence, and then Haruhi laughed harshly, "Is this your idea of a joke? My dad put you up to this didn't he; I bet he heard me dreaming!"
"Haruhi, shut up and listen for a second," I snapped, "Let me finish."
She went silent, and I continued. I told her that Asahina-san was from the future, how far I didn't know, and that her mission was to observe a time lurch that Haruhi had caused. I told her that Nagato was a vessel from space, from an alien entity, and that her mission was to observe the next step in evolution on our planet, which also happened to be her. I told her Koizumi was an esper, and that his sole purpose was to stop the world from exploding from her dreams.
I told her everything.
From the beginning.
From the day that I found out, to last week when I finally decided to tell her.
I told her that I was John Smith, that it was me who helped her paint the school grounds with alien symbols.
I told her how I saved the world by kissing her.
"I promised myself," I said softly, "I promised that I would tell you. You're bitchy, and bossy, and you have an attitude that most people would avoid, but you're also honest, and heartfelt, and you're just a girl. I always complain about the brigade and being stuck with the job of managing every little thing around me. Over time I guess you grew on me, and I… I just couldn't keep it a secret anymore, no matter what Koizumi told me."
What happened next was the last thing I expected. She leaned across the table, pulled my hands into hers, and kissed me. I heard cat calls from some highschoolers in the corner, and some gasps from different parts of the crowd. Kissing wasn't exactly a public spectacle. When she pulled away she was glaring at me, "What gave you the idea that you can keep secrets from your brigade chief!?"
I scoffed, "I knew you would try to conquer the world," I said sarcastically.
"Penalty for you!"
"Promise not to lock me in the dungeon when you take Japan and I'll be alright with that."
"You are the worst brigade member ever!"
"Shut the hell up," I said, pulling her down to me for another kiss.