Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the clothes on my back. Oh, and DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, scratch that, AT ALL!

Conflicting Emotions

SLAM! Kyon crashed face-up into the concrete, his body creating a U shape before gravity finally pulled his legs to the ground. Now, in most occasions, a boy falling from a second story window would be considered dangerous, even fatal (please see Disclaimer) but reality doesn't always work the way it's supposed to.

"Kyon! You were supposed to bounce!" Came a giggle from a window.

'Shut up, Haruhi. God or not, you won't escape the situation without suffering the consequences this time. O.K., let's start with the toes. They're still mobile, except for the pinky toes. Does that mean paralysis?! No, wait, no one can feel those toes move.'

"Oh, dear. It seems he's fallen."

'Thank you, Koizumi, I feel much better now that you've given her an alibi. Ankles: twist. Kneecaps: bend. Hips: rotate.'


"Ahhhh. I know that I can pull through anything thanks to your heavenly voice, Miss Asahina. Fingers are stiff, but still mobile. Elbows move; shoulders… CRACK! Ugh, I'm just going to ignore that for now.

There was a small gasp. Kyon risked opening his eyes and let them adjust to the glare of the afternoon sun. No one else was around besides the S.O.S. Brigade. The sound was too high to be from Koizumi, a little too low to be from Mikuru and sounded far too concerned to be Haruhi. "Nagato?" Kyon whispered.


'Ah, silly me. I must be delirious from the fall. Let's try to stand.' Kyon let out a groan and staggered to his feet. His back cracked a little as he straightened himself but he immediately grabbed his right shoulder and sank back to one knee.

-Brigade Room 20 Minutes Later-

Koizumi brought Kyon in on his good shoulder and plopped him in his usual seat while Haruhi strode passed them and walked over to the window. Kyon grimaced at the pain in his shoulder but Koizumi's face appeared uncomfortably close to his own. "How's it feel?"

"Wonderful. Now back up, please."

Koizumi just smiled and leaned in closer so that only the two of them could hear. "You really should be careful near open windows."

"And who was it that pushed me out the window?"

"Well technically she only did it because you were obviously staring slack-jawed at Mikuru. We're lucky she didn't just open up a Closed Space or alter reality again."

'Right, and man is just supposed to roll over and lose his free will because someone stronger then him says so.'

"But that's usually how it goes right? From the Babylonians to Rome, they all fell to stronger powers then themselves."

"How did you know what I was thinking? Are you psychic now?"

"No, maybe you're just telepathic? Haha. I'm kidding, it's written all over your face."

Kyon let out a huff. "And I suppose you have some advice to keep you out of work tonight? I'm not actually feeling very forgiving right now."

"Let's face it, you definitely should be in critical condition after that fall. In fact I'm surprised you aren't dead (Disclaimer). It only proves Haruhi's underlying desire to keep you safe during her antics."

"And I suppose this is just a convenient excuse for her to play Wet Nurse." Kyon said grabbing his arm.

Koizumi let out a small laugh. "I doubt that she wants it put that way, but you get the idea. Just let her enjoy herself and I'm sure that you'll be fine by tomorrow. I will admit though, I don't feel like getting into a fight tonight." He picked up his bag on one shoulder and held Yuki's and Mikuru's in his two free hands. He raised his voice as he looked up to Haruhi. "Mikuru appeared to be a little distressed, so Yuki and I will take her home. If that's O.K. with you of course."

She let out an angry "Dismissed," but didn't turn around until she heard the door close. There was a slight twinge of guilt in her eyes but Kyon noted that it was a 'kid-caught-stealing-cookies-and-got-caught' instead of 'It's-Christmas-day-and-the-spirits-taught-me-a-lesson.' "You know, Kyon, you shouldn't go falling out of windows like that." Haruhi said while poking at his shoulder.

"Ow! That's not helping."

She sighed and started tugging at his jacket. "What are we going to do with you?" She peeled it off and went for his shirt.

"OI! What- cut that out!"

"I want to get a better look at your shoulder. HOLD STILL!"

'Doesn't want to play wet nurse my ass, Koizumi! She wrestled him to the ground and began to tear off his shirt before his shoulder let out a CRACK! "Ugh, get OFF!" He shouted as he pushed her away. Haruhi's face looked distraught, but only for a second, and then turned to full blown anger. She was about to shout but stopped as he grimaced and grabbed his shoulder. Instead, she glared, growled and ran out with her bag. She looked a little more sincere this time but Kyon still held true to the slim and fleeting chance that she might learn her lesson…this time.

"Good grief." He pulled himself back onto his chair and decided to rest a little before he went home. He tilted his head back and closed his eyes, failing to fall asleep between the nagging thoughts of doom in the back of his head and the throbbing pain in his shoulder. After a few minutes, the door opened and closed. Kyon opened his eyes to find Yuki staring at him. "Ah, Yuki, what brings you back?" She reached down the table and held a book in front of her. "I see. Koizumi got your bag but forgot your book."

She nodded but didn't break her gaze.

"I'm not really up to walking yet, could you please stay with me awhile?" Yuki's only response was to nod, sit down and open her book. "So, did I do the wrong thing?"

"It is not my opinion of right and wrong, merely to observe and report."

"Ah. Say, was it my imagination or did you gasp back there?"


"May I ask something else? About you and Ryo?"


"Why are you two so different? I mean it's probably the most advantageous to gather information if you are able to blend in to the environment, right? True, you can blend in like a wallflower, but she was social enough to probably manipulate information out of almost anyone. Then again, since she was your backup, you both probably could have combined forces in a tag-team formation."

"You seem to have found a satisfactory answer."

"It seems so."

"May I… ask you something?"


"What kind of girl do you prefer? Someone like Mikuru, Haruhi or…Ryouko?"

'What's brought on this conversation, Nagato? Is that a tint of red on your cheeks and aren't you clutching your book tighter then usual?' "If I had to choose, it would probably be Mikuru."

"Oh." Yuki seemed to sink into her chair.

"But, that's only in terms of attractiveness and ability. I mean she is very cute and she's able to cook, but I'm not sure if I could really love her properly. I mean all teenage hormones aside, you would be better off marrying someone you could talk or relate to. I don't know if the two of us could have that kind of connection. The same deal with Haruhi because she's too controlling and Ryo… well she always kind of creeped me out."

"Ah." Yuki stood up and closed her book. She walked over to Kyon and with a slight tremor in her hands touched his shirt.

"Um, Yuki? What are you doing?"

"Repairs." She said simply as her hands began to glow and, within seconds, his shirt was back to normal. Afterwards, she concentrated on his shoulder and spoke so softly that Kyon was hardly able to hear. "Ryouko had significantly more experience in this world then I have. It's true that I was only 'born' three years ago but my social experience only started when I met all of you. She started years ago, despite only having the role of a backup. I recall hearing rumors that her assimilation increased significantly after she… met someone."

Yuki finished healing Kyon and leaned down and tried to rub her head against his neck. It was a simple gesture that she had read about in love novels and seen quite frequently done by her peers as a sign of "affection." It looked too mechanical to be true and Kyon recognized self-pity that would have left her on the verge of tears, if she was more human. He turned around and pulled her into a tight embrace. She tried to wrap her arms around him in a way that would show "affection" but still felt like she was doing it wrong. He pulled back enough to look into her, normally, blank eyes to find something else. 'A glimmer of hope, perhaps?' She grabbed the front of his shirt and rose onto her toes to give him a quick kiss. Kyon held her in that position so that he could reconnect their lips. He was delighted to note that the action became less motorized by the minute.

Kyon finally broke away for some air but noticed Yuki was fine, except for what appeared to be a small pout. "Yuki, is this something that you would like to explore?"

"Yes." She stated and nuzzled herself on his chest, this time with what she could positively define as "affection."