The Conflicts of Haruhi Suzumiya
A Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic.
Disclaimer: Haruhi Suzumiya and all related characters have been created by Haruhi without her knowledge. Tanigawa Nagaru wrote it all down.
What happened to these notes? I'm sure I wrote some before. I always do.
/ Another Duck
The following day was a pain, to say the least. And I'm not talking about my leg, even if that hurt a lot too. Not that anything in particular happened, but the entire class was a mess. Without Ryoko, and the rumours around her absence, people were bugging me all day about what happened. Not that anyone actually knew, but since the rumours were that she was at the hospital, and I had been hurt as well, they did draw the dots they could. Of course, they did so correctly, as I was as involved as anyone could ever be, but couldn't they just realise I didn't want to talk about it?
Yesterday, I stabbed a person I loved. And now I don't know what will happen to her. I don't know how long I sat there, cradling her still body, but after a time, a black van drove up. Out of it came a few people I recognised.
One was Koizumi. He quickly ran over to Nagato to check up on her. At this point, she was beginning to stir. I could make that out in the midst of my blurry vision. I wasn't worried about her, though naturally I felt sympathy for her. Even if Ryoko at the time was hell-bent on killing me, she had no reason to lie about Nagato's condition. Was it weird that I still trusted Ryoko after all this?
The second person was Kimidori. She walked up to Ryoko and myself rather calmly, as if she knew that everything was going to be all right. Or that it was already too late. I couldn't tell. She only told me Ryoko would be taken care of. Then she picked her up and left for the van.
Only Koizumi and Nagato remained when the vehicle drove away. Koizumi said something about what they were going to do to Ryoko. If I had thought about it some more, I would have found it strange that the two factions were cooperating this much. Maybe it was due to the threat they both felt Ryoko posed, and to make sure she ceased to be one.
For some reason, I found my way to the clubroom once school ended, even if I didn't want to be there. It just felt like the thing to do. I set the crutches aside and sat down at the table as usual. It was strange, though. The only one there was Haruhi, and I couldn't make sense of her either. She had been silent the entire day, so I had assumed she would jump on the rumour mill as soon as she got me alone. Yet, she remained quiet.
I'm not sure how long time passed, but at some point, Haruhi sighed loudly. She rose up, went over to me and pulled out my chair while I still sat there.
"Just go visit your girlfriend already."
"She's not my—"
"Go! Before I change my mind."
Wait, now wasn't the time to deny that. She was my girlfriend, no matter how you looked at it. Old habits die hard, I suppose.
Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I've ever thanked Haruhi for anything. I've certainly never given her a hug. If the situation was any different, I might have laughed at her surprised yelp, or the way she blushed. Or if things were even more different, maybe even some other reaction. However, those were not the realities we were in now, and I rushed out as fast as I could, which wasn't very, thanks to my limping.
The less said about the painful process of making my way over to the hospital, the better. With one functioning leg, it took me a few times longer than it should have, and a lot more effort.
While I never found out where Koizumi and Asahina had been, rather than in the club room, I did find out where Nagato was. She was with Ryoko. Or as things were now, waiting at the hospital, probably for me.
"Do you know how she is?"
"Emiri Kimidori is with her right now. She can give you a full report in twenty minutes. You should not enter before that."
"Oh, I see. Say, Nagato, there's one thing I've always wanted to say to you."
"I'm grateful that you're always looking out for me. Thank you, and I'm sorry I caused you pain again. I'm in your debt."
"No. We are even. We have always been even. That is a balance you can't break."
I didn't know exactly what she meant by that, but I liked the sentiment nonetheless. I tried asking her about it, but she didn't say a word after that. I resigned myself to waiting the remaining nineteen minutes. At least I wasn't alone.
It took about an hour, if I had guessed the time myself. The clock had another opinion, though. Kimidori was inside, just as Nagato had said.
"How is she?"
There was no use in holding off on the questions.
"She's currently still paralysed. The knife you stabbed her with inhibits her normal restoration process, so her body will heal at the same rate yours would."
"How long will it take?"
"Not too long. She should be able to leave the hospital in a few days at most, when her nerves have grown together again. At the moment she's conscious, but she can't speak, as only her face is not paralysed."
I looked over at the injured girl. Her eyes were aimed at me, and she was smiling. Even if she was unable to do more than that, I felt relieved. She would be all right. Maybe not right now, but eventually. It was enough for me. I almost lifted from the ground when the weight got off my shoulders. It would be even better if I could actually speak with her, though.
I got an idea. I reached for my cellphone, but as soon as I did that, it rang. The name of the caller was Ryoko Asakura. I had to smile at that. She had the same idea I did. Or maybe she understood what I intended when I reached for the phone. I pulled out the ear plug and hooked it up.
Her voice had a slightly lower sound quality to it than it used to have, but I had never spoken with her on the phone before, despite that I've had her number for a long time now. And she obviously had mine.
She was still happy. That was easy to tell. And not the sort of selfish happiness as when she tried to kill me, but much more genuine happiness.
"I have an answer to your question from before."
"I wouldn't have liked it if you tried to kill me, but I would have liked it more than if I killed you. You gave me some first-hand experience with that."
"I'm sorry. I just couldn't think of anything else to do at the time."
"I'm the one who should be sorry. I've tried to kill you, twice now. I'm grateful that you found a better solution. If you decide you want nothing to do with me, I would understand."
"I don't know exactly what happened, and your alien friends wouldn't tell me either, but as far as I understood it, there was a program that took you over, forcing you to act like you did."
"That may be true, but I'm still the one who created it. I even erased my knowledge of it so I would be unable to lie about its existence. Everything is my fault. Kimidori and Nagato have erased all traces of that program, and searched my entire memory for any possible data that could cause me to do anything similar again. I'm clean now."
She said that almost as if she was on a meeting for recovering drug addicts. Maybe the analogy wasn't that far off either. There was one question I had to have an answer to, that I couldn't get off my mind since yesterday.
"Was everything just an act?"
"Nothing was an act. I honestly wanted to learn more about human emotions and concepts. What went wrong, or perhaps went right as you would say, was that I didn't anticipate that the emotions I learned would take over my priorities."
"I would agree with that. I'm glad you malfunctioned."
"Could you please use a different word? There is nothing wrong with me, my physical body notwithstanding. Events just did not happen as I had planned them."
Despite everything, I had to smirk at that.
"I don't think I've seen you offended before."
"I am not offended. You are just using improper terminology, and I wish to correct you."
I'm sure she would've crossed her arms if she could. As it was, she could only put on a slightly displeased frown. I decided to let her off the hook this time.
"Once you get back on your feet, what can I expect?"
"I should be back to the same standard as before the sub program executed."
"What of the restrictions?"
"They're back, and I don't want you to remove them. You may think I can't be human enough with them, but I wouldn't be human anyway, and they do add a flaw to my system. Aren't humans supposed to be flawed?"
"Frankly, I don't care if you're not human for my sake. You're you, and that's what matters."
"I'm glad. And even if I won't like it, feel free to abuse those flaws. I'm telling you that so you won't feel apprehensive about them, if you accidentally or wilfully trigger them."
"I've been wondering, do you regret writing that program?"
I hadn't, really, but I wanted to hear her say that, even if I knew what it was.
"Don't be silly. You should know what I feel by now. I've learned a lot about regret, and this is something I would never regret. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to change the way I have."
I smiled. That reminded me of many love troubles I've read about. One in the pair started a relationship on false grounds, but eventually they start feeling real love. Then, the other one finds out about those false grounds, and the entire relationship breaks down.
I'm in that situation myself now, and I can't really see why it would break the relationship down. I mean, why dig yourself into the mistakes of the past when the present holds true love, and in fact would never have existed without those mistakes?
No, there was nothing to forgive for me.
"I love you, and I don't care about what you've done against me in the past, as long as your current feelings are genuine."
"They are, and they match yours. I was surprised to fall in love with you, but I never once looked back."
I sat on the side of her bed for a long while in silence. We didn't need any words at that time. When I looked down on my cellphone, and remembered something. A picture I took in the sealed reality.
"Do you know what this means?"
I showed her what Haruhi had drawn on the ground in her old school yard.
"It means, 'I will remain here.' What's the significance of it?"
I smiled. I think Haruhi had stopped trying to run away from this world at that time, and try to live in it, no matter what faults she found in it.
"It means that the world won't end."
As if on cue, a knock on the door was followed by a girl with a wide smile and slightly red but equally smiling eyes. Haruhi.
"Hey, what are you doing here?"
"I just wanted to tell your girlfriend here something. Do you mind waiting outside?"
If she asked that nicely, I wouldn't mind.
"She can't speak at the moment. Is that a problem?"
"None at all."
I went out and waited. Kimidori was no longer there, nor was Nagato. Maybe they went home, with their job done. It didn't even take a minute until Haruhi came out of the room.
"I'm done. You can have your girlfriend back now."
"What did you tell her?"
"Ask her, if she wants to tell you."
I went inside, and Haruhi probably left. Ryoko looked, for lack of a better word, concerned. It wasn't something I was used to seeing on her face.
"Why are you biting your lip?"
"I've seen humans do it, so I was trying to see if it helped with thinking. I find that it takes up a minor amount of computing power, but at the same time, it reduces distracting thoughts."
"So, what's on your mind?"
"Did Suzumiya find out about what I really am?"
"I sort of told her that, yes."
"I was informed that it was not likely she'd believe that, even if you did say it directly, and that you had tried that before. Why do you think she believed you this time?"
"I was thinking about that too. The last time I told her, she said it couldn't be that easy. This time, it certainly hasn't been easy for her, so maybe she just has lost enough for it to be plausible to get something in return. But why do you think she believed me, anyway? She claimed she believed me, but it didn't strike me as if she truly meant that."
"She told me, 'If you ever hurt Kyon, it would be safest if you left this planet.'"
Thus ends the story. Like I was really going to kill her off. Actually, that was one of the potential plot development for a large part of the writing process, and I hadn't decided if it would end with Ryoko/Kyon, Haruhi/Kyon, or neither, until the last few chapters, even if I had plans for all of them. That decision was made by the characters, as I went with what felt the most natural once everything else was written.
I've come to the conclusion that Ryoko is a fun character to write, but also a hard one. In this fic, she developed her own personality, much thanks to spending a lot of time with Kyon. That's why her sense of humour turned out the way it did, being notably rough around the edges in the beginning, and becoming a little better later on. I also just can't see her get angry. She's much too reasonable for that, which also cuts out some potential drama. Kyon isn't much of a drama person either, which makes the swings very subdued.
Overall, I tried to develop the plot mainly with dialogue rather than with action, although there's a bit of action too, especially in the last chapter. While Kyon does spell a lot of things out, I tried to make at least some parts more subtle, or just not comment on them. Examples include which name Kyon uses for Ryoko, parts of her speech pattern, and a lot of Haruhi's development and thoughts (until fairly late, anyway).
One plot point I didn't go into much detail with was the "I just want to be human" plot many non-humans go through, usually robots or "emotionless" clones. Apparently, being themselves isn't good enough. This was one of the reasons she survived, along with that it allowed Kyon to forgive her despite several reasons speaking against it, and without the cop-out of forgiving someone who isn't there anyway (and thus can't cause any further harm).
For those of you who didn't see it coming that Ryoko survived, remember the law of conservation of detail: Don't include more than what's necessary for the plot. In the first chapter (excluding prologue), she explained exactly how to kill her, which left an obvious room for her survival. Pays to pay attention, ne?
If anyone want to discuss the story, or anything else, send me a message. I respond to all reviews with content.
/ Another Duck