Disclaimer: I do not own Haruhi Suzumiya or anything related.
A/N: I'm going to post this now, instead of tomorrow since I will be busy with work as concert marshal.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! (Single's Awareness Day in my case, :P)
I feel really nervous just writing this chapter. I'm not used to writing for Yuki Nagato. I hope I do a good job with it.
By the way, the timeline in this chapter is in anachronic order.
Two stories about wondering what lies beyond the vast sky. Two-shot: Alternate (ItsuHaru) and Alternate (YukiKyon)
Chapter 2: The Stars are Out Tonight
Space is a vast place. And though we only see a part of it, we fall in love with its mystery and its beauty.
"Don't mind it. Nagato-san, is it?" the boy replied. "It was nice to meet you."
He waved back at her and got on his bike.
"Um… please wait."
She tugged lightly at his sleeve.
He couldn't leave her now just like that, can he?
She had always been watching him from afar.
"Oi, Taniguchi, what's with the smug tone?"
"Nothing much… nothing much… Say, where did you go for Golden Week?"
Clutching her books, she hurriedly walked her daily trek uphill to school.
How long has it been since she had first seen him? She noticed him during the opening ceremony. He seemed like an ordinary boy, nothing interesting about him, just your plain old Average Joe.
Yuki Nagato wasn't the type to pique an interest on boys. Period. She was more attuned to enjoy a good novel rather than worry about species of subnormal intellect.
Not that this particular boy was one, she thought. He just happens to be surrounded by specimen belonging to that phylum.
They called him Kyon, which she assumed must be his nickname. A very childish nickname, indeed. Listening in on their conversation never yielded this boy's name.
Perhaps his real name was something which suited him more than Kyon, she thought, as she made her way to class.
She sat at the back of the class, where she always felt comfortable. Pulling up a chair, she plopped one of her books open, and continued to read where she left off last night.
"Yuki-chan!" came a voice from the door.
She looked up, and greeting her was a blue-haired young girl with a very gentle smile. It was none other than Ryoko Asakura, her neighbor.
"Asakura-san." Yuki whispered.
"Well, I just came by to bring you your bento. You forgot to bring one today again." She whimpered. "I understand you love to study a lot, but you need to take care of yourself too!"
"Well, I have to get back to class now, Yuki-chan! See you at lunch!"
"Miss, I need to see your library card before you could take that book out."
She didn't know that was how it worked. She thought that the school ID was enough to borrow a book from the public library. She backed off from the counter, clutching the book tightly, shyly planning to return the book back to the shelf.
"Sir, I'd like to borrow this book." Said a familiar voice beside her.
"Sure, please give me your library card."
Her eyes watched his every move. She watched intently as he took out his wallet and handed a small plastic card to the librarian.
She read the name on the card, letting out an involuntary gasp of surprise.
"Hmm?" he looked around.
She quickly covered her mouth in surprise. Her face was scarlet as he looked at her.
"Hey, aren't you a friend of Ryoko Asakura's?"
"Y-yes." She said, hiding her face from under the book.
"What's your name again?"
"Nagato. Yuki Nagato."
"Ah, yes, I always hear about you from Asakura-san. It's nice to finally meet you, Nagato-san."
"Just call me… Nagato… Nice to meet you too."
"Huh? Are you going to borrow that book?"
"Do you have a library card?"
She shook her head.
"Why don't we get you one?"
She looked up.
"Here, I'll help you." He smiled at her. "By the way, my name is---"
She didn't need to hear his name. She knew it by heart. In her opinion, his name suited him more than his nickname.
"Hey, will you ever get your face off that book?"
It was lunch time. Yuki and Ryoko were seated outside, on a small patio, eating their bentos.
"So, have you made any other new friends?"
She shook her head.
"I know! I'll introduce you to people from my class!" Ryoko said, closing Yuki's book. "Let's see… How about Taniguchi-san! He's a very outgoing boy, he'll get you to come out of your shell!"
Taniguchi? Yuki could not see herself having a good conversation with such a person. She thought that he might be a bit too raucous for her company.
Without thinking, she clutched the book closer to her chest and hung her head low. Ryoko took that as a sign of disapproval.
"You don't like Taniguchi? I guess you'd go for someone more… refined." Ryoko pondered. "Kunikida-san is a very polite boy, I'd say. You two will hit it off!"
Kunikida wasn't at all that bad, Yuki thought.
"So, I'll introduce you to Kunikida?"
Before Yuki could say anything, her eyes widened as she looked up.
"Stupid Taniguchi, getting me all wet with that stupid prank!"
It was him.
He was, no doubt, disgruntled. His uniform was wet with what looked like soda. He took off his blue green coat and tried to dry it off. Apparently, he did not notice the two girls sitting opposite him.
Yuki's face blushed pink. He looked like he had strong arms. His hair had a different glow when he shook the soda off them. Realizing she was staring a bit too long at the boy, she hid her face beneath the book she was clutching.
Ryoko smiled. This was the first time she ever saw Yuki make such an interesting face.
"So, I see… You don't like Taniguchi or Kunikida…" Ryoko said, as soon as the boy got away. "…because you're interested in Kyon."
"Don't worry about that, Yuki!" Ryoko smiled. "I'll get him to notice you!"
"No, i-it's not like that…"
"Not like what? Hmm?" Ryoko said, grinning.
"Nevermind…" Yuki muttered.
"Here, I'll give you a ride home." He motioned for his bike.
She clutched him tightly as they went past town. The street lights glimmered past them, and the wind blew gently. She watched as his hair swayed softly against the breeze.
"Are you scared?" he said. "Don't worry, I'll slow down."
"I saw you before." She whispered.
"I saw you before, on the first day, walking uphill to school."
"Really? Wow, I'm glad that you recognize me after all this time."
He stopped the bike halfway up a bridge.
"I hope you don't mind, but I really like to stay for a while on this spot." He said. "I'd like to show you too what makes this spot so special."
He pointed towards the sky. There were at most twelve stars scattered in the sky.
"See those stars? I love seeing them on peaceful nights like these."
"Pollution makes it hard for us to see all of them." She whispered.
"Yeah. Glad that there are a lot more than the usual tonight. Well, you know, when I was younger, I wished some alien would take me up to see those stars up close."
His face suddenly became somber.
"But that never happened. I learned in class that stars were nothing more than burning balls of gas, not the diamonds of the sky I used to think of them as."
"Do you think there's another universe out there? Do you think there are others like us?"
"I've always assumed that there were." She muttered. "Though there has been no substantial proof."
She looked around. The night was peaceful as he said it was, the river beneath them was as still and as clear as glass. The night sky was reflected on its surface.
She counted the stars reflected on the water's surface. One, two, three…
…four, five, six…
That's odd. There was a good twenty of them reflected on the water.
"There are twenty." She said, pointing to the water.
"What?" he said, looking down to where she was pointing. "You're right! But where did the others come from?"
They didn't need to look for the answer, as one came fluttering past them.
"Fireflies!" Kyon exclaimed. "It's been a long time since I've seen one of those!"
"Why not get him to join the Literary Club?"
Ryoko Asakura asked a scarlet-pink Yuki Nagato as she poured a cup of tea.
"I don't know…" Yuki muttered. "Do you think he'll join?"
"Well, truth be told, I don't know if he likes books…"
Yuki buried her face in the pillow she was holding.
"But, Yuki, maybe he will. You saw him in the library the other day, didn't you?" Asakura winked. "Wow, I didn't realize it was that late! Get a good night's rest, and I wish you the best! Sweet dreams, Yuki-chan!"
She made her way outside Yuki's apartment.
He stood in the doorway, not knowing what to say.
She stood in front of him, trying to maintain her composure.
He handed her a piece of paper.
She unfolded it. She read it silently, and knew what it was.
He smiled at her. Her cheeks glowed with a faint shade of pink. Her eyes glowed with happiness. And for the first time since a long time, she smiled.
She stepped aside to let him inside the clubroom.
To her, he was not just an ordinary human being. He may be plain, but Yuki Nagato was sure, he was someone special.
A/N: Whew! That's it! Jaa! : )