NOTE: This was originally a one-shot, so I've kept the text the way it was down below. Info on the fic as a whole is at the start of Chapter 2. Oh, and here's the info that goes at the top of all the other chapters:
Loop 10,356: "I love you."
Main Characters: Kyon, Yuki, a bit of Haruhi
Other Info, Spoilers, etc: Spoilers for Disappearance.
All right, so here we go, another Yuki centric one-shot, written spur of the moment. Not sure why, but after watching the movie, I've been in a Nagato mood I guess. Speaking of the movie, this fic doesn't explicitly spoil anything other than the premise, but you might be able to deduce some things about it so I'd be careful. Also, you'll probably get a lot more apreciation out of this if you have seen/read Disappearance, but it's not required. Other than that, you'll want to have watched up to Endless Eight of the anime. It was inspired by the Wild Mass Guessing page on TvTropes that during one of the endless recursions of time, Yuki gets fed up and does... something. Well, this is that something and yes... this is an Endless Eight fanfic (The horror, I know).
Pairing wise, this, like Uncertainty, could be either Kyon/Yuki friendship or romance depending on your point of view. Also, there are hints of Kyon/Haruhi as well. Now without adieu, here we go!
"Well, I guess we've finished the list." Haruhi said, crossing off the final item of our summer to-do list and taking a sip of her drink. Then, she paused and looked back at the sheet. "I wonder if this was enough?" I shuddered slightly, but the girl didn't notice. Enough? I highly doubt it. Haruhi sighed. "But I guess that's about it. Hey, is there anything else you want to do?" She asked us. I quickly looked around the table as well. Asahina-san looked close to crying, Koizumi was smiling as usual, but his eyes betrayed a worried look. Even Nagato wasn't acting normal, displaying that same bored expression she'd had the past two weeks. I clenched my fists in my lap.
Haruhi Suzumiya, however, has the special talent of being completely oblivious to the feelings of those around her, especially if they are dissenting opinions. At our lack of responses, she continued, folding the paper and putting it away in her bag. "Well, that's okay. We got to do a lot of things this summer, so I guess that's enough."
No it isn't! You're still not satisfied yet, are you?
She interrupted my thoughts by sliding the bill to me, saying "That's all for today. I had tomorrow set aside just in case, but feel free to stay home and rest if you want. We'll meet in the clubroom day after tomorrow." She smiled, waved, and began to walk out of the cafe. She really gave off the image of a normal, content high school girl.
As if. Haruhi is not normal, and she's not content eithe-
Then I felt it. The feeling I'd felt thousands of times: That feeling of deja-vu, more powerful than ever before. As I looked at Haruhi's back, I felt as though I'd witnessed this scene over ten thousand times. And, if Nagato, who said this was the 10,356th loop, was to be believed, I had. Time seemed to slow down as I began to spring to my feet. I couldn't let her go here. If I let her go, we'd just repeat these same two weeks over and over again. I had to do something!
But what? I'd failed to stop Haruhi from leaving thousands of times already. Which means I had to have tried whatever made sense at the time. But that wouldn't work. The fact that I'm here now, experiencing this deja-vu is proof that all logical actions would fail. I need to come up with something I'd never do in a million years! That's my only chance! But what should I do? I'll try anything!
"Why don't we try this? Embrace Suzumiya-san from behind and whisper 'I love you' into her ear?"
Dammit Koizumi! Of all the times for me to remember that stupid joke! I'd never do that in a million years!
Which, of course, means that I did just that. By now I had reached my feet. "Haruhi!" I shouted. My adrenaline was pumping at the thought of this desperate act as I reached Haruhi, grabbed her, and spun her around to face me. Maybe I had too much adrenaline, as I did so rather roughly too. It was too late to have doubts now, though. I looked into Haruhi's eyes, and the girl looked about as shocked as that time in closed space. This was just like that, another stupid act I would have to perform to ensure the safety of the world.
"Haruhi... I love you."
In all honesty, I'm pretty proud of how I said it. Sure, the 'embrace' Koizumi had suggested was rather unceremonious, but my one line was delivered with a sincere expression and lacking my usual irritated tone. If professing my love would ever end the loop, I'm sure it would be now.
Haruhi silently looked back at me with a slack jaw. She was clearly just as shocked at my proclamation as I was. Her lip trembled... she was about to say something! Please be good...
"Kyon... I..." she began softly. That was a good sign. "What are you, an idiot?" Not so good. Haruhi pushed me back, and as I released my grip on her shoulders, she hit me with a fierce uppercut. Then she stormed out of the cafe.
I struggled to my feet and looked over at the rest of the SOS Brigade. Asahina-san looked just as shocked, if not more so than Haruhi was, Koizumi's eyes were wide, but his annoying smile was also wider than ever. (Damned esper!) and even Nagato looked like she might be surprised. After all, this was the first time she had displayed her usual emotionless expression in two weeks. I guess I really had never done this in the previous loops. I looked around and realized the entire cafe was staring at me either sympathetically or mockingly. Oh well, at least no one, not even me, will remember this in the end.
August 31st, 10:20 PM. Homework, untouched.
After my embarrasment yesterday, I couldn't bring myself to do any schoolwork all day. Not that it matters anyway. Instead, I spent the whole day playing video games with my little sister. It was a hollow sort of fun, knowing that the time loop would likely reset tomorrow, which means I wouldn't even be able to save any progress I made, but whatever. It's better than doing homework that I'll just have to do again.
I finally convinced my sister to go off to bed when my cellphone rang. Sigh... what was it this time, Haruhi? Or was it going to be Koizumi? Unlike the phone call I got two weeks ago, I did not anticipate this one at all. With the strong deja-vu all over, that alone made it interesting. What made it more interesting was who it was from. I stared at the name on the screen for a second before I answered. Since when had this person ever called me?
"Please come to my apartment."
And with a click, Nagato hung up the phone. That was strange. To my knowledge, I could count the calls I'd gotten from Nagato on one hand. Wait... had I ever gotten calls from Nagato? Her usual style would be to give me a book with a note inside, or to send me a cryptic message through a computer. Nagato had never been so direct before.
I grabbed my coat. I'm sure my parents wouldn't approve of me sneaking out, especially the day before term resumes, but if Nagato requested it, it must be important. Besides, chances are it will be August 16th again tomorrow. Ugh... I never thought I'd think of that positively after the stress it put on Nagato and Asahina-san. I wonder if I ever became a delinquent in any of the loops and just went wild knowing that my actions would have no consequences.
It wasn't long before I reached Nagato's apartment complex. I buzzed on the intercom, and like usual, Nagato let me in without a word. After a short elevator ride, I was in the girl's empty apartment. I sat down at Nagato's table, as did she. We sat in silence for a while, and I glanced at my electronic watch. 10:45... barely over an hour until midnight... I looked at the sailor-uniform clad bookworm, who stared silently back at me as usual. At least she didn't look bored anymore...
Just what was this all about?
Nagato finally spoke. "This is the first time I have performed this action in any of the time loops. Even the Data Integrated Thought Entity does not know what I am about to do."
Uh... okay. Just what's going on? Did I break the loop yesterday?
"No. The time loop will continue for 5,176 more iterations."
This surprised me. Nagato knew when the time loop would end? How?
"Three years ago, after I froze you and Mikuru Asahina in time, I was informed of an event that would take place on December 18th of this year. I synchronized with multiple versions of myself at varying points near that date and learned of the time loop."
Not only does she remember everything, but she knew when it would start? Why didn't she say anything?
"It is my function to observe." The girl said, just as she had when we first learned of the loop.
Nagato looked bored again. I guess she didn't really want to talk about the endless summer when she called me here. I wonder, though... could she synchronize with her future self now and skip the loop entirely?
"No. Now that the loop has begun, my access to the future has been cut off just as Mikuru Asahina's has."
Damn... I couldn't believe that this was going to go on for over 5,000 more times... that would be... about 595 years of summer! And Nagato would remember all of this... no wonder she wanted to do something different this time. Speaking of which... what was she going to do differently?
"I wished to tell you, that on December 18th, the world will change."
Change? Like what? Would Haruhi actually get bored enough to go through with remaking the world?
"No. The world will become entirely normal."
"Mikuru Asahina will no longer be a time traveler, Itsuki Koizumi will no longer be an esper, Haruhi Suzumiya will not be able to manipulate data and I will no longer be a humaniod interface. Additionally, the Data Integrated Thought Entity will no longer exist."
Wh-what? The whole world... normal? No more crazy trips to the past, no more classmates trying to kill me, and no more crazy adventures... no more aliens, time travellers, or espers.
"You are always complaining, and so I wished to know..." Nagato looked straight at me. "Would that make you happy?"
I couldn't think straight. Why was she telling me this?
"You will not remember this conversation due to the time loop. Therefore, telling you poses no threat to the future. Please answer the question. I wish to know if you would be happy in a normal world."
The question was coming completely out of nowhere! My life would be simpler, that's for sure. Maybe I could use my free time to focus on my studies. Or maybe I could even get a girlfriend! Imagine the look on Taniguchi's face if that happened! But would the rest of the SOS Brigade still exist?
"The individual members of the SOS Brigade will indeed exist, but as ordinary human beings."
I think I understood. If it's a predetermined event, it's not like I could change it in any case. It would probably be nice to not have to live a double life. Still, there was this nagging feeling at the back of my brain. Something just didn't feel right. Ignoring it, I looked at Nagato. "Why did you choose to tell me this time?"
""You will not remember this conversation due to the time loop. Therefore, telling you poses no threat to the future." Nagato repeated.
Yeah, yeah, I know that. By why are you telling me this time of all times?
"You did something you had never done before by telling Haruhi Suzumiya that you loved her yesterday. I wished to do something I had never done as well."
I see, Nagato... you wanted to do something different. Anything different. I know you're supposed to be an emotionless interface, but you're bored, aren't you?
Nagato's eyes half closed into the same expression she'd had these last two weeks. "I do not know. But I do greatly wish for the time loop to end."
That hit me like a ton of bricks, pardon the cliché. Nagato didn't even know that she was bored. I realized something then.
"Nagato... do you want the world to change?"
She remained silent for an unbelievable amount of time before she answered.
"The world will change regardless. It is a predetermined event. It does not matter whether I wish it or not."
That was the first time that Nagato didn't answer a question I asked her. Normally she'd be either extremely blunt or incomprehensibly wordy, but she would always give an answer.
"Nagato, why is the world going to change? Why would Haruhi want to change it?"
"It is almost midnight. There is no reason for me to explain. The world will reset soon."
I looked at my watch. 11:54. That late already? Nagato... please! Explain to me what's going on, like you always do!
"That is all." Nagato completely ignored me and rose to her feet.
Fine then. I got up as well and headed for the door. It didn't matter either way. I couldn't even get home on time. I was slipping on my shoes when I heard Nagato say softly,
"Would you say it to me?"
Huh? Say what?
"What you said to Haruhi Suzumiya yesterday in the cafe."
That came out of nowhere. "Uh... okay, I guess... I love you..."
Nagato shook her head a few centimeters to each side. "Like you said to Haruhi Suzumiya."
I'm sure if Taniguchi was here, he'd be laughing his butt off. He'd probably even take a snapshot of the stupid expression I was bound to be making. Still, Nagato had saved my life countless times. If I could say it to Haruhi, who spends every day tormenting the SOS Brigade, I could say it to Nagato, who is always protecting us.
"Nagato... I love you."
Nagato stared at me for a time and then finally responded. "I see. I thank you."
Nagato... you can call me Kyon if you want. You don't need to always call me 'you.'
"I see. Thank you, Kyon."
But now I have to ask... "Why did you want me to say that?" Could it be possible that she was in love with me? No... that couldn't be it. This was Nagato we're talking about!
"I was curious." Nagato responded. Then, so soft, it was barely distinguishable "I wished to know what if felt like to be loved. To be normal." She displayed the bored look she had been... no... that wasn't boredom. I think it was sadness. She had been sad this whole time. Of course she had... these endless loops would leave anyone in despair.
Then I realized. Nagato, you are developing emotions, aren't you? That's what all of this is about, isn't it? You saw me tell Haruhi I loved her and you wanted to know what that meant! I honestly had no idea if Nagato was legitimately in love with me or if she just couldn't understand her emotions yet, but still... Nagato, you do want the world to change, don't you?
I wanted to grab Nagato, I wanted to shout "Nagato! You're not just an alien to me! And you're not just an alien to the rest of the SOS Brigade either! You're our friend and we care about you! It wouldn't matter if you were an alien, or a robot, or a ghost or whatever! And Nagato, the fact that you're bored, the fact that you wanted to do something different with no prompting from your boss proves you've got both emotions and free will. Those are the two things that are needed to be human, and you have them! Nagato, the world doesn't need to change for you to be normal, you've already got everything you need for that!"
I wanted to shout that, and I even started to. "Nagato! You're not-"
And then my watch beeped. Midnight.
Something was wrong. That's what my gut was telling me.
This morning, Haruhi called me on my cell phone and told me to meet at the usual spot with my bike, swimsuit, and plenty of money. Why is it I've felt I've done this before?
Of course, I was the last one to arrive, but Asahina-san mentioned that she had only just gotten here herself. Oh well, I guess I'll take the penalty if it means Asahina-san doesn't have to. A noble sacrifice, I should say.
I won't bore you with the details, but Haruhi decided we'd race to the pool on our bikes. However, only Koizumi and I actually brought ours. So, while Koizumi got to elegantly transport Asahina-san to the pool, I was stuck chauffeuring both Nagato and Haruhi. Needless to say, by the time we reached the pool, I was exhausted.
"I can't believe you lost, Kyon! As punishment, you'll be paying our lunch bills for the rest of summer!" Haruhi berated me when we arrived, but she ran to the dressing rooms before I could give a proper retort. Besides, I'd probably end up paying regardless of if I won or not.
"That girl... Not so much as a thank you..."
Nagato must have overheard me grumbling, because she turned to me said, surprisingly spontaneously, "Thank you, Kyon."
Huh? Since when do you call me that? I don't think you've ever called me by that name before. Or any name really.
Nagato lowered her gaze. She almost looked sad, but she was probably just bored with all of Haruhi's stupid stunts. I know I was. "Never mind."
For the rest of the day, Nagato didn't say another word.
I wonder what's with me and writing these spontaneous Haruhi one-shots at midnight? Or, I guess more specifically, Nagato one-shots? And interestingly, despite the L-word (hint: it's love!) getting thrown around, I feel it's pretty ambiguous as to whether this seriously addresses any pairings. Makes sense, I suppose, since after seeing the movie I'm seriously torn between Kyon/Yuki and Kyon/Haruhi... Ah well, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
This time I tried writing similarly to the light novels, which are also narrated by Kyon, but also contain Nagaru Tanigawa's odd habit of putting almost nothing Kyon says in quotation marks. Like in the anime, where you often can't tell if Kyon is narrating or talking, the books do so as well, and much more frequently (Also, Nagaru Tanigawa loves using "elegant" to describe Koizumi all the time for some reason).
This was more negative than my usual fanfics, but it was tough to prevent Kyon from doing anything that would go against the rest of the series. Especially in regards to Yuki. And since Yuki and Kyon get the majority of their development in Disappearance, I had to try to reflect that. Either way, I hope you enjoyed it, and please review!