Amore Ex Machina 3/3
That night, I slept soundly for the first time in ages. The constant threat of Haruhi becoming mildly irritated and destroying the entire universe were distant compared to those concerning the alien-android laying in my bed at the moment. It was nice spending time with a girl who wasn't, to put it nicely, completely insane. I'll admit Haruhi has her good points, but man, that girl could overthrow an entire nation if she put her mind to it. Scary thoughts aside, soon it would be time to make haste for North High and another day under the rule of an angry god with some twisted notions on love. Finally rising as the morning sun came beaming in through my draped window, I felt like a could conquer the world, or at least it's videogame equivalent. With a gentle nudge I attempted to, lure the odd girl lying in my bed back to the world of the living. In response she store directly into my face, a blank expression that could peel a soul from a man's body, if she wasn't so damn cute, anyway. Seeing she was wide awake I offered some words to accompany the poke, "Nagato, it's time to get up and ready for class." She replied with a complaint nod and arose from the bed still clad in her school uniform. Taking to her feet, she mad an instant beeline for my door at a speed that suggested that was something she had done before. Avoiding my usual sigh, I tried to find reason to keep her still till I was ready. "I didn't mean right now, do you expect me to go out in my pajamas?" Nagato offered her usual stoic response, gently taking a seat on my bed once again. Good, I thought, that should buy me just enough time to get ready. Quickly I raced through my morning routine, shower, change clothes, brush teeth, I managed to squeese it all into a span of 15 minutes, a new record I do belive, in order to avoid leaving Nagato by herself for long. Bad thing tend to happen when she is left to wander on her own, and my parents certainly didn't need to know I had a girl sleep over either.
In any case, soon after we both dashed out of the house soon after, holding hand as per Nagato's wishes. The scene coming home the previous night seemed to once again play it out against the set of the rising sun, people starred, gossiped and shouted as they did before. I still wonder what was so odd about me and Nagato as couple, I mean I'm a fairly normal looking guy and other then her odd hair color Nagato looks like a completely normal girl. I imagine, somehow, this is Haruhi's fault, it always was. Starring aside, the rest of the day went by uneventfully, Nagato and I didn't have any classes together, a fact that for the first time thanked the gods for. After school it was time for the usual club activity, meeting in the club room and doing nothing in particular until Haruhi came up with something insane to force upon us. Today, however things for a bit off, the door was locked and I couldn't hear any loud noises from inside the room either. In confusion I turned to find Nagato starring at a note that had been tapped to a nearby wall. In short it read "Attention all SOS Brigade members! Today's meeting will be held in the gym to set up our match making event!" The note was signed by Haruhi in a sweeping manner that would put the signature on the Deceleration of Independence to shame.
With no further words, I followed Nagato to the gym, enduring the mix of gawking and cat calls that had been the norm for the last day or so. Seriously, you'd think no one in this school had anything better then to annoy me. Upon reaching the enormous gymnasium, the familiar yelling that was absent from the club room made its return in a grand fashion, upon entering the structure was instantly bombarded by Haruhi speaking via the gym's PA system. I will save you the excruciating details of the audio assault, but her voice at that volume was akin to having the sound of nails on a chalkboard mixed with that of someone chewing on tinfoil, then blasted at a volume that could be heard in space. However, despite the volume, Haruhi's message came across loud and clear. "Your late, you slackers! Next time we go out, you two are responsible for buying everyone lunch! Now down to business." She lept from the state, microphone still in hand, and strode to mine and Nagato's postion, an wry smile on her face. My face again found home in my palm, nothing good ever came of that smile. "Well, you guys' little fake romance seemed pique interest in our little event, It's all anyone's talking about! You two are practically famous! But don't worry, you won't have to put up this charade much longer, I moved the speed dating up to this afternoon!" Of course Haruhi never consulted us about any of us, but at least people would stop starring. As I breathed a sigh of relief about the whole matter coming to an end, I noticed the opposite reaction in the purple haired android beside me. Her expression seemed blank, but her eyes told another story, she was clearly upset about the matter. Was she sad about not seeing me outside of the club or... Words escaped me a single thought wormed it's way into my brain again, the about actually dating Nagato beyond Haruhi's little plot... I pounded my head in frustration in an attempt to beat the thought out of my head, absolutely nothing good would happen from pursing a romance with Nagato. I eventually resigned the thought to the dark part of my brain where other discarded thoughty lie, most of them involving girls I know that aren't Haruhi, and resigned my self to enjoying what I had for the next few hours. I took the lead and laced my fingers with Nagato's of my own will for the first time, an action that seemed to restore a bit of hope to the poor android's face. Haruhi instantly took notice of my sleight of hand, offering unwanted commentary and she usually did. "Good! If you can keep up that level of contact till the speed dating is over and we should be rolling in cash!" Oh Haruhi, why can't you be excited about something that doesn't involve throwing me into the pit...
In an hour or so the the event came to pass, Haruhi took a seat on an elevated chair, barking out orders like a lifeguard mixed with some kind of dictator, Koizumi acted as host, spouting schmaltzy commentary between "dates", and Mikuru once again donned her all to alluring maid-outfit to serve our "guests" cheap tea and crackers. What of myself and Nagato? Well we were placed at a table center stage, posed as examples of the great match making potential of the SOS Brigade. I felt like King Kong on the stage in New York, paraded out as some kind of performing animal for the amusement of a insane promoter... You know, I'll drop that metaphor for now, but the event had a small turn out, about 20 people or so, more then enough to satisfy our chief , at least for the time being. Then as the nights climax, another act was required of myself and Nagato. Haruhi, from her perch on high, again yelled to the crowd announced the the night's finally was at hand. "Ladies and gentlemen! I hope you all found that special someone tonight! I know our own Kyon has! Kyon, give your girl a nice big kiss on the lips, we'll all be waiting!" She had gone to far this time... But, there was nothing I could do. I couldn't ruin this for Haruhi and risk another grey space opening somewhere. I did what anyone in my postion would and leaned over the table and towards my alleged date and did my best impression at a romantic kiss, but instead manged to make a fool of myself, again, falling over the table face first into Yuki.
A kiss did come of the incident, though it was ugly and resulted in uproarious laughter rather then coos of "awwww". I had never been so embarrassed in my life, with a crimson wave rolling over my face, I imagine this was somehow Haruhi's fult, I could imagine her wanting to give the crowd a show to go with their stale food or something to that awful effect. I quickly turned my head from the roaring crowd to my partner sitting on the other side of the table. I hoped with my whole heart, I didn't hurt or embarrass her with the mess I caused. I was relived at the truth of what I saw, she almost seemed to be blushing. Though I was probably projecting more then a bit, at least she wasn't sad or angry. Soon after the gym emptied, leaving the Brigade alone upon the stage without fanfare. Haruhi seemed happy with herself save for a small gripe with my little performance. "Did you literally have to go head over heels for Yuki? I mean it's not like you guys are actually a couple or anything, right?" She looked to me for a response and would only accept a very specific answer. "
" Of course not, Haruhi, I was just going along with your plan." That wasn't the first time I lied to Haruhi, but in the end, it turned out to be the most important. Haruhi quickly went back to celebrating the fact that one of her plans for once, while I took the moment of being out of god's ever watching eye to plant a small kiss on Nagato's cheek. I swear, that for hours after that little, kiss she was actually smiling. But then again, I could just be projecting again...