Gosh, it's like I have a new pairing every time I update. xD That's unintentional, really. Pay it no mind.

Disclaimer: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeepppp no ownership here.

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Maybes

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It was hot.

Yuki usually didn't seem to mind the heat, but even she was hot today. She didn't look up from her book when a groan entered the room. Kyon stumbled in and plopped himself down at the table.

"Man, it's hot," he panted, forgoing his usual "Hello." He didn't expect a reply - after all, he had simply stated a fact - so he was mildly surprised when his companion answered with a monotonous "Yes." He turned to look over at her. "So even you're hot, huh, Nagato? Jeez, you'd think we'd have a fan or something for days like this... Wait, didn't we used to have one? What happened to that thing?"

Right on cue, a buzzing went off in his pants pocket. He pulled his cell phone out, not even bothering to look at the caller ID, and flipped it open. "Hello?"

"Kyon!" It was, of course, Suzumiya Haruhi herself. "I need you to go pick up an electric fan for the club room!"

Kyon sighed exasperatedly. "What? It's gotta be over 35 degrees out!* There's no way I'm going out to get a fan. What happened to the other one we had?"

There was a slurping sound on the other line. "It broke."

Of course he shouldn't have expected a serious answer. "Well, why can't you go get one?" Stupid question, he knew, but he couldn't help it from coming out of his mouth.

"Mikuru, Koizumi, and I met up on the way to the club room and stopped for lemonade. We're on our way there now, so obviously we can't get it! Besides, it's for the good of the whole Brigade! What's one little trip to the store compared with an eternity of a sweltering club room? You're so selfish, Kyon!"

He rubbed his temple and groaned. There really was no arguing with her. "Fine. But what about Nagato? I don't want to just leave her he-"

"Oh, Yuki's there? Good, take her with you! She'll probably pick out a better fan than you. You'd just pick something cheap. Okay, see you back at the room!"

Click.

Kyon sighed again and shut his phone. "Well," he said, turning to Yuki, who hadn't looked up from her book, "looks like we're going out to buy a fan."

Yuki looked up. "We?"

"Yep. Queen Haruhi wants you to come, too. Sorry, it's kind of my fault for saying something... You can stay here, if you want. I'll cover for you."

After looking at Kyon for a few moments, Yuki stood up, sliding a bookmark onto her page and setting the book down. "If Suzumiya requests my presence, I will go."

"Are you sure? I mean, it's really hot out there."

Yuki simply nodded. "Okay," Kyon said, somewhat reluctantly. He supposed that he'd never really seen Yuki bothered by hot weather anyway, so maybe it would be fine. He headed out the door, Yuki in tow, and they started towards the appliance store.

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Not only was it hot, it was humid. Between his own sweat and the abundance of moisture in the air, Kyon's clothes were plastered to his skin. He waved the bottom of his shirt around, trying to force some air under the fabric.

"So Nagato," he said, prompting her to turn her head oh-so-slightly in his direction, "don't you have some sort of air conditioning or cooling program? I'm sure that would be handy right now." He was half-joking, but somewhat curious, too. Yuki shook her head.

"I have no such program."

"Huh." Kyon looked up at the sky, squinting at the bright clouds. "Oh," he said, looking back at her smooth, sweat-free skin, "but you don't sweat, right?"

Again, she shook her head. "No. I do not perspire."

"Then how is it that you keep cool?"

"When my internal temperature increases, there is no method of lowering it other than to move to a cooler environment. If my temperature grows to be too high, I will overheat and temporarily shut down until a cooler environment is achieved."

"Ahh, I see."

Pause.

"... Wait, what?" Kyon came to an abrupt halt, Yuki stopping a few steps ahead of him. "You're saying that if you get too hot, you'll shut down, just like that?"

"That is correct."

Kyon began to panic. What would he do if that happened? Carry her to the nearest place to lay down? Maybe bring her back to the club room? That was so far away, though, and even though she probably didn't weigh much, it would be brutal in this heat... Not to mention that more a few questions would probably be asked... He could just say that she passed out from the heat, but that might lead to even more complications...

"Well, we can't have that happening," he concluded, trying to think of a way to keep Yuki cool. "There's got to be something we can do... An umbrella? That would kind of be a pain to carry around, I suppose... A hat?" He looked down the road and grinned triumphantly as a hat shop came into view.

"Come on. I'll buy you a hat. That way, at least you'll be a little shaded."

"That is not necessary. I have not yet reached my maximum temperature."

"Yeah, but a hat will keep you cool so you don't ever reach it. Hopefully."

When Yuki hesitated, Kyon tried a different approach. "Think of it as a gift."

"A... Gift?"

"Yeah. I want to buy you a hat, so you should take it, right?"

Yuki paused, contemplating this. Finally, she agreed. "A gift is unnecessary, but appropriate in this situation. The hat will... Be a gift."

Kyon smiled, deciding not to ask what kind of situation "this situation" was. "Good. Okay, the store's just down there." He involuntarily grabbed her hand and began walking. When he took a few steps, though, he realized that she wasn't following him. He looked back to see that she hadn't moved; she was staring at his hand, which was still clasped around her own. Blushing a little, Kyon quickly removed it.

"Sorry about that," he chuckled a bit nervously. He then turned to start walking again, and Yuki followed beside him.

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It was a hat store, indeed. There were hats everywhere, hanging from and displayed on every feasible surface.

"So," Kyon asked, marveling at all the hats himself, "which one do you like?"

Yuki stared around at the vast selection, but her expression didn't change. "I do not have a preference."

"Come on," Kyon said, looking the girl in the eye. "You really don't like one color or style more than another?" Yuki shook her head, and he sighed. "I guess I'll just have to pick one out for you... I'm not really good at this sort of thing." Even as he said that, though, he imagined Yuki in a hat with kitty ears on it. It was such a cute image that he was nearly tempted to look for such a hat, but he quickly remembered that the purpose was supposed to be to shade her, not to make her look really cute.

As he browsed the shelves, a sun hat came to mind, and he pulled out the first one he saw. It was light and broad, but kind of floppy, too. There was a simple white ribbon circling the straw, and a white flower was perched at the side. Actually, it seemed to suit Yuki quite well.

He brought it over to her and settled it on her head. "Wow, it looks really cute on you, Nagato."

It did. The golden straw complemented the caramel of her glossy eyes, and even though she was still in her school uniform, Kyon imagined her wearing a flowy white sundress that matched the hat's elegant design. He was pulled from his thoughts as the model moved to look in a mirror.

"It is... Cute?"

"Yes! Very!"

The shop owner moseyed over to them, watching as Yuki poked the hat's flower. "Kid's right," he grinned. "Looks real good on you. I'll even give you a discount 'cause you look so nice." He winked at Kyon, who smiled awkwardly before turning back to Yuki. "Well, Nagato? What do you say? Do you like it?"

Yuki continued to poke the flower. "I have no opinion. If you like it, then you should buy it. It is a gift."

Kyon laughed a little and took out his wallet. "Right, then. We'll take it."

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He smiled as they left the store. "Man, that shopkeeper was kind of creepy, but we got a good discount! Good thing you're so cute, Nagato!" He then blushed a little, because that had come out kind of wrong (Or had it?), but Yuki was still busy with the flower atop her head. Kyon smiled sheepishly, thankful for no reaction. He couldn't help thinking that she looked extra cute right now, though, as she walked and poked away at the hat. It was funny how she was so fascinated (Was that even the word for it?) by little things like that; sort of like a child.

"Anyway," he continued, moving his eyes ahead to the street, "now you'll stay nice and cool."

He checked his watch. They hadn't taken up too much time at the hat store, luckily; Haruhi would have his head if they weren't back before long. The two made their way to the appliance store, which happened to be pretty close. Kyon picked out a big stainless-steel fan, but Yuki pointed to the same one in white. He wondered if that was her favorite color, if she even had one, which she probably didn't. Either way, they bought the white fan and prepared to lug it back to the club room.

Thankfully, the fan wasn't too terribly heavy, and the walk back wasn't too bad. Kyon supposed that maybe he had just grown used to doing Haruhi's dirty work, which, he reasoned, was a bit pathetic, but helpful at this particular moment.

When they reached the club room, the Exalted Ruler herself pounced on them immediately. Mikuru attempted a civilized greeting, but Haruhi quickly cut her off. She bolted up from her chair the moment the door opened.

"You two are late! Death penalty!" She hopped over to inspect the fan. "Jeez, you couldn't have gotten something bigger? This little thing's not gonna cool us all off!" Then she looked up at Yuki. "Yuki, where'd you get that hat? I don't think I've ever seen you wear one before."

"It is a gift." Yuki touched the flower and looked up at Kyon, who smiled back. Before he could respond, though, Haruhi had lost interest and was pulling the fan toward the center of the room.

"There!" she exclaimed, switching it on. The air felt heavenly, and the room seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. After that, everyone just sort of vegetated in various ways, enjoying the bliss of the new fan. A game of Othello was played (followed by Kyon nearly punching Koizumi for suggesting that the winner get a special prize from one of the girls), Mikuru made iced tea for everyone, Haruhi typed up some new "adventures" for the Brigade to embark on over the next few days, and Yuki sat in her corner and read a book, presumably some obscure Sci-Fi novel. Haruhi didn't even force Mikuru into any ridiculous outfits; she declared that it was too hot to dress her up today.

Eventually, the members each began to pack up their things. Haruhi was the first to leave, followed by Itsuki, Mikuru, and Yuki. Their wonderful leader had left a nice pile of papers scattered across the computer desk, so Kyon resigned himself to tidying them up before leaving. He was just about finished when the club room door opened and Yuki walked back in.

"Oh, Nagato. What are you doing back here? Did you forget something?"

The alien said nothing, but closed the door behind her and made her way over to him. She hadn't taken her hat off all afternoon, and it was still perched upon her lavender head, casting a dim shadow over her features.

"Thank... You."

Kyon straightened up to look at her. "Oh, for the hat? No problem. I'm glad you like it."

Yuki brought her hand up to touch the white flower again, her gaze never leaving Kyon. The boy had heaved his bag onto his shoulder, readying to go. As he walked around her, she grabbed his hand, catching him by surprise. He blushed a little as he turned to look at her.

"Yes? Is there something else?"

She wasn't looking at him anymore, though. Instead, her gaze was now fixed intently at their hands. She looked down at them as if she was trying to analyze something about them, or engrave the image in her memory; it was one of those kinds of stares.

After a while, she let go of Kyon's hand, then abruptly held onto it again.

"Umm..." He really didn't know what to do at the moment, so he just continued talking. "Are you going home, Nagato?"

Nod.

"Would you like to walk home together?"

Nod.

And so, the two exited the club room holding hands. When they arrived at Yuki's apartment, they stood at the gate for a few moments as Yuki looked at their hands like she had back at the club room. She let go of Kyon's hand for good this time, and then looked up at his face.

"... Goodbye."

"Uhh, yeah. See you."

Without another word, the girl turned and disappeared into the apartment complex. Kyon stared after her for a while, mulling over her actions. He smiled. He would never really understand her, but that was okay; it was more interesting that way, anyway. Maybe that's how Haruhi felt.

Or maybe not.

He turned and walked home by himself. In the back of his mind, he noted that his hands suddenly felt decidedly empty, but he dismissed the thought from his head and focused on how nice the sunset was this afternoon.

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The next day, he entered the club room to find Yuki sitting in the corner, wearing the hat that he had bought for her. He couldn't help but smile when she actually graced him with acknowledgement in the form of lifting her head to look at him. Maybe he'd walk her home again today.

Or maybe not.

xXxXxXx

* 35 degrees Celsius. About 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

You'll get sick of my fluff sooner or later, ah haha. That is, if you haven't already. Anyway, reviews are very welcome. Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed~