Disclaimer: I do not own Suzumiya Haruhi or any of its characters. Well, that's it, are you expecting some more? =P
Warning: crack ahead (probably, I'm not the best judge).
"What did you say?" Kyon asked with disbelief etched onto his face. As always, this expression was directed at the living hurricane known as Suzumiya Haruhi.
"Don't act like you didn't hear me, Kyon! I said we are going to form a band!" The girl seated behind him irritably replied.
"Haruhi, we're in our final year. There isn't time for creating a band and still passing entrance exams." The boy feebly protested, knowing any of his objections would be overruled. That, at least, never changed.
"You're too lazy, Kyon! Any good brigade member can easily handle this much and more!" Haruhi argued, her volume making the boy wince and wonder if anyone had located a way to get people to be quieter. "Besides, there's no backing out now, I've already found instruments!"
"Do you remember ENOZ? They broke up after the car incident that was in the news a few weeks ago and put their instruments for sale online. As a favour, they're willing to give me a discount if I buy everything." Haruhi explained, reminding Kyon of the cultural festival in their first year and Haruhi's idea to form a band to take part in the next year. He had thought that she had forgotten about it.
"Have you actually paid them for the instruments?" Kyon asked, feeling an impending doom descending upon his wallet. For Haruhi to actually pay for something beforehand seemed unlikely, let alone to buy a mass of instruments she would likely tire of after only a few days.
"Not yet." Haruhi reluctantly admitted. "But if all five of us pay part of it we'll be sure to have enough!"
An uncomfortable silence descended as the boy processed this latest statement. All… five of them? "You can't mean that you're dragging Asahina-san into this! She has more important things to do right now!"
"Moving on to another stage of education is not an excuse or method to leave the SOS Brigade! Even if it was, I would still go and find Mikuru-chan and get her to join. There's no better stage decoration and singer, Kyon!" The girl asserted.
"If Asahina-san is singing, then what is everyone else doing?" Kyon asked with morbid fascination at what terrible fate the energetic girl behind him had assigned.
"I'm the lead singer, Yuki-chan is lead guitar, you're playing bass, and Koizumi-kun is on drums." Was Haruhi's reply. "I'll play guitar with Yuki-chan if necessary."
"I have no idea how to play any type of guitar." Kyon objected.
"You'll just have to learn as we go along."
"We have nowhere suitable to practice. The clubroom doesn't have the space and the noise would bring the student council down on us again."
Haruhi opened her mouth to counter before being cut short by Okabe. "Suzumiya-san, Kyon-san, unless you wish to share your discussion with the rest of the class, please be silent. Homeroom has started."
Haruhi chose to stare out of the window at the spring landscape, tuning out all distractions, whilst the boy in front of her made an attempt to pay attention to the list of increasingly inconsequential notices the teacher was reading out.
Everyone but Haruhi beat Kyon to the clubroom. Mikuru's presence wasn't particularly surprising given how she knew what was necessary to ensure that her future came about. The green-haired girl beside her was completely inexplicable, however. What reason did Tsuruya-san for being present?
"Afternoons, Kyon-kun!" The energetic girl greeted.
"Good afternoon, Tsuruya-san. What brings you here?" Kyon politely asked as he took his usual seat and examined the game Koizumi had selected for them. Othello, how nostalgic.
"Mikuru-chan mentioned she was coming to sees Haru-nyan and everyone todays." Tsuruya answered, moving her chair closer to Koizumi's and helping him not lose every game. Her outfit reminded Kyon of a character from an anime he had watched once, all the older girl was lacking was an airgun in a holster.
"Thank you, Asahina-san." The boy said before being echoed by everyone else receiving a cup of tea. A glance at the girl serving them showed an outfit suspiciously similar to the one her older self had worn every time she came back in time.
"I do believe that I have won." Koizumi declared as he took advantage of Kyon's momentary distraction to place the deciding piece on the board. His opponent looked back at the game to discover his position was irreparable with only one move open to him and that one concluding the game with the esper as the victor.
Peace filled the room like some invisible balloon created from ridiculous similes as Mikuru joined Kyon to even the sides and Nagato continued typing something on a laptop by the window. The peace was popped when the door was exuberantly thrown back and nearly bounced right into the face of the person entering.
"I had to check something." Haruhi offered as way of apology for her tardiness. It was better than the complete lack of explanation that defined the beginning of the brigade's existence, though.
The girl momentarily stood with her mouth hanging open like a goldfish's upon noticing the two ex-highschool students before continuing as if their presence was nothing out of the ordinary, even if it was conveniently timed.
Kyon waited for the inevitable announcement about Haruhi's plans to form a band. He had been hoping that the girl would have changed her mind by now but her reaction to the busty girl's presence showed that obviously wasn't the case.
Now seated, Haruhi explained her idea to the assembled SOS Brigade. Nagato continued typing without any outward signs of listening, Koizumi responded with a smile and a nod, Mikuru's expression grew steadily more apprehensive as Haruhi mentioned anything to do with clothing, and Tsuruya's face lit up with an excitement to match Haruhi's. Kyon, meanwhile, ignored the entire explanation and defeated Koizumi, only to be brought back to earth as Haruhi announced the price of the instruments.
"500,000 yen? Even split between five of us that's still a ridiculous sum of money each! I thought you said this was at a discount." Kyon complained. There was no chance that he could afford to spend that much money even if he emptied his drink-depleted life savings and got a part-time job. Spending 100,000 yen on what would likely be a passing fancy of Haruhi's would also get him in massive trouble with his parents.
"It's a lot of high quality equipment as well as the instruments, as it was we don't have to pay the transport costs or any of the money that it cost ENOZ to store everything on short notice." Haruhi said defensively.
"Where do you think four highschool students and a single university student are going to get so much money?" Kyon asked. Really, the question was more about how he was going to get so much money. Koizumi had his organisation for support, Nagato could probably create the money with no difficulty, Mikuru wouldn't have been sent back in time with no source of income, and Haruhi always procured money for expensive costumes with little difficult.
Haruhi was saved the bother of having to answer when Tsuruya spoke up, causing everyone in the room to cease what they were doing to look at the fang-sporting girl – even Nagato. "I'll pay all of its."
"But… but… it's so much money and you're not even a full brigade member!" Haruhi spluttered, echoing Kyon's sentiments. How could anyone without a full-time job have so much money to waste on someone else's hare-brained scheme?
"I've always wanted to funds a band. I'll even manage it if you likes." Their mysteriously wealthy benefactor said, providing a woefully inadequate explanation. Haruhi, naturally, was perfectly satisfied and began asking what they could ever do to repay such generosity.
"Just don'ts give up on this, okays?" The green haired girl requested, looking embarrassed by Haruhi's unusually fervent display of gratitude.
Kyon half-fancied that he could feel fate's terrible noose wrapping around his neck as Haruhi agreed not to abandon the band 'even if a woman in a white dress threatens us with a talking staff', whatever that meant. Unsurprisingly, she didn't stop to consider the rest of the brigade's opinions on the vow, but that was nothing new. The one normal person in the brigade felt that even a hundred years was too short a time to remove Haruhi's tendency to rush into things without stopping to think first.
"Suzumiya-san seems pleased." Koizumi remarked as the two energetic girls began to discuss what sounded like the logistics of moving an army but was really locations to send and store the equipment and places the yet-to-be-formed or named band could practice. The word 'house' was mentioned several times.
"Who wouldn't be pleased to be handed so much money in exchange for a simple promise?" Kyon responded, claiming one of the board's corners. "I just hope Tsuruya-san doesn't have anything to do with the Yakuza. The last thing the world needs is for Haruhi to have links to organised crime."
"The promise may not be as simple to honour as you think once Suzumiya-san begins to grow bored of it. Nevertheless, I find myself agreeing with you on both counts." The too-smiley boy said, following Mikuru's advice and managing to claim a corner for himself. "I personally think a band sounds like fun. What do you believe, Kyon-kun?"
"I think it's going to consume all of our free time," Kyon cynically answered, "especially now that Haruhi has promised not to give up on it even under threats from fictional characters."
"Despite your complaints, you have yet to announce that you will not be taking part." Koizumi pointed out, losing ground on the game now that one of his aides had gone to make more tea and the other had become too involved in a conversation to help.
"If Haruhi is involved, any objections will be overruled." Kyon argued, claiming the third and final free corner for himself.
"Could it be that you find the prospect of forming a band enticing?" The esper suggested. Kyon's reply was a non-indicative grunt and a final move that brought the round to a close and handed Koizumi another resounding defeat.
The youth chuckled and set the board up for another round, to be joined by Mikuru after she had given Haruhi a cup of tea. With the sides once again balanced, Kyon found it difficult to gain any noticeable advantage. Despite the handicap, he still managed to gain more wins than losses until Haruhi and Tsuruya sided with Koizumi, at which point his fortunes turned for the worse.
Hours later, after banter that made a simple board-game seem as important and dramatic as a fight to the death with weeks of preparation, Haruhi ordered everyone to meet at Tsuruya's house by 9am Sunday 'or else' before leaving as energetically as she had come. Tsuruya was the next to leave, followed by the less over-enthusiastic Mikuru and Koizumi.
Kyon was about to follow them when the room's other occupant tugged at his sleeve. He turned to see what she wanted and was directed to the screen of the laptop the interface had been typing on earlier. It displayed an operating system and GUI unlike any he had seen before, with an appearance refused to linger in his memory as anything other than a vague impression of sleek lines and flickering machine code. The screen's contents didn't possess the same eldritch properties but were equally incomprehensible: pages of complicated code in no earthly programming language, though it bore a close, if superficial, resemblance to SQL.
"What is it?" The boy asked, tearing his eyes off the screen to focus on the small girl beside him.
"An untested computer operating system designed to allow non-verbal data manipulation displaying a program to transfer Asakura Ryouko's memory and basic personality to a human vessel." The lilac-haired girl answered. "Permission to execute?"
Apart from the sound of the wind outside, the clubroom was silent as Kyon debated the relative merits and disadvantages of allowing Nagato to create a completely human Asakura. On the one hand, she had tried to kill him. On the other, if Nagato wanted her back then that was unlikely to be the full extent of her personality and there was always the possibility that her return after a long absence would distract Haruhi from her plans before they properly started. Curious as to the interface's reasons for wanting her colleague back, Kyon asked Nagato for her reasoning.
"I… miss her." Was the almost inaudible, hesitant reply, something even more unbelievable than Tsuruya's spontaneous decision to hand Haruhi half a million yen. Even if it stemmed more from emotion than logic and once more gave Asakura a chance to gut someone, Kyon found it difficult to tell Nagato that he didn't think what she was doing the right thing. Cursing himself for being incapable of resisting what was, for Nagato, a startlingly overt display of emotion, he gave his permission.
The fading lines of code when the program was executed were considerably less climactic than the cynic had been prepared for. Nothing else resulted from its execution and Kyon felt slightly cheated as well as confused by Nagato's failure. With no reason to stay any longer, the boy headed home at the same time as it started to rain. And the forecast had promised clear skies all week…
Got any plot holes, logical errors, demands for longer chapters, requests for me to continue this one, grammatical errors, observations of references, guesses as to what's going to happen next, or anything else that comes to mind? Feel free to share them with me. ^^
I have anywhere from the next two to four chapters planned out, and we're not going to reach what I actually consider the main plot until that point. XD