Disclaimer: I don't hold any rights to the series and characters portrayed within this story. Those belong to various other parties.
No one ever invites me to parties…
Exciting Investigation of Eastern Mysteries
A Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Crossover fic
By Nathan Huss
It was a sunny and clear Sunday morning as Haruhi dragged the club out on another SOS-Dan outing. Kyon had been somewhat annoyed; not that he had anything planned, except perhaps to enjoy sleeping in, let alone getting up earlier than he would have normally. As it stood, Mikuru had dozed off several times on the train ride, Koizumi's ever-present smile was likely being maintained by caffeine, and Nagato was… well, Nagato.
Haruhi had been rather excited about this particular trip, though, and at least it was better than just wandering around town looking for undefined 'strangeness' or the like. Though he acknowledged that if it had been that he would be able to just kill time with whoever he ended up partnered with (save Haruhi herself, of course).
"Here we are!"
'There' was a somewhat out of the way shrine a good several hours train ride from home, followed by a hike through town and up a long flight of steps to the grounds. It wasn't hidden, but you would have needed to be looking for it to really notice it. Kyon thought it looked a bit shabby, though the path was swept clear. "So why are we here? Scouting another movie location or something?"
"Wrong!" Haruhi replied cheerfully, "but nice to see you're being proactive about our next film."
"How was that being 'proactive'?"
Haruhi just ignored that bit. "After the lake shrine and dragon god, I started looking around for more rumors about shrines that might have supernatural connections, and this one has had a bunch of people spotting stuff! It is our duty to see if the rumors are true or not!"
Groaning inwardly, Kyon looked again at the shrine grounds. It certainly didn't look haunted or anything. Like he had noted before it was a bit run-down, but nothing seemed unusual about it. "I don't suppose there's a reason we had to get here this early? Wouldn't it have been more traditional to check for ghosts or whatever at night?"
"If we wait too long a whole bunch of people will probably show up trying the same as us. It may be more traditional at night, but everyone knows that nothing will happen if there are too many people around."
While Kyon seriously doubted that as many people as Haruhi apparently thought… or any at all… would show up to look for ghosts or whatever, he resigned himself to a day spent doing so.
"Where should we check first, then?" Koizumi asked.
Nodding to herself, the Brigade chief started issuing orders. "It's not all that big a place, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Just pick a direction that someone else isn't covering. Someone should check the storage shack, and I'll check the shrine for the caretaker. They must have some idea about what happens to cause the rumors."
Surprisingly casual orders from her, but Kyon couldn't find anything worth arguing about (other than the trip in its entirety, but if he mentioned that he would likely suffer one of Haruhi's 'penalties'). He turned to glance at Koizumi. "I'll head around the outside on the left, I suppose."
"Then I'll head around the opposite way," the other boy said with a smile. "We can compare notes when we cross paths." Kyon nodded in response. He didn't expect that they'd find anything in the woods, except maybe some wild animals since the shrine was remote enough for those to be likely.
Mikuru looked around at the grounds. "Um… I could check the storehouse, I guess. If it isn't locked."
"… main hall," Nagato volunteered.
"Great!" Haruhi said. "Once we get those parts covered, we can work on the rest. Alright, move out!"
The search itself turned up, as expected, nothing of interest outside of a few squirrels. Kyon wasn't sure if that was a good sign or not, however. Since the incident at the lake, the possibility of Haruhi causing something similar to happen had been hanging over the heads of the Brigade. While nothing had happened as of yet, including a lack of significant Closed Space creation, the possibility was still there.
About halfway or so around the perimeter of the shrine, he met up with Koizumi. "Hey."
The Esper nodded in response. "No signs of anything out of the ordinary in my search so far. I assume the same for you?"
"Pretty much, though just to confirm you didn't know about Haruhi planning this, did you?"
Koizumi shook his head. "I did not. Why? Do you think this may have been a planned scenario like the island trip?"
Sighing, Kyon shrugged in response. "Not really, though I was hoping that it might have been. Things have been peaceful, but with Haruhi being… well, Haruhi… I don't like to think how long it would take for her to lose her good mood from the school festival and the lake. Even though it would be a bit annoying, having another fake mystery would keep things from spiraling."
Smile dimming slightly, the other boy nodded thoughtfully. "While not on such short notice for this, the Organization may be able to set up another one. Perhaps during winter break. Suzumiya would need to be placated until then, however."
Kyon nodded. It figured that even with a plan… especially an incomplete one that had only been considered… there would still have to be the usual trouble anyway. Still, it at least there was the idea to be worked on now.
Oh great… now he was actually thinking about this kind of thing on purpose.
"This place seems harmless enough," Koizumi said, returning to the previous line of conversation, "but as you say Suzumiya's state of mind could fluctuate enough to instigate something. At the very least, I haven't been able to detect anything, and I would suspect that Nagato would say something if she had."
That put Kyon in a slightly better state of mind. Nagato did not usually speak unless asked a direct question she was rather good about identifying dangers and bringing them to the attention of the rest of the group (sans Haruhi herself, of course).
The two of them continued on their respective routes around the shrine. Again, nothing but foliage and small wildlife to be found. Once Kyon reached the front of the shrine he found himself alone, apparently having made the last part of his circuit faster than Koizumi had.
Walking up to the shrine itself, Kyon climbed up the steps to the donation box and glanced inside. Worn but solid wood, with nothing but a few leaves inside. Maybe people from the nearby town didn't make trips up there all that often?
Absently, he pulled out a couple coins and tossed them in, listening to the sound of the metal clattering onto the bare bottom of the box.
"May this all blow over without unnecessary trouble," he said, clapping his hands in prayer. He figured it couldn't hurt. He seriously doubted it would actually help any, as any similar pleas he had made on other occasions had failed, but maybe he would get to be surprised by it working for once.
Fortunately enough for his peace of mind, there was no reply or sign that anyone had heard him, so he just sat down on the steps to wait for the rest of the Brigade to return.
A little while later, Kyon was startled out of watching the clouds by the return of Haruhi, Mikuru, and Yuki. Haruhi appeared to be annoyed at something as they approached, and was griping out loud to the others.
"… at all! I mean, really!" she huffed. "Would it kill them to put up a sign or something?"
Kyon groaned. It seemed Haruhi was realizing that there wasn't anything to find.
"There wasn't anything mentioned when you were looking up the shrine?" Mikuru asked tentatively.
"None! You'd think something like that would have come up."
"Something wrong?" Kyon asked as he stood up at their approach.
"There's no one here!" Haruhi said. "No priest, priestess, miko, not even a squatter or something. The house is totally empty. And even then it didn't have the right atmosphere."
He blinked. "What?"
"It's all clean. No spiderwebs, dust, broken doors or windows or floorboards. It's just… empty!"
"I don't suppose you checked the roof as well?"
Haruhi pouted. "Couldn't find a ladder…"
Kyon glanced over to Mikuru and Yuki. "What about the shack and hall?"
Mikuru shook her head. "Empty too. There were a few boxes, but they just had a couple old tools."
"… nothing," Yuki supplied for her own findings.
"What about you?" Haruhi asked, still frowning.
He shrugged. "Trees. Bushes. Squirrels."
Haruhi fumed silently for a moment, before letting out a loud "Gaaah!" Mikuru jumped as Haruhi expressed her frustration, while Yuki and Kyon just watched. "I can't believe this!"
"Well, you said you had looked-"
"Yeah, yeah, Mikuru already asked me that," Haruhi cut in before Kyon could finish. "There was nothing about the shrine not having a caretaker of any sort. Anything I found went on about how the place was 'mysterious,' but nothing like that! And we haven't even found anything, unless Koizumi ends up finding something."
"We've only made one sweep of the place," Kyon said. Not that he really wanted to encourage Haruhi on something like this, but she seemed to be descending into Closed Space-creation territory. Mikuru was glancing at Haruhi nervously, while Yuki seemed to be more focused.
Speaking of which…
"Hey, where is Koizumi, anyway?" he asked. "I passed him in back of the shrine, but he should have been back here by now."
That pulled Haruhi out of her bad mood enough that the tension lessened for the group. "Huh... You're right. Maybe he found something?"
"Wouldn't he have come back to let us know?" asked Mikuru.
"Right! As Deputy Brigade Chief he'd make sure to fulfill his duty, so something must have happened! Come on!" Haruhi immediately dashed off around the shrine.
Rather than immediately following, Kyon turned to the two remaining girls. "So, just to check, did you two really find nothing?"
Mikuru shook her head. "Really! I made sure to check, and there's nothing wrong on the time plane that I've been told about. All I found were the boxes I told Suzumiya about."
"Standard background data structures within tolerance range," supplied Nagato. "Increase resulting from Suzumiya's agitation remains within normal parameters."
"I'll take that as a 'no' as well," he sighed. He was about to start to head after Haruhi, when he noticed a slight flicker of hesitation from Nagato. "What is it?"
"… Koizumi Itsuki has just left this space-time, and cannot be located."
Kyon and Mikuru stared at the alien. "He…? Maybe he had to head into a Closed Space? Not that that's a good thing, but…" He could only hope that the Esper had vanished before Haruhi could have spotted him do so.
Nagato shook her head. "No instances of requisite data corruption detected. No signs of data manipulation correlating with previously encountered examples."
"You mean like the cave cricket?" Kyon asked.
She nodded once.
"Hey!" Haruhi called, jogging back to them. "How can the three of you be so derelict in your responsibilities? I can't find Koizumi anywhere and… ah!" She suddenly pointed past them.
Turning, the three of them quickly spotted two young women coming up the path steps. One in a purple dress wearing a white ruffled cap over her blonde hair, the other a brunette dressed in a white blouse and brown skirt, a black hat on her own head.
They seemed just as surprised as the various Brigade members were at seeing each other and hurried over.
"Hello," the darker-haired woman greeted them. "Are you guys searching for Gensokyou as well?"
Dear god but it's been a long time since I posted anything… Hope you enjoy, more to come… soon-ish.