Chapter Three

Poke poke

"Hey, Kyonnn."

Poke poke poke


Poke poke poke pokepokepokepo-


Kyon whipped his head round, his eyes narrowed with irritation, to glare at the thoroughly insensitive person who'd dared interrupt his musings.

"Ha. So you fi~inally decided to grace me with your attention, huh?" said Haruhi sarcastically. "Took you long enough."

Of course it was Haruhi. Kyon had known that even before he turned around. Nobody else would have had to audacity to sit there, prodding him in the back of the neck with their pencil for a good three minutes, unrelenting, even when he ignored them. Anybody else would've become bored and given up after the twenty second mark. After all, the definition of insanity was 'to do something over and over again with the hope of a different result.'

But Kyon doubted Haruhi knew this- or, if she did, she didn't care. Unlike every other normal human being with the correct number of fully-functioning brain cells, Haruhi Suzumiya did not operate by 'real world' logic. And Haruhi would never back down from a fight (which, Kyon supposed, he'd initiated himself by ignoring her so astutely). She'd wear her enemy down with attrition, using the same tactic over and over again until her opponent caved and admitted defeat.

And Haruhi had defeated Kyon, too, by making him acknowledge her- and by creating a small, purplish bruise at the back of Kyon's neck from the eraser of her pencil.

That was probably why she was smiling.

When Haruhi looked that smug and self-satisfied, Kyon was always struck with a desire to draw across her face with permanent marker.

"What do you want, Haruhi?" Kyon asked tiredly.

It was a real struggle resisting the urge to curse or at her, or tell her to go away. Kyon had a headache, and he hadn't had enough sleep, and the last thing he needed was to talk to (or, rather, be talked at by) Haruhi Suzumiya. Her incessant chatter about aliens and espers, combined with Kyon's already foul mood, was just asking for disaster.

It had been two weeks since Kyon had returned from the strange parallel universe and everything seemed to have returned to normal. Haruhi was her usual obnoxious self with short hair, Nagato's emotional range was about as developed as a teacup's, and Koizumi was...


Koizumi was back to being Koizumi.

Or, at least, he was back to being the Koizumi Kyon knew.

Koizumi continued to wear his light-hearted, easy-going smile like a second skin, as though nothing had happened.

Well... To him, nothing had happened.

It had not been the Itsuki Koizumi from this universe that had... d-done that...

Kyon tried to avoid thinking about specific words; they were all so ugly, and any mention of 'rape' always made him shudder and bite the inside of his mouth.

T-that couldn't have happened; n-not really...

A-and even if it had happened (he knew it had) he couldn't do anything about it, could he? Being in denial about a crime when a few words from the victim could've resolved it was... well, it understandable a victim wouldn't want to talk but, ultimately, by not confessing they were only letting their attacker off the hook. They were, essentially, aiding the person who had hurt them. But what could Kyon gain if he confessed? It had happened in a completely different universe, completely separate from this one.

Nobody would help him.

Hell, nobody beyond Mikuru, Nagato or... Koizumi... would even believe him- a-and like hell was Kyon going to discuss it with Koizumi...

Being with Koizumi made Kyon feel sick.



Kyon winced, trying to push the memories from his head- trying to make his internal thought process shut the fuck up for just two seconds.

(He always thought too much.)

He didn't want to think about that; not now. Not at school.

Not with Haruhi.

Especially not with Haruhi.

Pretend it didn't happen, or pretend it was a delusion, or just… J-just push it out of your mind… I-it doesn't matter, it's not important- nobody else knows about it. Nobody else needs to know.

They wouldn't believe you.

Or- worse still- they would believe you, and they'd pity you. Do you want them looking at you with their eyes full of false sympathies they don't understand because they haven't experienced it themselves?

Of course not.

They don't understand- couldn't possibly understand.

So you can't tell anybody and you can't do anything. Your mouth might as well be gagged, your hands tied behind your back with physical bounds- because you're helpless.

Pretend it never happened.

Pretend it was your imagination…

Kyon winced; pain flickering across his face for a few brief moments.


You're in denial.

Well, so what? It wouldn't make a difference if Kyon told anyone. They couldn't do anything. The Itsuki Koizumi from this universe had not been the one who'd... who'd…

D-damn it…

Koizumi had not raped him.

At least, the Itsuki Koizumi Kyon knew hadn't. It had been a different Itsuki Koizumi; a deranged, disturbed one with a cutting smile and commanding voice. He'd been almost a stranger. There had been something unsettling about that other Koizumi; something sadistic and cruel, selfish and maybe just a little bit childish- all of it lurking under the superficial mask of friendly smiles projected by the real Koizumi.

("I assure you, my real personality under this mask is... less than appealing."

"I can't imagine you could ever be any more annoying than you are already, Koizumi."

"Ahaha~ Maybe… You think too highly of me."

"That wasn't a compliment.")

But, in reality, weren't both the 'Itsuki Koizumi's the same?

If Haruhi hadn't been a 'God' (or something akin to it) and the SOS Brigade hadn't been formed and Kyon had never been an important part of Haruhi's life... If all those variables had been set in place, then would Itsuki Koizumi become that eerily smiling monster in a human skin?

Did Itsuki Koizumi have the capacity to do such a thing even without those variables set just-so?

Nagato had explained the parallel universe to Kyon in great depth. Her voice remained monotone, and she'd sounded like a strange, scientific blend between several astrophysics textbooks with a good dash of human biology and DNA sequencing thrown in, but Kyon had managed to understand most of it.

The parallel universe she'd managed to create showed people as they would have been if their environment had been different. Genetically, they were the same people as the ones Kyon knew (save Nagato and Asakura, who didn't 'possess' genetics are normal people did).

W-what did that mean...?

W-what did that mean about the Itsuki Koizumi Kyon knew…?

Kyon didn't even want to contemplate what that meant.

Kyon had been hoping the parallel universe Itsuki Koizumi was not, in fact, the same Itsuki Koizumi he knew. Kyon had liked to believe they were different people, merely sharing the same name. After all, the alternative universe Nagato had been significantly different from her real world counterpart; a typical 'shy girl' stereotype from a H-game (n-not that Kyon had played many of those… Next to Taniguchi, Kyon was virtually a saint) given the name and appearance of 'Yuki Nagato'.

But Kyon had been hoping in vain.

Maybe, if the two Itsuki Koizumis had been different people, it would have been a little easier to deal with-

(i-it hurt it hurt-

a-at this point Kyon didn't even care if he was crying


stop it stop it just stop

begging that bastard with the razor sharp smile

but he didn't stop)

-and it wouldn't have hurt so much.

B-but it did hurt.

Sickening; it was sickening.

The Itsuki Koizumi from the alternate universe and the Itsuki Koizumi Kyon knew (though he knew- but he'd never really bothered) were different people. And yet, technically, they were exactly the same.

There was no difference.

No distinction.

Kyon had tried to control his facial expression whilst Nagato quietly explained everything to him, but he was unsuccessful. His fingers shook so badly the tea Nagato had poured him (it wasn't as good as Mikuru's- but nothing was) splish-splashed against his bare fingers. It scalded him- but his whole body felt so numb the heat was almost welcoming.

His skin went papery white.

Even Nagato had noticed something was wrong because she paused mid-way through her narrative. She fixed Kyon with her steady gaze... and, whilst she didn't look 'concerned', per say (Nagato hadn't even looked concerned when Asakura tried to skewer her through the stomach), she had certainly looked distracted.

"Are you alright?" Nagato had asked Kyon in mechanical, clipped tones.

Kyon's reaction must have been violent to prompt a response like that from the emotionless Nagato-

B-but Kyon couldn't get those visions out of his head.

He could no longer distinguish the Itsuki Koizumi in the club room and the Itsuki Koizumi in the parallel universe as different people. They were the same- exactly the same; there was no difference.

Sometimes the Itsuki in Kyon's mind was wearing Itsuki's normal plastic smile and the North High Uniform- and when he was dressed like that, acting like that, there was no distinction at all.

There were hands everywhere- lips pressing against his neck- teeth biting down- drawing blood; i-it left a bruise left a fucking bruise f-fuck… g-get off… s-stop it…

His plea fell on deaf ears.

Koizumi wouldn't listen.

Kyon bit down on the inside of his mouth trying not to scream (trying not to give that fucking bastard the satisfaction) but he managed to draw blood instead; canines cutting into the inside of his mouth, hissing in pain

the blood was metallic against his tongue


it helped distract him from koizumi's wandering fingers

plastic smiles

false reassurances

'it doesn't hurt see?'

fucking liar


Well, that was nothing new.

Kyon had always known Koizumi was a liar.

Kyon didn't feel safe around Itsuki anymore.

Every time Kyon closed his eyes he felt fingers trailing tracks of fire against his body. When he tried to sleep the memories replayed over and over in his head like a stuck tape. Kyon couldn't even escape Itsuki in his sleep. His dreams felt even more realistic than his daydreams- and he always awoke at stupid hours in the early morning, head pounding, heart hammering a tattoo against his ribcage as though it were going to burst.

He couldn't sleep.

He could barely eat.

He probably looked ill.


A complete wreck.

And it was because of Itsuki Koizumi.

Hadn't Koizumi always told Kyon he was just acting? He was 'playing the part' of a charming, mysterious transfer student for Haruhi's sake- but his real personality was quite different.


If that was your real personality, I-I'll agree with you on that one... I-it was... quite 'different'.


F-fuck you.

Had Koizumi ever- looking serenely at Kyon with a small smile over the chess board- ever thought about doing something like that? Had Koizumi, when he casually slung his arm round Kyon's shoulders or pressed his face in far too close, thought about-

It hurt the most when Kyon felt lips against his; a parody of something warmer, something much more affectionate.

Stop pretending you care.

Stop pretending.

W-what, so you're going to rape me, and you're still going to try and distance yourself behind a mask? You're still going to be untrue with your fucking feelings?

E-everything else w-would be… b-bearable… maybe…

B-but the kisses were the worst.

Of course, thoughts were harmless. You couldn't always control your mind, and everybody had dark and violent fantasies from time to time; even about people they loved and cared about. If Kyon ever openly voiced one third of his true thoughts and feelings for his various classmates he had no doubt he'd be able to make himself very unpopular in a very short space of time. Besides, there was rarely any real spite in the cynical commentary that passed perpetually through Kyon's mind. That was just who he was; it was in his nature to nitpick mercilessly at everything and everyone. In reality, he didn't despise Haruhi half as much as his internal monologues let on.

But with Koizumi, it was different.

Whenever the esper looked at him, smiling cheerfully, Kyon couldn't help but wonder what was going on behind that expression. What he was thinking. What kind of dark personality lurked behind the mask.

The uncertainty was nothing short of maddening.

...Almost terrifying.

If somebody had told Kyon three weeks ago he'd soon find Itsuki Koizumi 'terrifying' he would have laughed in their faces.

But this was no laughing matter.

This wasn't funny.

The constant nightmares; the flicker of nerves when fingertips brushed his arm; the uncertainty and, shortly after, the panic Kyon felt when he saw Koizumi in the hallways at school...

Koizumi had the audacity to look confused, maybe even a little lost- and when their eyes met one another's Kyon entertained the cheerful thought maybe, just maybe, he was hurting Koizumi too.

But not as much as Koizumi had hurt him.

I'll never be able to hurt you as much as you hurt me… but I can try.

The mere thought of touching Koizumi- e-even the light touch of Haruhi's mechanical pencil against his neck made him shudder- made Kyon shudder.

This wasn't funny.

I-it was something you couldn't appreciate unless you'd experienced it yourself, not really- b-but it wasn't 'funny' at all.

Sometimes it felt difficult to breathe.

Sometimes Kyon almost wanted to claw his own confused thoughts out of his head- snap his spinal column or pull bits and pieces of unwanted emotions from his own body with his blood-spattered fingertips like something from a horror movie just to get everything to shut up shut up shut up

But his head wouldn't listen to him.

It… was painful… living inside his own skull. It was like being trapped in a room; a box; four corners, with screens on each one replaying the event over and over again and again-

You can't escape your own mind.

You can't escape your own skin.

You can try and hide, but your own thoughts will trip you up eventually.

Kyon didn't know what to do.

So, like a coward, he'd run away from his problems. He'd avoided the SOS Brigade altogether for the two weeks he'd been out of hospital. Kyon knew that wouldn't solve anything, but he didn't think he could physically face seeing Itsuki Koizumi for any period of time longer than two seconds. The mere idea made Kyon feel ill.

He couldn't tell anyone. He didn't have anybody to tell. So Kyon kept his secret to himself; a secret not even Itsuki Koizumi knew about, and he'd the one who raped him in the first place...

But Kyon was the only one who had to suffer the consequences of what Koizumi had done.

T-that didn't seem fair- a crime where only one person remembered it, and only one person had to suffer.

D-damn bastard...


Poke poke

"Kyon? Are you spacing out again?"

Kyon blinked, his previous train of thought all but dissipating as he stared into Haruhi's sour face. Haruhi's eyes were narrowed, her lips pursed into that typical upside-down 'v' shape, and her brows were furrowed as though she were contemplating some complex math equation.

Kyon didn't like that look.

Haruhi was far more astute than he gave her credit for.

"I wasn't spacing out. I was thinking," said Kyon, his voice perhaps a little over-defensive.

He didn't want Haruhi to know. That would be... humiliating... ...

N-not that she'd ever believe him anyway. Nobody would. Parallel universes? That stuff belonged solely in sci-fi movies with bad special effects, not in an average high school student's daily life. Kyon still remembered what Haruhi had said when he told her about aliens and espers; "yeah, right! Like that would stuff would happen so easily! Stop screwing around with me!"

And, parallel universes aside, who would ever believe the mild-mannered, perpetually smiling Itsuki Koizumi would ever... d-do that... to somebody else?

It was almost unthinkable.

Haruhi would call him a liar.

Nagato would dissect the situation calmly with her usual lack of emotion, just like a robot- or she would give some dictionary definition of the word- and, whilst she would want to help, she simply wouldn't be able to understand.

Kyon couldn't discuss things like that with Mikuru- she was so pure and innocent he'd feel almost guilty saying things like that to her, as though he were... corrupting her or something. Besides, what help would she be? She'd just go bright red and start to squeal, or maybe even cry, clinging to Kyon… A-and Kyon didn't want anybody to touch him- not even Mikuru.

Kyon couldn't talk to Koizumi. He simply couldn't.

(You're afraid.


How pathetic.)

Taniguchi would probably find the whole situation hilarious... He'd laugh. "You and Koizumi? Pffttt."

Kyon's teeth clenched together.

It wasn't funny.

Thoughts of Koizumi had taken root in Kyon's brain, impossible to pull out- and it would hurt too much to try. Whenever Kyon attempted to ignore those thoughts circulating in his head a voice in his head would scold him, "you're running away." It was right. He was.

But he didn't know what else to do.


You sicken me.


"-really aren't paying attention at all! Don't you understand how fragile pure maidens' hearts are?" barked Haruhi, slamming her hand on her desk for emphasis.

"That's funny. I don't see a pure maiden here," said Kyon dryly.

I only see a shouting, shrieking witch.

"Whatever," said Haruhi, folding her arms defiantly. Then- obviously not prepared to let Kyon's comment go unpunished- she kicked the back of Kyon's chair. The action was petulant, childish, just like something Kyon's little sister would do. Instead of being incredibly irritating- as Kyon sometimes found Haruhi's antics- he, instead, found it strangely endearing… But there was no need to tell Haruhi that.

"You're coming to the SOS Brigade meeting today and that's final. No further discussions. No arguments. You can't weasel your way out of this time with flimsy excuses- or heads will roll!"

Inadvertently, Kyon felt his fingertips rest against his neck. He could feel his pulse hammering, erratic, underneath his trembling fingertips.

Maybe Haruhi was right.

Maybe this meeting really would be the death of him.

Kyon felt sick.

You can't run away anymore.

Like that was ever an option to begin with anyway.

a/n: Hi guys! It's been a while, huh? ^_^;
So yeah, I was searching thru pixiv to fuel my strange battler/ronove obsession and the same artist of some nice pictures also did some haruhi art, so I looked at it and… eh… most of it was about kyon being abused in various ways. And I was all 'this is terrible. Who would do something like this to kyon?' and then I remembered I had this fic, and I was all 'oh yeah. Me.'
Writing stuff like this a little, uhh… Depressing. You know. Incredibly so ._.
Plus, characterization after stuff like this is really hard to do, too. I was kind of thinking 'hn, I don't want to use the typical "I'm so unclean and filthy now" typical rape victim lines, but they wouldn't /be/ typical if they weren't accurate, would they?' But different people reaction to different things in different ways…

As always, thank you to the people who read and review, your input is most cherished ^_^;; Real Itsuki is in the next chapter, I promise (oh gee /that/ will be fun to write ._. /sarcasm mode)
In other news, I was sat weird writing this and now I've lost all feeling in my foot. Yayyy.

~renahhchen xoxoxo