Author's Notes: I'm happy to see that many of you guys are still on board with this fic, even though it was on hiatus for such a long time. I'm also glad that the last chapter was well received. Hopefully, this one will be, too.

Anyway, please enjoy the chapter!

Chapter 6

"Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."

Those are the famous words of physicist Niels Bohrs. According to him and many others like him, the quantum world is pretty much indescribable using human language. Things happen to particles at that level that defy our understanding of cause and effect. The whole idea of a particle/wave duality is so beyond what happens in everyday normal reality that indeed no person could ever hope to truly understand any of it except mathematically.

However, I can at least think of one exception.

To Haruhi Suzumiya, the quantum world makes perfect sense. Never once would she be "shocked" by what happens at the quantum level, and it wouldn't be because she didn't understand it. If anything, she'd probably understand it better than the physicists that were trying to teach her. I'd imagine her saying things like "Of course beams of light can be waves and particles at the same time! Whoever said that they couldn't be so talented?" or "So what if you want know the position of a particle and the direction it's going? That's because particles are smarter than we are!" or even "Well of course Schrödinger's cat is both 100% alive and dead. It's a zombie cat now, duh!" I could keep going.

What I ultimately mean by all this is that Haruhi's brain does not work like that of most, maybe even all other people. Heck, I'm willing to bet that entire new physics could be written based on the study of her brain, with things even more bizarre than that of the quantum world happening every nanosecond. It's a miracle that she functions as well as she does, really.

So why do I bring all of this up? Well, it's rather simple. It's because her warped brain often causes her to make decisions that no rational human being would ever make. When confronted with the choice between a and ~a, she will choose z even if such a choice was literally not available. And somehow, she will make that choice a reality, even if she has to drag the entire universe with her to do it. There is no way to talk her out of it. You can tell her the facts, bargain with her, beg and plead with her, it doesn't matter. The only way to stop her was to wait until she was bored and wanted to do something else. That was it.

You would think that I would have fully understood this by now, given the amount of time I've been with her. However, there are times where I get complacent and forget who I'm dealing with. Koizumi keeps telling me that her brain thinks more normally on the inside than one would assume, but there are times when I discover that he is wrong. I mean sure, not every single decision she makes is irrational and nonsensical. However, the fact that her brain occasionally creates the illusion of proper functionality is what leads me to my greatest downfall, which is expecting a rational response from her to a tough situation. Damn, I suck.

The reason that I went into this tirade will become apparent soon enough...

I was awoken violently this morning by an obviously distressed Haruhi.

"Hurry up you idiot!" she said as she pushed on my back with as much force as possible. "If you don't wake up now, we're going to be late for school!"

Ow, stop that. What happened to our early morning snuggles?

"There's no time for that! We're running late!"

"We are?" I said as I looked at my clock. Crap! We have less than a half hour until classes start! What happened?

"Never mind that! Just get dressed as fast as you can and get going!" She then bolted out of my room.

After a huge yawn, I slowly got up and walked to my closet. Even in my drowsy state, I realized that it was pretty rare for Haruhi to oversleep. My guess was that she was up until late at night trying to figure out what to do for the summer and forgot to set her alarm. That's not surprising. I guess if I had to pick one or the other, I'd have a hard time, too.

I had only just gotten my pants on when Haruhi opened my door, already fully dressed. "Hurry up! Could you be any slower?"

"I'm hurrying, I'm hurrying!" I said as I grabbed my shirt. "I just woke up."

"Of course you did! You'd sleep all day if it weren't for me!"

I probably would, too, not that I'd admit it.

"You know," she said, "it would be really nice if you'd wake me up for a change."

"If I did, could I use the trick pen?" I said as I finished buttoning my shirt. "Or stuff a hot pepper in your mouth?"

Haruhi narrowed her eyes. "To even joke about such things is considered treason, Kyon! The idea that you'd consider harming your girlfriend like that is unbelievable!"

Hello pot. This is the kettle.

"Don't call me a hypocrite! It's different since you're a guy!"

"Well, I'm glad that you support traditional gender roles," I said as I put my tie on. Especially when they're convenient for you.

"Whatever, you're dressed now so let's go!"

It sucks that I'm not going to get any breakfast this morning. I love taking tests on an empty stomach. The only saving grace was the fact that the school day was short again. Hopefully, we wouldn't have to spend too much time in the clubroom before I could go home.

We only had enough time to say good morning to Haruhi's parents before we were out the door. I even forgot my wallet, which meant that I couldn't even get lunch at the school cafeteria. We were forced to jog, seeing as it was the only possible way we could get there on time. I was once again reminded of just how inferior my athletic ability was compared to my girlfriend's. About halfway there, I had to stop and rest. The rest of the way, I was constantly badgered into moving faster, even though we both knew I wasn't capable of it.

"Come on, Kyon! I thought all that exercise with my dad would've put you into better shape?"

"Why do you think I lasted as long as I did?" I said inbetween a large breath.

"We won't make it at this rate. Come on!"

I summoned the last of my strength and willpower, and I managed to jog the remainder of the way to the school, although I did collapse in front of my shoe locker when I got there.

"See?" said Haruhi, who was only mildly winded. "I knew you could make it."

Can't talk...need oxygen.

"Don't be too long. If you're still late after making it this far, it'll be a waste."

"Yeah, yeah," I said as I finally gained the strength to stand up.

By the time I switched my shoes, Haruhi was already long gone. I made my way into class with only seconds to spare. Yes, safe! I took my seat and readied myself for the last day of testing. No doubt that jogging to school without eating first and wearing myself out would effect my performance. Can't wait to show my mother the results...

A few hours later, it was lunch time, and I was miserable.

"Forgot to bring a lunch again, huh?" said Taniguchi.

"Haruhi and I overslept, so I didn't have time to make one."

"It's rare for Suzumiya-san to arrive so late," said Kunikida. "Did she not sleep well?"

"Apparently," I said. "She was probably up all night thinking about what to do for the summer."

"Speaking of which," said Taniguchi, "listen, I'm going to have to back out of whatever it is you're doing."

"Huh?" I said, raising an eyebrow.

"Look, I sure whatever it was you guys were going to do was going to be great and all, but if it means getting myself expelled, I can't do it."

Kunikida reluctantly spoke. "I...I'm also going to have to back out for the same reasons. I have way too much on the line to throw it away, you know?"

I sighed deeply. The two were completely unaware that they were never actually in any danger of expulsion. Unfortunately, I couldn't explain to them why it was that they weren't. They wouldn't believe me, anyway.

"Trust me, you guys have nothing to worry about."

"What makes you say that?" said Kunikida.

"Let's just say that I'm pretty sure that the Student Council President is all talk."

"No way," said Taniguchi while he swallowed some rice. I noticed a piece of it sticking to the corner of his mouth. "That guy has a reputation for being ruthless! Did you hear about the president of the Mystery Study Group? He was caught using only a measly 200 yen of his club's annual funding on something that wasn't club related, and the Student Council President forced him out of the club and had him suspended for a week! I'm telling you, that guy means business! Even Suzumiya-san won't be able to get her way with him!"

It figured that the SCP was so notorious. That would explain why he was worried about the next election. However, that wasn't what bothered me. If Taniguchi and Kunikida were going to back out, that meant that I would have to do all the hard work on my own. Sadly, being Haruhi's boyfriend has not reduced my responsibilities within the Brigade. The last thing I wanted was to carry several dozen kilograms of equipment around by myself. I could usually get Koizumi to help, but having four people would be ideal.

Fortunately, I'd suspected that this would happen, so I came mentally prepared.

"It's fine," I said. "You guys don't need to come."

Kunikida blinked. "Really? You're okay with that?"

"Yeah, I'm fine with it," I said, keeping as straight a face as possible. "It's just too bad that I'm going to have to explain to Asahina-san, Tsuruya-san and Nagato that you guys won't be coming."

"Huh?" said the both of them.

"Yeah, they told me yesterday after you guys left that they were glad that you guys were helping out. They'll be disappointed, I'm sure."

"W...wait a second," said Taniguchi. "Maybe I was being a bit too selfish after all. I mean, if they really needed my help that badly, it would be pretty unmanly of me to back out."

...That was way too easy. Damn that guy was an idiot.

However, Kunikida was a bit more reluctant. "I...I don't know. It's a really big risk that we're taking."

Dammit, Kunikida. I need your intelligence to balance out Taniguchi's stupidity. I'd probably pull my hair out if only Taniguchi came along.

Fortunately, Taniguchi helped me out on this one. "Listen, man. Did you hear what he said? All three of those hotties want us to help them out. That's halfway towards a confession already. And since Kyon-kun here is already taken, we won't have to compete with him. That means that there will be equal amounts of girls and guys! Come on, you've already told me that you've been wanting a girlfriend."

Kunikida blushed deeply. "I...well..."

It was all I could do not to laugh. Like either of these two ever had a chance.

Taniguchi wrapped his arm around Kunikida and held his other hand outward. "It'll be a beautiful summer romance. And since it'll happen over the summer, we won't have to worry about getting beat up by other classmates that also wanted their affections. It'll be perfect!"

Kunikida swallowed hard. "A summer romance..." He then said something else under his breath. I couldn't make it out, but I thought it was a specific name. He then looked towards me. "Okay, I'm in...but you have to promise me that I won't do anything that'll get me in trouble."

"Sure," I said, even though I already knew it was a lie. Anything involving Haruhi was at least going to be on the edge of being legal. Still, I figured that even if it was the case that we did something that could get us in trouble, I had enough connections to see to it that the two of them weren't least I hoped I did.

I spent the rest of the lunch period staring at the food that those two were eating. Sadly, neither of them were generous enough to share. When I got back to testing, I found it extremely hard to concentrate with all the hunger pangs I was feeling. A part of me wanted to blame Haruhi for oversleeping, but the fairer part of my mind knew that I should be able to get out of bed on my own. Damn, this was annoying.

With the last period finally over, Haruhi and I made our way towards the clubroom. I noticed that she seemed in relatively high spirits despite all the set backs in the last couple days.

"So...did you finally decide what we're going to do?"

"Yep! Don't worry. I'll tell you when everyone is there."

I sighed as we reached the door. I noticed that Asahina-san came with Tsuruya-san at about the same time.

"Hey guys!" said Tsuruya-san.

"Hey," I said. "Excited?"

"You bet! I'm really hoping that we're doing the movie! I had a blast the last time we did it!"

"Well, as long as you and Haruhi don't plan on getting Asahina-san drunk again, I'll be happy to have your help."

"Oh, don't worry. I've learned my lesson!" She then leaned in towards me a little too close. "Are those two other guys still coming?"

I leaned back a bit. "They said they would. They were reluctant, but I managed to talk them into it."

"Great!" she said as her eyes darted behind me. "Oh there they are!" She then ran by me and up to Taniguchi and Kunikida. "Hey guys! Glad you're here!"

"Don't worry, Tsuruya-san," said Taniguchi in his smoothest voice possible. "We know that you and the other girls were looking forward to our help."

Tsuruya-san tilted her head. "Huh?"

Kunikida bowed politely, his face a shade of red. "W...we're here to help."

"That's right!" said Taniguchi as he gave her a thumbs up. "We won't let you down!"

"Great!" she said as she turned around and bolted into the clubroom.

By now, Haruhi and the others had already entered, and they were closely followed by Taniguchi, Kunikida and myself. When all of us had taken our seats, Haruhi stood upon her chair.

"Greetings everyone! I'm happy to see that everyone has returned!" Her smile quickly faded. "Unfortunately, you were all witness to an attack against the SOS Brigade made by none other than the Student Council President! We have been at war with that him and his evil organization since the day we founded the Brigade over a year ago. Back in March of this year, he laid siege to our Brigade by attacking Yuki-chan and the Literary Club! However, thanks to the efforts of everyone here, including those of you who aren't official members, we were able to repulse his onslaught!"

Does she really have to use such dramatic language? It's not like we're in a war movie or anything.

"However, after we successfully defeated the Student Council in that battle, we set our sights on a different enemy, James Randi! In order to fund our campaign against such a diabolical fiend, the Brigade was forced to hold that mud wrestling tournament! Thanks to the success of that fundraiser, we were able to successfully defeat James Randi as he entered our home territory!"

You're still calling that embarrassing scene a victory? And if I recall correctly, the real reason we went to Kyoto was so that you could have an elaborate excuse to confess to me. In hindsight, that confession was a great moment. However, I definitely wouldn't consider your confrontation with a man in his eighties a high point for the SOS Brigade.

"Unfortunately, just as we've repelled our most recent enemy, the Student Council has returned to attack us at our flank! It's a pincer attack aimed at crushing us once and for all!" Haruhi then stepped off the chair and began to walk around the room. "I know what you must be thinking. 'How can we possibly win this battle,' am I right?"

No, you're not right. Can you just get to the point, already?

"In desperate times like these, there is only one thing we can do! We must engage our enemy head on!" She then slammed her hand onto the table. "We're going to do this concert of his AND do the filming for the sequel at the same time!"


"That bastard wants to ruin the Brigade's plans for the summer in order to further his agenda! Well, we're not going to give him the pleasure! In fact, we're going to use this concert against him! We'll just make it all about the SOS Brigade! We'll be so famous and popular among the students of North High that the Student Council President would surely lose his bid for election if he turned in that footage to the school officials! Heck, we could even find a way to combine the movie with the concert in some way! It'll awesome!"

Yes...awesome...that's what it'll be...

My face landed onto the table. I felt so drained that I half-thought that I was going to pass out. Just as I was getting mentally prepared to have my summer ruined, I find out that it was about to become even worse. What was she thinking? Is she some kind of sadist? Why would she be so willing to throw away so much of our summer break doing all these activities? Doesn't she want to spend a little bit of time with just me and her? I don't get it!

I turn my head to the side to look around the room. The color had been drained from a number of other people's faces, including Koizumi's, Asahina-san's, Taniguchi's, and Kunikida's. I couldn't blame them. Haruhi was going overboard.

"If there are any objections, you have the next five seconds to write them all down! After that, I will consider everyone in unanimous agreement!"

I doubt that even if I had 5 minutes that I could successfully write down all of my objections. No one else even bothered to say anything.

"Excellent! Now that we have our plans for the summer prepared, I will spend the next week and a half getting things ready for both the movie and concert. Yuki-chan, can you fork over the budget for the Literary Club? We'll need it for some new costumes!"

"Go ahead," said Nagato.

"Great," said Haruhi as she bounded over to her bag. She opened it and pulled out a small stack of papers. "Here is the cast and crew list for the movie! The roles for Yuki-chan, Mikuru-chan and Koizumi-kun are the same, but as promised, the rest of you are getting larger roles!"

We carefully glanced at the paper given to each of us. The cast list went like this:


Mikuru Asahina – Battle Waitress Mikuru

Itsuki Koizumi – Itsuki the Esper

Yuki Nagato – Yuki the Evil Alien Witch

Tsuruya – Tsuruya the Evil Corporate Baroness

The other two – Tsuruya's Minions #1 and #2

Film Crew

Haruhi Suzumiya – Ultra Director, Executive Producer, Screenwriter

Kyon – Assistant Director, Assistant Producer, Cameraman, Post-production Editor

The other two – Lighting, other menial tasks not done by Kyon.

I sighed after I finished reading. Seems like Taniguchi and Kunikida were on double duty. Not that I minded. Their help was going to be greatly appreciated. It was one of the few things I was grateful for.

"Are there any questions regarding the cast and crew list?" said Haruhi. After noting that there were none, she started gathering her things. "We will have a special meeting at my place a week from Friday! In that time, I expect all of you to complete your summer homework! Last year, some of you waited until the last day to do all of it. That is unacceptable behavior! I want all of you to have it done so we don't repeat what we did last year!"

"What?" yelled Taniguchi. "We only have a week? There's no way I could get it done in that time!"

"Relax," said Haruhi. "The first thing we'll do during our special meeting is go over our summer homework together. However..." She gave both myself and Taniguchi a nasty look. "...I will not allow you to copy my homework, so you better have at least put some effort into it."

Yay, summer homework. Something else to worry about. I mean, it's nice that I'll have Haruhi's help, but I definitely wasn't looking forward to it.

"Koizumi and Tsuruya-chan, I also want you two to look for possible venues to hold our concert. I know that the both of you are well connected, so I'm expecting results by the time we have our special meeting!"

"Of course, Suzumiya-san," said Koizumi in an obviously forced manner.

"No problems, nyoro~!" said Tsuruya-san.

"Great! That's everything! I look forward to our special meeting the Friday after! I'll see you all then! Meeting's over!" She then started walking towards the door. She stopped after opening it and turned around. "By the way, regular Brigade members are still expected to meet here for the rest of the week! You guys better not think about skipping any of them!" She then left, leaving the clubroom a pit of despair.

Taniguchi hung his head backwards in his chair. "Damn, man. This summer is going to suck. I'm not even sure if it'll be worth it." He then slowly got up, along with Kunikida and Tsuruya-san, and left the clubroom.

Outside the door, I heard Tsuruya cheering. "Did you read it? I'm going to be a villain! That's megas awesome!"

I sighed deeply. Glad she's happy. I wonder if anything could get that girl down.

However, the moment the filler trio were out of ear shot, I turned towards Koizumi and grabbed him by the shoulders. "This is all your fault!"

"Y...yes, it seems so. I was not expecting her to choose such a difficult option."

"I thought you said that you'd learned not to underestimate her. What happened?"

Koizumi sighed. "I did, didn't I? Perhaps I still have much to learn."

That's it? That's all you have to say for yourself? My summer is going to be hell because of you!

"It's okay, Kyon-kun," said Asahina-san, who was clearly feigning calmness. "I...I think we'll be fine."

I looked at her incredulously. Come on! We know you're lying! Surely you haven't forgotten what happened during the last movie. As much as I love her, I'm still not convinced that she won't make things difficult for us.

Koizumi smiled at her. "It's good to see that you're prepared." He then looked at me. "Perhaps we're also being a bit pessimistic. After all, Suzumiya-san's emotional state is at the most stable it's ever been."

"That's never stopped her from causing trouble. The last time we worked on a movie, it almost lead to disaster. Let's not also forget what happened when we tried to create our band."

Koizumi stared at me briefly before taking a deep breath, pinching his chin in thought. "Perhaps you are right. We should not be so naive as to think that there wouldn't be unforeseen difficulties for us to overcome. It is indeed Suzumiya-san's nature to create obstacles for us."

I sat back down and placed my face into my hands. Dammit, she can be such a pain. I wonder what it'll be this time. Another ear-worm monster? A giant snowstorm in the middle of August? Perhaps some mole-creatures will burrow out of the ground and declare war on the human race. I can't wait.

"I will be ready," said Nagato as she closed her book.

I was surprised to hear such a statement from Nagato. It was rare for her to speak unless she was asked a question. "Do you have some kind of plan?"

"No," she said. "Ever since the event that took place six months and twenty-six days ago, I have been unable and unwilling to synchronize with myself in the future. As a result, it is impossible for me to accurately predict upcoming events. Without accurate information about the future, planning is impossible."

That's right. The event she's talking about was the one where she stole Haruhi's powers and changed the world. Since then, Nagato stopped synchronizing, telling me that cutting herself off from the future has allowed herself to retain her autonomy, giving her freedom, or at least the illusion of freedom. Still, every once in a while, it'd be nice to know what's going to happen.

"The other interfaces can still synchronize, right?" I said. "Can't we ask them what will happen?"

"It is unlikely that they will cooperate. They are designed to observe. Interference with future events is strictly prohibited."

Great, so much for that idea. "So how can you be so confident?"

Nagato paused a bit. I notice her eyes lowering ever so slightly. "My statement is based only on inferential information." Her eyes came back to meet mine. "However, the situations that we all have had to overcome were all of a great magnitude of seriousness. I do not believe it is irrational to conclude that we are capable of handling similar problems and events in the future."

"Indeed," said Koizumi. "I agree with you. If Suzumiya-san did not believe we could do this, she wouldn't have given us this burden."

Being capable of handling it and wanting to handle it are two different things.

"Y...yes," said Asahina-san. "I...I know in the past that I haven't been able to do much to help, but I really want to do my part! If enduring my role in the movie is the most I can do, than I have to give it my all!"

Oh Asahina-san! You must really feel out of place with Nagato and Koizumi around. Don't worry. Your role as Brigade mascot and tea brewer has always been enough for me.

"Excellent," said Koizumi. "Then I believe we're all in agreement. We're going to do everything in our power to make both this movie and the concert a success!"

I didn't agree to that! Don't put words in my mouth!

"I will go home and make some arrangements with the Organization. I'm certain that we'll be able to find a suitable venue for the concert. I'll keep in touch in case we run into any problems."

And with that, everyone left with a feeling of boosted confidence, with the exception of me. I began to feel like Atlas, having to hold the world on my shoulders, only worse since the size of the planet had inexplicably grown three sizes. First, I had the results of my test coming up, which I was sure that I botched. Next, my parents were coming down to visit me and Haruhi's family, and if, by some miracle, my mother didn't kill me for my lousy test scores, the disaster that would likely happen when they find out how weird the Suzumiyas are will make me wish I was dead. Then, Haruhi and I would spend the next week doing our summer homework, which was going to so boring that I feared that I might hang myself. After that, we'd spend the next five weeks working on both a movie and concert at the same time. And these were all the problems that I KNEW I was going to have to deal with. Who knows what else could happen in that time.

I could deal with all of this if only I could have some occasional alone time with my girlfriend, but from the way things were working out, I wouldn't even have that! This was ridiculous! I'm a healthy teenage boy! I have needs, dammit!

When I exited the front entrance to the school, I was surprised to find someone waiting for me.

"What took you so long?" said Haruhi.

"I didn't think you'd wait for me."

"Why wouldn't I?" she said, looking somewhat insulted.

"Well, you didn't wait for me yesterday."

"That was different! Like I said, I needed some time alone to think. I'm okay now."

"Oh...sorry," I said as the two of us began to walk off. "I was just talking with the rest of the Brigade. I was worried that they might be down about having to work so hard on two different projects over the summer. It turned out that I was one that got the pep talk."

"See? I knew that they could handle it!" she said with a smile. "I think you're too quick to underestimate them sometimes, especially Mikuru-chan."

"Can you blame me? It's not like she's ever been all that tough."

"She's tougher than you think. Think about all that I've put her through over the last year. I'm sure I would have lost it if I'd have had to go through that."

If you acknowledge that you've been really hard on her, than why don't you stop?

"It's the role of the leader to push his or her followers to their limits. Mikuru-chan has passed my tests with flying colors, which is why I made her my Deputy Vice Chief."

If you only knew why she's had to endure, you'd think twice about all of it.

Haruhi began to pout. "I just wish that you had half the spirit as the rest of the Brigade. And you wonder why you were the one that needed a pep talk."

"Yeah," was all I could respond with. The truth was that I was feeling rather upset with the recent turn of events, and I realized that I needed to talk about it sooner or later. However, I was worried that I would end up starting a fight over it, and the last thing I wanted was to make my situation more complicated by upsetting her, too.

It was only when we were about halfway home that I found the courage to speak up. "Haruhi, wait!"

She turned towards me with her eyebrow raised. "What's up?"

"There's something I need to talk about...about us."

"What about us?" Her expression was a mix of confusion and worry.

It took me a second to find the right words. "Look, I can understand that you want to do some great things with the Brigade this summer, but I can't help but feel like that it's going to get in the way of a lot of other stuff. I was really hoping that...we'd have more time for us to do things...just the two of us."

Haruhi crossed her arms. "I told you that my role as Brigade Chief comes first."

"So what?" I said, my anger level rising a little. "Just because the Brigade comes first doesn't mean that you and I should come last! Is it really too much to ask that we could at least spend a little time alone together?"

"We're going to spending our first week of summer break together doing our summer homework, aren't we?"

"No, not like that! I mean something more special, like what happened during our last date!" I then got a bit nervous. "I mean...I want to...go further than that."

"I told you that we'd talk about that later."

"No! We're going to talk about it now!" It should be noted that I was loud enough for passersby to look at me weirdly. "If we don't talk about it now, we're not going to get the chance until it's too late!"

Haruhi was stunned, not that I'd really blame her. It's rare for me to be like this. She closed her eyes and blushed a bit. "Fine. We'll talk about it now...what do you want to say?"

My mind drew a blank. Frankly, I hadn't actually thought this far ahead. What would we talk about? It was actually really hard to come out and say it. This was made all the worst by the fact that I was now aware of the ridiculous situation we were in. Hint to anyone reading this, talking about this subject matter in the middle of a public street is considered very bizarre behavior.

After some effort, I found the words I wanted to say. "I'm ready to be a man...and I'd like to know if and when you're ready to...take our relationship further."

Haruhi's blushing grew a bit deeper. "Well, like I've said before, I am a young healthy woman...and of course I think about these things, too. It's just..."

"Just what?"

"When we went on our last date, the way things went while we were in the hot spring...I liked what we were doing. It was really great. So great that I started to think that maybe I could do that sort of thing everyday and forget about everything else that mattered to me. That kinda made me worry, you know?"

"That won't happen. I know you better than that."

"Maybe, but this is kinda new to me, and I'm not really sure how I'm going to behave." She then looked deeply into my eyes. "It's kinda scary."

My heart rate was skyrocketing. It was extremely rare to see her this vulnerable, and she looked absolutely gorgeous. I was lost in her beautiful amber orbs.

"Then I remembered that wish you wrote on Tanabata, and I realized that there was nothing to worry about. I knew that there was plenty of time for us to reach that level. I figured that when the time was right, when there was nothing that could get in the way, then we'd be able to be together like that."

"I'm not waiting sixteen years."

"Oh, no. I don't want to wait that long either."

"When then?" Please give me a reasonable answer.

Haruhi began to think. "W...well, at the very least, I think it should wait until after everything we're doing this summer. The both of us are going to be so busy that we can't afford to have any distractions."

It was then that I was hit with a massive amount of inspiration. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I grabbed her by her shoulders. "Then it's decided! On the last day of summer break, we will do it, but only under the following conditions!" I then let go of her shoulders and took a step back. "We must successfully shoot all the required scenes for the movie and perform the concert in front of every student in North High. We must be met with thunderous applause from everyone!"

Haruhi stared at me with what must have been bewilderment.

I then pointed my finger into the air. "If and when those conditions are met, then and only then shall I finally become a man!" I then pointed directly at her face. "And you will become my woman! That's right! On August 31st, you and I will do 'This and That'!"

And I was done. By now, there were more than a dozen strangers staring at the two of us, one of which seemed a little too interested in what we had to say. Go away! You're ruining my moment!

Haruhi stared blankly at me for what must have been almost a minute. Then, slowly, her face began to crack. Before long, she had doubled over and was laughing hysterically. Hey, stop that! I'm being awesome right now!

"You are," she said when she finally was able to. "That's why I'm laughing." She laughed a bit longer before regaining her composure. "You were like some kind of shonen manga hero."

"Is that a bad thing?" I said, feeling a little hurt.

"No, it was great," she said as walked up to me. "There's that spirit I was talking about earlier. It's too bad that it required something so stupid to get it to come out. Dummy." She then flicked my forehead.

"Ow!" I said while rubbing my forehead. "What the heck?"

Haruhi ignored my complaint and grabbed my tie, bringing my face close to hers. "It's a deal then. You better be prepared on that night, okay?"

I'm prepared now. Hell, I've probably been prepared for years.

"That's not what I meant, dummy." She then flicked my forehead again.

"Ow! Okay, I get it."

"Good. By the way, be careful about acting so cool in front of me like that. It's going to be really hard waiting this long as it is." She then pulled me towards her and kissed me deeply. I had to admit that this was a WAY better pep talk than the one I got earlier.

It was while we were kissing that I felt something small drop onto my shoulder. When we stopped, I turned to look at what it was. It was a small drop of some dark, slimy substance. I instinctively touched it and was repulsed. "Ew."

Haruhi looked at what was on my fingers and shoulder. "What is that?"

"I don't know," I said as I looked up. The only thing I saw was an overhanging branch that seemed to have recently died. The tree it was attached to was still alive, so it was a bit odd. I didn't see anything else.

"Must have been bird poop. Birds can be so inconsiderate sometimes. I wish that they'd evolve the ability to only poop on things that nobody cares about."

Birds don't evolve around the idea of taking human considerations into account. If I was a bird, I'd probably poop wherever I wanted. It's not like a human could possibly catch me without a gun, which no one in this country has.

"We should get going," said Haruhi. "You didn't eat lunch, right?"

"Oh, right?" I said while following her. I was so worked up that I'd forgotten that I was starving.

When Haruhi and I returned home, she immediately went upstairs to get changed. I decided not to do that until after I'd eaten something. I went into the kitchen only to find Naru-san looking at what appeared to be some kind of paperwork with a pen in her hand. When she noticed that I was in the same room, she attempted to hide what she was looking at. "Oh, welcome home, Kyon-kun."

"Was I interrupting something?"

She looked away nervously. " This is nothing. Don't worry about it."

It was painfully obvious that she was hiding something, but I decided not to ask further. Whatever it was that she was doing was her business.

I then walked up to the cabinets and opened them. However, I was shocked to find that they were surprisingly barren. Usually when we were short on food, either Haruhi and I, or Naru-san would go out to get more food.

"Did you forget to go shopping?"

Naru-san's face became a shade paler. "Oh, I'm so sorry. must've slipped my mind."

"I could go out and do it if you'd like." Although it sucks that I'd have to wait to eat.

Naru-san began to look around nervously. "Oh...well, you see, Oruki-kun must have forgotten to go to the bank to get some money, so I don't have any to give you yet."

I sighed. I already knew how terrible a liar Naru-san was. Heck, only a couple months ago, she was practically incapable of lying. A two year old could tell what was going on. "It's okay, Naru-san. I understand if money is a little tight this week. I still have a little money on me. I'll do the shopping."

Naru-san stood up. "Oh, you don't have to do that."

"It's okay," I said while waving my hand. "It's the least I can do."

"But you've done a lot for us, too," she said before lowering her voice. "Not to mention all of your work saving the universe and stuff."

"That's volunteer work," I said. "Besides, since I'm hungry, I'm going to go out anyway."

Naru-san looked at me reluctantly. "Okay...I'll write up a list." She then grabbed a piece of paper and began to write down a shopping list.

It was then that Oruki came in. "What's going on?"

Naru-san's eyes widened when he entered. "I...I'm sending Kyon-kun shopping."

Oruki narrowed his eyes. "How's he paying for it?"

"I'm paying for it with my own money," I said. "Is that a problem?"

Oruki looked at me a bit angrily. "Absolutely not."

"Look, if it bothers you that much, just take it out of my rent."

"That's not the point!" he said. "I don't need your charity! We're fine! I'm going to take care of it!"

Dammit, this guy was stubborn. Was it really that big a deal that I buy them food once in a while? "Look, I'm hungry. I don't feel like waiting. I'm going out to do some shopping, and I'm going to buy myself some food and put it in the cabinets. If you feel like buying some of it from me later, then that's fine." I then started walking out of the kitchen.

"Wait, Kyon-kun," said Naru-san as she quickly jotted down the rest of the list. "Here!"

I grabbed the list from her and walked out of the kitchen. I noticed that Oruki was extremely irritated. However, I knew he wouldn't beat me up over something like this. He was just letting his alpha-male pride get in the way.

I went into my room and grabbed my wallet. Just as I was leaving my room, Haruhi walked out of her's. "Where are you going?"

"Your mom sent me shopping," I said. I figured it was best not to worry her about her parents' financial issues.

"I'll come with you," she said as we walked downstairs. After putting our shoes on, we left for the nearest grocery store.

The rest of the day went by normally. After Haruhi and I finished our shopping, I ate a really nice lunch and relaxed in my room. It was overall a decent day, although it was hampered by all the troubles I knew I was going to face.

In less than four days, my parents would arrive. I had no idea as to what I should expect the day they arrived.

Sorry that there was another setup chapter. It's a lot of work building up all of the problems that Kyon will have to deal with. Aren't I a nice guy?

In case you're wondering, yes, Kyon's parents will finally make their appearance next chapter. Don't get too overexcited, as Kyon's parents are supposed to be relatively normal. There will be some other surprises in store next chapter as well. I'm looking forward to writing it!

I believe I had a review asking if it was me commenting on Danbooru. Since the review was anonymous, I can't respond privately, so I have to do it here. Yes, it's probably me. Hopefully, I didn't say anything too embarrassing.

I also want to mention that I recently got my nephew into reading Meet the Suzumiyas, and he's been enjoying it so far. No doubt when he catches up with the series that he'll be pestering me for updates, so I'll have even more reasons to keep going. I can't wait to hear what he thinks.

Anyway, I'll hopefully have the next chapter up soon. Bye~!