Legacy - a Suzumiya Haruhi/? ? ? fanfic
by Brian Randall
Disclaimer: Moved to footer to maintain the surprise.
Premise: An experiment on Haruhi's part in past life regression has ... unexpected results.
Notes: Diverges after book eight, at the start of the second year of school for Kyon and Haruhi.
First, there was light, and the impression of great responsibility - and greater betrayal.
Then there was silence, a sense of loss and confusion that could never be assuaged.
After that ... there was darkness, and the husky sibilant laughter of some terrifying, distant figure, obscured in heavy shrouds of sorrow.
Behind all three, her eyes dark, unchanging, her hair motionless in the forces about them, she whispers the same words she had whispered to him for every night that he could recall. "I keep my vow," she swears. "As you served my will, so too shall I swear that your curse will be undone. I will see you reunited, no matter how fate must be twisted to bring her back to you, even across time. Know that still - even beneath the millstone of uncaring ages, I will break before abandoning this, dear Quill of Heaven."
She is vast, endless - infinite, and containing with her the end of all things. She smiles at him, some distant, ancient flicker within her eyes remembering the concept of mortality, reflecting the light he had once shone on her.
He knows that for her, destruction is trivial - born of the void carved at the end of the second age by the death of-
Those names escape his gasp, slipping away into the darkness. Not her darkness, not that eternal void, but some other obscure mystery. She could end him, or dismiss whatever promise she made ... but she choses not to.
Though he doesn't understand why, as he always has, he thanks her for her promise. As she always does, she sheds a pair of tears without her smile lessening in the slightest ... before bending forward and kissing him on the forehead. "Awake," she whispers.
And so, he does.
He admitted to being surprised by how quickly Haruhi got over the fact that there were no recruits willing to join in the second year, but then, given where her plans went...
Near the end of May, once Haruhi got over her sulking fit over the lack of recruits - something Koizumi had told Kyon was less of an issue than it seemed - she came up with a new plan of attack.
"Okay," she declared in the club room that afternoon, her grin dazzling and overflowing with confidence. "Kyon, I want to try something - but you must trust me implicitly, or it won't work!"
Looking up from the board game he was currently crushing Koizumi at, Kyon frowned slightly. "That right there doesn't exactly instill me with confidence," he warned.
Snorting, she shook her head and crossed her arms beneath her chest. "Dummy," she chastised him. "You know what hypnotism is, right?"
"Somehow, I already think this is a terrible idea, and the mere suggestion has caused me to trust you less," he drawled.
Haruhi scowled at him. "Idiot," she snapped. "Hypnotism doesn't work like that - you can't be made to do something you don't want to."
Surprisingly enough, Mikuru and Yuki both nodded, while Koizumi contributed, "As a matter of fact, I've heard that, too. But, Suzumiya-san, may I ask what this is about?"
"I don't really want to hypnotize anyone," Haruhi explained, standing up and placing her hands on the desk before her. "What's the point of that? To tell you to do something that you would be capable of doing if you'd just follow my orders anyway?"
Well, when she puts it that way... But then, what would the point of hypnosis be, if it wasn't that, Kyon wondered.
"To ask questions you can't answer when you're conscious!" she explained with a grin. "Isn't it obvious? You're so placid and lazy because you've had an adventurous previous life already! Something amazing and epic! Something truly profound! And ... something entertaining, because I'm bored - so you're going to tell me about those adventures under hypnosis, so you'll actually be fun to be around!"
That had the familiar taste of Haruhi's reason/madness blends that Kyon had come to expect from her. Stepped a bit longer than her usual brew, but unmistakably hers. "That almost makes sense," he allowed.
"Right," she declared with a grin, pulling a shiny bit of metal on a chain from one pocket. "Now, are you ready?"
"I have yet to hear a compelling argument for why I should agree to this, actually," Kyon countered.
"Because when we're done, I'll tell you to wake up refreshed, and you'll feel like you had a nap," she said, the faintest hint of annoyance entering her gaze. "Seriously, Kyon, you practically get to take a nap through this activity! Don't you wish we'd come up with this before?"
Koizumi, Mikuru, and Yuki were already there. If Haruhi wanted to waste a day trying to hypnotize him to tell her entertaining stories, then so be it. Maybe it would let him forget that weird recurring dream for a while...
...what the hell, he decided, shrugging. "Why not?"
Smugly pleased with how effective her plan had been - Kyon put up less of a fight than usual - Haruhi stared into his eyes while slowly turning the string between her fingertips, causing the shiny bit of jewelry she had picked to use as a focus to rotate and sparkle.
She knew she was good, but expected that with Kyon's usual resistance it would take the entire day to get him into a trance. To her vast surprise, it had only taken about five minutes. It was a little disconcerting how docile Kyon immediately became, once she put him under.
His eyes had slowly dimmed, losing much of that shine that, just so you knew, had absolutely no effect on her whatsoever. She just happened to notice it, and felt more serious about the occasion - she wasn't worried or alarmed.
Absolutely she wasn't ignoring a mild sense of foreboding!
"You are deep in a trance," she instructed Kyon, who continued to stare, blinking languorously, as though she had somehow banished the greater part of his awareness. Which, she supposed, was exactly what she had done...
"As you listen to my voice, you go deeper and deeper into that calm trance," she said, keeping her voice as soothing as possible, holding the excitement back from it. Yuki was watching with mild interest, Mikuru-chan was fidgeting uncertainly, watching Kyon with obvious curiosity, and even the almost eternally pleased Koizumi seemed to be intrigued.
And with Kyon consenting - as he obviously must have to have been hypnotized - she had the entire Brigade's support behind her! Who needed new recruits?
"When I lower this pendulum, you will remain in a trance," she explained, since her arm was starting to ache a little from holding it up. "Then you will close your eyes and sit back in your chair."
Kyon did as instructed the second she lowered her arm, just settling back in his chair and almost looking as innocently lazy as he often did. And she totally didn't just do that because his sleeping face was easier to look at than his empty eyes.
She took a moment to catch her breath and study him for completely unrelated reasons.
"Now," she said, after a few minutes had passed, pausing to lick her lips nervously. "You will remember who you are, but release your identity and reach back, far back, to your previous life," she continued. Would this really work?
Since she'd managed to hypnotize Kyon, she was actually uncertain ... she would have expected it to produce nothing, just because he was involved - but it had actually worked this far!
"What is your name?" she prompted.
He shifted in his seat slightly, eyes still closed, and then straightened up, looking less relaxed. "I am the Indomitable Reaver of Truth," he said, in a tired, brittle - and very un-Kyon-like voice. "I will allow nothing to be concealed from me."
Haruhi swallowed nervously, her eyes widening; that tone sent an uncontrollable shiver down her spine, and it was not pleasant. Koizumi's look of interest shifted to amazement, with hints of fear. Yuki didn't appear to react at all, beyond freezing perfectly still. Mikuru's eyes had widened, too, though she always looked nervous or worried.
"What country do you live in?" Haruhi pressed, unable to let go of this amazing thread - though if Kyon was playing a joke on her, she would beat the crap out of him!
"I do not live," the voice that emanated from Kyon answered.
Okay ... this was starting to become very uncomfortable. Haruhi pursed her lips, thinking, and then shook her head slightly. "How do you exist, if you don't live?" she asked.
"I was captured," he said, the ominous, horrifying voice suddenly picking up a tinge of panic that made Haruhi's stomach churn. "Imprisoned, by the Lover Clad in Raiment of Tears. She turned me as an amusement, dragging my will to the breaking but refraining from that final step - it was an entertainment to her to have my strength recovered, only to be broken down once more."
"You are calm and relaxed," she told him, not in any way saying that for her own benefit, because things had just gotten way creepy. "You are sinking even more deeply into your relaxed trance, away from this life, and further, deeper back, to the one before it..."
The stiffness faded from Kyon's posture much more slowly than Haruhi had expected.
"Suzumiya-san," Koizumi volunteered, his voice shaking the tiniest bit, "do you think that perhaps we might want to stop?"
Haruhi gave him an incredulous look - one that asked, 'Do you think I'm stupid?' since she wasn't willing to ask it aloud and have Kyon answer in his current state.
"I'm scared," Mikuru whimpered.
Haruhi rolled her eyes. Mikuru was always scared. "Tell me who you are," she said to Kyon.
"I am the Inconsolable Seeker of the Lost," he answered - again with a slightly un-Kyon-like voice. This time, instead of being horrifying and creepy, the voice was ... simultaneously powerful and strangely empty. "Where is she?"
"W...who are you looking for?" she asked, angry only at how strange things were - she was in no way jealous of some woman from Kyon's past life! That would be the dumbest thing ever!
"She was known to me as Harmonious Chorus of Seeking," he answered. "We are bound, by eternal vow."
"Eternal vow?" she pressed, calming herself - this was much better than the last life. Whatever happened there, it sounded scary. She didn't feel at all jealous of that scarily named person who had imprisoned Kyon's also-very-scary other-self. This one, she thought she'd get along with better.
"We are paired," he explained. "For each Solar, there is a Lunar; mine was taken from me by Chejop Kejak. I must find her." After a moment, his voice suddenly hoarse, he added, "But I fail, and am taken by the Deathlords."
"You are calm, sinking deeper into your trance, and away from that life," Haruhi soothed, unnerved with the sympathy evoked within her at that. Of course, if this was real ... well, there was no way to find some person who was missing or dead who knew how long ago...
Was it real, though? At this point, she thought it was - Kyon just didn't seem to have the creativity to make up these stories. He'd probably just pretend to be someone famous and dead, if he were playing a prank - the unimaginative jerk.
"Suzumiya-san, I have to admit that this is discomforting," Koizumi said, shaking his head. "Are you sure you won't reconsider, and let us stop? I think we should check on Kyon-kun, at the very least."
"Kyon, how do you feel?" she prompted.
"I am relaxed," he replied in a voice that was much more like his own, again, though very distant.
"S...Suzumiya-san," Mikuru whimpered.
"This is fine!" Haruhi protested. What the hell was this? Wasn't Kyon the one who said 'no', while everyone else let her do what she wanted? And now that he was cooperating, Mikuru and Koizumi turned against her?
"What do you think, Yuki?" she pressed, frowning at the shorter girl.
For what may have been the first time since Kyon was hypnotized, Yuki blinked, turning to stare at Haruhi in complete silence before saying, "Unsettling."
"Kyon's fine with it, Yuki's not scared, and I think it's a good idea," Haruhi declared, nodding. "Okay, Kyon ... relax, and go even deeper, one more life back."
He shifted in his seat slightly, not otherwise reacting.
"Who are you?" she prompted yet again, eager to find out the solution to this mystery - what strange things Kyon had endured in his prior incarnations.
"I am the Retainer of Forbidden Lore," came a voice from Kyon - this was much like the second voice, but without the echoing emptiness of loss. It was strangely powerful, as though it occupied spaces that sound usually didn't. As though there were more of it; Haruhi shivered involuntarily at the resonation, but this time, not in fear. Instead, it was a strange reassurance ... it felt archaic - almost ancient, but ... right.
Good - this sounded reasonable. He seemed friendly, not imbalanced or angsty, and this was the least creepy name yet. "What time do you live in?" she prompted.
"I arrived near the dawn of the first age."
"What country do you live in?"
"There are no countries; there is only Creation," he answered.
"Hmm... I wonder if you know about your other lives?" she wondered.
"I am the first."
Haruhi started at that. So ... Kyon was on his fourth incarnation? That was kind of cool! "So, you were a new soul? Where did you come from?" she wondered. If this was true, she could be getting all kinds of secret information on the mechanics of ... well ... souls! Who else knew that kind of stuff?
"We were all new souls," he answered.
...well, that actually made sense. She had time to ask about that later, though. "Who do you follow, anyway? Who's the boss of this 'Creation' place?" she asked.
Yuki made a small noise, her eyes crossing. Mikuru drew a slow, shaking breath in, her eyes darting between Haruhi and Kyon. Koizumi was frozen, his eyes wide with fascination - or horror. Why would they be so worked up about this just now? Weren't there other, better times to freak out before this?
"I can only answer your questions in exchange for a promise," Kyon's previous incarnation answered.
Wary again, she asked, "A promise for what?"
"Take my hand and swear to me upon Creation that you will use your deific birthright only with my permission for a span of one century and one year," he explained. "In return, I swear I will tell you the tale of all my lives."
She hesitated, but then, realized she could trust that familiar, warm glow in Kyon's eyes. "Okay," she agreed, taking his hand in hers. "I swear," she agreed. Hey, if he was messing with her, she could just ignore it later after all, right? "Wait! Who told you to open your eyes?"
From behind Kyon, the light of the sun exploded forth in a blinding halo, inscribed with brissant runes and symbols the likes of which Haruhi had never seen before - but felt eerily, strangely familiar...
Kyon's mind screamed and ached beneath the weight of those memories from more-than-mortal incarnations of himself. Empowered beings from an age man had long forgotten warred for dominion within his mind, bleeding their thoughts and skills across his childhood - half of middle-school became a dark morass of twisted soulsteel blades and the dark-eyed mocking laughter of the Lover Clad in Raiment of Tears echoing from behind-
And a heartbeat after that, the occasion where his aunt had bestowed that unwanted nickname upon him was a different occasion - now his first incarnation stood on the balcony of some sprawling palace. He turned to face a woman that seemed somehow so very familiar...
Her skin was dark, but marked with stark white scars or marks - so perfectly placed they seem more painted or tattooed, save for the colors. Intricate bands and whorls looped through one-another across her shoulders, vanishing beneath the dark edges of a robe that seemed almost inadequate to contain her unreasonably sculpted figure.
There was a ripple, and her clothing vanished - but at the same time, she had shifted, transforming in the span of a few seconds into a man-sized magnificent black-feathered bird, marked with the same pattern of white knot-work across its wings. The form took flight, as that figure turned, shaking his head slightly - and pulling back his own memories.
Kyon understood, somewhat... His past selves were supposed to be memories, not a will. The same for his other past selves ... but one of them suffered so greatly...
The depravities he endured - and in return, inflicted - scarred his soul. And it was the samesoul. And yet...
Something of that first incarnation of him was strong enough to overcome that, and left that part behind.
He came to his senses abruptly, clawing his way out of centuries of experiences to find himself sitting in the same seat in the clubroom, only ... it felt somehow dim. Poorly lit. He looked down and realized belatedly that was surrounded in an aura of solar fire - an anima banner.
How strange it was to recognize it like that. The expression of the power that was granted to him by Unconquered Sun... Kyon had never considered himself religious before, but he followed Unconquered Sun, now. It wasn't a question of faith - he have been touched by the god, and his body was alight with flames of his blessing.
That's just the way it was.
Koizumi was huddled away as far as he could get from Kyon, as though the flames hurt him. Yuki was pressed against the wall opposite Kyon, eyes uncharacteristically wide. Mikuru was standing nearby - though looked dazed and almost half-asleep in the bright glow, her eyes narrowed to silver slits while she wobbled faintly, the edges of her mouth curled slightly in an expression of confused contentment.
At least his anima shouldn't be harmful to her-
Haruhi was curled on the floor, trembling, her eyes wide, pink froth marking the corners of her mouth. Without hesitating, Kyon immediately knelt, placing a hand on her forehead. "Calm," he instructed her, reaching within and adding a flow of Essence to his voice through the First Socialization Excellency. "You swore upon Creation that you wouldn't use your powers without my permission."
She gave him an incredulous look, then convulsed, bright blood flecking her lips. Somehow, he realized that Yu-Shan was destroyed - and without them to enforce the promise, the pattern spiders themselves were tending to it - literally tearing away the strands that Haruhi was trying to weave without realizing.
"Shh," he soothed, smoothing her hair back and pulling her into his lap, reaching further within, for the Second Socialization Excellency. The discharge of essence was invisible with his anima banner already filling the room, but this time it reached through Haruhi's defenses. "Let go of that unfamiliar tension. Just relax ... everything is fine..."
Managing a swallow, her mouth twisted into a grimace as she turned her face away from Kyon, but her trembling subsided. "W...what... What's going on?" she rasped. "Are you..."
"I'm ... me," he answered, frowning. "But I wasn't when part of me made you make that promise." Damn it! Why were parts of him such jerks? He thought that was the good past life, too.
She made a face at that. Not trying to remove herself from his grip, her eyes going through the sun-bright halo of light around him, she asked, "I ... have a power? And now I can't use it for one hundred and one years?"
"Without my permission," he amended. Huh. In a way ... he almost wished he had thought of that before. It certainly simplified things.
Though, that did have this issue with about two thousand years of history that seemed pretty incompatible with common sense. Did he really spend over eight hundred years as an undead mockery of himself? Constantly either being debased, or inflicting suffering on others to satisfy his cruel mistress?
Really, if his memories were accurate, Haruhi had been nothing but sunshine and joy her entire existence, compared to the Lover Clad in Raiment of Tears. Thinking of that life further wasn't worthwhile at the moment - it ended in a mutually lethal duel between that self and something ... worse. For some reason, the name 'Chejop Kejak' resonated, rousing an uncomfortable spark of anger from deep with him.
"What are we?" Haruhi managed, too shaky to be angry yet.
"I ... don't quite know what you are," he admitted, frowning. "The things I remember shouldn't ... really be around anymore. I guess some form of goddess?" That seemed to make sense.
"Why's Yuki scared of you?"
"Because..." He hesitated, puzzling it out. "Because ... she's an Autocthonian," he realized. "And her boss probably just told her that my memories go back as far as its do." He shook his head, spreading his hands in a shrug.
"We had thought that Autocthon was going to become one of the Neverborn once it perished as a Primordial," Kyon explained. "But then ... the second age ended before he died, didn't it? I'm no zenith ... but I suppose since they're not around I should say that Unconquered Sun doesn't have a problem with the children of Autocthon returning, as long as they behave. Mostly, he doesn't want you to hurt any of the local gods or mortals without reason."
"Understood," Yuki said, the relief in her voice shockingly obvious.
Haruhi was uncertain what to make of that. "What about you, then?"
"I am a servant of Unconquered Sun," he explained. "Exalted by him, and, marked with this sign," he paused to indicate the symbol he couldn't see, but knew was there on his forehead - it looked like a target, he imagined. "I am eclipse caste, sometimes called 'Crowned Suns' or 'Quills of Heaven'; we are typically ambassadors, diplomats, or negotiators."
"Is that ... why it looks like the sun is right behind you?"
He nodded, searching the uncomfortable jumble of foreign skills and memories for an explanation. "It'll fade in..." Ugh! "Two or three days..."
"Well ... who are you supposed to do that for? You're a go-between for me and your boss?" she wondered.
"More or less ... the job of the Solars was to keep wayward gods and goddesses in line," he managed, a little embarrassed. There was a lot more to it, at one point. But considering the state of the world now, he didn't know that any of those roles were needed. Remembering, he quickly added, "I promised to tell you everything, and when you're ready, I will."
"W...well," Koizumi managed shakily, "what is it they say ... 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'?"
"I guess," Kyon allowed, just before something heavy and soft glomped onto him, unmindful of the fact that he was holding Haruhi in his lap. "What-" he began, before he realized it was Mikuru.
Haruhi made a muffled protest, her face pressed into the other girl's chest as Mikuru excitedly babbled, "I remember, now! Kyon-kun - I remember helping you find things! Didn't ... didn't we make a promise?"
"...I suppose that's different," the esper decided.
Disclaimer: The novel series of Suzumiya Haruhi that began with 'The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi' is the creation of Nagaru Tanigawa. The gaming world of Exalted is property of White Wolf. No disrespect is intended by the posting of this fanfiction, as I do not own the characters or settings involved. I'm merely dabbling with another set of paints.
Author's Notes: Mmm, spammy. This actually is plotted out much, much further - except I think I'll probably stop here, because all of the 'action' takes place in the first and second age, so there's not much except for explanations that tie the two more closely together. Wish I'd realized that before all that plotting.
Check out this author's note, chock-full of implied action! Kyon uses the Rune of Singular Hate at the end of the Second Age to kill (offscreen).