A/N: My first Haruhi Suzumiya story. This takes place just after the climax of the 11th novel. I'd like to think that this one-shot has hints of the Koizumi/Kyouko pairing in it, but I'm not really the best judge for that, so just enjoy the story!
Disclaimer: I lack Nagaru Tanigawa's genius, and as such I don't own the characters of Haruhi Suzumiya.
PS: Forgive the stupid title.
An Esper Conversation (A Haruhi Suzumiya story)
Tachibana Kyouko had never felt more miserable in her life.
To think that I was stupid enough to believe that everything was going so smoothly.
How could things have gone so wrong?
Why hadn't she seen it before? She and Fujiwara had argued plenty of times when it came to transferring Suzumiya Haruhi's powers to Sasaki-san. Why hadn't she thought, at least once, that he'd deviate from their original plan? That he was the sort of person to kill? His lack of remorse over kidnapping Asahina Mikuru should've given her plenty of insight into his personality. And she didn't see it. Was she blind?
Kyouko would never kill to get what she wanted. Even, with her desire to see Sasaki-san regain what was rightfully hers, the thought of killing had never once entered her mind. She was the sort who hesitated about swatting a fly. Being indirectly responsible for killing a human being would torture her conscience for as long as she lived, and probably even after her death. Kyouko gulped, feeling slightly sick.
Returning Sasaki-san's powers to her doesn't feel so good anymore, Kyouko reflected gloomily. The recent fiasco had robbed every last desire she had of giving Sasaki-san the reality-warping powers. Sasaki-san had said that she hoped that they could remain friends after everything that was supposed to happen had happened. However, the whole thing had gone so badly wrong that Kyouko wondered if the other girl would even look at her at again.
Kyouko didn't want to think about Kuyoh Suou. After the recent event, even thinking about the Humanoid Interface sent a small chill down her spine. She immediately pushed all thoughts of the ink-haired alien from her mind. There was no need to make herself feel worse than she already was feeling at the moment.
And it was then that a voice interrupted her thoughts.
Kyouko froze momentarily. After what had happened she wasn't in the mood to talk to Koizumi Itsuki, of all people. It was just mortifying to talk to him, though Kyouko didn't want to admit why.
In a way, I suppose he could be called the day's saviour, she thought. I suppose the least I could do is thank him.
"Hello, Koizumi-kun," she said, thankful that her voice sounded steady.
"Are you doing well?" he queried, sitting next to her on the park bench.
"Yes, I'm fine," Kyouko said, unable to believe that she was actually having a polite conversation with the leader and founder of her faction's competition. The embarrassment was still there, but there was no hatred of jealousy- though Kyouko wasn't sure if the situation called for it. To be honest, Kyouko had never hated Koizumi Itsuki- actually; she nursed a small admiration for him for the fact that he could handle the madness of Suzumiya Haruhi's Closed Spaces (and the girl herself) while running his faction and being a student at the same time.
"I…" Kyouko hesitated, and then rushed on, "I suppose I should thank you for intervening like you did earlier."
She could feel the embarrassment heating her face up.
"It was nothing," he said airily, raising an eyebrow as he replied. "It is always a pleasure to be of aid to Suzumiya-san. Additionally, I'm glad to have helped you in whatever way I did- though I imagine that what I did would probably cause some discomfort with the other members in your faction, would it not?"
"I'm going to quit. I don't want Sasaki-san to have the reality-warping abilities anymore."
The words left Kyouko's mouth without any forethought, and she was surprised to realize that she meant every word. "I don't think I can handle their reaction if I meet them face-to-face, and I don't want to ruin my chances of being Sasaki-san's friend," she continued, just for the sake of completing her answer.
"Mmm," he said, "a resolute decision. However," he tilted his head to look at her, "why then the tears?"
Kyouko hadn't even realised that there tears coming down her cheeks until he mentioned them. It was like the word "tears" coming from his mouth acted as the catalyst for her to actually snap and start bawling like a baby.
"I was such an idiot!" she sobbed. "It was my fault the whole thing got messed up so badly! I came close to actually killing a person! Why did things end up like this? If things had gone the way I'd originally intended, I-!"
Every thought that had been the source of Kyouko's misery came pouring out and she didn't want to stop. It felt so good to let everything out to somebody. Right then, Kyouko didn't care that Koizumi Itsuki was supposedly someone she hadn't been on good terms with till less than twenty minutes ago, but right then he was just someone that was listening to her wail and blab out every fear that had been haunting her since the… the incident happened.
She didn't think much when he put an arm round her neck. She didn't even bother with the fact that she was embarrassing herself, though there would've been a time when crying would have mortified her.
When the sobs had reduced to hiccoughs, he handed her a piece of tissue paper. She took it and blew her nose- hard.
"I'm sorry, Koizumi-kun, if I bothered you," she said in a tiny voice.
"It was no bother," he said blithely. "Actually, I guessed that recent events would be taking an unpleasant toll on you, so I came to check if you were doing well." His gaze on her became slightly softer. "You aren't a very good liar, Tachibana-san."
Kyouko blushed again. She couldn't help it.
"I don't know if I'm the best person to tell you this, but whatever happened was not your fault. Am I right in assuming that you originally intended for Suzumiya-san to continue living if Sasaki-san received Suzumiya-san's abilities?"
Kyouko couldn't see where he was going, but she nodded.
"Then I can very well say you never intended actual harm, can I not? It was the time traveller and Interface you associated with that took the plan and ran away with it, so as to speak."
"Yes, but I should have at least known that Fujiwara would the sort to do what he did- especially after the kidnapping of Asahina Mikuru."
He looked thoughtful. "Don't you find it funny that we, as human beings, try to validate our faults when we wish to be rid of them? It's rather contradictory, isn't it?" He shook his head slightly. "That will be something I can ponder about another time. What I meant to say is that, that is in the past. The time traveller Fujiwara and Kuyoh Suou are no longer threats for the time being. You, who knew nothing until it was too late, were not at fault."
Is he defending me? Kyouko thought, more than a little surprised.
He understood the look on her face, and maintained his smile. "As a person, I hold no grudges against you, Tachibana-san, though we may have disagreed on other aspects. " His smile became wry. "I hope that now, we can at least be on cordial terms."
Kyouko blinked. She wasn't expecting that. "Er, yes… I don't see why not."
His smile became warmer. "Good. That is all I ask of you." He paused for a moment, and then added, "Well, not quite. Would you mind if we exchanged contact details? It would be useful in negotiations."
Kyouko hadn't the foggiest idea what Koizumi Itsuki wanted to negotiate with her, but after some consideration she nodded. However, that didn't stop her from feeling a little flustered as she gave him her phone number and email address, and as he did likewise.
"Thanks again, Koizumi-kun," Kyouko said as he returned her mobile phone to her. "For… everything."
"It was my pleasure," he said, bowing courteously to her. "I hope to see you very soon, Tachibana-san."
Kyouko couldn't help feeling slightly better as she saw him walk away.
I'd like to see you soon, too.
That day later found Kyouko in her bedroom, biting her lip nervously as she typed away on her laptop.
I just left a telephone message for one of my former colleagues, telling them that I'm no longer part of the faction. Like I said, I daren't meet them face-to-face.
I know I've already blabbed this to you earlier, but I was really sincere when I said that I wanted to be Sasaki-san's friend. I'll be returning to school with her tomorrow. I've already contacted her and filled her in on what happened in that Closed Space. She forgave me without turning a hair, which made me wonder… ah well. I should be grateful she forgave me at all.
Once again, thank you for the help you've given me.
After reading through it a few times, Kyouko hesitantly clicked on the SEND button.
When Koizumi Itsuki checked his email an hour and a half after meeting Tachibana Kyouko, he was unsurprised to see an email from her.
He read it and smiled.
A/N: The idea for this came when a bunch of other Haruhi fans and I were discussing the Surprise novels on a fansite. I mentioned that I'd been a fan of the Koizumi/Kyouko pairing before the novels were released, and one of the other members said something about how horrible poor Kyouko must've felt after everything that'd happened, and how Koizumi probably comforted her before getting her number. Thus this story was born.
I realise that there's a debate regarding Koizumi's status in the Organisation, but remember that this oneshot was almost entirely from Kyouko's perspective, and judging from Surprise, she truly believed that Koizumi was the Organisation's leader and founder.
And with that, I bid goodbye.