A 'Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi' fanfiction

Prologue - Understand

Disclaimer: The novel series of Suzumiya Haruhi that began with 'The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi' is the creation of Nagaru Tanigawa. 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.

Notes: Diverges at some vague point in novel nine. May contain spoilers to that point.

I have a pretty good memory for the timing of things, and I like things to happen neatly, symmetrically.

But it's also a huge pain in the ass to wait until that happens.

The day being one year to the day that a certain particularly good dream - the details of which you don't need to know - is it really that unreasonable to want to see a similar pattern?

Not identical - that would be boring. Similar.

More interesting, more exciting ... well ... something like that. More meaningful, at least.

It was one of those uncooperative days, though, where things didn't really go the way I like. It goes without saying, but it ticks me off when that happens; I always get that annoying sense of tension in the back of my head. I'm too young for it to be blood pressure, but it's no joke to say that the source of these pains is almost always the insubordinate.

Lately, there has been some tension, though ... and centered around him, of course. He's been more and more irritable ever since that time we ran into that girl he knew from...

That thought in mind, when I look up from the monitor, I see him staring morosely at the game board across from Koizumi-kun. It's chess, and as always, Kyon is kicking Koizumi-kun's ass. It's one of those things where you can tell his heart isn't in it, though; he's just crushing his opponent absently instead of stringing him along for dozens of turns.

Sometimes, when things are like this, I wonder if maybe he thinks similar things - that today feels off.

I want to think he's a jerk for not remembering what happened a year ago, to take it so casually... But he's kind of ignorant that way. Never pays attention when he should.

Then again, it's not like it's possible he'd know about it, given it was my dream.

More of that tension.

"What's eating you, Kyon?" I finally chide him.

He glances over at me with a raised eyebrow, frowning more intently before settling back into his chair. He probably thinks I can't tell what he's doing, but it's pretty obvious when he thinks he's gearing up for some sort of confrontation.

Just what I didn't need.

"I've got a bit of trouble," he acknowledges, nodding. "So, I don't think I can make this weekend's mystery search."

I give him a look every bit as unimpressed as I feel. "What lame excuse do you have this time?" I wonder.

He takes a breath at that, not quite a sigh of resignation, but I can read it for what it is. He thinks he has it so tough? I try staring him down, but as always, he seems totally indifferent.

"I don't have enough money," he says.

I can only continue to stare at him for a minute. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Koizumi-kun frowns, looking between us, giving that creepily studying look he sometimes gets. Mikuru-chan fidgets in her seat with a look of intent concentration, as though she were trying to understand something difficult. Yuki just flips to the next page of her book - Time Enough for Love, today.

"I seem to have somehow spent almost my entire savings over the last year without really realizing it," Kyon mutters. Not satisfied with giving me just his typical snark, he looks at me intently, crossing his arms over his chest as though somehow I had lost his money.

"Well, that sucks for you, but I don't see how your financial irresponsibility has anything to do with us meeting up for the mystery searches. What, do you need train fare?" I grumble at him.

"Yes... A connection between an activity where penalties can be awarded, and me having no money," Kyon muses.

"Kyon, you advance stupidity to whole new frontiers," I notify him, shaking my head. "If you didn't screw up and get penalized, this would never have been a problem!"

His face twitches for a moment, and one eyebrow gives a small tick-

Okay- Back up.

He pisses me off sometimes, but if there's one thing I really can't stand, it's seeing him truly pissed off.

I've seen that twice. Once was at the friends of some girl he knew from middle school, not that long ago. I still haven't been able to find out why. It must have been pretty bad, though, because...

The other time he got really pissed off-

Anyway, I can't let him say something stupid, so I quickly say, "Well, I guess it's a given you're always penalized, so that does completely undermine the point of the system. Trust you to ruin a good idea... So, fine, you can be exempt to penalties, since they weren't helping anyway."

He closes his eyes and looks away. "Even-" he starts abruptly, turning to face me with his eyes open before biting it off.

Shit, is it really that bad? I mean ... how many penalties has it been, anyway?

Come to think of it ... there's been maybe five times ever when it wasn't him...

...and there was that time I was the last one there and made him pay anyway...

Okay, he was being a genuine ass that day, and it was just the two of us, but still- In the grand scheme of things...

I guess that could be kind of a lot of money, couldn't it?

Damn- How can I fix this?

"I don't like that look," he says suddenly, in a very dubious tone.

"Ah, Kyon-kun," Koizumi-kun murmurs, finding his voice suddenly, "if finances are a concern, as you know, I have a part-time job- I could find you employment-"

"I'll still pass on that one," Kyon says, looking at the other boy as though he just said something particularly distasteful.

What's up with that? If he's passing on a chance to make more money... He can't really be that lazy - not if the money really bothers him. Can he?

"Stop being so difficult!" I tell him. "Get to the point already - what does it take to get you to quit moping? Since this is such a big deal- Fine, I'll cover everyone's expenses for this weekend, okay?"

Kyon just shakes his head and stares at the table.

"Well?" I press. If he can't say what the hell is wrong, it's never going to get fixed - and all this internalization to keep him from getting pissed off is seriously getting me worked up!

"I... I'm not feeling well," Kyon decides, suddenly standing up. "It's... I'm sure everything will be fine; I just need to rest."

"Just say what's really bothering you, already!" I snap, unable to keep my irritation completely in.

"," Mikuru-chan hesitantly begins, her eyes going between Kyon and me hurriedly. "D...don't fight..."

God - what a pain! Kyon doesn't know half of what I do for him; the jerk should try seeing things from my perspective once in a while!

Kyon looks even more annoyed for a moment, and then I really wish that were true - that maybe I could see things from his side well enough to know what the hell was bothering him so much.

That annoying pressure in the back of my head suddenly disperses, and I feel dizzy - like a rush of cold flowing out from my head to the reaches of my body, and then even further, away from me completely...

Kyon lurches to one side, almost toppling over, but thrusting one hand out. It ... it seems for a moment like a chair suddenly slides across the floor to meet his grasp, saving his balance. It could have been a trick of the light or something...

"What the hell was that?" I wonder.

Kyon might be clumsy, but I felt something, and it was simultaneous. No way I'm letting this go!

"Oh," Kyon says suddenly, his hand rising, staring at it in fascination.

Mikuru-chan yelps in alarm, charging to my side and wrapping her arms around me as she shivers nervously. At the same time ... unless I'm seeing things ... something truly amazing did happen, whatever the hell it was!

"What... Kyon-kun, if what I think just happened took place," Koizumi-kun says slowly, his voice taking on a keen edge of worry, "I believe you need to remain calm."

"Why the hell do you think you know what happened?" I demand. "Seriously- Start explaining what's going on!" I know that Koizumi-kun hides things from me - it's a given with how obvious he is - but something of this magnitude?

"Am-" I cut myself off and look over my shoulder. Yuki is sitting in her seat, book in her lap as she stares intently at Kyon with her usual, unreadable expression. Mikuru-chan is still hanging onto me, trembling like a leaf. Koizumi-kun looks like he's seriously considering bolting from the room, either towards the door or the window.

"Stop this playing around!" I yell. This is too much, too fast! "Someone tell me what the hell is going on!"

"So ... you really think you can walk in my shoes?" Kyon asks curiously. He frowns, then shakes his head.

Koizumi-kun begins to tremble like Mikuru-chan, who begins sobbing wordlessly.

"Okay... Fine, then."

"Hey-" is the last thing that I get to say before it all goes dark.

Damn it, Kyon...