A Suzumiya Haruhi no Yutsuu-based alternate reality story
Disclaimer: The novel series that starts with the light novel 'Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu'/'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya' is the creation of Tanigawa Nagaru. The characters in this story are used without permission; no disrespect is meant by this work. I'm merely a peasant with an easel and some borrowed paints...
Notes: I'm not even going to try and justify this. Possible spoilers for books, uh, one and nine? This is a pretty old spamfic idea, I'm afraid... The goal is unabashed hilarity; this is just meant to be silly and amuse.
How to play: Kyon is Kyon. Try to guess who is playing which other roles before the annoying reveals!
I remember quite clearly that my troubles began exactly one minute after seven o'clock in the evening on a Tuesday.
I was at my desk, flipping through a manga and relaxing, since I'd finished my homework earlier in our study group meeting. It was the final volume of Hoshi no Samidare, incidentally. Who wouldn't wish they could be a chosen sentai hero like that?
Well ... maybe 'hero' isn't the ideal word, but I really like the main character anyway. I had just gotten to the start of what looked like a pretty intense training sequence for him when my mother opened the door to ask me if I was going to be taking a bath soon.
I turned around, one hand brushing across a book that a club-mate had lent me earlier that day. I just glimpsed the clock ticking over to one minute past seven, and before I could open my mouth to even answer, the door to my bedroom suddenly slammed wide open, allowing that same club-mate that had lent me the book in the first place (along with a solemn order to 'read it') into the room.
As my bedroom has a single proper door, this caused both me and my mother some alarm, both of us turning to stare at the figure that then stalked out of my bedroom closet, giving me a stern glare. "You didn't read the note," she says flatly. "Did you?"
I should be asking how she got into my closet, but strangely enough, it's my mother who speaks first. "...excuse me, young lady, could you explain why you're in my son's bedroom?"
This club-mate, the one I met first when introduced to her by the girl who created our study group only a few days ago, shakes her head and rolls her eyes. "He asked me for advice on asking out a girl he likes," she tells my mother, who - for reasons I cannot fathom, smiles brightly at this answer.
"Well, that's fine, then!" she says brightly. Winking at me, she adds, "It's about time you and your sister's favorite 'nee-chan' got a little closer~! I'll let you two, be, then."
She then walks out, humming, though she pointedly leaves the door open.
"Anyway," the girl who stepped out of my closet says, shaking her head again, "what the hell is wrong with you? A cute girl gives you a book, tells you to read it, and you blow her off? How lame!"
I glance at the cover of the book, Full Metal Panic. "Did you want it back already?" I ask, confused. She had just given it to me earlier that day, after all.
She snatches the book from my hands without even looking and flips it open, very shortly producing a bookmark and managing to smack me on the nose with it harmlessly. A little annoyed, I snatch it back from her and look at it.
Other than being a bookmark, it's got a note scribbled on the back. It details a time (a few minutes ago, now) and a place (several miles away).
"I guess it's a good thing you were hiding in my closet somehow, instead of waiting for me there," I allow, as disturbing as it is to wonder how long this girl was hiding there, waiting for me to not read the note or leave.
"Yeah, whatever," she says, glancing around my room, seemingly bored already. "Okay, so check this out. We were supposed to have this conversation at my place over a cup of tea. Sound good?"
...did I just get asked to follow a pretty young woman to her apartment? And then propositioned?
Okay, the students in my class - especially that unreasonably cute class representative - do seem to think that I'm already ... 'involved' with the girl that sits behind me, but I can assure everyone that nothing is happening on that count.
So, despite the oddity of the situation, I agree: "Well ... yeah!"
She then beams me a bright smile, and flips me a rude hand gesture. "Then read the note and show up next time!" she snaps, her smile fading as her hand drops to her side. "Seriously..."
...somehow, I think I shouldn't be surprised about this sudden turn. Most of my takeaway is, 'When a pretty girl suggests you do something, don't wait.'
"Okay! Here it goes! Are you ready for it?" she asks, grinning enthusiastically again.
Yeah, sure, whatever.
"Okay! So, much like our illustrious leader, I am not like normal humans!"
...no. Really? Though, to be honest, I had noticed a lot of similarities between this girl and-
"Not like that," she sighs, shaking her head. "I mean, other than being devastatingly beautiful and awesome beyond compare. What I'm telling you is that I'm an alien!"
She grins, showing the normal number of teeth in a face with the number of eyes I would expect, and really, other than the grin that's just wide enough to be unnerving, she ... really just looks like a cute schoolgirl.
"Thanks! But, nope! I'm a humanoid contact purposed interface! Cool, huh?"
"Right. Alien. Mysterious DNA and everything."
"Bah - my DNA's just as human as yours," she says with a sniff. "I should know - coded it by hand to look authentic!"
That ... doesn't sound very alien.
"My true form is something you couldn't comprehend," she says with a shrug. "You just don't exist on that dimension."
That sounds more alien, I guess. "Well, what's your mission, then?" I wonder.
"Our illustrious leader has a special power! My bosses want to find out how that works, because it'll let us evolve beyond our current limitations!" she declares triumphantly.
"...wow, okay," I manage, shaking my head slowly. "Anything else I should be aware of? Bogeymen? Rogue psions, maybe?"
"Are there even any good rogue/psion combos?" she wonders in answer, looking around my room again. "I guess ... hmm ... psychic rogue, and then prestige into mind-spy?" She shakes her head at that, then says, "Nah, I doubt it - but if any show up, don't you worry- I'll take good care of you!"
"Absolutely!" she says. "Anyway. See you at school tomorrow, so take care~!"
With that, she saunters into my closet, closing the door behind her.
I give her a few minutes before sighing, walking over, and...
...okay, that's ... a neat trick. She may be crazy, but she's good - I'll give her that. How did she get out of there?
Or in, for that matter?
Not sure what else to do with the situation, I think about what she said and put her name on a mental list. It starts like this:
Suzumiya Haruhi - ALIEN (according to her)
The rest of the week... At any rate. That girl that Suzumiya liked to call our 'illustrious leader' had suggested that since we spent so much time cooped up in study, we should meet up for activities - even if it was just strolling across the city. That made enough sense to me, though I didn't care for the exertion; mostly, I was just glad for the change of scenery.
For variety, she had suggested that the members of what Suzumiya called our 'five man band' draw straws and divide into teams, then we could meet up and discuss our experiences, and if we'd found any good places to have for lunch.
I eye the person I find myself paired up with after Suzumiya and the other two girls walked away. In response, he gives me that grin I don't like. "Come on," he says, thrusting his hands into his pocket and jerking his head to one side. "Let's walk down to the river together, alright? Nice, romantic spot!"
"You have fun - I think I'll just wait here," I answer dryly. Romance ... with him?
I will pass, thank you.
"Oh, please. Come on - just walk with me by the river; I've got something really important to tell you," he says, beckoning me to follow as he heads away, towards the riverside.
I turn around and wonder if I can catch up to the others - but he catches on and quickly jogs to my side.
"What? Why are you running away? Come on, Kyon! Don't you want to scope out chicks with me?" he presses, reaching forward from behind me and snagging my shoulder.
Reluctantly, I'm halted, and after some coercion (and a promise to not touch me), we find ourselves walking awkwardly side-by-side next to the walkway. I imagine my expression must be dour; I'd dreamed of some day coming this way with a cute girl, not...
"Okay, so, this is going to sound really skeevy, but there's no way around that," he says without preamble, his eyes firmly on a young lady coming the other direction down the path with her dogs. "Oooh ... nice legs. Anyway," he continues, turning to look at me when the girl in question shoots him a wary glance, passing us by.
"Let's see ... you probably see time as a single, continuous thing - like a pretty young girl that grows up into the hottest, most date-able babe you've ever seen," he says once she's out of earshot. "Am I right?"
"Well, really, I see time as more like a line," I answer. "Don't most people?"
"Time's got some killer curves, is all I'm saying!
"Let's step away from your pettanko, lolicon views of time, and mature into a much more oppai state," he said, making me feel embarrassed to be near someone who would spit out such words, though his grin doesn't abate. "Okay. So, you know that this girl exists in multiple states, right? She used to be more cute, less hot?"
I can't help but think he's choosing a terrible analogy for whatever point he's trying to make.
"Okay. So, there's only ever one girl at a time, in time, but depending on where you go in time, there are an infinite number of instances of that one girl," he continues. "So, in a sense, I'm from the frame of reference where the girl is at her most hot, and you're from the frame of reference where she's just become date-able. Follow?"
"Anyway, the point of it all is this ... so, about three years ago by this time, there was a massive fault in the time-plane, centered around..."
He goes on through a series of analogies that warp my mind and make me wish he'd stop talking. Somehow, the way he tries to relate everything to women just bugs me, and makes his explanations largely blur into disturbing sameness. At one point, I learned to regret asking him to provide greater variety so I could keep all of the theoretical 'girls' separate.
This was a mistake.
Almost mind-numbing, really; I deeply regret that our club leader found him as, "A prime example of someone we must help!"
I think I've extracted whatever meaning from what he's said that I can, though.
"You're telling me you're from the future," I summarize blandly.
"Exactly," he agrees, nodding.
"I'd think a time traveler would have known better than to get shot down by all three girls in our club in less than five minutes," I note.
"Pre-determined rejections don't count," he retorts. "And since I'm not allowed to have relationships in this time, that means I'm never failing. I'm just following history, and happen to have the world's best chance to practice until I go home!"
From there, he tries to 'prove' things to me by pointing at young girls and telling me which ones will grow up to be most 'hot.'
My mental list is updated, though I'll admit I can't be bothered to remember his first name:
Taniguchi - MASSIVE PERVERT (also, time traveler, supposedly)
After the headache of listening to Taniguchi, and remembering Suzumiya's prank on me, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Suzumiya said that she was an 'alien' who was interested in the girl that sat behind me. Taniguchi said he was a 'time traveler' who was interested in her as well (and as shallow as he is, he doesn't actually seem physically attracted to her, or Suzumiya).
Not sure about the details, but confident that she will echo the others, I corner the last member of our group in the halls at lunch the following week. "Hey," I tell her, probably a bit too gruffly, "do you have something to tell me?"
This ... does get a number of the other students in the hallway to suddenly look at the pair of us, and me to feel like an idiot. No backing down now, though!
She just gives me a slow nod, her eyes drifting closed in an even more languid blink, before they drift open. Floating along on her tiptoes as though weightless, she moves to my side, unhesitatingly looping her arm through my own and looking up at me expectantly.
This ... was ... not what I had expected. Feeling way too many eyes on me, I quickly hurry to a more remote corner of the school, on the benches outside, where there aren't many other students around. At least, at the moment.
She seems to expend no energy drifting along at my side.
After setting her at one of the seats, I jogged over to a vending machine to buy us some coffee - and myself a moment to think. She's ... not very talkative, really.
I think it's because she's a transfer student, so maybe ... I should be more considerate. If there is some prank going on, could she be part of it? Since I'm at the vending machine, I don't worry about it too much, turning around and almost colliding-
...she's far too quiet. After managing to spill coffee, and miraculously (somehow) get it on neither of us, she accepts her cup of the drink from me, holding it as though uncertain of what to do with it. We walk back to the bench and sit down together, her watching me closely, not moving to sip at her beverage.
"Um," I start, remembering when our club leader had pointed her out, explaining that a transfer student would be another good choice. After all, she'd need help catching up from the transfer, right?
Though, come to think of it... "So, where did you come from, anyway?" I prompt.
She blinks at that again, then sticks one arm out at her side, away from me, pointing ... I guess mostly west, and a little down? So, mainland Asia? Maybe Europe? "How far away?"
She sits up slightly straighter, her eyes going curiously distant as her hand floats down to her side. "Very far," she finally says, her voice sounding ... not underused, weirdly. I'd expect it to be raspy, considering how quiet she is, but the tones are smooth after all.
"So ... what is is that you wanted to tell me, then?"
I'm weirded out, and feel like my eyes stopped working for a moment. There's no transition at all - it's like a few seconds of the world are just cut out. One moment she's sitting at my side, looking slightly away, the second moment she's looking directly at me, and the coffee cup at her side is empty.
She blinks again and says, "1.062X10^11 rotations ago, I was..." before trailing off into something I can't hear.
"Um..." Suzumiya mentioned something about three years ago, and so did Taniguchi. "Does ... that number mean three years, by chance?"
Close enough, I hope. "Right. So ... you're saying she did something three years ago, and that's why you're here?"
She gives a wordless nod in response, her eyes locked on me, still.
"So ... what are you, then?"
After a very, very long pause, she says, "Esper..." before trailing off into silence again.
"Makes sense, I suppose. Can you show me an example of your esper powers?"
"Work opportunities minimal due to target stability," she says, remarkably coherent for a moment before her eyes flash, and she looks away. "1.242x10^8. Will arrange..." And then more of those strange pauses.
I wonder if they'll ever tell me what the girl who sits behind me is? Still, thanks to that, my list is mostly complete:
Suou Kuyou - ESPER (or mildly autistic; she seems really good with numbers)
It's something to think about, these mysterious revelations ... but, I can't really buy into them that much. It's probably just a joke, or a game ... and there are more important things to worry about in high-school, anyway, right?
Today, my luck has turned. I had to arrange for some excuses to make sure I wouldn't be seen or otherwise suspected, but they were successful.
I'm a little excited, maybe too much so, so let's just calm down a little bit. This morning, I found a note in my locker, asking me to please meet the sender in my classroom after clubs left out. Now, the 'go-to' suspicion in this instance is naturally that a girl who's taken a fancy to me is asking me to meet them for a confession.
And that is a nice feeling.
I spent some time earlier wondering ... could it be Suzumiya? Somehow, I don't think it'd be direct enough for her. Suou? That ... could be, I guess. Maybe she's more articulate when writing? It somehow doesn't seem likely.
If it's Taniguchi, then I will probably mercilessly beat a 'time traveler.'
Let's not even joke about the girl who sits behind me.
The person who is waiting for me in the classroom when I arrive, however, is someone I didn't expect. Not that I have any reason to complain!
The much beloved class representative smiles happily on seeing me, clasping her hands together and beaming me a beautiful smile. "Kyon-kun!" she cheers. "You came!"
"I didn't expect it was going to be you, class rep," I reply, pleased with this turn of events. "So ... what did you want my attention for?"
She brightens, and her face reddens slightly, as she looks away. Is this it? A confession?
I can feel my heart thumping in anticipation.
"S...so, Kyon-kun, um... Do you think that when a situation has become static and unchanging, it's okay to try and help the people who are stuck in that situation?" she prompts me, eyes shining with hope.
I'm ... not quite sure what to make of that. "Um, as you describe it, that sounds like an act of kindness," I offer. "So, it should be fine?"
"G...good!" she exclaims, her face reddening a tiny bit more. "O...okay, in that case, um ... it's not anything personal, but to make sure we don't get interrupted, I've claimed jurisdiction over this data space!"
"I, um, made it so I control probability and data within this space," she clarifies. "So, I can reorder matter, energy, or higher order concepts when required!"
I look around, but the room looks ... perfectly identical in every way.
"Oh, no! I wouldn't really want to change things too much - wouldn't that be scary and weird?"
"I ... guess that's very considerate of you," I agree, no longer as happy, and much more confused. Was this more of that bizarre game?
What happens next, however, is beyond my expectations.
Before she can respond, the entire wall between the classroom and the hallway explodes inwards. It buckles, bowing towards the pair of us, almost surreally slowly. The twisted, bulging mass turns bright, forms cracks and tears-
There's a blinding flash, then, and the far too pleased, cheerful voice of Suzumiya screaming, "I won't let you~!"
When my eyes recover, I'm somewhat staggered- There appears to be a hole blasted in the side of the classroom that leads into... I don't...
So, all of reality appears to be missing where that wall used to be, reducing my exit choices to the windows. Slightly less panicked, I appear to have both Suzumiya and the class rep with me, so I quickly look at the two of them-
The class representative's eyes are wide as she tries to back away from Suzumiya's menacing approach. "So!" the self-proclaimed alien says, still grinning. "You thought you could get Kyon all off on his own and kill him to see her reaction, huh? Well, you've got a lot to learn, backup unit! I'm going to protect him, no matter what!"
"N...no!" the class representative wails, shaking her head furiously. "That's not it!"
I'm ... not sure if I should interfere, here?
"It totally was!" Suzumiya insists. "You're dissatisfied that a representative of the radical faction was allowed to take the leading role!"
"Eh! No, no! I was just, um ... going to ... offer Kyon-kun..." Her face reddens, and she shakes her head quickly. "I only want to help him and-"
"Well, too bad, villain!" Suzumiya replies, as though listening to some other speech entirely. "Now we battle!"
"Wah!" the class representative cries, running away from Suzumiya, skidding to a halt and windmilling her arms for balance at the edge of the ... gap between our classroom and... Whatever that dark mass of absolutely nothing is supposed to be.
Suzumiya charges after her, dashing like an anime character; lines of light and force blur around her, and a trail of dust springs up from the ground in her wake - though these effects vanish as she freezes abruptly in place, statue still a step away from her target. "Hey!" she protests, frowning at the poor class representative. "What kind of offensive pattern is that? Come on! This is your data space! Turn something into a weapon so we can have a proper fight!"
"I- I don't-"
"Make a weapon!" Suzumiya demands, stomping one foot and crossing her arms over her chest to glare expectantly at her ... foe.
Yelping, the other girl puts her hand on a desk, causing it to ... warp and shift in her hand, seeming to somehow split apart and simultaneously fit back together, reshaping itself from a simple piece of furniture into a fearsome weapon.
Let me take that back a little.
The reshaping of matter from something as innocuous as a desk to a different state of matter is a staggering, mind-blowing power. It's the kind of ability over reality which should never be used as a toy - this stuff is so amazing and frightening to a mere mortal that we may as well think of it as magic. Some strange, unpredictable energy that we could never fathom...
So, when I beheld the class representative's weapon, the focus of that awesome power ... well...
I laughed a bit.
Suzumiya didn't think it was funny; she actually looked offended! I really felt for that class representative, trembling before Suzumiya with tears in her eyes, holding up what looked like one of the toy mallets my sister had outgrown at least five years ago... Yellow plastic handle, collapsible red plastic 'squeaky' head...
Somehow, a very underwhelming use for such a power.
"...really?" Suzumiya asks, clearly frustrated. She shakes her head and scowls. "Alright! Fine! Forget that- If you can't give me a good fight, go ahead and try and finish your plan, so I can just stop you in the nick of time."
"Eh!" the class representative holds up her mallet before her like a holy talisman to ward off Suzumiya.
"Well?" Suzumiya snaps impatiently, while I continue to watch this surreal scene with a growing sense of detachment. Maybe it's all a dream? Everything after that flash ... and before it, really, could just be my imagination.
Annoyed, Suzumiya grabs the class representative's wrist, hauls her out of position, and then shoves her violently at me. Not expecting anything to come of it, I brace myself a little and try to catch the stumbling class representative. She's, er, soft, as light as I had expected, soft, smells nice, is very soft, is warm, and also is quite soft.
"J...just think of this as practice," the girl who's pressed against me at the moment mumbles into my chest. "U...um, so that-"
"Now!" Suzumiya exclaims, charging the pair of us. Before I have time to really react, the three of us go down in a pile, and I am completely lost in a tangle of limbs and soft bodies.
This is, in some senses, far luckier than I had expected when I received the note. In other senses, it's the most bewildering thing that's ever happened to me. The class representative seems to be trying to use me as cover to hide from Suzumiya, who seems intent on wriggling her way between us.
Somewhere in here, the missing classroom wall was replaced. I can't place precisely when, because my face was full of ... something very distracting for much of that time. I realized it must have happened when the door slid open, and I heard a familiar voice humming something before, "I just came for my..."
"Damn it!" Suzumiya yells around a mouthful of the other girl's outfit, the pair of them pinning me down, writhing across me. "We were supposed to finish by now!"
Staring at us, her smile slowly fading as her eyebrows rise, the girl who sits behind me in class asks, "Is there ... something you wish to share with me about this, Kyon?"
"This is Suzumiya's fault!" I try and defend myself, still trapped beneath the other two. "I swear - she's been acting crazy ever since she came out of the closet in my room!"
I have the sense of an incredible silence, just then. It's so profound, I suspect that no sound energy anywhere in the world is audible.
That fragile moment is abruptly shattered when Suzumiya suddenly agrees, "This girl is mine! Spoils of war, right? Well, love is a battlefield, but today I won! Kyon was just here as a witness and moral support, and ended up getting caught in the crossfire!"
"Y...yes!" the class representative yelps, not sounding terribly thrilled. "That's what this is!"
Okay. Another one for the list, then, as the 'aliens' get off me, and I quickly move (not fleeing, thanks), to the side of the girl who usually sits behind me:
Asahina Mikuru - OTHER ALIEN (or Suzumiya's adorable girlfriend or something, I just don't even)
The next day, I walk to class with the girl who sits behind me.
"I have to admit," she says, breaking the silence thoughtfully, "I hadn't thought that Suzumiya-san was ... so inclined."
"As weird as she is, it doesn't really strike me as that much of a surprise," I mumble in response.
"Now, now ... it will be difficult for both of them to pursue such a lifestyle as it is," she returns softly, giving me a gentle smile. "We must be supportive- Rather ... I suppose since they trusted you enough, I must be supportive.
"I think it's impressive, but also a little surprising that they chose to confide in you," she continues musing. "Or, I suppose Suzumiya did. Hmm... Well, I can't think that trust reflects on you in..." She sighs then, turning to stare up at the clouds. "Ah, I'm doing myself no favors this way. It's unfortunate, but I think I will need to borrow a page from your book and simply be blunt about it:
"Suzumiya doesn't recognize a ... kindred spirit in you, does she? Ah- If so, well, we're friends, so you have my full support, but-"
"No, ugh, please, just stop," I groan, before she can finish. "My stomach is still churning from the aftermath of Taniguchi's confession."
Wait ... that ... didn't come out right.
Except, maybe it did? Surprisingly enough, the girl's features relax, her smile seems a bit less forced, and some tension I didn't notice until just then fades away. "Another one who chose to reveal themselves to you? My ... you truly have a presence, Kyon, to engender such trust in those around you!"
That's about the most positive spin possible for that, I imagine.
When it comes to Taniguchi's confession, actually, I could do with a lot less trust. Let's see ... what had he called her, again? A time-space anomaly? Suzumiya mentioned something about evolution, but didn't really seem that interested. Suou hasn't explained very much at all about what she thinks of her, but I can conclude this much for my list:
Sasaki - VERY IMPORTANT (for some reason)
The next day, Sasaki and I walked to our study-group, in the room that Suzumiya had all-but-demanded we take over from her now defunct literature club. When we get there, as usual, Taniguchi is already there, absorbed in texting someone with a gleeful chuckle.
Sasaki and I take seats and work on our homework; very shortly after that, Suzumiya comes in, humming happily, carrying her bag in one hand, and an absurdly cute plushy that happens to look like our class representative in the crook of her opposite arm.
"Goodness!" Sasaki exclaims on seeing it. "That's quite, um, detailed!"
"Isn't she just so cute?" Suzumiya chirps happily. "When she's like this, let's call her ... 'Achahina~!'" After beaming a smile at us, Suzumiya takes the seat next to me, carefully setting her plushy directly on my head. I feel a chill run down my spine as tiny hands clasp my head, and the miniscule, nearly weightless figure shifts slightly. "Since she's not a full member, she can be Kyon's head pet!"
Sasaki giggles at that. "Another eccentricity of yours, Suzumiya-san? Well ... I suppose I must confess, the image of Kyon with such a figure on his head is remarkably endearing..."
"Oh, I gotta take a picture of this," Taniguchi remarks, looking up from his texting with a grin.
"I should take one as well," Sasaki agrees, the pair of them reaching for their phones.
I hold still anyway, not sure how else to react. Soon enough, a number of what I'm sure will somehow be humiliating photos have been taken. "Isn't that enough?" I protest. If she weren't the slightest bit unsettling, this much cuteness would cause me to become diabetic instantly.
"No, I think we need to take pictures for another fourteen seconds at least," Taniguchi remarks, grinning.
Sasaki chuckles, giving him an amused look before turning back to me. The door opens then, and Suou floats in.
Seemingly oblivious to Suzumiya at my side, Sasaki and Taniguchi opposite me, and the tiny form of Asahina on my head, Suou drifts past Suzumiya, and as Taniguchi takes another picture, the girl with the long-dark hair and the bottomless pitch-black irises kisses me.
Our lips meet as my eyes widen in shock at the suddenness of this, and a very familiar silence erases all sound again.
After what feels like an eternity of falling into the dark wells of her eyes - an eternity of approaching without ever reaching her - Suou breaks the kiss and gives me another one of her languid blinks.
"...hot," Taniguchi says, lowering his cell phone from the pictures he had been taken. "Very pro, Kyon! She's at least an 'A minus!'"
"Achahina," Suzumiya chides, plucking the trembling figure from my head. "You didn't help at all!"
Meanwhile, of course, Sasaki is staring at me with a very strange expression for her, like she's trying to smile and isn't really sure she wants to. Without a word of explanation, Suou takes the other seat next to me and pulls out her homework.
"Right!" Sasaki declares suddenly, shaking her head. "Taniguchi, you as well; shouldn't you at least have your book out?"
"W...wait," I manage belatedly, turning to look at Suou in confusion. "What was that!"
"Confession," Suou says back so quickly, it almost seemed she was waiting for me to ask, not even turning her gaze to me.
"If ... it's not too much, could the two of you perhaps put that off for once we're done studying?" Sasaki asks quickly. "I'll leave the two of you to walk home together and discuss things then, and not trouble you to accompany me home today, Kyon. Does that sound alright with you, Suou?"
The dark-haired girl nods her head with slow deliberation in response.
"I ... think there's a miscommunication here," I protest.
Sasaki shakes her head at me, countering, "It's fine; you two should discuss that on your own. For now, why don't we go over your math homework?"
As hard as I try, I'm not able to get a word to Sasaki about Suou the entire study session. While I'm distracted, Sasaki suddenly packs up her books and vanishes, leaving the rest of us alone.
"Lates," Taniguchi announces nonchalantly, grabbing his things and heading out as well.
Suzumiya snorts and sets 'Achahina' on my head again, before rushing after.
Eying Suou, I pluck the small figure from my head, then turn to give ... her a look. She really is unreasonably cute ... a miniature version of Asahina, absolutely. Now that Sasaki's gone, the tiny figure sniffles and gives me a look with watery eyes.
...really unreasonable. Unsettled, I set her on the table and turn my attention to Suou again. "Look," I start, "can you explain what that was about to me?"
She gives one of her exaggerated slow nods in answer, offering a hand towards me. "Esper _," she says quietly.
"She says it's a demonstration of her powers!" Asahina says, in a voice only slightly squeaker than her usual one.
Well ... okay? I guess? I don't know why Suou told Sasaki it was a confession, though, especially if it wasn't!
Still... I reach for her hand, though Asahina's tiny for grabs onto my other arm before I touch Suou. She doesn't seem to be trying to stop me, though, just hanging on. The second Suou's hand makes contact with mine, I feel the entire world fall away and shift - good thing I'm still sitting down!
I manage, barely, not to fall out of my chair, staring in confusion. We're ... in ... exactly the same place.
"Why doesn't the world ever change whenever something really awesome is supposed to have happened?" I ask, shaking my head.
"Um, um, Sasaki-san is generally very stable," Asahina offers for Suou. "She generates these spaces when she becomes frustrated!"
"...and then?" I prompt.
"She rationalizes," Suou answers, blinking.
"Huh? What? I don't understand any of this!"
"Um, um," Asahina offers, sounding slightly more cheerful suddenly, as though happy she's able to help, "Suou-san was chosen by Sasaki-san to be an esper! Because, Sasaki-san is a being with the power to reshape reality! So, when Sasaki-san's emotions go out of control, Suou-san has the ability to come and settle things, to ensure she remains stable!"
"Are you seriously telling me that you keep Sasaki calm? That you have to fight her wild emotions?" I ask, bewildered.
Suou's answer is a very simple, plainly understandable, "Boring job," before that disconcerting sensation occurs again ... though, everything still looks the same. She heaves a very tiny sigh and then doesn't move, just staring into my eyes, her hand still on mine.
...alright. I'll update slightly, then:
Suou Kuyou - INCREDIBLY BORED ESPER (also maybe has a crush, but maybe she's just crazy)
After Suou's strange demonstration, she just stared at me wordlessly for the better part of fifteen minutes. Asahina waited on the table patiently, and I eventually went home.
Unsatisfying, really ... confusing, nothing explained... I supposed it didn't really matter, but I wanted to talk things over with Sasaki. Before I got the chance, however, I found ... yet another note in my shoe locker.
This one said to meet someone in the clubroom at lunch, so without having a chance to speak to Sasaki before then, I did as the note suggests.
When I get to the clubroom, I see an unfamiliar figure leaning out the window, head slowly swiveling back and forth as he surveys the figures outside. He's got a familiar hairstyle, slicked back, and somewhat greasy looking. I'm ... not exactly happened to be summoned by an older man - he could be a teacher, in that suit, or an insurance salesman.
"Are you the one who sent me a letter?" I ask warily.
"Niiiiiice," the man in the window says appreciatively, before straightening up and turning around to face me. "Oh, hey! Sweet! Kyon, man! I haven't seen you in ages! You would not believe what I had to do to come back to see you again like this!"
"...Taniguchi's older brother?" I ask, squinting. "You look at lot like an older version of him."
"No, I swear! It's me! From the future! Well, I mean, more in the future, even! Cool, right?"
"Yeah, sure ... what was it you needed to talk to me about, anyway?"
The man suddenly looks cross, furrowing his brow. "You don't believe me, huh?" he wonders, annoyed. He brightens suddenly. "Ah! I have it! Okay, check this out," he says, his hands going to his belt, lightning fast. "You'll believe me when I show you my birthmark-"
On my way out the door (okay, yes, this time, totally fleeing), I nearly collide with Sasaki. I contemplate, for an instant, dodging around her, but then I think about the man in the room - probably, actually, genuinely Taniguchi, to be so much of a pervert. Instead of dodging, I charge right at her, earning myself a yelp of surprise when I close my arms around her and bear her surprisingly light form down the hall.
She offers no real protest until I stop and set her down, shakily realizing I just dashed down a set of stairs with Sasaki in my arms. She smooths her clothes out and gives me a strange look. "In that room," she says slowly, "was there a man ... taking off his..."
"Looking for Taniguchi," I answer, shuddering.
Sasaki nods slowly in response. "Okay!" she says, shaking her head. "Setting ... that aside for the moment, I would like to apologize for yesterday."
"I ... what?" I'm a bit distracted by the whole encounter I just escaped.
"Ah, yesterday ... I did not really react in a rational manner to Suou-san's little announcement. I wasn't listening to you when you were trying to speak to me, and ... I needed to think about things for a while to realize why that was. For various reasons, I simply wish to say that as my friend, you deserve better than that, and I'm sorry."
"...it's fine, it's really fine," I assure her, shaking my head. "I don't... I don't even know what Suou was doing - she just kissed me out of nowhere! And ... what we talked about after..."
"There's no need to go into details," she assures me quickly, before I can even try and start finding the words. "I've learned that ... much like I open up to you and trust you with my personal secrets, so do ... other types of people! I admire that your earnestness shines through your rough exterior! I've learned you're a good person, but sometimes I worry you might seem off-putting?
"Now I see I probably worried for nothing! There's a great number of people who can recognize and appreciate your real character ... almost at a glance! That makes me quite happy for you, but you mustn't tell me Suou-san's secrets until she's ready to share them with me herself."
"...okay?" I agree.
Anyway, that's ... something to sort out later. For the time being, a new update for my list:
Taniguchi - TIME TRAVELING PERVERT (I never want to know about that birthmark)
After a full evening to think about things, I realized I needed to confront everyone, and get all of this confusion squared away. This was just getting ridiculous.
I meet Sasaki at the usual spot on the way up the hill, and she gives me a slightly warmer smile than usual - which makes me hopeful. I tell her, "I think we should have a brief discussion about something in our study group before we start assignments today."
"Oh, alright," she says, her smile dimming slightly. "Well, it's certain that this has something to do with the things our friends have been opening up to you about lately. Am I correct in guessing that you wouldn't wish to discuss it until then?"
Ah, Sasaki, ever-reliable Sasaki... "Yes; that's exactly right. You know me as always."
Her smile strengthens and she replies, "I certainly hope that never changes too much!"
Fortified with that reassurance, school is less stressful than usual. I practically don't even notice my lessons, just eager to have all of this confusion and nonsense sorted out. After that, Sasaki and I rise from our desks, exchange smiles of reassurance - though, hers is, I'm afraid, much stronger than mine - and march towards resolution.
When we get to the clubroom, surprisingly, it's Suzumiya who's there first, practically bouncing on her seat in excitement, Asahina in plushy form in her lap. "Hey, hey!" she cheers, grin widening. "Great to see you two!"
"You're in even more exuberant spirits than usual," Sasaki notes. "Hmm, I suppose then, you must already know what's about to happen, Suzumiya-san?"
"No!" Suzumiya squeals in delight. "I have no clue! It's going to be so exciting!"
Before either of us can respond, Taniguchi troops into the room behind us, chatting on his cell phone. "Ah, come on," he complains to an unknown listener, "just one chance! Friday night, you, me, the- Aw, man..." He sighs and pockets the thing, glancing across the assembled group and waving a hand. "What's up?"
"So, then," Sasaki presses, continuing her poll and taking a seat at the table, "do you know what's to come, Taniguchi-kun?"
"Oh, yeah," he acknowledges distantly, pulling his phone from his pocket and punching buttons, then shooting me a mild scowl. "Congratulations, anyway."
I can't imagine why, but this causes Sasaki's eyes to widen slightly, and her face to redden just a bit.
Suou steps in during the silence that follows, and I go to close the door behind her. I turn around, and Suou is standing by the window, behind Sasaki. Taniguchi is intent on his phone, texting away wildly, Suzumiya is still bouncing in her seat, staring at me with an expectant grin.
"Okay, I'm not even going to try or be subtle or classy about this," I announce. Sasaki blinks, sitting back in her seat. Taniguchi looks up from his phone. By the window, Suou ever so slightly tilts her head to one side. Suzumiya's bouncing ceases, as her smile impossibly widens.
"Over the last few days, I've been told by Suzumiya that she is an alien," I say, pointing at her in accusation. Turning to Suou, I add, "Suou claims to be an esper, linked to you, somehow." Pointing at Taniguchi, I conclude, "And this guy is just ... an incredible pervert, and also evidently is from the future."
All eyes turn to Sasaki.
She blinks very slowly, and tilts her own head to one side, her smile fading. "So ... then, you say that like you believe it. Have you seen any proof?" she asks me guardedly.
"Nothing I can present. I could just be going crazy," I offer. "I mean ... my next explanation is that Asahina, our class representative is also an alien, and Suzumiya turns her into that doll to bring her into meetings."
"I ... see," she says slowly, her expression shifting to worry. Turning to look first at Suzumiya, who now looks about ready to detonate with raw excitement, trembling in place.
"Yeah? Yeah?" the alien prompts expectantly. "Ask me! Ask me! Ask- YES! I'm totally an alien! I really am! It's true!"
"I- I didn't-"
"Prove it, Achahina!" Suzumiya demands, swinging the tiny figure in her arms up and thrusting Asahina towards Sasaki. "Go!"
"Wah! It's true!" Asahina wails in reply, flailing her tiny arms.
Sasaki blinks at this several times, one hand going to her head. "...technology sufficiently advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic," she finally mumbles.
"Exactly! I'm like, a super, alien magical girl, or something!"
"And not actually in a lesbian relationship with Asahina?"
"The one doesn't have any reason to preclude the other."
"...on second thought," Sasaki said quietly, shaking her head, and turning to Suou. "And ... you're an esper, then?"
"Yes," Suou answers.
Suzumiya releases a sigh of contentment, setting Asahina on the table and leaning back in her chair.
Long minutes of silence pass while Sasaki looks at Suou, expecting elaboration.
I finally explain, "As ... I understand it, she was somehow chosen by you to handle the, uh, manifestation of your frustration in some ... metaphysical alternate reality."
"I ... have that much frustration?" Sasaki asks, alarmed.
"No," Suou answers without hesitation.
"That ... does beg the question of why I'd have espers to handle it, then," Sasaki muses.
Suou's response is a final, "Yes."
Turning to the last member of our group, Sasaki asks, "And, you, Taniguchi-kun? A time traveler?"
"In the flesh," he agrees, nodding, offering her a wider grin. "Hey, now that you know, are you more interested in going out with-"
"No," she overrides him before he can finish. "No, thank you. Well, if I accept these things as true, which for the sake of argument I shall for the moment, then it shouldn't be merely a coincidence that such people have assembled. And all of them have opened up to you, Kyon! Therefore, they are assembled because of something to do with you, or myself!
"I would logically deduce that it has something to do with you, because you're the one everyone is comfortable and open with. However, I see that you don't know what they're truly after ... or at least, not entirely. Therefore ... these factors center around me for reasons that neither of us are entirely aware of."
"Yep!" Suzumiya agrees, nodding.
"I could guess, but this is a worrisome situation, so I'll simply ask," Sasaki says, still not smiling. "What is it about me that gathers the attention of such diverse existences?"
"You shape reality with your will," Suou answers, momentarily staggering me by speaking so much. "Your desires can become reality."
"Yeah, that's it," Taniguchi agrees, nodding.
Sasaki blinks at this several times, and then closes her eyes. "I ... see. This is rather a lot to take in. Really, being honest, I'm not certain I'm prepared for it!" she says, her voice trembling.
Well, this isn't what I was expecting, either! But what can I do?
"Kiss her, you dumb-ass!" Suzumiya says, rolling her eyes. "She gets emotionally uncertain, you reassure her, the world is saved - come on! Let's get to an action sequence, already!"
"No- No," Sasaki protests, bolting to her feet and backing away from me in alarm - towards the window. She collides with Suou, who prevents Sasaki from stepping back further with one effortless hand. "I- I want- I can't accept that! That Kyon could be forced- For my benefit- No!"
...well, that's more flattering than her just not wanting to kiss me, but: "Wait, what are- Aren't you taking her a bit too seriously, Sasaki?"
"I... It's starting to make sense," she says, her voice even shakier. "Really, everything ... oh, I don't want this!"
"Dude, kiss," Taniguchi prompts, not moving from his seat. "Save the world, am I right? It's pretty much pre-determined, anyway."
I really wish that he'd shut up; I don't think I've ever felt a greater desire to punch a time traveler.
"Sasaki, why don't we all just calm down?" I suggest. "It's ... not like you to get this excited!"
"Ah, yes," she says, shaking her head, one hand rising to her temple for a moment as her eyes close. After a few deep breaths, she lowers her hand to her side. "For ... the moment, I believe I have things under control. Ah ... this is ... a scary sensation, though!"
"Is there anything I can do to help?" I ask cautiously, shooting a dark look at Suzumiya and Taniguchi, who are both watching us expectantly.
"A kiss is just a symbol," Asahina offers from the table unexpectedly. "Sasaki-san is in a concerned state and just requires reassurance. A kiss is a symbol of emotional connection, but it doesn't have to be the only one."
"I don't want any symbol if it's coerced," Sasaki counters, shaking her head sharply. "I won't accept it!"
"Well, wait, if I understand any of this, it's not a problem if it's something I don't mind, is it?" I ask. "So, it'll be okay if I want to do it anyway?"
She gives me a strange smile at that. "Can I know that you really want it, and it's not a product of my-"
"Yeah, he's immune to mental suggestion from you," Suzumiya interrupts. "Your subconscious mind doesn't want that either."
"I ... very much want to believe that," Sasaki says uncertainly.
...wait. Really? Fine, then.
Reassured by that, but not quite bold enough to try kissing Sasaki, I move to her side and give her a hug - not that different from the time I grabbed her to flee Taniguchi's future self. She doesn't resist, and in fact, after a moment, leans back into me.
"Aw, man, they dodged the kiss," Suzumiya grouses.
"Told ya," Taniguchi replies. "Now the hook up, right?"
"Well," Sasaki says, pushing me away from her gently, prompting me to break the embrace and back away. "Even ... after that, while I do actually feel better, I don't believe that I could handle it if Kyon suddenly confessed to me right now."
Okay, yeah, sure. Given the choice of people in the room right now, Sasaki is absolutely the one I'd date. It's not anything new that she wouldn't want to date me, but somehow, I had gotten the impression that she had started to change her mind recently. "If ... you're saying what I think you're saying," I start.
"I misspoke," she says with a slow smile, giggling. "I meant ... if you were to confess before I got my chance ... and then you were to take your time and make your own choice about a reply. I'm afraid that somehow, the circumstances aren't what I imagined, but it's clear enough anyway..."
Actually, that works just fine for me, as crazy as everything has been. "Absolutely," I agree. "As things stand, let's take one thing at a time, right?"
"Right!" she says with a giggle. "And, I apologize for wanting to defer everything else after this, but it would be comforting to me anyway, so ... shall our next task be our homework?"
Well, that should be just fine too, I think, mentally updating an entry in my list:
Sasaki - REALITY WARPER (and my girlfriend, someday)
Author's notes: Uh, wow. Judging by the word-count/line ratio, this is really, really dialog heavy. Anyway. The premise (as such) was pretty much:
Reality warper: excitable, unstable, self-centered - Sasaki
Time traveler: cute, likable, vulnerable and uninformed - Taniguchi
Alien: stoic, introverted, patient - Haruhi
Esper: insightful, outspoken, philosophical - Kuyou
And then for fun: Antagonistic alien: cruel, calculating, capable - Mikuru
Yeap. A bit annoyed with myself that half of the jokes were basically fan-service, but Taniguchi allowed me to play up some hilarious fan disservice, too. Well. I think.