Normal Girl

A Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu fanfiction

by Brian Randall

Disclaimer: The series begun with the light novel 'The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi'/'Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu' is the creation of Nagaru Tanigawa. No disrespect is intended with the creation of this work.

Note: May contain spoilers up through book eleven.

After the events at the start of my second year of school, it had crossed my mind that I had become desensitized to strange and probably even dangerous occurrences. It seemed to me that nothing could go so badly it would upset me - that things were going to move forward in a safe, comfortable way.

It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but in some senses, I started to think that things were a little bit boring.

That's not really a complaint, though - considering how alarming that last incident was, I've had quite enough excitement! If there's one thing I've learned, it's that I don't enjoy anything when it puts my friends at any form of seeming risk. Asahina-san being kidnapped, Nagato being threatened by her superiors, strange alien lifeforms awakening Yasumi to protect us - as she thankfully did...

While I had a thought at one point that I would enjoy such things, when they come at the expense of my friends, they are not 'fun' in the slightest.

So the boredom that I settled into after that was actually welcome, in many ways. Oh, I wouldn't complain if some interesting things were planned, but I felt that my mind might in some ways actually be starting to echo the thoughts of someone else - that I wouldn't mind being surprised a little bit.

Even so, the surprises I would be more interested in experiencing are perfectly fine when they're limited to what normal human beings should experience. For Asahina-san, something she can enjoy without the pressure of struggling to become the stronger, more confident person I know she's destined to grow into. For Nagato, something she can experience because she feels like it, not because of strange orders from a superior - in the Brigade or elsewhere. And for Koizumi, being entirely honest, his 'job' doesn't strike me as fun.

So if a certain troublemaker conspires to do something that's exotic, but within the bounds of reason - say, a mystery tour of a haunted castle in Europe, this upcoming summer - I'd accept that with unflinching complaint. Wouldn't that satisfy everyone's desires? Even, I'll admit ... my own?

This all led to a sense of complacency. I came to realize that I'd accept almost any strangeness, and after what I'd seen Yasumi do, I wasn't really afraid of anything anymore. It wasn't like I came to see life as 'too safe to be interesting' - though I could understand why someone would think that. Just because Yasumi is there, should we need her, preventing the outlandish and undesirable things that we cannot understand from destroying us...

There is still the possibility of danger in the real world anyway. Mundane things can still be threats - I look both ways before crossing the street as any sensible person should. I obey my teachers and my parents when they give me instructions.

And ... well... that vein, I have made small steps toward bridging a certain distance. The threat of cram school is the biggest one looming on my personal horizon - a storm-front from my mother that threatens to crash down on my idle days.

While I'm not the slightest bit concerned about enemy espers or aliens attacking us on our European trip ... the threat of missing it because I must attend cram school is very real. And that is a storm I wish not to weather.

That, of course, is why I finally caved. I could have asked in the clubroom, with the others there. I could have mumbled a request at school, before the club came into the picture.

But because she had asked - really! - I followed her instructions and called her up when I was alone to ask for her help.

My mother was initially suspicious about the effort I put into cleaning my room, fixing me with a speculative frown and tapping the brochure from a cram school against her lower lip pensively over my antics, which included far too little studying and homework for her tastes.

That ire vanished the instant Haruhi knocked on the door. But a clean study space is more effective, I explained earnestly.

My mother spared a moment to study Haruhi's outfit - neither of us were wearing school uniforms, naturally. I was wearing the same sort of outfit I would for a weekend outing with the club- Well, okay, I hadn't done my laundry so I was dressed maybe a little bit better because my nice clothes were what was left.

The same seemed true for Haruhi, with her hair back in a tiny ponytail, and a trace of makeup- Not that she needed it-

To study! It wasn't required for study!

Undoubtedly she was planning on going out with her parents later!

I'm sure that explains everything! It's not worth further thought- But once she arrived and produced her math book, my mother offered a charming, pleased smile that I hadn't seen since...

Anyway, we studied, agreeing to make it a regular thing. Since I had dressed up a little bit - entirely on accident - I continued maintaining that image to avoid her chiding me for 'letting myself go' or something. Likewise, she continued to dress a bit more nicely when she was with me for studying than on our weekend expeditions. Logically, studying would put less wear on nicer clothes, though, so maybe that was it?

Surprisingly enough, while she agreed to study with me more regularly, she didn't bother reiterating that she was doing it as her obligation as the chief of the brigade. She didn't harp on it being exclusively to keep me from ruining the trip this summer. Her only explanation when my mother asked (during one of her every-thirty-second checks on us for snacks, tea, and water) was:

"Why wouldn't I want to help Kyon when he asked?"

Well ... I wouldn't mind Haruhi not repeating those other points constantly, and found that answer entirely adequate, personally.

So we fell into a comfortable pattern - and why not? - until the second week or so of studying at least every other day together. My marks on the latest test already reflected what I considered an admirable increase, though my mother (and Haruhi) both labeled it merely 'a good start.'

At that point, though I had not expected anything out-of-the-ordinary, my mother noted that our session had run longer than normal struggling with some physics questions. Haruhi staying for dinner wasn't anything particularly new, but when it was time for her to leave, she suggested that I could repay my tutor at the very least by walking her to the train station.

Well ... a small price to pay, wasn't it?

And so we walked together to the train station, just the pair of us, and then parted at the turnstiles, agreeing to meet tomorrow for more studying.

I had, in all honestly, probably become too complacent. I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary, and so when a car pulled up to the curb as I left the terminal, I was not very surprised to see a woman of probably my mother's age wave at me, calling, "Um, you're the one called, 'Kyon,' aren't you?"

"That's not my name, but that's me," I agreed, curious about these new arrivals. What, members of Koizumi's agency?

A man stepped out of the car on the driver's side, nodding to me sternly. He was probably my own father's age, though looked much heavier. This pair looked surprisingly average - a salaryman and his wife, at a glance. I still wasn't afraid, though I did want to find out more.

The 'salaryman' gave me a cautious smile and asked, "Would you mind coming with us for a brief ride? I think we have a bit to discuss..."

And ... maybe because things had been so calm lately, instead of ignoring the pair, I shrugged and asked, "Haruhi related?"

To which the couple replied in perfect sync, expressions firming with resolve:

"Haruhi-chan related."

So ... just a little bit overconfident that nothing could go wrong, I shrugged a second time and agreed, "Why not?"

After all ... what was the worst that could happen?

A few minutes later found me sitting in the back seat of the car, an uncomfortably awkward silence forming between myself and the couple sitting up front. The 'salaryman' was driving somewhat aimlessly around, not quite circling the block, but not heading anywhere in particular.

"So ... what's this about, then?" I finally asked, breaking the silence.

"Alright," the woman said crisply, twisting around to try and turn back to face me as much as she could from her seat. "I'm afraid you may have heard some things about Suzumiya Haruhi, and ... I can't honestly know what anyone else has told you. But you deserve to know the actual truth!"

So - members of the organization that Tachibana Kyouko had abandoned, then? Trying to sway me again? Well, that wasn't likely to work. I knew enough about who Haruhi was to disregard some stranger telling me how she was dangerous ... but I wasn't about to jump out of a moving car. And, anyway, I knew I couldn't be in any real danger without Koizumi stepping in, or if required, perhaps Nagato.

I failed to keep the skepticism from my voice as I asked, "What are you going to try and tell me, then?"

Looking mildly affronted, the woman's brow furrowed faintly before she gave an abrupt shake of her head. "She's a sweet girl, with an occasionally rough exterior," she insisted.

Wait, what? That wasn't what I expected.

"She is!" the woman insisted, nodding resolutely.

"I ... expected to hear something else," I admitted in surprise. "It's refreshing not to hear that she's 'dangerous' and 'unstable' - or that she cannot be trusted with the power she has."

At this, the woman looked even more confused, before brightening. "Oh- Oh, that ... club she's in charge of- No, despite that appearance, I assure you that the side she presents to you as a study partner is her true face!"


"She's well behaved usually," the man added, breaking in and nodding, though he kept his gaze on the road. "Sometimes she gets excitable - nothing serious, and I'm certain it's no more than a phase!"

What the hell was going on here? For all of my confidence that there was no danger, I was completely unprepared for ... this. Were these rival members of Koizumi's Agency, perhaps? Then again, why just try and puzzle it out?

"So, who are you with?" I asked suspiciously. "I don't believe you're aliens. You don't act like I'd expect time travelers to. I don't think you have psychic powers, either ... but I believe you might be from some shadowy organization!"

"I- Those-" The woman looked confounded for a moment, hanging her head. "So ... she talked to you about those things?"

Well, less and less as time went on and she found less outrageous things to be just as much fun, but: "Yes, of course."

"I- It's not serious!" she said with unexpected fire, clenching a fist and shooting me a look of solid determination. "It's only- Well, she's young and curious, but that doesn't mean anything! It's a harmless interest, like watching old monster movies, or being a fan of video games!"

"Completely harmless!" the man agreed with unexpected vehemence. "It's not something you should let blind you to her true, positive nature!"

Where were these people even coming from? "What exactly are you trying to convince me of?" I asked, shaking my head.

"Look," the man declared earnestly, stopping the car at a light and turning to face me. "I'm sure you've heard things - probably awful things - but you can ignore that! She's a good girl, and she looks up to you!" would they know that? Haruhi? Looking up to me? I wanted to laugh, but was stunned with confusion! Oh, for the comforting familiarity of a study session with Haruhi - those were making so much more sense in comparison!

"And don't give any heed to the rumors of what she did in middle school-" the woman added, prompting the man to flinch, not meeting my gaze. "That kind of thing is harmless. She was just playing around and it never got serious- But you - you're different! You can establish something meaningful with her, so don't get scared away or deceived!"


"What we're trying to say," the man added insistently, "is that our daughter is a normal girl, behind everything! So don't be put off! From what we can tell, you've been a very positive influence on her!"

"Not that she needs a lot of positive influence," the woman interjected anxiously. "So whatever happens, stick with her! Your efforts will be rewarded!"

...what the hell!

"Now, she's never dated anyone as long as you, so - for her sake and yours, we just want that to continue! You need to know you have our support!" Haruhi's ... mother? ... declared.

"Wholeheartedly!" the ... father? ... agreed.

"Behind her excitable exterior, she's honestly a very sweet, normal girl!"

Well, that put paid to my expectation that I could handle anything! Such remarks left my speechless, unable to remark anything sensible at all. What kind of image did Haruhi's parents have of her, anyway?

After listening to a few more minutes of reassurances and insistence that I should not give up on Haruhi - as though I were close to any such thing! - and reminders that I should 'keep' dating Haruhi...

When did we even start 'dating,' though?

...anyway. After listening to an overwhelming amount of similar encouragement, they finally dropped me off outside of my house and said they hoped to meet me officially soon, before hurrying to their own home, evidently trying to beat Haruhi there.

"Kyon-kun!" my sister chirped, peeking out the door. "What happened?"

I still didn't know the answer to that one!

The next day at school, arriving after Haruhi as always and dropping into my seat, I was rewarded with the subject of the previous night's discussion prompting me: "What's going on with you? You look like you haven't rested enough!"

Instead of properly answering the question, I asked her, "Haruhi, what are your parents like?"

That caught her off guard for some reason, and she blushed faintly, scowling. "Boring people," she declared flatly. "They don't much understand me, so I don't really talk to them. I disagree with my mother a lot ... especially when it comes to cooking. Didn't we already talk about that at one point?

"Or did you forget? That's annoying, but if you were more worried about Yuki at the time, I'll forgive it- She was very sick, after all..."

"Well, her you have mentioned," I agreed, shaking my head slightly, ignoring Taniguchi's (pointlessly) envying sigh as he spotted us and plodded toward his own seat. "But ... well, you've met my mother, and you know-"

"If you insist," Haruhi cut me off, shaking her head sharply. "I'll warn you again, they're really boring people! My father especially! But fine - today you can study at my place instead of us going to yours, so you can meet my parents. I guess that's only fair ... well, I could try and argue that your mother's hospitality was helping you study, but..."

I was prepared to tune out whatever remarks she has about my study habits and poor grades, but she said nothing of the sort, instead trailing off into a thoughtful silence.

"Is it ... that you want to taste my cooking?" she wondered.

"More than I want to meet your parents," I answered without thinking. Wait, that might have been the wrong thing to say!

If anything, she looked relieved, almost smugly satisfied. "I see," she allowed, smirking. "Well, in that case you can stay for dinner, but the price you must pay is meeting my parents!"

"I'm sure they're at least interesting enough to abduct a student off the streets and drill him in how to take care of you," I could not prevent myself from grumbling.

"Bah! I wish they cared or understood me that well," Haruhi grumbled, shaking her head. "But that's aside from the point- Tomorrow night, then, since I can't study with you every day. I have to plan things for the Brigade, too!"

...that wish may have been closer to reality than you cared to admit, Haruhi. But then again, weren't my parents worried about me the same way?

So ... I supposed I could see where it all came from then.

"I'm sure your parents really care about you," I chided her. "I don't always appreciate my mother grousing about my grades, but don't you agree with her? Isn't it entirely reasonable to think your parents do the same for you?"

"Y...yeah, but," she started, before furrowing her brow, looking puzzled. "I... Well - meet them for yourself, and you'll see!"

"It's a date," I agreed.

"You bet it is!" she snapped, before we fell silent - a sound punctuated only by another of Taniguchi's suffering sighs, and a collective shrug from the rest of the class. After being familiar with our antics so long, I suppose it only stands to reason that they take something like this in stride.


...did I just inadvertently ask Haruhi out on a date, to meet her parents, in front of the rest of the class?

"'d better show up," Haruhi muttered, face reddening as I turn to stare at the front of the class.

"If I don't, I'm sure your parents will find me and abduct me to make sure I follow through," I mumbled in return.

"I'd like to see that- Er, I mean... Yeah, right!"

Well ... they say truth is stranger than fiction, so maybe 'normal' is stranger than 'paranormal,' too!