memento mori

a suzumiya haruhi no yuuutsu fanfic

by brian randall

disclaimer: the light novel series begun with 'the melancholy of suzumiya haruhi'/'suzumiya haruhi no yuuutsu' is the property of tanigawa nagaru and is used here without permission. no disrespect is meant with the posting of this story.

note: ignores one particular scene in novel 11, and may contain spoilers up to that point. this is a less than happy story, though it will strive to be as uplifting as it can, considering what it's about. hopefully the ending is positive, but it's generally a very sad story, and some of your favorite characters may have to suffer ... because that's the nature of life, isn't it? so make the most of what you've got. what else can you really do?

A lot of people end up growing up without knowing their parents. In my case, even though I had only one real 'mother,' I was raised by so many people, it took me a long time to even figure out that my father wasn't around!

Uncle Itsuki was always there to help us out and give us a hand. I remember getting to be the flower-bearer at his wedding, when I was even smaller - what an extravagant affair! Then there was Auntie Nagato, who always had time to chat with me, or give me books. I sat next to her and behaved quietly when Mom received her diploma. Auntie Mikuru was always happy to spend time with me - unquestionably my closest older friend!

Almost every time she visits, she has a fun new outfit for me. I think it's great, but almost every time she does, Mom rolls her eyes and mutters, "Revenge via proxy, Mikuru-chan?" It's okay, though, because it's that 'smiling grumble' thing where she's not really upset.

And then she takes pictures for our collection!

Anyway, between them and four grandparents, it wasn't until I started going to school that I realized I was missing a father. When it was time for everyone's parents to meet with the teachers, Mom was there, but I noticed most of my friends had two parents with them.

Mitsuki-chan - who I'd just met that day - asked, "Hey, hey - is your father working? Why isn't he here?"

"I have a father?" I wondered. "Hmm, is that Itsuki?" He wouldn't be a bad father! He was taking care of his other family, but still stopped in to spend time with me and Mom, after all.

Mom looked surprised at the question and laughed, shaking her head. "No, Yasumi-chan- Itsuki's just your uncle. Of course you have a father - he just passed away before you were born. Who do you think the picture on the family shrine is of? That's your father!"

I hadn't realized that!

"It's my fault," Mom said, smiling. "I forgot that you'd need to hear who he was first, didn't I?"

So when we got home after class, Mom started telling me about him.

I saw his picture on the shrine, of course... And in the house that I grew up in while Mom was going to college, Dad's parents had more pictures of him. That face had been on the shrine as long as I could remember. It's kind of funny, you know? You see the picture every day and don't really think about it.

I would sit by Mom's side when she would ring the bell and burn incense - and that tradition moved with us when Mom got a new apartment just for us, and again when we moved into our own house. So Mom told me stories of the adventures she had with him - before I was born, of course.

What kind of guy was my father?

The way Mom told it, Dad was a genius philosopher who couldn't be shaken by anything, but still always kept his feet firmly on the ground - and Mom's too, sometimes. He was also the one who gave Mom the idea of studying medicine and neuroscience, though I didn't find that out until much later.

He sounded pretty amazing!

From Auntie Yuki, Dad was a quietly thoughtful person, who spent a lot of time trying to understand other people. She said he helped her get a library card when Auntie Yuki didn't know how they worked. I knew how important that was! Auntie Yuki helped me get my own!

From Auntie Mikuru, Dad was a fierce defender of his friends. He was usually passive, but was unstoppable when motivated. He always appreciated the efforts of other people, and he was braver than anyone else Auntie Mikuru knew - except for Mom.

From Uncle Itsuki, Dad was the most skilled strategy gamer he'd ever met. He could bluff anyone, and see through almost any other guise. He usually let other people lead, but the one time he had to - he was the very first one to solve a critical mystery. That sounded amazing - like a super detective!

After all of that, when I went to ask Auntie Nonoko, she just rolled her eyes and said, "Don't get the wrong idea, Yasumi-chan- Nii-san was my brother, but he was lazy, blunt, and a legendary slacker when it came to his homework. So don't be like him - finish your homework on time and be diligent in your studies - like your mother!"

I was really shocked by that! I had thought he must have been amazing, considering what Mom, the other aunts, and Uncle Itsuki had said!

"Well ... okay," Auntie Nonoko admitted, dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief. "He actually was pretty amazing most of the time ... I just don't want you to get a wrong impression. He was human like the rest of us ... even if he handled his passing better than most people would be able to! You know - you get some of your strengths from him, too - like that vocabulary that makes you sound older than you really are!"

It's a good thing she said that! But considering what she said and everyone else said, I had to wonder what he was really like. To really, really know ... I'd have to be able to meet him myself, even if only for a little while.

"It's too bad I can't ever meet him," I said to Mom one day at breakfast, not long after we'd moved into our own house.

Even though it was really out of the blue, and I didn't give her any context, Mom got it right away. She just showed me her amused, 'I know something you don't look.'

"You know," she told me seriously, "anything is possible in this world, Yasumi-chan. We may not be able to change the past, but even so..."

"Anything is possible?" I wondered. "So I could meet him some day?"

"Maybe!" she said, smiling brightly. "Miracles can happen - after all, I got you!"

What did that mean? When I asked that, Mom blushed and chuckled, shaking her head. "Some day," she assured me. "You might have to find an alien, an esper, and a time traveler first, but it could happen!"

Of course, as I was growing older and looking through the pictures, I started noticing more and more things I'd never puzzled out before. So one evening when Mom was away at another neuroscience conference, and I was staying in the room that Mom and I had shared while she was in college, I asked Dad's parents, "Where are Mom and Dad's wedding pictures?"

Grandpa choked and sputtered, then hid behind his newspaper. Grandma laughed and shook her head. "Oh, dear," she sighed. "Well ... to be honest, Yasumi-chan ... you see... Your mother and Kyon-kun," - which was the name that Grandma and Grandpa called Dad, for some reason- "they ... never actually married."

But that didn't make any sense at all! How could that be? "Then why do we have the same family name?" I asked.

"We adopted your mother before you were born!" Grandma explained. "Don't get the wrong idea ... Kyon-kun was honorable, and wouldn't have tried to abandon you or your mother. The truth of the matter is, we didn't even know you were coming to join us until after he'd passed away. And afterward, when Haruhi-chan came to us and explained that you were coming... Well, she wanted you to have your father's name, and your grandfather and I agreed."

"We," Grandpa explained with a cough, still hiding behind his newspaper, "we agreed to adopt your mother instead of waiting until you came and just adopting you because she didn't want you to have a different family name from her. And even though Kyon-kun wasn't around to appreciate it ... well, if he hadn't passed away, it was a certainty that he and your mother would have been married some day!"

That made me want to meet him even more! I asked Mom about it afterwards, when I was trying on my first middle school uniform - if anything was possible, maybe some day he could come back?

"I can't promise that," Mom told me, her smile fading a little bit. "The order of the world is important, you know! Even if I often wish he had more time with us ... and I miss him greatly ... I believe he was able to pass on without regrets."

"Well, I want to meet him anyway," I declared, crossing my arms over my chest.

Mom chuckled and smoothed my hair down a bit, then paused. "Are you going to do it?" she asked.

"Meet him? If I can, I will!" I agreed.

"Okay!" my mom answered brightly. "In that case, let me give you a good luck charm that helped me greatly when I started middle school."

The smiley-face hair clip she gave me was too cute! I loved it!

"I'm going to try and finish my mission before I finish middle school!" I swore, clenching a fist and posing dramatically, just like Mom taught me you were supposed to.

"You still have to find that alien, esper, and time traveler, first," she warned me, grinning. "I'm sure such people could help teach you more about how important the order of the world really is ... but I think you can do it!"

"Yeah!" I cheered, jumping up and down. This was going to be great!

"Oh, just one thing, Yasumi-chan..." Mom remarked, touching a fingertip to her lip thoughtfully as she stood up straight and looked down at me.

"What's that?" I asked eagerly.

"When you're done, after you've gotten a chance to meet him, you must give that hair clip back - okay?"

Hmm, well anything in this world is possible, huh? Alright! I was sure I could do it! I knew Mom wanted me to look at it as a challenge ... but I wasn't alone. Even if this was something I felt my friends from school might not be able to help with, I knew I could rely on my aunties and uncle!