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    Through mine eyes: kNOw me

    Kori123
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:26 am

    Mine eye hath played the painter and hath stelled
    Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
    My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
    And perspective it is best painter's art.
    For through the painter must you see his skill
    To find where your true image pictured lies,
    Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
    That hath his windows glazèd with thine eyes.
    Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
    Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
    Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
    Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee.
    Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art:
    They draw but what they see, know not the heart.

    - Sonnet 24
    William Shakespeare
    Kori123
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:26 am

    Prologue ~

    I guess there’s a fine line between knowing someone, and actually knowing someone.

    There’s the kind of knowing someone with people like movie stars and famous actors where, when you see them in magazines or on TV, you say ‘hey, I know them!’ Yet you don’t actually know them, you’re just some crazed fan or borderline stalker who knows every intricate detail of their life. Do you actually know them? I would say not because, well, to them your like the hundreds of others out there.

    Then there’s another kind of knowing someone a little closer to home. Take school, for example, where you see someone in the hall. You might look at them and think to yourself ‘hey, I know them. We went to preschool together and shared our snacks with one another.’ Though you don’t know it, they’re probably thinking the same thing; but for some reason, neither one of you actually says anything or acknowledges the other. Kind of strange but it does happen. For some reason, the two of you have drifted apart and never will speak to each other again.

    The next knowing someone would be the platonic semi-friendship knowing where they’re considered your friends. You have a class with them so you sit and talk to them but you might not even hang out outside of class, school or anything. They’re just the physical education student you cling to so you’re not alone running the mile. Sometimes these ‘friends’ will break from the status and you might actually do things together. You might have sleepovers, or go to the movies, or just talk for hours about nothing important. Either way, you know them.

    The last knowing someone is one often confused with that third one. That’s the knowing someone where they really are your friends or shoved into the best friend category. You can tell them anything, even your darkest secrets. You change your schedule at school in hopes to be in at least half your classes with them, even if it means taking something you hate but they don’t. You hang out all the time and if you’re not together you’re on the phone with them or texting them about nothing important. Kind of a healthy obsession, if there was such a thing.

    Alright, so why did I go and list all this pointless information about knowing people? I guess it’s because it is important to know who your friends are and where your loyalties stand strong. It’s a three musketeers guide to everything in life and I’ve just handed it to you on a silver platter.

    Okay, so not quite.

    I’ve just given you the introduction to my life. Or more specifically, the last couple weeks of my non-existent life. Following me so far? Probably not, so let me add more detail.

    Subject one: Yuki Nagato.

    A quiet girl with not much of a social life. She spends long hours reading and playing computer games. She can type about five hundred words per second, with little exaggeration mind you, and can read the dictionary forwards and back and recite anything you want to know in a matter of minutes. Alright, so I’m making a normal girl sound way too un-normal right? That’s because she’s not a normal girl at all. She’s actually an alien interface sent here on a mission. Sounds unbelievable, I would know, but she’s just the beginning.

    Subject two: Mikuru Asahina

    Another girl I’m associated with. Miss Asahina is very shy and quiet (thought not as much as Nagato). She’s usually wearing some kind of maid outfit or bunny girl costume that was forced upon her. Her talents include making tea, advertising, acting on the side and, did I forget to mention(?), time traveling. That’s right. Miss Asahina is a time traveler. Don’t let her unusually large breasts fool you, though at first glance you might get side tracked, she is really a human from the future. She too was sent here on a mission. Want to know what the mission is and what is has to do with Nagato? Well, let me finish introducing our last subject…

    Subject three: Itsuki Koizumi

    The only male I’m forced to deal with on a daily basis. He’s usually quiet also, keeping to himself though don’t be surprised when he opens his mouth. He’s highly intelligent and good at playing cards, othello, rummy, and go fish. He’s popular with the ladies and fairly good with acting in plays, though his monologues will confuse the hell out of you. He’s often times wearing a smug smile because he thinks he’s better at everything even though he’s not. I’ll just cut to the chase. He’s an esper. A kind of psychic super being with powers unlike any other. Forget the cheap movies, this guy has powers that could blow George Lucas out of the water. Him and a few others just realized they had these amazing powers, only three years ago. What are they used for? For their mission, of course.

    Now you know the three super human characters of the story. What do they have in common? They’re all on the same mission with few differences. They were all sent from another time zone, aliens and such to monitor one human. Each one of them and their organizations have theories on this said human being, titling them as ‘god’ of the world. With the ability to destroy it when they please, change it, alter it, anything.

    Do I believe in this sort of thing?

    No.

    Though the three of them have shown me their power, in incredible ways, I can’t say I believe their purpose in life is to watch over this so-called god-like creature. Sure, strange things do happen in my life that make me wonder from time to time, but it’s all just coincidence.

    Right?

    Okay, so now you’re wondering about their mission subject aren’t you? Let me just say this:

    IT’S NOT ME!!

    I’m just a normal high school student trying to get through life without being killed by aliens, desert crickets the size of skyscrapers and huge mass entities from another dimension.

    So who is our ‘god’?

    Subject four: Haruhi Suzumiya

    Though at first glance, you wouldn’t call Haruhi Suzumiya ‘normal’, she isn’t like the rest. She’s a beautiful girl, my age, with piercing brown eyes. She’s bossy, doesn’t care what others think and out to solve the mysteries of the universe. Does this make her a god? No, I don’t think so. Too bad the others do, and they’re determined to anything in their freakish power to keep her entertained and happy.

    That, or, the world may not exist anymore.

    How did I get wrapped into this whole thing (me, being a normal boy and all?).

    It started the first week of school, when I said a simple hello to Miss Haruhi Suzumiya. Okay, so not those words exactly, but pretty much. Apparently, the second I spoke to her, I triggered something deep down inside the entire universe. Haruhi decided to make a club to find mysterious things, and so it happened. She wanted to find an alien, esper and time traveler. She got it. Everything she wants happens, and I can’t accept it’s because she’s a god but I can accept it’s something.

    None of that matters though, because that was months ago.

    A lot has happened, our team has been through a ton of crap and Haruhi still doesn’t know about any of it. I’m sworn to secrecy and they are too. For now, we’re just playing along with whatever she has to throw at us. Which can be fun at times, don’t get me wrong, but there are times I just wish things were normal…
    Kori123
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:27 am

    Chapter 1 ~ One day

    Everything seemed normal for the day. I walked up that same hill from my house to the school like I did every morning. It was only once I got up the hill that I wondered exactly how much muscle in my legs I’d gained since the year began. Carrying my pack weighs me down but there have been days I’ve forgotten it so does that not count? What about the days when I decide to eat a large lunch? Does that mean I gain a lot of weight so the entire walk up was for nothing? Then that brings up the questions as to what I’m trying to gain in the first place.

    It’s just a walk to and from school. Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everything is something else. If I walk backwards up the hill it’s not going to cause a chain reaction, right?

    You never know.

    Getting to school was normal for the day also, the usual harassment from Taniguchi and Kunikida. They both were talking about something but to tell you the truth I wasn’t paying any attention. I had a strange feeling Haruhi was plotting against me. It was probably because of our strange bond that allowed me to just know when evil was arising in the air.

    That, or, the unusual little note shoved in my shoe locker, that read ‘meet me after school in the brigade room. Before the others get there! ’ signed Haruhi, was a good hint. I just looked at it, flipping it over a couple times, wondering to myself how she even managed to get it in my locker in the first place (wasn‘t the school closed at night?). Then again, this was Haruhi Suzumiya.

    “Looks like Kyon’s finally snatching himself a girlfriend,” Taniguchi said nudging lightly. He was one of my side friends; kind of annoying but I’ve known him for a while which makes me immune.

    “Suzumiya is finally going to ask you out?” Kunikida asked with his usual clueless smile. Another friend I‘d known for a while; Taniguchi and him were a package. Don‘t ask. “Good for you Kyon,” he added.

    Now the thing with Haruhi Suzumiya, that these two idiots don’t understand, is that when she means to meet alone, it means trouble for anyone she’s referring to. I could only imagine what she had in store for me; a lot came to mind, and lot ended badly.

    “It’s not what you guys are thinking,” I tried to reason.

    They both just laughed as Taniguchi put his arm around my shoulders. It kind of freaked me out, but again I was use to it by now. “Of course it’s not,” he said, “a really crazy pretty girl wants to hang out with you after school. Alone. By yourself. None of the others there. Sure, it sounds normal doesn’t it?” Sarcasm was Taniguchi’s middle name.

    “Normal isn’t Suzumiya’s way of doing anything,” Kunikida said hitting Haruhi to a tee.

    “Either way, I think our good buddy Kyon here should go and possibly watch his back. If she does want to ask you out, I say go for it. If she starts to take her clothes off though, you might want to run.” Taniguchi was probably joking about that last part; but if he only knew that horrors that transpire in that room…

    “Well Kyon, what are you going to do?” Kunikida asked eagerly awaiting some kind of answer.

    “I’ll just ask her about it before class starts,” I shrugged, it seemed simple enough. “If she needs to tell me something in private, she can tell me when ever. No need to inconvenience the others.”

    I shut my locker and headed to class, not caring if the other two followed or not. It goes back to that whole knowing someone thing; they were friends but I think I consider the brigade my closer friends, though not by choice.

    Have I mentioned the brigade yet? The brigade refers to the club starts by Haruhi months before. What is it? What does it do? So many questions and so little answers. The brigade’s full name is the Spreading Excitement All Over The World With Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade. Quite the mouthful, so she shortened it to the SOS brigade. Following so far?

    Basically it’s made up of the group I told you about before. The alien, time traveler, esper, ‘god’ and the normal human chore boy (AKA me). We meet up after school and spend countless hours doing nothing at all. Haruhi thinks we’re there to solve mysteries but we’ve only done random acts of time wasting. I guess some days are more eventful than others and I have grown fond of going so it’s not the obligation it use to be. Either way, that’s our daily ritual.

    Entering the classroom, pack slung over my shoulder, I made my way to my usual desk in the corner of the class next to the window overlooking the track field. That was when I realized Haruhi wasn’t there. I sighed and sat down looking around, noticing everything else seemed normal. She was probably just running late, it happens.

    I just got my work out and waited for the classic Haruhi entrance.

    I waited and waited and waited some more until class started. That was when I figured she wouldn’t show up all. This has happened a few times before but this time felt different; what was the notorious Haruhi Suzumiya up to now? Now I was eager to get to the brigade room just to see if she was there or not.

    Needless to say, class was slow and boring without Haruhi there. Once it was lunch time, Kunikida and Taniguchi came over with their homemade lunches asking the usual questions with a side of ‘where’s Haruhi?’

    “How should I know?” I asked, somewhat annoyed, trying to enjoy my own lunch. That whole thing about walking up and down the hill lingered in my mind.

    “Well if she wanted to meet you after school, and that note was in in your locker this morning, either she put it in there after school yesterday and forgot, or something happened.” Taniguchi logic was always confusing but that did make some sense. She probably slipped it in after I’d gone home for the night. The mystery was solved; wouldn’t Haruhi be thrilled?

    “Maybe she got sick,” Kunikida suggested. It would make sense for normal kids, but again, this was Haruhi and normal wasn’t exactly in her system.

    “I still think you should go,” Taniguchi said taking a bite of some kind of rice patty. “If she doesn’t show then you have nothing to lose but a few hours. Go and find out what she wants,” he spoke with a mouthful so I only could understand a few parts clearly. What he said did makes sense, but the ‘nothing to lose but a few hours’ thing didn’t sound pleasant one bit.

    “I’m going to go,” I said matter-of-factly. “I figure it’s no different than how I usually spend my afternoons anyway.”

    “That’s the spirit Kyon,” Kunikida nodded eating his own lunch (whatever it was).

    “Just remember what I told you,” Taniguchi said in his ‘I think I’m being helpful’ voice. If only he knew.

    Lunch went smoothly after that and class went the same way. Haruhi not being there I actually learned some things without her usual whispers in my ear. Not only that, but I got most of my homework done for the day which meant little to none for the night. Normally that would be good thing but if the brigade wasn’t meeting up then it was kind of a waste. Oh well, I could catch up on reading or something.

    As soon as class let out, I grabbed my stuff and headed for the brigade room; located in the abandoned part of the cultures hall. I got there soon enough, no sign of anyone else, starring at the big wooden door. There was a sign posted above it that read ‘SOS Brigade’, compliments of Haruhi and the wood working club. I sighed reaching out for the handle, but as I did it felt like something was compelling me from actually turning and going inside.

    Again, it was probably the fear from being around Haruhi so much and knowing what to expect.

    I didn’t let my nerves get to me though as I opened it and went inside. The room was clean, like always, but felt surprisingly empty. Usually when I got there, at least Nagato was waiting in her corner reading a book. Today there was a blank table, abandoned costumes on the shelf and no sign of anyone besides myself. I debated between leaving or not, assuming Haruhi was sick for once, but I knew the death penalty would be in store for me if I didn’t wait at least an hour.

    I set my pack down on the table and sat in my formal seat looking around. Nagato’s bookshelf was untouched from the previous day, Miss Asahina’s kitchen area was tidy from the afternoon before when she’d cleaned it. Haruhi’s computer was on the head desk in front of the room, turned on still since Haruhi didn’t believe in shutting it off. She once told me it wasted too much time having to turn it on and reload everything; this way all she did was turn the monitor off to fool the janitors that came in, when we needed to use it, it was just a monitor click away. I tried to reason with her on it, that it wasted electricity, but she countered that the school paid for it all.

    In the end, like always, she got her way.
    Kori123
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:27 am

    I sat for a good ten minutes before getting up and going over to it, pulling out the chair and sitting, I turned on the monitor and waited for the computer to wake up. The desktop was boring, and if I had my way, it would display a picture of Miss Asahina in one of her various outfits. Maybe I sound like a pervert right now, but you would do the same thing if you saw her in all her bunny girl glory. I logged onto the brigade home website page, looking it over. It, like the desktop, was so plain it made my eyes burn.

    Haruhi’s killer logo was on the front page with a short introduction to the site and under that rested the counter. Haruhi would be happy to see we gained a whole two views from the day before; though one was from me just now and the other was probably the computer club president trying to spread viruses (again). I sighed and exited off the site looking through all the folders Haruhi had set up in the computer. Every now and then I cleaned it up, keeping it organized since she didn’t.

    There was one folder labeled MIKURU ASAHINA which, like the name suggests, was a folder of just Miss Asahina in her costumes. They were all pictures Haruhi had forced her into taking, and were probably illegal to have, but I kept them in a locked folder for (ahem) future use and documentation of the brigade’s activities. Sound believable enough? Haruhi didn’t think so either…

    After making sure everything was working properly, I went back to my seat at the empty table and waited. It was so eerie quiet without the others there. Nagato never spoke anyway, but her fingers would leaf through the pages of her books every couples seconds so it kept a steady rhythm. Miss Asahina would be making tea and delivering it to each one of us with a cute ‘here you go’ after she did. I would smile, and drink it thinking I was the luckiest guy alive to be around an adorable house wife like her. Koizumi, had he been there, would no doubt play a game with me, be it cards or othello, and up the occasional chat about ‘Miss Suzumiya’.

    Too bad that wasn’t the case today.

    I waited a while longer, listening to the clock tick until it annoyed me; then I got up and headed for the door. As soon as I reached for the handle though, the door opened and there was none other than Haruhi Suzumiya herself.

    “And just where do you think you’re going?” Was her snappy greeting. ‘Why yes, Haruhi, it’s nice to see you too.’

    “What do you mean?” I asked waving a hand in the air casually, “no one was here and I’ve been waiting almost an hour, so I was going to go home.” I explained knowing she wouldn’t care. I was right, of course, as she marched past me and to her computer sitting down angrily.

    “What were you doing?” She asked, still in an intolerant mood, “the computer’s turned on so you were messing with something.” She accused looking over at me suspiciously.

    “How do you know it wasn’t on when I arrived?” I tried as he headed back to my seat; might as well since there was no way of getting out of this one.

    “Because I turned it off before I left,” she said matter-of-factly, which I knew was a lie. “Which means someone had to turn it on and since you were the only one in here today, it had to have been you.”

    “Okay, first of all, you never turn it off you just put it on sleep mode and turn off the monitor. Second, you don’t know I was the only one here all day,“ emphasis on ‘all’, “what if Nagato was in here during her lunch or something?”

    “Yuki would have no need to use the computer,” Haruhi said clicking something angrily. I could practically hear the mouse scream in agony.

    “What if she wanted to buy an online book?” I suggested. True, I knew Nagato wouldn’t be using the computer for anything like that, but Haruhi didn’t. I must have gotten her with it though because she didn’t say anything more on the subject.

    “Where are the others?” She asked keeping her eyes focused on the computer, and I could tell she was checking the website.

    “How should I know, you’re the one who sent them away.” I said rolling my eyes. The thing with Haruhi is that nothing is ever what it’s suppose to be. I knew Haruhi’s hand writing and I knew she put that note in my locker (who would want to forge her signature anyway?). She knew it too, and yet she would sit and pretend nothing ever happened and that she had no idea what I was talking about.

    “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she said bitterly. See what I mean?

    I just sighed, “look, if there’s nothing you want to talk about then I’m going home. You missed class today anyway, so I know you have work to do.” I pointed out standing up, snatching my bag again.

    “Oh no you don’t,” she said glaring over at me. There were those piercing brown eyes I was talking about. “The others are going to be here soon and we have important matters to discuss.” It was sometimes frustrating to be around Haruhi, since everything had to have an ulterior motive. I still was curious about the note in my locker…

    “Like what?” I asked sitting back down; it was like musical chairs.

    “We have a case,” Haruhi said, and though you think this would make her happy, she seemed quite the opposite. “Once the others get here I can tell you all the details.”

    I just sat there trying to think of what it could be. Nothing good, I was sure. Nothing difficult though either. I’d just have to wait and find out.

    Five minutes… Ten minutes… Fifteen minutes…

    Haruhi just kept clicking on the computer, typing now and then which made me curious as to what she was doing. I opened my mouth, about to ask, but she beat me to it. “Well?” She asked sounding pissed off.

    “Well what?” I asked glancing over at her. I could see her face scrunch up, fueling the fire.

    “Well don‘t you have something to say?” She asked like I’d done something.

    “Not really,” I replied confused, and she just got even more mad. Her face changed again though, from pissed off to kind of strained. Like she was upset over something and it had been my fault. Haruhi is hard to read sometimes and even harder to understand. If you couldn’t read her good enough, bad things could happen. I was going to ask, but again, someone beat me to it.

    “Ah, good afternoon Miss Suzumiya,” Itsuki Koizumi said with a half bow as he walked into the room, taking the seat across from me. I eyed him suspiciously, but he just smiled like usual. “How is everyone today?”

    “Fine thanks,” I replied flatly, waiting for Haruhi to answer. No surprise when she didn’t.

    “That’s good then,” Koizumi said as Nagato and Miss Asahina came into the room. Nagato was holding a book with the same blank stare she usually had on; like she’d just been reading and was relocating before picking right back up where she left off. That’s probably how it happened anyway.

    “Good afternoon,” Miss Asahina gave her usual bow and warm greeting (much nicer than Haruhi’s for sure). She always knew just how to make the mood in the room lighter.

    “Good afternoon to you too,” I said in my own polite way. Haruhi was practically steaming with anger at that, but it served her right. She always got so jealous when I spoke to Miss Asahina. I had to be careful, according to the three of them, because whenever Haruhi got upset the world had a chance to explode. I had to be warned of this a lot, as you can tell.

    “Enough small talk,” Haruhi snapped standing up. I figured that would get her going; not that I wanted to provoke her wrath. “It’s time to tell all about our newest mission!” Mission? “The lame school dance is coming up, and this will be the perfect chance to show the world what the SOS brigade can do!” Her anger had almost melted away but now she was plotting against the school dance. What did it ever do to her?

    “The dance?” I asked somewhat curious. Even though I knew Haruhi’s plans were always poorly drawn out, I couldn’t help but wonder what it actually was.

    “Yes, that’s right,” she said looking at me like I was the dumbest person in the world. Her rage had come back, “don’t tell me you forgot about the school dance!” Why would I need to remember? I wasn’t going to go. Maybe that was what she was pissed about…

    “I’m sure Kyon was just thinking of other things,” Koizumi tried to cover. That surprised me. “Finals are coming up, after all, and maybe he’s getting behind on his school work.” After listening to him, I picked up that what he was saying was code for ‘don’t make her any more angry or we’re all dead’.

    “Right,” I agreed with half a nod. I could tell she didn’t buy it for a second, but she didn’t add more, just went on with whatever she was going on about before hand.

    “At any rate, I volunteered the SOS brigade to be the ones to decorate the whole thing! We even get to pick the theme!” She was practically glowing with excitement, but again, she was hard to read. “I was thinking paranormal dates! We could have green punch and alien shaped cookies or something! What do you guys think?”

    “I think it sounds like a great idea,” Koizumi said, agreeing with Haruhi like always.

    “I don’t know Miss Suzumiya…” Miss Asahina said passing out the tea (like I said she’d do). “What if it’s too scary for a dance?”

    “Miss Asahina is right,” I decided to put my two-cents in. “Shouldn’t you talk to the student body first? Ask them what they think or what they might want? Are you even going to the dance?”

    “Of course I’m going to the dance!” She snapped at me, “as for the answer to your other questions, I’m not going to ask them what they want at all. Since I signed up for it, we’re going to do it our way. We’re taking time out of our very busy schedule to do this for them, so they should appreciate whatever we come up with.”

    Haruhi logic.

    The best kind of logic.

    “I think we should explore our options first. Why don’t we do something a bit more fun like a beach theme? Movie star night, we could get spot lights and a red carpet and everything.” I must say, for not wanting to do it, it could be fun if we did it right.

    “That sounds like fun,” Miss Asahina smiled with a hint of blush on her cheeks. It only added to her cuteness.

    “There see, we can have a vote,” I said with a smile of my own. Too bad nothing is ever so easy with Haruhi.

    “No,” she said instantly, “I’m the brigade leader and I say we do a paranormal theme. Besides, no one invited you, Kyon.”

    That kind of annoyed me, “what do you mean I’m not invited?”

    “No one invited you to go,” she repeated slightly louder. “You have finals to study for anyway. You don’t have time to go to some stupid school dance, right? Besides, this is a couples thing. We’re all suppose to be going in pairs.”

    “Then who is everyone going with?” I asked, kind of taken back by that bit of information.

    “Koizumi will be going with Yuki to keep the brigade together. Neither one of them mind going with each other, but only as friends.”

    “Right,” Koizumi nodded, “I don’t mind taking Miss Nagato to the dance. I think it would be fun.” Of course he would. He’d go with anyone Haruhi coupled him with.

    “I’m going to ask Tsuruya to go with me as friends,” Miss Asahina chimed in. That made me feel a little better; it meant some guy wouldn’t have his hands all over her, like I knew so many wanted (me included).

    “Alright, that’s most of the brigade,” I said looking between all of them, stopping my gaze on our intelligent leader. “What about you? Who are you going with?” I asked curiously. This should be good.

    “I’m not going,” she said crossing her arms stubbornly. It did, and didn’t, surprise me.

    “Then why are you making a big deal about something you’re not even going to go to?”

    “Because it matters to me,” she said with a ‘humph’ and turned away.

    “You’re not making any sense,” I said rubbing my temples, starting to get frustrated with her. All day she’d been screwing with my head, and she hadn’t even been there for most of it. “What’s your problem?”

    Big mistake.

    Koizumi, Nagato and Miss Asahina each stopped anything they were doing and looked among us, almost in terror. I think I triggered something; and judging by the look on Haruhi’s face, that sounded about right.

    “I don’t have a problem, Kyon,” she said glaring at me. I was use to it, but for some reason this time felt different. I wasn’t sure what set her off so much, what had made her mad in the first place, but I wasn’t going to sit back and just listen to her yell at me. Not this time.

    “Then why are you being so unreasonable?” I countered.

    “I’m not being unreasonable!”

    “Yes you are!” I was surprised I’d raised my voice so much. “It’s just a school dance and you’re acting like it’s a matter of life or death.”

    “I am not!” She screamed back at me. The others were getting fidgety, staring at me like I was dooming us all. I probably was.

    “Yes you are,” I said shaking my head. “Why don’t you just go and have fun like a normal high school girl? Find a guy, let him take you, dress up and just have fun.”

    Normal. Haruhi hated that word.

    “I’m not interested in having a relationship with any normal human beings!”

    “Then why did you bother with the dance in the first place?” By this point, I’d figured most of it out. Haruhi placed the note and left us alone in the brigade room together because she no doubt wanted to go to the dance with me. It wasn’t a secret she liked me anymore (thanks to a certain event that happened weeks before). She just wouldn’t admit it. “If you want to go so bad, and it’s a couple thing, then let’s just go together.”

    Not quite the best timing to ask a girl out, for all you guys out there. Bad things will happen if you try to sugar coat any fight like this. Take notes on all of this, it will come in handy later on.

    The face Haruhi made was a look of pure hatred, to where I thought she was going to kill me. Yes, another event in my life that has almost lead to my death. You think I would be use to it by now (like everything else). Little did I know that this fight was going to change everything.

    “I hate you!” She screamed and out of the corner of my eyes I saw the others go pale. “I wish I’d never even met you!”

    I can’t even remember what happened after that.

    It just all went black.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:28 am

    Chapter 2 ~ Forgotten

    Have you ever had a time in your life when you just can’t remember what you were doing before you got to where you were? One minute you’re doing something and then all of a sudden you’re doing something else and don’t even remember your body doing it. Everyone has their own theory on this take of life, my favorite (that makes more sense than you’d like to think), was one Koizumi would state proudly like he always did. He’d probably blame it on a skip in the space time continuum caused by ’Miss Suzumiya’.

    Yeah, it makes perfect sense. Haruhi got so pissed off at me that she just changed time. I guess for now I could believe it, since I had no scientifically plausible explanation. After all, I was just in the brigade room in a fight with Haruhi, and now I’m here; walking up this stupid hill to school with my pack slung over my shoulder. I was still confused, but I’d ask Koizumi about it later.

    “Hey Kyon,” Taniguchi said the second I’d arrived to my locker. Did those two just wait for me to get there or something? “How’d it go yesterday?”

    “Same as always,” I said slightly annoyed as I switched shoes.

    “Nothing exciting?” Kunikida asked on my opposite side. They always had to sandwich me between them for some reason; like if they didn’t I’d run away.

    “No, nothing exciting,” I said backing away to head off to class. “Even if anything had happened, you wouldn’t believe me.” I was humoring them now.

    They followed behind me, for once, going to class also. “Try us,” Taniguchi offered and I thought I just might. I was feeling daring, after all, that morning; avoiding obvious death from the great Suzumiya god will do that to you.

    “Well I survived a jump in the space time continuum,” I said with a half shrug. I knew they wouldn’t believe me anyway, and judging by their fits of laugher, I was right.

    “You can be so weird at times Kyon,” Taniguchi said putting an arm around my shoulder. I shoved it off once we got to the class; no need to have Haruhi freaking out on me over Taniguchi. Yes, she would do that one of these days. “After school did you want to come over? I have this cool new game that’s made for more people and Kunikida sucks at everything.”

    “Thanks for the offer,” I said before Kunikida could defend himself, “but I’m pretty sure I have things to do after school.” I didn’t bother to explain what happened the day before and all the damage control I had to make up for with Haruhi.

    “That’s too bad, maybe next time then,” Kunikida said going over to his seat; Taniguchi did the same, leaving me to deal with the dragon myself.

    I sighed looking over at my seat by the window, directly behind it was Haruhi’s desk; with her perfect access for my daily torture. She was there today staring blankly out the window looking kind of bored. I figured this was Haruhi’s body language for ‘I’m ignoring you today’ since often times she’s all a glow waiting for me to arrive.

    Not today.

    I walked over either way and set my stuff down, taking what I needed out, while I took my seat. I could feel by body grow slightly tense as I waited for something. Anything from Haruhi that would lead back to the afternoon before; but after waiting a good ten minutes I assumed she’d forgotten all about it. Maybe, like the last time we survived a disaster, she woke up this morning thinking it was all a nightmare.

    “Hey,” I said casually turning around. I wasn’t sure what she wanted me to say but I figured if I kept up conversation things would go well. Too bad nothing came to mind so I had to wait for her to respond. If I spoke out of turn she might get mad, and I didn’t need Haruhi’s wrath any more that morning.

    She just barely turned her head (I’d guess half a centimeter) in my direction, a look on her face that could only be described as confused and bitterness. “What?” She asked snappily, not a surprise at all, she was still pissed.

    This was the hard part, thinking of what to say to that. I just blurted anything out of my mouth, “I wanted to apologize.” I thought that was a good way to start the morning.

    “For what?” She asked looking even more annoyed than before, which probably would make any normal human being annoyed also, but this was how it was on a daily basis with her so I was use to it.

    “For yesterday,” I said trying not to actually bring it up. Maybe it all had been a dream and she really didn’t realize it. Either way, I didn’t want to bring up the entire event; half the class was watching me.

    “What are you talking about?” She asked raising her voice just enough to get us even more noticed.

    It must have been nothing but a dream to her and I didn’t want to make a scene, “nothing. Never mind,” I said turning back in my seat, jumping when someone stood over it. I was shocked, and somewhat freighted, when I saw a blue haired beauty standing there. Not one I need to see there though.

    “Is something the matter Kyon?” Ryoko Asakura asked in her usual charming voice. The problem was, it sent shivers down my spine.

    Here, let me explain the situation.

    A couple months ago, when the brigade was first formed, Nagato told me that she was an alien interface. To keep in lemmas terms, she told me that the entire universe was like one giant super computer. Everyone and everything was just data and her organization (her included) could manipulate it at will in anyway they chose. They have laws, sure, but they can still do whatever they want; and the one with her finger on the delete button? Haruhi Suzumiya of course. According to Nagato, Haruhi is the computer’s owner (in a way) and if she gets mad enough she can simply change or alter anything she wants.

    Where does Miss Asakura come in?

    Nagato was sent here on a mission to monitor Haruhi and study how she works. To do this, the organization Nagato is in gave her an assistant. You guessed it, Ryoko Asakura. Now Miss Asakura was a lot more socially programmed than Nagato, she was in our class for a while watching Haruhi trying to get something interesting to happen so she could report it back to their home base. Haruhi wasn’t willing to be anyone’s guinea pig though, and nothing out of the ordinary happened.

    Until one day when Miss Asakura asked me to meet after school in our home room class. That was when she reveled to me what she was and what she wanted; and that she knew how to get Haruhi to react in a drastic way. How might you ask? Oh simple, by killing me. Her logic behind it was that my death would cause great grief to Haruhi and something big would happen.

    To keep a long story short, Nagato saved me and deleted Miss Asakura who left with a smile. The story everyone was told the next day in class when she didn’t show up? Her family moved to Canada. Think anyone bought it? Everyone did, if you excluded Haruhi, who thought it was perfect for a mystery. Needless to say we never found out the truth to Miss Asakura (according to Haruhi).

    Maybe that was why her being here was frightening to me.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:28 am

    “Miss Asakura,” I said astounded, trying not to make a scene. I glanced back at Haruhi with the corner of my eye but she didn’t react in anyway. Turning my sights back to Miss Asakura I added, “how are you this morning?” Not exactly the first thing you would say to one of their more recent murderers.

    She smiled though, like she use to do, “everything has been fine for me so far this morning. I can’t say the same for you and Miss Suzumiya,” she nodded in Haruhi’s direction and I figured she was picking up some of Haruhi’s hate vibes.

    “Right,” I said looking back at Haruhi again. She narrowed her eyes but pretended not to hear us. I was going to add something else, but our teacher came in and class had begun. Everything was normal for once, like the day before, I learned plenty and got homework done. Haruhi had kept quiet and barely spoke; she kept writing and I assumed it was brigade stuff. When lunch began Haruhi bolted off and I was left alone with Taniguchi and Kunikida.

    We sat in the classroom, pushing three desks together to make a larger surface to eat on. They went on talking about school work and Taniguchi’s new game, but I wasn’t listening. I turned my attention out the window to the track where Haruhi stood. She was staring down at the ground, every once in a while kicking at the grain. “What is she up to now?” I asked myself out loud.

    “Who?” Kunikida asked, both of them looking out the window also.

    “Haruhi Suzumiya?” Taniguchi asked with the slightly snicker, “what about her? She always does this.”

    I found that kind of odd, since just about every lunch she harasses me or one of the others. “Yeah,” Kunikida agreed, “she’s always outside looking around. I wonder what she’s looking for.” It really wasn’t a question; especially since Taniguchi would just roll off what he said.

    “Aliens of course!” See what I mean? Taniguchi rolled his eyes, “she’s not going to change anytime soon. That girl is crazy,” he let the ‘A’ in crazy drag out, putting emphasis on the word. “I think she should just settle down with some guy who likes reading sci-fi novels, and they can have a beautifully strange relationship together.”

    “Is that suppose to be an insult?” I asked, somewhat annoyed by that since they always were teasing me about hooking up with Haruhi.

    “How so?” Taniguchi asked with his dazed look on his face. Now they were just playing with me, I was sure of it.

    “Do you have a crush on Miss Suzumiya?” Kunikida asked with the same look.

    I just stared between the two of them wondering what kind of game they were playing, “no, I don’t have a crush on her,” I said shaking my head. “She’s the one always wanting to hang out with me.” I pointed out taking a bite of my rice cake. “I’m surprised neither one of you are urging me to tell you about yesterday.” I didn’t mean to eve bring up yesterday to these two, but I might as well since they’d only ask later other wise.

    “What happened yesterday?” Taniguchi asked with that same dazed look.

    “Haruhi wanted to ask me to the dance, but we ended up in a fight instead,” I explained with a half-witted sigh. “Before school she left that note in my shoe locker remember?” This game was getting old.

    “She did?” Kunikida asked, almost amazed by that.

    “You both were there,” I pointed out but then got the idea that Haruhi must have erased not only time, but maybe the entire thing from everyone’s memory but mine. It would make sense as to why no one had spoken of the event (especially Haruhi). Maybe she convinced herself it was all a dream and the others just have no idea either. “Never mind,” I finally said finishing my lunch, casually glancing over to the other side of the room where Miss Asakura was talking to a few other students. “When did she get back?” I asked.

    The two of them turned around to see who I was talking about first, and then Taniguchi replied with a, “who?” Clueless. As usual.

    “Miss Asakura,” I said pointing in her direction only a few second before letting my hand grab my rice cake again; I took a bite and waited their answer.

    “Did she go somewhere?” Kunikida asked and I just shook my head. They had no idea, apparently, so random thoughts started buzzing through my head. The theory I got was that it was quite possible Nagato needed a partner for her mission. Maybe it got to be too much for her to handle on her own so she recruited Asakura again. Maybe she got the bugs worked out this time, or maybe it wasn’t even the same girl. There could be a whole warehouse in space made of Nagato and Asakura models ready for launch.

    Okay, I was getting ahead of myself, but that’s how it goes in the movies. Right? Either way, it seemed no one remembered her leaving. Maybe I wasn’t the only one who escaped some kind of inner dimensional phenomenon.

    “Sorry, thinking of someone else,” I lied and finished my lunch.

    The rest of the day after that had gone a little better. Haruhi still was keeping quiet taking the cold shoulder to a whole new level. For her, it was normal. Ryoko Asakura just kept on acting like a normal girl and no one questioned anything. Now I was starting to sound like the weird one on campus. I ran through various scenarios in my head about how I’d ask Nagato and Koizumi about the whole thing. I was sure one of them knew what was going on, or at least had some mind blowing theory about it all.

    When school was out, Haruhi just got up and left as casually as possible. I figured she just wasn’t having a good day, then again how was I to know? She barely said three actual things to me all day. I packed my things at my own pace and made my way to the brigade room. I passed by several other students, who gave me weird looks like they had no idea what I was doing; kind of weird since I was in the cultures hall every afternoon.

    I was probably early like usual, which meant sitting for who knew how long until someone showed up. When I did reach the brigade room, however, I noticed that the plaque above the door was missing. Maybe Haruhi decided she didn’t like it or wanted a new one; maybe the wood working club just wanted it back for what ever reason. I just let out an annoyed sigh and headed inside hoping Haruhi would give Nagato and I some time to talk.

    Needless to say, Nagato wasn’t in the room.

    The room wasn’t even in the room; it was like someone had gone through the brigade room and stripped it of everything. The table was there, but Nagato’s bookshelf was gone, Miss Asahina’s kitchen set was missing, all the games had vanished, Haruhi’s head desk and computer was gone also. I could feel my mouth fall open in shock, and confusion, as I just looked at the barren wasteland that use to be so lively.

    “What’s going on?” I asked even though no one was there. The room was so dead, it was eerie and it was at that moment I knew something was definitely wrong. I considered waiting around for Nagato or Koizumi to appear, even Miss Asahina would be nice. Someone had to know what was going on.

    Maybe not though.

    I slowly moved into the ghost of a room, trying to figure out what had happened. Maybe I wandered into the wrong room by mistake or maybe Haruhi was taking this whole thing to a new extreme. Whatever the reason was, I wasn’t liking it. I glanced out the window, for whatever reason, and spotting our fearless leader leaving the school.

    “Haruhi!” I shouted turning and running out of the room. I didn’t even bother grabbing the bag I’d dropped when I arrived. I had to find out what was going on and she had an answer. I threw my morals aside, racing through the halls until I had finally broke through to the icy bitterness of the outside world. “Haruhi!” I called out again, and this time she heard

    She turned around giving a dazed look at first, but it was soon replaced by anger; the same anger I knew very well. She faced me, crossing her arms over her chest as I approached. You think after climbing up that hill every morning I would be use to physical exercise, yet I found myself panting as I stood before her.

    “What’s going on?” I asked first, and typical Haruhi had to mess with my head.

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said deepening her frown.

    “Don’t play games,” I demanded, in no mood, “what did you do to the brigade room?”

    “Brigade room? I don’t even know what that is or where it is,” she said sizing me up.

    “Yes you do,” I accused, which made her more mad (what didn’t?). “The brigade room is empty and you’ve been ignoring me all day. Can’t you let one fight go?”

    “What are you talking about?” She raised her voice and emphasized every word like I was deaf or something.

    “We had that fight yesterday,” maybe. Maybe she’d forgotten. “Over the school dance. Listen, let’s just forget it ever happened and go talk to the others and-”

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” She snapped, cutting me off. I stopped and just stared at her, waiting for her to explain. Thankfully, she did. “You’re Kyon right? Everyone calls you that,” she started. “I don’t know who you think you are talking to me like this, but I really have no idea what you’re talking about. I didn’t even know you knew my name, let alone stalk me.”

    “Stalk you?” I gapped, “you practically force me to follow you on a daily basis.”

    “No. I don’t.” She said matter-of-factly. “We’ve hardly said more than a ‘hello’ to each other in the past. You seem familiar, sure, but we have class together so that’s probably why. Now then, if we’re done here, I have things to do.” She let out a huff and spun back on her heel to storm off.

    In Haruhi language that means ‘it’s done’.

    I just stood there completely awestruck.

    What was going on?
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:30 am

    Chapter 3 ~ Checkmate

    Sometimes dreams and nightmares can seem too real for words. There are times when you wake up in the middle of the night and can remember everything; from sights, to sounds, to even tastes and smells. A Chinese philosopher (Zhuangzi to be exact) had a theory that dreams were really linked to real world experiences; this idea was later reintroduced by religions and other philosophers. They said that our minds were so complex we did things in our sleep that were linked to things happening around us in the ‘real’ world. Things like you wetting the bed, hearing voices, smelling things; it can all be linked to the world around our physical bodies.

    Why am I giving you a lesson on all of this?

    Because as of late it’s hard to tell the two apart. The argument Haruhi and I had in the classroom felt real enough, but the next day I woke up and had no idea what happened the rest of the night. How had I gotten from the classroom back to walking up the hill? What if I’d fallen asleep? Then was all of this a dream? Haruhi’s pretending not to know who I am and the brigade doesn’t exist, what does it all mean? If anyone out there knows can you please tell me. Soon.

    I started to think about the way Haruhi had acted, but that was the problem. She didn’t seem like she was acting, she seemed like she honestly had no idea who I was. She didn’t talk to me, she didn’t go out of her way to cause me discomfort and because of it my day had been fairly-

    “Normal,” I muttered, stopping in my step as I glanced up at the sky. “Maybe that’s it,” I told myself out loud. Kind of weird because I hardly ever do, but it wasn’t like anyone was around; my walks up that hill were always lonely.

    I thought back to our fight the day before. Didn’t she say she wished she’d never met me? The looks the others had on their faces and the fact all of a sudden I was on my way to school clarified she had indeed done something. Maybe, by some twist of fate and strange Haruhi logic, I had made my own wish come true.

    My wish that everything was normal.

    I guess the more I thought about it, as I walked, the more I realized it did in fact make sense. I wanted a normal life, Haruhi wished we’d never met; if we never met then everything would be normal? I never spoke to Haruhi that first day (or something) and we never became friends. We never made the brigade. We never did any of the things we did in the past.

    For once something made sense, and I wasn’t sure if I liked the outcome.

    Then again, maybe it was a good thing. Now I could actually study, I could go about my daily life without worry of it being blown up and being my fault. I would be able to do a bunch of new things I’d always wanted to do before Haruhi became the number one importance in my life (or so she viewed it).

    I felt my lips curl into a smile as I approached the school.

    Today was going to be a good day for once. A good normal day.

    --

    As predicted, the day started out at my shoe locker, where Taniguchi and Kunikida met me. I must have been physically happier because both of them asked me what I was so cheerful about. I gave a half-hearted reply that I had a feeling it would be a good day. After that, they discussed various things that I ignored. I could care less which one of them lost their games or what they ate for dinner the night before.

    My eyes were stuck on the girl several lockers down you see. Haruhi was getting her own shoes out, switching them and looking around suspiciously. Didn’t she know there were no aliens around here? I smiled to myself again and headed to class when she went to another hallway. Maybe Haruhi was in the process of finding herself a new chore boy. I felt back for the poor guy who came into Haruhi’s vision and was caught in her unknown trap. Then again, better them than me. Haruhi thought of her friends and classmates as pawns, in a way; like a spider catching a fly or a cat playing with its captured mouse. It wouldn’t surprise me if she already had a few candidates.

    I wondered about the others as I entered the class and spotted Miss Asakura. She walked over and greeted me with a heartfelt ‘good morning Kyon’ and it reminded me a lot of Miss Asahina. I returned the greeting, but as soon as I got to my desk and sat down, my smile vanished and I remembered the other brigade members. Besides Haruhi, there was the smart and quiet Nagato, the ever charming well-endowed Miss Asahina, and the clever yet annoying Koizumi. I actually missed them; They were, after all, my friends or what I considered friends at least.

    I waited patiently for Haruhi to take her seat. It took a good while until she even came into the class room; and from there she was bombarded by other classmates asking questions, saying good morning, trying to start petty conversations; and through it all, Haruhi said not a word. When they were finally done, Haruhi gave her bitter frown and replied with a “I have no time to deal with you meaningless humans.”

    That was it.

    Everyone evaporated into the background as though it had never happened, but I could just barely hear them saying her name now and then. It seemed since Haruhi and I hadn’t spoken, she’d become a bit more popular. Still strange in their eyes, but fascinatingly so to where everyone wanted to know more about her. Lucky me, I already knew plenty.

    When she did sit down, she immediately glued her eyes to the window to her left, waiting like she usually did. I looked over at her out of the corner of my eyes, having to shift in my seat a little, then slowly I turned fully around. “Hey Haruhi,” I said in my casual tone, loud to get her attention. Her eyes snapped over to mine and I could have swore we had a staring contest from hell for a few seconds.

    “Yeah what?” She asked in almost the exact same tone. Talking to Haruhi was almost like playing chess against the one who invented the game. They knew all the tricks and moves and at any second could make one up, and guess what, you’d never even know it. That was exactly how Haruhi logic was, and in a way really was how things worked. According to the others anyway.

    “How are Nagato and Koizumi doing?” I asked to see if it would spark something or if she’d have no clue like before. “I would hope you’re not torturing Miss Asahina anymore than needed,” I added and Haruhi had the same reaction as the day before.

    Her face scrunched up and she glared at me with those piercing hazelnut brown eyes, “you should stop talking to me before I have to put charges on you.” She said matter-of-factly. Ah, white pawn E2 to E4.

    I was almost shocked by her proposal, realizing she’d given me an opening though, I took the bait. “You would actually place charges on someone just for talking to you?” I countered with black pawn E7 to E5.

    “Talking to me without any consent from myself,” Haruhi pointed out as though she’d won the argument. “You should apologize, especially since I have no idea what you are talking about. If you’re trying to get my attention so you can say something, then just say it. Don’t jerk me around.”

    Why did I miss her speaking to me again? I’m still not sure why, I should have left it at that, but something compelled me to continue our sadistic conversation. “I’m not jerking you around, I was just wondering. If you have no idea, just say it. You don’t have get so mad.” Great, now I sounded like her.

    “I do have to get ‘so mad’ because you are wasting my time.” She countered.

    “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realized staring out the window was so painstaking.”

    “For your information,” Haruhi said slamming her hands on her desk, half standing in her seat, hunched over enough to look down on me. “I’m not just staring out the window, I’m waiting.” The class was staring now.

    “For what?” I scoffed, “alien invaders?”

    That must have taken her by surprise because her glare vanished, replaced by a look of confusion. “Yeah, how did you know?” She asked perplexed.

    This time, I was the one who didn’t answer to her games. I turned back around as the bell rang and our teacher walked in to give us that days assignments. I just sat back and listened; and throughout the day I could actually sense Haruhi staring at me. I must have really freaked her out or something.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:30 am

    Nothing was wrong up until lunch, but the second the bell rang Haruhi had bolted out. I kind of wondered where she was going since she left with an odd expression on her face. I tried to ignore it when Taniguchi and Kunikida migrated over to my desk, since I didn’t go to theirs. “Kyon, are you crazy?” Was the first thing Taniguchi asked when he sat down, eyes wide for some reason.

    “What do you mean?” I asked looking out my window, only once, before gathering my lunch to begin eating. Leftovers from the night before, or so it would appear. That was the one disadvantage of your little sister packing the lunches for you.

    “I mean,” he situated himself, “you talking to Suzumiya. It’s a bold move but kind of a stupid one don’t you think?”

    “Not really. She’s just like any other girl,” I said, though I didn’t mean it. Haruhi like the other girls around here? Not likely.

    “Any other girl?” Taniguchi’s voice got a little louder, almost like he was shouting but not enough to bother anyone else in the class. “Haruhi Suzumiya isn’t like any other girl around here. In case you haven’t noticed she’s a real weird one. She’s almost trying to make a point of being weird too, I’m not just insulting her,” he said as though I was offended by his comment.

    “Right,“ Kunikida chirped, “like the way she’s always going around the school joining and quitting every club.”

    “Exactly,” Taniguchi nodded, “very odd if you ask me. This one time in middle school, she took those things you draw lines on fields with. You know, the ones full of chalk? What are they called… I don’t remember. Anyway, she used it to make these weird patterns on the track field and said they were-”

    I’d heard this story once before; and nothing had changed. Haruhi was always going to be Haruhi no matter what dimension she was sent into.

    “What about Suzumiya’s hair,” Kunikida asked before taking a bite of his egg roll. I stiffened at hearing that, curious to hear that particular story. In the past Haruhi tied her different depending on the day of the week to ward off alien invaders and such. I spoke to her about one day and the next, she cut it all off. I took the whole thing somewhat offensively at the time, but now I was interested. Haruhi’s hair was cut short now, but according to the time frame I hadn’t spoke to Haruhi about her hair. Had I?

    “I know what you mean. She changed it all the time randomly and then one day just cut it all off,” Taniguchi made an unsatisfied sigh at that. “I just don’t understand it.”

    “It actually wasn’t random,” I found myself muttering, taking a quick bite before continuing on. “She tied her hair in a different place and with a different number of ties depending on the days. The color of the ties also changed with the days, like Wednesday being blue. Monday was a zero and then moving on down Sunday became a six.”

    “I always thought that Monday was more like a one and Sunday was a seven,” Kunikida commented.

    “That’s what I thought too,” I said taking another bite.

    “Hold up a minute,” Taniguchi said taking his hands. “Why do you know all that? Do you stalk her or something?”

    “No,” I replied with a shrug, “I asked her about it one day. After that, she cut off her hair.”

    “Really? I never saw you talk to miss Suzumiya,” Kunikida said finishing and packing up his lunch; I did the same.

    “It’s kind of a long story,” I muttered as the bell rang and the guys headed back to their seats. Haruhi reemerged sooner or later, taking her spot behind me. This time, her confusion stare was replaced with that rage as before. I wondered what she’d been doing on her lunch break to make her so vengeful.

    Everything was normal, again, during class up until the ending bell had rung. The second it had, Haruhi had snatched me up by my tie and dragged me out of the room. I was both expecting it and not; maybe it was because it was Haruhi’s nature no matter what the dimension or time frame to do something like this. Either way, we ended up in one of the dark corners of the school hallways where no one would hear my screams.

    “All of a sudden you’re keeping quiet,” was how she started this odd little conversation. I tried not to look at her directly, but I could see she was annoyed and confused by the whole thing. Haruhi could be easy to read at times; it’s rare, but it does happen. She moved her white queen to H5 you see, and I could see right through her.

    “I thought you were going to press charges if I spoke to you again,” I said quite smugly if I do say so myself. I had to teach Haruhi a lesson that she couldn’t toy with people in the ways she thought she could. Black knight B8 to C6 please.

    “Stop being stupid,” she said letting go of my tie to shove me; though I didn’t really move anywhere. “I wouldn’t actually press charges on you over something like that,” she crossed her arms and circled me like a shark; not the hungry kind of shark either. More like the kind of shark wanting to survive. Maybe to Haruhi I was a threat for mentioning aliens without her permission.

    “Look,” I said before she could bite my head off, “I was just kidding when I said that. I don’t really believe in alien invaders,” that she needed to know about anyway. “You’re into that kind of stuff right? I was just trying to spark your interest.”

    “Why?” She asked stopping in front of me, face not changing for a second. “What would you get out of ‘sparking my interest’?” She countered, white bishop F1 to C4.

    “Well you seem like an interesting girl,” I pointed out. It was true, Haruhi was one you’d find incredible.

    “Is this your weird kind of way to ask me out?” She asked narrowing her eyes. Now I’d crossed the line.

    “What?” I asked, breaking my monotonous expression. “No, I didn’t mean for it sound like that. I just meant that you seem like a nice person to talk to.” I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing at this point. Maybe by talking to Haruhi, she’d get the idea to form the brigade again. Then what? I ask Koizumi or Nagato to help me set things straight? At this point, it was all I could do.

    “I’m not looking to talk to people who find me ‘nice to talk to’,” she said stomping her foot. This was something Haruhi didn’t always do… A new habit in this dimension maybe? “I’m looking for people who can help me track down all kinds of strange happenings. Aliens, espers, time travelers, psychics. That kind of stuff is what I’m trying to find. If you can’t help me with that, then I guess we’re done talking.” She turned to leave but I grabbed her arm, for some reason, to stop her.

    “No, wait,” I heard myself say almost desperately. I was losing this battle, which could mean being stuck here forever. “I didn’t mean to upset you alright,” she spun around to glare back at me. Maybe I was getting to her, it reminded me of the first time we were trapped in a time dimensional portal made up of closed space together. When we got out Koizumi continued to go back to that day, telling me to use what I’d learned in there to keep Haruhi happy.

    I held onto her arm and then reached out with my other hand pulling her closer. She let her narrowed eyes grow wide with horror as I pressed my lips against hers. For a second, her tense body relaxed against mine only to grow stiff a second later. I’d made my move, I just had to wait for reality to return. Maybe it was a little too late though, I should have pulled back when I had the chance. Black knight G8 to F6. Ah crap.

    When I did let her go, her glare was back only this time much worse. I could see some traced of tears in her eyes, but I wasn’t sure at this point if it was happiness, sadness or just pure anger. “What the hell do you want with me?” She asked in a harsh voice before shoving me back harder this time, giving enough room for her to free her hand and slap me across the face. White queen from H5 to F7.

    The loud noise echoed across the empty hallway and before I could retaliate, she was gone. I was all alone without a way to get back home. The kiss hadn’t worked and I was running out of options; this time I had no Koizumi, Nagato or Miss Asahina for that matter to tell me what to do. It was just me.

    Checkmate.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:30 am

    Chapter 4 ~ Asakura

    I guess there was nothing else to be said for the rest of the day.

    When I left Haruhi, I headed straight for home where I did the rest of my homework for the night and went to bed. I didn’t sleep, mind you, I just lay in bed staring up at the ceiling. I’d been doing a lot of that lately because of this whole thing. It made me worried something was wrong; other than the fact I was now living in an unknown dimension where my life is completely normal and god wants nothing to do with me.

    But besides all that.

    No matter what, I couldn’t shake off the feeling there was something I was missing. Something important or vital to my situation. Too bad anything too important wouldn’t be in this time frame with me. If only I had some kind of clue or even an easy riddle to help me. Then I remembered Nagato’s book.

    I glanced over to my tiny bookshelf, scanning the surface. Sure enough, it wasn’t there but it did give me a great idea. It didn’t matter which time frame I was in or who I was with, Haruhi was still Haruhi and by their logic Haruhi was still controller of the universe. Which meant she had to be under surveillance all hours of the day, like in the past. Right? Just go along with it and say you understand.

    I smiled thinking about my next plan of action. It was simple, in a perfect world, I just go find Nagato and ask her to fix things. Or even Koizumi might be able to help if I find his homeroom class at school. Miss Asahina could even send me back in time from angering Haruhi if I found her. Miss Asakura being in our classroom reassured my theory that everything would be alright.

    With that thought dancing through my mind, I lay back against my pillow and tried to sleep.

    It was a failed attempt.

    --

    Haruhi wasn’t at school the next day, much to my lack of surprise. Haruhi had a way of disappearing when things got to be too much for her, much like a small child would. Since no one was questioning me about it, like they normally would, I took the time to do my research; starting at lunch when Taniguchi and Kunikida gathered at my table to eat.

    “Taniguchi, still know everything about every girl in the school?” I asked casually before taking a bite of my rice cake. I was sick of eating them, but my little sister was an expert at them and thus I was stuck with them for the rest of my days.

    “Of course I do,” Taniguchi replied, almost offended. I should have known he’d be the same old Taniguchi no matter what the circumstance was. “Why? Finally have your eyes on a girl besides Suzumiya?” He was teasing, but thankfully he had nothing to back up his claim like he otherwise would have.

    “Hardly,” I said sipping at my orange drink. Carbonated juice, one of the strangest things ever invented. “I was just wondering if you could tell me about two girls in particular.”

    “What for, Kyon?” Kunikida asked, curious as always.

    Luckily, I’d thought up many excuses during my lack of sleep, “I’m interested in joining a club and there is one girl I noticed hanging around who might have the information I’m needing to join. The other girl can help me also with another club I was thinking about joining.” I had remembered that at one time, before Haruhi’s ludicrous brigade formed, both Nagato and Miss Asahina had been in actual clubs. I planned to use them to my advantage.

    “You’re going to join a club?” Kunikida asked, mimicking the obvious.

    “I was just trying to get information for future reference,” I stated finishing off my drink. “The first one is a girl named Yuki Nagato. She’s in the literary club, a freshman student, she’s kind of pale compared to other students, almost white I would say. Normally wears glasses but switches for contacts now and again,” that was kind of a lie but it would work for now. “She’s not very social but she’d know all about the club.”

    “Hm, Nagato huh?” Taniguchi said, deep in thought, as though going through the files in his mind.

    “The other is another girl named Mikuru Asahina. She’s in the calligraphy club and I’m sure you’d remember her. She has radiant orange colored hair, a third-year student and very cute. She’s kind of shy but really nice once you get to know her,” I could go on forever talking about her but the looks they were giving me told me to back off.

    “Nagato and Asahina,” Taniguchi said, going back into his train of thought.

    “You want to join a reading or writing club?” Kunikida asked, almost shocked.

    “I just want to check them out,” I said biting into my rice cake, which had no flavor at all.

    “I guess I could understand that. I could also understand if you only were interested because of these girls,” he said with a faint smile, “are becoming a womanizer, Kyon?”

    “You’ve been hanging around Taniguchi too much,” I commented deciding I was done with my tasteless lunch for the time being.

    “Don’t insult me like I’m not here,” Taniguchi said out of his trance. “Sorry Kyon, but neither one of those girls sound familiar.” I found myself just staring at him for a long time; it must have scared him because he continued, “the only third-year students I know with orange hair are the geeky girls who spend their time playing chess in the back lot. None of them are considered very cute and they’re not in the calligraphy club. There’s the red head girl on the track team but she’s not shy one bit.

    “The other girl, Nagato, doesn’t sound familiar at all and neither does the literary club. I know we use to have one a long time ago but all the students graduated so they shut down the whole thing. Maybe she was in it but got kicked out because there wasn’t enough members.”

    It made sense. Haruhi never wanted the brigade, never made the brigade and thus for there was no reason for Nagato or Miss Asahina to make themselves known to the other students. The fact Miss Asakura was in the classroom was proof enough Nagato was watching Haruhi, but not doing any hands on work herself. Unless Miss Asakura was flying solo, which could very well be the case.

    Ugh, if anyone out there knows what’s going on, please tell me so my life can just get back to normal.

    “…but if you’re interested, I know a few other girls who can help.” Taniguchi said, breaking through my own train of thought.

    “What?” I asked dumbly.

    “You’re not even listening to me,” Taniguchi said annoyed, “I’m giving you gold here and you’re just dozing off. You are as bad as Suzumiya,” he said rubbing at his temples.

    “Sorry,” I half apologized, “would you happen to know about any transfer students?” I asked, almost sounding a bit panicked. Not to say I wasn’t but still…

    “Transfer students?” Taniguchi asked looking over at Kunikida, like that was his department.

    “There was one new transfer student a month ago,” Kunikida said trying to remember, “she was kind of cute. She’s a senior student though,” he added.

    “What about male transfers?” I tried, only to gain strange looks from the both of them.

    “Kyon, don’t tell me you’ve gone to the dark side,” Taniguchi said overly dramatic like always.

    It took me a minute to realize what dark side he was talking about, “what? No way, I’m just looking for someone,” I retorted, offended by his proposal.

    “Who?” Kunikida asked, and their eyes were on me. I’d thought things carefully through with the female I was searching for, any guy could be looking for a girl, nothing suspicious about that. Another male though, and it got tricky.

    “He was someone I knew in the past, and I heard he was transferring here,” I lied. It was simple, it was true and they seemed to buy it. “His name is Itsuki Koizumi. Kind of tall, brownish colored hair; he doesn’t say much but when he gets started you can’t shut him up.” I tried to describe.

    Kunikida went back to searching in his mind’s file cabinets for anyone who fit Koizumi’s description. On average, the human being will look down if they’re remembering information and look up if they’re trying to picture something. Since Kunikida was letting his eyes wander between the two now and again, I could only imagine what he was searching for. “Sorry Kyon, it doesn’t ring a bell.”

    I let out a disappointed sigh, “thanks anyway,” I said as they started to gather up their things and fix the desks back. I figured everything was literal with Haruhi’s sense. She didn’t make the club, she didn’t want to hang out with a time traveler, alien or esper; therefore they didn’t exist.

    Not around me at least.

    As I sat there in silence trying to file through my own mind cabinets, I realized it was a lost cause. I couldn’t remember where Koizumi originated from before getting transferred; I knew where Nagato use to live but wasn’t sure if she’d still live there or show herself to me otherwise. It was with that thought that I looked over at Miss Asakura who was chatting amongst her friends.

    I stared for a while before dragging out a sigh and standing up. As luck would have it, the bell rang and I had to take my seat once more. After school I would have to pull a Haruhi and talk to Ryoko Asakura. Hopefully, this time, without almost losing my life in the process.

    --

    When the bell rang to leave and go home, I had almost forgotten what I was going to do. Only after I stepped out of the class did I remember, and quickly go back in fear Miss Asakura would leave. She didn’t though, and even after all the other students had vanished, she remained. Her excuse was to clean the room, but I’m pretty sure it was because she was linked to it; or something like that anyway.

    “Did you need anything Kyon?” She asked in a chirpy voice that reminded me a lot of Miss Asahina.

    “Yeah I did actually,” I said setting my stuff down. “I wanted to know how I can get in contact with Nagato.” I said it so simply and so plainly, she almost ignored my request.

    “Do you think you passed today’s pop quiz? I hope I did,” she was avoiding me now. Dampening some paper towels, she turned to the black board to wipe away the chalk stains.

    “You don’t need to play games with me,” I insisted, “I know all about you and Nagato. You’re aliens right? Or something similar to them, I can’t remember what Nagato said exactly. Inner dimensional beings from space, you could say.” She was quiet for a while, keeping to her work, so I went on. “You’re both suppose to monitor Haruhi aren’t you?” That time I knew I hit something because she seemed to almost stop breathing. “Look, I did something and Haruhi changed the time stream. I need to fix it,” I was almost begging.

    “I am sorry,” she said turning just enough to show me her smile, eyes shaded by her bangs. “I do not know what you are talking about. Miss Suzumiya is just a normal high school girl like anyone else. Just like me.”

    I was frustrated now, I think, feeling a surge of adrenaline run through my veins. That feeling you get when you were expecting something and you didn’t get it all the way because someone wronged you. Like disappointment, only fueled with anger. “That’s just it though, you’re not normal.”

    “Kyon, I think you should head home. It is going to rain soon,” she said going back to her cleaning.

    It was at that instant that something took over. It felt as though my whole body was being controlled by someone else. I reached down and grabbed my, rather large, text book and with full force threw it at Miss Asakura. The book soared through the air and as I did the thought hit me that she could be as she said she was. A normal girl. In that case, the book was about to- “look out!” I shouted.

    I knew my cry wouldn’t warn her in time, but inches away from the back of Miss Asakura’s head, she spun around and knocked it away. The book flew to her right and out the window, shattering the glass all over the place. I stared for a long time, trying to process what had happened before slowly looking at Miss Asakura.

    Her eyes were glassy and glazed over in a cynical way, narrowed just enough to be glared yet not to subtle. “You are trying to interfere with my mission,” her voice was changed the same as her eyes, “I am not to tolerate such behavior from anyone. Tell me, are you an enemy here to destroy my networking to get to Miss Suzumiya?”

    My mouth went wide open as I, yet again, stared back at her. “What?” He managed to breath with her words caught up to me. “I’m not trying to destroy anyone or anything. I’m just trying to fix-”

    “You are vexing the time stream that was altered a few days ago, in hopes to return them to their rightful rhythm,” she said with more emotion. Not as kind as she use to be, her voice was darker. It was then realized that this wasn’t the same Ryoko Asakura as before. “You are correct, subject Kyon, in the fact I am here to monitor and maintain order, but it is not Haruhi Suzumiya I am to guard over. It is you.”

    I cursed under my breath as I took a step back, but the floor below me shattered like the glass in the window until the entire classroom was engulfed in darkness, with only Miss Asakura and myself left in the light. There was an inhuman wind that blew around us, chilling and uninviting. I wanted to hold myself to keep warm, but I was afraid it’d leave me defenseless.

    “What do you mean you’re suppose to watch over me?” I asked, having to shout above the noise of the wind. “I’m just a normal kid, I didn’t do anything!”

    “Wrong,” Miss Asakura said as a loud crashing sound was heard. I ducked but there didn’t seem to be anything broken. Then again, who knew where I was or what was going on. “It was because of you subject Kyon that Yuki Nagato was forced to delete Ryoko Asakura. The organization found it suitable since they felt your powers were keeping Miss Suzumiya at bay.

    “When you made Miss Suzumiya angry, her emotions came out in a great fury and she rippled the continuum to a stand still, branching off into this world. You jumped onto this branch along with the new memories, and with it came this Ryoko Asakura. The organization felt it necessary to watch over you to make sure you would not do anything to harm this Haruhi Suzumiya or try to change the old time continuum.

    “As it would appear, you are too forceful for your own good. For the wellbeing of yourself and everyone around you, you will have to be deleted.” She said before throwing her arms down as those same glowing knife like hands appeared, same as before.

    This scene looked familiar in too many painful ways, and I was too busy lost in thought to pay much attention as she ran at me. The strange this was, she moved faster than before and in seconds I would be sliced in half; and yet it seemed she moved in slow motion.

    Haruhi ripped the time stream into another part? I tried to picture it as an actual stream. It’s all flowing one way, things continuing like normal. Then one day, god or man comes along and cuts off to the side of the stream and makes another smaller stream. They both continue to move the same direction but now lead two different places. Not only that, but the fish and water skippers in the stream have to choose which stream to go down when they get to the fork in the middle. If they choose one, it leads to the ocean.

    If they choose the other, it could mean death.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:31 am

    Chapter 5 ~ All of the above

    Have you ever been faced with a life or death situation? The kind where, thankfully, you live but before you do your life flashes before your eyes? I’ve dealt with this several times and each time it changes. Probably because I lived from the last one and have gained new memories by the next time the new one arrives. They’re split second memories that only you can remember, and many scientists will tell you they are the ones you’re most fond of. I’ve found that the memories that flash before my eyes are ones that try to help the situation.

    For instance, as Miss Asakura came at me with the intent to kill, I saw things from the past. Most of them had to do with the brigade and Haruhi, but one showed itself more than once. It was when this happened the first time and Nagato jumped in the way to save me. She’d been pierced through a dozen times and lived through it all, and obviously I did as well. I think my mind was telling me that it was going to happen again; or at least wanting it to.

    Lightning might strike the same place twice, it‘s a very slim chance but does happen, but it’s never the same bolt of electricity that did the first bit of damage.

    There was a crack like sound, another crash and then I smelled blood. Thick and strong of iron, I smelled blood. I choked on my breath as I felt tears of crimson run down my cheeks and I thought to myself ‘this is it. I’m finally dead.’

    But I wasn’t.

    I gaped up at the figure that had appeared at just the right moment, stopping Miss Asakura’s daggers from striking me. I could only see her from the back, but I could still tell the wound was bad; a large hole in the pit of her stomach, all the way through and so forceful that the blood had splattered to me.

    “Stop this right now,” her voice said calmly and yet forceful. Ryoko Asakura jumped back and away, retrieving her knife-like hands, resting them to her side. The girl in front of me regenerated much faster than Nagato had the first time. She glanced back at me only a second but it was enough and I recognized her.

    I’d seen Emiri Kimidori only once in the past, and it was brief. She had pale forest colored hair with the radiance of Miss Asahina. She was quiet, that time, and concerned about her ‘boyfriend’; only later did we find out her so-called boyfriend didn’t even know who she was. I had a theory she was working for some organization since she led us to a giant camel cricket that was actually some kind of monster virus.

    Nagato wouldn’t tell me anything and neither would the others; but now it was clear as day what she was.

    “Ryoko Asakura unit, you will step down from this fight,” Miss Kimidori said in the same sweet voice. It was almost as though she were afraid of Miss Asakura; not that I could blame her.

    “He started it,” Miss Asakura replied the second she got the chance; sounding just like a child caught in the act. She did have a point though, as much as I hated to admit it.

    “It doesn’t matter who begun this fight, the point is, it is over.” Miss Kimidori was more bold that time, but she kept up her innocent charm.

    “It cannot be over until subject Kyon is eliminated,” Miss Asakura said aiming one of her knives at me. I felt my body grow tense but for some reason I still felt safe with Miss Kimidori standing over me.

    “You know that is against your programming,” Miss Kimidori said holding her hand up, palm facing towards the other girl. I half expected a blast of something to come out, but nothing did. “You must stop this now or we will not be able to fix the time stream.”

    “What if the time stream does not need to be fixed?” Miss Asakura said getting into her own little ready stance.

    “It does and you know that,” Miss Kimidori said as she turned her palmed hand into a fist. All at once, the ground around Miss Asakura opened up and four large pillars shot out. They were jagged, to some degree, aiming to trap the knifed girl; they met their target with a loud clanking sound. I thought the battle was over, but Miss Asakura only smiled beyond the restraints.

    “Things would be better if this world continued to exist without the aid of the other,” she said throwing her hands up, slicing the pillars each in half. They fell to the non-existent ground with a crash and bang; to which I had to cover my ears for. “Who is to say this world would not be a more suited one?”

    “Only the original can thrive,” Miss Kimidori said, tensing up which made me worry. “That world is the one that Miss Suzumiya chose and it is the one that must go on.” She said opening her palm once more. She held it there only a second, I half expected another pillar attack, before whipping her hand to the side then letting it fall loosely back down. The second she had, Miss Asakura begun to dissolve into the air, similar to how the first one had. I knew the fight was over now, finally relaxing.

    “This world is a new and better one. It should exist on its own,” Miss Asakura said again, stepping forward. She kept repeating herself, which only made me more aware of the bugs in her system.

    Miss Kimidori took a step back, which forced me to do the same, “there can’t be two of the same worlds living together, you know that. Besides, what will become of the other one? Nagato unit is still in effect there and we cannot draw her back until she’s met her requirements.”

    “Nagato unit should not have gotten involved as much as she did,” Miss Asakura said, still stepping closer, but by now we weren’t moving back. It felt as though a wall was behind me, making it impossible to move, even though I couldn’t see anything.

    “You are terminated now,” Miss Kimidori sighed, almost sadly, “it is a shame to see one such as yourself go because of something like this.”

    “I am not saddened, “Miss Asakura said with a smile, “because of myself, subject Kyon must learn the truth. When he does, I am sure he will fix things the way they should have been.”

    “You’re wrong, Ryoko, things only continue to flow the same direction, no matter what,” Miss Kimidori said with a frown looking down before Miss Asakura exploded in tiny fragments of light. When those lights had disappeared into the air, the classroom slowly came back with Miss Kimidori and myself against the back wall.

    Something was troubling me though, even more than the usual things. What did Miss Asakura mean by all that? What did I have to do with any of this? I looked over at Miss Kimidori who just stood a while, staring blankly. Then, with a small smile, she looked back at me. “You should get your answers,” she said sweetly again, motioning me to follow her.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:31 am

    --

    Neither one of us spoke as we walked down the halls of the school and to the club rooms. I could only imagine which room she was taking me to, and once we got to it, all I could do was sigh and step inside. My disappoint had all withdrawn as I stared inside at the once empty room, that now wasn’t so empty. Nagato’s books and bookshelf were all accounted for, Miss Asahina’s kitchen set was laid out nicely and Koizumi’s many games were on the table. Even Haruhi’s master computer lay dormant on the tiny desk in front of the window.

    “The brigade room,” I said in awe, a smile plastered on my own mouth as I looked around. “It’s all here. It’s all back, did we go back?” I asked looking over at Miss Kimidori who remained at the door frame. She was smiling, but it was a lost one; like a girl who was forced to leave something she once loved behind.

    “Kyon,” she said softly, “you have not returned to your time. I’ve merely changed the configuration of this room to look like the other one.”

    My happiness melted, replaced by a sick confusion. “Then please tell me, what can I do to return to my own time zone? There has to be a way right? Miss Asakura mentioned fixing it.”

    “Ryoko Asakura, in any time, has faulty programming. Forgive us, we have limited models to use,” she bowed as though asking my forgiveness.

    “Who are you exactly?” I asked keeping a safe distance between us.

    “I am Emiri Kimidori, as far as you know. I am an alien interface here to examine the strange mysteries of the world around Miss Suzumiya.”

    “So you’re like Nagato,” I summed up.

    “Yes, but higher in rank. You could say she is my subordinate. Yuki Nagato works for me, and I am the one who assigned her to watch Miss Suzumiya as close as she has been.”

    So Miss Kimidori was Nagato’s boss. It hardly made sense to me since she was so timid compared to Nagato. Sure, Nagato wasn’t the big and bold type, but she seemed more suited for the job. Right? Maybe it was just wishful thinking. “Back there, in the classroom. Miss Asakura mentioned something about Nagato not getting involved like she was? What did that mean?”

    Miss Kimidori was silent a while before replying, “Yuki Nagato was only suppose to serve as a watcher. She was only suppose to aid Haruhi Suzumiya in her quest to find strange things. However, it would appear it is too late to pull her back and send another unit in her place. It is complicated to explain,” she said avoiding telling me anything.

    “Alright,” I muttered dropping the subject for now, “but you can fix the time stream still can‘t you?” I asked, hopeful for a positive answer.

    “I am sorry. In my fixing the space continuum, a massive chain reaction would occur. I cannot do anything to alter it, in fear it might ruin the real world.”

    “Real world,” I repeated, “then this really is another dimension.”

    “At the moment, it is easy to call it such,” she nodded.

    “Then what’s happened to the real one?”

    “Haruhi Suzumiya made this alternate world as a way to play upon your fantasy. She wished the two of you had never met, and in doing so created this world. In a way, she was testing to see if it is adequate enough before…” She stopped, and looked down at the ground which made me worry.

    “Before what?” I urged.

    “Before she makes this world permanent.” She finished.

    I felt a lose of words, now feeling even worse about everything. I pissed Haruhi off so bad, that she subconsciously made a new world that could become the real one. Figures. It really figures. “Then is there something I can do to change it? I already tried talking to the Haruhi here. I already tried to repeat what I did last time and it didn’t work out the same way.”

    “No,” Miss Kimidori said simply, “nothing happens the same way twice, as you’ve seen. I am sorry, we do not know how to fix this. Only you can fix it, Kyon.”

    “Okay great,” I said sarcastically before panicking, “why me? What did ever do? If Haruhi’s planning to keep it this way, what am I suppose to do? It’s not like I have any strange powers that can change it all. I can’t go back in time, I can’t do anything.” This day was just getting worse. I could feel myself choking up a bit, if you can believe that.

    “You are wrong,” Miss Kimidori said sighing, “Kyon, my sources tell me that the esper in your group, Itsuki Koizumi, has spoken to you several times about yours and Miss Suzumiya’s bond?”

    Bringing Koizumi into this wasn’t going to help. “Yeah, he’s told me about this invisible bond Haruhi and I have. Haruhi does trust me, I’ll agree with him on that, but that doesn’t mean I can control her.”

    “But you can,” Miss Kimidori said sounding worried. “You have proven already in the past that you can change the outcome to Miss Suzumiya’s powers. You keep her at bay and that is a very powerful thing.”

    “Look, Miss Kimidori, I’m sorry but I can’t help you. This whole time I’ve been trying to find one of you and ask you to help me; not the other way around.” I insisted. What help could I be to any of them? Koizumi confirmed I was just a normal human being after all.

    “We can’t interfere though, I am very sorry,” Miss Kimidori said with a polite bow. “I will do all I can to try and aid you in the near future, but we ask of you to please try and convince this Haruhi to return to the real world.”

    “This Haruhi?” I asked looking at her confused, “what do you mean this Haruhi?”

    “This Haruhi Suzumiya is not the real one, naturally. The real one is back in the real world. Everyone is back in the real world, this one is only a copy. Never the less, this Haruhi Suzumiya may or may not have the same powers and you need to provoke her.”

    “The last time I provoked Haruhi, I ended up here,” I explained, “can’t you talk to her?”

    “I cannot. I already came into Miss Suzumiya’s view once and I shouldn’t have done even that.” So this was the same girl as before. “Not only that, but I must go and report to Nagato. Currently, the real world is frozen in time and only when Miss Suzumiya comes up with a conclusion will things either return to normal or vanish altogether.”

    “No pressure,” I muttered bitterly looking down at the ground. I traced the lines on the floor a second before looking back up, “so what if I-” I stopped though when I noticed she was gone. Not only that, but the entire classroom had gone back to its lifeless state.

    --

    Haruhi was back in school the next day, while Miss Asakura wasn’t. When our teacher explained to the class that she’d moved to ‘Canada’, I expected Haruhi to jump at the chance to investigate, but naturally she didn’t. I was slowly getting use to this calmer, less adventurous Haruhi, much to my dismay.

    Class went on and I just kept trying to think of ways to get back to my world. I had to provoke Haruhi’s wrath, according to Miss Kimidori. I wasn’t so sure about her, but trying to piss off Haruhi was not the top of my to-do list. I mean, put yourself in my position for a minute. Would you rather:

    A. Go about living a weird, yet normal, life in another dimension.

    B. Piss off a god-like being and try to get back to the ‘normal’ world.

    C. Piss off a god-like being and hopefully not die.

    Or D. Sit and do nothing for the rest of your life.

    The correct answer is E. All of the above. I’ve already done half those things and the other half was starting to look dangerously good.

    I tapped my pencil on my desk, without realizing such, as I tried to think of what to do. We were in the middle of a test, and I wasn’t even close to being done. How could I complete something as trivial as a test under these circumstances though? I had studied well enough to know it all, I just wasn’t interested. You wouldn’t be either, trust me.

    “Can you stop that,” came an annoyed voice from behind me. At first I didn’t realize who it was or what they were talking about. Glancing out the window to see the reflection, I noticed Haruhi glaring back at me. After exams she always had time to just sleep, and as annoying as that was, it didn’t bother me as much today. “People are trying to work,” she followed up before shutting her eyes.

    She was talking about the other students who weren’t sleeping, naturally.

    “Sorry,” I said, setting my pencil aside, just staring down at the half finished test. “Hey Haruhi, can we talk after school today?” I asked trying to sound as calm and casual as possible; which turned out to be much easier than I expected.

    “You going to kiss me again?” She hissed under her breath, just loud enough so I could hear.

    “No, not at all,” I assured.

    “What do you want then?” She asked a little louder, so I hushed my voice to drop the hint.

    “Just wanted to talk,” I said with the faintest shrug. I waited a while but didn’t get an answer back. Half heartedly I turned my attention to my test; some kind of biology statement. It was a trick question but the answer was still a simple one. The answer was E. All of the above.

    --

    When the bell finally rang and the students were free from the test, I got up and gathered my things sluggishly. The day had gone by with no excitement, nothing weird at all. I kept expecting Miss Kimidori to pop up and talk to me, but she never did. Haruhi barely spoke to me, aside from during the test, and after the dismissal she had vanished. Talking to Haruhi apparently wasn’t going to happen today.

    Kunikida and Taniguchi asked me if I wanted to hang out but I told them I wasn’t feeling too good. They bought it, especially since I vanished at lunch that day; I was searching the school for any sign of Miss Kimidori. By the time lunch was over I had reported back to the classroom empty handed and with an empty stomach to match.

    I got home eventually but nothing seemed to be able to cheer me up. My sister greeted me with her usual warm smile, obnoxiously so, but it didn’t even annoy me today. I just went passed her and headed for my bedroom, where my bed looked rather inviting. As I lay face down on it, upset with the world, I tried to think of what I’d do if I was really stuck here. Forget my friends and family and live with these new ones? They were pretty much the same thing, and yet you could see the differences clearer each day.

    I sighed and rolled over, glancing at my bookshelf for whatever reason, when I spotted a thin rectangular box. “Hm?” I muttered sitting up and staring. It was a black box, whatever it was, and I’d never seen it before. Not here anyway.

    I stood up and walked over reaching out for it stopping when something appeared on the top, as if by magic. The all black box suddenly had a tiny note sized paper engraved on its surface. Written in fine handwriting it read ‘Meet in the park in one hour.’

    My clue had arrived and not a moment too late.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:31 am

    Chapter 6 ~ Clue

    An hour can seem like minutes sometimes, and other times it can seem like days. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I think time flies depending on the whether you’re with someone and who you’re with. Fun has nothing do with time going anywhere, and that’s just an assumption anyway. Time doesn’t actually move anywhere, so if one person in one room is having more fun than another person in the next room, does time stay on average or do it speed or slow down? To one person they might say it sped up, the other might say it seemed like forever. Time didn’t really move at all. Or did it? Maybe that’s too much thought into one thing…

    For me, this one hour lasted far too long for comfort. I paced around my room, staring at the little black box wondering who had written the note. It seemed obvious to come from Nagato, but maybe Miss Kimidori had come through. I had no way of knowing for sure, I just had to wait.

    I had actually timed myself from the moment the note arrived to the time it was currently. Technically, I still had a good while until my hour was up, but I didn’t think it mattered. By the time I would arrive to the park it would be up. I gathered a few things, told my sister not to leave the house and go to bed, then away I went into the night.

    The air was warm outside from season change and there was hardly any sign of others lurking. It was almost eerie being alone like this; it really gave the feeling I was the only human on the face of planet Earth. Every once in a while, though, something would make a sound or a voice could be heard in an alley way and I remembered that it wasn’t the case; not in this dimension anyway.

    I checked my watch the second I got to the park, assuming it was the same one Nagato and I met the first time. I still had five minutes until my hour was up, and I found myself sitting on a park bench waiting impatiently. The wind blew around me carrying voices from couples in the park that I couldn’t see. They were probably hidden to avoid public displays of affection, and that was just fine with me. The occasional loner would walk past me, grinning with missing teeth like I was in the same boat as them. Who knows, maybe I would be someday.

    An ear shattering beeping sound pierced through my thoughts and I stared down at my watch. At first I was angry with it for ruining the serenity of the night, then remembered why it was making any sound at all. I stood up looking around, wondering if I was suppose to go and find who ever it was. I hardly took a step when someone tapped my shoulder.

    I jumped just a bit as I turned, “ah Kyon, I hope you weren’t waiting long.”

    “K…Koizumi?” I stuttered when I saw, sure enough, Itsuki Koizumi standing there. He was practically glowing with a blue tint to show off his esper powers I assumed, a smile on his face like usual, hand up in a half wave. “You are Koizumi right?”

    He laughed and that right there was a dead give away; only Koizumi would laugh in the face of danger. “Yes, I assure you, I am who you think I am.”

    “How is that possible? I thought you were back in the other dimension with the real Haruhi and the others.”

    “You seem to know much more than I’d hoped, that will certainly make this easier to explain.” Koizumi motioned me to sit back down, and I did. Knowing Koizumi, I was in for a long monologue of explanations.

    “Alright, just start with how you got here,” I said calmly. I knew if I didn’t give him a starting point, he’d jump around until I was completely lost.

    “After you and Miss Suzumiya got in that fight, the entire space time continuum warped, in a way, leaving the whole planet in a fog. A literal blanket of snow spread all over its surface until everything and everyone in it was frozen. You, myself and our other brigade members were not effected; along with anyone else similar to ourselves.” Finally, a straight answer. Kind of.

    “So while I was sent here…?”

    “We were simply free to move about a petrified world. Miss Nagato got a message from one of her superiors soon after. She wouldn’t tell us much, but she said you would be safe for the time being.”

    “Yeah, if you call almost being murdered by a psychopathic alien killer safe,” I muttered with bitter sarcasm.

    “Yes, she said there would be some mistakes,” Koizumi said with that same smile, “but you are in one piece as of now, and no harm should befall you until you return to your home world.” Should? “That is, if you ever get back to your home world.”

    “Thanks for that vote of confidence,” I said. It was strange, talking to Koizumi like in the old days, when things were so simple and yet they really weren’t.

    “Your welcome,” I wasn’t being serious, “but you asked how I arrived here, correct? When you managed to freeze everything back home, you caused a chain reaction to occur. Closed space has been spreading at an alarming rate, and I’m afraid no amount of espers or our powers are going to be able to stop it from taking over completely.

    “A few colleagues of mine suggested that one of us transfers to this realm and find you. Naturally, I was the one chosen for the duty. I was able to absorb a little bit of each of their powers in hopes of getting here; I’m glad it worked out but I have a very limited amount of time. That being said, I need to tell you as much as I can before I get pulled back to the others back home.”

    “Great,” I said shaking my head, “then what do you have to tell me?”

    He sat down this time, which made me dread the lecture awaiting even more. “Miss Kimidori told you the basics, so there really isn’t much else to warn you about,” he said shrugging, “have you figured out how you’re going to get back?”

    “No, that’s why I’ve been trying to find you or Nagato. Can’t you do something, or at least tell me what to do?”

    “I wish we could,” he said sighing, but his smile stayed, “unfortunately, there isn’t anything we can do. It’s all up to you, no pressure though,” he added though it didn’t help. “If we interfered it could cause an even worse chain reaction than the one already occurring. I can tell you this though, and it is a message from Miss Nagato, she says to think of the looking glass and use that to get back.”

    Looking glass? What kind of hint was that? A clear ‘go here and do this’ would be more helpful than another useless fairy tale metaphor. The last time I’d gotten that hint, it was to kiss Haruhi, but obviously that didn’t work out this time. “Miss Asahina can’t go back in time and stop me from making Haruhi mad?”

    “If it was that simple, trust me, we would have done it long ago. Just as Haruhi altered the time stream three years ago, she seems to have accidentally done it again. We can’t go back any further than when this dimension was created. Not only that, but things are starting to get worse. I would say we have only a few days, if not several more hours, until the closed space has expanded too greatly or this world becomes permanent. I must say, in light of it all, it is amazing to see Miss Suzumiya’s powers at work.”

    “Forgive me for feeling the total opposite,” I said bitterly. I sighed and leaned against the park bench staring up. “The looking glass? That’s Alice in Wonderland stuff isn’t it?”

    “I believe so,” Koizumi nodded.

    “That whole story was drug induced, how is it suppose to help me? Am I suppose to find a white rabbit or cheshire cat or something?”

    “To be honest with you, I have no idea,” Koizumi said lifting his shoulders in a half shrug. “That is just what Miss Nagato wanted me to pass on.” Helpful Koizumi. “That being said, it would appear my time is almost up,” he held up a hand that began to glow a soft shade of blue, different from before, his expression was that of a bitter sweet victory.

    “I have a few questions before you go,” I said as calmly as I could, not awaiting a reply, “Miss Kimidori talked about that special ‘bond’ Haruhi and I have.”

    “As she should have.”

    “What does that have to do with anything? I understand that, because of that so-called bond, I ended up here and the real world is in danger. For some reason you two continue to think it’s a good thing.”

    “That is correct.”

    “Why?” I asked frowning only the slightest bit.

    “That is hard to explain,” as usual, “but try to think of this bond as a bridge. Miss Suzumiya is on one side of the bridge and you are the other. That bond, even from the beginning, was strong enough to with stand many obstacles. Every person builds bridges with everyone they meet, but several of them fall or expand throughout time. Miss Suzumiya, however, has created a very strong bridge with you in the shortest amount of time.”

    “Haruhi trusts me, I get it,” I was getting frustrated with hearing the same things over and over.

    “What other questions did you have?” Avoiding the question…

    “What are the others doing, right now?”

    “Ah yes,” Koizumi’s playful banter had arisen once more, “Miss Nagato is keeping contact with her superiors, though in private. They seem to be trying to pull her here but there are complications I cannot get into since I don’t know the details nor do I have the proper means to do so. Miss Asahina is in a panic, worrying about you mostly. She’s been trying to contact her own superiors, but there is a block in the time frame.”

    “Naturally,” I muttered.

    “As for myself, well, I believe I already told you that.” He looked back down at himself, his whole arm glowing brighter now. “Is there anything else?”

    “Haruhi,” I found myself saying, “what’s she doing?”

    Koizumi’s long pause of silence didn’t make me feel any better. “We aren’t entirely sure,” he finally said, “when this whole event begun to take place, after you vanished and time stood still, she vanished. Don’t be alarmed, she’s back in our dimension, we can all sense her presence, we just aren’t aware of where.”

    “You lost her?” I raised my voice with this, having to tell myself to calm down again.

    Koizumi found that amusing, his smile returned, “we haven’t lost her yet, we just believe she’s wrapped herself in a field of protected closed space. Like a child and a safety blanket, you could say.” The metaphor suited Haruhi well. “For now, we are trying to repair things in that world. Miss Suzumiya will be fine a little while longer before pulling herself back. That’s our theory anyway.”

    It didn’t make me feel any better about how things were going. “How do you know Haruhi is still there with you and not here or somewhere else?” I asked softer than before. I found myself actually worried about the crazy girl, but like hell was I going to admit it to him.

    Koizumi’s other arm had begun to glow now and his feet were making their way, “like your bond with Miss Suzumiya, we too all share a bond with her. We can feel her there, we just aren’t sure where. That’s how we knew you weren’t with us anymore. You’re bond had been completely lost.”

    “This is a different bond though,” I mentioned, “it’s not a bridge bond of trust. You’re talking about a physical bond aren’t you?”

    Koizumi did a half laugh as his torso went, “clever way of putting it. If you want to put it in those words then yes. The physical bond between Miss Suzumiya and ourselves is still present, while yours has vanished.” The thought of having anything physical with Koizumi made me cringe, but it was still only a figure of speech.

    “Then I need to get back soon before any more bonds are broken,” I said this with both determination and anguish.

    “Please do,” Koizumi said standing up, most of him was glowing now, if not all. “Things are getting messy and though I would love to stay and help you, I’m needed back in our world.” Figures, “and Kyon?”

    “Hm?” I asked as I stood.

    “Remember, this world isn’t our world. It may look and feel the same, but it’s very different.” I wanted to ask him more, but with that note he vanished.

    I was standing in the park all alone now, like so many times before, a bit more content with myself. I’d gotten enough answers to get me through the night until I found my next plan of action. I turned and walked for my home thinking about what Koizumi said.

    ‘It may look and feel the same, but it’s very different.’

    I just needed to see things through the looking glass.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:32 am

    Chapter 7 ~ Looking glass

    Have you ever said the same word so many times it lost its meaning? Saying it, writing it, typing it or just thinking it so many times until it becomes nothing. It a way, it’s kind of obnoxious don’t you think? If you’re trying to use the word but for some reason start to repeat it, the word becomes empty. If you don’t believe me, look at the word ‘Fork’ for example. Fork, fork, fork, fork, fork, fork, fork, fork, fork. Does it look strange to you? Does it seemed misspelled or useless? If it doesn’t, get out a piece of paper and write your name at least a dozen times. I’m serious, do it.

    See what I mean? Annoying isn’t it? Even staring at the word for so long it can lose its meaning. For those of you who actually did the exercise, how do you feel now? Your name lost it’s meaning. If we say something so many times, it leaves it powerless. Powerless. Kind of eerie how anyone can do something like that. If you’re starting to develop a complex because you’ve sucked the energy out of a word, or your name, don’t worry. The meaning always come back, the glow always returns. It’s a temporary thing that can often leave us in a daze, or pass by us as though it never happened.

    I had started going through Nagato’s riddle so many times, my head hurt and the words were all beginning to appear jumbled and distorted. ‘The looking glass’. Another fairy tale metaphor like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. This one pertained to the book written by a crazy drug-addict. No, I’m not just being mean about it either. Read the book.

    Maybe the clue was suppose to be a way for me to find a symbol. There was a white rabbit in the story. Haruhi use to dress the others and herself up as bunny girls. Maybe that was what I was suppose to be looking for? I hoped not. The last thing I needed was to be dubbed as the school pervert for doing research on bunny girls; or even ask Haruhi if she’d ever thought to be one.

    There was a cheshire cat in the story that pointed the way. Maybe I was suppose to look for a talking cat? We had a cat back home in my world, yes my world, that my little sister named Shamisen. Perhaps I was to speak to that cat and pick up more clues on how to get home. Then again, the whole time I’d been living in this world I hadn’t seen the cat.

    Things were starting to appear powerless as I spoke the words over and over again. “The looking glass,” I muttered as he walked up the hill to school. I wasn’t even paying attention to the rain lightly falling on my head. “The looking glass,” I said again only this time a bit slower. It didn’t seem to matter how many times I said it, they wouldn’t spit out any more clues or hints.

    When I entered the locker room to put my shoes away, I said the words one more time. “The looking glass,” I muttered just barely audible under my breath as I replaced my shoes. I was staring off into space, I realized, but didn’t care so much. Taniguchi and Kunikida weren’t around, probably in class already. I was running a little behind; staying out late had caused me to sleep in. Too bad my teachers wouldn’t buy any legitimate excuse I would offer. I wasn’t late yet, but I had a feeling I would be.

    Then it happened.

    “Are you aware you’re soaking wet?” Came Haruhi’s ever-so-cheerful voice. I turned around to see her standing there beside me, a red umbrella over her head. She was glaring at me, but not in an angry way. If I knew Haruhi as well as I did, and I can with full confidence I know her well; that look was more of disappointment if anything.

    “It wasn’t raining that hard,” I managed to shrug. I wasn’t sure why, but I leaned against the lockers as I watched Haruhi change her own shoes. She probably expected me to head to class. “Besides, it’s just water right? Nothing wrong with it.”

    “I guess so,” she said in a more dismal voice. She swapped shoes, shook off her umbrella, then folded it and shoved it in her locker. It wasn’t a school umbrella this time, I noticed. It was a baby blue color with chibi foxes printed on one side. If you’re unaware of what ‘chibi’ is, just look at any Japanese cartoon or comic book.

    “You sound disappointed?” I said simply, wondering why she was leaning against the lockers too. Did she actually want to talk to me? Or was she just not wanting to go to class like I was.

    “No, I’m just bored.” I knew that emotion around Haruhi. “It’s like there’s nothing to do around here. All the clubs seem so normal, and all the students are just average. Besides you, no one has even caught my interest.” Did she just admit I was interesting? Maybe she was Haruhi after all. “I mean, what’s the point in school if it’s all so boring?”

    “I always thought the point was to learn things and get a better education,” I quoted.

    “Well yeah, there’s that. I just don’t see the point in it all if there isn’t a fun side. An interesting side. High school is suppose to be the best years of our life right? Then if this is the best, the worst must be awful.” I couldn’t help but stifle a laugh at that. “Maybe it’s just me,” she said with a sigh, grabbing a few books and walking.

    I followed after her, “you sound more melancholic than bored.”

    “Maybe I am,” she said staring on ahead. I’d seen Haruhi act this way only a few times. It was almost scary the way she talked about life not being worth it. She talked like there was no point in living; and even if Haruhi was or wasn’t a god-like being able to destroy the world, no one should ever talk like that.

    Haruhi had once used the same tone when she spoke about why she wanted life more interesting in the first place. She brought up looking in a huge baseball field stadium. Filled with thousands of people, she felt so small and helpless. Like if she disappeared, no one would be effected. I guess everyone feels that way sometimes.

    “Why are you telling me all this?” I asked as we walked through the halls. There were very few students if any at all. Some were running to class, knowing the last few seconds were going by slower or faster; depending on if you were having fun or not I guessed. Haruhi didn’t seem to be in any hurry, and I wasn’t thinking about class anyway.

    “I’m not sure,” she said stopping altogether. She turned her head enough to look back at me, I could see the glaze in her eyes. “Want to know something strange?” Did I? No, but for Haruhi’s sake I’d go along with it.

    “Sure,” I shrugged, not sounding too eager.

    “I had a weird dream last night,” she said simply enough. I waited for her to explain the strange part of it. “It’s probably the third night in a row I’ve had the dream. It always starts out the same, but changes towards the end. It’s always me in this dark place, I can’t see anything. Then a little light appears. I go to follow it but something usually happens and I never catch it.

    “The first night, I started walking to it and it was just a light. The second night, I started walking to it but it started saying something I couldn’t understand. Then last night when I walked for it, the voice became more clear. It was saying a weird poem, and since I woke right away I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it.

    “It was saying ‘don't let him know she liked them best, for this must ever be. A secret, kept from all the rest, between yourself and me.’ Not only that, but for some reason, I knew it was you saying it. I couldn’t hear your voice or see you, but I felt it was you. That’s really strange right?”

    I knew the poem she was talking about well. It was the end to a famous poem by Lewis Carrol. We’d studied it a long time ago for a literature course, going through it’s meanings bit by bit until the words meant nothing to me. We had to stand in front of the class and each say a verse from the poem, and that particular verse had been the one I was given. The fact Haruhi dreamt the poem I said wasn’t the strange part though; the poem was from Alice in Wonderland. The looking glass.

    “That is strange,” I agreed as I ran the entire poem through my mind. Maybe this was the clue I was looking for. She started walking again, and as always I followed. “You know, there are a lot of philosopher’s who look into the meaning of dreams. They say dreams are actually linked to our physical bodies while our subconscious drifts.”

    “If you’re trying to impress me, it’s not working,” Haruhi said, dismal once more. What was I trying to say? Reassuring myself perhaps. “Anyway, it was just a dream. It doesn’t mean anything.” Then the bell rang and Haruhi let out an annoyed groan, “now I’m late.” She said rushing to class. Never mind making me late too, I thought.

    The classroom wasn’t far so I figured I’d take my time. As I walked, slowly, I tried to think of what Koizumi had said before he left. ‘It may look and feel the same, but it’s very different.’ What kind of looking glass was I suppose to be looking at anyway?

    --

    My punishment for being late was to stay after class and clean the board. It wasn’t an awful punishment so I didn’t mind that much; especially since Haruhi had to do the same. The day had gone by easily enough with little human contact besides Taniguchi and Kunikida at lunch after Haruhi vanished, like always. They came over and went on about this and that. I really wasn’t paying attention.

    About halfway through lunch I’d gotten up and left for our library. It was small and to tell the truth, I’d seen bigger libraries in elementary schools. I couldn’t help but wonder if Nagato got her books here or at the public library. Maybe she didn’t check books out at all; maybe they just appeared.

    I scanned through the few book titles and authors until I found what I was looking for. Alice in Wonderland. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as I turned through the pages of the old first edition book. There were black and white outline drawings every so many pages with author notes to understanding what it all meant. I didn’t care for the things in it aside from the poem Haruhi had dreamt.

    ‘They told me you had been to her, and mentioned me to him: She gave me a good character, but said I could not swim. He sent them word I had not gone (we know it to be true): If she should push the matter on, what would become of you? I gave her one, they gave him two, you gave us three or more; they all returned from him to you, though they were mine before. If I or she should chance to be, involved in this affair, he trusts to you to set them free, exactly as we were. My notion was that you had been (before she had this fit); an obstacle that came between him, and ourselves, and it; don't let him know she liked them best, for this must ever be; a secret, kept from all the rest, between yourself and me.’

    I sat down at one of the library tables and read it so many times the words began to blur to nothing. In the story, the poem had been given during Alice’s trial, a stall in a way. Before the meaning was figured out, Alice awoke back in her world. A chill ran down my spine and I wondered if this had been the clue I was suppose to find.

    I whispered the words, trying to find their meaning but it was difficult. I was never a good poem analyzer and even in class our teacher said the poem was only written out of substance influence. I would refuse to believe that right now. Nagato wouldn’t give a clue unless it was actually going to help. The fact the clue had been broken into two parts made me curious though. Why tell me one thing and then give Haruhi another?

    I turned my head away from the paper and looked to the wall instead. Haruhi said she’d had the dream three nights now. Three nights? Three days ago was when I kissed her; I know we both tried to block out the faded memory. Three nights would mean she started having them after I spoke to her when first arriving here. I just shook it off as I tried to figure out the poem again. The bell rang though, and I was out of time.

    I grabbed my library card, dusty and out of use as it was, going to check the book out. The lady at the counter gave me an odd look but entered it into her computer before handing it back. I took the book and headed back for class. Taniguchi and Kunikida were back in their assigned seats, lunch stuff gone. Haruhi was back also, staring out the window like always. I managed to ghost my way in, stuffing the book in my bag pouch.

    The bell rang again and class proceeded.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:32 am

    --

    “I checked out Alice in Wonderland,” I said as I wiped the board, cleaning it of that days math equations. The room had been quiet for too long and I thought I’d down the silence by speaking what was on my mind.

    “Did you want a medal?” Haruhi’s sarcasm was almost as gracious as her logic.

    “No,” I retorted bitterly before continuing, “that poem you had a dream about is from the story. I thought we could look it over and try to figure out your dream.”

    “It was just a dream,” she said bored. She was sprawled out over a circle of desks she’d clanked together. We were suppose to clean the room for punishment. I cleaned the board and teacher’s desk, and Haruhi was to wash the students’ desks and line them back up nicely. Instead, being Haruhi, she made some weird patterns with them and lay on top, hanging her head off the side so I was forced to talk to her upside down.

    “Aren’t you curious at all?” I asked as I looked over at her, tilting my head slightly.

    “Not really,” she replied. I could tell she was lying.

    “Well, if you are, I have the book here.” I said as I went over to my back pack and pulled out the copy. I had book marked the page of the poem, opening it I began to read it aloud. When I was finished, I waited for a Haruhi remark. Nothing came though. “Sounds kind of cryptic,” I commented on my own accord.

    She shifted around so instead of laying on her back, she was on her stomach. She kicked her feet in the air behind her, and I couldn’t help but stare. Had Haruhi always been so…?

    “It’s a poem,” Haruhi said with a shrug before shifting again so her skirt wasn’t ruffled up as much as it had been. “Read it again, but in fragments,” she nodded her head as if giving me permission.

    I did either way, “’They told me you had been to her, and mentioned me to him: She gave me a good character, but said I could not swim’.” I recited.

    Haruhi stared for a while then shrugged yet again, “simple. There are five people in the poem, and they’re all introduced at the beginning.” When I said nothing she went on. “They, me, you, her and him. They’re the characters to the poem.”

    “Alright, that makes sense,” I said looking back at the page a moment before looking over at Haruhi. “The character for They told Me, You had been to her.”

    “Use the class for example,” Haruhi shifted yet again so she was now sitting cross-legged. “They can be the class. Me, is me. You, is you. Her can be…”

    “Haruhi,” I muttered to myself while Haruhi said some other name.

    “Him can be…”

    “Another me,” I said again to myself. Looking at it that way was much easier.

    “Right,” Haruhi nodded, “so use those characters and plug them in.” She hopped off the desks and started to rearrange them, wiping them with some cleaning cloth as she did. In no time at all, she’d finished her task. “I’m not very good at poem stuff,” she said as she grabbed her bag and slung it over her shoulder.

    “Me neither,” I said, half defeated as I put the book back and headed out.

    “It was just a dream,” Haruhi said again as she turned down one hallway.

    I frowned as I watched her, “the exit is this way,” I pointed.

    She just grinned back at me, reminding me of the old Haruhi. “I know,” she said, “I wanted to check something at the office. I’ll see you tomorrow,” had she actually given me a decent goodbye? She waved and vanished around one corner, leaving me awestruck. Maybe this Haruhi wasn’t so bad after all.

    --

    Haruhi had been useful to me finding the key to unlocking my clue; I discovered, when I got home that evening. I didn’t bother with my homework, some things were more important anyway. I opened the Alice in Wonderland book to the poem and read it over once more. I almost had it all memorized by now. The words kept losing their power when I read them too much.

    So I decided to change them.

    Haruhi had given good advise in the classroom about plugging in names. I decided to relate them to all of the strange things back home. The character for They wouldn’t be the class, I would use the organization; Nagato’s organization to be exact. Me, would be me. You, I thought, could be some other supernatural worldly being. Her would be Haruhi, that was for certain. Him, for the sake of time, would be Koizumi. I had my cast, now to use them.

    “The organization told me, you had been to Haruhi; and mentioned me to Koizumi.” Okay, that made sense. Whoever You was had been to Haruhi and spoken about me to Koizumi. Easy. “Haruhi gave me a good character but said I could not swim. So in other words, Haruhi gave me a compliment but also insulted me.” Figured.

    I moved on, “Koizumi sent the organization word I had not gone, we know this to be true. Hm, so now he’s talking to his organization I suppose. If Haruhi would push the matter on, what would become of you?” I had to pause a moment. Basically, it sounded like it was saying that if Haruhi kept her compliments and insults going, something would happen to me. That hit close to home on its own.

    Moving down the poem, “I gave Haruhi one, but the organization gave Koizumi two. You gave us three or more.” By this point I felt You was becoming a bigger character. I decided to plus Nagato into the mix. “I gave Haruhi one, but the organization gave Koizumi two. Nagato gave us three or more. The organization returned from Koizumi to Nagato.” That didn’t sound right. I think this They was talking about the one and two or more spoken of earlier. “They returned from Koizumi to Nagato, though they were mine before.” What was mine before?

    “If Nagato or Haruhi should chance to be involved in this affair, Koizumi trusts to Nagato to set them free, exactly as we were.” I listened to the line a few more times. Koizumi trusts Nagato to set them free? Was Them the same as They? Or was Them a different being? Maybe in this case, the You was meant to be me. “Koizumi trusts me to set them free, exactly as we were.” Now that made more sense aside from who or what Them was.

    “My notion was that Nagato had been, before Haruhi had this fit, an obstacle that came between Koizumi, and ourselves and it.” I thought the He in this one was talking about me again so I re-read it. “My notion was that Nagato had been, before Haruhi had this fit, an obstacle that came between me, and ourselves and it.” I listened to it now. Nagato? An obstacle? What could that imply? Was Ourselves the brigade? If so, what was it? Life?

    The last line, “don’t let Koizumi know Haruhi liked him best, for this must ever be, a secret kept from all the rest, between Nagato’s self and me.” I thought that one was completely off so I switched them again so the He was me. “Don’t let Kyon know Haruhi liked him best, for this must ever be, a secret kept from all the rest, between yourself and me.”

    I stared for a long time now at the poem before clearing my throat and reading the whole thing anew.

    “The organization told Kyon, Nagato had been to Haruhi; and mentioned Kyon to Koizumi. Haruhi gave Kyon a compliment, but then insulted him. Koizumi sent the organization word, Kyon had not gone, we know this to be true. If Haruhi would push the matter on, what would become of Kyon? Kyon gave Haruhi one, but the organization gave Koizumi two. Nagato gave us three or more. They, the numbers, returned from Koizumi to Nagato, though they were Kyon’s before. If Nagato or Haruhi should chance to be involved in this affair, Koizumi trusts Kyon to set them free, exactly as we were. Kyon’s notion was that Nagato had been, before Haruhi had this fit, an obstacle that came between Kyon, and the brigade and it, being life. Don’t let Kyon know Haruhi liked him best, for this must ever be, a secret kept from all the rest, between yourself and me.”

    Upon reading it, I couldn’t believe how much sense it actually made. My whole situation was wrapped up in this poem, and not only that, there was something else. Something that had to do with Nagato.

    And it appeared I’d have to speak to the organization if I wanted answers.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:33 am

    Chapter 8 ~ Life

    It turned out to be another sleepless night for me as I lay there staring up at the ceiling. The poem ran through my mind so many times, that it almost made perfect sense. Almost. There were a few parts that were unclear, but I assumed that was the hint to talk to the organization. My plan was to hunt down Miss Kimidori and talk to her about it all. Koizumi mentioned I didn’t have much time left, and he was correct with that aspect.

    Tomorrow would be Saturday. If I wanted to get back and save my world from being destroyed, I’d have to do it soon. At our school, we had Saturday school every other week. It was kind of annoying but right now I was thankful for it all. Tomorrow would be my last chance to see Haruhi and try to pry more answers out or ask for her assistance in anyway. It also meant if I didn’t find Miss Kimidori in the halls, I would more than likely not find her ever again.

    No pressure though.

    I kept staring up, watching a fly or spider dance on the ceiling; wasn’t sure which and it didn’t really matter. For some reason, since I’d entered this world, my sleep pattern had been cast away. I had grown use to the idea of not sleeping. This was the fifth night in this world, and I knew if I did fall asleep it would be an instant sleep; the kind that feels like only a few seconds had gone by or no sleep at all.

    The strange thing was I hadn’t felt at all fatigued because of it. Usually when one has a restless night, let alone five, it begins to wear on them. I know back in my world it would have. I’d often be tired because one of Haruhi’s conversations would be running in my mind so much, I’d get no sleep at all. Troubled sleep is worse than no sleep at all. My nights were filled with more planning and talking to no one about mindless dribble until I finally fell asleep or my alarm clock went off to tell me it was time for school.

    The fly or spider had stopped moving, finally settling down so it appeared as a period above my head. I let myself sigh and close my eyes and try to fall asleep. I said the poem one more time, repeating it word for word. By the time I had reached the end, I’d drifted off.

    --

    I was on the edge at school all day. I kept a close and watchful eye on everyone that passed me in the hallways; hoping to catch a glance of Miss Kimidori. An idea popped into my head, as I headed to class, that she was hiding out like Nagato use to do. That put a damper on my search and I entered the classroom searching for my next target.

    Haruhi was asleep at her desk, arms folded out in front of her like a pillow; or shield. The sun was out this morning, oddly enough, making Haruhi glow. I went over and sat down giving myself time to set up camp before turning around. “Rough night?” I asked. It seemed talking to Haruhi was getting easier; I was use to the ritual now like in the past.

    “I had that dream again,” Haruhi groaned and shifted enough to look over at me. Her eyes looked sleep deprived. “Only this time that whole stupid poem played. It was like with your voice though, I didn’t hear it all, but I knew what it was.” A knowing dream. Those weren’t uncommon. “Anyway, did you have any luck figuring out what it meant?”

    Could I actually tell her the truth? “Sort of. There are a few hazy parts I’m hoping to figure out today,” it wasn’t a lie and it wasn’t the full truth. Half empty glass.

    “Oh,” was all she said as she lay back down to sleep some more before class started. I was going to leave her be but something crossed through my mind and I interrupted instead.

    “Hey Haruhi?”

    That made her a bit grumpy, “what?” She snapped, her closed eyes furrowed slightly.

    “Have you ever met anyone named Emiri Kimidori?” I asked.

    “Kimidori?” She repeated, eyes going calm once more. “Kind of cute, long lime green colored hair, talks all quiet like?” She asked, describing Miss Kimidori well enough.

    “Yeah, that’s the one,” I said somewhat pleased with myself for being so clever. “How do you know her?”

    “I ran into her once when I was skipping class,” she admitted so openly. “I was spacing off, I guess, and bumped into her. I apologized but she said it was her fault. When I finished giving her back her stuff I headed outside and she followed me. Asked me where I was going and why I wasn’t in class. I asked her the same thing and she said it could wait. Talk about weird.”

    “Very,” I said listening to the story.

    “I thought she was like a stalker or something, but I didn’t mind the company.” Ah, there’s that good old Haruhi logic again. When bored, talk to your stalker. “We got to talking about random things and she just smiled and nodded a lot. I could say I was a mass murderer and she probably would have said ‘oh that’s nice’. All cheery too.”

    Now that sounded like Miss Kimidori alright. If she was searching Haruhi for information, it made sense.

    “Anyway, we talked for a long time and then she just left She said she had things to do. She mentioned her organization would be interested in hearing what I had to say. I figured she was doing a survey or something.” I guess it was easy to ask this Haruhi information. She thought things were so simply done. “I haven’t seen her since,” she finally added as the bell rang and class begun.

    I turned back around, pretending to pay attention as I imagined Miss Kimidori. What was she probing Haruhi for anyway? “Haruhi, by chance, how long ago was this?” I whispered back to her.

    I heard her shifting around, getting into a more classroom appropriate position. “That was on Monday,” she said yawning.

    The day I’ve arrived in this world.

    --

    When it was time for lunch, like usual, Haruhi bolted from the classroom. I didn’t even give a second glance to Taniguchi or Kunikida as I followed after her. The way they were shifting their desks towards mine though, I could tell they were confused by my departure. I ignored them for now, going into the hallway to find Haruhi; remembering her calling me a stalker that first day I spoke to her upon arriving in this world.

    I looked around, but surprisingly enough couldn’t find her. Was she that good at playing hide and seek? What could she have possibly been doing during lunch everyday that dragged her from the classroom? Maybe the library to do research on espers or something. I headed in that direction, keeping my eyes peeled for Miss Kimidori. Nothing.

    “Looking for someone?” Haruhi’s razor sharp voice hissed as I came around the corner. If she hadn’t said something, I probably would have smacked right into her. “Why are you following me?”

    “I wanted to talk to you about something,” I blurted without even thinking what that ‘something’ was. I couldn’t tell her I was indeed stalking her.

    “Why?” She asked crossing her arms, tapping her foot impatiently. Talk about annoying.

    “Why what? Why did I want to talk to you about something?” Now I was just making myself sound stupid.

    “Why in general,” she said turning away. “I talk to you a few times and you just assume that makes us friends or something?” Talk about doing a personality back flip.

    “I never said that,” I tried to persuade. She just made a ’humph’ noise and starting walking away from me. It was like she was completely different Haruhi from the one I spoke to this morning. “Look,” I said going after her, “I was just curious as to where you’re always going everyday during lunch.”

    “The bathroom,” she snapped before the last word even got out of my mouth.

    “The bathroom?” I repeated, not believing for a minute that’s what it was. “You go to the bathroom for the entire lunch period? Do you eat in there too?”

    “No,” she said and I could tell I was only adding fuel to the fire. “I eat outside, go to the bathroom, then sit outside some more until it’s time for class.” A likely possibility that I wasn’t too gullible for. “What are you? The lunch patrol?”

    “No, clam down,” I said raising my hand defensively. “I was just wondering. You don’t have to get so snappy about it. Since that’s all your doing, you won’t mind if I join you.” It wasn’t a question, or even a plea.

    “I would mind,” she said simply enough. Had Haruhi gotten shorter since the last time I followed behind her like this?

    “Why? You can’t honestly tell me you enjoy being alone all the time.” She stopped suddenly, and I tripped over myself to not hit into her. She didn’t say anything so I went on, “aren’t things better when you do them with more people. At least one other person?”

    “Not when it’s someone you dislike,” she said tensing up. Had I said something that bad?

    “So you admit you dislike me,” I stated waiting for a simply yes or no answer. When I didn’t get one I just sighed, “fine. I’ll leave you alone.”

    I turned and started to head back for the classroom. I was hungry enough to eat anything my little sister dished out today. It goes with skipping meals; all for the sake of research and saving the human race. “We can talk after school.” Haruhi said before I had a chance to disappear.

    “Mm? Okay then,” I shrugged, wondering why it had to be after school and not now. Maybe she really did have other plans. “See you after school then.”

    I turned the corner and Haruhi didn’t follow me or say anything further. Going back to the classroom was probably not the best thing to do. The second I stepped in, I was attacked by Taniguchi, “Kyon, just what do you think you’re doing?” He asked putting an arm around me, leading me to the circle of desks they’d made; with or without me I suppose. I felt like I was about to be fed to a pack of wolves.

    “I had to go to the bathroom,” I said simply enough as I shoved him off me and sat down at my desk. I grabbed my bag, digging around for the lunch left for me. “Sorry I didn’t ask your permission first.”

    “You were not going to the bathroom,” he said sitting down in his seat. Kunikida was busy eating some type of rice ball at the moment, just watching us debate. “You think we haven’t noticed? You and Suzumiya definitely have a thing going on.”

    What kind of thing exactly? “No we don’t,” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as I started eating leftover curry. Dull and bland, just the way I liked it.

    “Oh yes you do,” Taniguchi insisted. “You two have been talking like friends and yesterday you both were late to class. It was probably part of a plan so you and her could be together after school right? Make it look like you just had to do work, when really you two were having some kind of love fest.”

    There were several things wrong with his assumption. For one thing, the words: Haruhi, love and fest don’t go together. Especially when referring to me. “Okay, you caught me,” I said shaking my head, “I’m so busy with my own life that the only way I could talk to Haruhi was by giving myself detention. That’s exactly what my plan was, happy?”

    He grinned, “I knew it!” What? He couldn’t tell I was joking? “Don’t worry Kyon, your secret is safe with me.”

    “Me too,” Kunikida piped in. They both were hopeless. At least they were done with that subject for a while; moving on to talking about food, television programs, classes and other useless crap I didn’t care for. I think they were going to ask a few more questions when Haruhi stepped into the classroom. They went quiet as she sat in her desk behind mine, looking out the window waiting for the bell to ring.

    They were probably wondering the same thing I was. What was Haruhi doing back so soon? Usually she showed up seconds before class started and not a moment earlier. Maybe she really was going to the bathroom after all.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:33 am

    --

    “You’ve been trying to start a club?” I said with little question, more amusement. Haruhi had kept her promise and waited for me after class so we could talk and walk together for a while. I offered to take her home, but she ignored me. Haruhi never had visitors over, in either dimension. Maybe she was embarrassed by an average family life.

    “Yeah,” she said walking beside me. She was on the inside of the sidewalk, and I on the outside towards the cars more. I was told that the bigger person should always walk on the outside to protect those on the inside. Strange, but true. “A club,” she clarified.

    We were more or less just circling the school. I should have been sitting down and talking since I had a long ways to go to get home myself; but somehow walking seemed easier. My legs would hate me in the morning though.

    “What kind of club?” I asked trying to hide my smile.

    “I haven’t decided yet,” she said with a shrug, arms crossed in front of her. Typical ‘thinking’ Haruhi pose. “I might do some kind of mystery club since the ones we have now are a joke. Maybe some kind of really cool investigation club. A detective agency of some kind. Whatever I want.”

    Maybe this was what I needed. Maybe Haruhi would start the brigade all over again and I would be able to go home. Or at least continue living over here. “You could do that,” I said thoughtfully, “you could just make a club of hanging out. You know? Find weird things but do it having fun.” I felt my smile coming out more, “you could call it the ‘spreading excitement all over the world with Haruhi Suzumiya brigade’. You could call it the SOS brigade for short.”

    She stopped and gave me a confused look, like I’d just exclaimed something completely absurd. “The SOS brigade? Are you kidding me? That’s just about the lamest thing I’ve ever heard.” I couldn’t disagree with her on that one, but the name had finally grown on me. “Besides, it sounds like we’d be rescuers of some kind. SOS is short for save our souls right? It sounds like we’d be more of a crime buster gang than a group looking for mysteries.”

    “I always thought SOS meant save our ship. Sailors use it to call to other ships when they’re under attack by pirates or something.” At least, that’s what I thought it was.

    “No,” she said walking on. That was that. “Anyway, I want a cool name. Something people will remember for a long time. Maybe we can make some kind of logo or motto to go along with it. I guess I’ll talk to the other members when I get them.”

    “Other members?” I asked, hopeful she’d already gotten the group together. Maybe this would be easier than I ‘d anticipated.

    “Yeah, in the school manual it says I need at least five members. I’m one, so I just need another four.” She hadn’t included me in the mix yet. It was my own wild card. I could easily watch and monitor the brigade from the sidelines, away from the madness and manipulative schemes Haruhi was sure to come up with.

    “Well you know, Haruhi, I wouldn’t mind being in your brigade.” I found the words pouring out. Maybe I really did miss the crazy group that made my life a bit more interesting. Maybe that’s why I wanted to go back so badly.

    “Don’t call it a brigade,” Haruhi said scrunching her nose. “It sounds like a gang term. We’ll be an organization or club or something else. Not a brigade.” That made me sink a little, but it was fine. Who cared about the name so long as the main plot stayed strong. “After I get five people together, I need a club room. One that no one else is using right now. There are a few I know of, but I don’t like the location.”

    “How about the old literary club room,” I suggested. A noble contribution.

    “Maybe,” Haruhi said right off the bat. “I’ll have to check it out for myself.”

    I wanted to add something else but a few kids on bikes came at us. Laughing loudly and jingling their bells like car horns in alarm. Haruhi side stepped, but it wasn’t enough, and one of the bikes made her lose balance. I side stepped also to give her more room, but for some reason, there was a large gap in the sidewalk and I found myself falling down. I hit the pavement hard, though I landed enough to keep from harm.

    I rubbed at my side as I sat there, flinching at a new bruise about to arise. Then things went a bit blurred. My ears seemed to pop as a louder noise was heard. I thought it was the kids’ bike bells again pretending to be car horns. It wasn’t.

    That was a real car horn. A truck, actually, heading straight for me. I turned my head enough to see it but knew there was no way to get out of its path on time. Not with my ankle hurting the way it was. I heard a scream, and maybe my name, but it was distorted. Under water sounding, and so far away. Was Haruhi the one screaming? Or was I?

    Everything went black and a pain washed through me like I’d never felt before.

    Was I dead?

    If so, how was I still able to ask that question?

    “Where am I?” I muttered rubbing my head and sitting up. I wasn’t in the road anymore, or even by the school. I wasn’t so sure I was even on Earth anymore.

    I was in a room, maybe, that was all dark. Not the same black abyss like when Miss Asakura was trying to kill me. That alone made me feel a bit less endangered. It was a crimson color and seem to spread out vastly. In the supposed center was a piano looking object. I say ‘piano looking’ because it could have been anything for all I knew; but from my end, it did look like a normal grand piano. The keys were glossy, from a mythical light source I couldn’t see. There was a faint ticking sound that I noticed was coming from a metronome on top of the piano. I couldn’t see the clicker though, which made me curious.

    I stood up and watched my feet at all times. They appeared to be on solid ground but it was hard to tell where the ground ended and the wall began. I cautiously stepped toward the piano, eyeing the little music device. There wasn’t a clicker anywhere to be seen, but it could have easily been electronic. I couldn’t see the integrated data entities going out shopping for batteries, but it wasn’t my place to judge.

    “You should be more careful Kyon,” a tiny voice said. I jumped at first, spinning around to see Miss Kimidori standing there. She had a pained look on her face and was playing with her fingers shyly. It made me think of Miss Asahina for a moment. “You were almost crushed by that truck.”

    I had almost forgotten about that. “What happened back there?” I asked dumbly.

    She looked nervous but nodded her head and gave the answer “you almost died.” Well thanks for clearing that up for me. I hadn’t realized. “Kyon, you are very important to bringing this world to an end before your world reaches it’s peak. It is stable for now but in a matter of hours it could take a turn for the worse. You are ruining your chance for survival even now.”

    “I’m ruining my chance for survival?” I asked in doubt, “what do you mean by that?”

    “Kyon,” she kept saying my name like it would make me more calm to the situation, “you are not to interfere with this world.”

    “I was unaware I was interfering at all,” I felt myself frown looking over at the piano again. Something familiar amongst the confusion. “I’m just trying to get back home, or at least, I thought I was. Now I’m not so sure I can get back.”

    “What do you mean?” She squeaked.

    “Well think about it,” I said narrowing my eyes just a bit, “this world looks and feels the exact same as the old one. Everyone is here and those that aren’t will be one day. Haruhi is going to remake the brigade which means Nagato, Koizumi and Miss Asahina will return here as well. Things will go on like there had never been anything wrong.”

    “No, you are wrong!” Miss Kimidori didn’t exactly yell, but she did raise her whispery voice at me. “No matter what happens, this world is not yours. Can you not feel the difference.” Quite frankly, I couldn’t. “You have to return to your world. The past cannot be rewritten, the future cannot be altered and nothing will ever continue the same direction twice.” Lightning may strike the same place over and over again, but it’s never the same bolt; I reminded myself.

    “Tell me something then,” I said, breaking away from her argument. “‘The organization told Kyon, Nagato had been to Haruhi; and mentioned Kyon to Koizumi. Haruhi gave Kyon a compliment, but then insulted him. Koizumi sent the organization word, Kyon had not gone, we know this to be true. If Haruhi would push the matter on, what would become of Kyon?

    “Kyon gave Haruhi one, but the organization gave Koizumi two. Nagato gave us three or more. They, the numbers, returned from Koizumi to Nagato, though they were Kyon’s before. If Nagato or Haruhi should chance to be involved in this affair, Koizumi trusts Kyon to set them free, exactly as we were.

    “Kyon’s notion was that Nagato had been, before Haruhi had this fit, an obstacle that came between Kyon, and the brigade and it, being life. Don’t let Kyon know Haruhi liked him best, for this must ever be, a secret kept from all the rest, between yourself and me’.” I was quite pleased with myself for remembering every word of that silly poem. “What’s all that suppose to mean?” Miss Kimidori had gone quiet once more. “I can understand most of it, but what does Nagato have to do with anything?”

    “That poem you just recited is nothing more than a poem,” she said softly. I could tell she was bluffing, “you are simply changing the words to a children’s story told for generations. It does not mean anything.”

    “Maybe not,” I said turning more to fully face her. I hadn’t realized how much taller I was than everybody up until now. “Nagato’s side to the poem is real though. You mentioned she was suppose to just observe and now she can’t be pulled back here. What’s all that suppose to mean.”

    She nervously played with her fingers again. “I am not advised to tell you everything,” she said in a hushed voice that I could barely understand. “I can tell you this though, Yuki Nagato is very important to our investigation of Miss Suzumiya.”

    I already knew that. “Okay, so why would that be a bad thing?”

    “Yuki Nagato is in grave danger. That is one of the reasons you must return to your world.”

    Nagato and danger didn’t seem to flow well together. I couldn’t imagine her needing any help, especially mine. “Alright, explain why she’s in danger.”

    “I cannot go into many details, but since you are involved, I can tell you a few things.” I was involved? Maybe that poem was correct to some degree. Why else would Nagato give it to me to solve. “Ryoko Asakura was sent to monitor Haruhi Suzumiya in a normal high school environment. Since she is a low rank, a higher rank needed to supervise.”

    “Nagato,” I said proudly for knowing what she was talking about so far.

    “Correct,” she nodded, “Yuki Nagato monitored activity from a far. When Miss Suzumiya wanted an alien in her club, as well as an appropriate club room, Nagato unit was there to jump in. Her only function would be to watch activities close up, making the Asakura unit obsolete.”

    “Okay that makes sense. What do I have to do with anything?”

    Miss Kimidori smiled, “you see Kyon, you are a charming personality. You make anyone in contact with you happy, in a way. You did not simply ignore Yuki Nagato, you helped her. You befriended her which reacted in making Miss Suzumiya befriend her as well. The others in your group, the esper and time traveler, were not meant to come in direct contact at all. Yet because of you and Miss Suzumiya, they did.” She paused, “that is, I’m saying no organizations come in contact with one another under any circumstance, yet because of Miss Suzumiya they did.”

    “So I made everyone friends. How is that a bad thing?” I was somewhat eccentric at the thought of me being the only reason anyone in the group got along from the start.

    “She- That is Nagato unit- is refusing to return to our head quarters.” She was worried, almost scared looking now. “Our theory and few data provide that Yuki Nagato is too close to Miss Suzumiya and yourself. She refuses to return until after you all have parted ways.”

    Parted ways? Were they planning on us never seeing each other after school or something? “Is that why she’s still in that world instead of coming here?” I asked.

    I finally got my answer. She gave a slow nod before continuing on, “I cannot tell you much else. Nagato unit is very important to us though, and her being away will only cause complications like the one you faced with Ryoko Asakura.”

    “I see,” I muttered before something clicked, “wait a minute. If Miss Asakura was here, shouldn’t Nagato or a Nagato double be here to watch her?”

    “Unfortunately, your conception on the data is too little. In simple terms, there is only one Yuki Nagato.”

    I think I was just insulted, but it was hard to tell. Only one Nagato? I guess it made sense, “that’s why she’s important? That there’s only one of her?”

    “For now, that is all you can know.”

    “I can see why losing her to that world would be a bad thing then,” I said going a bit quiet. No one spoke for a long time, that ticking was still going. When I finally couldn’t take it anymore I asked, “Miss Kimidori, where am I? What’s with the ticking? The metronome?”

    She smiled sweetly at me, tucking her arms back behind her, “that is no mere metronome Kyon. It only appears as one while you are in this room. Every person has one, and every person gives it a different shape.”

    “Okay, so what’s ‘it’ exactly?”

    “’It’ is your life force,” she said simply.

    I just stared for a long time then listened to the ticking. My ticking. Was that how long I had to live? Until the obnoxious noise stopped. “Wait,” I said eyes going a bit wide, “that’s what ‘it’ is?” I’m not sure if it was a statement or a question but I never got an answer.

    I blacked out again.

    When I came to, I half expected to be somewhere else strange and foreign. Instead I felt myself moving and talking. I blinked to wake myself up as I looked around. I was walking along the side walk?

    “Maybe,” Haruhi‘s voice said from my side. “I’ll have to check it out for myself.”

    “Check what out?” I asked dizzily.

    “The club room you just mentioned,” she said rolling her eyes. “Can’t you even stay with one conversation at a time?”

    “Guess not,” I said looking around. Was Miss Kimidori and mine’s talk a dream? What about that ticking device? “Hey Haruhi, I’ll talk to you later. I think I just figured out another part to the poem.” I said breaking away from her to cross the street. No cars, truck or bicycles in sight.

    “Alright,” she said giving me a wave as she turned and headed back towards the school gates. She probably forgot something.

    I didn’t think too much on it as I raced home.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:33 am

    Chapter 9 ~ Return

    “The organization told Kyon, Nagato had been to Haruhi; and mentioned Kyon to Koizumi. Haruhi gave Kyon a compliment, but then insulted him. Koizumi sent the organization word, Kyon had not gone, we know this to be true. If Haruhi would push the matter on, what would become of Kyon?

    “Kyon gave Haruhi life, but the organization gave Koizumi life as well. Nagato gave life to the three of them, if not more. Life, existence, returned from Koizumi to Nagato, though it belonged Kyon’s before. If Nagato or Haruhi should chance to be involved in this affair, Koizumi trusts Kyon to set them free, exactly as we were.

    “Kyon’s notion was that Nagato had been, before Haruhi had this fit, an obstacle that came between Kyon, and the brigade and it, being life. Don’t let Kyon know Haruhi liked him best, for this must ever be, a secret kept from all the rest, between yourself and me.” I recited the finished poem as I headed for home.

    I had it down now. Miss Kimidori granted me the final piece of the poem. It. Life.

    If all that was true though, things were still fairly unclear. ‘Kyon gave Haruhi life’? What the hell was that suppose to mean? It could be something literal, or something metaphorical. If ‘it’ was life and that was all true, what did Koizumi and Nagato have to do with anything? Maybe it really was just a pointless poem after all. I wanted to know exactly what it meant, but I didn’t exactly have the time to dwell.

    I could feel the change the moment I left the school ground. Half running down the hill to the train station I felt a sensation all around me. My first thought was that it was nothing; but then I realized what exactly I was feeling. Everyone knows about the equinox, right? It happens twice a year, once in late March and then again late September. It’s a day in which the amount of moonlight and sunlight are equal.

    The days and nights feel longer, and yet they really aren’t. It’s still twenty-four hours, but it feels much longer. Without knowing it’s the day of the equinox, you can still feel it. Human bodies are just programmed to know some changes in the weather and days around us. It all goes back to our early days when clocks and calendars didn’t exist.

    Right now I was getting that same dragged out feeling but in an opposite way. I felt as though the days were shrinking in on themselves. My days were starting to feel shorter and shorter all the time, but my body kept telling me things were about to return to normal. There was that feeling of normality yet again; that the days would be regular once more. I physically knew my time was running out.

    The train station was full, like it usually is on weekends, with people going here and there. It was mid-afternoon time, even after Haruhi and I talked for who knew how long. My mind kept going to the poem. Things were feeling rushed all of a sudden and I wasn’t sure why.

    I looked up at the sky when I got off the train and headed home. There was nothing out of the ordinary, just a blue sky with white clouds passing through; with the occasional bird or plane. My eyes must have been playing tricks on me though because every now and then I could have sworn I saw the rift go by; like how the northern lights should look if they were anywhere near Japan. Koizumi and Miss Kimidori mentioned this world becoming permanent any day now.

    Maybe that day would be tomorrow.

    I threw my shoes aside when I opened the door, then went straight for my room. Odd, usually my family was home when I got back from Saturday school. Maybe they were running errands or something.

    My bag was discarded on my bedroom floor as I looked around for my notes on the poem. Sure, I had them memorized, but I had to make sure they were correct word for word. My notebooks were all missing. In fact, half the things in my room were missing. A strange tingling feeling ran up my arms and legs, like when they fall asleep for too long. Something was definitely going wrong. I must have waited too long, Haruhi was getting tired of being in her hiding place; she was ready to come to this world.

    I was angry with myself for not acting sooner. Playing it safe until this time came. Maybe there were other signs I just wasn’t aware of that had been happening right under my nose. I searched my room for some new clue or hint of something good about to happen, but there was nothing there. Everything was changing too fast, that rushed feeling returning yet again. Maybe it had been changing but, since we were at the school, I hadn’t notice. Koizumi once mentioned the brigade room was a kind of safe zone; maybe the entire school in this dimension was safe.

    I grew frustrated that I had no way to communicate with the others and ask what was going on. “Koizumi,” I found myself calling out in desperation. “Nagato? Miss Asahina? Someone,” I tried as I looked around my room. The black box was no longer on my desk, like my other things, and I knew it was a bad sign. “I need help,” I admitted to no one, I could feel all hope slipping out of me.

    You never think about the end of the world, but as I closed my eyes tightly, I realized I wasn’t ready for it. It wasn’t exactly the end, I had no way of knowing the actual time and date it would occur, but it had to be soon. I squeezed my eyes tighter until it hurt and then reopened them slowly.

    I was no longer in my room. Instead I found myself somewhere else entirely. My eyes took a while to adjust, but when they did, I found myself in the familiar brigade room. All it’s contents were present and for a brief moment I thought I’d returned. I had a way of teleporting lately, and I wasn‘t sure where it was coming from. A couple times it had been the organizations, but this far into the end I didn‘t think they‘d care anymore. Maybe Haruhi somewhere was…? “What’s going on?” I asked aloud, expecting an answer that wasn’t going to come.

    “Kyon?” Someone replied. I jerked my head around and spotted Haruhi. She was standing by the window, as though she’d been looking out when I arrived. She seemed confused as she looked me over. “When did you get here?” I wish I knew that myself.

    I glanced to the window behind her, the sun was setting. The sky burned in a flame shade of red and golden yellows, that hurt to look at for too long. I turned my gaze back to Haruhi, “what are you doing here?” I asked bemused with everything for the moment.

    “I wanted to check out the club room you were talking about,” she said still giving me a confused look. They lock the school late on Saturdays, and even if they didn’t I was sure she would have snuck her way in somehow. “There’s a lot of weird things in it though. I think it’s already taken by some other club.”

    “The brigade,” I mumbled looking at Nagato’s books. “Haruhi’s making it all come here.”

    “I’m what?” Haruhi asked crossing her arms. I’d managed to annoy her yet again.

    “Not you,” I said shaking my head, “well kind of. Listen to me, this is going to sound completely crazy but remember when I kissed you?”

    “How could I forget?” She said disgusted. It wasn’t that bad was it?

    “Right, well it wasn’t the first time we kissed. You see, you’re not the real Haruhi Suzumiya, the real one is back in another dimension and that Haruhi and I know each other. There’s this girl Yuki Nagato, who is actually an alien; and Mikuru Asahina is a time traveler. Also, there’s another guy besides me. His name is Itsuki Koizumi, and he’s-”

    “Let me guess,” Haruhi rolled her eyes, “an esper.”

    “Yes!” I said throwing my hands up. “Do you remember them at all? They were part of the SOS brigade.”

    “No I don’t remember, and if this is your weird way of making a joke, it’s not funny.”

    “I’m not,” I said shaking my head. No time to argue. “Whenever the real Haruhi gets mad, usually because of something I did I‘ll admit, she makes this thing called ‘closed space’. The espers fight it off, but this one time we got sucked in and it was just us two and the only way to get out was to kiss her. Then we woke up like it was all a bad dream.”

    She was staring at me, and I couldn’t tell if it was a glare or some kind of ‘I believe you’ gaze. I hoped it was that last one. “This entire world was created because Haruhi wished we’d never met. I thought if I kissed you, things would go back to normal but they didn’t.”

    “That’s why you kissed me?” Okay… It was that first one after all.

    “Of course it was,” I said trying to make sense of it all. I replayed everything I’d said back, no wonder she didn’t believe me. I sounded completely insane. “Listen, right now the real world is being destroyed and only Haruhi can fix this.”

    “You said I wasn’t Haruhi,” she said narrowing her eyes more, “then who the hell am I Kyon?” I could actually physically feel her anger vibes hitting me.

    “It doesn’t matter right now. I have this feeling that tomorrow the world might end, and we have to do something about it quick.” My voice was practically shaking now. Why was I getting so worked up?

    “If any of what you said is true though,” she was growing a bit more calm. “Only that other world will be effected. This world won’t have any effect right?”

    “Well,” I started but she was right. “It means this world will become the real world. Everyone back in my world will be erased.”

    “Everyone you know is here though, aren’t they?”

    “It’s not the same thing!” I raised my voice as Koizumi and Miss Kimidori’s words echoed back. This world may look and feel the same, but it’s not. It’s very different. Even if I thought things were okay here, they weren’t. I had to get back. “Haruhi, listen please. I don’t care if you think this is a joke or not but I need your help.”

    “Why should I help you? According to you I don’t exist anymore. I’m just a copy of some other Haruhi who is actually god of your world.” Man, she nailed it.

    “Then you believe me?” I asked with the faintest smile.

    “Believe you or not, I’m not helping you.” She said starting to head for the brigade door.

    This couldn’t be happening. If I was stuck here, sure it’d be a lot of the same thing but it wasn’t at all. Not only that, but I’d lose the brigade. As much as I hated to say it, and I’d been saying it a lot lately, they were my friends. Without them life was nothing but tests and working until death. Nagato, Miss Asahina, even Koizumi; they’d all just cease to exist and it would be all my fault.

    My friends and family, they’d all be replaced with other dimensional clones. Sure they were a lot alike but they weren’t the same as the original. This entire world wasn’t the same as the original and even Haruhi…!

    “Haruhi,” I muttered as she passed by me going for the door. “That’s it,” I said turning to her. “Haruhi wait,” I said with the best smile I could muster.

    “What?” She hissed glaring back at me.

    “I was joking,” I said faking a laugh. I reminded myself of Koizumi, freaking myself out in the process. “You didn’t actually believe what I said did you?”

    She stopped and just kind of stared, as though thinking about it all. Then finally she said a simple, “joking?”

    “Yeah,” I said shrugging, “you like mysterious stuff like that right? I just thought I’d pull some kind of joke on you.”

    She stared for a while, but she seemed relaxed now. Her body was no longer as tense as it had been, “it was a lame joke.” She said looking to the window once more “anyway, we should get out of here before they lock the doors on us. The sun will be setting and you have a long ways to walk to get home don’t you?” I wondered how she knew that, but I nodded either way.

    Haruhi motioned me to follow her out and I did so, as obedient as ever to the brigade leader. “Sorry Haruhi,” I found myself saying as we left the school ground and walked along the sidewalk. The rift in the air was expanding, like a rubber band; stretched all the way out to the point of showing it’s white elastic center until it snapped back and stayed calm until disturbed yet again.

    “For what?” She asked, must have heard me, as we walked beside one another.

    I shrugged, “I couldn’t stop it,” I said melancholic.

    “Stop what?” She asked not changing her pace at all.

    “Anything,” I sighed closing my eyes again. The end of the world was nearing. I had a tight feeling it would end even before midnight hit. I wondered how everything was going back in my world. How my friends were doing. How my Haruhi was holding out.
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:34 am

    “You’re such a depressing person,” Haruhi said shaking her head, “a minute ago you were making jokes and now you’re talking like it’s the end of the world.”

    If only she knew.

    I made no effort to respond, I just kept walking, letting my feet carry me. Maybe this world wouldn’t be so bad after all. It was normal, it was boring, but I could always do something to liven things up. Haruhi could start the brigade once more, even if it wouldn’t be the same. Not only that, but I knew my mistakes this time. I wouldn’t allow myself to repeat the same ones twice.

    “It was kind of random you know,” Haruhi said after some silence had passed.

    “What was?” I asked looking over at her.

    “Your joke. It was really random,” she explained looking on ahead.

    “You know, Haruhi,” I said matter-of-factly, “nothing in life is random.”

    She laughed, “that’s a lie.”

    “No really, it’s true.” I said forgetting everything for a moment but our conversation. “Think about it, nothing in life is random. Even simple things happen for a reason. If I said the words ‘apple pie’, well they may seem random to you, but to me they were part of some kind of thought process. Ever play Word Association?”

    “That lame grade school game?”

    I nodded, “you get together with a bunch of friends, or whatever, and you go in a circle saying the first thing that pops in your head. In just every day conversation it happens too,” I pointed out. “You start talking to your friends about what you’re eating for lunch and by the end of the conversation you could be talking about the difference between oak and pine trees.”

    “They don’t sound related at all,” Haruhi said frowning.

    “I know, but somehow they link together right? You could talk about an apple you’re eating for lunch. Then talk about apple trees. Then talk about trees that look like apple trees. Keep going and suddenly you’re talking about oak and pine.”

    “That’s just one thing. What about in drawings? Those are random.” It took a moment to try and think about what she was talking about. Drawings? Oh! For prizes and raffles.

    “Not always,” I said simply. “Drawing from a hat or something, your hand just goes for a familiar shape it likes. If you’re asked to pick a number or name on a list, you’re more than likely going to choose a name or number you like, don’t like or are at least familiar with, even if you don’t realize it right away. Sometimes we don‘t even think about it when we‘re doing it.”

    “Okay mister genius,” she grinned wickedly. Like the cheshire cat would. “What about super computers?”

    “They have a type of coding in them so even they aren’t random. They’re designed to be random so in a way, they really aren’t. You can’t be random if someone is telling you to be random. Then you’re purposely trying to be random.” Let’s count how many times I used the word random in the last five minutes shall we?

    “You’re dumb,” she said as her best come back. I just smiled.

    We walked in silence for a while longer until Haruhi was ahead of me looking back, “what’s wrong?” She asked. I hadn’t even realized I’d stopped walking. My mouth was open, I could feel that, and I was just staring off into space. My thoughts began to wander and I could only describe it as my brain shutting down; but it was actually doing the opposite.

    “Random,” I muttered turning my unfocused eyes to Haruhi.

    “What?” She asked raising an eyebrow.

    “Random,” I said again, a little louder “That’s it. It’s not random.”

    “I thought we already discussed that,” Haruhi said shaking her head. She might have rolled her eyes too, but I wasn’t looking that closely.

    “No, this,” I said looking around. “This world. Me being here. Haruhi wanting it to happen,” I started to ramble on.

    She got annoyed again, “you’re starting that again?”

    I would have replied to that, but instead I feverishly continued my train of thought, not wanting to lose it. “It’s not all random,” I said shaking my head, “it’s not. It can’t be. I thought I was here because Haruhi was pissed, but maybe not.”

    “What are you talking about?” She raised her voice to a half yell, half hush.

    Again, I ignored her. “The organization told Kyon, Nagato had been to Haruhi; and mentioned Kyon to Koizumi. Haruhi gave Kyon a compliment, but then insulted him. Koizumi sent the organization word, Kyon had not gone, we know this to be true. If Haruhi would push the matter on, what would become of Kyon?

    “Kyon gave Haruhi life, but the organization gave Koizumi life as well. Nagato gave life to the three of them, if not more. Life, existence, returned from Koizumi to Nagato, though it belonged Kyon’s before. If Nagato or Haruhi should chance to be involved in this affair, Koizumi trusts Kyon to set them free, exactly as we were.

    “Kyon’s notion was that Nagato had been, before Haruhi had this fit, an obstacle that came between Kyon, and the brigade and it, being life. Don’t let Kyon know Haruhi liked him best, for this must ever be, a secret kept from all the rest, between yourself and me.” I smiled at nothing now, almost forgetting Haruhi was even there. “Don’t you get it?” I asked chuckling under my breath like a mad man. “It’s not random, it makes perfect sense.”

    Suddenly, there was a jolt that sent through the ground, like a small earth quake. I thought I was the only one who felt it but Haruhi jumped and looked down also. “What was that?” She asked with surprise.

    “Earth quake?” I said looking down as another went. They were small tremors, an aftereffect to the dimension shift I was sure. Another came and Haruhi mumbled something about getting to shelter. She was scared?

    I scoffed just a little under my breath. I’d almost forgotten about the end of the world, what with our fascinating conversation about random need-to-know. I wasn’t worried though…

    Carefully, I reached out taking her hand in mine. She turned a shade of pink I’d seen only a few times, looking back over to me, waiting for an explanation. “Don’t worry,” I said feeling another tremor run past us. “I know what to do now.” I was probably lying to her, and myself, but I didn’t care. Not anymore.

    Haruhi’s eyes seemed different a moment, like a flash went through them. Something was indeed going on. I took in a deep breath and let myself relax fully. Like when you’re laying down for a long time and your body feels like it’s floating above your bed. I heard Haruhi’s voice, saying something in a fearful whisper, but I was too out of it by now.

    Maybe the world was permanent now? I was stuck here forever? Maybe my theory was wrong. I might as well get use to it all. I looked around, things did seem different but in a good way. Normality wasn’t always a bad thing, one could easily draw out the mysterious side to things. You just had to know how.

    There was another tremor, I felt my lips moving but I didn’t know what I was saying. Words didn’t reach my ears. Maybe I truly had lost my mind. Another tremor went through us when I blanked out…

    …and a small jolt when I came to.

    “Just what do you think you’re doing?” A voice was shouting in my ear.

    I groaned, stirring around a bit, not even realizing where I was at first. I blinked. My eyes had been closed? A few more blinks until I sat up feeling my spine crack a little. How long had I been hunched over. Had I been asleep? I glanced around trying to figure out where I was. The brigade room? Everything seemed in order. Books, computer, games, outfits, tea set. It was all in order like it always had been.

    I yawned rubbing my eyes. Maybe I’d managed to teleport yet again. For not having magical powers in anyway, I seemed to be using them quite often as of late.

    “Hello!” The voice screamed again. I jumped before glaring over at Haruhi, arms crossed and looking as pissed as ever. “What do you think you’re doing? Sleeping on the job… there is work you could be doing!” She emphasized the words ‘is’ and ‘you’.

    No surprise it was just us two. I rolled my eyes rubbing my head now, “like what?” I asked sleepily. Maybe all the lack of sleep was finally catching up to me.

    “The lame school dance is coming up, and this will be the perfect chance to show the world what the SOS brigade can do. I volunteered us to be on the decorating committee. Paranormal dates will be the theme,” she said as she walked passed me, hanging up an old school umbrella. “We’ll have green punch and alien shaped cookies,” she said as she plopped down in her usual seat, head of the classroom in front of the master computer.

    I stopped, suddenly, thinking about what she’d just said. “Wait, what?” I asked looking over at her, “the brigade?”

    She looked back at me, “yes the brigade! We’re going to decorate the dance. Don’t you pay attention at all?”

    I stared dumbfounded for a long time before turning to one wall by the bookshelf. Our calendar hung up beside it and it showed Monday, the clock beside it showed it was sometime after school. The same day I’d vanished. “What?” I breathed standing up looking around. Was I finally back? Had it all been a strange but oddly realistic dream?

    “Kyon, are you sick or something?” Haruhi’s voice pierced through my thoughts yet again. I turned and looked back at her; she was waiting for something. “You’re acting weird again.” Again?

    “Uh, yeah,” I sputtered out before glancing around the room a few more times. I wasn’t sure how, but maybe I did manage to get back. “Sorry, I was just…” I had no idea what to say.

    “You’ll have to forgive Kyon,” Koizumi said opening the door and entering the room, Miss Asahina and Nagato right behind him. They all looked cheerful as ever; even Nagato with her emotionless expression. “Finals are coming up so he probably hasn’t gotten much sleep. He is a hard worker after all,” he said giving me a quick, and creepy, wink before taking his usual seat.

    “Would anyone like some tea?” Miss Asahina’s angelic voice chimed as she went to the tea center to begin work, whether anyone wanted anything or not. Nagato went to her corner and picked up her last novel, reading as always. Maybe she was just pretending to read. I had the urge to go over and talk to her about what Miss Kimidori had brought up, but it could wait until after Haruhi was gone. I didn’t want to give her the wrong idea, heaven forbid I ever speak to a non-Haruhi girl ever again.

    “That’s no excuse,” Haruhi said bitterly, but the smile on her face let me know I was off the hook. I sat back down and waited for things to continue. I hardly listened as Haruhi explained the dance, going on about her brilliant scheme. This time I didn’t disagree with anything she had to suggest.

    “Now then,” she said after a long couple minutes, “we’ll split up and go find some things to use for primary decorations. I’m sure the other club rooms have things laying around.” Everyone stood up, “Mikuru, Koizumi and Yuki will search the upstairs classrooms while Kyon and I search the downstairs. Bring back whatever you find.” No drawing straws today?

    I glanced at Koizumi for an explanation and he gave me his usual ‘tell you later’ kind of stare. I dropped it for the time being. Everyone gave their own version of a ‘yes ma’am’ and left the room. Haruhi took out a notebook from her bag, opening it to one page, still waiting for something. “What’s that for?” I asked as I rubbed the back of my neck. It was still sore from my sleeping position.

    “Inventory of course,” she said taking a pencil out and writing a few things down.

    I just watched her, and her lack of eye contact, for a while. Then I gave a weak smile, “hey Haruhi?”

    She didn’t look up, “what?” She asked impatiently.

    “Want to go to the dance with me?”
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    Post  Kori123 on 3/15/2009, 5:34 am

    Epilogue ~

    “Mind explaining what happened back there?” I asked as Koizumi in and I made our way to the school grounds. Both of us were in casual tuxedos, if there was such a thing. He kept making teasing gestures saying we looked like a couple, but I’d give him a dirty look and he’d drop it.

    “Simple,” he said as we waved to a few classmates, already entering the building. “You saved this dimension.”

    “I got that,” thank you Sherlock. “I meant how.”

    “We’re not exactly sure. It would appear you had some help though.”

    “What? From your organization or something?”

    “Hardly,” he chuckled at that. Were they not into helping, I wondered. “We believe it was Miss Suzumiya who made the final call in where your loyalties lay.”

    “My loyalties?” I asked shaking my head, “like what?”

    “Well, you were getting awfully close with that Haruhi weren’t you? That’s why you wouldn’t return to this world easily. That’s what Miss Kimidori told us anyway.”

    “So she talked to you too?” I sighed. Naturally under those circumstances the head of the department would come out and explain the situation. “It wasn’t that though, I just thought there was nothing I could do.”

    “Even with all our clues you gave up so easily,” Koizumi summed.

    “Hey, it wasn’t like you gave any easy clues,” I said giving a stern look.

    “Then you must have missed the easy ones,” he countered waving to someone I didn’t recognize. I thought, briefly, it was one of his esper buddies. “Either way, you figured it out and got back here.”

    “But how?” I asked again. He was beating around the bush, as always.

    “We’re not entirely sure,” he shrugged, stopping when we reached the doors to the school auditorium. Loud noises could be heard from inside and lights were flashing through the window; even with black construction paper draped over.

    “Koizumi,” I said looking at him intently. “I have a theory but it sounds crazy. Randomality.”

    “I’m sorry Kyon,” he laughed his same Koizumi laugh. “Randomality isn’t a word.”

    “No,” I said softly. “More of a state of mind I suppose.”

    “For now, we’re pretty certain only Miss Suzumiya has that answer. Like before, though, she seems to have forgotten the whole thing. She thinks it was simply a dream. It‘s too bad, I was curious as to her position in this whole event.”

    With that being said, he pushed open th double doors. Green lights poured out and smoke spread around our ankles in a very nice effect I might add. Then again, of course I was impressed, I made the damn smoke screens.

    Koizumi walked in first, and just as quickly vanished into a crowd of students. Maybe he just vanished.

    I looked around, gazing at the finished product thoroughly. Cardboard cut outs of monsters and aliens hung on the walls. Balloons in green, black and orange shades drifted above the crowds. The music playing was loud and fast, making everyone in the room dance along.

    I smiled and stepped in looking for any familiar faces. Tons of our classmates were present, all enjoying themselves even with the weirdness of the hour. I spotted Miss Asahina somewhere in the crowd, red faced and trying to keep up with Miss Tsuruya who was doing some strange dance that fit the theme.

    I scanned the room some more until my eyes fell onto Nagato. She was, for once, wearing something besides her school uniform. A deep blue dress, simple but it fit her well. I smiled and waved as I walked over, “Nagato,” I said and she looked over at me. Even with so much excitement she was emotionless. Probably forced to be here under Haruhi’s orders. “Are you enjoying yourself?”

    She didn’t say anything, only stared. I swayed a bit to the beat, almost waiting for her to speak. When she didn’t though, I spoke back up, “listen, about what happened. I don’t suppose you could tell me anything useful?”

    She mouthed something but it was too loud to hear her soft voice. “Sorry, I can’t hear you,” I said trying to coax her to grow louder. She didn’t though, only mouthed quietly again. “Never mind,” I said with a light chuckle. I waited a while longer before asking my next question, “Something’s been bothering me though,” I started, “what did Miss Kimidori mean when she said you were in too deep to pull back?”

    Nagato’s gaze shifted a moment as though she wanted to say something, but instead she ignored me or pretended not to hear. I sighed and shook my head looking around some more, “where’s Haruhi? Do you know?” Before I could finish the words, Nagato was pointing near the stage. Sure enough, there was Haruhi setting up some kind of mike stand. “Oh thanks,” I said starting to walk off, but I turned back to Nagato a moment later, “hey thanks for the clue.” I said trying to get some reaction. Nothing. “Have fun tonight, alright? You deserve it.”

    I had to fight my way through the crowd of dancing students, but it was well worth it. Haruhi jumped down off the stage the moment I was close enough to spot. She chose to wear some kind of pale yellow and white flowing dress that looked more Greek goddess than alien. I guess it suit her. “Kyon, this dance is amazing!” She screamed over the noise. “Just wait until the entertainment starts!”

    “What entertainment?” I asked frowning now. We never talked about any entertainment…

    “The SOS brigade is going to perform of course!” She laughed, even over the speakers beside us. “It’s all decided. Koizumi is going to do keyboard, Yuki is going to play lead guitar, Mikuru will dance and play tambourine, I’ll do lead vocals and guitar and you can do secondary vocals and bass.”

    “What?” I screamed, voice cracking a bit, “when did you decide this?”

    “We talked about it while you were busy with the smoke screens,” she said all smiles.

    “I don’t know how to play bass, and I’m not going to sing either,” I insisted.

    “Sure you are,” Haruhi laughed some more, “come on, it’ll be fun!”

    I made the loudest groan I could to get the point across but followed her back stage to prepare. Nothing was ever normal with this girl!

    And with that note lingering in my mind, I couldn’t help but smile inwardly.

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      Current date/time is 6/2/2020, 2:24 pm