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Universe Roulette - Chapter 2

Title: Universe Roulette

Author:
Sinnatious

Summary: Kyon wakes up one day, and the world is just a tiny bit different.  Koizumi, annoyingly, continues to remain the same.

Rating: PG. 

Author’s Note: IT'S ONLY WEDNESDAY?  D:  Here's chapter 2.


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Universe Roulette

Chapter 2

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It was, for all intensive purposes, an ordinary morning. His sister came running into the room at what felt like the crack of dawn and jumped on the bed until he woke up, at which point she ran away giggling before Kyon could exact fitting retribution. With half-lidded eyes he regarded his clock and reluctantly pushed back the warm covers. He had some vague memory of a monochrome world and eerie stillness from his dreams the night before, but given that he had no recollections of running around the schoolyard or meeting Haruhi, concluded that it had merely been a dream. 
 
He sleepily moved through his morning routine, barely remembering to call out a hasty farewell to his mother. The daily commute was performed half conscious, though he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was a little odd when he was walking from the train station to school. 
 
“Kyon!” Haruhi called out imperiously. He flinched, wondering what he’d done wrong this time. 
 
As soon as he sat down, she thrust a bundle of papers at him. Taking them somewhat gingerly, he briefly inspected the contents within. “Sheet music?”
 
“That’s right! You left before I could show you yesterday!” She sounded peeved, but ten seconds later broke into an excited expression. “So, what do you think?! The way I figure it, I’ll handle the vocals and guitar with Yuki, Tsuruya’s on drums and Koizumi said he can handle the keyboard so long as it’s simple, so that leaves you with bass!”
 
Wait… “Weren’t you going shopping with Asahina yesterday?”
 
Haruhi briefly paused to give him an incredulous glance. “No, why would I do that?” Barely missing a beat, she rolled on, plucking out one of the sheets of paper still clutched in his hands. “See, this is where you’ll be standing, and Koizumi will be over here – I’ll take centre stage of course…”
 
Kyon had hoped that Haruhi had forgotten her plans of organising a band for the next year – honestly, he was starting to believe that the SOS Brigade was just her means of finding a way of substituting for turning up to a different club every day. There was nothing unusual or strange or exciting about forming a band. Inevitably, Haruhi would get her way, but… “I can’t play guitar.”
 
“You’ll be playing the bass! You’ll have plenty of time to learn! Besides, I even went to the trouble of making your part easy. See? You just have to follow along,” she announced with a flourish, jabbing a finger at the sheet music.
 
He barely suppressed a sigh, and skimmed the music. He couldn’t really read music, so settled for quickly reading the lyrics and Haruhi’s scribbled notes in the margins. “It’s not bad,” he admitted with a frown. Damn, why was Haruhi so good at everything? It hardly seemed fair.
 
There was a general flurry of activity in the room that heralded the teacher’s arrival. Kyon returned the papers to Haruhi and turned back around in his seat, then nearly choked.
 
“Asahina?” he gurgled.
 
“You say something Kyon?” Haruhi whispered from behind him.
 
He shook his head frantically, barely able to contain his reaction.
 
Asahina Mikuru stood at the front of the room. Or rather, the older version of Asahina Mikuru did. This was not the same constantly terrified and harassed Asahina from the Brigade.
 
What the hell was going on?! Since when was Asahina their teacher? What happened to Okabe?
 
Kyon froze, eyes wide. Was it possible… had the universe been remade?
 
Everyone else seemed to accept Asahina as their teacher – there were no questions about where Okabe was, and no introductions at the start of the class. Come to think of it… Haruhi had given him a strange look when he’d asked if she’d gone shopping with the time-traveller the day before. 
 
He slumped further into his seat. It seemed that even Haruhi herself was completely unaware of the fact that she’d remade the world the night before. 
 
Asahina called attendance, and Kyon barely remembered to respond when she called his name, he was so distracted by the situation. Honestly, it was nice having such an attractive teacher, but it made him uneasy. If Asahina was their teacher now, did that mean that she wasn’t in the brigade? He doubted that the people who called the shots in the future from which the girl – now woman – came from would consider it okay to have two versions of her running around, especially given the precautions the elder version had taken on her last little jaunty trip to the past.
 
Needless to say, with the startling evidence that Haruhi may have, in fact, remade the universe, as they’d so often feared her doing, Kyon could barely concentrate during class. Whenever he wasn’t trying to make sense of the situation, he wound up staring at Asahina, comparing the differences between the future version of her self with the one he was much more familiar with. Thus it was with great surprise when he realised it was lunchtime. Haruhi dashed off somewhere, so he wandered over to Taniguchi and Kunikida, who were heading to the cafeteria for lunch. 
 
They settled themselves in the far corner of the lunchroom, Kyon finding himself scanning the crowd of students, trying to pick what else might be different. Surely Haruhi wouldn’t have remade the universe with just one measly change, right? 
 
“Oi, Kyon, you were staring awfully hard at Asahina-sensei all day,” Taniguchi teased, interrupting his thought processes. 
 
“I’ve got to pay attention. My grades have been slipping,” he lied.
 
Kunikida frowned at that. “But your grades have always been pretty good.” 
 
Was the other boy kidding? His grades were average at best. It wasn’t that the work was that hard, but more that he wasn’t that great at memorising facts and formulas without putting in some serious study hours – which the Brigade generously ate into. 
 
“Heh, he just wants to impress Asahina-sensei, am I right?’ Taniguchi teased, poking his shoulder with a leer.
 
Right, new universe. Well, he supposed he could imagine himself working harder to impress someone as pretty as Asahina – he was human, after all – though the fact that he’d actually done so was rather embarrassing. Or was it just that Asahina was a better teacher than Okabe? Who knew? It was sort of troubling now that it appeared that everyone had a slightly different set of memories to his own. For that matter, how come he hadn’t received a new set of memories when Haruhi switched over the universe?    
 
“Asahina-sensei is rather pretty,” the shorter boy mused. “I don’t think any of the guys in our class have been able to resist flirting at least once.”
 
Guilt surged through him again. Was that why Haruhi had remade the universe? Simply because she’d perceived him as being too close to Asahina? He felt terrible. His remorse was only slightly mollified by the fact that at least Asahina shouldn’t know any different.
 
He’d never actually believed that he’d see a different universe made by their self-appointed Ultra-Chief of the SOS Brigade. And now that he had, how exactly was he supposed to change things back? Was it even possible to change things back? Heck, was he even sure it was a new universe and not just a crazy dream?
 
Talking to Asahina, Koizumi or Nagato was the most appropriate course of action. He’d wait a little while first, and gather some more information. So long as there were no giants roaming the planet smashing up the place, there was no rush. Things might even go back to normal on their own. Really, as disturbing as it was to have Asahina suddenly become his teacher, it wasn’t nearly as shocking as Asakura or giant cave crickets trying to kill him.
 
Afternoon classes seemed suddenly unimportant, even if they were now taught by a person he had come to consider one of his friends. 
 
Almost mechanically, as though it hadn’t yet sunk in that his world had changed overnight, Kyon found his feet carrying him to the clubroom once again. He knocked on the door – walking in on the girls changing enough times had ingrained the habit –then swung it open casually. 
 
“Kyon!” Koizumi greeted cheerfully. The sight of the esper was oddly relieving, as was Nagato’s presence in the corner of the room. 
 
The sight of the cheerful green-haired girl dressed in a bunny outfit, however, was not.
 
“Hi Kyon!” Tsuruya exclaimed.
 
At least now he knew who had taken Asahina’s place. Oh well, as excitable as the cheerful girl was, she was nice and easy to get along with. And dressing up in ridiculous outfits at Haruhi’s beck and call was less likely to mentally scar Tsuruya. This could be almost considered an act of mercy for Asahina.
 
Haruhi burst into the room. “Everyone here? Good!” She immediately started handing out bundles of paper to everyone – Kyon recognised it as the song she’d shown him that morning. “Right! We’ve got the music, now we just need to practice! And make costumes. And get instruments,” she added as an afterthought.
 
Koizumi was leafing through the music thoughtfully. “You wrote this yourself? I am impressed. It will make a fabulous live performance.” As though the esper even knew what he was talking about. 
 
“Don’t you know it!” Haruhi exclaimed, with hands on hips and a wicked grin. 
 
“Yaaaay, I’m on the drums! Drums are settled, I’ve already got my own set at home!” Tsuruya announced, waving the paper in the air. 
 
“Good work! Nagato?” 
 
“It won’t be a problem,” the diminutive girl remarked in a small voice.
 
“Great, so now we just need to get my guitar, a keyboard for Koizumi, and a bass guitar for Kyon! Alright! Brigade, roll out!” 
 
“Eh- but,” Kyon started to protest even as Haruhi paraded them out of the room.
 
“Probably best just to go along with it for now,” Koizumi advised serenely. 
 
No surprise there. That was Koizumi’s solution for everything where Haruhi was involved. “But there’s a much bigger problem to deal with,” he hissed.
 
The esper gave him a concerned look at that, but Kyon just sighed and shook his head. “Never mind… later.” As the other boy had pointed out, it was easiest to just go along with Haruhi when she was on a roll. And given that the universe had apparently just been remade the night before – for that matter, he couldn’t even be sure that Nagato was an alien or Koizumi an esper – it would be best to avoid doing anything that could potentially worsen the situation. 
 
It was little surprise that their destination was the music club. Fortunately, the music club was much more accommodating than the computer club, and was perfectly willing to lend out an old keyboard and two guitars – though the bass needed to be restrung. They even managed to finish club activities for the day without anyone having to be molested or extorted. Club ended when Koizumi had to run off – no doubt some sort of Agency business, though Haruhi seemed to be in a good mood so it surely wasn’t anything urgent like closed space – and Kyon found himself heading home, feeling as though things were ordinary even when they so obviously weren’t. He really needed to talk to Asahina tomorrow, he decided. Nagato or Koizumi were logically the better choices, but he felt some sort of responsibility for the girl, given that he was probably the reason she was now a teacher. Not that she seemed to be unhappy about that, though of course she wouldn’t know any different… just thinking about it made his head hurt.
 
The sun was setting when he stepped through the school gate, painting the sky a dusty pink. The Autumn air was crisp and fresh, and assured him that this world was in fact entirely real and not just a detailed figment of his imagination.
 
It had been an odd and vaguely upsetting day. And only after he parted ways with the other club members did he realise what it was that seemed different during his commute that morning.
 
The school was no longer on top of a steep hill, but rather a gentle slope.
 
At least Haruhi made one good change to the universe.
 
 

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
sinnatious
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
BUT THE WEEK GOES SO SLOW. Except now it's Friday, and it will start going really fast. x__x

Of course. ;)

(Thank you for reading, I'm glad that there's at least one Haruhi-watcher in the flist. <3)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )