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Universe Roulette - Chapter 1

Title: Universe Roulette


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

Rating: PG.  Also, this is sort of an angst fic?

Author’s Note: This is a fic from the great vault of the unposted.  It's way too full of exposition, the plot wound up being rather dull, the idea fell flat, and all of my worst writing habits refused to go away.  Also, I definitely should have done this one in first-person.  It's undergoing some pretty heavy editing to get it up to snuff, but honestly it probably needs a complete rewrite.  I have chosen to abandon ship and post anyway.  Because if I only ever posted fic I was 100% happy with, I wouldn't get around to posting anything at all. 

Argh, I hate making excuses though!  XD

Anyhow, in regards to the fic itself... mostly an idea I had in regards to dimension travelling fics.  What would it be like if the world was only a little bit different?  And how would that mess with your sanity?  Kyon finds out.

And, because I am a hopeless fangirl, it starts out gen and somehow becomes Itsuki/Kyon preslash.  -___-


Universe Roulette

Chapter 1


Kyon took an appreciative sip of the delicious tea that Asahina had so thoughtfully prepared for him. A clock ticked quietly in the background, the only noise in the clubroom save for the hum of their recently procured heater and the rhythmic shuffle of Nagato’s page-turning. Neither Haruhi nor Koizumi had turned up yet. Thus, this was about as peaceful as the clubroom was ever going to get. Honestly, the amount of stress Haruhi had added to his life would turn him grey before he graduated.
He took the rare moment of silence and calm to reflect on the strange, somewhat purposeless little club and its gaggle of members that had somehow become his closest friends. The SOS Brigade, consisting of the curvaceous time-traveller Asahina Mikuru, currently outfitted in a far-too-frilly maid outfit; Nagato Yuki, their stoic clubroom accessory who just happened to be an alien computer; Koizumi Itsuki, the handsome and enigmatic esper boy who had absolutely no respect for personal space and lastly himself, the utterly normal human high school freshman who just happened to be indirectly responsible for giving their ultra director Haruhi the idea for the club in the first place. 
Suzumiya Haruhi. The captain or ‘ultra-director’ of the Brigade, the supposed centre of the universe, the unwitting ‘god’ with mysterious powers who could create calamities and bend the world to her will. Possessing the secret for auto-evolution, the cause of time rifts, and the source of powers for a small army of espers.
It was utterly ludicrous, but he was starting to get used to the idea. After being in closed space numerous times now he was willing to believe even the most outrageous of scenarios – as long as Haruhi was involved in them. He was still somewhat undecided as to whether or not he liked the crazy elements the SOS Brigade added to his life, though. There was some excitement, some companionship, and sometimes even fun, but there was also far too much work, far too many brushes with death, and far too much stress when it came to instances where the fate of their current universe might well depend on his baseball skills.
The quiet moments, however, hanging out in the clubroom before Haruhi committed them to another harebrained and often embarrassing scheme – those he liked, and wouldn’t trade for anything. 
“The others are really late, aren’t they?” Asahina piped up suddenly, though her voice was so quiet at first he almost didn’t hear it. In the background there was the soft rustle of another page turning.
“Yeah,” he agreed, but not really minding, although it would be nice if they could hurry up and conclude whatever the club activities for the day were so that he could start on his way home. 
Silence stretched on for several minutes, before buxom redhead suggested, “Would you like to play a game?”
That was a surprise. That was normally the purview of himself and Koizumi, as Asahina was somewhat lousy at every board game they played and tended to tidy the clubroom or knit or do some other terribly domestic activity instead. She must have been really bored. Either way, it gave him something to do, so Kyon nodded. “Sure. Which one would you like to play?”
“Um, I wasn’t too bad at Othello,” she recalled, standing and looking through the various board games they’d stacked at the side of the clubroom. Casting several glances about for it, she located it on one of the shelves, stored with the baseball equipment. “There it is.” She reached for it, but Asahina wasn’t exactly tall, and that maid outfit Haruhi always made her wear in club didn’t look easy to move in. Her fingers reached the edge of the board, but she couldn’t get a good grasp on it.
Kyon abandoned his seat and headed over. “Don’t worry, Asahina, I’ll get it-”
“No, no, it’s okay,” she protested, flustered at not being able to reach. Of course she couldn’t – Koizumi had stuck it up there without a thought after the last time they’d played, never considering that any of the girls would ever need to get it down.
“Here,” he said a little indulgently, privately preening at the opportunity to perform such a chivalrous task for the beautiful Asahina, and reached up over her stretching arm from behind. She let out a little squeak as her surprise caused her to overbalance, and Kyon prevented her from tipping forwards with his spare hand.
“Okay there?” he asked. Asahina was just too cute. It was easy to forget that she was a time-traveller of an unknown age from the future. Though it probably wouldn’t do to have Haruhi see them like this, lest she misinterpret it.
As though summoned by the very thought, the door slammed open and Haruhi herself bounded into the room. The brunette imperiously glanced left and right, inspecting her domain - and from the crease on her forehead, she found it wanting. “Where’s my second-in-command?” she demanded.
“Not here yet,” Kyon replied in a dull tone, even as he took a slightly hurried step away from Asahina. With a sigh, he dusted off the board he’d just retrieved and set it on the table.
“He hasn’t missed yet,” Kyon pointed out, though it was true that Koizumi had been absent for an unusual number of club meetings lately.
The self-designated ultra-chief of the brigade just frowned, muttering something along the lines of ‘we need more members’ before storming over to the computer, and Kyon let out a nervous breath. It looked like he and Asahina were probably off the hook. 
Things settled back into the routine normally adopted whenever their eclectic leader didn’t have any bright ideas – everyone sitting around amusing themselves while Haruhi checked the website and harassed Asahina. Eventually, it started to get late.
“I’m tired of that outfit!” Haruhi suddenly announced, pointing at Asahina’s maid costume imperiously. “I think it’s time we get you something else, Mikuru!”
“Eeeeeh?” the girl squeaked, obviously terrified – and who could blame her, with some of the lascivious outfits the perky leader of the brigade had chosen in the past.
“Right, it’s decided! We’re going shopping! Kyon, you close up!” Haruhi ordered.
“Ah, ah, I have to change first!” Asahina protested before she could be dragged bodily from the room.
Kyon took that as his cue to evacuate the premises. A few minutes later Haruhi paraded out of the clubroom with a reluctant Asahina in tow. He wandered back into the clubroom and returned the Othello board to its place on the shelf. Nagato was still reading.
A second later the door opened. Surprised, Kyon turned around, wondering if maybe the girls had forgotten something, but it was just Koizumi.
The esper gave him a winsome smile. “Sorry I’m late.” He glanced about the room. “Oh, the others aren’t here?”
Kyon crossed his arms. “You’re not just a little late, you know. Haruhi and Asahina already left, and I’m about to leave too. Where were you, anyway?”
“I had to assist my colleagues. It was nearby, so I thought I’d be back in time.”
“You were obviously wrong. Like I said, I’m leaving. Do you mind closing up, Nagato?”
The quiet girl just shook her head slightly.
“Very well, I’ll walk with you then,” Koizumi said with a smile. 
“There’s no need,” he hastily interjected.
“Oh, but it’s on my way,” was the airy response.
There was no way he was shaking the other boy just yet, then. With a sigh, Kyon grabbed his bag and headed for the door. “Suit yourself.”
The brown-haired boy fell into step beside him as they left the school. It was nearing sunset, and the sky had taken on a palette of pink and orange hues. There was a cool bite to the air, the breeze carrying a promise of winter. It was a pleasant enough day, but it was strange that Koizumi was walking with him. Even though he didn’t know where his fellow brigade member lived, he was relatively sure it was in the opposite direction, seeing as they never crossed paths in the afternoons. Probably had another errand to run for that mysterious Agency of his.
Kyon slanted a look at the esper walking cheerfully beside him. “You’ve been missing a lot of club meetings lately.”
“Hm. It seems Suzumiya has been restless again.”
He face faulted. “You’re kidding. We’ve been doing all sorts of crazy stuff to keep things interesting. She can’t be bored again already.”
“No, not bored… The Agency doesn’t think so, anyway,” Koizumi mused, tapping a finger to his chin thoughtfully. Kyon found himself briefly hypnotized by the gesture, idly wondering if the exaggerated body language the transfer student so regularly displayed was purposeful or not. “The popular hypothesis is that it has to do with you.”
Feeling briefly affronted, Kyon turned away. “What have I done now?” It was hard to keep the aggravated tone out of his voice. Guiltily, his mind flashed back to that brief encounter with Asahina that afternoon. It had just been a nice gesture, really, and he hadn’t meant anything by it, but to a passer-by it probably looked like flirting. But Haruhi hadn’t reacted, so he was sure he was in the clear this time. Besides, as nice as Asahina was to look at, she was from the future and forbidden from relationships – there wasn’t a chance in hell. Again, though, Haruhi had no way of knowing that.
“Oh, you are not in error… though the Agency is of the opinion that perhaps you should have initiated a proper relationship with Suzumiya by now. They think it would exert a calming influence.”
The high schooler frowned. “Hey, I’m not going to start getting into false relationships just to appease your Agency. Besides, the three of you already set the two of us up on a date, remember? It didn’t go anywhere. Haruhi’s completely against the whole notion of romance. She just had a ‘momentary lapse of judgement’,” he reported loftily, quoting the words directly from the girl’s mouth.
“I find myself in agreement.”
That was not the expected response. Stumbling, Kyon recovered his balance and glared at the smiling esper. “Then why the hell is your Agency still stuck on this idea of Haruhi and I… you know… if it’s so obvious that it’s never going to work out?!” Admittedly Haruhi was cute, and interesting, and Kyon wouldn’t necessarily mind dating her if it weren’t for the risks associated with the job, but Haruhi was being odd about the whole affair. 
“Hmm, well, the popular idea is that a naturally failed relationship would be a preferable outcome to Suzumiya stewing about it. This is all beside the point though.” Kyon wasn’t aware that there had been a point to this conversation to begin with. “The important matter is what these events have brought to light. The Agency has come to conclude that the reason Haruhi is, in fact, infatuated with you-” He frowned slightly at the fact that Koizumi had dared to state so out loud in such a blunt manner. “-is because you are essentially the only person completely immune to her influence.”
“Meaning…” he prodded.
The esper looked amused. Then again, their mysterious transfer student always looked amused. “Meaning that you are the one factor that Haruhi cannot change.”
For a second, the high schooler was worried that was all he was going to get, but the one thing you could count on with Koizumi was his verbosity. 
“It’s likely that when Haruhi came into her powers three years ago, she subconsciously realised that she needed checks and balances. Hence why people such as myself exist, in order to counteract the creation of closed space. But much more importantly, why you exist. Someone whom she cannot change simply by willing it, someone who will remain a constant, someone other than herself on which to anchor reality – a person like this was necessary.”
“I thought you said that I was completely human,” Kyon interrupted, sensing the prelude to yet another philosophical discussion.
The esper was quick to reassure him. “Oh, you are. There’s no doubt about that. Both Nagato and myself did quite a thorough investigation. It’s merely a factor, created by Haruhi herself, which has rendered you immune to her manipulations. Hers only, of course. I understand that you’ve had at least one unfortunate brush with other elements.”
It was hard to repress the shiver at the reminder of his encounter with Asakura. The enigmatic teen fixed him with an all-knowing stare. Kyon barely resisted the urge to flinch.
“So what good does knowing all that do?” he asked with a sigh.
“Perhaps nothing. It’s reassuring to know that at least there is one dependable factor that won’t be altered to suit Suzimiya’s subconscious wishes, but anything beyond that is pure speculation.”
Typical. It seemed that the vast majority of his interactions with the esper wound up being wasted time. Sure, he had some sort of camaraderie going with the other boy, being the only two male members of the brigade, but he could be damn irritating.
“This is my stop,” he said needlessly when they arrived by the train station.
Koizumi just smiled and gave him a cheerful little wave. “See you tomorrow.”
The train ride followed by the bike ride home left him tired, so Kyon didn’t spare much more thought to the conversation with the esper. He didn’t particularly hate the other boy’s company per se, but most of the time their exchanges were so filled with half-truths, hidden meanings and philosophical musings that it was impossible to relax. Honestly, how Koizumi maintained such a laid-back demeanour was baffling. It was probably why that smarmy expression was so irritating.
That night, Kyon dreamed of closed space.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 23rd, 2008 11:42 am (UTC)
*___* Secretly, they are a guilty indulgence of mine as well.

Good find with that typo, thanks! *fixes* Amidst all the other edits, I've probably missed a hundred of those. x__x

There aren't very many Itsuki/Kyon fics to read, so that's not much of a surprise. A damn shame, though. :)
Oct. 25th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
ooh ooh ooh this is fun *g* <333
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )