Hey everyone! Quick intro here. I wanted to do a more introspective look into Nagato and Kyon's relationship so it might be a little slow-going if you're into that sort of thing.
This takes place after the incidents of The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya (light novel)
"That's the way it is. I prefer the original world after all. This one just doesn't suit me. I'm sorry, Nagato. I prefer the Nagato I've known up till now over you. Also, you look better without glasses."
Kyon stared at the ever-present figure sitting at the edge of the club's table. It was a typical sight, one he was accustomed to. However, something was different.
"You aren't reading today?"
A book usually accompanied Nagato Yuki. And by usually, it was typically always, no matter what, definitely. To see her without one, especially in her signature seat… now there's an oddity.
Kyon scratched his cheek, aware that the question might seem weird. Maybe not for the alien, perhaps, but simply as a question that friends ask each other. Perhaps it was insensitive. He backed up.
"I mean, usually…"
Nagato stared at him with those big, impassive eyes. She blinked once. Looked down at her empty lap, and then back up at Kyon. She blinked again. The gold flecks of her eyes catching the setting sun through the window.
"I haven't gone to get a new one," she answered in that straightforward voice of hers.
"Is that so? Come to think of it, I never thought about where you got all your books before you learned about the library... Did you just read the ones in the clubroom?"
"Yes," was her succinct answer and Kyon didn't press her further.
He moved to sit at one of the chairs, just now realizing the surprising emptiness of the clubroom. Where were the others? Kyon wasn't one to complain though. The silence was a welcome attribute as he leaned his head on his arms and watched Nagato sitting at the window. She was looking out into the field below her with a serene expression. Kyon found the scene picturesque. He sat up and gave her a look.
"Why haven't you gone to get a new book?" 'It seems unlike you…' was the unspoken second half. 'Then again,' Kyon reasoned, 'who am I to know about what you do and don't do.'
"Hmmm," Kyon half whispered to himself, tapping his index finger on his chin. He looked up to see Nagato peering at him, head half to the side. She seemed to be calculating a response but any sort of emotion was lost on him.
"I haven't felt like reading."
'Now that's odd,' Kyon thought. He figured Nagato was a pursuer of knowledge. Her very character relied on the fact that Nagato was a reader; the sole member of the literature club.
"Why?" Kyon couldn't stop himself from asking. He was sitting up now, staring intently at the reticent girl across from him.
"I don't know," was her only answer.
Kyon scratched at his head. And returned it to its original position on the table, sighing in half-hearted defeat. Some time passed and still the members of the SOS Brigade had not arrived. He thought little of it. Perhaps Haruhi had started up a scheme that he was not to be involved in. The thought didn't bother him in the slightest.
However, the idea that Nagato doesn't even know why she doesn't want to read… that puzzled him. He had an idea about the types of things that Nagato tries to express without expressing them. Like her so called "data malfunctions." Those were her emotions, Kyon reasoned. This must be another sort of "cry for help." A frustration of some sort. An eagerness. Maybe a restlessness that her internal machinations couldn't possibly fathom its use and understanding.
Kyon stood then, not wanting to prolong his inner monologue on the being that is Nagato Yuki and sought to do something about it.
"Come on, Nagato. You want to do something else, don't you?"
"…" She stood, wordlessly, and followed Kyon out the door. Ever willing to obey him.
The pair left school grounds. Walking side by side, Kyon looked to his silent partner, briefly wondering if he could perhaps deduce the sudden and unusual change in her behavior. Not reading? Ridiculous. Not wanting to read? Unfathomable.
But who was he to try and understand her? There must be some parts that even he couldn't grasp. Actually, scratch that. There were most parts, parts of everything and anything around him that he couldn't grasp. This was no different.
"Is you… not wanting to read considered strange?"
"…Perhaps. It continues to be an interest of mine. One I want to continue engaging in, indefinitely. However, the urge hasn't struck me. It could be something that you'd consider odd." She saw his curious expression and saw it as a sign to keep explaining to calm his nerves. "It is nothing to be alarmed about. My Data Integration Human Interface is functioning-"
"Ah, there's no need to explain. I was just worried about you." Kyon chuckled.
Her head lowered, "I see." She looked back at Kyon as they continued their trek and uttered the usual phrase she kicked out whenever Kyon seemed even slightly flustered, "don't worry."
"Easier said than done," Kyon said absentmindedly while stifling a yawn. "So, Nagato, where do you want to go? Hungry?"
"What is "easier said?" Nagato asked, looking again at Kyon. They stopped walking.
"Hmm? Well… how shall I put this… it's easier for me to say I won't worry than to actually not worry about you."
"It's a figure of speech."
She looked up at him again.
"Er-! Uh, like… a phrase you say just to mean something, but not literally mean it? But it holds its own meaning…I guess," Kyon sighed. He wasn't the best explainer. Usually it was Nagato doing the explaining in these situations. Actually, now that he thought about it, shouldn't Nagato already know the definition? She does read a lot, after all. Perhaps these vague human eccentricities are still difficult to grasp.
"I understand. Why do you… worry about me?" Nagato was asking again. If her eyes could convey emotions accurately, Kyon could swear she looked hell-bent on receiving answers to hard questions.
Kyon laughed, a little embarrassed and unsure how to word his response. He settled with honesty. "Well, because I care about you and your well-being."
"Jeez, Nagato… you're really packing the punches today…" He said as she stared, awaiting an answer as Kyon rubbed his cheek in thought. "Because… it would bother me greatly if something bad were to happen to you."
"I see…" She was silent a moment before continuing, "…then it is safe to say that I care about you, too." Nagato looked away and continued walking.
Kyon laughed and ran to catch up to her, rubbing slightly harder at his darkening cheeks.
In a small way, he understood. In her pursuit for answers, she was finding more ways to communicate… or so he reasoned. She was learning and changing. Or even, maybe it was always this way. Nagato wasn't devoid of expressing herself in some manner. Kyon briefly recalled his advent in closed space with Haruhi that one nightmarish day. It was Nagato's own thoughts transferred to him on the computer screen. What had they said?
'I also individually
feel that I want you to return'
...Though in the end, it just pleased him to see Nagato speak apart from her usual drone.
Somehow, the pair ended up at the SOS Brigade's usual hangout spot. The café was becoming a staple for the unruly team or perhaps it already was. Nagato ordered her signature melon cream soda and Kyon ordered an iced tea.
The pair sat in silence a moment as Kyon looked at the soda in question.
She looked up, straw held loosely in her mouth.
Kyon pointed at the green, fizzy mixture. "I've always wondered… you always order that drink. Why do you like it? Were you made to like it? Or do you…" Kyon paused, unsure if he should continue, "have preset likes and dislikes…?"
Nagato peered down at her drink. The condensation slipped over her fingers as she squeezed.
"I like it… it tastes good."
"I see," Kyon scratched the back of his head, suddenly ashamed for asking.
"To answer your other inquiries, no programming was required to form my tastes."
He only slightly understood. "That's interesting…" Kyon decided not to press the matter. For some reason he felt it was rude to ask such things, as if Nagato weren't a person. He knew she was of the Data Overmind Human… whatever, but to him, she was still just Nagato.
"Why do you want to know such information? About me?"
'Here she goes with the questions again…' he thought before answering. "Curiosity, I suppose. But also I just want to know more about you."
"I see. Is it important to know?"
"Hmm, I guess not immediately so… but I think it's important for friends to have a basic understanding about one another." Kyon sipped his tea, growing accustomed to these curious conversations with his alien brigade member. It wasn't unusual for Nagato to ask questions sometimes but this was a different matter entirely. The answers to these questions couldn't be explained with simple definitions. She was asking about objective matters; matters of opinion and human reasoning. It was… odd. Yet strangely comforting. It felt real to him.
"Thank you," Nagato said suddenly.
Kyon stopped leaning on his hand to turn to her in surprise. "Thank you? What for?"
Nagato blinked. "For caring about me."
Kyon smiled. 'So she was back on that…'
AN: It's a short chapter, but I have many more in store! I'll be doing my best to update this one and not abandon it... I still have some more source material to chug through since I want to keep my information as accurate as possible.
The inspiration for this story came from a theory made based off of the recent spin-off anime: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan. If you haven't seen/read it, I recommend it! It's a very cute show with a little twist. Those interested in the theory that are familiar with the series, hit me up so I can break your heart with it, haha.
Please review, please enjoy!