[Haruhi Suzumiya] Rain and Demons: Epilogue
Fandom: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Genre/Rating: General/Horror // PG
Characters/Pairings: Mild Koizumi/Kyon and Kyon/Haruhi
Summary: Hospitalised, the Brigade discuss the day's events. However, there's one last surprise waiting for Kyon.
Notes: 'Haruhi Suzumiya' is the property of Nagaru Tanigawa.
The final chapter! Acknowledgements are included at the end. Thanks for reading!
A Camping Trip [Prologue], Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten
Rain and Demons: Epilogue
The next few hours were a complete blur. Kyon couldn’t remember being winched into the helicopter, nor could he remember the reactions of the other Brigade members when he was pulled in. He couldn’t remember being bandaged up, and he definitely didn’t remember arriving at that familiar hospital owned by Koizumi’s Organisation.
“I’m confident that… the fact that we arrived at this hospital is a complete coincidence,” said Koizumi in between throwing up in a bucket as they sat in the waiting room, Haruhi fidgeting and Mikuru tearful as the clock on the wall ticked one am. Kyon didn’t believe him, and felt pretty sick and dizzy himself. The stench of blood and rotting flesh hadn’t left him, and his entire body was in agony, both from the long walking trip and from getting dragged across half a brambly garden by several hungry demons. Definitely an experience he’d like to forget. Right now, all Kyon wanted to do was lie down and go to sleep.
The nurse came in and the girls were taken away to a separate room. “They’re being treated for shock,” explained Koizumi, cradling his bucket as he and Kyon followed a different nurse. He was having trouble walking, which Kyon assumed was due to the muscle contractions. “While you and Nagato-san were away, Asahina-san and I had a lot of trouble keeping Suzumiya-san in the tent.” He paused to cough, Kyon quickly looking away in case he threw up again. “Of course, I was in quite a state, and Asahina-san was clearly afraid. It’s a good thing that you finished when you did.”
To be honest, the only one who’s going to need any treatment for shock would be Asahina-san. Nagato and Haruhi are fearless.
“Nagato informed me of your noble act while you were unconscious,” continued Koizumi. Wait, when did I fall unconscious? “I must say, I’m impressed.”
You’re the last person I want to hear that from!
Koizumi smiled, but it looked more like a wince. Kyon sighed, ignoring him but feeling oddly pleased for the recognition.
“You could’ve had permanent muscle damage!” snapped the doctor as he examined him. Kyon didn’t have the courage to look at his wound, but the hot smell of blood gave him an indication of how bad it was. “It’s a good thing you’re so young! Any older and you might have lost any use of that arm completely!” He stitched and bandaged the wound, gave Kyon a sling, some extra painkillers and ordered him to stay the night. “I don’t know what you were doing, but don’t do it again!”
I can promise you, we won’t!
Sitting in his bed for the rest of the night and feeling oddly constricted, Kyon lay on his back and looked up at the ceiling. It didn’t seem like long ago that he’d done the same in his tent, watching a spider crawl across the canvas as the rain pattered on the outside covering. He wasn’t alone in the ward – Koizumi was lying in the bed to his left, coughing and spluttering at various intervals. The main lights were off and the curtains drawn, leaving only a little sidelight to provide any relief in the darkness. Kyon was thankful. Images of those cold glittering eyes were still in the forefront of his mind, and he wasn’t keen to sleep in complete darkness.
The door creaked open and two figures appeared, silhouetted in the doorway against the light spilling out from the corridor. For one second, Kyon felt panic suddenly rush through his head, a remnant from the night’s earlier proceedings. His legs twitched, eager to run. But there was no need.
It was only Asahina-san and Nagato.
Something soft collided with Kyon, almost knocking the breath out of him. “Ah, Asahina-san.”
“Kyon-kun!” she sobbed, hugging him fiercely. Kyon’s heart leapt with delight. “I’m so glad! I’m so sorry!”
“No, it’s fine, don’t worry,” he said warmly. He looked up at Nagato, who had closed the door upon entering. Koizumi stirred, and made an odd murmuring noise.
Mikuru squeaked and quickly let go of Kyon. Koizumi sat up and scratched his head, still sleepy. “Asahina-san? Nagato-san?”
“Ah, erm,” Mikuru brushed down her dress. She’d since changed out of her waterproofs and had a shower. So she hadn’t needed to stay in the hospital like they did… She rubbed her eyes nervously. “K – Koizumi-kun. Did they, er…?”
“I am fine,” said Koizumi. Kyon could hear the smile in his voice. “In fact, Nagato-san’s side affects are already beginning to fade away.”
“That’s good to hear,” muttered Kyon, picking up a glass of water from his bedside table. “Anyway,” he turned to Mikuru and Nagato, “what are you two doing here?” In the dead of night, no less.
“Oh, er, Nagato-san and I did some investigation into what happened to us,” said Mikuru. “We thought we’d better share with you what happened, well, I was told to share with you all what happened… except with Suzumiya-san, that is…” Her voice faded away.
“What about you, Nagato?” asked Kyon.
“I have permission to share selected segments of our conclusion with Koizumi Itsuki, Asahina Mikuru and yourself, with caution,” she replied.
“That’s good,” said Kyon. He turned to Koizumi. “Are you awake now?”
“Yes.” Koizumi was trying to flatten his bed hair. “I’m eager to hear what both of you have to say.”
The room fell silent. Mikuru fidgeted slightly and seemed nervous, while Nagato just stared straight ahead. Koizumi’s bed creaked.
Eventually, Nagato spoke. “Communication with the alternative faction was established, and I have conformation that the alternative space we entered was their property, purchased for agricultural purposes,” she said in her usual calm, monotonic manner. “Their use of illegal security measures and unstable border control has been reported. The livestock contained within are allowed under universal restrictions, but the targeting and entrapment mechanism utilised around the area are not.”
“Were they targeting Suzumiya-san?” asked Koizumi.
“They denied attempting to abduct Suzumiya Haruhi, or any other member of her brigade,” answered Nagato. “They stated that they were not aware that she had entered any of their agricultural spaces or passed through any security borders. They simply took normal measures to prevent thieves and trespassers.”
Who’d want to steal any of those monsters?
“They will be taking precautions in the future to prevent such an event occurring once more,” continued Nagato. “They have also agreed to alter their security system and delete our information from their tracking databases. They also apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Kyon’s injured shoulder throbbed. “That’s nice of them.”
“So we were targeted simply because we were in the wrong place at the wrong time?” Koizumi queried. “I do find that slightly hard to believe.”
“Me too,” agreed Kyon. “Was that all they said, Nagato?”
“They also mentioned that it was unusual for so many lifeforms to enter their space at the same time, in the manner that they did,” she replied. “That is the limit of what I can freely tell you.”
“Thanks Nagato,” said Kyon, smiling.
“That certainly was very informative,” added Koizumi. “Nagato, I can’t thank you enough.”
Nagato didn’t reply.
“What about you, Asahina-san?” Kyon turned his attention towards her.
“Oh, er, we found out the same,” she said awkwardly. “That it was an alternative faction to Nagato’s. But…” Doubt clouded her face.
“But… things don’t add up,” she whispered, as if afraid that everyone would snap at her for contradicting Nagato. “We worked out that we must’ve entered that alternative space just before we reached the lake, but after we got caught in that preliminary trap thing in the tent. When we tried to leave the lake, we got as far as those rocks the first time, didn’t we? The second time we walked around, when Suzumiya-san was directing us, we didn’t get anywhere near them at all before we looped back.”
“So are you saying that the area mass changed?” asked Koizumi.
“Yes, the alternative space became smaller.”
“That should not be possible,” said Nagato suddenly.
“And – and there were cigarette packets and broken glass on the floor of that hut when we went in,” Mikuru continued. “But why would the… livestock or people with no physical presence need cigarettes or be able to break glass? It doesn’t… well, we don’t think it makes sense.”
“No, it doesn’t,” mused Koizumi. “I haven’t had a chance to talk with my colleagues, so I can’t give the Organisation’s opinion on this matter. However, I personally am strongly inclined to say that Suzumiya-san heavily influenced this.”
Kyon suddenly remembered something. “Wait,” he said, reaching to the draw on his bedside table, where everything found in his pockets had been placed. He pulled out the note they found in the hut yesterday, and handed it to Mikuru. “We found this yesterday, in the hut remember?”
“Ah, yes. I remember you saying,” whispered Mikuru.
It has taken centuries to arrive, but it is here.
Do not get caught in its trap.
Get out now.
“I’d say it was a warning from the alternative faction, telling us to leave,” concluded Koizumi. “Now that we know the context of the situation, that seems the most likely.”
“Maybe,” said Kyon. “Is that possible, Nagato?”
“It is possible,” she confirmed.
“How long has this faction existed?” asked Koizumi.
“Approximately ten thousand, eleven hundred and seven years.”
“Is it possible that Suzumiya-san could’ve just thought them up recently?”
Then, Nagato spoke: “It is possible.”
“I see,” whispered Koizumi. “You see, I think Suzumiya-san’s unconscious desire to experience demons may have been the cause of this.”
“Wait,” Kyon stopped him before he could continue. No way. I won’t believe it. “I know she can be irresponsible sometimes, but I don’t think she would purposefully place us in danger.”
“Indeed,” said Koizumi. “But it is a possibility. Her ideas may have run away with her this time.”
“That is a possibility,” agreed Nagato.
Mikuru nodded. “Suzumiya-san was upset when we had to leave the lake. She might’ve forced us into the alternative space subconsciously.”
Kyon’s memory perked up, and he suddenly recalled the longing on Haruhi’s face as she gazed at the hut across the lake. “Oh.”
“Either way, since myself and Kyon-kun were hospitalised, I doubt she would be eager to go demon hunting again,” reckoned Koizumi. “In fact, I am certain she would be against the idea.”
They fell into silence again.
“We’d better go,” said Mikuru, glancing up at the clock.
“Oh, OK,” Kyon felt slightly disappointed. “Will you visit us again?”
“Yes, tomorrow,” she smiled and waved. “We’ll continue our discussion some other time.”
Nagato followed behind her. Koizumi waved at the two of them, and the door closed. They were alone again.
“Well,” said Koizumi. “What do you think?”
“I don’t know,” said Kyon honestly. Koizumi nodded.
“That alternative faction seemed incredibly apologetic,” he noted. “I’m not sure I believe that they genuinely didn’t recognise Suzumiya-san.”
“Nagato-san also caused interference within their area. I’m surprised that they didn’t mention it, unless Nagato-san omitted it herself.”
Kyon didn’t answer, trying to work out what came first: the alternative faction or Haruhi’s crazy ideas. It’s like the chicken and egg argument. Only bigger in scale and scarier.
The next morning, Kyon got the shock of his life. He woke up face-to-face with a furry demon, its cold yellow eyes gleaming down at him and its mouth carved into a snarl.
“AHHHHHHHH!” Kyon leapt up in horror, his heart racing. The demon flew across the hospital, bouncing against the wall and making a light squeaking sound as it went. Wait a minute!
“Kyon!” shouted a familiar voice from Koizumi’s bed. It was Haruhi, annoyed. “What did you do that for?” She stood up, walking over to where the mini-demon had landed. “I bought that stuffed toy for you.”
Kyon took another look at the stuffed toy. There was no mistaking it. Everything, from the shade of its fur to its tiny little claws, was exactly like the demons he and Nagato had experienced the previous night.
“Don’t look so horrified!” Haruhi snapped. “It’s cute! I know boys don’t really like stuffed toys as presents, but I felt this one could be an exception. I’ll give it to Mikuru-chan if you really don’t like it.”
“No!” You can’t give that abominable thing to Asahina-san! “Um… sorry. I just had a nightmare, er, where did you find it?”
“At the arcade,” her expression lightened. Behind her, Kyon noticed Koizumi pulling an amused face. “I won it in two goes. I thought it looked like how those people in the newspaper described the demons they saw on their walk. Nice isn’t it?”
“Since we never saw any demons, I thought this’d make up for it,” she grinned. “C’mon Kyon,” she waved its little paws at him. “Give it a hug!”
Author’s Note: This is the first non-one-shot series I’ve actually got around to completing. Go me. And it still took a year to do D: I think I’ve learnt my lesson now. From now on I’ll write the entire thing before posting.
If I’ve missed anything out in this finale, don’t hesitate to say so in the comments. I think I’ve wrapped everything up safely ^^ Remember, concrit and nitpicking is always loved and appreciated.
Thanks to Nagaru Tanigawa (for making this great series), lily22 for pointing out that I’d misspelt ‘faction’ as ‘fraction’ (that was important, trust me), ypaladinofchaos for helping me out with the Epilogue and to all the other readers – old and new - who stuck with this fic! I hope you all enjoyed it, and thanks for reading!