[FFML] [Haruhi][Experimental] Retrograde
durandall at gmail.com
Tue Nov 1 19:09:05 PDT 2011
I -- what? Gmail, why did you cut out my newlines? :\
Gonna try this again; apologies, all:
## A Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu fanfiction
### By Brian Randall
Disclaimer: The light novel series begun with the novel 'The
Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi'/'Suzumiya Haruhi not Yuuutsu' is the
property of Tanigwawa Nagaru. No disrespect is intended with the use
of his paints; I'm just a peasant with an easel.
Notes: Experimental -- very. As per some advice (much
paraphrased): "Too much time writing from the head; don't forget to
write from the heart once in a while." Let's see if I can pull this
There is a quiet, dusty room. The walls are unadorned, outside
of a single faded poster from long ago, worn, but sternly advocating
workplace safety. Around a large, rectangular table are a number of
similar-looking men in respectable but worn suits -- and a single
distraught woman in more casual attire. The lights are dimmed, and
the projection screen at one end shows stark white--
All eyes go to the display as it abruptly shifts to heavily
artifacted static, hints of sky, and bright light. Another flicker,
and with the same suddenness, the picture snaps into perfectly sharp
The screen shows a low point of view, almost resting on the
ground -- except, on closer examination it's not the ground, it's the
rooftop of a flat building. Filling most of the screen is a pair of
toned, pale legs-- They shift back silently a half-step, showing the
fringe of a powder blue skirt. The legs shift back another half-step,
and more of a figure is revealed before it bends down, a pretty face
creased in annoyance as she silently barks some order. Her armband
marks her as a director of unparalleled prowess, and she holds a
bright yellow megaphone in one hand.
The lack of sound is underscored by a noise in the room, a
muffled clearing of breath from one of the men at the table. All
attention remains on the screen.
Whatever her command, the camera's view shifts, edging in one
direction and swinging to remove the annoyed high school girl from the
frame, instead showing another pair of girls. Briefly, while the
camera is being oriented, it's shifted to one side, showing a drop of
at least four stories -- the auto-focus is not able to compensate
before the two girls are centered in the screen once more.
One is slight, wearing a cloak and a witch's cap over her school
uniform, staring at the camera impassively. The other has a fuller
figure, her face marked with shame as she struggles to somehow pull
the hem of her too-short skirt down for modesty.
The older-looking girl turns to look in the direction of the
director, then looks aghast, shaking her head furiously. The camera
abruptly shifts to one side, jittering unexpectedly-- Not long after
that, the view is almost completely filled with the heel of one shoe,
some previously concealed figure now standing directly before the
Auto-focus struggles to film something that's too close, a
glimpse of the characters suggesting a last name -- 'Tada....' the
first character might read, just before the camera spins, showing a
streaking blur, marred with large squares of artifacting. Like
pictures from an ancient, damaged mural, bits of clarity come through
the next few moments:
The 'director', empty-handed and horrified, standing next to the
older girl-- The slighter figure is missing, now.
A yellow megaphone, spinning through what looks like empty air,
meters and meters over the ground.
The clear, spring sky, fleeced with only the faintest clouds, and
the warm, glowing sun.
For the briefest moment, next to the spinning megaphone, there is
the glimpse of a young man's panicked face before--
The screen goes dark.
Around the table, an uncomfortable, indistinct muttering sounds,
broken only by the strained sobs of the lone woman in attendance. The
suited man next to her wears a stunned expression, one arm around her
back, his other across his chest to hold one of her hands. Her eyes
filled with tears, she shakes her head sharply, and reaches her free
hand toward the paper that waits on the table, a pen across it.
The solemn men in the room nod slowly in understanding.
Outside of the automatic glass doors leading to a hospital, a
stern, unhappy looking man shakes his head sadly at the dark-haired
girl with the gold ribbon who stands before him, her expression
stricken. She opens her mouth to protest, but falls short when the
older girl at her side takes her hand and shakes her head sadly, tears
running down her cheeks.
The man sighs, glancing over his shoulder, where a woman in
casual dress speaks quietly into her phone, distracted from looking at
the others. At her side is a small girl with a side-tail, her
expression wan and stunned, her gaze fixed on the floor beneath her.
Turning back to the pair of girls before him, the man offers an
apologetic shrug. The dark-haired girl's eyes narrow, and she opens
her mouth to complain, letting it slowly close when the older girl
shakes her head again, this time pointing at the small girl, and then
holding a single finger up across her own lips.
Swallowing, the dark-haired girl grudgingly nods, turning one
last questioning gaze at the man.
While his expression remains apologetic, he gives a curt shake of
his head in response, his eyes darkening as he turns his back to her
and moves through the doors to join with the woman and child waiting
He doesn't see the way the dark-haired girl is caught by her
older companion, saved from collapsing to the ground in a sobbing
Neither does the next figure to arrive -- another girl, this one
in a casual clothing with shorter brown hair, and no ribbon. She
closes the phone in her hand and waves at the woman standing inside
the glass doors.
The dark-haired girl outside watches as the smallest girl turns
to the new arrival, crying out in elation at a familiar face. The
girl with brown hair gives a weak smile to the child before turning an
inquisitive gaze to the woman.
Outside, the dark-haired girl watches them speak animatedly --
but silently -- on the other side of the glass doors. Only when
they're out of sight does she stop resisting her weeping companion's
attempts to gently usher her away.
There is a quiet room in a hospital. A young man lies in a
comfortable bed, bandages wrapped around the top of his head. The
open window allows the light curtains to flutter and dance in the
Sitting in an uncomfortable chair at one side of the bed, her
expression solemn, marred with worry, a young woman stares intently at
the paper before her. After a moment, she shifts the small table to
one side, glancing at the slumbering young man before touching her
pencil to the page, pausing on occasion to reference something in a
For a long while, the only sounds are the breeze, and the scratch
of writing, or the soft rustle of paper. As the light outside begins
to dim, the young woman sighs, setting her pencil down and rubbing her
The young man in the bed stirs, very slightly.
A few heartbeats pass while the young woman abandons her work,
focusing entirely on him, and carefully rising from her seat to move
to his side. He stirs again, a pained, inarticulate groan escaping
his lips as his eyes flutter open -- before squeezing tightly shut.
Eyes widening, the girl hits a button on the wall to summon help,
quickly placing her hands on his shoulders and trying to soothe him,
even as she offers a comforting, worried smile.
He is confused, and his eyes are reluctant to open -- before she
can even ask him proper questions, a blue-haired nurse with pronounced
eyebrows is gently ushering her away, and back into her seat. A small
crew of other nurses, doctors, and attendants bustle into the room.
The young man is helped to sit up, looking around in confusion, his
She tries to answer, but is hushed by the nurse--
Instead, they ask him questions.
He answers to the best of his ability, and the jubilant
atmosphere quickly becomes muted with concern.
The girl raises one hand to her mouth in stunned realization as
her eyes glisten with unvoiced emotion; his answers would all have
been correct, a year and a half earlier.
Outside the hospital, the young man shifts his shoulders in the
new school uniform he has been given -- brown, and starkly military in
theme. He tries to smile, but can't, instead looking back over his
shoulder at the building he has spent the last weeks in. He sighs,
starting when the young woman who was at his side when he awoke puts
one hand on his arm.
He studies her for a moment, taking in her uniform, which matches
his own. She ducks her head slightly, giving him an apologetic,
hopeful smile before she gently adjusts the Hanshin Tigers baseball
cap he wears to hide the very short stubble that covers his head.
He shakes his head and manages a smile in return, shrugging, then
hefting a bag stuffed with schoolbooks and paperwork.
She sees the way his smile reaches his eyes and stays at his side
as they slowly walk toward a waiting bus, pausing only to brush her
brown hair back behind one ear and almost turning around ... but
shaking her head and moving forward with him as though deciding
against that backward glance at the last moment.
The area is not empty, though.
Another girl, this one in blue and white sailor uniform, a gold
ribbon in her dark hair but now missing the 'director' armband, steps
out from behind the hospital's bulky entrance sign. Her eyes are
watery, her expression grim. She tilts her face up to the sky, not
allowing her tears to fall just yet.
Only when a slight figure with light purple hair moves to her
side does some tension fade from the distraught girl's expression.
Her hand is caught up by the smaller girl -- and then she whirls,
hugging the smaller girl tightly, letting the moisture spill after
The violet-haired figure turns her eyes after the departed young
man for a heartbeat before shifting back to the hospital, locking
gazes with a very distant blue-haired nurse. The nurse gives a single
slight shake of her head before vanishing from the top-story window
she peered down from.
Silently, the slight girl's eyes also fill with tears.
A quiet room with a kotatsu has two figures in it -- a tired-eyed
young woman with brown hair, and a more alert young man with short,
dark hair, marked with a single stark white streak. Both of them are
in casual dress, save concessions for the cold of the season.
Scowling at the paper before him, the young man abruptly crumples it
up into a ball, startling his partner.
He shakes his head at her worried look, giving her a reassuring
shrug before she can speak, then climbing out from beneath the kotatsu
and picking up the empty tea pot, ambling toward the kitchen as she
settles back down. The room's television is currently off, a video
game console sitting beneath it, trapped in a massive tangle of wires
-- but the clock on one of the devices connected to it still shows the
time and the date.
The young man's voice calls something, indistinct from the
distance, and she wordlessly climbs to her feet, going to the door--
She is almost beaten there by a much younger girl with her hair up in
a side-tail, but sends the smaller girl to the kitchen with a smile
and a shake of her head.
Her smile vanishes when she opens the door, seeing a quartet of figures.
At the fore is a girl with dark hair and a gold ribbon, her
expression falling the instant she sees her greeter. Behind her is a
much slighter girl with muted eyes, and an older girl with tears on
her face. Further back, as though setting himself aside to better
watch over them protectively, is a solemn but handsome young man with
a troubled gaze.
All are dressed in red and white, marked with bells and adorned
with other symbols of the season. The girl with the gold ribbon
starts to say something -- but catches herself, offering a pained,
obviously false smile. Eyes glistening, she produces an envelope and
presents it to the young woman in casual dress.
Before she can refuse, an indistinct question is called from
inside, and she bites her lip. When she hesitates, the costumed girl
pushes the gift into her hands-- And then pushes her inside the house
and pulls the door closed, shutting herself and her costumed
When the young man returns, carrying a full pot of tea, he gives
her a curious, questioning look.
Uncertain, she offers the strongest smile she can, handing him
After setting the kettle down, he accepts it, his expression
mystified as he pulls a pair of tickets out, blinking in
consternation. He stares for a moment, eyeing the hearts and stars
drawn across the paper, then points at the tickets in doubt, offering
a questioning look at the young woman.
She hesitates only a heartbeat before offering a smaller, genuine
smile, and nodding her head. He stares at her for a moment, seemingly
in disbelief before she steels herself, stepping forward, one hand
reaching up to gently cup the back of his head and pull him close.
A muted gasp escapes the younger girl as she peeks in from the
kitchen, but the young woman doesn't let that stop her.
The last of winter's chill is fading, and a mass of eager
students stands in attendance, only occasionally shivering as they are
presented their awards and recognized, one-by-one. Already having
collected their certificates, a young man with a streak of white hair
and his brown-haired companion stroll along the outskirts of the
crowd, exchanging a warm smile.
He glances to one side, nodding at a girl with a gold ribbon in
her hair, obviously come from a distant school on behalf of a friend.
He doesn't recognize her, but he pauses anyway, and the young
woman at his side freezes. Smiling softly, the girl with the gold
ribbon shakes her head, pulling it from her hair. She wordlessly
points between the young man and the woman, raising one eyebrow in
Having seen that unspoken question often enough, the young man
offers a somewhat abashed shrug and nods, scratching behind his head
nervously as he grins. His companion looks somehow both guilty and
happy, unable to keep from blushing as she pulls herself slightly
closer to him.
The girl beams at the pair, nodding in real happiness before
presenting her ribbon to the young woman. While surprised, she
accepts, her other hand caught in his, even as the young man looks
mystified at the exchange.
Together, they watch the dark-haired young woman sigh, smiling as
though she were finally able to set down a great burden before she
turns and walks away, vanishing into the crowd.
Author's notes: Special thanks to the Soulriders fanfiction crew
for commentary: Panda, Halbarad, Sarsaparilla, Arakawa, and Muphrid --
your insight was of substantial value, and I thank you for your
suggestions and corrections.
(If they get stripped out again, I'ma cry. :()
Yrne awaits those with the courage to seek it.
I write fanfiction. Too much of it. You can read it here, on my
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