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faith and theory

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Kyon would look at Haruhi, and see a normal teenage girl. A teenage girl who could be blunt and stubborn, who didn't care what people thought of her, who did what she wanted no matter what stood in her way. He saw a girl who smiled and laughed and felt disillusioned, sometimes, wrapped within the melancholy of finding one's place in the world. Unafraid of letting others know her emotions, there was almost something refreshing about her straightforward manner - when it wasn't being infuriating, of course.

There was that, and then came the other things. That Haruhi was some sort of event, some sort of specimen, some sort of catalyst. If she was or if she wasn't hardly seemed to matter anymore - for whatever she had or hadn't done, there still lay countless supernatural long-range lenses keeping as close an eye on her as they could. And so, due to this, Kyon often found himself in the midst of strange conversations, wondering sometimes how it was that he'd got there in the first place. This was often the case with Koizumi; Nagato rarely spoke unless prompted (and often, not even then) and the lovely Asahina-san found herself frequently censored, but Koizumi would talk at length about anything that took his fancy. Sometimes Kyon wished he would just shut up and get to the point already, but on other occasions, there was something almost relaxing about their little meetings (not that Kyon would have admitted this to anybody, of course). Koizumi would talk, and Kyon would respond, or not, just as he liked. Sometimes Koizumi would nudge him for further thoughts, but wouldn't press the issue if such things were not forthcoming. Conversation would drift from here to there, on this or that, but usually back to her. Kyon wanted to see her as a normal teenage girl, but he often found himself with aliens, espers and time-travellers trying their hardest to convince him otherwise. He wasn't sure what it would take to convince him. He let them keep talking.

"... of course, that idea is fast falling out of favour these days, at least within the Organisation."

Kyon realised he'd let his attention wander, like it often did. The sky was caught in its last moments before sunset and any good student, really, would have made their way home by now, but Kyon had found himself walking with Koizumi all the same, talking with him (or at least being talked at by him), had found the two of them stopping to rest at the riverbank on the way to Koizumi's residence. There were small, vague thoughts that floated around Kyon's head - this is almost exactly the opposite direction I need to be in to get home, gonna have to allow myself enough time for that, hopefully before it gets too dark - but none of them felt like a priority. Haruhi herself had gone home early, that day. Hadn't kept them after school. They had exams coming up, though. Kyon didn't know about Koizumi, but knew that he needed to be revising. Still, a day or two spent relaxing like this was welcome sometimes, too.

Kyon lay back against the grass and Koizumi was sat up beside him; Kyon didn't realise he'd been watching Koizumi speak until he realised that that was no longer taking place, at which point he supposed it wouldn't hurt to engage with Koizumi, this one time. "... Sorry, what was that?" He made a show of rubbing at one of his eyes. "It's been a long day."

Koizumi only smiled, used to this sort of response. "I was merely speculating on the long-upheld possibility of Suzumiya-san being some sort of 'god'. Although if you're tired, then I wouldn't wish to be the one keeping you up..."

"No, no, it's fine. It's fine. Go on."

There came a pause after that; Kyon closed his eyes, unaware of the intent stare Koizumi gave him, just for a moment - just making sure, before relenting. "... Well. A theory is simply that: a theory. The more that time passes, the more I feel quite at the mercy of the fact that the only thing we can know for certain, is that we can't know the truth of the matter. Or at least, so long as the status quo is maintained... the Organisation has the capability of healing her, less so of being able to understand her. I fear that Asahina-san's people in the future could know anything that they weren't willing to tell us, and trying to wring fact out of theory from the Data Integration Thought Entity... perhaps Nagato-san may even be willing, but she is only one of a greater collection. ...As am I, I suppose."

"Have you tried just asking her?"

"Nagato-san? I have not, although I feel perhaps that I should..."

"She'd probably be able to keep up with all your thoughts and theories, if nothing else."

A small laugh. "The thought is quite pleasant. Although, thinking along the lines of just asking... the biggest frustration of Suzumiya-san is that she is--... she's there, she's right there, we spend each day with her and yet--! If we were to simply ask her our questions, it could destroy everything in a moment. Even if we were to present a concept that she rejected outright, we don't know what such a thing would do to her subconscious. ...And so we spend our days with and around her, ensuring that we can never truly see eye-to-eye on anything. ...The thought strikes me as being almost quite sad, to be honest. ...I'd like to think that I could speak to her truthfully, someday."

Kyon opened his eyes. "What, and tell her that you're part of a secret conspiracy that thinks she's god? Yeah, that'd go down well."

Koizumi's smile was as broad as it ever was. "Exactly my problem. No, but... I suppose the desire is a little selfish. It doesn't have to be about this, about that, about everything. It could be something small and inconsequential. It could be about anything, so long as it was the truth."

"Can't you just do that anyway? Nobody's telling you to lie to her, are they?"

Again Koizumi paused, his expression one of light surprise, as if he'd never considered the possibility. He fell back into a smile, nodding to himself. "You're right, of course. I have to admit, it becomes very easy to see 'Koizumi Itsuki, vice president of the SOS Brigade' as a role separate to all others - is this giving away my secrets? It becomes so easy to think 'in this situation, the best thing for me to say would be--' rather than 'the thing I want to say is--', but... maybe you're right. Maybe there isn't such a gap between the two things after all."

Kyon wasn't too sure where it was in the conversation that he'd exactly said that, but let it slide. He let out a comfortable sigh. "God, though? There'd be people in our class would freak if we had an idol or a celebrity in our class, let alone god. I guess that sort of thing is too big to think about..."

"Do you think it would make people excited, though? To know that?"

"Don't even know what I think about it, let alone other people."

Koizumi nodded in agreement. "It is quite the large concept to attempt to grasp." He smiled, again. "And to think that she is, or might be... what does that make us, do you think? Yourself, myself, Asahina-san, Nagato-san... everything gains some sort of significance. The school we attend. Our geographical location. Even, I suppose, our place in the galaxy. Perhaps it's--... quite an egotistical way to think, don't you agree? We know our place in the universe, but then to say that out of all of the floating rocks and dead planets, we emerged... a god who can create, or who can destroy - we know our own reality, to whatever degree we can, but what of all of space, all of time? Does the universe itself only exist to make her appearance on our planet all the more plausible? Did the universe come together to create Suzumiya-san, or is she instead the cause of everything...?"

"Hmm..." For some reason, this reaction seemed to cause Koizumi's earnest laughter. Kyon leant up on his palms, frowning lightly. "...What?"

Shaking his head, Koizumi tried to control his laughter, only mostly succeeding. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. No, it's just... the amount of meetings I've had to attend on that subject, the amount of discussions and presentations... I don't know if I can express just how refreshing it is, to bring up the line of thought and have the only response be so non-committal...!"

"... Well, excuse me for being non-committal."

"No, I mean it! I mean it. When you've been trapped in a meeting for hours, when everybody is just talking everybody else in circles, when you're sat there going 'but this can't be the case, surely?!' but they just keep talking, and talking... it's a nice reminder, knowing that it isn't this matter of life and death to everybody as much as it is to some certain higher-ups at the Organisation. I think I need to be reminded of that, sometimes."

Kyon stared forth towards the river, taking a stone from near his fingertips and throwing it forward and into the water. "... 'Life and death', you say... god or not, she's definitely got us into some situations in the past. ...Does it really matter what she is, or what she isn't? We're the ones who get the brunt of what happens, all your talking in meetings isn't going to do a thing about that..."

"Yes, I think I'd have to agree with you, there. It is certainly easy to take it as an explanation at the beginning, but I was young when I first came by the Organisation. I wouldn't say I believed very much of it myself, these days, but factions are factions. God or not, she's certainly something, and that something has consequences. As you say, we're here to deal with those consequences. It would be nice to find a reason, but... a theory can only, at best, help us with the practice. I don't think it could ever better it. And in the meantime, we have these life-or-death situations."

"And before that, we've got exams."

"Of course...! We can only hope that they go well. For ourselves, I mean, as well as for Suzumiya-san. ...Although it would make things a lot easier for us if they did go well for her. I have no concerns towards her academic capabilities, though. I think her current level of stress should be quite manageable. I don't think we'll suddenly wake up in a world without exams. ...I don't think we will."

"Given all the weird things she's caused in the past? I'd be fine with that one, to be honest. Maybe someone should go whisper it in her ear while she sleeps, or something."

Koizumi stood up, brushing himself down as he glanced down to where Kyon still sat. "I wish it were that simple! If only her powers could be so specific. Of course, is it not possible that the world might have already changed, and we'd never know? We'd never know."

Kyon picked himself up, shouldering his bag once he'd done so. "Kind of scary, thinking of it like that."

Again, Koizumi smiled. "Perhaps we should have faith in her, though. I'd like to think that, even if she were to change the world, we would still remain. I want to think, even if it's selfish, that she might keep us safe, perhaps above all others. Again, I would ask: whatever she is, we too are something to her. What is that, I wonder?... But still, I want to believe in that. ...Is this what it's like to believe in God, do you think?"

For a few moments, Kyon stood in the silence of Koizumi's question and thought back to past experiences, past thoughts, past dreams--? Thinking of a dream in which Haruhi had been entirely comfortable with the concept of destroying the world, of rewriting reality, but for the two of them--

-- and yet, that felt long enough ago and far enough away to almost be a different world in itself. Time had passed. Time had passed, theories rose and fell, the world continued turning and even Haruhi, Kyon knew, could not forever remain the same. He couldn't look to Koizumi and discount him that one wish; Haruhi was changing, Haruhi was growing, Kyon liked to think that the five of them were a steadfast group of--... friends? The word came to mind before he could question it. But why would I question it? Of course we're friends. He thought of how normal it felt to walk home with Koizumi and discuss Haruhi for however long it had taken them. It could have been Koizumi or Nagato or Asahina-san, they could have talked of Haruhi or of homework or of anything else. Kyon saw Koizumi's smile, and believed it. Believed in this, whatever this was.

Perhaps her whims are more benevolent, these days.

Kyon knocked Koizumi gently on the shoulder as he walked past him to begin climbing up the grassy slope, "Maybe it is. Maybe. Why don't you bring that up at your next meeting?"

Koizumi almost looked surprised, just for a half-second, at the sudden physical contact-- but corrected himself immediately, falling back into his smile. "... Perhaps I will."