Ryouko Asakura paused just outside the SOS Brigade's club room, listening in on the conversation through the old, thin walls. 'It's not really eavesdropping,' the slim, blue haired girl thought to herself mildly in justification, 'I'm just waiting out here for Yuki. It's not my fault I can hear every word.'
"So how do we change it back?" she heard Kyonko ask the others in the room and felt herself tense a bit.
"It might be best to let the scenario play out," Koizumi answered her in his usual mild tone of voice as he added, "and see what happens."
Ryouko relaxed a bit, listening to them intently. "In other words," Kyonko said with a weary sounding sigh, "we're stuck like this for awhile?"
"I'm afraid so," Koizumi agreed, sounding rather pleased by the idea, really.
"Oh great," Kyonko whimpered.
"Don't worry," MIkuru said, her voice gentle and sweet, "we'll do our best to help you adapt, Kyon!"
'If you think it's strange for all of you,' Ryouko thought to herself bitterly as she leaned up against the hallway wall, 'imagine what it might be like to be deleted first.' Before this morning she had been non-existant, wiped out from reality by Yuki's superior data manipulation abilities. But somehow in Haruhi's latest rebooting of the world she had been recreated once more, and hilariously cast as Yuki's lover.
Almost as if she knew that Ryouko was thinking about her Haruhi Suzumiya strode up the hallway, her short brown hair held back by a golden hairband and dressed in the usual school uniform. . "Asakura," Haruhi nodded a greeting as she asked her, "are you waiting for Yuki?"
"Yes, President," Ryouko replied, smiling slightly. While she needed to treat Haruhi with a certain degree of caution, she couldn't resist teasing her just a bit. 'Besides,' she hid a smile as she thought, 'any reactions I do get might be useful in our research.'
"Don't start with that, class President," Haruhi shot back with a smile. She reached for the door then hesitated as she quietly asked, "Ryouko...?"
"Yes?" Ryouko looked at her curiously.
Haruhi met her eyes with a slight blush coloring her cheeks. "Yuki is my friend," she said quietly, "I hope you're taking good care of her."
Ryouko felt a minor burst of surprise, beginning deep within her and spreading outward. 'Haruhi is worried about Yuki?' she thought, stunned, 'But I thought Haruhi didn't care about it...' Noting Haruhi's confused look Ryouko realized she was taking too long to answer, "I'm sorry, you surprised me." Clearing her throat she added, "I care for Yuki very much."
Haruhi gave a relieved smile, "Good!" She opened the door as she addressed Ryouko over her shoulder, "I'll let Yuki know you're waiting."
"Thank you," Ryouko bowed slightly.
Haruhi paused as she was about to go in, "Ryouko, have you ever considered joining the SOS Brigade?"
Ryouko smiled back sweetly as she lied, "I thought it might be better if Yuki had a place to go to without her girlfriend, occasionally."
Haruhi nodded as she headed the rest of the way in, "Fair enough."
Ryouko listened intently to Haruhi's entrance and her enthusiastic kiss to a mildly reluctant Kyonko. 'Poor girl,' Ryouko smiled wryly, 'I wonder if she remembers the old world or not?' By the sound of her confused objections Ryouko guessed the original Kyon was still in there.
Mikuru also objected to Haruhi's public lewdness and eventually the brigade leader settled down. Haruhi called the meeting to order and they had a slightly shorter than usual meeting in which Haruhi urged the others to look harder for the mysteriously elusive Aliens, Espers, Sliders and Time travellers.
'Open your eyes,' Ryouko urged mentally, 'they're right there in front of you.'
"All right," Haruhi loudly declared, "the meeting is dismissed!" Then Ryouko had to fight back a laugh as she heard Haruhi purr, "Kyonko!"
"Yes?" Kyonko answered warily.
"You didn't forget about our date this afternoon?" Haruhi asked
"Date?" Kyonko yelped then Ryouko heard her clearing her throat. "Of course not," the young woman replied nervously, "what time did you want to meet?"
"Around six," Haruhi said cheerfully, "we can go out for a snack then... you can take me home."
Before Ryouko could hear any more of that interesting conversation Yuki opened the club's door, the light blue haired girl looking at her calmly. "Ryouko," Yuki said expressionlessly, "thank you for waiting for me."
Ryouko stepped up to fold Yuki into her arms, once again surprised at how right it felt, holding her. "I missed you, Yuki," she purred, sliding a hand along her cheek.
Yuki met her eyes, unnamed emotions swirling in them as she whispered, "And I, you."
Tilting Yuki's face up a bit Ryouko kissed her lingeringly, pressing their lips together as she wrapped her arms around the smaller girl. "Oh," Ryouko sighed as she finally broke off the kiss, "I needed that."
Kyonko was blushing furiously, looking away in that awkward way that showed he'd been watching avidly while they were kissing. Haruhi had a rather thoughtful look that spelled a interesting night for Kyonko, while Mikuru looked like she might faint from blood rushing to her brain. Only Koizumi looked like he might not be buying their passion, and Ryouko firmly reminded herself not to underestimate him.
'Those esper boys always seem to know more than what's good for them,' Ryouko thought as she gently guided Yuki off down thre hall, holding hands.
"Was that really necessary?" Yuki asked softly, her lips barely moving as they made their way from the old building and through the school.
"Of course it was," Ryouko answered honestly as they went outside into the sun, "Haruhi has to believe we're involved with each other." She linked her arm with Yuki's and walked close to her, savoring the other girl's sweet scent.
"Hmm," Yuki replied, not quite agreeing with Ryouko, but importantly not disagreeing either.
Ryouko smiled as they walked together, one couple amid a crowd of cheerful romantic girls, many of whom were also coupled together. "Did you receive a response from the Data Entity?" she asked curiously.
Yuki nodded shortly as she reported, "The Data Entity is impressed by Haruhi's manipulation of both subtle and gross aspects of this new reality." They followed the crowds down the hill, eventually peeling off at the park and heading towards their apartment building.
"THe subtle being the memory changes," Ryouko guessed accurately as she mused, "and the gross being the gender switch and other reality edits."
"Exactly," Yuki agreed. "I preformed a new internet search on the school, all the sites I accessed showed it has a long history as a girl's school."
As they used their password to get into the building Yuki noted the odd sensation of having twin tracks of memories. On one hand she recalled her original life where she had lived here all alone, but now she also had equally valid memories of cohabiting for several months with Ryouko in what could almost be described as wedded bliss.
"Are you all right?" Ryouko asked her gently as she watched Yuki hesitate in unlocking the front door.
Yuki nodded slightly as she turned the knob open, "Just preparing myself."
The formally empty style of decorating Yuki had favored was no longer present, instead the apartment now had a much more feminine touch. Decorative items like plants and sculptures were littered about, screens separated sections of the room and there was more furniture than Yuki's low table and two pillows.
"Wow," Ryouko looked around avidly, "it looks just like I remembered." Her lips twisted in a wry smile as she added, "Despite the fact that this is the very first time I've seen it."
"Hmm," Yuki nodded, feeling oddly comforted knowing Ryouko was also having issues with memory.
"Come on," Ryouko took Yuki's hand and pulled her through the suite as she said cheerfully, "I want to see our bedroom!"
The bedroom was as changed as the rest of the apartment. The plain, inexpensive futon Yuki used to occasionally lay down on was gone, replaced by a plush, fancy semi-double bed that might be used for newlyweds. In addition to the larger bed there were fancy pillows and blankets, as well as a small wooden case beside the bed.
A blush stole across Yuki's face as memories relating to the box cascaded through her mind. "Is that...?" she couldn't quite complete the thought.
Ryouko flipped the top open and peered inside. "Yes," she noted in a normal, conversational tone of voice, "it appears we have a extensive collection of sex toys."
Yuki looked in too as she murmured partially to herself, "What sort of things has Haruhi been reading?"
Ryouko frowned thoughtfully as she mused, "Well, we do know she spends a fair bit of time looking on the internet every day... it's quite possible she picked it up from there." She began to catalog the items softly, "Butt plug, dildo and harness, massage oil, nipple clamps..."
"Hmm," the faintly blushing Yuki said, wrestling with some very explicit Haruhi created memories of using those devices on Ryouko, not to mention Ryouko using a few on her.
Ryouko looked up at Yuki thoughtfully, "You know, we have no idea when reality will revert..."
"Oh?" Yuki kept any nervousness out of her voice.
"I'm sure the integrated Data Thought Entity might be interested in the new experiences we could produce with these," Ryouko smiled slightly wickedly, "first hand, so to speak."
"I...," Yuki hesitated, knowing that Ryouko did have a valid point. "All right," she conceded then added firmly, "but I'm in charge first."
Ryouko smiled, "Whatever you say, mistress."
To be continued?