Title: Protective Gear
Day/Theme: January 12 / anonymous men catching a ride into the future
Series: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Characters: Koizumi, Kyon
There were several things wrong with the picture and that was only him assessing the situation as an average high school boy.
It was after dark. The sky over the wooded hills was a punchy purple and lent an eerie glow to the landscape, but it was still too dark for a bike ride. Riding a bike through an unfamiliar, winding highway was not the smartest thing he was ever forced to do. (Granted, someone’s suggestion of getting glow-in-the-dark vests was taken.) Two teenage boys sharing one bicycle was wrong enough; once you factor in that the bicycle was made for a ten-year-old child and was the eye-gouging color of glittery pink, the wrongness just increased a hundredfold.
That wasn’t even going into the absurdity of sharing a helmet.
“Ano,” the person riding behind him sounded a bit uncomfortable---and that was saying something about the resident yes-man in their club. “Kyon, I think it’s my turn for the helmet…”
It took a while for him to answer. “Aa,” he said, limited in lung power at the moment. “Once we get over this hill.”
“Of course, Kyon,” came the reasonable answer.
If Koizumi remembered that he had already said that for about at least three hills now, he didn’t say so.
“I don’t understand why the girls each get their own bikes,” he grumbled as they almost toppled when he hit a loose rock. Meanwhile, he had to share it with the smiley-faced bastard, who had claimed to be perfectly fine with the arrangement in front of their president.
“Suzumiya-san has a theory that most time-travelers and sliders would have to be male,” Koizumi explained automatically. “Or at least, that would be the case if the human race in that given dimension sexually reproduces. A pregnant time-traveler, she thinks, can create a serious paradox. God forbid an important historical figure is born in the wrong era. It can lead to the end of all existence.”
Did she tell you this or are you pulling this out of your---
“She hinted as much. She seemed to think the three of them are more likely to encounter something here, being that they are females.”
Koizumi’s voice hitched and his gesturing hand returned to clutching at his schoolmate’s shirt. They had finally reached the apex of this particular hill and were now skidding swiftly down the other side. Kyon himself yelped but that was because the bastard’s sudden grip pinched a bit of sensitive flesh near his underarm. The spot smarted like an oil burn the entire downhill trip, which somehow made him nervous about what the esper might have inadvertently done instead of being exhilarated by the ride.
“Sorry,” said Koizumi once they were sure they weren’t going to overshoot the zigzags and crash to their deaths. “Didn’t mean to pinch you.”
Kyon ignored the apology. “So she’s thinking," he said. "That the reports of disappearing people aren’t due to perverts or idiots who don’t know their way in the woods, but are actually because of sexually-harassing time travelers or kidnapping sliders.”
“Haruhi hates your details, FYI.”
“Suzumiya-san did say something about needing live bait.”
Essentially, their dictator was pimping out their female club members.
“They’re each carrying mace spray,” Koizumi supplied, as if it made things better. “The real kind.”
And they weren’t.
The esper chuckled. “I guess, it means Suzumiya-san isn’t that concerned about us getting sexually harassed by anonymous men in space suits.”
The discomfort on the other guy’s voice somehow irritated Kyon further. As if… Between the two of them, he should be the one getting scared.
“In this case, we’re less valuable to Suzumiya-san because we lack wombs.”
Koizumi’s tone was just a tad forlorn enough to be creepy. Sometimes, the man’s dedication to Haruhi---to what degree it was fabricated, Kyon didn’t know---was disgusting. He had a point, however, about the girls being more attractive targets to the bad elements they should all be worried about instead.
“We should catch up with the girls,” Koizumi said, as if reading his mind again.
Bastard sure had guts just saying that when he hadn’t been the one pedaling both their weights for the last hour!
“I guess, we should trade places.”
He was keeping the helmet, though.
“Suzumiya-san is reserving a spare helmet for a guest. I-I think I’ll insist on burrowing it for the return trip.”
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