Stupid Author Warning! Beware: This is my first Love Hina Story, having only recently fallen in love with the Anime. So as you all read this keep in mind… I've only seen 16 eps and read Vol.1,3,4,5 of the manga so I my stories are a bit 'off ' I'll have to apologize. Takes place after either episode 15 of the series or Manga version of this story in Vol. 5.
A/N: This is a cute little story I thought up involving the sweetest resident of the Hinata apartments, Shinobu. What happens when her sketchbook ends up in the wrong hands?
An Innocent Sketch
By Ryouga's best friend
It was early on a bright Sunday morning when Keitaro Urashima, manager and resident punching bag of the Hinata, awoke. He stretched and yawned as he reluctantly crawled out of bed to face the day. After dressing he went about his regular cleaning duties around the Hinata. He cleaned the hallways, windows, stairs, saving the most dangerous place for last… the hot spring. *For some reason or another I haven't been able to clean it without being beaten up. Either I walk in on them or trip onto them…come to think of it that's not all bad, heh heh* he thought blushing heavily. "Sometimes it's worth the beatings I get," he said with a chuckle. Just as he was about to move the curtain a voice floated out of the hot spring.
"Keitaro?" The young girl's voice questioned meekly. He froze with his hand on the curtain. *Shinobu is in there… wow that was close* he thought wiping the sweat from his brow. "Is that you?" Shinobu called out worried.
"Yeah, I was just coming in to clean. Just trying to get an early start" he replied casually.
"Oh, I'm sorry" she said sounding somewhat saddened. "I can get ou-" she began.
"No, it's no problem. Take your time, I'll wait inside" he reassured her as he left to head into the dining room. He sat down hard surprised that his big mouth saved him from embarrassing the young girl, not to mention a beating from Naru or Motoko. "Maybe this is a sign of good luck, yeah that's it" he said optimistically.
"You can go in now Keitaro…" Shinobu said quietly from the door. He glanced over to see if she was decent, She wore a black shirt and a light brown skirt carrying a basket full of clothes and towels.
"Thank you very much Shinobu" he said as he gathered his supplies, whistling to himself. She stepped aside as he went by. "You look very nice today" he complimented with a smile, still happy at the thought of good luck. The girl in question turned beat red and looked to the floor.
"T-thank you" she stuttered meekly before rushing off to the laundry room. *He's so nice to me all the time* she thought happily, the blush still on her face. She mechanically put the clothes into the washer, her thoughts elsewhere. *I don't know why the others give him such a hard time, I mean if he had wanted to he could have walked in on me…* she became twice as red at the mere thought of it. *Bad Shinobu, you should not think about that kind of thing… you're just a kid* she finished a bit downtrodden. She placed that last article of clothing in and shut the door. "Oh Keitaro…" she said wistfully.
"What about Keitaro?" A voice asked confused. Shinobu froze all color draining from her face and turned slowly to see Naru standing in the doorway.
"Gah.. N-nothing Naru" she stuttered chuckling nervously, "I better get going" she said quickly and rushed out past the older girl a few tears coming to her eyes. Naru said something but she didn't hear it as she rushed into her room. Closing the door carefully she slunk over to her bed. Sitting on the edge of her bed she gave a loud sigh, "I don't know why I even try, he said so himself… I'm just a kid" she spoke quietly to herself as she opened her sketchpad one of the pictures she had drawn only two weeks ago. A rather suave looking Keitaro held a content Shinobu in his arms sitting on the roof of the Hinata, about to kiss. She sighed again, this one of longing, as she hugged the image trying to envision it gaining a small blush *if only it were true*. She then glanced over to the clock, "ah! I'm suppose to be making dinner right now," she said frantically dropping the book on the floor and rushing to the kitchen. Two eyes flashed in the dark corner near the ceiling spying the sketchbook, it took only a minute to swoop down grab it and head back into the secret passage…
* * * * * *
The residents of the Hinata happily filtered out the dining room after another wonderful breakfast to go to their normal activities. Naru and Keitaro left to study for Tokyo U., Motoko to train outside, Kaolla to work on some strange contraption, Kitsune left for a day on the town and Shinobu left to finish up the laundry. The youngest occupant of the Hinata sat down after hanging up the laundry and watched the clouds float by. "What should I do?" she asked herself as the clouds rolled by without a care in the world. "Keitaro is actually noticing me, but I can never say anything back. Maybe I should just give up…" she trailed off closing her eyes.
"Give up!" her own voice shouted in surprise. Shinobu opened her eyes to she herself… sitting across form her dressed in a red shirt and skirt. "That's the last thing you should do" she continued sounding disappointed with Shinobu's lack of confidence.
"Wh-who are you?" The frightened girl stuttered.
"I'm your heart, the embodiment of your feelings for Keitaro" her 'heart' replied with a smile, "and I can't sit back and let you beat yourself up over this. If you just sit around and feel bad without trying or Keitaro will pick someone else. Do you want that?" she finished crossing her arms.
"No…" Shinobu replied looking at the floor. "What am I supposed to do?" she asked. "I'm not as good looking as the other girls, I'm not smart or strong and Keitaro thinks I'm just a kid. He'd pass it off as a little crush" she argued downing herself even further. Shinobu's heart put her hand on the girl's shoulder.
"I'm not so sure of that Shinobu," she said calmly getting her counterpart to look up. "You've got something that the others haven't".
"I have" Shinobu stated surprised.
"Yes… he trusts you. He can talk to you without fear of being insulted or hit, he respects you. Besides you've flustered him just like any of the other girls, so I wouldn't worry about that" Her heart winked knowingly as she vanished.
"W-wait, how am I suppose to tell him?" she nearly shouted looking around for the copy. A confused Motoko was knelling beside her.
"Are you okay Shinobu?" she asked with a hint of worry, "you were mumbling in your sleep" she continued evenly. * I dosed off? * The younger girls thought before replying.
"Yes I'm okay, nothing to worry about," she placed a smile on her face to satisfy Motoko's concern and allow her a chance to think some. She slowly gathered the clothes reflecting on the dream she had just had as the three village elders watched from a distance away.
"Dreams reveal our true feelings" the first stated cryptically.
"Where would we be without feelings?" the second asked
"Feelings must be followed to reach happiness" the third continued without answering the question. Then nodding to each other faded off into the mist like ghostly apparitions.
* * * * *
"AH!" Shinobu's scream echoed through the Hinata catching the attention of all its residents. They all rushed to the young girl's room arriving at the same time, worried that something awful had happen. A hectic Shinobu managed to sputter out after several minutes of panicking. "My sketchbook is gone," she shouted rushing over to the group of friends, "You have to help me find it." The desperation in her voice spurred everyone into action. Naru search the hotspring and ground floor while Kitsune checked upstairs. Motoko checked the vast roof with Su checking the many hidden tunnels found throughout their stay at the Hinata. Keitaro searched outside following the perimeter of the building. The youngest resident seemed to be everywhere at once, she couldn't let Keitaro see that picture no matter what. Though she received no good news.
"I'm sorry Shinobu, I didn't see anything" Naru apologized
"I'm sorry too sugar" Kitsune said with a downtrodden sigh.
"It wasn't on the roof" Motoko reported rigidly.
"Nor in the tunnels" Su's accent came through as she poked her head out of the roof hanging upside down over the dinner table.
"I didn't find it outside" Keitaro added just entering the room.
"Thanks anyway for helping, I guess it's gone" she sighed in a mixture of sadness and relief. Having given up they were about to disperse when Tama flew though the window with something very familiar in her mouth. After landing she let out a muffled "Myuh" and dropped it on the table. There sat a sketchbook open to a beautifully drawn scene. A rather suave looking Keitaro held a content Shinobu in his arms sitting on the roof of the Hinata, about to kiss at sunset.
There was a long silence as the residents of the Hinata examined the drawing. Kitsune and Su having long known about the crush the young girl had on the Ronin were more intent on the reaction the others would have. Motoko on the other hand was extremely confused, she was angry with Keitaro for corrupting the young girl but at the same time feeling a bit jealous of Shinobu. In the end she settled on at happy medium of apathy and decided to deal justice to Keitaro later. Naru was also having mixed feelings she had a hunch that the sixth grader had a crush on Keitaro, but the idea of the two being together bothered more than just the horrendous age difference… more than she'd care to admit anyway. Keitaro's expression, for the first time in anyone's knowledge, was unreadable. He sat staring at the picture in a daze of sorts his neutral attitude unfazed by the stares of his company. Shinobu already had tears in her eyes from the rejection she knew was coming. The landlord of the Hinata, who slowly looked up his face still neutral, finally broke the deadly silence that had stretched on for what seemed like hours.
"Shinobu…" he said slowly still with no emotion. The young girl's fragile resolve cracked unable to face the situation she had been thrown into. She ran off teary eyed as fast as her legs would allow, this shook Keitaro free of his daze. "Hey Shinobu wait!" he rushed after her. Motoko and Naru stood to follow but were stopped by Kitsune at the door.
"I think this is something they need to sort out on their own," she drawled. Naru and Motoko reluctantly agreed, sitting back down uncomfortably.
* * * * *
Shinobu rushed recklessly up the stairs her tearstained eyes leaving only blurs in her vision. She heard someone calling her name behind her but she took no heed, she needed to get away. She needed to get to her special spot. She climbed up to the roof and slowly worked her way to her spot, where the view of the sunset was most visible. Her body wretched with heavy sobs leaving her unable to enjoy the peace that this spot normally gave her. It also left her unaware that someone had followed her all the way up here. It wasn't until a warm hand wiped a stray tear from her left cheek that she noticed Keitaro by her side. "Hey there," he greeted softly taking a seat next to her.
"You didn't have to come up here Keitaro," she replied almost instantly her tears halted but her sadness still looming in the air. "I'm just a silly little girl with a stupid crush, I'm not worth the time." She felt almost bitter as she looked anywhere but his face, her hands folded in her lap.
"Shinobu, you know I don't think of you like that. You're the sweetest girl I know" he sounded disappointed in the girl's opinion of herself. The youngest resident made no reply. "I admit your may be getting a bit ahead of yourself, but in a few years your going to be beautiful." He touched her shoulder sending an electric jolt through the girl's spine, "You'll have all kinds of boys chasing after you." She continued to remain silent as her cheeks tinged with red. She wanted to tell him that she only wanted him, other boys didn't matter… but she couldn't find the voice. "Who knows, I just might be looking" he said quietly kissing her lightly on the forehead, Shinobu's eyes went as wide as saucers. *He kissed me?! Keitaro actually kissed me I can't believe it. I'm so happy* fresh tears filled her eyes as she suddenly clung to the older boy crying into his chest.
"Keitaro…" she managed to say between sobs as he held her with the sun slowly setting in the distance…
AN- well there you go my first Love Hina fic is completed, I hope you all enjoyed it. I tried to keep everyone in character as much as possible well writing it, but it's hard sometimes especially near the end.
And now the big question… Should I write a sequel? I already have an idea for it but I would be pointless to write it if no one wanted to read it.
I would appreciate any reviews or comments. Until next time Je Ne!