Disclaimer: I do not own "Love Hina" or its characters.

Save Keitaro
Shinobu Eyes

Urashima Keitaro awoke before all the girls did. He hated himself from the thing he wanted to do to Maehara Shinobu, since it felt like an easy way out of this sad situation. Surely, he would find the courage to confront Shinobu and take responsibility for his dark side and his own fantasies, but right now Maehara Shinobu needed a chance to live a day in her old life again before he drew the curtain of reality down onto her. Keitaro worried about whether the other girls would agree with his decision, because he needed their participation to make this work.

No matter, he would do this quicky before he lost his nerve. He reached from Shinobu's limp and sleeping body and disconnected the helmet from her head. Su Kaolla had dressed Shinobu in some kind of jumpsuit that must have blanketed her senses because Shinobu could not feel his trembling hands as he lifted her up into his embrace. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Shinobu's clothes in a pile and gathered them on top of the jumpsuit, where Shinobu would not feel them.

Walking up the stairs, Keitaro opened the door to Shinobu's room. The room looked quiet and pleasant, just like Shinobu herself in many ways. Keitaro wanted to leaved the room in the exact condition he entered it. He resented the fact that his own fantasies had not promised Shinobu such a luxury.

He remembered the night he had dreamed up the fantasy of him and Shinobu together. Urashima Keitaro had tied himself to the bed in a hotel room he had to share with Narusegawa. That night, the personality of Kei had vivid dreams and that horrible nightmare Naru made her presence known. He even remembered what started the first debate. "If Narusegawa loves you so much, why didn't she tie you to the bed?"

Unprepared at first to met the nightmare with an answer, Kei instead ran from her, until he found himself in the deepest reaches of his carnal passions, a part of his brain he boarded and blockaded after he moved into the Hinata-sou. Kei's curiosity got the best of him and he broke into the abandoned room and found Shinobu waiting for him. He found all the girls waiting for him. Aoyama Motoko. Su Kaolla. Konno "Mitsune" Kitsune. He found all of them waiting and eager to meet his every whim. At first, he made no request, but the mental images reasoned that bottling up all that frustration towards Narusegawa would only result in him losing his faith in Narusegawa Naru altogether.

Having swallowed the bait, the mental images continued to argue that Narusegawa would never have to see anything that happened here, no one would. Kei could unleash all his sexual frustration in a rapid succession of carnal fantasies and return to his Narusegawa a new man. Out of the fear of losing his faith in Narusegawa, he yielded to carnal passions and spent the night in and out of all the girls at the Hinata-sou. Sure, he mixed in his own trademark sentimental mushiness, but it all ended the same, knee deep in lust. As they had promised, he awoke and felt renewed and refreshed. The mental images had not lied to him about feeling better, but Kei did not expect that horrible filthy feeling to rise inside him and he made himself swear an oath he would never do that again.

In that night ruled by weakness and fear, Kei had planted the seed of this sad state of affairs, but he had to strengthen his resolve. The fragments of depression inside him abhored the goal-oriented thinking he had started. In reaction to their disgust, Keitaro knew he had to keep it up, keep subduing his growing depression with reason and direction. As Keitaro stared at Shinobu's conspicuous jumpsuit, Keitaro realized that he would have to remove the jumpsuit and put on Shinobu's pajamas. All that would require him to see and feel enough of Shinobu to maneuver all the undergarments in place.

With the distinctions of choosing between Ken and Kei obliterated, he feared that he might do something to Shinobu in this state of physical and emotional vulnerability. With a pair of scissors, Keitaro removed the suit from Maehara Shinobu in strips and slowly slipped on her panties, trying not to stare as Shinobu's nude body as he did.

/This morning, you will wake up from a horrible nightmare and see your room and realized you must have dreamed it all up./ Keitaro sighed as he put on Shinobu's sleeping gown and laid her onto her bed. /God have mercy on my soul./

Keitaro pulled the covers over Maehara Shinobu. He kissed Shinobu on the forehand. "Sleep tight."

Before he had completely left the room, Shinobu started to stir from her sleep. As he had nearly reached the door, Shinobu had awakened. "Sempai, that you? Please, Sempai, stay, I had a horrible nightmare, keep me company." Keitaro walked back and sat down at the foot of her bed. "Oh, Sempai, it felt so real. You would not believe me if I told what had happened to me in my dream. It felt horrible. Do you have any idea what it feels like not to have control over your own body?" Keitaro nodded sympathetically. Ken had subjected Kei to repeated use of his willpower and every time his voice took that tone with him, he could not nothing except listen and obey, his will buried. Ken would have forced Kei to have his way with the nightmare Naru, if he did not lust after Naru himself. Shinobu took a close look at her Sempai.

"If I lost control of my body, would you ... take advantage of me?" Keitaro nodded. No, if he could live out Kei's actions again, he would choose to run from the carnal passions and find another way to vent his frustration towards Naru. "Thank you, Sempai, I needed that." Keitaro smiled as he silently wished more people saw him through Shinobu eyes, especially his beloved Narusegawa. If Naru returned his feelings, then he would finally achieve the unity he had journeyed to the depths of his nightmares for.


Narusegawa Naru wanted to scream and tell Keitaro to march back up there and take responsibility for what Kei had done to Maehara Shinobu. She still had trouble believing the idea that she had never met the real Urashima Keitaro until now, she had gotten used to seeing Kei and treating him like Ken. Neither Ken nor Kei existed any longer and from the ashes of those two personalities, Keitaro had reemerged from an ancient slumber to reclaim his throne in the depths of his psyche. Whatever had happened, she felt that Keitaro needed to grow from this experience by letting Shinobu know.

Of course, this Keitaro's newfound charm and tendency to babble caught her speechless and he had made some effective points amidst her momentary loss of words. Shinobu still had years to go before she could wrap her young mind around issues of sexuality and she needed time to grow until then. That reason checked out.

Then, Keitaro brought up the point that the fantasy had left no physical traces of Shinobu and if she awoke in her room, she would never find a physical trace of what happened. Perhaps with time the emotional traces would follow the same path of extinction as the physical traces. Inside this new and improved Keitaro still beat the heart of a good man, but now he handled the verbal ammunition necessary to make that fact known loud and clear by everyone within earshot. He would not experience his accidents or misspoken words, he would always know the right thing to say and when to say it.

Basically, it made Naru madly jealous and somewhat weary of the other girls. With Keitaro's new vocabulary and attitude, Naru worried about keeping the girls away from him. As a nerd who never knew the right thing to say, ever, Naru never had to worry about all this before.

Fortunately, Keitaro made it very clear that he loved Naru with all his heart and would never betray her faith in him. Still, Naru would now have to keep a close eye on the other girls, especially that Aoyama Motoko. She had taken quite a shine to Kei and even Ken to a lesser extent, and this Keitaro would probably bring her to experience her own seldom-seen feminine side in ways Naru did not want to imagine.

Either way, Naru realized she would still have to give this Keitaro a chance to live his life. As long as the other girls kept their distant, but polite attitudes towards him, Naru could enjoy the rest of her life as Keitaro's one and only girl and perhaps someday his wife.


Maehara Shinobu remembered why she had loved Urashima Keitaro in the first place. She could hear him downstairs trying to orchestrate a cover-up of everything that had happened last night. Shinobu smiled as Su Kaolla and Keitaro plunged into an argument about whether or not she should destroy the interactive environment.

Shinobu pleaded silently for Kaolla's side of the argument to win out; that interactive environment had reminded her why she loved Keitaro the way she did. The real Keitaro would never have done what the dream Keitaro had done if he had the full consequences of his actions in mind. The real Keitaro would do anything to stop the cold curtain of reality from crashing down on his precious Shinobu. Keitaro did not care about her in precisely the way she had spent many sleepless nights hoping he would, but he did care for her and right now nothing else besides that solemn fact mattered.

Granted, Shinobu could never look at her Sempai with the same naive innocence ever again. Still, it probably served a higher that she could no longer imagine herself and Keitaro together in that way. Keitaro's heart belonged to Naru. Or, more likely the case now, their hearts belonged to each other.

/Oh, god./ Maehara Shinobu looked at the clock. Morning had arrived and she needed a couple hours to prepare breakfast. She checked her facial expressions in the mirror for consistency. Until Keitaro planned to "reveal" the true nature of her nightmare, she would have to pretend she knew nothing about last night except that horrible experience. She knew she would not have to wait very longer. Her Sempai had a good heart and he did not have much of track record with maintaining deceptions for long, no matter much he tried. Shinobu smiled as Urashima Keitaro walked into her room. She had judged her Sempai correctly. From the look on his face, he had something important to tell her.

"Shinobu, I need to tell you something about that nightmare you had last night. You might not like what you hear, but I can't lie to you, my conscience would never allow it." Shinobu had met the mental image in charge of his conscience and from the looks of things, Keitaro had just listened to his advice. Shinobu smiled and listened carefully to her Sempai's confession. Shinobu could not have more pride in her Sempai than she did right then in that moment in time.