The Reconstruction of Keitaro Urashima

By Andrew Joshua Talon and the Crossover Maniac

Love Hina is owned by Ken Akamatsu. Characters making
their cameo guest appearances are owned by Gainex and
the Fox Broadcasting Company. Anything else is
something that the Crossover Maniac made up and is
keeping for himself (sorry Andrew). All lawsuits are
futile since we are broke and have no money to offer
the owners of this work, and they'll just lose money
trying to sue us.

*****************

"And you
Bring me to my knees
Again
All the times
That I could beg you please
In vain
All the times
That I felt insecure
For you
But I leave
My burdens at the door

But I'm on the outside
And I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside your ugly
Your ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you"

-"Outside" by Stain'd


*****************

"…and that's how I found my way here in Kyoto."
Keitaro breathed a sign of relief from the
heart-to-heart he had with Mutsumi. It felt good
getting all that ugliness off his chest; to spill his
proverbial guts on the floor. Of course, he didn't
tell Mitsumi that his 'promise' was from a false
memory derived from some cheesy TV show. "You see why
now I left that hellhole."

"Keitaro," said Mitsumi gently, "I think you're
jumping to conclusions."

"WHAT!" Keitaro shouted in surprise.

"Well, I know it seems like they don't care about you,
but deep down inside, I believe they really do care
about you."

"You're still out of it from your last fainting
spell."

"Keitaro," Mutsumi said sternly, "I'm serious. You're
making a big mistake running out on your friends."

"My friends?!? You seriously think those people are
*my* friends?"

"Keitaro, please calm down, you're not being
reasonable."

But as Mutsumi was speaking, Keitaro was going to the
next passenger car. The turtle girl sighed before
turning to stare out the window.


Kyoto, Japan


"Okay, Urashima, you are to work with Gendou Ikari."
The elder man dressed in a janitor's uniform pointed
out to a middle-aged man with a beard with no mustache
and glasses as the old man was leaning against a small
truck with mops, brooms, and other cleaning supplies.
He, like the old man, wore a janitor's uniform except
he had on a pair of white gloves.

"He'll show you all of the offices on your duty
roster. Remember, you have to get everything done by
10:00 am or else I will dock your pay. If you're late
with your duties three times without a damn good
reason, well, I have to let you go. It's the nature
of the janitorial business."

Keitaro saluted his boss. "Understood, Mr.
Takishima."

"Cut out the saluting, kid. We ain't in the
military."

"Sorry Mr. Takishima."

Ikari was about to get inside the truck when Keitaro
asked him, "So, Mr. Ikari, where do we start?"

Gendou just stared at Keitaro for a minute and then
pushed up his glasses. "Why, where else, but the
beginning of all mankind: Adam."

Keitaro wasn't sure, but it seemed to him that Gendou
was a little eccentric.



"…so that's why the human race must be fused into one
big gooey mass of protoplasm in order to reach the
next stage of human evolution." Gendou turned his
head toward Keitaro. "So, you want to join my secret
organization, NERV?"


Keitaro looked disgruntled, weary of Gendou's
attention. "Uh…sounds perfect to me."

"Good, we can make plans on constructing our giant
organic robots to fight off the invading armies of
organic robot angels." Gendou parked the truck at the
janitorial office. "Well, I'll see you tomorrow."
Gendou got out of the truck and jumped into a beat-up
old car that pulled alongside. A young boy wearing
shades and a cap was behind the wheel and a girl the
boy's age was on the passenger side.

"Shinji," said Gendou, "how many times do I have to
tell you? You're not to be dating the clone I made of
your mother! That's incest!"

"Will you shut off you crazy old goat!" Shouted the
young man before his father climbed in the back seat.
Shinji then promptly tore out of the parking lot.

Keitaro stood there, gawking at the empty parking
space where the old car had once loitered.

"That's it. I quit."


*****************


Three days later…

Keitaro was sitting on the bench next to a
middle-aged Caucasian male, hunched over holding his
face as if in mourning. His hair was balding. His
cheap suit had rather large, unsightly armpit stains.

"Mr. Bundy, when do we open up? It should be time by
now."

"We're been open for the last two hours," said the
man still hunched over in misery.

"But no one's come in."

Bundy took a second out of his self-pity to set
Keitaro straight. "And they won't. At least until
some 300 lb behemoth wedges herself through the door
with four screaming kids demanding size 7 shoes even
though she can only wear a size 12."


"Uh…okay, Mr. Bundy."

"Al, just call me Al."

"Okay Al." Keitaro stared at the clock. "So, what
do you do while there's no customers."

"This." And Al Bundy went back to his session of
self-pity.


*****************

It's been a week since Keitaro started working with
the gai-jin, and already Keitaro could see why Bundy
was such a mess. It was partially his fault. He left
his wife and delinquent children to find young
schoolgirls and to live the life of a salary man.
Unfortunately (or fortunately if your child's a young
Japanese school girl), it was all a myth, and Bundy
was alone in Japan, unable to make enough money to
afford a flight back to America. To kill time, Keitaro
brought his sketchpad and some pencils. It was either
that or listen to his boss's stupid football story,
especially the one about the four touchdowns in a
single game.

"So, are you done yet?" Al asked Keitaro.

"Almost," Keitaro quickly made a few more strokes
with his pencil across his pad and then handed it to
Bundy.

"So, what do you think?"

"Kei, I told you I wanted one of those sailor girls,
but I don't remember any of them in a straight
jacket."

"I'm sorry, Al. My heart isn't into it. I tried to
draw you wanted it, but it seemed so fake. I decided
to add a little realism to it and got carried away.
But I did give you your panty shot."

"I see." Al pointed at the sketch in slight
confusion. "What's that brown thing on her panties, a
little teddy bear face?"

"Actually, it's where the girl shitted on herself."

"Ugh! What is with you? I asked for a cute anime
girl and instead you drew me my ex-wife's cousin
Nellie. Why?"

"Because it's a fantasy, that's why!" Keitaro
shouted. "I'm sick and tired of them! All they do is
lie to you; numbs you to your piss poor excuse of a
life! I don't want to be lied to anymore. I'd rather
hear the truth, no matter how bad it is!"

"I can't let this happen to you." Both Al and
Keitaro turned their heads to see Gendou Ikari walk
into the door. "Keitaro, I must save you from a face
worse than death."

"Mr. Ikari, what are you doing here?"

"I came here to pick up some shoes for my wife's
clone. But I think I'll give you some advice."

Keitaro sunk his head and signed, "Gendou, I'm not
helping you start Third Impact."

"As much as I'd like to have your help, I'll settle
with helping you to avoid the mistake I made in my
younger days."

"What mistake?" asked Keitaro with a bewildered look
on his face.

"Look at me, Urashima. I'm a 50 years old; a 50-year
old man who's never really lived. It's the fate
waiting for you if you don't do something about it."

"Heh. Maybe that is my fate."

"Come on, Urashima, you got dreams don't you?"

"I had dreams. I wanted to go to Tokyo U with the
girl of my dreams like I promised."

"I didn't ask what your girlfriend's dreams were. I
asked about yours."

"But that was my dream."

"Not if you're living the life someone else wants you
to live. That's what's making you so bitter."

Keitaro thought for a minute. His whole life had
revolved around that stupid promise. The daydreaming,
the hours of racking his brain to study for tests he
knew he'd never pass, the missed chance to go
to…that…art…college…he…always…wanted…to…go… to.

That was it!

"An artist!" Keitaro yelled in jubilation. "I want
to be a manga artist. I want to go to a good art
school and become a manga artist."

"Can I see some of your artwork?" asked Gendou.

"Sure." Keitaro handed him his pad.

"Why would want to go to an art school? Your drawing
is fine the way it is, and the character's original
too. Not the same old cute school girl with skirts
two-sizes too short."

"I don't know." Keitaro started pacing around the
room. "That's a big step to make. I have to write
and draw a manga first, then find a publisher. But I
don't know if I can afford to quit work to create a
manga."

"What work? We spend seven hours out of eight doing
nothing," said Bundy.

"Making a manga is more than sketching in your spare
time. I'd have to bring all of my art supplies here."

"So, bring them."

"You don't mind?"

"So long as you drop what you're doing to help, which
won't be often, I could care less. And I'd like to
see you make something of yourself, even if it's a
comic book geek."

"Otaku!"

"Sure, whatever."

"Thank you, Mr. Bundy."

"Don't mention it."

"By the way," said Gendou as he tapped Bundy on the
shoulder, "I wonder would you like to join me in a
little side project I've been working on…"


*****************


It was a cloudy afternoon. The sky was a depressing
gray mural devoid of any color, even the yellow
luminescence of the sun. It had just stopped raining.
The ground was still wet with puddles scattered
across the background filling potholes and mud holes.
One girl, still dressed in her raincoat, walked down a
hill to the mailbox thinking how the dreary day fit
her mood. She opened up the mailbox hoping for a
letter she's been waiting on the past three months
from a man whom she once idolized, then hated, and now
missed. Why did she have to drive him away, she
thought? It was all because of the failures; all of
the broken promises.

"Don't worry, Shinobu, I'll try harder next time."

"I can't believe I'm going to be a fourth-year
ronin."

"I came so close, this time."

"I'm sorry, Shinobu. Please don't be mad at me for
being a fifth-year ronin."

He really did try his best to get into Tokyo U. Yet,
it wasn't enough for me, was it? I had to idolize him
and put him on a pedestal and set goals too high for
him to reach. It was obvious now why she grew to hate
him: failure leads to disappointment, disappointment
leads to resentment, resentments leads to anger, anger
leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. It's
almost right out of that old Star Wars movie.

I suppose some little green guy will pop out of the
bushes telling me to beware the Dark Side, she thought
morbidly. When she opened the mailbox, all she saw was
one letter. She was disappointed that it didn't come
from Keitaro. However, it was addressed to Keitaro.
It was from Tokyo University Admissions Office. She
climbed the long stairway to the Hinata Dormitory,
intending to dispose of the letter in the garbage.
She hated to destroy Keitaro's mail, but he'd gone
through enough without having to find out he was
sixth-year ronin.

"Shinobu, did we get getting any mail today?" It was
Naru. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon and on a
Monday. She took all of her classes in the morning
and worked five nights out of the week except on
Sundays and Mondays at some karaoke bar.

"There's nothing on the mailbox today."

"Then what's that in your hand?"

"It's nothing but junk mail." Shinobu put the letter
behind her back. Naru tried to get behind her, but
Shinobu quickly turned around keeping her back away
from Naru.

"If it's just junk mail then there's no harm in
letting me look at it." Naru tried wrestling the
letter out of Shinobu's hands.

"Please, Naru, don't do this. Let me throw it away."

Naru finally managed to get the letter out of
Shinobu's hands. "Tokyo U sent a letter to the baka
hentai? Hey, everyone!!!" yelled Naru. "Keitaro's
test scores came back."

Suu, Motoko, Haruka, and Kitsune came running out
their respective rooms to the living room.

"What is it, Naru?"

"Keitaro failed his admissions test again."

"You don't know that," protested Suu.

"He's flunked five times already. You expect
anything different this time?"

Suu backed away from Naru as she opened the letter.

"Are you sure you want to be opening Keitaro's
private mail?"

"Why not? He took a peek at my diary, and Shinobu
was going to throw it away anyway." The rest of the
girls turned to Shinobu.

"Keitaro's been through enough disappointments,"
Shinobu explained.

"Dear Keitaro Urashima, congratulations on passing
your exam. You have been admitted to Tokyo…WHAT?!!"

Haruka and Kitsune looked over Naru's shoulder.
Haruka read out loud the letter from Tokyo University.
"According to this letter, Keitaro not only passed,
he passed even when the scoring was stacked against
them."

"What does that mean?" asked Shinobu.

"It means that Tokyo deducts points from your total
score each time you take the test over," Suu answered.

Haruka finished off Suu's explanation. "It's to keep
students from being too familiar with the test so they
don't learn how to take the test and pass by virtue of
having practice taking a test instead of actually
learning the material. Keitaro actually started off
with -150 points on the test. And despite that, he
passed." Suddenly, Shinobu ran off to her room and
grabbed her suitcase and some extra clothes.

"Where are you going?" Called Haruka.

"Don't you see? If Keitaro finds out he's been
admitted to Tokyo University, he'll come back and be
the manager again. And maybe, we can finally be
friends again.

"That may be worth a shot," said Kitsune. "I'm
game."

"Me too," answered Suu.

"Do you think that Urashima would mind…well…you
know…seeing…me?" asked Motoko, oddly timid in her
speech.

"There's only one way to find out Motoko," replied
Kitsune.

"It's settled. We're going to Kyoto," announced
Haruka. "What about you, Naru? Aren't you coming?"

"I have a test tomorrow." Naru was staring off into
space.

"But this important Naru," pleaded Shinobu. "We have
to all come so we can convince Keitaro to comeback."

"Shinobu, forget about it. Let's just go without
her," Haruka said. Shinobu couldn't stop staring at
Naru. Why she wouldn't come? She asked herself.





It was another busy day at the art studio/women's
shoe store for Keitaro. So far, his manga Magically
Disturbed Psycho Girl hasn't attracted any publishers.
It was too controversial; too gory; or too dreary or
both.

Those morons must want some POS fantasy like "I'll
Lean on You", he thought sneeringly. As he made his
way into his apartment building, he couldn't help but
hear familiar voices talking among themselves; the
possibility, the horrible possibility that it could be
them occurred to him…

Oh, no. Let it be anyone but them, please.
Unfortunately for Keitaro, it was. It was all of them
except Naru. Thank heavens she wasn't here. But
Keitaro still wasn't too thrilled to see the others.
They were standing at his door waiting for him.

"Keitaro?" asked Suu who spotted him coming up the
stairs of his apartment. The others turned around
when they heard Suu call out Keitaro's name. They
were rather shocked to see that his appearance has
changed quite a bit over the time he'd been gone.

He was dressed in a blue shirt and brown khakis
sporting a black tie with blue stripes. He now
sported a full-beard and seemed to have aged several
years in the short time he was gone. Unfortunately,
his eyes still held the same bitterness and hatred
they had on the day that he left the Hinata.

"What the hell?" spat Keitaro?

"Please, Keitaro," Shinobu begged, "just listen to
us."

"Can't you people take a hint? I left the Hinata for
a reason and it was to get away from you people! I
don't want to see any of…"

"KEITARO!" Motoko screamed, thus putting an end to
Keitaro's verbal tirade. "I'm sorry for yelling at
you."

"Why should you be? You did worse to me in the past,
and an apology was the furthest thing from your mind."
Keitaro snarled.

"We just need a little of your time. We have
something from Tokyo U for you."

"Oh, I see now. You wanna see the look on my face
when Tokyo U tells me I'm now a sixth year ronin,
huh?"

"But you didn't fail, Keitaro!" Shinobu pleaded.
Keitaro blinked in disbelief.

"Motoko, is that true?"

Motoko handed Keitaro the letter. "I apologize for
the tampering of your personal mail. Naru was the one
who opened it."

"Don't worry about it," said Keitaro. "After I took
that peek into Naru's personal diary, I'm the last one
to complain about invading someone's privacy."
Keitaro carefully read over the letter. It was
official mail from Tokyo University, and it did say
he'd been admitted…

"Keitaro, this means you can come back with us, and
we can forget this ever happened."

"And everything can go back to normal, right?"
Keitaro asked with a sneer.

"Yes, big brother," Suu replied enthusiastically.

"Oh, how wonderful!"

Uh oh! Kitsune and Haruka didn't like the sarcastic
tone in Keitaro's voice.

"You mean to tell me I can go back to the Hinata and
get called 'hentai' and 'baka' and smacked around by
Naru and Motoko and Shinobu and Kitume and Suu and
even my Aunt Haruka?" Keitaro grabbed Shinobu in his
mockery of joyful bliss.

"And to make everything even better, I'm a Tokyo U
student. That should make the Hinata a prestigious
dormitory. Don't forget your old buddy Keitaro may
even put in a good word for you and get one or two of
you in too! Oh, I see why you made a bee line here
when that letter came. I'm the goose laying the
golden eggs!"

"No, that's not it at all!" Shinobu cried.

"Then why wait all of this time to come? Oh, that's
right. I was a loser just a few days ago."

"But we only came because we thought it was your
dream to go to Tokyo U," Kitsune said.

"I'll let you in on a little secret." Keitaro took
the letter from Tokyo U in both hands and held it out
in front of the girls. "I… never… wanted… to… go… to…
Tokyo… U!" And with each word, Keitaro tore the
letter into pieces and threw them in the air letting
them fall like snowflakes.

"I hated racking my brains to go to some stuck up ivy
league college, not even caring what I was going there
to study! I only tried to get in because I thought
someone else wanted me to go. But it was all a lie."
Keitaro fished into his pockets for his keys. "Now,
if you excuse me, I have things to do."

"Keitaro please, think about what you're doing,"
Haruka pleaded earnestly, an unfamiliar expression on
her face. She was scared, and guilty.


"I already have. And I think I want you all to leave
now. I want you all to leave and never return."
Keitaro snorted, before shoving his way through the
girls, storming into his apartment, and slamming the
door behind him.


*****************


The trip back to the Hinata was a quiet one. All of
the girls were in silent reflection of the friend they
had lost. It was particularly bad because it was not
a force of nature or some event out of their control
like death that took him away, but their own deeds and
misdeeds.

Each one, even Motoko, played scenario after scenario
in their heads.

"If I was just a little more patient with him and his
studies..."

"If only I wasn't so rough playing with my big
brother..."

"If only I didn't jump to conclusions when he walked
in on me while I was changing clothes..."

"If only I didn't try to cheat him out of his money
and acted as if it was cute..."

Each one of them was second-guessing the last two
years of their lives.

When they walked into the Hinata, they were greeted by
several different sour and rancid odors.

The strong odors drove Haruka back outside for fresh
air. Kitsune took a whiff and immediately had an idea
of what was going on since she frequented enough
karaoke bars to know when someone was piss drunk.
"Naru? Is that you?" Kitsune felt around the walls
for the light switch. When she turned it on, everyone
saw Naru passed out lying in a pool of her urine and
vomit with an empty liquor bottle in her hands.

"Naru," Haruka said in a disappointed voice, "what
did you do to yourself?" She walked over to her,
knelt down, and shook her shoulders. She managed to
get a lazy moan from Naru. Haruna shook her some
more. "Wake up; we have to get you cleaned up." Naru
picked her head up. Her face was covered in vomit and
bits of undigested food.

"Haruka," Naru said slowly.

"At least she's sobered up enough to recognize you,"
Kitsume commented.

"Come on," ordered Haruna, "and help me get her in
the hot springs." Haruka and Kitsune picked Naru up
by the shoulders, dragging her to the women's bath.
They stripped her and started washing off the pungent
body fluids off her.

"It's not fair." Haruka and Kitsune looked up at
Naru, still drunk from her drinking binge. "It's not
fair at all. Why did that hentai baka passed, and I
didn't?"

Kitsune patted Naru on the shoulder. "What are you
talking about Naru? You're a Tokyo U student." Naru
didn't respond. "Naru, are you listening to me?"

"I deserve to get into Tokyo U just like the hentai
baka did, only not like the way I did it," Naru
slurred, tears beginning to pour from her eyes.

Haruka stopped bathing Naru. "The way you did it?"

"I flunked my admission exam. I went to the park to
cry, when I met one of the professors at Tokyo U. He
told me if I did him a favor, he'd fix it so I could
get in. All I had to do is have sex with him a couple
time, and he'd change my score."

Haruka and Kitsune's mouths hung open. "That can't
be," Kitsune protested.

Naru held out her left hand. Across it was a deep
scar. "You remember when I told you I accidentally
cut myself on some broken glass at my job? The
truth is, the professor's wife caught us in bed
together, and she had a butcher knife." Naru looked
at her hand. "Eight centimeters lower, she'd slit my
wrist. It's all that hentai baka's fault!" Naru
snarled, clenching her fist.


"If I wasn't helping him get into Tokyo U, I wouldn't
have whored myself out and got this scar. I hate him.
I hate him! I HATE HIM AND I'LL SEE HIM IN HELL!!!"


Oi… Well, this chapter was written by CM. If you don't
like it, blame him. I just beta'd it for him.

Anyway, we'd both appreciate it if you reviewed. So,
until later!