*Love Hina: Adventures in Morphing!*

Andrew Joshua Talon



Episode 1: The Backstory: Keitaro's a Superhero? Revelation


My name is Keitaro. Keitaro Urashima.

Once upon a time, I'd have been afraid to use my real name almost anywhere. Even now, I feel reluctant to say my last name and rarely use it unless I absolutely have to.

Now, you might think that this is a sign of incredible paranoia, but as some anonymous CIA agent once said, "even paranoids have enemies". And I lived by this motto for about four years. And it kept me safe from death, and something far worse.

You see, Earth isn't the lonely, solitary planet most people think it is. We were being invaded. Not in the lay waste to everything, War of the Worlds way, but more the Invasion of the Body Snatchers method. These aliens are called the Yeerks, grey parasitic slugs who crawl into your brain and take over. Once you're infested, what we call a Controller, the Yeerk calls all the shots. You can't even breathe by yourself when you've got a Yeerk in your brain. These Yeerks founded a vast interstellar empire to conquer the galaxy for hosts. They'd already enslaved a number of alien races: The Hork-Bajir, the Gedds, the Taxxons, and a couple others. And now, with six billion potential new hosts, they went after us.

But, one race managed to resist the Yeerks. They're known as the Andalites, these blue-centaur-deer-scorpion aliens. They've been fighting them for about the last hundred years or so, but are stretched pretty thin. So thin, in fact, that a few of them, seeing that Earth was the Yeerk's next target, decided to try and give us a hand.

You see, the Andalites have a technology known as morphing. They use a special blue cube that, when you touch it, you get the ability to absorb the DNA of any animal with just a touch, and then literally become that animal. However, there is one catch; if you stay in morph for longer than two hours, you're stuck as that animal.

One night, when I was a freshman in high school, my little sister Kanako, her babysitter Sayako, an American exchange student and his little brother named David and Tact, and I were walking home after we all got sent to study hall together. Well, me, Sayoko, and David. Tact and Kanako had come to escort us home.

It was dark, and we were taking a short cut through the woods near my grandmother's hotel, when a UFO landed right at our feet. Out stumbled an Andalite, near death. He'd managed to get to an escape pod before his ship, up in orbit, had gone kaboom. And he gave us the morphing power (plus the cube) before he finally bit the dust.

Thus, over the next four years of school, the five of us fought the Yeerks in Japan. I guess I was sort of our leader, though I can't really imagine why. I never really felt brave or heroic like those generals and commanding guys do on TV.

There were close shaves, and plenty of them, and after a while we all wondered why we fought anymore. We'd thrown away our childhoods, lost a lot of schooling, and just plain felt dead inside after destroying so many people.

We finally found a way, though, to end the war more or less peacefully.

We took the blue morph cube, called an Escafil device, and offered it to the Yeerks. They could all get the power to morph, become nothlits (people trapped in morph) and thus would no longer require hosts. American humans with the morphing power did the same thing, and (amazingly to us at the time) most of the Yeerks happily took the chance. They even agreed to leave Earth (after wiping the memory of most of the former hosts) and headed out. Humanity remained oblivious to the fact that a couple of kids saved the world.

Of course, there are still a few Yeerks out there, on Earth, who didn't like the idea of just becoming a nothlit and leaving. A good-sized group of them morphed human and then touched the blue cube again after two hours, getting their powers back to fulfill their own twisted needs. Even so, my friends and I broke apart, only coming together if one of these morph-capable Yeerks started to cause trouble.

Like now. At an abandoned warehouse, a number of morph-capable ex- Yeerks had begun negotiations with some big-time crime lord. And thus, we decided to pay a little visit.

"ROOOOAAAAARRRR!!!" I bellowed, lunging for a seven-foot tall Hork- Bajir. I was in my prefered battle morph, an African lion. My teeth bared, my claws extended, I slashed the morphed Yeerk's legs and knocked him to the ground. Hork Bajirs are basically seven-foot tall red birds, only instead of feathers they have razor sharp spikes everywhere. A normal Hork Bajir is a gentle, kind of slow-minded but agile herbivore, who just uses their blades for cutting tree bark. The Yeerks used them as their prefered ground troops, and as a morph it served this Yeerk very well.

But not well enough. He bellowed in pain when he hit the ground, writhing on his back and trying to get me with his spiked tail. I nimbly dodged his attack and closed my teeth around his neck, causing him to shriek in thought-speak, a kind of telepathy people in morph use.

Aaaaaaaahhhh! What do you want?!

Demorph and I won't take you apart, I stated, tightening my grip on him a bit. He winced.

No! I won't! Take this, you freak! He jabbed a bladed arm at me, and I barely jumped back in time. I snarled, swiping my paw at his face. He roared at the four red streaks that marked my claw's passing. Before he could try anything else, I ripped off both of his arms, getting my paws slashed in the process but nothing else. He was now completely helpless.

Well, get it over with! He growled, leaning back and closing his eyes. I shook my great head, and headed away, leaving the Yeerk to blink.

Eh? You're not killing me?

He just got his coat cleaned, laughed Tact, in his Siberian tiger morph. He'd finished crippling a Yeerk morphed to Taxxon and was now loping along beside me.

So boss, shall we take this big guy ahead of us? Tact raised his paw toward a huge polar bear, who was lumbering toward us.

Tact was very much like me, only with a bit more of a sense of humor. He'd basically been my best friend over the years, despite our age difference. He'd played the part of the joker, trying to keep everyone sane with his excessively bad sense of humor.

Yup. You take his legs and I'll take his arms.

Sounds like a plan. I faked to the right, then leaped past the Kodiak at top speed, slashing his front legs.

GAH! You little-! He swatted at me with a massive paw, but was then caught by Tact's attack. He bellowed as he tried to push himself along the floor with his hind legs, but we soon took care of that.

ARGH! He was now a helpless ball of fur. As you could probably tell, we prefered not to kill anymore if we could help it.

Tact and I high-foured eachother, then looked around for anyone else.

Oi vey, you two jokers already took them all down? Grumbled Sayoko, lumbering toward us in her own Hork Bajir morph. Sayoko was always a strong girl, and something of the backbone of our little group. She never backed down and never called it quits, something I found admirable, and yet sometimes frustrating. She loved the big, powerful morphs, and when she wasn't a Hork Bajir she readily went Kodiak bear.

Yes, it appears so, I said, sniffing around. No, the coast was clear. The humans (plain, ordinary ones) had bolted when we'd made our appearance.

Shame. I was fully stocked on venom too, said David quietly, slithering up beside Sayoko in king cobra morph. David was always kind of the loner, even while we fought together. Still, he gave us a clarity of thought where others would have fumbled. He and Tact were markedly distant though. Maybe that's why Tact got close to me as a "little brother" figure.

You're always fully stocked on venom when you morph, stated Sayoko in slight annoyance. David bared his long fangs in a kind of wry smile, before he yelped and dodged, slithering closer to the great bladed herbivore.

Geez Kanako, could you watch where you're going? A long, sinister looking Komodo dragon slid up to join the oval assembly. She flicked her forked tongue toward me.

And let you slack off on your reflexes? Hardly. You okay, onee- chan? Kanako asked. She's always been very protective of me, her big brother. Well, okay, adopted big brother, but we're so close that distinction doesn't matter. She had blossomed into a beautiful young woman, extremely skilled at martial arts, though a bit dark in some areas. Then again, we were all dark in some aspect, after what we'd seen.

Yes, no problems that can't be solved by demorphing and a good night's sleep, for once. Speaking of which, I don't know about you, but I've got a lot of studying to do. Tact shook his striped head wearily with a bemused sigh.

Still shooting for Toudai, eh Keitaro?

Of course. I need to keep that promise, after all. I turned and stalked out the back door, followed by the other Animorphs.

My little sister coined the term "Animorphs". Animal morphers. Well, she was always better than I was at wording and such things as that. I was always more focused on not letting us get killed.

We walked to a safe distance away, hidden in the trees, before demorphing.

The great mane, powerful muscles, deadly fangs and claws all receded into my ordinary, twenty-year old self. I watched as a teenaged gothic girl emerged from a Hork Bajir, my dark angel of a little sister came forth from the Komodo dragon, a cool, lonesome-looking kid from a cobra, and finally a kid-next-door from a mighty tiger.

"Well," I said, looking toward the sky, "I guess this is good bye, ne?"

"For now, anyway," Tact said, smiling cheerfully. He began to morph to barn owl. David was morphing to great horned owl, while Sayoko started to become a great crane. My sister was morphing to sooty owl beside me, watching. I sighed, and began my own owl morph.

When we were done, we all took off without a word. I guess we'd gotten so used to each other that words just weren't required anymore. Sayoko headed south for Kyoto, her home on the outer edges after she and her family had moved. It was, however, within flying distance. David headed up north, as he'd almost always lived in Toyko; a city boy. Tact, myself and Kanako were used to the smaller communities up in the mountains, where I now had a job (and a home) as manager of a girl's dormitory.

So, anything new at Hinata House tonight, Fearless Leader?

I really wish you'd stop calling me that.

Hey, it's true, isn't it? Kanako-chan?

I have to admit, onee-chan, it fits you well. I hated that annoying nickname Tact and Kanako had given me. They were the best of friends, and teamed up were more sarcastic than every bad teen stereotype on Fox put together. They'd actually sent the whole football team home crying after uniting their efforts. Then again, maybe that was because they'd both partially morphed to snake when the jocks had been giving them a hard time.

Feh. I'm so tired of all this fighting, tired of being responsible for everyone all the time, I sighed.

Well, hopefully, we scared those guys enough that they won't be able to get any contacts in high places. We can just hope they'll become recluses from society, Tact rationalized.

Aw, what fun is that?

Sheesh Kanako-chan, you can be more blood thirsty than Sayoko.

Blood thirsty nothing. I just like striking fear into the hearts of the wicked, Kanako stated.

Then just go as yourself. They'll be running for the hills, Tact chuckled. Kanako responded by buzzing Tact at top sooty owl speed, causing the barn owl to spiral.

Hey! I swear, Kanako's owl face bore an evil smirk. Or maybe it was just the faint moonlight.

Hay is for horses, Tiger-Boy.

Which we both know about, Lizard-Girl. I shook my owl head and would have smiled if I had the facial muscles. In the distance, Hinata House loomed.

Well, I'm off to home sweet home, Tact said, dropping back and heading for his small house. Oh, I forgot; Tact and David's parents split last year. Tact went to Hinata Springs with his mom, David with his dad to Tokyo. Now it was just Kanako and myself.


What, Kei-kun?

There's light in the dining room. My incredible hearing picked up loud music from the old hotel. I groaned.

Oh no, Kitsune threw another wild party! I swooped low, and indeed, I could pick out the foxy lady drinking and singing and dancing badly with the other Hinata residents through the windows. Naru already looked smashed as she did a jig thing with Kitsune, Shinobu was trying hard to clean up the large mess accumulating on the floor, Haruka just sat and smoked, Motoko had a lampshade on her head, and Mutsumi was throwing back beer after beer while cheering on Kitsune and Naru. Soon, Sarah and Suu were seen raising havoc with some kind of freakish CD player/mecha/coffee grinder... thing.

Geez, she always has to do this when you're away, doesn't she? Kanako asked in disgust. I sighed.

Alright, time for plan B. We'll land in those bushes over there, demorph, and come in.

Sounds good. However, what's our excuse? I thought hard.

Well, I told them I was going out to study at the library by myself for a few hours. I'll just say I met up with you and we caught a movie. I landed silently in the foliage, my sister following a few moments later. I focused on myself, and slowly changed back into a human.

"I saw the latest Ranma movie," muttered Kanako to me when she had her mouth back, "we can say that's what we saw." I nodded, and stood up. Darting to the stony path to the Hinata, I walked up it nonchalantly, Kanako only a few footsteps behind me.

I was still in my jeans, shoes, T-shirt and jacket from that afternoon. After a lot of practice, we'd all figured out how to morph clothing without too much trouble. Kanako still had her witch's hat and black dress. I noted, however, that she'd lost her shoes-again. Like socks in a dryer, Kanako always lost her shoes when she morphed.

I opened the front door, and walked in slowly.

"KEITARO!" Screamed Suu, leaping at me and kicking me down to the floor. I was too tired to care, even with Suu and Sarah bouncing on top of me.

"Where've you been? Where've you been? Where've you been?" They chanted. Kanako shook her head behind me with a small smile, shooing the Dynamic Duo away while she helped me to my feet. Kitsune stumbled up to me, reeking of sake. I wrinkled my nose as she wrapped her arms around me.

"Heeeyyy, Keitawo! Where ya been? Gettin' lucky with your sis, eh?" I was too tired to even blush about this comment.

"No, of course not. Just saving the world," I answered. Kitsune nodded, grinning.

"Oh, good! Thatz nice..." She slumped to the floor, out cold. My sister and I sweat dropped heavily. It takes a lot of alcohol to knock out Kitsune.

"Long day?" Asked Haruka, batting an eyebrow as Naru drunkenly tried to grope her. I breathed a small sigh of relief that she didn't even know I was there. Sleeping in the woods didn't really appeal to me at the moment.

"Something like that. You?" I inquired.

"Mmmm, Mizz Urasheema, your so pretty, I wanna eat you right up," slurred Narusegawa. I couldn't help but smile as Naru tried to kiss my aunt. Haruka pulled away tolerantly as my "study buddy" slumped in her lap.

"It's been... Interesting," Haruka allowed, taking a drag off her cigarette. Mutsumi happily got up, smiling with a red face and a tipsy Tama- chan hanging off her shoulder.

"Hi, Kei-kun! (hic) You missed all the fun! Anything fun happen with you today..." She trailed off as she fainted again. I managed to catch her, and pulled her to the couch, laying her gently upon her back with a sigh of relief.

"I think I'll just turn in. It's been a long night," I said, turning to head for the stairs. I turned and looked back at Kanako.

"What about you, Kanako-chan?" She smiled evilly, holding up a camera.

"And miss black mail this good?" I rolled my eyes with a grin as I trundled up the stairs to my room and bed.


Well, to my knowledge, no one's done a Love Hina/Animorphs crossover fic before. More info on the OCs, the war itself, and stuff in the coming chapters. But please, reveiw, or I won't feel motivated to continue this or any other story.

(A/N: Sorry if there's rampant OOCness in Kanako here. I don't have a lot of experience writing for her.)