Tales of the Rotten
A Love Hina Fanfic by Christopher Magician
Here, in a quiet town called Hinata, was a remarkable place.
It was unobtrusive in design. The architecture managed to somehow retain classical sensibilities while simultaneously being slightly revolutionary. It was a place where people came to learn and grow, to overcome obstacles from their past and strive for a luminous new future, full of hope for a fresh tomorrow and a life of infinite possibility.
It was also a place that had recently had its roof blown off. This slightly dampened the hope for a fresh tomorrow, and considerably dimmed the luminosity of the future.
"It could be worse," Shinobu said. She was trying to keep a stiff upper lip, but this as proving to be a difficult task, since her upper lip insisted upon trembling piteously every few seconds. "I mean…it isn't the whole house."
"Nope," agreed Su, sifting through the destruction. "Just the attic and most of your room. Could be a lot worse."
This had the opposite effect of Su's intention, and reduced Shinobu to tears. Su waffled over whether or not this would be a good time to point out that the other residents of Hinata House, conditioned by years of dependence, would most likely expect Shinobu to clean up the mess.
"I just wish I knew what happened," Shinobu sniffed, wiping her eyes. "How does a house just explode?"
"Might not have exploded," Su said, examining an overturned table. "See? None of the normal signs of explosions. Probably not a gas leak, and doesn't look like it was caused by any homemade explosive agents. If it had been me, I would have just used good old nitroglycerin. It's easy to make," she added, noticing Shinobu's disbelieving stare. "Orange juice concentrate, gasoline, sawdust. Piece of cake."
"What could have caused it, then?" Shinobu questioned. She had a method for handling Su when she started talking about weapons and explosives, which was to enthusiastically ignore it. Thus far, it had preserved her sanity and the comfortable delusion that Su was not, in fact, utterly insane and potentially hazardous to be around.
"Dunno," Su murmured. She walked around the length of the attic, picked things up and scratched them, then set them down again. "Looks like magic, maybe."
"M-magic?" Shinobu repeated haltingly. "You're joking, right?"
"Nope," said Su. "Only thing that makes sense. There's smoke, and stuff's charred, but not like it was on fire. More like it got hit by one big wave of heat, and got seared and blasted apart. Only magic does that."
"How do you know stuff like that?" Shinobu asked, managing to be skeptical despite her shaky nerves.
"Made a few magic bombs, here and there," Su said happily. "Not as hard as you might think, either." Failing to notice Shinobu's expression of mingled worry and horror, she continued to sift through the debris. "But you know…there's one thing that bothers me. Magic bombs tend to leave a signature type of destruction, and there isn't of it around here."
"Signature destruction?" Shinobu followed Su over the scorched carpeting, turning the ominous phrase over in her mind. "What kind of a signature?"
"Sort of like…" Su murmured, and then stopped suddenly. Her arm flew up, and she pointed eagerly at the spot where a closet had once been, and a smoking pit now stood in the wall. "…That!"
A few inches above the floor was a wide, perfectly spherical, entirely black object. Or, Shinobu thought, squinting at it, maybe it was not a perfect sphere—depending on how well she was able to get her eyes to focus, it looked alternately flat, and then three-dimensional. It also seemed to change sizes, being several feet wide if she looked at it straight on, and barely an inch if she turned her head.
"Yeah, that's a good one," Su was enthusing, walking around the object in admiration, as if it were a gold-plated stick of dynamite.
"What is it?" Shinobu wondered, and unlike Su, she kept her distance.
"Tough to say," Su answered reflectively. "But like I told you, they show up after a magic explosion. Some people call 'em rips in space-time, but most just call 'em plot holes."
"Plot holes?" Shinobu repeated, now wondering if Su had taken that last little step forward, and gone completely insane. "Like, in a story?"
"Right," Su said, nodding amicably. "But you gotta be careful. Depending on the kind of explosion that caused it, they can act differently." She glanced around the film of scattered wreckage, and pick up the twisted remain of a chair leg. "We should see what this one does."
"Wait, Su, are you sure that's a good—" Shinobu began, but Su had already leaned forward, jabbed the stick at the black sphere, and then leapt back.
Both girls waited breathlessly. There was a faint, low-pitched rumbling from the plot hole, like the growling of a hungry person's stomach.
With a loud, resonant noise that, if written out, would have been 'Sploptch!', the sphere trembled momentarily, then spat out a small, fluffy, stuffed elephant. It was pink, and looked almost unbearably cuddly.
"Oh!" Shinobu cried and, without a second thought, snatched the elephant up and hugged it tightly. "It's so cute!"
"Well that was a new one," said Su, who was gawking at the plot hole in flat astonishment. She jabbed it with the stick again, and after another 'sploptch', it ejected a trio of stuffed kiwis colored green, blue, and purple.
"Oh!" Shinobu said again, and scooped the newcomers into her arms along with the elephant. "Oh, they're adorable! Keep doing that, Su!"
Su looked at the plot hole for a few moments, her expression vaguely disappointed; she looked as if she had been hoping for something more flammable. Then, after watching Shinobu's enthusiastic squealing, she shrugged and grinned. "Oh well, when in Rome."
Nothing much got accomplished for a while after that, except for the inexplicable birth of enough tiny stuffed animals to fill a toy store. Only when Shinobu was up to her waist in multicolored egrets, badgers, walruses, ocelots, and an endearingly—if inexplicably—charming rhinoceros beetle, did she admit that she might have enough of them.
"I can't help it, they're just so sweet!" she enthused, squeezing two armloads of animals simultaneously. "I don't want to put them down!"
"You don't think they might explode?" Su asked, with ill-disguised hopefulness. She picked up an orange marmoset and lobbed it lightly across the room; it landed with a soft thump, but completely failed to ignite. "Darn."
"Not everything has to explode, Su," Shinobu chided, submerging herself to the neck in plush creatures. "Just enjoy these the way they are! Here, take this one."
Su accepted a yellow octopus, and gazed at it blankly. She seemed unsure of how to manage things that bore no triggers or fuses. "I don't think I want it, actually," she sighed, and tossed the octopus at the plot hole.
The toy vanished into the void, and for a moment, everything was calm. Then the air itself seemed to shake, and a massive, slimy—but strangely endearing—yellow tentacle shot from the hole and seized Su around the waist.
"Well this is more interesting!" she shouted gleefully, as the tentacle lifted her high off the ground, and then roughly pinned her facedown on the carpet.
Shinobu, horrorstruck, stared openmouthed as a half dozen more tentacles rocketed from the center of the plot hole. Two of them ensnared a still-laughing Su around the shoulders and ankles, while the remaining four snaked rapidly toward Shinobu.
"Hi!" Su said cheerfully, as Shinobu landed beside her a moment later, also gripped by the slick, plush protrusions. "Didn't see this coming, eh?"
"No!" Shinobu shrieked wildly. "What's going on? Stop it, Su!"
"Dunno how," Su said casually, eyeing the plot hole as another set of tentacles burst forth, bringing to total to sixteen. "Never seen this happen before. They usually just spit out fire and brimstone, or burn your eyes out of their sockets. This is all new for me."
"Then what do we—eep!" Shinobu broke off as a particularly daring tentacle inched forward and began poking under her skirt.
Su nodded wisely. "Ah," she said, bobbing her head as if a theory had just been proven. "They're that kind of tentacle."
"That kind? What kind? What do we—eep!" Shinobu halted as the tentacle, growing bolder by the second, began a friendly investigation of her bottom.
"I've seen stuff like this," Su commented, as an amorous tentacle of her own began to politely fondle her chest. "In anime, I mean."
"You have? Then what should we do?"
Su considered this, and finally suggested, "Enjoy ourselves?"
"Oh fine, you party-pooper. Just follow my lead, all right?"
As though she had been struck by a sudden spasm, Su threw her head back, arched her back, and began to moan loudly. She also began to blush furiously, though Shinobu had no clue how that was managed.
The tentacle, which had previously been preparing for an amiable excursion into the general region around Su's panties, stopped with a jolt. It hovered uncertainly while Su trembled, sweated, and groaned for all she was worth.
"Oh, god!" she shouted, and paused to shoot a quick, "Come on, you too!" toward Shinobu. "Oh, yeah! Just like that, you big, sexy tentacle monster!"
"Er—" Shinobu said awkwardly. "Y-yeah…that's what I want..."
"With feeling!" Su hissed, flinging herself into a remarkably convincing portrayal of an orgiastic seizure.
Shinobu received a jolt of sudden motivation from a particularly bold tentacle, and instantaneously found within herself the motivation to writhe in ecstasy. "Ooh, tentacles!' she shouted uncertainly. "I—I sure love tentacles!"
"That's the ticket!" Su encouraged, and both girls continued to twist and squirm, loudly voicing their mounting delight, and completely bewildering the tentacles.
"It's kind of fun, isn't it?" Shinobu mused, immediately following the statement with a near-shouted, "Take me, you slimy beast! Make a woman out of me!"
"Sure is!" said Su, wrapping her legs around a tentacle and nearly throttling it in her exuberance. "I could do this all night!"
That, it seemed, was enough. The girls were unceremoniously released and dumped back onto the floor, red-faced and panting from the exertion of so many falsified climaxes. The tentacles retreated hastily, leaving a few spots of slime, but no other trace of their existence. When the last one had vanished into the black sphere, the plot hole itself spiraled once, shrunk, and disappeared with a faint pop.
"So you learned all that from watching anime?" Shinobu asked, when she had caught her breath again. She picked up the pink elephant which, eager tentacles notwithstanding, she was still very fond of.
"Sure!" Su confirmed. "All the tentacle stuff is like that. Unsuspecting girls, big, slimy monsters. The mistake every girl in those shows makes is that she doesn't want the tentacles to play around." She tapped the side of her head. "Simple reverse psychology."
"I don't know about 'simple'," said Shinobu cautiously, but it had been a successful plan, after all. How could she argue?
"We should probably go look for everyone else," Su said, getting to her feet. "That was a really weird plot hole. I'd be surprised if there aren't more of them around."
"More like that one?" Shinobu asked, unable to resist taking an armload of stuffed animals with her as they left.
"Could be. Maybe something different, though."
"More tentacles, you think?"
"Always a possibility."
There was a brief pause.
"Wanna go see if there are any more octopuses?" Su inquired, glancing at the heaps of animals.
"Yeah, we'd better," Shinobu agreed. "Just to be safe."