Love Hina – Beginnings

Fanfic by Steven Biggs

Chapter Four – Manager au Trois

Monday Morning

Keitaro walks down the stairs, supporting himself with the cane that Hikari left for him, and makes his way to the dining room. He is amazed that he is able to be out of bed this quickly.

Nothing much happened yesterday. They took Naru around and showed here what her duties were. Kitsune and Shinobu later went shopping for the week's groceries and Su secluded herself in her room, saying that she was working on a device that would help him get around. Motoko was the only dark spot.

After fleeing from Keitaro's room Saturday night Motoko locked herself in her room and has not allowed anyone inside. The food left by her door remained untouched. Keitaro spent hours at her door pleading with her, but to no avail. She insisted that she would be fine and that she just needed to be alone, to compose herself.

This morning, he was able to convince Motoko to join everyone at breakfast. He thinks back to Saturday night, after Motoko ran from his room, and the arguments he had with the others to prevent them from ripping Naru to shreds. It was touch and go for a while, but he finally persuaded them not to harm her. Naru sat next to the hole the entire time, completely oblivious to the heated discussions around her. Su finally used her Mecha-Tama to dowse her with cold water, snapping her out of shock.

Shinobu is preparing breakfast while Naru reads the inn diary in the dining room. Kitsune notice Keitaro as he walks through the common room. She places a magazine on the table and moves next to him, lifting his arm over her shoulder to help support his weight.

"Ya'll shouldn't be walking around yet, Keitaro-san. Your bum must be killin' ya."

Keitaro smiles at her, pleased by her compassion.

"It's okay, the cream that Hikari-san left for me to use makes it numb. I can't feel a thing down there right now."

Kitsune, in spite of worrying about his injury, laughs at the merry sound of his voice.

"So, instead of just being a dumb-ass, you're now our resident numb-ass!"

He groans at her poor joke.

"Ouch, that hurts worse that when I fell on that sword!"

They enter the dining room together and spot Su, with Tama-chan resting on her head, tinkering with Keitaro's chair. She looks up as they enter.

"Hi'ya Keitaro! It's great to see you moving around. If ya wait a minute, I'll have your chair ready for you to use!"

She continues her work as they talk to her. Kitsune kneels next to her and looks at the box that she is screwing onto the seat.

"What's that thing supposed to be, Su? Keitaro-san doesn't need to be able to sit any higher; he's a big boy now."

"I'll show ya in a sec! Just let me attach the control button."

Keitaro looks at the device.

"Su-chan, you're not trying to install that ejection seat again, are you? The last time, it just kept smacking me up against the ceiling."

He looks up at the dents above the table.

"That reminds me, I should get the ceiling fixed sometime."

"Nah, I've got other plans in the works for our Emergency Fire Evacuation Plan. This baby will solve any problem you have if your butt starts to hurt while ya are sittin' down. There, it's all set and ready to go! Wanna give it a test run, Keitaro?"

He tilts his head as he stares at the modified chair.

"Why don't you give us a demonstration first?"

"What's the matter? Don't ya trust my inventions?"

"Yes, I think you're a genius. But I would like to see it in action before I, ah, so that I know what to expect."

Su jumps up and holds a handle with a small red button on the tip. The cord connects it to the device on the seat.

"If ya feels any discomfiture while sitting down, press this switch and relief is just a second away!"

Su flourishes her hand and presses the button. An airbag instantly springs out of the device, expanding about one meter before slowly deflating. Naru stares at the chair, her mouth falling open. Keitaro's left eye twitches as he watches the demonstration. Kitsune slaps Su on the back of the head.

"Are ya crazy? We're supposed to be helping Keitaro-san, not launching him into orbit!"

Su kneels and looks at the box.

"Oops, my bad! I hooked up my prototype Earthquake Suppression system by mistake! Sorry Keitaro, I guess you'll hafta stand while eating, at least till lunchtime."

Naru enters the kitchen to help Shinobu carry the trays in and set them on the table. Everyone, except Keitaro, sits and waits for Motoko to arrive. The room is silent, no one knowing what will happen when Naru and Motoko are once again near each other.

Shinobu wrings her hands, still not convinced that there is not something strange between Motoko and Naru. Visions of lilacs in bloom crowd her mind and she shakes her head to try to settle her thoughts. She whispers, not realizing that she is speaking aloud.

"Can two women really feel that way about each other? What would I do if one of them came for me? What if I'm left alone here with one of them? Aaauuuuu!"

Kitsune cranes her head to the right and looks sideways at Naru. Naru notices this and turns to her.

"I'm not that kind of girl!"

Kitsune raises her eyebrows.

"Ya could've fooled me."

Su swings her feet under her chair.

"Nah, anyone can tell that Pervert Lady's door swings both ways!"

Naru stares at Su.

"How can you say something like that?"

Keitaro coughs as he sips a glass of tea.

"Su, where did you learn that kind of stuff?"

She hops over to him and pokes his cheek.

"From your secret stash of girly books! Don't hide stuff under your shirts, that's the first place anyone would look!"

Keitaro blushes as the girls grin at him.

"I j-j-just like to r-r-read the articles and interviews, th-that's all! Su, you sh-shouldn't go through other p-people's things!"

Kitsune smiles at him.

"That's okay, Keitaro-san. Ya still are a growing boy, after all."

Su balances a glass on her nose.

"Some of the monthly centerfold girls have other heads taped on them. Kitsune's head is taped on Miss June's picture! Man, talk about major melons!"

Kitsune blushes.


He backs up against the wall and holds his left hand out.

"I, I, I, I, I, I . . . . ."

The door slides open and Motoko enters. Keitaro's head drops forward in relief. That lasts only for a few seconds as Su speaks again.

"And here comes Miss April!"

Motoko stares at her.

"Su-chan, are you not well? I am Motoko, remember?"

"Climb on the table and make a pose like you're a cat, and then I'll know for sure!"

Keitaro pinches his nose as he searches his pockets for a handkerchief. Motoko nods her head.

"Ah, that Miss April. I see that you also have discovered Keitaro-san's collection."

Motoko turns her head to the right and looks at Keitaro as he presses against the wall. She raises her left hand like a paw and lifts her eyebrows.


Unable to suppress it any longer, Keitaro falls backwards, blood gushing in an arc from his nose.


Motoko kneels next to Keitaro and gently lifts his head.

"Keitaro-san, it is all right. I am not displeased with you. Not when you showed such forgiveness for my indiscretions."


She helps him stand and then she makes her way to her seat, which happens to be next to Naru.

The room goes silent, with only the sound of ice shifting in a glass of tea. Kitsune breaks the silence.

"Let's eat!"

Shinobu slowly sips her soup as she watches Motoko and Naru from across the table. Motoko looks at Keitaro as she reaches for a rice cake, not noticing that Naru is also reaching for the same plate. Their hands come to rest together and Motoko's eyes meet Naru's. They both start to blush.

"Aaauuuuu! Motoko-sempai's really going over to the other side!"

Naru raises her hands.

"No, no, we were just reaching for a rice cake!"

"That is correct. The manager and I just happened to be heading for the same objective."

Su looks up from her plate.

"Ya mean Keitaro?"

Naru looks up at Keitaro. Keitaro looks at Motoko. Motoko stares at Naru. Shinobu looks back and forth at everyone. Su looks at the unguarded plate of pancakes. Tama-chan heads for the window. Kitsune pulls out a bottle of sake.

"Oh boy, this is gonna be good!"

Motoko grips Naru's shoulder and whispers.

"You will stay away from Keitaro-san, if you wish to retain your life."

Naru, finally reaching her limit with the accusations directed at her, spins on Motoko.

"I'm the manager here, and I will do what I think is best! If I want to see Keitaro, that's my own affair!"

Kitsune smile wickedly.

"Nice choice of words, Naru."

Motoko grabs her sword and shoves her chair back.

"Affair? Do you now admit that you planned this all along? Are you trying to steal my Keitaro-san?"

Naru stands and backs away from her.

"That's n-not what I meant!"

As Keitaro moves to stop what is about to happen, he stumbles and falls on top of Naru. Their eyes meet. As he looks into her eyes, a distant memory stirs, faint yet compelling.

"Narusegawa, something's wrong. This doesn't seem right somehow."

Naru, understanding that he isn't talking about the compromising position they're in, looks deep into his eyes.

"No, Keitaro, it's not supposed to be this way. I don't know what's happened to all of us, but we shouldn't be like this."

**They begin to see through the illusion.**

*Yes, we must return them soon. Their minds will not be able to accept both realities.*

**But the truth may be what we require to bring this to an end.**

*That is so. Let us intercede in this instance.*

A gentle pressure pushes Keitaro towards Naru's lips. Naru instinctively responds by closing her eyes. The room falls silent as the girls watch their friend gently kissing the manager. Motoko clenches her sword as her body shakes.

"B-b-betrayer! You foul, deceiving, lecherous male!"

Kitsune stares at her.

"Oh my god! This is getting way out of hand."

Shinobu faints. Again.

"Naru-sempai really is a revolving door! Aaauuuuu!"

Su jumps on the table.

"Play time!"

Keitaro sits up and looks at Motoko.

"Motoko-chan! I, I, I . . . . ."


As he blindly reaches for his cane, his hand comes to rest on Naru's breast. Her eyes go wide and then start to flame.


Keitaro scrambles for the door, moving faster than his injured hip should allow.

"I'm dead! I'm dead! I'm dead!"

He slips as he runs past the hot spring and his cane slides into the water. He continues crawling towards the changing room door. Motoko and Naru quickly catch up to him. Keitaro pulls himself up against the wall.

"I'm sorry! Please forgive me! It was an accident!"

The girls converge on him, flames leaping from their eyes. Naru clenches her fist as Motoko raises her sword.



Naru pulls back her arm as chi swirls around Motoko's blade. Keitaro, crossing both arms in front of his face to prepare for the blows, whispers in a voice that no one else can hear.

"I forgive you both. Please forgive me."

Power that he can neither sense nor control, and which is formed clean and pure by his compassion for them, rises once more from the depths of his being. However, two entities intervene before the power can strengthen his body from the attack.

**Beloved, the time approaches.**

*I am prepared, but I am terrified that we may fail.*

**We must give the message to one of them, that is his only hope.**

*Yes, My Dearest! Pray that we choose correctly, else he will not survive.*

They reach out and touch Keitaro an instant before the girls unleash their strikes. Once more, they reform his stolen power with their will, returning everything to the way it was. With the last wisp of his power, they touch Naru and send a single message into her mind.

***Look at Keitaro. See him.***

Saturday Noon

Naru blinks her eyes, an instant of calm amidst the storm raging through her. Everything seems to move slowly. She sees Keitaro's eyes roll back as the color drains from his face. His knees buckle as he starts to fall, his arms dropping to his sides. Through the raging maelstrom of Motoko's attack, she hears his last desperate plea.

"I forgive you both. Please forgive me."


Naru's raised fist opens and pushes against Motoko's arm, causing her vortex to crash into the wall next to Keitaro's falling body. The wall explodes outwards, plaster and splinters falling on him as he hits the ground.

"Naru-sempai! Why did you deflect my attack? What would cause . . . . ."

Motoko turns her head to follow Naru's gaze.


They quickly kneel at his side. Motoko gently places her fingers against his neck.

"He must have been closer to complete exhaustion than we knew. Praise the spirits that you stopped me in time. Keitaro-san could not have withstood such an attack in this state. Hurry, we must get him inside!"

They gently lift his body and carry him through the door. As they enter the common room, the other girls leap from their seats. Kitsune rushes over and helps support Keitaro.

"Oh my god! What did ya'll do to him? I've never seen Keitaro-san look this bad!"

Naru sniffs back her tears.

"He was exhausted from working too hard and collapsed when we were about to hit him! Shinobu, bring some tea and a towel!"

"I'll be back quickly!"

Su walks next to them as they carry him to the couch. She reaches out and touches his arm.

"Keitaro, snap outta it. Please, Keitaro!"

As the lay him on the couch, Keitaro slowly opens his eyes.

"F-forgive me, p-please."

Shinobu places the damp towel on his forehead.

"Sempai, are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm just a little light-headed."

Naru kneels next to the couch and touches his hand.

"Thank goodness you're all right."

Motoko kneels next to her.

"Forgive us Keitaro-san. We did not realize you were so weak from overwork."

Keitaro sits up as Shinobu hands him a glass.

"That's okay, no harm done. I'm sorry about the, uh, towel thing."

Naru and Motoko look at each, lower their eyes to their towels, and begin to blush.

Shinobu stares at them. Backing up a few steps, she falls to the floor.

"I knew it! The lilacs are blooming! Aaauuuuu!"

Naru clasps her hands together and looks at Shinobu.

"I never really noticed how cute you are. You are such a little darling!"


Motoko starts to crawl towards Shinobu.



Shinobu jumps up and turns to run for the stairs. After two steps, she plows into one of the support beams. She falls to the floor, her eyes spinning.

"Aaauu . . . . ."

Su leaps over and stands above Shinobu.

"Aint no door swinging this way today!"

Motoko and Naru sit back and laugh. Kitsune rubs her cheek.

"Ya'll sure are starting to act strange lately."

Keitaro stands and moves to help Shinobu. As he reaches her, he trips on Su's foot, falling on top of the inn's resident cook. Shinobu blushes and her hands grip his shoulders.


Keitaro spins his head around, knowing what he will see. Naru and Motoko loom over him.

"Get off her! She's only a junior high student!"

"Remove your vile hands from that young maiden, you fiend!"

A kick from Naru launches Keitaro into the air. Motoko swings her blade and the vortex hurls him through the door and into the hot spring. Keitaro's head rises above the water and he shakes his head.

"I never get a decent break! I'm so misunderstood!"

Above the hot spring, the two spirits speak once more.

**Beloved, it seems that we failed. Things have not changed.**

*My Dearest, be not so hasty. Observe.*

Naru and Motoko rush out the door and leap into the water. Keitaro raises his hands to ward off their attacks. After a few seconds, he lowers his arms and risks a peek. Naru and Motoko are glaring at each other.

"Stay back! I'm going to rescue Keitaro before he drowns!"

"Preposterous! I shall be the one to aid Urashima!"

Keitaro looks back and forth at them and tilts his head. Naru reaches towards him and Motoko grabs her arm.

"Be gone, Naru-sempai! Keitaro-san is mine!"

Smiling, Naru raises her eyebrows.

"When did you suddenly claim any rights on him?"

Motoko lowers her arm and looks at Keitaro.

"I, ah, I have, ah, why am I doing this?"

"You like him. Admit it!"

"I, I will never, uh, that is, I do not completely dislike Urashima."

Naru grabs her wrists and starts playfully wrestling with Motoko.

"As Su would say, 'made you blush'!"

As much as he would enjoy watching the two girls frolic in the water with only towels on, Keitaro decides to take the opportunity and make his escape before something happens that they will make him regret. He dips low in the water and as he turns, he spots something floating nearby. He reaches out and lifts it up. He turns to ask the girls about what he found.

"Where did this cane come from?"

As he spins around, the handle catches first on Motoko's towel and then Naru's. With the obvious results.

Like a deer caught in a bright light, Keitaro freezes, his mouth dropping open and blood spurting from his nose. Naru and Motoko drop down into the water and cover their breasts. The towels fall into the water and drift downwards out of sight.

"Keitaro, what are you doing?"

"Urashima, please give our towels back!"

He answers in a weak voice.

"I'm s-s-sorry. I c-can't move! Aaaaaaaaaahhh!"

Standing at the door, Kitsune crosses herself.

"Poor Keitaro-san. They'll kill him for sure this time."

Naru moves next to Keitaro and grabs his left arm.

"For some reason, I'm not really mad at you this time. It's actually kind of funny watching you suffer like this."


The left lens of his glasses shatters. He then feels someone grabbing his right arm.

"Urashima, you realize that this is your fault and I am just using your arm to help cover my body."


His other lens shatters.

Kitsune's mouth drops open.

"I don't believe this! But it looks like a lot of fun!"

She runs and dives into the water, surfacing directly in front of Keitaro. Her shirt forms perfectly against her breasts as water runs down her body.

"Can I join ya'll, or is this gonna be a private party?"


In one quick motion, Kitsune pulls her shirt off and wraps her arms around his neck. Blood explodes from Keitaro's nostrils as his head snaps backwards.


Haruka walks out the door.

"Keitaro, can you help me move . . . . ."

Her cigarette holder falls from her mouth. She slowly turns and heads back in the door.

"I think I left the water running again."

As teeth gently nibble his earlobes and a tongue licks his cheek, Keitaro's mind short circuits.

Su leans back in from the window and looks at Shinobu.

"I think we're gonna need to have a funeral today."

"Why's that Su?"

"Cause it looks like somebody's gonna lose something real soon!"


The End.