Love Hina – I, My, Oh Dear Me! Scrambled Strawberry Eggs

Fanfic by Steven Biggs

Chapter One – Transformation

Sunday Night

Keitaro, his backpack with his few possession packed inside next to him, speaks to his aunt while they sit in the Hinata Tea Shop. Earlier the girls, led by Motoko who had just returned from camp, confronted him about not being a Toudai student.

"Motoko-chan and the others will never accept me as the manager. Especially now that they know I'm only in prep school."

Haruka adjusts her cigarette holder.

"Give them a little time. This is Granny Hina's inn, after all. You have more right to be the manager than anyone else, since she picked you."

Keitaro shakes his head.

"None of them thinks that a man can be a good manager for an all girl dorm. They won't even consider letting me try, now that Motoko-chan is here. Even Narusegawa sided with her. I thought, or rather hoped that she, at least, would try to keep helping me. They tossed my things out the door and told me to leave."

Haruka thinks for a few moments.

"Do you really want to prove them wrong?"

"Yes. It shouldn't matter whether the manager is a man or a woman, as long as they can take care of the residents."

"Okay, come with me."

Taking a key out of her pocket, she leads the way into an old room in the back of the teashop. Keitaro looks around.

"This looks like a movie star's dressing room. I never knew this was here."

Haruka looks at him.

"I can help you, but it will be dangerous."

"What do you mean?"

She rummages through an old chest as she speaks to him.

"If they want a woman manager, then let's give them one. You."

"But, Haruka-san, I'm not a woman!"

She looks back at him as she pulls some clothes out of the chest.

"We can fix that."

Keitaro's eyes go wide.

"You aren't suggesting that I, uh, that I . . . . ."

"If you look and act like a woman, they will accept you. Then you can prove yourself to them."

"That's crazy!"

Haruka drops the clothes in his arms.

"Try these on. I suggest that you use these pads in the bra."

"I don't know about this."

"You want to be the manager, don't you?"

Keitaro pauses for a few seconds.

"Okay, I'll do it. I have to prove that a man can do the job just as well as a woman."

The next few hours pass teaching Keitaro how to move more like a woman. Once he has mastered the basics, Haruka helps him select a wardrobe and a hairpiece. Keitaro then points out a major hurdle.

"Even if I look like a woman, I'll still sound like me."

Haruka smiles and hands him a black neckband with a silver charm.

"Put this on. Turn on the switch behind the charm."

Keitaro flips the hidden switch and speaks. His voice starts to change as the device warms up.

"What is this supposed to do about m-m-my, my voice! I, I sound like a girl!"

"A friend of mine used that to get a job at a private school recently. It worked pretty well for him there."

"This is amazing! I don't even recognize my voice anymore!"

"Now we need to work on your name. Urashima Keitaro won't do, since they know you already. How about Urashida Keiko?"

"That sounds okay. Keiko is a nice name."

There is a sound in the front room. Haruka move towards the door.

"You stay back here and pack your new clothes. I need to see what they want."

Haruka enters the front room and spots Naru. She motions for her to sit down.

"What can I do for you? Do you want some Oolong tea?"

"Yes, that would be nice."

Naru sits and Haruka brings two glasses of tea and sits across from her.

"Haruka-san, where is Keitaro?"

"He went home. He decided that it would be too much trouble to try to convince all of you that he should be the manager."

Naru looks at her tea.

"Oh, he left already. He didn't even say goodbye."

Haruka smiles at her.

"Well, you didn't make him feel very welcome. Did you expect him to want to see you one last time?"

"I, I suppose not. But, what will we do? We need a manager!"

"I think I can find another person. I have a friend called Urashida Keiko. She needs a new job and may be able to help us out."

"That would be good. I don't think any of us would have a problem with a woman manager, even if she doesn't have much experience. When can Keitaro be here?"

"Keitaro? you mean Keiko, don't you?"

"Uh, that's right, Keiko!"

"I need to make a phone call, but I think she could start tomorrow afternoon."

Naru sips her tea and smiles.

"That's a relief. We really need a manager, and if it's a woman, even Motoko will go along with it."

Haruka removes her cigarette holder.

"You wanted Keitaro to stay, didn't you?"

Naru blushes.

"N-no! Why w-would I want a p-p-pervert like that to b-be our manager?"

Haruka leans back and smiles.

"I guess I saw something that wasn't there. Forget about it. He'll never come around here again so you don't need to worry about it."

Naru's mind sees Keitaro, as he was when she fell on him and knocked his glasses off after he first said that he was going to leave.

"Never? He won't come back?"

"That's right. All of you should be happy that you will be getting a woman manager now, just like you wanted."

Naru, her tea unfinished, stands and slowly walks to the door.

"Uh, yes, that's right. Just like we, we wanted. I'll go tell the others the, uh, good news."

Haruka heads to the back room. Keitaro looks up at her as she enters.

"Who was that?"

"It was just Naru. I told her that you left and that Keiko will be here tomorrow afternoon. You can stay here tonight. Come back after your classes tomorrow and pick up your new clothes and then I'll take you up to the inn and re-introduce you."

He reaches up and touches his glasses.

"I'll stop by the eye clinic and pick up some contact lenses tomorrow. Maybe they can give me a pair that will change my eye color a little."

"That's a good idea. If you're hungry, I'm making some ramen and wontons for dinner."

"Thanks, I didn't have a chance to make it to dinner tonight. Motoko-chan wouldn't let me in the dining room while she was there, and she forbade Shinobu-chan from going near me."

They have dinner and work out the rest of their plans. Keitaro cleans up and settles down on a spare futon in the back room. As he drifts to sleep, he wonders what tomorrow will bring.

Monday Afternoon

After classes, Naru is walking down the hall at the prep school. Most of her time in class was spent stealing glances back at Keitaro who, fortunately or unfortunately, was unaware of her attentions. She looks at the crowds, trying to find a single person. She finally spots Keitaro near a locker. As she makes her way to him, he closes the locker and turns to head for the exit. Naru runs up behind him and bumps his arm with her shoulder.

"Oh, excuse me! Oh, it's you, Keitaro. I didn't notice you. How are you doing?"

Keitaro turns to her.

"H-hello, Narusegawa. I'd like to talk, but I'm in kind of a hurry. Maybe another time, I'm sorry."

Naru stands in the hall and watches him rush out the door. She exits the building, not noticing that a light rain is falling. As the drops runs down her face, she whispers.

"He didn't even want to talk to me. He must think that I'm horrible. First, I kept his lie a secret even when he was ready to confess, and then I side with Motoko when they found out. I didn't even tell everyone that I already knew he wasn't a Toudai student. I guess that I was afraid they'd take it the wrong way."

She opens her umbrella and walks to the train station. The trip home seems longer and lonely. She pretends to study a book as she sits, but her eyes steal glances at some of the other passengers. Along with people on their way to or from work, there are a few couples. Naru looks at the happy and contented looks on their faces and feels a tightness in her chest.

The train reaches the end of the line and Naru makes her way back to Hinata-sou. As she passes the tea shop, she enters and sees Haruka preparing for the evening's customers.

"Ah, Naru. How did your classes go today?"

Naru absentmindedly sits at a table.

"Oh, fine. I studied Keitaro a lot today."

"You studied what?"

Naru looks up and realizes the slip she just made.

"Uh, ah, I studied really hard today!"

Haruka bring her a glass of hot Oolong tea.

"Here you go Naru. It must be cold because of the rain today. Your face is all flustered. Are you catching a cold?"

"No, I'm, ah, just a little chilly. This tea will warm me up, thanks."

"Keiko should be here soon. Do you have the room ready for her?"

"Yes. Keitaro cleaned it before he left. We didn't have to do a thing."

"That's good. We want to make a nice first impression for our new manager."

Naru looks at her glass.

"Do you think we did the right thing? I feel a little guilty about not letting Keitaro have another chance. Granny Hina must have known that Motoko-san would never accept a man as the new manager. Why couldn't she have picked a woman in the first place? At least that way, Keitaro wouldn't have been hurt."

Haruka finishes setting the rest of the chairs near the tables.

"That's all done now. We just have to move forward and make do with what life sends our way."

Naru sits up and smiles.

"I suppose you're right. Well, I'd better head up and get ready for you to bring Keiko when she gets here! Thanks for the tea, Haruka-san, it really helped me warm up!"

Naru heads for the door and Haruka moves to clean the table.

"Your welcome, Naru."

Haruka smiles as she picks up the glass. Naru never drank a drop of the tea.

A few minutes later, Keitaro walks in the door. Haruka looks at him and then does a double take.

"My goodness. You look a lot different with those contacts. I almost didn't recognize you with blue eyes."

"Aren't they cool? I might just keep using them, even while I'm not Keiko!"

"You'd better be careful. You don't want any of them to see Keitaro with blue eyes."

"I guess you're right. But they really are neat!"

Haruka motions to the back room.

"Let's get you fixed up. We don't want to keep them waiting for their new manager."

About forty-five minutes later, they head for Hinata-sou.

Monday Evening

From her perch on the roof, Su spots Haruka, holding an umbrella and a small suitcase, leading a woman up the steps. She leaps down from one floor to the next and runs through the front door.

"They're here! They're here!"

The girls meet in the common room. Haruka opens the door and leads Keiko inside. She stops in the foyer, sets her suitcase on the floor, and places the umbrella in the rack. Keitaro/Keiko places another suitcase down and shakes his head to remove a few stray drops of rain from his wig. Shinobu's eyes go wide.

"(She's beautiful! And her hair is even shinier than Motoko-sempai's!)"

Kitsune puts her hand on her chin.

"(Whoa! She's got breasts as big as mine. And they look even firmer! I'm jealous!)"

Haruka guides Keitaro/Keiko to the common room.

"Hello everyone, I'd like you to meet your new manager, Urashida Keiko."

Keitaro/Keiko bows to them.

"I am happy to meet all of you. I hope that I can fulfill my responsibilities as your new manager in a satisfactory manner."

Naru bows to her.

"I'm Narusegawa Naru. I'm pleased to meet you, and welcome to Hinata-sou."

Motoko introduces herself.

"Greetings Urashida-san. I am Aoyama Motoko."

Kitsune reaches out to shake her hand.

"Konno Mitsune, at your service, but ya'll can call me Kitsune!"

Su jumps over and pokes at her legs.

"Nice gams! I'm Kaolla Su! Do you like to play with tanks?"

"Uh, tanks are very nice. Just be careful what you shoot at."

"Roger!"

Shinobu moves and bows to her.

"I'm Maehara Shinobu. Welcome. I cook for everyone here."

"Thank you, Shinobu-chan. I look forward to your delicious meals."

Haruka stands in the foyer as the others sit in the common room. The sound of the door opening causes her to turn around. A beautiful young woman stands there and shakes off her umbrella. Haruka bows to her.

"Good evening. I'm Urashima Haruka. How can I help you?"

"Thank you. I just arrived in town and I am looking for a place to stay. Oh my, this inn is lovely. My name is Otohime Mutsumi."

Haruka motions to the common room.

"You're welcome here. We have a new manager that just came in so I'll process the contract for you."

Mutsumi looks over at the other girls.

"Oh my! Why is that man dressed like a woman? Are you having a masquerade party?"

Haruka stares at her for a few seconds and then pulls her to the side.

"How can you tell that he's not a woman? That disguise should have been perfect."

"I don't know really. He just looks like a man in a dress to me."

Mutsumi stares at Haruka.

"Oh my! He's not one of, of, those!"

Haruka holds up her hands.

"No, he's not! This is, uh, part of, ah, an experiment to see if a man can pass himself off as a woman. If you are to live here, one of the conditions is that you must keep this a secret.

"I love science! Of course I won't tell anyone."

Haruka catches Keiko's attention and motions for him to come over.

"What can I do for you, Haruka-san?"

"Urashida Keiko, this is Otohime Mutsumi. She just arrived and will be living here."

She leans close to him and whispers.

"She knows you're a man. Don't ask me how she figured it out so quickly, but she agreed to keep our, ah, experiment a secret."

Keiko's blue eyes go wide.

"If she figured it out that fast, the others are sure to! What am I gonna do?"

"You're going to finish what you started. Maybe they won't pick up on whatever it was that gave you away to Mutsumi-san."

Mutsumi leans close to Keiko.

"Oh my! What a darling face you have. You make a beautiful woman!"

"Keiko-san, why don't you show Mutsumi to her room. I'll take care of the contract and she can sign it later. I'll also see if any of the others suspect who you really are."

"Okay, but if they do I want you to do me a favor.""

"What is it?"

"Yell loud enough so I can get a head start. The others may hurt me, but Motoko-chan will kill me for sure."

Keiko shows Mutsumi to an empty room on the second floor.

"Is this okay? We didn't expect you so it is a little dusty. I'll bring you a futon and some towels in a few minutes."

As Keiko turns to leave, Mutsumi grabs his hand and leads him next to the window.

"Urashima-kun. Don't you remember me?"

Keiko stares at her.

"How did you know my real name? I don't remember ever meeting you."

She playfully rubs her hand on his arm.

"Oh my! It was a long time ago, but we both used to play at a park nearby. I had to move away fifteen years ago, but I never forgot you."

As Keiko stares at her, the childhood nickname he gave her finally returns to him after fifteen long years.

"Mu-mu-chan?"

Mutsumi claps her hands and smiles at him.

"You do remember! Oh my, I am so happy! Why are you dressed like a woman?"

"I want to prove that I can be a good manager, but they won't accept a man for the job."

"Then I promise to keep your secret and help if I can."

Keiko wraps his arms around his long-lost friend as a tear rolls down his cheek. Mutsumi returns his embrace. In a voice full of emotion, Keiko whispers.

"I missed you so much! Where did you go?"

"My family moved to Okinawa. We own a fishing store and a few restaurants now. I came back here to study at prep school for Toudai."

"I'm studying for Toudai too! I failed twice, but I still want to make it someday."

"Then that makes us both flunkies! I failed the last two times also! Oh my!"

Mutsumi places her hands on his cheeks and gently kisses him, one old friend greeting another. The sound of a gasp causes them both to turn towards the door. Naru stands there with her hand to her chest.

"I'm s-s-sorry! I didn't realize that, that . . . . ."

Mutsumi tilts her head and smiles at her.

"Come in, please. Did you know that your new manager and I used to be best friends when we were children and we haven't seen each other in fifteen years?"

Naru steps into the room relieved that what she saw wasn't what she thought she saw.

"Haruka-san has your contract ready. If you like to come down, you can meet everyone. I'm Narusegawa Naru. Pleased to meet you."

"Otohime Mutsumi, I am pleased to meet you too!"

They head back downstairs to the common room. Mutsumi quickly closes the contact and takes a seat next to Keiko. After the girls introduces themselves, Motoko looks at Mutsumi over her glass of tea.

"It is fortunate that our new manager has met an old friend during her first day. It bodes well for the future. A joyous meeting such as this would never have happened if that weakling Urashima were still our manager."

Mutsumi plays along with Keitaro's deception.

"Oh my. Didn't you like your old manager?"

"He is a lecherous, perverted, vile, deceiving male! If I ever see him near Hinata-sou again, my sword will bring final justice to his soul! He is evil incarnate!"

"Oh dear me! He sounds like a very bad person! I would not want to meet someone like that after dark!"

Kitsune chimes in.

"Ya'll wouldn't be safe during the day, either. He's a groper too!"

Keiko looks at Kitsune.

"Now, I do not believe that a man can be as bad as all of that. Surely, you must be exaggerating. What do you have to say about him, Su-chan?"

Sue snags a banana from the table with her foot.

"He wasn't too bad, but I didn't have a lot of time ta play with Keitaro. Motoko hogged most of the fun for herself."

Shinobu puts her hands between her knees.

"I liked Sem . . . . . uh, Urashima-san because he trusted me to be the cook for Hinata-sou. But, I was disappointed that he lied about being a Toudai student."

Mutsumi looks at Naru.

"What did you think of him?"

Naru , distracted by her thoughts, continues to look in her glass.

"Oh my, Narusegawa-san, are you asleep?"

She looks up.

"Oh, sorry, I was thinking about something. I don't believe that Keitaro was really that bad. I'm kind of sorry that we were so mean to him, though. This is his grandmother's inn after all."

Outside, there is a flash of lightning followed almost immediately by the thunder. Shinobu jumps to her feet.

"Aaauuuuu!"

Su leaps from her chair and runs for the stairs.

"Hot dog! Now I can try to power up my next invention! Four point two giga-watts is what I need to kick start the reactor!"

Motoko looks at Shinobu.

"I will assist you in the kitchen tonight. It would not be polite to make our new manager and resident wait on their first meal here at Hinata-sou."

"Thank you, Motoko-sempai. I'll start right away."

Monday Night

After dinner, Haruka leaves satisfied that Keiko's first meeting went well. He goes to his room and prepares for bed. He places the bra and padding on the desk. Outside, the lightning and thunder has become more regular as the wind howls through the trees and the rain pelts the side of the inn.

"That went pretty well. I'm glad Mutsumi-san will keep my identity a secret. Maybe this will be easier than I thought."

As he is about to turn out the light, there is a soft knock at the door.

"Just a moment, please."

He quickly put on the bra and pads again, and then answers the door. Shinobu stands there with one of her stuffed toy animals.

"Shinobu-chan, what can I do for you?"

Shinobu moves a few steps into the room, clutching her doll tightly. Another flash of lightning causes her to shudder.

"I, I'm scared of th-the s-storm."

"Did your lights go out? Is there a leak in your room?"

"N-no, I just was afraid being by myself."

Keiko places his hands on her shoulders.

"What do you need?"

Shinobu looks up at the manager.

"C-can I sleep here tonight, please? I don't want to be alone!"

"S-sleep here, w-w-with m-me?"

She clutches him as another lightning bolt flashes outside. He looks down and sees a tear rolling down her cheek.

"Okay, Shinobu-chan. You can stay with me tonight."

She looks up at Keiko again.

"Thank you, Sempai!"

Keiko pulls another futon from the closet and sets it next to his. Shinobu crawls into it as he turns the lamp on the desk on. Keiko turns off the room lights and kneels near his futon.

"Is that enough light, Shinobu-chan?"

"Yes, thank you very much. I'm sorry to be such a bother to you on your first day. But, for some reason, I feel comfortable around you."

Keiko smiles at her.

"Thank you very much for the compliment. If you have any problems sleeping, let me know."

He slides into his bed and closes his eyes. He is awakened suddenly by an especially loud clap of thunder. As he tries to turn on his side, his left arm seems very heavy. He looks down and sees Shinobu in his futon, clutching to his arm. He gently tries to extract himself, but Shinobu holds on tightly. Consigned to his fate, he rests his head back on his pillow.

"(It can't get any worse.)"

Another white flash brightens the room temporarily. Shinobu, sleeping calmly next to him, moves her left leg on top of his.

"(Oh my, not there!)"

End of Chapter One.