Rating: R
Fandom: Love Hina
Characters: Haruka, Kentaro
Date: 7/5/03
Archive: No. 

Author's Note: A new fanfic writer. Constructive feedback on style and content welcome. Flames used to light fireworks.

PLEASE NOTE: Apologies to those waiting for a 'paxnirvana' story. This story was written by MARRAM, a friend of mine who is just testing the waters of fanfic and wanted me to post for exposure.

Disclaimer: Series belongs to Ken Akamatsu and his various publishers. No intent to profit.

* * * * *

Am I afraid of her? wondered Kentaro as he pushed the scrub brush back and forth across the kitchen floor of the teahouse. Something in him demanded to know why he reacted so strongly to Haruka, why her emotionless gaze sent a disorganizing flutter through his nerves. Fear of Haruka?

He plunged the brush into the bucket of dingy water. He wanted to get up off of his knees and say he'd had enough. He wanted to go get some lunch and maybe see a movie. He snatched the brush from the bucket instead, obediently responding to the sound of Haruka, her slippers lightly scuffing along the floor as she approached the kitchen. The brush moved with vigor.

He listened until the sound of walking stopped, lifting his gaze only enough to confirm Haruka's presence in the kitchen, her feet resting in a pair of thick soled green slippers. "You're not done," she blandly said, slowly walking over to him, one step after the other, until her feet were just beyond the line of soapy wetness. The brush stopped moving.

He stared up at her, his heart suddenly hammering away in the realization that Haruka was very real, more than the most vivid fantasy, in a situation he didn't know the limits of, and there was no way out from here. The damage he'd done to the hot springs house set him upon this path, his lack of ready cash sealing his fate.

You owe me, she'd told him.

His position wasn't one that allowed even the most rudimentary forms of bargaining. He'd agreed, what else could he do?

Maybe I could work it off? he'd asked. I could rebuild the floor.

You owe me a lot more than that.

I'll do whatever you want me to, he'd told her.



Without arguments?

Without arguments.

For as long as I say, she'd carefully added, not wording it as a question. Until I say you've paid off the debt.

Until she said.

At minimum wage he should have worked the debt off more than a week ago, but such was not the case. When he'd brought the point up to Haruka she'd informed him that he was only making one dollar and fifty cents an hour towards the cost of the repairs. Far from having paid his dues he now found himself less than a third of the way through the debt, indentured to an intimidating task fanatic.

"You're not going to get to half of the work I have for you today." She slipped her hand into a pocket of her shorts and withdrew her lighter, opening it with a practiced flip of the wrist. She brought the flame to the cigarette dripping from the corner of her mouth.

Her smoldering gaze liquefied his spine.

Haruka was in her habitual garb, today's variation coming in the form of a black shirt and white shorts. The weather had warmed enough for no stockings, and despite the fact that he was doing the work she also wore her Hinata Springs apron, somehow intimidating the hell out of him.

"I'm not pleased." She took a long drag from her cigarette, letting the smoke find its own way out of her mouth.

The weather was also warm enough that his clothes had been ordered off of his body. Below the line of her apron only her feet were allowed any form of cover, fuzzy green material over thick rubber soles.

"I'm sorry about that," he said, lowering his head, feeling lightly terrified and unaccountably ashamed. He then watched as if from a slow dream as one of her feet then moved, felt the touch of the slipper as it came to rest on his free hand, suffering the sharp sensation as she stepped down.

"You've forgotten our agreement."

Our agreement? His mind raced. It was hard to think. It was harder to breathe. His heart redoubled its efforts and her foot did slow, disturbing things that made his hand too sensitive, dancing a knife-edge between pleasure and intense discomfort. He set his mind loose and let it scamper off to where it was needed, knowing he was not in control of himself anymore. Then it came to him.

"I'm sorry, Mistress Haruka," he carefully told her, recent dictates washing up on the shoreline of his mind. "It won't happen again."

"You'd better watch yourself. I won't be so understanding if it does happen again."

He was quite aware that her foot hadn't moved and not one ounce of pressure had eased, the ribbed sole of the slipper biting him, her weight making demands of him, expecting more from him.

"Yes, Mistress Haruka." He brought his head down further so his lips might press against the top of her foot. Dammit, he thought. On top of everything she smelled wonderful. His body quivered inexplicable. He relocated his lips and pressed them again with more care, then a third time nearly employing passion.

Haruka jerked her foot up, kicking his nose and causing him to bite his lip.

"Sit up."

Kentaro tried to organize his thoughts, losing all of them upon making eye contact. The chill of her gaze went right through to his newly softened bones. Everything seemed unreal as he watched her take the cigarette from her lips and lower it to him.


She doesn't really expect me to smoke the rest of it, does she?

The violence of her blow hadn't even given him the chance to feel the pain, not at first. His head had snapped ninety degrees to the side, stabbing points of white light swimming lazy-crazy through his vision. Then the ice-pick pain flowered within his cheek and the dying remnants of the slap echoed within the kitchen. His vision watered involuntarily.

"Open your mouth."

Yes, Mistress Haruka, he thought, his mouth silently opening as his head tested its ability to face forward again. He was fearful of another slap for not speaking, unable to retreat an inch.

"Stick out your tongue."

What she wanted was now plain. And as if hypnotized, he tamely extended his tongue, tilting his head back slightly, awaiting the disgusting communion from his cruel goddess. He watched her tap the ashes free with a bitter, ugly satisfaction, scared of what he was willing to let her do, twice scared by the fact that he enjoyed this treatment from her. He remained as still as a statue when she stood straight, her cigarette returned to its customary resting place, the slightest smile framing it.

"You can close your mouth now."

He wanted desperately to throw-up, but swallowed heavily instead, idolizing her implacability and how deeply his self-worth sank under the influence of it.

"And your little stunt is going to cost you too," she said, her expression changing seasons. "None of today's work is going to count against your debt."

"Yes, Mistress," he submissively replied, speaking before her words had fully sunk in, responding because her training told him he had to. "Thank you, Mistress." A self-worth crash dive.

The stub of her cigarette dropped into his bucket, extinguishing with a tiny hiss.

"Despite how I might feel about treating you this way, we both know you deserve it," said Haruka, extending her leg and touching the toe of her slipper against Kentaro's swollen erection. "And we both know it's exactly how you want me to treat you."

"Yes, Mistress Haruka."

"And before you pay off your debt, assuming I let you pay off your debt, we're going to see just how much more you can take from me."

"I'll do whatever you want me to, Mistress," he said. "That was the agreement."

Until she said.

"For now I want you to finish my floor," said Haruka somewhat blandly. Before he could reply she turned and was striding from the kitchen, slippers rhythmically scuffing against the floor, returning back the way she'd come.

"Yes, Mistress," he quietly replied.

"And you'd better make it shine," she warned him from down the hallway.

And so he set in anew, attempting to fulfill the demand, already hoping his best effort won't be good enough, forcing yet another episode of exquisite torture.

- - fin - -