Love Hina – Peril
Fanfic by Steven Biggs
Chapter Eleven –Potpourri
After the wedding party is over and the residents of Hinata-sou have gone to their rooms, Moe sits silently and watches the television. She said that she wanted to understand humans better and would spend her spare time observing various programs. Motoko and Keitaro sit in her room and discuss the events of the last few days. The swordmaster begins by getting to her knees and bowing to him.
"Keitaro, I ask your forgiveness for this deception. After hearing from my mother that everyone else was well, I was unsure as to what I should do. After I related that I could not bear to lose you, Tsuruko-san's suggestion to call you to Shinmei-ryu, though the rest of the details were of my design. If you wish to terminate our union I, I w-would understand."
Keitaro smiles at his wife.
"Don't be silly. I'm just glad that you're really alright. It is a relief to know that you weren't born on a plane after all."
Motoko tilts her head.
"That was not a fable. My birth was just as my mother and sister related it to you."
"But, then how . . . ?"
Motoko sighs and looks out the window,
"I appeared in mid-air after the separation and I admit to a moment of terror as I began my fall. However, you forget that my Shinmei-ryu training allows me to somewhat defy normal law. Through repeated usages of the Zankusen technique, I was able to arrest the velocity of my fall. When I neared the ground, a guided myself towards a tree with full branches and it slow the final part of my decent."
As she completes her story, she lowers her eyes and blushes.
"Alas, I mistimed the last of my fall and came through the branches with greater force than I intended. I had to hike the many kilometers to Shinmei-ryu clothed only in leaves and other natural fibers that I found along the way."
Keitaro laughs and places his hand on his head.
"You were hiking through the woods naked? I wish I could have seen that!"
He immediately ducks down and covers his head.
"I'm sorry Motoko!"
The swordmaster blushes even deeper and smiles at him.
"Keitaro, you have seen me. Remember, last night was our wedding night."
He lowers his arms and looks at her.
"Oh, that's right. We . . ."
As the memory rushes refreshed into his mind, blood gushes from his nostrils and Keitaro flops over backwards. He bumps his head against the kotatsu table and knocks himself out.
A light giggle spills from Motoko's lips as she lovingly looks at her naïve husband. She gently slides him onto the futon and settles down next to him. Placing her head on his left shoulder, she smiles and is soon fast asleep.
A few hours later Moe, still watching television, stretches out on the couch and slowly falls asleep. A soft blue glow emanates from her body and quietly fills the room. And then the glow fills the inn.
Keitaro awakens as the morning dawns outside the window of Motoko's room. He feels his wife's arm gently resting on his chest and he smiles. He turns his head to look at her sleeping face.
"Good morning, Mo-mo-mo-mo . . . MARU!"
He crashes through the kotatsu table as he scrambles against the wall. Maru sits up and rubs her eyes.
"We have not slept so peacefully since . . ."
She crashes through the remains of the table as she scrambles against the wall next to Keitaro.
"We are Maru once more! How did this happen! Keitaro, what has happened to us?"
Keitaro, his mouth hanging open, shakes his head back and forth.
A few minutes later, Keitaro and Maru sit in the dining room sharing a fresh pot of coffee. He pours some cream into his cup as he speaks.
"So, you're saying that you don't remember combining at all? I thought that you all had to agree for that to happen."
Maru shakily lifts her cup.
"That is true. It should not work in any other way. I am at quite a loss to explain it."
The door opens and Amalla, stifling a yawn, enters and follows the smell of fresh brewed coffee. Tama-chan waves from her perch on the woman's shoulder.
"I hads the weirdest dream last night. Could ya believe that the Maru gal came back?"
She rubs her eyes as she lifts a cup from the china cabinet, walks to the table, and pours some coffee. She adds some cream and four spoons of sugar and, after taking a sip, adds one more spoon of sugar. She looks around the room.
"Good morning Kaytro, good morning Maru.
Amalla sets her cup down, turns, and walks out of the room. A few moments later, the door opens and she walks back and lifts her cup. After taking another sip, she looks around the room.
"Hokey smokes! Ya is back! I thought mah eyes was playin' tricks-or-treats on me! What happened?"
Keitaro shakes his head.
"We're not sure. Maru said that she was like this when she woke up this morning."
He looks at her.
"Can I speak to Motoko? Maybe she remembers something from last night?"
The swordmaster's voice speaks from Maru.
"I am afraid that I cannot add any insight to this spectacle, Keitaro. After you passed out, I went to sleep. Nothing odd happened before that."
Amalla takes a seat and leans her elbows on the table.
"Let's get right to the breadbasket of the matter. Moe, what did you do?"
Maru looks from Amalla to Keitaro and back. Su's voice answers.
"She's here, but I think she's taking a nap!"
"Aaauuuuu! Can't someone wake her up and find out what happened? Why isn't she doing anything?"
Kitsune's voice continues.
"Now that ya'll mention it, Shinobu, Moe hasn't been part of any of our actions since we woke up."
"This is so stupid! We didn't ask to recombine! Kanako, did YOU do something?"
"Don't be absurd. I couldn't do something like this even if I wanted to. I just do disguises!"
Hikari's voice comments.
"It seems that Moe must have caused this. But why is her persona asleep within us?"
Maru claps her hand and Mutsumi speaks.
"Oh my! This is fun, but why is Tama-chan not with us?"
Amalla reaches in the sling holding up her cast and lifts the totem that she used to separate Maru.
"Maybe because she was in my room last night. The totem's power probably shielded her."
Keitaro shakes his head.
"This isn't good. We have to tell Aunt Haruka about this!"
Maru stands up, pulls out a large paper fan, and sends Keitaro crashing against the wall.
"That's Haruka-san, not Aunt Haruka."
Keitaro peeks over the edge of the table.
Maru sits in her chair and sips her coffee.
"Yeah, it looks like I'm along for the ride this time. And, if you so much as touch Maru in any weird way while I'm in here, I'll make sure that Motoko-san becomes a widow. The last thing we need is . . ."
Su's voice interrupts.
"Hey, is it just me, or does it feels like Moe is waking up?"
The bluish light returns. Amalla and Keitaro stare in shock as all of the girls appear around the table, dressed as they were when Maru reformed. Moe, still sitting in the chair, rubs her eyes and looks around.
"I must have fallen asleep while watching the television. But, how did I come to be in here?"
Keitaro falls backward in his chair as a fountain of blood gushes from his nose. Naru scowls at Kitsune.
"I told you that it wasn't a good idea to sleep in the nude because we have a man as a manager!"
"Oh spit! Keitaro-san saw me in all of my wondrous, enchanting, beautiful glory!"
The Fox looks down, blushes, and covers herself as she runs out the dining room. A moment later, she pokes her head back inside.
"Hey, Keitaro-san. Ya'll wanna try for best two out of three?"
Kitsune swallows a lump in her throat as she sees the look in Motoko's eyes.
"Oh spit! I forgot about the ball and chain!"
A few minutes later Kitsune, carrying a bottle of sake, returns and sees that Keitaro is sitting in his chair with his head bowed. He looks up at Moe.
"So, you can't control the merger when you are asleep?"
Moe nods her head.
"That appears to be the case. I had thought that the power to perform the joining was forever lost. It now seems that it does indeed remain, but it is beyond my conscious control. When I sleep again, Maru will return."
"Then I has the solution to the problem! My totem protected Tama-chan, so it should protect everyone!"
Naru points out the flaw in her logic.
"That wasn't much help last night, was it?"
"I guess that ya have to be within ten feet of it for the magic to be strong enough to protect ya."
Naru taps the table.
"We can't all sleep around that thing for the rest of our lives! And what if Moe takes a nap during the day?"
Haruka reaches over and takes the totem.
"I'll keep this with me for the time being. I am NOT going to be part of Maru. Tama-chan can stay with me in the Tea Shop so that when Maru comes back she and Motoko-chan won't have to deal with each other."
Motoko leaps from her chair and stomps her foot on the floor.
"This whole situation is entirely unacceptable! What would to happen if Keitaro and I were, uh, being intimate and Moe fell asleep?"
Blushes race around the room. Kitsune sips her sake.
"Ya'll can't get more bang for your buck than that!"
Moe covers her face as tears slide down her cheeks.
"I am so sorry. This is all my fault. I should never have exposed all of you to this peril. I only wanted Keitaro to be happy."
The doll looks up at the swordmaster.
"It would be best if you destroyed me."
Motoko looks at her coldly.
"That is something that I will never do. You are part of our family, and I know your feelings for Keitaro well from our time as Maru. Do not blame yourself."
She walks over and places her arms around her. The other residents do the same. Motoko smiles at Moe.
"You are as a sister to us. And also, it would be a cause of great unhappiness to Keitaro if you were gone."
Moe looks over at Keitaro. He smiles and tilts his head.
"We want you to stay with us, Moe-chan."
She sits back in her chair and smiles.
"Thank you. I wish I knew of some way to help, but this is new to me."
Haruka, holding the totem, stands and motions to Tama-chan.
"I'm going down to get the Tea Shop ready for the day. Amalla, you and Moe try to figure something out. Su, you should help them. The rest of you . . ."
She grins as she walks through the door with Tama-chan on her shoulder.
". . . have fun!"
End of Chapter Eleven.