DISCLAIMER: I don't own Love Hina.

We'll be deviating from the original storyline of the Beach House Play. I hope you enjoy the story.

In a plot to test Keitaro, Kitsune ties Naru to a post and pits Seta against the young man. We find both male characters on both ends of the stage, facing each other.

"Goku, you will have to go through me first before you can save your master!"

"Uh- alright. Prepare yourself, demon!"

Keitaro lunges forward with his stick, not knowing how this part will turn out. He haphazardly attacks the awaiting Seta, the older man not even moving from his spot on the stage. Keitaro thrusts his stick forward, aiming for Seta's midsection but Seta anticipates his attack and sidesteps to the left. He then attacks Keitaro with his stick, hitting the upper portion of his back which sends the young man crashing down beside him. Keitaro lands face down, his arms and face bruised, his back stinging with pain.

"I thought this was just supposed to be a play. It seems Seta-san is taking this seriously. I don't think I can put up with his skills if this goes on." Keitaro thought.

Seta turns around and picks him up by his shirt collar. He brings Keitaro level with his face and whispers to him with a sly grin, "We're playing for keeps now. I like you, Keitaro. You and Naru seem to make a good couple but you'll have to prove yourself or I might just take her away from you."

"Seta-san, you can't be serious?! I thought this was just-"

"You thought wrong. I figured you better start standing up for what you feel inside before you lose what you hold dear. C'mon, be a man!" Seta sends Keitaro skidding to the opposite end of the stage with a sharp punch to the midsection. Keitaro skids to a halt a few feet from the ledge, down on one knee, his left hand supporting him while the other was grasping his stomach in pain. He stayed like this for a few seconds.

"So what's it going to be, weakling?" shouted Seta.

Motoko, Shinobu and Su were watching in shock. They somehow sensed that this was not part of the script and that something else was brewing.

"That idiot, he will never be able to defeat Seta-san. I'm sure he'll only end up making a fool of himself." Thought Motoko.

"Sempai!!!" shouted Shinobu. She was on the verge of crying. They all knew Keitaro had gone through several beatings from them but he never showed them his pain. This was something entirely different.

"You might be needing this!" Seta shouted as he threw Keitaro's staff across the stage. It hits the concrete flooring and bounces once , landing right in front of the young man.

Keitaro's mind was caught up between trying to block the pain that he was feeling and reasoning with himself. "I don't understand. Seta-san has always been good to me but there was something in his eyes that looked different. I don't know what's going on between him and Naru, but he seems intent on causing me pain just because of that." Keitaro thought.

"Sempai! You don't have to go through this. If only you knew that there are people who do care for you, you might just back away!" Shinobu thought.

Meanwhile-

"What's this? This wasn't part of the script! If I knew better, I'd say Kitsune had something to do with this! Seta-senpai seems to be taking this a little too seriously. In-fact, I think this is actually way out of line!!! What is he doing? We all know that Keitaro can never match his skill! Even Motoko is hesitant to challenge him-" Naru quietly said to herself.

"I guess I'm going to have to fend for myself this time. There seems to be no way out of this and I can't let Narusegawa down. I don't how how I'm going to pull this off but I have to do this for Narusegawa and for myself. Seta-san, I'm not going to let you take Narusegawa away from me!!!" Keitaro thought to himself.

Right there and then, something inside Keitaro's mind snapped. He picked up the staff which Seta threw in front of him and slowly stood up. He slowly moved his bowed head to look Seta straight in the eye and spoke: "I accept your challenge." He then looked towards the pillar where Naru was tied up. "I will not let you take my master even if it means my life!" He spoke loud enough for Naru to hear his words. The whole audience was in an uproar. Everybody started cheering in anticipation of the match ahead.

"Keitaro---" Naru sighed.

All this time, Motoko was keeping an eye on Keitaro, ever skeptical of the person. There was something something different just now. She sensed something that she never saw in him before. She couldn't tell what it is, but there was some form of energy going through him. Something more powerful than his determination to get into Toudai. "Hmmm-this is going to be interesting." She thought.

Keitaro, without even posing to attack, flashed across the stage.

"Keitaro! Nooooo!!!" Naru screamed at him, as if trying to stop him from doing something foolish.

"I've seen this before." Motoko muttered. "That idiot thinks he can win by making the same move on Seta-san. He is doomed to fail!"

Keitaro was running across the concrete stage the same way he did before but this time there was something different. He was coming in faster. His eyes we're focused on his opponent: his mentor who challenged his abilities and threatened to take away something very precious to him. In his mind there was nothing else but the attack. He wasn't thinking of anything else, not even Naru. It seemed like he wasn't even thinking of his next move. Everything felt so natural.

Seta was anticipating his attack. He knew Keitaro, or so he thought-

He, once again sidestepped to his left, like a programmed response to his previous attack, awaiting the exact moment Keitaro was expected to strike. He moved his staff to parry the blow he anticipated but there was something different this time. At the last second, Keitaro switched his footing, sailed to the right while swinging his extended weapon, disarming Seta with the shorter end. The longer end of the staff came crashing down on Seta's back with a loud crack, sending him down on his knees while Keitaro lands a few meters away from him, ready to follow-up his first strike.

The whole place went silent. Everybody was in awe at what they saw. Motoko, for the first time was dumbfounded with what Keitaro demonstrated. There was so much energy around Keitaro, leaves and dust was flying around the spot where he landed.

Naru was silent. She can barely believe what she just witnessed. Could it be possible that Keitaro had it in him to beat Seta? "You don't have to prove anything to me, Keitaro." She was in shock. She thought she was able to say that out loud but her lips refused to move. Instead, tears were starting to well up in her eyes.

Seta was just recovering from the blow when he heard Keitaro's staff hit to pavement. "I don't want it to go any further than this, Seta-san." He said in a serious tone.

"You can't take me down just like that, Urashima. We are not yet through!" Seta screamed as he lurched towards Keitaro.

Keitaro took his stance, reading Seta's movements as he came closer. Seta threw a punch from the right headed towards Keitaro's head. The young man caught his wrists with his right hand and held on to it, twisting his body towards the opposite direction sending a sharp elbow blow to Seta's rib cage before throwing the older attacker over his head. Seta tumbled in the air, throwing a roundhouse kick to Keitaro's face as soon as he landed.

Keitaro was able to anticipate the attack, he knew what he was doing but in his mind, everything seemed to move at a relatively slower pace. It was slow enough for him to see Seta's movements, giving him ample time to react to every attack made on his person.

He snapped his head to the right, just before Seta's foot was about to hit it's designated target. He felt Seta's shoes scratch his left cheek as his body pushed on to send another attack. While in the middle of his turn, Keitaro plants his left foot on the ground and extends his right foot, making contact with Seta's undefended side. His mentor flies off to the middle part of the stage and crashes on the rocks just below the pillar where Narusegawa was tied to.

Keitaro followed suit. He was charging towards his downed opponent when he heard her voice call to her. "Keitaro! Please stop. You've no need to prove anything to me!"

Keitaro stopped dead in his tracks, inches away from Seta who didn't seem to be prepared to defend himself. Keitaro was still poised to strike. "You don't need to do this for me." She spoke to him, still tied up on the pillar.

Motoko didn't miss any of the events that transpired. She was keenly observing every movement made by both parties. "I never thought Urashima had it in him to fight this well. His energy seems to have gone down, though. It looks as though he becomes his usual self everytime he feels Naru-sempai's presence."

Keitaro was looking up at Narusegawa, tears flowing down from her eyes. "Keitaro, I---"

Seta was down, but he was not unconscious. He was fully aware of everything going on around him and he took Keitaro's moment of weakness and saw this as an opportunity. Seta quickly stood up and threw all his might into a punch that hit Keitaro square in the face, sending the young man flying towards the audience, landing on the pavement just before the stage ends.

"Keitaro! Nooooo---!!!" Screamed Naru. Once again, the stage was silent. There was no movement to be seen onstage and all the Hinata girls were expecting the worst. Keitaro wasn't moving. Blood was trailing down his nose and his breathing was very shallow. A minute passed, and nothing changed. Shinobu was crying all the time and when she felt she couldn't take any more, she ran towards the injured man.

"Sempai!!!" she screamed in between sobs.

Shinobu cradled Keitaro's limp head on her lap, her fingers running through his hair.

"Sempai---"

Her tears flowed down from her eyes, one of which fell on the young man's face and made contact with his closed eye.

"Shinobu---" muttered Keitaro, as he slowly opened his eyes.

"Sempai, are you alright?"

"I'm not sure. Please, let me take care of myself." He asked young Shinobu as he tried to sit up, propping his body with his left arm. His shoulder felt numb and his whole arm was shaking. It was barely doing enough to support his body's weight.

"Never put your guard down unitl your opponent has admitted defeat!" Seta screamed. He let our a very sinister laugh that was so unlike him. "And as for you---" He turned to Naru, "You have to come to terms with what you feel. All of this could have been avoided had you made your feelings clear sooner!"

Keitaro helped himself to his feet. While Seta was busy lecturing Naru, Keitaro was starting to boil inside. His body was weak but something inside him was stirring.

Motoko stared at the young man, shaking her head in disbelief. His energy before was caused by sheer determination. Now there was something else. It was much more powerful this time and she recognized what it was. Anger. It was a force difficult to harness. Even her skills fail her when her anger takes over. But his was a different case. It was unbelievable powerful because it was controlled!

Keitaro stood his ground for a few minutes focusing on one thing- his opponent. He felt weak but there was something else urging him to continue fighting.

Seta got hold of his staff and brought the other end up to Naru's chin. "I know you like me Narusegawa. I thought I could keep you at my feet while continue my exploits but you have given your attention to somebody else. Today, I stake my claim."

He never looked as scary as he is now. Naru couldn't do anything. What could she do? She was tied up to a pillar because of a prank that Kitsune tried to pull off and now that things have taken a turn for the worst, her best friend left her and was found hiding among the other Hinata residents.

"Seta-sempai!!! I cannot allow you to continue this insanity! I don't know why you're acting like this but I'll do whatever it takes to put this to an end!" came a voice from the other end of the stage.

"I see you still have some spirit left in you, Keitaro-san." He laughed. "Very well---" Seta said, preparing his stance.

Keitaro gathers every bit of his remaining strength and charges towards his opponent. He was unbelievably so much faster this time, picking up the other staff lying on the ground as he crossed the middle part of the stage. As he rushes towards Seta, he finds a fist-sized piece of granite. Keitaro swings at the piece of rock with his staff and it flies towards Seta with incredible speed a few feet ahead of him. Seta positions his stick horizontally and uses it deflect to piece of rock away from him. The rock bounces off his staff and flies upward while Keitaro approaches for his attack. Seta, in anticipation acquires a defensive stance but instead of attacking, Keitaro uses his staff for leverage and goes after the rock that Seta deflected. In one swift motion, Keitaro twists in mid-air, catches the rock with his right foot and sends it hurling towards the pillar where Naru is still tied up. The solid piece of granite gained velocity as it coursed its way through the stage.

Time stood still as everybody watched the heavy piece of rock find its way to where Naru was being held.

"Naru-sempai!!!" cried Shinobu

"Naru-san!!!" shouted Motoko as she prepared to unsheathe her sword hoping to make in it time to stop the rock from doing its damage. The experienced swordswoman flashed through the huge stage in an effort to save her friend but the object she was trying to destroy was faster than all the strength she could pull together.

Narusegawa couldn't move. Her hands were bound by ropes above her head, her feet tied to the concrete pillar. "This can't be happening!" as the rock drew closer. "Keitaro, you baka! I hope you know what you're doing!"

Motoko wasn't about to give up but she was definitely not going to make it in time to avert the disaster that was about to strike. She closed her eyes. "I'm sorry Naru-senpai, I will never be able to forgive myself because of this-"

There was a huge smash as the rock made contact with its target.

Everyone in the audience, including the rest of the Hinata residents had their mouths open. Nobody could speak. Onstage, the pillar where Naru was tied can barely be seen because of the dust and debris caused by the rock shattering against the concrete pillar. It takes a few seconds for the dust to settle and we find Naru in exactly the same position she was in before. Her eyes wide open in shock and disbelief. The rock made contact a few inches above her hands, severing the ropes that bound her to the pillar and creating a small crater that caused the upper portion of the pillar to crack. Naru was free!

Motoko falls down to her knees in disbelief. "Urashima knew what he was doing. His strength, his skill-I;ve never known him to be this way."

As the dust from the pillar settled down to the main stage, we find Seta backed up against a wall, disarmed. Keitaro holds the pointed end of his broken staff against Seta's face while pinning his body with his left arm.

The audience gawks in amazement and cheers our young hero. To them, this was a production, nothing more. To Keitaro, it was a fight to defend his love for Narusegawa.

"You got me, Keitaro. I give up. It's over." Seta smiled. To him, it was all a ploy to bring out some hidden emotions from two of his favorite students.

"Urashima, I'll take care of him and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. You go and get Naru-san." Motoko volunteered. "Oh, and you owe me a match when we're done here."

Keitaro dropped his weapon and backed away from Seta, trying to cope up with what just happened. He'd been in a few fights before he came to Hinata Sou but never in one like this. And Seta? He actually defeated Seta?!!! His head was starting to spin, his body exhausted.

Shinobu was the first one to come running across the stage towards the confused young man. "Sempai!!! You did it!!!" She gave him a short-tight squeeze. Kaolla came after. "Are you okay Keitaro? Your nose hasn't stopped bleeding yet and you look very sore. Here, I got you some bandages."

"Thanks, Su." Keitaro took the bandages and tried to clean himself up a bit. He then looked up to find Naru, crying beside the pillar. He proceeded up the stairs to where she was. Every muscle of his battered body ached with each step he took.

"Narusegawa-"

"Keitaro---"

His body had taken its toll. As soon as he got to where Narusegawa was, he fell on his knees and collapsed, Narusegawa breaking his fall before he hit the ground. Keitaro was still conscious but his body was limp. His muscles were not responding to the signals his brain was sending.

"Narusegawa---"

"You didn't have to go all through that---"

"But--- for you--- Seta--- was"

"That was long ago, and that was a childhood infatuation. You changed my life the day you walked into Hinata Sou. And from that time on, I grew to like you more each day. I've always been scared to admit it but now I know better. I don't want to lose you to something like this. I love you Keitaro."

"Naru--- segawa---"

Keitaro's eyes closed as his weakened body forced him into sleep.

"Kei-kun! Kei-kun!"

"Na-chan!"

"Did you know - if two people who love one another can enter Tokyo University together, they will live happily ever after? So when we both grow up, let's both go to Tokyo U! Promise me!"

"I promise!, Na-chan---- Na-chaaaan!!!"