Love Hina – Restoration to a Time Past

Fanfic by Steven Biggs

Chapter Four – Two For the Crew

Friday Afternoon.

Keitaro sets the handset back in its holder and straightens the paperwork on his desk. He checks the pitcher on the kotatsu table to ensure it is full of tea and waits. Presently there is a knock. He walks over and slides the door open.

"Hello, I'm Urashima Keit . . ."

His mouth drops open and blood spurts from his nostrils.

"Long time no see! How are ya'll doing, Keitaro-san? I heard tell that ya'll is looking for a hostess and, well, here I am!"

"Huh?"

Standing at his door, and wearing a stunningly tight, bright-red gown, is Kitsune. She pushes her resume into his hands, kisses his cheek, and walk into the room.

"I really like what ya'll did with this place. The old girl looks great!"

"Huh?"

She sits at the kotatsu table and calmly looks up at him.

"Well, aren't ya'll gonna interview me? Or, do you want to hold that door open all day?"

"Huh?"

Kitsune pats the floor next to her. Keitaro staggers over, sits opposite her, pours a glass of tea, and dumps it over his head. He releases a deep breath and picks up a cloth to wipe his face. When he finishes, he looks up at Kitsune and falls backwards.

"I thought I was daydreaming! Wh-what are y-y-you doing here, Kitsune-san?"

The fox slides her hands down the sides of her dress.

"It's like I told ya'll. I'm here to do a job for you."

He pulls himself up to the table and stares at her.

"B-but, we hardly know each other! This is, is kind of sudden!"

Kitsune tilts her head and looks at him with a confused expression.

"What are ya'll babbling about, Keitaro-san? I'm just here to . . ."

She blushes at the intensity of his gaze and lowers her head.

"Oh! I'm not talking about that! Granny Hina and Haruka-san sent me up here. I want to be Hinata-sou's new hostess."

Keitaro stares at her and scratches his head.

"Well, uh, I, that is, well you see . . ."

Kitsune leans forward over the table.

"Keitaro-san, why are you here? Didn't you leave Hinata-sou forever? Something seems kinda fishy to me."

He quickly waves both hands in the air over the table while trying to think of an excuse.

"Well, uh, Granny Hina and Haruka-san were really, insistent that I come back. I couldn't let them down, seeing how much they've done for me."

"Hmmm. Okay! So, do I get the job?"

Keitaro stares at the tea-soaked resume in his hand.

"They, they really thought you're qualified to be a hostess?"

Kitsune holds up a thumbs-up sign.

"Ya'll know anyone else that can hold their own like me when it comes to drinking sake?"

"True, but . . ."

"And, do ya'll know anyone that's as charming and entertaining as me?"

"No, but . . ."

"Ya'll will get to see me try out my hostess outfits so you can approve them."

"You've got a point. But, won't that be like giving the weasel the keys to the hen house?"

The fox shakes her head.

"Nope! The guests will be buyin' all my sake! I'll even be able to pay ya'll back what I owe from before. So, have we got a deal?"

She holds her hand out to him. He grasps her hand and then goes to the desk to pull out a contract. Quickly, he fills in her information and presses his name stamp in the corner. Kitsune signs the contact and smiles seductively at him.

"How about an advance on my salary, Keitaro-san?"

He firmly shakes his head.

"No."

Kitsune scratches her chin. She rubs up against the manager and purrs in his ear.

"Tough guy, huh? Okay, how about a little fun, and then you can give me an advance?"

Keitaro clamps his nose with one hand and backs away from her.

"No! That's not what I meant! I'll give you some money!"

She tilts her head.

"I thought ya'll said you weren't gonna give me an advance."

Keitaro points at the contract.

"Look! You get a signing bonus! I don't need to give you an advance!"

The fox stares at the paper.

"Okay! Then, do ya'll still want to have some fun?"

"K-k-Kitsune-san!"

She pats his shoulder and smiles before she heads for the door.

"Don't ya'll worry none Keitaro-san. We've got plenty of time, so I won't rush you today. I'll go pick up my stuff and . . ."

Kitsune stops and turns around as the sound of something falling on the floor interrupts her. His right foot twitching, Keitaro lays next to the kotatsu table with a fresh flow of blood spurting from his nose. The new hostess scratches her chin and smiles.

"I guess I came on a little too strong for poor Keitaro-san."

Turning her head a little further, she smiles at her reflection in the mirror next to the closet and begins the blow it a kiss. Kitsune freezes and her fingers begin to shake as her eyes go wide.

"Holy spit! I busted a seam!"

She grabs a spare towel from Keitaro's closet and wraps it around her waist. Blushing as she runs out the door, she slaps her head repeatedly.

"I picked a fine day to not wear my panties! Oh my god! Keitaro-san musta seen everything back there!"

Kitsune stops at the top of the stairs and looks back up the hallway.

"Darn it! I forgot to get my signing bonus! But, I just can't go back in his room like this!"

In the Tea Shop, Haruka looks up as Kitsune runs past the door. She looks over at Granny Hina.

"I guess we should have told her that her dress had a rip in the back."

Hina shakes her head and sips her tea.

"Not at all. If that young woman can't feel a breeze with a hole in her gown like that, then she deserves whatever happens."

Haruka take a puff from her cigarette and slowly blows it out.

"You're right, but what about Keitaro? With his luck, there's no way that he would have missed that."

Hina smiles and sets her cup on the table.

"Just think of it as one of the perks of his being the new landlord."

They call the manager, and after about a minute he answers the phone. They ensure he is okay and tell him to clean up and wait for the next interview. A few minutes later, the next job applicant enters the door of the Tea Shop. Haruka does a double take and spills the pitcher of tea on the floor.

"Holy snorkies! You're going to kill Keitaro!"

Hina's eyes go wide.

"My goodness child! Where did you ever get that?"

In the manager's room of Hinata-sou, Keitaro shivers.

The two older women look out the door as the applicant makes her way up the steps to the inn. Haruka shakes her head.

"I still think that we should call Keitaro and warn him."

Hina nods her head.

"It would be the prudent thing to do. However, I do not think it would be wise. She seems to have gone to quite an effort to prepare for this interview. If Keitaro were to run, I believe she would hunt him down like a rabbit."

Haruka turns and walks back inside.

"That's true. But, I think that she didn't need to bring that stick along. Someone's going to get hurt."

A minute later, a scream pierces the air above Hinata-sou. Haruka looks down at her tea.

"That's Keitaro all right. I feel sorry for him. But still . . ."

She looks up and grins.

"I just wish I could have been there to see the look on his face!"

Up at the inn . . .

Keitaro is pinned against the far wall of his room by a long, slender pole. Blood pours from his nose even against the pressure of his hand. His eyes, so wide that they seem to be about ready to explode from his face, stare at the person holding the stick.

"M-m-m-motoko-chan!"

Her eyes squeezed shut and her face as red as a ripe persimmon, the sword master's knees shake as she struggles to speak.

"Ura-Urashima! Please allow me to, to . . ."

Motoko swallows the lump in her throat.

"Please hire me as the head maid for Hinata-sou!"

After the silence drags for a few seconds, Motoko opens her eyes and looks up at Keitaro. However, he is nowhere to be seen. She places the clothes-pole on the floor and moves to look out the window.

"Urashima? Where are you?"

A slight scuffling sound causes her to turn around. Standing by the kotatsu table she surveys the room. Lifting her right foot, Motoko stomps on the top of the table.

"Urashima! Do not hide from me! I am sincere in this request!"

"Gack!"

The gasping sound brings her attention to the floor. From under the table, Keitaro's head appears. His eyes widen again and he slips back under cover.

"I didn't mean to peek Motoko-chan! I swear it! don't kill me, please! I'll give you the job! Anything, just don't kill me!"

The sword master, dressed in the maid-outfit that she found in Haruka's old collection, blushes and moves her foot off the table as she pulls the skirt closed around her legs.

"EEEEEEEEEEEKKK!"

Before the scream finishes, Keitaro is already shooting out from under the table and racing for the exit. He trips on the pole, crashes through the door, and then plows headfirst into a support beam on the far wall of the hallway. Motoko rushes through the wrecked door and kneels next to the manager. Forcing her voice to remain calm, she talks to him.

"Urashima, are you well? You must not strain yourself so. Your, previous injury must not be aggravated."

Keitaro rubs his head as he sits up.

"So, wh-what's it gonna be? Are you going to kill me now, or wait until later?"

She shakes her head.

"Do not be absurd. I am sure that it was just an accident. They are quite common here at Hinata-sou after all."

She helps him to stand and they walk back into the room. Keitaro avoids her gaze as they sit at the table.

"Why in the world would you want to be in charge of the maid-service, Motoko-chan? Isn't that, well, too feminine?"

He quickly covers his head. Quietly, yet in a firm voice, Motoko speaks.

"Not at all, Urashima. It takes quite a bit of discipline to supervise such a group. I have researched it recently and decided that it would suit me the best."

Keitaro lowers his arms and nods understandingly.

"That's true. You are good at handing out discipline."

He covers his head again.

"I meant that as a compliment, really Motoko-chan!"

"I am sure that you did, Urashima. Does that mean you will accept me for the position?"

Keitaro pinches his nose and tries to act as if he is considering her request. Actually, he is trying to fight down the image that the last part of her statement conjured in his mind.

(Careful Keitaro.)

Concerned at his silence, the sword master continues to press her case.

"Of course, since you are the manager your word on the matter of maid service would be final. My place would be under you."

Beneath the table, Keitaro crushes the heel of his right foot on the toes of his left.

(Oooooooooooooh!)

He takes a few deep breaths and looks up at her with a smile.

"I guess it couldn't hurt to let you be in charge of the maid service. I'm sure everything will work out for the bust."

". . . . ."

"I mean best! Let's write your contract."

Motoko jumps to her feet, causing her breasts to bounce.

"Thank you, Urashima. Shall we shake on it also?"

He stares at her as the jiggling subsides.

"Yes, please do. I mean, of course!"

After some small talk, Motoko takes her leave. With the clothes-pole in hand she bows to him from the hallway.

"I will work hard to please you, Urashima. By the spirits I swear this!"

Pretending to rub his arm, Keitaro pinches himself. Hard.

"I'm glad things worked out for you, Motoko-chan."

(Whew! You almost got yourself killed, Keitaro. Don't ever forget that's Motoko-chan. Even if she does look really cute dressed like that.)

He walks into the hallway and watches her leave. As she reaches the steps, Keitaro whispers.

"Wow, she really is cute!"

The air of the hallway carries his voice to the sword master. Spinning on one foot, she hurls the pole like a spear.

"Urashima! How dare you call me cute?"

In the Tea Shop, another scream can be heard piercing the air. Haruka looks up at the clock and smiles at Hina.

"Less than ten minutes. Pay up!"

Granny Hina slides a thousand yen bill across the table.

"I was sure that Keitaro could hold out for at least ten minutes."

Haruka slips the bill into her apron pocket.

"That's what you get for going on vacation for all these months."

End of Chapter Four.