Love Hina – Forever Immortal

Fanfic by Steven Biggs

Chapter One – Passing the Time

Monday Morning

A lonely figure stands at the bottom of the steps leading up to Hinata-sou, watching as a light rain begins to fall. The young man touches his sleeve and activates the holographic watch embedded in the fabric.

"Right on time. At least they got my weather request right. I don't feel in the mood for blue skies today."

Urashima Keitaro walks slowly to the entrance of the inn, marveling on how well it has withstood the passage of time, much as he himself has. He looks at the letters in his hand.

"It's amazing that people have come back to writing actual letters. I remember when the only communication was telepathic. But, that phase only lasted five-hundred years, give or take a decade. I'm glad that I never had the TP-chip installed. It would have been difficult to hide my immortality from anyone while talking mind to mind."

He pauses at the top of the steps and reads one of the letters.

(Happy Twentieth Birthday, Keitaro! I Hope that you have many more! And good luck on your next try to enter Toudai Space Academy!)

Keitaro smiles to himself and walks to the porch.

"Twentieth Birthday. How many times have I fooled people into believing that I was only twenty years old? About five hundred times, I think. It would sure shock them to know that this is my twenty thousand and twentieth birthday. It is so easy, now, to pretend to age for a while, then disappear to allow myself to return as a young man again. Those makeup tricks Haruka-san taught me have really been handy over the millennia."

He reaches out and gently lays a hand against the building.

"Today I become the manager of Hinata-sou. Again. It's amazing that nobody has ever thought it strange that a new Urashima Keitaro inherits this place every twenty years. So many friends have come and gone. So many happy and sad memories."

He takes a deep breath and slides open the door.

"Well, I might as well get this over with, again."

As he walks through the foyer, he looks around. The inn is quiet and calm. He follows the usual routine, perfected over the centuries.

"Uncle Urashima! It's Keitaro! Are you here?"

Knowing that there will be no answer, he continues wandering around the building, unable to find anyone home. He stops outside the changing room and smiles. He clears his throat and continues.

"This must be the changing room for the hot spring. Maybe I should take a dip while I wait for someone to show up."

A few minutes later, Keitaro slides into the water and relaxes against one of the boulders. He removes his glasses, an antique like himself, and places them on the rocks.

"Ah, this is great! Maybe being the manager of Hinata-sou, again, will be a pretty good job!"

Keitaro closes his eyes and soaks in the hot water. He remains there for some time before he notices the sound of the changing room door opening and someone entering the hot spring. He opens his eyes and replaces his glasses.

"That must be one of the residents. I wonder who it is."

His eyes widen as he spies a female wearing a pink towel walking through the mists towards him. She sets an item on the edge of the pool then slides down into the water. Smiling, she stretches her hands above her head.

"Ah, a bath in the middle of the day is so good!"

She looks through the steam and spots her fellow bather. A smile spreads across her face as she moves towards him.

"Hey, you know that my breasts have gotten bigger lately?"

The mists part, allowing Keitaro to see the woman clearly. She stops short and stares at him. Seconds drag slowly by until he raises a hand and waves at her.

"Uh, ah, hello!"

The woman spins around, her long dark hair trailing behind her as she leaps for her sword.

"You vile, lecherous, deceiving male! How dare you invade a women's bath! My sword shall bring you to final, swift justice!"

Keitaro leaps to his feet and moves to the back of the hot spring

"Darn, it's the kendo-girl's turn! Why can't you all warn me who you pick to meet me first, Motoko-chan?"

The sword master grins at him as flames leap from her eyes.

"That would take the fun out of it, Urashima! SHINMEI SCHOOL SECRET ARTS! AIR SPLITTING SWORD!"

The vortex rolls off the blade and hurls across the water, ripping the mists as it flies towards its target. Tears streaming down his cheeks, Keitaro scratches at the bamboo fence in a futile effort to avoid the blast.

"Why me?"

The roiling mass of power slams into him, ripping a large section of the fence apart as it flings him into the sky. Trailing smoke and water, Keitaro crashes to the ground at Motoko's feet. She replaces her sword and smiles at him before turning to re-enter the inn.

"Welcome to Hinata-sou, again, Urashima! And your first duty is to repair the fence! As punishment for invading my bath, you shall only receive a noodle cup for your supper!"

She raises her voice and looks at the upper floors of inn.

"And I had better not catch Shinobu-chan sneaking you some fried rice, again!"

From behind an open window, a scared voice can be heard.

"Aaauuuuu!"

Another voice speaks quietly from behind the window.

"Ya know, I'll never get tired of that!"

As Keitaro pulls himself up and staggers towards the door, another young women walks out and bars his way. Crossing her arms over her chest, she scowls at him.

"Pervert! Scum! How dare you invade an all girl dormitory! I should cut out your tongue and send you to hell!"

He sighs as he walks over to her. Pulling out a small device, he presses a button. The girl stops moving and her eyes go dim. Slowly, she leans sideways and topples to the ground. Keitaro gently picks up the Mecha-Naru and carries it into the inn. He opens a storage closet and places the android inside.

"I don't want to go through this again. It's just not the same."

Su pokes her head over the couch and looks at him.

"But I got all the bugs worked out this time! Ya should give me some credit for making it so perfect, Keitaro!"

He smiles at the inventor and sits down next to her.

"It is perfect. No one in the world would be able to tell it from the real Narusegawa. Except me."

Su reaches out and hands him a banana.

"Ya really miss Naru, don't ya?"

Keitaro nods his head.

"The last five thousand years hasn't been the same without her. Why did she have to volunteer for that mission? Why did I agree to let her go? I should have stopped her. Even though I couldn't prove it at the time, I just had a gut feeling that the drive system had something wrong with it!"

Kitsune walks down the stairs and stands next to the couch.

"Don't ya'll keep beatin' yourself up about that. Ya'll spent over five hundred years looking for her. You have to face it, Naru is gone."

He looks at his hands.

"I built that ship myself. Narusegawa believed in me and I failed her. You'd think that after studying with her for fifteen thousand years I'd be a master at math."

Su pats his hand.

"But ya figured it out eventually. Your formula explaining the Grand Unified Theory makes Albert Einstein, Stephan Hawking, Wilson Phillips, and Ken Akamatsu look like rank amateurs!"

Motoko and Shinobu enter the common room and take their seats. Shinobu passes the tea around.

"Sempai, don't blame yourself. Naru-sempai knew that there was a small chance that there might have been problems with that ship."

"She was my wife. I should have protected her!"

Motoko sips her tea.

"Urashima. Over the past twenty thousand years, we have all had turns being your wife. Not one of us has ever regretted our fate."

He smiles at her.

"It took me over a thousand years to understand why I'm immortal. But it still doesn't make any sense how I infected the rest of you. Of everyone that I ever came in contact with, only the original residents of Hinata-sou have shared my ability."

The front door opens and three women enter.

"Don't forget us, Keitaro. Even though we didn't live here, we share your immortality too."

"Hello, Haruka-san, Hikari-san, Mutsumi-san. It's nice to see all of you again."

Haruka sits on the arm of the couch and rubs her nephews head.

"Hey, it's only been three years since we last disappeared to start over."

Hikari holds a device out and scans Keitaro.

"Amazing. Absolutely no signs of aging whatsoever. You are as healthy as any man twenty thousand years younger than you. That goes for all of us."

Su leaps on Motoko's shoulders and, raising her arm, brandishes a glowing device on her left index finger.

"That's good to know! Heads up Keitaro! Time for Mecha-Tama Mark MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMCXXVII!"

(AN: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMCXXVII means 35,127. ^_^)

Sporting a new, miniaturized inversion drive system, the Mecha-Tama swoops down the stairs and aims its dark-energy cannon at Keitaro. Before he can leap from the couch and run for the back door, Motoko calmly reaches up and presses the ring on Su's finger.

"Please, Su-chan. We do not want you to destroy the city. Again."

Su jumps to the floor and pokes her foot at the now disabled mechanical turtle.

"Ya aint any fun anymore! I creamed the city a measly three times and I get branded for life!"

Shinobu holds her hand to her mouth.

"Aaauuuuu!"

Mutsumi claps her hands and pulls the string on a party popper, spraying confetti across the room.

"Oh my! That's the millionth time you made that noise, Shinobu-chan! Congratulations!"

Kitsune snaps her fingers.

"That reminds me. Today is Keitaro-san's twenty thousand and twentieth birthday! We've gotta start the party!"

Shinobu leaps to her feet.

"My cake! I forgot all about it! It should be ready by now!"

The young cook runs into the kitchen as the others make their way into the dining room. Keitaro stares at Kitsune. Feeling his gaze, she turns towards him.

"Is there something ya'll want to talk about, Keitaro-san?"

"Uh, no, not really. I was just noticing that you got rid of the spare breasts on your back."

"Yea, I got tired of them. It was just a passing fad anyway. Don't tell me that ya'll miss my extra babies."

Keitaro smiles and rubs the back of his head.

"No, I like the old you better. Though dancing isn't going to be as much fun anymore."

Kitsune leans over and kisses his cheek.

"Ya'll never change. That's what's so good about you."

He starts to laugh as they go through the door.

"What are ya'll laughing at now?"

"Oh, I was just remembering when you tried out those pump-up breasts. I'll never forget the day you ran out of gas and Su loaned you a tank of helium. We had to tie you to the chair to keep you from floating away!"

Kitsune smiles at him.

"That was over ten thousand years ago! I'm surprised that you even remembered that."

"How could I forget? I almost suffocated when I got trapped between you and the ceiling!"

Kitsune smiles at the memory.

"That was one heck of a honeymoon, ya'll gotta admit!"

They all take their places at the table while Shinobu finishes preparing the meal in the kitchen. Haruka pulls a bottle from her apron and hands it to Keitaro.

"I've been saving this for a special occasion. Since you weren't around for us to celebrate your twenty thousandth birthday, I guess this is as good a time as any."

Keitaro looks at the label on the bottle and his eyes go wide.

"This is old sake! Vintage 2,000! How in the world were you able to hide this from Kitsune-san for twenty thousand years, Aunt Haruka?"

She smiles as Kitsune drools at the bottle.

"There are still some tricks in this old girl."

She leans over the table and clobbers Keitaro with her paper fan.

"And that's Haruka-san."

Keitaro looks up as Shinobu brings the trays into the dining room.

"Let me help, I'm the new manager after all!"

As he moves towards her, Su leans back in her chair, causing him to stumble. He crashes into Shinobu, sending them both to the floor. He looks at her, only to see his hand wrapped in her skirt. Again.

"Shinobu-chan, I'm sorry!"

A voice at the door causes them to turn.

"Pervert! Scum! What are you doing to Shinobu-chan? I should cut out your tongue and send you to hell!"

Keitaro reaches into his pocket for the small switch again.

"Su-chan, I thought that I made it clear that I never wanted to see that travesty again."

He pushes the button. Naru looks at him and crosses her arms.

"So, you really were trying to get rid of me! You two-timing, double-crossing ronin! Prepare to eat the sky, Keitaro!"

The girls all leap to their feet as the real Naru stalks Keitaro. He scrambles on his hands and knees, looking for an exit.

"Oh heck! She's back! Not even Su-chan could make an android's eyes look like that!"

An instant before the Naru-Punch connects, the room swirls and breaks up into a thousand colored sparks. Urashima Keitaro reaches up and removes the visor from his head. He looks at the smoking device for a few seconds and then drops it to the ground.

"Well, that's it for Su-chan's last Mister Virtual."

He looks around at the bleak, barren landscape and then up at the sky. The bloated, reddened Sun fills most of the view. He sighs and then turns back to his spaceship. At the hatch, he pauses for a final farewell to the planet Earth.

"Four billion years sure do go by fast when you're having fun."

After closing the hatch and removing his protective suit, he walks into the main body of the ship. Built to his exact specifications, the interior is identical to Hinata-sou. Keitaro walks into the dining room and sits at the table. Pressing a particular spot, a control panel appears and he commands the ship to leave Earth for the last time. He wipes away a tear and sighs. A second later, he is knocked out of his chair by a familiar foot.

"Keitaro, ya is an old softy! But I wouldn't have ya any other way!"

He smiles at the young girl, who happens to be the builder of his ship and one of his oldest friends.

"What can I say, Su-chan? That was our home for four billion years."

Naru looks at him from her chair.

"Where should we go now? It's a really big universe out there."

Motoko sips her tea and then places the glass on the table.

"Indeed. There are multitudes of possibilities that we have yet to partake. But, I do not understand why you wished to spend your last few hours on Earth in an old-fashioned holographic fantasy."

Shinobu opens the kitchen door and places a tray on the table.

"Sempai, what about Su-chan's idea to create a new universe? Wouldn't it be fun to see life begin all over again?"

Kitsune pours a glass of sake and leans back in her chair.

"I hope it don't take too long for them to evolve into civilized beings. I don't know about ya'll, but synthetic sake gets old after a few million years."

Haruka leans against the door and adjusts her cigarette holder.

"And you know how grumpy I can get with a smoke now and then."

Mutsumi leans over Keitaro's shoulder.

"Oh my! Maybe we can grow some tobacco in my watermelon garden! I think I can spare a few acres for you Haruka-san!"

Hikari takes the tray from Shinobu and begins to fill everyone's plates.

"I like that idea. It is unexciting being a doctor to people that are immortal. Broken bones, the flu, and diarrhea get kind of boring after a few billion years."

The door slides open and Kanako leaps over and grabs Keitaro's arm.

"Oni-chan! When are you going to keep your promise and let me run Hinata-sou with you? I am all grown up now and you still don't treat me like a woman!"

Naru shakes her head.

"For the ten billionth time, will you please stop going on about that stupid promise? Keitaro has to keep his promise and make it into Toudai with me still!"

Keitaro hangs his head at being reminded that he is a four billion time ronin.

Kanako ties a rope around Keitaro and carries him out of the dinning room.

"I will make him see that I am a real woman!"

Moe sits in Keitaro's chair and starts to program the ship's course.

"I always wanted to see Andromeda. Can we stop there on our way to the new universe?"

Naru, Motoko, Su, Mutsumi, and Shinobu jump up and chase after Kanako. Tama-chan and Kuro-nya leap from the windowsill to follow.

Kitsune pours another glass of sake and looks at Haruka.

"How can a person stay the same after four billion years? Ya'll gotta admit that it's kinda strange."

Haruka adjusts her cigarette holder and looks out the window at the passing stars.

"Beats me. Crazy kids."

The End

(Insert scrolling credits and ending theme here)

(Don't forget to stop by one of our sponsors, such as Ken's Burger Barn and Karaoke Club. 1795 West Xnisjklebany Avenue, Second planet out from Alpha Centauri. Just take a left at the old Pioneer spacecraft and follow the signs. Tele: 927-2839-784-3940-23-485-7849, ext 2)

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Any reproduction in whole or in part will be justification to banish your sorry behind to a dimension without anime.

We really mean it this time.

Really, we do!

Go ahead, if you feel lucky! We know where you live!

. . .

Okay, we don't really know where you live. That was just a lie.

Sorry about that.

But, we DO know someone that knows someone that used to be roommates in college with someone that dated a girl that knows someone that drove through a town that has someone that ordered a blow-up sheep from someone that went to the same mall that a friend of your uncle had lunch with that knows someone that knows where you used to live!

Really!

So, go ahead and try something!

. . .

What? Oh, okay, I'll tell them.

Will the owner of a white Ford Pinto, license number ILYKEWES2 please come to the manager's office? He needs a good laugh.

THE END.