I do not own anything from Love Hina or any copyrighted material. Any other characters used in this fic are mine, however.
Chapter 1 – A Strange Feeling
Kitsune sat in the reception hall as the music played on. People all around her laughed and talked as the party was hitting its stride. Excitement was thick in the air and everyone was having the time of their lives…everyone except Kitsune that is. The twenty-year-old sat near the wet bar, downing her drink that sat before her – the sounds of joyous celebration and the aroma of catered dishes wafted all around her.
'Geez…I've only been here for an hour I already want to leave,' she thought. 'But I promised my sister I'd stay after the wedding.'
Kitsune turned her gaze toward her older sister Akane standing next to her husband Saito. The two had just gotten married and everyone on both sides of the family came to wish them luck for the future couple. The fox girl turned away and picked up another drink from the bartender. As she began to swirl its contents, Kitsune couldn't help but ponder the events that had lead to this point; she couldn't put her finger on it, but for some odd reason she felt out of place – this made her feel rather uncomfortable during the entire wedding ceremony. Kitsune's glad that her big sister found happiness, but in the back of her mind the fox girl felt as if she didn't belong there – and intruder in some exclusive club. She didn't know what it was…but it was starting to annoy the hell out of her.
"So sis, you having a good time?"
Kitsune snapped out of her trance and looked up from her drink, seeing Akane standing over her shoulder, a bright smile on her face.
"Yeah, I'm having a great time," Kitsune replied with forced enthusiasm. "I'm really happy for you."
Akane sighed, and took a seat next to Kitsune.
"Oh come on now baby sister," said Akane. "Something's bothering you, isn't it?"
"Hey, easy on the 'baby sis' talk – I'm only four years younger than you," Kitsune said, flashing a smirk at the young bride.
"Yeah, yeah…anyway, what's eating you? You haven't been this quiet since you fell ill at your own high school graduation."
Kitsune couldn't help but smile at her comment – especially the emphasis on her illness. The night before she threw her own pre-graduation involving some late night partying with a couple of her friends followed up by a steady stream of sake. The end result was the sensation of elephants tap-dancing on her head the next day.
"I dunno," she answered. "I…I really can't put my finger on it."
"Hmm…I see what you mean," commented Akane. "It's like everything is three feet to the left."
"Yeah, it feels sort of like that in a way."
"You want a big sister's opinion, Kitsune?"
Kitsune took a sip from her drink and nodded. "Shoot."
"Well, it could be a one of two things," said Akane "One is that you feel like there's something missing in your life."
Kitsune placed her drink down and shot a confused look at her. Something told her that she might not like what her sister may have to say.
"Wait a minute," Kitsune said. "What are implying?"
"All I'm saying is that you're just feeling a little lost," replied Akane. "I felt the same way before.
"What did you end up doing?"
Akane shot her version of a foxy smile at Kitsune. "I met Saito and several events took place that brings us to this point in time."
'Ugh,' thought Kitsune. 'That's my sister – always with the subliminal messages.'
Kitsune's mother and sister had always wagged a disapproving finger at her for her choice of lifestyle. Almost every mention of anything related to love or family or whatever always landed the fox girl a lecture on the importance of having a stable life.
"Okay…what's the other thing that it could be?" asked Kitsune.
"Well…it could be something you've been eating recently," replied Akane.
Kitsune laughed lightly. "You know Akane, I'll think I'll take the latter of the two."
"I hope I helped at least," Akane said, getting up.
"Could you at least do me a favor sis?"
Akane turned back to Kitsune. "Sure."
"Don't go telling mom about our little conversation," she answered with a small smirk. "I still have an image to maintain."
Akane laughed. "I'll keep that in mind."
The rest of the festivities for the evening didn't wind down until it was time for the couple to leave. With the newlyweds standing in the doorway, Akane threw the bouquet into the crowd of women. As luck would have it, the combination of nearly two-dozen women trying to grab it and Akane's toss, the bouquet landed right in front of Kitsune who reluctantly picked it up. Turning to her sister, Kitsune could've sworn that she saw her wink at her just as her retreating form disappeared inside a waiting car. A moment later the car started up, and sped off into the night.
The train ride from Osaka back home gave Kitsune ample time to think about what her sister said. Leaning back in her seat, she stared out the window as the scenery passed her field of vision as she rolled the bouquet in her hands. Slowly her gaze shifted from the train window and met the flowery object in awe of its symbolism.
"Maybe Akane is right," she said to herself. "Now that she mentions it, I haven't had a chance to think about my future…"
A moment later, Kitsune shook her head in an effort to drive her last comment out of her head. She quickly pulled her bag out from under her seat, opened it and shoved the bouquet inside.
"What the hell am I saying?! I already have a great life as is," Kitsune exclaimed. "Geez, if mom heard me a moment ago, I'd never hear the end of it."
Despite all of her efforts, Kitsune still felt uneasy, and it began to pester her now more than ever. Maybe there was some truth to what Akane told her – she couldn't help but feel a little envious about how happy she is, but still…could that be it? Is that what Akane was implying?
"Now arriving at Hinata Train Station."
Snapping back to reality, Kitsune gathered her bags and made her way to the exit. After checking to make sure she had everything, she walked out into the street. As Kitsune began to make her way back to the Hinata Sou, she took a deep breath and sighed.
"Man, I gotta take a vacation out of the country. Before I'll know it, I'll start to fall for the next guy I'll see," Kitsune said snickering to herself.
At that particular moment, fate intervened once more; a familiar object – or rather individual – happened to be streaking back to orbit at that moment. Crashing into solid earth, Keitaro's battered body landed several feet in front of Kitsune twitching every other second. Walking over to the poor ronin, Kitsune bent down to face him.
"Gee, I didn't think I'd be missed that much Keitaro," she commented, her trademark foxy grin on her face.
"Huh…oh Kitsune…how was the wedding?" a dazed Keitaro asked as he got up.
"It was okay," Kitsune replied. "But I'll tell you all about it when we get back to the dorm."
"Uhh…if it's okay with you, I'd like to take my time getting back," he replied nervously.
Kitsune laughed. "I take it you had a little 'misunderstanding' again with either Naru or Motoko."
After reorienting themselves, the two made their way back to the dorm. Little did either of them know that fate had a lot more in store for them in days to come….
A/N – Hope everyone's enjoyed my first chapter! This is my first real attempt at a romance fic, so I hope that I'll be able to do the genre justice as the story progresses.
I'd like to thank Ben for giving me the motivation to write this fanfic – sorry it took me ages to get to work on it…I hope I won't disappoint you.
That's all from me! Please by all means read and review – your suggestions and comments really help me out. Until then, I'll try to have the second chapter up soon! ^_^