I do not own anything from Love Hina or any copyrighted material. Any other characters used in this fic are mine, however.
Chapter 12 – A New BeginningThree years later...
Kitsune stared in awe as she gazed out of her room window. It was a beautiful spring day as the wind rustled through the trees, causing some of the cherry blossoms to fall off the trees. Swirling in all directions, it seemed to the fox girl that everything was alive and filed with happiness. The sweet smell of flowers seemed to fill her surroundings, hinting to what was to come soon.
'Hmm...how long has it been since I came here,' she thought, smiling.
The young woman's mind jumped back when she and Keitaro told the others that they were now a couple – despite how long it seemed, she could still remember that day as if it just happened yesterday. After arriving back at the dorm, everyone else was already in the living room wondering what had become of the resident ronin and fox girl. The moment they came back, they both knew that they had a lot to discuss with the others – once they finished, however, things were far from calm from that point on.
Back at the Hinata Sou, the remaining tenants along with Haruka sit in anticipation in the living room, a cup of tea sitting in front of each of them – except Su, who was intent on finishing off another bushel of bananas that sat near her feet.
"So how long have they been gone?" asked Motoko, sipping her tea.
"Well let's see," said Naru. "Both left before noon, and...what time is it now?"
"Almost six o'clock," answered Shinobu. "You don't think something happened to either if them, do you?"
"Knowing the perverted ronin, that's probably what happened," commented Su, popping another banana in her mouth.
"What!" cried Naru. "If that's what happened..."
"Then I will be the one to hand out the punishment," finished Motoko.
"They wouldn't do anything like that," said a now-worried Shinobu.
Haruka flicked her cigarette away and nodded. "Shinobu's right, nothing of the sort would happen – remember that we're talking about Keitaro here."
Su hung off of Motoko's shoulders. "I dunno...I mean, no one really knows what they're capable of until you do it."
Su's last comment caused Motoko, Naru and Shinobu to envision the 'unlimited potential' of the resident manager. Seeing their expressions ranging from shock to rage to retribution, Haruka got up and strolled over to the front door. Casting her gaze outside, she could see the familiar shapes of one Kitsune Konno and her nephew coming up the path. The older woman sighed, but then noticed something rather odd between the two.
"Well speak of the devil," Haruka commented.
A heartbeat later, the rest of the residents pushed passed her toward the two returning individuals. A torrent of questions soon bombarded the ronin and the fox girl.
"Keitaro! Kitsune!" she exclaimed. "Where the hell have you two been?!"
"And what's with the smiling and such," added a puzzled Su. "Ya guys had a little candid 'moment or something?"
"You didn't do anything like that, did you sempai?" asked a more worried Shinobu.
"Hold on, hold on," said Keitaro, trying to calm the rest of the girls.
"Come on," added a surprised Kitsune. "What's this, an interrogation or something?"You the heard her," said Haruka, walking up toward the group. "We should head inside – I'm sure all will be revealed shortly...right Keitaro?
"Certainly au-" Keitaro started to say until he was rudely interrupted by a smack to his head.
"Just Haruka, please," she commented bluntly.
"Ow," he replied, rubbing his head. "Anyway, let's get inside...Kitsune and I...well, we have a lot to talk about...
Kitsune smiled and laughed quietly to herself. "Is this the magic that the others were talking about?"
"Huh...oh sorry Naru," she said, turning to her best friend. "I guess I sort of zoned out there for a moment."
"Oh don't worry about it," answered Naru. "All things considered...I say that it's a good sign."
"I guess you're right," laughed Kitsune.
Naru moved to her friend's side and the two girls stood there in complete awe to what nature has to offer. A gentle breeze drifted through Kitsune's hair as a few loose strands fell on front of her face. Moving her hair to the side, Kitsune thought back to their childhood, remembering all the good times she and Naru had at the dorm.
"What were you thinking about exactly?" asked Naru.
"You mean before you rudely interrupted me?" replied Kitsune with a smirk. "Ah...nothing really."
"Come on," retorted Naru.
"Well, I was thinking about what happened the moment Keitaro and I told all of you guys about us being a couple." Kitsune sighed. "Remember you and Motoko's reaction?"
"You are never going to live that down, are you?" groaned Naru.
"Okay, I'll admit we both sorta took it kind of...hard," said Naru, holding her hands up defensively. "I what happened between the many run-ins we had with his perversion...it was kind of like a natural reaction.
"Right," commented Kitsune. "Shinobu running off crying with Su running after her was one thing. Trying to see if his emotions were genuine by threatening to launch him into the sun really doesn't constitute being subtle now does it?"
Naru laughed lightly. "I'm just glad that you stopped us."
"Believe me – shielding him from you two was better than smashing a pot over your heads." Kitsune smiled. "Remember the promise you both made afterwards – you won't do anything rash if something like that happens again."
"Right...right, I'll remember," said Naru. She then turned back to her friend. "Man...how long have you and I been here, Kitsune?"
Kitsune laughed light-heartily. "Long enough...but I wouldn't trade any of those years for anything."
Naru turned to Kitsune. "Do you remember what you said the first day I came here?"
"Yeah – 'Welcome to the first day of a new life full of promises. There'll be hard times ahead, but it'll be all worth it,'" she replied.
Naru nodded. "Well...you were right about it being a worthwhile experience. To be honest, I'm glad that I was able to share my time here with my best friend."
"And who would that be Naru?" asked Kitsune, a foxy grin on her face.
"You know!" replied Naru, giving her friend a playful shove.
"Hey easy there Naru," laughed Kitsune. "Remember what we're all here for."
"Right, right," replied Naru. "I just still can't believe it – you of all people, too."
"Well believe it," sighed Kitsune, and checked her wall clock. "How much time do we have?"
"Enough," answered Naru. "We better get ready."
"Yeah," Kitsune replied.
The pair walked over to the full-length mirror, brought from home for this specific occasion. Staring at her figure intently, Kitsune looked over her image with great intent. Turning away slightly, she looked again for anything that she'd missed – everything had to be perfect for today. Naru stepped behind her friend, throwing her arms around her neck in a playful fashion.
"Kitsune you look fantastic," said Naru. "You have nothing to worry about."
"I know...but it wouldn't hurt to check a couple more times," replied Kitsune.
A knock on Kitsune's door got their attention. Sliding partway, Kitsune's sister Akane's head appeared, a smile adorning her face. Seeing her little sister for the first time that day, Akane rushed inside.
"Hey baby sister," she said. "You ready or what?"
"Akane...what'd I say to you about the whole 'baby sis' thing?" replied Kitsune.
"Hey, just because you say things about it doesn't mean I have to take it at heart," commented Akane, a foxy grin on her face.
Naru laughed. "I'll leave you two alone."
Stepping out into the hallway, Naru slid the door shut leaving the two Konno sisters alone. Kitsune smiled and shook her head, turning her full attention once again in the mirror.
"Keep that up long enough you'll be able to turn your head and full three-hundred and sixty degrees," commented Akane.
Kitsune turned back to her sister. "Were you ever been this nervous before?"
"I'd be lying to you if I said no," replied Akane. "I mean...it's a big step."
"That's reassuring," said Kitsune. "How's mom holding up?"
"Clinging onto dad with a mix of joy and realization that her girls are all grown up," she answered.
Kitsune smiled, and walked back to the window. "You know...this morning I was afraid that this was some sort of dream."
"You want me to pinch you or something?"
"Don't you dare!" exclaimed Kitsune. "I'm sure it's real enough."
A tapping on Kitsune door got her attention once more. Sliding the door open, Akane stuck her head outside for a brief moment, and slid the door shut.
"I know," she replied, and spun around. "How do I look?"
"Stunning...you're really gonna turn some heads."
Kitsune smiled and nodded in agreement. Waling to her desk, she picked up the dried bouquet of flowers and turned it over in her hands. In spite of the passage of time it still held its distinct aura ever since it landed in Kitsune's lap. Noticing this, Akane allowed a genuine smile to tug at the corner of mouth.
"Three years ago, I couldn't believe that I was getting married myself," Akane commented.
"Yeah," said Kitsune, putting it back on her desk. "Looks like it really did bring me luck."
Taking a deep breath, Kitsune stood up and walked over to her sister. Akane gave her a reassuring pat on her back and smiled. Before they stepped outside Kitsune stopped and turned to her older sister.
"Bet you didn't think you'd see your little sis get married," she said.
"Oh," said Akane. "I...uh, had a feeling that you would. Remember what we talked about at my wedding?"
Kitsune nodded. "Akane.... thanks. Really."
"What are sisters for," she replied. "Now come on...you don't want to keep Keitaro waiting now do you?"
With that, the two sisters stepped into the hallway toward the back of the Hinata Sou.
Later that evening near the Tea House, the atmosphere was filled with the sounds of celebration. As the festivities were beginning to die down, Kitsune and Keitaro sat at the head of one of the tables nearly oblivious to the sounds around them – both tired from giving speeches and toasts to their family and friends. Everyone congratulated them after the ceremony was complete – even Haruka seemed genuinely happy to see her nephew get married. But at that moment, the two reflect on their new life together.
"Hmm?" he said. "What is it?"
"Do you...um, never mind," said Kitsune.
Keitaro playfully nudged her side. "Come on Kitsune – what's on your mind."
Kitsune shook her head and smiled. "Well...I just have this strange feeling of déjà vu."
"You mean that this was suppose to happen or something?"
"Something like that, but more like with someone else other than me," answered Kitsune. "Oh never mind – it's probably my imagination or something I ate."
"I hope your not coming down with something," said Keitaro. "I don't wanna see you get sick before our trip afterwards."
The two laughed as the reception carried on. An hour later, the happy couple began to take leave – walking toward a parked car Keitaro rented earlier. Turning back to the guests, he took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
"I just wanna thank you all again for coming today – it really means a lot to me and Kitsune."
"Before we go, I just one more thing to take care of," announced Kitsune, her trademark smirk on her face. "Ladies...I think you all know the drill."
All the single women present bunched up, eager to catch the bouquet. Smiling at her sister, Kitsune tossed it high in the air. As it descended into the crowd below, the combination of grabbing hands caused it to tumble back into the air yet again. Suddenly it landed unexpectedly into Haruka's arms.
As the group broke, the other girls from the dorm smiled at the newlyweds. Stepping a few feet away from the other guests Naru, Motoko, Su, and Shinobu, all called out to them and waved them off.
"Enjoy your trip you two," shouted Naru.
Motoko nodded in agreement. "I hope you'll have a safe journey."
"We will," replied, Kitsune.
"Bring me back some more bananas, 'kay," shouted Su.
"I'll remember – you can count on me," said Keitaro. "Take care of the Hinata Sou while we're gone, okay,"
"We will sempai," replied Shinobu. "Don't worry."
Keitaro smiled and turned back to his new wife. "Ready to go?"
"I've been born ready," she replied, planting a small kiss on his lips.
As the happy couple moved toward the car, Keitaro just happened to step on the skirt of Kitsune's wedding dress. The jerk from that caused Kitsune to cry out in surprise, nearly causing her to topple over. Seeing what was about to happen, Keitaro reached out and caught her only to lose balance himself and fell to the ground. Sitting back up, Keitaro was shocked to see that he took Kitsune's skirt with him...as well as getting an eyeful what exactly the fox girl had under her dress. A heartbeat later, a visibly angered Motoko and Naru were staring him down, murder in both of their eyes.
'Oh no,' thought Keitaro, eyes wide with shock. 'Why now?! Of all times why now?!'
"Urashima," growled Motoko.
"Keitaro...why...you," said a menacing Naru.
"Chill out guys, it was an accident," pleaded Kitsune, pulling her skirt back up. "Please, you two promised you wouldn't do anything – "
"Pervert!!" the two screamed.
The two girls launched their attacks – their promise to Kitsune a forgotten memory in their minds. Keitaro quickly got to his feet and ran as if his life depended on it – and from everyone else's opinion, it did. He ran down the steps of the Hinata Sou and into the street below with Motoko and Naru hot on his trail. In their wake stood Kitsune joined by her sister, Su, Shinobu and Haruka.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" wailed Keitaro, his voice fading in the distance.
"Of all the rotten luck..." sighed Kitsune and shook her head. "Guess old habits die hard."
"Whoa...I though you were kidding when you told me about stuff like that happening," said an astonished Akane.
"So much for a picture perfect ending for you and your hubby," commented Su squinting in the distance. "Just hope he'll have enough energy for later."
"Su, be serious!" exclaimed Shinobu. "I just hope they won't hurt him."
"To be honest with you guys, I had a strange feeling something like this might happen," commented Haruka, lighting a cigarette. "So what are you gonna do about your honeymoon now Kitsune?"
"Well, if Keitaro keeps running in that direction, I'll be able to meet up with him near the city limits," said Kitsune. "Just hope that his stamina will last that long."
"If that's the case, you'll still be able to have some fun with him," commented Akane, a smirk on her face.
Kitsune allowed a small foxy grin. "I guess there is a silver lining in it after all."
Bidding the rest of the astonished guests a final farewell, Kitsune climbed into the awaiting car and took off toward the city limits. As she drove, the fox girl felt a whole new chapter opening up in her life – one that she'd be able to share with Keitaro. If her new husband were there with her, he would've agreed wholeheartedly.
A/N – And that is it for this story ladies and gentlemen!! I feel extremely bad for making you wait a heck of a long time for me to finish, but I wasn't able to ignore real-life long enough for me to finish earlier. I just hope it was worth it.
So...do you guys think a sequel is in order? I got a few requests to do one for this fic, and I'm considering it too – but I just wanna here your opinion if it's worthy enough to warrant one (in my opinion, it does...but that's just me).
Thanks again to all those who have read and enjoyed this story, and a big thank you goes to Ben (aka Lok)– without you, this fic wouldn't have been possible. That's it from me – take care guys, you'll definitely be seeing more of my stories in the near future!