I do not own anything from Love Hina or any copyrighted material. Any other characters used in this fic are mine, however.
Chapter 1 – Our New Life
From their hotel suite, a slightly tired Keitaro stood in the balcony overlooking the city of Hong Kong; the night sky glowed as neon lights, giving everything outside a soft hue of many different colors. Even though they've been here for a little over two weeks, the young man was amazed at the sight before him – in all the times he spent out at night in any given place, he'd never seen anything like it before. Gazing at the street below, he could see the first wave of party-seekers and barflies getting ready for another night of fun.
"Hey there stranger," said a familiar voice from behind. "You look a bit lonely all by yourself."
Keitaro then felt a pair of slender arms wrapping around his waist...followed by a kiss on his cheek. Turning his head in surprise he sees Kitsune, his new wife, smiling back at him. Despite the difficulty of fatigue associated with a trip such as this, just being with each other was enough to instill energy in the newlyweds.
A sly smile formed on Kitsune's face. "Want me to keep you company for the evening? "
"I'm sorry to say this, but I'm taken," laughed Keitaro.
"Is that so...wish I could be that girl," replied Kitsune, a fake tone of disappointment in her voice.
With that the two pulled closer and shared a tender, passionate kiss. After what seemed like an eternity, they broke their lips. Keitaro smiled as Kitsune giggled at what they've done – they would've never guessed that something like this would happen to them three years ago.
"So Kitsune...I take it your ready to head back home," said Keitaro, making his was back inside their room.
"Yes...time sure does fly by," Kitsune commented, following him inside. "But I definitely enjoyed the nightlife here."
"That's good," replied Keitaro, easing himself into a chair. He groaned slightly as dull pains grew in both of his legs.
A concerned Kitsune kneeled next to the chair. "Keitaro are you sure that you want to go out tonight?"
Ever since the two began dating a few years back, Kitsune began to worry about his health and general well being. In turn Keitaro had always assured her that he'd be all right – citing the many instances of being punched, kicked, burned, being launched into the air since he took over the duties as the Hinata Sou's manager.
"I'll be fine," he replied, rubbing his thigh. "It just a little soreness from all that running after the wedding."
"Still?" said his young wife. "Man, I really wished Motoko and Naru wouldn't respond that way every time something like that happens."
"Forget about it," he replied, waving his hands dismissively. "It's just one of those things that happens."
"If you insist." Kitsune smiled, and walked into the bathroom. "I'm gonna change real quick...it shouldn't take me long."
"Okay," he answered.
Keitaro got up and proceeded to inspect their belongings one last time. Satisfied that everything was in order, he walked over to the bed and sat down, running his hands down his face. As he got ready for bed Keitaro heard the bathroom door open.
"We all set for tomorrow?"
"Everything's ready," he answered, turning toward her. "Al we have to-"
Keitaro was left utterly speechless, to say the least, when he saw what Kitsune was wearing. Instead of an oversized shirt she wore the last few nights, she had on a slender red-nightgown – one that he saw her wear only once before. Kitsune, on the other hand, couldn't help but give her trademark foxy grin at his reaction.
"Something the matter?" she teasingly asked.
'Oh...wow,' Keitaro thought nervously, his eyes devouring the sight before him.
The relatively quiet Hinata Sou was buzzing with activity as the remaining residents ran from one task to another at a frantic pace. In the middle of the hallway stood Haruka keeping an eye on the clock and making sure the girls didn't inadvertently hurt themselves when they moved from one task to another.
"You know, you guys wouldn't be running around like this if you did this last night like I suggested," the older woman called toward the kitchen area.
Naru stuck her head out of the doorway. "We started last night – but the more we clean, the more banana goop appears!"
"Su, why exactly did you feel the need to make that...infernal contraption of yours?" asked an irritated Motoko, scraping the last of the sticky substance off of the ceiling.
"Well...I thought that making a machine that peels bananas and makes all sorts of dishes out of them would be great," commented Su, who was too busy eating the aftermath of her machine's trial run rather than cleaning. "But I guess it still has a few kinks."
"Su don't eat that!" exclaimed Shinobu. "You don't know where it's been!"
"But it's a waste to throw it all in the garbage," whined Su.
Naru sighed and shook her head as she wringed the mop for another pass on the floor. "Oh let her Shinobu – less stuff to take out to the curb."
Haruka shook her head. "Every time I think I've seen and heard it all, I just have to come here...and I realize one thing."
"And what would that be what?" asked Motoko, wringing her washcloth.
"I haven't seen a damn thing."
"Hey! How much time do we have until Kitsune and Keitaro come back?" asked Naru.
"Got plenty of time," answered Haruka, looking at her watch. "A little more than an hour, I say."
At that moment, the group heard the distinct sound of a car pulling up. A heartbeat later, the residents kicked it into high gear cleaning – or eating in Su's case – what remained of the forty or so pounds of mashed banana that currently covered the kitchen. Haruka glanced at her watch and shook her wrist.
"Hmm...remind me to get a new battery for my watch," she said to Naru.
"Finish up what you're doing and let's head to the front," said Motoko.
With their task complete for the moment, the girls washed their hands and made their way to the main entrance. Taking a seat in the living room, they heard the door opened and shut. Soon enough the happy couple stepped inside exhausted from the trip back. Haruka was the first one to get up to greet them
"We're home," announced Keitaro, dropping their luggage. "Hi aun...Haruka. "
"Much better," said Haruka, then turned to her niece-in-law. "Now you better not start calling me 'aunt' either, okay?"
Kitsune laughed lightly. "Oh lighten up – there's no harm doing it."
"Glad to see you guys again," said Naru.
"I hope your trip was enjoyable," said Motoko.
Kitsune nodded. "It was."
"Did ya bring me back some bananas?" asked Su.
"Yup," replied Keitaro, "they're in one of the suitcases."
"Hopefully it survived the trip," commented Kitsune.
"So what are you two going to do now that your back?" asked Shinobu.
"Well, Kitsune and I are gonna move her things into my room...now that we're married and all," answered Keitaro as he and Kitsune took a seat on the couch.
"But eating dinner sounds good right about now," commented Kitsune.
"Umm...yeah, about that," said Naru nervously. "Hehe...it's kinda funny but..."
"Cooking isn't an option, right?" finished Keitaro.
"Yeah, pretty much," said Su. "But the good news is that we got the majority of the banana mush cleaned off."
Kitsune smirked. "Only in the Hinata Sou."
"Oh we're sorry Sempai," cried Shinobu. "I know we promised to take care of the dorm while you two were away, but–"
"It's alright," said Keitaro. "How 'bout we all eat out instead?"
"Actually that doesn't sound half bad," commented Naru. "There's a new ramen place downtown that we could go to."
"Yay! Ramen!" shouted Su.
"I'm up for some ramen myself," added Motoko.
Kitsune got up. "Well then, let's go – better to go and beat the evening rush."
The others quickly got up and grabbed their coats while Keitaro and Kitsune moved their bags in the manager's room for the time being. Once everyone was outside Keitaro locked the front door and they walked of for dinner. The whether was ideal for a walk, considering that it was almost seven in the evening. Fifteen minutes later the group reached their destination
The streets that were once filled with activity lay virtually deserted. The sounds of cicadas and the gentle hum of streetlamps accompanied the sounds of talking and laughing. As the small group made their way back to the dorm Kitsune and Keitaro told the others about their honeymoon. Keitaro was surprised to see the other girls listening intently on the subject. While Keitaro talked to the others, Kitsune and Haruka, lagging behind, were having small conversations of their own. Somehow, the subject changed to something more...personal, to say the least.
"So Kitsune," asked Haruka, her hands under her chin. "Did you two...already decide to, uh...you know...have a family?"
"Huh," said Kitsune, a slight blush on his face. "You mean...did we, uh..."
Haruka nodded, delighted to put Kitsune in an embarrassing situation for a change.
"Haruka, isn't that a little inappropriate to ask a young married couple such as us?" said Kitsune in a fake chiding voice. "After all, there are impressionable minds present here."
Haruka smirked as they reached the base of the stairs that lead back to the dorm. "But did you guys end up consummating like tradition dictates?"
Before she could answer, their attention snapped toward the group ahead – who was about halfway up the stairs.
"Hey Keitaro, you won't mind if ya carry me back up, would ya?" exclaimed Su.
"Su, I don't think that's a good-," started Keitaro, who was carrying the majority of the leftovers from dinner.
Before the poor manager could finish, Su leaped up and landed perfectly on his shoulders. Unfortunately, this shifted his center of gravity and caused him teeter off of the steps. While Su was unaware of the chain of events that she'd started, everyone else knew what was about to happen next...and it wasn't going to be pretty.
"Su, get off of him!" cried Kitsune.
It was too little, too late. As Keitaro fell back, Su bailed at the last moment landing next to Naru. Keitaro was not as fortunate as his body began hitting every step on his way down. He finally came to a stop at the bottom, only to have food of all varieties splatter on top of him. Kitsune rushed to her husband side, a look of shock and concern on her face.
Keitaro!" she cried, fearing the worst as she knelt beside him." Are you okay! Say something!"
"Ah...ouch," he answered, slowly getting up.
"I'm so glad you're alright," Kitsune sighed in relief. "Come on – let's get you cleaned up."
Kitsune gently wrapped her left arm around his waist; she then took both of his hands into her free one and guided him back up the stairs where everyone else was waiting anxiously. Haruka sighed in relief seeing that her nephew would be okay, being helped by her niece. As she is about to join the others, she realized she'd never finished her conversation with Kitsune.
"Oh well," she said to herself. "Maybe I'll talk to her again about later."
With that she proceeded up toward the Hinata Sou.
A/N – Hope everyone enjoyed the first chapter! First off, I'd like to thank everyone who read and reviewed Path from Within and those who've suggested that I write a sequel. I hope to see a lot of feedback on this story, because I literally thrive on reviews – especially ones that give me a lot ideas and suggestion that can help improve my skills as a writer.
Well that enough from me – you all know what to do now! I'll try to get chapter 2 up by next week at the earliest!