Love Hina – Seeing Stars!

Fanfic by Steven Biggs

Chapter One – Welcome to Love Hina!

Warning: AU, slightly OOC! Sometimes wacky, sweet and sticky like taffy, and chock full of nuts! Always wear your napkin while eating watermelon. Look both ways before playing on the highway. Never poke a sleeping stick with a dog. Drinking soda-pop while standing on you head is fun for other people to watch! A bird in the hand should not be fed to the cat. It is not a good idea to change your mind more often than you change your underwear. Watching horror movies with friends is more fun if you are the one hiding behind the sofa. A rolling snowball gathers everything in its path, including moss. Never, ever, turn around while walking down a dark hallway. Do not feed the turtles.

Good, you are now suitably prepared to begin reading this tale.

Friday Afternoon.

(Hello. I'm Urashima Keitaro. I'm nineteen years old and I'm still trying to get into Toudai after my second failure to pass the entrance exams. This morning, I received a telephone call from Urashima Hina, my grandmother. Granny Hina wanted to talk to me about something and asked that I stop by the old Hinata-sou after prep school. Why she wanted to see me there, I don't know. It's been closed for almost five years while Granny Hina traveled the world. I guess that it wouldn't hurt to see what the sweet old woman wants; as long as she doesn't try to kiss me. I still have nightmares from the last time she kissed me before she left on her travels. Yuck!)

Keitaro, his backpack over his shoulder, turns off the street and starts climbing the final steps to Hinata-sou. A voice calls out to him.

"Keitaro! Come over here for a minute."

He looks to the right. Urashima Haruka, his aunt and the owner of the Hinata Tea Shop stands before her store holding a banner.

"Haruka-san! It's been a long time! How are you?"

Haruka hugs her nephew.

"I haven't seen you for months. You should come by more often."

He scratches the back of his head.

"Well, with prep school and all, I've been kind of busy. I'm sorry."

She runs her fingers through his hair, straightening what the wind has blown. He laughs and pulls away.

"That tickles! You don't need to fix my hair, Haruka-san. I'm a big boy now!"

Haruka places her cigarette holder in her mouth and smiles.

"You should always try to look your best. You never know when opportunity knocks. You should have been here a half hour ago. Why so late?"

Keitaro blushes.

"Well, I had a run in with this really butch girl today, plus, I had to borrow some money for the train trip. I forgot my wallet before going to school."

She pushes him towards the steps.

"Well, you'd better hurry. It won't do to keep Granny Hina waiting."

Keitaro waves to her as he turns up the steps.

"I'll talk to you later and we can have some tea, Aunt Haruka!"

Haruka, seemingly appearing next to him instantly, clobbers Keitaro with a large paper fan, sending him rolling up the steps.

"That's 'Haruka-san'."

Halfway up the steps, Keitaro looks to the side and spots a girl sitting next to the steps. He walks over to her.

"Hello. I'm Urashima Keitaro. Is there something I can help you with? You look kind of worried."

The girl raises her head. Her long, black hair flows gently around her cheeks as she looks up at him. She blushes and turns her head slightly to avoid his gaze.

"Oh, uh, excuse me. I am fine. I just, well, I feel slightly awkward being here. I have no idea why she called me."

"She? Do you mean Granny Hina?"

The girl looks back at Keitaro.

"Oh, is she, is Urashima Hina your grandmother?"

Keitaro nods his head.

"Yes. I'm on my way to see her right now. Did you say that she called you too?"

The girl nods her head.

"Yes, but, but I am a little frightened. I have never been this far from home before."

Keitaro sets his backpack down and sits on a step.

"Where are you from? And who are you, if you don't mind my asking?"

She looks up at him again.

"Oh, I am sorry! Where are my manners?"

As she stands up and bows to him, her red and white clothes blow gently in the breeze.

"I am Aoyama Motoko. I come from Shinmei-ryu in Kyoto. It is a pleasure to meet you, Urashima Keitaro."

He stands and awkwardly returns her bow.

"Uh, thank you Motoko-chan. The honor is mine."

He looks up the steps.

"Well, since Granny Hina called both of us, would you mind if I walked the rest of the way with you?"

Motoko smiles and blushes again.

"That would be very nice. Thank you, Urashima. You are very kind."

Keitaro shoulders his backpack and picks up Motoko's pack.

"Shall we?"

She smiles and nods her head.

"Yes!"

They continue to the top of the steps. Seeing no one around, Keitaro leads the way to the entrance of the inn. Once inside the foyer, he sets their baggage down. In the common room directly ahead, he spots Hina and a group of girls standing in front of a tall woman with long, dark brown hair wearing sunglasses. The woman looks over at them.

"Ah, it seems that the last ones have arrived. Good timing you two. Hina-san and I were just about ready to explain what is going on. Please, be everyone seated."

Hina nods her head and looks around. She motions to the woman.

"This is Ishido Hikari. I met her in America a few months ago. We had a few discussions, which is why we are all here today."

Hina looks at the seated girls and Keitaro.

"Most of you already know me at least from our telephone conversations. But, for everyone else, we should start with introducing ourselves. Let's start from my left."

She points to a small girl with short, black hair. She stands up and bows.

"I'm Maehara Shinobu. Pleased to meet you."

Hikari looks at her.

"What are some things you like?"

"Well, I like to eat cookies and cakes and . . ."

Hikari jumps up and claps her hands and points at Shinobu.

"That's great! We can use that! How would you like to be the young cook?"

Shinobu shakes her head.

"But, I can't cook."

"Just fake it! How old are you anyways, thirteen, fourteen?"

Shinobu crosses her arms.

"I am twenty-one, actually."

Hikari stares at her.

"You're joking, right? Oh well. Can you make a voice like a little kid?"

Shinobu thinks for a moment.

"You mean like this? Aaauuuuu!"

Hikari claps her hands.

"That's great! We can use that! You'll be the timid, young cook!"

The next girl stands up and looks at everyone formally. Her light blond hair flows around her shoulders as she bows.

"Greetings. I am Kaolla Su. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Hikari looks at Su.

"You're a foreigner?"

Su shakes her head.

"My great-grandfather immigrated to Japan in nineteen hundred and twenty four."

"How come your skin is so dark?"

Su bows her head.

"I stayed under the tanning lights too long last week. It is so embarrassing."

Hikari nods her head.

"You need to watch out for the new, high-tech tanning booths. Wait a minute!"

She claps her hands and points at Su.

"That's great! We can use that! You can be the dark-skinned, foreign, Techo-whiz kid! However, we have to work on your voice. You sound more Japanese than most Japanese I know."

The next girl stands up and bows.

"My name is Otohime Mutsumi. It's nice to be here. I'm from Okinawa!"

As she sits down, a watermelon on the table falls off and rolls across the floor. Everyone stares at it until it comes to a stop near Mutsumi's feet. Hikari jumps up and claps her hands and then points at Mutsumi.

"That's great! We can use that! How would you like to be the 'Melon Girl'?"

Mutsumi looks left then right and then points at herself.

"Who, me? Melon Girl?"

Hikari nods her head as she uses her fingers to frame Mutsumi's face.

"You bet! I can see it now! The Melon Girl. Incredibly strong from carrying around watermelons all the time! No, wait! Even better! You're frail and weak from carrying watermelons around all the time! You're a two-time loser from Okinawa still trying to get into Toudai!"

Mutsumi laughs and places a hand to her cheek.

"I made it into Toudai on my first try. Who could be so stupid and dense to keep trying after their second failure?"

Keitaro stares at the coffee table.

The next girl stands up and straightens her blouse.

"Hello. I'm Konno Mitsune. How are ya'll doing?"

Hikari shakes her head.

"No. No. No! That name isn't any good. We need to jazz it up a bit. Let's see, Konno Mitsune, Konno Mitsune. Konno M. K Mitsune. I've got it! We'll call you Kitsune, the Fox!"

Mitsune shakes her head.

"Only a drunk would name their daughter Kitsune."

Hikari stares at her, and then claps her hands.

"That's great! We can use that! You're going to be the Drinking Fox!"

Kitsune looks at her.

"But, I don't drink!"

"Just fake it. We'll use tea instead of beer and water instead of sake! We'll even save money that way!"

The next girl stands up. She has long, brown hair and thick reading glasses.

"Hi! I'm Narusegawa Naru! It's really good to meet everyone."

She points at Keitaro.

"Except you!"

Keitaro looks up at her.

"What are you talking . . . YOU!"

He jumps from his seat and points at her.

"You're that butch girl from prep school that tried to kill me!"

Naru pokes him in the chest.

"Oh yeah? Well, at least I'm not a two-time loser that scored twenty-seventh from the bottom in his last practice exam! AND, I'm not some louse that knocks girls down just to get a peek at their panties!"

Keitaro pushes her finger away.

"I didn't push you down, you fell after I let go of your hand! And BESIDES, you weren't wearing any panties!"

"You lying twerp! You dirty, lousy, panty-stealing . . ."

"I didn't steal your panties! It's not my fault if you forgot to put them on!"

Naru shakes her fist at him.

"I didn't forget anything. See?"

She lifts her skirt. The room goes silent. Hina coughs.

"Child, please lower your skirt. And, Keitaro was right. You did forget your panties."

Naru looks down, blushes, drops her skirt, and punches Keitaro.

"What the heck are you looking at? Pervert!"

Hikari looks back and forth between Naru and Keitaro. Then, she jumps to her feet and claps her hands.

"That's great! We can use that! You two will be the lovers trying to get into Toudai!"

Hina looks over at Keitaro.

"Since he is indisposed at the moment, I shall introduce him. That is Urashima Keitaro, my grandson. He is nineteen and trying to get into Toudai."

Hikari looks over as Keitaro pulls himself off the floor.

"Hina-san, I just had a great idea. Why don't we make him the manager?"

Hina nods her head as a wide smile crosses her face.

"I like that idea."

Motoko demurely raises her hand. Hikari sits down and nods to her.

"You're Aoyama Motoko, from Kyoto, right?"

She nods her head and blushes.

"I, well, I was just wondering. What is this all about?"

Hikari jumps up and raises her fist into the air.

"Cinema!"

Keitaro staggers over.

"Cinema? What are you talking about? Granny Hina, what's going on?"

Hina helps Keitaro sit and looks at everyone.

"As I mentioned earlier, I met Hikari-san in America. She was there training to be a producer and director in Hollywood. After finishing her studies, she wanted to come back to Japan to direct. We decided that Hinata-sou would make an ideal setting for a series."

Naru shakes her head.

"A series? About what?"

Hikari lowers her fist and spreads her arms.

"It will be a series about real life in Japan! A half-dozen or so strangers brought together under one roof! The title will be 'The Really, Really, Real World of Life in Japan With a Half Dozen or so Strangers Under One Roof'! Life, love, and all the trials that go with them! What do you think?"

The room is silent. Motoko slowly raises her hand again. She looks over at Keitaro and blushes.

"Since this inn is called Hinata-sou, could you just call the series 'Love Hina'?"

Hikari stares at Motoko for a few seconds. She then leaps from her seat, pulls at her hair, and runs around the coffee table. After a few circuits, she stops and claps her hands and points at Motoko.

"That's great! We can use that! In addition, as a reward for that idea, I'll let you have the best part! You will be the sword girl that always chases the new manager!"

She points at Keitaro. He looks around the room.

"Huh? Chases me? Why?"

Hikari wags a finger at him.

"Don't sweat the details! This will be great! A complete script re-write!"

Keitaro looks over at his grandmother.

"Granny Hina, has Hikari-san actually produced or directed any movies?"

Hina shakes her head.

"It shows, doesn't it? Well, she finished third in her class!"

Keitaro nods his head.

"That's pretty good. Unless . . ."

Hina bows her head.

"There were only three students."

Shinobu walks over and looks up at Hikari.

"You're not actually a director, are you?"

Hikari takes off her sunglasses and sighs.

"I am a doctor, to tell the truth. But, I always wanted to produce a movie."

She reaches into a bag next to the coffee table and pulls out a Somy Hi-8 digital camera.

"I even bought my own camera!"

Keitaro grabs his and Motoko's packs, and then holds his hand out to Motoko.

"This is crazy! Let's get out of here. I know a really good beef-bowl shop!"

Motoko blushes as she stands and carefully takes his hand. Naru jumps in between them and pushes Keitaro back into his chair.

"You lousy, two-timing, fink!"

"What? What are you talking about? Who am I two-timing on?"

Naru plants a foot on his chest to keep him in his seat as she rants.

"If you think that I'm gonna give up on a shot at the big-time just because you have some unsubstantiated doubts about our fine director, then you've got something loose in your head! You're going to play the minor roll as my love interest whether you like it or not!"

Hikari clears her throat.

"Actually, the roll of the manager is the lead roll."

Naru looks at Hikari and then back at Keitaro. She grabs his neck and lifts him out of the chair and off the floor.

"You stealing, lying, crook! I thought that I had the lead roll! Give it back to me!"

Motoko holds up a hand and struggles to speak.

"Uh, could, could you please put him down? Please?"

Naru ignores her and continues strangling Keitaro.

"What? Aren't you even going to say anything?"

Kitsune shakes her head and pours a glass of tea.

"I don't think that ya'll is giving him a chance."

Motoko wrings her hands.

"Please, Narusegawa-san! You are going to hurt Urashima!"

Keitaro chokes out a few words.

"You're . . . too . . . butch for . . . me!"

Naru starts swinging him around like a rag doll. Motoko kneels down and opens her pack. Drawing out a wooden training sword, she stands and nervously holds it in Naru's direction.

"Please, I, I don't want to hurt anyone. Let Urashima go!"

Naru turns her head.

"Shut up. Do you think that stick scares me, Kendo Girl?"

Motoko's left eye twitches.

"Kendo girl?"

". . ."

"KENDO GIRL?"

Flames leap from her eyes as she raises her sword.

"You will now release Urashima! Shinmei-ryu no Zankusen! God's Cry Attack of The Air Slashing Sword!"

The vortex swirls around her blade. The other girls stare in shock as Motoko hurls the force across the room. The maelstrom crashes through the coffee table, sending splinters spinning through the air. Naru turns her head, her eyes widening as she watches the swirling mass rush towards her. She drops Keitaro, but only has time to turn away before the vortex rips into her. She is flung across the room, crashes through the far wall, and lands in the hot spring behind the building. Unfortunately, since the inn had not been used in over five years, the pool is empty. Dust and dirt rise and swirl in the wind as Naru smashes into the rocks. Everyone rushes to the hole in the wall as Motoko kneels next to Keitaro. The only clue that Naru survived is the fact that they can see her right foot twitching.

Hikari, her mouth hanging open, turns slowly back and stares at the sword master. After a few seconds, she claps her hands.

"That's great! We can use that! Another re-write! You will be the demonically powerful sword master that has vowed to destroy the perverted male manager of your all-girl hot-spring dormitory!"

Keitaro looks up at Hikari as Motoko gently cradles his head in her lap.

"I don't know about that."

Motoko nods in agreement.

"I do not wish to harm this kind gentleman."

Hikari scratches her cheek and looks sideways at Hina.

"They drive a hard bargain. Okay! I'll tell you what! We'll pay you an extra 10,000 yen for every stunt."

Keitaro looks up into Motoko's eyes.

"That's a lot of money."

Motoko smiles at him.

"Indeed!"

Naru, brushing dirt off her clothes, staggers back into the inn and point at Keitaro.

"You thief! First, you steal the lead roll, and now you get extra for stunts! I refuse to work under these conditions!"

Hikari looks over at Hina and they both nod.

"Tell you what, Naru-san. We'll pay you the same amount if you can perform any stunt that can match Motoko-san's sword trick. Are you game?"

Naru walks over and holds a hand out to Keitaro.

"I'm sorry. Let me help you. I shouldn't have flown off the handle like that."

Keitaro accepts her hand and gets to his feet.

"That's really great, Narusegawa! I'm glad you're more reasonable than I gave you credit for."

Naru smiles and touches his cheek with her right hand.

"Oh, it looks like you have some dirt on your face. Let me clean it up for you."

She pulls her arm back, balls her fist, and unleashes a wild haymaker. Keitaro flies across the room and crashes through the front doors. Naru waves her hand in the air and turns to Hikari and Hina.

"How was that?"

Hikari nods her head.

"Not bad. Could you give him a little more altitude? The hang time wasn't quite long enough."

Naru smiles and nods her head.

"No problem. I've got a strong follow-through because I bowl a lot!"

Mutsumi stands next to Hina.

"I don't know. How can she make a movie of any quality with just a hand-held camera?"

Hina pats her arm.

"Don't worry child. I have some connections and we'll have a full staff with all the right equipment. Hikari has a good idea, but she still is an amateur when it comes to the details."

She turns to everyone else.

"Well, what do you say? Do you want to make Love Hina become real?"

The girls all look at each other. Kitsune accepts first by raising her thumb. Su smiles and nods her head. Shinobu turns to Mutsumi and they both raise their hands. Naru kicks Keitaro as he crawls back into the common room and then winks at Hina and Hikari. Motoko knocks Naru into the dining room with her sword, kneels next to Keitaro, and helps him up. They nod to each other and look at Hina. Keitaro smiles and rubs the back of his head.

"We're game! What have I got to loose?"

Hikari taps her chin.

"We will need another girl towards the end of the series. Someone to play the manager's sister. Any ideas?"

Keitaro looks over at Hina.

"How about Kanako-san?"

Hina nods her head.

"She should do nicely."

Motoko, holding Keitaro's arm and leaning her head on his shoulder, looks up at him.

"Oh, is this Kanako your real sister?"

Keitaro smiles and shakes his head.

"No. Actually, Urashima Kanako is more like a, well, adopted sister."

Motoko smiles.

"That's nice."

Keitaro smiles back at Motoko.

"And, she's my wife."

The sword master's eyes go wide. She slowly pulls back from Keitaro.

"Your, your wife?"

Keitaro nods his head and pulls a picture from his coat pocket.

"This is her! Cute, isn't she?"

Motoko reaches down and draws her real sword from her pack.

"You vile, deceiving, treacherous, perverted, lecherous, lying male! Shinmei-ryu no Zanganken! God's Cry Attack of The Stone Cleaving Sword!"

End of Chapter One.