(Author's Notes: It has been about, seven months since the last update of Triumvirate was published. I'm not going to make any more excuses in the notes here, as the full story will be posted with in a day or two in the Triumvirate Discussion Forum under the Forums List in the Love Hina category. So yeah... But um, I will warn that this might not be worth the long wait, but then again it might be I dunno. It seems off to me, but I guess that's because I'm feeling a little ill as I post this, but it's cool. So um, I can't really go on about much except enjoy this long over do chapter, I am so sorry I haven't updated sooner. Think of this as my birthday present to all of you. By the time most of you read this, it will be April 6, which marks my Seventeenth birthday this year. So... that is my gift to all of you, a new chapter. Thank you once again for supporting me and this fanfiction.
(Disclaimer! Hey guys, I don't own Love Hina. Ken Akamatsu does. I am not claiming this as mine, so don't let anyone tell you differently!
Chapter Five: Family Feud
It is amazing how fast people will haul off and fight with each other. Oh, it had started as a simple game of Pictionary at Keitaro's suggestion, in an attempt to get the in-laws to know each other better. This at first, was a novel idea, a noble effort even. But because of the luck that is both so kind and so harsh to Keitaro, this one would not end well at all. It started out just fine, with the teams being the Narusegwas minus Mei against the Urashimas and both of them against Tsuruko and Mei, with Haruka being referee, while Keitaro, Naru, Motoko and the rest of the girls went on either watching or with other things. The game progressed fine, with the normal fare of things like watermelon or airplane, just regular Pictionary. Things began to go downhill when Tsuruko brought out the special handmade Pictionary cards that she had made one night a few years back during extreme boredom. First, Kasumi drew a factory, which everyone quickly caught onto, but when she shook her head that it was not the correct answer, so she added little stick figures coming out of the factory. Immediately, Kenjo shouted "Soylent Green", which also wasn't the right answer. Kasumi furrowed her brow and sighed. It was baby factory. This put everyone on edge, as most shot looks straight at Tsuruko, whom simply replied with a smile. It soon became apparent, that unlike Motoko, her sister was a very down to earth person in touch with her sexuality. Next it feel upon Soichiro to draw a card, and what he drew puzzled everyone. Clearly, it was blatantly sexual, as it had what where two stick figures, one standing with the other's legs placed behind it's standing form with the second stick figure going at a diagonal with its hands placed straight out in front of it's body, touching the ground. Mei grinned and told everyone it looked like a Wheelbarrow, and Tsuruko nodded as that was what it was called. This outraged Soichiro, who pointed at Tsuruko and yelled about how it was all her fault that Naru was married to Keitaro and that he should make her pay. Kenjo came to her aid, pointing out that Naru had consented to the whole thing and had wanted to marry Keitaro.
From here, the gloves where off. A grand shouting match erupted between the in-laws, with Kenjo trying to protect his son's name and also trying to defuse Soichiro from getting physically violent. Which wasn't to say that the women weren't fighting, as the once friendly Anju and Kasumi were actually in a rather large bickering match with Tsuruko about her intentions in this whole ordeal. Keitaro, Naru and Motoko could do nothing but stand there and try to think of a way to get their families to stop fighting. Finally, ever the hero, Keitaro tried to inject some logic and reason into the situation.
"Hey now!" shouted Keitaro. "This is really a stupid thing to fight over, you should all just sit down and cool off!"
"Oh shut your hole, boy!" shouted Soichiro. "We don't need your opinion!"
"Hey, let him be!" said Kasumi.
"Why should he!" interjected Anju. "It's his fault after all!"
"Oh come off of it." grunted Kenjo, leveling a finger as Tsuruko. "It's really her fault in the first place. Getting all this together and making it legal. Manipulating people's lives!"
Tsuruko sighed. "I didn't force anything on anyone, nor will I admit to being manipulative. All parties involved knew what they had gotten themselves into when they agreed to go along with my terms." Tsuruko smiled faintly. "The marriage powers come with the benefits of having the family school and shrine..."
"Oh how perfect for you!" said Anju, tossing her arms up in the air, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "You oversexed perverted sword jockey!"
"Mother!" shouted Naru. "This is going way to far!"
"Why are you taking her side!" asked Soichiro.
"I'm not taking anyone's anything! Everyone is being really stupid, that's all!"
"Liar! You are taking sides and you know it!"
Suddenly, a large piercing sound erupted throughout the house and everyone quieted down to see Mei standing on a table, an air horn in each hand as the source of the noise.
"ALRIGHT ALREADY!" yelled Mei as she let down on the air horns. "Everyone just stop, shut up and listen!" Mei looked around to see that she had everyone's attention, so she decided to continue. "Look at all of you, acting like children! Why is everyone so uptight that three people got married? I thought weddings were times of joy, not a time to start a brawl in the living room. You are all adults, start acting like them!"
"You call us children." sighed Anju. "Yet we are being good parents, showing concern for the situation that our daughter has been dragged into."
"Dragged?" asked Tsuruko. "Oh no, that is inaccurate. She was asked her feelings, and she supplied an honest answer. I assure you, I let her marry Keitaro because I felt it a crime to deny her a chance at her feelings."
Soichiro rolled his eyes. "Oh yes, the saintly samurai! Such honor and grace to be defending true love. What a sack of crap!"
"I disagree." said Motoko. "What my sister did was totally commendable."
"You're just saying that because deep down inside you've got a very large lesbian tendency that you can't want to try out!"
"Mr. Narusegwa, that was just too damn rude!" Kenjo yelled.
"I think it is high time everyone just went to different parts of the house and sorted this out." sighed Keitaro. He looked around at everyone. "Well, what are you waiting for? Mom and Dad, go down to the Tea House, Tsuruko, stay there. Naru's parents, the deck." Keitaro turned to Naru. "Can you take your family to the deck?" She nodded. "Good. Now, everyone, go and think things over and try to get more level headed." After everyone had left, Keitaro sighed. "We are certainly deep in it this time."
Motoko nodded. "Yes, our families have certainly gone to the mattresses this time."
"I have no clue what that means, but I'll go along with it!"
"It means basically to make preparations for going to war. I read it in a novel."
"Then you are exactly right." said Keitaro as Naru returned from the deck. "So... how are your parents now? I know it hasn't been that long, but any change?"
Naru laughed sarcastically. "Yeah, a change. That'll happen. No, they are still as pissed as ever. I don't see how we are going to fix this one."
"We have to think of something, else the holidays are going to be hell." said Keitaro. "Perhaps... if we convinced them of how this really isn't as bad as it looks."
"What do you propose?" asked Motoko.
"Well, nothing yet. But we need to go someplace to think..."
"How about our room?" asked Naru.
"Yes, that'll do!" replied Keitaro, with a chivalrous grin. "Ladies first."
Naru hit Keitaro lightly on the arm as she walked past him. "Flattery will get you nowhere..."
"Remember that, Keitaro." glared Motoko as she followed Naru. "This is no time for your perversions."
Keitaro sighed as he followed his wives to their shared bed room. "I was just trying to be nice..."
Meanwhile, in the Tea House.
Kenjo shook his head in frustration. "This is a fine mess, a fine mess indeed." He stood up and walked over to his wife. "Kasumi... What are we going to do? This really went downhill."
Kasumi took a deep breath. "Perhaps... Perhaps we need to look at this from a standpoint of logic. Keitaro isn't the same person as he was when he left our home. He's become much more mature and is a very caring individual."
Kenjo nodded. "I see were you're going with this. We have to be supportive and understanding." Kasumi nodded, motioning for him to continue. "I mean, he made a conscious decision when he got married, and even though it is still early, I have total faith that he will be faithful and devoted. Once our son has is mind put to something, it's damn near impossible to get him to relent."
Kasumi smiled. "Then we should support him. Given time, somehow, this whole thing will be worked out by someone. So for now, we just have to go with the flow."
Kenjo went to hug his wife but stopped. "This was a little too easy, Kasu..."
"What do you mean?"
"Think about it, not but an hour ago, we where both embroiled in that argument, and then suddenly, we just do a huge U-Turn. Does that add up to you?"
"Of course. We weren't thinking clearly because our emotions were in the way of our thinking process."
Kenjo smiled and then hugged and kissed his wife. "Ah, one of the many reasons I married you, Kasu. You're smart and insightful."
Kasumi let out a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Ken. Now, I wonder how everyone else is dealing with their problems right now."
Kenjo grinned. "Probably not much better than when we left them..."
Meanwhile, in the Living Room
Tsuruko sat alone in quiet contemplation as the other residents moved about their daily businesses as best as they could. The earlier fight had made everyone on edge, not just those involved. Shinobu felt the need to offer Tsuruko something to drink or eat as she sat, but, was too afraid to disturb her. Shinobu had no reason to fear, but it was best she left Tsuruko along to think anyway.
'Hmm... No, I have absolutely no fault in this matter.' thought Tsuruko. 'But I will undoubtedly feel at fault if this marriage fails, So perhaps. I am diluting myself. There is not "fault" per say, but, I am the cause of this marriage. But, it's not all just an exercise in futility, this marriage will do my sister a world of good. She'll learn that there is more to life than the sword, and then, she will learn to combine the two. All in all, this is the best course of action.'
A smile crossed Tsuruko's lips as she sat in the living room, totally oblivious to all.
Moments later, on the Deck.
Soichiro Narusegwa was beyond angry. His step-daughter had really worked him into a precarious spot this time. Not only had she married into some seriously messed up polygamist marriage, but she had disgraced him in the ensuing battle with the in-laws, by not standing by the family and it's point of view on the whole situation.
"She's really gone against us this time, you know?" said Soichiro. "It's like she doesn't care that we are her family anymore, that we might be right. Oh no! She's got her new family with the sword jockey and the four eyed gimp!"
Anju sighed. "You heard her, she wants this."
"Oh yes! Such a quick decision on her part!" spat Soichiro. "Nothing at all was going on between them before the marriage, she claims, but oh no! Secret hidden feelings or something. But more likely than not, I bet it's because she can't accept losing to that sword jockey."
"Well, I don't think there is anything we can really do, honey."
"Such a defeatist attitude you've got, Anju! We have to be able to do something!"
Anju shook her head. "I think we have to face the facts here. She isn't going to listen to anyone but herself on what she wants to do in this situation. What is done is done, so unless they get divorced, we're going to have to live with this." She paused for a moment and smiled. "To be honest, I kind of like the idea of Naru doing something that makes her happy. I could never wish a life of re-tries at love and relationships on her that I have, so I am very thankful she has ended up with this Keitaro fellow. I can really tell he's a good guy."
Soichiro looked at his wife. "You may be sweet on the idea, but I think it'll..."
"Take you some time." smiled Anju as she finished his sentence. "I know. But at least, we should try to be civil."
"Perhaps, but I still don't like nor trust that Tsuruko devil."
Anju shook her head and muttered. "Well, at least it's a start..."
Ten minutes later, Keitaro/Naru/Motoko's Room.
Keitaro sighed, as much was the fashion of the day, as he looked around the room at his wives. "Well girls, I'm still at a loss for what to do..."
"We can disown our parents, right?" asked Naru.
"That accomplishes nothing, except making them bitter towards us for good." replied Motoko.
"We'll just have to tell it to them straight up, then. They'll understand that."
"Or perhaps, my original plan worked." said Keitaro.
"What plan?" asked Naru.
"Letting everyone's parents work it out in their own way, kinda try to come to terms better with the situation. Hopefully, it worked."
Motoko and Naru looked at each other, then settled their eyes on Keitaro.
"You really think that this has worked?" asked Motoko.
Keitaro smiled and laughed. "Well, lets say I hope so."
"Well, for all our sakes, I hope you succeeded as well."
Naru stood up. "So, that's it then? We're just gonna let them work it out themselves?"
"No, I liked your idea about telling them the story straight up." said Keitaro. "But what is the story..."
Naru winked. "Oh don't worry, just follow our lead. Speak your heart and you cannot go wrong!"
Motoko stood up and joined Naru. "Yes, be optimistic! We can work through this!"
Keitaro got up and walked to the door and yelled for Shinobu, whom came quickly.
"Yes sempai, do you need something?" asked Shinobu.
"Shinobu, I hate to treat you like our little errand girl, but can you get Kitsune and Haruka to help you out, and bring everyone to the living room once again. We've got some discussing to do."
She nodded. "Of course, I can do this all at once!" She blushed. "Oh and, I know... you don't mean for me to be the 'little errand girl'..." Shinobu tried her best to hide her blush and went about her task.
Keitaro looked back at his wives. "Well then! Shall we go and meet our destiny?"
"Of course. Gotta face it sooner or later." replied Naru, heading for the door. "Motoko?"
Motoko nodded and joined Naru by the door. "It is best to get this out of the way now."
Keitaro opened the door and thought for a moment. 'Those two never stop amazing me.' He stepped outside. "Alright then, let us go!" The three headed down to the living room for their confrontation with their families, hoping and praying that avoid a repeat of earlier.
A few minutes later...
The combined relatives of Keitaro, Motoko and Naru Urashima sat quietly with a tension in the air so thick, you could chew on it. While things seemed to have eased a bit from earlier, this would still be considered the proverbial calm before the storm. Mei had reappeared, after spending some time with Su, escaping from the drudgery of the feud, and was now seated with her parents, facing the Urashimas. The whole room held is breath as the trio in question walked in and stood before them.
"Everyone, may I have your attention please?" asked Keitaro, trying not to sound too corny. "We as a collective family have something to say, and I believe that Naru will start us off."
Naru cleared her throat. "Well, let me say, first off, I..."
Anju was the first to speak. "It's okay honey, you don't have to say anything."
"Mom, this better not be starting up a new argument..."
"No, no. Nothing like that. I am speaking for Soichiro and myself to everyone that, I think that given more time, we can all work out the little kinks in this whole ordeal and really learn to get along."
"We don't have to like each other." said Soichiro, staring at Kenjo and Kasumi. "But we are related now, so we'll have to get along."
Kenjo joined in. "Yes, we have been going about this the entirely wrong way up to this point."
"So let's start over, eh?" asked Kasumi, quickly looking over to Tsuruko. "Do you have anything you'd like to add?"
Tsuruko shook her head. "Nope, everything is as it should be, so to speak. I agree with what has been said."
Mei jumped in. "So it's settled! No more pointless fighting, it's time to really be happy about this wedding. Alright! I can go with that."
The parents all nodded and agreed, leaving the three Urashimas in shock.
Naru blinked. "Never mind, it looks like your plan worked after all, Keitaro."
Motoko nodded. "It would seem so..."
Keitaro blinked, shook his head, and then blinked again. "Damn, it did work! I'm shocked."
The three just stood there in stupefied awe as their families began to converse and begin the learning process. And for a simple moment, the promise made by Tsuruko was put out of mind, if only for a little bit. The family feud was over, but the war, so to speak, had just begun on a different front.
End Chapter Five.
Coming Next Chapter! The Triumvirate has overcome the family feud, but is another one brewing beneath the surface close to home? Perhaps. But one thing is for certain, they have a lot of fears and ground to overcome in three weeks so that Motoko can once again take up the sword. Stick around for the upcoming chapter to Triumvirate!