Love Hina: Once Again

Chapter 26

Tennyo Masaki wouldn't actually admit it to anyone, but she felt a certain... awe when they met Sailor Moon. There was a kind of shimmering purity to the girl, as well as to her companions, and there was the whole magic issue.

YES, Tennyo also had a 'magic' sword, but even if others thought it was magical, she still knew it was merely highly advanced alien technology. All the special powers of the Jurai royal families were explainable by science, if you understood the forces they were manipulating. They had evolved a combination of extra-sensory perception and technology that let them do the incredible things they were capable of.

Sailor Moon, on the other hand, broke every physical law that Tennyo understood. And probably some she didn't. Just to start with her and her team entirely violated conservation of energy, not to mention other fundamentals of the universe. It was rather frightening, really to see it.

Of course, knowing a clutz had that kind of world-shaking power was frightening in itself. Tennyo sighed as Sailor Moon stumbled and fell, then sat on her butt and whimpered. Her fellow Sailors looked mortified, but thankfully Moon recovered fairly quickly.

Tennyo sighed, deciding she was just dithering. She was here in Tokyo for a reason, and it was not people watching. With a determined stride she left Sailor Moon and friends to fight a monster and headed for one of the many office towers in the core of the city.

Tennyo was faintly amused to see the name of the company she had been summoned to was "Jurai Interests Inc." and was in possession of the entire top two floors of the building. It was a bit obvious, in her opinion. Though she could understand taking the top two floors... it would help then conceal any starships landing.

The 'secretary' just inside the main doors was a Science Police graduate, Tennyo could tell from the way she moved. The physical strength enhancements and durability meant you had to be very VERY careful under normal conditions. Still, the pink haired woman smiled pleasantly as she said, "Miss Tennyo, good to see you."

"Thank you, Mitoto," Tennyo read her name tag. Clearing her throat to try to hide any nervousness she asked, "Is she in?"

"Yes," Mitoto agreed, "and she's waiting for you." She activated a concealed switch in her desk as she continued, "Go right in."

"Thank you," Tennyo answered as she went by her, the doors swinging open automatically. Dramatic, but it suited the woman she was visiting.

The office within was not terribly grand, but it suited the owner quite nicely. There was a lot of wood decoration and furniture, as expected from one from Jurai, and was lit subtly to bring out the lovely colors of the decorations. The way the room was laid out inevitably drew the eye to the desk and the green haired woman sitting behind it.

"Tennyo," Seto Kamiki Jurai smiled warmly at her, but with a subtle sense of menace as she said, "it's good to see you."


"So Tennyo is in Tokyo for a architectural meeting?" Kitsune asked, sounding disappointed. She STILL hadn't managed to press the other woman about the mysterious magic sword she had used earlier. Not that she wanted one for herself, exactly, but she at least wanted a better idea of what it could do in a emergency.

"Yes," Mutsumi agreed a bit guiltily. In fact Tennyo had confided to her that she was meeting with her relative, but didn't want the others to know. So instead she had spread around the story that she was dealing with selling plans to a client.

"Damn," Kitsune sighed. Then she shrugged, "Ah well."

The two women were sitting in the Hinata Cafe, that Kitsune kinda sorta ran. Well, really Shinobu ran it, but Kitsune still managed the finances as she was, surprisingly, quite good with money. Sometimes Kitsune wondered what the drunken, gambling Kitsune of just a few years ago would have thought of all this. They were sitting near a window enjoying the sun, in a lag time between various waves of customers.

Mutsumi looked at Kitsune thoughtfully. Ever since their last trip the other woman seemed... distracted by something, as if something was on her mind. "Kitsune, is something wrong?" she tried asking.

Kitsune started, then looked a bit sheepish. "I guess I have been distracted," she conceded after a moment. She smiled, "It's kind of complicated."

"Talking things out sometimes helps," Mutsumi offered gently.

Kitsune smiled as she realized that Mitsumi, with her relationship with Tennyo, might actually be the best person to talk about this. "Well, it's about Motoko, sort of," she admitted, then began to explain about the yuri story that Motoko had published that she suspected was about her and Kitsune.

"Can I borrow that magazine later?" Mutsumi asked cheerfully.

Kitsune chuckled as she answered, "Yeah, sure." She looked at Mutsumi curiously and asked, "What do you think?"

"Uhm," Mitsumi looked faintly uncomfortable, "are you really sure it's about you and her?" As Kitsune looked at her questioningly she shrugged, "I mean, it is a pretty common theme in books and movies. Remember when we all went to see Kamikaze Girls?"

Kitsune nodded thoughtfully. Mitsumi might just have a point, there were lots of books and stuff based on the rebel character falling for a more conservative type. Opposites attract and all that. There was no reason Motoko couldn't have just seized on that sort of idea for her first story.

"You might be right." Kitsune admitted. "I wish I could just ask her."

Mutsumi looked at her sympatheticalyy, "You're going to have to wait until Motoko feels comfortable enough to tell us she got published, I think. If you reveal you tracked her story down it might feel intrusive..."

"Ugh," Kitsune nodded.

As things started to pick up in the cafe Shinobu signaled for them to get back to work. Mutsumi excused herself and Kitsune helped with serving too for a bit. It was always fun watching the fanboys congregating at the cafe... she had her fans, of course. Even with her mostly average bust and long legs, she drew guys in. But the big draw (literally and figuratively) was Mutsumi. Her large breasts and sweet manner earned her many fans. In a different way Shinobu also had a following, though in her case it was her shy, sweet personality and great cooking.

Once the rush died down again Kitsune slipped away, knowing she had to get some paperwork done for Phantom Quest Corp. It was very enjoyable, running her own company, but the paperwork was a pain. Entering the Hinata Inn she slipped on her interior shoes, then headed up to her rooms.

Speaking of mysteries, Kitsune nodded a greeting to Utena and Anthy as they headed out to the Inn's hotsprings. She had recruited Anthy as a psychic on her team, and the woman had shown unpredictable but powerful abilities. Along with her came her lover Utena, who was something of a enigma. She knew Utena had a magical sword, and seemed to be able to match Motoko in battle. But other than that...

For a moment Kitsune thought of following them out into the springs to talk, but she also knew Utena was kind of shy of nudity. Su, to Kitsune's annoyance, had spied on the two of them in the baths and had told Kitsune about the extensive scarring along Utena's back, which probably explained the shyness. Su, a notoriously savage girl, had actually been a bit green describing the extensive wounds.

"Kitsune, hello," Kanako smiled warmly, the black haired and dressed woman nodding a greeting.

The cat perched on her shoulder looked at Kitsune and noted, "You're late with rent."

"Hush," Kanako told the cat.

SUPPOSEDLY the cat talked with just ventriloquism, but at times like this Kitsune really wondered. "Sorry," she apologized, "I got caught up in other work. I'll get you the money now."

"No rush," Kanako said with calm dignity, "I know you're good for it."

It was VERY hard to guilt trip Kitsune, but oddly Kanako's quiet faith in her good intentions got her every time. She wondered if the girl did it deliberately, or if it was just something she had picked up? Anyway she led Kanako to her room, got the rent envelope and gave Kanako the money.

"Sorry for the wait," Kitsune said as she handed it over.

"No trouble at all," Kanako answered mildly. She tucked the envelope away as she noted, "I saw a copy of Wildrose in your rooms. Did you enjoy Motoko's story?"

Kitsune's eyes widened slightly. "You know too?" she asked.

Kanako nodded slightly as she admitted, "I ran into a copy while shopping earlier." She looked at Kitsune thoughtfully, "Are you going to tell her about having the magazine?"

"She doesn't seem comfortable talking about it," Kitsune admitted, "until she is, I don't think I'll bring it up."

Kanako sighed but nodded slightly, "That was pretty much what I thought too."


Lightning seemed to flash between Tennyo and Seto as their wills silently clashed, then Seto relaxed, sitting back with a sigh. "You're going to be difficult about this, aren't you?" she asked.

Tennyo continued to meet her eyes defiantly, "Hell yes. I have done my best to stay out of imperial politics on Jurai for years. No way am I letting you pull me in to them." Silently she added, 'ESPECIALLY trying to betroth me to a ally, damn it. Not interested.'

Seto looked at her calmly, "You know I can make things VERY difficult for you..."

"Then maybe I'll stop being a architect and become a waitress," Tennyo answered calmly.

A smile quirked Seto's lips, then she let it go and smiled fully. "All right, you're as tough as I expected," she conceded cheerfully.

"Huh?" Tennyo blinked.

"This was a test," Seto admitted calmly, "I needed to see how serious you were about that girl you're seeing." She saw Tennyo's eyes narrow in anger at the reveal they knew so much of her life and added, "Don't be stupid, Misaki. You are a relative of the Emperor of Jurai, of COURSE we are going to keep a eye on you."

Tennyo really wanted to get cranky about that, but she had to concede the older woman had a point. She sort of expected it, really. "So, how long have you been watching?" she asked.

"Not directly, only by remotes," Seto smiled, "none of your friends are spying on you. And we've only been watching since you left the Masaki Shrine." She frowned slightly, "Why couldn't you have just stayed there? It's safe!"

"Exactly," Tennyo said dryly.

"Heh," Seto smiled, nodding slightly. Every bird had to leave the nest eventually, after all. "I also wanted to tell you that a reaction team will be ready to help if something comes up, much like with Tenchi," she said, "but I can't promise a response faster than a few minutes. Can you hold out in a emergency that long?"

Tennyo though of her new friends back at the dorm, and some of the things they had already shown they were capable of. "I don't think that'll be a problem," she said with a smile.

"Good," Seto agreed. She leaned forward and dropped her voice, "Now, about this girl you're seeing. How serious are you? Because I could help out a bit..."

'Oh hell no,' Tennyo thought, dreading what the most active matchmaker on Jurai might come up with...

To be continued!

Notes: Just touching on Tennyo and her connections to Tenchi Muyo. And trying to resume the romance subplots around Motoko. Heh! It always struck me as DEEPLY unrealistic that Tenchi and Tennyo, both of whom are in line for Jurai's throne, are shown living with no guards or other security.