Author's Note: I in no way, shape, or form have any ownership of anything to do with Love Hina. This is Ken Akamatsu's baby. I'm just playing around with it. However, this is my story, and if you plagiarize from it, I will slap you silly!
No Pain, No Gain: Prologue
It happened yet again. Invariably, at least once each day, the devil of ill luck hunched on his shoulder reared its dastardly head. Keitaro did not know why his female tenants would strut around the property half-naked, but, without fail, each time they did, some internal compass constantly led him right to where they were, or them to where he was, no matter where they were: the hot spring, any of the bathrooms, or the laundry room.
This time it occurred just outside the door to his room. He was scrubbing away at the hardwood floor by hand, loosening the many months' worth of muck and grime that was deposited there by heavy traffic going into and out of the manager's room. He had been at it for about ten minutes, humming some random tune, focusing so completely on his task that he failed to sense the brown-haired woman clad in naught but a bath towel tiptoeing towards him from the far end of the hall.
The woman glanced both to the right and to the left. Being seen by the other tenants dressed in such a manner around Keitaro would be, at minimum, embarrassing, if not scandalous. It was not a risk she was willing to take without precaution. "Keitaro," Naru Narusegawa whispered, trying to get the manager's attention.
Keitaro, upon hearing Naru's nearly imperceptible voice, merely paused for a moment, shook his head, and recommenced his scouring.
Naru rolled her eyes and squatted down over Keitaro's shoulder. He was as dumb as a box of rocks sometimes, she thought. "Keitaro," she called out to him a little louder.
Keitaro shook his head and chuckled without pausing in his work. "Now I'm hearing her voice in my head while I'm awake," he said under his breath, albeit plenty loud enough for the young woman hovering behind him to hear. Naru's face colored despite her best efforts to the contrary.
"Keitaro!" Naru barked, relenting on keeping quiet to spare both of them further embarrassment. The manager jumped backwards involuntarily, the scrubbing utensil he was using flying out of his grip as his arms jerked upward. Had Naru not been standing directly behind him, Keitaro might have kept his balance. As she was, he bumped into her, sending her sprawling to the floor. Unable to keep himself on his feet, Keitaro also fell backwards, landing directly on top of the young woman, his back to her front.
The scrub brush ended its flight by landing directly on Keitaro's forehead. "Ouch," Keitaro garbled, rubbing at the stricken spot with the towel that was now in his hand. "Where did I?" Keitaro asked himself out loud before feeling something writhe beneath him. Keitaro turned himself over precariously, having an inkling of what had occurred. His eyes met Naru's breasts for just an instant before he leapt off of her.
"N-N-N-N-N-N-Narusegawa," Keitaro stuttered, his voice honking from having pinched his nose shut to prevent a torrential downpour of blood from his nasal cavity. He tossed the towel in her direction, clamping his eyes shut and holding his free hand over them. "I'm so sorry! Please forgive me! I didn't mean to! Please!"
There was no audible response to his frantic apology. "Narusegawa?" Keitaro asked, poking an eye open only to see Naru, her face bright red with rage, stomping towards him as she finished wrapping her towel around her body. Keitaro could tell by the look in Naru's eyes that she likely could not hear anything, much less his voice, so he pitifully braced himself for impact.
"You stupid pervert!" Naru bellowed, sending a flying uppercut into Keitaro's jaw. Keitaro crashed into the ceiling, and as his limp body came back down, Naru executed a flawless roundhouse kick to his abdomen. Keitaro was launched like a rocket through the hallway, blasting through the outer wall as if it were paper mache. His limbs thrashed powerlessly as his body tumbled out of sight toward the horizon.
Naru held her fighting pose, her hand still shaking as she seethed in anger. Soon enough, the color began to drain from her face. "Every time, I swear. I can't even ask him to get the leaves out of the hot spring without him trying something like that." She stood up straight, feeling quite proud of herself, and sauntered off.
Naru felt something warm and wet under her foot as she stepped softly across the lengthy hallway. She raised her foot to look, and saw a deep red fluid smeared on the ball of her foot and on the floor where it fell. She raised her head slowly, looking towards the Keitaro-shaped hole in the far wall, her anger giving way to dread as she noticed more small droplets of the crimson substance standing out from the polished hardwood floor in a line leading to the Keitaro-shaped hole in the wall across the hallway.
Naru, feeling quite numb, peered at her right hand. Several more drops of blood were dashed upon her knuckles. Her eyes glazed over in shock, and her hand began to shake involuntarily. "Keitaro. What did I do?" Her eyes searing with tears, Naru dashed down the hall, bounding up the stairs to her room. The fluid on the floor quickly coagulated in the salty morning air blowing in from the newly created portal.
Author's Note: This is the beginning of an effort to retool this story to make it a better read overall. Almost all of the plot points will remain intact, save ones that are relatively weak for my tastes. Hopefully when it is done, it will be an even more memorable read for you dear readers. Thanks a lot for your support in this effort.