Handyman Keitaro PG-13
Niklas "Hawk" Jonsson

Summary: What if Keitaro was kicked out of his parents place earlier, back when the Hinata Sou was still an inn and Grandma Hina still ran the place?

Disclaimer: Love Hina, Hinata Sou and whatnot are not mine, though I certainly wish they were. The story is mine though, all mine. This story deals with some very unpleasant things. If this disturbs you, don't read.
If the layout looks screwy or symbols seems to be missing, you're probably reading the quickedit-mangled version of this fic on ff dot net, if it grates on your nerves too much, read it on hawksgalaxy dot com or something.

Feedback/Flames: Yes, please. Both of them are equally fun to read, although I must admit that I greatly prefer the first variety. :)
I can be found on ICQ as 21771860, MSN Messenger/E-mail as iamhawk at yahoo dot com, though not very frequently as real life lately interferes with my online existance more then I'd like. More stories are available at my nifty lil' site at hawksgalaxy dot com or by clicking on my handle up above.

emphasis/shouts/Kindred Domination/post-hypnotic triggers
+soundeffect/radio/telephone conversation/TV+

Ranting, raving and random mutterings

The first chapter is a bit fast-paced, as it basically just shows the first arrival of the various tenants and a brief appearance by Shinobu, skipping the bits in between and is just to set the board, until the real game begins in the following chapters. So please, bear with me, as the regular tomfoolery and my usual writing quality doesn't really come into play until the next chapter.

As I know the questions of pairings usually come up pretty darn quickly, I figured I'd head you guys off at the pass and launch a pre-emptive strike, letting you guys know that there currently aren't any planned. I guess we'll have to find out together what my demented mind cooks up further down the road. :D

Though I still haven't written a Keitaro/Kentaro pairing yet...

Heh, naw, I think I'll leave that one to the people who insist on littering the Hikaru no Go, Initial D, Naruto and Prince of Tennis categories with an excessive amount of weird pairings. Not that I don't read them, because I occasionally do, hoping to find a gem amongst all that dung. But I just don't think that I can write a very believable one myself. Not that this seem to prevent others from posting stuff even less credible then what I believe myself capable of cooking up... Previously straight people seem to turn favourably inclined to same-gender-relationships at the drop of a hat in most of the ones I've read, sometimes never even hesitating to jump into bed with a former enemy!

I would really like to read a believable Naruto/Gaara story, a great Sasuke/Itachi fic or an awesome Naruto/Orochimaru epos. Because to make such a thing credible, there has to be some truly awesome writing involved and I'm always eager to have a looksie at that!

Not that I consider my own stuff very credible either, but after reading the Keitaro/Haruka scene in MwP, I'm sure that this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this. ;D Though I personally find myself slightly surprised at the amount of reviews complimenting me for keeping people in character considering the situations I keep throwing them into, as I constantly grumble over how out of character I think everybody behaves in my fics. :)

Anyways, this fic is definitively AU and starts off right after Keitaro announces his decision to exclusively aim for Todai to his parents, predating a whole bunch of stuff in the anime/manga. None of the current tenants have arrived at the Hinata Sou yet ( Though this will change pretty dang quickly! ), the Hinata Sou is still an inn at the beginning, Naru and Kitsune haven't met Seta yet, Grandma Hina isn't travelling the world with Kanako and what d'ya know, everybody is three years younger then in canon.

Roll credits

Chapter One:

"That's quite the story, sonny." Hina said, sipping from her tea and shaking her head with disapproval. "Your mom always did have a bit of a temper." she commented diplomatically. "But this..." she finished, wondering where things had gone wrong. She had always had confidence in her own kids, supporting them in whatever they wanted to do. So kicking poor Keitaro out, because he refused to apply for anything else then Tokyo University, didn't sit right with her. Sure it would be hard for someone with his grades to actually make it, but to refuse to even give him the chance to do so...

No, she couldn't understand it. And she certainly couldn't understand why her son hadn't protested against it! Sure, he'd always been a bit whipped by his more forceful wife, but she would have figured that this was one issue where he would have stood up for himself and his son against her.

"Well, I guess I can let you stay here, if you help out around the place. Business has been slow lately, but if you help out a few hours a day, I could save some money by letting one of my employees go." Hina said which caused Keitaro to relax and smile happily for a few moments, before her statement fully sunk in.

"Fire... Grandma... No. No, I couldn't... Not if it costs someone their job!" Keitaro protested.

"If business doesn't improve, I'll have to let them all go." Hina sighed. "This way, I can keep the place running and only have to fire one person to do it. Besides, the one I have in mind is a lazy bum anyway."

"But..." Keitaro started, then fell silent as he contemplated the situation. Getting somebody fired wasn't something he was all that comfortable with, but if it helped to save the jobs of the others and got him a place to stay at the same time... Finally, he accepted it with a heavy heart, nodding his agreement.

"Excellent." Hina approved. "You can have the room above mine. It's a bit run-down at the moment, but I figure you can get some practise by fixing it up and at the same time, do whatever personalization's you want to it. You can stay in any of the spare rooms while you're working on yours."

And that was how it started.

The current handyman, a disreputable bum by the name of Konno Nanjiro, was laid off the following day and Keitaro took his place. He soon discovered a faint talent for carpentry, which came in handy around the run-down inn. Plumbing was harder, but he soon got the hang of that too. After being sent on a course which Hina paid, he learned the electrical bits as well and got started on renewing the run-down electrical wires around the place, taking the opportunity to lay down optical fibre for a local network at the same time. While there was little use for it at the moment, it could probably come in handy sometime in the future.

As the state of the inn improved, thanks to Keitaro's constant tinkering about the place, Hina got more time to spare and laid off the cook as well. Instead she assumed that chore herself, lessening her own workload by putting more responsibility on Keitaro's shoulders. Business didn't improve much however and eventually, even more people had to be laid off until it was just Hina and Keitaro left. Haruka helped out to the best of her ability, but it soon became clear that the two of them weren't able to run the inn on their own, even with Haruka's help, but that they couldn't afford to hire more people without going into the red.

Grandma Hina was seriously considering closing the inn down completely, when Haruka handed her the newspaper she had been reading, pointing out a particular article in it. The article in question was about a fire which had destroyed Hinata's only Girls Dorm last night, stating the plight of the females therein.

Hina's sudden smile was glorious like the rising sun and after discussing it with both daughter and grandson, decided to turn the Hinata Sou into a Girls Dorm. The modifications needed were few and only two days later, the Hinata Sou reopened.

The first tenant was a girl named Konno Mitsune who had been staying at the dorm that just burned down. Apparently, she was also related to the old handyman Nanjiro, though her opinion of the old coot was even worse then Hina's own. Keitaro helped her move in as she was apparently estranged from her family. The only one who came to help her other then Keitaro, was a Kohai of hers from school, a real cutie named Narusegawa Naru.

Keitaro found Mitsune likeable enough, a fun-loving gal with a wry sense of humour. He had a feeling that the two of them would get along just fine.

Her cute friend did express some concerns regarding Keitaro working at a Girls Dorm, but Mitsune laughed it off and Keitaro merely shrugged, as he had mentioned some of those very same concerns to Hina when she put forth her idea. In the end, Naru decided to leave it be, convinced that Hina would keep him in line, if need be.

The next tenant was a bit of a surprise, coming as she did unannounced and on a day when Grandma Hina wasn't present. With her gone, Keitaro was cooking for himself, Haruka and Mitsune, when the kitchen door suddenly opened, revealing a very odd entourage.

"Uh... Hello?" Keitaro greeted the visitors, bowing deeply.

A tanned man in a western suit fronted the group, standing in a relaxed slouch as he observed his surroundings. Flanking him to his right, was a stately tanned blonde woman with a haughty expression. To his left, was a tanned curvy brunette who instantly focused a hungry gaze at Keitaro, who felt himself squirm under her scrutiny. Behind them stood another tanned blonde, though this was a young girl in her late teens, not yet a woman. She looked faintly curious, her head swivelling around as if she was searching for something.

"Yo." the man greeted him with a lazy wave. "You got rooms to rent?" he inquired.

"Uh, not anymore no. The inn closed down two weeks ago and we turned it into a Girls Dorm." Keitaro replied.

"Yes, I heard." the man agreed with a nod. "It's not for us, it's for my daughter who will be studying here in Japan for the next couple of years."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I misunderstood." Keitaro apologized. "In that case, yes, we do have rooms for rent."

"Kaolla?" the blonde girl called out, looking frantically around the room, searching for someone or something.

"Hiyas!" a cheerful voice called out from behind him, Keitaro turned and then jumped backwards with a startled exclamation as he found himself practically nose-to-nose with a small blonde girl, even younger then the other girl. "Whatcha cookin'?" she asked, sitting on the bench and leaning forward over the stove, sniffing enthusiastically over the pot with her stomach letting out a loud growl.

A little too enthusiastically it turned out, as she toppled forward and fell face-first towards the stove.

"Ack! Watch out! That's hot!" Keitaro exclaimed and jumped forward, snatching her up and swinging her out of harms way. "Hey, are you all right?" he asked nervously, looking down at the kid in his arms.

"I like this one!" she suddenly announced. "I'm gonna stay here!" she declared as Keitaro put her down on the ground.

"And that would be my daughter, Kaolla." the man commented.

"Kaolla! I've told you time and time again to be more careful!" the blonde woman snapped.

"Tsk. She was all right. Thanks to Mr Heroic right here..." the brunette purred as she slithered over towards Keitaro, swinging her hips suggestively, wrapping her arms around him as she rubbed her ample chest against his back. "Hello, gorgeous. I'm Amara, Su Amara." she introduced herself. "Tight ends over there is Tamawa, my wife." she added, jerking a thumb at the blonde woman. "You've met my stepdaughter Kaolla, and that's my other stepdaughter, Amalla." she continued, introducing the two girls. "Oh, and that's my husband over there." she finished with an absent nod at the tanned man.

"Gah!" Keitaro cried out, disentangling himself from the clingy woman after the introductions were over and had registered in his mind. "Wife! Husband!" he exclaimed, looking over the odd threesome.

"We're from Molmol, cluster marriages are allowed under Molmoleese law." the husband explained. "Anyways, I see my little doll has taken a liking to you and you seem like a resourceful fellow, so I'll agree to let my daughter stay here."

"Dearest... Perhaps we should check out the rest of the locations on our list first?" Tamawa suggested with a faintly strained expression. "This... Establishment does not exactly inspire trust. Besides, whoever heard of a young male in charge of a Girls Dorm?" she hissed.

"Uh, actually I'm not." Keitaro interjected. "My grandmother runs this place, but she's out shopping at the moment. I'm just the handyman."

"But I like it here!" Kaolla exclaimed from the kitchen table, where she had seated herself and started stuffing her face with a banana from a small bowl of fruit, a pricy luxury the dorm could ill afford, but which Hina insisted on having none the less.

"Kaolla... Dear... We haven't even seen the rest of the..." Tamawa started to explain, only to be cut off.

"Tamawa... Dear... I like it here too!" Amara exclaimed with a pout, having snuck up on Keitaro and wrapped her arms around him again, nuzzling her cheeks against his neck.

"It seems adequate enough." their husband agreed. "I approve. Rawan! Arrange it." he added and a second man entered the room, nodding and plucking out a small hand-held computer. Keitaro was then subjected to a series of questions, had to sign no less then eight confusing documents which he hardly understood and two different non-disclosure agreements, before Rawan would tell him anything.

And what he told him blew Keitaro's mind!

A king! Queens! Princesses! In the kitchen of the Hinata Sou! And one of the Princesses would be living there while she went to a Japanese school!

And that was how Su Kaolla came to stay at the Hinata Sou, officially to study abroad as Japan had a better educational system then Molmol did. Though Kaolla had privately confessed to him later on, that this wasn't the real reason she herself had pushed for it. Apparently her own mother had engaged Kaolla to her adoptive brother. Later on, after the two of them had become even better friends, she had revealed that she was a genius, but hadn't dared to reveal that to her family, as she had been concerned that 'Tamawa-mom' would have had her shipped off to some stuffy school for gifted children if she had known just how intelligent really Kaolla was.

Keitaro had been sceptical at first, but after he'd seen what Kaolla had done to her room and some of the inventions she cooked up, he had to admit that Kaolla was by far the most intelligent person he'd ever met! He still couldn't understand how she had managed to turn the room into a jungle, taking up at least twenty times the amount of space the room had originally contained. Apparently, it had something to do with compressing matter, removing the tiny spaces between all atoms, electrons and whatnot.

He hadn't understood more then a few words of her explanation, but as far as he understood it, whatever entered the room shrunk as those tiny spaces between miniscule particles were temporarily removed, or at least greatly decreased. He wasn't sure and hadn't dared asked for clarification, as her 'simple' explanation had been confusing enough as it was!

And the fusion reactor... Well, he hadn't even dared to ask how she'd built that! He was just grateful that he'd managed to persuade her to divert some of the energy it generated to supply electricity to the rest of the Hinata Sou, thus saving them a bundle on electricity bills.

The arrival of the next tenant, gave him another shock.

Once again, he had found himself alone in charge, as Grandma Hina had travelled south to visit a hot spring renowned for its supposed healing properties. He was hard at work in changing the front door, as the old one had been broken after one of Kaolla's greeting kicks had launched him through it and turned it into so much splintered firewood, so he hadn't taken note the girl walking up behind him until she spoke up.

"You there. Male!" an annoyed female voice interjected into his distracted musings regarding what to cook for supper as he worked, causing him to look up and turn around, spotting an unfamiliar female in a white Gi and scarlet Hakama carrying two large suitcases, staring haughtily at him.

"Oh, hello." he greeted her, offering a low bow.

"Is this the Hinata Sou Girls Dormitory?" she asked.

"Yes. Yes it is. I'm Urashima Keitaro, the landlord's grandson and resident handyman." he introduced himself. "Are you looking for a room?" he asked.

"Yes, I am. I am Aoyama Motoko. Can you direct me to the landlord?" she responded haughtily.

"She's on a vacation at the moment, so I'm her proxy for the time being." Keitaro replied, wiping sweat off his brow. "Come on in." he offered and looked at her suitcases. "May I help you with those, Aoyama-san?" he inquired politely, wiping his hands on the towel slung over his bare shoulders. He blinked as he realized his current state of dress, as he had been working topless in the oppressive summer heat. He nervously wiped sweat off his torso, then hastily scrambled into his t-shirt, smiling apologetically at the new arrival, who just kept on glaring at him.

"No, you may not." she replied icily, shaking her head. "Very well, I suppose you will have to do. Lead the way, Urashima-san."

"All right, Aoyama-san." he replied, then led the way to his grandmothers room, offering her a seat at the table, as he prepared a pot of tea for the two of them while telling Motoko about the Hinata Sou, the rates, the rules and whatnot. Not that there were very many rules, as Grandma Hina was a fairly laid-back individual who believed strongly in personal freedom.

Other then that the annex was a forbidden area, that anyone who didn't desire to take co-ed baths would have to put up a sign on the door to the onsen dressing room declaring which gender would currently have access to it, that some chores were shared and that nobody was allowed to use heavy weaponry, explosives or incendiary devices in the main building ( an addition that had been made after Kaolla had arrived ), there weren't any real rules, other then some special provisions due to Kaolla being a resident. There were no curfews, no boyfriend bans, no smoking bans, no drinking bans and nothing else of the sort one might have expected from such a place.

"I find this acceptable." Motoko announced after a few moments. "Though I wonder about the rule regarding the hot spring. Is not this an exclusively female dorm?"

"There are boyfriends, male relatives and others visiting from time to time." Keitaro replied. /Or at least the possibility thereof./ he mentally added, as neither Kitsune nor Kaolla had boyfriends, as far as he knew. Kaolla hadn't had a single visitor over so far and Kitsune had only invited her drinking buddies around once, for a combined soak and drinking session.

Narusegawa had come by to visit a couple of times however.

"And there's me, of course." Keitaro added with a faint shrug. "I thought it would be prudent to add that rule, for those that may have concerns regarding such matters." he explained, then frowned. "Not that Kaolla, Kitsune, Hina and Haruka ever respects the sign when I put it up..." he grumbled, recalling several times when he'd put the sign up declaring the bath off limits to women, only to have one or more of the others join him anyway!

Hina and Haruka, because they didn't think it mattered as they were related. Kaolla because he was 'fun' to be around. Kitsune also because he was 'fun' to be around, though the hungry glimmer in her eyes whenever she said 'fun' made him incredibly nervous in a way that Kaolla never did!

"I shall respect the sign and I expect the same courtesy from you!" Motoko declared firmly.

"Of course, Aoyama-san." Keitaro agreed instantly. "I would never dream of doing otherwise. You have my word of honour."

"Honour? From a male?" she snorted dismissively, as if such a thing was an impossibility. Keitaro just barely managed to keep his mouth shut at that incredibly offensive statement and took several sips of his tea, giving himself time to calm down.

"Would my word as a Martial Artist satisfy you?" he asked after a few moments of consideration, taking in her outfit, posture and general bearing. She definitively carried herself as a practitioner of one or more Martial Arts.

"You practise the Arts?" Motoko inquired after a few moments.

"I'm a 3rd Kyu in Motobu Ha Ryu Karate and Shodan in Shinkage Ryu Kendo. I'm also 2nd Kyu in the Urashima Ryu, my family school, which I recently started practising again." Keitaro replied with a faint nod. He was grateful that he'd been able to keep up his practice and even expand upon it, since coming to the Hinata Sou. Grandma Hina and Aunt Haruka, had even devoted some of their time to teaching him the family style since he started living here, which he hadn't received any training in since he was eight.

"A respectable accomplishment." Motoko reluctantly replied. "Very well, I shall accept your word of honour." she added. The 'until proven otherwise' wasn't voiced, but it didn't have to be, as it was clearly evident from her disbelieving gaze.

"Excuse me for asking, Aoyama-san, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to. But... I sense that you have a problem with the male gender and I can't help but wonder if this will be a problem during your stay?" Keitaro inquired. "If it is, I'm sure I can assist you in finding accommodations elsewhere that will be more to your liking. There are no other girls' dorms in Hinata. But I know of several in the nearby wards that I have frequent contact with, as we occasionally help each other out during major renovations and other similar occasions when the tenants have to be temporarily relocated." he offered and Motokos glare eased up somewhat.

She appeared to ponder his offer for almost a full minute, before coming to a decision.

"Thank you, but no thank you, Urashima-san. I apologise for my rude behaviour. I have had some problems with males in the past, but you seem a different brand of male entirely. I shall wait and see. If it does become a problem, I will reconsider your kind offer." she managed to get out, though the apology/confession was hard to make and she almost seemed to stumble over the 'kind' part.

He absently wondered what her problem was, but didn't think this was the time to ask. Perhaps later, when they'd gotten to know each other better. That is, if they ever would, as it didn't seem all that likely judging from her behaviour.

"Very well, then." Keitaro responded and handed Motoko a thin folder. "All you need to know can be found herein, as well as some papers for you to sign if you do decide to stay here."

"Can I move in today?" she inquired, opening the folder.

"Uh... Sure, I guess." he replied, wondering what the rush was. "We have plenty of rooms to spare, I just need a few minutes to clean whichever one you decide upon and then you're free to move in."

Motoko signed the contract and a Molmoleese non-disclosure agreement they had been forced to include after Kaolla's arrival, thought the young princess never made an issue of her status and was never treated as anything else then a normal little girl, albeit one that would occasionally invent something incredibly dangerous. Keitaro gave Motoko a tour around the place and showed her the free rooms, one of which she claimed as her own the moment she was shown it. Keitaro nodded at her choice. It was a good one, slightly larger then most of the others. It was even bigger then Grandma Hina's room and divided into two sections.

Motoko did avoid him most of the time, but she soon came to accept his presence. Her attitude and condescending mannerisms grated on his nerves somewhat, but he was grateful that at least she respected the sign when he hung it up, even if nobody else did. Kaolla also took a quick liking to the older girl, which was a great relief for Keitaro and Kitsune, who had previously shared the responsibility and pain of sleeping with her. A few weeks after Motoko's arrival, Kaolla spent at least four or five nights a week sleeping with Motoko, dividing the rest of the time between Keitaro and Kitsune.

The next tenant was somewhat of a surprise, though not entirely unexpected as Kitsune had kept him updated on her friends situation at home and revealed that Narusegawa Naru had wanted to get away from her home. What was surprising about it, was that Naru had decided to come to Hinata Sou instead of seeking accommodations elsewhere. After all, she had been sceptical of Keitaro's presence at the Hinata Sou ever since Kitsune moved in and her views on that particular matter hadn't changed one bit.

But with her arrival, the calm before the storm which they had all enjoyed so far, finally dissipated entirely, as if some Deity of Chaos had just awaited the arrival of the final piece of the puzzle, before its full attention could be devoted to the Hinata Sou...

The End! ( For now... )