A/N: I'm back, people! I'm finally back with another Love Hina fic, and it just happens to be my seemingly most popular one: Fiancée Fiascos! I checked the stats and this has the most hits and reviews per chapter so it must be so! WHOOOOOO!!!!! (deep breath) Anyway, here's hoping that all of you will enjoy this story. Luckily, I managed to get a hold of a great deal of motivation, so expect a lot more chapters for each of my stories to be posted within the next couple of weeks! I really hope you'll like this chapter as much as the first one. I'll see you at the end of the chapter! And now, a word to my faithful reviewers.
Shiko, panuru4u, Pleading For A Update, TwilightZekk, Miamaru the Shadowslayer, Rioes, one-village-idiot, kwangmablade, Bowling-for-Tomato-Soup, alex Kuzosama, reader:D, Baretta of the Dark Icon Writers, jennyjennai, Aznkendoboy127, AznPuffyHair, EagleCeres, shinji the good sharer, Trowachess, Alex Ikari, ShadeXH, petran, AzureSky123, Cleric of Hell's Brigade, katonkagenaruto, Lord Cynic, DivineEmperor, asdf, guesswho, The Mad shoe1, darksoulessbody17, Peacemaker, Prince of Dragons, SulliMike23, SouryuofHeaven, Fayte Angel, cloud, Spiritblade, Anonymous, Sci-Fi Raptor, Innortal, Wonderbee31, DerektheRogue
Thank you to all my wonderful reviewers!
Disclaimer: I don't own Love Hina or any of its subsidiaries! How many times do I have to tell you this! Argh! It's like a broken record with you people! I don't own it, I don't own it, I don't own it! (deep breath) Okay, I'm good.
Chapter 2: And So…It Begins
Humans hold an innate fear for this concept. Is it because of the lack of light, a symbolism for all that is good in the world and therefore the opposite of it means that it is evil? Or is it because we fear what lurks inside the shadow of the void, the creatures that wait to lunge out and drag their victims kicking and screaming back into the inky blackness…
These are not philosophical questions one should ask in the middle of a comedy. Instead, it should be spent thinking about how to completely humiliate and torture the characters so as to satisfy the sadistic readers. Those bloody, horrible readers…
Ahem! So, in honor of the fact that no happy person wants to witness such depressing thoughts, we shall begin this story anew –
It was a dark and stormy night…
Author is smacked in the back of the head with a 2x4. "2x4! The perfect choice for dealing with stupid people!"
But it was a dark and stormy night! If you want to discuss the schematics, go over it as much as you want! However, this is a cliché so let the situation be explained in a different way. There, will that satisfy you blood-thirsty little suckers?
Lightning flashed across the cool night sky. The stars were blocked from view by bulky and ominous looking clouds, ones that threatened to crush those that stood in their way. Crackles of light flashed through these atmospheric titans before ultimately crashing down as lightning and reverberating as thunder. Several people were shocked thoroughly by this hammers of nature before deciding that perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to play "whack each other with metal poles." How this game actually came to be involved copious amounts of alcohol and resulting loss of brain cells from said alcohol.
But this is neither here nor there and we must now switch our attention to a rather inconspicuous abode located in downtown Tokyo. This particular household included both a rather well-known pastry shop as the bottom floor and the owner's home located above it. As we zoom closer, we can see through one of the windows several lumps lying about on the floor. It can only be assumed that one of these lumps must indeed be one Keitaro Urashima, the only son of the Urashimas. Doesn't he look so cute just sleeping, that drool slipping from his mouth into a puddle on the floor? And look! Another lump has appeared under his blanket and is now approaching him!
…That can't be good.
The covers were tight and binding. Keitaro tossed and turned, attempting to free himself from their cottony grasp. Darn fabric, contain him, would they? He still felt uncomfortable when it came to sleeping in his futon. It always felt like something was constraining, trying to keep him from moving. He always had the sensation that he had to escape, though it was not quite certain as from what. It didn't bother him too much, however. He could always just sleep on the floor away from it, right? After all, things that went 'bump' in the night, like the boogieman, didn't exist, right? Right?
Something touched his leg.
He went rigid.
That was nothing...It was probably just the blankets wrapping around him and causing him to bump against himself. There were no such things as monsters, like the one he knew didn't live in his closet. It was all in his imagination, just a figment of his hyperactive mind. His dad told him so. There were no such things as monsters.
Something touched him again, higher up his body this time.
It was just him again! He was just imagining things! He must've still been stuck between being awake and being asleep! There were no such things as demons and creatures that ate people. They were all just fairy tales and movie ideas and action-figure merchandise. He wasn't afraid! He was just fooling himself. His mind was just playing tricks on him.
It had reached his waist.
He didn't dare open his eyes. As long as he didn't, there would be no monster there. As long as he didn't, he wouldn't have to worry about putting traps around his room like the last time he had watched a scary movie. His father was still ticked at him for setting his hair ablaze with that propane tank. Well, if he wasn't supposed to make a miniature flamethrower out of it than he should have said so! It wasn't his fault that his dad never told him to that, or went into his room without permission. He should have called out to him. He was protecting himself. He had the right to protect himself! If he didn't then-
Fingers began to creep their way up his back.
EEEEEEEEE! It was nothing, it was nothing, it was nothing, it was nothing, it was nothing! There was nothing behind him. There was nothing with small, dexterous fingers working its way up his body and around to his front. There was nothing with long, slender legs wrapping around his. There wasn't hot, heavy air being blown onto the back on his neck. There wasn't anything there, there wasn't anything there at all!
Its grip tightened.
Keitaro gulped. It was okay. He was okay. All he had to do was turn around. This was just a dream. Once he turned around the dream would end, and whatever it was that wasn't behind him would disappear since it wasn't there in the first place. Right. That was all he had to do. He was good, he was fine, he was golden.
His bladder didn't agree so. It wanted to void. It wanted to void now!
He carefully, slowly, meticulously rolled over, depositing himself deep in the belly of the beast that didn't exist. Now was the moment of truth. He cracked one eye open. Nothing bad so far – all he could see was darkness. That was a good sign. He cracked open the other – still darkness. That was even better. He allowed his eyes to focus. All he could see was…
Nothing. Nothing was there at all. He heaved a sigh of relief.
Something jiggled against his cheek.
Eh? What was that? Something brushed against his face. But it was soft and supple. There were no monsters that felt like a big marshmallow, were there? Keitaro hesitantly poked the object that was the darkness. It bounced slightly before settling back down. He poked it again. Its bounce was accompanied by a small sound that sounded much like a sharp intake of breath. He was even more curious now. He did it again. The gasp changed into a giggle. Again. The giggle into a purr. Again.
He froze. He moved his face to the origin of the voice. His neck cracked erratically, like a gear that had rusted over centuries ago. When he finished with the movement, he found himself face to face with a large pair of eyes and full lips. The lips had curled back, revealing a smile that resembled a cat that had just caught its pray. They parted.
His covers thrown back, Keitaro bolted upward. His face was awash with sweat, his eyes wide, wild, and panicked. He grasped at his face, trying to make sure that there were no squishy objects in the proximity of it. He looked down. No extra limbs, appendages, or bodies. He looked around his room. Same as it had always been – his notes strewed around in a haphazard fashion, the hole still in his ceiling. He glanced out the window. It was heading into the early hours of the day, the sun just finishing its venture over the horizon. He sighed.
"Thank god…only a dream…"
Still, he found it annoying dredging up memories from long ago. The time that Aisu and Faia had spent time at his home was nothing short of chaotic. Faia was bossy, meddling, and loud. And that was before she had begun to like him. After she had confessed her affections, things began to sink even further into pandemonium. He sometimes wondered how he managed to keep his body parts intact from the repeated incidents she had ambushed him and attempted to drag him off into the unoccupied areas of the house. He shuddered remembering the things she had tried with him. And yet somehow he had managed to fend off every one of her attacks. He didn't whether it was pure luck or that some god was looking down on him with a kind eye but he thanks whatever it was that did so.
His eyelids fell. How long had it been since that night? He remembered conversing about it the night before with Aisu, but it was still undetermined how long ago it was. Were they six, seven? How long had it been since Faia had begun chasing like a rabid coyote after a terrified rabbit? He groaned and put a hand to his face. He didn't want to think about such things. They were irritating, senseless, and above all, horrifying.
However, the situation had changed, and he was now forced to consider such matters. Just like his dream had alluded to, Aisu and Faia were now back in his life and he had to adjust to it. After yesterday's fiasco with the hot springs, he found himself having to break up an accumulating fight between Faia and the girls before it erupted into full-out war. It wasn't pleasant, however. He took various blows and it wasn't until the blessed intervention of Aisu that he managed to get everyone to calm down and stop trying to rip the other's head off. Even so, tensions ran thick and Keitaro had to escort the siblings to their respective rooms so as to allow the rest of the Hinata residents time to cool off.
The managements of where to put them took a bit of time and effort. Keitaro had to find a place for Faia that wasn't too close to him for her to sneak in (he couldn't count the number of times she had done so), or too far away so that he wouldn't be able to act as mediator should she get into another fight with the girls (he didn't even want to think about what would happen then.) Aisu was much easier to figure out. He just had to be placed between him and Faia. That way there would at least be one difficult barrier for Faia's assault to go through.
There had been one last bit of turmoil before everyone had gone to bed, however. Somehow Faia had managed to get to his room before him. He shivered at the memory of her lying flat on her stomach on his futon with nothing but a long ribbon covering her nether regions. How in the nine rings of hell she had made her way to his room dressed like that, he'd never know nor wished to find out, but she had and she was completely expectant of what was to come. There would be nookie, and nothing would convince her otherwise. He realized that any normal male would be ecstatic under these circumstances but when it came to him and Faia, he'd rather dunk himself in acid than do the things she thought of. It just felt wrong to him…Luckily Aisu was with him at the time to talk a bit more and he carried the luscious red-head back to her room without catching the attention of the entire inn. One crisis had been averted.
Keitaro knew that there were many more to come.
He threw back the covers, ready to begin his duties as the landlord and manager of Hinata House.
A naked body lay by his side.
He froze. The internal workings of his brain came to a halt, trying to assess the situation before reverting to their usual answer of pumping adrenaline into Keitaro's system and making him fly off the handle. They had to make sure of how things were at the moment. Let's see…
Status of body: very, very nude.
Gender of body: female. Two mounds of flesh wiggled like jello molds, taking a good amount of space of the chest area up. Correction: extremely female.
Identity of female: due to the previous determination of breast size, only four girls can be determined as target figure – one Mitsune Konno, one Naru Narusagawa, one Mutsumi Otohime, and one Faia Kiyu. Narrowed down to only ones brazen enough to perform such a feat, Naru Narusegawa must be eliminated. Due to hair color, only one possible identity of figure can be determined.
Evaluation complete. Plan of action?
Run! Run you BLEEP-ing individual with the luck of a lemming! Run as fast as you BLEEP-ing can!
A quick series of electrical pulses was sent down to the muscles of Keitaro's legs, ordering them to do their job and move the butt of their owner away from the area as fast as they could. They refused, tired with having to exhaust themselves all the time. Let the brain do some work for a change, it never had much to do anyway. Besides, it was like it would matter if it was damaged as there was never much to be damaged to begin with, as stated by the previous retort.
They really shouldn't have done so. In a short while, they would be using far more energy than they ever had before. But for now, they refused to budge, and Keitaro discovered himself unable to move even the slightest inch as the rest of his body chose to side with the legs and halted in their movements. He could only watch as the devourer of his soul began to stir from her slumber.
Faia yawned languidly, her long tendrils of bright red tossed around her face and head. She turned on her back, lifting her self up and stretching her arms behind and above her head, giving a much intentioned view of her nubile form to the current statue in the room. She blinked wearily and turned her head. Upon capturing her fiancé in her line of sight, her lips formed into a coy smile. "Morning, darling," she cooed, her voice laden with sleep and huskiness.
Her voice served as a trigger, and there was a sudden distance between the two as Keitaro sprung across the room and planted himself against the wall. He wished he had the ability to meld with it but unfortunately the only superpower he had was the inherent ability to gather as much madness and anarchy around him as possible. The only choice he had now was his talent with words. Oh heavens, he was screwed… "Fa-Faia!" he cried. "Wh-what the heck are you doing here!"
She tilted her head to the side, a confused expression on her face. "What do you mean, darling?" She frowned and took the opportunity to fluff her hair, causing her body to vibrate with the movement and nearly causing Keitaro to bleed through his nasal orifices.
He clamped one hand over his nose, and used the other to point accusingly at the woman. "Why are you here in my room? And why are you naked!"
She laughed and flapped her hand. "Oh, silly boy. We're married, aren't we?"
"No, we aren't!" He shook his head vigorously and crossed his arms in front of him as though they could banish the succubus from his vision. "We're only engaged, nothing more!" How had she gotten in here? Shouldn't Aisu have stopped her?
"But that's like practice for marriage, right? And that means we have to practice sleeping together, amongst other things…" As she trailed off, she leaned forward onto all fours and began to crawl towards him, her assets swinging seductively as her tongue traced along her lips. "And now I think it's time for us to practice those other things. But don't worry, darling…" Her voice lowered in volume till it was nearly a whisper. "I'll be gentle."
"Mou…that perverted moron…" she mumbled. Her fingers went to work on her pajamas, shedding them till she was down to her underwear. She folded them neatly before rifling through the closet her daily apparel. She frowned when memories of the previous day came to mind.
Naru was a fair person. She looked at every situation with a practical and unbiased eye, and always made sure to hand out reasonable judgment to those that deserved it. So when Keitaro had been an idiot worthy of several Darwinism Awards, she had to react accordingly. And that meant that punishment was in order. Punishment in the most severe of degrees. With pain. Lots and lots of pain.
He soon found himself having tea with the Hubble Space Telescope.
But besides that…A growl forced its way from her gullet up through her throat and out of her mouth. It was feral and vicious, akin to the one a stray dog would make when trying to fight for a scrap of meat. Ironically enough this was a rather accurate analogy as the scrap of meat actually existed even if it were in Keitaro form. And Naru was prepared to fight for that piece of meat no matter what the consequences, even if none of the causes for the fight were on a conscious level. Freud would have had a field day probing through the subconscious wants, dreams, and desires of the young woman, most of which revolved around a rather dense ronin that was neither herself nor female (thinking that way, you dirty, dirty people…)
All of these sub-basement thoughts had come to a head when the twins had shown up the day before, and Naru soon found herself having to battle her own pride for the privilege of actually admitting her own feelings of adoration, not that she had any of them to begin with, of course.
However, there was still the simple fact that the trampy witch was now lodging with them. She still couldn't believe that Keitaro would allow a woman of such low moral values to coincide with the rest of the members of the inn. Then again, he was such a pervert that living in close contact with a woman who obviously had no problems with showing (or using, rubbing, teasing, touching) her body to him would be the ultimate paradise of lust. Her hand closed into a fist, and her knuckles snapped with tension. If there had been an apple in her hands, it would have been reduced to a fine and pasty pulp a second in.
Ooh…If she saw that idiot, she would…
The lid covering the hole in her floor exploded.
Nary spun around to see her Liddo-kun, a doll from one of her favorite childhood shows, go flying across the room. The wooden board flew in the opposite direction, spinning out of her window and out of sight. A hand grasped at the opening, followed by a head full of disheveled hair. Naru immediately recognized the figure trying to claw his way into her room. Her face flushed and her temperature rose. Her eyes began to twitch and her hands crackled. That idiot was trying to get into her room when she was in the middle of dressing again? Didn't he ever learn? A feeling of peaceful nostalgia flooded her mind a she readied herself to make another launch of the "Keitaro Rocket." She cocked her fist back.
"Keitaro, you perve-!" She paused in mid-swing.
His eyes were a mad frenzy. He was still in his sleep wear and seemed more intent on actually getting into her room than looking at her. His fingers swept across the floor, the nails digging into the hardwood and leaving deep scratches behind. His muscles bulged with strain as he forced himself into her territory. Suddenly, his body jerked downward, as though someone was trying to drag him into the depths of hell. He twitched, his lower body moving to kick at something, his hands working to remove his pants. Wait, remove his pants?
Naru finally found the motivation to renew her attack. Now that idiot was just being presumptuous! How dare he think that she would just lay down and take it!...She had to word that better next time. Back in the motions, she almost smacked him down but he beat her to the punch. He vaulted forward, ejecting from both the hole and his lower apparel and smashed into her face-first, the offensive appendage landing between her laced breasts. The two fell down in a heap.
He was on top of her, his legs between her outspread ones, his hands on her chest, his lips hovering above hers. Naru suddenly found herself very self-conscious at the moment. "Keitaro!" she gasped. Her blush had shifted somewhere along the line from anger to embarrassment and something else that originated near her abdomen. She found her entire body to be increasing in warmth. "What are you doing?" He grabbed her shoulders and raised her body so that she was barely centimeters from him. His lips formed the words that she longed for him to say. Those beautiful words, those words that exclaimed –
"Naru, for the love of all that is sacred, HIDE ME!"
She blinked. "Eh?" That was not the response she was expecting. He was supposed to say something extremely gallantly and sweep her off her feet, regardless of the fact they were already off their feet and had skipped quite a few of the procedural wooing steps. Still, in any situation, he was indebted to forego all of his stupid ways and court her. She wanted romance, damn it!
That ruined it.
"Oh god, she's here!"
His words were the signal for her emergence. Faia almost seemed to slide out of the hole in the floor, her hands planted lightly on the edge, her body still stripped of all counts of clothing. Her eyes were half-lidded and sultry, ready to advance on the man was promised to be hers. They didn't stay that way when they focused on the two's somewhat awkward, somewhat passionate embrace. Instead, they slanted and narrowed, the pupils contracting to harsh pinpoints. They were small enough to cut diamonds should any type of energy were to pass through them. And it looked like that was quite likely as fire seemed to burst behind her pupils, forcing their way through.
"What do you think you're doing with my fiancé!"
"Nothing that you would do, you hussy!"
Faia arched her back and hands, resembling a cat in pounce mode. Her mouth opened to reveal her sharp incisors, enhancing the image even further. If it had gotten even better, her hair would have started to stand up to make herself look larger than her opponent. It might have helped if it weren't for the fact that Naru faced death itself on a daily basis via the repeated failure of Su's experiments. "Keitaro is mine! Give him to me!"
"I don't think so!" Naru took the chance while Faia improved her intimidation to shove Keitaro behind her back, who by now had curled into the fetal position as was his natural defense to protect himself against harm and emotional angst. She spread her arms out to prevent the other girl from dodging around her. Somewhere deep down inside of her, something told her that she had to protect Keitaro from this evil entity at all cost. Ultimately she decided that it was the maternal instinct that wanted to keep from Faia's clutches. It never occurred to her that it was suppressed jealously that did so. Not like it ever did, however.
Faia jumped at Naru, arms extended and nails curved wickedly. "Die!"
"Not if you do so first!"
"What the hell is going on here!"
The door to Naru's room slammed open. The rest of the Hinata inhabitants stood in the opening, some still in their pajamas, others already dressed for the day. There were various expressions stretched across their faces, ranging from tired to annoyed to enraged. However, upon looking at the scene laid before them, that all changed.
Faia, who was sporting a fashionable if not taboo birthday suit look, was trying to claw a bra-and-panties clad Naru who was keeping her at bay with one foot lodged as an anchor against the attacker's chest. Keitaro, mysteriously devoid of pants, was caught behind Naru, his chest against her back, his face ripe with fear. The three hadn't noticed the intruder's presence until Keitaro tore his view from Faia's rage-filled face to them. His face lit up with unadulterated joy.
"Girls, get me the hell out of here!"
"Stealer of men!"
Immediately afterwards, the rest of the Hinata Honeys went into their pre-programmed way of dealing with these situations. Shinobu burst into tears and ran away as fast as she could, wondering how her beloved senpai could do such horrible deeds. Su bounced between asking if she could join in and laughing uncontrollably. Sarah just made the basic distinction that she was going to be physically ill for the next few hours. Kitsune teased them while resolving to drink more in quantity and frequency. And Motoko…well, Motoko let her sword to the talking.
"Keitaro…" She drew her katana from her sheathe, letting the wooden object fall to the ground with a clatter. "You vile defiler of maidens…" She pressed the tip of the blade to the floor and dragged it and she rushed towards him. His grin dissolved back into terror. The sword developed a trail of sparks after it as it continued its trail to him. "Reeeepent!" The tip came out, and with the added momentum smashed Keitaro clear out of the room like a golf ball. It would have been as equally efficient if not terribly clichéd if she yelled out "fore" instead. Su made up for her though.
As Keitaro was flung from the room through the opening to the outside, none of his body parts clipping the edge of the window, Su brought her hands up parallel to her body.
He smacked the railing and rebounded upward before falling with a great splash in the hot springs below. His body floated upward and rested on the top of the water. Aisu looked at him from his spot a few meters away. He blinked.
"Oh, hey, Kei. Did you come to take a soak with me?"
"Does this taste good, darling?"
One resuscitation later and everyone found themselves lodged at the table partaking in the glorious event known as breakfast. There had been a squabble on how to place the seating arrangements as Faia exclaimed that it was natural for the engaged couple to sit by each other. At first she wanted breakfast delivered to her room, Keitaro included, but that idea was quickly derailed when there was nearly another catfight between her and Naru. Naru was against both of these ideas, stating that they wouldn't just switch around the seats just to match her accommodations. Once again, another fight almost broke out. It finally came to a conclusion when Aisu suggested that Faia could sit next to Keitaro and they could still keep the original places. Faia was on one of his sides, Naru on his other. Naru said that she just felt better with the normal way.
Faia took advantage of the situation directly afterward, feeding Keitaro his meal between bites of her own. By this time Keitaro had given up on life in general and figured he might as well succumb to her requests before getting shipped off to Siberia one piece at a time. At least he got one last good meal in before his blood found new and more interesting ways to flow. As he took another bite from the chopsticks, he could feel the anger rolling off of Naru from next to him in the form of heat. It wouldn't be long before she spontaneously combusted.
He opened his mouth. Oh crap, he was going to die…
"Oh, look!" Faia giggled, her eyes shining with joy. She pressed a palm against her cheek in a cutesy manner, vainly trying to hide her blush. "Darling's so happy he's crying tears of joy!"
Aisu finished his miso soup and glanced at the two. "I don't think those are tears of joy, sis." He turned back to Kitsune who he had been conversing with. "You were saying?"
She waved her hand vaguely. "Just wondering exactly how you came to know our unlucky landlord. You said you used to play with him as a kid. Anything else you can give us?" Kitsune was rather intrigued both as to how Keitaro was as a child but also more about these people that just showed out of nowhere. Keitaro hade never mentioned hair nor hide of them but from the way they interacted with each other it was clear he was close to them. Why would never mention someone he knew so well? More specifically, why did never mention he actually had a live girl chasing after him – not one that was underage, continuously dying, or utterly psychotic?
She looked at Faia as she squealed with delight each time Keitaro ate the food she offered him.
Scratch the last one. This girl was plenty bonkers.
"There's not much to say," she responded. He placed the bowl containing his food down and folded his hands together. "We originally come from Kyoto but our parents took us to Tokyo when we were six to meet the Urashimas. That's when we both first met Kei." He chuckled mentally. It was a normal meeting like any other, saying hello to a boy around their age, his hand extended for a friendly greeting. If only any of them knew just what that greeting entailed, he was sure Keitaro would have run away screaming and jumped into the river.
Motoko's eyes quirked. "You come from Kyoto? Interesting. That's where I fare from as well."
His eyes widened and then squinted. "What was your name again, miss…"
"Aoyama. Motoko Aoyama."
Aisu snapped his fingers, he face lighting up in recognition. "I thought you looked familiar. Your family is in charge of the Shimei-ryu Dojo there, are they not?"
She nodded slowly. "Yes. How do you know that?"
He leaned his elbow on the table, resting his chin on his open palm. "My family has done business with your dojo. We sometimes do reparations on the dojo and surrounding buildings." He gave a polite nod and smile. "I have to thank you. Your family has helped our business quite a bit both with work and advertising. A name as famous as yours really gets around. We've gotten a lot more work orders after working with you."
"Eh…?" Kitsune opened one of her eyes, the chocolate color swirling with capricious delight. She had just discovered golden and she was going to milk it for all it was worth. "Is this true, Motoko? Do you really belong to some famous dojo?" Her smile was twirled upward, her face closely tied to the image of her namesake.
"That…that is none of your concern!" Motoko spluttered, her face gaining a rosy hue. She could already tell that Kitsune's mind was already teeming with ways to poke and prod her in discomfort and embarrassment, and did not wish to begin the day on such a foot. She had already smacked Urashima around a bit, there was no need for any added excitement. She turned to Aisu, trying to unload the focus back onto him. "Anyway, you said you first met Urashima when you were six?"
"Uh-huh." Aisu had already determined that the younger girl was trying to avoid the spotlight and wisely chose to assent to her request. He had no desire to stir up more trouble than his presence was already creating. Kitsune watched the untold conversation between them and chose to retreat for the time being. She could always get her kicks later and at a much more inappropriate time. "Anyway, our parents thought it'd be best if we moved there since Faia and Kei would eventually be wed and it'd be easier to do if they got to know each other. 'Course we knew nothing of the arrangement at the time and thought that we were moving and found it all the better to have an immediate friend to help us along."
"Was it difficult, having Keitaro as your friend?"
"Hmm…" His jaw set and his eyes sank into though, his brain digging up memories. "Not really. Kei was a real sweet kid to us. He always helped us around the city and always made sure we were having fun. There was the slight problem of him getting into awkward situations but that usually had no direct ill effect on us. It mostly just led to him getting injured and giving us a good laugh." Or in his case a small chuckle while Faia rushed over to care for her darling. He often times wondered if he was the city's single biggest consumption of bandages and medical goods. The boy could get hurt from the weirdest of things, like the time the monkey exhibit at the Tokyo Zoo had opened by accident and Keitaro was crushed under a thousand tiny, hairy bodies. Keitaro had paw prints and scratch marks all over his body for the entire following week.
"What about the, err…incidents?" Kitsune asked. She had to know if what happened at the inn on a daily basis was as commonplace as anywhere else, or did Keitaro just do it all for kicks?
"As we grew up I often came to consider the fact that the guy had an inner ear problem. Kei could fall over at the tiniest of motions and always came down with a fistful of clothing, men's or women's. I can't even begin to count the number of times he's done it to me alone." He smiled at their shocked expressions. He figured that they could say the same as him. However, there was one more thing he had to say, as it appeared that it would clear up many future understandings. That or make it all the harder for Keitaro to get along with his tenants. Eh, he was feeling lucky. "As we got older, he stopped doing it so much around guys and only increased the behavior around women." He continued. Noting the furious expressions that were blooming on some of the girls' faces. "I think it had to do with the fact that Keitaro became more accustomed to guys since I was good friends with him, and his klutziness was directly related to how awkward and scared he felt around particular genders. Then we take my sister who had been basically stalking him ever since they first met…" Aisu sighed and waved at the engaged couple. "And I think he began associating any woman with Faia. Take into account his "condition" is going to get worse because of this and well…you get the idea."
It made sense. Animals often responded to fear by being extra jittery and alert, and this more often than not led to same animals doing things that they would not normally do. If they could assume that Keitaro's sense of balance and luck was like an animal, then it would be assumed that they would be on hyper sensitivity and therefore fail at some point or another. It all made sense now, everything was clear…
Aisu laughed at their skeptical looks. He didn't really expect them to believe his explanation. He hardly did himself. Still, it was the only way he could explain why Keitaro always got fidgety around people and tended to fall around or on top of them. He was a sweet child but he always seemed to be nervous around people, whether he knew them or not. Aisu could easily recall any time when he had tapped Keitaro on the shoulder from behind and the boy had leaped five feet in the air. He was as naturally predisposed as a rabbit. "Anyway, we had a pretty good time together. We stayed in Tokyo for a while before our parents decided to head back and to Kyoto. Luckily for Faia, they allowed us to lodge with Keitaro and his family until we finally finished high school." He sighed. They had been together for a good number of years. And now they were finally back together again. He couldn't wait for the good times to roll again. Speaking of which…
"Darwin! Hwe, hwe!" Faia's voice was suspiciously muffled.
Keitaro mechanically turned to the sound the sound of her voice and caught the food between his lips. Along with the food, he got the added bonus of Faia's lips, which had been holding it in place. He paused. Faia pressed against him harder. Smoke began to pour his ears. A few more of his remaining brain cells had just burned out. The rest went into overdrive. "Wah!" He snapped his head back and waved his hands in front of him erratically. The rest of the table just stared at him in thick silence. "That wasn't on purpose! I swear it wasn't!"
"Kyaah! You're so daring, darling!"
"This isn't the time t-" His cries were cut short when Naru's elbow connected with his face, causing him to knock the chair backwards and slam into the ground. The chair spilt in half and fell to either side of him, a good-sized dent created from where he had landed. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and a trail of drool started to crawl from out of his mouth.
Win by technical knock-out.
As the others rushed both to yell at Faia, Naru, and Keitaro indiscriminately, Aisu sighed again and went back to work on his breakfast. If Keitaro was going to survive, he was going to need as much strength to placate these women as possible.
The table suddenly disappeared from before him as Faia tried to use it to knock Naru into submission with. The food went flying all over the place, a bowl of rice landing on his head and spilling down his face. Scratch that, he needed to be shot with gamma rays. Or get hit by a meteor.
God's intervention would be nice as well.
"Aunt Haruka, are you in here?" Keitaro passed through the entry way to the Hinata Teashop, his face sunken and exhausted. Morning hadn't even ended and yet he had gone through strife and madness that it usually took a week to make. He was tired and hoped to find sanctuary in the confines of his aunt's establishment. Though she would probably put him to work to pay for the favor, it was nothing compared to what the antics of the Kiyu twins and Hinata Honeys were putting him through. Back-breaking labor actually sounded kind of nice at the time. At least then he could put his mind on the backburner and not worry any further about what demons he had unleashed by allowing the two to stay.
It wasn't that he disliked them; they were his two of his oldest and dearest friends. But the way he was wrung through the gears of the mischief they brought along with them was unbearable. It was bad enough having to deal with Naru and the others, trying to keep them pleased without doing something stupid and potentially life-threatening in turn. He was a fine line on the razor's edge every day, and somehow he had managed to get along quite well with all of them most of the time. Sure they had their quirks, but it wasn't something that took him too long to adapt to. He had already grown used to the constant explosions, sword attacks, and extortion tactics. It was almost second-nature to him now. But Faia and Aisu…He groaned. He didn't think anything would ever prepare for those two. Aisu was easy enough and in fact was his best male friend, but when Faia as involved…
His thoughts came crashing down along with his body when a halisen hit him upside the head. He looked up to see Haruka tapping said fan on her arm, her obligatory cigarette dangling from her lips. Her face was neutral but her weapon betrayed her irritation. "How many times have I told you not to call me that?"
He whimpered and rubbed his scalp. "Sorry." Standing up, he gave the previous housemother a weak smile. She sighed and waved the young man over to one of the tables. After he took a seat, she followed suite on the opposite end, signaling one of her employees to take over. When the girl ran to Haruka's old spot at the opening, she turned back to Keitaro.
"Well, what do you want?"
"Sorry, I just had to get out of there," he said. He sighed and dropped his head, letting it bang on the table. His forehead gave an indignant cry and the skin began to redden, but Keitaro ignored it and resisted the urge to rub the damaged area. He just didn't have the energy to spare for such a miniscule task. He felt like he wanted to cry but even his tear ducts refused to expend energy to create the saline liquid. Instead, his eyes closed, his body relaxing as the tension began to slip from it. He always felt at peace in Haruka's teahouse. There was just something about the atmosphere that screamed tranquility. It was probably one of the main reasons why it was so popular among the people of Hinata Hot Springs. "They're really beginning to drive me crazy."
"Faia and Aisu?" He nodded. She did nothing for a moment before snapping her fingers. A few seconds later one of the employees brought a tray full of tea to the table. She poured a cup and wordlessly pushed it to Keitaro. He looked up and accepted it with a 'thank you' before beginning to sip at it. His features slackened and his eyes regained a bit more of the shine that he usually owned. Haruka did the same, the gentle aroma of the drink wafting through her nose and down her throat. She placed the cup down and crossed her legs, wanting to find a more comfortable position before talking. "So, what are you going to do then?"
"I honestly don't know." He placed the cup down and folded his hands together. "I already decided to let them stay. I really couldn't do anything else."
"You could have refused," Haruka said, stating the obvious.
"I know, but…" He trailed off and took a deep breath, rearranging his thoughts before attempting to come up with a suitable argument. Haruka always did have a simple view on things, and it was through her help that he managed to become adept enough to become landlord. But still, just like any view, they weren't always ones that agreed with his desired outcome. "I just couldn't get the…nerve, I guess. I don't know. Aisu and Faia have been friends with me for a long time, and as weird things get when they're around, I still really enjoy their company. I haven't seen them for a while and I suppose I was just happy to know they still knew and wanted to talk with me. You know I've never had many friends, Haruka…" She chose not to say anything. He laughed softly. "Still, I really wish that Faia wasn't in my company so often, though."
A small smile flitted across the older woman's face. It quickly disappeared and she removed her cigarette to ground it into the ashtray. "Well, you do realize that things are going to swiftly deteriorate if you don't get off your ass and start taking charge of things. Faia's not going to wait around to collect your attention."
"Don't remind me," he mumbled, memories of earlier that memory rising to the surface. He held a temple in his hand, massaging it with small circular motions. His brain hurt just thinking of it.
"This also is going to make it harder for those two to get along with the girls. It's not going to be easy for them to start sharing you all of a sudden. They've had you as their personal play thing for the past year. They're not going to give you up so easily."
"Please don't say that…"
"It's the truth." She reached across and flicked a stray bang out of his face. He glanced up at her. Haruka shrugged and leaned backwards. She could already remember how Keitaro had first met all of the tenants. They had hated him when he initially arrived. But now…now they all had an equal grasp on the somehow lovable landlord and she doubted they would be willing to relinquish said grasp. Keitaro had wormed his way into each of their hearts and it would be quite a while and great deal of effort before he managed to find his way out. The jewel deposit had become a prison, and Keitaro was now stuck with them, now and forever. She chuckled mentally. Even she had been worn down enough to recall better times with him as a child. She relished the times he would come for advice. After all, he was her adorable, little nephew.
"Regardless…" Keitaro opened his eyes and leaned back into his seat, staring at the ceiling. "They're here now and I just have to cope with the fact. I just hope that Faia doesn't start pulling the shit she did back when we were kids…"
Haruka nodded. Those were the times…She often thought to herself if it were possible for one person to die from too many sexual advances. If it were, she would have to start taking out life insurance policies on Keitaro. At least his death wouldn't be for noting; she would be set for the rest of her natural life. In any case… "Keitaro, there's just one more thing I want to ask you. What-"
"Aunt Harukaaaaa! Are you here?"
Haruka turned around to witness Faia bound through the doorway, Aisu following close behind. "Crap." She glanced back at her nephew. "Looks like you have to bail, Ke-" He was gone. All that remained of the young man's presence was the chair that he had been sitting in, spinning on one of its legs like a top before toppling over. Her eye caught a trail of motion and she saw out of the corner of it the hysterical young man diving underneath where she kept the cash register. Well, she supposed it was just as well. At least now she didn't have to come up with some convoluted plan to distract the amorous girl while he ran away. She turned back to the siblings. "Over here, you two," she called.
Faia noticed her first and ran over, grasping the woman in a bear hug. "It's so good to see you Aunt Haruka! I'm sorry I didn't get to greet you better before. I was in such a hurry to go see darling that I completely forgot." She tightened her hold, and Haruka found all of the air in her lungs being forced out. If the girl squeezed any more she would be imitating one of Su's infamous glomps. "Forgive me?"
"It's okay." Haruka did not know how to deal with this girl. With any of the other people she knew, all it took was a little manipulation and she could find out what was needed or lead them into doing something. But Faia was so one-track-minded that it didn't matter what kinds of mind tricks were used, the girl was just too dense and stubborn to be affected or even notice them. She was the only one in the world who could successfully call her 'aunt' without fear of retribution mostly due to the fact that Haruka could never bring herself to hit her because of her simple joy. It was like trying to punish a puppy that had shredded the paper while in the process of retrieving it for its master; it was just too cute to chastise. However, that didn't mean that she strangle her without meaning to!
Aisu recognized the pleading look in Haruka's eyes and peeled his sister off of the older female before settling her down in one of the chairs. He did so as well and smiled cordially. "Well, it's nice to see you again. How have things been going?"
Haruka took a deep breath to regain the lost oxygen from her respiratory system. When she finished, she fiddled with her cup before raising it to her lips. "Fine, I suppose. Not much has changed since I last saw you guys. What's it been? Three years?"
"Anything different with you?"
"You mean other than the fact that Faia still hasn't given up on marrying Kei?"
"Hey!" Faia's face grew into a pout. She crossed her arms and looked away from the two, giving them the essential cold shoulder. However, this tactic never worked for her as the way she made it completely obvious she was ignoring them negated the entire idea. She huffed through her nose and childishly kicked her chair with the back of her heel. "I resent that remark. Of course I'm not going to give on marrying darling! It's our destiny to become of one mind and body and soul." Her face gained a crimson hue. She brought the tip of her finer to her lips and nibbled dreamily on it. "Especially the body part…" Her tone was teeming with innuendos.
The checkout desk shook and a loud thump resounded throughout the room.
Faia raised her head and looked in the general direction of it. "What was that?"
"Faulty plumbing. You were saying?"
"Oh! Well…" Faia looked down at her lap and giggled. "Darling and I have been promised to each other since we were little, so it only makes sense that we'll be destined for one another. And that means that he'd be the one who takes the many of my firsts…" She placed two fingers against her lips and puckered. "My first kiss…"
The desk shook again.
She brought her hands to her chest and lightly pushed against it. "My first breast grope…"
The desk bounced into the air a few inches.
Faia indiscreetly touched her bottom. "My first panty theft…"
A crack formed on the top of the desk, traversing all the way down the sides.
Faia was now rubbing long length of rope against her cheek. Her mouth and eyes were filled with unbound happiness. "Not to mention my first bondage play…"
Haruka stood up quietly and walked over to the desk, which by now was on the verge of splitting in half. She stood behind, looked straight ahead, notched her foot back, and slammed her foot forward. A muted thump was heard, the sound of something hitting the floor soon afterward. Haruka reached into her apron's pocket and pulled out a cigarette. Lighting it, she took a deep inhalation, lashed her foot out one more time, and traveled back to the table. She ground the cigarette out right after sitting down. "Sorry," she said. "I really should get those pipe checked out. Usually a good stomp will keep them going but now…"
Aisu glanced around her. He noticed a small trickle of liquid seeping across the floor. He pointed. "You seem to have a bit of a leakage problem."
"No worries. I'll get Keitaro to clean it up later. He makes enough messes that he should be an expert in knowing how to get rid of them." She lightly tapped her forehead and gave a long sigh. She looked at Faia, her brow furrowed. "Now, let's talk about where you learned these things. I'm sure your parents would be quite interested to know as well."
"Ah, well…that is…" Faia laughed weakly.
"KYAAAAAAHHHHHH! There's a dead body here!"
All of the heads in the teahouse snapped around as one. One of the employees was backing away from the register, holding her skirt down and between her legs. She had her foot on what appeared to be a human head. However, this head was rather bloodied and lumpy in shape. It twisted around.
Keitaro wasn't in very good shape.
Haruka sighed. Well, it was lucky chance that he head hid for as long as he had. No point in denying anything now. She turned towards the red-head. "Now, Faia," she began. "This isn't what it seems like…"
"Darling!" Faia bullrushed through Haruka, tossing both her, two tables, several clients, and the employee that had discovered Keitaro out of the way to get to her beloved. They all went flying in various directions to land in undignified piles on the ground. A trail of destruction laid in the girl's wake as she made it to Keitaro's side and picked him up. "Oh, darling…" she blubbered pitifully. "How did you come to this…?" Her eyes grew cross and her head whisked to fix on Haruka. "Aunt Haruka!" she screamed. "How could you do this to my poor darling? I won't forgive even you for doing such a terrible thing!"
Haruka held her head as the room continued to spin, trying to gain a grasp and rid herself of these demonic birds that circled her skull. She shook her head, and looked at the girl that was currently rippling with angry women energy. Even she was a bit afraid of the way the girl was staring at her. "It was for his own protection, Faia!"
"How's beating him up for his own protection! I'll have you know that…" She looked around the room and found one of the employees cringing against the wall. She supposed she could allow the wench to care for Keitaro until she had to retrieve him. "Take care of him, will you?" she ordered, shoving the unconscious lad at her before stomping over to have a word or two with Haruka.
The employee fell backwards. She looked down. Keitaro's was lodged in her breasts, his bleeding head staining her lightly colored clothes a deep, dark crimson. His mouth was foaming sporadically. Tears escaped from the girl's eyes as he face trembled with fear. "Nooooo!" Taking the iron tray from which tea and snacks were carried around on, she swung it backwards before firmly connecting it to Keitaro's head. He was dislodged from her anatomy and went soaring across the room.
He crashed through the window, shards of glass tinkering and tinkling about as they shattered on the floor and outside. Everyone heard the repeated thumps as his body fell down the long stone staircase that the Hinata Teahouse was located on. It was quickly followed by the screeching of a horn and then the crashes of an automobile accident. Someone vaguely noticed a figure flying up into the sky through one of the unbroken windows.
Faia and Haruka stopped in their rumblings at the sound of the car crash. Aisu picked up the teapot and poured himself a drink before sipping at it. He shrugged when the two females stared at him, demanding an answer to his nonchalant behavior.
"Yeah, so I guess nothing much has changed at all."
The place was dark and smelled of mold and cobwebs. A chill ran through the air, and the scurrying of tiny, clawed feet flowed along with it. The time had come for the following to come to order. They had to discuss what they were going to do about the new intruder. Would they allow it to stay, or would they chase it out like they had done so with so many others? It was their decision and their decision alone that would determine the outcome of the situation, and their rule was not a polite or tender one. There would be costs…
"So, it seems that we have a new boarder in these sacred walls," a voice said. Its owner was shrouded in shadows, hiding its identity.
"Yes," another voice responded. "We will have to make them know who is in charge of this place, or else they shall have to face the consequences."
"But do you really think we should do something so mean? She hasn't really done anything wrong…" This voice was timid and shy, and its shaky tone was laced with a hesitancy that didn't even believe its own words.
"You can do whatever you want with the girl," yet another said. Its tone held numerous counts of mischief in it. "But leave the guy to me. It's been a while since I've had someone new to torture…I mean, play with…" It ended its sentence with an ominous chuckle.
"If we're going to do anything to them, then I'm the one that's going to do the punishing." There was a crackle of bones and joints. It echoed within the empty room, magnified by the lack of sight. "I'll teach her to try and mess with me. It'll be a long time before she tries anything moronic like that again."
"Ara ara," another giggled. "That sounds like fun. Do you mind if I join you?"
"Mou…this is getting ridiculous. I'm turning on a light…" There was a fumbling of fingers and an electric light suddenly burst to life. The members of the order recoiled and yelled in pain and horror as the light pierced their eyes and burned their retinas. The light was tuned down and lost some of its luminance. Su sat back on her heels and gave a big smile. "Ah, that's better."
"Crap, Su!" Kitsune cried, rubbing her eyes to help dilate her pupils and rid them of the splotchy shapes that danced across them. "Don't turn the light on so quickly! You almost blinded us!"
"But you wouldn't turn it on when we first came up here and the dark was starting to creep me out," Su explained. She sat cross-legged in her spot, the rest of the girls forming a circle with her. They were in the secret headquarters of the Hinata House Secret Alliance, a.k.a the attic of the dormitory. Su never quite understood why everything always had to be so secret. All it would take to get in was to open the descending door from the boiler room.
"That's not the point, Su," Kitsune said in exasperation. "It was meant to add ambience, to give an atmosphere to the situation."
"I have to agree with Su, fox girl." Kitsune growled at Sarah, who was lying on her back, her hands folded behind her head. The blonde American, though a brat in every sense of the word, was exceptionally bright. She couldn't find any good enough reason that they would have to converse in the pitch dark. It was just stupid, like a particular landlord whom she found great entertainment in bashing over the head. "We should have turned on the light when we first came in. it would have saved us a lot of trouble."
Kitsune grumbled. She chose not to put up any more of fight as it was her fault in the first place. How was she supposed to know the light wasn't even near her? It was located somewhere in the room and she wasn't about to go searching for it. That's how cheesy, grade-B movies started – the hot girl going off into the dark by herself. This wasn't some fantasy created by a sadistic god!
Somewhere else in the world a college student at his computer sneezed. He wiped his nose before returning to his task of cackling maniacally.
Motoko took the opportunity in the lull of the conversation to bring it back to its original point. She cleared her throat, gathering the attention of the others. "In any case, we must come to determine what shall exactly be done with the new boarders. I propose that we evict both of them immediately. No other men should be staying in a girls' dormitory. It's bad enough as it is with Urashima alone. I shudder to think what atrocities could be committed if that new male stayed any longer." She coughed, unconsciously imagining some of those so-called "atrocities." For some reason Urashima was in all of them, and he wasn't necessarily painted in negative fashion. It was a good thing the small lamp didn't light up everything, as her face had become slightly flushed. "And that woman, too. She cannot stay if she will just stir up Urashima's lust. Should she leave later on, we will all have to face his increased perverse personality."
"But…but senpai already said that he wouldn't allow them to leave," Shinobu murmured quietly. Her attention was spilt between the meeting and the fact that she had left her cooking duties to the wayside. Keitaro had offered to take up the slack for her but the idea that her senpai was doing the work for her sake made Shinobu feel all woozy inside. He had been so eager to do it when she said she needed the time to relax, a lie so that she could go meet the others. She wanted to cry for deceiving her sweet senpai. "He said that they were his friends and that he wouldn't let them go away…" Her voice was softer than usual, proof of the fact that she was feeling somewhat threatened by Faia. The girl had come in and swept Keitaro up in her attacker. How could she ever hope to retaliate?
"You just leave that to me," Naru grinned. She crackled her knuckles again. "I have ways of making him obey." She was still pissed from both of the morning's incidents. Her blood boiled with increasing fury as the image of that woman hanging off of Keitaro like a leech burned its way through her brain. She was going to make that hussy pay! It also didn't hurt to have a punching bag to take her aggressions out on. Keitaro wouldn't mind taking a few lops on the head. He never did.
"I don't think those tactics are going to work anymore, Naru," Kitsune smiled. Naru looked at her with confusion swimming around in her eyes. "With what that Faia girl has been doing to him, I doubt a little flashed cleavage is going to change his mind anytime soon." Naru broke down into sputters and denials at this. Kitsune's grin grew more like her namesake as she watched her young friend break down mentally. It was always so much fun to tease her, and it always helped her get back into a good mood. She mentally apologized to Naru for using her as a step stone for her emotions.
Mutsumi sat to the side, silently watching as the verbal war between the best friends escalated farther and farther. Tama sat on her head, content to just watch as well. Though most people thought Mutsumi to be blissfully ignorant of most situations, there was an incredibly intelligent brain in the Okinawan girl's head, and now was at a time when she was putting it to most use. With the arrival of a new contender for Keitaro's feelings, she found it was going to be more and more difficult to be close to the fellow ronin. While she did think that he and Naru made a cute couple, even she had to admit to herself that she wished Keitaro's affections were focused more on her than anyone else. Even she had the ability to like someone too, right? Keitaro was an anomaly amongst most of the boys she knew and associated with, who usually stayed around only to get into her good graces and eventually something more. Keitaro was sweet, cute if not horribly klutzy (but this itself was one of his most endearing aspects), and someone that was kind to her with no ulterior motives. Sure there were the frequents moments when he fell on her, but it was absolutely adorable seeing his flustered and guilty face up close as he apologized with all his might. She giggled at just the memory of it.
Tama was thinking along similar lines. As a special breed of turtle, her thought patterns were significantly advanced compared to regular turtles. She could talk, write, and even solve complicated algorithmic problems as long as a calculator was involved. As amazing as she was, she couldn't help but feel that she had been neglected not only by Keitaro but by everyone else the day before when the twins had arrived.
She could feel that things were going to get worse sooner than they were going to get better. And that meant that she would be spending less time with one of her most beloved owners, Keitaro. She had already figured out an equation showing that the more strife he had in his life, the more time he spent away from her. This made her rather sad. Tama gave a little turtly sigh.
"Like I said, cleavage isn't going to work anymore. You're going to have to get a little harder than that."
"…Don't you mean try?"
"I know what I said."
The rest of the room became lost in silence. Su raised her hand. "I don't think either of them should leave. It's fun having new people stay here. I'm sure Keitaro will be happier too now that he has old friends with him." Friends that killed a dozen brain cells a second when in close proximity but hey, what friends don't so that?
"Like I said before…" Sarah scratched her nose idly. "I don't care what you do with the girl, just leave the guy alone. He's mine." She had to test whether his skull was a dense and resilient as Keitaro's was.
"I…I don't mind either way…" Shinobu mumbled. She would just have to do her best to keep her sepia's attention with food and her support.
"I still think both of them should leave but if everyone is so eager to keep them then I suppose I have no choice but to bite my tongue and stay quiet." Motoko had reverted back to her usual stoic self, but the way her sword hand twitched every so often revealed otherwise.
"Oooooh…" Naru bit her bottom lip. She was outnumbered and she knew it. It was almost a repeat of when Keitaro had first arrived and then had to decide whether or not he could stay. And if that was any indicator then she knew things were about to get a lot crazier. "Fine!"
"And I'm guessing from Mutsumi silence that she agrees with everyone?" The turtle girl tilted her head, a peaceful smile turning her lips. Kitsune took that as confirmation. "All right, then! By order of this court, we'll allow the Kiyus to keep staying here at our leisure. But as a precaution, we'll make sure to keep an eye on them for further development." She shoved her hand in the center of the circle, instigating the others to do so as well. When they did so, she nodded. "Then it's decided!"
The floor a little bit away from them swung open and more light poured into the room. Keitaro's head popped through, and he blinked upon seeing all of them there. "Oh, so this is where you guys were," he said in slight amusement. "What are you guys doing?"
"None of your business!" Sarah shot back.
"Okay then…Anyway, come down soon. I managed to get dinner ready." Before he disappeared, he called behind him, "I'll see you there!" The trapdoor closed again, the darkness returning to the room.
The girls looked at each other and nodded. They filed out through the door and headed to the dining room, ready to finish the day with dinner.
He took a few steps into the room before collapsing on the floor. His whole body ached, even muscle screaming from pinpricks that traversed up and down his arms and legs. Was it even worth it to crawl the rest of the way to his futon and get into more comfortable clothing? His mind said yes and that he would regret falling asleep right inside the door while his body told his brain to bugger off. It was a toss-up between the two sides and frankly he didn't feel like using the effort to even choose between them.
Keitaro sighed heavily. Things were being carried to hell in a handbasket even more quickly than he had anticipated. Dinner had been just like the other two meals of the day. He had spent the time trying to fend of Faia's advances while making sure he didn't piss off Naru and the other girls. Aisu wasn't much help as he just decided to eat his food and nothing more. He couldn't be faulted for that, however. No one wanted to continuously peel apart the same two people over and over again. It would get even on the nerves of someone like Aisu, let alone someone with less tolerance for sheer stupidity, something that was borderlining the entire day.
What was he supposed to do? He had already made his decision and would now have to live with it. But he was also coming to quickly regret said decision as well. Faia had gotten a lot bigger the past few years as well her increasing feelings towards him. He knew he should be flattered that such a beautiful woman felt so strongly for him but…he just couldn't return those feelings. Faia was too much like a sister to him, and it only freaked him out having to consider what their life would be like after marriage. There would always be that niggling feeling in the pit of his psyche telling him that it was wrong, wrong, wrong!
And what about the girls? This came as a huge shock to them. Although it wasn't too surprising for the inn to gain some new tenants, it was odd for mentioned tenants to be intimately familiar with the landlord, even more so in the certain case between them! He could already sense the feeling of betrayal being seeded in each of them. Betrayal? Was that the right word? It was hard to be betrayed when there was no relationship to betray in the first place.
But he did have a relationship with them, with all of them. Though it may not have been romantic in nature, he was still intricately connected to all of them through the experiences they each shared within the past year. He couldn't throw that away like it was nothing, could he? Of course he couldn't!
Somehow finding the strength, Keitaro stood and walked over to his futon. There he began to strip down. Deciding that it would be too much trouble to change completely, he opted to just remove his pants and shirt, leaving his boxers and t-shirt still on. He knelt down, lifting the covers up and sliding underneath them. He snuggled farther into their warmth, the cotton strangely soothing to him. He sighed.
It didn't matter to think of it anymore. What would come would come, and he had to deal with as it came. Worrying wouldn't make it any better, but he did have to think carefully about what he was going to do if he wanted the relative serenity of the inn to remain as. If he didn't, everything would come tumbling down like a poorly constructed sand-castle on the beach. But now it was time to sleep…
He turned over, his face resting on his soft pillows. Wait, pillows? As in plural? He looked down.
"Oh, for the love of…Not again!"
A/N: Well, that's it for the second chapter. May this one have given you a quick peek into the insanity that will come of the story. A warning to those though. If you are uncomfortable with vast amounts of zaniness and peculiar situations, I suggest you stop reading this story. I don't want people writing me saying, "Oh noes! This story is too magically amazing! It makes my head go all kablooie and stuffits!" ...Or not, whatever you feels like. (laughs) Anyway, there are a couple things I want to seriously say. First off, I have not chosen a pairing yet. Perhaps this is because I have no idea what I want it to be, perhaps it's because I don't want one at all and I'm just tricking you. But it's gonna keep you reading, now won't it? Anyway, look for the upcoming chapters of my other LH stories. I'm pretty sure that it's going to be "Tainted Soul." I already have a bunch of pages for that one. Oh, and here's another lovely tale of my muse, Evelyn! In any case, please review and remember, no flames!
Yamiga is currently tied to a chair, facing a computer screen. His legs and arms are bound, leaving only his fingers free which are currently tapping at a frantic pace across the keyboard in front of him. His mouth is gagged so he cannot say anything against his captor. A ruthless, sadistic captor that can only think of herself and no on-
Evelyn: (indignant) Hey! What did I tell you about telling me off? It's your own fault for not writing in ages! I finally had to take measures and drug your water supply.
But you knocked out my entire dorm! People thought it was a campus-wide epidemic! Poison Control rushed in because they though their was a leak from the nearby plant or something!
Evelyn: (shrugs; flips hair over shoulders) Eh, not a problem of mine. Like I said, any trouble that comes of this is your own damn fault.
Can you at least take the gag off?
Evelyn: Oh, fine! (mutters under breath) Big baby…
She releases the knot to the gag and removes it. Yamiga takes a deep breath before turning to her.
Yamiga: (frowns) I heard that, you know.
Evelyn: (sing-song tone) That was the point
Yamiga: (grumbles) Evil harpy… (puts on a fake smile) Could you let me go now? I wrote the story and I really have to use the bathroom…
Evelyn: And just what do you think the catheter is for?
Evelyn: In case you forgot, you have a bunch more stories to write. You have to make it up to your readers for being so late.
Yamiga: It was only a little while…
Evelyn: (smacks him upside the head with her mallet) It was almost 7 months! I had thought you had gone into a coma you hadn't been active for so long! Do you know how hard it to see if it's possible for humans to hibernate?
Yamiga: College students can. It's called mid-terms.
Evelyn: (skeptical look) Righhhtttt…And I guess these mid-terms extended throughout all of summer?
Yamiga: (unhappy cry) I had work then! It was different!
Evelyn: (smirks) Work, huh? Different, huh? (hefts mallet up) Was it different from this…? (swings the mallet down)
This scene has been deleted due to its graphically violent nature.
Evelyn: (wipes a bit of sweat from brow) Well, that was a bit of workout. I hope you understand your place now.
Yamiga: (bruised beyond all belief; mutters) You're making me angry…
Evelyn: (eyebrows rise) What was that?
Yamiga: (louder voice) I said you're making me angry…You wouldn't like me when I'm angry…
Evelyn: Oh, I wouldn't?
The ropes strained against his bulging muscles, threatening to snap at any given moment…The tendons in his arms pressed on his flesh, easily shown by the rush of blood to the areas surrounding them. He burst free, ready to-
Yamiga: Yah!-- (freezes as piercing pain shoots through his body) Ow! Charlie horse! Charlie horse! Ow! Ow! Ow! (body tenses up, still trapped in the confines of the rope)
Evelyn: (blinks in disbelief) Did you just try to go Amazing Hulk on me?
Evelyn: (shakes head; lands on Yamiga's shoulders and flicks his ear) Get back to work.
Yamiga: Yes'm. (glances at her) …would you mind?
Evelyn: (flaps hand) Sure, sure. (looks at audience) Please Review!
Next Chapter: Ringing the Gong with the Prize