An Empire Underneath - Reasons

Disclaimer: I don't own Love Hina or any of the characters, but if you find any character here that is not in the Love Hina character list, that one is mine (this includes all the talking Mecha-Tama and the Big Mecha-Tama, since they're not in the real Love Hina anime).

The Turtle Empire of the Underworld was at its usual chaos. Mecha-Tama running everywhere. The Big Mecha-Tama sat silently on the middle of the room, watching the five glass cubes in front of it. The only one still operating was the last cube, with Naru and Keitaro in it. The Mecha-Tama which was operating the panel was pressing some buttons, generally working hard. "Continue operation of Love. More data gathering is imperative to acquire this emotion."
"Operation continued." The Mecha-Tama replied.

"N-Nani kore wa (What's this)?" a whisper came from behind a wall, next to the hole which was created when Keitaro 'entered' the room. It was Sarah. "Minna (Everyone)..." She whispered again before running away.

LOVE HINA Special Episode! #2

The Empire Underneath

Chapter 2: Reasons

"Nani (What)?" Seta looked surprised. "Kame no Teikoku (Turtle Empire)? Are you sure?"
"I'm sure, Papa." Sarah insisted. "I've seen it with my very own eyes. They're all there."
"Hmm, that explains why Hinata-sou is empty." Haruka said. Her trademark unlit cigarette swayed as she talk. They were gathering in the living room, just next to the open entrance under the stairwell.
"We should rescue them, Papa!" Sarah exclaimed. "I remembered the route like it was the back of my hand!"
"Hai (Yes), we should do that." Mutsumi appeared suddenly by the door. Next to her was Amalla.
"Mutsumi-san!" Sarah exclaimed. "And you...?"
"I'm Amalla. Kaolla's sister." Amalla replied. "I sensed that Kaolla's in trouble, so I came."
Sarah slammed a fist to her palm. "I remember you." she said.
"And I was trying to find my way back to my lodge when Amalla found me." Mutsumi said, smiling, tapping her head in her unique pose of innocence.
"Then, we should all go and rescue them, Papa! Come on! This way!" Sarah exclaimed as she went to the opening under the stairs.
"There is a faster way." Mutsumi suddenly said.

"Koko (Here)." Mutsumi pointed down to a hole behind the Hinata-sou Tea House.
"B-But...the roof was destroyed the last time we're here because of Motoko-san's attack." said Sarah.
"Daijobu (It's alright)." Mutsumi said. "Ja (Well)," She said before jumping down into the hole.
Sarah, Seta, Amalla, and Haruka looked at each other. Amalla jumped down first. Seta took Sarah and put her on his shoulder before jumping down. Haruka raised both shoulders before jumping down as well.
"See? It's blocked." said Sarah.
"Ara ara (ah)," Mutsumi said her favorite sigh. "It seems so. But here..." Mutsumi went to the right wall and ran her hand on the wall as if looking for something. Eventually, her hand pushed a secret button. A trap hole opened right under the slide, and the rocks fell right into it, clearing the path.
Everyone was astounded. "Mutsumi-san, how do you know about this?" asked Sarah.
"I don't exactly know myself." Mutsumi replied.
"Even I don't know there're things like this here." said Haruka.
"Let's continue!" Amalla exclaimed.

After a while, they came onto a fork on the road. "Which way?" asked Haruka.
"I can feel Kaolla's presence from both sides." said Amalla, her eyes closed.
"I think it's the left one." Seta said. "It's where we came running from when we found the huge door."
"That's right, Papa!" Sarah exclaimed.
"Anoo, wouldn't it better to go there unknown?" Mutsumi asked.
Everyone turned to her. It seemed that she knows A LOT about these ruins.

"Huh?" Keitaro returned to reality with a snap. He tried to figure out where he was THIS time. But the room was so dark. He tried to move and realized that he was under a blanket. Also that he wasn't wearing his glasses. He reached for his glasses and wore it, then frowned. He took it off and was surprised. "Hey, this is Narusegawa's...ACK!"
"I told you to call me Naru." Naru mumbled from somewhere. Her hand was on Keitaro's side, pinching him.
Cold sweat ran down Keitaro's back as he realized where Naru was. He uncovered the blanket, and Naru was there, sleeping next to him. "N-Naruse...ah, N-Naru!" he exclaimed, correcting himself as Naru pinched again.
Naru went to sit, but from the look of her face, she didn't seem to be fully awake yet. "Nani (What)?"
Keitaro gulped. "W-Why are we sleeping on one bed?" he asked.
Naru took 3 seconds to fully comprehend the question. She then jumped away from the bed. "W-What have you done?!"
"Me?! I haven't done anything!" Keitaro exclaimed, a stream of water came from his eyes. This is it, Naru's going to punch him away to Mars.
But to his surprise, Naru didn't do it. Instead, she sat there, looking down. Her shoulders rocked at times, as if she's... Keitaro gasped. He went to her, sat next to her and put a hand around her. "N-Naru?" He was right. She was crying.
"K-Keitaro...did...did we" she asked between sobs.
Keitaro looked down as he said, "I don't know..." he said. He then frowned. The dim light and no glasses made his sight worse. He touched himself to make sure. Then, "Hey! We still have our clothes on! We couldn't have done it!" he exclaimed.
Naru gasped. She checked herself. He was right. She sighed. "You're right. We didn't." she said.
Keitaro nodded as he smiled. "Yokatta {an exclamation of relief, its meaning varies}."
Naru put her head onto Keitaro's chest. "Hai, yokatta. I didn't have to lose the moment."
That put a ripe blush on Keitaro's face. "W-What do you mean?" he asked.
Naru didn't reply, and Keitaro didn't have the guts to start thinking what she meant.

"Hai, koko." Mutsumi said as she pressed a piece of wall. The wall slid inward and an opening opened next to it. "Let's go, minna-san." she said as she entered the opening.
"She knew these passages better than I do..." Sarah mumbled, a huge sweatdrop on her head.
The group followed the 'Turtle Girl' into the opening. After a moment, Mutsumi stopped. "We're almost there. We must be very quite now." she said.
The rest of the group just nodded. Mutsumi crouched as she neared a seemingly dead end. A hole was connecting the passage with another room. Mutsumi peeked through it. "I could see some glass cages. Our friends are in it. Also a lot of Mecha-Tama around." The hole was on the corner wall behind Shinobu's glass cage.
"Let's just blast in!" Amalla exclaimed.
"No! That's too dangerous!" Seta said.
"That's right." said Haruka. "We should think of a plan."
Then, a voice came through the hole. "Data retrieval is stabilizing at 195% from normal level at 300% bandwidth."
"Continue operation. More data retrieval is imperative. Start Move Force System."
"Operation continued, Move Force System activated." Then silence but the voices of scurrying Mecha-Tama.
"What was that?" Sarah asked.
"Seemed like the Mecha-Tama are doing research on our friends." Seta replied.
"What kind of research?" asked Haruka.
"Let's just blast in!" Amalla exclaimed again.
"Ara-ara..." Mutsumi sighed. "It seemed that they're doing some research on emotions. I can see Shinobu-chan crying in a strange glass cage."
"Why would machines research on emotions?" asked Sarah.
"They..." Seta fixed his glasses. "Are they going to acquire the ability to experience emotions...? It's the dream of any robot to become human, and to become truly human, they require emotions."

Keitaro and Naru were still sitting in the dark room, hugging, when Keitaro felt something very weird. "N-Naru...I can't"
"K-Keitaro..." Naru seemed to experience the same thing.
Suddenly, Keitaro pushed Naru to the floor and position himself above him. "Gomen nasai (I'm very sorry), Naru!" Keitaro exclaimed, two streams of water spurted from his eyes. "I-I can't control myself!"
"K-Keitaro! T-Tasukete (H-Help)...!" Naru tried to struggle, but she failed, both because of the mysterious force and Keitaro's hand on her wrist, pinning her to the floor.
"N-Naru...gomen nasai!" Keitaro had time to say before the mysterious force pushed him to touch Naru's lips with his.

"Data retrieval increased by another 75%, now at 260% normal level. Warning, data retrieval nearing critical zone." The Mecha-Tama which was operating Naru and Keitaro's panel reported.
"Create new data retrieval lines. Increase to 400%." The Big Mecha-Tama ordered.
The lot of Mecha-Tama scurried faster, taking various electronic stuff somewhere.

"N-Naru..." Keitaro whispered softly when the force let him go. He quickly sat up, and moved away a bit. "G-Gomen nasai, Naru." he said, bowing repeatedly.
"Daijobu, Keitaro." Naru said, surprising Keitaro. He looked at her unbelievingly. Naru was blushing. "It wasn't your fault...I wouldn't do that..."
Keitaro sighed in relief. "I wouldn't dare..." he whispered. But then he looked around, his face showed suspicion. "This is weird." he said. "First, we're moving from places to places without a trace of memory, then this mysterious force..."
Naru looked up to him. "You're right. Something fishy is going around here." she said.
Keitaro stood up. "Let's find out!"
Naru stood up next to him. "Yeah! Let's!"
But right then, the force took them again, and they were forced to lie down. "Aaah!" Both Keitaro and Naru screamed as they hit the floor. They have totally no control to their bodies as they rolled onto the bed. After a second, they found themselves having their hands around each other.
"G-Gomen..." Keitaro began to say.
"Iie (No), it's not your fault." Naru quickly cut him. "We must fight this force."
Keitaro nodded. He then accumulated all of his strength and tried to break free of the force. And...

"Love Sample One has managed to release himself from Move Force System." The Mecha-Tama reported.
"Reconfigure Move Force System. Force Move as soon as possible." The Big Mecha-Tama ordered. "No, wait!" Suddenly it countered its own order. Its eyes began to flash. "Double power on Force Move on Sample Two: Act #4158."
The Mecha-Tama's eyes flashed as well. Its mouth seemed to form a smile. "That's a good one, boss." it said.
"Ara ara..." Mutsumi watched the whole scene.
"They're integrating the emotions already." said Seta. "If they're not built for it, it will destroy themselves."
"Let's just blast in!" Amalla exclaimed again.
"Yes! I think we should go now! Come on, Papa! Obaa-san (Old lady)! ACK!" Sarah exclaimed.
Haruka bit her cigarette as she rubbed Sarah's head with her knuckles *hard*. "It's Haruka-san! And we need a plan!" She then looked at Seta. "Gomen, ne." she said.
"Ahaha, no problem." Seta said, smiling.
"Papa!" Sarah objected.

"I did it, Naru!" Keitaro exclaimed. He turned to Naru and shrieked.
"K-Keitaro...I c-can't..." Naru was moving slowly but sure. It was evident that she was fighting the force, but it was also clear that the force is winning.
Keitaro couldn't believe his eyes. Right in front of him, Naru was reaching for the buttons of her shirt. Just as she began to unbutton the toppest, Keitaro took her hands. He pulled them away and pinned them on the floor. "Naru! Yamete (Stop)!" he exclaimed.
"T-Tasukete, Keitaro..." Naru begged. Tears began to swell on her eyes.
"I won't let you do anything stupid." Keitaro assured her. "Or do anything that will make me do anything stupid."
"K-Keitaro..." Naru whispered. "Arigato (Thank you)..."
Keitaro smiled. "You can count on me." he said. He then laughed uneasily as Naru's face turned into a face of pessimism.

"Love Sample One managed to get over the Act. Rats! What should we do now, boss?!" The Mecha-Tama asked.
"Now you configure the Move Force on Keitaro. We'll see if he can keep his words when he's pinned as well." The Big Mecha-Tama replied.
The Mecha-Tama went back to operating the panel. Its eyes flashed, and it made a noise: "Heh, heh, heh..."
"Ara ara...they're beginning to be able to laugh." Mutsumi reported.
"This is not good..." Seta said. "And we don't have a plan yet, too."
"That's because we're always peeping and don't even try to think up a plan." Haruka said calmly.
"Let's think of a plan!" Sarah exclaimed.
"Let's just blast in!" Amalla suggested.

"Huh...?" Keitaro actually felt when the force began to take control over him again. "N-Naru...I...I..."
"K-Keitaro..." Naru knew it would come up to that. In front of her, Keitaro slowly went on his knees next to her. He then lowered himself on her. "K-Keitaro! Y-Yamete!" she exclaimed.
"Gomen nasai! I c-can't...can't control myself! N-Naru!" Keitaro shrieked. He was forced to put one elbow on Naru's side, and another on the other side, making him right above her. "N-Naru..." he sighed. He blushed when he realized just how close they were.
His blush made Naru realized it as well, also making her blush. "K-Keitaro..." she sighed back.
Unconsciously, they began to loosen their muscles and gave in to the force.

LOVE HINA: The Empire Underneath...not for sale or rent :)

"Hah, hah, hah! They've given up, boss!" The Mecha-Tama exclaimed.
"Good. Continue!" the Big Mecha-Tama exclaimed.
"They?" Sarah asked.
"I can see Motoko-san, Kitsune-san, Su-chan, and Shinobu-chan." said Mutsumi.
"You don't mean...They're putting Naru and Keitaro together?" asked Amalla.
"And 'give up'?" Haruka raised an eyebrow. "What does that mean?"
"C-Could be...that..." Sarah began to say. Very unlike her, she began to blush. "I-If they're collecting emotions...Then... then Naru and Keitaro...And they did mention about Love Samples..."
"Ara ara..." Mutsumi sighed. "Very possible." she concluded.

Keitaro opened his eyes and found that he was kissing Naru. The back of his mind struggled to be free, but neither his mind, his heart, nor any of his muscles were responding. "Naru..." he sighed between kisses.
Naru opened her eyes. She looked at him gently, then smiled. "Keitaro..." she sighed back. Then they returned to kissing.
Keitaro could feel his hands went about Naru's body. He knew it was wrong, he knew that he shouldn't be doing it, he wanted to stop, but he couldn't. 'N-No! I don't want it like this!' he thought. 'If I'm going her...I want it to be her own will...'. Despite that, they continued kissing.

"I can't stand this any longer!" Amalla exclaimed. She ran towards the hole and broke through it. It was a thin rock wall, so she went through it like a breeze. "Anyone dared to challenge me?!" she exclaimed.
All the Mecha-Tama were stopped in their tracks as their sensor eyes scanned her. Then, the Big Mecha-Tama gave an ultimatum: "Get them!"
The Mecha-Tama began to fly towards Amalla. She evaded them swiftly and took out her flute. She began to play a melody (the melody she always played in the anime). Out of nowhere, her white crocodile appeared and began to stomp on the Mecha-Tama. Then a fight between hundreds of small Mecha-Tama against a huge white crocodile followed.
"Papa! Let's rescue minna-san!" Sarah exclaimed as she ran to the glass cages.
"Hai! Let's go!" Seta ran after his adopted daughter. He jump-kicked and shattered the glass cage that had Motoko in it.
Motoko fell flat onto the base of the cage. Seta went to her and tried to waken her. "Motoko-chan! Wake up!" But he only got responses like: "K-Kame (Turtle)...doko ni mo (everywhere)."
Sarah took some pebbles from the debris created when Amalla 'entered' the room and threw them at the remaining glass cages, breaking them all, except the last one. Naru and Keitaro's.
"Increase Love Sample Memory Virtual Reality Cage Defense by 500%!" Big Mecha-Tama ordered. "All Mecha! Attack all intruders! You stay where you are, Mecha!" The Big Mecha-Tama ordered the Mecha-Tama operating Love. "Continue data retrieval!"
"Understood, sir!" The Mecha-Tama held its right...hand? Fin? Well, it held its limb over its eyes, giving a salute.
The Glass Cage which held Naru and Keitaro turned gray and lost its translucence.

Naru sighed as she felt Keitaro's soft lips on hers. 'If it has to come to this, I...I might as well not fight it, since I don't think Keitaro could... do things like this in his own will.' she thought. "K-Keitaro..." she managed to say between kisses.
"Hmm?" Keitaro hummed as they were already kissing. His eyes were closed, savoring the sensation on his lips.
That opened Keitaro's eyes. He began to fight the force. "N-Naru! I...I don't"
Naru looked at him, her eyes were a mix of sadness and anger. "Y-You...don't want me?"
"C-Chigau (N-No {and one of a few desperate way to say it})! That's not what I meant...I...I don't want to take advantage of this strange force on you...I...If I'm going to have you..." Keitaro stopped for a moment. He loosened his muscles and their faces met again. "...I want it to be your" He ended his line in a kiss.

"Hiken Fuujin Ranbu!" Motoko, who had woken up from her 'shock' swung her sword and the produced gust of wind swept most of the Mecha-Tama to the wall, breaking them into pieces. But their space is quickly filled with another batch of them.
"It's no good!" Seta exclaimed. "We must destroy the leader!"
"Wai! You mean that big big Mecha-Tama?!" Kaolla exclaimed. "That's too bad..."
"Su-chan!" Mitsune exclaimed. "Stop them! Hack their system or something!"
"Will do! Will do!" Kaolla jumped onto one of the glass cage panels and began to fiddle with it. After a while, she raised one eyebrow. She then pressed something and took a big piece of glass from the glass cage. As she pressed a button, she looked through the glass.
"Kaolla!" Shinobu went to her. "What are you doing?" she asked.
But Kaolla didn't respond. She seemed to be in a trance. A moment later, she dropped the glass, and it gave out a reflection of a red moon before it dropped onto the rock floor and broke into pieces.
"What's wrong with her?" Sarah asked Shinobu. "We have to fight these pests."
Shinobu knew what was happening. She took a few steps back as Kaolla began to glow.
Sarah, who have no idea that Kaolla can change under some circumstances, watched with bulging eyes as Kaolla turned into her adult form.
Kaolla jumped and landed next to her sister, her...musical instrument...on her hand. "Let's do this together, onee-chan (big sister)." she said.
Amalla looked at her, then smiled. They then began to play a joint melody. The white crocodile went berserk, and the real Tama appeared, in the hundreds, attacking their Mecha counterpart.
"What about the hacking?!" Mitsune exclaimed, her face desperate.
"K-Kaolla can change?!" Sarah exclaimed unbelievingly. "Boy, you do have strange people here at Hinata-sou, obaa-san. ACK!"
"It's Haruka-san!" she said, her knuckles on Sarah's head.
Seta fought side by side with Motoko in trying to reach the Love Sample Cage, which wasn't of glass anymore. "We have to get Naru-chan and Keitaro-kun out of here!" he exclaimed as he punched some Mecha-Tama onto the wall.
"I know that!" Motoko exclaimed. "Hiken Fuujin Ranbu!" The blow took out some Mecha-Tama, including the one operating Naru and Keitaro's cage.
"Ara ara...What a good fight..."

Naru and Keitaro opened their eyes in unison as they realized that the force was gone. "We're free!" Keitaro said. "Something must've happened. Come on. We have to..."
But Naru didn't budge. She kept on holding him. "K-Keitaro..."
Keitaro gulped. He looked at her eyes. "N-Naru...come on...we..."
Naru closed her eyes as she shook her head. She then snuck her head into Keitaro's chest as she swept his back with her hand, making Keitaro tensed. "This own free will..." she whispered.
Keitaro gulped.

Kaolla jumped high and landed as her normal form in front of Naru and Keitaro's cage's panel and began pressing buttons while the others tried their best to keep the Mecha-Tama from getting near her. But they were surrounded.
"Give up, puny humans!" The Big Mecha-Tama ordered.
"Never! Ougi Zangan Ken!" A flash jumped from Motoko's sword as she swung it towards the Big Mecha-Tama. It struck it right on the middle, but it only did it minimal damage.
"Done it! Done it!" Kaolla exclaimed, jumping in joy.
Everyone, including Tama, the whole lot of Mecha-Tama and the Big Mecha-Tama turned towards the cage, which began to return to being translucent.

Naru and Keitaro stopped on their tracks as they realized that they were in a translucent glass cage, hugging each other, their lips together, while outside the glass cage were a grinning Kaolla and Sarah, a surprised Mitsune and Amalla, an outraged Motoko, Shinobu stifling a cry, Haruka and Seta with a raised eyebrow, and Mutsumi, tapping her head in her usual innocence look, sighing, "Ara ara..."
After a meaningless 3 seconds, Keitaro had Naru's foot on his cheek and he flew through the glass cage, over everyone, and through the Big Mecha-Tama.
That turned off every single Mecha-Tama around the vicinity. The Big Mecha-Tama began to budge.
"It's going to crash!" Mitsune exclaimed. "Everybody OUT!"
"Senpai!" Shinobu exclaimed, she went to get Keitaro.
"Leave him to me!" Amalla said. "Get out! Everybody out!"
And they got out of the room just as the Big Mecha-Tama collapsed on the floor, destroying every Mecha-Tama under it.

Keitaro sighed. He was lying on his bed in his room, looking towards the ceiling. He and Naru had a lot of explaining to do to all of the Hinata-sou residents, especially Shinobu. Luckily, Kaolla backed them up, saying that the cage was in fact a kind of Virtual Reality cage, and also confirmed the presence of the Move Force system. Even though they still don't believe them, at least they let it go at that.
'What would happen if...' Keitaro began to think. 'If minna-san came a bit later...the both of us would've been...' he blushed. 'Her last words...were they true? That it was her own free will? Why would she kick me afterwards, then?'
His was so lost in thoughts that he didn't catch a movement on the ceiling. He only noticed it when faint light came through the hole connecting his room and Naru's. He frowned.
A moment later, Naru jumped down and swiftly put herself under Keitaro's blanket. She then looked at him, smiling.
Naru frowned. "Haven't I told you to call me Naru?" she pouted.
"Gomen." Keitaro bowed his head a bit, then he gulped. "W-what are you doing here?"
Naru slid her hands over Keitaro's side and hugged him closer. "Do you think I lied when I...said that it was my own free will?" she asked as she began to blush. "I'm...continuing what's been cut."
Keitaro blushed as he gulped. "B-But...why..."
Naru put a finger on Keitaro's lips. "The others don't have to know..." she whispered.
"Naru..." Keitaro sighed. They then kissed.

Naru and Keitaro were so 'busy' they didn't realize that someone had been eavesdropping since Naru jumped down. The person sat cross-legged in front of the Kanrinin's (Inn Manager's) room. As she began to hear some very mushy sounds, her foxy eyes flashed as her mouth formed a slick smile. "Naru, Keitaro...way to go!" Mitsune whispered.

Author's notes: WAY TO GO for me too! I don't think I can make a Love Hina fic this long. Being an Aries has its downside in story making, especially long fics, as Aries tend to get bored over anything quickly. Anyhow, I tried to make everything in this story as canon (real to the story's history) as possible, but I admit I made some things on my own. Like Sarah's 'Out-Of-Character'-ness of calling Haruka obaa-san (That's Keitaro's habit), the additional door in the room where Mecha-Tama was feeding itself, the trap doors and secret passageways Mutsumi used. And speaking of her, I realized I didn't say anything on how she could know all those passageways, since in the anime, she did just that once, too (If I'm not mistaken, the ep where Mei-chan came). Also, I've been researching on Adult Kaolla's instrument and found it to have some resemblance to the Egyptian instrument called 'ud. If you make a search on this word in Encarta 1999 above, you'll find it. She did say that she wished from 'the red moon of the desert', and we all know that Egypt is not that far from a desert, so...? ANYHOW, see you in another fic (especially since this Author Note is getting too long).

Arsen Dawn
Storymaster Q

ICQ#: 75282461