Disclaimer: I do not own Love Hina. Ken Akamatsu and his affiliates do. This is a piece made purely for the love and enjoyment of the series.


Though he had slept little the night before, Keitaro was awake and alert long before the sun had risen over the horizon. He had been restless and sleep had been difficult to find, so he had opted to wait with his luggage in his borrowed room in the tea house until it was time to leave. In this time he looked back at his life, and what he was beginning to see was not any more pleasant than his previous revelations.

Countless mistakes he had made, errors in judgment he could not correct, and even his bull-headedness in pursuing his "promise girl" to the detriment of his own social life. It was a wonder he even managed to befriend Shirai and Haitani, but even that small measure of comfort had its own drawbacks. Haitani always belittled him and, although he couldn't prove it, sabotaged his attempts to better himself over the years. Though Shirai was more amicable than Haitani towards him, he still seemed to drag him under at times into whatever scheme the pair were concocting. Then he remembered his parents' opinion on his choices and their very rude and forceful ejection of him from the home. All this coupled with the recent events caused him to hang his head, and silently accept defeat. It was this defeated look that Mitsune came upon a little while later.

Quietly, she opened the door to his room, hoping to catch him asleep and rouse him herself. However, upon seeing the look marring his features, Mitsune grew a little concerned, "Keitaro? Are you okay?"

Slowly, he turned to look at her. She had to steel her nerves at seeing the barest glimmers of the completely empty look she had seen not that long ago upon his face. His eyes, glistening with tears that he was trying not to shed, pierced her as he spoke softly, "All my life, I've had the answer to it all. I don't deserve any of this. I don't even deserve to live, Mitsune."

"Don't ever say that Keitaro."

He turned away from her words, tears now beginning to trickle down his face, "Why not? It's the truth, isn't it?"

Keitaro immediately found his vision filled with Mitsunes' face. Those beautiful brown eyes that he had come to expect bore into him, "No, it's not Keitaro. Everyone deserves to live a full life."

He tried to look away from her, but she held his face in place, "Keitaro, you of anyone that I know deserves to have a life filled with happiness. And I will do whatever I can to help you have that life."

He sat there, tears beginning to slide down his face, "You've already done so much…"

"And there is still more to do," Mitsune said, slowly pulling him into a gentle embrace, "I swear that I'll do what I can, Keitaro. I promise."

Hearing these words, Keitaro again fell into her sobbing softly in as many days. She cradled his head, soothing him as best she could. It was an action she was becoming more adept at performing, and that fact was not making her feel any happier about it. A soft sound of footsteps alerted her to someone having come near, and in the corners of her vision she could just barely make out Haruka standing near the doorway, watching quietly. As Keitaro calmed down again, he pulled back rubbing at some of the stray tears still running down his face, "I'm sorry, Mitsune. I've been nothing but a blubbering idiot lately."

She smiled at him, ruffling his hair gently, "Don't be, Keitaro. I don't mind it. Besides, bottling it up inside isn't any better."

Keitaro sniffled lightly, noticing the wet spot on her shirt where he had cried, "Looks like I've ruined another shirt of yours."

"It's alright, Keitaro," her voice came, softly as she made eye contact with him again, "It's a badge of honor among friends."

A throat clearing brought their attention to Haruka standing in the doorway, "I hate to break up the show of friendship, but the two of you have a plane to catch."

Keitaro nodded before standing, and picking up his suitcases as Mitsune went and retrieved her own. He spared a glance around the small room one last time, his gaze finally landing on the small picture book still lying on the desk. A wave of pain rushed through him, causing him to falter for a moment. He steadied himself and shook away the cloud of depression that threatened to consume him once again. Stepping out of the room, he met Haruka and Mitsune in the main room. A gentle nod of his head was the only indication he made that he was ready.

Stepping out into the early morning air, Keitaro felt a light breeze on his skin as it wafted through the trees. His gaze slowly took in the sights around him, committing them to memory for possibly the last time. The sun barely filtering through the trees, he could just make out the silhouette of the Inn at the top of the staircase. A wave of sadness passed through him, wondering briefly if he would return. He let a heavy breath go, turning away to begin towards the train station for the airport.

"Wait!"

Stopping, the trio turned back to see Shinobu running down the stairs towards them. When she had caught up to them, she bent over holding onto her knees as she struggled for air, "Please…don't go…without me…I…wanted to say….goodbye…"

Keitaro, setting a suitcase down, lay a gentle hand on her shoulder, "Shinobu, you should be in bed still. You have class later today."

She looked up at him, a pleading look in her eyes, "Please, Sempai. I wanted to see you off."

Not knowing what to say, Keitaro nodded lightly before responding, "Alright. But you have to promise me to keep up with your school work."

Smiling up at him, she nodded, "I promise, Sempai."

Turning back to the others, he nodded as he picked his suitcase back up and began walking. It took what amounted to little more than ten minutes to reach the station, but it felt like an eternity. The ride on the train seemed to take even longer, each bump and jostle of the cab reminding them that this was no dream. The arrival at the airport was no different, and Keitaro felt a sudden sense of foreboding begin to gnaw at the back of his mind as they were going through baggage check in. He tried to put it out of mind for now, but he still could not shake the feeling even when they all sat down in the terminal to await boarding. It was at the insistence of their growling stomachs that Haruka and Mitsune went to grab breakfast leaving him and Shinobu sitting alone.

Though he saw her fidgeting, he tried to not dwell on it until she spoke, "Sempai?"

Looking over at her, he quirked his eyebrows in silent questioning, "Yes, Shinobu?"

"Um, well," she began, unsure of just how to say what she wanted to. Thinking of a million ways to say it, she sighed, "Can I ask you something?"

He smiled at her, putting his mask firmly in place, "Sure, you can ask me anything."

Even though she knew he didn't mean it, the first thought that came to mind made her blush. Looking away and trying to discreetly hide her reddening cheeks, she smiled lightly, "Anything, Sempai?"

Realizing his blunder and noticing the blush on her cheeks, he cleared his throat and tried to look anywhere but at her, "Well, perhaps not anything."

Shinobu chuckled lightly, though there was no real humor in her laughter. Looking back at him, she steeled her nerves, "Sempai, promise me you'll come back."

Keitaro stopped and looked at the ground. Though he had known deep down that she would ask him something like that, he had prayed that she wouldn't. He just didn't know how to respond to it, and silently wished to the powers that be that an answer or distraction would keep him from answering. After a few tense seconds passed where nothing happened, he bowed his head and spoke, his voice barely above a whisper, "Shinobu, I…I don't know if I…"

She gripped his hand gently, her blue eyes searching to reach his own, "Please, Sempai! I don't want you to stay away forever, but at least to return when you're ready. That's all I want."

Keitaro tried hard not to meet those pleading eyes of hers he knew she gazed at him with. He tried to focus on anything but the young woman next to him that was begging him to return, unknowing if he even would himself. However, all his efforts were in vain, and he found himself looking into those bright pools of blue. Closing his eyes after a few seconds, he sighed, "I promise."

A small, grateful smile spread across her face, "Thank you, Sempai."

Not long after their little talk did Haruka and Mitsune return with a small, but filling breakfast. Time almost seemed to stop for them as they waited for the boarding call for their flight. Small conversation, though about topics such as the weather or whether this star would marry that star, took place but no one really found interesting. It would have been peaceful save for the fact that two of them would be leaving in a few short minutes and be halfway across the world soon. Yet, when the boarding call sounded, Keitaro felt another pang of guilt course through him. Though it was not his first trip abroad, it would most likely be his last. Even in light of the fact that he made a promise to Shinobu, he was unsure if he would have the courage to return to the source of all his current pain.

Standing on uneasy legs, they began to head to the terminal for their plane when Haruka grabbed him by the arm. She nodded to Mitsune and Shinobu, "Go on ahead. We'll catch up in a second."

The two girls nodded in affirmation and walked away from the two. When she was sure they were out of earshot, Haruka looked at Keitaro, "Keitaro, I want you to take care of yourself and Mitsune over there. Alright?"

He looked away from her gaze, a frown forming on his face, "I don't know how well I can do that…"

Gripping his head in her hands, she forced him to look at her, "Don't' ever say you can't do anything Keitaro. That's not the bright, stubborn nephew I know. Don't ever let me catch you saying that again, or Kami help me, I'll kick your stubborn ass to the moon and back. You got that?"

A small, sad smile formed on his face, "All right, Aunt Haruka. I'll try."

She looked at him, and in a rare show of affection, pulled him into a warm hug, "You're my only nephew and I don't want to see you down in the dumps any more."

Slowly, Keitaro returned the embrace, "But what happens if I can't find myself again? What if this is who I am?"

Pulling back to arms length, Haruka fixed him with a hard expression, "I know you can, Keitaro. I know it, Mitsune knows it, and Shinobu knows it. We all believe in you."

Tears began forming in his eyes again, "Thank you again, Aunt Haruka."

Patting his shoulders, she nodded at him, "You never have to thank me. You're family, and we look out for each other."

At his gentle nod, she released her hold on him, "Good. Oh, and one more thing, Keitaro."

He quirked an eyebrow at her, rubbing a tear from his face, "What?"

Reaching up, she firmly but lovingly smacked him across the back of his head, "Don't ever call me Aunt again. I know legally I am, but I'm still your cousin first and foremost. We understand each other?"

He smiled at her, a genuine smile, "Sure thing, Haruka."

Haruka nodded, releasing him and motioning towards the direction of the terminal, "Good, now come on. You have a plane to board."

Leading the way, Keitaro followed Haruka towards the gate. The terminal looming ever nearer, the feeling came rushing back to Keitaro. Again, he tried to shake the feeling, but having no better luck than before. He frowned heavily as he and Haruka caught back up to Mitsune and Shinobu.

Mitsune, noticing the odd look on Keitaros' face, walked closer to him. Gently placing her hand on his shoulder, she looked at him in worry, "Keitaro, you okay?"

Shaken from his thoughts, he looked back at her trying to hide the odd feeling again behind a fake smile, "I'm fine, Mitsune. It's nothing."

Not believing him, she looked at him oddly but didn't push the issue. They turned back to their small group. Shinobu sniffled softly as she prepared to say goodbye, "I'm going to miss you both."

Mitsune leaned over and gave the young girl a hug, "I'm gonna miss you too, hon. Remember to look after the others while we're gone."

She nodded as Mitsune moved to Haruka and extended her hand, "Thank you again, Haruka. You've done more than enough for us. If there is any way we can repay you, just name it."

Haruka, shaking the offered hand, smiled warmly around the toothpick in her mouth in place of a cigarette, "You know I don't call in favors unless necessary, Mitsune. But I know the feeling and I'd do this all again if given the chance. You just take care of him."

She nodded as Keitaro stepped up to say his own goodbyes, "Well, I guess this is goodbye."

Shinobu, no longer able to control herself, rushed forward and wrapped her arms tightly around Keitaro, "Come back soon, Sempai! Remember your promise!"

He placed another fake smile on his face as he patted her back, "Don't worry, Shinobu. I always keep my promises."

Releasing him, Shinobu stepped back as Haruka extended a hand towards him, "Keitaro."

He looked at her, taking the proffered hand, "Haruka, I'll miss you."

Haruka nodded, the stoic face of hers faltering for a brief moment, "Alright now. This isn't goodbye for good. You will be coming back."

Nodding solemnly, Keitaro turned to Mitsune, "I guess its time."

"Yeah," came her uneasy response, taking a step towards the gate, "Well, let's get this show on the road, shall we Sugah?"

He slowly followed her lead, placing one heavy foot in front of the other. Looking back over his shoulder, he waved to the two friends that had helped them this far. He waved until they were no longer in sight and the tunnel towards the train occupied his vision. As they found their seats, Mitsune leaned in close to him, "You want to tell me what that look was about earlier?"

Swallowing hard, he forced his face to remain passive, "I don't know what you're…"

A slender finger stopped him from continuing as Mitsune bore into him with those brown orbs of hers, "You can't fool me, Keitaro. So stop lying."

He debated for a second to just give her another lie, but decided against it, "She's helped me this far. It wouldn't be right."

Breathing deeply, he turned his head to look out the window as they buckled in, "I just had this feeling."

Mitsune let her eyes wander to out the window where he was looking. She could vaguely make out the silhouettes of Shinobu and Haruka in the glass window in the distance, "What kind of feeling?"

The blank, depressed look returned, "That this may be the last time that I see any of them."

As the plane lurched forward by the taxi pulling it to the runway, Mitsune had to suppress the urge to say that it very well could be.


Keitaro chuckled to himself as they disembarked from the plane, "Honestly, Mitsune. It wasn't as bad as you think it was."

The brown haired woman turned and affixed a terrifying glare on her face, "Doesn't matter what you say Keitaro, but I will never get on another plane again!"

As they made it to customs, Keitaro couldn't help but let a small chuckle out. Mitsunes' glare intensified as she glared at him, "And what is so funny, huh?"

Keitaro waved his hands defensively, "Nothing. Nothing at all! I just think you're over reacting a little that's all."

"Over reacting am I," She said, her voice dipping dangerously low as she put her hands on her hips, "Let me remind you that you were strapped safe and secure in a seat, where I wasn't."

He tried to hide his grin as best he could, but failed in the end, "I told you not to have so many drinks."

As the line began to shorten, she huffed and turned away from him, "I wasn't the one that forgot to mention what turbulence was like."

Keitaro scratched the back of his head, "My first flight with Seta was much worse. We had to actually secure a couple items that had gotten loose and started bouncing around the cabin…"

"No," Mitsune said, raising a hand to halt his retelling, "Don't say another word."

Chuckling to himself, Keitaro nodded, "All right, I won't say another word."

Proceeding up to the nearest available window, they made their way through customs and security, which proved to be a challenge on its own. Keitaro began getting nervous due to the enormous man in uniform standing there with the security sensor, starting fidgeting a little ultimately making him stand out. This in turn got the attention of the security guard, who asked him to step out of line for a few moments. He began stuttering and sweating due to the attention he was receiving. If it hadn't have been for Mitsune jumping in at the last moment, he was sure that the guard would have most likely used him as his own personal tazer test dummy.

Breathing a sigh of relief as he walked through and collected his items on the other side, Keitaro gave Mitsune a grateful look, "Thanks for the save, Mitsune."

She grinned at him devilishly, "You know I could have let you get detained."

He swallowed hard, "Y-you wouldn't have done that? W-would you?"

Mitsune laughed deeply as she turned and began heading towards baggage claim, leaving Keitaro to catch up as he pleaded with her to answer him. Their bags appeared just as she was finishing allaying his fears, "Relax, Hon. I wouldn't do that to ya."

His shoulders slumped in relief as his own bags appeared, "Oh that means a lot to me."

She laughed lightly as she pulled her bags from the turnstile, "Now that that's out of the way, let's see if we can find Haruka's friend."

Nodding at her, the two made their way to the arrival station. Looking around, Mitsune didn't immediately see their mysterious benefactor. Keitaro stood on tip toes, looking over the crowd, "I think it would help if I knew what he looked like."

"I do," Mitsune said, scanning the crowd, "Long brown hair, and about a little taller than you."

After a few more seconds, Keitaro settled back down on his heels as he hung his head, "It's no use. I can't see anything from here."

"You're giving up too easy," Mitsune replied back, standing on a chair to get a better view, "You need to be persistent."

He looked around, noticing several people now beginning to look her way as she continued to look around, "Mitsune, could you get down please. You're starting to make a…"

She suddenly jabbed a finger in one direction, shouting as she did so, "There he is!"

"…scene." Keitaro finished, looking the way she pointed. Sure enough there was a young man standing their, looking in their direction. Mitsune hopped back down and tugged on his arm, "Come on, Keitaro."

Having no other option but to follow behind her, he walked behind her as they made their way to their contact. When they were close enough, Keitaro began to extend a hand and trying to remember what little English he knew, "It is…very nice…to meet you."

The man smiled as he returned the handshake before responding in very smooth Japanese, "Please, no need to stand on ceremony. You must be Urashima Keitaro. My name is Nick Andrews."

Taken aback by his knowledge, Keitaro meekly returned the hand shake, "Of course. It's nice to meet you and very kind of you to allow us to stay with you."

He shook his head, smiling, "Its no problem. If Haruka called in the favor, there isn't anything I won't do to help."

Nick then turned to face Mitsune, extending his hand in greeting again, "And you must be Konno Mitsune, unless I miss my guess."

Smiling warmly at him, Mitsune shook his hand, "The one and only, Sugah. Haruka must have told you we were coming as soon as we boarded."

Nick chuckled, "She did, in fact. Now I know that was one hell of a long flight, so if you two will follow me, I'll take you to my humble abode."

It took another ten minutes to walk out to Nicks' car, and the both of them were greeted with a sight that made them wonder if Setas' van was more road worthy than this one. The black paint was peeling in places, and looked as if it could stand a washing. Nick shifted a little as he opened the passenger door, "I know she aint' much to look at, but she'll get us where we're going."

Keitaro looked at Mitsune cautiously, before giving Nick a side long glance, "Have you ever heard of a guy named Seta?"

"You know Seta too," Nick said with a look of near disbelief as he moved around to put their collective luggage in the back of the van, "Geez, how'd you run into that maniac?"

Mitsune almost seemed to take a step behind Keitaro while looking at Nick in expectation, "Yeah, we've met him."

Nick looked at them for a second, then realization clicked and he began to laugh, "I assure you I drive a lot safer than he does. I never understood what his deal was with putting the pedal to the metal and praying for the best."

Mitsune leaned over and whispered in Keitaro's ear, "Should we trust him on that?"

A look of dread passed over Keitaro's face, "Do we have a choice?"

She grimaced, "Good point. Well come on then."

Leading the way, she jumped in and found the seat belt in the middle of the seat and securely fastened it, "Come on Keitaro. I want to rest in a comfy bed soon!"

Still wary of the potential death trap that was the van, Keitaro made his way to the seat remaining on the passenger side and closed the door. Safely buckled, or so he presumed, he waited for Nick to jump in. A few seconds later, the back door closed and Nick appeared in the driver's side, "Now that we're all safe and secure, let's get you somewhere you can rest easy."

The ride was quite for the next twenty minutes, the only sound entering into the dead air of the cab was the sound of traffic on the highway around them. After a moment, Nick broke the silence, "Geez, you two are a quiet pair."

Keitaro looked down and out the window, "Sorry."

"No, I didn't mean…" Nick said, hearing the dejectedness in Keitaro's voice, "Hell, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to come off as hostile there."

"It's okay," Mitsune said, trying to bring the attention away from Keitaro, "It's just been a long flight and we're kind a tired."

Nick looked at her from the corner of his eye for a brief second, "Ah. I see."

Mitsune nodded to him as silence returned again. It was another few minutes before Mitsune noticed that Keitaro had fallen asleep leaning against the window. Cautiously, she looked at the man named Nick next to her. Her curiosity was piqued, and she found herself wanting to know a little more, not just about him, but about Haruka and Nobu as well. However, there was no real way to start the conversation off without being blunt, causing her to become a little frustrated by the situation. She sat silently contemplating the man next to her for a few more minutes that had, at the behest of Haruka, gone out of his way to help them out. She looked at Nick, "It's rather nice of ya to put us up for awhile."

"It's no problem, really," He said, flashing a friendly smile towards her, "A friend of Haruka's is a friend mine. Believe me on that one. That woman is hard enough to come near as it is."

"That's another thing I don't understand," Mitsune stated, hoping to get some kind of answer on the mysterious connections that Haruka had made in her lifetime, "How did Haruka meet up with you and Nobu? She didn't say much on the subject."

Nick chuckled quietly, "Not surprised by that. She tends to play things close to her shirt."

Mitsune continued on, "It just seems odd that she would know two completely unrelated people that would appear to have nothing at all to do with her."

He spared a nod in her direction, "You'd be right on that note. We don't have a whole lot to do with Haruka. It was more like Seta that kind of formed our little band of misfits."

Quirking an eyebrow, Mitsune looked at him a little closer, "And yet again, it just seems peculiar. Care to shed a little light on the mystery?

Nick laughed a little, shifting in the seat a little as he did so, "It's a long story, but I'll do what I can to give you the short of it."

Focusing on the road, Nick's smile became just a little broader, "Seta, by the time I met the man, had already met Haruka and Nobu and the three of them had came abroad working on some hair brained project of his. Something about a lost turtle civilization or something or other. Still not sure about that, but to each his own."

"At the time I was just a kid on the street trying to find a place to fit into," he said, the smile fading ever so slightly at the retelling, "He asked me if I needed a job and I jumped on board. It was a little while after that that we ran into this really beautiful woman, a woman by the name of Cynthia McDougal, who had her own run of trouble. We all just kind of fell in with Seta and his wild ideas. Before we knew it, we were running around the globe, looking for this ancient text or that primitive culture."

When he went quiet, Mitsune looked at him expectantly, "So what made you all go your separate ways?"

Nick frowned lightly, and Mitsune knew immediately that she had hit a nerve, "It got too…painful."

Mitsune tore her gaze away from him, "I'm sorry."

He sighed, "Not nearly as sorry as I am."

Silence descended upon the vans occupants for the remainder of the trip until the sights and sounds of the city faded away as the country became more and more pronounced. Exiting the highway, Nick navigated several back roads as only a native would know before pulling onto an old gravel and dirt paved road. Off a little ways from the gate, just barely visible above the trees, was a beautiful home. Mitsune gently woke Keitaro, "Hey, wake up."

Sputtering and jumping a little, Keitaro opened his eyes, "Wha…What's going on?"

"We're almost there," Nick said, smiling at the familiar sight of home coming finally into view. It was a modest two story home, almost reminding Mitsune of those old films she'd seen years ago of a plantation home in the southern United States. The siding was an off-white wood paneling, topped by a black shingled roof. As the van pulled to a stop, Mitsune could feel a little old world charm in the place as she exited the van behind Keitaro.

"Welcome, one and all," Nick said, spreading his arms wide to encompass the home, "to my humble and hospitable abode."

Mitsune took in a deep breath at the sight, "Oh, its beautiful!"

"Thank you," Nick said, beginning to head towards the front door, "Now if you'll follow right this way, ladies and gentlemen, we shall begin our tour of this fine establishment."

Following behind him, Keitaro and Mitsune made their way inside. Inside, the front hallway with a staircase that led back to an expansive living room. Nick stopped, pointing back at a room off to the left of the main room, "The kitchen is over there, and there to your right is the hallway leading to the bathroom, a spare room and the master bedroom. Your rooms will be on the second story."

Leading them up the staircase, he showed them each to a bedroom on opposite ends of the hall. They stood in the second bedroom, which Mitsune had claimed as her own, as Nick was finishing the tour, "There's another room up here and a bathroom attached to each room in case you need it. Other than that, there is an old barn off in the field, but not much else."

Keitaro nods in thanks, "You have a nice house."

Nick shrugged his shoulders at the compliment, "Ah, come on, it's a mess I know. Can't keep my buddies from making a royal mess of things when their over."

Sitting on the bed, Mitsune cocked an eyebrow at Nick, "And when will we meet these friends of yours?"

He chuckled, "Never if I have any say in it."

"Oh come on now, Sugah," Mitsune said with a mock pleading tone in her voice, "You would be ruining what little fun we might have!"

A laugh tore itself from Nicks' throat, "I'm sure they'd love you, wouldn't they, Keitaro?"

When no answer was forth coming, the two of them looked at the silent Keitaro as he looked gloomily out the window. Mitsune stood and put a calm hand on his shoulder, "Keitaro?"

As if shocked by her touch, Keitaro looked at her and tried to hide whatever emotion had been playing in his mind, "Huh, what?"

Mitsune looked at him, a worried look forming on her features, "Keitaro, you okay?"

He waved her off, rubbing at his eyes a little, "Yeah, I just must still be tired."

Nick motioned to the room Keitaro had commandeered, "Why don't you go sleep it off. Jet lag is one hell of a bitch."

Nodding in thanks, Keitaro slowly exited the room towards his own. As soon as the sound of a door closing at the opposite end was heard, Nick shook his head, "Now I see what she meant."

Mitsune focused on Nick, "What did who mean?"

"Haruka," Nick said, leaning against the door frame. He pulled out a cigarette from his jacket pocket, placing it gingerly between his lips. Lighting it and taking a slow drag off it, he frowned, "She called me a few days ago with the favor of putting you guys up. Told me that the situation was life altering. From that look on his face, she barely scratched the surface it seems."

Leaning against the window sill, Mitsune nodded, "It just doesn't seem fair."

"It's not," Nick said, blowing a thick cloud of smoke out, "Though it never is. That look though…"

He trailed off, letting the remainder of his statement fall away as he bowed his head with a somber expression dancing across his face. Mitsune watched him for a second, trying to make heads or tails of him. She licked her lips, trying to find words for her thoughts, "Nick?"

He looked over at her briefly, "Yeah?"

"What about that look?"

Nick looked away again, and then pushed off the door frame, "Just looked familiar. I've seen it before. I'd rather forget it."

The brown haired girl sat there, watching him as he headed for the top of the stair case. She tried to get some bearing on him, but he was just too hard to read. He spoke, looking back over his shoulder, "I'm going to get your things from the van. I'll be back in a little while."

With that comment, he disappeared back downstairs. Vaguely she heard the front door open and close, but it was a long time before he returned back inside. Sitting there at the window, Mitsune wondered just what this man could do that she, Haruka and Shinobu couldn't have done. As night slowly crept up on them, Mitsunes' thoughts turned to the man down the hall and just what the future would hold for not only him, but her as well.

"Whatever it is," she thought, gazing out at the rising moon in the distance, "I just hope it happens soon."

Taking one last look down the hallway, Mitsune slowly closed the doors and turned out her light for bed. As she drifted to sleep, she thought vaguely on the man named Nick, and his own role to play in things. She yawned, as sleep began to take her, "What is he hiding and how will it help Keitaro?"