Love Hina: Crime and Punishment
DISCLAIMER: I wish that I did own Love Hina and all of the other characters from the manga and anime series. But Ken Akamatsu beat me to it. I do, however, own several of the other minor characters in the following story.
This story is suitable for most readers in the first few chapters. However, the story is rated 'M' because of a number of adult situations later on. There will be various pairings, including some Yuri and Shōjo-ai.
'Love Hina: Crime and Punishment' is a crossover in its later chapters with 'Sailor Moon: Devastation'. There are also minor crossovers with a couple of other anime series. Yes, one of them is 'Kim Possible'! But ninety-percent of this story is pure 'Love Hina'.
I have tried to keep everyone in-character at the start of the story, and then have them evolve and grow as the series progresses. Many of the personal relationships that occur in this story are actually strongly-hinted-at by Ken Akamatsu in the original 'Love Hina' Manga series. I have taken these hints and expanded upon them with certain of the characters.
This is a fanfiction story, so events herein do not exactly follow the timeline of the original 'Love Hina' story.
Please read and review. If you like it, say so, and I'll update.
LOVE HINA: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
At this early hour of the morning, the emergent sun had not yet fully risen above the eastern horizon of the North Pacific Ocean. Its warming rays were only now beginning to bathe the ancient town of Hinata Hot Springs with golden radiance. Mere moments later, the last few shadowy remnants of dawn, now in full flight from the freshly minted daylight, had faded away into nothingness over the mist-dotted expanse of the Hinata River which flanked the eastern border of the town.
An antique wooden bridge spanned this watery expanse, the rickety-looking structure serving to link the quaint, old-fashioned town with the much larger and far more modern Hinata City lining the far bank of the sluggishly-flowing river. Hinata City, in turn, sprawled both north and south along the vast sweeping curve of Sagami Bay, itself located on the eastern coastline of Kanagawa Prefecture, Honshu, Japan.
Perched high up on a flat-topped plateau above Hinata Hot Springs, a large, sprawling complex of old wood-and-stone buildings stood in majestic isolation, surrounded by expansive lawns. These were the Hinata Apartments, basking serenely in the late-autumn morning sunlight.
So far, all appeared to be the very picture of peaceful tranquillity. However, inside the Hinata Apartments, things could – and often did – change for the worse in a hurry.
Up on the second floor of the main building, the communal breakfast was underway. Shinobu Maehara, the very slender and cute fourteen-year-old middle-school student and also expert chef, was in the process of serving up the huge breakfast that she had prepared for the building's resident lodgers. And, since the Hinata Apartments was currently a women's boarding dormitory, most of the residents now gathering in the upstairs dining room for their morning repast were of the fairer sex. In fact, all of them were – with one solitary exception.
Right on cue, that one exception made his appearance. He was Keitaro Urashima, twenty-one years old, the Manager of the Hinata Apartments. He was also an aspiring Tokyo University student – for the fourth-year-running.
"Hi, guys," the young man called out cheerily to the small group of young women as he strolled unsuspectingly through the open kitchen doorway on his way through to the dining hall. "Shinobu, your food smells great this morn-!"
"Sempai!? What happened?"
At the sudden commotion, the startled Shinobu and the two girls already seated around the dining room table turned their attention back towards the kitchen. Then all three of them froze in place, to stare with open-mouthed astonishment at the upturned laundry basket with feet that had suddenly replaced their dorky manager. Just as this self-same laundry basket came to life and began to career backwards and forwards across the kitchen in a mad panic, strewing out assorted items of women's clothing onto the floor in its headlong dash to nowhere.
Leaning forwards in her seat, Mitsune Konno was unable to suppress a loud chuckle at the comical and not entirely-unexpected sight of the easily-excitable Keitaro losing what little cool he had at his predicament. Mitsune was twenty-one years of age, well-endowed, and very good-looking. She had short, light brownish-grey hair, and possessed an excellent figure. Mitsune supposedly did freelance writing for a career - in reality, she definitely preferred slacking off, drinking and gambling on the horses to doing anything as strenuous as real work. Everyone at the Hinata Apartments usually called her 'Kitsune' - which translated into English as 'fox'. And not without good reason, for she certainly fitted that description, in looks, cunning and deeds.
Seated on the bench next to Kitsune was Motoko Aoyama, a tall, slender, dark-haired and beautiful Shinto shrine maiden - and also expert swordswoman. Being the second daughter of a noble Kyoto family, Motoko was very much on her dignity at all times, so she merely raised her disapproving eyes to the heavens and sighed with resignation at Keitaro's juvenile antics. Motoko was seventeen years old and considered herself to be very mature for her age. So, she consequently had very little time for that perverted cretin, Keitaro, and his constant fooling around.
From her perch above the kitchen door, the source of Keitaro's angst cheerfully surveyed her handiwork. Kaolla Su, the enigmatic, slim, brown-skinned, blonde-haired foreign exchange student giggled in wide-eyed delight as her prank on their hapless manager played out below. The now fifteen-year-old was a genius with electronics, robotics and computers. She was also almost totally fearless, and her physical strength and agility was astonishing, to say the least – as was her appetite. Kaolla also liked to play jokes on people, especially their unfortunate manager, as he, once again, had just found out.
"I can't believe that he fell for that trick again," Kaolla Su laughed as she dropped lightly down from above the doorway onto the wooden kitchen floor. "Keitaro's funny, and he's so easy to fool!"
"What's going on?!" that worthy squawked, flailing his arms as he ran blindly in circles around the room. "Is that you, Su? Help! Get this thing off me, willya!?"
"Sempai! Watch out!" Shinobu cried out to him in alarm, hands at her mouth as his blind dash turned directly towards the open side-window. Luckily Keitaro swerved aside at the last minute and ran headlong into the pan-rack instead, sending assorted saucepans, lids and frying pans raining down upon himself with a loud cacophony of clattering and crashing steel. Bouncing off the wooden wall, he fell backwards, to stretch himself full-length upon the floor with a loud, "Whoomph!" as his breath was forced from his lungs by the sudden impact with the unyielding boards.
Gasping for breath as he finally managed to work the laundry hamper up, over and finally off his upper body; the dazed-looking Keitaro spat a bra out from between his teeth and scrambled back onto his unsteady feet.
"Su? Did you do that to me?" the sweat-dropping young man asked in an agitated tone as he brushed the last of the dirty laundry off his head. "Ha, ha, very funny…hey! I can't see again! I've got something stuck over my face-!"
That something happened to be a pair of striped girl's underwear that had somehow become wedged tightly over the top of his head and under his chin at the same time, blinding the hapless Keitaro just as effectively as a proper blindfold would have done. As he struggled to get the skimpy piece of underclothing off his face, Naru Narusegawa chose then, of all possible moments, to enter the room.
Naru Narusegawa was a stunningly-attractive nineteen-year-old girl student, who, like Keitaro, was trying to get into Tokyo University – although only for the second time, not the fourth as was his case. Naru was graced with long honey-brown hair with golden highlights, an exceptional figure, and – unfortunately for the ill-fated, accident-prone Keitaro – she also had a very short temper, especially around him.
Over the two years that Naru and Keitaro had co-existed under the same roof, the mismatched pair had gone through a really up-and-down relationship with each other. Keitaro really liked Naru, but, lacking any shred of self-confidence, he was far too shy and awkward to ever admit it to her.
Naru was equally confused about her socially-awkward dorm manager. She secretly did like Keitaro back, but she also considered him to be an idiot, a pervert and a stalker of not only herself, but also of the other girls living with them at the Hinata Apartments. Consequently, Naru always came down upon Keitaro in a hard and physical manner whenever she thought that he had overstepped his boundaries – which occurred at least once-or-twice every single day.
Naru had already been having a bad morning, so her mood wasn't great just then to begin with. Firstly, she had lost one of her reference books last night. Of course, Murphy's Law had dictated that it was the one book that was essential to her upcoming finals test at her Cram School, so she absolutely had to have it that very night to study. But her study guide was nowhere to be found. Nor did she manage to find it either, despite staying up until one o'clock in the morning looking for the elusive, must-have reference book.
When she had finally given up on her fruitless search and gone to bed, Naru had then gotten very little rest – she had been too busy worrying about her misplaced book and where it could possibly be to relax enough to drop off to sleep easily.
Finally, just to compound matters, when Naru did get up the next morning, still exhausted, she had remembered in a blinding flash that she had lent her missing book to Keitaro two days ago for him to study for the exact same test! Aaaargh!
So Naru was angry even before she entered the kitchen. Angry at herself for not remembering that she had lent out her book, angry at the valuable study-time that she had lost last night looking for it, angry at her lack-of-sleep-through-worrying, and angry at Keitaro for having it – despite the fact that she had given the book to him of her own volition and without Keitaro even asking her if he could borrow it. But in Naru's sour frame of mind, none of that mattered now. She intended to give that idiot a piece of her mind for holding onto her property – even though she could have easily have gotten her book back merely by remembering to ask him for it last night.
Stamping into the kitchen, Naru slammed to a halt and gazed with wide, disbelieving eyes at the sight before her. That idiot Keitaro was sitting on the floor in front of her, his scrawny back towards her, surrounded by a pile of – pots and pans and women's underclothing?!
Just what is that cretin playing at now, she thought to herself, her temper rising. And what's that on his head? It looks like…oh-my-god! My underwear!
At that sordid sight, a sudden wave of blinding rage totally overwhelmed Naru's sense of reason. She snapped. Grabbing up the nearest frying pan from the floor, Naru dashed forward, swinging it back over her shoulder like a batter on a baseball field!
"You utter, disgusting, pervert!" she screamed out, her eyes blazing with fury!
"Naru!" Kitsune cried out in horror, realizing too late just what was about to happen. She jumped to her feet. "Don't! Stop, girl!"
Shinobu screamed. Kaolla Su leapt back out of Naru's way with a scared look on her face. Even Motoko unconsciously moved back in her seat at the unbridled fury of their mutual friend.
Oblivious to all else except for her need for revenge, the wild-eyed Naru swung the heavy frying pan around in a lethal arc towards Keitaro's unsuspecting head. Totally blinded and still tugging at the underpants over his eyes, the helpless student had no chance at all of dodging the wicked blow.
"Naru?" Keitaro asked in an apologetic tone, looking back over his right shoulder towards where he had heard her angry voice. "I – I'm sorry, but I seem to have something stuck-!"
The heavy steel frying pan smashed into Keitaro's right temple just above his eye, the savage impact throwing him sideways across the floor and into the opposite wall. Blood sprayed from the point of impact as he bounced back onto the floor, his sprawled-out body beginning to spasm and jerk uncontrollably in his trauma.
Gasps of disbelieving horror arose from the other girls at what had just happened. Kaolla Su slumped to her knees, her green eyes as wide as those of an owl. Even Motoko was trembling with shock, her gaze riveted on Keitaro's shuddering body. Shinobu just stood there shaking like a leaf, hands at her mouth, her dark-blue eyes tearing with distress as she stared as if hypnotized at the terrible sight.
In one swift motion, Kitsune dived forward to Keitaro's side, rolling him over onto his back and staring down at him with apprehension as his abused body gave one final twitch and then lay still.
"Got you, you panty-stealing little letch," Naru gritted, her eyes still glazed over with madness. "I told you before to keep out of my clothes-!"
"Jeepers, Naru," Kitsune whispered in shock up to her, unable yet to fully believe what she had just witnessed her friend do. "Ah think that you've gone just a little too far this time! Look at poor Keitaro, willya? He's not moving!"
Panting softly, Naru lowered the now dented frying pan and managed to get her anger under control with an effort. However, as she gazed down at Keitaro's limp and unmoving body, blood still streaming out of his cracked skull, her rage was rapidly replaced by disbelief, and then the cold chill of fear as she finally realized what she had just done.
"Keitaro?" She urged him, shoving at his body with her left foot. "Get up, Keitaro, you're not fooling anyone! Keitaro?"
"He still ain't moving, Naru," Kitsune stated, sweat breaking out on her forehead as she tried in vain to revive him. "My god, look at all of that blood! He's not faking it, darlin', he's really seriously hurt! Speak to me, Keitaro! Keitaro!"
"Somebody call an ambulance!" Shinobu screamed out in panic, dropping to Keitaro's side and flinging her arms around him, tears streaming from her eyes. "Keitaro-sempai! Please wake up?! Sempai!"
"Gee, I think that you've killed him, Naru," Kaolla Su soberly told her, now definitely no longer in the mood to jump around the room as she had been previously. "And I really liked him, too. Shame on you!"
The frying pan dropped from Naru's suddenly-nerveless fingers with a loud clatter onto the wooden floor. As Kaolla, Kitsune and even Motoko stared at her with accusing eyes; she slumped to the floor, only just now realizing the enormity of what she had done to her sometimes-friend.
"I-I'm sorry," she whispered, her own eyes filling with tears. "But he was wearing my underwear on his head! You all saw it. The pervert…!"
"Actually, it wasn't his fault," Kaolla told her as Kitsune jumped up and raced for the phone to call for help, while Motoko quickly knelt down to try to comfort the still-screaming Shinobu and stem the flow of blood from Keitaro's head at the same time. "I dumped the laundry basket over Keitaro's head when he came into the room just before you arrived, Naru, you silly! Your underwear just happened to get stuck over his eyes, that's all."
"But…but…?" Naru stuttered, her face turning a pasty shade of white."You're telling me that - that Keitaro didn't…? Oh my god!"
"So you killed Keitaro because someone else put your underwear on his head?!" Shinobu cried out in horror, her pretty face twisted with disbelief at what she had just seen and heard. "I hate you, Naru! I haaaate youuuu!"
"Shinobu's right, Naru," Motoko stated quietly, one arm holding on tightly to the frantic Middle-Schooler beside her. "This time at least, it wasn't his fault. You murdered him for nothing! You are even more ruthless than I am. I could never kill someone in cold-blood for nothing." Then she turned her cold, accusing eyes away from Naru's shocked and pale face in disgust.
"Poor Keitaro," Kaolla whispered, staring at the now-motionless body of their manager and the still-hysterical Shinobu clinging frantically to him. "He didn't deserve to die like that, I think." Then her sorrowful sea-green eyes filled with a sudden flood of tears. "I want Keitaro baaack! Waaah!"
Naru could take no more. She sprang up to her feet, turned, and fled from the room, her own hot and bitter tears of regret streaming out behind her.
A couple of seconds later, Haruka Urashima, Keitaro's twenty-nine-year-old cousin and also aunt, stepped into the room. Eyes frowning with puzzlement, she asked, "Where's Naru off to in such a hurry? She almost bowled me over on the stairs, and-! What the-?!" Stubbing out her cigarette on the tray she was carrying, Haruka dropped it with a crash onto the floor as she ran forward and knelt at Keitaro's motionless side.
"Everybody! What happened to my nephew?!"
"Keitaro fell, and he can't get up," Kaolla told her, sniffing loudly as her tears dried up. "I think that he's dead."
"No, he's not, Su!" Haruka snapped out, seizing Keitaro's limp wrist and placing her right thumb over it. "He's still breathing - just! But his pulse feels irregular and very weak… Has anybody called for medical help yet?"
At that moment, Kitsune ran back into the room and spotted her. A surge of relief washed over her pretty face at Haruka's competent and very-welcome presence at the tragic scene.
"Haruka, there's an ambulance on the way! Ah'm sorry about poor Keitaro, it happened so fast that I had no time to stop it!"
"Good thinking with the ambulance. You can tell me about what happened to Keitaro after. But first, Kitsune, get me a pillow for his head and a blanket to keep him warm. Su, get the first aid kit from out of the cupboard in reception downstairs. Motoko, get Shinobu out of here, and then bring me some hot water from the kitchen and some wet towels. Let's move!"
As the Hinata girls ran off to do her bidding, Haruka turned her attention back to the comatose Keitaro. Motoko was the first to re-enter the room with the water and towels, and Haruka used them and the hot water to dab the blood off Keitaro's pale, drawn-out face. Then she carefully worked around his head wound, clearing away the encrusted blood and trying to stem the trickle of new fluid. Motoko just stood above them both like a statue, tears in her eyes and hands at her mouth.
Kitsune arrived with the pillow and blankets, closely followed by Kaolla swinging back in through the open window with the First Aid Kit from downstairs. After Haruka had gently lifted Keitaro's battered head and worked the pillow under it, she covered his limp body with the blankets to keep him warm. Then Keitaro's grim-faced aunt wrapped a clean white bandage with extreme care around the nasty head-wound and tied it off, being very careful not to put any pressure at all on it.
"Haruka. Do you think Kei is gonna make it?" Kitsune asked in an anxious whisper, leaning close.
Haruka sighed. "Yes, I think so. I hope so! But I don't like the way his pulse is jumping around like that. I think that he's had a heart attack, as well."
"Ohmahgosh! Poor Keitaro!"
"Yeah. With a frying pan this time. And he didn't even see it coming, so he had no chance at all to try to duck or anything like that, Haruka. We all saw it, and it was – brutal."
Haruka nodded in understanding, her eyes narrowing as she made her decision. She glanced upwards towards a small box-like shape with a shining green pinprick of light, unobtrusively mounted on one of the cross-beams of the ceiling. The wide-angled lens of the small, carefully-hidden camcorder served to cover most of the room they were standing in from its concealed position in the rafters. So it should have recorded everything that had just befallen her badly-injured nephew.
"Naru's gone way too far, this time. Look after Kei for a few minutes for me, will you, Kit? I've got a couple of urgent phone calls to make."
"That's it," the grim-looking older man said with finality in his tone, switching off the recording that he and his wife had been apprehensively watching. "That's the final bit of evidence that we need, all right! Naru deliberately struck Keitaro in the head with that frying pan when he wasn't even facing her. And I'd bet my last yen that the shock of it happening to him, plus the stress from the previous abuse that Haruka has just told us about, is what has brought on poor Keitaro's heart attack."
"Dear, call the Police, right now. This has gone on quite long enough! And it's high-time that Miss High-and-Mighty Naru Narusegawa got what she so richly deserves!"