I do not own Love Hina. Ken does. I'm just along for the ride.
(AN: In case anyone sees any resemblance to situations/dialogs I use and the Love Hina fanfic author Bugsy uses, that's because he and I correspond a lot. He previews my stuff and helps me keeps everyone in character, more or less. My thanks to ya, Bugsy (and yes, me and him are self-inserts in some of my stories. Slippy)
Love Hina – Blind Love
A Friday morning
As they are relaxing for their morning bath, the residents of Hinata-sou contemplate the coming summer.
Motoko (I do not understand what any difference the season makes. Training must continue, chores must still be done. Yet, there is something about not having to worry about school for a few months, as some the others are able to do. And, I must admit that I, too, look forward to Haruka's annual late-summer trek to the seaside.)
Kitsune (I can't wait to get to the beach, even if we do have to work at the Beach Tea House. It's a nice change from the city.)
Mutsumi (zzzzzzzzzzz) The nude melon girl floats on her back, asleep.
Su (I can'ts wait. Got me a new submariniable Mecha-Tama I justs gotta tries.)
Shinobu (Aaauuuuu! I mean, ahhhhhhh. No more school for three months! And we'll be going to the ocean soon!)
Naru (What am I going to do for three month with no prep school?)
Kitsune stretches her arms over her head, "Ya know, I just ever get enough of these baths."
The others murmur their agreement.
Naru looks up, watching the clouds drift by, "It is very relaxing. I could sit here for days, if I didn't have anything else to do."
"Yeah, but if we dids that, we'd all look like prickly prunes or something." Su giggles "Are prickly prunes yummy?"
"Su is correct. It would not do to stay in the baths for such a long time, Naru-sempai. As fond of her as I am, I have no desire to look like Granny Urashima, at least not at such a young age." Motoko remarks.
Kitsune smiles and looks sideways at the sword maiden "If I wasn't sure it was ya'll, Motoko, I'd say you just made a joke."
Motoko blushes slightly, and smiles a little.
Su "Ha! She made ya blush!" She splashes Motoko with her feet. The other join in, using their hands, and then their towels, to splash and play in the hot springs.
Suddenly, Shinobu gasps and points at the changing room door. A man stands there, facing the hot springs. The girls are stunned for a moment seeing a man at their all-girl dorm, before they remember that they are partially or fully naked.
"What do ya'll think you are doing here? This is a women's only dorm and bath. Get out of here!" Kitsune yells.
Quickly wrapping their towels around their bodies, Motoko and Naru leap out of the bath to confront him. As they approach, he drops his backpack and retreats, his cane falling from its pouch. He raises his hands "I'm sorry, it was an accident, please forgive me!"
"How dare you come to an all-girls dorm and peek at us, you pervert!" Naru rears back and punches him just as he trips over his cane. "I shall bring justice upon you for attempting to defile our purity, you perverted, lecherous, deceitful, vile, male. Shinmei-ryu no Zanganken! God's Cry Attack of The Stone Cleaving Sword!" Motoko yells. The punch, instead of slamming into his chest to throw him across the lawn, instead impacts with a sickening crunch across his jaw. The man screams in pain at his dislocated jaw until he slams into the changing room wall, where he is knocked unconscious.
Naru, stunned to have caused such an injury when she only meant to drive the stranger off, doesn't hear Motoko's cry of attack.
Motoko releases a powerful burst of chi from her sword, the vortex swirling into the stranger, blasting him through the trees to land the hot springs, which quickly empties of all the other residents. Naru stares at her hand; never had she hurt someone as badly as she just did.
Except for Motoko and Naru, the girls all take cover near the changing rooms. As Motoko stalks her enemy, Kitsune looks down, seeing the backpack the man had dropped. Her eyes go wide as she reads the words on the back. She looks what they thought was just a walking stick laying beside it.
Grabbing his folding cane, Kitsune whispers in a shocked voice "Oh gods, no!" just as the man goes flying over their heads, courtesy of another Motoko hit. "STOP!" she screams, finding her voice again.
The sword maiden pauses as she rushes past her. "What is wrong, Kitsune? Is there another vile pervert over there?" Motoko asks, flames in her eyes.
Kitsune holds the red-tipped white cane in front of her, and points at the backpack lying at her feet, the words 'Tokyo School for the Blind' embroidered on it.
A silence like ice descends, quenching the flames in her eyes. Motoko lowers her sword slightly, "T-this cannot be! It must be a deception. How could a blind man find his way up the hill, through the inn, and to our bath?"
Naru is the first to regain her wits. She takes off in the last direction they saw the man fly by, towards the front of the inn. The others follow a few seconds later.
Coming around the corner of the inn, they tumble against each other. "Oh my, I've never seen them strike anyone with such force before!" Mutsumi whispers, her eyes wide and her hands coming up to her mouth.
Groans of pain reach their ears from the crumpled heap lying on the front steps of the inn. Naru is kneeling next to his head. Her hands fidget, unsure what to do.
The man's left arm is bent sideways just above the wrist. His clothes are shredded, and they can see his upper body is covered in scratches from tearing through the trees. The remains of his glasses, which they can see are the near-opaque lenses used by the blind, dangle from one ear above his bruised jaw. Blood trickles from the corner of his mouth.
Su, her voice trembling "I-I thinks ya broke him." As she rushes to Naru's side, Shinobu close behind, she says "Hell, I thinks ya killed him!"
Kitsune runs over and carefully inspects the man, trying hard and failing to hold her tears back while she tries to help. Placing her fingers tenderly against his right wrist, she can feel a pulse. Weak, erratic, but a pulse nonetheless. "H-he's alive, but, oh spit, I don't know how. Su, take Shinobu inside, and call Hikari. Quickly, and tell her it's an emergency!"
Su grabs the young cooks' hand and races to the inn to call the doctor as Mutsumi kneels beside Kitsune, looking at the injured man. "Oh dear, I-I've never seen anyone so….so..."
Motoko stands several paces behind Kitsune, unwilling and unable to approach any closer. Naru is on the other side of the unconscious form. (Kami-sama! What have we done?) She tentatively reaches down to move the hair from the man's face. Carefully, she removes his broken glasses and sets them to the side.
Su returns "Doc Hikari is on her way. Shinobu fainted, so I put her on the couch and grabbed some towels for her and our patient." She hands Naru a damp towel, who places it on the man's forehead. Su stands beside Motoko, unsure what to do next.
After several minutes waiting for the doctor, the man stirs, moans and tries to rise. His movements cause him to cry out in pain, and he opens his eyes. They blink once, unseeing, at the awning over him before closing again. Panting, he groans in a pained and fearful voice "Oh heck, whah happened?"
"L-lay still, ya'll are badly hurt. A doctor is on the way. Just stay still." Kitsune begs, softly pressing his shoulder down.
"Y-yes, you need to be careful, don't try to talk, I…I" Naru can't continue.
Turning his head slightly towards her, he timidly asks Naru "W-who are you?"
"I- I'm, I mean, my name is Naru. Naru Narusegawa."
After a few seconds, his breathing becomes less ragged. Gently, he rolls his head in the other direction, and in the same voice, "And y-you two are…?"
"I'm K-Kitsune, I mean, my n-name is Konno Mitsune." She stammers. Beside her, Mutsumi says "I am Mutsumi Otohime."
In spite of his pain, he smiles, his eyes still closed. The tenderness in his face surprises the girls. "My name is Keitahhh- aaahhh" he cries out pain as he moves his left arm.
"Don't try to move. Don't talk." Hearing footsteps, Naru looks up to see Hikari Ishido running towards them. Mutsumi moves out of the way so the doctor can get to Keitaro.
"Dear gods! What happened here?" Hikari asks, placing her bag at his head as she starts examining his injuries.
Naru, unable to look at the doctor's face, explains what happened, how they saw this man at the hot springs and, thinking he is an intruder, attacked him to drive him away.
"Drive him away, or kill him? Kami, it looks like a train hit him."
Keitaro turns his head towards the doctor "H-Hikahi-sensei? Is that you?" He coughs and cries in pain again. The girls are taken aback that this stranger knows their local doctor.
Hikari whispers in shocked surprise. "Keitaro?" She looks up from examining his knee to stare at his face; with treating his injuries, she didn't recognize him at first. "Oh, no, No! Keitaro! Why are you here, you're a day early? No, don't speak. Let me finish, you're obviously in no condition to talk." Looking at the Motoko, she orders "Go get Haruka. Now!" Hikari takes a vial from her bag and pours a few tiny drops into Keitaro's mouth. Gradually, he stops groaning and moving, and his breathing becomes more regular as he lapses into unconsciousness.
Motoko turns to start down the hill, obedience to authority ingrained on her, before she turns back, bewildered, and asks "Why am I to bring Haruka-san here?"
Stopping momentarily, Hikari looks up. "This is her nephew Keitaro Urashima, that's why! Now hurry!"
Half an hour ago, Hinata bus stop
Thanking the conductor for his assistance, Keitaro starts making his way across the bridge. In his mind's eye, he can see everything around him, as it was fifteen years ago. That, his cane, years of lessons at the Tokyo State Home for the Blind, and some training from Haruka's old boyfriend Seta makes it easy for him to find his way back to Hinata-sou. He has walked these streets and the corridors of Hinata-sou thousands of times in his mind.
He can hear light chatter, and the smells of late breakfast at the old tea house at the bottom of Hinata Hill. Smiling as he nears the steps, he pauses. (I'm so glad Granny Hina and Aunt Haruka offered to let me come to stay here. It's been so lonely at the institute lately, most of the other patients are too sad for themselves to make friends, and the staff is always so busy, and ever since, ever since….) his smile fades (At least, I can pay my own way. The money from Mom and Dad's insurance has pretty much set me up for life, if I'm careful.) Tears fall, unashamedly, from Keitaro's eyes. (I miss you Mom and Dad. It hurts just thinking about you.)
After regaining his composure, Keitaro orients his directions. Feeling the sun on his cheek, he taps to the first step. Opening the window of his mind, he sees the steps leading up the hill, lit softly as if on a spring afternoon, as he always remembers them. His bearings assured, he folds his cane and smiling, walks confidently up the stairs. (I know I am supposed to always use my cane 'because no matter how strong your memory, you never know when someone might have re-arranged things' or so my instructors at the institute always said). Keitaro doesn't worry. Granny Hina told him that the inn itself hasn't changed in over twenty years, so it will be exactly as he remembers it.
Reaching the top step, he pauses again. Taking a deep breath, he revels in the smells of his childhood, of a place full of so many happy memories. And one terrible accident.
Keitaro walks up the path to the entrance. Carefully, he steps up, grinning when his foot finds the first step. Putting his hand out, he finds the doors are closed, so he carefully feels down, finding the handle where his memory said it should be. Smiling, he opens the door. "Hello," he calls out "is anyone here?" grinning to himself, he calls "Aunt Haruka, are you here? It's Keitaro!"
Getting no response, Keitaro opens his senses to his surroundings. Not just his memory, but his hearing, smell, and touch. Faintly, he hears voices coming from the hallway to the changing room. (Ah, everyone must be using the hot springs. I'll just leave their gifts on the counter and go see Aunt Haruka.)
Finding the counter, he feels it to ensure it has nothing on it he might knock over or break. Satisfied, he unties the large bag from his backpack, and places the items in it on the counter. Feeling the tags, handwritten as well as punched in Braille, he sorts the packages.
Placing his folded cane in a special pouch, he picks up his backpack and makes his way down the hall to the changing room. He hears the voices clearly now, and the sounds of merriment and laughter, punctuated by splashes, makes him think that coming here might have been a good idea after all. He has missed the sounds of honest laughter from others for too long.
A large smile on his face, he opens the door and steps out. Softly, he takes a few steps towards the sounds of happiness and calls out softly "Auntie?" knowing that would get Haruka's attention better than anything else, even if it might get him a fan smacked aside his head he feels too happy to care.
Suddenly he hears a young voice, a girl, gasp as if in fright. As the noises in the hot spring stop, another voice yells "What do ya'll think you are doing here? This is a women's only dorm and bath. Get out of here!" He hears the muttering of several other younger females.
Feeling shame at having intruded on what is obviously a group of young females bathing, Keitaro backs away, dropping his backpack in surprise. He raises his hand in entreaty.
"I'm sorry, it was an accident, please forgive me!" He stands there hoping to defuse the situation before it can get out of hand. His aunt will settle things once she sees it's him. He waits, as he hears the sound of footsteps approaching. Still holding his hands out, he believes it to be his aunt coming, and he relaxes. He steps back, but trips over his dropped cane.
"How dare you come to an all-girls dorm and peek at us, you pervert!" a young woman screams at him. "I shall bring justice upon you for attempting to defile our purity, you perverted, lecherous, deceitful, vile, male. Shinmei-ryu no Zanganken! God's Cry Attack of The Stone Cleaving Sword!" another young woman cries. A powerful blow to his jaw sends pain flaring though his skull, and he screams until he slams into a wall of some sort, and temporarily has the breath knocked out of him. Then, a blast of, something, hits him. He slices through the trees, their branches tearing at his flesh, until he crashes into a large rock or boulder. His left arm snaps as his out-stretched hand connects badly with the stone. He is unaware of the third attack on his person, being blissfully unconscious.