Love Hina – Blind Love
AN: I know, I know . . . so many chapters but only a day or two goes by. The pace will pick up soon, I'm just trying to get past this first part myself. :)
Keitaro is silenced as Naru grabs him by the collar and lifts him bodily off the floor. "You pervert! She's only in middle school!" Rearing back, she punches Keitaro in the jaw, sending him flying back towards the common room.
Where Motoko meets him, sword drawn faster than the eye can follow! "Foul, deceitful, vile, lecherous male! Shinmei-ryu no Zanganken! God's Cry Attack of the Stone Cleaving Sword!" Her vortex smashes into Keitaro, blasting him through the door to the dining room.
Haruka pokes her head around the corner of the door frame, her eyes hard as nails. "Did all of you forget that Keitaro is BLIND and couldn't have seen Shinobu's panties?"
Shinobu whimpers, "I-I forgot, Haruka-sensei."
Lying on the floor near the kitchen door, Keitaro holds his throbbing head in his hands, stars swimming in his mind's eye, (Damn, this isn't good! I'd better make an appointment to have Hikari-sensei check me out tomorrow) he thinks just as he loses consciousness.
Dinner-time at Hinata-sou
Running into the dining room, the girls see Keitaro lying out cold on the floor. Haruka, a stern look on her face, is already kneeling at the blind man's side, checking him for injuries.
As far as she can tell, except for the small bump on his forehead, he is only unconscious, but that in and of itself is nearly enough to have her turn on the girls. Steeling her emotions, she wills herself to calm down (Breathe, Haruka, breathe. Kei has been dealing with this most of his life, quit letting it get to you) she thinks, trying to remind herself of all the times Keitaro has bounced back from just such incidents, although perhaps not so many in such a short time frame.
Turning to Naru and Motoko, Haruka says, between tight lips, "Are you two trying to kill Keitaro, or just maim him? How many times do you have to be reminded that he's blind? He couldn't have seen anyone's panties, let alone Shinobu's. And, you did just slam him into that pillar and then double-teamed him for something that was impossible for him to have done, simply because you girls are so distracted between apologizing to him and beating the snot out of him and protecting him from yourselves."
Looking down, she makes sure Keitaro is still unconscious before she speaks again, softly. "I ought to just take you back to the Institute where you'll at least be safe." (Keitaro won't get revenge for himself, so I'll just do a little for him. Let's see how the girls react to that.) Haruka thinks to herself.
As she anticipated, her words stop all the girls cold. There are a few moments of dead silence before the bedlam erupts.
"Wait a minute, Haruka; ya'll gotta give us another chance!" "Haruka-san, it was just an accident, Aaauuuuu!" "Oh my, oh dear, does this mean we can play 'mommy' with Kei-kun anymore?" "Please Harukas! Let Keitaros stay, we haven't gots to play much yet!" "Although it may be in our best interest for him to go, it would not be proper to let him leave before we have the opportunity to apologize to Urashima."
Haruka looks around at the girls, her eyes coming to rest on Naru, who is standing there in silence. Looking at her feet, the honey-haired girl wrings her hands. "Well, Naru? Aren't you going to say anything before I make a decision?" the older woman asks, extending the girls' torment to teach them a lesson.
Naru dares a glance at Haruka, then quick one at Keitaro before looking down at her clasped hands. Finally, she stutters "H-he would be safer if you t-took him away from, from us." not understanding why speaking a plain truth like that hurts her so much. Looking at the other residents, Naru continues, taking some comfort in their opposition to Haruka. "B-but, give me, give us a chance to make it up to him! I mean, look. He's only been here a day and see how he's been treated? If he doesn't hate our guts by now, he's either hit his head too many times, or he has the understanding of a saint. How can we let him think this is how I, uh, how we really are?"
"uuhn. Well, I wouldn't describe myself as a saint, but, ow, I appreciate the sentiments." mumbles Keitaro, rubbing his forehead and sitting up slightly, his knees bent as he rests his elbows on them. Shinobu squeals "eep!" as she kneels on his other side, opposite Haruka "S-Sempai! Are you o-okay?" she asks, tentatively reaching out for his arm but stopping short of actually touching him again.
Haruka supports his back as he sits on the floor. "Take it easy, Kei. Your head isn't made of stone, you know. Rest a bit." She tells him.
Su looks at Keitaro, and then remembers the stopwatch in her hand (which had appeared out of nowhere). Clicking it, she crows "That's a new records, Keitaros! You was outs of it for less than forty-five seconds. I've just gotta tries out some of my heavy artilleries on ya!"
The young man turns his head in the direction of the young inventor's voice, his jaw seeming to nearly drop to the ground. "Well, uh, well . . just give me enough warning so I can prepare myself, okay Kaolla?" he grins weakly.
"No guaranties, Keitaros. But, I will promises to gives ya a good cheering on as ya runs."
Rubbing his forehead some more, he visibly winces behind his dark glasses and then, to the surprise of the girls, he starts laughing. "Ha ha ha, I must have looked like an idiot, letting you two walk me right into that pillar like that, but I was kinda surprised that, uh, well," Keitaro's face becomes slightly embarrassed as he blushes two shades of red, and his voice drops to a whisper, "it's just that, I've never, uh, I'm not used to having girls try to treat me nicely. At least girls who aren't family, or medical personnel from the Institute."
Kitsune is the first to regain a sense of composure. "Well, Keitaro, ya'll must admit, things are a bit more lively around here than ya'll must be used to, eh? A shame you didn't come on a night when we . . . ooooh, Ah just had a great idea! How about we make it all up to ya'll by getting some sukiyaki take-out, a load of sake and crank up the stereo and have a" she turns and looks at the other girls, but stops, her mouth opened as most of the others answer her in unison.
Mutsumi looks at Keitaro, then to Kitsune, then to the others. "Oh, my, does that mean Kei-kun won't have a chance to try my melons?" she asks innocently.
Kitsune smirks at the look of discomfort that passes on Keitaro's face, and adds, "Well, we'all don't have to have a party for Keitaro to get someone's melons, now do we?" in a suggestive tone of voice as she stands in front of Keitaro, grabs her 'babies' and shakes them at the young man.
Keitaro's nose starts to drip furiously. Kitsune smiles and thinks to herself, (A shame he ain't gonna be here long. He'd be putty in mah hands, even if he can't see.)
Shinobu sees the blood and grabs a kitchen towel, "W-we're sorry Sempai. We, uh, that is, uhm . . ." she starts, not really sure what to say, wondering why it was his nose that started bleeding several minutes after he hit his forehead.
Motoko, her sword held at her side, bows to Haruka. "Our apologies, Haruka-san. Our behavior since the arrival of your nephew must seem to you to be, to say the least, rather physical."
Naru shakes her head as giggles. "I think physical is putting it mildly. We've been kinda brutal."
"Haruka?" Keitaro puts his hand out; careful to avoid reaching in the direction Shinobu's voice had come from, just in case. Haruka grasps his hand and helps him get to his feet. His hand wiping at his eyes, he turns to where he believes the girls are. He misjudges the direction and his back is to them. "That's alright. I don't blame any of you. Dealing with someone in my condition isn't something I'd guess any of you have ever had much practice with." He tells them, bowing as he does.
In spite of themselves, the girls can't help but giggle at Keitaro's back, thinking he is having a little joke with them. Hearing the sounds of their laughter, he straightens and turns around. They see the intense blush of embarrassment on his face as he smiles lopsidedly.
"Oh, Sempai, you're so funny." Shinobu giggles, reaching over and taking his hand to once again lead him to the table.
He turns his head towards the young cook as he rubs the back of his head. "I wasn't trying to be funny" he says, "but I'm glad you're not angry at me." Shinobu starts to walk him towards the where the meal waits, but Keitaro hangs back, resisting her pull. Turning his head, he smiles, albeit bit more shyly, and puts his other hand out as he comes to a decision. "Narusegawa-san? If you are still willing to help, I'd be grateful for the assistance."
Naru's heart jumps in her chest as her eyes come up to see Keitaro facing towards her. Speechless, she steps over to him and, after a moment, gently takes his hand. "Y-You're welcome" is all she can get out of her suddenly tight throat.
Kitsune snickers and, holding her 'babies' even though Keitaro can't see them, says in a throaty voice, "Ah can let ya hold onto a couple of 'somethings' while ya'll walk to the table, Keitaro, if ya'll wants. Ow! Haruka?" Haruka puts the paper fan back in her pocket and just smiles as the Fox rubs her head.
Keitaro staggers a bit as Naru and Shinobu guide him, around the pillar this time, to the dining room. A slight trickle of blood threatens to drip again as he fights against his imagination at Kitsune's comment. (Bad as it's been so far, Kami-sama help me when the find out I am the new manager.)
Motoko's fingers tighten slightly on her bokken. Still unsure of Keitaro's intentions, she is torn between the generosity of spirit his apparent willingness to forgive shows, and the fact it may still be a ruse just to get close to the people under her protection.
Su meanwhile, is thinking;
a. (I wonders how well Keitaros can tread water, cause he's gonnas get in real deep if he hangs around here much longer.)
b. (I hope Shinobus made plenty, I is starvacationed!)
Naru and Shinobu assist Keitaro to a chair at the head of the table, setting his hands on the back so he can find his way to sit down. Then the two girls head to the kitchen as everyone else takes their seats.
Motoko, sitting in the chair to Keitaro's right, lifts a pitcher and asks "Would everyone like some tea while we are waiting for dinner?" as she pours a glass for Keitaro.
Kitsune, sliding to the chair on Keitaro's left, pauses for a moment half-standing, and looks sideways at the sword maiden. Smiling innocently, she asks "Hey, Motoko! Ain't your seat the one at THAT end?" pointing to the far end of the table away from Keitaro as she sits down.
Motoko spills a little tea onto the table as her head snaps up to look at the Fox. "I, uh, that is, I mean. It would not be polite to have Urashima need to wait until our meal is served before someone offers him some tea. I am only trying to ensure that the remainder of his time amongst us is more pleasant than it has been up until now," she says.
"Sure, ya'll are. And Ah'm Ken Akamatsu!" Kitsune says, winking at Keitaro although he can't see her.
Su looks from Motoko to Kitsune to Keitaro to a plate of fruit on the table and back to Kitsune. With a tilt of her head and a smile, she points out "Hey, Kitsunes! I could be wrongs, but I don't thinks your seat is normalities in Haruka's lap!"
Kitsune freezes as she realizes the seat does feel a bit lumpy. Burying that thought deep in her mind before she makes the BIG mistake of saying it out loud, she turns as the older woman taps her shoulder. Haruka had also sat down in a chair beside Keitaro. "Uh, Ah hope that's a cigarette lighter in ya'lls pocket, Haruka! Ha ha ha." Kitsune says, turning to look over her shoulder.
"I'd suggest if you really don't want to find out you move your backside now!" Haruka tells the Fox, her eyes glinting like steel.
Kitsune leaps up and scoots over, bowing to Haruka as she does. "Ah'm so sorry, Haruka! Ah, uh, Ah, . . Ah didn't see you there! That's right! Ah didn't see you there, ya'll being so small and delicate and not lumpy at all and . . ." Kitsune sputters as she sits . . .
. . . and feels the chair beneath her shudder and twitch. "Huh? What the. . .?" a voice mutters behind her as two hands come up and find themselves on her babies "Gack!" as the chair tips over backwards, spilling both her and Keitaro to the floor. Blushing intensely as she ends up sitting on Keitaro's chest, she looks up at Haruka and asks "Ah didn't just do what Ah think Ah did, did Ah?"
Haruka looks at Kitsune and, adjusting her cigarette holder, says, "I'll expect an explanation about that 'lumpy' comment later. For now, maybe you could see fit to getting off my nephew's chest." Kitsune cringes at the older woman's tone.
Keitaro, dazed from the back of his head slamming onto the floor, groans. His right foot twitching, he moans as he struggles under the weight on his chest, his still bruised ribs threatening to give under the strain. "Uh, . . I . . breathe . . . can't . . !"
Kitsune, hearing Keitaro gasping for air, twists around and kneels across the blind man's hips "Oh no! Keitaro-san! Don't die! Ah'll save ya!" Ripping the young man's shirt open, the Fox panics as she frantically pounds on his chest like she is playing a double drum; fast and with a catchy beat. Keitaro winces in pain as her fists slam against his ribcage.
Motoko, Su and Haruka look on with various looks of amusement as they watch Kitsune pound on Keitaro's chest for about ten seconds. Coughing into one hand, Motoko reaches out and grasps Kitsune's shoulder with the other. Pulling her back a bit, she says "Konno-san, that method, poor as you are performing it, is more appropriate for heart attacks, not the cessation of breathing. It may be advisable to, uh, let someone else take care of Urashima. As I am well versed in first aid and rescue breathing, having been trained in medical basics in the Shinmei School, I should . . ." Motoko blushes unconsciously.
As Kitsune sits back and stares at the sword maiden, Su leaps over the table and grabs Keitaro's head. "I knows what yas means, Motokos! Mouth-ta-mouths regurgitations!" Taking a deep breath, Su locks her lips to his, her eyes closed halfway as Keitaro body stiffens. The blind man then squirms as his eyes feel like they are threatening to pop out of their sockets as Su breathes lung-fulls of air into him. Once. Twice. Three times! Su leans back to survey her work.
As Keitaro coughs, Su smiles and asks, "Are ya backs with the rest of the livings, Keitaros? Or are ya gonna turns into a zambonie and eats peoples brainses? That'd be cool, I've always wanted to merges one o' my mechas with an undead guy!" She locks her mouth onto his face and starts filling his lungs again.
Keitaro, totally unaware Kitsune is still on top of him, struggles to escape the vice-like grip and high-pressure air-pump-like lungs of the tanned youngster. His body movements cause Kitsune, who is still straddling his waist, to stare at him for a few moments, and then blush intensely.
Haruka, a slight smile on her face, crosses her arms as she watches Kitsune's eyes go wide with embarrassment and Motoko's eyes go wide with confusion, while Su's eyes sparkle with amusement.
Of course, Naru takes that moment to poke her head into the dining room "I hope everyone's hungry. Shinobu's got the main course nearly done, and I'm whipping up a special dessert. We'll be . . . ." Finally noticing what's going on, Naru leaps to the wrong conclusion (so what else is new) and exclaims, "What the heck is going on out here? What are you doing to Su and Kitsune, you pervert?"
Grabbing Kitsune by the arm, Naru drags the heavily-blushing Fox to her feet.
Knowing Su's grip strength and the likely-hood she would be unable to pry her off the young man by force, Motoko resorts to the tried-and-true tactic. She reaches over and picks up a banana. "Su-chan? Bana . ."
Motoko releases her grip on the fruit as Su, in one swift movement, leaps from Keitaro's side, over the table, snatches the banana, and lands in a crouch on her seat. "Thanks, Motokos! Hey, Keitaros! Ya outta eats more bananas, them's good fer anti-zambonieficationizations!"
As a still-blushing Kitsune wobbles where she stands, Naru reaches down and picks Keitaro up by the back of his opened shirt. "What the heck are you doing, half-dressed on the floor, you lousy baka? It's bad enough you trying your stunts on Kitsune, but Su's only in middle-school!" Keitaro, still groggy and disoriented, hangs there in Naru's grip. "I'm sorry, Narusegawa-san." he says as he limply slips out of his shirt and drops to the ground, kneeling as he sighs, resigning himself to what he figures is about to happen again.
Kitsune is the first to speak. "Naru, it ain't what ya'll thinks! Ah, well, let's just say that Ah got a little mixed up in the seating arrangements, and, uh, that is Ah kinda sat on Keitaro, knocked him to the floor and fell on him."
Naru's eyes glare at the blind man as she raises her fist. Motoko coughs again, distracting Naru "Naru-san, it is as Konno-san said; as bad as this may look, it was all just an accident." Naru thinks about what she saw when she walked in: Keitaro's chair lying on the ground. Kitsune sitting on him (grrr). His shirt missing most of its buttons (grrrr). Su's lips locked onto his (grrr grrr). His chest red and scratched? (grrr???) This stops Naru's arm movement in mid-swing.
Lowering her hand, she drapes the blind man's shirt across his shoulders. Naru looks at the others "Uh, did I miss something here? Keitaro, wh-why is your ch-chest . . . ? What happened?"
Su says, "Yeah, Narus! You shoulda seens it. Keitaros was in pretty bad shapes! Kitsunes tried to help with his breathing by playings a real wild beat on his chest. Motokos wanted to try and regurgitates him, but I gots to Keitaros first."
Motoko blushes "That i-is not entirely accurate. I was merely pointing out that Konno-san was improperly trying to assist Urashima's breathing by beating on his chest. I was not thinking about how soft his lips looked, er, I mean, I knew he was not really in distress. K-Konno-san was just pressing down on his abdomen and Urashima was having difficulty breathing and I thought that maybe I could try helping since I am well versed in emergency first aid from my training at the Shinmei School of Swordsmanship and . . . I am rambling, am I not?"
Naru, with Keitaro momentarily forgotten, and her eyes darkening, crosses her arms and says sweetly. "Not at all. Please DO continue."
Meanwhile, Shinobu peeks in from the kitchen and sees Keitaro on the floor again. She slinks over to the blind man, as Naru listens to Motoko and Kitsune sputter through a replay of what just happened, and kneels next to him. Daringly placing her hand on his arm, she asks, "Poor Sempai! A-are you alright?"
Keitaro turns his head towards the young cook and smiles. "I'm alright, Shinobu-chan. We just seem to have had a small misunderstanding out here."
Keitaro holds his ribs with his left hand and leans towards her a little, smiling as he whispers, "But, if you don't mind, could you help me to my chair, Shinobu-chan? I don't think I want to get between the others right now, my ribs couldn't take it." The others are still going on about the 'incident' and appear to not be paying attention, so Shinobu nods her head and stands, lifting Keitaro's arm. She stifles a gasp as she sees the redness on the front of his chest. Keitaro, not realizing that his injury is so visible, wraps his button-less shirt-tails around his waist and ties them together to cover himself up until he can get a change of clothing.
As Shinobu picks up his chair and guides his hand to it, she freezes.
Naru stares at the two of them. As she was right by Keitaro's side, Naru heard his quiet plea to Shinobu. The older girl locks gazes with the youngster for a few seconds, before putting her finger to her lips in a shushing motion, and then bows her head and backs out of the way, a sad, embarrassed smile on her face.
After Keitaro is settled in his chair, and the others take their seats (Motoko and Kitsune moving to the far end of the table out of embarrassment), Naru and Shinobu finish in the kitchen and bring the meal out. Su pokes Mutsumi to wake her up, as the Okinawan had been face-down on the table asleep in her chair for the last ten minutes.
Naru fidgets behind her normal chair, as if unable to decide if she is going to sit down or not. Haruka notices the look on the girl's face, as Shinobu carries in the tea and sits in the chair on Keitaro's other side. Standing, she paces over to Naru, takes her elbow and points. Using the previous incident as an excuse to change places, she tells her, "Here, Naru. You sit over there beside Keitaro, I want to sit beside Kitsune and so that we can discuss 'lumps' and other things after we eat." Kitsune cringes again as she says a quick prayer to any protective spirits that might happen to be in the area.
Semi-reluctantly, the honey-haired girl moves next to the blind man and sits, mouthing a quiet apology. Keitaro turns towards her with a lopsided grin and whispers "I'm really sorry for everything. As you've probably noticed, I'm pretty clumsy sometimes" as he rubs the back of his neck.
Naru looks up at Keitaro, wondering just how much of that last incident was his fault, and how much was an accident. Deciding that was better left for discussion with the others later in the hot springs, she stutters "N-no problem, Keitaro. At least you weren't atta- . . I mean you weren't hurt, again."
Haruka breaks into the conversation, "Well, now that everyone's finally seated, let's eat before anything else happens. Shinobu, please help Keitaro find his meal."
The assembled group responds "Itadakimasu!" and they start eating. Shinobu lifts a portion of food to Keitaro's mouth while blushing deeply, "H-here y-you g-go, S-Sempai. O-Open w-wide."
Keitaro opens his mouth and chews on the proffered tid-bit. "This is good! Really good!" He opens his mouth for another bite, and Shinobu smiles beneath her blush as she offers another bite for Keitaro.
The young man's smile goes from ear-to-ear as he relishes the delicious morsels being fed to him. "This is great fried beef! It's seasoned perfectly." chew chew "And the rice is so light!" chew chew "I could learn to . . . Aaaaargh! Wather! I need wather! My mouph! Ow, ow, ow, ow!"
Everyone stares at Naru as she places the tube of wasabi paste which Haruka had tossed to her back on the table. Shinobu grabs a glass of tea and shoves it into Keitaro's hand, which he then gratefully swallows.
"You never learn, do you Kei? And Shinobu, next time, you'll be savoring some wasabi as well. No need to get the new manager used to maid service since he'll be doing a lot of the work around here anywa-. . . oh crap!" Haruka covers her mouth as Keitaro freezes, his glass dribbling tea down his chin.
Kitsune grins as she says "Now why does this seem so familiar? It's just like . . ." she stops as Haruka's words seep in.
The girls all turn towards the Tea House owner, exclaiming as one "The NEW manager?" They then slowly turn back towards Keitaro, who is squirming in his seat, Shinobu's hand frozen in place, still helping him with his tea glass.
"Oh heck. Uh, Haruka? I don't think, ah, that is, I uh, heh heh. I think I need to go out for a while." Keitaro says, easing his chair back as he tries to remember (unsuccessfully) which way to the nearest door, window, cabinet, or convenient hangman's noose is. He cringes as he feels heat radiating from Naru's direction. (imgonnadie, imgonnadie, imgonnadie)