Last Time On Ancestor
Haruka Urashima was leaning on the counter of her tea shop, a cigarette lazily hanging from her mouth and a board look on her face as she surveyed her empty shop.
Sighing deeply she thought 'I really don't know why I bother to open this place up sometimes.'
Turning around she went to her tea urn and started to brew her favourite blend of tea. 'I hope I get some customers soon or today's going to be a total waste.' Filling up a cup she heard the bell above her door signalling that a customer has entered. Turning around to welcome them she started "Welcome to Hinata Tea house, what can I get yo-." She stopped dead as she recognised the unchanged face which she had not seen in years.
"T-Taro-kun?" she asked, the nearly spent cigarette dropping from her mouth.
The man at the door smiled brightly at the woman. While readjusting the glasses on his nose he said
"Hey, Haru-chan you're looking good. By the way its Kei-taro now."
Chapter 2 - The First Meeting
Haruka stared at the grinning man standing by the door, her mouth opening and closing as she tried to process the surprise. The man gave her an amused smile as he raised an eyebrow and put his bag down. "I haven't seen you in close to a decade and I don't even get a hug?" Spurred out of her shock, Haruka more or less leapt over the counter and ran over to him; throwing her arms around his body she hugged him tightly. "It's good to see you too Haru-chan." He grinned as she happily nuzzled into his neck much to the surprise of the two waitresses who had never seen their boss so joyful.
"You've been gone too long Taro-kun- ahhhh!" she was cut off as he pinched her cheek with a frown.
"What did I just tell you? It's Kei-taro now." He scolded her.
Rubbing her red cheek she glared at him. "Whatever you say, Kei-taro-kun."
"Good girl." He petted her head playfully. "Now what do you say we catch up on old times over a cup of tea?" he smiled as he kissed her cheek.
"Sure, just take a seat and I'll be over in a minute." She told him as she went off to prepare a drink. Keitaro sat down in a booth by a window and watched Haruka rush around with a small smile on his face, all the while aware of the fact her two waitresses were staring at him and talking amongst themselves. As Haruka set the cups down she asked. "What are you grinning about?"
"I'm just wondering when my cute little granddaughter became this beautiful woman in front of me." He grinned at her blush as he took a sip of his tea.
"Stop it." She tried to hide her blush by taking a drink.
"It's true. You get more beautiful every time I see you." He told her, enjoying her embarrassment.
"Hardly." She mumbled, hating how easy it was for him to turn her face red.
"No really. I'm surprised that guys aren't crawling over themselves to ask you out." He smiled. "Speaking of which when are you going to settle down and give me some great great great great etc grand kids?" he asked, semi-seriously.
"Don't you have enough of them already?" she replied.
"Not at all!" he laughed. "Who do you think is going to look after me in my old age?" he grinned as she rolled her eyes.
"So what are you doing around here?" she asked trying to change the subject.
"Do I need a reason to come visit you?"
"No, but you usually do. More often than not we only ever see you at births, marriages or funerals." Haruka pointed out.
"That's not true." He sniffed. "Sometimes I just come around to see how my favourite granddaughter is doing."
"And I bet you say that to all my cousins don't you?"
"That is besides the point." He waved away her comment which brought a smile to her face. "In any case how are you doing? Business is booming I see." He said as he looked around the empty tea rooms.
"It's always slow around this time of day; it'll get busier in an hour or so." Haruka defended her tea shop. "Anyway I'm not doing it too bad. Been doing pretty good business since I stopped gallivanting around the world."
"You talked to Seta recently?" he asked innocently.
"Not really. We've kind of lost touch after the funeral." She said.
Keitaro smiled sadly as he reached out and held her hand. "Sorry I wasn't there for you."
Squeezing his hand in thanks he said. "Don't worry about it. It was a while ago and I'm fine now."
"The two of you were good together." Keitaro commented, taking the conversation away from sad memories.
"So good that he couldn't decide between the two of us." Haruka murmured.
"That's just because he's an idiot." Keitaro dismissed her objection. "Besides, Sarah-chan needs a parent who won't spoil her."
Haruka blinked "Sarah-chan's staying with Seta?" she asked.
Keitaro nodded. "There was some... problems with her relatives." He said with his voice hardening. "So I helped Seta get custody of her and he's been taking care of her ever since."
"I see..." she said thoughtfully "How is she?"
"She's a rude little brat just like her mother." Keitaro smiled. "But she's also cute like her mother. She just needs a strong woman in her life to clip her around the ear every so often." He not so subtly hinted to which Haruka just mmmmmed. Smiling at her he slid a slip of paper across the table. "Well, if you ever want check up on her here's Seta's number." His smile widened as she picked up the number and put it in her pocket.
"So is this just a passing visit or are you sticking around for a while?" she wondered.
"Well I was thinking about going back to Tokyo U. again so I had planned on staying up at the inn." He said.
"Again?" she raised an eyebrow. "We've got a whole room up there filled with bits of paper that have the degrees you got from that place on them, what exactly are you going to study this time?" she asked with an amused smile.
"Haven't decided yet." He shrugged and stretched his arms over his head. "Thinking I might do a medical or a law degree again. It's been over 50 years since I've gotten my last degree in those subjects so I'm sure a few things have changed since then."
"mmm, well if you're planning on staying upstairs I think you should know there has been a slight change." Keitaro raised an eyebrow. "Hinata Sou isn't an inn anymore. Hina changed it to a girls dorm before she left on her trip."
Keitaro stared at her for a long moment before letting out a chuckle. "That sneaky little brat. So that's what she was talking about." He laughed.
"I've told you before how weird it sounds when you talk about her like she's a little kid." Haruka scolded him. "Now what are you talking about?"
"I was with Hina-chan and your niece before I came here. When I told her that I planned on coming back here she said that she had a surprise waiting for me I just didn't expect her to put a harem together for me!" he laughed until Haruka hit him on the head.
"That's no way to talk about my tenants." She told him off.
"I was just joking Haru-chan." He grinned at her. "Besides I own Hinata Sou so they're my tenants aren't they?"
"Just as a warning I doubt they'll take kindly to that kind of talk even if it is a joke." Keitaro just waved away her concerns. "Anyway I don't suppose you want to take over as manager for me? I don't really have time to look after this place and the girls up stairs."
"Yea, it really looks like you're rushed off your feet." He said looking around the empty shop again.
"Would you stop commenting on that?" She frowned which was met with a grin. "So do you want the job or not?"
"Sure, why not?" he smiled. "It might be fun living with a bunch of girls."
"Were you always this big of a pervert?" she glared at him.
"You don't have to worry about it Haru-chan. You know I only have eyes for you." He grinned playfully.
"I bet you say that to all my cousins as well don't you?" she said dryly.
"Only one's as cute as you Haru-chan."
"And you have no problem hitting on your great granddaughters?"
"Haru-chan, we are so many generations apart we probably only have a chromosome or two in common at this point. Besides," his grin grew wider "in my day you only ever married people who were related to you."
"Thank god we're living in my day then." She rolled her eyes but smiled as she pulled out a cigarette that was confiscated by Keitaro.
"I don't want you smoking." Keitaro said his voice serious and his joking attitude gone. "I won't have you shortening the amount of time we have together by filling your lungs with this crap."
"Whatever you say Taro-kun." She nodded her head and stood up. "Shall we go up and meet your new tenants?"
"Sure, why not Haru-chan." He stood up and held out his arm to her. Interlacing her arm with his, she told her waitresses that she would be back soon before walking out the door. Walking up the stone steps arm in arm the Urashima's talked amongst themselves until they reached the top of the where Keitaro stopped and stared at the old in with a fond smile. "It's been a while since I've seen this place." He readjusted his thin wireframe glasses.
"I've been meaning to ask you. What's up with those glasses? You going blind in your old age?" Haruka asked her ancestor.
"It's a disguise." He grinned at her.
Haruka gave him a blank look "Of course. I have to keep reminding myself who you are." She said dryly.
Laughing he said. "It's just in case there is anyone still around here that remembers me looking the same after 80 years. These make me look different enough so I can pretend to be my own grandson." He explained.
"Does a pair of glasses really fool people?" she asked dubiously.
"It draws people's attention away from the rest of my face. If I had a birthmark or a scar then people will focus on that rather than my face as a whole but since I can't scar and I can't be asked putting makeup on my face every day these will have to do." He smiled.
"Whatever you say." She shook her head while he laughed. "Come on, I'm sure you're dying to meet your girls."
"Now, now Haru-chan, no need to be jealous." He grinned as she rolled her eyes and entered the dorm. Walking into the living room Keitaro examined the room with a critical eye. "I see not much has changed. Even the layers of dust are still here."
"If you're going to complain then you shouldn't have left for ten years but stayed to look after your own home." She shot back which earned her a condescending pat on the head and a grin. Shaking off his hand Haruka called out to the girls while he sat down on a chair. The first to enter the living room was a blue haired girl wearing a pink apron. Upon seeing the smiling man the girl froze.
"H-Haruka-san...?" she quivered, looking at the woman who was sitting on the armrest of the stranger's chair talking amongst themselves.
"Ah, Shinobu-chan." Haruka gave the girl one of her small smiles. "There's someone I'd like you girls to meet. This is my..." she trailed off, thinking about what to tell the girl.
"Nephew." Keitaro supplied, grinning happily at Haruka's expression. "Isn't that right Aunty Haru?"
Glaring at him she said through gritted teeth "Right. This is my nephew Keitaro Urashima. Taro-kun this is Shinobu Maehara, the youngest resident of Hinata Sou."
"It's nice to meet you Shinobu-chan." Keitaro bowed slightly to the young girl with a smile.
"N-Nice to meet you too, Urashima-san." The girl hastily returned the man's bow. "W-Would you like something to drink?" she asked playing hostess.
"I'd love a cup of tea, thank you." He smiled at her making her blush. Nodding her head Shinobu bowed again and rushed off back to the kitchen.
"She's nice." Keitaro commented with a smile.
"She's only 13." Haruka playfully warned him.
"Your point?" he asked with a smile. "Not too long ago, her parents would have already had her married."
"And how long ago is 'Not too long ago'?" she questioned him.
Keitaro scratched his chin with his index finger as looked up to the ceiling as he considered her query. "One... no two hundred years ago." He answered with a smile which made Haruka laugh slightly and shake her head. Before he could continue reminiscing about how things were done in his day Shinobu returned carrying a tray with a drink for Haruka and their guest. Bowing his thanks Keitaro sipped his tea and widened his eyes in surprise. "mmm, this tastes delicious Shinobu-chan. Maybe even better than what Haru-chan serves at her tea shop. If you hire Shinobu-chan to work for you perhaps your tea shop won't be empty at this time of day." He teased her which earned him an elbow to the head.
"Shinobu-chan here is the resident chef of Hinata Sou and also takes care of laundry and a lot of the cleaning. She is incredibly talented for her age." She complemented the blushing girl.
"Is that so?" he said with a smile. "Maybe you could ask her for some lessons so you can convince a certain archaeologist to settle down wit- Ahh!" he was cut off as Haruka twisted his ear.
"You're pushing your luck now." She warned him which was met with a laugh. Shinobu stared at the pair, slightly shocked to see the normally stoic woman acting playfully with someone. Before she could ponder it further, a blond blur bounced into the room and over to Keitaro "Hiya I'm Su, who are you?" the tanned young girl smiled up at him.
Tilting his head slightly he smiled at the young lady. "I'm Keitaro. It's nice to meet you Su-chan."
Giving him a quick once over from every angle she asked "Are you here to play with us?"
"Perhaps." He laughed and ruffled her hair. Su stared up at him, her emerald green eyes wide as she looked at him, a memory from her childhood resurfacing. Climbing onto his lap she looked closely at his face "mmm, you look familiar." She pressed her nose against his before nuzzling into his chest "You're really snuggly!"
Keitaro raised an eyebrow at Haruka. "Su-chan is very... affectionate." She explained.
"So I see." He smiled and gently rubbed the top of Su's head.
"That looks like fun." A voice leered as a buxom woman descended the stairs and ran an appraising eye over the young man.
"We have a guest Kitsune!" Su cheered as she leapt off of Keitaro to pull Kitsune to the sofa.
"I can see that Su-chan." She petted the girl's short blond hair and smiled sultrily at him. 'mmm, he's kinda cute. He might be fun to tease.' She thought to herself with a private leer. "I'm Mitsune Konno but please call me Kitsune." She said her nickname breathily as she bowed, showing off a generous amount of cleavage.
As Haruka rolled her eyes, Keitaro gave her an amused smile. "It's nice to meet you Kitsune." He returned her bow. "I'm Keitaro Urashima. Aunty Haru's nephew." He smiled as he saw Haruka's eye twitch.
"What's up Haruka-san?" a new girl arrived running a towel through her damp hair, obviously fresh from the hot springs. As she removed the towel from her hair, she stopped and glared at the man.
"Naru-chan, this is my...Nephew" she reluctantly said "Keitaro Urashima. Taro-kun this is Naru Narusegawa."
"It's nice to meet you Narusegawa-san." Keitaro bowed to her.
Ignoring him she wrapped her robe more tightly around herself before turning to Haruka "Why is there a guy here?"
"I'll explain when Motoko-chan gets here." Haruka replied.
"Then please do Haruka-san." A formal voice said as a tall woman with long black hair and a sword at her hip.
"Keitaro-kun, this is Motoko Aoyama. Motoko-chan this is Keitaro Urashima."
Keitaro bowed his head at her, his smile widening and eyes sparkling with amusement. 'You even brought an Aoyama here. You certainly know how to make things interesting don't you Hina-chan?'
"Well, now that you'll all here I'll explain. As I've just told you, this is my nephew Keitaro Urashima. He is also the owner of Hinata Sou and is going to be living here as the manager from now on."
This was met with a stunned silence before all hell broke loose from two of tenants "What do you mean he's going to be the manager?" Naru cried.
"You can't expect us to live with this Male!" Motoko snapped.
"Girls, this isn't up for debate. You're just going to have to get use to it." Haruka ignored their protests.
"But what if he peeps at us?" Naru pointed out.
"That's a rather pretentious attitude you have." Keitaro smiled as he rested his cheek on his fist. "What makes you think I'd want to peep at you?"
"You're a man." Motoko pointed out with a sneer. "All men are perverts."
"Oh, I see." He nodded his head exaggeratedly. "You mean like how all women are weak and should just stay in the kitchen." He smiled at their reaction.
"Taro-kun..." Haruka sighed.
"I'm sorry. I didn't realise that they were the only ones allowed to make false generalisations about a gender." He smiled up at Haruka.
"You're not helping things." Haruka said dryly.
Keitaro shrugged. "I found it amusing." He grinned at her which brought a laugh out of Kitsune, spotting someone who could have a similar personality to her own.
"I-I thought Granny Hina was the owner of Hinata Sou." Shinobu said, hoping to stop a fight starting.
Keitaro shook his head. "Hina was merely the custodian until I came here to take over." He explained giving the shy young girl a smile that made her blush.
Stepping forward Motoko said "Regardless of if you are the owner or not we have no wish to live with a pervert like you. I will ask you to leave only once." She growled as her hand tightened around the hilt of her sword.
Seeing him take a sip of his tea Haruka tried to defuse the situation before he put down the cup. "Motoko-chan stop acting like-"
"Little girl, who do you think you are talking like that too?" his voice was level but carried an edge to it, the sudden change surprising everyone but Haruka who winced at what was coming. "I am the owner of this building and the land it sits upon. From the forest and waterfall out back all the way down to Haruka's tea shop belongs to me. What exactly makes you think you have the right to tell me to leave my own property?"
Motoko just opened and closed her mouth, not expecting the man to do anything other than leave. "Why don't we all just calm down." Haruka interjected as she stood between the two but instantly regretted it as he turned his attention on her.
"Haruka-chan, this girl just insulted me. I do not appreciate being called a pervert in my own home by someone who has known me for all of five minutes. Do you really expect me to just let it go?" his eyed narrowed slightly as he stared at her.
Bowing her head, a chastised Haruka said "Of course not Taro-kun." She murmured, socking everyone. The only person they had seen Haruka defer to was Hina and never expected her to do so to a man who looked several years her junior.
Turning his attention back to the kendo girl he said "Well? Where do you get the audacity to try and expel me from a place I have lived since before you were even born?"
Motoko was unable to come up with and answer so Naru stepped in "We have rights as tenants! You can't just come in here and boss us around since we've signed tenant's agreements." She pointed out smugly, confident that if nothing else they were legally in the right.
"Tenant's agreements signed by Hina, not by me the owner. She changed this place from an inn to a girls dorm without my knowledge or consent and since she was unofficially looking after this place she had no legal right or power to sign any contracts seeing as I never gave her permission to act in my stead. That means I can render them null and void at my discretion." he informed Naru as he stared at her, sending a shudder through her body. "When Haru-chan originally told me that this place had changed I had planned on letting you all stay since it would be troublesome to evict you but I am beginning to rethink my decision."
This was met with an unease silence from all the residents. The situation had quickly spiralled out of control and now all of them faced losing their home. "Y-You don't mean you're going to kick all of us out do you?" Kitsune asked.
Keitaro turned away from Naru and smiled at Kitsune, his earlier demeanour apparently returning. "Of course not Kitsune. The three of you have been nothing but welcoming to me since we met. I have no reason to evict you." He took another sip of his tea. "I can't say the same about your rude friends however." He told her in the same cheery voice.
Relieved that at least some of them were safe Kitsune set about trying to fix the damage "I-Is there no way we can resolve this?"
"mmm, I wonder." He smiled at the fox lady. "I'm sure I can think of a way for them to make it up to me."
Naru and Motoko's tempers flared "How dare you even suggest something like that?" Motoko yelled
"As if we'd ever do something like that!" Naru screeched.
"Something like what?" Keitaro asked, his voice regaining the hard tone. "I never said what you could do to make it up to me, your perverted minds just jumped to that conclusion. Perhaps it would be best if the two of you did leave so you won't corrupt the young girls living here." He frowned at them.
"U-Urashima-san?" came a shaking voice next to him. Looking to the source, his eyes turned kind again as he saw a nervous looking Shinobu standing before him. "P-Please don't evict Naru-sempai or Motoko-sempai. T-They just want to protect us even if..." she trailed off not really wanting to bring up how overboard her sempai's could go when they tried to 'protect' them from men.
Keitaro tilted his head slightly as he stared down into her big blue watery eyes 'I didn't notice it before but Shinobu-chan looks a lot like her.' He allowed a kind smile to grace his lips. 'Her eyes used to go like that when she was trying to convince me to do something.' He thought as he reached out and fondly rubbed the top of Shinobu's head. "I do not wish to evict them but I have no intention of living with someone rude enough to insult me after just being introduced to me. Especially since neither of them seems very remorseful about it."
"C-Can't you forgive them?" she quivered.
"Perhaps." He smiled down at her. "If they apologise sincerely I may be able forgive them."
"Apologise for what we haven't done anyth- muph!" Naru's yell was cut off as Kitsune wrapped her hands over Naru and Motoko's mouth to stop anymore outbursts.
"What the hell do you two think you're doing?" she hissed into their ears. "This guy's about to throw you out and all you have to do to stay is apologise and you're about to blow it! Just say you're sorry already!"
"Something wrong?" Keitaro asked calmly.
"O-Of course not!" Kitsune laughed "These two have something they want to tell you, right?" she asked the two girls and only removed her hands when they nodded.
"Sorry." The pair mumbled.
"That didn't seem very sincere." Keitaro pointed out. "And I think you should remove your hand from your sword since you're not going to use it." He said sharply.
"You do not believe I have the conviction to use it?" she growled at him.
"I do not believe that the Aoyama clan would produce someone stupid enough to draw her sword against a member of the Urashima family in their own home." He said sharply as his piercing stare intensified on her.
Motoko's eyes flashed with rage and her grip tightened on her hilt until her knuckles turned white until someone smacked her in the back of her head. Turning around she was met with a meaningful glare from Kitsune. Taking a deep breath Motoko reluctantly let go of her sword. "I apologise if my words offended you." She said through gritted teeth.
"Yea, I'm sorry as well." Naru said when she was prompted by a pinch from Kitsune.
After finishing his tea, Keitaro gave both a girls a cheerful smile. "Don't worry about it." He waved away their apologises which, much to his amusement, infuriated the girls even more.
Haruka sighed in relief. "Do you always have to cause trouble?" she asked her relative.
"Only if I think it'll be funny." He replied with a smile that made Haruka shake her head.
"Do you want me to take you up to your room?" she asked him.
"I think I can find my way unless the managers room has changed since I've been here." He reassured her. "Besides, I'm sure your waitresses will need your help dealing with the flood of customers." He grinned as he stood up.
"I've told you to stop commenting on that." She glared at him.
Chuckling Keitaro reached out and ruffled her hair. "I know but you're so cute when you get angry, Aunty." He kissed her cheek and grinned wider at her blush. Turning to the residents Keitaro bowed to the assembled girls "Once again it is a pleasure to meet you all and thank you for being so welcoming to me." He smiled. "If you need me I shall be in the managers room." He told them as he picked up his bag and moved upstairs.
Finding themselves alone, all the girls turned to look at a slightly blushing Haruka. Returning their look Haruka sighed and sat down where her 'nephew' just was. "So, what do you want to know?"
"How come you never told us you had a nephew?" Kitsune asked right off the bat.
"I didn't think you guys would be interested in my family tree." She said smoothly.
"Well, since he's the owner of Hinata Sou, don't you think you should have told us?" Kitsune asked.
"I didn't know when if ever he'd come back so I didn't see the point in telling you."
"So where has he been up till now?" Kitsune continued her questioning.
"And why did he come back now?" Naru grumbled.
"I can't tell you any specifics other than travelling the world, so if you want to know more you'll have to ask him." She took out a cigarette and looked at it forlornly before sighing and returning it to her pocket. "As for why he's come back now, well he said that he's going to apply to Tokyo U."
"TOKYO U.!" The girls cried making Haruka frown at them.
"He's applying to Tokyo U.?" Kitsune exclaimed. "What's he going to study?"
Haruka shrugged "He said he was probably going to study law or medicine."
"So he's going to be a rich doctor or lawyer one day?" she asked eagerly.
Haruka shrugged again. "You'll have to ask him."
Kitsune grinned widely as she thought about the possibilities it presented. 'He's going to end up a rich professional! Even if he drops out he still owns a whole load of land in Tokyo! Not to mention he's kinda cute!' She thought happily to herself. 'The only problem will be those two.' She glanced at Motoko and Naru who were both clearly not happy about the situation. 'Maybe I can talk them around to staying on his good side.' She pondered"Hey, Naru-chan. You're applying to the same school aren't you? Maybe the two of you could study together?" she suggested which was met with a scoff.
"As if I'd want to study with him! A guy like him would only bring me down." She sniffed. "Besides I don't want anything to do with a guy like that. What's with that attitude of his? Acting like he owns the place." She huffed.
"Maybe it's because he does own the place?" Haruka pointed out which was met with another huff. "Listen girls, since I consider you lot my friends I'll give you this piece of advice. Don't try and drive him out. You won't win against him. Any kind of plan you lot can come up with he'll see through and most likely will make it backfire on you. And even if one of your plans did succeed he would just throw the lot of you out rather than leave himself so you would have accomplished nothing. So just deal with it." She stood up. "Well I have to back to my tea shop so you'll have to ask him if you have any more questions. He'll...probably tell you the true." Giving Kitsune a subtle gesture Haruka walked out the front door with the fox girl following.
"What's up Haruka-san?" Kitsune asked curiously.
"I need you to do me a favour." Kitsune waited for Haruka to continue. "I need you to keep an eye Naru-chan and Motoko-chan. Especially our kendo girl. With his personality he'll probably do or say something to piss her off and she'll try and attack him. I need you to try and calm her down before she draws that sword of hers."
Kitsune nodded "I'll try my best to keep your nephew safe."
Haruka raised an eyebrow. "What makes you think I'm protecting him?" she smiled slightly as she turned to walk away.
"Hey Haruka-san? Can I ask you something about your nephew?" Haruka nodded and waited for Kitsune to continue. "What's he really like? I mean, when we first met him he was quite jolly and cheerful but when Naru-chan and Motoko-chan called him a pervert his whole persona changed. And when they said sorry he acted like it was all a joke. So I was wondering what the real him was."
"mmm, I think it would be best if you found that out for yourself." She smiled. "Suffice to say he'll get on with you and the younger girls. He enjoys teasing people and seeing their reactions just as much as you do, he's patient enough to deal with Su-chan's hyperactivity and would probably enjoy causing as much mayhem as she does. As for Shinobu-chan...well he'll be good for her. I think he's already got a soft spot for her and he'll be able to give her more self-confidence. If nothing else he should be able to draw her out of her shell." She thought about a certain introverted, fair skinned cousin that was travelling with Hina.
"And the other two?" Kitsune wondered.
"oh, they're going to hate him." She smiled at the fox lady. "He's going to annoy the hell out of them just because it's fun. So you two will get on like a house on fire."
Kitsune grinned widely. 'It'll certainly be interesting with a guy around the place.' She thought, already thinking up schemes. "Just one more question. How come you didn't press the point when you tried to calm this down and just let him overrule you?"
"The same reason why I'm going to have to make sure he doesn't catch me smoking. I'm not stupid enough to go against him when he gets serious like that." She said as she walked down the stairs to her tea rooms.
Kitsune stared after the older woman. 'So he's someone that not even Haruka wants to mess with. I had best keep my eye on those two to make sure they don't do anything stupid.' She turned back to the dorm with a grin. 'Well, I think I should properly welcome my new manager.' She thought with a leer.
After cleaning the reasonably well looked after room Keitaro unpacked the few possessions that he was carrying in his bag. "I wonder if all my stuff is still around here." He though aloud. Moving over to the desk he shifted through some documents and found a photo. The black and white picture showed a happy young girl sitting on the lap of a mirror image of himself. "You always were adorable weren't you Hina-chan?" he smiled fondly at the photo. 'I'd better make sure there aren't any of these laying around or the girls will start asking questions.' He thought as a pair of large breasts where pressed into his back and a chin rested on his shoulder.
"Hey, who's the cutie sitting on your lap?" Kitsune asked as she leered at him. "A love child perhaps?"
Keitaro blinked before chuckling "First of all that's my great grandfather and secondly the little girl on his lap is his daughter Hina." He quickly improvised.
"Really?" she asked surprised as she reached out and took a hold of the picture, pressing her breasts into his back more. "I can't believe Granny was ever that young." She looked closely at the photo. "He really looks a lot like you."
"So I've been told." He smiled at her. "What can I do for you Kitsune?"
Handing him back a picture she held out a bottle of sake with a grin. "I was wondering if you want to join me for a drink or two to celebrate you becoming manager?"
"I'd love to Kitsune." He smiled at her. As she pulled away from him Keitaro turned and opened the bottle for her and poured as Kitsune held out a pair of saucers for them. "mmm, this is nice." He said after he took a sip. "You certainly know quality sake don't you?"
"Of course." She smiled as she downed the entire saucer "Do I look like a woman with bad taste?" she asked as she leaned back on her arms to push her breasts out slightly.
"Not at all." He smiled and refilled her drink. "You're obviously a very sophisticated lady."
"Obviously." Kitsune agreed with a smile. "So how long has it been you were last here?"
"It must be ten years give or take since I've been travelling around the world." He told her.
"Haruka mentioned that you were travelling." Kitsune nodded her head.
"Is that so?" he raised an eyebrow "What else did she tell you?"
"She said that you were thinking of applying to Tokyo U. to be a doctor or a lawyer." She subtly shifted closer and leaned forward to show off more of her cleavage. "So... were you travelling alone?"
"Some of the time." He answered as Kitsune topped up their drinks. "Sometimes I was with friends and I occasionally met up with an archaeologist friend of Harukas and went on a few digs with him. I even met up with Hina every now and again."
"You never travelled around with a girlfriend or a lover?" she asked sweetly, her breasts lightly grazing his arm.
"I'm afraid not. I haven't had one of those in a few years now." He smiled sadly and sipped his sake.
"Oh? Why's that?" she asked as she rested her hand on his thigh. "A handsome guy like you, I'd have thought you'd have had lots of girls crawling over you." She purred as she gently stroked his leg.
"Well, after my last girlfriend passed away I haven't really felt like dating." He told her.
Kitsune's eyes went wide at the revelation. Removing the hand from his thigh she brought it up to cover her mouth in shock. "Oh, my god, I'm so sorry. I-I shouldn't have asked you."
"It's alright Kitsune." He reassured her. "It was a while back and doesn't hurt so much anymore."
Taking his hand in hers she asked. "Can I ask you what happened? I-If you don't mind talking about it." her flirting completely gone and replaced with concern.
Finishing his saucer of sake he sighed. "She...she was very weak since she was born and was often ill. When there was a harsh winter a little while back she caught a bad fever and..." he shrugged "She just didn't recover. After seeing someone you love die it kinda puts you off dating." He gave her a weak smile.
Lunging at him, Kitsune wrapped her arms around his head and hugged him closely to her chest. "I'm so sorry Kei-kun. I shouldn't have asked you about it." She ran her fingers through the hair on the back of his head and nuzzled her nose into the top of his head.
Smiling, Keitaro hugged her around the waist. "Don't worry about it Kitsune. I don't mind talking about it every now and again though I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell the other girls about it."
"Of course I won't." she promised. Leaning back she smiled at him. "If you ever want to talk about it you can come see me OK? I'll be waiting with a bottle of sake and a pair of boobs to nuzzle into."
Chuckling he nodded his head "Thanks Kitsune. Now let's have some more sake." He suggested which was met with a grin.
"I like the sound of that." Still straddling him she reached out to grab the bottle and frowned. "It's empty." She pouted and held the bottle upside down to illustrate her point.
"There should be one around here, give me a second to find it." Grabbing her hips, he gently eased her off of him. Standing up he moved over to a wall and ran his hands over it. "Let's see, it should be...around about... here!" he slid a segment of the wall away and pulled out a bottle.
"What is that?" she asked as he repositioned the wall.
"It's Hina's secret stash that she thinks I don't know about." He grinned and brought the bottle over to her.
"Well, it would be a shame to let it go mouldy in a hole in the wall wouldn't it?" she grinned as he sat next to her and opened the bottle. Moving so she was sitting across his lap Kitsune held out a saucer for him to fill with a smile. "mmm, this is really good." She said as she took a sip.
"Of course it is." He grinned and gently rubbed her hip as she wrapped an arm over his shoulders. "Do I look like a man with bad taste?" he copied her words.
"Not at all." She laughed "You're obviously a very sophisticated and handsome man." She leaned into him and held her saucer to his lips. "Here have a taste." smiling he allowed her to pour the rest of her drink into his mouth.
"It is good." He nodded his head.
"Is it good because of the taste or who it was served by?" she asked sweetly.
"Defiantly because of who served it. It's like having my very own geisha." He grinned at her.
"So that's what you're into is it? I know how to seduce you now don't I?" she leered at him, the sombre mood gone and the playful, semi-serious flirting coming back into play.
"Are you trying to seduce me?" he smiled.
"That depends on if it's working or not." She purred into his ear and pressed her chest against his.
"You'll have to wait and find out." He smiled and held out his own saucer for her.
"mmm, it does better when someone serves you. I'll have to have you do this for me from now on." She told him.
"I'm honoured Kitsu-chan." He replied as he refilled both dishes and they held them to each other's lips to sip from.
"As you should be." She giggled as the sake and good company making her slightly tipsy "This is nice. It's been a long time since I've had someone to drink with."
"Really? None of the other girls drink with you?" he asked.
Kitsune sighed "No, all the girls are underage and I get disapproving looks from Naru-chan and Motoko-chan just for drinking in front of them let alone for offering them some sake."
"Don't you have any guys you go out and drink with?" when she looked away with a small smile he grinned and squeezed her around the waist. "Hey, come on now. We've talked about my love life so now it's your turn. A beautiful woman like you should have to beat guys off with a stick."
"Perhaps." She smiled "but I have a very specific fantasy that they have to live up to. Do you want to know what my fantasy is?" she asked breathily as she slowly ran the tip of her tongue around her lips.
"I'd love to know what your fantasy is Kitsu-chan." He smiled at her as he gently rubbed her hip.
"Well," she purred into his ear and pressed her body closer to his. "it involves my dorm's manager and one month I don't have enough money for rent. So together we come up with a... method of payment that's mutually beneficial and enjoyable." She drew circles on his chest with her index finger and gently blew into his ear. "So? What do you think about my fantasy?" she asked.
"I think it's a bit worrying since your last managers were Hina and Haruka-chan." He grinned which earned him a playful elbow to the stomach.
"Humph! A girl tries to flirt with you and you act like that! You're the worst!" she folded her arms and looked away with a cute pout.
Hugging his arms around her waist and resting his chin on her shoulder. "So you are trying to seduce me then?" he grinned.
"You'll never know now, will you?" She poked out her tongue at him.
"I'm sorry Kitsu-chan. Your fantasy is very nice." He said in a sookie voice with a smile. "What can I do to make it up to you?"
"I can think of a couple of things you can do." She said as she leaned back into him.
"Such as?" he prompted.
"Well, when you feel like dating again you could help me play out my fantasy." She leered at him.
"You just want to get out of paying rent don't you?" he smiled as she frowned and puffed out her cheek. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding!" he laughed. "I'd be happy to play out your fantasy with you. What else can I do?"
"You can serve me more sake." She ordered as she put her arm around him neck again.
"Whatever you want Kitsu-chan." He smiled and lifted up the freshly filled saucer to her lips.
"Good boy." She leaned forward opened her mouth so he could press the dish to her lips and decant the alcohol into her mouth. As the clear liquid hit her tongue the door slid open to reveal Naru and Motoko.
"Look, we just wanted to come by and clear the air so- What Are You Doing?" Naru finished with a screech. While the situation they were in looked far from innocent, from Naru and Motoko's perspective the scene before them looked like Keitaro was holding their friend close to his chest on his lap with his arm preventing her from escaping while trying to force alcohol down her throat.
Before either of them could raise issue with their seating arrangements Kitsune turned and glared at the interlopers "We were enjoying a nice quiet drink while getting to know each other until you two burst in without knocking."
"But... but he's... you're..." Naru struggled to get out, not expecting Kitsune to be angry at them.
"I'm sitting in his lap because I want to. Not because he got me drunk and tried to take advantage of me but because I thought his lap looked comfortable." She told them still glaring.
"But...but..." Motoko tried to get out.
Sighing in annoyance she finished off the sake that was left in the saucer Keitaro was holding she said "Looks like we'll have to cut this little heart to heart short for now. And we still had half a bottle left." She said morosely.
"I'll save it the rest of it for the next time you visit." He promised as he resealed the bottle.
"That's so sweet of you Kei-kun." She smiled and pressed her lips against his cheeks making Naru and Motoko blush. "Maybe we can finish the bottle in my room later tonight." She purred.
"I'll look forward to it Kitsu-chan." He smiled and rubbed her hips.
"Of course you will." She returned his smile as she rested her hands on his shoulders to push herself up, giving him a brief glance of her cleavage before sauntering towards the door, her hips shaking back and forth as she went with a smile on her face until she reached her two friends where it turned into a frown. Walking past them Kitsune grabbed them by their collars and dragged them away from Keitaro's room "Come on you two, I need to have talk with you!"
Smiling as the three girls disappeared from view Keitaro shook his head as he chuckled slightly. "That was interesting. I think I will have fun living here." Looking out his window Keitaro smiled at the view.
Roof of Hinata Sou Next To the Laundry Deck
Keitaro stretched his arms above his head with a content smile on his face as he looked over the idyllic town, the view of the bay unobstructed by any tower blocks or high rise building. That was one thing he had managed to ensure since the Urashima family owned most of the town in order to preserve the view from this spot. 'This town hasn't changed much over the centuries'. I'm glad I could at least do that for you little one.' His smile was mixed with happiness and a twinge of sadness. Hearing someone step up behind him he turned his head to see a nervous Shinobu standing behind him. Giving her a reassuring smile Keitaro said "Hey Shinobu-chan."
"U-Urashima-san." She bowed to him "S-Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you."
"It's OK Shinobu-chan, you're not disturbing me. I was just looking at the bay from my favourite place in the whole of Hinata Sou."
Shinobu blinked "It's my favourite place too." She told him.
"Is that so? Then would you like to join me?" he patted the roof next to him. Nodding her head, she shyly sat next to him. Smiling at her he said "Shinobu-chan?" making her jump and look towards him "I want to apologise if I frightened or upset you earlier. I just want assure you that you don't have to worry. I have no intention of evicting you or your friends. I was just trying to make a point and I hope I didn't make a bad impression with you." He bowed at her.
"I-It's OK, Urashima-san." she said quietly.
"I'm glad." He smiled making the young girl blush again. Returning their attention to the view of the town they sat in silence. Looked out the corner of his eye at the girl Keitaro was startled by the resemblance she had to someone he knew a very long time ago. This had also been her favourite place as well when she was still alive. The memories brought a painful throb to his heart as he reminisced about the relatively short time he had spent with her.
"Urashima-san?" Shinobu asked.
Looking towards her he gave her a small smile "Yes Shinobu-chan?"
"You're crying." She informed him.
Keitaro blinked in surprise. Bringing two fingers up to his cheek he let out a mirthless chuckle as he looked at his wet fingertips. "I haven't cried in years."
"I-Is there something wrong?" she asked concerned.
"Just remembering someone who was very close to me." He smiled at her
"Who?" she wondered. "I-If you don't mind me asking."
"Someone that was very precious to me. She was like a daughter." He murmured.
"Daughter?" she questioned.
Keitaro looked at her "Something wrong?"
"N-No, it's just that you seem to be too young to consider someone your daughter." she told him with her face reddening.
Keitaro raised an eyebrow "oh? How old do I look?"
"um... 20?" she asked unsure of herself.
Letting out a small laugh he said "Close enough." He gave her an amused smile. "The reason why she was like a daughter to me is because I helped raise her. Her father had died before she was born and her mother was very weak after her birth so I helped look after her and continued to do so after her mother passed away."
"I'm sorry." Shinobu said with tears in her eyes.
"It's OK, Shinobu-chan." he gave her a small smile.
"W-what happened to her." She asked, her voice radiating concern.
Sighing he replied "A series of unfortunate events and unforeseen circumstances that I should have been able to protect her from."
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked." She said apologetically.
"It's fine Shinobu-chan. She died before you were even born and I was the one that brought it up." She gently rubbed her head. "It's just that this was her favourite view and when I looked at you I thought that you looked just like her." he sighed as he got a far off look in his eyes "She was one of the most beautiful girls I have ever met." he said as another tear rolled down his cheek.
Shinobu blushed at the inadvertent compliment but pushed past it and pulled out her handkerchief to wipe away the tears from his cheek. Turning to look at her he gave her an amused smile as she realised what she was doing. This was the closest she had ever been to a man who wasn't family or a teacher and not only that she had one hand resting on his shoulder while she cleaned his tears. Blushing an even deeper shade of red Shinobu stood up quickly and bowed "P-Please excuse me!" she cried in embarrassment as she ran off.
"H-Hey be careful! He cried out but it was too late. Shinobu slipped and went over on her ankle. Crying out as she fell from the roof, Shinobu's mind was blank as she started to plummet. Approaching the ground Shinobu closed her eyes and braced for impact only to feel someone wrap their arms around her body and hold her close. Opening her eyes she all she saw was Keitaro's chest.
Catching her in his arms Keitaro held one hand against the back of her head and the other against her back so she was tightly pressed against his body and spun them around so that she was on top of him and that he hit the ground with a dull thud. Shinobu lay on top of the motionless man shaking, terrified at what just happened. Slowly sitting up she looked at the man and saw that that his eyes were closed. Trembling as tears started to fall she cried out. "U-Urashima-san..." she wept and just as panic was about to set in Keitaro groaned and sat up slightly, rubbing the back of his head "That was some fall, huh Shinobu-chan?" he chuckled.
Before he could say anything else he was suddenly glomped by a crying Shinobu, who had her arms around him and her face buried in his chest. "U-Urashima-san!" she wailed.
"shhh, shhhh it's OK Shinobu-chan." he stroked her back to calm her down. Once she finished sobbing but was still shaking Keitaro pulled her back to look at her face. "Are you OK Shinobu-chan?" he asked as he cupped her chin and wiped away her tears.
"I-I should be asking you that." She sniffed as more tears fell.
"I'm fine Shinobu-chan." He smiled at her. "Just a small bump on the head, nothing serious."
"B-but we fell so far!" she exclaimed. "S-Shouldn't you should see a doctor?"
"I'll be alright Shinobu-chan. It takes more than a small fall like that to get rid of me." He reassured her with a smile.
"At least let me get you some ice for your head." She said as she stood up and moved towards the building only for her ankle to buckle and for Shinobu to fall. As she cried out Keitaro caught her before she hit the floor. Holding her up Keitaro smiled at her "Perhaps I had best get you some ice?"
"S-Sorry." She murmured.
"Don't worry about it Shinobu-chan. Let's just get you to the kitchen and have a look at your ankle." He told her. Picking her up in a bridal carry he carried the blushing girl into the building, entering through the back door into the kitchen and placed Shinobu on the table. "How does your ankle feel?"
"It's OK." She said but grimaced as he moved it slightly.
"I can see that." He gave her an amused smile making her blush. "But just in case, let's put some ice, OK?" getting a nod from the girl Keitaro moved over to the freezer. Pulling out the ice-tray he emptied out the cubes into a cloth. Bringing the icepack over to Shinobu, he sat in front of her and gently took a hold of her foot. Removing her shoe and sock he held the ice against her ankle making her flinch. "Does this feel any better?"
"Y-Yes, thank you." She said quietly.
Placing the ice to one side he said. "OK, Shinobu-chan, I'm going to check too make sure your ankle isn't broken so I need you to tell me when it hurts." Getting a nod he gently manipulated her foot, his eyes examining her face to determine how where it hurts and to judge how serious she was injured. "mmm, well I don't think it's broken, probably just a twisted ankle that will be fully healed in about a week, two at the very most. There'll probably be some swelling for a couple of days but if really starts to hurt you have to tell one of us and we'll have to take you to hospital to get you checked out."
"OK Urashima-san." She nodded her head.
Keitaro smiled at her before frowning at a large bruise that was starting to spread across her foot. "How about your foot? Does this hurt?" he asked as he gently put pressure on the bruise with his thumbs. Sucking in air through her teeth and grimacing slightly she said "It hurts but it's not as bad as my ankle."
"Right, I think it's just a bruise so it's nothing to worry about. Just tell me if it feels any worse." He smiled at her. "Right, I'll just put a bandage on your ankle and then you just have to keep of your feet for a while and keep ice on it. Is there a first aid kit around here?"
"There should be one in that cupboard." She pointed to one of the cabinets. Nodding his head, Keitaro retrieved the kit and pulled out a roll of bandages. As he wrapped the strip of cloth around the ankle Shinobu stared at the look of concentration on his face and blushed as her heart beat a little faster. "Is that alright Shinobu-chan? It's not too tight is it?"
"N-No it's fine." She stuttered out, unsure what the flutter in her heart and the butterflies in her stomach meant. Looking at the professionally done bandage she asked "Have you done this before?"
"Once or twice." He replied with a smile as he put the icepack back on the ankle. "I've had some training in first aid."
Shinobu nodded. "Haruka-san said that you wanted to be a doctor."
"Perhaps." He smiled at her. "I haven't really decided yet. What about you? What do you want to be when you're older?"
"I would like to own my own restaurant." She said quietly. "But I don't think I'll be able to."
"Why not?" he asked. "From what Haru-chan said you're a really talented chef, I'm sure you'd make a great owner." He smiled.
Shinobu shook her head "I don't think so. I'm not that good at cooking, I know everyone says that they like my food but I know they're just being nice and I'm not really good at anything else other than cleaning. Even at school all I'm good at his home economics and useless at other subjects, especially maths." She murmured with her head bowed.
Smiling sadly at the girl with low self-esteem Keitaro reached up and gently rubbed the top of her head. "I'm sure that's not true Shinobu-chan. I've know Haruka-chan since she was a little girl and she isn't someone who gives out complements unless she really means it. And from what she said you're an amazing cook." He smiled at her before taking a hold of her small hand in his own. "As for school, you seem like a very smart girl and I'm sure you just need a little bit of extra help. How about this, if you ever need any help with schoolwork or there's something that you don't understand you can just come ask me OK?" he gave her a bright smile.
Looking at him with wide eyes she turned away with a blush "You don't have to..." she mumbled.
"I know I don't, but I want to. Besides I don't like seeing cute girls like you sad." He grinned as her face turned bright red. Giving her hand a squeeze he said. "Right, you need to keep off your foot for a while. So let's move you into the living room."
Shinobu nodded her head "Um, Urashima-san?"
"Yes Shinobu-chan." He smiled at her.
"Would it be alright if I called you Sempai?" she asked nervously.
Grinning at her he replied "Only if I can call you Shino-chan."
"O-OK." She murmured and blushed. Taking a hold of her hands he gently helped her off the table where she stumbled and fell against him. "S-Sorry Sempai!" she blushed.
Keitaro chuckled and gently stroked her hair. "It's alright Shino-chan. I think it will be best if we did this." He told her as he hooked his arm under her knees and lifted her up, making her blush at being held close to him but didn't complain. "By the way I think it would be best not to tell the girls how you hurt your leg. They'll just worry about it."
"S-sure, Sempai." She smiled shyly at him.
Returning her smile Keitaro moved out of the kitchen and into the living room where they found Kitsune watching TV on the sofa. Seeing them enter the room Kitsune raised an eyebrow at the unusual sight "I'm sure there's an interesting story behind this and I'd love to hear it." She grinned at the pair. "You two got married already?"
"Not quite." He smiled at her while Shinobu blushed a deep red.
"So what do I have to do to get that kinda treatment?" she asked with a grin as he sat next to her.
"You can start by doing half as much work around here as she does and then twisting your ankle." He told her as he shifted Shinobu onto the sofa between him and Kitsune, brought a cushion onto his lap and rested her feet on top of it. "We need to keep your foot elevated for a while to reduce the swelling." He told Shinobu.
"Are you OK Shinobu-chan?" Kitsune asked as she wrapped her arm around the young girls waist and pulled her backwards so Shinobu was leaning against her.
"I'm fine Kitsune-sempai." Shinobu flinched slightly as Keitaro placed the ice over her ankle again. "My foot's still a little sore but Sempai said that it'll be OK."
Looking to Keitaro for confirmation he said "Her foot's a little bruised and her ankle will swell up some but as long as she keeps off her feet and doesn't walk around on it too much she'll be alright." He smiled and gently massaged her foot to make her feel better which resulted in a content sigh from the bluenette "The hot springs will do her good as well."
"That's good to hear isn't it Shinobu-chan." She nuzzled into Shinobu's hair "And you even get a foot rub from our new manager. You really are a lucky little thing aren't you?" she squeezed and rubbed Shinobu's waist making her squirm and Keitaro laugh.
"It's fine, I don't mind doing this every once in a while especially if it's for someone as cute as Shino-chan." He grinned, enjoying the blush on the chef's face as much as Kitsune.
"Does that mean I get to have a foot rub as well?" she asked sweetly as she kicked off her shoes.
"Of course Kitsune." He smiled back at her. "I'd be happy to rub you anywhere you want but I'm afraid it's first come, first serve and Shino-chan was here first. So I'll have to give you a massage later."
"I'll hold you to that promise." She told him with a leer. Shinobu meanwhile was looking between knowing they were talking about something adult but not sure what. "Anyway, I don't mind waiting if it's Shinobu-chan." She pulled the girl onto her back so she was using Kitsune's lap as a pillow. "She does so much around here for us she deserves to be pampered every now and again." She smiled down at the girl as she stroked her hair.
Blushing, Shinobu turned away. "I don't do that much." She mumbled until Kitsune pinched her cheek.
"Hey now. I don't want to hear anything like that. If it wasn't for you we'd be living off take out, never have a clean pair of panties and the whole dorm would be a dump so you deserve to take it easy every and let others look after you for once." She smiled kindly down at her.
"Kitsune-sempai..." Shinobu stared up at her in awe.
"And by 'others' I am of course talking about our kind new manager." Kitsune explained. "So he'll take over all your chores until you're all better." She laughed.
"Oh? And what makes you think I'll be doing that?" Keitaro asked with a raised eyebrow.
"You can't expect our poor little Shinobu-chan to work when she's injured can you?" she smiled.
"No I don't, I expect you to pull your weight." He said to Kitsune.
"That's just crazy talk." She waved away his suggestion before laughing with Keitaro joining in and even Shinobu gave a small giggle. So distracted by their jokes they never noticed the blonde hair covered head slowly rise up and peer at the three with emerald coloured eyes over the armrest. Then a tanned hand holding a feather appeared. Leaning forward the blonde ran the feather up and down the exposed sole, tickling the young chef's foot.
Letting out a laugh, Shinobu reflexly pulled her leg away making her cry out in pain. Su's eyes went wide as her head popped up "Shinomu what's wrong?" she crawled up aver the armrest and straddled Shinobu's waist her eyes filled with concern. Feeling someone gently ruffle her short blonde hair she turned to look at Keitaro who was smiling slightly at her.
"You're going to have to be careful around Shino-chan for a while Su-chan. She hurt her ankle so it's painful if she moves it suddenly. You're going to have to help look after her until she gets better OK?" he told her.
Su stared at him for moment before turning back to Shinobu, her face an inch away from hers and her green eyes large and watery "Su is sorry Shinomu, Su didn't know you were hurt! Can Shinomu forgive Su?" the tanned girl begged Shinobu.
Shinobu blinked before smiling and gently ruffling her hair. "It's OK Su-chan I forgive you. I know you didn't mean to hurt me."
"Yay!" Su cheered and hugged Shinobu tightly, nuzzling into her chest. "Shinomu's so soft and snuggly!" Su said happily.
"It's good to see that the two of you get on so well." Keitaro smiled as he started to gently rub Shinobu's foot again
"Of course we do! Shinomu's my best friend!" Su grinned happily. Turning around she looked closely at what he was doing. "What are you doing with Shinobu's foot?" she asked curiously.
"I'm rubbing it so she feels better." He explained. "See this large bruise? Well this will hopefully make her feel a bit better. You'll have to help her in the hot springs and going up and down the stairs OK?"
"OK!" Su cheered and gave him a salute which made him chuckle.
"Good girl." He gently ruffled her hair.
Su stared up at him with wide eyes as more memories came back to her. Slipping off Shinobu, Su moved over to Keitaro's free side and hugged him tightly. "Thanks for looking after Shinobu."
"No problem Su-chan." He smiled as he wrapped his arm around her and continued to massage Shinobu's foot.
"You smell nice." She nuzzled into his side with her eyes closed.
Keitaro gave her an amused smile. "Thank you Su-chan. You smell very nice too." he replied. Looking towards Kitsune for an explanation the woman just shrugged.
"What's going on here?" Naru asked suspiciously as she entered the room and sat to the side of them.
"Shinobu-chan hurt her ankle so Kei-kun is giving her a massage to make her feel better." Kitsune explained to her best friend.
"Are you alright?" Naru wondered
"Y-Yes thank you Naru-sempai. It feels much better thanks to Sempai." The blushing girl replied.
"mmm, more like he's just trying to look you your skirt." Naru huffed which made Shinobu blush and pull her legs off of his lap before crying out in pain at the sudden movement.
"Shinobu-chan!" everyone cried out.
"Naru-chan what's wrong with you!" Kitsune yelled at her friend. "What did you think would happen if you say something like that to her?"
"Sorry, I didn't think she was that hurt!" Naru insisted as she knelt next to Shinobu. "Sorry Shinobu-chan." She apologised.
"I-It's OK Naru-sempai." Shinobu reassured her with tears in her eyes.
"Really Naru-chan. First you insult me and then interrupt me and Kitsune having a nice quiet drink and now you hurt Shino-chan. This really won't do." He tutted and shook his head as he pulled Shinobu's foot back on his lap. "I'm beginning to regret my decision about letting you stay here."
"W-What do you mean?" Naru stuttered.
"I mean that unless you accept the punishment that I decide I may decide that you are a disruptive element that has no place in my dorm." He said as he started to rub Shinobu's foot again.
"W-What punishment?" she asked nervously.
"Well, since you've made Shino-chan's foot worse you have to take over all her chores until she's feeling better." He declared.
"What? Do you have any idea how much she does around here?" Naru cried.
"Not a clue. But I'm sure a 17 year old would have no problem doing what a 13 year old girl does voluntarily." He smiled at her. "If you really don't think you're capable of doing what someone four years younger than you does then you can ask Motoko-chan to help you."
"What about you three?" Naru objected.
"I've been here less than three hours so there is no way am I going to clean up after you lot, and just because you managed to get one cute girl to take care of all the housework doesn't mean I'll let you push all of it onto another cute girl like Su-chan here." He petted the tanned girl's head who happily accepted the attention while Shinobu blushed at being called cute. "And unlike the two of you Kitsune is an adult and has other things to worry about like her job... you do have a job don't you?" he asked Kitsune.
"I'm a writer." She supplied.
"See, unlike you who's a student and don't have to worry about things like this Kitsune has to work to pay her way."
"No she doesn't! She just lounges around here all day drinking sake and betting on horses!" Naru accused her friend. Keitaro just flicked her forehead. "What was that for?"
"For being ignorant about how the world works." He adjusted his glasses making the light shine off them. "Writers can't just write. They have to wait for inspiration! And if sitting around all day drinking sake and betting on horses makes her inspired who are you to question her methods!" he pointed an accusing finger at her.
Kitsune nodded her head sagely as she rested her chin on her index finger and thumb. "Fu Fu Fu, you truly understand the hardships of a writer don't you Kei-kun?" she grinned.
"Fine!" Naru sighed resignedly before turning to Shinobu "So what do I have to do?"
"Well there is the..." as Shinobu ran down her list of chores Naru slumped more and more.
"I never realised that you did so much around here." Naru chuckled weakly. "I think I had better see if Motoko-chan will help me."
"Good. It will be good practise for the two of you." He smiled.
"Practice?" Naru asked.
"Of course. Since the two of you will be taking care of the majority of her chores from now on." He informed her.
"But I've got studies to do!" she yelled.
"And so does Shinobu-chan." He said sternly "Are you saying your studies are more important than hers?"
"O-Of course not!" Naru cried.
"Good. Then you have no objection with taking on some of her workload. Besides, it will be an important lesson in time management. You have to learn how to balance your time between what you have to do and what you want to do." He told her.
"But...But...fine." she sighed. "I'll go ask Motoko-chan if she can help out." She said as she wandered off.
"Is my foot really that worse now?" Shinobu asked.
Keitaro grinned at her "Not really, I just wanted to see if I could get her to do all the chores for us." He petted her head. "Besides, becoming an adult is all about doing things you might not want to do so it's better she gets used to it now when she has her friends around her to help rather than when she moves out and is by herself." He explained with a smile.
"Sempai..." Shinobu murmured with stars in her eyes.
Giving her head an affectionate rub Keitaro smiled at her "Why don't you go have a dip in the springs. It'll do you more good than just having me massage your foot."
"OK Sempai." She nodded her head and blushed.
Turning towards the second youngest girl he gently petted Su's head and asked "Su-chan can you take Shino-chan to the springs?"
"Sure!" she cheered and saluted again before picking the girl up in a bridal carry and rushing out the room with Shinobu's cry of surprise getting quieter the further away they got.
"She's quite strong for such a tiny girl." Keitaro smiled after the young girls.
"Well, our Su-chan is a unique girl." Kitsune smiled as she shifted to lean against him. "By the way, that whole thing about preparing Naru-chan for the big bad world was a load of crap wasn't it? You just didn't want to do any of the chores yourself, right?"
"mmm, I wonder..." he grinned at her as he wrapped his arm around her waist.
Laughing, Kitsune rested her head on his shoulder. "I think I'm going to enjoy having you around here." She grinned at him.
After a rather strange meal prepared by Naru and Motoko, Keitaro had excused himself from his tenants to visit his 'aunt'. Entering the tea rooms he was slightly surprised to see the small shop filled with customers. Heading over to the counter, he took a seat and waited for Haruka to notice him. Watching as she gracefully moved around her shop serving her customers and taking orders Keitaro couldn't help but grin as he thought about how much she had changed since he had first met her.
20 Years Ago
A six year old Haruka Urashima was out behind Hinata Sou practicing the moves from the Urashima family style that her grandmother had just taught her the previous day. Bracing herself, Haruka took a moment to focus before swinging her leg up for a high kick only fall backwards and land on her butt. "Owie." She moaned as she stood up and rubbed her sore behind.
"You fell over because your legs were too far apart." A voice told her. Looking behind her Haruka saw a grinning man of about 20 approach her wearing a green yukata. "Also, the less unnecessary movements you make the harder it is for your opponent to find an opening they can take advantage of and the faster your attack will be."
"Who are you?" she frowned at him.
"Well Little One, You can call me Onii-chan OK?" he grinned down at her. "And your Granny Hina wants me to teach you our family style."
Haruka puffed out her cheeks. "Don't call me little!" he yelled at him and kicked him in the shin.
Not appearing to notice her attack the man knelt down and patted her head "My apologies, I call all cute young ladies like yourself Little One." He told her making the young girl her blush at the complement.
"Y-You still haven't told me who you are." She pointed out bashfully.
The man squinted at her. "You don't remember me?" he cried dramatically. "I practically raised you for the first three years of your life and you don't even remember me?" he playfully jabbed his finger into her ribs and belly. "All the times I fed you and bathed you and changed you and you don't remember me? What a little ingrate!" his jabs turned into full on tickling as she cried out in laughter
"S-Stop It!" she laughed and tried to get away from him only to be pulled back into a hug.
As she looked up into his smiling face he said "My name is Taro Urashima but as I said you can just call me Onii-chan." He gently stroked her hair.
"Onii-chan..." she said thoughtfully as she looked up at him. "I'm gonna call you Taro-kun!" she declared.
Taro frowned at her. "Oi! What did I just tell you? It's Onii-chan!" he corrected her.
Haruka harrumphed at him. "It's already been decided that I'm gonna call you Taro-kun!" she informed him.
"Hey! Don't go making those decisions by yourself! It's Onii-chan!"
"Taro-kun!" Haruka countered.
"Onii-chan! Onii-chan! Onii-chan!" he insisted.
"Taro-kun! Taro-kun! Taro-kun!" Haruka shot back
"Taro-kun? Oi Taro-kun? You still in there?" Haruka asked as she waved her hand in front of his eyes.
Keitaro narrowed his eyes at her. "I told you before its Onii-chan." He grumbled at his great granddaughter.
"What are you mumbling about?" Haruka asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It's nothing." He waved away her question.
"You were grinning a minute ago. I don't like it when you grin like that. It usually means you're up to something." She accused him.
"Don't be mean. I was just reminiscing about how cute you were when we first met." He grinned at her blush. "I wonder what changed." He asked innocently before chuckling as Haruka's elbow collided with his face.
"There's plenty more where that came from if you keep that up." She threatened him.
"Ow! You shouldn't treat you beloved nephew so roughly!" he complained. "Geez, you were so much nicer when you were little. Maybe if you were still a bit smaller you'd get a date once in a whil- gek!" he finished as her fist slammed into his nose.
"I don't want to be hearing dating advice from someone who hasn't had a date in over three centenaries." She glared at him.
"I'm single by choice thank you very much." he grumbled as he rubbed his sore nose. "And it wasn't dating advise, it was weight loss advice." He huffed.
"Before you say anything else, just remember I'm holding scalding hot water in a very heavy teapot." She told him as she poured him a drink. "So how are things going with the girls? You guys getting on?" she asked.
"Well enough, I suppose." He said as he took a sip of tea. "Kitsune seems like fun and Su-chan and Shinobu-chan are nice as well."
"And the other two?" she wondered.
"Like a house on fire." He grinned.
"You mean with all the screaming, destruction and panic?" she asked.
"Something like that." He replied. "I have managed to get them to do all of Shinobu-chan's chores."
"Oh? How did that happen?"
"Well she twisted her ankle when she fell of the roof so I told them to do her chores until she's feeling better." He explained.
"She fell of the roof?" Haruka exclaimed.
"She's fine." he waved away her concern. "I caught her before she hit the ground so it's all alright."
"That's good." She nodded her head. "So why are you down here?"
"Well since I thought this place was going to be empty, I was going to ask you if you want to have a drink with me and you can catch me up on everything I've missed since I've been gone but I guess you were telling the truth about business picking up huh?" he smiled at her.
"You doubted me?" she raised an eyebrow.
"Not for a second." Keitaro grinned as he finished his tea before leaning over the counter and kissing her cheek. "I guess we'll have to catch up some other time." He told her as he stood up and walked towards the door.
"Hey, Taro-kun." Haruka called out him. When he turned to look at her she gave him a gently smile and said "It's good to have you back here."
Returning her smile Keitaro said "It's good to be back Haru-chan."
It's been a while since I've even looked at this fic but now I've finished with my other fics (just have to post GoH and the SmS omake doesn't count) here we go with chapter two. I still don't know how often I'll be able to update this fic so you'll just have to wait and see.
Anyway please leave a review to tell me what you think.