Heyo! Here it is - Chapter Five. Enjoy!
LOVE HINA: FLIGHT OF THE HORNET
By Doctor-T and Major Mike Powell III
Half an hour went past, and in Kaolla Su's jungle room, Kyle the hornet was at last stirring once again. The sound of human voices and splashing water coming from somewhere below his aerial perch on the palm frond had penetrated through his drunken slumber, and finally succeeded in waking him up.
After shaking his still slightly dazed and sore head in an effort to clear the cobwebs from it, the confused Kyle stared around with astonishment at the huge, greenhouse-like, enclosed space that he had stumbled into. Then he apprehensively peered over the edge of the palm leaf that he had so fortuitously crash-landed upon, in an effort to spot just who or what it was that had woken him.
There they are. Two more human females, at the far edge of that hot pool below me. And it looks like they have no idea that I'm in here with them yet. Good! Let's keep it that way!
About ten meters away from the eavesdropping hornet, Shinobu Maehara let out a loud sigh as she lay back in the pleasantly warm water of the private hot pool that belonged to her best friend, Kaolla Su. The extremely pretty Tokyo University sophomore had been in a melancholy mood all day – indeed, for all of the last week, as well.
Like all of the other girls now resident at the Hinata Apartments, upon first finding out from Naru that she and Keitaro weren't in fact married after all, and that the bad tempered brunette had thrown him out on his ear, Shinobu had been secretly delighted that Naru had permanently given Keitaro the boot. Sure, she had also felt sorry for the now separated pair, in that they had been unable to make their short and tumultuous marriage work. But the now much more grown up and mature Shinobu certainly wasn't going to let her sympathy for her two older friends stand in her way of finally winning her beloved Sempai's heart for herself.
But Keitaro had disappeared after being evicted, and no one seemed to even have a clue as to where he had gone. Shinobu was distraught. If only she could find out where he was, she could go and comfort him! However, for a whole week, there had been no word from their missing landlord, at all.
Just as Shinobu was about to go out of her mind with worry, her badly missed Sempai had finally returned to the Hinata Apartments. Mutsumi had accompanied him there, and with a horrible, sinking feeling in her stomach, Shinobu had listened in disbelief to the pair publicly announce their love for each other to all of the residents.
Upon hearing the bad news - well, from her point of view, anyway - Shinobu's freshly blooming hopes and dreams had come crashing down upon her once again. Having missed her chance to win Keitaro's love for the second time, and like Motoko, having never been interested in pursuing any other guy but her Sempai, the twice-heartbroken nineteen-year-old had fallen into a bad case of depression at failing at her lifetime ambition, yet again.
After a week of lonely soul-searching, Shinobu had finally decided to pay a visit to her exotic Molmol friend for some badly needed cheering up and advice. So that Saturday afternoon after lunch, the beautiful blue-haired teen went for a walk up to Kaolla Su's room on the third floor of the apartment building to do just that.
Upon her arrival at Room 301 only about ten minutes ago, carrying a box of snacks that she had brought with her for them to eat, Shinobu had been happy to find that her always perky foreign friend was indeed there at the time. And since it was so hot, both indoors and out, the two gorgeous girls quickly decided that a refreshing bathe in the in-room hot pool was by far the most comfortable way for them to have their chat. So, after placing the food on a tray, which then went into Su's bench top oven to heat up, the very attractive pair had stripped off all of their clothes and done just that.
Quickly noticing that Shinobu was still looking depressed even after slipping into the tropical-vegetation-fringed hot pool with her, the resident Molmol princess decided that a heart-to-heart talk with her downcast best friend was long overdue, all right.
"Look, Shinobu," Su said earnestly, her light brown arms sweeping back and forth through the warm water as she talked, sending tiny ripples cascading off across her surprisingly large indoor pool. "You've told me a heap of times before that you didn't want any other man but Keitaro, right?" At Shinobu's nod, she added, "Well, it's exactly the same with me. Kei-Baby's great! But we both gotta accept the fact that we lost out on him once again, darn it all."
"I know that, Su," Shinobu replied, her now sizeable bare breasts bouncing gently in the wavelets, and her long, waist-length blue hair fanning out in the water behind her as she leant forward from the stone edge of the indoor onsen. "And you're right, of course. But it's just so hard for me to do that! I've loved Sempai ever since he first arrived here. And now, I feel just like I did when he married Naru three months ago – like my heart has been torn in two again."
"Yeah. I know just what you mean," Su soberly agreed. "I was so sure that Kei-baby would want to marry me when he found out that I was a princess, and that when he did, he would eventually become king of my country, I never bothered to come up with a Plan B. Heh, heh. I guess that I'm now paying the price for my lack of effort in trying to win him off Naru in the first place. Just like you are, too, eh, Shinobu?"
"Yes, Su, that's true." Shinobu tried to suppress a sniffle, not altogether too successfully. "When I was younger, I was always too afraid to just come out and confess my love to him. Now that I'm nineteen and more mature, I kick myself every day that I didn't! I hesitated for far too long, and Naru beat me to him. And now that Sempai's been taken from me for a second time by Mutsumi, this time for good, I'll bet, I really don't know what best to do with my life anymore."
Su looked with sympathy at her despondent best friend for a couple of seconds, a thoughtful look in her sea-green eyes. Then she came to her decision, and spoke up again.
"Look, I have something to ask you. I know that I'm not good old Keitaro, but since there's no hope at all of either of us getting him now that he's hooked up for good with Mutsumi, I was hoping that you might want to…well, hang out with me? On a more – um – intimate level than now, if you know what I mean?"
As Su's completely out of the blue request registered in her mind, Shinobu stared with surprise at her expectant-looking companion. Back when she had been thirteen years old, Su had been the one who had given the then very shy and retiring young cook her very first kiss. And even though Shinobu had been disappointed at the time that the intimate experience had come from her nearly one-year-older friend, and not her beloved Sempai, the thought had still remained in the back of her mind over the intervening years that the Molmol girl had treasured her enough to actually do it to her…
But, even with that shared secret moment between them, for her to start up a relationship with her best female friend-!
"Um, Su. We're both girls, you know? I like you and all, but…well, we're both girls!"
"I know that, Shinobu. I'm a genius, remember? And why not?" Su persisted, the blonde, tanned Molmol beauty obviously meaning every word that she was now saying. "We've been best friends for years now, haven't we? We get on really well together, and most importantly, I've always loved you just as much as I love Keitaro. You do love me, too, don't you, Shinobu?"
"Ah…yes, you know that I do, Su. But-!"
"Well, there you go, then. And since neither one of us has anyone else that we're even remotely interested in, I can't think of a single good reason why we both can't at least give dating each other a try."
"I can think of several! For instance, what would both of our families, and our friends think about us doing that," the flustered Shinobu objected. "Wouldn't they think that we were a little - um - weird?"
"Truthfully, my family wouldn't care, one way or the other, Shinobu," Su candidly pointed out to her blue-haired, prospective lover. "Relationships like that are actually quite common on Molmol. And with regards to our friends, check this out! I happen to already know for sure that both Kitsune and Kanako are bi, and also that my buddy, Motoko, secretly fancies not just everyone's favorite stud, Kei-Baby, but girls, as well. I know that last for a fact because I've slept with her several times in the past, and don't forget that Motoko's done it once before with Kanako, too."
"Um – you have…with Motoko? As in, you've done…'it'?"
"Yupsies! And we both enjoyed having sex with each other, too."
"Ah, okaaay? And, well, I already knew that bit about Motoko and Kanako," the wide-eyed Shinobu started to say, her already pink cheeks now noticeably darkening into a deeper shade of red. "But wasn't that-?"
"Kinda. But wait, there's more!" Kaolla interrupted, now on a roll with her plan to bring long overdue happiness to them both. "As for the others, Ms. Haruka and Mr. Seta don't worry about things like that. And so when they find out, they'll both treat us exactly the same as they do now. Sarah will support us, no matter what we do. I dunno about Naru, but I suspect that she's now got far bigger things to worry about than us getting together. And as for Keitaro and Mutsumi, we both know that they'll merely look surprised and then give us their blessings. So there's nothing at all for you to worry about if you do agree to be with me."
"Is…that right? I have to confess that I already suspected you and Motoko of - 'ahem!' – of having an affair before, so your admission about that being true hasn't come as any great surprise to me, Su," the blue-haired teen admitted. "But how on earth did you find out about the other girls – um – sexual preferences?"
"Nyahahahaha! Like I said, I'm a genius! If there's anything I want to know, I find it out. But anyway, what was your other objection to us dating each other, Shinobu?"
"Oh? Er, okay. L-let's say that it did work out between us? Even though I've missed out on Keitaro, I still want to get married at some later stage, Su. And we - you and I - couldn't possibly marry each other because it wouldn't be legal," Shinobu pointed out to her friend, still unable to look the other girl straight in the eye. "So, no matter how much we grew to love each other, we'd still be going nowhere."
"Nyahahaha! Ya think so, Shinobu," Kaolla chuckled again, a knowing gleam in her green eyes. "Well, guess what? You're wrong about that! If our relationship does get to that stage, we would be going somewhere, all right – straight to the marriage altar in Molmol! Us tying the knot with each other is perfectly legal back in my homeland. The marriage laws where I come from are a lot more liberal than here in Japan."
"You – you don't say," Shinobu mumbled, looking surprised at that unexpected revelation. "And I bet that I know what you're going to say next, too. Molmol same-sex marriages are recognized as legal here in Japan, right?"
"Bingo!" Su exclaimed. "See? There's no down side to this, at all!"
"Well, I still don't know…?" the fidgety Shinobu hedged, still trying to think of some reason why Su's idea couldn't possibly work, but failing badly at it. And she honestly couldn't deny that she was attracted to her perky friend, but in that sort of way…?
"Tell you what, why don't we just try going out with each other as a couple for a few weeks, first," Su offered. "No pressure at all, and either of us can opt out at any time. That way, we can both find out just how we feel about each other before making any long term plans together. What do you think of that idea, then?"
For a long couple of minutes, Shinobu just sat there, thinking the idea through. Upon first hearing from Su that she wanted to date her, the idea had seemed preposterous. But now, upon reflection…?
I've always loved Sempai, first and foremost, Shinobu thought. But, out of everyone else here, I love Su the most. She's always been my best friend, she does love me back, and now that I think about it, she is…very attractive to me, as well. And now that Keitaro is no longer available to me, what do I have to lose if I take Su up on her offer? Actually… nothing at all, have I? Su is right when she told me that our friends wouldn't mind us getting together. And I certainly need love in my life, right now, too…
Oh…for once in your life, Shinobu, be bold! Like Su asked me just before, why not?
"Oh-okay, Su" Shinobu finally conceded, at last managing to look her optimistic-looking best friend directly in the eye. "This is a huge decision for me to make, but…I'm – I'm willing to give it a try, because I do like you…a lot. But this is just a trial relationship, remember," she hastened to add. "I'm feeling a little uncomfortable about the thought of dating a woman, even if it is you, so…so please let us take it really slow and gentle for a start, okay?"
"Yay! Deal!" Su whooped, pouncing on the startled sophomore with a loud splash, and scooping her up out of the warm pool into her tanned arms. She then planted a long, lingering kiss directly on the now bright-red Shinobu's open mouth before the other girl could even think about voicing any objection.
"Mmmmm!" The Molmol girl murmured, her mouth eagerly working on the smooth and soft lips of her new lover.
"S-SU?" Shinobu gasped back, once her own mouth was free to talk again. "Not so fast!"
"What, ya didn't like it?" Su inquired with a grin. "Or are you complaining because I didn't use enough tongue?"
"N-no, it's not that," Shinobu replied, a nervous smile appearing on her red-cheeked face as she leant forward in the strong arms of her brand new girlfriend. "You just took me by surprise, that's all. I said let's just take it slow at first, okay? Slow and gentle, like this-"
Then her own soft lips pasted themselves gently back over those of the pleasantly surprised Molmol girl, and the two nude Tokyo U students slowly sank back down into the warm waters of the pool again, locked tightly breast-to-breast in each other's arms.
"Holy crap," the sweating Kyle told to himself from his position on the palm leaf. "What is this, an adult movie studio, or a girls-only boarding school, or something? There's more hot action going on in this place than in the Hinata Love Hotel down on the riverbank!"
"Oh, Su," Shinobu gasped, having heard the sound of the oven timer going off. "Hold on a second! The special treat that I was cooking for us is ready, right now. I'll just go and get it out of your bench oven."
"Sure, Shinobu," Su agreed, lounging back against a flat rock at the edge of her jungle pool as Shinobu, not even bothering to cover her nude body with a towel first, jumped out of the steaming water and hurried off to collect their food. "Hey? What did you say this snack you cooked was called, again?"
"Hold on a second. Ah, yes, it's done nicely." Switching off the oven, Shinobu first donned a pair of oven mittens, and then opened the door and carefully pulled out a tray of small, oval shaped, and to the watching Kyle, very familiar shapes.
"This is a treat that the mountain villagers in Japan eat all of the time," Shinobu told her lip-licking friend as she returned to the pool with the hot tray of goodies. It's called 'deep fried hornet', and not only are they delicious, they're a good source of protein, too!"
"De-deep fried hornet snacks?" Kyle squawked out, nearly falling off his perch with shock. A chill raced through his segmented body, and all of a sudden this strange, forested room wasn't so tropical in temperature, after all. "I'm getting the hell outta here!"
"Yay!" Su cried out, a large pair of chopsticks appearing as if by magic in her hands. "Lemme at 'em!"
"Be careful, Kaolla, they're hot," Shinobu laughed, placing the tray down next to her hungry-looking new girlfriend, and then slipping back into the pool next to her. "You'd best let them cool off a little, first?"
On the subject of cool, Kyle had totally lost his. Racing in panicky flight like a bullet for what he thought was the nearest window, he realized just a second too late that it was, in fact, a mirror high up on a top shelf of a sidewall of the room. Unable to brake to a full stop in time, the unlucky suzumebachi bounced of its unyielding surface, to plummet like a stone down into an open-topped glass box on the tabletop below, landing with a 'plop' on some soft, white, fluffy substance.
"Ow-Wowtch!" he buzzed, shaking his head as he wobbled back up onto his six feet. "That was dumb! What am I, a human-? EEEEK!"
The momentarily dazed hornet had just that second noticed exactly what was surrounding him. Skewered on pins standing up from the cotton wool lined foam in the rectangular glass box, were a wide variety of preserved and labeled insect specimens, ranging in size from large butterflies, dragonflies and cicadas, down to much smaller grasshoppers, bees and flies. But the exhibit that had caught and held the horrified Kyle's full and undivided attention was a dried specimen of another Giant Hornet. Even worse, this particular one had a very familiar face.
"Oh, shit! It's my long lost buddy, Zzzpthzzith! (Which roughly translates in English to Fred). So that's what happened to you? Waah-haah-haaah! What is this, a nightmare?"
The appalled suzumebachi whirred back up into the air again, intending to break all kinds of speed records with his departure from this house of horrors. But, unfortunately for him, he wasn't going to be able to get out of trouble quite that easily. For, high on a shelf above him, a certain, now rather hungry flying turtle had spotted his unplanned fall. And Tama-chan was in the mood for a tasty hornet entrée before dinner.
The Asian giant hornet has no natural enemies in mainland Japan, apart from people, that is. Unfortunately for Kyle, Tama-chan's particular turtle species wasn't actually from mainland Japan. The Onsen Tamago was native to Okinawa and its surrounding islands, and they were partial to the odd insect as part of their natural diet. To Kyle's further misfortune, wasps and hornets were integral parts of that menu. And Tama-chan's species also had the added – and quite unfair, from Kyle's point of view - advantage of being immune to the hornet's stinger venom.
Letting out the hornet equivalent of "EEEEK!" again as he spotted the swooping turtle, the freaked-out wasp headed for the hills!
Asian giant hornets like Kyle weren't exactly noted for their speed, although they were capable of speeds of up to forty kilometers an hour if necessary. But they could turn on a right-angled dime, and that is what saved Kyle from being a tasty, pre-dinner snack, right then-and-there. Ducking under Tama-chan's mouth as it snapped shut, the sweating Kyle made a beeline (so to speak) for the nearest exit, the flying turtle hot on his trail!
(Cut to chase sequence, the accompanying music: the orchestral, 'Flight Of The Bumblebee', by Rimsky Korsakov).
Down several hallways, down a staircase, through several open doors, back up and then down the staircase again, through another open door, Kyle the hornet flew for his life. And always Tama-chan was right behind him, unable as yet to gain any ground on the fleeing suzumebachi, but not losing any, either.
Wait! I remember from before that there's an open doorway coming up just around that bend ahead of me, Kyle realized as he hurtled back up the hallway he had previously come down only seconds before. If I can just duck inside it before that flying turtle can make it around the bend, too, I can throw it off my trail!
Inside the room in question, a skinny, flat-chested teenage girl was at that very moment sitting at a study desk, engrossed with reading what looked to be some sort of a sex guide on the screen of her laptop computer.
Darn it all! I don't look even the slightest bit like a model, or an idol, or a big-breasted centerfold, like all of the other much more fortunate girls living here, do. So if I'm going to have a hope of even getting any sort of a boyfriend at all, let alone a cool one like Keitaro Urashima, I'm going to have to learn all that I can about how to attract and please boys, Ema Maeda was at that very moment firmly telling herself as she stared with wide eyes at the erotic 'how-to' images on her LCD screen. And that includes studying up on how to satisfy them with - um? S-sex.
Eeeep! So th-that's how it's done? Gosh, could I really do something like that? Even for love…?
C-calm down, Ema! You don't actually have to do any of this stuff just yet – you only have to know how to do it, the sweat-dropping, red-faced teen hurriedly reminded herself as she uncomfortably peered at the erotic and very graphic pictures through her steamed up glasses. For when you're ready – and only when you're ready…!
Just then, there came a most unusual and unexpected interruption to the awkward and unskilled fifteen-year-old's atypically erotic, extracurricular studies.
"…Huh? What was that? Did something just fly into my room," the startled girl asked out loud, momentarily looking up from her laptop to gaze with puzzlement around her lodgings.
"Hmmm? Well, I can't see anything in here, now. It could have been just my imagination, I guess? Ah, well, back to the-ooh! Why on earth would they want to do it that way, I wonder-?"
As Ema returned her undivided attention back to her computer screen, Kyle, now hiding in the top left-side corner of the room's still empty closet, breathed out a long and ragged sigh of relief at having at long last escaped from the flying turtle, and also the scrutiny of the occupant of the room he was hiding in. A sigh that lasted all of a second-and-a-half – right up until he discovered that there was something else lurking in the wardrobe with him.
Clinging with sucker-toed feet to the left inside wall of the shadowy closet, a strange-looking and very large lizard was staring at him with one swirly, independently rotating eye…
Then a bulbous tongue flicked out like lightning, missing Kyle's tensed-up body by a hairsbreadth!
Bzzzz-bonk! Bzzzz-bonk! Bzzzz-bonk!
"What on earth is that loud buzzing and banging noise, Leon?" the skinny girl called out, staring back over her right shoulder at the commotion behind her. Then Ema's eyes lit up and her mouth dropped open with astonishment as she spotted Kyle caroming off the walls and ceiling of her closet like a yellow and black marble, desperately searching for a way out of his predicament that didn't involve him passing within striking distance of the lethal sticky tongue of her most unusual pet.
"Wow! What a huge hornet! I should catch it, and you can have it for dinner tonight, Leon," the fifteen-year-old Tokyo U hopeful exclaimed, her right hand grasping for the handle of her butterfly net as she jumped up from her study desk in eager anticipation of the hunt. "Hop back a bit, and I'll get it for you!"
As the excited teen's mesh net swished past alarmingly close to his hurtling body, Kyle saw his chance to vamoose. Ducking between the girl's right arm and her body, the freaked-out suzumebachi used her as a shield between himself and the highly dangerous insect eater on the opposing wall.
"Darn it, it's getting away! Sorry, Leon, I blew it."
"What in the hell is a chameleon doing here in this place?" Kyle yelled out as he fled out of the room like a flying sweat ball. "This is Japan, not Madagascar! What am I – cursed?"
Unfortunately for Kyle, as he bolted back into the hallway, he flew straight into the path of Tama-chan, whom had circled back to search for him. Letting out another squawk at the most unwelcome sight of his flying nemesis, the agitated hornet pulled off a high-gee, ninety-degree 'L' turn in mid-air and powered off down the corridor once more, this time directly towards the lobby and reception.
"WAAAAH! I'M CURSED!"
As he whizzed like a black and yellow bullet along the labyrinth of hallways, Tama-chan swooping and spiralling along in his wake, Kyle desperately searched for some narrow gap or opening that he could thread at high speed, an escape hole small enough that his relentless pursuer couldn't fit through.
And at last, in the entrance hall, he found one. Squeezing through the tiny space between the slightly ajar, left-side main door and its closed twin, Kyle then sped off across the courtyard and down the stone staircase, intending to put as much distance between himself and the house of horrors behind him as he possibly could.
It was still a scorcher of a day out here under the blazing late afternoon sun, Kyle realized as he continued his headlong flight. But this was still nowhere near as hot as it had been for him inside the man-made mountain he had just escaped from – in more ways than one!
Once he had reached the base of the stone staircase without any further sign of pursuit by the flying turtle, such was his relief at having seemingly gotten clean away, Kyle forgot his usual caution and continued his rapid retreat out onto the two-way road.
"Phew! Made it," he panted, doing another right-angled turn and speeding off down the long ribbon of tarmac, at a height of less than two meters above its smooth, hot surface. "That was a close one! No, two! No – three!"
Now that he was safe once again, the giant hornet's mind quickly turned to thoughts of revenge on the human inhabitants of the mountainous building he had just escaped from, for what they had done to his fellow hornets, specifically his buddy, Zzzpthzzith. So obsessed did Kyle then become with plotting the downfall of the evil giants within their artificial, wooden mountain, he instinctively continued to drone off on autopilot down the center of the right-side lane of the road, without sparing even a thought as to the perils of doing so.
"This den of iniquity needs to be destroyed," Kyle buzzed out angrily in Hornetese as he sped around a sharp bend in the road, a few hundred meters from where he had first flown onto it. "I'll summon reinforcements from every hornet colony for kilometers around, and then we'll all go back there and-!"
And, unfortunately for Kyle, that was when his plan for revenge came to a sudden, sticky and permanent end.
At the exact same time as the panicky Kyle was fleeing from the Hinata Apartments, Noriyasu Seta was driving in his van up the very same road that the hornet had just turned onto. The lanky archeologist was on his way to pay that selfsame place a quick visit.
It was also a surprise visit. In more ways than one. For Seta had with him a special present for a certain pair of recently married friends. A gift that he was absolutely positive that they would be more than delighted to receive from him.
"Ah-heh-heh! I can't wait to see the smile on the part-timer's face when I tell him I found his Registration of Marriage Form in the back of my van, and that I've just filed it for him at the Registry office," Seta chuckled out loud as he actually speeded up, instead of slowing down, to take the corner he could see coming up ahead of him. "And it was even more lucky for Keitaro and Naru that when the municipal office clerks issued their Kon-in-Todoki marriage form, they accidentally postdated it to one whole month after their wedding actually took place! I'm sure that those kids will be over the moon that their marriage really is a legal one, now."
"Hmmm? I wonder if the happy couple have even realized yet that they didn't file the - yikes?"
"Damn!" Seta remarked, staring at the large, green splatter spot on his windshield, which was all that remained of a huge, unwary hornet that had blundered directly into the path of his hurtling van. "Right in the center of my vision, too. For some strange reason they always seem to hit right there, never in a spot that won't affect your driving. I best switch on the wipers – whaow?"
Seta had only been distracted from his driving for a couple of seconds, but that was all the time that it took for disaster to strike – as it so often did when he was behind the wheel.
As his battered van smashed through the roadside barrier on the corner and sailed off into the air, the startled archaeologist only had one thing to say about this latest in a long line of sticky situations that he now found himself in.
"Well, this sure sucks, doesn't it? It looks like I might not be delivering the good news to Keitaro and Naru, after all!"
If you do want to find out just how Kitsune and Motoko got together last chapter, then you're in 'M' rated luck. Be sure to read the special one-shot, spin-off story, titled, 'Love Hina: Flight of the Hornet - The Seduction'. It's up right now.
Uh-oh! It looks like Keitaro and Naru really are still married, doesn't it? So what happens next?
Be sure to catch the follow on story to this one, titled, 'Love Hina: Flight of the Hornet - The Aftermath'. I'll post the first chapter of this definitely'M' rated, five-chapter story on my next update.