A/N: So Love Hina isn't something I usually write for but this was something I did a while ago for a friend. When it comes to pairings and all that, I'm actually quite neutral with this series but it's always interesting to try something new.
The roof of the Hinata apartment was peaceful that night. A young girl around the age of thirteen sat lost in thought as she looked out over the sleeping city. Swinging her legs gently over the side of the roof, she turned towards the star-filled sky, her large blue eyes fixing upon the brightest star she could see. Tomorrow would be Valentine's day, the most romantic day of the year; the best day to finally confess how she felt to a certain someone. But it was no good. How could he ever want her when he had so many other girls to choose from? Putting aside her own feelings, she focused on the star.
"I wish for Sempai to find someone special to share Valentine's day with, someone who will make him truly happy."
"Shinobu!" She heard Naru's voice calling from inside. "Where are you?"
"Coming Naru!" The girl replied, taking one last look at the star before heading in for the night.
The next morning, Shinobu decided to take a walk into town. Wearing a pale yellow dress she had bought a few days ago, she strolled into the main shopping mall where rows of colourful shops greeted her. Passing some that didn't interest her, she came across one she had never seen there before. The shop window was full of bright pink and red items. Hearts, flowers, candies, teddy bears, everything anyone could possibly want to celebrate Valentine's day. She paused when she thought of that word and realised that the shop must have been there especially for today. About to carry on walking, she stopped when something caught her eye.
A small card was placed right in the centre of the display. It had a simple design of a pink background with a large red heart in the middle. Inside the heart, two bears stood hugging each other, oblivious to the world around them.
"Oh, how cute," the girl smiled, pressing a hand up against the cool glass of the window. "I wonder if… no I couldn't-"
Just as she was about to carry on walking, something flew out of nowhere and attached itself to her face.
"Kyaaah!" The startled girl screamed, trying to throw whatever it was from her face.
"Hi Shinobu!" Su appeared not far behind the flying object. "Do you like my latest version of Mecha-Tama?"
"Is it supposed to cling to my face?" Shinobu asked from beneath the robotic creature.
"Hmm, no… let me get it off," The blonde girl took out a small remote and started pressing random buttons. "One of these should fix it!"
"What are- Aaah!" Shinobu flailed her arms in the air as the metal creature exploded in her face.
"There! All fixed!" Su grinned, picking up the remaining pieces of her newest creation. "What are you doing here anyway Shinobu?"
"N-nothing!" Shinobu brushed herself off, hoping Su wouldn't ask too many questions.
"Aw come on, you can't hide anything from me. You were looking in this window," Su pressed her face up against the glass. "Ooh, those pink things look pretty, what are they for?"
"Valentine's Day of course," Shinobu explained.
"Valentine's Day? Sounds yummy."
"You can't eat it!"
"Are you sure? Let's go inside and see!" Su grabbed Shinobu's arm and dragged her into the shop.
Meanwhile, at the back of the shop, two older girls were wandering amongst the clothe stands, hoping to find some cheap Valentine's bargains.
"Hmm, I like the look of these," One of the girls said, taking a handful of bottles and putting them in a basket. "Oh and I'll take these too, can't get enough of the good stuff!" Filling up her basket, she turned to her friend who was examining some boxes of chocolates on a lower shelf. "What ya lookin' at Naru?"
"Uh, nothing Kitsune," The girl known as Naru sent her friend a smile before continuing to browse.
"That don't look like nothing to me," Kitsune knelt down to get a better look. "Chocolate? Who's the special someone?" She smirked.
Standing for a moment, Naru almost fainted when she saw Shinobu and Su entering the store. Grabbing Kitsune roughly by the arm, she pulled her into a nearby clothes rack.
"Hey, what're you doin!" Kitsune yelled, almost dropping her precious alcohol.
"Shh!" Naru shoved her hand over the other girl's mouth. "I don't want them to see us in here!"
"Why not? Not like it's a crime to buy stuff in a shop," Kitsune mumbled through Naru's hand. "Now, going into a shop and not buying stuff is the crime!"
"Because it's no one's business!" The brown-haired girl hissed.
"What's no one's business?" Su's head popped into the clothes rack, scaring the wits out of both Naru and Kitsune.
"Nothing! We were just leaving, right Kitsune?"
"We wer-?" Whoa!" Kitsune yelped as Naru dragged her towards the counter. Throwing down some money, she insisted they keep the change before dashing out of the shop door.
"Use the change to pay for mine!" Kitsune grinned, strolling past the counter with her free alcohol courtesy of Naru,
I didn't want them to see it before I get a chance to give it to him, Naru took out a similar card to the one Shinobu had been looking at in the shop window. Sighing, she hoped she could get home before anyone else they knew bumped into them.
Back in the shop, Shinobu was still admiring the card in the window, debating with herself whether it was worth buying or not.
"That's one of the most popular cards we have this year, it's quite a cute one too," The shop assistant smiled at her. "Would you like to buy one?"
"Um, I don't know-"
"Show that special someone how you feel."
Deciding today could be her only chance, Shinobu nodded.
"Okay, I'll take it."
"And I'll take these!" Su appeared behind her with a mountain of chocolate boxes.
"How can you afford all of those Su?" Shinobu asked, taking the small bag her card was in.
"Afford them? I thought they were free. Isn't today all about giving?" The girl grinned causing Shinobu to shake her head in amusement.
A few minutes after the girls had left the shop, Keitaro found himself being lured into it by the colourful gifts and cards on display. Looking around for anything that stood out, his eyes fell on the little card in the window.
Today could be the day I tell her how I really feel. He thought to himself. Moving to get a closer look at the card, he decided he was going to buy it.
"I'd like that card over there please," He pointed to the one he wanted.
"Here you go sir," The assistant handed him the card. "This card is a very popular one indeed."
"Really?" Keitaro blinked.
"I hope whoever you give it to likes it."
"Thanks," The young man smiled before heading home.
Taking the card out of its bag, Shinobu sat on the floor in her room, admiring the cute design on the front. Opening it up, she found a small picture of the bears sat together on a rooftop, enjoying the view of whatever was below.
"Now I need to think about what I'm going to write in here," she said quietly, not sure what to put. She didn't want to write too much since she didn't want to seem too forward, but she also didn't want to come across as if she didn't really care about what was written there. Hovering her pen over the card, she let her heart do the writing.
To you my special one.
This card may not be much but it is a token of how I feel for you. No matter what happens, I want you to know that I'll always be thinking of you.
It wasn't perfect but she was satisfied with how it looked. Placing the card safely into her pocket, she got up to go to the kitchen. It was time to make the afternoon meal and she had an idea of what she wanted to do.
Up in Naru's room, she too was putting the finishing touches to her card. Slipping it into the light pink envelope that had come with it, she placed it in her jacket pocket and prepared to go outside for some fresh air. It was such a nice day, it seemed a shame to be inside too long.
Walking through the living room, she was surprised to find it so quiet. Usually she would at least see Kitsune lounging on the couch or Su creating another of her crazy inventions. Hearing screams coming from outside, she headed towards the front door and got a shock when a large water balloon soared in her direction, hitting her right in the face.
"New target sighted!" Su exclaimed, aiming her water balloon cannon at Naru.
"Hey, what do you think you're doing!" The soaking girl yelled. "At least wait until I have ammo too!" She laughed, taking off her jacket to make sure it didn't get wet. Grabbing a handful of water balloons from the nearby bucket, she pelted them at the younger girl who grinned and fired up another barrage with her cannon.
"incoming!" Kitsune appeared from her hiding spot in the bushes, launching a balloon at both unsuspecting girls.
"What's all the noise out here?" A dark-haired girl asked, making her way out of the apartment with a wooden sword held out ready in case of attack. Seeing a balloon headed her way, she swiftly sliced it in half with her sword, not interested in taking part in such nonsense. "You shouldn't play around here, someone could get hurt."
"Aw, lighten up Motoko, we were just havin' some fun," Kitsune grinned, drying herself off with a towel.
Hearing footsteps coming up the path, the group of girls turned to see Keitaro approaching in the distance.
"Keitaro sighted!" Su shouted. "Initiate Mega Blaster Cannon!" Pressing a different button, she aimed the cannon towards Keitaro.
"Su, what're you doing!" Naru tried to stop the young girl but it was no good.
"Hey, how is everyo- Aaaaahh!"
A mighty river of water gushed out of the cannon, blasting into Keitaro and sending him hurtling into the sky.
"Direct hit!" Su punched the air, happy her invention was working.
"You people will never learn," Motoko sighed, turning back into the apartment to carry on with her training.
After making his way into the apartment, Keitaro trudged through the rooms, his clothes dripping wet. Peering into the kitchen, he saw Shinobu busily preparing ingredients to make food for the evening.
"Hey Shinobu, what're you making?"
"Hmm? Oh, hello Sempai," She smiled, happy to see him, until she turned around and saw the state he was in. "Sempai! What happened to you?"
"It's nothing," Keitaro grinned. "Just some water really, I was on my way to dry off but wanted to say hi to you first. Something smells good," He said, commenting on whatever was already in the oven.
"it's nothing special,"
"Are you kidding? Everything you make tastes amazing," he said. "I'm going to go clean up before it's ready. Can't wait to try it!"
"Sempai…" Shinobu whispered after he left, trying and failing not to blush at his compliments. Placing a hand over the pocket where the card was, she knew she wanted to give it to him soon. But when? She hadn't worked that out yet.
Grabbing a change of clothes in his room, Keitaro set to work on writing his card. When he had finished, he sealed it into the envelope and took a deep breath. It was time to give it to her. All of those times he had almost told her were in the past now, today would be the day and he had a good feeling about it. Putting the card in his pocket, he took one last look at his room before making his way up to hers.
Arriving at her door, he noticed it was wide open so maybe she wasn't inside.
I could just leave the card on her bed and talk to her later, He thought.
Stepping into the room, he cautiously looked around, hoping he wasn't disturbing her from studying or whatever she was doing if she was in there. Seeing the room was empty, he started to walk towards the bed but wasn't paying attention to where he was walking. Tripping up on the mat nearest the door, he lost his balance and went tumbling towards the floor. As he did so, his trousers caught a cupboard handle and ended up being pulled down as he fell. Landing with a thud on Naru;s bed, he groaned in dismay.
Entering her room seconds after Keitaro, Naru screamed when she saw him on her bed, half naked!
"What do you think you're doing, you pervert!" She yelled.
"No wait, I can explain!" Keitaro whimpered, knowing what was coming next.
"You come into my room and lay on my bed half naked and you think I care what you have to say!" Naru fumed. Grabbing him by the back of his shirt, she span him around harshly before punching him in the face which sent him flying out of the room.
Hitting the wall with a crash, he leapt up before she could get a hold of him again and ran for his life.
"You better run, because when I get hold of you you'll wish you'd never been born!"
Storming back into her room, Naru took out the card and tore it in two.
What was I thinking? He's such a creep!
Watching the pieces of the card flutter to the floor, she closed her eyes tightly, trying to hold back the tears.
"I'm not done with him yet!"
Giving her sword a vertical swing, Motoko paused when she heard someone running up to the roof. Seeing a frightened Keitaro heading towards her, she noticed a pink envelope sticking out of his pocket. He looked anxious, as if he was about to give someone something. Could that card be for her? No! Of course not. He knew she didn't believe in such days as Valentine's Day, a silly day that made sensible people act like love-struck idiots.
"Motoko, you have to help me," Keitaro panted, running behind her.
"What's the problem now?" She asked, wondering why this guy was such a wimp.
"Don't think you can hide up here Keitaro!" Naru's voice echoed across the apartment as she emerged from inside.
"Oh, I see," Motoko smirked. "You got yourself into this mess Keitaro so you can get yourself out of it." Stepping aside, she opened the way for Naru to get to him.
"Listen Naru, if you'll just let me explain," Keitaro said calmly.
"I came to tell you to stay out of my room when I'm not in there," Naru informed him, sounding calmer than she had done a few minutes ago.
"Ok, I'm sorry, it won't happen again, I promise." Keitaro mentally sighed, glad she had calmed down a little.
"And to give you this," She threw her arm back before punching him so hard that it sent him shooting into the sky. "There, I feel better already."
Landing with a splash in the hot springs behind the apartment, the young man lay helplessly in the warm water, wondering where he had gone so wrong.
Opening the door to the hot springs, Shinobu gasped when she saw Keitaro lying motionless in the water.
"Oh, Sempai! Are you ok?" She rushed over to him, hoping he wasn't badly hurt.
"I'm... fine," Keitaro croaked out. "I should be used to this by now."
"I came to tell everyone that food will be ready soon, but I can save you some if you want to go and rest for a bit."
"No, I'll be alright," Keitaro sat up and rubbed the back of his head. "I'm not going to miss some of your great cooking." He gave her a smile that made her feel all warm inside.
Returning to the kitchen when she was sure Keitaro was ok, Shinobu took out the final piece of the meal. It was a large heart-shaped sponge she'd been working on most of the afternoon. Placing it on the counter, she carefully began to add some chocolate icing which would finish it off perfectly. Taking out a pink-coloured icing, she slowly started to write the words 'Happy Valentine's Day' on the cake.
"There, all done. I hope everyone enjoys it," she stood back to look at the cake. "Now, I should start taking things to the dining table."
By the time she had sorted out everyone's places and carried all of the food to the dining table, the cake had had time to cool and the icing had set nicely. Putting the cake in the centre of the table, she smiled to herself, proud of how things had turned out.
"Dinner's ready everyone!" She called through the house.
Waiting a few minutes, she frowned, wondering why no one had come running. Usually when they heard her yell that, everyone would be in the room within seconds.
"I'll have to go look for them," she glanced at the table before wandering off to find the others.
However, one person had heard her calling and was waiting in the shadows for the time to eat.
"This all looks so yummy!" Su chirped, appearing from the shadows and bouncing up and down in front of the table. "I hope they don't keep me waiting too long, I'm so hungry."
"Naru! Dinner is ready!" Shinobu knocked at Naru's door but there was no answer. "I guess she's not hungry," the younger girl sighed.
Within the room, Naru sat on her bed staring at the ceiling. She wasn't in the mood to be in the same room as Keitaro, even if she did feel bad for letting down Shinobu after she'd gone to so much trouble to make them all a nice meal.
Moving onto Kitsune's room, Shinobu peeked through the slightly open door to see the young woman passed out on the floor, bottles of alcohol littered around her. Figuring Kitsune would not be in any fit state to have food, she sighed and made her way to find anyone else she could.
Sitting in his room, Keitaro stared at the card, a look of disappointment on his face. He had been so sure today would be the day but his clumsiness had let him down once again and now Naru would probably not talk to him for the rest of the week.
I'm such an idiot, what was I thinking going in there like that? He sighed. Maybe Naru and I aren't meant to be after all, maybe this card is meant for someone else…
Shinobu's voice brought him out of his thoughts.
"Hey Shinobu, did you need something?" He asked, slipping the card into a pocket before she noticed it.
"I just wanted to let you know that food is ready," she sent him a weak smile, hoping he wouldn't turn her down like everyone else seemed to be doing that afternoon.
"Great, I'll be there in a minute," he returned the smile.
Ten minutes later, Shinobu returned to the table with only Keitaro and Motoko following. She had given up looking for anyone else and decided one or two people were better than no one.
"Wow, this all looks so good," Keitaro commented as he entered the room.
"There you are, can we eat now?" Su pouted, already sitting at the table ready to start.
"Yeah, seems a shame to let it wait any longer," Keitaro moved around the table. Just as he was about to sit down, he didn't notice where he was walking.
Something cracked beneath his foot.
"Huh?" He looked down to see a small remote.
Before anyone had time to work out what was happening, a whirring sound echoed throughout the house as an army of tiny Mecha-Tamas zoomed into the room, crashing into anything they came into contact with.
"Get these things away from me!" Motoko yelled, slashing wildly at the nearest metal turtles.
Ducking from a rogue turtle, Keitaro got a shock when a group of them appeared behind him and slammed right into his body. Tumbling backwards, he crashed into the table sending various plates and bowls flying all over the room.
"Oh please, not the cake!" Shinobu screamed, but it was too late. A single turtle had flown right into the centre of the cake, its back legs poking out of the top. They watched in silence as the tiny robot wiggled about, desperately trying to escape its edible prison.
Leaping from the table, Keitaro was about to try and pull the thing out when there was a high-pitched screeching noise from the robot before it exploded. Bits of cake and chocolate splattered everywhere, covering the table, walls and even the ceiling.
Scrambling through the mess, Su was able to grab hold of the crushed remote where she started taking the thing apart. Tweaking a few of the wires, she grinned when the turtles finally stopped whizzing around the room, landing neatly in the places they had been causing havoc.
The meal had been ruined.
Pushing through the mass of smashed plates and wasted food, Shinobu ran out of the room, tears streaming from her eyes as she tried to put as much distance between herself and everyone else.
"Shinobu!" Keitaro started to go after her but then realised the room was still in a mess and it would be best to let her cool off first. Taking a seat by the table, he gave a deep sigh, feeling as if this whole mess was his fault yet again.
"Mmm this is yummy," Su smiled, picking at the pieces of cake left on the table. "Shinobu said we can't eat Valentine's Day but she was wrong."
Later that evening, Shinobu was sat on the roof once again. Noticing the brightest star in the sky, she sighed. Her wish was meant to make sure Sempai had a good day but it hadn't worked out at all. He had been punched, soaked and now more than likely felt like he had accidentally ruined the meal she had spent most of the afternoon making. Taking out the card she had wanted to give him so much, she shook her head realising there would never be a good time to give it to him, and even if she did it's not like he'd feel the same way as her. Placing it back into her pocket, she was about to get up to head in when she heard footsteps coming up to the roof.
"Shinobu?" Keitaro asked. "Is it alright if I come up?"
"Sure," she replied quietly.
"I wanted to apologize for earlier," He sat next to her. "I'm really sorry for ruining the meal you worked so hard on."
"It wasn't your fault."
"Yes, it was. If I wasn't so clumsy and such an idiot, today would have gone a lot better for everyone." Keitaro looked down at the ground below, wondering why it didn't just swallow him whole.
"Sempai…" Shinobu hated to see him so sad.
"Hmm?" He looked up, their eyes meeting for a brief moment, causing Shinobu to give a quick smile.
"I'm sorry your day didn't turn out very good and you didn't find anyone special to spend it with."
Looking at her for a second, he placed a hand over his pocket and started to wonder if... No, he couldn't. It would seem like a cheap excuse to try and cheer her up, or would it? She was the only girl who never abused him, she always had a smile on her face whenever she saw him, she cared about him in ways he hadn't been truly aware of until today.
Wondering what he was thinking, Shinobu wanted to take out the card without any fears and give it to him; to tell him everything she had been feeling over the last few months. But what would it lead to? Him simply smiling and saying that was sweet of her to think of him in that way, even though he didn't feel the same? Perhaps her silence was the best thing she could say right now.
"You know," Keitaro broke the silence. "You're really pretty when you smile."
"You're making me blush," she smiled, still debating with herself whether to give him the card or not.
"And you know what?"
"What?" She gave him a curious look.
"You don't need to be sorry that I didn't have a good day or find anyone special to spend it with, because right here, right now with you makes it all worth it. I want you to always remember how special I think you are." Forgetting the card, Keitaro realised he didn't need a silly piece of card to let someone know how special he thinks they are. All he needed was right there on that rooftop, the serene sounds of the night would do the rest of the talking for him.
Thoughts of giving him the card drifted out of her mind as he said those words to her. It suddenly became clear to Shinobu that she didn't need a card to let him know how she felt, all of her feelings were obvious to anyone who looked at her face whenever she was near him. Shifting a little closer to Keitaro, she rested her head on his shoulder and let the sounds of the night soothe her into a peaceful sleep.
Keitaro had found someone special to spend the day with, and so had she.
Her wish really did come true after all.