Disclaimer: Love Hina and all characters and concepts are the property of Ken Akamatsu.
A/N: oh, and I refer to Tokyo University as Toudai, because Tokyo U doesn't sound right to me and I first read the manga and that's the true Love Hina to me.
Once again I was flying.
Naru had decided to go for altitude instead of distance this time, so at least there wouldn't be much of a walk back, at least she was being considerate enough to not make me late tonight to our own date. This brought a smile to my face, she might not be able to control her temper just yet but at least she's gained enough control to not make me walk all the way across town. This was an obvious sign that those meditation sessions with Motoko that Naru's anger management specialist suggested were working for her. I didn't mind the trips into the air all that much anymore, my training in my family's martial arts (and Seta convincing me to start up again after all these years when we were in the US) made it so the pain wasn't as bad as it used to be, and I knew that every time Naru launches me into Low-Earth-Orbit she feels so guilty that she'll be a little more affectionate for while, like holding onto my arm a little tighter when we walk somewhere together.
It looked like I might be in-flight for a while so I decided to use the opportunity to finish up working out the details for a few hours from now when the girls and I would be going to the fair.
I need to finish that talk with Shinobu when we get back. I'm still amazed that she took my basically dumping her so well, but I had to just come out and tell her that we can't be together because we're too far apart in age, but that I'll always love her in a different way and not even her hating my guts would ever change that. This made her hug me while tears of joy sprung from her little eyes.
Unfortunately, this is when Naru walked in. She knew I was planning on having this talk with Shinobu and beforehand told me that if I made her cry she would send me hurtling for the next week. She mistook Shinobu's joy for sorrow and sent me flying. By now, Shinobu has probably explained what was really going on and Naru is waiting by my landing point to make sure I can still go out tonight.
"Oh good, I've almost landed."
I swear, it feels like I was in the air for a half hour, the record flight time is only ten.
I'm relieved I can get on with my day, until I notice that I don't see Naru anywhere. Maybe she hit me so high she couldn't tell where I would land and decided to wait in the common room for me. Then I notice Hinata City looks different then when I left the ground.
Oh well, whatever, I'm probably just imagining things.
I finally come down, but because I was distracted I screw up the landing and hit the ground hard then pass out.
"Kei-kun. Kei-kun, are you alright?" I hear a voice call out so I crack open my eyes to see who it is, and if I have to make up a story about why I was flying through the air and lying in a crater.
"Huh-wha, Mustsumi?" Oh, well that makes things easier.
"Yeah, do you remember what happened?"
"Well, I was flying through the air, then I landed really hard."
"That's just about what happened, next time let's not ride the train down the stairs and stay in the grass like Kaa-san said, hehe."
"T-train? What train?" I sit up suddenly and look around to get my bearings.
"The toy train we all just rode down the stairs, silly. When we got to the bottom we all crashed."
"Ya, Kei-kun. Are you sure you're okay?" a small voice asks me from behind so I turn around to see who it was.
When I turn around I see the love of my life, or at least the love of my life back when she was about two years old.
"Naru, is that you?"
"Of course it is Kei-kun. Mu-chan, I think Kei-kun might have hit his head really hard." It was about then that I noticed that Mutsumi had de-aged about seventeen years as well. You might be asking 'it took you that long to notice?'; well I was unconscious jerk so leave me the hell alone.
"Maybe you're right Na-chan, stay here with him in case something bad happens, I'm going to find an adult."
While Mutsumi, or Mu-chan as I called her at five-years-old, went off to get help, I thought that if Mutsumi and Naru are the age when all three of us just met the first time, maybe I was five-years-old again too. So, I look down and see a yellow T-shirt with a band of red across my chest, blue shorts, and tiny little sneakers. My immediate thought is "Oh, crap. Someone please tell me I'm not gonna have to live through the nightmare of puberty again."
"Naru, can you please tell me what's going on? Did Su experiment with time travel or reversing the effects of aging or something?"
"I don't know what you're talking about Kei-kun. And why are you calling me by my full name, did I do something wrong to make you mad at me? Whatever it is, I'm sorry. Please don't hate me Kei-kun." I see her cute little eyes watering up then her letting 'er rip like a banshee and I'm suddenly reminded of Shinobu running away from me after I've fallen in the springs. "I thought we were going to go to Toudai together and be together forever! You promised you would marry me when we were old enough!"
"Ahhh, wait, no. I'm not mad Na-chan, I didn't mean to make you cry, honest." I did the only two things that came to my mind: give her a hug and hope Naru hadn't yet developed her magic strength. "Please stop crying, Na-chan. When you cry, it makes me sad." I had no idea that Naru was this sensitive as a child, although I guess you could say she's still sensitive, she just reacts in a different way now.
Mutsumi came back with a thirteen-year-old Haruka, who looked both worried and annoyed at the same time, an amazing feat for anyone but my cousin. Haruka bent down and asked us what happened.
"Kei-kun doesn't like me anymore!" Naru sobbed with her head buried in my shoulder.
"Na-chan, I told you I didn't mean it," I looked at Haruka and saw that her expression had shifted slightly more toward annoyed at this point "I swear the only reason I used your full name was because I hit my head and was confused for a second."
Naru sniffed trying to hold in her tears so she could get her next sentence out. "Really?"
"Well, ok. But, I'm still not letting you go until I know you're okay." And she really meant it; she tightened her arms around my neck and I knew I wouldn't be able to pry her off with a crowbar. I noticed the beginnings of her soon to be infamous strength, at least at this time she was using it to comfort and protect me.
"As heart-warming and cute as this little lovers' spat is, I meant what happened to you, Keitaro?"
"I'm not sure, Aunt Haruka."
"Oww, right, sorry Haruka."
"That's too familiar, show respect for your elders."
"That's better. Now, what do you mean you're not sure?"
I was 85% sure Naru's punch had sent me back in time, either that or The Doctor was passing by and she accidentally knocked into the TARDIS as it flew by and I had hitched a ride by accident and the trip through time stream regressed my biological age back about seventeen years, but it wasn't a good idea to go expressing my conclusion. I sure as hell wasn't about to pull a Galileo; I thought it would be a better idea to just be cautious like Newton. In the mean time, I'm just gonna fake a head injury and enjoy this chance to relive my childhood, especially the part where Naru acts like she'd die if I ever left her side and isn't jealous when I spend time with Mutsumi.
"I think Kei-kun hit his head when we fell when the train hit the bottom of the stairs," Mutsumi offered helpfully.
Haruka started checking my head to make sure I wasn't bleeding or bruising, Naru holding onto me didn't make it easier for her.
"Well, I don't see anything wrong but maybe we should take you to Natsumi-san just to make sure, she has some first-aid training."
"That's okay, Nee-san, I don't think I hit my head that hard."
"Keitaro, you're 5, and I'd hate to have to be the one to tell you this but your opinion doesn't matter much. Now come on, if you did hurt your head, my harisen probably didn't help things so let's hurry."
I adjusted Naru so I could carry her with me since technically, we hadn't come to the conclusion that I was okay, yet.
Natsumi, Mutsumi's mom, gave me a once over and made sure I was okay, which once again probably wasn't easy with Naru hanging onto me like a baby gorilla, not that I minded having the future love of my life who at present was as cute as a button hang onto me so vehemently, plus she seemed to be very calm in my arms. I had to check to make sure Naru hadn't fallen asleep about three times she was so still.
After Natsumi finished examining me, "he might have a bump later on but he'll be fine…that means you can let go now Naru-chan." Natsumi joked.
"I don't wanna, Kei-kun is comfy and when he holds me I feels like I did before I got sick," Naru cutely complained.
"Na-chan, his arms will eventually get tired you know," Mutsumi countered.
"Fine then, Kei-kun I'm riding on your back now, okay." I knew this was more of a 'just so you know' statement than a request so I didn't say anything.
"Alright, Naru-chan but you have to get off when it's time to go to the Clan Alliance meeting so Keitaro can get ready and you can get back on when he's gotten dressed as long as your parents are okay with you going to the meeting, okay," Haruka informed the little devil in training.
"Okay Haruka-chan; don't worry Kei-kun, I'll give 'em THE STARE so they let me go with you."
"Okay, Na-chan. Let me know if you get tired and we'll take a break."
I know I barely remember this time of my life, but I really don't remember any Clan Alliance. I guess it must have been because around this time, I was supposed to be the next Clan Head of the Urashima but gave it and the Family Martial Arts style up a few years from then to pursue my studies. The entire family, including clan members I had never even met before, kept trying to convince me that I could do all three but I was worried I would be too distracted to divide my time correctly.
About an hour later.
I had to get ready for the Allied Clans meeting, I had to keep reminding myself that I should act bored and restless when I got there to avoid suspicion. Naru got her parents' permission to come to the meeting as long as she promised to behave herself, so Mutsumi let Naru borrow one of her formal kimono so she wouldn't feel embarrassed for being a little underdressed for the occasion.
At the meeting, Naru, Mutsumi, and I were lead to an area where all the other Clan Heirs were already gathered, luckily this meant I didn't have to pretend to be bored and I could just act friendly to everyone. We introduced ourselves to some of the other future Clan Heads and when someone mentioned that the Aoyamas were a part of the Alliance I thought that maybe I could make friends with Motoko and hopefully circumvent her misanthropy. Unfortunately, Tsuruko was the Aoyama Clan Heir at this point and Motoko was too young to have come even if she wasn't, I calculated that she was about a year old at that point. But that didn't mean that down the road I couldn't encourage the ten-year-old Tsuruko to develop a better relationship with her sister than she had in my past to avoid the aforementioned misanthropy.
I spotted my prey and led Mutsumi and carried Naru with me over to her to introduce ourselves.
"Hello, I'm Keitaro Urashima, this is my friend Mutsumi Otohime, and this adorable little monster on my back is Naru Narusegawa…"
"His future wife." Naru proudly interrupted me.
I assumed this meant that Mutsumi and Naru had already had their game of rock-paper-scissors to determine who got the right to my heart, and Mutsumi had thrown the game like in the original timeline.
I couldn't help letting my face burst into a grin. It's always nice to hear your significant other's voice ring with pride in the fact that you've found each other, makes you feel like telling them how much they mean to you as well.
"I am Tsuruko Aoyama. I must say, betrothed at such a young age, I thought the Urashima didn't believe in arranged marriages, and I don't think I've heard of your Clan before Narusegawa-san" Tsuruko remarked with her, apparently even then, usual formal speech.
"Ara, Kei-kun and Na-chan aren't formally engaged. They've just promised to marry each other when they get older, and Na-chan doesn't actually have a clan" Mutsumi clarified for the future Samurai mistress.
"I see, and why are you carrying her on your back Urashima-san?"
"I accidentally made Na-chan cry today and she latched onto me when I was apologizing then didn't want to let go, I don't mind though. And please, I insist you call me Keitaro, after all we'll probably be seeing each other a lot over the years."
"Very well Keitaro-san, you may call me by my first name as well."
After the meeting.
I didn't know how long I was stuck here or if this was just a trauma-induce coma dream, but I figured that if I really was sent back in time by my feisty fiancé I might as well start screwing with stuff to make life more awesome. Cause what the hell, would any of you really not interfere with history if given the chance? Y'know, I think Kitsune might be rubbing off on me.
A/N: the changes start next chapter but just to whet your appetites, Keitaro does something to ensure that all the Hinata girls have happy love lives in the future but I won't say how. And wait till you see exactly what combination of weird phenomenon led to Keitaro's walkabout through time.