Story: Once Again (chapter 7)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 7


Love Hina: Once Again


Splash! With a happy little sigh Kitsune Konno settled into the water, the sandy blonde haired woman relaxing in the hot springs after a long day's work in and around the Hinata Cafe. She was faintly surprised not to see anyone else out here in the water, but she expected that the others would be coming soon.

"And the turtle really flies?" Ami Mizuno said as she emerged from the mists, her short blue hair giving her a boyish look.

Anthy Himemiya chuckled softly, the dusky skinned woman saying, "Yes, it surprised me too." Her violet hair was tied up, a few strands falling into her eyes, and she looked comfortable in her nudity. "Hello Kitsune," she nodded in greeting.

"Yo," Kitsune raised a saucer of sake in greeting, her bottles sitting in a little wooden bucket that floated beside her.

"Hello," Rei Hino said, the black haired girl standing protectively by Ami's side.

"I see you haven't gambled away the cafe's profits yet," Anthy teased gently as she settled in the water, her breasts bobbing gently.

"Oh?" Ami looked startled from where she and Rei were easing into the steaming water.

Kitsune gave Anthy a scolding look, "Don't be giving them ideas, I've mostly given that up."

"And we were quite surprised by that," Motoko said, her long black hair flowing around her, her full breasts hidden behind a modest towel. Oddly she still carried her katana even into the baths, setting it beside her as she shed her towel and sat in the water nearby.

"You all seem to know each other fairly well," Rei noted quietly.

"I've only been here a few months," Anthy sat back, sighing softly in contentment as the heat eased sore muscles. In addition to her fortune telling in town she had helped clean up at the new inn, and she felt pretty tired. "But I understand Motoko and Kitsune are full time residents."

"Well, I was until I moved over to the cafe full time," Kitsune corrected.

"Kitsune and I," Motoko nodded, "Su, Mutsumi and Shinobu have all lived here for awhile. Ema moved in recently, and Kanako lived here for awhile, left, and then came back."

"There's a very," Ami gave them all a thoughtful look, "family like feel to this women's dorm, it's very pleasant."

Kitsune laughed softly, "Somehow I can't quite see any of us as father figures."

"Oh I don't know," Anthy stretched gracefully, "Motoko comes across as quite manly."

"What!" Motoko blurted, blushing.

"That might have been a bit much," Rei noted, seeing the look on Motoko's face. Oddly Kitsune looked almost as upset as her, but with more of a... jealous expression.

"No insult intended," Anthy said to them gently, "in fact you remind me of someone I once liked... a great deal."

Motoko relaxed a bit at that, "Of course, I understand." A little smile quirked her lips, "It seems I still have some issues with my femininity."

Oddly Kitsune still had a faintly antagonistic look on her face as she studied Anthy. "So," she waved her sake bottle for emphasis, "it was a girl you liked?"

"Kitsune," Shinobu scolded as the black haired young woman said as she emerged from the mists, Su and Ema behind her. Her long black hair swirled as she hit the water, sliding beneath the steaming fluid.

Kitsune subsided a bit, "All right, that might have been a bit much."

"It was a woman," Anthy surprised them by saying, "her name is Tenjou Utena."

Su looked at Anthy eagerly, the dusky skinned blonde leaning forward a bit. "So were you dating?" she asked.

Anthy smiled slightly, "Something like that, yes."

"And.. you two are separated?" Ema asked, the youngest girl's antenna like strands of hair bouncing a bit.

"Yes, we went out separate ways several years ago," Anthy said, aware that the whole group of women were watching her intently. With a sigh she added, "We left things between us frustratingly unresolved... and I want to see her again."

Kitsune and Motoko exchanged a silent look of communication then Kitsune asked, "You want some help?"

"I bet I could come up with something," Su nodded.

Timidly Ema continued, "I could start a net search, maybe..."

"You'd do that for me?" Anthy said, feeling just a bit surprised.

Shinobu smiled back, "What are friends for?"

"Thank you," Anthy smiled, reaching up to wipe at her eyes.

With a surprising degree of tact Su changed the subject. "I saw someone with Kanako," she said, "do you think we might have a new resident?"

Earlier that day Kanako Urashima lead a woman along the hall, the black haired young woman looking like a shadow in her all black clothes. "Welcome to our dorm, Miss Masaki," she said as she lead her to the manager's room.

Tennyo Masaki wore a comfortable off-gray skirt and white blouse, looking much like a active business woman. "Thank you," she said, "it looks like a comfortable place."

"We like to think so," Kanako opened the door and they went inside, her pet cat leaping up to her shoulder with the ease of long practice.

"So who's the new blood?' Kuro the black cat asked Kanako, peering at Tennyo curiously from his usual perch.

"Hush," Kanako scolded as she reached up to scratch behind his ears.

Tennyo seemed quite unfazed by a talking cat, calmly taking her seat by the low table with a unusual degree of grace. "The place looks fine for my needs," she said gravely then flashed a smile, "and the rent is cheap."

"I was surprised a older woman wanted to move here," Kanako noted, though in truth it was hard to guess her age. On one hand she seemed mature, coming across like a dignified older lady, but her body seemed to glow with youth.

"I only recently returned to Japan," Tennyo explained, "after living abroad and gaining my engineering degree. I wanted to live away from my family, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable enough to live on my own."

"And the dorm will be a nice middle ground," Kanako nodded slightly.

"Exactly," Tennyo smiled.

Kanako gracefully poured them both some tea. "And you mentioned that you're trained as an engineer?" she asked curiously.

Tennyo looked faintly amused by the shameless probing. "Yes I am," she nodded, "I've made arrangements with a firm to work from home. I'll be using my laptop and modem mostly, with occasional visits to the office."

They shared their tea, talking about minor things for a few more minutes. "If this dorm suits you," Kanako said gravely, "I can have the papers ready for you to sign today."

"You think I'm suitable, then?" Tennyo asked teasingly.

"Very much so," Kanako answered calmly.

"Then yes, I'd like to become a resident," Tennyo nodded.

To be continued...

Notes: Tennyo Masaki is the big sister of Tenchi Masaki of Tenchi Muyo, a new character introduced in the latest OVAs. In her case "living abroad" means outer space, having spent time on Jurai and several other worlds.

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