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Title: For Old Times’ Sake
Fandom: Love Hina
Prompt: anniversary
Medium: fic
Word Count: 2,426
Notes: Takes place after the series, so…yeah, spoilers for the ending of the manga. Also, I haven’t read Love Hina in ages, so sorry for any accidental OOCness or canon breaking/screw-ups. All characters belong to Ken Akamatsu and I have no ownership over them.
Bingo Card: Here ♥

Keitaro is a little worried when his wife asks him if he knows what day it is.

“Keitaro,” Naru gently whispered his name, as she shook him.

He stirred and mumbled, immediately turning away from her. He reminded her of a small child, being awoken for school—or even when they attended university together, and how he was always waking up late in the mornings. Though not all of their memories of Tokyo U were pleasant ones, she couldn’t help but smile, thinking back on it. She shook him again, grinning a bit as he resisted.


“Mmm. Five more minutes…” he mumbled, pulling the comforter they shared over his head.

She sat up now, sighing as she stared at him, in a way that said ‘What am I going to do with you?’ She shook her head and even folded her arms, although she knew his eyes were not open for him to see it.

“Do you know what today is, Keitaro?”

Naru ignored his protests and his resistance, and in the end, she even pulled the comforter off him in what was supposed to be a playful manner—though she admitted that she was a bit rough with him, even after all this time. Even after they had long been declared husband and wife. Old habits, it seemed, truly did die hard. Keitaro was used to it by now, however, as the lack of the comforter didn’t seem to affect him much, and at first, he didn’t even react at all. But Naru could tell he was awake.

Somehow, she could always tell.

Suddenly, Keitaro turned around to face her, his eyes wide open now, and though he had just awoken, he looked…alarmed. She could probably take a fairly accurate guess as to all the thoughts that were likely running around in his head—just based on his face, what she had said, and their past history. Did I forget something important? Is it her birthday? Is it Valentine’s Day? Is it their anniversary? Had it been one year already, since their wedding?!

“I…erm,” he stammered. He sat up as well, stroking his chin as he looked over to the calendar they had posted on their wall. He admittedly couldn’t see worth anything without his glasses, but as far as he could tell, there was no date circled, no special marking anywhere on the day’s date…did she do it on purpose? Was she testing him? Was she about to get very angry at him? “I…”

Naru laughed, as she stood up and walked over to their wardrobe. She pulled out the first shirt and pair of pants that seemed to match, and tossed it over to him, almost hitting him in the face.

“Come on. Get dressed,” she urged him. “Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll remember.”

He blinked a couple times and rubbed his eyes, staring at her in complete bafflement. He decided to take her word for it however, and put on his glasses—stretching and yawning, as he waited for something, anything to hit him. He grabbed the clothes she’d thrown at him and took it into the bathroom with him to change, as he continued to ponder. Naru was probably laughing at him now, he decided; yes, most definitely laughing.

When he stepped out of the bathroom several moments later, he found that Naru had not only changed, but was now waiting for him. This baffled him, since it was usually the other way around, with him waiting for her. Just how much time had he wasted in there anyway? He had to wonder. Though she didn’t let him ponder it for long.

“Finally,” she said, standing up with a smile. “I was beginning to think you fell back asleep in there. Let’s go!” She quickly grabbed onto his hand, pulling him towards the door with amazing force.

“But—but where are we going?” he asked. It felt like his arm was being pulled off, and there wasn’t much room for protest, but he had to ask the question anyway. He deserved to know, after all, didn’t he?

“You’ll see!” was the only response he got.

So he simply sighed and went along with it, no longer putting up any resistance. It was too early, and he hadn’t been awake nearly long enough for it; and besides, at least she didn’t seem angry at him, whatever the reason they were out and about today.

They managed to leave Hinata House without waking any of the other members of their strange little family, who seemed to all be sleeping in. Keitaro decided was probably a good thing. Kitsune was probably too drunk to be woken; Suu could be quite the heavy sleeper, luckily, and Motoko generally minded her own business, awake or not. Though Shinobu would sometimes be curious about the two of them and their relationship, she was usually too busy cooking or tending to the others to bother them too much. So off they went, sneaking out like a pair of teenagers in love, running away from their parents.

Though his sense of direction was nothing to write home about, Keitaro could tell they were nearing Tokyo U. He could even see the building in the distance. Before he could ponder why this was the case, however, Naru stopped suddenly, letting go of his hand and leaving him to walk right into her. Well, almost—he would have, if she hadn’t stepped away fast enough. But she wasn’t even looking at him, and didn’t seem to notice. She was instead looking around, with a hand on her chin, and suddenly darted forward as if she spotted something. He followed her.

“Remember now?” he heard her ask.

He blinked a couple times, as he saw her standing next to what looked like a photo booth where you could take pictures as a memento. His eyes widened, like he hadn’t seen one in ages; which was partially true, he supposed, considering he sort of grew out his hobby of taking pictures of himself. He stopped paying attention to them as much, and truthfully, didn’t even realize there was one so close to Tokyo U.
He laughed.

“Wow, I haven’t taken a picture in one of these, since…” He walked around it, examining it like it was a display at a museum. “Since…I don’t even remember! I didn’t even know there was one here. Surely I would have noticed and taken a picture here back when we were in Tokyo U. Is it new?”

She nodded with a smile. “It is, actually. Shinobu just told me about it last week.” This is good, she told herself. Maybe he didn’t remember it exactly, not just yet. But he was definitely on the right track. “I was especially happy about it, since the old one where we used to take our pictures got taken down.”

“The old one,” Keitaro repeated, slowly, “where we…used to take our pictures?”

“Every year,” she told him. She folded her arms in disappointment. “Or, at least that’s what you wanted. Oh come on, it hasn’t been that long, now has it?”

“Oh!” he suddenly exclaimed, in a moment of epiphany. He was relieved; she’d been thinking of a different anniversary all along! “It’s October, isn’t it? October twenty-first!”

“There you go!” Naru clapped her hands together, looking almost relieved. She laughed a little, saying, “See, I knew you wouldn’t forget.” This seemed to be addressed to herself as much as to Keitaro; as some form of reassurance, she supposed.

“It’s been a couple years, huh?” he mused. He stared at the booth, running his hand along the outside as he let the memories flow through him.

“The last time, you were the one who dragged me out here,” Naru reminded him fondly.

He nodded, laughing; he remembered it well, dragging her by the hand all the way there, without a word of explanation. That confused look on her face. How mildly silly it all felt after the fact, making such a big deal out of taking a simple picture with her. It was his hobby though, and it used to mean something to him, no matter how embarrassing or trivial it seemed. Now, he realized he could hardly remember where he’d put that album of his with all of his pictures in it. Thinking back, he didn’t even know how or when it happened.

“I guess I just…found something better. Something more worth my time.” Keitaro shrugged, and stared very pointedly at her, hoping to make it obvious just what, or rather who, he was talking about. He even flashed her a smile, and when she moved a little closer to him, he put a hand on her shoulder, in what was supposed to be a romantic gesture.

Instead, it was just kind of awkward; in all the time they’d been married, he still hadn’t been able to do the whole ‘romantic’ thing right. But Naru didn’t seem to mind it. There was a time when she would’ve punched him for making a move on her—for looking at her wrong, for accidently bumping into her, for whatever she could think of. But they had come a long way since then. Now she only smiled at him.
“Well, what do you say?” she asked him, grabbing onto his arm. “Want to step into the booth? For old times’ sake?”

“Sure!” he exclaimed in reply, perhaps a little too enthusiastically.

That was all the reply she needed, before Naru hastily led him into the photo booth. It was a little smaller than they had both remembered, as if things weren’t awkward enough; Keitaro still had those weird butterflies in his stomach, the very same ones he used to get around all the Hinata girls. Funny though, he thought, how none of the other girls had that effect on him anymore. Not since they’d stopped seeing him as just a landlord, and finally started seeing him as more of a friend. A part of their family.

People used to tell him, ‘That’s how you’ll know! That one special girl: she’ll be the one who will feel like new, every time you see her. The knots in your stomach, the nervousness, all of the worrying over what she thinks and what she wants: find the girl who will never let your heart be still, and you will have found your soul mate.’

He didn’t know if he really understood it himself, even now. It was Grandma Hinata who frequently gave him such words of wisdom, but as a young boy, he didn’t really take them to heart. Not nearly as much as he should have, at any rate—and he had to admit, in hindsight, he really missed the old lady sometimes. Having her around certainly kept things lively and interesting, even more so than Hinata House already was. He wondered what she was doing now; sailing around the world again maybe, taking in some glorious vacation time, perhaps. Lucky her. He wondered if Seta would ever give him a nice, long vacation…

“Cheese!” Naru suddenly yelled out. Keitaro snapped out of his daydream, just in time to see the camera flash at him, and the screen promptly displayed his confused face, frozen in time. He looked surprised, and his mouth hung open as he turned to her.

“But I wasn’t ready!” He raised a hand against her in protest, reaching for her arm, which was already inching closer to the button which would print the picture, immortalizing it forever. But he was too late. Before he knew it, he could see the little sticker sheet rearing its ugly head, and Naru snatched it up with a grin.

“That’s what you get for spacing out like that.” She nudged him lightly. “Besides, I like it a lot!” She peeled off one of the photo stickers and poked one lightly onto his cheek, watching his dumbfounded expression turning into a much lighter, pleasant one. He chuckled.
“Guess it can’t be helped,” he said.

“Want to go home and add it to your collection?” Naru stepped out of the booth, holding the curtain open so that Keitaro could do the same. “The others are probably awake by now.” He stretched out his arms and yawned, turning to her.

“Sure,” he replied. “I wonder if any of them would want to take pictures, too. I think Suu would have a blast with it!”

She nodded, laughing. “Probably. We should ask them. Maybe for Christmas, you know, in a couple months. That’d be a great occasion for a nice group shot!” She turned to him as they began to walk away, heading back towards their house. A serious expression adorned her face, and though it wasn’t like he’d never seen it before, it didn’t make it any less intimidating. “But…let’s keep today special though, just between us. Okay?”

His eyes widened a little at the sudden change in her tone, but he nodded, as he took her hand. “Of course,” he reassured her. He repeated it, just to make it clear he understood: “Just us.”

That answer seemed to satisfy her, as the topic didn’t come up again for the rest of the walk home. Things went silent for a while, and though he felt a sort of sense of obligation to stir up conversation, he also found the quietness comforting, in a way. And since it didn’t seem to bother her either, he kept it that way, letting his mind wander as he observed his surroundings. It didn’t wander too far, though, as he was still fixated on Naru and their relationship.

Just when did they get married, anyway? There was no sense of impending doom that told him that their true anniversary was coming up any time soon, but the fact that he couldn’t remember was bothering him. So much had been going on that day, with the new resident Ema arriving, and him being late…he couldn’t say he was really paying attention to the date. He was barely involved in the planning process, as Naru handled most of that. Why hadn’t he bothered to check and mark it down? Naru probably had, probably on that calendar of hers that they had in their room. He would have to look it up.

“What’s wrong, Keitaro?” she suddenly asked, looking at him with concern. He was becoming visibly upset now, and he hadn’t even realized.

“Oh, nothing, nothing!”

He tried to cheer up, quickly putting on a mask, at least for now—until they got home. Home to their room, where that calendar was.

Yes. He would definitely have to look it up.

A/N: My first Love Hina fanfic, and I haven’t read the manga in years XD I also haven’t even seen the anime, so apologies if you’re more familiar with that canon? As I am not at all. Haha. I was relying on memory of the manga and the Love Hina wiki for this, so I hope I haven’t made any egregious errors! Naru and Keitaro always had a cute relationship to me, so their post-marriage was fun to write about. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

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