Keitaro Urashima didn't exactly get the warmest welcome from the girls staying at the Hinata House. Then again, his grandmother hadn't exactly had the foresight to warn him beforehand that it'd been converted into an all-girls' dormitory. So what if he happened to run into Haruka beforehand, found out what was being set up and made a deal with her: if the girls don't want him there, then he'll leave.Love Hina: Like It Could Have Been
explores the consequences of this. Their initial sense of triumph when Keitaro walks out soon gives way to shock as they find themselves having to take up the duties he would have assumed. Reality Ensues
- All Men Are Perverts: Naru justifies her refusal to control her temper around guys with this claim.
- Break the Haughty: Or rather, 'Force the Haughty to go through Character Development by making them face up to what they've done'.
- Calling The Old Woman Out: When Hina learns how things are going from Haruka, she's not happy with how her plans went Off the Rails. Haruka responds by calling her out and giving her an earful right back.
- Catapult Nightmare: Motoko suffers one in the second chapter.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Haruka lights up after updating Granny Hina on the implosion of her plot.
- For Want of a Nail: This verse's Keitaro happens to run into Haruka before reaching the Inn. He also patched up some issues with his parents beforehand, meaning that he doesn't have to "jump into this pit that Granny dug out for me."
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: If one of the girls damages the Inn, such as Naru throwing a fit or one of Su's inventions going awry, while the one responsible will have to pay for the bulk of the repairs, everyone is required to chip in.
- Mistaken For Pervert: Kitsune reminds Naru of an incident where an older man got shoved aside on the train, stumbled, and put his hand on Naru's shoulder while trying to steady himself. She nearly broke his jaw. When she brings it up, Naru doggedly insists he deserved it.
- Morton's Fork: Haruka presents the girls with one: either they'll do all the chores that their manager was supposed to handle themselves, or she'll raise their rent so that she can afford to hire workers to perform those tasks. Most of said workers, she adds, will be male.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Yay, you drove away the guy who was going to be the manager! Your reward is splitting up all of the chores and responsibilities he had among yourselves, and a very pissed-off matron who's no longer willing to cut you any slack.
- Panty Shot: Keitaro grabs the hem of Naru's dress to prevent this and nearly gets Megaton Punched for his troubles.
- Poor Communication Kills: So far, everyone's working hard to avert this whenever a Not What It Looks Like situation comes up.
- Pretty Freeloader: When the story begins, Kitsune's two months behind on her rent. Haruka states that if she's not paid up by the end of the month, she's out.
- Reality Ensues: After Keitaro leaves, Haruka informs her tenants that they're going to be taking over all of the duties he would have handled. She also informs Kitsune that she's going to have to pay her rent or get evicted.
- The story's plot is basically "What if everyone in Love Hina actually thought a little bit instead of leaping blindly to the first conclusion they think of?"
- Refusal of the Call: As soon as he reads the letter and realizes that Granny Hina was setting him up, Keitaro's ready to turn right around and leave. Haruka convinces him to at least meet the girls, but he's hardly heartbroken when they won't give him a chance. This isn't the end of his interactions with them, however, as he works a part-time job in construction.
- Rule of Three: Haruka establishes a Three Strike system. If a tenant receives three warnings, then the third serves as her eviction notice.
- Squee: Kanako lets out one when Keitaro calls her and mentions he's considering taking up kendo again.
- Tempting Fate: After he leaves, Haruka asks the girls if they're satisfied. Naru smiles and Makoto declares "We have no need for a male here."
- Vocal Minority: In-Universe — Naru and Motoko are the only two who immediately, angrily protest Keitaro's presence. However, Haruka points out that none of the others tried to speak up or do anything, watching them drive him away. As far as she's concerned, that makes them all equally guilty.