Chances

NOTE: This is a combination of three stories, "A Second Chance," by Doug Dennis (dennisud) and "A Nightly Encounter," also by Doug Dennis (dennisud) and a story by me, (Datexan).

This takes place in the Tenchi Muyo OVA, and also after episode 13 "Here Comes Jurai." I have not seen GXP or the OVA 3 (mainly because OVA 3 has not been made yet).

Tenchi Muyo: Chances: A Second Chance… or was that a Third?

Time passes… that is a constant. There is not changing it, slowing it or even stopping it, but someone once said that time heals all wounds. It was this thought or more the thought of finding the person that said this that was foremost on Washu's mind. For all intents and purposes, Washu was, or rather is the Greatest Scientific Genius in the Universe… but for all her knowledge she just could not seem to understand people very well. It had not been that long ago that she had her daughter in the lab and was performing experiments on her and that experiment when horribly wrong. She had not meant any real harm, only a way to observe her daughter and to get what some called embarrassing footage of her daughter on videotape. However, that is not what happened.

Instead, Ryoko had after screaming at the top of her lungs for some time simply passed out, and even now, several months later she now not go anywhere near the lab. Of course, Washu had apologized over and over again, and to her surprise, even Tenchi and Ayeka had scolded her over what happened. To her grief, Ryoko was not quite the same after that. At night Ryoko's dreams got worse, to the point that she could not sleep at night unless someone was there with her. Sasami had been the one to volunteer first, but that only helped for so long. To make matters worse the problem seemed to get worse anytime Washu tried to approach her daughter about it at night.

Washu now sits alone in her lab, watching her daughter from a distance and the distance between them increases. Looking into her monitor, she could see into Tenchi's room where her daughter now slept, and though she slept in the same room it was not in the same bed. Much to Ayeka's displeasure, Tenchi had got a futon and set it up in his room. His idea at first was that since she sleeps better when he was around was to have her sleep in his bed while he slept on the futon. That of course did not happen the way he wanted it to. Ayeka had said it was not right for that demon to sleep in his room, much less his bed. Ryoko said she didn't care where she slept as long as he was near. She tried to smile as she recalled the 'conversation' as they called it.

"But Lord Tenchi!" Ayeka nearly screamed, "She should not be in the same room as you!"

"And why not!" Ryoko growled back. She hated admitting she had nightmares, and what was worse was admitting a weakness to of all people, Ayeka and Tenchi. She wanted them to know that she was strong and tough, and not weak.

"Because it isn't proper!"

"Miss Ayeka, we won't be in the same bed. Sasami's even slept in my room when she's had a nightmare."

That only served to make her more upset as there had been nights when Sasami would after having a nightmare leave her sister's side and go to his room. "That has nothing to do with it!"

"Ayeka, I promise, nothing will happen. She'll be on the bed, and I'll be on the futon."

"No Tenchi," Ryoko told him quietly. "I'll take the futon… It's your bed… I…" She stopped as she realized how weak she was about to sound. "I appreciate the offer, it's not like I need the help or anything," she tried to play it off, but he just looked at her.

"It's not right for me to sleep in the bed and force you to sleep on the floor. You take the bed, I don't mind."

Ryoko smiled at him and he knew what she would say even before the words left her mouth, "Well then, why don't we share the bed?"

"RYOKO!" Ayeka screamed.

Washu still smiled over that memory, even now, a month later. She was sure that the two of them were going to start fighting, but before the first blast was thrown, Mihoshi came up with an idea.

"Well, um why not trade?"

"What?" all three of them said looking at her.

"Well, Tenchi could have the bed for a night then Ryoko could and then maybe you and…"

"WHAT!" Ayeka screamed at the ditz.

"It's not a bad idea…" Ryoko said to Tenchi as she smiled. Inside her mind the wheels were turning, 'This gets even better for me!'

"Ayeka, "Tenchi said softly, "If you want to you can join us to make sure nothing happens…"

"I will not sleep in the same room as that demon!"

Ryoko looked visibly hurt for a brief moment, but changed it before anyone noticed. However, someone did notice, two in fact. Washu, who shared a mental connection to her, and Tenchi. It took a good bit or persuasion but he finally got Ayeka to agree to allow Ryoko to sleep in his room, but the door had to remain open and both of them had to remain fully clothed. For her part, Ryoko tried not to sound too happy over the agreement, as it meant that she would be sleeping right beside him, and occasionally in his bed!

Shaking the memories out of her head, Washu resumed her searching. 'When ever I find the bastard that said time heals all pain… I'll… I'll…' She growled in frustration, "I'll resurrect that bastard and kill him myself!"

"That won't do you any good." She turned around to see Katsuhito standing there.

"Oh Lord Katsuhito… I um…"

"Please Washu, just Yosho," he said to her gently.

She nodded and looked at him allowing herself to smile. After that night, when she had kept her daughter in the lab everyone had turned against her. Ryoko, Tenchi, Ryo-Ohki, but what surprised her was that Ayeka and Sasami had as well. It got to where she felt that no one wanted to be around her. During that time she had been the most depressed and alone, that she had gone to see him. She knew, or rather hoped that at least someone here would not push her away. That first night that she had talked to him, she really opened up to him and they had talked for hours about her life, her problems and what had happened. Most of the night was a blur through her tears, but the next morning she found herself in a strange bed. When she realized where she was she was embarrassed, but happy.

After she had cried herself to sleep in his arms, he had placed her in his bed and he had gone to sleep on the floor close to her. He had cared for her, in her loneliest of times there was someone that she could talk to. Over the next several nights she had gone to see him often enough that she created a portal from inside his closet directly to her, so he could use it anytime. To her great joy, he had used it on a number of times, just like now. "I know… But she still hasn't forgiven me!" He could almost feel the pain in her voice.

"I know, but she is getting closer. Tenchi, Ayeka and even Sasami have forgiven you after you told them the truth."

"I don't care! She still hates me!"

"Give it…"

"You so much as mention time and I will…"

"You will what Washu?" Both turned to see Mihoshi standing there.

"Ah… Nothing…" Washu said trying to pass it off."

"Really?"

"How did you get in here," Washu grumbled.

"Oh I just walked in, Sasami says that dinner is ready if you want to join us." Though she grumbled a moment, she told the blonde that she would join them even though she had no intention to. Happy to hear Washu say she will join them Mihoshi began looking for her way out.

"You know she will be hurt if you don't go."

Washu shot him a sour look, though it did not last long. Instead, she looked down ashamed, "I know."

Yosho smiled at her and then left as well, "I will expect to see you at the dinner table." Washu groaned, as she was not going to be able to get out of this one.

Had she known what was going to happen, she would have been happier to go. As it was, she was dreading just stepping out of her lab. Finally, stepping out she approached the table to find that every place at the table was taken, but one, the place next to Ryoko. Swallowing hard, she approached and most everyone said their good evenings and hellos. It did not take long for her to pick up on something; Tenchi was gently urging Ryoko to do something, as was Ayeka. Both of them were looking at Ryoko and with pleading eyes they would look at the pirate, then their eyes would dart over to the scientist and then back.

She was about to say something about this when Ryoko set her plate and chopsticks down. The room got deathly quiet as she spoke, "You hurt me…"

This was not the start that any of them wanted, but it was a start. "I know, and I'm sorry."

"But you hurt me! How could you!" Ayeka was taken aback by Ryoko's tone and her eyes. To the princess it seemed that Ryoko was about to start crying, in front of everyone.

"I never meant to hurt you… Oh gods if I could just turn back time I would! I never wanted to hurt you!"

"Then why did you! Damn it, I can't even go to sleep now without someone else around me! It was bad enough before… Do you know what it's like to not be able to sleep? Every night I have dreams of what Kagato made me do… I see them… every last damn one of them!" Ryoko was standing up, as was Washu though Ryoko's hands were clenched in fists. The rest of the family watched in stunned silence. "The nightmares were bad enough before, but now they're worse. I don't want to go to sleep; I can't go to sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see them, I see the blood… if it wasn't for Tenchi I'd would've killed myself a long time ago…. Just to stop the pain."

Ayeka gasped, as did Mihoshi over her declaration. For once, the princess was beginning to understand and she felt ashamed of how she had treated Ryoko. "I know you saw them… I saw them too…" Washu said quietly.

"How the hell could you see them when you were locked up in that damn crystal!"

"I saw them though your eyes, and I now how he tortured you when you didn't do as he said."

"You mean when I didn't kill them? You're damn right he did! Just to save myself some pain I killed them faster… I didn't want them to suffer like I did. If I showed any of them mercy he would just use me to pull their bodies apart as a lesson… but you…"

Washu hung her head, as she knew this was coming. Both mother and daughter had forgotten that anyone else was around. "All I wanted was to get around that tough bravado you put up. All I wanted was to have you call me mommy again! All I want is my little girl back!"

"I… am… not… a little girl anymore!" Ryoko said through clenched teeth as she was barely controlling her anger.

"I KNOW THAT DAMN IT!"

"You tortured me!"

"I was just trying to help…"

"Like hell! You see me as an experiment don't you, that's why you're always running experiments on me."

"No! I love you!" All sounds stopped even the sound of breathing. Ryoko looked at her mother stunned. Washu did a quick double take at her own words, and then said it again slower. "I love you, I can't stand not being around you… I'm envious of Tenchi, and even Ayeka." Both aforementioned people looked at one another then at the scientist again. "Tenchi is the one you want to go to when you're hurting… Ayeka is the one you spend all your time with… I just want to spend some time with you."

"So you run tests on me…" Ryoko's voice sounded small and frail, contrasting sharply with her normal actions.

"It was the only way I could get you to even acknowledge I exist… I just want my daughter back…"

"Then… why…" Ryoko was shocked, and was unsure what to do, this was not what she expected, and to make matters worse, she really did not want to forgive Washu. However, she could tell that her mother was speaking the truth, as the link they shared was conveying the same emotions and feelings that her mother was saying.

"I only thought that once I got though your tough act… and you'd call me… like you used to… I wanted you to just call me… I never thought it would hurt you…"

"But it did…" Ryoko voice was still strained and though she wasn't yelling the tension was still high.

"I know, I'm sorry… I've been a horrible mother…" She threw her hands up in the air, "how can I even claim to be your mother now."

Those around the dinner table were not sure what to make of this, Tenchi wanted to step in several times, but he felt as though he was being held back. Ayeka was unable to look at them, she had been so mean and cruel to Ryoko before, but now she knew the truth about her adversary, her only question was 'now what?'

It seemed as though none of them knew the answer to her question, as even Ryoko was shaken, the last things that the pirate said that night was, "I still want you to be," and then she said goodnight before teleporting upstairs to Tenchi's bed.

In the weeks that followed, Ryoko and Washu talked more and for once, a real relationship began to develop between them. It was not easy at first, but it slowly began. Even Ayeka had apologized to Ryoko for the way she had treated her. Tenchi smiled when he saw that and he hoped that things would get better between them all.

Like all detectives, Mihoshi Karmaitsu was curious about mysteries. That was one thing that stuck to the daffy Galaxy police detective, to solve that mystery. Otherwise, she couldn't keep a thought in her head for more than 30 seconds. The only other thing she did keep in her head was high mathematical formulas and theories, which totally drove the resident scientific genius Little Washu Hakubi mad!

But back to the original thought, Mihoshi just hates an unsolved mystery. There was one that kept her on edge. Every evening since that incident Nobuyuki Masaki, Father of Tenchi Masaki (The reasons these five girls were living here in the first place), seemed to disappear from his office in his house for an hour every night that he wasn't late from work. Later he would reappear without incident and hoped that anyone hadn't noticed (All except Mihoshi, & Washu)

Washu had known of Nobuyuki's travels almost every night and thought nothing of it, until she saw that Mihoshi was snooping around trying to find out where he was going. This gave her a mischievous idea. 'Why not get her on the case officially, and drive her nuts for once!' thought Washu. So, after dinner one night Washu approached Mihoshi and told her of her concerns about Nobuyuki's disappearances. Now Mihoshi had the excuse to intensify the investigation, as one of the house members (Washu) had asked her (A Galaxy Police officer) to check on Tenchi's father, "To make sure he's OK" said a seemingly worried Washu.

"Don't worry Detective First Class Mihoshi is on the case!" answered a happy Mihoshi.

'Good, that'll keep her out of my lab, and out of my hair!' Thought a happy Washu while she smiled back at her! With Mihoshi snooping around like that, it made it difficult for her to do what she wanted to, and on one occasion she had nearly been caught by the detective doing something that she wanted to remain a secret.

A Shinto priest made his way up a long row of stone steps following dinner at his son's house. At the top of the stairs lay a small Shinto shrine. As the priest made his way to a small rectangular building beside the shrine, the wind blew cherry blossoms throughout the area. The scent reminded him of a certain memory and a certain person now in his life, as he made his way towards his office. A little while later he made his way to his sleeping quarters. As he sat down on his bed, a black portal opened and a diminutive figure stepped out and sat down opposite the priest. The portal then closed and the two stared at each other, neither said a word, but their eyes told all that needed to be said. They then got up took each other's hand and went to the small kitchen to fix some tea that they then served each other. The tea was honey-sweetened and was fast becoming their favorite blend.

Looking at each other and without a thought, the priest changed appearance from an older gray haired man of around 60 to a young and vibrant looking man in his late 20's. She also changed her appearance, from a 12-year-old to a woman in her early 20's. They then began to speak; "Well Yosho… how was you day? "

"It was mostly uneventful, unless you count the fight between the girls over my grandson during our training session."

She giggled slightly, "So, What did you do about them?"

"I made them both go to the shrine, and had them sweep and clean the shrine area."

"Isn't that Tenchi's chores?"

"Yes, but since they interrupted our practice, I thought it would be appropriate for them to do his chores since it was their fight over him that started it."

"My daughter and your sister seem to not understand that what they do doesn't win them points with Tenchi? And I thought they were getting along much better…"

"Their just young, they will learn as they mature."

"Now wait a minute, they're both over 700 years old, they are not young in age!"

"But, they are young in maturity. I hope we can guide them to making the right decisions for themselves."

She let out a sigh, "I don't think Ryoko will listen to me yet. Since that night in the lab she's hated me." The mere thought of her own daughter hating her, caused a shiver to run down her spine. Though the two of them were getting better, it was still far from what some would call a good relationship.

"You just need to work out a way to talk to her, she does really care for you, but you both need to work out your own problems first. You need to treat her more as a person, not as an object."

Hurt flashed across her features, "Well, coming from a runaway First Prince of Jurai, who disguises himself and directs his own sister's affections towards his own grandson, I don't think you can say much to me about my problems."

The anger was evident on her face and he nodded and smiled back with understanding. "I never said we were perfect," reaching and holding her hand softly to calm her down, "just that we see others faults better than our own."

He slowly leans forward and gently kisses her cheek as she slowly smiles and hugs him. "Well, I can see that is true… Lets get some sleep, OK?" Washu did not want to dwell on this for longer than she had to, so she hoped he would allow the subject to change.

"It is getting late isn't it." They cleared the tea set, and walked to the next room, after changing clothes they lay down together on one futon and covered themselves up as she lays her head on his chest. Since that first night she spent beside him, she had found herself longing to be closer. And each consecutive night she had slept closer and closer to him before he finally placed one large futon in the room instead of two smaller ones. That first night of them sleeping in the same futon was memorable to her for more than one reason. It was the first night that she had seen him stammer and sound nervous, but at least she knew now where Tenchi had gotten his nervousness.

"Yosho… when do you think we should tell them about us?"

"I'd say after Tenchi has made his choice. We don't want him to be distracted any more than he already is."

"You know for a youngster of 10,000 years, you are extremely wise."

"Well, coming from the Greatest Scientist in the Universe," both smiled with amusement, "I'll accept that with honor!"

"Well, you'll accept this, or I'll turn you into a frog, got it!" She rose from his chest and gave him a passionate kiss.

"We might not be getting as much sleep as we thought!" As they both embraced, she giggled slightly while he let out a soft chuckle before giving her another kiss as the lights went out.

Over a week later, Mihoshi had a very uncharacteristic frown on her face. She couldn't figure out how he left his office and came back without anyone noticing he had left. If she had thought about the fact that she was in a home with a resident scientist that could open portals to other places, she would have figured it out. But, Mihoshi didn't put that idea together with that fact. To her Nobuyuki was human and so wouldn't have had that type of technology. So, it was while she was searching his office during the time of day that she would have been taking her afternoon nap that she found it. She was so frustrated, that she sat down in the chair behind his desk and leaned back, causing a portal to open and Mihoshi fell in!

She ended up on a path about 10 meters from the Masaki Shrine. She first got her bearings, and then her detective instincts kicked in, she saw the path lead back through the forest and away from the shrine. A series of footprints led to the grave of Tenchi's mother, Achika Masaki. She had died when Tenchi was five years old. She remembered back to an earlier conversation she had with Tenchi's grandfather about the way Achika died and of how Nobuyuki had not taken her death well. He basically left Tenchi in the care of his grandfather and for almost a year, he grieved. This separation had caused a strain in Tenchi's relationship with his Dad. So much so, that Katsuhito became Tenchi's father figure while his own Dad sank into work and girlie magnas to cope with the loss of Achika. Now that Mihoshi understood where he was going, she would stake out the area around the gravesite after dinner to find out why.

That night, she observed Nobuyuki as he ate dinner and took his customary walk up stairs to his office. When he closed the door, Mihoshi excused her self and made her way to a spot in the brush around the gravesite. Just scant moments later he walked out of the portal, and going to the bench in front of the gravesite, he sat down. As she observed, he started to talk to his wife's grave.

"Well hello, My dearest. I am here again, ...but I fear that I can't keep this charade up much longer."

'What was he talking about?' thought Mihoshi.

"I can't keep this mask in front of them, especially Tenchi."

'I'd better take notes, I might have to inform the others about this!'

"I miss you so much my love, and I can't stop thinking about to you. I have had a hard week so far dearest, seeing how Tenchi is still not able to choose one of the girls. Now you know I would love for him to choose quickly, so he would see how when you have someone to love, and that person loves you back, that is the greatest feeling you can have. I know you know what I mean!"

'Oh my, I didn't know he was this lonely!'

"I just wish Tenchi would realize this and not keep these girls guessing. If he takes too long he might lose them all!"

Mihoshi then began to think back through her life. She realized that except for some dates in college and The GP Academy, she hadn't found anyone who really took her seriously, except Tenchi. Now, she was beginning to fell the pangs being described by his father.

"I think I will be joining you soon, My love, I simply am too lonely here. I mean I love that our son has the attention of all the girls, but it just makes it worse on me, that's why I act the way I do, to keep women away. I'm too afraid to find someone like you asked me to... to... when you...." He then started sobbing quietly.

This was a revelation to Mihoshi, not only was Nobuyuki not a real peeping tom, but he purposely acts this way he does to keep girls away. 'I feel so much like him, except I'm using my job to keep men away. I know I'm a bit of a bubble head, but I know I can make someone a good wife and I do want to have kids someday. But I don't see it happening with Tenchi much anymore.' Since that night that Ryoko and Washu yelled at each other at the table, things had been slightly different. Ryoko and Ayeka still fought over him, but most of the time the fights did not result in massive property damage anymore. Not only that But Ryoko had been sleeping in his room for some time and from the looks of things, she knew that Ayeka would soon be joining them. 'I need to be realistic, I don't have much of a chance anymore.'

Then after a moment of silence, she made a decision. Mihoshi slowly get up from her hiding place and made her way towards he weeping man. Without thinking about it, she moved around him, knelt down, and hugged the startled father. Within several moments the man loosens up and melts into the young woman's shoulders and sobs loudly and hard. She keeps rocking the middle-aged man as he lets out over twelve years of frustration, and grief. It took about fifteen minutes for Nobuyuki to cry himself out. As he finally calms down, he raises his face to hers and sees that she too was crying quietly as he had. He wanted to thank her, and then he had an idea. Slowly drew her to his shoulders and repeated what she had done for him earlier, she then began her crying fit, which lasted another ten more minutes. When she quieted down she held up her head and saw a smiling and caring face.

"Thank you, I really needed to do that but, I didn't have any close friends I could confide in!"

She smiled back and replied; "I needed someone too, I didn't know I was that sad, but now…" she takes and squeezes his hand. "I have someone to talk to... and you have one too!"

Looking down to the ground at that moment, Nobuyuki asked; " Did you hear everything Mihoshi?" Now looking guilty, She quietly nodded yes, then she slowly whimpered out why she was there. She told him of her suspicions, and what Washu said. After some silence as he contemplated what Mihoshi had said, he then stated: "I am glad you and Washu cared enough to check up on me. I had some unhealthy thoughts over the last two weeks, and I was thinking that the cliff there would have made a good jumping off point." Mihoshi looked terrified, but before she could react, Nobuyuki held his hand up to her and continued: "It's OK, I don't want to do that anymore, I realize that I have friends who care for me and I won't think about those thoughts anymore, I promise!" At that, Mihoshi hugged him again relieved that he wasn't going to hurt himself.

Then after a few more moments of silence, Mihoshi spoke; "Mr. Nobuyuki, if you need to talk to someone, I can talk to you, it's OK really."

"Thank you Mihoshi, and please call me Nobuyuki, I mean friends do call themselves by their first names right" Both had a smile on their face at the thought.

"Ok, Nobuyuki, do you think its time to go home now, the others might be worried?"

"I guess your right, but when we get back, do you want some hot tea, I feel like talking some more with my friend!"

Giggling she told him, "Oh Nobuyuki, I'd be happy to!" And instead of walking through the portal, they both headed for the shrine stairs. Mihoshi and Nobuyuki were chatting away arm in arm as they head for home and have a new appreciation of caring, and friendship.

Inside Ayeka's room, the elder princess was fuming, and if she could, she would scream until she was hoarse and then scream some more. She had just setup her futon, and left for only a moment to get cleaned up for bed as her brother had made her work hard earlier in the day cleaning the shrine. Her hands still hurt and she swore she would have calluses, but that was immaterial right now. Her bed, her futon was missing, and in its place, not even her sheets remained. 'I'll kill that demon!' She mentally screamed.

She stood there with her fists balled up and her whole body was shaking when a voice from the door brought her back to reality. "Oh there you are Miss Ayeka."

"Huh," she turned to see him, and he was smiling… his gentle smile and calming eyes diminished her wrath to a mild annoyance.

"Ryoko said you'd be joining us tonight, so we have your bed setup in my room."