Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from this fanfic. Some of the material for this story was taken from Tenchi Muyo OVA #1, freely adapted for the purposes of this story.

Tenchi Muyo: No Need for Boys!

The tall, dark haired woman paused in her sweeping, looking around her cautiously. She carefully leaned the broom up against the post and went inside, closing the screen behind her before looking around the room curiously. "Now where would he have hidden it?" she wondered, opening up drawers and lifting piles of paper.

The screen slid open again, and Tenchi looked up. The cat sat out on the porch looking at her calmly, and she breathed a small sigh of relief.

"Hello, Tenchi," came from right behind her.

Tenchi calmly answered, "Hello, Grandfather."

The gray haired man smiled, and there was a twinkle of pride in his violet eyes. He had scared Tenchi often in the first few weeks she had been at the shrine, but his training her had paid off. Now she maintained her cool, no matter what happened.

"Looking for this?" Grandfather asked, holding up a old ring of keys.

Tenchi smiled, "Yes."

"You know that going into the cave is forbidden, Tenchi," Grandfather reminded her as sternly as he could manage.

Her jaw tensed, a stubborn look appearing on Tenchi's face. She sighed, "I don't know why, Grandfather, but I really want to see what's inside there."

Her grandfather slid the ring of keys into his robe and patted it with a smile. "You can always see if you can take them from me," he offered.

Tenchi rose from her knees smoothly, taking up her stance. She moved forward gracefully, reading his posture before she struck. They danced around the little room, sparring back and forth, Tenchi carefully maintaining her guard. Finally the more experienced fighter deflected her, and she hammered into the closet, slamming through the screen.

"You're getting better," Grandfather said, letting a bit of admiration show in his voice, "but not quite good enough," He turned and opened the screen door, "Finish up the sweeping, please. It's all part of your training."

Tenchi pulled herself from the closet, her eyes gleaming. Dangling from her mouth was a ring of keys, which she spat into her hand before bolting out of the room. She ran down the path towards the cave, a broad smile on her normally serious face.

"Sorry Grandfather," Tenchi murmured, "but I just have to see."

Tenchi slowed coming into sight of the cave. She bent down a bit to enter, straightening up as she walked to the sealed gate. She unlocked it, pausing a moment as she remembered the other times she had stood here, years ago.

Tenchi remembered looking up at him as Grandfather explained to her, "A demon sleeps here. Long ago, an evil demon came here from the sky. In one step, it could cross mountains, and it's great strength could crush those mountains to dust. It destroyed villages, burning everything, and our people suffered greatly because of it's evil power."

"What happened to it?" she had asked.

"One day, a ship like a dragon appeared from the sky, and on it's back rose a mighty samurai, our ancestor. He fought the demon using a sword with great spiritual power and finally defeated the demon. He sealed it to sleep in the shrine, watched over and held prisoner by the sword planted in the ground," he finished.

Tenchi shook her head, firmly banishing the past and striding into the cave. She descended into a larger chamber in the cave, hung with ropes and strange charms carved into the massive stones. She reached out, tracing the script that wasn't Japanese or any other language she recognized.

"A little disappointing," Tenchi murmured as she looked around.

Her eyes widened, and Tenchi walked over to the little wooden house. It took a bit of work to get it open, but within the hilt of a sword stuck up from the earth. 'Wood?' Tenchi thought as she touched it, an odd sensation racing up her arm. She closed her hand on it, pulled hard, and the sword easily came free.

She sighed softly as the sheath came free, exposing a blade that had long ago been consumed by rust. "Poor thing," Tenchi smiled wryly, taking a few practice swings. A misstep brought it down on a nearby stone, and the blade crumbled. Yet somehow, the sword was still able to split the stone with a loud crack.

"How?" she blurted, looking down at the hilt in her hand in shock. There was a grinding of stone on stone, and Tenchi turned towards the sound to see another cave had opened up in what had seemed to be a solid wall. Her curiosity getting the best of her, Tenchi cautiously slipped through the opening into darkness.

She took a half step, splashing right into a puddle of water. "Cold," Tenchi gasped, taking a half step forward to get out the water. Her foot slipped, she scrambled for something to grab, and slid right down the steep slope. She thumped to the bottom on her butt, and instinctively reached up to catch the sword hilt, keeping it from striking her on the head.

Carved channels of stone lead to the center of the chamber she found herself in. The room was lit by an eerie glow, coming from ahead of her. She pulled herself to her feet and walked forward, wanting to see what was causing it.

"It can't be," Tenchi murmured, looking at the desiccated figure laying there in the pool. The face was that of a demon, scarlet and fearsome, the limbs almost skeletal, garbed in tattered cloth. "Is this really the demon?" she wondered aloud.

Lost in her thoughs, Tenchi's grip on the sword hilt loosened, and it dropped with a clatter to the stones. "Eeep!" she jumped back in shock, looking around her wildly. She took a deep breath to steady herself, muttering softly, "Well, that was embarrassing." A blush on her cheeks, she bent down and picked up the hilt.

Then a hand came out of the water and grabbed her wrist!

Tenchi looked up in surprise to see the demon pulling herself up to a sitting position, her eyes glowing blue in the darkness of the cave. Another hand reached out, gently stroking along Tenchi's cheek, and she shivered slightly at the sensation.

Every nerve screamed that she run, that Tenchi tear free from this thing's grip and flee up and out of the cave. But something held her there, maybe her Grandfather's training, or maybe something she saw in those glowing eyes.

"You don't scare easily," the demon actually sounded amused.

"No, I don't," Tenchi answered quietly, keeping her voice remarkably even, considering the circumstances. It was crazy, she should have been terrified, but instead she felt... safe. It was almost like she knew her.

The demon managed to stand up, swaying there slightly. There was a soft, skittering sound, and what Tenchi had thought were tree roots flowed across the stones towards the demon, pouring into her body somehow. Her nearly skin and bones body gradually filled out, eventually becoming the form of a young woman.

She looked nearly human, her long pale blue hair sweeping down her back. Her face had an impish look, her cat slit eyes intense, glowing a bit still in the shadows. Her body was curvy, but also athletic, and very obviously female.

"My name is Ryouko," she smiled slightly at Tenchi, taking a step forward. She staggered, dropping to her knees as she gasped out, "too damn weak."

Tenchi quickly knelt at her side, "Let me help you." Not waiting for an answer, she got Ryouko's arm over her shoulder, helping hold her up.

"Aren't you supposed to be fighting me with that thing?" Ryouko managed to ask, pointing to the sword hilt Tenchi had tucked into her belt.

"How long have you been down here?" Tenchi ignored the question, asking Ryouko one of her own instead.

"Seven hundred years," Ryouko answered softly, and her voice carried the loneliness and pain that Ryouko had felt during those long years alone.

Tenchi looked at her wide eyed. "Whatever wrongs you may have done," she said softly, "that should have more than made up for them."

"Maybe so," Ryouko murmured, an odd look on her face.

"Let's get out of here," Tenchi said firmly. She looked at the way out, the steep slope upward, and groaned, "This isn't going to be easy."

Not very long afterward, Tenchi and Ryouko were sitting on a rock out by the cave mouth, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Well, Ryouko was sitting there, Tenchi having flopped over on to her back to catch her breath a bit.

"The sun feels so nice," Ryouko sighed, tilting her face up to the warm rays. She turned to see Tenchi had actually dozed off, the effort of getting Ryouko and herself to the surface having sapped her strength.

The dark haired girl's hair was spread out across the stone, her face as innocent as a baby's. 'She's beautiful,' Ryouko found herself thinking, reaching out to stroke that face once again.

"I should be angry, taking my vengeance out on you," Ryouko murmured, "but somehow I can't seem to do it."

Tenchi opened her eyes again, a little smile on her face as she said, "That's good, because I'm too tired to try to run away."

Ryouko laughed softly, and Tenchi joined her. "Where do you live?" Ryouko asked her as Tenchi pushed herself to a sitting position.

"I'm staying with my grandfather, not far from here," Tenchi said tiredly.

"Then let me try to get you home a bit faster," Ryouko took her hand, pulling her to her feet.

"How?" Tenchi asked as Ryouko tugged her close to her.

An arm slid around Tenchi's shoulders and Ryouko grinned, "Like this." They slowly rose upward, in moments flying above the forest.

"Wow," Tenchi smiled at Ryouko, holding on to her tightly. They skimmed across the trees, coming down beside a small house.

"Well. let's go in," Ryouko said.

Tenchi stoped her, an odd little smile on her face. "Wait a minute," she said, knocking on the door. Her grandfather answered, and she smiled up at him cheerfully.

Grandfather looked past her and his eyes widened, "What in the..."

"Grandfather, meet Ryouko," Tenchi smiled. She smiled up at him impishly, "She followed me home, can I keep her?"

Author's Note: To be continued? Well, maybe. The female Tenchi first appeared in my fic 'No Need for Alternates' and sort of demanded her own story. I'll probably do a part two, featuring Ayeka, but I'm not promising much more than that.