Running Scared

A Tenchi-Muyo! fic


Any and all C+C appreciated. You can contact me at:
sommer@3rdm.net

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I disclaim I own any of the TM! Characters.

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Yosho paused in his sweeping of the shrine's walkway and allowed the cool breeze to blow through his blonde locks. Autumn was his favorite time of the year. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining through a light cover of clouds, and the temperature was just right. It was one of those perfect days that came along far too rarely. Well, perfect save for all of the blasted leaves he had to continuously sweep from the shrine's grounds. But even that fact couldn't bring him down. It was time to stop working and enjoy the weather.

"Yosho! Quit lazing around and get back to work."

The sound of the reprimand disrupted the peaceful state of mind that Yosho had started to form. He turned to the source of the disruption. His grandfather was standing in the doorway of the office next to the shrine. Outwardly, the man appeared to be in his late fifties if not older, but underneath that elderly exterior was a man that had the athletic ability of a person one-third his age; he proved that every time the two of them sparred in training sessions with the sword. Even with the subdued garb of a shrine priest, the bright eyes that could be seen behind square-framed glasses gave away a mind that was every bit as nimble as the body it commanded.

Yosho took a moment to compose the argument in his mind before speaking. "But Grandfather, it's a beautiful day out. Look at the way the sun's shining. And the air-"

"I don't care how nice a day it is. You still have chores to do." The tone he used brooked no further arguments.

In the tradition of all children that were seventeen going on thirty, Yosho promptly ignored the tone. "You know, the work would go a whole lot faster if you helped out."

"Ah, my boy. These old bones aren't quite what they used to be." The older man made a point of working a few kinks out of his back.

"I see." Yosho placed his hand to his chin in thought. "So, I guess that means we won't be having any practice today since your 'old bones aren't quite what they used to be'."

Yosho's grandfather pushed his glasses back up his nose. "Practice will be at the same time it always is." He gave a soft smile at his grandson's attempt to turn the conversation to his advantage. He stood up and went back into the shrine's office.

A smile parted Yosho's lips in return. He didn't really want to get out of sword practice -it was a way for him to keep in shape- but the sweeping he could have done without. Still, it was what his grandfather had commanded; that meant Yosho would obey. He went back to sweeping the walkway.

The sweeping only went on for a few minutes longer before Yosho noticed a gleaming high in the sky above. He let his broom fall to the ground and shielded his hands over his eyes as he stared at the object. It was getting larger by the second, and within moments, was hanging directly overhead. It was so enormous that it seemed to blot out the sky with its tremendous size.

"Oh my." The spell woven by the appearance of the strange object lasted only a moment longer before Yosho snapped out of his open-mouthed stupor and ran to the shrine office. He burst through the door and ran over to his grandfather, who was sitting next to a small table and calmly sipping some tea. Calmly, that was, until Yosho had stormed in.

"What is it, boy?"

Yosho took a deep breath. "Theresareallybigspaceshipoutsideanditlookswierd."

A teacup bounced off Yosho's skull. "Say that again. This time in slow motion."

Yosho took another deep breath and began once more. "There's a really big spaceship outside and it looks weird. I mean, I think it's wooden. At least it looks like wood on the outside." Yosho was stunned to see his normally unflappable grandfather turn pale.

"They've finally found me," he gasped.

Stunned by the response, Yosho watched as his grandfather got up and began running around faster than Yosho had ever seen. He opened a few drawers, then handed the contents to Yosho. "These are the keys to all of the areas of the shrine. There's a small amount of money I have stashed under the floorboards in the corner next to my bed. If anything happens to me, it's yours." He placed his hands on Yosho's shoulders and said in a solemn voice, "I leave this place in your care. Remember, I've always loved you." Without another word he headed out the door and into the yard beyond.

Yosho waited only a few seconds to try to process what had just happened. Failing that, he ran outside and followed his grandfather. He ran as fast as he could, confident he could catch up to the older man within seconds. However, as unbelievable as it seemed, Yosho could not seem to catch up to him; his grandfather kept pulling further away by the second. Just as the younger man was about to give up hope of catching up, the object of his pursuit stopped beside the large pond on the outskirts of the shrine. For some reason, he was looking upwards.

"Uh oh! Here she comes."

Yosho looked up just in time to see a large red blur plunge out of the sky and hit the pond, splashing water everywhere and drenching him. After spluttering out some water, Yosho managed to say, "What the heck was that?" He took a look at his grandfather, who seemed petrified as he continued staring at where the blur had hit the water.

Yosho found his question answered as a figure walked out of the pond, not more than twenty feet behind where he and his grandfather stood. The figure was a girl, beautiful with blonde hair and deep blue eyes. She was wearing an official-looking blue and gray uniform that reminded Yosho of the military or something.

The moment her eyes fell upon Yosho's grandfather, they narrowed ever so slightly. "There you are." She pointed an accusing finger at him.

That snapped the older man out of his stupor, and he began running once more. That caused the girl to draw the gun from her belt holster and point it at him. "Oh no! Don't you dare try to run away again. Halt!"

Yosho suddenly found the air filled with laser fire. And since he was in-between his grandfather and his attacker, a goodly number of the blasts headed towards him as well. During his grandfather's intensive training, he had taught Yosho the proper defense for when someone began randomly spraying lasers in your direction.

Yosho began running for his life.

After a few moments of terrified screaming, Yosho found himself catching up to his grandfather. "What is going on? Why is she trying to shoot you?"

"Long story! Don't worry about it!"

Yosho saw that the two of them had almost made it to the nearby forest. In his gut, he knew if they could make it to the edge, they could lose themselves amongst the tangle of brush that lined the forest beyond.

They had almost made it to the treeline when a figure walked from around a tree directly in front of them and then leaned lackadaisically against it. She had spiky red hair, and appeared to be about fourteen or so. Yosho's grandfather stopped on a dime, causing Yosho to follow suit.

The young girl scowled at the older man. "Going somewhere?"

An "Urk!" was all the older man got out as he pivoted and changed direction once again, choosing a course perpendicular to the one that his two opponents lay in. Again, Yosho found himself following, this time not coming close to catching up. His grandfather got ten yards, then increased the distance to twenty, ahead of him. The first vestiges of true fatigue began to set in when a figure materialized, right out of thin air, directly in front of his grandfather. She had spiky, cyan-colored hair and a wild look to her yellow eyes. She was so fearsome that even Yosho stopped well before getting too close to her.

"Hi there," she said to the older man right before a long crimson energy sword appeared in her hand. Yosho's grandfather barely evaded the thrust that had been aimed at his feet. Large chunks of ground went flying up from the attack, but the older man had already headed off in a new direction to get away from the third attacker.

As Yosho found himself running after his grandfather again, he realized something. It didn't appear so much that the women were trying to kill the older man as much as herd him in a certain direction. Yosho thought about their possible destination. There wasn't anything special in the direction they were headed towards. Just the large tree that had the spirit wards on it.

A moment later, Yosho's theory seemed to bare fruit as both he and his grandfather entered the open area of water the tree rested in, and promptly discovered a woman with long, flowing purple hair and dressed in a pink, formal-looking outfit, waiting for them. Perhaps the strangest thing about her appearance was the ring of tiny logs that surrounded her.

The older man pulled up to a stop. Yosho watched his grandfather turn around, obviously looking for another avenue of escape. But around them were the three other homicidal girls, now effectively leaving him nowhere to go.

He placed a hand behind his head and began chuckling. "Heh heh heh. Long time no see, Aeka."

The response was as cold as ice. "How dare you address me so easily." A nimbus of yellow light began to surround her and her tiny floating logs.

Just when Yosho thought things could not get any worse, the large space ship that had been hovering over the shrine now made its way over to hang directly above the huge tree in the middle of the pond. It hung in the sky, leaving Yosho to wonder what was going to happen next. Within moments a beam of light came from the bottom of it and a figure materialized in the beam.

Yosho found his mouth come unhinged as the most beautiful woman he had ever seen stepped forth from the light and approached his grandfather. She was tall, with her turquoise-colored hair tied behind her in what appeared to be dual braids. Her face was achingly beautiful, and Yosho felt like falling to his knees in reverence before her. He watched, awestruck as she approached his grandfather. Assuming she was like the other girls, and was probably after his grandfather's hide as well, Yosho found himself wishing he had done something to her that would cause him to be struck dead too. Dying at her hands would be a pretty darn good fate, as far as he was concerned.

The woman walked up to the older man, giving him a soft look filled with love. Slowly, she brought her hand up to his face, her fingers almost caressing him, but falling just short. She gave Yosho's grandfather a smile, then said,

"You've been a naughty boy, Tenchi." She grabbed his ear and pulled up sharply, eliciting a sharp, "Ow!" of pain from him.

"Humph!" Ryouko said from off to the side, as Tsunami/Sasami released Tenchi's ear. "And what exactly do you have to say for yourself?"

"It was fun while it lasted," Tenchi sighed.

Ryouko smacked him in the back of the head.

Tsunami waved her hand at Ryouko, who backed off. "Now, now. I'm sure Tenchi's sorry for all of the problems he's caused. There's no need for excessive punishments."

Yosho looked at the scene in confusion. "Grandfather, just what is going on here?"

"Grandfather?" Tsunami looked at the boy, then looked back at Tenchi. After a moment, a wide smile blossomed on her features. "I see how it is. I guess Ryouko had the right idea. You will have to be punished."

All of the hundreds of guns lining the exterior of the starship turned and targeted Tenchi.

"NONONONO!" Tenchi shouted as he held his hands up in a warding gesture. "He's the son of my adopted son! Adopted! I didn't sleep with anyone! Honest!"

Mihoshi looked at him skeptically. "You mean to tell me that in the fifty years you've been gone you've never slept with anyone?"

Tenchi raised an eyebrow at that. "With the five of you as my wives, it was remarkably easy." He fell into a sitting position on the ground, crossing his legs and frowning like a petulant child.

"How could you leave us like that?" Aeka protested.

Tenchi gave them all a serious look. "I have all of you as my wives."

Even Washuu felt herself at a loss. "What did we do wrong?"

Tenchi sighed. "You're not listening. I said I have all five of you as wives. You didn't need to do anything wrong. You were just your usual selves."

"But then why did you leave us?" Ryouko asked, practically in tears.

Tenchi stood up and placed his arm affectionately around Ryouko's shoulders. "Allow me to explain it to you in the simplest terms I can manage. Do you see your four 'sisters' standing around us?" He gave a broad sweep of his hand in the others' direction.

"Yes."

"Now picture them, with their personalities intact, as men. And now picture yourself married to them. All of them. And now think about how you're going to satisfy their urges."

Ryouko did, fusing most of her brain cells in the process as for one, brief moment, the full impact of the statement hit her all at once.

Tenchi left her twitching on the ground. "It's nothing personal. I just needed a break. I mean, for God's sake, I was exhausted for almost an entire year with having to perform my husbandly duties."

"But Tenchi, we didn't make you clean the palace floors more than once a week," Mihoshi pointed out.

"Not those husbandly duties!" Tenchi snapped, cursing whatever spineless emperor had allowed his wife to henpeck him into mandating that whomever held the position of emperor had to personally clean all of the palace floors. "I meant the sexual ones."

Washuu pulled out her transparent floating keyboard and began tapping the keys. "That would explain the drop off in your sexual performance right before you left." She flipped a screen in his direction and showed him a graph that had a red line that started off high, but then took deep plunge towards the end. "You needn't have worried."

Tenchi appeared surprised. "You mean you were going to give me a break?"

"No." Washuu whipped out a bottle of pills. "I'd have given you these sexual performance enhancers. They'll make you a real stallion in the bed. Heh, heh, heh."

Tenchi sadly shook his head. "How did you find me anyway?"

"Achika told us." Tsunami pointed to the large tree.

"Traitor," Tenchi mumbled under his breath at the space tree that he was bonded to.

"Why don't you drop it with the 'Oh, I'm a poor old grandfather' routine?" Washuu said as she put away her computer.

Tenchi sighed, dropping the illusion that he had used to mask his true, youthful features. At least he had a true appreciation for what his own grandfather had had to do in maintaining anonymity.

"JUST WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!"

All eyes turned to the Yosho. After a moment of silence, Tenchi spoke up. "Oh, I forgot you were here, grandson," He moved closer to Yosho and placed an arm affectionately around his shoulder. Clearing his throat, he began. "Well, the answer to this is kind of simple. Umm. Sort of. Okay. It's not simple at all, but I'll explain it anyway. I'm really the Emperor of the Jurai Empire."

"I knew that," Yosho said.

"You did?" Tenchi said.

"Yep." Yosho answered. "And I'm really the greatest action film star in the universe, Jackie Chan the Fourth."

"Wow! Can I have your autograph?" Mihoshi held out a pen and pad.

"He's kidding!" Tenchi shouted. "Look, Yosho. I really am the Emperor of Jurai. You see, about seventy years ago, my great-grandfather, Emperor Azusa The First stepped down from the throne and passed the crown to me, the only male heir willing to accept the duties. Since by royal decree no bachelor may become Emperor, I had to marry. And since there were five women in my life that I cared about, and I didn't know which one to choose, and didn't want to hurt any of their feelings-"

"You married all of them," Yosho finished in a dry voice. "Grandpa, you're an idiot."

Tenchi raised his fists to the skies. "Now I understand why my great-grandfather and grandfather laughed so hard at the wedding! They knew this was coming!" Tenchi took a moment to compose himself. "You don't know what it was like trying to satisfy these five women and their voracious appetites! Aeka and Tsunami with their leather and whips."

"Those are standard parts of Juraian Bridal Training," the girls said as one.

"Washuu and her 'science experiments'."

"You mean you don't like having electric shocks being administered to you during sex?" Washuu asked.

"Mihoshi and the hamsters."

"But they're so cute and cuddly," Mihoshi giggled.

"And Ryouko and her lack of imagination in bed."

"Hey, I'm a standard 'meat and potatoes' kind of gal, if you know what I mean," Ryouko said, pouting.

"You have no idea what it was like having to put out for five women for twenty years straight. It was like Hell, I tell you!" Tenchi began crying again.

"Wimp," Yosho muttered under his breath.

Tenchi composed himself once again. "Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore. So one day, I decided to make a break for it."

"We should have known there was something funny when you said you were just going down to the corner to buy a gallon of milk and didn't come back for a month," Aeka said.

Tenchi continued despite the interruption. "I decided to follow the time-honored family tradition of ducking responsibilities by hiding out, just like my grandfather did. I hid myself on a backwater world, this one specifically, and opened a shrine and pretended to be a normal priest, faking aging over the years." Tenchi focused all of his attention on Yosho. "Everything was going fine until one day someone left a little baby on my doorstep, namely your father. I couldn't find it in my heart to throw him out or give him up, so I raised him like my own son. Eventually he grew up, married your mother and had you."

"I get the picture," Yosho said. "And that brings us to the present."

"Well, since you did remain faithful to us, I guess we can forgive you," Tsunami said. All of the other girls nodded their heads in agreement. With the decision unanimous, she gave Tenchi a warm, forgiving smile. "Before we go, do you have any last requests?"

"Can I have another fifty years off?"

"NO!" The five shouted as one.

"It was worth a shot." Tenchi shrugged, then brightened a bit. After fifty years, he did feel refreshed enough to take on his responsibilities again.

Tsunami brought her spaceship to the ground. A ramp unfolded, and the others began to board it, keeping a close eye on Tenchi to make sure he got on.

Yosho was at a bit of a loss. Since none of the women refuted the story, he assumed it was true. Besides, his grandfather lacked the imagination to come up with such a fanciful tale. He decided to speak up. "Grandpa."

"Yes?" Tenchi turned to look at his grandson.

"I have to say, I'm disappointed in you." Yosho pointed his finger, as though he were scolding an upstart child. "I don't know how you could possibly abandon these five gorgeous women who are so obviously in love with you. I know if it was me, I would have been able to satisfy them and then some. Why, I bet I could handle six, no, seven wives, if I had to. As much as I love you, I have to say I'm disappointed that you've turned into such a wimp."

"You think it's that easy?" Tenchi asked, his eyebrow raised ever so slightly.

"Damn straight." Yosho thumped his fist to his chest.

Tenchi nodded his head. "I see. Well, I guess I'd have to commend you for your ah, manliness." He turned his face away from his grandson. "Say, I have an idea. Why don't you come to the Jurai Throneworld with me? Check out your grandfather's old home and Empire. I'm sure I'll be able to find something to entertain you once we get there."

"Sounds great." Yosho was supposed to spend the entire Autumn with his grandfather, and even if they were off-world, he'd still be with him. There shouldn't be any problems.

Tenchi hid a sinister smile as his grandson boarded the ship. As egotistical as Yosho could be sometimes, he was a wonderful, morally upstanding boy that Tenchi was proud of. And it was not as though Tenchi had not been the same age when he had first encountered Ryouko and the other girls. Yosho could handle himself very well.

Of course, Yosho's mouth could get him into trouble sometimes, like when he shot it off about how Tenchi was a wimp in not being able to handle the five girls. He really shouldn't have said such things about his own grandfather.

Especially a grandfather that had five daughters that were every bit like their mothers, if not worse. Tenchi was going to have fun introducing them to their 'nephew.' And right about the time when they were old enough to start being married too.

Yosho really, really, should have learned to keep his mouth shut.