Tenchi Survivor

Day 21

Final Day

Jose Philipe Mendola

Authors Rant: Here we go, bout time, yes? After 4+ years of production, this is it. The last day of Tenchi Survivor. If any of you still care, you will find out who wins the game, and who will go home with nothing but nightmares. Please, if you are still reading this after so many years, for the love of god, enjoy it. And don't forget to read your bonus material. 50 pages of Survivor goodness. I LOVE it.

Legal note: And after this, I still hold no rights to anything I have created, drafted and posted. Is anyone even worried about this? Did I mention the rating? Upped for language, situations and obscene jokes.

Certain Scenes Defined: So I know I'm going to get this unless I explain it right here, so listen up. I'll delete any e-mail I get that question this segment of this chapter. The dream Jose suffers from in this chapter was a real one I had while drafting this out almost 3 years ago. This was a reoccurring dream that I had while in Europe with the family and an ex. I'm sure I could take a guess as to why I was having this dream at the time, as I was dating someone else while out of country, and the only I could cope with it was to have what did talk to me while asleep. I'm a very messed up kid, I know, but for your entertainment, the dream has now been published, word for reoccurring word, here in the text that follows. While the subject person has changed for one reason or another, said individual has been replaced by the current times appropriate. That said, any further questions should be sent to me via e-mail. And for the love of god, do NOT attempt at the number that is given in this fic. Though another footnote occurs near it, I would be very badly embarrassed if you DID call and DID get a hold of me.

Miko, did I thank you for the mind blowing sex? Thanks again. Best experience of my life.

Warning: At the end of this chapter, BLATANT fan service. This, however, is not the correct term to be used for that particular paragraph or two, as I hate the show I have used more than anything else on this planet and that is saying a lot. Please, do NOT expect any more shit like that coming from me. You will be sadly disappointed.

Mentioning that which I should not: More than likely, 100 of you should completely disregard this, as it does not concern you. I, however, am pissed, alone, and this is how I've chosen to cope:

So this is how I'm going to have to tell you. You knew this was going to happen. I'm not one to say 'I told you so", but I did. Honestly, what guy admits to a woman that his LAST relationship failed because he could not commit to ONE BED? You saw evidence of this yourself last July. However, I don't see why you would be concerned with giving up an 8.5 rock on a 24K band. Who cares anyway? Not like your dating or anything. He's a 'room mate', right? Wonderful choice you made. Hope you can live with it. But whatever, don't believe me, I've only gotten it from three sources. The girl he was SLEEPING with and two other CE guys. As I have been told, there's quite the bit of disrespect for you when you are topic of the week and not his current 'conquest'. But like I said, who cares? 'Room mate.' Best of luck with that. I'd rather return to Utah single and to no one than to someone that slept around on me the first chance they got. And the best part is, you STILL have yet to do ANYTHING serious about him sleeping around. You are a JOKE.

And now, on with the show.

After all they had been through, all the pain, the excitement and everything else, this was it. The Last Day.

The Survivors themselves looked worn out and beaten, like they had trekked across the continent of Europe for 10 days, only finding time for two showers. Dirt was stuck and stained to their necks. If one was to drag a finger over it, little rolls of dirt, moisture and god know what else would be left in the wake. Any exposed joints, elbows, knees and between every part of hand were black. A black stain that was lifted with water, but came from everything. Hair felt gritty and greasy, feet were blistered and exposed skin red and burnt from the sun. Though still in the early hours of the morning and in these conditions, Ryoko and Katsuhito were waiting up excitedly for Jose to show up.

Between people trying to kill him, abusive survivors lack of familiar people, lack of SEX, and all the hours coming up with ways to torture the survivors, Jose slept an easy night. Some superficial bruises and cuts showed form his tangle with a greater evil, but no permanent damage was done. Jose, having stayed in a cabin, showered every morning and every night. His hair had a natural brown/ blond shine, neck smelled of Polo, clothes clean and some pressed and skin tan with the exception of a watch line that was on his left wrist.

The clock showed 7:56, but Jose had been asleep for only two hours. Up all night looking, selecting and eliminating song candidates, he had finally settled on a favorite. In addition, letters were sent to other 'groups', asking their permission to be kidnapped and forced onto the island. But we'll get to that later.

7:58. somewhere in the cabin, an automatic coffee pot turned on and began its daily routine. 12 cups of coffee, extra strong. If Mr. Coffee could think with a free mind, he would know that Jose would be in to get his Coffee in exactly 17 minutes. Water boiled and mixed with grounds. An aroma drifted out.

8:00. Jose's alarm went off, and was obliterated like its 20 brothers. Jose put the black jack back under the bed and jumped up. Grabbing clothes that had been laid out the night before, for this special occasion, Jose headed off to the shower, designated to 15 minutes.

Jose walked out of the bathroom and down the hall to the kitchen. Once there, Jose took a mug, decorated with the 2nd armored division emblem and 'Hell on Wheels' under it picked up a radio and called for his stagehands.

Katsuhito must have fallen asleep at some point. He rolled over and awoke looking out over the beach. It was another nice day. Light clouds drifted slowly over an orange morning sky, waves crashed on rocks and shore. Birds would occasionally dart in and out of his field of vision. Things had not been so bad since Jose torched the shelters. This morning, like many others, he was wet with dew.

Katsuhito looked to his other side and saw Ryoko.

She stood facing the jungle, a new path cut through it. The treetops were lined with blinders, making it dark as night went along the path. Only torches lit the way.

'What the hell is this?' Katsuhito asked as he stood up.

'I don't know.' Ryoko said as she continued to stare down the path. 'It was here when I woke up.'

Katsuhito walked up next to her.

'Well, I have an idea as to what to do,' Katsuhito said as if he was not really sure.

'I think I do too.' Ryoko said. 'Let's go.

The survivors walked down the torch lit path. As soon as they passed into the jungle, it felt colder and damper.

'I don't get it.' Katsuhito said after about 40 feet of path, torches and not much else 'I don't hear any wildlife, animals or hosts.'

'Look.' Ryoko said as she pointed off the path.

4 torches surrounded a bright yellow dinghy. That's all that there was. Walking on, they came to a section of Jose's old cabin wall.

'I get it now.' Katsuhito said 'It's a type of memorial. There's the first two challenge tests.'

A few more feet down the path, candles replaced torches. With them, a sign.

"Silence until instructed otherwise, please" Katsuhito read.

'We're supposed to take the candles with us.' Ryoko pointed out 'There are no more torches up the path.'

Taking a candle each, the survivors walked down an otherwise dark path.

Some distance down the road, a tree stump was loaded with lit candles. They illuminated a picture of the first survivor eliminated, Sasami.

The survivors looked for a minute, and then moved on. Just beyond the picture, a red string was stretched across the path.

A sign read:

'This red string represents the lifeline that the banished survivor had while on the island. Burn through this lifeline like you did when the survivor was here and move on. Conversation may resume afterwards.'

Ryoko leaned forward and burnt through the yarn. It burnt up and the path opened. One way or another, torches along the path flared to life. The survivors put the candles in the sand and continued on.

Part of challenge by part of challenge, they moved through the memorials and pictures of the banished survivors. In the order they were eliminated. Ryoko burned through every piece of yarn along the way.

Katsuhito thought at one point that she might have enjoyed 'eliminating' the survivors, but at one certain point, that changed.

Opening up the path again to candles, Ryoko was held up at one picture. Any other she had come across, she did not care too much about any of them. But there was one line that she could not bring herself to burn. It was hard enough to play without him, and it was even harder to see him go. It was worse to see him with Ayeka.

'I can't do it.' She said quietly to the red string. 'I can't burn this one.' She looked at her candle and back at the string. 'If I burn THIS, it means that I'll have to forget about him and live my life without thinking of him or seeing him.'

Katsuhito stood in deep though before he spoke.

'This is your choice here. You can let ME burn that, and continue on with your life, chasing something that you can never have, or you can burn it YOURSELF, have your moment of self-pity and loss, only to live a free life from now on. I can only act on the choice you make now. I'm free to go either ay. Whatever choice you make here, I will not think any ill of you.'

Ryoko considered her options. Hurt now and live later, or chase after a dream and hurt until she stopped. See Tenchi and hurt, or forget about him and hurt?

It was hard. Hard to make a decision based on love. So many other people had it easier. People in love decided on what to have for dinner, what to name their kids, and what kind of rope to use in bed. Jose would have disagreed, as love was not what he had seen or been a part of. Love was an empty promise filled only by the illusion of being happy until it was a mutual decision of happiness. Love was not a choice whether to forget about each other or not. That was FAR from love. Ryoko WAS young (or looked it anyway), but she was SURE she knew what love was. Love was a powerful thing that could not die, but could it be forgotten? Both she and Jose prayed it could be.

Ryoko bit her lip and looked at the candle in her hand. The burning chunk of wax would decide how she would see who she wanted to be with. The hardest decision she would ever have to make.

Fire burned through dyed wool. Fibers gave way to flame and burnt away leaving behind carbon and smoke. The final fiber burnt away and both ends of the string hit the ground.

Ryoko dropped the candle and followed it down. She cried to herself over the knowledge that her and Tenchi were not meant to be together and never would be.

Jose flipped off the closed circuit television he was using to watch that one spot.

Flipping a tear out of his eye, Jose exited the AV trailer. He had seen all he wanted. It was as sad as he hoped it would be.

Ryoko had calmed down a short time later. Putting on a brave front, she stood up and dried her eyes with the back of her hand. She felt like she had just lost an important part of her life, but at the same time, she felt a lot better.

Even Katsuhito had to admit that it took a lot of Brass to do something like that.

The continued down the path, coming across the last f the banished survivors and the games before them. At one point, three was a ring post and wrestling rope. After that, opaque cups filled with liquid. Finally, pictures, maps and shells from the other day.

Continuing on, the survivors came to a final picture.

Like the rest of the picture frames, this was mounted on a tree and had candles in front of lit. UNLIKE the others, it was an empty frame that held a white background. On the white, printed in red letters was the word 'reserved'

The survivors looked on as the picture did not change or move. Both must have pictured the other there. It was the only way to win. In a sense, kill or be killed.

Someone up the path from the empty picture frame whistled. The survivors looked and they were beckoned to move on.

The survivors would have followed the stagehand directly, but he took off somewhere into the jungle. Now out one candle, the survivors moved on.

Another 150 feet later, a small circle of sunlight filtered through the canopy. In the circle of light, a small table stood with three chairs placed around it.

'I guess this is where we sit.' Ryoko offered.

'You have presumed right.' Jose said from the darkness of the jungle 'Take a seat and I'll be right with you.'

Ryoko and Katsuhito both sat at the table. The seats were made of hard polished mahogany. They had straight backs and no arms. Not very comfortable. The table was tall with a small flat surface. It looked like spackled ebony with carvings around the sides. 4 legs gave it a lot of support.

Jose stepped out of the shadows and into the light. He was now dressed as he normally was. Khaki shorts that ended below the knees, complete with cargo pockets. On him was a new shirt. It was a tan and had a collar to it. It buttoned halfway down from the neck and ended in stitching. Short sleeves and an emblem embroidered on the chest.

'Second armored division, Hell on Wheels.' Katsuhito read.

Standard Yankees hat and new white shoes.

'Are you two ready to start today and finally be done with this game?' Jose asked the survivors.

Both survivors confirmed that they were ready to end today, regardless of what it took.

'That's what I like to hear.' Jose said 'This here will be real easy. We're going to do something we have not done in a long time.'

'Have real food?' Katsuhito asked

'Get a can of Mountain Dew?' Ryoko asked.

'No and no.' Jose said 'we're going to do something fun. We're going to do a survivor interview.'

'Thank god.' Katsuhito sighed 'I almost though you had forgotten about us.'

'No, I hadn't forgotten about you. I was just waiting for the right time to start questioning again.'

'So is one of going to have to leave while the other is being questioned?' Ryoko asked.

'Nah.' Jose waved it off 'You'll both have to sit here and listen to the other. That way, we can compare ideas.'

'Whatever you say.' Katsuhito said.

'I like your attitude.' Jose said as he pointed at Katsuhito 'you first. Tell me, what was your first impression of the island?'

'Oh, let's see.' Katsuhito began 'It all began with a letter in the mail asking if I wanted to be part of a game show. At the bottom of the letter was a phone number. It sounded like a good deal, so I called. Next thing I know, someone crashed through a window and takes me away.'

'Let's jump to the impression you got of the game when you got here.' Jose said.

'Well that's easy. My first impression was this was going to be one hell of a hard game. Right off, the host went through our stuff and got rid of everything that was not desperately needed to live off of. That was easy compared to the tortures he'd put us through. Early calls, pointless games, and odd objectives. If not for the companionship, I think I would have gone insane.'

'That's the kind of thing I like to hear.' Jose said 'so if you when, what are you going to do?'

Well, first, I'm going to take that trip.'

'Well with whom?' Jose pressed.

'You know, I'm not sure yet. I have put NO thought into who I'd take.'

'A qualifying answer. Now, what do you think of your opponent?'

Katsuhito looked over at Ryoko who sat relaxed. She returned the look.

'She is defiantly worth the time and the game. She's a powerful woman who knows what she's doing. If I had to pick anyone, I would want to go against Ryoko. If it were anyone else, it would not have been the same.'

'Well put.' Jose said 'Ok, your turn.'

'Like Katsuhito, I too made a call and was then assaulted and dragged out here. It's bad enough you went through ALL my clothes and put us through everything you did, but the worst part is, after all this pain and displeasure I have been forced through, I really don't hate you as much as I should. In fact, I don't think I hate you at all.'

Jose nodded.

'And if I had a soul, I think I'd go easy on you.'

'First impression of the game was an easy one. I figured the most you could do to us was hold out poled over water and see who could last the longest while balancing. I never dreamed I would have to go up against a giant killer robot. But sure, first glance really fell short of what would be happening.'

'Interesting take.' Jose said 'I'd fall in love with me too.'

'But, I never said-'Ryoko protested.

'No need to explain.' Jose said as he rolled up his short sleeves to his shoulders. 'So if you win, where are you going to for a vacation?'

'Actually, I've always wanted to go to Rome. It's supposed to be real nice out there.'

'You know, I've never been there. I hear its rich in history or something. So who would you plan on taking with you?'

The question hit Ryoko as hard as Jose wanted to. All along, she had been playing to win so her and Tenchi could take a victory tour of Rome. But after today, did the game still have a point to itself? A tear formed behind her eye, threatening to come out.

Ryoko thought back to what she had done earlier and what it had meant. To forget the past was to live a new future. Jose would have been proud. The tear behind here eye receded back into place, not coming out.

'I don't know.' She said unwavering 'I'll have to think about it.' She smiled.

'Puis-je te raccompagner?' Jose asked without thinking. Shit. With any luck, neither Ryoko nor anyone watching spoke fluent French.

'What was the other question?' Ryoko asked, ignoring Jose.

'Err, what do you think of your opponent in this final stage?'

'I really could not ask for a better one. This guy may be old, but he can really put up a fight. I remember whacking him with a chair and him not falling. This guy is nuts. If I could find a guy my age like him, I'd be set for life.'

'Veux-tu m'epouser?' Jose chimed.

'If I was not going up against Katsuhito, I don't think I'd really want to compete.'

'Bonus Question!' Jose shouted 'What do you think of the people that are multi-lingual?'

Ryoko blinked in confusion.

'Well, I suppose it IS admirable if someone has mastered 3 or 4 languages.' She said.

'I've got 5 under my belt.' Katsuhito said 'I took one in school a while ago and picked a few up since then.'

'Is that so?' Jose asked dejectedly.

'German, Japanese, English, French and Spanish.'

'Like I said,' Ryoko went on 'I'm not sure who I'm taking with me, but I have plenty of time to think it over.'

'Excellent.' Jose said 'let's mover on tot eh last part of the interview.'

'This has nothing to do with the clothes I'm not wearing under this thing, right?'

'No, this is far more interesting.' Jose said, missing that one comment and reaching under Katsuhitos chair.

'The hell!' He demanded.

Jose withdrew his hand out form under the chair and placed a new implement of pain and destruction on the table.

'Gentlemen,' Jose began in a gravely Voice 'BEHOLD! A Telephone.'

'I don't get it.' Ryoko said.

'Ladies and gentlemen,' Jose began, this time sounding like himself 'now comes a special time in the Survivor series.' Jose put in a small earpiece. 'This is the time in the show where YOU call in and ask the remaining survivors questions.'

'Did you know about this?' Katsuhito asked Ryoko.

'Not a freaking clue.' She replied.

'In just a few minutes, I'll give out the number to call. Though this call is NOT free, I guarantee I'll see every red cent of what it cost you. BUT, you get to talk to your favorite person, or I suppose you could talk to the survivors.'

'How do you think he gets his shirts on with an ego of that size?' Ryoko asked Katsuhito. He shrugged.

Jose plugged the phone into a line and looked it over. It had a few additional buttons, including hold, lines 1-6, speaker phone and disconnect.

'All set at the switchboard?' Jose asked to someone off camera.

'All 30 lines up and ready to go.' The communications operator replied. 'Ready when you are.'

'Ok kids. Get out the ink pens and something to scrawl on, be it paper, arm or wall. Here's the number to call. One-five-zero-eight-sin-nine-seven-four-two--'

(Please note: Again, please do not attempt to call me. I might answer and I might not, but I'll be horribly embarrassed if you manage to get through to me)

'You really expect to people to call an island in the middle of nowhere?'

Jose shrugged.

'The girlfriend expects me to call FROM here.'

'18 calls on the board.' The operator said.

'Well let's take the first one.' Jose punched a few buttons 'Go ahead caller; you are on live with us here at Tenchi Survivor. What's your name?'

'Steve McNally.' The caller said with a British accent over the speaker phone.

'What can I do for you, Eh! Steve?' Jose asked.

'I got a question for Ryoko.' He said.

'Go for it.' She replied.

How do you sit knowing that the last two survivors are dead and that people have vanished and or died for this game?'

'Talk about a deep subject-' Ryoko started.

'And you are discussing Ryoko's-' Jose was cut off.

'Well, as for contestants dead, I can tell you for a fact that if Ayeka HAD been alive for one more day, I would have killer her myself in her sleep. Then again, I would have pinned it on Jose and his sexual frustrations.'

'Meh,' Jose said with a shrug 'It's happened before.'

'As for Washu,' Ryoko continued 'her and I only got along. It's not like we were best friends or anything. It's a shame that she's gone, but it's nothing I can't get over. And yes, before you ask, I'll go into the Ryo-ohki thing.'

'Cool.' Steve said.

'There were a few things that pissed me off about the death and eating of that creature. One of them is that in its crystal form, it was worth a ton on the black market. Also, I'm upset that I did not fry that thing up and eat it first. That was good food.'

'Well wasn't it your ship? Your ticket out of here?'

'Yeah, but it was wrecked anyway. WAY outdated.'

'Oh, ok.' Steve said 'Thanks again for taking my call.'

'Hey, no problem.' Jose said 'who do we have on THIS line?'

'Hi Jose, This is Janice.'

'Hi Janice, what can we do for you?'

'I wanted to make a request from Katsuhito.'

'Sure, I guess.' Katsuhito responded.

'Will you say, 'I want to father your children."

'Whoa! Hold on,' Jose said 'you DO know that Mr. Morrow does NOT do the voice for Mr. Misako here, right?'

'Does my voice?' Katsuhito questioned.

'In fact,' Jose continued 'Mr. Morrow was invited to visit and do a guest segment and he told us that he was far too busy doing nothing to show up and wanted no part of us. We took care of his schedule though.'

Jose checked the lining of his pants above the pocket. A .38 revolver almost fell out. Jose caught it and stored it back where it came from.

'Indeed, we took care of THAT.'

'I know.' Janice said 'But it's the closest thing I have.'

'Fine.' Katsuhito said with a sigh 'I want to father your children.'

'Happy?' Jose asked.

'Can you say it again?' Janice asked 'I want to record it for the answering machine.'

'Get a life.' Jose said as he hit the disconnect button. 'Ok, who do we have on this line?'

'Hey Jose, this is Hans Pimmell Schmitt.'

'That's not funny.' Jose said 'Can we get someone to SCREEN these calls? What's your real name?'

'Ok, fine. I'm Mark.'

'I don't get it.' Ryoko said

'I'll teach you later.' Jose said.

'My question is for Jose.' Mark said.

'You are talking to him.' Jose replied.

'What? You don't sound Latin. This CAN'T be Jose. You sound like a damn Yankee.'

'Man, where have you been? Jose Philipe Mendola is a PEN name. I'm a scrawny Caucasian with a tan. Now what's your question?'

'Well, I want to know what I have to do to get my OWN reality type show.'

First you need some brains.' Ryoko offered.

'What?' Came Marks reply.

'First off, you need an idea. Take mine for example. I stole the survivor gag and gave it a creative twist. Using a cast from a well known show. Secondly, you need a place to play. Before me, the networks used islands and deserts. I chose island because of lack of escape methods. After that, being an evil genius really just gets you through the rest of the show. Oh, and when trying to FIND a cast, look for a group that normally has good looking women in it. That can make things more interesting.'

'I think I got it, just steal an idea and broadcast it.'

'Well, no.' Jose said. 'You can't just put it out there. You have to develop fans first.'

'I'm going to do that right now!' Mark claimed 'The cast of Transformers meets Big Brother. Thanks Jose.'

That said, Mark hung up.

'Good god.' Jose sighed 'Another typical Big Brother fan. Half retarded. Next caller, you are ON the air.'

'Yeah, I got a question for the survivors.' A familiar Boston accent said.

'Go for it.' Ryoko said.

'That's why we're here I suppose.' Katsuhito said.

'Why do you take all that abuse from Jose? He's harmless.'

'What are you talking about?' Ryoko asked.

'Let's take another call.' Jose stammered.

'No, don't hang up the phone; I want to talk to your survivors.'

'Oh, don't DO this to me.' Jose whined.

'I'm telling you, if he acts up, just rub his chest like you would and he's a pacifist for a good 5 minutes.'

Jose turned red.

'Tell me, how much better could this BE? Does it look like he's trying?'

'Actually miss,' Katsuhito started 'I think he's doing a fine job. And he has since we got here.'

'I agree.' Ryoko jumped in 'I could ask for a better host, but I could have gotten stuck with one that was much worse too.'

'Can I talk now?' Jose asked.

'Not yet.' Ryoko said 'I want to ask the woman a question.'

The woman on the other line stifled a laugh. Much like the one at the end of her voice mail message.

'Go for it.' She said 'I was hoping for SOME kind of interaction.'

'Even though I THINK I know the answer, how do you know this guy Jose?'

'That's a long, complicated story.'

'It usually is.' Jose mumbled.

'I'll tell you the version I tell everyone. The CORRECT version.'

Jose rolled his eyes in innocence.

'It was a typical chance meeting one normally reads about. Its 8:30 on a Tuesday morning and I'm heading home from spending the night with a friend. I'm not about to drive in and out of the city during rush hour, so I take the train in and out. So anyway, Rush hour to get into the city. Get on the train and it's packed like usual. Walk down one isle, no room to stand. Walk down another, again, no room to walk. So o get in to the last car and there's this one seat open. However this guy managed to do it, he fell asleep during the busiest commuting time during the day. So I figure, ok, if I don't wake him up, we'll be ok. So I throw an overnight bad on the racks above the seat and take off my jacket. Attempting to put the jacket, sweatshirt, I don't remember what it was; up there too, I missed. So this article of clothing falls on this poor kids head, and he doesn't wake up. So I'm thinking, oh shit, now I got to move it. So I go to move it, just about to reach for it, and he slides it off of his head.'

'Are we there yet?' Jose quoted.

'So I said 'What? Are we where?'

'Boston. It's getting hot on this thing.'

'I tell him a few more stops and apologize for the jacket and waking him up. And you know what he says to me? He goes-'

'That's ok. I hate waking up alone.'

Katsuhito laughed.

'So now I have to make the first move. I ask him what his name is, where he's going, what he's doing, if he's meeting up with anyone.'

'So we talk for a few minutes and I get that she was at a friends house for the night, lives in the city and was heading back with nothing on her schedule. Before I know it, I'm asked to accompany her to Lunch.'

'Before I take this guy out to lunch, I got to feel him out. What kind of person is he? Is he ALWAYS this funny? Is he going to kill me and dump my body in the harbor?'

'So she shows me a little shop where I can get all the bootleg movies and music I'm looking for, and goldfish, and we go out for lunch.'

'So before I know it, I've warmed up to Jose and here I am, grinning like an idiot, wanting to see him again.'

'So I've never hung around with a more charming woman, and here I am saying 'holy crap, what kind of luck is this?' So we go shopping, I get what I need and ask her what she has planned for the rest of the day.'

'Well, you have to meet my parents.'

'So that was kind of weird. I've never met someone that wanted me to meet their parents so badly. I, being the person who can be taken advantage of very easily, agree to go back to the apartment with her and say hello to her parents.'

'There we are, some skinny white kid with a tan, being led around Boston's South end by a Chinese American girl. I'm sure it looked strange to a lot of people. So we make it to the apartment and, to quote a movie title, meet the parents.'

'Very nice people, I must say, but it was strange to have them keep offering me food and tea. Maybe it's me, but it was just odd to be a part of that.'

'It's custom.' Katsuhito threw in.

'So he eventually leaves, to protest of doing so, and I tell him that I want to see him again. He tells me that he might have to wait because there was someone he was in school with that he might have had a chance with.'

Ryoko leaned over and Punched Jose in the arm.

'Don't hear anything about HER.' Ryoko said. 'Brilliant plan. Go on.'

'That sounded like a hit!' the caller exclaimed 'That's what I wanted to do.'

'Tell me about it.' Jose said.

'Well, it's didn't end there. For whatever reason we both ended up dating different people, things fell the way they did, but I still wanted to be with and near him. It was kind of strange, we were in separate towns, but I sort of stalked him. I remember one night I called his house and asked to speak to him, and I'm told he's at work. So I get the address of where he was working and take a 10:30 train out of the city to sit on his car and wait for him.'

'And let me tell you.' Jose said 'she was sitting ON my car when I came out. Scared the hell out of me.'

'So it took forever since we met to start dating. He'd go out of state with friends, be off doing whatever while he knew that I was waiting for him to come visit. This was the most Unphysical person I had ever met, did you know that?'

'What do you mean?' Ryoko asked.

'It's like he was afraid to touch me. I was ready at one point to PAY him to kiss me.'

'If you don't mind,' Katsuhito started 'I'm interested in hearing this.'

'So I'm sitting outside of his work for almost an hour in the snow for him, it's been closed for a few hours so I cant go in, I don't want to bother him at work because he might get a pay cut, so I sit in the snow and wait him to come out.'

'So I'm held for a few minutes late after work, and here I am just getting my stuff together, and my boss comes back in. He's telling me that someone is waiting outside for me.'

'Anyway, so he comes outside, and there I am waiting on his car. Now, I've been out here for an hour, and I've get snow packed onto me from the wind, I'm freezing cold and I'm probably sick.'

'So, to the rescue, I take her jacket from her and give her the felid jacket I was wearing. This poor girl, I've never seen something cuter than her sitting in the snow waiting for me. So she gets in the car and I ask her what she's doing out here, where she was planning to go and such.'

'So I was planning on him taking me home and leaving in the morning. Is that so wrong?'

'We get her something to drink and get back to the train station. I remember telling her how nice it was seeing her after work and such, and I tell her to keep the jacket, as I'll see her that weekend.'

'And this is where he thinks that he's going to get away. After spending time with me, putting up with me coming to see him on a night that had intentional bad weather, he thinks he's going to wait on the train with me and go.'

'So I get a choice. Well, two. She tells me that she can either 1, do to me what she's wanted to do for a while now, or 2, I can cut all losses and kiss her right there.'

'So what was the alternative?' Katsuhito asked.

'Forget it'. The caller said. 'Not important. So after this many weeks, I finally get to kiss the stranger on the train. THIS long to wait.'

Both the survivors groaned in their disapproval.

'Better yet,' the caller went on 'it was after this point that I could get him to start spending the night with me. And let me tell you, anything less than a shirt, and he's not much to look at.'

'Ew.' Ryoko said, sticking out her tongue.

'That was more than I needed to know.' Katsuhito said.

'Now just a damn minute-' Jose began.

'I'm joking. You're cute regardless how much or how little you wear.'

'Look, I hate to cut this short, but this has NOTHING to do with survivor. These people must be bored.'

'One more question.' Katsuhito said 'I think she deserves it after putting up with you.'

'ONE more.' Jose said. 'We have to get this thing moving.'

'How happy will you be to get off this island and away from Jose for good?'

'I'll get you for this.' Jose vowed.

'I was counting on that.' She replied.

'Most defiantly.' Ryoko said off the bat. 'The sooner I get away from this island, the better. And Jose.'

'I'm not going to miss this place.' Katsuhito said 'I'm looking forward to a shower, real food and a soft bed. Not to mention people I WANT to be around.'

'And that's all the time we have for THAT caller. Stay out of trouble. I'll see you in a few weeks.' Jose hit the disconnect button. 'Who do we have on this line?'

'I got a question for Ryoko.' The caller said 'Electrocution, burns, I'm pretty sure I've seen you choked twice now. Normally, this would kill a lot of good moods, but it seems top encourage you. What's the deal? You seem like a- what's the word for it? Masochist?'

Ryoko laughed, Jose turned red.

'I'd consider myself a sadist.' She replied.

'That has NOTHING to do with survivor.' Jose said as he hung up. 'Ok, this line. Hello?' Jose got feedback from the speakers 'Damn! Turn down your computer!'

'Yeah, I got a question for the survivors.' The caller asked, no feedback this time 'would either of you consider coming back for a reunion game?'

'That would be kind of hard,' Ryoko explained 'as we will never see 3 of the survivors again.'

'I mean the ones that are still alive, would you come back to the island again to hook up with Jose and do a reunion show?'

'Stop giving him ideas.' Katsuhito said 'It only sounds like a good idea, but defiantly not good enough o show up for.'

'I agree.' Ryoko said 'It's a good idea, worthy of Jose even, but I'm not about to come back here again.'

'Ah, great. Just wondering.'

Jose hit the disconnect button.

'A few more?' Jose asked.

The agreement was only a few.

'Who do we have on this line?' Jose asked.

'This is Bob. Bob from Pike Creek.'

'Go for it Bob.' Jose said.

'OK, Jose first. Do you plan on doing any more reality based shows, or games like Monopoly?'

'Confidential information.' Jose replied 'If I have anything else planned, you'll know as soon as everyone else does.'

'And my question for the survivors, do either of you plan on taking after a career in Parody fics after this? Most people start off like this and end up in FEATURE LENGTH fics.'

'Uh, I think this will do it for me.' Katsuhito said 'After this, I plan on going back home to my private, abnormal life.'

'Ri-i-i-ight.' Jose said under his breath 'Private.'

'As for me, I'm not sure what I'll do.' Ryoko said 'I think I might get back to the Misaki residence and leave to travel. But hey, if TV fics want me, I might be willing to give it a try.'

'Even for me again?' Jose asked.

'With a few exceptions though.' Ryoko added.

'Hey, that's really admirable.' Bob said 'It's been a pleasure talking to you all. Thanks for taking my call.'

'No problem.' Jose said as he hung up. 'Who do we have on this line?'

'Hi Jose, my name is Scott.'

'Well hi, Scott. What can we do for you?' Jose asked.

'Well, I've been following this Fic since before the first few days were deleted, but let me tell you, they way you talk, dress, act and your general outlook on everything-'

'Is this some sort of gay thing?' Katsuhito asked Ryoko quietly. She laughed.

'I got to tell you man, it's like you are related to me or something. I'm pretty sure you are my alternate identity.'

'Have you seen the movie 'Secret Window' Scott?' Jose asked.

'Hell yeah-' Scott said 'I loved it.'

'Then perhaps I am what the killer ended up being. Just a fictional character, if you will, created by you, and the only way to live your ambitions is to live them through me.'

'So, kind of like Fight Club?' Scott asked.

'Correct.' Jose said 'So maybe I don't exist, and only you can see me, hear me, but subconsciously, you are living this life, only opposite in the aspect that you have a show.'

'You really think so?' Scott asked.

'Well, it's either that or this is a corny joke one of us thought up.'

'My head hurts.' Ryoko mumbled.

'Well, thanks for taking my call Jose. Or, should I be thanking myself that 'I' took my own call? Or should I tank you for taking 'our' call? Or possibly-'

'Nutcase.' Jose said as he hung up the phone. 'Ok, last call. Who's on the line?'

'Good day Mr. Mendola, I'm a high priced lawyer that has been hired by both the owners of the 'Survivor' title AND the owners of the Tenchi Muyo characters. I have a few questions for both you and your so called 'Survivors'.'

Jose closed his eyes in hopes the call would go away.

'Go ahead.' He groaned.

'First off, are you aware that this line is being recorded?'

'I had no idea.' Jose replied.

'Well it is. Second question, were you given, legally, any permission to use either the survivor title or the characters from the Tenchi Muyo Series?'

'Characters?' Katsuhito said 'What's he talking about?'

'No sir, I was given no permission.'

'Question 3; is it true that you have already had legal problems with this show?'

'No sir, I have not.'

'It shows here that the first few chapter days were deleted by an administrator. Care to explain?'

'That's easy.' Jose said 'they were deleted because they did not comply with the rules of the hosting site on the way they were posted.'

'And how was that, Mr. Mendola?'

'Somewhere in the millions and millions of rules and regulations the moderators expect us to follow, somewhere, in small print I'm sure, the rules state 'No reader interaction of any kind is permitted.' Earlier, I had asked readers to vote, so the first few chapters were put to a halt. They were soon deleted afterwards, and now, the current days, there have been no problems.'

'I see,' The lawyer said 'then I have one more question for you Mr. Mendola, then onto your 'survivors'.'

'Go right ahead.' Jose said.

'Mr. Mendola, have you ever made any kind of sexual advances toward any or all of the Tenchi Muyo Cast?'

Jose stood in appalled silence.

'May I remind you, Mr. Mendola, that if this trial goes to case, you will be under oath, and if any of these answers conflict with that said in the court room, there will be a sever punishment. Mr. Mendola?'

'What- the shit-' Jose growled.

'What was that Mr. Mendola?'

'WHAT- THE-SHIT?' Jose yelled 'what the hell kind of question is that? I would NEVER do such a thing! This is the most outrageous-'

'That will do, Mr. Mendola. As for your survivors, a few questions. Has Mr. Mendola ever made a sexual advance on your or the rest of the Tenchi Muyo cast while on the island?'

'Sir,' Katsuhito said right away 'I'm not sure what you mean by 'cast', but I can assure you that Jose has NEVER made an advance on me or Tenchi.'

'As for me,' Ryoko started 'Jose has never done such a thing to anyone. He has never questioned it, or asked ANY of us FOR it. And that goes for the whole GROUP of survivors.'

'So he ahs never promised any of you money, victory or any other material goods in exchange for sex?'

'No!' All three yelled.

'OK,' the lawyer went on 'Next question. Has Mr. Mendola promised you ANY sort of money?'

Ryoko and Katsuhito did not say anything.

'Ryoko? Katsuhito? Are you there? Need I remind you that you can not refuse to answer my questions related to this legal case? Has Mr. Mendola promised you money of any kind, for any reason?'

The survivors looked at Jose. He only nodded.

'Come to think of it,' Katsuhito started 'it was claimed that if we won this game, we get $10,000'

'Ah-ha.' The lawyer laughed 'now we are legally getting somewhere. Mr. Mendola, are you aware that it is illegal to write out any number of checks for any amount of money that is tied in to the station?'

'Yes I am.' Jose replied.

'But you went ahead and did it anyway, promising money and a trip?'

'No sir, I did not.' Jose said evenly.

'But you just said-' the lawyer started

'Allow me to read to you the fine print that is at the bottom of the contracts signed by the survivors after they had arrived on the island. And I quote, 'I, the above signed name, understand that the 10,000 dollar prize money will go toward my one week all expenses paid trip, and I will not see a dime of it.' End quote.'

There was only silence from the other end of the line.

'Ok,' the lawyer said finally 'and on the topic of using the names without consent, are you aware of the copyright laws you are infringing upon, correct?'

'Yes I am,' Jose answered 'However, I am also aware of the laws that state as long as I admit to using names that are not mine, but legally owned ones, I am clear of any infringement rights. As for the characters, I am aware of the laws that state that as long as I make no money using their names or likenesses, I will and can not be held in legal regards.'

More silence from the other end of the line.

'I think you got him.' Ryoko said.

'As for any other legal terms or contracts you might have, cram it. I have become legally safe in all I do here, and in no way have I yet to screw that up. You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth! I am legally SAFE!'

Jose slammed his fist down on the disconnect button, causing two small pieces of phone to shatter off. The phone sparked away in death.

Jose cracked his knuckle and dusted off his shirt.

'I hate lawyers.' He said 'Follow me. We're heading toward the next part of this ceremony.'

The survivors got out of their uncomfortable chairs and followed Jose by torchlight down a darkened path toward their next stop.

Jose led them down the path for a good 100 yards, then the torches on the side of the path stopped again.

'Just follow the sounds of my feet.' Jose instructed 'you'll be able to see where we are going next anyway.'

Taking a left and heading down a steep incline, the survivors could see their destination.

The setup was meant to be a small room. It was dimly lit, but the survivors could see the temporary walls that were put up. Towards the front of the 'room' there were 5 chairs set up next to each other. They were all facing a white screen. In the back of the room set on a rolling cart and some books was a slide projector set.

'A slide show?' Katsuhito asked 'What of?'

'The 'Welcome Home Jose' Cook out we had on Memorial Day.' Jose said.

Both Katsuhito and Ryoko cocked an eye.

'I'm joking.' Jose said 'It's a show of the game and it's happening on the island. Take a seat; I'll be right with you.'

The survivors filed into seats. The camera moved to the back of the theater, next tot eh slide projector. From that camera placement, 4 ½ seats were shown. The half of the seat cut off on the left side of the screen. The survivors head and shoulders cast silhouettes against the screen. Jose walked back into view and sat down. He had the slide changer with him, as well as a small stereo.

'OK,' Jose said 'where we go.'

The Tenchi Survivor logo came up on screen and the music started playing. After a second, a record scratched and a new song came started playing. (You all know the tune, sing along dammit!)

'In the not too distant future, on an island right outside,

Mr. Mendola, an evil kid, was plotting a next demise.

He got a whole cast, and called it a show,

But two of them have been here since day one, and now they have got to go!

'I'll make up outrageous challenges, and those they must get through. La-la-la

They'll have to survive all of them, if they want to see the end. La-la-la

Their performances on it all it will depend. La-la-la

So they'll try to survive my wrath, while wondering what comes next.'

(splash)

'Cast and crew remaining'

Katsuhito! 'I shouldn't even BE here!'

Ryoko! 'Where's my tail gone to?'

Jose! 'God am I evil.'

If you're wondering why they don't escape and leave Jose behind La-la-la

Just repeat to yourself 'It's the end of the fic, I should really just relax.'

Oh, Tenchi Survivor slide show.'

'That was pretty good.' Ryoko's shadow said 'Did you come up with that yourself?'

'All but the tune.' Jose replied 'Let's get this moving.'

Jose hit a button and the first slide came up. It was a picture of a boat no too far offshore coming to land. Jose stood in the foreground. Pushing a button, Jose changed the picture.

'Now that I remember.' Katsuhito said.

The picture was of the Survivors being led off the boat at the point of Bayonets.

'Classic.' Ryoko said.

Pictures after that ranged from the survivors moving in to the survivors attempting to survive PT. Within those, Pictures of Survivors eating, fishing, talking and a few more shots of the PT.

Picture sets up now were of those just after PT. One or two survivors sleeping, survivors downing water and a survivor- bathing?

'Oh, shit!' Jose said as he quickly skipped a slide.

'Woah, woah, woah.' Katsuhito said 'Change it back a slide.'

'No, it was nothing!' Jose protested.

Katsuhito stood up. He was over a picture of Ryoko's cooked dinner, Rocks and Salt water.

'Give me that thing.' Katsuhito warned 'Don't make me come over there and GET it.'

Jose held the remote in the opposite direction of Katsuhito, a death grip on it.

'It was nothing! Really!' Jose shouted.

'Let's see what you got, you sicko!' Katsuhito gave a battle cry and leapt at Jose.

Ryoko only shook her head.

After thrashing around and beating the controller out of Jose's hand, Katsuhito sat back down.

'Now let's see what we got here.'

The picture clicked back to a typical picture that Jose or anyone else in his permanent mindset would have.

It was a picture of a very attractive bare back, and ass for that matter, blond girl with her back to the camera. She was seated on a rock and still damp from an evident bath she had just finished. Blond brown hair was plastered to her shoulders and back. Her head was turned just slightly, as if she was looking at a noise she might have heard. Single blue eye was seen in her turn. Her beautiful feminine feature was only accented by the background. She was seated in front of a topaz colored lagoon, thick green brush surrounded it, dotted here and there with tropical flowers. She was clearly visible from her rear on the rock up, arms folded in front of her.

Jose shakily stood to his feet and took his seat. His hair was clearly disheveled.

'Quite the shot.' Ryoko said 'If I didn't know you were such a pervert, I'd almost call that art.'

'You know,' Katsuhito started 'I've lived under the same roof as that girl for so long, I forgot she was that attractive.'

'I'm no idiot.' Jose said 'If I invite a cast, I invite the best looking.'

Ryoko turned a shade of red in the darkness for some reason.

'Next slide, ok?' Jose asked.

'Agreed.' Katsuhito said 'I'll let you keep that ONE picture of Mihoshi, but only because it's tasteful.'

'Cool.' Jose said with a cough. He was handed back the remote and continued to flip through the slides.

There were a few pictures of the survivors quelling a fire, a mystery meal served by Jose, teleportation devices being destroyed by a bat, Ryo-Ohki on a chopping block, Various tasks the survivors had to do, wake up calls, Electrified totem poles, scavenger hunts, Katsuhito running down a beach with a crab attached to his finger, Tenchi and Ayeka kissing, Jose playing an air guitar in front of a stereo, A volleyball game, Hunk getting his ass kicked, Serra Angel with a bottle of Jack Daniels, Jose drunk and an assortment of other things.

The last slide was a killer. It was a faked picture, but it was of both Katsuhito and Ryoko next to each other, a trophy between them. All the laughter the other slides brought was halted by this last slide. It was now pure competition.

'Survivors up!' Jose said.

The three shadows stood, Jose with them.

'Let's move. Follow me and we're off to our next point.' Jose moved off the screen to the right. Ryoko after him, And finally Katsuhito who picked up something that looked like a small gumball machine attached to a barrel.

Jose led the way to the opposite side of the evident valley they were in. Once on top of the hill, Jose took a right, leading off the path, off the main path anyway. Between the overlapping sheets of light blocking tarps, very little sunlight proved that they were on a smaller, less used path.

At one point in their journey, it got very cold and damp. Jose would caution feet, warn of heads and the occasional puddle.

'Where the hell are we?' Ryoko finally asked.

'Just up ahead.' Jose replied 'We are almost there.'

After another few yards of walking, Jose stopped the Survivors. Their eyes had yet to adjust tot eh dark fully.

'Close your eyes.' Jose cautioned.

The survivors complied. At first, the darkness around them did not change. It did only when the lights around them were flipped on. Slowly, they opened their eyes.

Eyes opening slowly, the survivors saw that they had been led into a cave. The walls were smooth sedimentary rock. The ceiling 20 feet above them bristled with 7 foot stalagmites that more often than not, dripped water. Lime traces spider webbed each wall. The path the survivors had traveled was dark, the bare bulbs not penetrating the inky darkness.

Jose stood in front of a wall that had a natural wall in it. From it, a steady stream of water poured into a water crafted basin that ran down a type of guide and disappeared into the wall, to land someplace else.

'From this spring,' Jose started 'The water in the lagoon is fed. The highest point the water reaches on it's own on this island is right here. Shaped by the liquid itself, it runs down this shelf and falls into a practical river that empties out into the lagoon. Like the rock that was shaped by an outside force, so were both of you. You have both been carved and shaped. The time has now come to define your mold. Katsuhito, step up here where I am.'

Katsuhito walked forward, Jose exchanging places with him. Stretching in exhaustion, Jose extended an arm level to Ryoko's shoulders. She slapped his hand away.

'Katsuhito,' Jose said 'You are up here to define your shape. That in the way you were carved. Tell us, why should you be the winner of Tenchi Survivor?'

A silence followed, aside from the running water and the all too often drip, drip, drip from the ceiling.

'I think I deserve to win this game because I'm a natural leader. I can command just about any group to get done what needs to be. I focus on the goals that need to be done and make sure they GET done. I'm a respectable person with many credentials behind him. I can manage time and people, and I'm an 'outside the box' kind of guy. I've got the muscle to back me up and the smarts to get things done right.'

'Well put.' Jose said 'The words of a true winner.' Jose turned to look at Ryoko 'Your turn. Katsuhito, trade places with her.'

The survivors quickly changed places. Ryoko in front of the water, Katsuhito next to Jose. Ryoko seemed almost happy to be away from Jose for the time being.

'Ryoko,' Jose began again 'tell us why you should win Tenchi survivor.'

'That's easy.' Ryoko said 'I should come out on top because I believe in a fair game. If people are under me, so to speak, I take into regard what they want and try to work that in. If it comes down to trying something new, I'm up for it. Goals that have to be reached have many paths, and I take the one most favored. I'm not one to let work slip by, so when a strong arm is needed, I can dole out as much justice as needed. Time is never a problem for me, the glass is ALWAYS half full and I get done what has to be. I'm not the best person in the world, but I'm the best damn survivor this show has seen.

Drip, dip, drip.

'Bravo.' Jose said 'Killer words from a serious player. Ryoko, please return. Katsuhito, please stay as well. Jose took a stand in front of the water. 'In a figure of speech, we will all soon see how you fall. Once the water here goes back into that wall near the floor, it falls into a pool below. From the pool, the water travels over rocks, and finally out into the lagoon. However, along the way are stag pools. Puddles of water that stay there, while the rest rushes past. The question is, will you fall short of your goal, or will you move on to victory?'

The survivors stood and looked at Jose.

'Go ahead.' Jose said 'I know you want to say something.'

'My tongue hurts.' Ryoko mumbled.

'Jose,' Katsuhito started 'That was either the smartest or the STUPIDEST thing you have ever said.'

'Fine.' Follow me.' Jose said. He made for the other end of the cave where another tunnel was. Once around a single corner, all light fled the world.

Katsuhito cursed out loud behind Jose.

'And watch your head.' Jose added.

The survivors followed Jose around twists and turns, up one incline, down another. At one point, the survivors had to crawl between a low ceiling and the damp floor.

'Jose,' Katsuhito said at one point 'I step on fortune cookie.'

'I hate snakes.' Jose quoted immediately. Ryoko latched onto his back, legs wrapped around his waist, her arms around his neck. She soon remembered who she was clinging to.

'I think I'll risk the snakes.' She said as she climbed down.

It had been a while since they left the secondary interview sight, but now it was a lot warmer. The air was no longer cold and damp, but very dry and warm. The sounds of running and dripping water had ceased a short time ago. Pretty soon after they had walked through some shrubs actually.

Jose halted the survivors in the dark. They stopped short.

'What's going on?' Katsuhito asked 'Where are we?'

'Gentlemen!' Jose said, returning to a grating voice 'I'm glad you asked. Behold!'

Sunlight blazed alive as tarps were pulled back. They shrunk under the light and shielded their eyes.

'Sunlight!' Jose finished.

'It hurts like a million suns!' Katsuhito yelled 'I think I melted my corneas.'

'I think I'm blind.' Ryoko said 'This is worse than the time I stuck a fork in the electrical outlet.'

Jose laughed evilly

'OK survivors, listen up. I've had no sleep for the past three days and I've been caffeinated off my ass. So tell you what, I'm going to take a 30 minute break. You two hang around here, I'm going to see if I can get something worked out.'

'Hold up one second, Jose.' Ryoko said.

Jose turned to look at her.

'Yes?'

'Real quick, give me a lyric.'

'What?' Jose asked.

'Just give me a lyric to a song. Any song at all.'

Jose thought for a second and said

'My girl, my girl, don't lie to me. Tell me where did you sleep last night.' A tear might have formed on the side of Jose's eye.

'In the pines, in the pines, where the sun don't ever shine. I would shiver the whole night through.' Katsuhito finished.

'Why did I do that?' Jose asked Ryoko.

'Just wanted to see what kind of mental mood you were in. I think I get it.'

Easily, Jose walked off before the survivors could even see again. By the time they had their vision back; it was only them and the camera crew.

The camera crew itself was strange. By the looks of things to the survivors, the cameraman, Dan, was a good friend of Jose's. As for the rest of the crew, lighting, shotgun mike operator, sound mixer, photographer and ESPECIALLY the boom mike operator completely fell apart after Jose left. Things would explode, wires would get crossed and sound failed.

'So what should we do now, Ryo- OW! Son of a bitch!' Katsuhito yelled.

The boom mike was always hitting people. Mainly in the head too.

Ryoko turned to face the wounded Katsuhito. She was greeted with a shotgun mike to the nose.

'I hate this place.' Ryoko said as she rubbed her nose.

Behind the survivors, a light exploded.

Jose found himself standing in a dimly lit marble hallway. The floor below him shifted like water, but did not loose the solidity of itself. Jose looked above him. The sky boiled and churned a sickly red color. What he could see of the sky shown through an odd ceiling consisting of what looked like white wings.

The squared pillars that made up the hall shifted, marking the addition of a new person entering the hall. The white gray marble shifted to gray/ black. Someone was walking down the hall.

'Ladies and gentlemen,' an unknown voice said over unseen speakers 'The one, the only.' That was it. No name, no I.D to the person walking down the hall. Rather, walking on the SIDE of the wall. The pillars stretched so there was a single inch between them, making it easy to walk on the wall towards Jose.

The unknown figure hopped off the wall and landed silently on the floor in front of Jose. The pillars had returned to their square shape.

'We finally meet man to man.' The human said. He was wearing a black and white overcoat that overlapped his black pressed dress pants. The coat itself was quite sharp looking as well. He was a young man, a little older than Jose. He had a slim face that looked as if it was carved out of sandstone. He looked clean and had a friendly aurora about him. If one was to characterize him, he might be considered a beautiful man. His hair and eyes were what really got to Jose. For someone in such nice clothes, his hair was long, about mid shoulder length, a light gray and brown and very shiny. It moved in an unfelt wind. His eyes were a dull gold, with a vertical black slit for a cornea. Cat eyes.

'Jesus?' Jose asked stupidly.

'No, idiot.' The man said in a low voice. 'Think harder.'

Jose had seen this trick before, something taking a human form. He could not place him. Only a black and a white cat came to mind.

The creature, Jose no longer considered it human, blinked its eyes.

'Holy hell,' Jose said, coming to grips with who he was dealing with 'Why are you talking?'

'Only because you wanted me to.' The creature replied. 'I'm here in human form to talk to you.'

'Jeeze, I never thought you could take forms of people.'

'Well, I can't really. This is just a dream, mixed with everything that is on your mind. Those wings up there? You've been talking to Serra at night. The floor, that stupid speech you made. And I'm not sure WHAT the sky's supposed to represent. Maybe because you like the stuff and the changing colors to coincide with your ever changing mind.'

'But why you?' Jose asked.

'That's' easy. The last enjoyable experience you were semi-conscious for was indirectly related to me. How long had it been since you last saw me? You could tell me all about that apartment, how to get to any room in the flat, probably even what kind of panties Miko was wearing and how long they took to come off but if you were asked what happened, you'd only have a general idea. But you sure as hell remember a certain someone jumping onto you as soon as you sat down with a Jack and coke.'

The pillars throbbed again, marking another entry. Marble turned from gray/ black to red/white.

'Oh shit.' Meatball said 'now you're in for it.'

'Why?' Jose asked 'What did I do?'

'Just let me translate.' The cat-man said.

From the end of the hall, someone was stomping their way toward Jose and Meatball. It soon came into view.

It seemed to be a younger girl, younger than Jose. She had a brown dress-like thing on, and a full head of brown, slightly askew hair. It fell well below her waits. Down the center of her hair, a white shock stood out against her brown hair. She was slender and oddly cute. Her eyes were glazed over in anger, and feline ears were back. She came closer and Jose could tell she resembled a cat as well, but more so than Meatball did.

'Jose,' Meatball said as he grabbed the marauding cat-creature by the waist, halting her rampage 'May I introduce to you, unfortunately not my 'better half', the 'human form' Ryo-Ohki.'

'Shit.' Jose said.

Ryo-Ohki rattled off some words that Jose could not understand. They sounded like her native (?) Japanese.

"You bastard, you bastard." Meatball translated "How could you go and eat my other form?"

'You can understand her?' Jose asked.

'Do you know my NAME?' Meatball asked 'Yes, I can understand her.'

Ryo-Ohki glared at Jose.

'Tell her that I'm sorry and I'll do anything to make her suffering easier.'

Meatball translated and translated her response to Jose.

"Sorry fails to make up for the fact that she can not see Tenchi again."

'Is there nothing I can do?' Jose asked.

Meatball looked at Ryo-Ohki then back at Jose.

'Actually, there IS something you can do.'

'Tell me and it's done.'

'You have only destroyed one for of this animal. It's animal form. There is one body remaining, but it is its human form. The body had become active as son as the original was destroyed. Contact the conscious form and bring it back to the island along with the rest of the survivors.'

'But one is dead and the other is lost.' Jose said.

'Hmm. That IS a problem.' Meatball said 'I can not raise the dead, but I wonder.'

Meatball looked up. Jose and Ryo-Ohki did the same. Something high up above exploded. A white comet fell toward the hall.

'Oh-no.' Jose said.

'Oh, yes.' Meatball said happily 'Watch out.'

The comet covered more air than expected, and impacted into the hall with an enormous explosion. No one was fazed by it. Meatball and Ryo-Ohki slid around it and next to Jose, one on each side of him. Jose instinctively scratched Ryo-Ohki on the head. She purred happily.

The comet was actually a machine. It was made of metal plates and circuitry. A round window was steamed over. Jose could not see much except for a shadow moving around. Meatball said something to Ryo-Ohki and she slid out from under Jose's hand. They both backed up.

The hatch on the pod opened and steam spilled out. With it, a very familiar face.

Her red hair stayed in one position as she fell on her face and got back up. She looked around and lastly saw Jose.

'Uh-oh.' Jose said again.

'Son of a-' Washu lunged at Jose.

Jose held up an arm to block her and a wall formed between the two.

'So THAT'S how we are going to play!' Washu yelled form the other side of the wall. Something was charging up.

The wall fell apart and large pieces of marble fell to the floor and melted back into the floor. A thick metal glove on Washu's hand steamed.

'Your turn.' She said to Jose.

'Hold it.' Meatball said as he stepped forward 'Don't hurt him. He's the reason you are here.'

'Huh?' Washu asked 'where IS here?'

'This is Jose's dream.' The cat creature said.

'I don't believe it.' Washu growled 'I still have my clothes on.'

'Well, kind of his dream.' Meatball continued 'Under my guidance Jose is pulling back all the survivors he can to finish the game. You and Ryo-Ohki are the last two to be returned.'

'I get it.' Washu said 'He brought me back now because he figured that at some point, I'd be back to kill him.'

Jose was about to say something, but Meatball cut him off.

'Actually, he brought you back now because, dare I say it, he missed you.'

Jose nodded.

"I need you back to finish a vote. If you did not come back, the votes at the end would be uneven.'

Ryo-Ohki nodded.

'I suppose it WAS nice of you to bring me back, so I won't kill you for now. Hey, am I really back, or am I half way there?'

Meatball closed his eyes and put his hands behind his back. Exhaling, he said something to himself.

Opening them again, he looked at Washu.

'You are back at home, asleep on the couch. When you wake up, head again for the island. There, you will vote.

'Groovy.' Washu said 'Get me out of here so I can get home. I need to check my mail anyway.'

Jose dismissed the though of Washu. She vanished.

Ryo-Ohki returned next to Jose and rubbed against his leg until he began to scratch her anew. She purred in content.

'It seems you have been forgiven.' Meatball said to Jose. 'Consider yourself lucky.' A tail swept back and forth behind him. 'Well, looks like it's time to go. Be smart Jose, and tread carefully with the returning survivors.'

'Wait! Why did you help me back there?'

The human returning to cat exhaled.

'I did it only to strike a bargain with you. In exchange for helping me, you must do me a favor.'

'Anything.' Jose said.

'You and I share a love. One that only you can benefit from, because you are of her same race. I simply ask that you treat her well. She loves you too much to loose you to someone else. I know how well you treat her; I see it every time you visit. Just never forget that you are a person and how much you mean to each other. Simple, yes?'

Jose nodded.

Ryo-Ohki rolled over and seemed to demand her chin scratched. Jose obliged and reached out in comfort.

Meatball, now half cat and half human, got the idea that he no longer held Jose's attention. He ran over to Jose and brushed up against him. He turned to look up at him.

'Wake up.' Meatball said 'get his dome so everyone can go home.'

Ryo-Ohki squeaked something at Jose as he rubbed at her chin and neck.

Meatball laughed.

'What did she say?' Jose asked.

'She said 'your turn." Meatball translated. 'Can you say, 'Eager to please'?'

'Sweet deal.' Jose laughed.

'Jose,' Meatball said 'This is only a dream.'

Jose sat up awake in his reclined. He had broken out in a cold sweat. Looking around, Jose saw no cat girls wanting to scratch t his neck, and no Washu.

'God damn.' Jose said as he picked up a phone and dialed some numbers.

It had been a while since the survivors last saw Jose. Since then, a few helicopters had buzzed the island and a lot more staff had been requested to the beach. That was a while ago, and sounds of construction had halted since then.

It was a surprise to see Jose himself show up and ask the survivors to follow him. He led the survivors down the path, not bothering to explain what was going ton to the survivors.

When they arrived, they were greeted by a less than expected sight. Two podiums stood in front of what looked like a jury box. A single chair sat in front on the box that held 5 chairs.

'Survivors, if you would please take you places at the podiums, we'll be done here before you know it.'

The survivors stepped up to their podiums and awaited their next orders.

'Ok, as for the surprise have for you, do NOT speak until spoken to. Regardless of who has shown up, do NOT talk to them. Normally, I'd tell you who you are about to deal with, but no one gave me an immediate reply.'

The survivors nodded their understanding. Jose exhaled and hoped to god at least the first 3 had shown up.

'Survivors and fans alike, please welcome back to the island, the first survivor to be banished, Sasami.'

Sasami walked out from behind the backdrop and took a seat in the box.

'Tell us,' Jose started 'what have you been up to since you left us?'

'I've been back to school and making a killing in talk shows about Survivor. I've led a fairly normal life since I got back. I'm still a kid, so not much has changed.' She replied.

'Beautiful.' Jose said 'Nice to see that you came back to the island. You DO know why you are here, correct?'

'Yes I do.' She said plainly.

'And are you ready to make your choice today?'

'Indeed I am.' Sasami replied.

'That's what I like to hear. Next, returning to the island, we have the fourth survivor to have been banished, Tenchi.'

Tenchi walked out from behind the backdrop and up to Jose. A firm handshake later, Tenchi sat down next to Sasami in the box.

'So what have you been up to since you left?' Jose asked.

'Back at home catching up on bills, fan mail and the housework.' Tenchi said happily.

'And how much tail have you gotten after being on survivor?' Jose asked.

'What's that mean?' Sasami asked. Tenchi covered her ears.

'Uh, none. I don't reply to THAT mail.' Tenchi offered.

'Pansy.' Jose grumbles. 'Ok, next we have returning to the island, the 6th survivor to be banished. Say hello again tot eh lovely Mihoshi!'

'We know YOU'RE happy to see her.' Katsuhito said.

Jose flipped him off quickly.

Nothing happened. No one came out from behind the backdrop.

'Er, the lovely Mihoshi!' Jose tried again. His time, he was awarded with someone running into the back of the backdrop. Mihoshi walked out and toward Jose while she rubbed her head. Jose took the offered hug and let her take her seat.

'What have you been doing since you left the island?' Jose asked Mihoshi.

'I reported back to the Galaxy Police control and they said that my vacation time had been extended. They also said something about damaged goods costs, but that was after I backed a star cruiser into the command tower. They told me to just go after that.'

'So pretty much the usual?' Jose asked.

'The usual.' Mihoshi said with a smile.

Jose held a finger up to his right ear. The black earpiece was feeding him some kind of information. After a few seconds, Jose took his hand down.

'Survivors, players and voters alike, I am pleased to inform you all that the rest of the survivors have shown up. Here since the first time since their banishment, Ryo-Ohki.'

The same human type form that Jose had seen in his dream walked out form behind the backdrop.

'Kitty?' Sasami asked 'What happened to you, again?'

'Good God!' Tenchi said in alarm as he jumped behind his chair. Immediately, Ryo-Ohki was kneeling on Tenchi's chair, attempting to get as close to him as possible. It was only drawn off after Sasami had made eye contact with her. Ryo-Ohki happily ran over to see her.

'Indeed.' Jose said.

Ryo-Ohki looked at Jose and squeaked something. No talking man-cats to translate this time.

'One more time.' Jose said to her.

She squeaked again.

This time, Jose read the subtitles.

"Just a dream, right?"

Jose closed his eyes and shook his head clear. Oh man, that was weird.

'And finally,' Jose said 'Our last survivor who JUST got in from a place she can not define, Washu.'

Washu was her normal self again. She stormed out from behind the backdrop and right up to Jose. She stood a foot away from him and reared back.

SLAP.

Washu delivered a powerful right hand blow to the left side of Jose's face. It immediately turned red. She put her hands on her hips and glared at him.

'Ow.' Jose said simply. That was a powerful hit. Even for a woman. Jose saw Moogles circling his head.

'That's for losing me between time and space.' She said evenly.

Washu turned to walk toward the box. She took a few steps, and stopped. She turned on her heel and walked back toward Jose.

Jose would never get used to this abuse. Jose stared at Washu, preparing for another impact.

Faster than Jose could react, Ryoko shot both hands up and grabbed Jose by both sides of his head. She hauled him toward her and- kissed him?

She just held him there for a second as Jose blinked in confusion. Well, more like 5 seconds. A good enough length of time for a few cameras to document it and a few good pictures to be taken.

Washu released Jose's head. She took a step back, leaving behind a light lipstick gift on Jose.

'That was for bringing me back.' She said as she patted him on his non-injured cheek. She headed for the box.

Jose felt a very angry phone call coming on.

Jose began to breathe again for the first time in a few seconds.

'Ok then,' Jose said as he wiped his mouth 'Now that we are all here, we can get this DONE.'

'Hold on,' Tenchi said 'Where's Ayeka?'

'I'm sure she's around here somewhere.' Jose said as he stomped his foot a few times in the sand. Oh yeah, he still had it.

'But is she going to show up?' Tenchi pressed.

'Don't worry about it now.' Jose offered 'I'm sure she'll turn up if we 'dig up' her whereabouts.'

Ryoko and Jose both laughed. The rest of the survivors did either not follow it, or were completely mortified. Their silence was confusing to Jose.

'God, I'm evil.' Jose said 'OK survivors!' Ryoko and Katsuhito snapped to attention. 'This is real simple. 5 ex-survivors 5 votes. First to 3 votes wins the game. Understand?'

Ryoko and Katsuhito nodded. Sweat was visibly forming on their foreheads.

'Ex-survivors, prepare to vote. Survivors, prepare to be voted off.'

The camera scanned over the voters slowly. Each was summing up who they were going to vote for and why. As easy as it sounded, it was hard for the Ex-survivors. Having to vote for the one person that stood out above the rest of them. People they had to live with and might still. A trial by fire.

Jose allowed each survivor to think, as well as himself. Another few seconds, and he would begin.

The cameras finished their sweep and Jose stood up.

'Ex-survivors, you have had your time to think and to make a choice. Now comes the time where we must choose a winner. Sasami, since you were the first to be banished, you may choose first.'

I've spent a lot of time with the both of you.' Sasami started 'You have both been a very big help to me, more than you will ever know. However, I can only choose one of you. Mr. Misaki, you are kind enough to take me into your home. You have allowed me to stay, you have patience and you are a kind person. Always. Ryoko, I have known you to be short tempered, grouchy and very closed minded. Though you as well have done a lot for me, I'm going to have to vote for Mr. Misaki.'

'Point for Katsuhito!' Jose yelled 'Moving on, Ryo-Ohki' Jose said 'You were the second banished, so you take a turn.'

The little cat-girl was silent for a second, and then let off a string of sounds. The survivors read the following:

'Simply, Katsuhito grows the carrots, but Ryoko has been known to reward small, frequent jobs I do for her WITH the carrots. Ryoko gets MY vote.'

Katsuhito and Ryoko both shrugged.

'Makes sense to ME.' Katsuhito breathed.

'Point to Ryoko!' Jose said 'the game at this point, Ryoko one, Katsuhito one. Washu, your vote is next.'

'Let's see.' She said thinking 'Mr. Misaki lets me borrow his basement door the he never uses, and Ryoko is an arrogant bitch who has to get everything her way.' Washu ducked a shoe that was thrown at her 'Then again, she IS my daughter. Damn, I'm going to HAVE to vote for her.'

'That's two for Ryoko.' Jose said 'Next up is- oh crap.'

Tenchi was next in line. The end of the game might have been in sight, but this would DEFINATLY complicate the process.

'Tenchi,' Jose said 'Look at what you are doing. If you vote for Katsuhito, it's a tie game. That would mean that the outcome of the game would be riding on MIHOSHI. Do you REALLY want to do that to me?'

'Look, I'm sorry.' Tenchi said 'But I have to vote.'

Jose sighed.

'Fine.' He said 'Tenchi, your vote and reasoning please.'

Well, I've known Ryoko since she woke up, and I've got a lot of memories that the two of us have together. I mean, look at everything the two of us have done. Even waking her up from that cave was pretty cool. But look, anyone that at one point tried to kill me is bad news. I'm sorry Ryoko, but my grandfather has my vote.'

'And that means a tie game.' Jose said 'Two votes for Katsuhito, two votes for Ryoko. And now, the last vote is decided by Mihoshi.'

The camera panned over to Mihoshi who was trying to figure out a 4 square Rubrix cube. At the moment, she was losing.

Jose cracked a can of Stella Artois and downed it in an instant. Only alcohol would dull this pain.

'Mihoshi,' Jose said 'Time to vote. The winner depends now on your vote. I HOPE you have put some thought into this.'

'I have,' She admitted 'but I still can't decide.' She tossed the cube behind her, still not able to figure it out. 'So I decided to do the smart thing.'

'Let me guess.' Jose started 'Russian Roulette.'

'See, I want both of them to win, but I know that only one can. They both deserve my vote, but I am reminded that two people can not win this game. The only fair thing to do is leave it to chance.'

'Good god, no.' Jose said as he dropped his head on Katsuhito's podium.

Katsuhito avoided Jose's head and again looked at Mihoshi.

'I have to flip a coin.' Mihoshi admitted.

'The end of the game depends on a COIN TOSS?' Ryoko said 'That is the most retarded thing I have ever heard.'

Mihoshi dug into her pocket and fished out a quarter. Placing it on her thumb, she exhaled.

Jose repeatedly hit his head on Katsuhito's podium. The rest of the survivors, ex and current, watched Mihoshi with intent.

Mihoshi flipped the coin into the air, not calling it out loud, but making several mental notes, reminding herself who was assigned to what side.

The coin spun in the air upwards in slow motion. Gleaming in the sun, it continued up in its climb.

It reached its arc, and continued to spin. And it spun at the top of the arc. It just kept spinning. It hung in mid air and turned over and over.

Jose glared at it. Picking up a rock, he forewent the blood in his eyes and threw a rock at the offending change. It nicked it and fell to earth.

Anything that girl touched went stupid.

The coin fell back toward earth, right for Mihoshi's hand. It landed in her palm, and she flipped it onto the back of her other hand. Hand still over it; she did not dare to look yet.

Jose, as well as the two survivors on the podium, waited in anticipation. By all game show etiquettes, Jose was not supposed to be excited about the outcome. These things were normally planned, but with everything that just HAPPENED on this island, was there ever really a plan?

Mihoshi looked at the coin, and immediately put it in her pocket. Did she know it would be worth a ton on Ebay? She sat quietly with her eyes closed, thinking of how to break the news.

'Mr. Misaki,' Mihoshi started 'I can not thank you enough for all you have done for me. From letting me stay in your home to giving me permission to marry Tenchi. I mean, you even let me leach off your satellite TV so I can pick up my favorite show. That is the kindest anyone has ever been to me. Ryoko, ever since I got here you have been a big help. Showing me how things work, how people should interact and even teaching me that the sliding glass doors in the house are not automatic. Easily, I see you as a very close friend. One of the best I have ever had. Because of all of these reasons, I had to flip that coin. Ryoko,' Mihoshi said, taking a deep breath 'you did not win my coin flip. Mr. Misaki gets my vote.'

Katsuhito whip lashed looking up from his podium.

'Survivors, past and present, up!' Jose yelled. Those in the box stood, and Katsuhito and Ryoko fell to attention. 'Our final vote has come in, and we have a winner. The winner of Tenchi Survivor is Katsuhito Misaki, who will walk away with a one week all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world. Though Ryoko will not leave empty handed, terms will be discussed after the show. Katsuhito, stand forward.'

Katsuhito stepped off the podium and walked forward.

'Survivors, you have chosen your winner, and here he is. I give you, Katsuhito Misaki.'

A round of applause and cheers went up through the returning survivors. Even Ryoko. Katsuhito shook Jose's hand, and then went immediately toward Ryoko. The two of them hugged and shook hands. They both headed for the ex-survivors, while the same was given.

Jose produced a bottle of champagne and champagne flutes. Handing them out, Jose uncorked the bottle, sending the cork flying with a pop.

'Cue the music!' As the bottle bubbled over.

4 strings were heard, the last one off cue. The same 4 were heard again; once again the last string was botched. It was followed by a soft:

'fuck.'

The music kicked up, this time complete, and this time playing over milestone clips of the show. Credits were shown over all of this.

'Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.' (A clip of the survivors running behind Jose who was wearing a shirt that said 'I 'Heart' PT')

'Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.' (Ayeka and Tenchi are seen taking off into the jungle together)

'So make the best of this-' Jose is seen bashing up a teleporter, complete with sound.)

'Its; not a question, but a lesson learned in time' (A clip of the survivors looking over a mystery meal Jose had prepared)

'It's something unpredictable, but in the end that's life,' (Survivors are seen picking through the brush, looking for something)

'I hope you have had the time of your life.' (Jose sends Sasami off with a hug)

The musical score is heard, video behind that. (Survivors shooting an M1, Jose sleeping, Katsuhito sneaking off with a beer from Jose's hut, survivors fighting amongst themselves)

'So take the photographs and still prints in your mind' (Jose is seen sharing beers with the AV crew, followed by a picture of Mihoshi deep in thought.)

'Hang them on a shelf in good health and good time' (A battered and bloodied Jose is seen staggering, then falls over)

'Tattoo some memories and-' audio with the visual of someone showing off their Punisher tattoo on his arm)

'For what it's worth, it was worth all the while' (The survivors are seen sweating in the extreme heat and sun)

'It's something unpredictable' (The survivors find crabs and lobsters in their sleeping bags)

'But in the end that's life' (Jose gets slapped with a powerful left hand, compliments of Ayeka)

'I hope you had the time of your life' Ryoko power bombs Katsuhito onto a trashcan)

'It's something unpredictable' (Jose slips and falls)

'But in the end that's life' (Jose standing outside of a shower, knife in right hand)

'I hope you have had the time of your life.' (A picture is seen of the survivors, Jose in the center)

The music cuts out and the JPM Studios logo is seen. Live audio can still be heard.

The boom mike hits something; the sound of the impact creating feedback is heard.

'Ow, shit!' Jose yells.

(NOT the promised Fan service!)

A TV cuts out, it has been turned off.

'I TOLD you it would end like that.' A teen says. He is seen sitting at a table over a dinner of rice and fish. His red and gold Chinese shirt is buttoned and lined up with his matching pants. As always, his hair is done up in a pony tail that has an incline to it for some reason.

The eldest daughter, Kasumi, passed more rice his way. He gladly accepted it. Moving it along, he passed it to a panda that was wearing a white vest.

A short haired girl was sitting next to the panda.

'I was pretty sure that Ryoko was going to win.' Akane said.

'And I think someone owes me money.' A money shark named Nabiki said. She elbowed the panda who grunted and held up a sign that read

'But I am a simple panda with no need for money.'

He was promptly doused with hot water.

An older, slightly overweight man sat in the pandas place.

'I believe you owe the girl money.' Ranma said to his father.

The old man promptly threw his smart ass son out the door, and into a nearby koi pond that happened to house cold water. A once black haired male now became a red haired woman when he surfaced. She was quite angry.

A fight broke out in the yard; the occupants of the house ignored them.

'So much for dessert.' Kasumi said happily.

The owner of the house, the kind hearted man who allowed these two freeloaders to live with him and his family, came into the room and demanded silence.

'Look at the.' He said as he held p a letter 'Someone named Jose wants us to participate in some kind of game. What do you say? It MIGHT be fun.'

The girls stared wide eyed at the letter.

Genma, now a panda again, crept over to his longtime friend and held a lighter under the letter. It went up in a puff of smoke.

'What do you think you are doing?' He demanded 'that was an invitation!'

'Trust me,' a soaking wet redhead said 'it was the safest thing to do.'

With that, the family and the two guests sat down and finished their meal, none having any idea how close they had to come to hell.

(Cheesecake) (I hate myself for this)

ELSEWHERE

A young man rolled out of an occupied bed. The room was dark and smelled of a brunt out fire. He placed both feet on the floor and forced himself to stand up. One board squeaked in protest.

His whole body hurt. Good God, what a workout. He was exhausted, and that took a lot to do to him.

His long white hair fell to his lower back. The sensation of his own hair on his half naked body reminded him of another feeling. A soft touch really. He stretched and cracked every join he could. Subconsciously, he flexed every muscle he had ready control over. Beginning with his legs, and working his way up to his chest, everything worked like one could hope for.

H e brushed his hair back from his canine like ears. He was SURE he had heard something.

Attempting to walk in the dark, the almost tripped over a pile of discarded clothes. A pile was exaggerating it. They were kind of all over the floor. He kicked something off his foot that felt like a shirt. Defiantly not his. He scratched at his neck with his short claws. He had been playfully bit earlier, but as he moved to check it, he remembered that he no longer had his necklace on him. It was somewhere, probably the same place as his sword. He made his way carefully to the door, sliding it open as slowly as possible so he would make no noise. He did not want to wake anyone up. The only light was given off by a small lantern that was in the hall. It glowed dull due to the short wick remaining.

The front door was only a short distance away form the portal he stood in. He quickly moved for what had shown up.

Picking up a single letter, he headed back to his shared quarters. He would have kept going, but stopped short in front of a full length mirror. The half demon was uncomfortable. Like his boxers were 8 sizes to small. Either that or- he looked again at the mirror and looked down. Just what he thought. Not only the fact the only fabric he was wearing was tighter around him made him uncomfortable, but the chill that reminded him the boxers were still damp added to that feeling too. They still smelled of her and their doings. Oh well. Such was the price. Red boxers were not easy to come by, especially some that were made so well out of Chinese silk material. But things would fit right in the morning.

He went back to the door and opened it quietly. The only other occupant in his bed stirred a little. Not awake, but not asleep either.

Slipping into the room, he quietly slid the door closed. Only the dying embers of the fire gave off the faintest light. Nothing outside of an inch tot eh fire pit was clearly defined in light. All of his silence was for naught as he tripped over another loose article of clothing and went sprawling. He was rewarded with a face full of panties, and with a nose like his, he was knocked loco by the ever so familiar scent.

He stood back up and stupidly hoped that he did not wake anyone that might have been in his bed. Unfortunately, the letter he had gone to retrieve that was in his hand had fluttered into the embers and burst into flames. The return address, Mr. Mendola was the last to go. The coals almost gave up their heat and faint light, but seemed to burn a bit brighter, casting an orange flow over the room.

A low voice mumbled his name from the bed. He snapped his head over to look in that direction.

'Why are you up?' she allowed for a slight pause before adding 'Again?' She laughed a little at her own tag on irony. Indeed, the coals had been bright enough o make out a few extra outline or two.

'I- I thought I heard something.' He replied, turning a bit red at his own vulnerablity.

'Well come back to bed.' She said 'We'll worry about whatever that was in the morning.'

'Yeah,' the dog demon said 'I'll do that.'

Inuyasha threw back his undesignated ½ of the blankets back and lay down. Before he could shift in any fashion, Kagome rolled over onto his chest, flesh on flesh.

Her light weight body hardly noticeable to him, but he knew she was there. He could feel her breathing on him again.

'Do you love me?' She asked quietly.

'You know I do, He said before he put both his arms around her and held her closer. 'Heart and soul.'

'I DO know that.' She replied 'I just like to hear it.' She rolled out of his arms and onto her side.

The ½ demon stared at the ceiling in silence, reliving his night. It was funny, all this time and it took THAT long. It was amazing. Well, that and the fact they were honest with each other. Pure magic and one hell of a workout.

He exhaled and physically relaxed.

'Hold me.' Kagome offered.

The demon complied and rolled over to face her. The two fell asleep almost immediately. It had went well for both of them that night, with trying something new with the one they loved to the accidental burning of a letter that saved them from hell on earth.

BONOUS MATERIAL UNLOCKED!

So Ryoko was rewarded ONE favor for losing to Katsuhito. Good. She knew JUST what she wanted. That's was why she was still awake and standing on a dark beach alone. The full moon cast everything in a silvery glow. Waves crashed against the shore, and a light wind blew through the palms. He would show up. She KNEW he would. Then, she'd see what he was all about.

The survivors had been asked to stay another night, no strings attached. They all agreed and now all but two were asleep. Ryoko knew he would show up. He HAD to.

Earlier, after the cameras had been turned off, Ryoko asked a favor of Jose. He had considered it, and, when coming to terms with what it meant to Ryoko, Jose bowed and said it would be done. Those Americans and their crazy customs.

Shortly after dinner, Tenchi had again asked Jose of Ayekas' whereabouts. Jose put Ryoko's plan into action.

'After you left,' Jose began 'She was the next to be banished. Once she returned to land, having not heard from you, she took off. She said you did not write, call or even TRY to make contact with her. As far as she was concerned, it was over between you two.'

Just like Ryoko had predicted, Tenchi seemed to take it well, then dropped it and move on. Earlier ago, about an hour, Tenchi had asked the whereabouts of Ryoko. He was pointed in the general direction and headed off.

That was why she knew he would show up. Because nothing of Ayeka mattered to him anymore. Why would have Ryoko been any different? IF she still had an interest in him.

'Ryoko,' Tenchi said as he stepped off the path and onto the beach.

She turned to look at him, then turned back to look at the water. Her tail, no with her again, moved back and forth in the sand.

Tenchi moved up next to her and watched the water as well. Neither of them said anything for close to 5 minutes.

'Ryoko,' Tenchi said quietly 'I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you.'

Ryoko only shook her head.

'But you already have. You let me go on thinking something between us would happen. It never did. You KNEW how I felt, and you let me go on living like that.'

'I wanted you there so I could have someone else if things did not work out between Ayeka and I.' Tenchis' brain caught up to his mouth too late. He closed his eyes and cursed to himself.

'I know.' Ryoko said close to tears 'I knew that all along, but I never cared until now. I just kept on telling myself 'I'll be with him soon. Everything will be alright.' But it never happened. Its; not worth the pain-'

'Ryoko,' Tenchi said, trying to cut in.

'No,' she said 'Listen to me. It hurt too much before, and it's not worth it any more. Good bye, Tenchi. I truly hope you can find someone to really care about.'

Finishing her denunciation of Tenchis' worth, Ryoko vanished, leaving Tenchi alone on the beach with his problems, both new and old.

Somewhere, Jose smiled.

A Group of people are seen with their backs to a home camera, the date and time in the bottom right corner. There were 7 people in the shot, all were wearing green fatigues.

Jose, sitting on the far left, turned to face the camera. He was holding a beer.

Violins, accordions and a guitar kicked up in the background.

'Death Valley Queen, where have you been?' Jose sang 'Since they crowned you in glory, filled your head with dreams? But it still goes to show, in every desert there's a rose-'

The rest of the people in fatigues spun on their bar stools, most holding a beer and sang

'That's bloomin' for all to be seen!'

The group of airmen split, some singing the main verse, some singing the refrain. Those not singing at any given part would either finish off a beer or order another.

'I remember you well, from that town you did dwell, with the face of an angel, in a DUMP hot as hell. When I asked for a kiss and you kindly dismissed'

'SO I lead my poor heart to the slaughter!'

'Tell me dear, WHAT did you fear? I'd do you no longer a stranger to sin.'

'So Death Valley Queen, go marry your king, or an old maid you'll end up for certain.'

During the bridge, Jose, along with another fellow airman ordered another beer.

'Off I did sit, on my trail of regret, where I though of you now, in your castle and crown. So I found me a whore-'

'With a face just like yours!'

'After several gallons of porter.'

The group was now very animated, swaying on their chairs and swinging fists in time to the music.

'When I awaoke, she had scarpered, I was BROKE!'

'Laying cold in the bed-'

'With a WHALE FOR A HEAD!'

'So Death Valley queen, go MARRY your king, or an old maid you'll end up for certain.'

'Hoo-rah.'

'Then the BALL dropped, why everything fell, by the way. As your tear drops were FALLING I forgot to say-'

'That I have always loved you. Yeah, I have always loved you. Yeah, I have always-'

'I HAVE ALWAYS, LOVED YOU!'

An airman fell off his chair.

'When I returned, downtrodden and BURNED, there were Billy goats grazin', where once you'd be found. So I hung out to dry-'

'On this LIMB for a LIE!'

'Take me BACK, for I'm cursed on this mainland.'

'Tell me dear, WHAT did you fear? I'd do you no longer a stranger to sin.'

'So Death Valley QUEEN, go MARRY you king, or an old maid you'll end up for certain!'

'I said Death Valley Queen, go MARRY your ki-i-i-ing.'

'And a ROVIN' I'll end up for certain!'

All the airmen finished off their beers and placed, with some force, their mugs back on the bar.

'That was great.' The camera operator said before the airmen staggered off.

THE END