Disclaimer: I don't own Tenchi AIC and Pioneer do.

Warning: Nudity and fluff ahead proceed with caution or an open mind your choice.

A Night in the Onsen

Few things in life are as relaxing as a bath. Soothing heat massaging weary muscles, the play of water across one's skin. The Japanese had taken this luscious experience and heightened the pleasure by creating the outdoor bath. The culmination of the bathing experience though had been created in a dome floating languidly over a lake near the Masaki shrine. The enclosed, transparent dome housed one of the most relaxing places on Earth. Multileveled so as to create separate bathing areas of either sex it was filled with a vast array of flora and small waterfalls. Pools of varying depth offered a wide array of choices when it came to how one preferred to wash away one's troubles.

Odd how a person so troublesome and loud could create such a relaxing place, Ayeka thought as she stepped lightly into the steaming waters of a shallow pool. It had been a very long day. The amount of laundry alone this family produced would send Rosie the Robot into tilt. Sasami may do all the cooking, and Tenchi had his fields, but someone had to clean the place. Supposedly Ayeka wasn't alone in this momentous task , everyone had assigned chores after all. Of course trying to get Ryoko to do anything but eat and sleep was a chore in and of itself, Mihoshi had to be constantly reminded to stay on task, and good luck trying to get the so called "men" of the house to help. Ayeka was willing to cut Noboyuki some slack, he did have a hard time jus trying to feed them all, let alone pay for the constant repairs to his home. Her brother was another story entirely, Ayeka had yet to discover what useful function he preformed around here other than bruising Tenchi during practice.

Yes, all in all, Ayeka pulled more than her own weight in this strange family of hers. Thus she had decided that this evening belonged solely to her, the onsen, and a bottle of sake pilfered from Ryoko's good stuff. Time alone was difficult to come by in the crowded house but tonight was movie night. After diner Ayeka had bowed out of watching Parasite Eve and snuck away for a good long soak. Princess Ayeka knew she would be alone for a solid two hours, Ryoko loved horror movies, even more she loved laughing at Mihoshi watching a horror movie. Ayeka herself would pay for said move later though, when her sister woke in the middle of the night crying from film induced nightmares.

Sighing away that unpleasant thought Ayeka slipped her towel off and slowly lowered herself into the steaming water. Another pleasure of being alone, she could enjoy the feel of the warm water against her bare skin for a change. Though she would never admit it Ayeka got tired of always having to take a bath wearing a wet towel. Letting yet another unpleasant thought drift away on the soft sounds of splashing water from a nearby water fall, Ayeka poured herself the first saucer of sake. It wouldn't be her last this evening.

An hour, and half a bottle of Ryoko's best, later Ayeka was still languishing in the warmth of the water. Her arms draped over the edge of the pool she had chosen and her head leaning against the edge she stared skyward. Out here, away from any major civilization the stars were bright and numerous in tonight's cloudless sky. They were different than the stars on her home world of Jurai, but Ayeka still found them comforting. With the alcohol taking effect spreading a soft blush to her cheeks Ayeka looked up into the night sky through the dome and let her mind drift to the most relaxing of thoughts.

"Tenchi," she whispered to the stars.

Soft candlelight lit the small upper bathing pool normally reserved for Tenchi's private use, but tonight he wasn't alone. A bottle of sake floated nearby in a bucket all but forgotten by those who had brought it. They had eyes only for each other. Centuries of events and journeys across the stars had led to the culmination of this night. Finally a bitter struggle of hearts was over and the fairytale was about to have it's ending. Or was it the beginning? Yes, Ayeka thought, The start of our lives together.

Soft water rippled gently against them in the waist deep water as Tenchi drank in the sight of her, the pristine pearl skin, the soft curve of her body as it entered the water. Perfection, the sight of her wondrous naked flesh excited him in ways he had only glimpsed in his darkest dreams. A carnal hunger awoke inside of him, yet it was tempered by the love he saw returned in her ruby eyes. It forged within him such a powerful emotion he was overcome for that moment, truly stunned by her.

Ayeka held that gaze, relishing in the emotions his soft brown eye betrayed. She finally let her eyes wander downward across his strong shoulders and well defined torso. All his manual labor in the fields along with his never ending martial arts training had left him lean and toned. As her eyes played across his lower abdomen she suddenly blushed brightly and turned her eyes away in embarrassment. He looked confused for a moment before looking down himself. A bright blush to match his loves spread across his cheeks as he crossed his hands across the offending member and dropping chest deep into the water. A long moment passed before Ayeka was able to meet his guilty eyes, the look on his face was priceless. She chuckled, the sound of it broke the tension of the moment, and seconds later Tenchi's laughter echoed hers.

"Tenchi," Ayeka let his name slip out slowly between pouty lips which she turned into a seductive grin as she glided towards him through the warm waters. She watched him gulp as she smoothly slid up to him. Nervously his shaking eyes took in her naked body made that much more desirable by the hungry look in her eyes. Looking down her body into his eyes as she stopped, not six inches from him, Ayeka never felt so much a princess.

"Ayeka, I," She didn't let him finish before grabbing his head and crushing him to her breast. She held him fiercely wanting to never let go, to stay in this moment forever, to hold him forever. Finally though she did. Kneeling the water before him so they were at eye level again she searched his soul while trying to find the words to express what she felt at that moment. The true and absolute love she held for this singular person. Feelings that she had kept hidden for so long, now revealed.

"I love you Tenchi," she spoke softly, not because she was testing the sound but at that moment nothing more was needed, life was perfect.

"I love you too Ayeka," he returned eyes shinning as he looked deep into hers, "I love you and only you."

Nothing he said could have been more perfect than that. He wanted only her, this life was theirs alone. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she tackled him, knocking him back into shallower water as her lips found his. She put her whole being into that kiss. Slowly her body melded into his as he relaxed and leaned back into the water until only their heads remained above the surface. Beneath the soothing waters they at last become one.

Ever so slowly Ayeka returned to the world around her. The warmth of the bath along with the sake she had consumed earlier had let her fall into a sort of half sleep. She shook her head a few times to shake away the grogginess, but the feelings induced by the fantasy stayed with her as she rose from soft water. Toweling herself off Ayeka looked at the bottle of sake floating in the water and decided she would have to do this more often. Of course that would mean learning where Ryoko got such good sake.

Late that night Sasami sat bolt right up in bed at the sound of Ryoko's cursing scream. The stream of curses went on for several minutes. The blue haired princess was sure the pirate had woken up people in Tokyo screaming something about missing sake. She was sure her sister would wake at any moment and go to lecture the demon about waking everyone so late at night, which would end in yet another fight. Sasami sighed and turned her pink eyed gaze over to her sisters futon expecting a clenched fist and angry glare. Instead Ayeka merely rolled over and with a wisp of a smile on her face whispered "Tenchi". Wonder of wonders, Sasami thought before laying back down and pulling her covers up as one finally cry from Ryoko rendered the night air.

"AYEKA!!!"

Author's note:

Well here you go. I'm not going to defend my choice of Ayeka for this fic, she doesn't get enough screen time anyways, so if you don't like it live with it. That said it's just a fantasy anyways, plus I'm going to write one with Ryoko anyways just to be fair, not to mention I have a good idea for one. Anyways some day I may get back to the Dreams Continuum but don't hold your breath I have too much on my plate right now as it is. Drop me some reviews and if they're good I might even post the Ryoko story.

Smack54