Disclaimer: I do not own the Tenchi cast, however Leech, Blackshire, and Ryoko/Tenchi's son is an idea of mine.

Please Note: Italics are for thoughts

The Waking Nightmare Part 2: The Pain of Loss

One week has passed since Yosho and Washu had been exiled.

Ryoko, yawned as she sat up in bed, even thought she had slept the entire night, in Tenchi's arms, she still felt very tired. "Man, I'm still tired, I can't believe it," she commented rubbing her head as she got out of bed. "I've never felt this tired." A sudden wave of dizziness nearly caused the former space pirate to topple. "What is wrong with me! I feel so tired lately, ever since the night Washu and Yosho left. Maybe it's some kind of mental reaction to banishing them from my life. Hopefully once I get over them, I'll be fine again. It's just so hard to believe that my mother and son would try and kill Tenchi. My heart tells me they would never do such a thing, but he said they were going to murder him, and I saw Washu and Yosho standing over him, when he had been shot." After trying to walk a few steps, Ryoko couldn't maintain her balance, and eventually succumbed to her woozy feeling, dropping back onto the bed. "I just can't seem to get any energy lately."

Just then a knock came at the door. A few moments later, the door slid open, and a young man, with deep brown eyes, stepped inside, carrying a tray of food. "Good Morning Ryoko," Tenchi said with a smile, "I figured you were still in bed, and I thought I would bring you some breakfast." Setting the tray down on the dresser beside the bed, Tenchi reached over opening the shades completely. Ryoko moaned her disapproval as she moved one arm over her eyes. "Are you going to sleep all day? Again?" The young man's voice was light and full of humor, yet at the same time sounding like he was scolding her. "Come on, you need to eat something Ryoko." The silver haired space pirate propped herself up on her elbows, frowning as she looked at him with her tired golden eyes.

"What I need is for you to leave me alone, and let me get some sleep," she muttered angrily squinting in the daylight.

"Man Ryoko, you look terrible," Tenchi remarked lightly trying to raise his tired wife's spirits as he picked up a set of chop sticks and a bowl of Meso soup.

"Well you sure have forgotten how to be a sweet talker haven't you Tenchi Masaki. When we got married, you told me I was the most beautiful woman you'd ever seen. Now you say I look terrible. Why I have half a mind to...HMM" Ryoko's threat was interrupted as Tenchi stuck a helping of noodles in her mouth. Swallowing hard, she glared at him angrily as she crossed her arms in front of her, looking like a pouting child. "I don't need you to feed me. I'm not a baby."

"Alright, Alright, I'm sorry." Tenchi chuckled. "I have a lot of work to do at the shrine, then I'll be out in the field until late. I just wanted to make sure you were feeling good before I left. You've been acting really weak lately. Are you sure you're going to be okay?"

"Yes, mother...," Ryoko snapped. It was always nice when Tenchi worried about her, but in the last few days he had been worrying more and more, and it was getting on her nerves. "Just go on, I'll be fine after I sleep a little while longer."

"Ok. When I get back, we can do something together. Since it's been so nice out lately, I figured we could go for a walk, or something like that. Well I have to get to work," the brown haired young man said, making his way out of the room, leaving the food beside the bed. As he shut the door, Tenchi's smile faded, becoming a scowl. His thoughts transforming to match his expression. "What is wrong with me? I am Leech, the ultimate weapon of Blackshire, yet lately these stupid emotions of Tenchi's seem to be hindering me from finishing my task. Ryoko is nearly dead, all I need to do is one last potent syphon and she'll be no more. Then I can claim her gems as my own. This is so infuriating, pretending to this Tenchi Masaki. Working on his foolish house designs while I tend to that shrine of his. To make matters worse, at times I actually seem to be enjoying it! I know I should kill that golden eyed spoiled brat, but for some reason I can't!" Leech stopped dead in his tracks, clenching his fists in fury. "That's it! I'll finish her off tonight, then I can lose this pitiful excuse for a life, and take my place as the most powerful creature in all the universe!"

Aboard the space ship The Yagami, not too far from Earth:

"How much longer will it be Kiyone?" Ayeka asked entering into the small cockpit. "We don't have that much time, according to Washu."

"We should be there by tonight," the teal haired Galaxy Police detective proclaimed as she entered in a few minor course corrections. "I still can't believe he's gone. Do you think we'll be able to make a difference? I mean if Yosho and Washu couldn't change her mind, what chance do we actually have?"

"You mustn't lose faith Kiyone," Jurai's first princess declared in a stately manner resting a hand on her friend's shoulder. "We will save Ryoko, even if we can't help Lord Tenchi. The threat of Blackshire's creation will end tonight! Washu's plan is sound, and as long as we all do our part, everything should be alright." Removing her hand, Ayeka took a more compassionate tone, "Get some rest when you can Kiyone, I am going to check on Mihoshi and Sasami."

As the door to the small room closed Kiyone's mind though about the horrible event Washu had contacted them about nearly a week ago. "Ayeka is taking Tenchi's death better than any of the rest of us. She hasn't cried or even said a word about how she feels. I wish I could be that strong. Not only that, but she's taken the most dangerous part of the plan on herself. I hope she knows what she's doing." The green eyed officer leaned forward, tears trickling down her face. "Damn you Blackshire. This time you've gone too far. Why couldn't you just leave us alone?"

The Sleeping quarters:

Ayeka opened the door quietly, entering into the dark chamber. The pale moon light of outer space glistened in, illuminating a figure sleeping in a bed nearby. Slowly the first princess of Jurai looked at the young woman. "Sasami," she whispered as she looked at her little sister. "You're not very little anymore, are you? You look exactly like Tsunami now. I know Tenchi would agree..." Thoughts of Tenchi flooded into her mind, causing tears to well in her eyes. Up until now she had tried to hide her feelings, to avoid dealing with them so that she could focus on getting even with Leech. However as the princess looked at her younger sister, and recalled the days they spent on Planet Earth, she could no longer keep her emotions in check, and the tears began to pour out of her eyes. Her entire body shook from the sorrow she felt, as the purple haired woman quickly sat on the bed beside her sleeping sisters head. Placing her hands on her face, Ayeka let it all out. "Lord Tenchi, if only we had know this was to happen, you might still be alive. We might have been able to save you. But now you're gone, and I'll never be able to see you're smiling face again. There was so much I still wanted to tell you. So many adventures left to be had...," Her crying soon began to grow even worse, causing her body to tremble violently.

"Ayeka?" Sasami asked waking up to see sister sitting beside her, crying uncontrollably. Quickly the blue haired princess sat up, putting a hand on Ayeka's shoulder to turn her so they sat face to face. The purple haired princess threw her arms around her younger sister's neck, sobbing powerfully. Sasami hushed her sister, holding her close. "There, there Ayeka." As she held her older sister, Sasami could no longer hold back her own tears, and she joined her sister in mourning the passing of their dearest friend.

For nearly an hour the two women held onto each other, drawing comfort from each other's presence. After few moments had passed, Ayeka cleared her throat, and pushed herself away from the blue haired woman. "Now then Sasami, we must stop this. We are representative's of Planet Jurai, and crying is unbecoming of us." Taking a deep breath, Ayeka rose quickly while walking away from the bed. "We are going to be arriving on Earth tonight. I merely wanted to check up on you. I am sorry for waking you." The purple haired woman yawned, having let out all her pent up emotions seemed to have drained her strength. "But I think we should both get some rest Sasami, we have a dreadful task before us."

"Ayeka," Sasami said, in a questioning tone, as she laid her head on the pillow. Sniffing loudly, the blue haired princess tried to calm herself down to continue. " Ayeka, I have a bad feeling that you'll get hurt. Promise me that you'll be okay when this is all over."

The first princess of Jurai smiled timidly at her sister, realizing that even after all these years, Sasami still was her little sister. "Very well, Sasami. I promise nothing will happen to me." Moving to the far side of the room, Ayeka began preparing herself to get some rest, taking extreme care not to wrinkle her royal garments. In a few moments, she got in bed beside her sister. "By the way, where is Mihoshi, I thought she was staying with you?"

The pink eyed woman yawned before replying, "She went to the kitchen to get a snack, then she was going to talk to Kiyone."

BACK IN THE CONTROL ROOM

"Kiyone, I thought I'd bring you a snack!" Mihoshi's voice chimed as she entered the control room, prepared to relieve her partner. In her hands was a tray containing a couple of drinks, and two rather large sandwiches. Kiyone jerked her head away from the blue eyed blonde, not wanting Mihoshi to see her this way, since her face was still red and puffy from her earlier emotional state. "Have you been crying?" The dim witted detective asked slightly shocked. "I don't think I've ever seen Kiyone cry before."

The teal haired woman looked squarely at the always upbeat officer realizing it was foolish to hide the fact that Tenchi's demise had affected her. "Yes Mihoshi I have been. I was just thinking about Tenchi, and how we'll never see him again." An awkward silence entered into the cockpit, as each woman reflected on those words. Or more specifically the fact that never again would they see the man who had brought so much joy in their lives, and made everyday seem special. Kiyone reached over and grabbed one of the sandwiches, taking a small bite. It was probably the worst food she had ever eaten. However, thanks to her depression, Kiyone couldn't taste the food. "This is good Mihoshi," she lied. "You know when we lived on Earth, Sasami made the best food. It was always tasty, and filling. I never would have thought food could be that good, and I owe the fact that I experienced all that wonderful food, to Tenchi."

"Do you remember how we met Tenchi, Kiyone," Mihoshi replied. "I don't always remember a lot of things, but that is one day I will never forget. It was a beautiful summer day on planet Earth, and I was hunting the area for Kagato. But because of a fight between Ryoko and Ayeka, my ship was pulled in towards Earth. Tenchi saved me from being sucked into a black hole that was created by the demon Ryoko had summoned."

"Well Mihoshi that isn't the kind of story you forget easily. I met Tenchi when I had to come to Earth to find you," Kiyone laughed. "For once your screwing up actually worked out for us." The two women laughed loudly. Mihoshi sat down, handing Kiyone a drink, and the two women began sharing stories of their past adventures, and misadventures, with Tenchi and the others. Deciding to remember all the good times they had with Tenchi, instead of dwelling on the pain of losing him.

THAT NIGHT AT THE MASAKI HOUSE:

Tenchi and Ryoko, now wearing her green and brown striped dress, walked hand in hand, back toward the house. Ryoko jerked her hand away from him, placing both on her head. "I'm sorry Tenchi, but I just feel so weak. I don't think I can stay up much longer. I'm going to have to go to bed. I wish Washu was here, maybe she could tell me what is wrong with me." The cyan haired woman bit her lip, realizing what she had let slip out.

"There's nothing wrong with you my dear," Tenchi lied knowing the real reason the golden eyed woman was so weak. "It's just the weariness of dealing with losing the others. But I promise by tomorrow morning that will all be over." Ryoko smiled happily looking at Tenchi, he always knew what to say, to lift her spirits. Suddenly he looked away, staring at something up by the house. "Who is that?" he asked pointing toward the house. "Were you expecting visitors?"

"No, I wasn't...," Ryoko looked up, a curious look in her golden eyes. After staring a few moments she recognized the figures before them. "It's Ayeka and Sasami! What are they doing here?" Ryoko picked up the pace, almost running to see her old friends who she hadn't seen in years. Turning she looked at Tenchi, who appeared to be slowing down. "Come on, slow poke, don't tell me I've got more energy than you."

"You go ahead," Tenchi stated a odd look on his face. "I'll be right behind you. I think I'm in shock." Ryoko shook her head, as she ran to greet her old adversary and friend. As soon as the cyan haired woman looked away, Tenchi sneered. "Blast them! Why did they have to show up now. When I'm so close to my final victory. Oh well, its only the two of them, no problem really. It's not like Yosho or that damn Washu came back. I don't need that kind of stress in my life. Actually I'm glad they showed up. It saves me hunting them down to kill them. This could make my last night on Earth a lot of fun."

By the time Ryoko reached Ayeka and Sasami she was out of breath. "I'm really getting out of shape. I used to be able to make it to the house in seconds." Tenchi appeared behind her a few moments later, smiling the former space pirate spoke between gasps. "Took you long enough..." The brown haired young man merely grinned at her.

"Well hello Lord Tenchi," Ayeka said in her most friendly tone, bowing respectfully. "How have you been?"

"Lady Ayeka," Tenchi stated. "What are you doing here? I didn't know you were coming to visit us. Not that it's not great to see you guys again, but it sure would have been nice to have some warning and all."

"Tenchi!" Sasami chimed as she ran at him, and viciously hugged the brown haired young man. A sick feeling consumed the pink eyed youth as she recalled that the man she hugged was not Tenchi, but a horrible monster using his body. It took all her strength to calm her stomach. "It's been so long!" Releasing Tenchi, the blue haired woman turned to latch onto the golden eyed woman. "Hey Ryoko, where's Ryo-Ohki?" Tenchi wrapped his hands around her, resting them on her silky robes. Sasami slightly shuddered as the vile creature returned her hug.

"Well that's a long story Sasami...," Ryoko said sounding very worn out. "Let's go inside, and I'll explain everything."

"Before you do that Ryoko," Ayeka interrupted, "I have a favor to ask of Lord Tenchi." Pausing she waited for everyone's attention. Having gained it, she continued, "Lord Tenchi, I have need of your sword, the Tenchi-ken. Would you please allow me to burrow it? I promise I shall not need it for long."

"Sure Ayeka, it's up stairs in my room." he declared. Nodding toward the house. "Go right a head and take it. I don't think we'll have any problems that require it anymore."

"If you don't mind, could you get it for me. After all, I wouldn't feel right going through your things." Ayeka asked politely.

"Oh, of course Ayeka," the brown eyed man replied, "follow me. Ryoko, why don't you take Sasami inside. I'm sure she has a lot to tell you. It shouldn't take Ayeka and me long."

"Alright, but don't be trying anything up there with my husband Ayeka," the demon of the Masaki shrine warned. "After all I won him fair and square."

The purple haired princess's face became beet red as she looked daggers at her old rival. "What! I am not a woman of loose morals like yourself Ryoko! I would never sleep with someone else's husband you... you...hussy!"

"What did you say!" Ryoko roared stepping forward so that her and Ayeka stood toe to toe, a ball of crimson power glowing in her hands.

"Interesting, I would have thought her power too depleted to generate power like that. I wonder if she knows she is doing that, or it's just an emotional response... Well I better stop them, after all I'm the one who's going to do all the killing tonight." Tenchi stated as he watched the two women prepare to pick up where they had left off years ago, ready to battle to the death. "Now, now you two, save the fighting for some other time. Today is a happy occasion. After all we are all together once again." Despite his words, Ayeka and Ryoko continued to shoot sparks of hate between themselves, as they leaned into each other. "Those two are impossible," Leech realized with a mental hiss. Clearing his throat he decided to try a different approach, " Lady Ayeka, didn't you want to get the sword?"

"Oh of course Lord Tenchi," Ayeka responded, shooting back to stand tall, causing Ryoko to topple anime style. "Shall we?" Tenchi and Ayeka slowly walked upstairs.

"Wow Ryoko!" Sasami chimed excitedly. "You looked worn out a minute ago, but you still managed to call up a lot of power."

"Of course Sasami, the power of these gems is nearly infinite. I just have to work harder to restore my power if I get too drained. Besides I can always call up enough power to handle someone like Ayeka," the former space pirate laughed.

"Have you been working hard? Is that why you're so tired? I know I was always ready for bed after a day of cooking and cleaning."

"No, actually in the last week all I've done is spend time with Tenchi. But I feel like something is sucking the very life out of me. Crazy huh?"

"Yeah," Sasami giggled. "That does sound crazy." Yet the younger princess of Jurai couldn't shake the feeling of dread that washed over her as she heard Ryoko's words. "It's him. Leech is slowly killing you. I just wish I could make you see that." Breaking away from her dark thoughts, the blue haired young woman looked at the older woman. "Let's go inside Ryoko. We can sit on the couch while we talk."

UPSTAIRS:

"I know it's here somewhere?" Tenchi declared moving around the closes in his dresser. Looking up with a weak smile he chuckled, " I guess I'm just getting forgetful in my old age." Ayeka said nothing, instead she continued to wait patiently as Tenchi looked for the master key. Finally after long moments of searching, his epic quest yielded results. Snatching up the hilt of the sword, he quickly removed it from it's resting place. "Ah ha! here it-- AGH!" The young man began writing in pain as electricity shot through his arm from the Tenchi-ken. Falling to the ground he continued to clutch it tightly as he glared up at Ayeka, hating filling his eyes. "What is happening, the weapon is hurting me. But I have Tenchi's body. I should be immune to it's affects."

"You are not Lord Tenchi, for those of Royal blood would not be affected by the Tenchi-ken in such a manner. I demand you cease these games at once!" The first princess of Jurai declared, stepping forward, as she pointed at the monster who called himself Tenchi.

Leech glared at the woman who now stood only a few feet away. "So, you know that I am not your beloved Tenchi," he hissed pain lacing his words, "I am..."

"Leech, yes I know. You've stolen Tenchi's body, but your aura is not the same as his. That is why you can not touch the Tenchi-ken. We were told all about your horrible deeds by Washu, and we have all come to make sure you pay for your crimes, and that no one else need suffer by your hands."

Releasing the blade, Leech staggered to his feet, as he did, he held out one hand calling purple energy from the very air around him. "Oh don't worry about dying by my hands," he paused momentarily while chuckling as he grabbed the gathered energy, forming an energy sword. "I have a much better way to handle you," using his stolen powers, the vile creature leapt toward Ayeka. A sadistic grin covering his face. His speed was easily equal to Ryoko's, since he had been syphoning her energy, and he had the graceful movements of Tenchi. Before the first princess of Jurai could react, the wretched beast in Tenchi's body drove the blade straight into her chest, causing her to gasp in dread. Tenchi moved Ayeka's impaled body, so he could more easily meet her gaze, "you know little princess, I could take your body now, as I've done with Tenchi's. However I think the game of killing the others would be so much more fun if I used this body, don't you?" Ayeka made no reply, instead she gasped in shock.

"Then it's true," Ryoko voice proclaimed causing Leech to look up quickly. Her voice sounding cold and full of hate. She had teleported up as soon as she heard Leech cry out from touching the Tenchi-Ken, and had witnessed Tenchi, her gentle husband, kill Ayeka. "You aren't Tenchi, just some monster using his body, and now you've used his body to kill Ayeka!" The cyan haired woman's voice echoed loudly in the house, filling it with her horrible discovery.

Leech laughed lightly taking extreme joy from Ryoko's misery. "Well it certainly took you long enough my dear. Tenchi's memories always said you were slow witted, but it shocks me to see how truly dumb you are. Oh well," the vile monster shrugged, dissipating his weapon, allowing Ayeka to fall in a heap on the floor, a faint gasp escaping her. "Hmm, it seems she isn't dead yet. I think I can fix that." Once again the sadistic monster called forth energy to his hands, preparing to blast Ayeka. In an instant Ryoko appeared between him and the fallen woman, her eyes blazing like twin suns. Leech held the two balls of power, and was just about to fire them through Ryoko, when something deep inside stopped him. For some reason he couldn't bring himself to blast her. Sneering viciously he spun, blasting the wall behind him, the explosion that followed sent smoke and debris into the air. While the former space pirate held up her arms to block the flying shrapnel, Leech leapt out of the house, landing on the lawn below.

"You don't get away that easy, you monster," Ryoko bellowed. " I will make you pay! Do you hear me! I will never forgive you!" Rocketing with all the speed she could muster, Ryoko made her way after the time traveling monster.

Downstairs:

Sasami heard Ryoko's shrill proclamation. The blue haired woman could feel a pain shooting through here, as if she too had been stabbed. Only this pain was worse, because she would not die from it, at least not physically. Tears poured from the young woman's eyes, "Ayeka...no...you promised me you wouldn't die..., I've got to stop him," Sasami told herself. "The only way to do that is to complete Washu's plan." Running, she soon reached her destination, the broom closet. Knocking on it frantically the pink eyed woman waited impatiently for the reply. It didn't take long. Seconds after her knock, a bright light illuminated the outer rim of the door. With a thunderous boom the door flew open, nearly being snapped off it's hinges, and out stepped two figures. One was a tall man, with long black hair, and fierce golden eyes. The other, a small woman looking to be only a child, her large pink mane of hair filling the doorway. Yosho and Washu had returned.

"Where is he! Where's Leech?" Yosho demanded, his voice more of a bestial growl than a human noise. "It's time for him to PAY!" The fury he felt toward the monster that had killed his father, and had been slowly trying to syphon his mother's life, was unfathomable. During the last week, Yosho had prowled Washu's lab like a wild beast, channeling his rage, preparing for this moment.

FLASHBACK:

Just after Washu and Yosho had been banished:

"But I don't understand why we don't just attack him now!" Yosho blared as he towered over his grandmother, who sat on her floating cushion working diligently on her computer. "If we wait, he will only get stronger. I realize that by killing him, mother will think we've always been out to get him, but I would rather live my life with her being alive and hating me, than to know she died because I, once again, was too slow to act!"

"Yosho, we will stick to the plan, and once everyone is there we will take him down." Washu stated flatly hiding her emotions. "I know how you feel, but trust me this is for the best. Besides right now Leech is the least of our concerns."

"The LEAST of our concerns! Have you gone mad! How can you be so cold and heartless! He's a super powered monster in father's body! How could things get any worse, I -" The golden eyed youth's words were cut off as Washu brought her hand swiftly across his face.

"Don't ever say that!," Washu's voice roared, it had been a trying day, and Yosho's had picked the wrong time to test her patience. Taking a deep cleansing breath she continued, "believe me when I say that I too want nothing more than to kill Leech, but we have to look at the big picture. Someone has changed the constants of time travel, who knows what this could be leading up to. I want to study this, figure out who, of what, is behind it. Because if it's who I think it is, then things could be getting a whole lot worse."

Yosho bowed his head slightly as he placed a hand on the spot Washu had struck him, "Who do you suspect?" Her slap hadn't hurt him, at least not physically.

"Blackshire," the green eyed woman replied as if that one name summed up everything. "I don't have time to tell you much about him now, I'm still trying to figure out why he would alter things like this. Let me just say this, he's evil. Evil beyond anything else, and the thing that scares me the most is, I can't detect him, or that cursed ship of his, The Ebon Shard, anywhere."

"I've overheard mother speak of Blackshire to father, when they thought I was asleep. I thought he died long ago," the young man replied.

"I did too," Washu's voice was now full of fear. "Why don't you go get some rest, we have a few days, and there is still much to do. You'll have to be ready to fight Leech when the time comes," she told him, deciding to end the conversation now.

"Very well grandmother, as you wish," he replied placing one hand on her shoulder. "But do you think I have a chance, I mean Leech is so powerful, and cunning..."

"Yosho listen," she snapped turning to face him. Their eyes locking on each other, "like your father, I can feel a great power inside you, something unbelievable. We already know you have great physical strength, probably given to you from your mother. There is no telling how much power you may be able to wield. Don't doubt yourself, because in the end, you may be all that can save us."

The golden eyed young man nodded, breaking eye contact, "Thank you grandmother, and I'm sorry. I should not have called you heartless, or cold."

"It's alright Yosho," with a wave of her hand she beckoned him away, "I know what you are going through. Just go on, go to bed..." With a respectful bow, the young son of Tenchi and Ryoko walked away, to get some rest, his grandmother's words echoing in his mind.

"I can feel a great power inside you, something unbelievable." Yosho shook his head hoping that he would be able to use that power to save his mother, and make Leech pay...

Once Yosho was out of ear shot, Washu collapsed onto her ethereal keyboard, tears rolling down her face as she sobbed heavily, causing her entire body to quake. Images of Tenchi, Ryoko, and her grandson, Yosho passing through her superior mind. Then as if to tarnish those memories, once again Washu remembered the two readings she had detected, just one hour before Tenchi died. "I won't let the cycle continue, this time you'll live. I promise you..."

END FLASHBACK

Sasami tried to tell Yosho what he wanted to know, but words would not escape her throat, all she could do was point in the direction of Tenchi's room. Yosho nodded, his fists clenched in balls of rage, as he ran full force toward his parent's bedroom. "I hope you were right about a power being hidden within me, grandmother, because I will definitely need it now more than ever!" As Yosho ran away from the others, Sasami's strength gave out, and she collapsed to the floor, her sobbing overtaking her. Washu knelt beside her holding her close, she couldn't help but wonder what could have made the young woman react this way.

"It must have been seeing Tenchi, alive and well, and knowing he was possessed by that horrible monster," the diminutive genius reasoned.

"Ayeka...Why...," Sasami managed to moan as she wept into Washu's shoulder. Sniffing loudly the blue haired woman looked up at Washu, "why did she have to die Washu? She promised me she wouldn't die!" For once the pink haired scientist had no reply, and could only look at the young woman, who was perfect reflection of the goddess Tsunami.

The sight that met Yosho's eyes, when he reached his parents room, was a terrible one. Laying on the floor, in a pool of her own blood was Ayeka, a hole appearing in her back. The far wall had been totally obliterated, and wisps of smoke still drifted off the wooden planks. He ran to his fallen aunt checking for any signs of life. With a moan that barely seemed audible, the purple haired woman looked at her nephew. However instead of seeing him, her fading mind instead saw only Tenchi. "Lord Tenchi," she proclaimed her voice filled with the strain of speaking, as she placed a hand gently on his face. "Please, you must stop that monster. Take the sword Lord Tenchi, and make him pay." Having made her plea to the man she loved so dearly, the first princess of Jurai's hand fell away, as her life ended.

"I promise you auntie Ayeka, he will pay. I'm not Tenchi, but I will settle this matter with Leech personally." Yosho gently set his aunt down, scanning the room with his golden eyes. After a few moments he located his quarry. Bending down, he picked up the Tenchi-ken, his father's sword, the master key. Turning quickly, Yosho made his way back down the stairs, weapon in hand, as he prepare to end this battle once and for all.



The Yard:

Leech landed on all fours after leaping out of the window, "I must hurry, and find somewhere to hide. I can't face her with these stupid emotions getting in the way, and I will need time to suppress them." As Tenchi rose to his feet, he heard a sound he hadn't heard in many years, the cocking of two Galaxy Police guns. Standing before him side by side, guns trained on his head, were Kiyone and Mihoshi. "An ambush. Very clever Washu, having them waiting in case I ran. But it won't be enough"

"Hold it right there Leech!" Kiyone demanded. "Your game is over."

"Yeah!" Mihoshi added trying to sound tough and brave, "so put your hands up, you're going to jail!"

"No he isn't," Ryoko proclaimed landing behind Leech, "because I'm going to kill him."

"Give it up Leech," the teal haired detective stated, "you are completely surrounded. There's no way out, except through us."

"Is that a fact?" Leech said sounding slightly impressed. Glancing over his shoulder he spoke only to the cyan haired woman, "how much power do you think your rage will let you bring forth Ryoko, and in your weakened state, can you control it?" Chuckling he returned his brown eyes to the two women before him. "Well I suppose there is only one option for me. It appears I must go through you two doesn't it?" Tenchi stated sadistically, presenting both arms to the two first class detectives. "Let me show you a little magic trick. Nothing up my sleeves..." At that instant Tenchi disappeared, reappearing behind the two police woman. "Presto," he screeched grabbing each woman by the neck in his vice like grip. "Time to die, my friends." Kiyone and Mihoshi looked as if they were about to vomit, as the evil creature live up to his name, draining their life force in seconds. Almost instantaneously, the two detectives disappeared, piles of dust appearing at Tenchi's feet where once two vibrant, full of life woman had been moments ago. "Nothing like the life force of two of your closet friends to make you feel energized, wouldn't you say my dear?"

"Don't call me that!" Ryoko roared forming her crimson energy blade as she charged at the murderer before her. Tenchi quickly responded by forming his own blade, blocking the cyan haired woman's attack mere seconds before it would have cleaved him in two. The sheer force of her thrust causing Leech to use both hands to hold her back.

Leech smiled back at her, "Kiyone had a valid point you know. The game is over, so I suppose it's time to kill you, and take the gems for myself." With a swift motion Leech thrust the golden eyed woman away from him, causing her to smash into the house. Weakened by his continuous draining of her power, the cyan haired beauty hit the house hard. A small trickle of blood coming from her mouth.

As she watched the man who was once Tenchi approach, Ryoko stopped trying to get up. "What's the point? I've lost everything now. I might as well let him kill me, at least then I can be with my Tenchi again."

Yosho appeared outside, seeing his mother stop her struggles. "MOTHER," the sound of Yosho's voice caused both figures to look at him. As the young man continued his voice was lined with hate, "Leech, leave her alone, and face me! I'm not scared of you, and I will have my vengeance."

Rolling his eyes, the brown haired young man shook his head. "Welcome back son. It's been a long time. Tell me does this scene look familiar? Me about to kill someone you love, while you watch in horror? But to be polite, I will take you up on your offer soon enough, but first things first. I have to tend to my wife."

Holding the Tenchi-ken before him, Yosho focused, calling forth the power of the blade. An instant later the blade erupted forth. "I said, 'LEAVE HER ALONE AND FACE ME!'"

Leech looked away from Yosho sighing in anger, "children..., they can be such a burden. As I said I'll be right with you, son." Raising his purple hued energy blade, Leech prepared to deliver one more blow, a fatal blow for Ryoko. As he began to bring down the powerful sword, something stopped him. It wasn't a foe he could see, or touch, but rather a force inside him that would not let him kill Ryoko. "Not again! These stupid emotions! They are a constant annoyance" After what felt to him like eons, Leech managed to regain control, and prepared to finish what he had begun. It was at that moment Yosho acted, springing forth with his father's blade toward Leech's unprotected back. With one swift arc like motion Yosho attempted to kill his father's murderer, and had the man Yosho fought been a lesser man, then that attack would have cleaved him in two. However Leech was not a weakling, not since he had been built for battle by Blackshire, and had taken Tenchi's body. Using the phenomenal agility he possessed, the body snatching monster arched his back, preventing Yosho's attack from hitting any vital organs, yet Leech did not escape his golden eyed adversary's attack unscathed. The sapphire colored weapon cut a deep gash in Tenchi's back, and red blood spilled out steadily. The shock of the intense pain caused Leech to dispel his weapon, and turn on the young warrior. "You insignificant cur," Tenchi screeched in pain swiftly bringing his fist around in a roundhouse attack. The incredible force of the blow nearly shattered Yosho's jaw. However like Leech, Yosho possessed his mother's strength, and instead was knocked several yards away. "That Hurt! I will make you pay for that! You will die a slow agonizing death, and just when you beg me to end it all, I will release you. I will do that to you, so you can watch as I kill the rest of your wretched extended family!" Like a lumbering giant Leech advanced on the fallen champion.

Ryoko opened her eyes, Tenchi no longer stood over her prepared to kill her. Instead the monster from another time was attacking her son. Reaching deep inside, the cyan haired woman called forth all the power she could, drawing it for one massive blast. Using the intense energy, she floated into the air. "If you want to kill me, that's all well and fine Leech. I have nothing to live for anymore, but you will leave my son alone!" she bellowed, seconds before unleashing the power she wielded into Leech's back. The blast seared through Tenchi's stomach, blowing a large hole through his body. A look of panic and shock covered Tenchi's face, and mere later, he fell to the ground, laying still on the ground. "What have I done...," Ryoko muttered looking at Tenchi's body. "Tenchi, I'm so sorry." With a thunderous roar, the golden eyed woman called forth every bit of power she could.

"Mother, it's over. You can stop summoning that much power. Please, you'll only hurt yourself. You are too weak to contain that kind of power." The young man's pleas fell on deaf ears, for the woman named Ryoko had been consumed by her own rage. As she looked at him, the cyan haired woman no longer saw her son, whom she loved greatly, instead all she saw was a man holding a glowing sword. Ryoko fired another blast just in front of Yosho, causing him to leap back. "What are you doing! Mother it's me, your son. YOSHO!" The young man's voice was filled with fear as he looked at his mother. "What's going on, why is she acting like this?"

"Yosho...," Ryoko hissed. Hearing that name brought back an ancient memory, of countless years ago, when she faced Tenchi's grandfather. "So, we meet again. Well this time I won't be put in that cave. This time it will be YOU who knows what it's like to be imprisoned for 700 years." Once again the space pirate fired, barley missing Yosho.

Inside:

"AHH!" Washu screamed, releasing the crying woman from her embrace, as she grabbed her head. The green eyed scientist writhed in pain, as is something was attacking her.

Sasami looked up at the pink haired woman with a concerned look, "what is it Washu? What's wrong?"

"It's Ryoko. Her mind has regressed to a feral state. Using the gems, she's trying to suppress all her memories of Tenchi, to deal with the pain by forgetting everything after she came to this planet. She's even trying to sear the information from my mind, so that not even I can remind her of Tenchi." Washu finally looked relieved as she finally stopped her link to Ryoko, "To make matters worse she sees her son as your half brother, Yosho, and she's going to kill him. "

"But why?" Sasami asked, temporarily forgetting her grief in the presents of this horrible event. "Shouldn't she want to keep those memories? I mean they will always be precious to the rest of us. They're priceless."

"It's not that she hates any of us, but think about it Sasami. The first, and only, man Ryoko ever truly, and deeply, loved was Tenchi. Now he's gone, first killed by that monster, Leech. Then, from what I gleaned from her mind a few moments ago, she fired the blast that killed him. Thus she feels responsible for Tenchi's death. Life has been hard for Ryoko, the only thing that has ever kept her life stable was Tenchi, before that only chaos and saki ruled her thoughts. With him gone, she has nothing to live for, so she's trying to forget it all and return to the way she was 700 years ago."

"Isn't there anything we can do?" the young princess asked, her eyes watering. "Can't you talk to her, or use some invention to make her stop?"

"No Sasami, I fear this entire event is in Yosho's hands. There's nothing I can say or do to stop Ryoko now. With all three gems in her possession, she's way to powerful now. But don't worry Sasami. Have faith in your nephew, he has his father's honorable spirit, and like Tenchi, I can feel something special hidden deep inside him. A power waiting to be unleashed."

Sasami looked up, her eyes red from crying. In this night that had been an endless cycle of terror and despair, Washu's words seemed to bring a glimmer of hope to Sasami. "Please Yosho, save Ryoko. We've lost so many of our friends so far. I couldn't bear to lose anyone else."

OUTSIDE:

Another bolt of power struck the ground before Yosho, once again the young man was quick on his feet, and narrowly avoiding the deadly explosion. With a flip, he landed by his father's corpse, looking at it with disgust. "This is all your fault Leech," he said spitting in front of the body.

"Yes, I know...," a weak raspy voice replied. To his shock, Yosho noticed his father's body trying to push himself up, even with a massive hole in his body. "Please, Yosho listen to me, I haven't much time left. I could leave this body if I wanted, however because of what I've done, I can't bring myself to do that. I will soon die."

The golden eyed youth sneered hate lacing his words, "So, should I care? You're the cause of all this."

"Yes, I am, and though you don't believe me, I am truly sorry." Leech replied. "I heard the pain and torment in Ryoko's voice after she shot me, and believe it or not, it hurt me more than the blast did. I've changed, your father's soul has corrupted, or rather, cleansed my own. Listen carefully to what I am about to say. I couldn't care less if you live or die, but I don't want to see Ryoko destroy herself, not because of me. I..., or rather Tenchi, loves her too much to let her die like that. There is only one way to stop her now. Remember the legend..." With a final gasp, and tears pouring down his cheeks, Tenchi's body went limp, collapsing one last time, never to rise again.

"So you did have a soul Leech. Too bad it was stolen. Yet I wonder, were those tears you shed your own for yourself, or were they my father's for Ryoko?" The young warrior knew what Leech had been talking about, when he said 'remember the legend.' Yosho stared at his mother, the Tenchi-ken's blade fully extended. "This is exactly like it happened over 700 years ago," he recalled. "Yosho verses Ryoko." Looking at the gems, which glowed brightly on his mother's body, Yosho recalled how the story ended. "So, I guess that means I'm going to have to use the sword on her, and command it to draw the gems from her body. " The grim faced youth smiled under the irony. "In order to save my mother, and everyone else, I'll have to try and kill her," he shook his head. "No, there must be some other way. There has to be! I refuse to try and slaughter my own mom." Yosho searched his thoughts, for any possible idea that might save his mother, as he dodged her powerful energy blasts.

With a feral roar, Ryoko charged Yosho, tired of playing with him, her hands held in claws as she prepared to rip him to pieces. Reacting solely on instinct, Yosho thrust the blade forward, closing his eyes as he did. "This is it, I'm going to die. I'm sorry everyone, I couldn't do it. I couldn't do what had to be done, and so I've doomed everyone." The sounds of battle died away, and silence filled the air. Slowly the young man opened his eyes, expecting to see his mother about to kill him, however the sight that met his golden eyes was even worse. There, the blade of the Tenchi-ken jutting from her throat, was Ryoko. His face was a mask of terror, as Yosho watched his mother writing on his blade, even in this state she continued to try and kill him. With one final deep breath, the son of Tenchi willed the sword to claim Ryoko's gems. He watched, tears flowing down his face as one by one the gems flowed from Ryoko to the hilt of the Tenchi-ken. As the last one appeared on the hilt, Ryoko swung at him one final time, then went limp. When he saw this, the young warrior's grip on the sword loosened as he released the hilt. His mother and the sword falling to the ground. Yosho stood his mouth agape, his arms open in shock. "What have I done!" With sluggish movements he knelt beside her, holding his mother to him, tears rolled down his face. "What... have... I... done...," he asked his mother, her body still warm as she laid lifeless in his arms. "Forgive me mother..."

Tears poured from his eyes as he squeezed Ryoko's limp body tightly, as if he could squeeze all death from her body. So terrible was his sadness, that the golden eyed young man began to have trouble breathing, and had to lean back, taking several deep breaths to calm himself down to merely hysterical.

A few moments later

Yosho heard footsteps behind him, slowly he glanced over his shoulder seeing his grandmother and aunt Sasami approaching him, a look of dread in their eyes. "It's over. Leech is dead, as are Kiyone, and Mihoshi. I tried to calm mother down, but she was too berserk. In the end I was the one to deliver the fatal blow. I killed my own mother." The pink haired scientist knelt on the opposite side of Yosho, eyeing her fallen daughter with watery eyes.

Moving her hands over Ryoko's body, Washu paused for a moment to call her ethereal computer. The universe's greatest genius typed frantically, occasionally looking up at Ryoko. Finally, after entering extensive amounts of data, she spoke,"She's not dead. By my data she should be up and around. It's almost as if she's forcing herself to stay asleep. I need to take her to the lab, and run some more tests." Washu stood up, and when Yosho looked at her he noticed she had reverted to her adult form. Releasing his mother from the vice like hug he held her in, the young man continued to knell in the cold grass. Bending down, the now full grown scientist reached down to pick up her daughter, and carry her away.

"Wait," Yosho pleaded putting a hand on his grandmother's arm as she lifted his mother's still body from the ground. Reaching around Ryoko's neck, the young man undid the silver clasp on her necklace. "Mother loved this for as long as I can remember. It was probably her most cherished item, and fondest memory of her early days with father. Take her body to the lab if you like, maybe you can find a way to revive her. However, until the day I see her alive again, I will keep this with me, if that is alright with you grandmother." The pink haired adult looked at him, sad that he doubted her abilities, yet she could understand his grief. Closing her eyes she nodded solemnly, before heading off with her daughter into the lab.

A small, barely even visible, smile cracked on Washu's face. "Don't worry little Ryoko. I'll make sure you're good as new, I promise. However in the end at least one good thing came from all this. No one went back in time and died fighting Leech in the past, the cycle is broken. " The currently adult looking Washu cradled her daughter delicately in her arms, having reestablished the mental link between the two of them. Washu spoke to her daughter, even though she knew in her heart that Ryoko could not hear her. As she continued, her words and thoughts became more like rambling than actual thoughts. "You look like an angel, you know. My perfect little angel. I'm so sorry for all this. You deserved better than this. You deserved Tenchi. It's my fault for all this, if only I'd been faster to warn Tenchi. Listen to me, I sound like your son. Listen my little one, you just try to wake up, your son is going to need you. We all are. I know you don't want to live without Tenchi, but you have to. You just have to..." Washu closed her eyes tightly, trying to hold back her tears, as the door to her lab swung open.

A wind began to blow in the cold night, as Sasami stood behind Yosho, unsure what to say. "I've lost my sister as well as our best friends, yet I wonder if Yosho hasn't lost even more?" Placing a hand gently on his shoulder, the pink eyed princess knelt behind him, taking a deep long breath. " Yosho. Yosho, it's over now. This terrible event is done. I know it's painful, like some terrible dream, but.."

"It's NO dream Aunt Sasami," Yosho trumpeted spinning as he rose to his feet. "Because people wake up from a dream. No, this is far worse. It's a nightmare, a waking nightmare, there is no hope, and no chance that I will wake up and see my parents again. They're gone forever...," The young man looked at the golden heart pendant in his hand, tears beginning to cascade down his face. "It looks like grandmother was wrong, I had no power within me. I'm nothing special, just a boy, who's weakness cost him his parents." After looking at the pendant for a few moments more, the golden eyed youth closed his hand tightly about it, before walking toward the house.

"Where are you going?" Sasami asked him, afraid he may do something rash.

"To grandmother's lab. I don't care how long it takes, I will study and train as hard as I can, so that ONE day I can find Blackshire, and make sure he pays dearly for what he's done to me." That said, the only son of Tenchi and Ryoko stormed into the Masaki house, slamming the door behind him.

The princess of Jurai sat in the yard tears flowing down her face, it was then she heard a familiar meowing beside her. It was Ryo-Ohki. The tiny cabbit leapt into her lap, looking at her with sadness in her tiny eyes. "Oh Ryo-Ohki... What am I going to do? I can believe it, Ayeka, Mihoshi, Kiyone, Ryoko, and EVEN TENCHI, are gone. I'll never get to see them again. Why did this have to happen? We never wanted to hurt anyone, yet it seems like people are always trying to kill us." Looking over her shoulder, the blue haired woman started at the house where she had so many wonderful memories, a sudden chill coursing through her veins. "It's like Yosho said, this isn't over, Ryo-Ohki. I have this feeling that things will be getting much, MUCH, worse very soon." Taking a deep breath Sasami remembered Washu's proclamation, that there was a hidden power in Yosho. "If there is some power in him, I can only hope that it can be used to stop this coming evil, before we're all consumed by it."

Rising Sasami looked at the piles of dust that sat where Mihoshi and Kiyone were, then up to Tenchi's old room, where Ayeka lay dead. Washu was in her lab, frantically working to revive Ryoko, and Yosho was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It appeared that Sasami would have to do all the preparations for the funeral herself. "The first thing I better do is call home, and tell mom and dad the bad news." Sasami swallowed hard, preparing herself for the hardships that lay ahead.

THE END

Yeah right...

This is the end of The Waking Nightmare, however Yosho, Washu, Sasami, and Ryo-Ohki's quest is far from over. Be watching, because soon we will enter into an epic story that is so huge, so action, drama, romance, horror, humor, and everything else packed, that it takes not ONE, but TWO entire dimensions to tell the tale. One dimension, this one (where the Ryoko's Birthday, and it's sequels went down). The other is an entirely new Tenchi universe (it is also based off the OVA), where Mayuka is a member of our cast, and none of the joys, or horrors, we have seen here have transpired. So join me as we see the story unfold: Tenchi Muyo: The Final Saga?! This story will be a big one, with massive repercussions to the cast of all universes.