There are some days when it does not pay to get out of bed.
Unfortunately, since no one in this universe is willing to pay you to
stay *in* bed, you have to get up on these days anyway. However, if,
in the course of that day, you wind up suspended from a large
mechanical contraption in a subspace laboratory facing the greatest
scientific genius in the universe, you really have to ask yourself if
getting out of bed was really worth the five hundred credits a week
plus expenses.

If she's scowling, Elic decided, the answer is no.

"Hello, Elic," Washu said, offhandedly inventing a whole new level of
spite. Elic rooted through his memory to find the proper course of
action for such a situation. His brain informed him that it was to
whimper "mommy" and make peace with his God. Given the
circumstances, he skipped the first part.

by Eponymous

"Er... hello, Washu," he tried to sound cordial and to not let on the soul-
shattering fear he was experiencing. He let the beads of sweat on his
forehead do that for him.

"Is this the guy?" asked one of people behind her - several people, he
now realized - that he hadn't initially noticed on being transported
here. She had grey hair grown in a style that vaguely resembled
Washu's. He tried to remember where he'd seen her likeness before.
Oh, of course, the Dread Space Pirate Ryoko. It occurred to him that
on any other day, he'd probably be afraid of her. Today, of course, he
was already dead. He let that resignation slip into his mind and
relaxed a little.

"I'd recognize him anywhere," Washu said, favoring him with a glare
to shatter continents. Yep, definitely, definitely dead.

"Wherever did you locate him?" asked a very proper-sounding young
lady's voice. Elic wasn't surprised to see it had come from a very
proper-looking young lady. Young lady in a crown. Wait a minute...
Princess Ayeka of Jurai? If he'd had his hands free he would have
scratched his head in disbelief.

"Tokyo," Washu responded.

"Tokyo?" asked a young man with dark hair, who was also the first
person in the room Elic didn't recognize. Elic wondered if he'd live
long enough to find out who he was.

"Sure wasn't doing a very good job of hiding," said Ryoko, eyeing his
blond hair. Elic reconsidered not dyeing it when he'd come to Japan.
If he'd known Washu was on this planet... but no, it wouldn't have
made much difference. She'd probably keyed in on his DNA anyway.

"Actually," he said, surprised to hear his own voice, "I wasn't hiding. I
was here on a job."

"Really," said Washu with barely restrained fury, "And just whose child
were you stealing today?"

Elic gulped. He really wasn't sure what to say to that. He gambled on
the truth. "Nobody's. I don't do that anym- which isn't to say that I
did when I worked for your husband's family. I mean, I did, but you
were the only one who I- aah, grife..." He found it practically
impossible to get a sentence out under the scientist's glare. Hanging
his head, he muttered, "Anyhow, I'm a detective now."

"Really?" asked a hyper-enthusiastic voice. A blond woman leapt
directly in front of him and began firing questions at him cheerfully.
"Wow! I'm a detective, too! How long have you been in the force?
Do you know Sgt. Calun? Have you ever seen the vein in his forehead
pop out? It's funny! Ooh! What about Mitsuki? Do you know her? I
was in the same class as her and-"

Elic's jaw lowered as the young woman continued her barrage of
friendly small talk. Slowly but surely the corners of his wide-open
mouth found their way into a smile. He couldn't help it. Here he was,
yanked off the street into an ominous, dark laboratory belonging to a
woman who clearly hated him, bound, helpless, about to be killed or
worse, and right in the middle of it all was this beaming, bubbly young
lady trying to befriend him. A light chuckle escaped his throat as he
stared at her utterly affectionate face and he felt a little better. He
was about to die, but at least the experience wasn't going to be as
depressing as he'd anticipated. It almost broke his heart to have to tell
her he was a private investigator, not a cop. But, for some reason, he
felt driven to remain on the level with everyone in these his final

He was about to interrupt her and clarify, when something clicked.

Blond hair, tan skin, blue eyes, GP Detective. That was... Elic boggled
as he tried to reconcile the blissfully scatterbrained expression on her
face with the physical description she matched. "Mihoshi Kuramitsu?"
he spoke.

"That's me!" she said and smiled so wide it forced her eyes shut. It
was the cutest damn thing Elic had seen in his entire life and it sent
his mind reeling. Detective First-class Mihoshi Kuramitsu. The Galaxy
Police's finest. Standing here, babbling happily, in the lab of Washu
Hakubi, alongside Washu herself, the most notorious space pirate in
history, the Crown Princess of Jurai, and some guy he'd never seen in
his life. It was at this point that the part of Elic's mind that had been
silently hoping this was a dream gave up. Stuff this weird only
happened in real life.

"Mihoshi," Washu said. Mihoshi stopped dead in the middle of another
round of questions and turned to look at her.

"Yes?" she responded feebly.


Mihoshi followed the primal instinct inherent in all sentient life and
backed out of the path of a deadly force of nature. Washu stepped

"You know why you're here," she glared up at him.

Elic looked down at the four-foot scientist from his place suspended
two feet off the ground and felt two inches tall. "Yes," he said.

"Well?" she growled.

"I don't suppose you'd let me off if I said I was only following ord...
No, I thought not." He sighed. "Look, I'm sorry. You probably don't
believe that, but I am. But it wasn't my idea! I was just a servant of
your husband's family! It was just chance they sent *me*. If it
wasn't me it would have been someone else. What good is killing the

Washu leveled a fiery stare directly into his eyes. "Twenty thousand
years... Twenty THOUSAND Years... And THAT is the BEST you can
come up with?!?!"

Elic knew she was right, of course. Hidden in her response were all
the counter-arguments he knew by heart, the ones he now repeated to
himself for the one-million five-thousand and thirty-second time. 'It
didn't have to be you. You could have said no. Even if they had sent
someone else instead, at least YOU would have done the right thing.
You chose to obey the order. You chose to take him from his mother.
The fact remains that he was taken because YOU took him. It was by
your hand.' He knew all of this.

But... there was something about the *way* she had answered him,
something in her tone, something in the unquestioning conviction, the
sheer *righteousness*, the inability - no, the *refusal* to see him as
anything more than a single act committed tens of thousands of years
ago. Something that provoked a feeling deep within Elic; a feeling of
inexplicable, all-encompassing anger. And even though it was signing
his own death warrant, he gave in to it, and for the first time in
millennia allowed himself to justify himself once more.

"No, you know what? It isn't," he said, glaring right back at her,
"You're right, I didn't have to follow the order. I could have said no.
Want to know why I didn't? Fine. Because it was you or your husband.
One or the other. The matriarch had had your marriage annulled,
there was no way both of you were going to raise your son. It was
you or him. I knew your husband. He was a very good friend of mine.
I knew he loved that boy more than anything. More than he loved
you, as a matter of fact. You... I didn't know you. Sure, maybe you
would have been a good mother. But maybe you *wouldn't*. I was
not going to abandon my friend's son in the care of a complete
stranger. I wasn't going to risk his entire life on a gamble like that.
Not when I knew there was a place he'd be loved and cared for. That's
way I did it. That's why I followed the order. That's why I took him
from you. So he'd be *happy*!"

There was total silence.

Slowly overcoming the shock of what he'd heard himself say, Elic
noticed Washu look thoughtfully at Ryoko for a moment before casting
her gaze to the floor. "And was he?" she finally whispered. "Was he
happy with my husband?"

For a moment, Elic thought to lie. But, despite all that his self-
preservational instincts told him, he replied honestly, "The hell of it is,
we'll never know if he would have been. We lost him on the way back."

Washu's head shot up, eyes ablaze. "He DIED?!!"

Elic took one look at the diminutive scientist and panicked. "No! I
mean maybe! I mean I don't know! We 'lost him' lost him! I mean,
we physically lost him!" he babbled, "He disappeared in a warp fold on
the way back to the homeworld! The ship was using a defective fold
generator. It was right before they recalled them all. The... the XA-
Gamma model."

"I... designed those..." Washu said quietly.

Elic frowned. "The irony wasn't lost on us. The matriarch tried to
have you brought up on manslaughter charges, but it was laughed out
of court."

"So," Washu said, her temper rising with every syllable, "What you're
saying, essentially, is that because you took my son away from me he
was lost in time and space *forever* with no way to find him and
*nobody* to care for him?!"

Elic's eyes widened, akin to those of a man in the headlights of an
oncoming train. He was, almost certainly, going to die.

Unless, that is...

yoursonis?" he rushed out in what could have been his final breath.

Washu paused. "What?"

Elic untensed. He'd bought a few more moments of life. "I told you,
I'm a detective now. One of my off-and-on assignments has been to
find your son. As a matter of fact, that's why I'm here today. Er...
could you let me reach into my breast pocket?"

"So you can grab your gun?" Ryoko said.

"So I can grab the omnicom that's next to my gun, actually," he
smiled nervously. Washu shot him a glance to size him up and
produced a black holotop with a wave of her hand. She pressed a
single button and the restraints around Elic disappeared. He hit the
ground with a slight thump.

"Eh, thank you," he said, not sure whether he was supposed to or not.
He reached into his jacket and removed a thin computer the size and
shape of a notebook. Pressing a key, he brought up the file on
Washu's son.

"Over the course of the past few millennia I've been cross-referencing
all the major space-time phenomena on record to find the point at
which where your son most likely came out of subspace. It took more
time and resources than you want to know, but I eventually tracked
him to right here."

"Wait, you mean he's arriving on Earth today?" asked the black-haired
boy, as he was the only one currently capable of speech. Even
Mihoshi's eyes had gone wider.

"Not exactly. I tracked him to this point in space, but not in time.
According to everything I've been able to ascertain, he arrived in
Tokyo in 1953."

"Well, shouldn't be that tough to find him," said Ryoko, slamming a fist
into her hand determinedly. "He was a blond, too right?"

"Sorry, it's not that simple," Elic shook his head, "His father, Washu's
husband, was a Trelinian. They're born with light hair, but due to a
chemical imbalance, it goes dark when exposed to space travel. The
last time I saw him, his hair was black as coal."

"So you were looking for a black-haired man in Japan. Perfect."

"It was tough, I admit. But..." he said, and savored the moment as he
finished with a smile, "I found him."

Washu's eyes widened. "Where?!"

"I haven't got his full name or address yet, but this is what I know: He
was found and adopted by a young couple in Tokyo shortly after he
arrived: Takuro and Mari Nomura, since deceased. He displayed a
superior intellect, particularly in electronics and engineering, from a
very early age." Washu beamed. He continued, "I won't lie to you,
Washu, he has had his share of sorrows, but his life *is* a happy one.
Married, one child-"

"I have a grandchild?!"

"Grandson," Elic smiled. "His wife passed away a while ago, I'm
afraid. Since then, he's gained quite the reputation as a ladies' man.
He's been seen in the company of several young women."

Washu laughed. "That's my boy!"

"Beyond that, I'm afraid it's fairly sketchy. Part of the problem in
locating him comes from the fact that he took his wife's name when he
married. Something to do with her family business. His last house
seems to have, well, disappeared from where it was, and nobody
knows where he lives these days. Although he and his son still go to
work and school respectively. Oh, and I nearly forgot, he's an

Elic looked up from the omnicom and found everyone looking at him.
Washu looked at him. Ryoko looked at him. The boy looked at him,
looked at Washu, looked at him again. Washu looked at the boy,
looked at him. Ayeka looked at Washu, looked at the boy, looked at
him. Ryoko looked at the boy, looked at him. The boy looked at
Ryoko, looked at Ayeka, looked to the heavens briefly, looked at him.
Mihoshi looked at everybody, scratched her head, looked at him.

Then a dark-haired middle aged man in glasses walked in to say that
dinner was ready, and, for some reason, everybody looked at him.

There are some days when it does not pay to get out of bed.


Tenchi Muyo! was created by Hiroki Hayashi and Masaki Kajishima
and is the property of AIC and Pioneer Entertainment.