In The Cold, Two Hearts Find Warmth
Written by Hokata

All characters are created by Masaki Kajishima and are owned by Pioneer and/or AIC. I'm writing this story out of respect for one of the greatest anime's ever made. This is my second fanfic, hope you like this little fic as much as I liked writing it. I know everybody is a little out of character, Ryoko is less impulsive (you can blame me or Zero for that one) and Tenchi isn't himself because I put a little bit of my personality into him.

It was a typical December at the Misaki household, a thick blanket of snow cover everything in sight. Sasami (with Ryo-ohki on her head) was skating across the iced-over lake. She had turned Azaka and Kamidake into a pair of huge snowmen that were sliding uncontrollably across the ice trying to catch her. "Look out!" Azaka shouted as he and Kamidake slid straight into a snow bank. Sasami and Ryo-ohki started laughing so hard she slid into a snow bank herself.

Washu was sweeping the steps to the shrine, she had seen the whole thing and chuckled. She looked back down at the steps, and didn't see the snowball hurled at her head. Wham! Washu went face down into the snow and heard the familiar laughter of a certain police officer. She jumped to her feet and saw Mihoshi and Ayeka (in a very un-princess-like manner) holding their sides laughing, Washu quickly made a snowball and hurled it at the blonde. It missed and hit Ayeka. A snowball fight quickly ensued between the three women.

Tenchi had just finished his training with grandpa for the day, and was walking into the house, "Baka jiichan, making me train when it's so cold you can freeze in two seconds...." he grumbled to himself. He open the front door and carefully walked into the house looking around for Ryoko. When he didn't see her he thought, 'everyone's out of the house, now would be her best chance to seduce me, so why isn't she?'

He started looking around for her, a little worried. He walked into the living room, and heard a faint sneeze come from the couch. He saw Ryoko in her yellow and blue dress lying on the couch rubbing her forearms, "Ryoko? Are you ok?" he asked with more concern. Her head snapped up at the sound, she jumped off the couch, "Of course I am." she stated with a grin on her face. He smiled and started to walk toward the steps, when he saw Ryoko fall back onto the couch with a groan.

He rushed over to her and crouched at her side, "Ryoko, what's wrong?" he asked, his voice full of concern, "and don't tell me you're fine." She looked into his eyes and was about to say that she was ok, when a wave of dizziness hit her, and all she could do was moan softly. Tenchi's eyes looked at her and he put the back of his hand on her head to see if she felt warm. As his skin touched her forehead, the first thing she thought was, 'he really cares about me,' but she wasn't in any shape to say anything about it.

"God, you're on fire" he said pulling his hand back.

"But Tenchi, that can't be, I'm freezing." she said quietly.

Tenchi thought for a second then said, "You've got a really bad fever, you need to stay warm and get some sleep." He grabbed a blanket from one of the other couches and wrapped it around her, and rubbed her left forearm through the blanket. After a few seconds she spoke up in a weak voice, "I'm still cold Tenchi." Tenchi quickly thought of an idea that would be the best thing for her, but it had some possibly serious consequences. 'Baka! Ryoko needs help now, deal with the consequences if and when they come up.' his mind shouted.

"Come on Ryoko," he said as he gently picking her up, blanket and all, "you can sleep in my bed. It's warmer than that support beam you normally sleep on." smiling slightly. As he walked up the stairs, she rested her head and palm against his chest, and smiled. 'It might not be the way I had planned, but he's carrying me to his room' she thought with a weak grin. Tenchi gulped as her hand touched his chest, but he made no effort to push it off.

As he reached his room, he slid the door open, walked in, then closed it behind him. He walked over to his bed and pulled back the covers with a foot. He slowly set her down in the middle of the bed and slowly pulled the covers up to her neck, he accidentally brought his face inches from her's. She blushed at his concern for her, and he blushed because of his closeness.

Tenchi saw a couple of things about Ryoko that were different. Her golden cat-like eyes, instead of their usual strength, they looked vulnerable, and helpless. Her cyan hair wasn't it's normal pointy spikes, it was let down and flowing over the pillows and her shoulders. He had never seen her look like this before, she looked... sexy. Not the same kind of sexy she was when she was trying to seduce him

"I'll be right back, I'm going to get Washu-san." he said pulling away from her blushing face a little slower than he normally did. They both noticed this but didn't say anything. He walked toward the door, he opened it and looked back and she called to him, "Domo." As he slid the door closed, she could have sworn she saw him smile at her. She heard his footsteps hurry down the steps and out the front door, "Damn that Zero" she muttered under her breath.

Ever since she and Zero had bonded, she had moments when she was around Tenchi that she couldn't speak. That baka Zero, she's so emotional. "Oh well, the day wasn't a total loss." She sighed then suddenly sneezed, and broke out into a series of coughs.

As Tenchi cleared the house and made it to the shrine steps, he spotted Washu halfway up the stairs in a huge snow ball fight with Ayeka, Mihoshi, even Sasami and Ryo-ohki. He started running up the stairs, calling Washu, trying to get her attention. As he finally cleared the last set of steps and got to the landing that the snowball war was on, he was about to call her. Wham, he got a faceful of snow.

He cleared the snow from his eyes, and saw Washu tossing a snowball from hand to hand, "You know better than that." she raised the ball like she was about to throw it at him, "Now what were you saying?"

"Washu-chan," he said very annoyed, "can you come to the house? I, uh, need your help with something." he said, trying not to raise too many questions. "Is something wrong, Tenchi-sama?" Ayeka asked.

"No, nothing's wrong. I just need Washu-chan's opinion on something." he answered quickly. Washu sensed that he need to talk with her privately, "Sure Tenchi-domo, I'll go with you." He sighed and started to walk down the stairs back towards the house, Washu following a few steps behind. Everyone silently watched the pair walk down the steps and out of sight, "I wonder why Tenchi-sama needs to talk to Washu-san," Ayeka thought out loud. Before she could wonder any more, and snowball connected with the back of her head, thus the great snowball war started again.

Washu followed Tenchi down the steps, neither of them saying anything. She could tell he was worried about something, and she knew exactly what it was, but she decided to let him speak first. They entered the house and Tenchi stopped and turned around and stared straight into her eyes, "I've got a feeling that you already know what I'm going to ask you, but, Ryoko's really sick, and I was hoping that you could help her."

"Gomen nasai Tenchi-dono, but the common cold is something even the greatest scientific genius can't fix." Washu said. True, it was an outright lie (the cure for the common cold was the first thing she invented), but... 'This could work out in Ryoko's favor, if I don't intervene.' she thought. "All you can do is make sure she stays in bed, and gets plenty of liquid and lots of rest." she stated in a motherly voice.

Tenchi just sighed, "Oh well, looks like she'll have to tough it out like a regular human." he said with a small chuckle. "Gomen nasai I can't help Tenchi-dono." Washu said shrugging. "I just remembered I left one of my experiments unmonitored. Later." she giggled and ran off to her lab. 'I need to program the computer to watch this interesting turn of events' she thought with an evil grin.

Tenchi watched Washu dash into her lab and raised an eyebrow, "ok, bye then." he muttered. He turned around and made his way to the kitchen, five minutes later he walked out with a tray with a bowl of soup and a warm bottle of sake (slightly less alcoholic than what she regularly drank). He brought the tray up to his room and opened the door to see Ryoko staring up at the ceiling off into space.

"Ryoko?" he said quietly, just in case she was about to sleep. As he said it she snapped her head towards the sound with a cold look on her face, but it softened as soon as she saw it was Tenchi. She sat up and smiled at him, "you're late," she said weakly. "Sorry, I brought you something though." he smiled back walking over to her and putting the tray on her lap. "Ayeka didn't make this did she?" she asked eyeing the soup suspiciously.

Tenchi chuckled, she couldn't cook any better, but that still didn't stop her from insulting Ayeka's cooking ability (or lack of). He remembered once that Ryoko and Ayeka decided on having a cook-off. Of course everyone except Tenchi heard about it and just happen to go shopping on the same day. Leaving Tenchi the honor of being "The Judge of the Biohazards (fanfare).

Once Tenchi found out why everyone but him, Ayeka, and Ryoko had gone shopping, he tried to run and hide. Except his guilt (and a little rope) prevented him from refusing. So he was forced to sit at the dinner table for an hour listening to the crashing, yelling, and bragging through the kitchen walls. While he waited, he wrote his will and put it in his pocket, just in case. They both came out of the kitchen holding a plate apiece, they each had a plate cover hiding the horrors that lie in wait.

Ryoko and Ayeka flipped a coin three times to she which dish he would suffer through first. Ryoko won. She grinned and proudly uncovered her dish... it was oyako donburi {note from author: for those that don't know Japanese food, oyako donburi is a bowl of rice cover with pieces of chicken and onions cooked in egg. This is a really simple dish, and really hard to screw up ^_^}, and it looked really tasty. "Wow Ryoko, this looks pretty good." he marveled, Ryoko grinned ear-to-ear and stuck her tongue out at the hurt princess.

Tenchi took his chopsticks out and grabbed a piece of chicken and cautiously brought it up to his mouth. He started chewing the piece and prepared for the worse. As he chewed it carefully, 'it's not that bad, she might win...' then he suddenly tasted something that can't be described. It was sour, slimy, spicy, salty, and a number of other tastes. He struggled to swallow the nasty mass (and his own bile), he finally managed to swallow it with a loud "gulp" Ryoko's face lit up and after he washed it down with a half of his glass of water she asked he what he feared, "How was it?" He put on a fake smile and replied, "Arigato Ryoko" When she heard him say that, she did what she always did, she glomped onto him, pinning his arms to his sides.

Ayeka started shaking with rage, suddenly she slammed her fist down on the table, "Ryoko-san! Tenchi-sama still hasn't eaten my delicious meal. So get off him so he can eat." Ryoko let go of him and glared daggers at Ayeka. Ayeka completely ignored her and slapped away Ryoko's oyako donburi, and set down her plate. As she pulled back the cover Tenchi's stomach rumbled like a volcano about to blow its top. She had made a okonomi-yaki {author's note: once again, for those that don't know Japanese food, okonomi-yaki is kinda like a pancake, it's made from batter with chopped vegetables, meats, seafood, and eggs.}, the top wasn't cooked all the way, and he could tell the bottom was black, 'Great, she forgot that grills don't cook both side at once.'

He cut off a piece of the under/over-cooked mess and with shaking hands quickly slammed it to the back of his throat. That was a mistake. The first thing that happened was the piece of food lodged in the back of his throat. That made his tongue try to remove it, it touched the blob, and it tasted awful (duh, it wasn't even cooked). That taste made his already nauseous stomach start to erupt, combine with the fact he was now trying to cough out the foul thing in his throat, made for a dangerous combination. Ryoko and Ayeka both looked at him very concered, suddenly he stood up and tried to run to the bathroom, but tripped since his feet were still bounded. He might not have been able to run, but he could still crawl really fast.

He barely made it to the toilet in time. Back at the dinner table, Ryoko and Ayeka just looked at the bathroom door and listened to the disgusting sound of a natural "stomach pump." Then Ryoko leaned over to Ayeka and stated, "I win"

"N-nani!?" stammered the princess, taking a step back.

"I said 'I won,'" she repeated looking at Ayeka calmly.

"How did you win!?" she yelled

"Well, let's see," putting her fist to her chin, like she was thinking, "for one he said 'arigato.' Two, he said it looked great. And three, he swallowed mine!" she cried as she slammed down the crushing blow.

"Not true Ryoko-san! One, your food is what made Tenchi-sama's stomach explode, so he couldn't have said thank you anyway. And two, looks aren't everything."

"Oh! So is that why you think you have a chance with Tenchi?" Bingo. That one sentence pushed all of Ayeka's buttons at once. In the bathroom Tenchi was washing his face, he could hear energy weapons being powered up. So he did the smartest thing he could, he hid for the rest of the day. Neither of them won, but Ryoko always considered herself the winner.

"Tenchi!" Ryoko whined pulling on his sleeve, "don't zone out on me now."

"Huh? Oh, sorry, I was just remembering something." he said noticing half the soup and sake were gone, he blushed when he also noticed that he was siting right next to her, but for some reason, he didn't try to move away. After she finished the soup, she closed her eyes and stated flatly, "I still say I was the winner."

Tenchi chuckled a little, "whatever you say." Ryoko acted hurt, "You mean I didn't win?" but she could help but smile. "Well... um..." he stumbled around looking for the right words. He decided to take the easy way out, "here, I'll take the tray back to the kitchen." As he slid the tray off of her lap and onto his, Ryoko placed one hand on one of his hands, and put the other on his shoulder. ' This is different, she isn't squeezing the life out of me in one of her famous bear hugs she uses so much.' that was as far as his mind got. Then all at once, she squeezed his hand, and her other hand pulled his shoulder toward her chest, and she kissed his cheek, "domo," she whispered.

He sat there dumbfounded for a second, staring off in to space. He snapped out of it and stumbled back off the bed. The tray somehow landed flat on the floor and neither of the glasses or the bowl fell off. Tenchi slowly got up to up on his knees and leaned on the bed, "domo? For what?" he asked confused and a little shocked.

"You're taking care of me aren't you?" she asked turning on her side leveling her eyes with Tenchi's. "There's no need to..." he said sweating and turning red as Ryoko's face was staring back at him less then 5 inches away. Her golden eyes were so... so... beautiful. He saw them reflecting an emotion he had never seen, he didn't know what it was, but he knew what it wasn't, it wasn't lust, or anticipation. "But I want to thank you, Tenchi." she said so quietly he barely heard it

As he looked into her eyes, a wave of memories rushed back to him. The cave, he was a baby, he was being carried by his mother. They walked past the cave and he saw a woman standing there looking at them, he waved to her and she looked amazed, stunned, and happy. He was now five, playing around the cave, he looked into the cave. Suddenly his grandpa appeared behind him, he asked him why he kept coming back to the cave when he isn't suppose to. When Tenchi asked why he wasn't allowed in, he told him the legend of the demon that was imprisoned inside the cave. Even though the tale scared Tenchi, he still came back to the cave whenever he could, hoping to see the woman that he had seen that day. Later that year, his grandmother died, he ran to the place where he had always felt safe, the cave. He laid against a rock and cried his eyes out, pounding his fist in anger and grief. Then he felt like someone was with him, sharing his pain, feeling his sorrow. He sat there for a long time silently talking with the other presence. Years past, he couldn't spent as much time around the cave, but he never forgot that feeling of that person that had comforted him. Every year when school started, he went to the cave to say goodbye to the person he both never and at the same time always knew.

Then as suddenly as the memories hit him, they left. He was back in his room, looking into her eyes. In all the time he had known her, he had never felt like this. Her face was only inches from his, but he didn't try to run away. She was in his bed, be he didn't throw her out. Then he realized why.

"Ryoko... I... I..." he said hesitantly, not sure if this was the right thing to do. "Yes, Tenchi?" she asked, not waiting for an answer, she closed her eyes and ever so slowly brought her face to his. He didn't bother trying to finish talking, he closed his eyes and leaned toward her face. Their faces were only an inch apart, suddenly someone knocked on the door, "Tenchi-niichan, dinner's ready" Sasami called through the door. His eyes shot open, he saw Ryoko's face so close, he did the first thing that came to his mind, he stumbled backwards. Ryoko kissed the air he had been in a second before, she opened her eyes and saw Tenchi had backed away from her. "I, uh, need to tell the others that your sick" he said quickly. Before she even opened her mouth, he had grabbed the tray and was out the door. She sat there for a second, looking at the door, not sure how to react, 'he almost said it' the Zero part of her said. 'But he didn't, you saw how fast he ran away from us' she answered. Zero had no response.

At the table Tenchi was sweating bullets, silently replayed what happened in his room over and over. What had he been thinking, if Sasami hadn't interrupted, then.. 'what? what would have happened? You would be happy, at peace? Or do you like leading both girls on? Making them put their lives on hold just for you to decide which you love!?' his subconscious screamed at him. He was thinking so hard he nearly screamed when Ayeka asked him if he was okay, "Oh, yeah I'm fine." he said a little shakily. "Where's Ryoko?" Sasami asked looking at the empty space next to Tenchi that she normally sat in. "She's got the flu Sasami-chan. She's upstairs resting." he said a lot calmer than he felt. "Oh... Tenchi-niichan could you take her dinner up to her," she asked thoughtfully, not noticing in made Ayeka wince.

Before he could even think about an answer, Sasami shoveled a tray of food into his stomach, "tell her I hope she gets well soon" she said firmly, making it impossible to refuse. Tenchi sighed and started up the stairs, Ayeka watched him and she had a strong feeling something was going to happen between Tenchi, Ryoko, and herself. He was finally going to choose. Except something in the back of her head told her he had already chosen, He had chosen long ago... but she quickly banished the thought.

As Tenchi walked up stairs, he thought about what he should say, he knew what he wanted to say, but he wasn't sure if he could. He slid his bedroom door open and saw that she wasn't there. "Oh-no" he said to himself, he set the tray down on his desk and headed to the place where she always went to think. The roof.

Ryoko sat there in the snow and the cold, sniffing, and letting out the occasional sneeze, thinking how stupid she was for thinking Tenchi would ever have any other emotions besides fear, and annoyance. She let a lone tear run down her face, feeling it change from hot to cold as it moved downward, 'just like Tenchi's feelings toward me' she thought.

She was so busy beating herself up, she didn't hear the attic door open and someone climb onto the roof. "Ryoko," she knew that it was Tenchi, she knew what she had to do. She slowly stood up and turned toward him, keeping her head pointed toward the roof. "Tenchi, gomen nasai. I know I shouldn't have done that, I didn't mean to try and force myself on you. Forgive me" she said letting another tear run down her other cheek.

Tenchi was really surprised, he didn't think she would act like this. Tenchi swallowed hard and tried to remember what he was going to say. "No Ryoko." he paused and saw her look up at him, her golden eyes barely holding back a river of tears, "I don't need to forgive you, if anything, I should thank you." She stared at him in confusion. He slowly started walking toward her, "You made me realize that I had made my decision a long time ago. Ever since I was a baby, you were there for me. Even though I never saw you, I knew you were there, when I played, when I laughed, and when I cried." he paused a took in a shaky breath. He was now standing right in front of her. She looked up into his eyes and saw that he was speaking from his heart. "I don't know why I didn't realize it sooner, I guess it took that undisturbed time alone with you for me to realize that..." he paused again and looked into her eyes, full of hope, tears, and love. "That I love you Ryoko, I've always loved you, and I'll love you forever." he said tears building in his eyes.

She smiled weakly at him, her eyes watering over, and slowly wrapped her arms around him. He put his hands under her arms. "I love you too." she said, they both closed their eyes and brought their faces together in a kiss that was destined to happen. They stood there in the deep kiss for what seemed like an eternity, holding each other, neither of them caring about the outside world, the cold, the wind, her fever, or the weakness in their knees. Ryoko felt another tear run down her cheek, but this one didn't turn cold, it was only getting hotter.

Tenchi slowly pulled back, wiping away the tear from her face, blinking trying to hold back his own tears. He looked at her face, rubbing her cheek, noticing things about her face that he had never seen before, "beautiful," he whispered to himself. "What are you thinking, my Tenchi?" she purred with a mix of slyness and bliss. "I'm just wondering why I never saw how beautiful you are before, not that I ever thought you weren't." he added quickly.

She smiled at him and pulled him toward her, "I know," and kissed him deeply. Tenchi closed his eyes and kissed her back even more passionately, running his fingers through her surprisingly soft hair, and his other hand caressing her back. Suddenly her eyes shot open and she broke away from his embrace and started to sneeze like mad. "That's right, I almost forgot you're sick, he said walking over to her, "you need to say in bed and stay warm." He walked to her side and draped an arm around her shoulders, "Let go before-" he was stopped in mid-sentence as he sneezed. "Oh-no," he said hanging his head and let out a sigh, "I was going to say 'before I get sick too.' Oh well, looks like neither of us is going to be active for a while."

He instantly regretted saying this, when he saw Ryoko get a sly grin, "So we'll both bed in bed for a while, won't we?" she said nuzzling her head against his shoulder. All he could do was blush and gulp, "Ye..yeah, I guess so." he said nervously. "Well then, let's get out of the cold before we get even sicker." she said hugging him. 'But the sicker we get, the longer we have to stay in bed together' she thought with a grin. She thought about it for a second, then decided against it, she didn't want to risk his health. 'Not to mention there's no hurry, we've got the rest of our lives for that.' she hugged him tighter at the thought and let out a small giggle.

He blushed again, he knew what she was thinking, "Yeah, sure let's go inside." he said with a wary smile. She looked at him with her golden eyes full of mischief, and kissed him deeply. He wrapped his arms around her lower back and she hugged his neck. He felt like he was melting. Suddenly he realized that he was melting (sort of)! Ryoko had started to sink into the roof, bringing him along with her. It felt really weird, he could feel the ceiling against his skin, almost like a ghost touching him.

He closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling on his skin, and of course, his lips. After he felt himself become solid again and his feet touched the floor, he slowly broke the kiss, still holding her. "Wow, that was incredible Ryoko." he said grinning, looking at her mischievous eyes. "What? Fazing through the roof... or the kiss?" she asked seductively. "Both," he pulled her into a light hug, "but I liked the kiss better." he whispered in her ear.

She stepped away from him and had to turn around to hide a massive blush. "Tenchi, I never knew you where such a hentai. Naughty boy." she said in a childish voice, quietly giggling in a very un-Ryoko like way. "Fine then, goodnight Ryoko." he stated with no hint of sarcasm in his voice, and started to walk towards the attic steps. Ryoko instantly stopped laughing and teleported behind him, "Please Tenchi, you know I was only kidding," she said nervously.

When he didn't stop or even look at her, she got a scared, "Please, don't go! I- I like you being hentai!" she practically cried out. 'ok, this has gone a little farther than I meant it to, she's acting really paranoid.' he thought. He stopped walking and turned to face her, she had tears building up in her eyes. He was shocked, she never cried, for any reason! He wiped the tears out of her eyes, "Don't be silly Ryoko. What makes you think I'll leave you just over a little sarcasm?" he said with a smile. Her face lit up at this, "Yeah, I guess your right. baka zero." she muttered.

"No, don't blame Zero for showing the emotions you hide so well." he said softly, gently rubbing her cheek, "You should thank her. Before you two merged, I couldn't tell how you felt most of the time, you always hid behind that hard shell of strength and power. But when Zero was impersonating you, I saw the real you, I saw all the felling you never show anyone." She just looked at him curiously, wondering where he was going with this. "I saw how much you loved me, and that made me start to really think, but until tonight I still wasn't sure how I felt about you." he paused and waited for her reaction. Her eyes started to water over, "So... you love Zero?" she asked in a shaky voice. He had expected this question, but it still surprised and hurt him a little, "No, I love you Ryoko. Zero just helped me realize that. She's kinda like cupid," he said with a small laugh, "only using really messed up methods."

She smiled weakly at him, "domo ariagato gozaimasu Tenchi" she said and held him tightly, drying her eyes on his shoulder. He smiled at her and put his hands on her back, hugging her close to himself, "you're welcome," he said in a near whisper. She smiled a little, "You know... I've dreamed of this moment ever since I saw you. Every night I was in the cave, I imaged one day you would come free me from my prison." he felt her shutter a little. He knew where she was going with this. "Shhh" he said reassuringly, "don't think about that now." he started running his fingers though her hair. She smile grew and she hugged him tighter, "You're right, I have you now and that's all that matters." As he stood there holding her, he couldn't help thinking about the cave.

All those years. Imagine, 700 years of silent, lonely boredom. He always remembered that fateful day about a year and a half-ago, the day he released the woman that stole his heart. He stole the keys from grandpa and broke into the cave, only because he wasn't allowed to. He took Tenchi-ken out of its shrine and un-sheathed it, to revel a rusty piece of crap. He got mad and hit it against a rock, effectively shattering it. A second later the rock split in two, and made a passage way open up behind it. He walked in to the down-ward hall, tripped, and fell most of the way down. After he picked himself up, he walked toward the center of the room and saw (at that time) a hideous mummy in the water. He was so shocked, he dropped Tenchi-ken. As he bent down to pick it up, the mummy grabbed his wrist and shoulder, and pulled him down to her. He was petrified as it touched his face, even more so when it leaned in to kiss him! Suddenly Tenchi-ken flashed a bright light and she let go...

His mind suddenly stopped and he thought of something he could do for Ryoko to make up for all the time he made her wait for him. He pulled out of the hug (much to both of their disappointment), "Come to my room in two minutes." he said quietly. Then he kissed her forehead ran down the stairs toward his room. Ryoko stood there with a blank look on her face for a second, then she smiled broader than she ever had. 'He more hentai than I thought!' she thought, jumping up and down with joy, 'I knew he wanted to do it, and I didn't even suggest it!' She continued jumping until the two minutes were up.

Meanwhile Tenchi was searching frantically though his stuff, "I can't believe I can't find it! Where did I put that damn thing!?" he said to himself, "that's it, from now on I'm never leaving it out of my sight." he vowed to no one in particular. He finally found the object he desired, just as the two minutes ran out. He quickly stuffed it up his sleeve and stood in the middle of his room, hearing Ryoko materialize in front of him. "Tenchi!" she said quietly but happily, with her eyes closed. She slowly opened them and saw him standing there in the middle of the room... with his clothes on, her smile faltered a little, 'Oh well, I guess he's not that hentai after all.' she thought with a small laugh. He heard her laugh and he cocked an eyebrow at her wondering what part of the joke he was missing.

He mentally shrugged it off, "I have something for you Ryoko" he said with a fair amount of mystery in his voice (just to lead her on ^_^). She was stunned. 'Could it be!? Is he going to...? I can't believe it, I'm so happy!' that was all she could think about, while absently rubbing her ring finger. He saw her reaction and smiled warmly at her, "Now close your eyes and I'll give it to you." She eagerly complied, squeezing her eyes shut, and waiting for the 'gift.' Once he made sure she wasn't looking, he pulled the item out of his sleeve, and recalled what to do.

As Ryoko stood there her mind was racing about all the possibilities of Tenchi's actions, 'He could be un-dressing,' she thought with a blush, 'or maybe getting a ring out.' As she thought, her right wrist and neck started to tingle. At first she didn't realize it, being too caught up in her thoughts, but she slowly became aware of the strange feeling. She wracked her mind trying to figure out what was tingling without opening her eyes. Suddenly the sensation was gone... and so was her fever and she felt better than she ever had. "Ok, open your eyes." he said softly, putting the item back into his shirt.

Her eyes flew open, she looked like a child waiting to see what a present was. She quickly brought her wrist up to her face, and she saw something she never thought she would... her gem. She felt her neck and found the other gem there. Her heart filled with more love than she would have thought possible, he trusted and loved her enough to give her back what his grandpa had taken from her seven-hundred years-ago. She looked up at him with a stunned look on her face, he smiled slightly at her reaction.

She couldn't hold in her joy any longer, "Tenchi!" she squealed and flug herself at him with her arms outstretched. He was caught off gaurd as she flew into him, sending both of them on to his bed. She had unknowingly pinned his hands down with her knees, she started caressing his face, as she leaned close against him and started to kiss him passionately. Tenchi was a little shocked at her fierceness, but quickly started to return the kiss. Then he felt her tongue dancing over his teeth. Before tonight he would have yelled or tried to escape, but now it all seemed so right, so he slowly opened his mouth and let her tongue into his mouth, as he tentatively did the same. Ryoko finally got control of herself and slowed her pace down to one of a sensual, and loving kiss. His tongue moved along the rim of her teeth, feeling the small fangs, and then their tongues found each other and intertwined.

Elsewhere in the house... Ayeka was down stairs watching one of their late-night soaps with everyone save Washu, and of course Ryoko and Tenchi, when she heard Ryoko squeal Tenchi's name, "kuso, that uwakionna's at it again." she grumbled to herself, 'she's trying to seduce poor Tenchi-sama again!' she thought with a growl. She then heard a thump of someone tripping... or being knocked over! In a flash she was on her feet and half-way up the stairs, leaving the others looking very puzzled.

Meanwhile... Tenchi noticed something, as he tried to hold her, he realized Ryoko had accidentally pinned his arms at his sides with her knees. He opened his eyes and tried to move around to free his arms. She didn't notice and continued to kiss him. As he tried to move, he heard someone running toward his room, his brain took a second to comprehend what was about to happen... 'KUSO!!' His efforts to escape increased ten-fold, Ryoko finally noticed his squirming, and thought he was playing, and kissed him harder. He struggled to warn her, but all that came out were panicked mumbles.

As Ayeka near his room, she heard the sound of Tenchi's smothered cries, 'god only know what he's being smothered with!' She flung open his door... and saw ( in her opinion) the foulest scene ever! That 'bitch' had a wide-eye, and struggling, Tenchi pinned down on his bed, restraining his hands to his sides with her legs. Worst yet, she was kissing him passionately...'Did I just see her tongue!?' In a flash she was behind Ryoko and in one swift motion, pulled her off Tenchi, and flung 'the uwakionna' across the room. Tenchi slowly sat up and saw the thing he feared the most at the moment, Ayeka in his room... and Ryoko plastered against the far wall. "Oh Tenchi-sama! Are you ok? Did that demon hurt you?" she asked in her sweet cuddling voice, which he knew would lead to her bitch-fighting voice... like always.

Before he could think of an answer, "This is a new low, even for you Ryoko-san!" she screamed at the woman implanted in the wall, "Pretending to be sick, playing on Tenchi-sama's kindness, then attacking him while he thought he was taking care of you!" By this time Ryoko had gotten to her feet, "I didn't fake being sick, I really was sick!!" she angrily shouted back.

"Really!? Then how come you're perfectly healthy now!?"

"I'll tell you how! Te-" she stopped in mid-sentence when she saw Tenchi sadly shake his head and mouth 'not yet.' At that point she lost most of her anger, "because my immune system is very efficient, and I recover from any illness really quick."

Ayeka already knew this, but after seeing what see had seen, she was on a rampage and nothing could stop her. "So!? You still used Tenchi-sama's kindness for your own selfish purposes!" Suddenly Tenchi let out a huge sneeze that he had been holding since Ayeka entered. Ayeka blinked and looked at him for a second, then turned back to Ryoko, "You even got Tenchi-sama sick! In fact you make me sick as well!" she roared. Then the all-too-familiar Jurinan logs began appearing all over Tenchi's room. For once, he wasn't sure if a battle was actually going to happen, after all, Ryoko didn't have any reason to fight Ayeka anymore.

Ryoko almost looked indifferent about the approaching attack, she simply teleported behind Ayeka, grabbed her shoulders and stated, "No fighting around the sick. Now please leave so I can take care off Tenchi." With that she teleported herself and a speechless Ayeka out of the room, leaving a not-so-surprised Tenchi calmly waiting for her return.

Meanwhile in the living room, everyone was still sitting around the TV, but they had lost interest in it when they heard the screaming and Ayeka powering up... but they didn't hear Ryoko scream or power up. Suddenly their thought were interrupted when Ryoko teleported behind the couch, and in one quick move, firmly planted Ayeka in the spot she had been sitting in a minute ago. This surprised everyone, but not nearly as much as when Ryoko fluffed a pillow and put it behind a still shell-shocked Ayeka's head and said, "Comfy? Good." With that she turned and started walking up the stairs back to Tenchi's room. When she reached the top she turned around and called out to everyone downstairs, "And by the way, until he's better, Tenchi's room is now under quarantine to everyone but me, since I can't recatch that cold." she stated sweetly, "and nobody worry, I'll have him good as new in a day or two." Then she gave a thumps-up and faded away, leaving everyone in a state of total shock (with huge sweatdrops).

As Tenchi sat on his bed he was thinking of what Ryoko had done, when she appeared in front of his door with a grin on her face. He smiled back at her, "so what did you do?" he asked playfully. "Oh nothing much, I just make sure Ayeka was comfortable and put you room under quarantine to every one but me." she said mischievously. He smiled broadly at her, "you are your mother's daughter." he chuckled. "Should I take that as a complement or insult?" she asked acting hurt. Tenchi lost his smile and thought about it, "Actually, I don't know which it is."

As he was thinking, Ryoko faded out and appeared next to him, "Forget about it," she said as she wrapped herself around him. His smile returned and hugged her close. Suddenly he felt ice cold and shivered a little, "Is it just me or did it get cold all the sudden?" he asked. She let go of him and stood up, "It's you, remember, you're sick. So you need lots of rest and plenty of care." she grinned evilly. He let out a gulp and suddenly he felt like he was on fire. "Um... R-r-ryoko?" he stuttered while backing up, unknowingly making it look like he was 'getting ready.' She knew she wasn't going to try anything tonight, but he didn't know that, "First we need to get you into some sleep-worthy clothes." she said sweetly. A steady stream of blood poured out of his nose and his skin took on a shade of scarlet, "Th-that's ok, really, I can sleep in these!" he said tugging at his collar.

Ryoko didn't pay any attention to what he said and started rummaging through his dresser. She pulled out a pair of boxers and an Okayama University shirt and tossed them at him, "here, hurry up and change." she commanded with a hint of playfulness in her voice. "I... um... that is..." he stammered wondering how he had gotten himself into this. "You have five minutes. Tick-tock." she giggled then faded out of his room. He let out a huge sigh, stood up and started to change. As he took off his shirt something chimed in the back of his head, he smiled to himself. He tossed his shirt toward his closet and started to take off his pants,. Suddenly, with the speed of a ninja, he crouched, picked up a manga off the floor, spun around, and threw the manga at the door. The book stopped a foot from the door, and just as he hoped, it had smacked an invisible Ryoko square on the nose.

He laughed at the surprised Ryoko, 'her expression's priceless!' he thought and laughed even harder. "What's so funny!?" she yelled. He finally got control of his laughter, and looked at her angry face, "You know, you're really cute when you're mad." he said still laughing a little. She tried to counter with an insult, but all she could manage were a few growls and a 'god-dam-.' She then slumped her shoulders and let out a sigh, "Can't argue with you there." she laughed. As she stopped laughing, a question hit her, "Hey Tenchi, how did you know I was still in here?" He started to think deeply while sitting down on his bed, as she, once again, teleported to his side. After a second he spoke, "I can't explain it really, I don't know. I guess I've always had a... um, psychic link, a least something a little like it. Nowhere near what you, Ryo-ohki, and Washu-san have, but sometimes... I almost do have that kind of connection to you." he said, still pretty deep in thought.

"How come you never mentioned anything to me, or even Washu-san?" she asked softly, hugging his arm and looking up at him. He sighed and looked into her eyes, "What could I have said? Besides, I wasn't even sure why or how I was connected to you so strongly," he said calmly, "not to mention you and everyone else would over-react." he deadpanned. "Oh Tenchi, you know I wouldn't do anything like that." she said innocently, while making little circles with her finger on his bare chest. He didn't say a word, he just looked down on her and narrowed his eyes. A small sweatdrop appeared on the back of her head, "Well... maybe a little..." she said meekly. His gaze didn't change at all, her sweatdrop doubled in size, "Ok ok, fine, I would." she huffed and let go of his arm and folded her arms over her chest.

He smiled warmly at her, then slid behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist and put his chin on her shoulder. "One good thing that would have happen if I told someone," he said slyly, "I would have been able to do this a whole lot sooner." She was stunned by his sudden boldness, "Do what?" she managed to choke out, as her entire face turned red and her skin was on fire. "Realize who I love, what did you think...oh. Well, at least I know where you got that idea." he said, blushing when he noticed the way he was holding her, "um... gomen nasai." He let go of her almost reluctantly and stood up again, "I need to finish changing." he said happily. "Who's stopping you?" she asked innocently, he gave her a small groan and pointed to the door, "fine. You have two minutes now..." she pouted. "Ahem... and?" he pried. "And I'll leave the room this time I swear." she said slightly annoyed, with that she teleported away. After he was sure she was gone, he started the change again.

Meanwhile Ryoko teleported outside his door and thought for a second, then she had an idea for something they could do tonight that she thought he wouldn't mind. She teleported to the kitchen and began rummaging though the draws looking for Nobuyuki's secret stash of sake. In the living room everyone was still recovering from what they had seen a few minutes ago, when they heard someone searching for something in the kitchen, and making a lot of noise in the process. Everyone thought it was Ryo-ohki sense nobody hat seen her around for a while, so Sasami got up and walked into the kitchen to see what the cabbit was looking for (I give you two guesses). Sasami began talking before opening the door, "No Ryo-chan you can't have any carrots-" she stopped when she saw Ryoko's rear sticking out of one of the lower cabinets, "oh Ryoko it's just you... what are you doing?" she asked, became even more confused at all the weird things she had done tonight.

Ryoko's head fazed though the counter-top, looking really cheerful, "Hello Sasami-chan!" she teleported out of the cabinet and stood next to the stove. "I'm looking for 'the stash' " she said in a spy-like voice. "Nani?" she said even more confused. A small sweatdrop appeared on both of their heads. "The special stuff?"


"The brand-names?"


"The Fresh juice?"

"huh?" This continued for another ten seconds, with every slang term and lack of answer the sweatdrops grew until the covered their entire heads. Ryoko let out an frustrated growl, and took in a deep breath, "I'm looking for Nobuyuki's secret supply of the high-quality sake that he has kept hidden from us." she said through clenched teeth. Realization dawned on the little princess's face, "Oh, ok." Ryoko's hopes can back, "so do you know where is it?" she asked eagerly. "Nope." she stated simply, making Ryoko face-fault hard enough to leave a dent on the floor. As she picked herself up, she started grumbling, and thinking about where he could have hide it... 'duh!' she mentally slapped her forehead, 'the study, along with all the other stuff he doesn't want anyone to find.' She quickly teleported into the study, grabbed a bottle of the best sake, and two dishes out from all his *magazines*, she held the bottle and slowly heated it up using her powers.

Meanwhile Sasami walked out of the kitchen and back to the living room. "So? Did you give Ryo-chan some carrots or something?" Nobuyuki asked cheerfully. "It was wasn't Ryo-chan, it was Ryoko. She said she was looking for some sake." she replied still thinking about Ryoko's weird behavior. "Typical, she wants to get drunk while Tenchi-sama is sick in bed. She is so inconsiderate of others. That's it! I'm going up there and making sure she isn't trying anything with Tenchi-sama. And if she is....!" Ayeka fumed then stormed off to Tenchi's room, leaving everyone with sweatdrops and a few loose hairs sticking out.

Elsewhere in the house, in a dark room lighted only by a single screen, someone else was watching the events in the living room and Tenchi's room. "Hmmm.. this won't do at all," she mused, "time to activate the firewall."

When it was just the right temp, Ryoko smiled and teleported back to his room. When she arrived, he had changed and was lying on his bed, holding the back of his head as he watched the snow slowly fall past the window. "That was the longest two minutes ever." he said as he turned to face her, fully aware (for once) of the dual meanings. She grinned and held up the bottle and cups, "I had to find this, I thought we...could...drink it together." she said not sure it he would accept, 'after all, he doesn't like sake as much as me.' He smirked at her and moved to one side of the bed. 'YES!' she mentally cheered and teleported next to him. She handed him a cup and leaned against his side. As she was pouring them a cup, he noticed the labile on the bottle, "Hey, isn't that dad's favorite sake? Where did you find it?" he asked suspiciously.

"Oh in the study, along with all his *other* private stuff, where else?" she replied simply, and started sipping her sake. Tenchi started to drink his sake as well, 'Dad's never let me try any of his personal sake, I wonder how different it is...' he thought. They both took a long sip, but didn't sallow. They looked at each other, then spit it back in to their cups, "Yuck!" "Nasty!" They looked into their cups, then at each other, "Vinegar." he said and started laughing, "Dad was always protective of his sake."

"That's it! I'm going down there and making him give me his best sake!" she roared. Tenchi grabbed her wrist before she could fly off, "Don't bother. Besides, I'm getting kinda sleepy." he said giving a lopsided grin.

Ayeka, meanwhile, had reached the door of Tenchi's room and reached out for the handle. Suddenly a sub-space hole open above the door and a chibi-Washu puppet repelled down in front of Ayeka, "Quarantine quarantine, room's under quarantine!" it chanted. A vein appeared on Ayeka's forehead, 'I'll get Washu-san for this... later' she noted to herself, "Get out of my way you pesky thing!" she said and slapped the doll away toward the ceiling. "I warned you!" it said as it somehow hovered on the string. "Shut up!" she yelled at it, and reached out for the handle. Her head was an inch from the handle, when she got a small static shock. She reflexively drew her hand back a few inches, "What was that? Is that suppose to keep me out?" she cried angrily at the doll. She reached out again and grabbed the handle just as the Washu puppet started to speak, "No, that's just for identification." Suddenly Ayeka disappeared and suddenly appeared an inch over the onsen's hottest waters. She seemed to hover there for a second, just long enough to realize where she was and let out a small "eep", then she finally crashed into the water with a huge splash.

"Did you hear something?" Tenchi asked, looking at the door. "I don't think so." Ryoko lied. She had heard Ayeka outside the door, and she also heard the Washu puppet talk about the new security system, -domo arigato... Mom.- she thought through their psychic link. While in the lab, Washu sheded a single tear, -no, arigato, Ryoko-chan.- She wiped away the tear and mentally scolded herself, 'A scientist shouldn't cry. After all, my only daughter just... called me mom... of her own free will... and meant it too.' She couldn't hold back the years worth of tears anymore, she let them flow down her face and soak into her clothes. Some of them were from sadness, but most were of joy, joy about her daughter. She had accepted her as her mother, found happiness, and had a bright future ahead of her... she hoped.

Meanwhile Ayeka, after soaking for a few minutes and changing clothes, walked back into the house to find everyone had already gone to bed. She stormed upstairs to get some sleep and try to forget that she couldn't get into Tenchi's room and protect him from the uwakionna from pulling another stunt like she had earlier. 'Damn that Washu-san!' she mentally fumed, 'in his weakened state, Tenchi-sama might not be able to protect himself from Ryoko-san's advances.' As she stormed by Tenchi's room, she thought about trying to get in again, but she knew that she couldn't. She stood there shaking with anger, then she mentally said a praier for him, "Tenchi-sama, please be well. Both from the sickness, and that sickly thing.' She quickly bowed to the door, then walked off to her room.

While in the room, Ryoko had a problem of a different sort, "Um... Tenchi?" she asked, sitting next to him. "Um, could... could I sleep with you tonight? I promise I won't try anything, I just want to be close to you tonight." she quickly said. He was a little surprised, then he smiled warmly at her, "Of course Ryoko," he said as he hugged her close, "I, uh, was about to ask you the same thing," he added sheepishly. Her face lit up and she kissed him passionately, at the same time, they were both falling back towards the bed. As theirs heads came to rest on the pillow, they separated and looked into each others eyes. "Beside, when has me saying 'no' ever stopped you before?" he asked sarcastically. "Good point," she grinned and poked his cheek, "mere words can't keep me away from you." she stated proudly.

He smiled warmly at her, then noticed the clock on his dresser, "Wow, it's already 11:00," he noted. "Then let's get to sleep," she said nuzzling his neck, "but first I need to change." she added mischievously. Tenchi's face turned a shade of pink, he let go of her and started to turn away, stuttering. She giggled at his reaction, "Now now, no need for that," with that, she faded out and faded back with a new wardrobe, which gave Tenchi a nosebleed. She was clad in only an over-sized T-shirt, which he realized was his (and his favorite at that), and a pair of panties. He tried to say something, but all that came out were incoherent stutters. "Did you say something, my Tenchi?" she asked, mockingly cupping her ear and leaning towards him. He finally got his speech back and said the first thing that pooped into his head, "Damn your beautiful!" he said, unconsciously looking up and down her body.

She blushed uncontrollably, not only at the complement, but that he really meant it too. "domo," she whisper as he hugged her close to him and kissed her deeply. They stayed like this until they both needed to come up for air. Tenchi was the first to break the silence, "I love you." he said warmly. "I love you too," she said with the same affection. Suddenly a dark thought appeared in her head, "Tenchi? What are we going to do about Ayeka?" she asked sadly. He sighed loudly, "I don't know, but until we deicide, let's act like nothing happened." he said noticing how it made her frown, "but I want you to know, no matter what I do, I'm acting. Every time I push you away, I'll want to hold you twice as much. Everytime I refuse an offer of yours, I'll wish that I could do it. Because as I said, I love you, now and forever." he said lovinly, tears starting to form in both their eyes. "Domo arigato gozaimasu." she whispered in his ear. "Oyasumi nasai." he said simply. "Oyasumi" she replied. The two lovers fell asleep in each others embrace, dreaming of the other.


Wow! I never meant to write this much! I hoped you enjoyed reading this story, the more feed-back I get, the faster the next chapter will be writen. I have so much more planed for this series, including at least two things that I've never writen in any fanfic (that were done well at least ^_^), I won't tell you what they are, you'll have to wait and see.