By Diane Long
This takes place at some point after "Ghost in the Machine". Ryoko and Tenchi are together and Washu has devised a way for Ryoko to process all of those regained memories. It is an electronic scrapbook that helps Ryoko organize her memories. As she makes a conscious effort to relive a memory, it goes into the scrapbook for storage, allowing Ryoko to create a sort of database for herself. Some of the memories will be delightful, and some will be dark. Join Ryoko as she rediscovers her past.
Deep within a sophisticated laboratory, a bespectacled young man with long pale hair was squinting into a microscope. He didn't look up as a door creaked open and a young girl, maybe two years of age with short, spiky hair toddled inside. The dimness of the lab made her pale teal dress look like a deep green.
"Whatcha doin'?" she asked, standing up on her tiptoes, peering at him with large, innocent eyes.
"Cloning Masu cells," he responded with tired patience.
"It's part of my dissertation. I have to do it."
"So I can graduate."
"So I can become one of the greatest scientific geniuses in the universe."
"Nu-uh. That's mommy."
He sighed. "There can be more that just one." His veneer of patience was slipping.
"Can you just leave now?" he asked pointing to the door.
"Nu-uh!" She grinned and started clambering on to a stool so she could reach the delicate instruments on the table. With a deft movement and a grin, she grabbed a pair of pliers and began banging them against a centrifuge.
Gritting his teeth, the student pressed the button on his lab intercom. "Professor," he whined. "Will you please come and collect your daughter?" He clicked the button again. "Hello?"
The girl giggled and spun the stool seat, still waving the pliers around. "Washu's busy!"
"Little Ryoko!" an adult Washu scolded as she came through the door. "How many times have I told you to call me 'mom'? The beautiful redheaded scientist, who was thousands of years old but could pass for 25, chuckled and scooped her daughter into her arms, removing the pliers from her as she did so.
Ryoko counted on her stubby fingers. She frowned and held up all ten digits. "More than this!"
Looking amused, Washu cast her gaze to Kagato who was worriedly inspecting his centrifuge for damage. "I'm sorry she disturbed you, Kagato. Was it more 'why' and 'nu-uh'?"
"Yes, and attacking my poor equipment," he groaned. "Again."
Washu shook her head, still grinning. "She likes you. Don't you honey?"
Ryoko stilled and contemplated her mother's statement. In a lightning fast change of mood, she covered her eyes with her little hands and twisted in her mother's arms so she could bury her face in Washu's chest.
"And now she is shy," Washu observed with a dry tone. "Kids."
Kagato couldn't help but return the smile. "She likes me?" He didn't really get along with most people.
"Nu-uh!" came a muffled protest.
Washu and Kagato broke into laughter, with Washu stroking the soft spikes of Ryoko's hair and Kagato patting her on the back reassuringly.
Washu peered over Kagato's shoulder and inspected his workstation. "Seriously, did she damage anything?"
"I don't think so. I think she just put a few dents in the casing of the centrifuge," he said with a bemused smile. "I'm glad she likes me, but her attentions are a little rough."
Washu placed a kiss on the crown of Ryoko's head. "Yeah, I'm working on that with her. Just remember that I'll fix or replace anything she breaks."
"Was gentle!" Ryoko protested.
Washu sighed. "She doesn't understand how strong she is."
Kagato leaned against the high edge of his workbench. "Well, at least she isn't tearing the doors off the hinges anymore," he said referring to the consequences of Ryoko learning how to walk.
"Yes, but I want her to be able to pass as a normal humanoid. She has to learn to control herself," Washu muttered.
"Sensei," Kagato began carefully. "She is two years old. Give her time."
"Hmmm." Washu pondered. "Anyway, I actually sent Ryoko down here to give you something." She jostled her daughter lightly. "Did you give it to him?"
Ryoko shook her head, her face firmly pressed into Washu's bosom.
"Enough of the shy routine," Washu said setting Ryoko on her feet.
Ryoko turned around and stuck her tongue out at Kagato, who returned the gesture solemnly.
"Go on now," Washu encouraged. "Give it to him."
Washu cleared her throat and arched an eyebrow.
Kagato hid a chuckled behind his hand.
"Try it one more time, kiddo," Washu said sternly.
The young girl sighed and pulled a much-folded piece of paper out of her dress and held it out for Kagato. He sunk to his knees, putting himself at her eye level as he unfolded the paper.
It was a childish drawing depicting stick figure representations of Washu, Kagato and Ryoko all holding hands and walking under three yellow suns and fluffy clouds.
"Did you draw this?" Kagato asked smiling into Ryoko's eyes.
She nodded and stuck a thumb in her mouth.
Washu absently removed the thumb and beamed at Kagato. "Isn't she amazing? Her sensory integration is developing just as we had hoped. She drew that all by herself."
Kagato smiled and used a magnet to stick the picture to the splash-shield behind his Bunsen burner. "That's great news. All seems in order then."
"So far," Washu agreed. "Want to hook her up to the MRI and see how her white matter is developing?" she asked excitedly.
Ryoko's face screwed up and big tears began splashing onto her cheeks. "Don't like it! Scary!" she wailed.
Washu fell to her knees joining Kagato at Ryoko's eye level. "Aww, come on honey. Just for a little bit?"
Ryoko stamped her foot. "Washu is mean!"
Kagato watched the exchange with wide eyes. "I wonder if those emotional pathways work too well professor."
"Of course they do! I made them," Washu sputtered obviously hurt by Ryoko's comment. "I'm sorry little Ryoko. I didn't know it scared you so much." She wrapped her arms around her daughter and comforted her with a hug.
Ryoko sniffed. "It's too loud!"
Kagato rocked back onto his heels. "Ahhhh. That makes sense. Her hearing is very acute, as you know professor. If she can hear Brownian motion, then the magnetic waves must be very loud indeed."
Washu pondered. "That makes sense. I'll have to take care of that before we scan her." She tilted her head and cast a look to Kagato. "Ever since she started developing language this has gotten a whole lot more interesting."
Kagato got to his feet and brushed off his pants. "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?"
"Depends. Ask it and we'll see," Washu said amiably as she crouched there holding her daughter.
"Do you see her more as a daughter or an experiment? I can't always tell."
Washu's lips quirked into a mysterious smile as she got to her feet. "Both. What child isn't an experiment?"
She took Ryoko's hand and started for the door. "We are going for some ice cream now. Want to come?"
Ryoko sighed as she finished setting the memory into the electronic pages of the scrapbook. This was the best way for her to organize all of her reacquired memories, but it meant reliving them, and that wasn't always easy.
"'Yoko? Was that real?" Tenchi asked softly. At Ryoko's request, he was sharing these memories with her. They were dressed for bed and snugly wrapped in bathrobes as they sat leaning against the headboard of Tenchi's bed. Steaming cups of tea sat forgotten on his nightstand.
Ryoko coughed and swallowed. "Yes," she answered thickly. "That's how it used to be."
"I never thought Kagato was ever so…" Tenchi trailed off at a loss for words.
"Normal? Yes." Ryoko smiled as her eyes reddened with withheld tears. "We loved him. That's what made his betrayal even worse."
Tenchi slid an arm around her shoulders. "No wonder you have such a hard time trusting people. I had no idea it all started like this. I thought you already distrusted him when he abducted you."
"By that point I did. But this was before he started changing," she answered softly. "We were a little family then." She leaned into him, taking a deep breath, obviously trying not to cry.
"Do you really need to put yourself through this?" Tenchi asked gesturing at the scrapbook.
"Yes I do, my Tenchi. I need to do this if I want to gain as much as my old self back as I can."
"Okay," he agreed doubtfully.
"Having you here helps. Here comes the next one," she said pressing a button on the scrapbook and concentrating.
The light and sounds of Washu's lab whirred away in their customary symphony of color and vibration. Deep pockets of shadow were dotted with brighter lights indicating a work or living space. A four-year-old Ryoko stood in a pool of light near the small refrigerator that boor a large sign exclaiming "FOOD ONLY! NO CULTURES, BODY FLUIDS, OR CHEMICALS!" A glass of juice in hand, Ryoko stared at the sign, simultaneously trying to read it and enjoying the pretty color of red the letters were written in. Her hair was spikier now, and she wore a miniature version of Washu's uniform.
Ryoko looked down at her hand and the fragments of glass and grape juice that dripped from between her fingers. She had done it again. She craned her head to see if her mother had noticed her mistake. Yellow eyes met with bright green eyes. Both sets winced.
"Oh Ryoko, not again!"
The little girl dropped to her knees and started picking up the bigger shards of glass. " I didn't mean to," she said plaintively.
Washu left her computer and walked over to help her daughter with the clean up. "I know you didn't little Ryoko. You just have to keep trying to be more gentle," she said throwing the pieces of glass into a handy subspace pocket then throwing away those Ryoko had already picked up.
Ryoko nodded her shoulder length silvery hair bobbing with her movement. "I do try," she asserted backing away as Washu wiped up the juice with a rag.
"And you have been doing much better," Washu agreed. "Your gross motor control is within normal parameters. We just need to refine your fine motor control."
"I have a motor?" Ryoko asked, looking down and patting her belly. "Where is it?"
Washu smiled gently and took Ryoko's hand. "I didn't mean that. I meant…." She paused trying to find words the young girl would understand. " I meant to say I want to help your fingers be more gentle."
"Oh!" Ryoko said, wiggling her fingers. "So I don't break things!"
"Exactly," Washu said wryly, thinking of her dwindling crockery supply.
Ryoko's eyes grew bigger and a delighted smile pulled up her features. "Then you won't have to start over! Yay! You won't flip my switch!" Ryoko clapped happily.
A concerned expression knitted Washu's eyes together. "What did you say?"
"I don't want you to turn me off, Washu. I want to stay here," Ryoko said innocently, one finger digging into her ear and the other twisting her shorts. Her cheer was fading into nervousness as she picked up on her mother's tone and body language.
"Turn – turn you off?" What do you mean, Little Ryoko," Washu whispered her dismay adding a treble pitch to her voice.
Ryoko wrinkled her brow. "You know mommy…. Get rid of me." Now both hands were twisting her shorts.
Washu pushed her pale face close to Ryoko's and gripped the juice-laden rag tightly. "I won't ever get rid of you, honey. Where did you get that idea?"
"You get rid of experiments all of the time, mommy. When they don't work, you throw them away." Ryoko backed up a step and looked away, focusing her eyes on a flash of light. As with all children, her attention, and attendant concerns, shifted instantly.
Washu licked her lips and stuttered. "Who … who… who said you were an experiment?"
Ryoko was absorbed with watching a set of flashing blue and yellow lights that were strobing along the sides of one of Washu's many machines. Her eyes opened wider and she started wandering towards the lights.
"Ryoko!" Washu said sharply. "Who said you were an experiment?!"
Ryoko half turned and shrugged, clearly off the topic at this point. "You did, Washu."
"Call me Mom!" Washu all but shouted, causing Ryoko to snap around in surprise. Washu's face spasamed and her anger was replaced with an expression of heartache. "Me? I called you that?" she asked in an anguished whisper. "Oh no." A tear slipped down her cheek.
The flashy lights forgotten in the face of Washu's tears, Ryoko stepped back towards her mother. She wrapped her arms around Washu's leg and squeezed. "Don't cry. I'm sorry."
Washu knelt down and wrapped her arms around Ryoko. "Don't apologize. I'm the one who is sorry."
Ryoko pulled back and gently patted Washu on the cheek, her yellow eyes showing concern and confusion.
"What are you little Ryoko?" Washu asked carefully.
"A Masu/Jurian hybrid construct, prototype A," Ryoko recited carefully.
"No," Washu corrected gently. "You are a little girl. My little girl" She smoothed a lock of Ryoko's hair. "And I love you."
"But little girls can't be turned off," Ryoko reasoned simplistically.
"Neither can you," Washu pointed out gently.
"Yes I can. All you need to do is remove all of my gems and disconnect my limbic system from the rest of my central nervous system." Ryoko was clearly reciting something she had heard. The language was way above her current usage and comprehension.
Washu drew in a sharp breath. "Who told you that?"
Ryoko wriggled, trying to get free of Washu's embrace. This game was getting boring. "You and Kagato talk really loud sometimes mommy."
Washu let her go with a sad smile. "Then we will need to remember there are little ears listening in the future, won't we?"
Ryoko looked up at her mother and grinned, swaying from side to side for no real reason. "I'm thirsty!"
"Want some more juice?" Washu asked looking bemused at Ryoko's sudden change of topic.
"What do we say?" Washu prompted.
"Give it to me right now!" Ryoko bellowed, then fell into a fit of giggles.
"Are you sure its such a good idea to teach her bad habits like that, professor?" Kagato asked, coming into the lab.
Washu shrugged as she poured Ryoko another glass of juice. "Aw, she's just a kid!"
Ryoko took the proffered glass from he mother and shouted. "Yeah! I'm a little girl now!"
"Just now?" Kagato looked at Washu in surprise.
Washu rubbed her temples and shook her head. "We need to watch what we say. Someone has been paying more attention than we thought. Ix-nay on the periment-exay."
"Ah. Yes," Kagato agreed.
Ryoko slurped down her juice noisily. "And you can't turn me off again!" she announced to Kagato.
"Again?" Washu raised an eyebrow.
Kagato laughed nervously. "Again?" he repeated.
Washu looked down at her child. "What are you talking about?"
Ryoko handed the cup back to her mother. "I want a pet!" she shouted looking at Kagato with greedy eyes.
Washu looked back to Kagato, a shadow of doubt in her eyes. "Kagato. What is she talking about?"
He rolled his eyes. "The pet? You know…. I let it slip about the cabbit. She's been like this every time she sees me now."
Washu shook her head. "No the other thing."
He shrugged, looking mystified. As he adjusted his glasses so they rested comfortably on the bridge of his nose, he narrowed his eyes in thought. "Hmmm. Maybe she thinks I turn her off when she takes a nap."
Eyes clearing, Washu laughed. "I can see how she would think that."
"I want a pet!" Ryoko demanded, tugging on the hem of Washu's jacket.
Ignoring Ryoko with the ease born of long practice, Washu finished off Ryoko's juice. "So how is your little project going? Hmmmm? Going to graduate this millennium?" she asked Kagato.
"A pet! A pet! A pet!"
Kagato shrugged. "It's getting there. I should have the document ready for you to preread within the month."
"Are you listening to me?" a tiny voice screamed.
Washu looked down. "No." She looked back to Kagato. "That is very encouraging. I'm sure it will only need a few revisions. You almost write as well as I do."
"I WANT A PET!"
Still successfully ignoring the rants below him Kagato bowed his head. "I could never be as good as you professor."
"That's true, but you could come pretty close," Washu teased.
Ryoko threw herself on the floor and began screaming in earnest, pounding her tiny hands and feet into the soft rubber flooring. "I wannnnt a –a –a –a pe- pe- pet!" she hiccuped on the edge of hyperventilation.
Washu cast a sound proofing barrier over her tantruming child and removed a bottle of analgesic from a subspace pocket. "We wouldn't have this problem if you hadn't told her about Ryo-Ohki before it was done." She popped the lid off the bottle and swallowed two pills dry.
Kagato grinned. "I guess she just needs to learn to wait."
Ryoko leaned against the headboard of the bed, and hugged herself. "I remember that so clearly now." Her bangs hid her eyes as she tilted her chin towards her chest.
Tenchi reached out and ran his finger tips across the back of her hand. "What did you mean by 'again'? Did he really… you know…." he trailed off uncertainly.
Ryoko peered up at him through her bangs. "Turn me off?" she asked coolly.
Tenchi looked at her with worry, not liking the tone of her voice. "Had he done that to you?"
Ryoko's nostrils flared and she nodded curtly. She used one hand to gather up her long hair and hold it away from her neck. She turned her head and used the other hand to point to a pale line of discolored flesh that ran along the crease where the base of her head joined her neck.
"What am I looking at?" Tenchi asked uncertainly.
"Washu never left scars."
"Oh." Tenchi opened his mouth and closed it again. It hurt him to see her hurting like this. "Maybe, maybe you shouldn't put yourself through this."
She opened her hand and let the hair fall back around her neck. "You have already said that."
"I know. But Ryoko, I love you. I hate to see you get torn up like this," he said with feeling.
"This is terrible! I don't see why you have to do this!"
"Tenchi!" Ryoko snapped. "How can you say that? You have all of your memories. You don't know what it's like to have your past be a void."
He took her hand and squeezed. "My memories aren't nightmares."
She squeezed back. "Don't lie to yourself. What about when your mother died?"
He refused to be shocked into silence. "But most of my memories are good ones!"
"I have good memories too Tenchi."
"Then have Washu filter them or something," he asked desperately. "Haven't you been hurt enough?"
"But don't you get it, Tenchi? Sometimes the good is mixed with the bad. I might miss something that makes me ME if I were to just look at the good ones." Her voice softened as she continued, "I'm still trying to figure out who I am."
Tenchi kissed her cheek. "I just worry honey. That's all." He nuzzled her neck.
She leaned into him and relaxed. "I know and thank you. Look, this next one is better."
She started the scrapbook's recorder with a wistful grin. "This is the one that I wanted to remember the most."
Drafts of a warm summer wind toyed with the curtains of the Hakubi living quarters at the Galaxy Academy. Washu was dressed casually in a sundress as she worked on her computer at an old-fashioned wooden desk. Nearby, a child-sized table covered in newspaper sported a lump of clay that looked vaguely like a tailed quadruped. A five-year-old Ryoko had abandoned her art project to stand near her mother.
"I don't like crabs!" Ryoko pulled on her jumper in disgust, leaving clay colored handprints on it. The dress was a pale yellow and printed with a profusion of blue and green crabs. The youngster scowled at her mother.
"What's wrong with crabs?" Washu asked, mystified. "Crabs are great!" She pushed back from her desk and looked down at her daughter. "What's all the fuss about, little Ryoko?"
"I like cats," Ryoko pointed out. "Black cats!"
"Are you bored? Is that what this is about?" Washu saved a calculation on her computer and opened a desk drawer. "Do you need a new mentally stimulating activity already? Geeze! That clay didn't hold your attention very long." She held up a foam puzzle of a cell and its components. "How about this? Don't forget the reticular formation this time!"
"No! I want a new dress. With kitties on it!"
"There is nothing wrong with that one," Washu said firmly. "End of discussion. Now go play." She held out the puzzle.
Ryoko's small hand purposefully hovered over a crab shaped dress button. "Don't make me do it," she parroted her mother.
Washu frowned. "I know somebody who wants a time-out."
Ryoko undid the button with a defiant smile.
"Don't test me Ryoko. You know what happens when you do that."
Ryoko grinned. "Your face turns as red as your hair mommy, that's what happens!" Another button came undone.
"You know what I mean," Washu said flatly.
Ryoko slid her arms inside of the dress's sleeves.
"I'm going to count to three…." Washu warned. "One…."
"Three!" Ryoko shouted and let the dress fall around her ankles. With a wild laugh she pivoted on her bare toes and ran out of their apartment and into the hall.
Washu growled and started to get up, only to sit back down as Kagato came in holding a naked Ryoko upside down in his arms.
"Missing something?" he asked with wry humor.
"My sanity," Washu mumbled.
Ryoko looked up at her mother and waved merrily, long forelocks of hair swinging as Kagato continued into the room.
"She only does it for attention you know," he added, setting Ryoko on her feet.
She wobbled around as the blood that had rushed to her head made its way back down into he rest of her body.
Washu nodded tiredly and tapped a key on her computer. Ryoko was wearing a new purple jumpsuit in an instant.
"Kitties!" the youngster crowed looking down at the felines printed upon the fabric.
"And you spoil her entirely to much," Kagato drawled.
Washu eyed her student. "Like you don't, 'Mr. Chocolate Cake for Breakfast'. Ryoko, you know the drill. Hop to it," she commanded.
Sighing, the young girl fetched a floating cushion and trudged over to the corner. She adjusted her pillow to the right height and hopped on to it and stared at the wall. She sighed again, very loudly.
Washu smiled at her daughter's theatrics. "So is it ready then?" she asked Kagato.
"You need to be more consistent with her professor. No wonder she has so many behavior problems," Kagato murmured with a hint of disapproval.
Washu frowned. "Just because you are a junior faculty member now doesn't mean you know how to raise a child. I asked you, is it ready?"
"Forgive me. Yes, it is."
"Let's go then," Washu said briskly ushering him out of the room. "Little Ryoko, don't you dare move until we come back." Washu waited. "What do we say?"
"Yes, ma'am," Ryoko intoned with the energy of a wet noodle.
"That's better." The door clicked as Washu and Kagato left the room.
Ryoko sat and stared at the wall for what felt like weeks, when in fact it had only been a few hours. She sniffed. Life was so unfair. First it was crabs, crabs, crabs. Crabs on the pillows, crabs shaped like soap, crab hair barrettes, crab sheets and blankets. Did she have to have crabs on her clothing too? What was wrong with a nice little kitty cat sometimes? Crabs were her mom's favorite and Ryoko was tired of them. If Washu made her eat crab shaped macaroni and cheese one more time she would stop eating forever. Forever!
Ryoko kicked her feet through the air below her cushion. She had been sitting here forever too. Had they forgotten about her? It was getting dark and they had forgotten to leave a light on. She was afraid of the dark. What if they didn't come back before it was dark? She shivered, the room seeming creepier already.
She sniffed. They hated her. Why were they so mean? Maybe she should just run away. She could do it. All she needed was Mr. Jelly Bean and a few energy bars. And some clothes. And some coloring books. And some hot chocolate.
She sniffed again, as the shadows on the wall grew more menacing. But it was dark outside too. Running away wouldn't save her from the dark. A hot tear rolled down her cheek as she became certain she had been abandoned. She cried harder as darkness cloaked the room.
Ryoko jumped as something rustled behind her. "M-momma?" she quavered, all childish bravado gone. "Is that you, momma?" Her tears slowed, but kept coming.
She wasn't supposed to turn around when she was being punished, so she listened to the silence with all of her being, straining to see if there was more of that sound.
She pulled in a tiny gasp as she heard the sound again, imagining all of the monsters from her nightmares come to hurt her.
"Hello?" she called. "Who's there?"
Something fell over nearby.
"Please," she moaned. "Let it be mommy."
Sniff. Sniff. Sniff.
Ryoko hid her head in her arms. It smelled her. It was coming to get her. She gurgled a false scream when she felt something touch her leg.
She looked over her arms to see s strange little creature with long ears and whiskers standing up with one paw touching her leg. "Oh! Who're – who're you?"
"Miyaaaa!" it cried.
Ryoko wiped away her tears with the back of her hands. "Hi," she said curiously. "You don't look like a monster."
The little creature sneezed and blinked at her.
"Miya! Miya! Miya!" it agreed.
The little creature tensed the muscles in its back haunches and leapt into Ryoko's lap. It was so tiny that it fit in her lap perfectly, just as if it had been made just for her. She laughed again, happy for the company. She scratched the furry creature behind the ears and earned a happy purr from it. It nuzzled into her body and seemed content to stay there.
Ryoko bent down and kissed it on the nose. "I'm glad to meet you," she whispered.
::Me too.:: it whispered into her mind.
Ryoko started and looked into the little creature's eyes. ::You talk just like mom!::
The creature nodded and winked.
::What's your name?:: Ryoko asked.
"That sounds like my name!" Ryoko giggled out loud.
"Ya!" the fuzz ball agreed.
Ryoko patted the cabbit's head and smiled. "You are my new friend!" she announced.
Ryo-Ohki butted her head against Ryoko's chin and sent a pulse of love down the link she shared with Ryoko. The little girl hugged the animal in return, an instant bond forming between the two of them.
The overhead light snapped on. "Oh Little Ryoko, I'm sorry! I forgot all about you. Are you okay in here?" Asked Washu's voice in concerned tones.
Ryoko stiffened and mentally told Ryo-Ohki to be quiet.
Washu mistook this for petulance. "I'm sorry sweetie. It got dark before I realized it. I know you hate the dark." Washu's voice was getting closer. "My experiment got away, and I went looking for her and I lost track of the time."
"Miya!" Ryo-Ohki chirruped.
"Shhh!" hushed Ryoko.
"What?" Washu asked in amazement. She extended her thoughts towards Ryoko's cushion and caused it to turn around.
As her cushion rotated 180 degrees Ryoko held tighter to her new friend and defiantly met her mother's eyes.
"So this is where you have been, huh?" Washu said with a warm chuckle. "Let's get you back to your cage."
"No!" Ryoko said stubbornly. "She is my new friend. Ryo-Ohki wants to stay with me."
Washu paused. "How did you know her name?"
::She told me! Just like this!:: the child informed her mother.
::Ryoko… friend!:: the cabbit added making the link a three way connection.
"I had no idea," Washu said weakly, dropping into a chair. "You two are linked."
Ryoko slid off of her cushion and stood facing Washu as the cabbit scrambled to perch on top of her head. "She doesn't know a lot of words yet, but I can talk for her!"
"Linked," Washu repeated.
"And," Ryoko announced. "She wants to sleep in my bed tonight."
::Shhh!:: Ryoko sent to her new friend. ::Trust me!::