A/n: First and foremost I would like to thank my best buddy Q. for reading and reviewing this story as I worked on it. It was because of his suggestions and encouragement that I was able to complete this story and step it up some levels for my readers enjoyment. To my readers, please enjoy.
Disclaimer: I own not a single TM character.
Chapter 1: Heartache
The red haired scientist was currently typing on her computer, imputing data from various experiments. She wasn't rushing to try and finish up before lunch because the other housemates of the house were gone for the weekend and wouldn't be back until tomorrow, so she was all alone. Well, that was not entirely true; Tenchi and Ayeka were at the house as well.
Those two had been left behind because they were both sick; apparently, the two had eaten too many sweets at the fair the other day because they both awoke today with serious stomach aches. The other residences, Ryoko especially, had offered to call off the trip and go some other time when the two were feeling well but they both insisted that the other housemates go on without them: Tenchi and Ayeka didn't want to ruin everyone else's weekend.
Washu didn't go because she had experiments to conduct. They weren't important but she figured that it would be a perfect time to finish them up without distractions from her daughter's, Ryoko, and Ayeka's bickering over Tenchi or Mihoshi getting into her lab and blowing up something. It was an opportunity that the green eyed female just couldn't pass up.
So, after saying good-bye to everyone else, she had informed the house's other two occupants that she would be in her lab for the entire weekend; and, she had asked not to be disturbed unless it was an emergency.
The scientist released a sigh as she typed on her holographic laptop. "I wish this house had more quiet days like this," she said to herself as she continued to work.
Suddenly, a sharp pain was felt across her mental link with her daughter. It was so painful that the small woman fell off her floating cushion, clutching her head tightly. She recovered enough from the initial shock to block off the emotions flowing into her mind.
"What the hell?" she inquired, taking a deep breath to calm herself down. She wondered just what had happened to cause her daughter such pain filled thoughts and emotions; she could sense her offspring was back at the house.
Getting up off the floor, Washu decided to go and check on Ryoko to see what was wrong. Just because her daughter didn't want her mother in her life didn't mean that Washu was actually going to listen to the girl. She knew that deep down inside Ryoko the sweet girl that she had raised as a child still lived within the hardened warrior.
The emerald eyed woman opened the door to her lab and got caught in half step; she was not prepared for the sight that greeted her.
The cyan haired woman just stood there frozen in place; golden eyes wide from shock and disbelief. Her entire body felt numb, almost like dead weight, as her hopes and dreams shattered burying the fragments deep within her broken heart. The pain she was feeling now made her 5000 years of enslavement to Kagato pale in comparison.
The sight that greeted the 'Demon Caller' was completely unexpected. There on the couch was her love, no former love, Tenchi and first crown princess of Jurai, Ayeka, having sex; judging by the smell in the air, since the former pirates sense of smell was so strong, they had been going at it for a long time.
"Oh, Lord Tenchi!" Ayeka cried out, her face flushed, as she clung to the black haired man's body. She could feel him buried so deeply inside of her.
"Ayeka!" the brown eyed teen called out as he thrust into her.
The cyan haired warrior had come back home, not because of Tenchi, but because Sasami had left something important on the counter in the kitchen. Since it would have taken the family 2 hours just to get back to the house Ryoko had voluenterred to go back because it would take her less than thirty seconds to arrive back at the Masaki residence, as opposed to driving back; trying to win Tenchi from the purple haired princess never crossed her mind.
So, the demoness teleported herself back home and directly into the kitchen. Golden, catlike, eyes easily located the items and she was about to be on her way until she heard a loud moan that caused her to turn around. The sight alone was powerful enough to knock her off her feet, yet she managed to remain standing and stared like a deer in headlights.
How! How could he do this me! The pirate demanded to know in her mind, as her eyes began to moisten.
Ryoko wanted to scream to the heavens in anguish. She wanted to alert them to her presence as she was positive that they were unaware that they had been caught because they were still going at it; never before had she been hurt this badly and she had taken serious punishment over the years. Still, despite wanting to say what she felt, she just couldn't…her throat had seized up making it extremely difficult to say anything.
For the next few minutes the only sounds that could be heard was the sound of heavy breathing; the smell of sex lingering heavily in the air. Eventually, words began to pass between the pair.
"Oh, Tenchi," the red eyed female began, taking her hand and placing it against his cheek. "I love you." She said, as tears formed in her eyes from joy and ecstasy that she was feeling.
"And I love you too Ayeka," the brown eyed male replied with a gentle smile, leaning into her touch. "I have ever since I laid eyes on you three years ago." He admitted. In his eyes, the young woman was the very definition of beauty.
"Then tell me, Tenchi…when are we going to make known our relationship?" the princess questioned curiously. "We've been together for the past three years and still no one knows about it." She added.
The demoness eyes grew even wider when she heard those words. They-they've been together all this time?! For three years they've been…she thought to herself.
The black haired teen released a heavy sigh, rising up from her slightly but not far enough to where she would see the other two unknown figures in the room. "It's not like I don't want them to know it's you that I love Ayeka," he informed her, placing a simple kiss on her soft lips. He looked at her a long while before continuing. "I know that Sasami and everyone will be thrilled to hear it…it's Ryoko I'm worried about."
The foreign female raised an eyebrow in question. "What do you mean?" she asked.
"I know that she cares for me too, loves me even, but if she were to find out that I gave my heart to you three years ago she'd be crushed. I mean everyday she's tried so hard to win my affections and I never discouraged her from doing so, leading her to think that I may actually be interested in her," he stated, feeling slightly ashamed of himself for his deception.
Ayeka saw the look on her lover's face and was tempted to say words to comfort him but she didn't get the chance because he continued.
"It'll be an even bigger blow if she ever found out that I never really loved her. I loved her but as a close friend, like I do with all the other girls, but not as a lover. So, I just need some time to figure out a way to tell Ryoko that it's you I love without causing her too much pain," Tenchi informed the princess of Jurai.
The red eyed female nodded. "I understand, love," she commented. Tenchi didn't want to cause too much pain to the former pirate when he finally informed the household about his love and loyalty to her; he singled Ryoko out because her love for him was equal to her own and Ayeka knew how she would feel if Tenchi had chosen Ryoko over herself.
The young man smiled warmly at the love of his life. "Thank you," he responded. "I promise that soon I'll tell them." He swore before lowering his head down for another kiss.
As the couple went back to their previous affairs on the couch Ryoko's mind was racing with various thoughts and emotions. The number one emotion she was feeling right now was anger. She was angry at Tenchi for choosing Ayeka, angry at him for keeping his relationship with her rival a secret, yet, most of all, she felt angry at herself for being so ignorant and foolish.
She had been blinded for her feelings for Tenchi, the boy who released her from the cave. It took everything in Ryoko to keep from attacking the pair as they continued another round of love making between them; it was something of an old instinct that had developed during the time she spent with Kagato: if something hurt her, even Kagato, attack it and cause it the pain that it caused you. She was actually surprised that she was able to keep herself under control for so long.
The second emotion she was feeling was pain. The catlike eyed warrior's heart clenched painfully as she listened to the conversation between Tenchi and Ayeka. Tenchi didn't love her, and he never did. All those times she had expressed her love for him, through both words and actions, were unrequited because he had already chosen.
Yet, beneath the anger and hurt, the cyan haired female was feeling another type of stinging emotion: betrayal. She felt betrayed because Tenchi hadn't been honest with her and that hurt worst of all to Ryoko. Yes, she would have been hurt to know that he wasn't hers but, to hide it behind not only her back but the backs of everyone else as well caused the golden eyed female to growl lowly; Tenchi and Ayeka couldn't hear it because they didn't have acute hearing and because Ayeka's moans were so loud.
"I bet you two weren't even sick this morning," the demon caller muttered to herself, questioning the honestly of both her housemates. "Damn you…Tenchi," she added before teleporting back to where the others were.
Washu had just gone back inside her lab after she watched her child leave. She was quite surprised that her daughter hadn't gone into an all out right rage right then; she wouldn't have blamed the girl if she did.
"No wonder Little Ryoko's emotions shot across our link like that," she said to the air as she went to sit on her cushion not bothering to go back to working.
The small scientist couldn't believe the sight, not to mention, sounds that greeted her when she opened the door to her lab. Of all the scenarios the red haired woman had thought up, Tenchi and Ayeka fucking had not been one of them; it took everything she had not to faint. Still, jade eyes did not remain focused on the pair for too long because out of the corner of her eye, Washu spotted her daughter in the kitchen.
The mother both felt and watched the various emotions on Ryoko's face and through their mental connection; the emotions were being unknowingly broadcast to her because they were such powerful feelings. As the 12 year old bodied female surveyed the former space pirate, she wanted so badly to run over and sooth her child as each of Ryoko's thoughts echoed in her mother's mind.
Thankfully, the scientist was able to fight back her motherly instincts. If she had done so it would have lead to many unpleasant things undoubtedly. Still, the golden eyed warrior wasn't the only person who was upset: Washu was as well, obviously for different reasons than her daughter's.
She was upset first and foremost because the sight of her child's love interest was coupling with her rival, even though the pirate and princess were also friends, and it caused the fighter to hurt. Lime eyes seeing her offspring hurt, hurt, and angered, the scientist as well.
Besides that, the red head was also surprised that Tenchi was able to keep hidden his relationship with the elder Jurai princess for so long. Had she not heard the words straight from the boy's mouth herself she would never have believed it to be true. Although, it did make her wonder why he never made it known from day one because the longer he waited the faster the girl's, with the exception of herself, fell in love with him.
As the genius let all this information roll around in her head she did wonder why Ryoko had come back to the house. "I guess I'll just have to ask her when she's on the roof again," she remarked, as her nasal voice flowed through the air. She knew her little 'Demon Caller' liked to sit on the roof for various reasons.
'Oh, my little one…' she thought as she let her mind drift. She had more than a feeling that things weren't going to be the same in the Masaki household anymore.
"Hey Ryoko, you're back!" Sasami, the younger Jurai princess, proclaimed as her friend suddenly re-appeared with the item she had left at home.
"Hey there kiddo!" the taller woman greeted with a smile; if it was one thing Ryoko was good at it was being able to mask her pain perfectly.
The blue haired girl ran over and embraced her friend in a tight hug. "Thanks for going back to the house for me Ryoko. I hope it wasn't any trouble," she remarked looking up at the cyan haired woman.
"It was no problem at all kiddo. Here you go."
"Thanks, now I can make that new spicy dish I was telling you all about," the pink eyed princess commented with a bright smile.
The older woman watched as Sasami ran off to go and prepare lunch for everyone. She squinted as she cast her catlike eyes toward the sky; it was such a beautiful day for a "family" outing at the beach.
'Hard to believe that on such a beautiful day something so ugly can happen,' the spiky haired warrior thought to herself. She was knocked from her thoughts by the sound of a certain blonde's voice.
"Hey Ryoko, come play volleyball with us!" Mihoshi called to her friend.
The former pirate nodded. "Alright…let's play!" she yelled as she teleported beside to Galaxy Police officer, already in her bathing suit or, lack of thereof. Ryoko decided to push what she had seen earlier to the back of her mind and just let it be filled with the fun she was going to have at the moment.
"Tenchi, Ayeka, Little Washu, we're back!" Sasami called as she and the others entered their home with Ryo-Ohki perched on her head.
As the young girl was calling out to the three members that stayed behind, her older sister began to descend the stairs. "Welcome back everyone," the violet haired female greeted with a smile. The minute she stepped off the stairs her little sister ran to hug her.
Upon entering the house, Nobuyuki and Yosho took up residence on the couch placed against the wall. Ryoko watched them, from her place by the door, and she felt a slight disgust that they were seating themselves on the same couch that she had caught Tenchi and Ayeka on just the other day; she quickly turned her gaze away. Not wanting even look at the couch she teleported herself up to her rafters, not even bothering to speak to anyone.
"I'm glad you're feeling better," the Galaxy Police officer commented with a bright smile before she took a seat on the couch placed directly before the television set; it was late that evening when the group had returned from their "family" outing which meant that her favorite show would be coming on soon.
The red eyed woman nodded slightly. "Yes, I'm feeling much better thank you," she replied. She did feel a slight twinge of guilt for deceiving them as she had. She quelled the feeling by telling herself that it was one of the rare times she was allowed to be completely alone with Tenchi without having to worry about Ryoko or the others.
The tall girl was knocked from her thoughts by the sound of her sister's voice. She looked down to see the shorter female looking up at her with concerned eyes. "What is it Sasami?" she asked.
"I was asking you would you like me to make your favorite dinner tonight?" the smaller sibling remarked.
"Oh, yes very much," the older sibling answered with a small smile.
"Ah…I see you guys are finally back," a nasal voice remarked in a cheery voice. Everyone turned their attention towards the door leading to Washu's to see her closing the closet door behind herself.
"Oh hey, Little Washu," the blue haired princess said, turning her attention to the scientific genius, releasing the hold on her sister in the process. "I wish you had come with us, we had a really great time at the beach." She added; the other "family members" that had gone on the trip nodded their heads in agreement.
The jade eyed woman simply nodded. She then turned her attention upward the rafters where a certain pirate resided. "And hello to you too Ryoko," she said to her child.
Before words could exit the cyan haired female's mouth Tenchi came down the stairs, drying his hair off with a towel. "Oh, hey everyone! How was your trip?" he inquired, in a cheerful voice.
As the group filled him in on their trip the golden eyed woman remained where she was. As she looked at the black haired teen she felt her emotions beginning to swell: anger being the dominant one. Honestly, she thought she could handle looking at him-even if it wasn't in the same light as before, yet, the more she looked at him, and next to his side the elder princess, she realized that she had been wrong.
"Sasami, let me know when dinner's ready," Ryoko called over the various voices chattering at once. She didn't even wait for the child to reply before she phased out of sight.
Ryoko was sitting up in her favorite tree, on her favorite branch, looking up at the sky. She had always loved staring at the stars, how they stretched for miles and seemed to go on forever. Numerous times while she was with Kagato she found herself looking out at the stars, they had always helped to calm her down and offer her peace; space was free, no one could claim it if they tried. It was thoughts such as those that had helped her to stay alive.
"Ryoko," a voice called to her, it was soft and gentle.
Catlike eyes gazed down and were met with emerald catlike eyes staring right back at her. She jumped from the branch and landed gracefully on her feet; that jump would have killed anyone else. The pirate thought she knew the reason her "mother", she still didn't see the little red head as her mother, just her creator, was there.
"I take it Sasami sent you to tell me dinner was ready?" the younger female inquired. She did wonder why they would've sent Washu, although she was not complaining about it not being Tenchi either.
The older woman could see the hurt in her daughter's eyes that so desperately wanted out; however, she also knew her child was stubborn and would not allow herself to release that pain, let alone admit it to another person, despite how badly the girl needed to. Suddenly, Washu shifted into her adult form completely taking her daughter by surprise with her action.
The now taller woman then placed her hand gently on Ryoko's cheek, cradling the girl's face. "Ryoko," she slowly began her voice low and many octaves deeper. "You don't have to hold in this pain," she informed the shorter girl.
"What are you talking about?" Ryoko tried to play dumb, pretending she didn't know why those words had passed through the older woman's lips. She tried to free her face from the ruby haired woman but Washu's grip was strong, yet still gentle at the same time; that hold meant that the Science Academy graduate was not about to let up on the subject.
The mother released a deep sigh. "I know what you saw yesterday, Ryoko," she stated with complete seriousness
The cyan haired demoness's eyes widened from shock knowing exactly what the scientist meant by those words. How did Washu know that…she stopped suddenly, getting herself back under control. Ryoko then remembered how it was possible that Washu knew she was hurting on the inside and what had caused it.
"So you've been nosing about in my head again?" she stated, though it was more of a demand, golden eyes hardening to stare into green ones.
"No little one, I had felt your pain through our link and had sensed you in the house. When I came from the lab to see what was wrong…I saw the same sight you did, hear the same words you did, and felt what you felt."
As each word passed through her creator's mouth, the demon caller's resolve began to weaken; it also did not help that Washu's voice was so soft and…caring. The young teen could almost swear that she heard emotion in her creator, no mother's, voice.
Ryoko then released a word from her mouth, that hadn't been directed at the professor so genuinely since the days before Kagato. "Mommy…" she whispered, as she felt her voice beginning to crack and her eyes begin to water. It was just something about Washu being in her adult form that caused numerous feelings to swirl within the warrior.
The jade eyed mother's heart was touched as she heard those words but, she knew now wasn't the time to celebrate her daughter saying what she had long to hear again. Right now, her little one needed her, the tears that rolled down the smaller girl's face was proof of that; Washu gently brushed away a few tears with her thumb.
The action of the scientist was all it took to break the dam that Ryoko had built to keep her emotions inside. The golden eyed youngster threw herself into her mother's arms, burying her face into the old Science Academy uniform.
"He doesn't love me! He doesn't love me! He never loved me!" came the muffled cries into the black top of the older female's clothes. Ryoko knew she looked weak for doing such a thing but she couldn't stop the sobs from racking her body once she had started. "What did I do wrong?! Is it because she's royalty and I'm not?! Because I'm a murderous demon and she's an innocent?!"
As the questions, either rhetorical or real, passed through the shorter woman's mouth Washu simply held the girl tightly and stroking her cyan locks to bring her comfort; how long had it been since she comforted a child…her child? After a while the crab haired woman sunk down to her knees because Ryoko's had given out; she didn't mind though, she was just glad to be of some help to her offspring.
The taller of the two knew that this was extremely hard on the former pirate. Not just because of what she had seen but because Ryoko didn't know how to handle things like this; despite spending 5 millennia trapped in a crystal did not mean that the genius didn't know what was going on with Ryoko. Kagato allowed her to show only dangerous and hurtful emotions, anything else he hadn't the time for it and neither did Ryoko.
Some long minutes passed before the demon summoner's sobbing slowed down. She was still shedding tears just not as heavily. "No one loves me," the pirate whispered, as she slightly raised her head from Washu's shoulder, the area soaked with tears. She made no move to separate herself from the genius.
"That's not true little one,"
"So why doesn't he love me?" she practically begged her mother for the answer to her question, golden eyes seeking out green for guidance.
"That's not something I can tell you Ryoko, only Tenchi can," the red haired mother answered as she watched a bit of sadness return to the pirate's eyes. "But Ryoko, whatever you may think I love you…" she started to say.
"Because you're my mother," the child countered cutting her mother off.
The parent simply shook her head. "Not just because you're my daughter…I also love you because of the person you are, good and bad and past and present included."
The cyan haired child knew her mother was telling the truth, she could sense the feelings flowing through their link. Ryoko wanted to say something but she just couldn't find the words to speak; Washu understood this and stopped her before she even started.
"You don't have to say anything right now Little Ryoko, you'll find the words you're seeking. But just know that I do love you, with all my heart," she informed her only family. The pirate simply nodded before burying her face back into the scientist's arm.
I love you Ryoko, I only wish that you could remember, the mother thought as she continued to comfort her daughter.
Next time: The Masaki household is informed of a "secret" while a certain someone comes to terms.