Disclaimer: Tenchi Muyo! Is copyright AIC/Pioneer Ltd.
All characters are property of their respected owners.
A/N: At the beginning so you all can go back to previous chapters – like I said in my last A/N. ALL chapters have been reposted! (6.13.09) No major plot changes were made – however, some new things have been added. Format has been changed for an easier (and more correct) read. More comments and crits are always welcome. ~ undead-hokusai
Wake Up Dreaming: A Tenchi Muyo! Story.
Ryoko's breaths came out in short shallow puffs. She felt sticky and sweaty but completely pleasant. She opened her eyes slowly and looked down to see the cause of her current state. She smiled and gently lifted a hand to caress Tenchi's flushed cheek. His short, black hair was matted down on his forehead and his chest, while heaving, was quickly relaxing as he and his lover bathed in the afterglow of their affections.
Ryoko let her arms relax and she sank down resting her weight on top of him. She left a soft trail of kisses from his face down to his neck and finally stopped at his chest where she decided to rest her head. She frowned and suddenly felt very cold.
"Tenchi," she mumbled and pulled the thick blue comforter of Tenchi's bed up under her chin and closed her eyes trying to snuggle into his embrace. The warmth had vanished and the feeling of skin was replaced by the cold smooth surface of glass. Her eyes snapped open when a voice she'd been trying to forget forced its way into her ears.
"Well done Ryoko. Well done." Kagato's calm sinister voice rang out in the eerie crystal halls of Souja. "You've done exactly what needed to be done," he sneered. "I knew you could do it. Pretending to 'fall in love' with that human boy to get close enough to steal me Tsunami was absolutely brilliant. I do admit, you are a cunning warrior, for all your defects," he said coldly.
"No! No, I didn't pretend! I'm not pretending!" Ryoko yelled defiantly from the cold floor. "I do love him! I do! Please, take anything you want! Anything but him!"
Ryoko was crying, lying on the crystal clear floor in her black and red jumpsuit, smearing blood on the smooth surface. Her own blood. She crawled to her feet but Kagato appeared before her and quickly hit her with enough force to send her flying several feet back.
"NO! You worthless, broken, piece of trash! You feel what I say you feel!" Kagato yelled, his normally calm visage replaced by intense anger. "It seems we'll have to take drastic measures to teach you this time Ryoko. I don't know what's wrong, it hasn't taken you this long to learn a lesson in a quite some time."
"No! Don't!" Ryoko pleaded from the ground.
"Don't worry, I won't but you will," Kagato replied an evil grin appearing on his pale, ghost white face.
An unconscious Tenchi appeared before him and Ryoko stood up. Red energy focused into her hand and she tightly clenched her fist, elongating the orb into her signature red beam saber. Ryoko fought back as hard as she possibly could but her limbs were no longer hers to control.
"Kagato, please! Take Tsunami! Take anything! Anything but him! I do love him, I do!" Ryoko begged hysterically trying to stop the obvious scenario from unfolding.
Unable to command her physical actions, her sword stuck straight out, and Tenchi's limp body was thrust forward. Ryoko screamed at the top of her lungs as the sword penetrated his chest, the hot energy burning through muscle, flesh and bone.
She couldn't feel her arms or legs but that didn't stop them from shaking uncontrollably as Kagato's chilling laughter echoed in every direction around her. Ryoko stood frozen staring straight ahead into the lifeless face of the only thing that mattered to her.
"Tenchi! TENCHI!" she yelled, as if her voice could bring her love back to life.
Ryoko awoke with a start and quickly curled into a fetal position on the cold floor of her prison. Much to her dismay, the metallic arms that had been holding her came back to life after only a few short hours of inactivity. Although now the limbs did not suspend the ex-pirate in mid-air, they simply restrained her and kept her from moving too far out of their range of motion.
She rolled onto her back and leaned her head back exposing her neck and moaned painfully. Mournful tears streaked down her face making clean lines through the dirt on her face. She shivered as the cold air bit at her exposed skin. The room was spinning and she felt dehydrated and weak. The energy that her gem normally gave to sustain her body was being drained away and she felt it taking its toll.
"Please be alive Tenchi. Please help me. Tenchi," she said as the spinning darkness closed in around her.
Doctor Hayashima sat behind a desk and scratched his chin thoughtfully as he watched the struggling space pirate on a view screen.
"Tenchi. Tenchi. What is that?" he said to himself.
He'd been racking his brain for days trying to find out what that word was and its significance to the space pirate Ryoko. She kept repeating it, so he was convinced that it was something he needed to research. He had nothing to go on though so he didn't feel it necessary to reveal anything to Lord Haraj just yet. Only one hit appeared in his computer's database at the moment. He hit several keys expanding the search in an adjacent monitor and let the machine run a few seconds before opening the single file already found.
A primitive backwater world in Juraian territory called Earth had the word in its language and a single definition to go along with it. One of the planet's dialects called Japanese listed the meaning of the word as Heaven and Earth. While that was all fine and good, Hayashima failed to see any connection to Ryoko – or to anything of importance for that matter. So far every other search came up with nothing.
Hayashima rubbed his tired eyes and scanned all the information he could get his hands on for the fifth time that night. And all that information wasn't much. Although the planet was densely populated, Earthlings had not yet discovered deep space travel or the existence of extra terrestrial life as a whole species. Hayashima scrolled through other mundane statistics of the planet and yawned.
"This little mud-ball has to hold the key, but how?" he questioned himself aloud. "Hm, what's this?" he said, stopping abruptly and leaning close to the computer screen scratching the stubble on his chin.
The scientist stumbled on one tidbit of data that was particularly interesting. The notoriously feared space pirate, Kagato, had been killed in the same solar system of the Earth – nearby the single moon of the tiny planet. Hayashima attempted to call up any more information on that subject alone and again only one hit occurred. Apparently a First-Class Detective Mihoshi Kuramitsu from the Galaxy Police was involved somehow but that was all Hayashima was able to uncover on the matter. Both Jurai, and the Galaxy Police Headquarters deemed Detective Kuramitsu's official police report on the incident 'top secret.'
Hayashima sighed and massaged his temples, leaning back in his chair. A strange beeping noise quickly startled the thin man out of his thoughts. He turned to the second monitor on his desk and tilted his head. In flashing blue letters, two results found for 'Tenchi' appeared on the screen. The small scientist let a twisted smile work its way onto his face and he opened the queue. A frustrated grunt escaped his throat and the smile quickly turned into a grimace. As he tried to access the files, large red letters, exclamation points, and octagon shapes flashed all over the screen and kept popping up. 'Restricted, top secret, authorization required, and several other terms that all basically meant the same thing blocked the information feed. Almost every flashing warning was also stamped with the symbol for the ruling family of the Juraian Empire.
"We'll see about this," Hayashima said to himself in a determined voice. "But who can break this level of encryption? Certainly no one in this facility…"
Another yawn escaped the weary man and he shut off the monitor.
"Might as well get a few hours sleep before Lord Haraj arrives," he said.
Tenchi moved with determination towards the sliding door of his guest room. He gripped the Tenchi-ken tightly and he felt the hidden Juraian energy lying dormant within the wooden hilt ready to ignite its brilliant blue blade in an instant. Just as the young prince moved past the bed a sudden wave of dizziness hit him like a truck. He dropped the ancient sword hilt and knelt down clutching his head with one hand and the other resting on the side of the large bed to balance himself.
"Tenchi! TENCHI!" Ryoko's voice resonated in his mind.
As soon as is happened, it was gone. Tenchi immediately went from feeling nauseous to feeling perfectly fine. He rubbed his forehead and looked around the dark room, confused.
"Ryoko?" he whispered to the shadows.
Nothing. It was more then a coincidence now, though. Right? Tenchi looked down at the Tenchi-ken on the floor. The two burgundy gems embedded in the hilt twinkled like beacons of light in the dark universe of his room. Was she calling him? Tenchi's mind quickly raced back to the distant memory of Washu's laboratory again and the strange feeling that Ryoko called his name before Clay abducted her.
Was it even possible that Ryoko could call to him like that? He knew she had many strange abilities, but he didn't think that she could read minds or speak telepathically. Well, she did have some form of mental capabilities. Other memories from when Ryoko first moved into his home flooded his mind. Well, that 'tail' she wore sometimes definitely proved it. It was nothing more then a fabric ornament, yet it twitched and moved with her mood when she wore it. Oh, and that time we went to my great aunt's bathhouse hotel. Tenchi remembered unloading all of Aeka and Sasami's luggage from his father's van only to have Ryoko mentally lift and shove all the pieces including Tenchi himself back into the vehicle after getting mad at him for refusing to flirt with her.
"You know what, she can speak in someone's mind," Tenchi confirmed aloud to himself.
She was telepathically linked to Washu and Ryo-Ohki. He was reminded from his other memories that she mentioned it to him off-handedly. If that was the case, then she just might be trying to reach out. It also meant she needed help if she couldn't blow the place up herself.
Tenchi quietly cracked his door open and peered out into the long hallway. Everything was dark and silent now. Haraj was nowhere to be seen. Tenchi narrowed his eyes and closed the door retreating back to the bed. He sat down and started to formulate what he was going to do.
Haraj said he was going to go down to some facility to see if Hayashima's research was going well. Was that the same place Ryoko was being kept? He wasn't sure but it was a hell of a lot closer to finding her then checking out the crash site of the Juraian ship.
Miyuki. The girl's name suddenly left a bitter taste in his mouth. Did she know? Was she purposely leading him around so that Haraj could do what he wanted to Ryoko? The thoughts ran through Tenchi's mind and he was suddenly sorry he had opened up at all to the girl. On the other hand, Haraj seemed surprised when Hayashima mentioned the fact that Ryoko could have a space pirate companion lurking around. Maybe Miyuki didn't have anything to do with her father. After all, she didn't seem to have the same intense malicious feelings for Ryoko that he did. She just seemed a little misguided. Maybe she was better at hiding her true beliefs. After going around in circles with himself for several minutes Tenchi decided to exclude Miyuki from any of his plans and let her position come out in time. He looked over at the clock in the room and sighed.
He didn't like the idea of leaving Ryoko captive somewhere one bit. Unfortunately he didn't have the slightest clue as to where she was. He rigidly crawled back into bed and pulled the comforter over his head. He had decided. He would wait for Haraj to start moving and then he'd follow him. It seemed simple enough but it left Tenchi feeling on edge and unable to sleep.
Dead. That's all she felt. It was the best way to describe it, really. Princess Aeka sat alone in her room calmly going through the motions, brushing her long violet hair again and again. She felt like crying but she didn't know if she could anymore. She spent the past few days crying and being angry with anyone she saw. She lifted her chin and looked into the large mirror before her. Her pink eyes were swollen and red with grief.
Her thin eyebrows unexpectedly draped a mask of rage over the Princess' delicate features and she slammed the expensive brush she had been using down onto the dresser top, breaking it.
"Aaaaaah!" she yelled, letting more tears spill from her regal eyes.
Why didn't Lord Tenchi save himself with his Light Hawk Wings? Why didn't Tsunami protect him? Why couldn't Washu have done something? Why couldn't I have done something? She rolled the thoughts around in her head again and again.
"Ryoko! You were the one that disobeyed his wishes and went over there with him anyway! This is all your fault!" Aeka yelled, releasing her resentment on her biggest rival and her best friend. She let her face fall into her waiting hands and she sobbed. "Why didn't you protect him? Why didn't you protect him?" she cried.
Washu leaned against the wall right outside of Aeka's door listening to her heart-wrenching wails. Her face was a mask of stone but she felt the same way. Maybe even worse. She not only loved Tenchi but her one and only daughter was lost as well. They never did have the greatest relationship but Washu always thought that was something they could work on. Now they never would.
She had never seen such a build up of power. Tenchi's Light Hawk Wings truly were impressive but it seemed that they had caused his own demise this time. The short redhead sighed and stepped away from the wall and started walking, leaving Aeka to grieve in private.
Aeka stifled her crying enough to get over to her large bed and unceremoniously plop down on it.
"Are you glad, father? You got what you wanted," Aeka said to the cold void that was her bedroom. Azusa never did like Tenchi and the only thing he thought was worse then Tenchi, was the idea of Tenchi and his daughters together. The young princess sighed and followed her routine, delicately pulling the sheets back and sliding under them. She didn't feel like going to sleep but crying often over the past few days was exhausting and she was asleep before her head hit the pillow.
Aeka grumbled to herself and continued folding clothes.
"Where is that monster-woman?" she asked the empty laundry room. "Its her turn to do the laundry," Aeka complained folding another article of clothing.
She wiped some of her hair out of her face and looked down proudly at the clean stack of meticulously folded white fabrics. A knowing smile crept onto her delicate face as she imagined how Lord Tenchi would praise her for doing hers and Ryoko's chores today. She smoothed her magenta kimono and glided over to the primitive Earthling washing machine and proceeded to deposit another load of dirty laundry into it. After taking her time measuring the precise amount of detergent to put in and making sure everything was carefully in its right place, she started the machine.
The living room of the Masaki house was empty when Aeka came in with the basket of clean clothes.
"Sasami!" Aeka called.
"Yes, Aeka?" Sasami said in a singsong voice, popping her head out from the kitchen.
"I've finished the first half of the laundry and the rest is in the machine now," she said making sure Sasami knew it was done and that Aeka had done it, in case Ryoko came sneaking around and wanted to pretend she had done her share of chores. "Where is Lord Tenchi? Isn't it about time for dinner?" Aeka chimed, making small talk with her sister who had retreated back to the kitchen.
"Almost," came Sasami's reply. "I think he's at the shrine with Grandpa. He came back a few hours ago with a new barrel of fresh carrots from the field, so he should be training now."
When no response came from her sister, Sasami stopped stirring her latest concoction and called back out to the living room.
"Why don't you go check to see if he's done?"
She smiled when she heard Aeka squeak with giddy excitement.
"I'll do that Sasami. Thank you!" the First Princess said quickly while slipping her sandals on.
Sasami shook her head giggling and lifted her ladle to her lips tasting its contents. The small light-haired cook wrinkled her nose thoughtfully and placed the utensil aside.
"Needs more spice," she said reaching for a small jar.
Aeka worked her way through the greenery to the long flight of steps leading up to the Masaki shrine. She smiled and began her climb. She felt extra pleased with herself today and it was about to get better after she personally summoned Tenchi and walked hand in hand with him back to the house to enjoy a wonderful meal. She was so caught up in her thoughts that she failed to realize the lack of noise before she got to the top of the steps. She frowned and pushed a lock of purple hair back over her ear as she craned her neck to try and find any sign of Lord Tenchi and Katsuhito. It was then that she spotted Katsuhito opening the small shrine office door.
"Excuse me!" Aeka chirped. "Lord Kastuhito!" she said using the name her brother preferred to be called nowadays. "Isn't Tenchi here training? I've come to tell him that Sasami's dinner is almost prepared."
"I'm sorry, Aeka but Tenchi is not here. I let him go not too long ago. Perhaps you missed him on your way up here." Tenchi's grandfather said calmly.
"No, I didn't see him on the steps," Aeka replied sweetly even though a familiar feeling was working its way into her.
"Well he might be in the onsen already then, we worked up quite a sweat today," Katsuhito offered, even though he didn't look like he had personally done a thing.
"Well, thank you, Lord Katsuhito. Have a pleasant evening," Aeka said bowing politely.
Katsuhito returned the bow and smiled as Aeka started back towards the stairs. She waited until she was out of Katsuhito's field of vision before growling and stamping her foot.
"Ryoko!" she growled feeling her face flush with rage.
She pulled her kimono up slightly and swiftly ran down the steps. She could almost feel the steam pouring out of her ears. Of course my day was too good to be true, she thought sourly, not enough Ryoko. As Aeka flew down the steps like a violet storm she heard the ex-pirate's familiar laugh just off the path leading down the mountain. She stopped and searched for the source quizzically. The laughter again reached her ears just a little further away this time. Aeka had been waiting for it though and followed it as best she could, gingerly crawling over the large slabs of rock that kept the shrubbery from growing onto the stairway to the shrine.
"Ouch," Aeka hissed as a sharp branch scraped against her leg.
She groaned and pulled her leg and kimono free from the greedy shrub and followed the direction she thought Ryoko's cheerful laughter was coming from. All of a sudden the princess caught sight of the pirate's signature cyan hairstyle and she ducked behind a tree. Narrowing her brilliant fuchsia colored eyes, Aeka peeked around the trunk of the tree and she felt her blood start to boil. She was alone with Tenchi.
The young man of both Ryoko and Aeka's affections sat in a small patch of grass in the wooded area and watched Ryoko's every move as she energetically floated a few feet above the ground around him. He seemed relaxed, resting on his elbows. Ryoko let loose another hearty chuckle.
"You should have seen yourself," she said. "Good ol' grandpa wiped the floor with you, and then some."
Tenchi just sighed but Aeka noticed that the young prince did indeed look like Katsuhito had given him the workout he spoke of earlier. His pants were dirty and had grass stains on the knees along with his shirt. He was sporting small cuts on his arms and he looked like he had been sweating.
"I'd like to see you do better," Tenchi said to the floating woman.
He seemed slightly annoyed. Ryoko stopped mid flight and looked down at him. A large Cheshire cat grin appeared on her face for a split second before being replaced by a mock pout.
"Aw, what's wrong? Is My Tenchi upset? Bad day?" Ryoko's demeanor changed from that of passive to blunt sexual provocation. "Why don't you let Ryoko make it all better," she said landing perpendicular to Tenchi and crawling over to him like a prowling jungle cat. She smiled and placed an outstretched arm on either side of her prey letting deliberately allowing his eyes to access her body's best curves.
Aeka noticed that Tenchi did flinch but didn't get up and run. He began his usual stuttering and awkward chuckling as Ryoko started swirling her index finger on his chest.
"R-ryoko. Come on, I'm tired," he said trying to put her off.
Aeka sucked in a huge gasp of air and her nails dug into the bark of the tree as she continued to watch.
"Oh, but Tenn – chiii! We could be tired together," Ryoko said, smiling seductively and crawling over him. She noticed Tenchi's eyes fighting to stay on her face even with her ample cleavage directly in front of him. She leaned close to his ear and let her warm breath caress it before she whispered to him. "I promise it'll be a lot more fun then your normal… sword practice," she said, every bit of the sentence dripping with innuendo.
Tenchi backed away a little reverting more and more to his normal actions.
"I – I'm s-s-sure I would, but uh…" he trailed off staring into Ryoko's face which matched his in redness, yet lacked the nervousness.
Aeka watched curiously. Ryoko now had a slightly awkward smile on her face and in an odd move; she stretched forward and rested her head on Tenchi's chest. Tenchi didn't move. As a matter of fact, much to Aeka's dismay, he reached forward with one arm and placed it on the back of Ryoko's head as she eased the rest of her weight onto his body and the ground. They were silent. Aeka looked down at the ground, her whole day seemed to be ruined. How come he won't do that with me? She thought to herself. Her head immediately snapped up to the sound of Ryoko's provocative moan.
"Uuhn! Oh yeah, right – there! Ooh – just like that, Tenchi!"
Aeka watched with disgust – and envy – as Tenchi gently massaged Ryoko's exposed ear with his thumb and index finger. The green tail ornament attached to her light blue dress scrunched up and stretched out over and over in time with her moans and Tenchi's kneading. Tenchi just chuckled softly and continued to play with Ryoko's twitching ear even as she clutched fistfuls of his shirt. Aeka looked down, her cheeks red with jealousy. A quick glance back up and she saw Tenchi lying down completely on his back just gazing at the clouds idly chatting with Ryoko, who hadn't moved from her position on his chest. They were talking softly now and she couldn't hear what they were saying but she saw Ryoko making gestures with her hand in response to something Tenchi said.
Aeka felt depressed and turned from the tree making her way back towards the steps. She wanted to jump into the opening and break them up, but her heart just wasn't into it. Maybe she would have felt differently if it wasn't the first time she had caught the two of them like that. She sighed and looked to the afternoon sun for guidance.
"What if he chooses her? What should I do? Should I just leave or should I – be happy?" She said the last part of that sentence as if she had just swallowed a frog.
Sitting on the sidelines and watching Tenchi be happy with Ryoko – or any of the other girls for that matter was quite difficult to deal with, even if they were her friends. But, what if it happened? She shook her head and put on a bright smile. No, just because Tenchi had some time alone with Ryoko doesn't mean he's going to choose her, Aeka thought. After all, I may have been envious of her just now but there were plenty of times that I've gotten to be alone with Tenchi.
Aeka sighed and the fake smile disappeared. Who was she kidding? The times she got with Tenchi were never like that. She always enjoyed the time alone but it was never as intimate as what she just witnessed. Aeka stopped, realizing she had already reached the door to the Masaki household and smoothed her kimono out before sliding the door open. Maybe she could genuinely be happy for them.
"Sasami, Noike, I'm home," she said, sliding off her sandals.
Something wet touched her hand. Aeka looked down puzzled and another droplet landed in her palm. She swiftly reached up and placed a hand on her face. The First-Crown Princess of Jurai was crying.
"It is time."
Haraj's dark voice slithered out of his mouth in the darkness of his mansion.