Disclaimer: I do not own the Tenchi cast, in any way shape or form.  However I did create the son of Tenchi and Ryoko.  Thank you.

Chapter 01: A Bleak Future

This story was originally Ryoko's Birthday: Part 4 THE CURSE OF KAGATO!  (It was the epilogue)

[40 years have passed since Ryoko's Birthday Part 3, and much has happened in that time.]

(This occurs after No Need For Proof, Night Thoughts, The Blackshire Interval, and Ryoko's Wedding.)

2 Days before Ryoko's birthday: August 1st

In the vast emptiness of space, a black starship with four large spires drifts around a large chuck of rock, called The Moon, by the common folk who live on the planet, Earth, below.  Aboard this ship, which is an amazing creation in and of itself, is a woman, who at this time is desperately battling her own inner demons.  Yet it is a losing battle, one, which was causing her to feel exactly like the void of space, completely empty and without life.  Ryoko Masaki, once the universe's most dreaded space pirate sat, half drunk, in the control seat of her powerful star ship, Ryo-Ohki.  Around her feet lie numerous empty bottles of saki, the cause of her current drunken state, but not to her depression. 

For well over a month, the two of them had been circling the Earth's solitary moon.  There was no reason behind it, the only explanation the silver-haired woman could give was that it made more sense than her staying on Earth.  With a painful sigh, the lithe space pirate pushed a button on a strange device, which resembled an old fashioned whistle with a glass bubble on top, in her hand.  A few seconds later, the device sprang to life, and the glass bubble projected a romantic scene between two lovers, kissing passionately on a long staircase. 

It had been the same every night in the past month.  She drank heavily, trying to forget the horror that had occurred on Earth, while she constantly relived the distant past.  The only time before that morning she had watched this scene had been on her birthday, since it reminded her of the night her entire life had changed for the better.  Normally viewing the magical night her husband had first kissed her always warmed her inside and out, and banished her anxiety, as it reminded her just how lucky she had been.  However, now it merely reminded her of how much she had lost. 

Setting the golden device down, the silver-haired woman felt tears roll down her angst ridden face.  This only added to her anger, as she mentally scolded herself for not being emotionally stronger.  Why did you have to leave me, Tenchi?  It was a rhetorical question, since the mighty space pirate knew that her beloved had not willingly left her, nor would he ever leave, had he a choice.  Sadly, Tenchi Masaki had been taken from Ryoko, by a dark and terrible force.   

In a desperate attempt to end her tears, the lithe woman recalled that night, so many years ago, when a certain brown-haired youth had declared his love for her with the simplest, yet most profound of gestures.  In one kiss, her life, which had been a collage of random events, changed completely, for the better.  Yet it wasn't just her life that had changed, so many other adventures had occurred since then, but in the end one thing was always the same.  They were always together in the end.  Smiling weakly, Ryoko recalled some of those action packed days, from the time they face off against a mad man called Blackshire, who claimed to be Kagato's heir, to her rematch in the stars with Cell Zero.   Her favorite adventure of all however would always be the night her young beloved, Tenchi, proposed to her. 

It was right after we faced Blackshire on his ship, what was it called…?  Oh yes, The Ebon Shard.  Stupid name for a star ship, if you ask me.  That creep didn't know when to admit he was down!  I ended up having to behead him.  Why can't any of those bastards ever just die and go to Hell easily?* I remember he did a number on me, but since you had given me all my gems back, Tenchi, I managed to escape.  I don't really know what happened after I got on board Ryo-Ohki, but when I woke up I was back at your, I mean our, home.  

You were sitting up watching over me.  You had been so worried about losing me that you told me how much I really meant to you.  It was then you proposed to me. Forcing herself to laugh, the golden-eyed woman recalled the reaction the others had; I don't know who was more shocked, Ayeka or I.  Still thanks to her we were given a Jurain Wedding, which ironically fell on the same day as when you released me from the cave.  I doubt that was a coincidence on her part.  Sadly after the wedding, all the others went their separate ways.  I didn't want to break up our family, but we still had fun just the two of us.

Ryoko continued to reminisce, reaching beside her chair picking up another bottle of Saki.  With a flick of her wrist, the lithe woman knocked it aside, as she breathed slowly, trying to sink completely into the past.  We sure had some great times…. Going for walks, shopping, even doing chores was fun with you Tenchi….  I always knew my time with you would be short, Tenchi, and I know it would have been even shorter if you hadn't been at least part Jurain.  But, according to Washu, you had a tree Planet Jurai, which meant you should have had a much longer life.  The golden-eyed woman laughed to herself.  Still for your age, you don't look any older than the day we first met.

"Hello Ryoko." a familiar voice said from behind her.  Slowly the golden-eyed woman spun around in her chair to face the owner of the voice.  Before the semi-drunken space pirate stood what appeared to be a little girl dressed in an old Space Academy outfit.  The thing that identified this newcomer almost immediately was her large mane of red hair and emerald-green eyes.  These eyes seemed to radiate knowledge, and anyone looking into them instantly knew that this little girl was far older than she appeared.  To her friends, she was known as, Washu.  To others, this little girl was the greatest scientific genius in the universe.  In her arms a small sleeping baby rested, his tiny mouth opening and closing slowly as he breathed in and out slowly.  More to the point, this special child was the product of Tenchi and Ryoko.  This little boy was the only child they had, and he was named after Ryoko's belated husband's grandfather, Yosho, to honor him. 

Seeing her son brought yet another sad memory to the front of her lithe woman's mind, as she recalled that the original Yosho, who most called Lord Katsuhito, had passed away only a few years before Tenchi's dad, roughly ten years ago.  The silver-haired woman could still recall how devastated her brown haired husband had been by each death, and how sudden each of her in-laws had passed away.  Still to this day, the golden-eyed space pirate felt that something other than old age, as Washu had pronounced, had caused these terrible events to transpire.

My, aren't you looking happy today, the green-eyed genius sarcastically stated, communicating with her daughter in a way only she could.  Jarring her daughter from her morbid thoughts.

Just leave me alone Washu, the silver-haired woman pleaded, looking groggily over the tiny scientist's head, the affects of her numerous bottles of Saki beginning to show.

Why?!  So you can mope in Ryo-Ohki the rest of your life, while I continue to raise your son? Washu replied, sounding agitated, and tired, as if this argument had been going on longer than only a few minutes. 

Why not, you're a better mother than I could ever be.  All I would do is fail Yosho, like I failed Tenchi. Ryoko bitterly added sadness lacing each word, giving the impression it took all her strength to suppress the tide of tears she felt welling inside her. "It's my fault he's dead, me and my hormones."

HE'S NOT DEAD, RYOKO! Washu screamed into her daughter's head.  The two women had this conversation many times over the last year.  You can't stay here the rest of your life, circling the moon and living off Saki.

Tenchi might as well be dead.  The golden-eyed woman declared slamming her fist onto the arm of the chair, before rising from her seat.  "Damn Kagato!  First he ruins my first 2000 years in his mad quest for Jurai's power, and now, when I've finally found happiness, he manages to take THAT from me.  Damn him!"

Ryoko! Washu warned her daughter. "Please control your language, you don't want your son to start talking like that do you?  If you're going to curse the dead, at least do it mentally so Yosho won't hear it.  I just got him to sleep, he'd been up for the past few hours wailing loudly and asking for you.  PLEASE don't go waking him up now…. Washu's asked, her mental tone melting from strict to sympathetic.  I also remember the day Kagato tricked us, and poisoned Tenchi.  It was the day you and I were finally brought back together.  It was the happiest day in my life, next to the day you were born.  I'm not overly excited that it was Mihoshi who freed me, when I was on The Soja, but I am glad it happened. 

You remember that don't you?  It was when you finally found out you had a mother.    As a matter of fact, that day, and those events have been in my every thought for the last year.  Ever since you called me and said Tenchi was dead.  Both women stared at each other recalling a battle that had taken place over 40 years ago.

Flashback: [Battle with Kagato]

There they were, Ayeka, Washu, Mihoshi, Ryoko, and Tenchi all ready for the final show down on The Soja.  The brown-haired warrior had just unleashed the power of Jurai within himself, and now him and Kagato raced toward one another prepared to end this fight once and for all.  Tenchi's Lighthawk Sword sliced through and killed Kagato, and the evil space pirate's attack seemed to do no damage to the first prince.  Sadly, Washu now theorized that such was not the case.  Somehow, and that was a mystery even to Washu, Kagato had poisoned Tenchi.  It wasn't the usual poison that begins killing as soon as it gets inside you.  The malicious madman was too clever for such a kind death.  It was a temporal poison that would not affect a person for years, and then one day, without any warning, strike them dead. 

[End Flashback]

Life had returned to normal for everyone after the battle.  The girls and Tenchi shared numerous adventures, continuing to enjoy each and every day, as well as each other's company until the day they all went their separate ways. 

Then one day, the elusive toxin struck, after decades of lying dormant inside Tenchi. 

The time it had struck had been quiet possibly the worst possible time, the morning after Yosho had been conceived.  To this day, the golden-eyed woman still could not understand why her former master had picked that day?  It was not the first time the two lovers had sex, indeed Ryoko had asked, or rather demanded, it on a regular basis.  Of course her husband had not been one to argue with her, about anything.  Early in their marriage, he had confided in his new bride that he always wanted to one day have a child to call his own, and the silver-haired seductress was never one to deny her husband his dreams, especially when they involved sex.  Washu had always told the happy couple that the odds of them having a child could be slim, due to Tenchi's mixed blood, and Ryoko's physiology. 

The morning after their latest attempt at having a child, the happy wife of Tenchi Masaki woke up before her exhausted husband to check to see if their attempt was a success.  That day was one of the happiest, and saddest of her life.  She ran out of the bathroom screaming for her husband to wake up.  Despite all her efforts, the mighty space pirate could not rouse the sleeping Jurain Prince.  Panicking, Ryoko used an emergency device Washu had given them.  Almost instantly Washu's lab reappeared in the Masaki household.  The two women carried Tenchi into the lab and put him in a Med Tube as fast as they could. 

The months that followed had been very difficult for the normally strong willed space pirate.  Due to her pride, she refused to ask any of the other girls for help, and thus went through the pregnancy alone, having Washu to help her on occasion.  However the red-haired scientist had dedicated most of her time to trying to cure Tenchi of this temporal toxin.  The only logical solution to the problem was that somehow Kagato had poisoned him.  This realization was what had given Ryoko her hopeless outlook, because if Kagato wanted something, in the end he always got what he wanted. 

Ryoko, Washu finally said after long moments. Come back to Earth with me.  I think we finally have a cure for Tenchi.  I've already given it to him; I believe it should counteract the temporal toxin soon.  I predict that by this time tomorrow night, Tenchi will be awake and moving around.  I think you should be there when he wakes up, don't you?  Lady Ayeka and Sasami are already on Earth.

A cure… The golden eyed woman weakly thought.  Looking at her right hand, the busty space pirate saw a glint of gold and ruby, her wedding ring.  A simple band of gold with three red rubies set upon it.  Each one symbolized the lithe woman's gems.  The first thing, or many, she had wanted from her husband.  Tenchi had given her life meaning, as well as hope, and now, Washu was offering her a chance to save his life.  A way to repay him for all he had done for her.  Wiping the tears from her eyes, Ryoko softly spoke to her ship, gently touching a floating crystal beside her.  Rising to her feet, the lithe woman smiled timidly, as if afraid anyone could see her do so.  "Ryo-Ohki... Ryo-Ohki, I think its time.  It's time we went home."

With that the mighty star ship meowed triumphantly in the vacuum of space, proclaiming its agreement, as it rocketed at its top speed, towards Planet Earth. 

Next Time: Ryoko comes home, and memories follow.  Can Tenchi be saved, or will this tale end in torment?

Chapter 2: Homecomings

* Or so she thought at the time, as everyone's favorite black armored psycho's predecessor had the gall to come back with Cell Zero (Vegeta Muyo 2: The Final Bout), and try to kill her.  Not really very nice, is he?